20 August 2013

17/08/2013 Whisky Huligans

Have you ever noticed some recurrent particles in whisky names? "Ben" is one, "loch" is another and their meaning is obvious enough (mountain and lake, respectively). "Inver", "more" and "aber" or the obvious "glen" are other examples. There is also "dhu" that seems to come back a few times. Apparently, it is the phonetic spelling of dubh, which means black. A Dhu tasting? Might as well drop the 'd' and make it more open -- anything that has the 'hu' combination it is, then. Seeing as we are not particularly fond of rules imposed upon us, "Huligans" seems not too far-fetched.
The season calls for an outdoor do, which takes place in the countryside to boot, at sonicvince's.

The suspects: adc, JS, sonicvince and sonicM, dom666, ruckus, kruuk2, Psycho and myself.

The line up
But first, an aperitive.

Liqueur de Chicon: nose: vodka with some mint. It is quite subtle, but then it is served in a tumbler, so as to not pollute the few nosing glasses we have. Mouth: sweet and lively, rather agreeable. Finish: syrupy, minty and sweet. Nice, but where is the chicon in all this? (endive) An interesting drink, not what we expected, but so sweet it has to be drunk first, lest it becomes a guaranteed puke catalyst.

Dallas Dhu 1980/2001 (40%, GMP) (adc): nose: neutral enough, with some ash, plum eau-de-vie, white peach eau-de-vie, white peach stone. Mouth: dry, winy, peppery (green pepper). Finish: sharp, lemony, with a bit of chocolate, though it remains dry. Looking forward to it getting some oxidation, as it will certainly make this one creamier. In all honesty, this one is another illustration of the reason Dallas Dhu was closed in the first place, yet I like it as it is. 7/10

Tamdhu 8yo (43%, GMP The MacPhail's) (ruckus): nose: a lot more leather and burnt wood than in the previous. There is even a bit of peat smoke and cooling garden fire, before it lingers on forsythia. Mouth: slightly green, with green pepper. Finish: a lovely mix of green pepper and green stuff -- lively hazel. 7/10

Cardhu 12yo (40%, OB) (ruckus): "un whisky qu'on boit au Cardhu tour," according to kruuk2... Nose: Grany Smith apple, lovely and easy. Mouth: sweet and easy again, floral, lightly fruity. Finish: a little green (plant-stem juice) with some fruit. This is not a complex dram, not even really interesting, but it is lovely all the same. Dram of the day for adc.

sonicvince doing his Australian impression

Old Rhosdhu 1967/1999 (40%, OB The Original Whisky Collection) (me): nose: APPLE! Waxy apple or polish, wax, even. Something animal is there, behind (pork rind), as well as some dust. This is as consistent (read: steady) as the Croftengea, a few weeks ago... and as good. What a nose! Mouth: floral, balanced, thin and delightful. A touch of smoked something -- roasted apple seeds? Finish: long, vanilla-loaded and full of flowers. Caramelized sugar, after a bit. This is stunning. Although this is not the highest quality we have today, it is the dram of the day for me -- well glad to have one. :-) 9/10

Barbec-Hu ind-Hulgence
Enter the barbec-Hu. Sausages, chicken drumsticks, skewers and salads. Good, abundant and indulgent. The honey m-Hustard is particularly popular.

Glenliv-Hut 21yo (43%, OB Archive) (kruuk2): this one is not in theme, but we will drink it anyway. Nose: a lot more sherry here than anything else so far. Polished shoes, toffee, caramel sweets. Mouth: mocha, coffee. Finish: still the sherry trademark (coffee, mocha, leather) and some black pepper.

Tell me Hu-se shadow it is 
or I'll f-Huckin' stab ye!
Knockand-Hu 18yo 1994 (43%, OB) (sonicvince): the list of candidates included Knockdhu (who produce anCnoc), but of course, someone had to mistake it for Knockando. This one is probably more interesting than most official bottlings of Knockdhu, though, so it might be a good thing after all. Nose: chocolate shake, decaying... pears? No, apples. It carries a note of sulphur, though it is not annoying. Mouth: slightly sparkly and peppery. Finish: the chocolate speaks, now. This is not an unbelievable dram, but well honest. I used to be quite partial to an earlier version and am convinced this one will improve.

