18 August 2017

13/08/2017 The vegetable garden tasting

It is that time of the year, when Psycho throws a party at his gaff. The theme is a mixture of a) A summer tasting in the garden; b) Our group calling sediments in the bottle 'vegetable' and; c) An opportunity for bad puns. Mostly c).

The suspects: JS, adc, MPD, ruckus, kruuk2, dom666, Psycho and myself.

Another ambitious line-up

Bunch of paparazzi

Psycho is busy in the kitchen, yet we start nonetheless.

Knockando 1989/2001 (43%, OB, L44P 03762669) (Psycho): this is deemed in theme, because it is floral. Poor effort from Psycho, who realises it and swiftly breaks the cork, in an attempt to add vegetables to the liquid. Nose: light vanilla, hints of flowers. This is really quiet. Hay? Very little is happening, here. Mouth: it feels oak-driven, with vanilla, mead, coconut and a few herbs (oregano). Finish: soft, with coconut and custard, a pinch of herbs and a nice touch of caramel. This will never cause a revolution, yet it is a good set opener. 7/10

The next two spell "T or Coffey," two plants which dom666 grows in his garden, it would seem.

Secret Still 01.01 50yo 1955/2005 (45%, GMP Secret Stills, Sherry Butt, C#1312) (dom666): a Talisker, of course, and the 'T' in question. Nose: this is still amazing, with rich sherry, toffee, Scottish tablet, noble wood, lacquered wood, prunes, cola. Crazy depth. Nuts and dried fruits (figs, prunes, sultanas). Mouth: syrupy, with a gentle, woody dryness and treacle. Later on, rancio and dried fruits (dates, figs and prunes again). Finish: sticky, syrupy, cloying, with wood bitterness, lots of treacle and toffee. Wonderful. 9/10

vs.

Nikka Coffey Malt (45%, OB imported by La Maison du Whisky, 6/04F081553) (dom666): nose: roasted nuts, nail varnish, even hair lacquer, then chocolate and lots of vanilla. Mouth: soft and discreet ('silent malt,' they called it), with mild custard and βανιλια. Finish: vanilla custard, plain and simple. Popcorn emerges, later on. Simple, immediate pleasure. 8/10

Miyagikyo (43%, OB imported by La Maison du Whisky, H48C) (kruuk2): brace yourselves: mushrooms are often used in Japanese cuisine; kruuk2 says mushrooms grow in herbs gardens. Boom. Also, he bought this in 2011, around the time of the Fukushima incident, which almost ended up in a mushroom. Boom. Nose: yellow flowers and popcorn, a little sweet. This is the discreet still to the previous secret still. Mouth: immediately nutty, then milk chocolate emerges, as well as almond milk. This is so soft and silky smooth (meant in a good way). Finish: hazelnut and silky almond milk, hazelnut-and-chocolate spread. Very quaffable. 8/10

Food enters: courgette-and-onion soup, made with ingredients from the garden.

Boom.

Tomato-in 43yo 1965/2009 (41.1%, Lonach imported by Preiss Imports) (JS): nose: fraise tagada, sweet raspberry, high-quality vanilla custard, sweet pineapple and ripe satsuma. Mouth: soft and sweet, this has the texture of peach nectar, with a slight bitterness. Pineapple, satsuma, pomelo. The softness is astounding. Finish: more of that citrus-y goodness and milky custard. This is fabulous. dom666 objects that tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. Bitter fool. 9/10

Potée liégeoise is served (beans, potatoes, bacon) -- it is a killer.

Boom.

St Marjolaine works even better in French
St Marjoram 26yo 1982/2008 (63.7%, Speciality Drinks The Single Malts of Scotland, Refill Sherry Butt, C#1622, 601b) (me): nose: much more powerful, of course (have you seen that ABV?), with the trademark herbs (sage and rosemary) and a bit of metal, as well as wet gravel. Is it fish scales, in the back? Mouth: warm, with the same herbs and hot embers. The ABV is felt: it is not too strong, but noticeably stronger than the previous lot. Finish: comforting, with sage, thyme, warm custard and crushed, dry basil. 8/10 (Thanks for the sample, PS)

Almost as old as the whisky :-)

We venture outside to take advantage of the sun. It has been playing hide-and-seek with clouds all day.

Sallad Dhu 24yo 1976/2001 (50%, DL The Old Malt Cask 50°, 630b) (adc): nose: austere, with leather, wet cobblestone, vinegar, cigar leaves. It is likely an nth refill sherry cask: the leather hints at the original filling, but it is not overpowering. Dolmas, then soft coconut. With water, more vinegar and more fruit -- apple-cider vinegar and strawberry. Mouth: softer than expected, it still has some vinegar, some dust, sugary water. Water makes it... more watery. Perhaps it adds a bit of pepper. Finish: pearl onions, vinegar and mead. Water, again, turns it merely more watery. Very good, careful with the water. 8/10

We go back in for dessert. The sun is hiding again.
Birthday cake is served.

