6 June 2017

04/06/2017 A few drams on a Sunday

DH was in town for a wedding; it was only logical to invite him for a few drams the following day. Only JS joins us.


Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental batch, B#1): nose: a citrus note (loud), lemon thyme, lemon-y sage. It turns into regular thyme, later on. Mouth: lemon thyme, lemon sage, aniseed (DH) and lovage seeds. Finish: narrow, with bay leaves and lemongrass (DH), as well as waxy Kafir lime leaves. 7/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#2): nose: very grassy, with hawthorn and juniper berries, a blackberry tree (without the fruit). Mouth: sweet, with syrup from tins of apricot in syrup, liquorice root (DH). Finish: bay leaves, this time, less citrus, but it has a nice sweetness to it. 7/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#3): nose: even grassier, with botanical herbs, hawthorn, juniper berries. Later on, slightly-burnt omelette. Mouth: sweet and comforting, like a flat lemonade. It grows in power, with black pepper. Finish: long and lingering, with black cumin and controlled pepper. This is closer to "traditional" gin. It is well made, but less my thing. 6/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#4): nose: a walk in a leafy garden, with holly, , hawthorn, ivy, Virginia creepers, lemon sage and pink pepper. Mouth: sweet and syrupy, with a faint leaf bitterness. Finish: sweet, leafy, with a gentle note of limestone. My favourite so far. 7/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#5): nose: all over the shop, with leaves (crushed bay leaves), plants (ivy), crushed juniper, berries, pink pepper, lovage seeds, cut carrots. It becomes feint-y. Mouth: milk, pine, crushed pine cones. Finish: lots and lots of liquorice roots. 7/10


Pastry is served: banoffee pie, sticky toffee pudding, custard pie, cheese cake. All great.

...and more gin

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#6): nose: leafy and citrus-y, with lemon mint, crushed tarragon and thyme leaves, warm cats (what?) Mouth: acidic, mineral, gravel-y more than flint-y. Finish: abrupt. A note of drying gravel, not much else. 6/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#7): nose: lemon-y juniper berries, hot iron, dry bushes (stop laughing). Mouth: lemon-y and mineral, with a pinch of herbs. Finish: very grassy, with also stones, flowers about to bloom, crushed pink pepper, perhaps ginger. 6/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#8): nose:  juniper berries and caraway seeds, medlar, pencil shavings -- including the slightly metallic touch. Mouth: metallic again, with a pencil-sharpener note. The texture is milky. Finish: much longer than the previous few, with that distinctive pencil-sharpener note again. 6/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#9): nose: very herbaceous, with lots of crushed juniper berries. Mouth: creamy, liquorice-y (DH), with also sherbet dip (DH). Finish: yeah, lots of liquorice, anise, star aniseed, caraway seeds. JS finds it dry. 6/10

Dornoch Gin (45.7%, OB Experimental Batch, B#10): nose: much more discreet, with tree bark and a hefty dose of grass. Mouth: warm milk, mead, and a pinch of indistinct spices. Finish: a harsh, alcoholic note shows up briefly, then milk chocolate. It dies out quickly, though the chocolate note remains. Nesquik. Nice, this, if perfectible. 7/10

Interesting experiment, though I am not about to become a gin drinker! All of them were decent to good, perhaps too close to one another in character to try them all in a row.

Time for whisky.

Clynelish 20yo 19954/2015 (55.4%, Cadenhead, Sherry Cask, 458b): nose: pickled pearl onions, cooked cabbage, dried-up candlewax. Mouth: milky texture, with a mix of brine and marzipan (DH). The pickled onions make a come-back too. Finish: boiled sweets and more pickled pearl onions. The nose is not for me, the mouth is ok, the finish is prertty good. Altogether not something I would buy, though. 5/10 (Thanks SW for the sample)

Caledonian 28yo 1987/2016 (52.3%, Cadenhead Single Cask, Bourbon Hogshead, 246b): nose: yer serving of coconut, lots of pastry, chocolate spread on crêpes. Mouth: a lovely texture, with the right heat; hot pastry and coconut shavings. Finish: a slight dryness, with custard, and then toasted coconut, hot custard and éclairs au chocolat. This seems rather different to when we had it a few weeks ago. 8/10

Glenlossie 12yo (55.5%, OB The Manager's Dram, b.2004, b#0998): how can it be bottle #998 from a single cask? Nose: pickled onions again!? It is a different glass, so that cannot be the reason. Faded leather, then cork and a whiff of faded shoe polish. Mouth: here, the more usual notes of warm custard and vanilla come through, mellow and warm. Finish: warming, with wet dogs, dead branches on the forest floor, hot custard thrown on top of it and a bit of aromatics. 8/10

We have that opposite the following:

Glenlossie 21yo 1957/1979 (80° Proof, Cadenhead, Sherry Wood): nose: dark fruit (blackberries) and dunnage warehouse, a hint of rancio, walnuts, all veiled in a cloak of coal smoke. Mouth: perfect balance, with dark-fruit juice, a slight nuttiness, blackberry jam and burnt wood. Finish: coal smoke, burnt wood, scorched earth, burnt walnut shells and unripe blackberry tart. This plays in a different league. 9/10

DH has Springbank 20yo /2017 (59.9%, OB for The Bottling Hall Dinner 2017), then a Benrinnes 18yo 1971/1990 (55.3%, Cadenhead).

JS and I have:

Glenugie (58.1%, Cadenhead, C#3657, b#170): nose: pickled pearl onions, then meat in sauce. This is game-y, though a seaside breeze joins in on the fun. It is then onion relish and a hint of sulphur. Mouth: meaty, with game casserole in a wine sauce, walnut oil. Finish: meaty, still, but perfectly balanced, with nuts, thick wine and venison casserole. This is a big, meaty noogie, not the most accessible and not my favourite, though it is of great quality. 9/10

As a nightcap, JS pours DH Glenury Royal 40yo 1970/2011 (58.4%, OB, 1500b). I am not so lucky. ;-)

Happy days.

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