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What did you drink last night?

General chat and talk about whisky.

Postby Lawrence » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:53 pm

Last night was the scotch whisky open house (see http://www.cscotrofficersmess.com ) and there were many drams ....but the best of the bunch was the last two drams of the Glengoyne 1971, some sherry but not over powering and some hints of dried oranges, a really well crafted whisky.
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Postby Admiral » Sat Oct 16, 2004 11:05 pm

Bond,

Have you tried the regular (i.e. not the 10yo) Black Bottle also? If so, which do you think is the better dram?

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby bond » Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:26 am

Unfortunately, have not managed to lay my hands on the regular Black Bottle yet.

It is not available in these parts of the world and one has to constantly look for friends travelling to Europe to source some of the stuff.

Should manage one in the next couple of weeks.

Cheers,

Bond
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Postby lucabeer » Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:58 pm

Last night I had a dram of Talisker 20 OB (refill bourbon casks) and one of Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength.

After initial doubts, the Talisker is good: quite dry and austere, but pungent and with subtle notes of vanilla and wood. Shame about the price, though.

The Lagavulin 12 is great: very good smokiness, not as smooth (and sometimes flat) like the 16, although of course less rich and sherried. More on the lines of Ardbeg 10. The first day I tried it, I initially thought "What the heck, this ain't smoky at all" but after a second an explosion of peat and smoke happened in my mouth: after swallowing, I though I had eaten a spoonful of coal!
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:19 pm

Last night we tried the Bowmore 1968 50th Anniversary Bottling (the one that come in the big green box) aged 32 years and bottled at 45.5%. The color was light gold, an excellent nose, fino sherry, no hint of peat, and some maritime highlights, some tiny fizz in the body, very little or no peat in the taste, unusual for a Bowmore. However the peat finally showed up in the finish, which was quite long.

The second malt was also a Bowmore 3.81, but from the SMWS, a 14 year old at 51.5%which spent the last 7 months in a port pipe. The color was dark brown with some pink edges, the nose was huge peat and dry, with loads of demerra sugar and a little hint of orange. The body was less strong than the 1968 (which was surprising considering the difference in alc %) and the palate had butter, peat and peas! The finish was sweet and had lashings of peat. All in all an excellent dram.

As an experiment I had 10 different glasses with a dram of the Macallan Cask Strength in each. I asked everybody to nose each glass and find the glass with the most intense aroma. I was surprised that the Glencairn glass was the most popular, and the one I chose. The traditional blenders glass, the SMWS glass and our glass all scored very well in comparison.
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Tasting Glasses

Postby WestVanDave » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:08 am

Hi Lawrence - thanks for the twist on this long thread with your comments about the tasting glasses. The Malt Maniacs did an in depth analysis of various glasses - with several different Single Malts... very interesting.

http://www.maltmaniacs.com/mm04.html#04-02

I have some Glencairn glasses that are growing on me - but had spent many years with a collection of unique Czech made crystal glasses that are very similar (albeit with a wider opening) and I guess they have an emotional attachment now. Both have great "grab-ability" with their solid glass base. They feel great and sturdy from the first through the ump-teenth dram.

The Reidel Single Malt glasses (and even a knock-off found here in Vancouver for half the price) don't have the same feel - but we have made some side-by-side random comparisons and have been "bowled over" by the way to nose seems to jump out of the glass - very pronounced - focussed and enjoyable.

This could make for an interesting taste/nose test challenge.

Anyone care to jump in on this theme?

Cheers, Dave.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:25 am

I have many different tasting glasses, including most of the ones mentioned here already.

For me, the Glencairn glass is still my favourite. Quite simply, it does everything right.

Lawrence....I was not aware the SMWS was in the business of finishing their malts in other woods. Was this a once-off, or has there been other examples?

I suppose the other possibility is that the cask was finished in port by either the distillery or an independent, and then offered to the SMWS who decided it was worth bottling?

