28 May 2015

25/05/2015 Clearing the shelves #4

Caperdonich 12yo 1997/2009 Autumn Distillation (46%, DMG Provenance, Refill Hogshead, C#DMG5569): this has been a daily dram, lately. Time for final notes, since the bottle is now empty. Nose: green-grape juice, a distant garden fire, fueled by dry grass. After a shy start, the grass grows in intensity, alongside plums. The nose is also peppered with dust, old newspapers and cardboard boxes. Mouth: green-grape juice it is, sweet at first, though not devoid of a certain bitterness. Apple crumble and green chilli -- a most pleasant combination. Finish: warm, now, with milk chocolate, cinnamon, ground cloves and delicious apple crumble, alongside chargrilled bell pepper. It remains fresh and lively, sweet and enticing, without ever becoming vulgar. A good dram, this. Not museum-worthy, but then it does not aim for that either. 7/10

Brora 1982/2008 (43%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice, Refill Sherry Butt): I had this one in Edinburgh last year. Great to get to try it again. It is now not available in that restaurant in Edinburgh, by the way. No use rushing to it for that sole purpose. Nose: dusty books, a car mechanic's workshop -- metal tools and various engine oils. It all makes room for hot candle wax and old coins (shillings, at least). All the same, behind this austerity, fruit is fighting for attention, as well as varnish. Speaking of varnish, it stings the nostril a bit, likely due to the alcohol, which is strange, at 43%. Mint leaves, for a second, angel food cake, that brownish black funk underneath the sink's plug -- a mix of fungus, lichen, food residue and humidity. Mouth: it is now soft as a baby bunny's fur, with apricot juice, plum juice, perhaps even mango, though more for the texture than the taste. Wonderful balance, here. Well, I am sure some self-proclaimed connoisseurs would find it watery. ;) Ash emerges after a while. Finish: quite simply waxy-fruit juice, sprinkled with ash. Not so much farmyard as proper ashes, dry and difficult. This back-and-forth between fruit and ashes is really something! 8/10

Brora 20yo 1982/2003 (58.1%, OB Rare Malts Selection, B#5382): nose: a lot wider than the previous -- this is cask strength and it feels that way. Eau-de-vie, grappa, even, a cascade of very ripe apples and pears (which one should not compare) that gives way to earth -- a field ploughed a couple of days earlier, to be precise. Apricot stones, overripe avocado skins and, finally, a dunnage warehouse, full of clay, ageing wood, dust and lichen. With water: fruit juice in a bonded warehouse. It becomes pretty obscene, to be honest. Mouth: full and powerful, at cask strength, carrying hot chilli powder, earth, crushed fruit stones, which give it a slightly woody and bitter note. The texture is rather juicy, almost oily. Not quite silky, due to the chilli. Water makes it creamier, with more apricots, peaches, perhaps pineapple, and less chilli. Wow. Finish: fruit juice again, waxy-fruit juice augmented with a dash of oil, a pinch of earth and a few old, lichen-covered barrel shavings. Once more, water removes the imperfections and makes it very fruity without much else. It is now more immediately accessible and pleasurable, but maybe less interesting. Another excellent Rare Malt, of course. Looking forward to trying it again! 8/10 (thanks pat gva)

No comments:

Post a Comment