Dr. CD's birthday seems to be an annual recurrence. It also often coincides with the release of a new outturn. I cannot be bothered to complain.
PS is there, of course, and JS joins us too.
122.2 11yo 1992/2004 Almonds and bonfires (59.2%, SMWS Society Cask): it is no secret that CD is a big Croftengea fan, and his secret stash seems to be a bottomless pit full of the stuff. Again, I cannot be bothered to complain. Nose: starts out very ample and quite meaty, then, after five minutes, it turns all delicate! The others detect some smoke (the fools), whilst for me, it is prunes, milk chocolate, distant coffee, then apricot stones and the slightest hint of meat -- more marinated than cured. Water makes the nose even fruitier. Mouth: liqueur. Nut liqueur inside a chocolate praline. It has a velvety texture and a little tannins, like red wine, then chocolate milk. Woo! Water allows bolder white wine notes to surface. Finish: long, warming and full of chocolate, prunes, soaked in syrup, a touch of barbecued meat... Actually, it is fruity, with almost no smoke at all; red grapes and prunes in syrup. Water softens the finish, turning the whole into apricot turnovers with the tiniest hint of smoke. 8/10 (Thanks CD)
35.178 13yo d.2002 The dunnage bakehouse (58.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Gin Hogshead, 294b): First gin cask that I know of. You read it here first, folks! Nose: odd, odd, odd! Juniper berries (no shit, Sherlock!), a bubbling mash tun, but a cold one. It soon gives away cut grass and orchard trees, aromatics, vulnerary plants, yeast. Someone in the room finds Marmite in it, which is unexpected -- that will be the yeast, I suppose. Mouth: close to gin, here; very fresh and juniper-y. This would not be out of place in a gin & tonic. It is, of course, more velvety and becomes richer, yet the toothpaste impression given by the gin remains. Finish: still heavily gin-influenced, with refreshing toothpaste, mint-chocolate ice cream and juniper berries. This is nice enough. Very original. PS and JS hate it, though. 8/10
11.32 8yo d.2008 Cirque de Saveur (61.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 252b): the SMWS has not had an 11 for over five years. Excitement aplenty. Nose: perfume-y, then waxier and waxier, with lip gloss, then chicory and raspberry bubblegum. Even later, dead leaves and pastry show up, before it returns to waxy lipstick. Mouth: warm, with oaky ginger, sawdust, dried tree bark. It is acidic and, to be fair, a little stripping. Finish: hot, perhaps too much so, with green chilli and ginger powder. Nice fruit in the nose, while the rest is not as distinguished, yet. 7/10
7.160 23yo d.1993 Ending a perfect day (55.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 204b): nose: ginger, mango powder, green plants (kombava leaves, actually), sage. Not much of the trademark Longmorn fruitiness in there, is there? Mouth: although more fruit appears at this stage, it still does feel a bit green. Honey turns up, with plant bitterness. Finish: the action is here, with gentle pastry and hot custard. The finish is alright, yet I do not care for the nose and palate much. 6/10
Glenmorangie 10yo Cellar 13 (43%, OB, second edition, b.2001): nose: butterscotch and fruity bubblegum, then a pinch of wood spice, warm honeysuckle and custard. Mouth: it feels a bit watery, after the heavy-hitters, but still delivers a drop of fruit juice and gentle vanilla custard. Finish: warming, with manuka honey, hot custard, warm pastry dough. Lovely. The bottle shall be missed. 8/10 (Thanks JS)
66.94 11yo d.2005 Fire-roasted Sweet Potato (60.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 150b): nose: manure, thick mud, heavy clay, red meat, past the expiry date, smoke from burning hay. This burns the nostrils -- be careful. Mouth: creamy, muddy, it has baked clay vases, hot candles, drying decaying plants. Finish: big, bold, peaty, with barbecue smoke, burnt hay, then a hint of algae and tar. Dark fruit and nuts struggle to complete the picture -- Brazil nuts. 7/10 (Thanks KS)
Let us call it a session. It is almost closing time and I have not yet had supper. Carrying on would not be wise.
Happy birthday, CD!