Re: London - Japan V Scotland - April 29th
An excellent night was had by all and thanks to all that made it down. Among attendees was none other than Sukhinder Singh of The Whisky Exchange, so the pressure was on!
Just for the record, the scores on the doors (out of 10) were...
Hakushu 12 Y.O 7 3/4
As a late substitution for the Yamazaki 10 Y.O, the Hakushu was tasting very well, with plenty of spicy pear and citrus to boot. Well-balanced but firmer than many an opening dram.
The 'Loungers' present were cagey, however, and gave it an average mark. I thought, personally, that it deserved better but dems is da rules.
Old Pulteney 12 Y.O 6 1/2
So sweet next to the Hakushu with little in the way of complexity it would seem. I have sampled this whisky many times, and I've never known it to 'perform' so weakly. Coconut and vanilla but nothing to reign the sweetness in.
Yoichi 15 Y.O 7 3/4
Ah Yoichi, the same whisky that in 20 Y.O guise won this years WWA best single malt. Classic Sukhinder - 'Have you tried the 20 Y.O Eddie?'...'No, have you got some Sukhinder'...'No, I've sold it all Eddie'. Never mind, the 15 Y.O was superb with the trademark spicy, rich and sappiness coupled to a velvety mouthfeel. Low score though considering...very harsh.
Ardbeg 1990 'The Beastie' 8
This had 'those in the know' quivering and twittering. To be fair, many had it nailed as an Ardbeg from the start. Biscuity and buttery as well as the characteristic rustic peat and orange zest. Never a disappointment.
Dalmore King Alexander III 7 3/4
This had people throwing each other confused glances, the multiple maturation techniques employed by Richard Patterson confusing most. It was supple, smooth and almost too much for the senses - layer upon layer of influence from Port, Madeira, Marsala, Sherry, Bourbon and various other wine cask. Couldn't blame them for being befuddled - I knew what it was and I still was myself!
Karuizawa 1971 Single Cask 8 1/2
I don't mind admitting that I was quite scared of this to begin with. 36 years old and still 64.1%... I felt like I was descending into the depths of some kind of whisky-junkie- dom as the three decades plus of oloroso-matured liquid washed over me. Was it a drug or was it a whisky? I'm still not sure. This is serious stuff and not for the faint of heart - or brain, but you have to try it and at full strength. Falls apart with water, as you will with this. The score was deserved and at altitude might be even higher...
I hope more of you can make it down next time - I appreciate that it is not always easy to trust someone you have never met with the organisation of the good stuff but give me a try sometime if you haven't already. I'm just living the dream and trying to spread the word...
I hope to have some exciting announcements very soon regarding future events so watch this space!