24 July 2014

20/07/2014 Teutonic tasting for National Day

This theme, we have wanted to implement for a while: whiskies whose names contain 'ach', 'ich', 'och' and so on. It is perhaps a strange theme for Belgian National Day, but well, Belgium has a German-speaking community, after all. And ze Germans love to stop there en route to France.
The suspects: PDG, JD + KD, adc, JS, dom666, Psycho and myself.



Goldlys 12yo Amontillado Finish (43%, OB, C#2634) (brought by JD): Belgian whisky for a German tasting? German is spoken in Belgium, it is National Day and we all want to try this anyway. Nose: boiled apples, chocolate. Mouth: caramel, more baked apples and chocolate. Sweet and silky, very nice, in fact. Finish: more of the same, pleasant indeed. 6/10

All sorts of marinated olives make their way to the table for those who have the munchies (everyone). In hindsight, it is a miracle no-one mentions brine, chilli or olive as a tasting note.

Caperdonich 12yo 1997/2009 Autumn Distillation (46%, DMG Provenance, Refill Hogshead, C#DMG5569 (brought by yours, truly): we had this one a couple of years ago. It is so in theme it hurts. Nose: dry and discreet, with wine grapes. Mouth: vanilla, with a slight bitterness. Creamy-ish, though not thick. Milky it is, then. Finish: strangely warming at 46%, with notes of bitter almonds, amaretti biscuits and a vague impression of mocha coffee. I have had better Caperdonich (this is no 1969, obviously), yet this is an honest 7/10.

Auchentoshan 18yo (43%, OB, b. ca 2014) (JD): theme deviation? Well, 'auch' is as German as 'aber,' oder? Nose: caramel and apple compote. Sirop de Li├Ęge (Psycho). Time makes it thicker, with notes of coffee or chocolate. Mouth: Acidic and woody, in a balanced way. Finish: yes, this becomes rather woody, with also notes of cola and root beer. JD and adc call it peppery; I find it sparkly. Another 7/10.

Those potatoes!
JD fires up the barbecue, then food starts to pour in. Sausages, skewers, lamb cutlets, steaks, ribs, Med-veg-salad, cucumber, toms, orzo with cherry toms, potatoes and more. To say we eat too much would be a euphemism.

BenRiach 1976/1991 (40%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice) (me): nose: mmmmmh! (JS) Elegant! (PDG) I detect one thing only, one distinctive feature: chestnut paste. Mouth: creamy and caramelly, bittered up with almond skins. Finish: long and wide, creamy and almondy. This is not the fruit bomb the vintage would have suggested and that is probably why it is so poorly rated online. A pleasant dram all the same, subtle and quite complex. 8/10

Winner
Mortadellach 13yo 1999/2012 (43%, SV, Hogsheads, C#7898+7899, 882b) (PDG): nose: peach, custard and a herb -- which one? Coriander? Parsley? Perhaps a dash of lime too. Mouth: peachy and sparkly. Finish: long, warming. This remains fruity and balanced. Great surprise from this so-called budget collection. Dram of the day for adc and others. Not the best dram for me, but the quality-to-expectations ratio is particularly good. 7/10

vs.
Family portrait
Mortlach 1984/1995 (40%, GMP Centenary Reserve) (me): yep, managed to find one of those babies. Nose: very closed and austere at first -- dust, cardboard, dusty shelves. Psycho finds it fresh and pepperminty. With time, it ends up revealing pear, though it never becomes invading. Mouth: superbly milky. Finish: peach, though not as pronounced as C#7898+7899. It seems very shy -- to the point dom666 reckons it is faded, or evaporated. Quite possibly. Will have to try it again in other circumstances before rating it. In any case, it is not the killer one could have hoped for.

vs.

Mortlach 16yo (43%, OB Flora & Fauna, L8296CM000 / 05453335) (dom666): nose: brandy, walnut liqueur. There is even a hint of tropical fruit, in the distance, before it dies out in a whiff of coffee. KD is a coffee enthusiast and likes this one best, while most others prefer C#7898+7899. Mouth: as bitter as almond milk, coffee-like, chocolatey. Surprisingly, it is not meaty, today. Finish: very dark chocolate, now, coating and invading. I had not had this one for a while (at least a couple of years) and like it a lot better than then. 7/10

Psycho also has no fear
with his camouflaged hat
Blend of all three: no fear! Nose: distant coffee, milk chocolate. A bit of breathing helps pineapple emerge. Mouth: it has now become plain pineapple juice in texture, and pretty close in taste. Lovely drop. Finish: pineapple with cocoa shavings. The F&F 16yo might dominate a bit (no pipette to gauge), yet this is a rather successful blend. 7/10

The GlenDronach 15yo Revival (46%, OB, LD 30712) (Psycho): I finally get to try this dram everyone seems to rave about. Supposedly, it is the heavily sherried, entry-level whisky with the best quality-to-price ratio. Amusing anecdote: JD bought one for the occasion and Psycho brought the same bottle (a different batch). Nose: sherry!! No joking! In no particular order: meat, a whiff of of rubber, nut liqueur. Mouth: bitter and meaty, in a subtle way. Finish: very sweet, now, full of corn syrup. This is nice and I understand why it is popular, though it is not exactly my style. I prefer the Allardice, personally. JD is gutted: it is not his thing and he has a full bottle.

Meow.
Dessert is served: vanilla ice cream, augmented with home-made chocolate coulis. Finger-licking good!

While we are having heavily-sherried whiskies, we decide to give this next one a go, when JD realises it is a good opportunity to flog it.

Wambrechies 12yo (43%, OB) (JD): it even fits the theme (brechen is German for break). Nose: coffee! Quite powerful, this. Again, not necessarily my favourite style (too sherried), but quite interesting. Mouth: more coffee and dark cocoa. Finish: long, full of coffee, super dark chocolate and the bitterness of orange peel. Not bad. Goes well with vanilla ice cream and chocolate coulis. :-) 5/10

The ladies all pass out in hammocks and sun chairs.

Pittyvaich 20yo 1989/2009 (57.5%, OB, 6000b) (me): this was a hit on the other side of the Channel, time to spread the joy. Nose: vanilla and balsa wood, pears. It is getting a bit late for notes, I am afraid, but this is as good as in April. Mouth: loads of lemon or lime, now. Feels quite acidic. This is the first (and only) cask strength dram of the day, which might underline that characteristic. Finish: long and powerful, with lime and verbena. Good. 8/10

Ardbeg Lord of the Heil (46%, OB, L3170 1209 4ML) (dom666): yes, we dared. Nose: farmyard scents ahoy. This is wildly different to adc's and smells of cow dung. Me? I am a country boy, so I love it. There is a sprinkle of lemon juice as well. Mouth: it becomes zesty and lemony and, to be honest, it bites harder than expected. Finish: sharp and precise, lemony for a bit, then peat smoke comes out for good. I prefer adc's, yet this is a great dram, of course. 8/10

dom666 shows unusual care with this bottle

Pleasant afternoon in a new location. The food was particularly to my liking. The drams were not as impressive as they have been, yet remained consistently good. The weather was less atrociously warm than the previous day and therefore a lot more agreeable. All in all, another great tasting with good friends.

Whachuwant, human?

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