24 March 2014

21/03/2014 Benjamin, Benedict and Bennet are on a boat, celebrating spring

Yes, I know.

Benrinnes 1968 (40%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice, b.1980s): nose: immediately sparkly, full of soda drinks, effervescent tabs (Alka Seltzer?), ground green pepper, straight off the mill, citrus rinds (unripe orange), and citrus-scented detergent (the kind one uses to clean sinks, not washing-up liquid). Some dry fruits wave discreetly from far behind. Dust and old cardboard, a trademark of those old bottlings. A whiff of old leather shoes comes out at second nosing. With water, it simply becomes shy. Mouth: quite pungent for its modest 40%. Lots of pepper, dried orange zest, truckloads of sea salt too. Unexpected. With water, mellow, peppered cream. Finish: oh! the salt assault! It is a plain assalt. Long and drying, with more than a hint of sawdust, unripe-lemon zest, more pepper and lots and lots of salt. Very particular. Tequila frappée, anyone? With water, bitterer and the salt is more controlled. This is not unlike licking fruit stones. This experience could hardly be further from the recent 36.6x at the Society. Almost no fruit and tons of salt. 6/10

Benromach 1968 (40%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice, b.1980s): nose: the sherry influence is obvious, here. Citrus rinds, orange liqueur (Curaçaõ, Grand Marnier, Cointreau), yet also leather belts and horse saddles. A deeper sniff reveals cocoa butter with mocha shavings in it. Water turns it into pure orange liqueur. Mouth: an elegant blend of leather and citrus, with the bitterness of orange pits and faint, dark chocolate to keep it interesting. The chocolate grows stronger with each sip. With water, the chocolate is gone, leaving only orange liqueur. Finish: dark chocolate, now, even a touch of mocha and paprika. It is long and comforting, pleasant indeed. There is a slightly sparkly note in the aftertaste that makes it quite lively, despite its respectable age. With water: thin and bitter, full of orange rinds and liqueur, still, but ruined all the same. Do not add water. 8/10

Ben Nevis Traditional (46%, OB, ca 2012): nose: roasted cereals, summer camp fire -- never has it been so close to a trailerful of cereals after a long, sunny harvesting day. Some smoke is perceptible, but the warm cereals are not what speaks out the loudest. Far from it. Mouth: smooth texture, sweet and soft, still full of cereals. Rude Health porridge? Oh yes! Smoked cereals in the back and they are trying to be heard alright. Finish: more roasted-and-toasted goodness. The smoke eventually settles in to complement the roastage. Superb balance and a pleasant mix of flavours. 7/10

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