The suspects: JD, adc, ruckus, dom666, PSc, JS, kruuk2 and myself.
Stevie Springwood - Higher Love
Auchentoshan Springwood (40%, OB Exclusively for the Global Traveller, Bourbon casks) (JD): an alternative is Kylie Minogue - The Auchentoshan. Nose: green and vanilla-flavoured. Very good aperitive dram, great to start with on an empty stomach. Mouth: fresh and lively, with the slight bitterness of spring plants (I was not influenced by the name, honestly!) Finish: a tad drying, not challenging, yet pleasant. Green wood (hazelnut tree) and faint milk chocolate.
The following covers the next three drams.
Guns 'n Rosebank - Blad, Blad, Bladnoch and Mannochmore (because Dylan cannot sing it)
Rosebank 17yo 1991/2009 (46%, Speciality Drinks Single Malts of Scotland, Barrel C#2206, 259b) (JS): nose: the beauty of the Lowlands in a glass. Honey, meadow flowers, orchard fruit; this is formidable. Caramel (adc), chemicals, solvents (adc), citrus drops, candied, exotic fruit (pineapple, papaya). Not a fruit bomb, yet fruity enough. Mouth: sweet like honey, extremely quaffable. Finish: smooth and comforting, honeyed, flowery again, with a touch of coffee at the very end. 9/10
Bladnoch 1987/1999 (40%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice) (JS): nose: sherry-like caramel, weathered leather and shoe polish. Roasted hazelnuts, roasted walnuts (JD), varnish. Apple peels and dried lemongrass (adc). Mouth: easy when it comes to the ABV. Flat cola and cough syrup. Finish: wood, some sherry influence. It seems pleasant, today, much more so than previous times. 6/10
In the middle of the song, food is served: bread rolls, blood and dried sausages (including a parmesan-coated one), cheeses (including a mighty Herve), sirop de Liège, meat balls, pâtés -- including a cracking mousse de canard, which prompts kruuk2 to do his own interpretation of La Danse Des Mousses De Canard
64.40 22yo 1990/2012 Gingery heat and oaky tannins (53.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Bourbon Barrel, 172b) (me): nose: lots of sawdust, ginger splinters, cedar wood, coconut and mud. Mouth: slightly stripping, to tell the truth; polished coconut shells and a bit of varnish. Finish: coconut-filled milk chocolate (Bounty, then), cedar wood sheets, broomsticks. Drying (not overly so) and very good. A big hit and a lovely dram. 8/10
|A combination known for its lethal effect on hotel rooms...|
Sylvie Vartan - La plus Balvenie pour aller danser
Balvenie 21yo Port Wood (40%, OB) (kruuk2): others take the Rum Wood to compare, I do not. Nose: swimming pool (JD), salty, briny, then moves towards polished furniture and dried fruit. Mouth: Dijon mustard and a vague acidity. Finish: a touch of jam (the port influence, probably), lots of pepper and some acidity again.
After I note that the salty, dried sausage is very hard, dom666 jokes that I am training for the forthcoming couques de Dinant.
Lou & The Hollywood Bananahabhain - Deanston, Deanston covers the next two drams
Bunnahabhain 29yo 1979/2009 (44.8%, Speciality Drinks Single Malts Of Scotland, Bourbon Barrel, C#28811, 205b) (dom666): nose: wood and banana, chewing gum. Mouth: oooh! dear. A nice, almost rummy banana juice with a certain bitterness and an overall dry feel. Finish: long, fiery and banana-y. Lovely. 8/10
Deanston 17yo (40%, OB, Amontillado casks, ca 2000) (dom666): nose: flat cola, diluted cough syrup, boiled sweets and the stringent and meaty side of sherry. Mouth: sweet, sweet, sweet. Gummy bears with some mocha chocolate. Finish: a vague, green bitterness and a blend of OXO broth and milk chocolate. 7/10
We reminisce of the previous tasting in this very venue:
me -We drank JD's two favourite whiskies.
