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Fortnum and Mason

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Fortnum and Mason

Postby mr_a_non » Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:50 am

Well as I am sure most of you are aware, it is great British food month (or was in Septemeber). Good excuse to show some support for all of our home industries.

Amongst other gems such as mustard, hamd and chocolate creams, Fortnum and Mason held a "Scottish Single Malt" tasting evening in their wine crypt. About 14 people there listened to David Stirk, from Douglas Laing for about two hours as we went through some of DL's bottlings. David was excellent and the following were up for tasting:

1. Mortlach 13 years old; sherry cask
2. Scapa 15 years old
3. St Magdalene 24 years old
4. Teaninich 26 years old
5. Port Ellen 21 years old; sherry cask

Being a bit daft, I forgot to take a pen, so no in depth tasting notes I'm afraid. Firstly the Port Ellen: sublime, easily my favourite. The catch is that is isn't on sale until next week, only at Fortnum and Mason and only a few hundred bottles. The head wine and spirits buyer at fortnums reckons it will double in price within twelve months.

Other than the Port Ellen the Mortlach was my favourite (disproving anyone who still has preconceptions about age equalling quality) - it was well rounded and smooth. The Scapa I remained unconvinced on having the same quality as the others, the Teaninich I confess to not remembering much about and the St Magdalene was a delight: it had a hint of armagnac to it (I think it was the heavy oils, but David didn't mention this).

All round, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:15 pm

I've had the OMC Mortlach at 13 years old which I thought was a bit of a clunker.

The Provenance (also Douglas Laing) Mortlach from 1992 is a lot better in my view. I grabbed a bottle at the Whisky Fringe.

I think that Mortlach can be overdone with sherry and the Provenance version is superb. I'm off to mount a frontal assault on my bottle this weekend. 8)

Also worth getting are the OMC 1992 Glentauchers 12 yr (£38 ) and the OMC 1988 Glen Garioch 15 yr ( not a scooby). I tasted those last Friday in Dufftown (where did the week go? :( )).

I grabbed the Glentauchers which my notes describe as smooooooth! and crisp, spicy with a taste of pear drops in there.

The Glen Garioch I have as very peppery and chewy.

I thought that both of those whiskies were the best that I've had from those distilleries.

Having met David Stirk, I can say that he is far better at taking tasting sessions than he is at telling jokes and captaining quiz teams. :lol:
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Postby mr_a_non » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:20 pm

Bruce, I wouldn't disgaree with you over the Mortlach: I have a habit of liking those malts that tend to be over-sherried. So that may well explain my liking.

The Glentauchers I will try and get but, not being a fan of the peppery, I'll avoid the Glen Garioch until someone buys me one!

Whilst obviously having different tastes, concerning the Mortlach, we agree over David Stirk. He takes a good whiksy tasting but tells bloody awful jokes!
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:51 am

Have just been assaulting my bottle of Provenance Mortlach. It is very bourbony and has a lot of vanilla. It is also decidely chewy and moreish. I wouldn't have just had one third of a bottle and then a large glass of water before I typed this otherwise. 8)

The two bottlings are vastly different from each other so it is worth checking both out.

Obviously a rubbery taste appeals to you and David. I know this because David told me this when he was at his previous employer.
I like sherried whiskies myself but I do think they can be overdone. I have never met an excessively peaty or smoky whisky.

I know where to get the Provenance version of Mortlach if you are unable to get yourself.

As for the others, my notes aren't that articulate so on your own head be it.

Nice to meet someone who agrees with me on David's jokes. :lol: (which is something people don't do when they hear David's jokes).

I had an OMC Port Ellen 1981 at Tomintoul whisky castle and it was truly fantastic. If you can afford it get. I didn't take detailed notes but it was fantastic. If you are familiar with Port Ellen then you will probably know what to expect.
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Last laugh...

Postby dstirk » Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:18 am

:twisted:

Hi Folks,

thanks for the positive report Mr A-non. The jokes are my way of disguising the fact that I don't know everything, thus helping the evening along!

And if I recall, Bruce, you usually laugh the loudest - that is when you're not giving away the punchline.

With regards to the St Magdalene, I recall mentioning that it had an almost brandy-like nose, but as you rightly point out, did not talk about its high viscosity - perhaps too oaky for some, but definitely the star of the tasting IMHO.

I shall be re-visiting Fortnum and Mason this Thursday (time permitting) to purchase a bottle of the Port Ellen, and a couple other whiskies they had on display (I have to say that I found their prices to be quite reasonable - and that coming from a Yorkshireman is saying something)!

Cheers

David
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Re: Last laugh...

Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:22 am

dstirk wrote::twisted:

Hi Folks,

<Snip>

And if I recall, Bruce, you usually laugh the loudest - that is when you're not giving away the punchline.

Cheers

David


The problem being that I get the punchline and give it away every time. 8)

Still, you're not bitter are you?
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Postby mr_a_non » Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:11 pm

David,

The jokes weren't that bad: and you had most people laughing, which is the main thing! Knowledge wise, if you tell the jokes to cover up the gaps, you do it very well - there didn't seem to be any question you couldn't answer!

I agree with you that the St Magdalene was a rather pleasant dram. You did indeed mention the brandy-like nose, even spoke to the three gentlemen in the corner about fobbing someone off when they claim to like brandy but not whisky. I definitely agree with you, I can just remember commenting to my friend that it reminded me more of Armagnac than Cognac: which I think is because of the oily taste.

I agree with you over Fortnum's prices - matched to the Covent Garden Whisky shop they are definitely about 10% cheaper, and about the same as Royal Mile Whiskies. Surprising, in a way, for such a shop. I will certainly be after the Port Ellen this week too: am visiting a friend at UCL on Friday so I think I may take a detour!
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