27 April 2017

26/04/2017 May outturn at Cadenhead's

It is that time of the month again. Usual suspects (with a couple of new-joiners), but this time, we are in the tasting room, since there is no tasting taking place. Oh! and proper nosing glasses too! Still short notes, mind. The pace is relentless.

Strathisla-Glenlivet 19yo 1997/2017 (54.9%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 214b): nose: lemon sorbet, crushed hazelnut, hazelnut paste, crushed grapes, tinned peaches. Mouth: mellow, slightly woody, with more tinned peaches. Finish: leaves, peaches, hazelnut. This is lovely! 8/10

Bladnoch 26yo 1990/2017 (49%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 246b): nose: mineral, flinty, grassy too, with aromatic herbs and lemon peels. Mouth: creamy, here, with grapefruit yogurt. Finish: fruity and leafy, slightly acidic, creamy, with custard cream. Beautiful Lowlander. 8/10

Linkwood-Glenlivet 24yo 1992/2017 (54.9%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 240b): nose: this smells like a red-wine matured whisky, strangely. Mouth: macerated fruit stones, and still that wine-y touch. Finish: dry, tannin-y, wine-y. This is decent, but not my style. 6/10

Glen Moray-Glenlivet 19yo 1998/2017 (50.5%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 156b): nose: grassy, herbaceous, even (tarragon, sage), then shortbread makes an appearance. Mouth: soft and sweet. Finish: red fruit, not particularly ripe either, which means the finish displays a slight acidity that never becomes unpleasant. 8/10

Glenfarclas 28yo 1988/2017 (53%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 210b): nose: red fruit in butter. Mouth: currants, unripe dark grapes. Finish: fruit, then an acidic or bitter touch that I do not particularly like. Shortbread ends up dominating the rest, which is more to my taste. Still a good Glenfarclas. 7/10

Tamnavulin-Glenlivet 25yo 1992/2017 (52.9%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 216b): I am quite excited to try this one: I remember a few Tamnas that were very much my thing. Nose: rather woody and spicy -- pepper and ginger, also bay leaves. Mouth: honeyed, of course, but still quite peppery and gingery. Finish: long and warming, akin to peppery mead. A tad disappointed, after the latest few Tamnavulin that Cadenhead bottled: this is much more woody. That does not make it bad, of course. 7/10

Miltonduff-Glenlivet 38yo 1978/2017 (46.5%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 180b): nose: honey, candyfloss, crushed apple. Mouth: it flows like water, soft and delicate, yet noble and quietly assertive. Finish: soft, full of berries and gently acidic. 9/10

Bruichladdich 23yo 1993/2017 (47%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 228b): nose: candyfloss here too, sugary seaspray, then the alcohol does all the talking. Mouth: soft and fluffy, yet also slightly drying. Finish: bitter, it has bay leaves and Petit Beurre biscuits. 6/10

Glen Grant-Glenlivet 31yo 1985/2017 (44.8%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Butt, 312b): nose: ginger bread, teriyaki sauce. Mouth: this rolls on the tongue, soft, voluptuous, with marinated, raw meat. Finish: chocolate coulis on crushed strawberries. Wonderful sherry maturation, this. 8/10

The observing reader
will notice Ledaig is
now classed as a
Highland whisky
Ledaig 11yo 2005/2017 (61.8%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Butt, 450b): nose: varnish, peat, all sorts of coastal influences. Mouth: spicy, peppery, chocolate-y and brine-y. Finish: big, powerful, smoky and chocolate-y, with leather notes. JS reckons it is close to a Talisker. 7/10

The Antiquary (40%, J & W Hardie Ltd, b.1980s): nose: chocolate in brine -- lots of brine. Mouth: perfect balance at 40% and, quite impressively, it holds itself together, despite coming after the 60+% Ledaig. Finish: good mix of fruit and old-school smoke. very good old blend. 7/10 (Thanks SW)

Time to clear the space. Good session with lots of mindless fun.

11 April 2017

09/04/2017 Two recent drams MkII

So much to drink, so little time. It is all about baby steps.

Bruichladdich 25yo 1991/2017 (48.2%, Cadenhead, Burgundy Cask, 192b): nose: white wine and sweet mustard. It becomes dryer, with hay and toasted barley. Over time, dried herbs start to appear too -- sage and rosemary. This is much less welcoming than Bruichladdich is usually known for, yet it has its charms. Bandages? That was a very obvious note when I first tried it, now not so much. Mouth: acidic, almost vinegary. This is a nice vinaigrette on a fresh salad -- rocket, I would say: peppery and a bit scratchy. In fact, it becomes very peppery indeed; too much for its own good. Finish: just like the nose, the finish has mustard and vinegar, though this time, it is complemented by honey and something that reminds me of mayonnaise, as well as lots of pepper. Let us call it honey mustard and be done with it. If it were not for the white-wine acidity and the loud pepper, the finish would be lovely. As it stands, it barely fares better than the nose and the palate. It seems as peppery to me as Talisker 10yo. And I do not care for that one. Water tames the finish a bit, without changing the nose or mouth. Meh. I liked it better when it came out. 5/10

Inchgower 27yo 1989/2017 (53.2%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection 175th Anniversary, Bourbon Hogshead, 234b): nose: in typical Inchgower style, this is as herbaceous as South Italian cuisine: oregano, sage, rosemary, verbena, marjoram and caraway seeds. Behind it all, hay, bandages, gauze, muscle-warming spray. Herbs come back in force, with crushed bay leaves. Water does not really alter the nose. Mouth: very balanced, it has hawthorn, rosemary again (though it is more discreet here than in the nose), definitely caraway seeds and acacia honey, spread over the whole. It feels soft and sweet, despite the 53%, and rather coating. Water makes it thinner and less herbaceous: thin apple compote, with crushed bay leaves. Finish: all the herbs are still there, augmented with gentle honey and jammy fruit (or fruity jams?) Quince jelly dominates. It has a hint of bandages, plaster glue or muscle-warming spray, yet the fruit really takes over: apricot compote, peach nectar and candied oranges. The finish has a generous dose of black pepper, which never becomes invading. What a difference with the previous dram! The fruit becomes timidly tropical, with a slice of banana and a dice of mango, thrown in for good measure. Water seems to help tropical fruits speak slightly louder without changing it too dramatically; all the same, it then turns more bitter, with ground apricot and avocado stones. Good drop, this! 8/10

Hilariously, it is only now I realise I already reviewed the Inchgower not a month ago! Different notes too, which goes to show circumstances are everything. (thanks SW for the samples)