Cheers,
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Postby Admiral » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:26 am

I have many different tasting glasses, including most of the ones mentioned here already.

For me, the Glencairn glass is still my favourite. Quite simply, it does everything right.

Lawrence....I was not aware the SMWS was in the business of finishing their malts in other woods. Was this a once-off, or has there been other examples?

I suppose the other possibility is that the cask was finished in port by either the distillery or an independent, and then offered to the SMWS who decided it was worth bottling?

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby islayjunkie » Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:28 am

hpulley wrote:Last night I picked up some 3rd release Lagavulin 12yo CS 57.8%, bottled 2003. Excellent stuff!


Been out of the loop for a few days.

How was the Lagavulin 12yo CS 2003 compared to the 2002? Is it the same? Better? Different?

I have 2 bottles of 12yo CS 2002 special release I'm going to archive if the 2003 is as good.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:46 am

Admiral, I don't the provenance of this particular cask of Bowmore other than what is said in the tasting notes and the notes do not indicate who ordered the finishing.

However several years ago (I think approx 10) the SMWS reported in a news letter that they had started finishing whiskies in port wood along with some other types of wood. They sourced whiskies that were near to bottling and then finished them in a different wood finish for the remaining maturation period.

We have tried several including a Bruichladdich and I have a bottle of the Longrow (114.1) bottled for the millennium which MJ described as "Godzilla is alive and well in Campbeltown". I have yet to open it although I did sample some while in Edinburgh. The tasting notes say that it was distilled in 1990 and re racked into a fresh port cask in 1995.

Earlier this year we tried a SMWS Arran and the SMWS had purchased the two Gorda's from a broken down bodega in Spain and had them filled with new make from Arran. It was a very nice whisky at 7 years although it is not a 'finish'. However it does demonstrate that they are active in planning ahead and not just buying what comes available.

The glasses were an interesting exercise, we all have our favorites and some of us were surprised by our number one choice. I have found that no one glass is ideal for all malts but I will keep on researching! :D
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Postby hpulley » Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:49 am

This is the 3rd release. Previously I had the 1st release, the 58% one bottled in 2002. If you have a 57.8% one bottled in 2002 then that is the second release and I have not yet had it.

The 3rd release (57.8%, 2003) is very good. I'd say so far it is about as good as the first release (only been opened a few days, will probably become as good or better after another week or so) though it is not identical. The nose is a little different, lacking the peanut shell note I found before (which I find in many Caol Ilas too), but with some mid and lower peat and mossy notes which are more prominent than before. Still mouthfuls of smoke and peat in the body and the finish; it really is like eating burned peat, I swear! For peatheads, it is a great malt. I got a couple of bottles and may get more in future.

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:17 pm

Last night, a shot of Bruichladdich 15yr old. A good dram, real quality. But not worth $100 cdn a bottle ($70 US) in my humble opinion.
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Postby WestVanDave » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:56 am

Frodo - the Bruichladdich 15 is a favourite of mine - and if the Ontario (and BC) price scares you - try a trip to Alberta - where it can be had for as low as $66 Cdn.

Three Cheers for Privatization and Flat Taxes.

Cheers, Dave.
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Postby bond » Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:40 am

Balvenie- Double Wood last night. My favourite post dinner malt. Well rounded, with hints of cardamom and honey on the finish.

Any other favourite after-dinner malts?
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:29 am

Water & tea, no whisky for another 27 days :(

I'm giving the liver 30 days off for good behaviour, however I do plan to do a lot of nosing and taking notes. :?
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Postby bond » Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:51 am

Three Cheers to your Will Power, Lawrence!
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Postby hpulley » Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:17 pm

A month, Lawrence, wow! I don't think I could do that, certainly not voluntarily. I had pneumonia last winter and the first antibiotic didn't work so I had about a 4 week period where I couldn't drink (but I had a few in the middle so really 2 2-week breaks) and that was not fun. Whisky isn't addictive like nicotine but still, I enjoy my drams.

