Another month, another outturn -- or release tasting, at it is called here. There is a private tasting in the dedicated room, so it is a few drams while standing... in plastic cups. Notes are short.
Clynelish 26yo 1990/2016 (45.3%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Barrel, 258b): nose: varnish and wax. The varnish is really rather loud and unlike the regular distillery profile. Mouth: pine needles, then back to nail varnish. Finish: spicy varnish. Mm, it is not bad, but not really my bag. 6/10
Ord 20yo 1996/2016 (54.2%, Cadenhead, Château Lafitte Cask, 252b): nose: musky, wine-y, really not my thing at all. Mouth: coffee and red wine. Spaniards, if you read this, there is an idea for you: kafelimoxo or kalimoxoffee. Finish: much better here, it has berries and other fruit, with a touch of leather. 6/10
Mortlach 27yo 1988/2016 (52.6%, Cadenhead, Sherry Cask, 498b): nose: game in sauce grand-veneur, pheasant dried sausage from the Ste Catherine market in Huy. Mouth: peppery red meat, game casserole with spices. Finish: hints of berries, initially, then beef biltong for dogs, Rioja -- overpowering red wine. The master of ceremony has been pimping this all week. It does not resonate with me. 6/10
Hazelburn 8yo 2007/2016 (54%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Hogshead, 162b): nose: soft baking and delicate fruit, this is gentle and subtle, but of course, it is triple distilled, so it is to be expected. Mouth: mellow and pleasant, with honey, flowers and raw chou dough. Finish: more of the same -- raw dough, honey and a hint of gentle peach. The whole is topped with a spoonful of paprika. 8/10
Springbank 14yo 2002/2016 (47.7%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Barrel, 168b): jokes fuse left and right, here. JS posted pictures of last week's tasting on social media, everyone who is here tonight saw them and jealousy bit many. The comments today are about the fact that this one is not ancient enough. Haha. Nose: verbena and noble wood. Mouth: warm custard, cassia bark, liquorice. Finish: wood and earth, with a kick of herbs and beef stock. 7/10
Glen Scotia 16yo 2000/2016 (57.8%, Cadenhead, Sherry Cask, 612b): nose: I find it earthy, JS finds it fishy. Mouth: wood lacquer, white pepper and red wine. Finish: wood polish, then a growing note of anchovy indeed. Water removes the character. This is more interesting than good, though it remains decent. 7/10
Bowmore 13yo 2003/2016 (56.7%, Cadenhead, Burgundy Cask, 276b): nose: hay and roasted barley. Mouth: gentle custard. Finish: smoke and burning hay, scorched earth. A beautiful, if simple Bowmore. 8/10
Ardbeg 23yo 1993/2016 (47.7%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Hogshead, 210b): I had a chance to buy this this afternoon, when it went online. Knowing the waiting list was very long, I considered it -- in the worst case, I could retrocede it to a poor soul who did not have that opportunity. Then I got sidetracked, forgot and missed my chance. I overthought it, in other words. Great, then, to be able to try it anyway. Nose: unexpectedly farm-y; it smells of a cow's behind, after it has been milked. A heap of manure. Mouth: this tastes of sherry influence, despite being a Bourbon cask. Finish: burning hay and more farm-y flavours. Weird. An unusual Ardbeg. JS likes it a lot, I dislike it as much. Glad not to have bought it for myself. One in the group today is giving up his bottle, so it is not just me. This one really is not for everyone. No doubt some will love it and it is sold out, anyway. 5/10
Off-tasting, I try:
Girvan 26yo 1988/2015 (57%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 246b): nose: hot pastry and citrus. Mouth: soft puff pastry, burning apricot compote and grilled pineapple. Finish: long, full of apricot turnovers and citrus-y goodness. 8/10
Great session, even if the selection left me mostly cold. Lots of mindless giggles in a relaxed atmosphere while drinking whisky. What is there not to like?