adc is in town. That is good enough an excuse to pour a few drams. adc, JS and myself. Tonight, we will have three drams from unrelated, closed distilleries, all 26 years old.
St Magdalene 26yo 1982/2009 (59.1%, DL for TWS Glenkeir Treasures Cask Strength Selections, 144b): nose: salt (adc), saltmarsh, clams, distant vanilla and even choux dough, chocolate éclairs. Mouth: smooth, with a sprinkle of pepper. Finish: it manages to hit a fantastic balance between grass and flowers -- a lush meadow, then. Long and comforting like a nice cup of tea prepared by a grandmother. The girls reckon it is slightly peaty, but I do not. Surely, they have been drinking. 9/10
Glen Albyn 26yo 1975/2002 (54.8%, OB Rare Malts Selection, 6000b): nose: vanilla (adc), sponge cake (JS). In the beginning, it smells like an old wallet. Nosing it around 30 minutes later, not so much anymore. Velvet curtains and old corduroy trousers left unworn in the cupboard for years or decades. Lichen, herbs burning on a campfire. This is wonderfully complex, given some time in the glass. Oyster crackers (JS). With water, it becomes more leathery again. Mouth: thick, thick, thick! Coating and soft, velvety, voluptuous. Thick cream. adc finds it sweet. Finish: bitter marjoram in the back, aouch! It makes me think of that tannis-root necklace Mia Farrow wears in Rosemary's Baby. It wears out and becomes very milky and very long, though, which is good. Excellent, though austere and not half-repulsive to the regular Joe, I would expect. I tried this one years ago in a pub and did not think much of it. Much more convinced, this time (thanks pat gva for the sample). 8/10
Glenugie 26yo 1982/2008 (50%, DL Old Malt Cask 50º, ex-Bourbon Barrel, C#4703, 310b): nose: metallic, according to adc. Unripe cantaloupe and Wellington boots for a minute, then lots of yellow fruit and flowers, as well as some red fruit (redcurrant and gooseberry) and greengage. Mouth: a bit stripping, this! A lot more lively and impetuous than the first two, until it becomes very soft and silky. Finish: chocolate and custard (adc and JS), milk chocolate with a drop of lemon. What a dram! 9/10
St Magdalbugie 26: yes, that is a blend of the above three. Nose: well, the Albyn speaks the loudest, here. Leather, lichen, a bit of varnish. Train brakes that have just been used. With water, more marmalade or chutney emerge, but not in a convincing way. Mouth: unbalanced, now. Flower stems, fiery ginger and distant marmalade. Finish: rather green and bitter, unripe. Green wood and flower-stem juice. Meh. This is a waste of three otherwise wonderful drams.