anCnoc 30yo 1975/2005 (50%, OB) (JS): nose: behind the vanilla, there is a basketful of fruit (physalis, starfruit, maybe even sharon/persimmon and pomelo), rosewater. Mouth: slightly bitter attack (or is that the kick?), with ginger powder, but also as creamy as can be. Very balanced and interesting. Finish: more powerful than expected, this. Sprays of pepper with the vanilla and fruit. I get banana and pears, now, as well as more starfruit. Superb and complex dram, if maybe a little too drying in the aftertaste.
Ardbeg 1978/1998 (43%, OB) (me): I have and love the 1999 edition, so, even though a back-to-back comparison is not possible (I am not carrying my bottle around), I feel I have to find out if this one is as good. Nose: peat, of course, but it is very much kept in check. Lots of balsamic vinegar and many sorts of seafood -- smoked kippers, grilled periwinkles, a little fishing boat in a little harbour, drying fishing nets, sea spray, as well as a growing farmyard feel. After a while, it is a full-on farmyard. Haystacks, grazing cattle with seashells before fruit also makes an appearance (quince, almonds, gooseberries, plums). "Ardbeg 1978. Approchez-le de votre nez, vous sentirez la mer." Mouth: a symphony of sweet and sour. Moscovado sugar melted in a dash of noble balsamic vinegar -- Modena, of course. Smooth and satin-like. A very appealing mouth. Finish: tarry ropes, engine oil on a fishing boatand still that pesky vinegar with a touch of plant-stem juice. Neverending too. Excellent, top-of-the-shelf dram.
|A "light" supper|
With those, I have Balmoral chicken (chicken breasts wrapped in bacon and stuffed with haggis) with mashed potatoes, while JS has a carrot soup and a goat's cheese salad.