B-Hunna-abhain 1989/2001 (40%, GMP The MacPhail's, JA/ACC) (Psycho): again, not really in theme, but close enough. Nose: this one seems very animal -- leather sofas, autumnal fireplace (Psycho), floral (JSenny). Pear comes out after a while. Mouth: very pleasant fruit juice (pear, quince), marmalade, jelly, even, and a touch of vanilla (adc). Finish: lovely, long and fruity. 7/10

ruckus jokes that Psycho, with his shaved head, beard and sunshades, would look nice, clad in leather

Camembert overdose
Enter cheese: two barbecued Camemberts to dip bread into. Hugely unnecessary, but so good we all take part.

B-Hunna-abhain 27yo 1977/2005 (46.5%, Dewar Rattray Cask Collection, Hogshead, C#7868, 191b) (dom666): nose: squashed banana sprinkled with dried coconut shavings. All very nice, balanced and easy on the nose. Mouth: banane flambée, baba au rhum, crumble. Finish: lots of banane flambée, wood, which is a bit drying. A beautiful Bunnahabhain, elegant and easy. Dram of the day for ruckus. 8/10

Dr. Hu likes B-Hunna-abhain
B-Hunna-abhain 37yo 1968/2006 (42.1%, DT Rare Auld, C#7010, 350b) (dom666): nose: a lot more herbal (lemongrass), moving towards furniture wax, then marzipan. Mouth: almond milk, marzipan... oh dear! Is this good, or what? Creamy and slightly zesty. Finish: coconut, almond milk, long and creamy. Lovely. Better than ever. Dram of the day for dom666, at a draw with the following. 9/10

B-Hunna-abhain 42yo 1968/2011 (43.8%, Whisky-Fässle and whiskybase.com, Refill ex-Sherry Cask): this one was bought by the community. Today seems the right opportunity to open it and try it. Nose: verbena, dunnage warehouse, vanilla, but also pear and apricot. The nose fades away rather quickly, unfortunately. Mouth: peppered melon, creamy apricot and white peach. Finish: another one that goes: "oh yes, not bad," then knocks you out with (fleeting) fruit. The finish is a bit too dry, but eventually settles on papaya. A wonderful dram, dram of the day for sonicvince. Pity about the disappearing nose and the dry finish. 9/10

That cake
Enter dessert: the cake with the unspeakable name.

Poit Dhubh 21yo b.2008 (43%, Pràban na Linne) (me): nose: lots of sulphur (rotten eggs) and a generally maritime feel -- the Talisker speaks out. Far away from the previous drams, this. Mouth: sugar and salt, sweet and sour sauce. Balanced and pleasant, though it comes full with a salty tang. Finish: unexpectedly sherried, with a reasonable dose of cured meat and teriyaki sauce. 6/10

106.18 27yo 1984 Bottled essence of summer (SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 197b) (JS): nose: herbal and jammy. Pine tree, cloves, lime and sawdust. Excellent. Mouth: very jammy, still -- oranges and all sorts of citrus. Finish: powerful and delightful. Long, full of fruit (apples, mostly) and boasting the since-famous touch of clogged sink or hiking boots. Everyone laughs at me for that, but I like it enough. :-) 8/10

An amusing undead guest
Tamdhu 13yo 1990/2003 Sherry Finish (43%, IML Dun Bheagan, C#9041--9043, 2868b) (me): nose: washing-up liquid (dom666), naphthalene (Psycho), charcoal (adc). Sulphur and meat for me. Mouth: meat and dark cherries, as well as some coffee, the latter of which is less my thing. Finish: black cherries aplenty and Amaretto. Not the most balanced dram, but it has some redeeming qualities I never detected before (cherries). dom666 detests it so much he pours his in the plant pot instead of letting me finish it. Probably the weakest dram today, yet it is too invading to fit anywhere else in the line-up.

A tasting of epic proportions with lots of annoying flies and a few nice surprises. Good times.

Dr. Hu is watching y-Hu.

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