8 October 2013

04/10/2013 Show Vorspiel and October outturn at the SMWS

The biggest weekend of the year is right in front of us: the Whisky Show. It is also the new outturn, today. dom666 is in town for the show, the SMWS will not have a stand at the show, this year and Fixou is free today, but will not make it to the show. The obvious compromise is to come here for a dram or two before the show, then.
Unsurprisingly, it is full of tourists who are in town because of the show, yet it is quiet enough to be enjoyable.
Quick catch-up with the staff, greeting A and I. who have been here with Fixou for a while, but are about to leave, then comes the hard job of finding an opening dram.

"I'll get the next round"
G8.3 23yo 1989 Light, bright and agreeable (59%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 250b) (me): this one is not in any outturn, but Superstaff managed to snatch a case. JS cleverly orders one for me while I ponder. Nose: bakery, industrial alcohol, varnish, flowers, wax -- I first think this is a Clynelish. Butterscotch, pudding, flan, liquorice allsorts, brilliant, in fact. Mouth: brioche, honey... and still that industrial alcohol. Let us see if I can still taste it tomorrow -- update: yes, my tongue is completely stripped, the next morning; the Cambus effect. Finish: violet, numbing alcohol that makes you blind. There is also a hint of bitter metal, verbena, as well as lots of sugar. Another great Cambus that suffers from the same symptoms as every other Cambus I have had: the sheer power of it makes it terrible for the tongue for over 24 hours. Tough. 7/10

PS is very excited about an official new grain he caught wind of and no-one must know about. He tells that in such a discrete manner that everyone at the venue is listening to us. That is made even funnier by the fact one of his friends gives him a bag containing said official new grain no-one must know about and he proceeds to rub it in my face in a very visible manner.

50.52 23yo 1990/2013 Tales of the River-bank (53.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 106b) (JS): nose: Dundee cake, fruit cake, honeysuckle, cooked apples -- this is so rip-roaring! Mouth: soft, light and fruity, with a dash of pepper. Finish: long, powerful, full of green pepper and honeysuckle stems. One of the great Bladnochs. 8/10

9.68 22yo 1990 Plentiful fruit – super-charged sweetness (53.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 188b) (Fixou): nose: apple compote, a grandmother's kitchen, warm laundry, maybe a cooking hearth. Did you say warming and comforting? Mouth: smooth and silky. Flat, says Fixou -- the fool! White pepper kicks in after a bit -- or is it green chilli? Finish: longish and peppery, but not extremely interesting, unfortunately. 7/10

I leave for a bit to fetch dom666 from the station. The train is late and he gets stuck at customs, but we make it back to the SMWS at a reasonable time, though PS has left.

The winner is...
76.110 27yo 1986/2013 Summer Fruit salad with cream (58.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 242b) (JS): nose: floral and fruity (dried pears), dunnage warehouse and even ground cloves. Mouth: marzipan, a cascade of white pepper. Finish: whoa! Spectacular, this! Fantastic balance of sponge cake, almond cake and white pepper. Unlike more "traditional" Mortlachs, it is not meaty at all -- but then it is a bourbon cask, of course. Really nice.

121.64 14yo 1998 Maggie Thatcher at the funfair (54.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 203b) (dom666): nose: lots of flowers and honeysuckle. Mouth: a bit green, but pleasant enough. More honeysuckle, wax, thyme, a mineral touch (flint) and an anaesthetising sting. Finish: long and warming, with vanilla pudding and butterscotch. It becomes slightly medicinal -- cough syrup, cough lozenges and cola, ginseng and ginger (Fixou). 7/10

The gang and a funny bottle on the table
dom666 pours Fixou a dram of Black Laphroaig. He is very excited. Of course, it attracts the attention of everyone around and freeloaders try their luck. The bottle disappears behind the bar to prevent tensions. A customer walks up to Fixou and asks about it, saying there is no point denying it, they saw the bottle and they are going to try it at the show tomorrow anyway (it is a dream dram, there). Everything ends respectfully, situation avoided.

127.37 9yo 2003 Dinosaurs dancing to Stravinsky (66.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 649b) (Fixou): this one is the sole reason I. came here earlier (remember she is a peat freak). It seems a good one to finish with. Nose: well, forty centimetres from the glass, I can already smell it. Saltings, barbecue, cured meat, mixed spices. Mouth: peat, a little charcoal. Finish: a steamroller of peat and cured meat. Not too complex, but does the job. Water gives it a farmy feel, which is nice too. 6/10

Relaxed and pleasant tasting, once again. Perhaps a bit of clumsiness around the black Laph, but it all came from a good heart and was sorted in good mood.

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