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Night of tasting 25/11/2011

As 3 out of the 4 MaltGeeks gathered in the same place (while I was stocking on new items ) we concluded that it was a good time to do another tasting night, We arranged for some snacks to be beside the drink and set forth on an evening of palate exploration.

I must say that since my last visit to Scotland I brought with me 2 bottles of water to serve in tastings, but those have been consumed by the moronic movers that saw them in the drinks cabinet next to Whiskey and decided that they were there for them to use, so we were left with normal English Tap water.

The First Dram of the night was Knappogue Castle 12 year old irish Whiskey :
Knappogue Castle 12 year old irish Whiskey
[I am a fan of the Irish dram and was hoping for a nice smooth drink ]
Color : Very clear Light hay gold .
Nose : A slow and very faint aroma comes out from this dram with hints of citrus and apricot , the scent is very gentle and easy on the nose.
Palate : Delivering a strong powerful burn in the mouth , the Whiskey is releasing a strong taste of peppers , almonds and some fruits in the mouth , but all the excitement ends in the mouth as there is no after burn in the gut.

Adding a dash of water gave this dram some distinct changes :
Color : Becomes clear , nearly vodka like.
Nose : The big change is in the nose as it gives out other scents : Fudge ,cream and almonds come out while the pepper is not present anymore.
Palate : Disappointing , the dram becomes bland with no burn and no after burn , I’ve had Orange Juice with more zest then this Whiskey on water .

Conclusion : Not very exciting , but not at all a bad dram to start with 3 out of five .
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The second item was the mystery DeerStalker 10 year old :
DeerStalker 10 year old
This Dram I acquired on a whim , but knew nothing about it , the guys at the shop could give me no information about it , so we knew nothing on what to expect , except that it is an highland dram.

Color : Slightly yellow hue .
Nose : very easy on the nose, slow expansion, traces of Hay, raisin and grass.
Palate : Bland , flavorless , after a long try some trace of bananas come out but even then very faint , no burn .

Adding water killed all the color from this dram and also washed away the faint traces of the Banana , so not much to say about it .
Conclusion : this is the kind of whiskey you use for cooking , or for a Rusty Nail cocktail – cause anything will improve the drink . 1.5 out of five (£24.95 Price is too much for this one ).
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Third item on the list was the dram I have been chasing for quite a while : GlenCadam 10 year old Distillery bottle 46% :
I have tasted the Glen Cadam twice now and both were the connoisseur edition bottling , which I liked , but I wanted a Distillery bottle and finally I got it :
GlenCadam 10 year old Distillery bottle
Color : Deep Light Gold , almost honey like.
Nose: Full nose and deep bodied full of aromas of fudge, Vanilla, banana’s and cardamon.
Palate: The liquid give a strong nice burn in the mouth with a slow long after burn leaving the mouth with traces of pepper and caramel which usually do not go together but in this dram they are balanced and easy on the palate.

Adding a dash of water :
Color : Loses the nice color to even a drop of water and becomes nearly clear.
Nose: The water suppresses the aroma and the smells are slow in coming out , but when they do come you get Caramel,Annis, Pepper and Coriander seeds .
Palate : The water is giving the Pepper a push to become too dominant that it is overshadowing any other flavor ,but you can still feel a trace of the Caramel in it .

Conclusion : this dram need no water as it stands out very well alone and untouched , a good dram for a light evening .3.75 out of 5 (£29.49 is a very good price for this good dram).

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The Last drink of the night was the limited edition Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt 7 Year-old Whiskeythat I bought and mentioned Here .
limited edition Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt 7 Year-old Whiskey
As this is a very rare expression we were very excited about this one …
Color : Golden brown
Nose : The Cider finish is apparent here as the first thing you smell is apples , after that other smells come out to fill your nose with scents of Christmas cake.
Palate: I think I once had tasting buds this thing burned it right off with some trace of honey and a burn of Habanero pepper. A hammer to the head and kick to the groin will describe this drink best.

… and then we read the rest of the label on the bottle : 61.3% proof so lets take it back , add some water and try again :

Color : No discernible change , still deep golden brown.
Nose : Apples , Pines and Honey come drifting out, almost the smells of the cyder farm.
Palate : Now this is more like it , this is a whiskey to enjoy with a good drop of water (3 corks full for me) and now you get a mellow balanced dram with traces of Apples , Cloves, Vanilla, peppers( very mild this time) and earth .

Conclusion : This is a wonderful dram that is worth the investment as a limited edition , if you can still get it do so (£150 ) a pleasure to drink and savor but remember it MUST have water. 4 out of 5 .

29/11/2011 – it was brought to our attention that this item is no longer available Out Of Stock

Planning the big west coast trip

Note: It’s about time I started using this blog – with that 1975 St Magdalene bottling almost gone (a bottle following the rule of never drink without the two owners present, which was broken only once, and for a good reason).

So, I’ve been fantasizing about another Scotch Trip for some time, and now it actually seems as if it might happen, and big time.

