Islay part one was last night and we enjoyed a slightly altered line-up, tasted blind, as follows:
1 Cadenheads Bruichladdich 1986 - 05/05 18yo Bourbon hogshead 270 bottles 55.8%
2 Caol Ila 8yo 64.9% (unpeated released 2007 distillery bottling)
3 Cadenheads Caol Ila 1984 - 09/07 23yo Bourbon hogshead 258 bottles 56.3%
4 Cadenheads Laphroaig 1994 - 11/07 13yo bourbon hogshead 300 bottles 54.7%
5 Cadenheads Ardbeg 1994 - 11/07 13yo Bourbon hogshead 348 bottles 59.7%
6 Lagavulin 1985 - 2007 21yo 6642 bottles 56.6% distillery bottling
Favourite on the night on a majority vote was.......... the Ardbeg, a huge dram indeed. Initial nosing really struck me, what an aroma and reminded me instantly of 'fish supper brown paper with salt and malt vinegar'. Such a peat-sweet delivery on the palate. Wow, I can now see why various quarters rave about single cask Ardbeg.
I bought the remnants of this bottle, 1st time I've ever done this at Mark's tasting.
Also, of great surprise was the CI 8yo unpeated - very good, this one really threw me, I could have sworn it was a Bunny. Such a smooth, well-rounded dram for an 8yo and proves that CI produces very good spirit, peated or otherwise.
Not so good for me (after the sublime 23yo CI) was the Laphroaig but such are the joys of tasting predominately single cask expressions. I'll stick with my QC and CS Laph.
A great night of tasting and well worth the ticket price - less than £4 a dram can't be bad for top-class Islay malts. Highly recommended.
In the charity lucky dip at the end I won a mini of 1969 Caol Ila Private Collection from G&M.
An absolute pleasure to meet MattButty from the forum who was in attendance - good lad! All the best Matt, always nice to meet someone from the forum.