Boom.

Brora-dish 21yo d.1982 (46%, Direct Wines Limited First Cask, C#279, b#343) (me): nose: waxy! Oh! no, it is the candles on the cake... :-) The nose has wax all the same, ash and peach, including the stone. Mouth: soft and peachy, with a whiff of dill. It grows in intensity, slightly dry. Finish: a lovely combination of waxy apple and apricot. This probably suffers from the sequence. dom666 confirms he does not like Brora (despite admitting he did a couple of years ago, the bitter fool). Today, it is 8/10

Glen Garlic 1994/2011 (53.9%, OB Vintage, American Oak Barrels, B#32, 118 112172) (ruckus): nose: farm-y, with cow dung in pastures, horse's sweat, butter, then horsehair. ruckus reckons it smells of bourbon (he is obviously drunk). Wet pine cones complete the picture, for me. Mouth: leathery, herbaceous, with the bitterness of ivy leaves (do not try this at home, kids!) Finish: herbs and chocolate, with pepper on top. This is nice and characterful. 8/10

Broccol-addich 19yo d.1989 (46%, SV for Direct Wines Limited First Cask, C#90, b#87) (JS): nose: light and fruity, lively, with juicy pears. Mouth: again, juicy pears, cut apples, and a dash of lime juice. Finish: wonderful, long and light, with fruit and happiness. Looking forward to trying it again in more relaxed conditions (today is quite frantic, in terms of pace). I suspect 1989 is a good year at Broccol-addich. 8/10

37.64 30yo 1985/2015 A real charmer (51.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 188b) (adc): the notes on the label read of crushed mint leaves, which is close enough to a herbs garden. The nose is pretty strong, on this one, with lots of flowers and melon. Mouth: horsepower and fruity bubblegum, gentle herbs, rancio (yup), more flowers. This mouth is gently drying, yet balanced. Finish: boiled sweets and cut flowers (dandelions, forsythia). This is lovely. It obviously needs more time and attention, which I hope to give it another time. 8/10

New technique to rinse glasses
Talking about students' binges:
-When you think about it, we do the same. But with expensive booze.
-But we don't vomit!
-If we do, we catch it in a bag and we distill it.
-And we separate the potée liégeoise from the cake and the whisky before distilling.

Caol Ila 14yo 1990/2004 (46%, SV The Un-Chillfiltered Collection, Hogshead, C#04/843, 394b, b#128) (Psycho): this has some vegetables in the bottle (remember it is sediments); also, it is the oldest bottle in Psycho's collection, making it "un petit pot agé." I will not attempt to translate -- just be happy if you canot read French. Nose: farm-y as fook, with peat smoke and farm paths, petrol, diesel. Mouth: sweet, almost sugary, it has sweet-and-sour smoke. Finish: long, again with smoke, yet also earth and sweetness. This reminds me of the magnificent Dovr-Toutes-Mares Port Ellen, although less complex, of course. 8/10

Charlotte Port-ato 14yo 2002/2017 (60.1%, The Creative Whisky Company The Exclusive Malts, Sherry Hogshead, C#1140, 228b) (me): I managed to bring a sample of this back from a recent trip and am glad I can share it with this group. Nose: a bit of rancio, leather, bacon and earth, oregano, lemon thyme, cured ham, smoked cheese. None of those is too loud or invading. Mouth: drying rancio and leather. The peat and the sherry compete calmly, without ever shouting loud enough to be intrusive. The 60+% ABV is undetectable. The mouth is all leather, earth and dark chocolate. Finish: more leathery sherry heaven, with refined peat (who would have thought?), dark fruit, salt and a bit of cured meat (Psycho). Wonderful. 9/10 (Thanks for the sample, KP)

117.3 25yo 1988/2013 Hubba-bubba, mango and monstera (58.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 1st Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 199b) (group): 117 is the code for... Cooley-flower, of course! Nose: a massive kick of overripe fruit and green tea. Mango, jackfruit, sage, oregano, marjoram and a tiny note of metal. Mouth: dunnage warehouse, in terms of cork-y mustiness, and lots of fruit -- mango, pineapple, grapefruit. Finish: mango, jackfruit, durian. Short notes, but his remains unbelievable. It has opened up enormously since Burns Night too. 10/10

Great finale to a superb afternoon.

Drams of the day:
dom666: Talisker and Port Charlotte
adc: Talisker
MPD: 117.3
Psycho: Port Charlotte and 37.64
kruuk2: Port Charlotte
ruckus: Port Charlotte and Talisker
JS: Tomatin and 117.3
tOMoH: Tomatin and 117.3

Roll on the next one!

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