The idea is to visit all of the distilleries on the Scottish West Coast. This of course includes all of the hebridean distilleries (Peat anyone?), as well as Ben Nevis and Oban – All in all, 16 distilleries.

Details are still vague, but I’m already excited.

More to come soon.

A gathering of flavours

Due to the geographical difficulty of gathering all the gang for a drink , we hadn’t had a tasting session for quite a while , so on the evening of the 18th we manged to gather all the friends in one place and have a nice evening with many drams shared.

There was the Lovely Highland Park 21 Yrs ,The Nikka 12 yrs , Hakushu 10 years and the St. Magdalena 30 yrs (which deserves and will have its own entry).

Hakushu 10 years old
Hakushu 10 years old
The Hakushu was a nice dram that we all enjoyed , so I will start with it first :
color – light hey gold , with no legs and a smooth swirl in the glass .
Nose – Full nose, and powerful aroma – after you lt it sit out and breath for a while , in the first 40 seconds it was as if it had no scent , but once you wait it really blossoms . The peppers are the most dominant smell with a hint of caramel .
Palate – The mouth is filled with an earthy flavor, full, and powering , once you let it settle other flavors come out : pepper , spices, caramel , all mixed together and not over shadowing another .
when going down it leaves a nice slow burn and a hearty glow in the gut.
summery a very pleasant dram for a light evening – grade 3.5 (out of 5) .

Nikka 12 years old
Nikka 12 years old
The Nikka was a dram we were unfamiliar with so we came to test it with a curios attitude :
color – The dram color was promising , light gold – like the Autumn leaves of a maple tree, nice swirl with short legs and smooth lines.
Nose – If the Hakushu had a slow release on it’s aroma – the Nikka was a dead mover , it felt as though we needed to coax the scent out of it , eventually we got a whiff of sap, pines and plums.
Palate – Since the nose was a let down , we hoped the palate will compensate , sadly we were mistaken, the dram was bland with no overbite and no burn , slight flavor of peppers and a feint trace of toffee , but once it goes down there is no after taste .
summery – we kept the bottle as a cooking whiskey , not to all our liking , grade 2 (out of 5) .

Campfire – Jamie Milne Of Glenfiddich

I first learned about campfire from a posting in Whisky Isreal blog , and thought I might give it a try .
The event was held in a nice location although if you are not local – finding was a bit of a quest ( hidden in a office complex behind a pub ) As i am reading the “Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy” now – i thought that the only thing missing was the “beware the Leopard” sign to make it complete.

The evening itself started very nice with a good atmosphere , with wine and 12 Yrs Glenfiddich for a warm up. A lot was written about this dram so I will skip on …
Jamie’s story was a very light and flowing , and keeping and interesting pace while finding the common thread of Glenfiddich in his life , and during the story we were presented with a dram of the 15 Yrs Glenfiddich . Again an age old dram that the is worldly known , so i will skip describing it too !

When the presentation of Jaime’s ended we were presented with the star dram of the evening : Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak

Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak , Personally i thought the first image of the bottle (presented as a wood carving) was much more appealing then the actual bottle , but I guess it was not a good way to sell .

We’ll start of with the color : The Dram has a light gold ( almost honey hue) with faint traces of almonds , and in some lightings it has the hue of a light rust on a thin sheet of metal – all in all a good color and very promising .
The swirl in the glass is very smooth and leave nice light silky legs on the rim .
Nose : The first scent is a very sharp and hiding many of the properties , once you let your nose settle into it the currents of Vanilla , Peppers , Caramel and a Dry leaves emerge to give a nice lingering sensation in the nose.

Taste : The dram rolls very smoothly in the mouth and leaves some unfamiliar feeling in this “young” Glenfiddich dram , it’s presence on the palette is very light and easy , no burn on the back of the mouth and no after burn going down in the stomach . Once it clears the mouth there are traces of Caramel, Almonds , Cream and an oily feeling that leaves you wondering what it is hiding.
No Tasting will be complete with out adding a splash of water , so that is what i did and was very much surprised at the results :
Color : To my surprise the water had no effect on the color , but it did make the swirl become even smoother .
Nose : Again not much change , but an emerging scent that creeps out of the altered dram is of soft Klin dust with a pine over tone.
Taste : The water gives this Dram the little push it needed for the nice burn it was lacking before , and that kick is dominated with a flavor of peppers coming out in force ( relatively) to compliment the others .

All in all a very nice dram from Glenfiddich , and one I am happy to have experienced as it differs from the regular path of the Glenfiddich ( to me ) .

Whisky Live London 2010

The up coming whiskey exhibition had me contemplating on selfish thoughts , should I go on my own or suffer the same destiny as my drinking mates and maybe wait for the next one – that is due in September 2010 in Glasgow with the hopes that some of them might be able to join me ?

The main issue is that if we do manage to gather all the Drunks in one place it will be a small clan going to this event with 2 offsprings to off set the amount we can sample .

Decisions , Decisions ….

I have a month and some change to make up my mind .