And just nosing without tasting? Now that's REAL willpower. Talk about going into the bawdy house and just having a look-see :P

Harry
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:32 am

Last night I broke down and had tomato juice with worchester sauce!

Color;Red Nose:Red Palate:Red Finish:Red

To make it worse I have just installed in the living room a new really large optic stand, with six different single malts bottles upside down with 25 & 35 cl pours, everytime I walk past they taunt me.

25 days to go :D
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Postby bond » Sat Oct 23, 2004 11:02 am

I am hoping whisky followed by regular servings of green tea will keep my liver hale and hearty.

Cutty Sark it was last night followed by Glenmorangie Port Wood Finish.
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Postby hpulley » Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:49 pm

I have green tea too when I'm not drinking malt. Didn't know it might help, just enjoy it :)

After enjoying 12yo cask strength Lagavulin for most of the past week, 2 nights ago I had a 43% Hedges & Butler 10yo '89 Clynelish. As usual it is a very nice malt with a sherried nose with a hint of peat and smoke, sherried malt in the body and a full finish but after drinking 57.8% for most of the week, 43% is pretty watery!

Last night I had Ardbeg TEN 46%. It too seemed a bit light compared to CS but still very peaty and smoky with nice islaydine and the surprising Ardbeg sweetness. Had it with some marshmallow brownies and the chocolate went nicely with the scotch after some shrimp stirfry dinner!

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:21 am

Bond:

Why Cutty Sark? Was this the regular house blend bottling? Or the25yr old perhaps? Just wondering... :?

I actually went to a sherry tasting last night. I don't drink sherry, but having drank whisky that comes from sherry casks, I wanted more information on what sherry (less whisky) tasted like. The lighter amontillados (sp?) interested me not at all. I could understand how PX casks make good aging containers, but I don't like the sherry. I suprised myself by liking Olorso sherry. However if memory serves me, this is the kind of sherry casks most often used in aging Scotch so I shouldn't be supprised when I "discovered" that I like this. :?

Regards
Frodo
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Postby bond » Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:01 am

Cutty Sark because I cannot afford to drink malt whisky everyday!

Last night was Aberlour 10 YO . Had not sampled it before but rave reviews on these forums had really driven up my expectations.

I found it to be moderately complex and pleasing. Would possibly score it between 75-80.
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:00 am

I'm very fond of the Aberlour 10, it has a great nose, palate and finish, it's one of my core drams. I think your upper end score of 80 is bang on although it's very subjective.

Meanwhile more tea.......
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Postby Squire » Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:19 am

Ok not last night exactly but the night before.
Opened my new bottle of Elijah Craig 12yo. (see thread in Q&A - "Advice for a bourbon novice").
Being fairly cynical of bourbon, due mainly to earlier experiences, I purchased this to convince myself that it can be good.

Delicious nose of butterscotch and vanilla.
Warming and smooth caramel palate with a spicy, woody finish.
All while not seeming as sweet or cloying as that sounds!

Thoroughly impressed and recommend any Bourbon poo-pooers to rush out and try some.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:02 am

Last night, some '80 23yo 49% Brora and '89 13yo 57% Bruichladdich. Both very nice, hitting the spot. Still not sure if that Brora is bourbon or ex-sherry casked as it has some colour and sweetness which could be ex-sherry. The Laddie Fullstrength is a weird one to many I'm sure but I really enjoy that whisky that has a maritime, seaweed character but without any peat smoke, and a dry acid finish that somehow matches the rest of it.

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:11 pm

Harry:

It seems to me that Bruichladdich is a fairly laid-back whisky that would probably lend itself well to drinking cask strength. What do you think.

Frodo
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Postby hpulley » Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:11 pm

I really like this one. It doesn't seem that strong until the finish when the 57% alcohol gives a little kick. This one is, IMO, more like the old pre-McEwan Bruichladdies which were less refined but more interesting which is why I said some might find it weird but those who like interesting island whiskies will probably enjoy it. The current OB Laddies are very nice drinking whiskies but are more meant for mass consumption IMO (maybe that just means they're better, I dunno).

