18 August 2015

16/08/2015 Songs

The traditional mid-August tasting in the homeland. dom666 forgot that the 15th is a bank holiday and the 16th is a Sunday. All the shops are closed and he is left with little to host. Luckily, he has a backup plan for food.

The theme is a rehash of the Youtube tasting last year: whiskies that connect to songs, artists, or anything.
The suspects: dom666, JS, PSC, kruuk2, ruckus and myself.

Glenmorangie Port Wood (43%, OB, L6 242 20:54 3ML) (brought by kruuk2): we all recognise the song, but fail to see the link... until kruuk2 points out that Glenmorangie is crafted by the Sixteen Men of Tainted Love. Jaws are dislodged. We raise our glasses to Psycho, who could not join us, due to being stricken by an XVIII Century illness. Nose: tons of biscuit spices (cloves, cinnamon, cumin), leather, soft and sweet wine. Mouth: mellow and easily accessible, with notes of mulled wine and spices (more cloves and cinnamon). The texture is pretty oily too. Finish: long, luscious and lovely. It is interesting to confront old loves and find out they live up to the memories. 7/10 (thanks Syb the Beast for the pun)


Glencadam 12yo Port Wood Finish (46%, OB, 14FL02/14BL03) (brought by ruckus): L'Opportfinish, boom-tsch. Nose: more caramel than in the Glenmorangie. Slightly-burnt pie dough, old papers. Mouth: oily, with a similar mixture of spices and bakery action (biscuits). Finish: burnt caramel and over-baked biscuit. It remains sweet, light and easy, though a little less so than the Glenmorangie. 7/10

Tasting the first again after the Glencadam, the former is less appealing, flatter, yet also fruitier.

The next pair are together and make up something I am proud of. The welcome it gets is lukewarm, to say the least. I am disappointed.

Bon Novis - Inverleven On A Prayer

Ben Nevis 12yo 1996/2009 (46%, The Vintage Malt Whisky The Coopers Choice, Refill Butt, C#817, 420b) (yours, truly): nose: farmyard! Cow dung and eau-de-vie. It evolves to become a walk in an orchard, with unripe fruit hanging from the trees. Herbs end up showing up en force. Mouth: pears and apples, very crisp and fresh. Peach stones too, perhaps. Finish: verbena and milk chocolate -- no-one else gets the obvious chocolate. Red chilli, ginger (PSC). A pleasant, if unusual Ben Nevis. What exactly constitutes a usual Ben Nevis, anyway? 7/10


Inverleven 1991/2008 (40%, GMP, JH/BCB) (me again): nose: bakery and citrus (mandarin, orange), dried fruit. Mouth: dried fruit, sultanas, dried dates, figs. The fruit becomes fresher and fresher, verging on fruit gosette (for those who know). Finish: more dried fruit, soft and plummy. 8/10

Cragganmore 11yo 2000/2011 (56.8%, BBR Selected by Berrys', C#3673) (PSC): nose: a walk in a pine-tree forest. Lots of dry, white wood. It is dry and woody. How insightful. Sawdust. With water, citrus emerges. Mouth: warm and peppery, with lots of wood dust and spices. With water: again, more citrus comes up -- the sweetness of orange, with the kick of lemon. Finish: warm, wood-driven, with peppery custard (white pepper). Water brings out the acidity of orange pith and a teaspoon of sugar. Good dram, if one likes wood. 7/10

Enter tagliatelle Bolognese to replace the planned cold dishes. Note for next year: do not expect to do any shopping on the 15th August.

That is all that is left for me once I have served everyone :'(

Strathisla 1963/2011 (43%, GMP) (dom666): Heidi Hei-Strath- isla, geddit? Nose: sugar pie, pineapple in custard, grapefruit. Do I like this? Do I! PSC finds liquorice and burnt rubber, as well as light marshmallow. A candy shop (PSC). Mouth: fresh and lively as a young goat in springtime. Pineapple and lime juice. It kicks harder than the 43% would have you think too. Finish: warming, rich, wide and unbelievable, with a touch of minty lime juice. Liquorice, perhaps? Toothpaste, wood splinters. It does become a bit woody, towards the end. It is under control for most of the ride all the same -- and what a ride! 9/10

Another pair to spell out Bunny and Strathclyde, of course.

Bunnahabhain 42yo 1968/2011 (43.8%, Whisky-Fässle, Refill Sherry Cask) (offered by the group): nose: this is a fruity bonded warehouse in early autumn, with a whiff of smoke and decaying cherry. Mouth: lichen and warehouse goodness, musty rooms, clay floors. Finish: long, rich and humbling. Too bad if the notes do not reflect it much, this is a wonderful dram. 9/10


Strathclyde 13yo 2001/2014 (64.4%, OB Cask Strength Edition, B#ST 13 002) (brought by JS): we tried this one last week in Edinburgh, and were convinced, despite the low age. Nose: dessert, bakery, custard, varnish. Mouth: warm croissants. It becomes hotter and hotter -- 64.4%, innit. Finish: a bakery explosion, with a metallic note and a touch of fruit. Wunderbar. 8/10

Dessert is served: griddled cherry pie and pineapple-and-custard pie. Both excellent. The latter goes particularly well with the Strathclyde.

Look mum: no hands!

Port Askaistle - 19 (yes, that is pushing it)

We discover there is a French, a German and a Japanese version of the song, which crack us up immensely.

Port Askaig Harbour 19yo (45.8%, SD) (ruckus): Nose: burnt wood and dry earth. Mouth: balanced and gentle, with a drop of gherkin vinegar. Finish: barley, puffed barley, toasted barley, all behind a veil of smoke. Not exactly what I am in the mood for, but it seems well made. 7/10

What is this supermarket whisky you are pouring?

Talisker 30yo (51.9%, OB, 3000b, b. 2006) (dom666): the link was easy, I suppose, though the band has not exactly reached worldwide recognition. Nose: peppered peat, rich and full-flavoured, with swirls of cigar smoke and Lederhose scents. It has an animal feel to it. Mouth: a drop of apricot over a pudding of peppery wilderness. The pepper is a bit loud for my taste. Finish: the pepper is suddenly way overpowering. Not my thing at all. I find it flawed. 4/10

PSC and kruuk2 leave. ruckus, JS and I prepare to do the same when I realise I forgot to pour something else.

Because we're worth it!
Linlithgow 26yo 1982/2008 (63.7%, SD The Single Malts of Scotland, Butt, C#1622, 601b) (me): this one only makes sense when you know that Linlithgow is St Magdalene, of course. Nose: an austere bakery, with scents oscillating between herbs, stones and flowery bakery goodness. Mouth: lively and kicking, with lots of fine white pepper. Finish: phwoar! Hot custard, herbs, lime stone. Unfortunately, we cannot spend too much time on this (trains do not wait). It is not the best St Magdalene I have had, yet it is a good dram. 8/10 (thanks PS for the sample)

Superb tasting, as usual. The food was particularly delightful.

Some funky cookbooks too!

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