Re: MT's Tastings
As for the rest of the drams:
No. 4 was "bonfire night, Nov. 5th" (Milford 10y)
The English on here will fully understand bonfire night - the time when we celebrate Guy Fawkes' failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Yes, only we English could celebrate failure in such a big way!
Anyway, I have fond memories of bonfire night as a child, lots of friends standing around a big fire in the garden, eating lovely Winter delights like home-made toffee, toffee apples, parkin (ginger cake) and many others whilst setting off our roman candles and other fireworks.
The Milford 10 has all of these flavours, lots of toffee, toffee apple and even banana. The tingling after-taste even reminds me of the roman candles!
This dram is bonfire night personified.
No. 5 was Christmas Day, Dec. 25th. (Glenfarclas 1987 Quarter Casks)
Just imagine the delights of a traditional, olde English Christmas.
Spending the afternoon sitting in a deep and luxurious leather chair in the study / library of your olde English country house.
The Glenfarclas 1987 QC has all of this, the library, the musty old books, the leather furniture, the antique wood panelling and even the glass of sherry you are sipping.
I have said this many times, but this whisky is a perfect Christmas dram.
No. 6 was "Somewhere between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve" Cadenhead's Caol Ila at 58.6% ABV.
Again I reminisce. Whilst I was still in England one of my Christmas traditions was to return to a certain spot in the Yorkshire Dales where I spent much time as a teenager, walking the three peaks (Ingleborough, Whernside & Pen-y-Ghent). I always insisted on having one day of walking in and around these hills, sometime between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
As was to be expected, my backpack was full of turkey butties, caramel wafers and a flask of hot tea flavoured with three cardomom seeds.
OK, so this Caol Ila has none of the cardomom, turkey butties, caramel or tea. But at one certain spot, just off the road from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Ribblead Viaduct and on the country path between Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough lies a tiny hamlet of only 8-10 houses.
These are still traditionally heated with open fires which burn wood, coal and sometimes, peat. The soft peaty smoke encompasses the dale and when walking anywhere near, it gently soothes and warms the cockles of your heart.
Every time I drink a good Caol Ila which exhibits not only gentle peat, but also traditional wood-smoke and country air, I am back on this walk in my beloved Yorkshire Dales "Sometime between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve."
I assure you, this Cadenhead Caol Ila is a very good example and immediately transports me back on this wonderful journey!
As I previously mentioned, this blind tasting was based around some of my own personal experiences and the reason I wanted to run it blind was because I wanted people to think about flavours and experiences, not names and reputations.
What came across very strongly in the tasting was that almost everyone agreed with my flavour profiles of the whiskies, but the experiences were very different. Perhaps the greatest difference was in the interpretation of "Autumn" and "Christmas".
The Germans at the event could understand my musings, but for them Christmas encompasses some very different flavours - Stollen as opposed to Christmas cake being one example.
As for the Autumnal dram, my experience of Autumn in this Jura is one of leafiness, in fact the wet leafiness of small English country lanes, whereas the typical German idea of Autumn on the night was one of harvest and fruits. Not quite the flavour profile of the Jura.
Anyway, everyone agreed it was an excellent evening and they have all expressed a desire for another blind event in the future.
Thanks for listening to (well, reading) my personal prattlings once again.