We start a bit late (Frenchionably late), which worries me a little, as we are supposed to only have 45 minutes to go through the lot.
|Better get going, then!|
|A rucksack full of pêches au thon|
64.47 12yo 2001/2013 A firecracker! (61.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 209b): to ensure survivors of the previous cannot see straight quickly, we proceed with a 61+% dram. A Society Mannochmore is something I always look forward to, as they are consistently good, on top of being cheap. Nose: sparkly, fruity, citrusy. This smells like a good aperitive, everyone agrees. Mushrooms, shoe polish (black), then marzipan. It moves towards coffee, then sugar overtime. Mouth: pine needles, lots of pine wood. We have surreptitiously entered Ikea. No meat balls, horse or other. Finish: slightly spicy. Bit of wood, citrus. Water makes it more citrusy. The nose is amazing, hence the score. Not too taken by the rest. 7/10
CD -My favourite is a 16 year-old. [realising] ...whisky!
76.103 26yo 1987/2013 An ‘Old Fashioned’ in a traditional barber shop (52.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 279b): nose: meaty, though not nearly as much as Mortlach usually is. Still weird it is at all, considering it has spent its time in a bourbon cask. Turpentine? Varnish? It is "tamed", compared to the previous two. Mouth: well balanced, with some acidic orange juice. Finish: wood. A minute in, marzipan comes out. This is alright. Everyone else thinks it is too civilized, but it is decent. 6/10
53.190 17yo 1995 A fishing village up Whisky Cove (56.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 263b): the issue with CB at the helm is you are certain to end up tasting a Caol Ila. Talk about a surprise... Nose: kippers aplenty! Dried anchovies, brine, sea air. Coming back to it after the last dram, it delivers a lot of salted butter. Mouth: smoke, herbs. Finish: lovely peat, medicinal (bandages), long and heart-warming. The boys love it. 7/10
29.138 18yo 1995/2013 Hospitals, hearths and headlands (59.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 182b): nose: hospital, antiseptic, steriliser, ointment. It is impressive how medicinal this one is. Mouth: iodine, spices and herbs (thyme, oregano). Finish: more iodine, all sorts of medicinal shenanigan. It never ends either. Not my thing, nowadays. 5/10
The party disbands and we head downstairs for a nightcap and a chat. Fixou goes for a mini-tasting of the four new Port Charlotte. I try one:
127.32 10yo 2002 A manly dram (65.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 244b): nose: barbecue, mercurochrome, coffee. Mouth: more mercurochrome, cocoa beans. Finish: extremely peaty, liquorice (Fixou). My nose is stuck, by now, so I cannot get too much of anything. 6/10
|Charlotte, if you read this...|
What about the new formula, then? I found the session to be too short (we had to rush, in parts). It is a pity we cannot choose the drams ourselves, as it means we have to rely on the host's selection -- and since the tasters were a mix of peat-freaks, Lowland enthusiasts and grain fanatics, it was impossible to please everyone every time. On the plus side, it is less frenetic than the previous format, more personal and means we can more easily chat with others and share impressions.