JD -Laphroaig 1974, Bowmore 1968. Too expensive.
me -The others are paying. You should enjoy them.
PSc -That is a Walloon thing, that. He is Flemish, so he wouldn't know.
Smashing Pumpkins - (Imperial) 1979
Imperial 1979/1998 (40%, GMP, IH/BDH) (PSc): nose: sea water (JD), bison herb (adc, who still thinks of Zubrowka vodka), coffee, caramel, then OXO broth. Mouth: much better than the nose -- balanced chocolate and fine mocha, well rounded. Finish: some wood, lots of caramel. A fine dram, though the nose does not do it for me. 6/10
Glen Morayhead - One Night in Springbangkok + The Latin Rascals - Arabian Knights covered by the next two
|Glen Morayhead - One Night in Springbangkok|
Springbank 18 b.2009 (46%, OB, 09/131) (me): nose: very shy, after the old one. Some faded tobacco, old leather seats in a convertible car. JD finds it quite medicinal. Mouth: now, it is back. Dark cherries, dried fruit, red chilli. Finish: red chilli, red capsicum, super long and pleasant, powerful without being invading. It does not shine so brightly, today, but I will be sad when it is gone. 8/10
Belinda Carlisle - Bunnahabhain is a Place on Earth
Bunnahabhain 42yo 1968/2011 (43.8%, Whisky-Faessle/Whiskybase) (the group): nose: red fruit and lovely dunnage warehouse, paint (JD). Varnish indeed -- this is close to a grain, today. Mouth: a superb balance of dunnage warehouse, plants and dark fruit. Finish: blackberry, blueberry, blackcurrant and a faint bitterness again -- odd for a 42 year-old. JD does not care for it (too grain-like for him), while PSc, who has not tried it before, likes it. Yay. 9/10
Line Renaud - Glencadam au Canada
|Hands on the buzzer...|
Telex - Amrut pour de Nouvelles Aventures
Amrut 4yo 2009/2013 (62.8%, OB for Europe, ex-Bourbon American Oak Barrel C#3448) (ruckus): everyone is curious about this one. Firstly, we do not get Indian whiskies very often at these tastings. Secondly, we all have a bit of disbelief for it (prejudices, eh?) Thirdly, we had to put it in late in the line-up as it is so... undiluted! At a mere 62.8%, it is bound to become the choice alcopop for prepubescent girls around the world. Nose: marzipan (JD), unlikely woody, considering it is four years old. It smells toasted. And yes, the cask was toasted. Mouth: warm! Spicy. It becomes drying after a while and the 63% show. Finish: dark chocolate, invading and coating, but very well made. The strength is a little too obvious, perhaps. I forget to try it with water. This could have been "le dernier pour l'Amrut," but there are two more to go. 7/10
Georges Brassens - Les SaPort d'Hélène or Roch Voisine - Ellen
Port Ellen 28yo 1979/2007 Seventh Release (53.8%, OB, 5274b) (adc): we have not had a PE in a while and this is the first official bottling for the group. Nose: cockles, winkles, a fishing port, bullrush, bacon (JD), bacon chocolate (adc -- yes, it exists), kelp, wet mud, lichen, salt marshes and fishing nets. Mouth: we are on the beach. Kelp and sea spray aplenty, winkles, seaweed, then lots of light caramel takes over. Cured meat also rolls on the tongue. Finish: peat now speaks more openly. It is refined, but peaty, long and hot. A great Port Ellen indeed. 9/10
TLC - Ain't 2 Proud 2 Ardbeg
Ardbeg Corryvreckan (57.1%, OB, ca 2014) (JD): nose: tons of ash, burnt wood, burnt ginger bread, lemon juice. Mouth: hot and spicy (yes, those notes are succinct). Finish: super dark cherries on a very burnt griddled pie. 8/10
I finish a glass of Deanston 17, which still holds water, even after those monumental drams we just had.
|Oh! and pie.|
|La Cité Ardente|