11 February 2014

08/02/2014 February outturn at the SMWS

Although attending this month's official outturn release was not strictly planned, a phone call by Fixou earlier in the week convinced me it was the right thing to do.
Fixou would be there; KB's only free day this month would be today; SMcD is moving on to a new job and today is his last day behind the bar.
We pre-ordered two cheese plates and flights of five drams for three.

25.65 22yo d.1991 The Whispered Kiss (50%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 220b): nose: honeysuckle, acacia honey, then ripe peach and grape juice. It dies out on a note of vanilla too. Mouth: yes, grape juice with flowers and a kick. Finish: seems flat for half a second, then honey and creamy peach. Some of the regulars find it average, but it is a lovely ol' Rosebank. I reckon they are only bitter because they could not get a bottle (it sold out pretty quickly).

36.69 24yo d.1989 Totally tropical, man! (52.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 275b): nose: melon, guava, cedar-wood shavings, apple shavings and coconut, as well as some flowers. Much later on, herbs emerge -- gentian and sage. Mouth: peanut skin bitterness (JS), lots of fleeting fruit and herbs. Finish: bags of herbs, now, alongside fruit (juicy orange).

76.112 27yo d.1986 Spiced Champurrado (58.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 239b): this one comes highly recommended by our friends. Nose: old books, leather and lots of prominent fruit. Soy sauce, smoked haddock and shoe polish too. Strange combination, yet it works. Mouth: sparkling cola, cough syrup. Finish: long, full of cola and corn syrup -- or is it maple syrup? Nice, though perhaps not as nice as they say.

35.103 29yo d.1983 The Great Easter Bake Off (58.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 236b): nose: apple peels and cigar. Mouth: sweet corn, cooked apples, white pepper, grist? Finish: loads of pepper, apple compote that lingers on, milk chocolate.

SMcD brings the cheese and asks us for the difference between the Rolling Stones and a farmer on Skye.
The Rolling Stones, 'Hey you, get off my cloud!'
The farmer on Skye, 'Hey McLeod, get off my ewe!'

Lonely cheese
3.219 13yo d.2000 Never far from the sea (54.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 234b): nose: farmyard and bakery. Another unlikely combination that works a treat! Mouth: fiery, but complex, with tame, dark cherries in the back. Finish: peat fire, smoked seafood and cut pears. An excellent Bowmore.

SMcD's last day behind the bar
2.85 9yo d.2003 Vibrant and tongue-dancing (61.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 207b): nose: KB says Nestle's condensed milk, JS says colone -- they are both right: it is condensed milk-scented colone! Green hazelnuts, scented soap, sweet fruit (KB), strawberry yoghurt. Mouth: powerful, but light at the same time. Slightly flowery. Finish: very, very long, full of pears, compote, strawberry yoghurt again.

Off-menu, someone gives us a splash of the following:

Teeling 21yo Silver Reserve (46%, Teeling, Bourbon Barrel, Sauterne wine cask, 5000b): nose: melon, passion fruit, mango, all sorts of fruit. Wet chalk too. Hm, that's a first! Mouth: very green, perhaps overdiluted. It remains fruity and acidic, yet a bit shy. Finish: another whisky that puts a smile on my face. Massive fruit kick -- mango and passion. Lovely.

Teeling Small Batch (46%, Teeling, b. ca 2013): nose: cold tea, cigar boxes, herbs. Mouth: herbs alright, slightly bitter. Finish: what a balance! Papaya, pineapple, but also grass and wet sand Very nice surprise, these two.

10.76 8yo d.2005 Duelling banjos dram (60.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 229b): nose: smoke, freshly roasted coffee beans... and plum. Mouth: wow! JS finds it sparkly. I find it quite anaesthetising, though it does have a baking-soda note. Finish: acidic fruit, squashed strawberry with a bit of grain. The nose is better than the rest. Was looking forward to a peated Bunnahabhain, but this is disappointing. The nose is promising, the rest is behind.

PS starts handing out drams to us, starting with G4.6 -- not enough of it for notes, mind.

29.151 24yo d.1989 Polished violins and vintage cars (50.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 311b): nose: coffee and dark chocolate, cocoa beans, even. Smoked fish, kippers (KB). Mouth: acidic -- very strangely so, in fact. Finish: wide, but not really thrilling. A disappointing 29.

Before Talisker got Storm-y
there was Croftengea
53.201 18yo d.1995 True love on a pebble beach (60%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 375b): nose: peat, mud, pencils, crayons, even, and varnish. Mouth: surprisingly honeyed, with a peat kick. Then pepper. Finish: loads and loads of pepper.

PS now parades around with a bottle of 122.14 that was once his. We get to try it (it is nice, as usual), but I do not take notes.

It is late, we get kicked out, so to speak. Fixou never made it in: unexpected work to do. Lovely evening, fare well, SMcD and see you soon on the other side of the bar!