See you tomorrow night I guess at Spirit of Toronto?! Will you mainly be in masterclasses or the exhibitor booths? I'm going to check out the booths first to see if I should spend more time out there or in the classes as there is only 30 minutes before the first one and 45 minutes after the last one plus 15 minutes in between if you attend all 3 sessions which would make for fairly hurried tasting of the 15 or more exhibitors I want to visit. The first set of classes all look good so I'm not sure which I'll attend (if any), torn between them. John Glaser of Compass Box looks good in the second one and Stephen Lipp or Duncan Taylor looks good in the last. But if I get 'stuck' out in the booths I may just stay there... Probably wearing an olive green mohair jacket and rectangular half-rimmed glasses in case you want to say hello.

Harry
Last edited by hpulley on Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:47 pm

Sounds good. Never been to one of these, so I'll be winging it... Here's to hoping the samples provided are of good quality and of significant variety. And here's to hoping the master classes are informative... :D :D I'll make sure to say hey.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:37 am

Went to a whisky tasting last night. Really good, and no one skimped on the good stuff. My favourite was a Duncan Taylor bottling of a 30yr old Longmorn, the first whisky I've tried that I could drink at 51%. Really Impressed by their "Auld Reekie", a 12yr Coal Isla. Also got a chance to compare the chill-filtered and non-chill filtered Arran. I'd actually consider bying the Arran if it came in non-chill filtered at our liquor stores.

Regards
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Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 31, 2004 12:21 pm

Two nights ago now I was at the same show, The Spirit of Toronto. Tried too many to list them all, I'm sure I'll forget to list a few, but some were:

Tried a bunch of Buffalo Trace and other bourbons which are nice and sweet but not my cuppa tea. Nice to sit in on their class and hear how it is made. The single barrel Elmer T was my favorite of the bunch, with the wheat bourbon in second.

Enjoyed Hedonism (vatted grain) and Eleuthera (vatted Caol Ila, Clynelish and Glenlossie, very nice with smoky Caol Ila and Clynelish richness) from Compass Box. Met John Glaser, a very nice guy. Too bad they didn't bring any Monster.

Tried Jameson 18, quite impressive! It reminds me a bit of Redbreast Pure Pot Still but isn't quite the same, not quite the same hot red candy taste. Real improvement over the standard.

The Easy Drinking Whisky Co. stuff just seemed like inexpensive blends to me, sorry guys. Tried a few, nothing took my fancy.

Ardbeg just brought TEN, why? Tried Glenmorangie Burgundy finish; nothing to write home about.

Had Forty Creek Three Grain again. I still prefer the Barrell Select as the Three Grain seems a bit too sweet to me.

Arran chill and non-chill filtered were interesting but just young islands to me so far, not great yet. Hopefully in a few more years they'll be impressive.

Gordon & MacPhail brought some '98 6yo Benromach, made since the reopening. Tastes young, has some interesting notes but not something I'd buy yet. Will try it again in a few years. They also had a '90 Ledaig which was quite nice, smoky, peaty, no unwelcome undertone. 8yo Old Pulteney was a nice north highland.

Dalmore had only the 12yo, not even the Cigar Malt. Tried it again after years of not having it. My tastes have undoubtedly changed as I didn't really like it.

HP 25yo OB is really, really good. Miles above the 18yo IMO.

18yo Glenlivet was nice, a real improvement over the standard 12yo but still not spectacular.

Macallan Fine Oak is interesting though not spectacular for me. The current 18yo is still not great, haven't had a great one since before '84 Vintage.

Duncan Taylor was the highlight of the night for me. A 10yo '93 bourbon casked Mortlach was really nice, letting the malt come through the usual house style sherry aging. Auld Reekie, a 12yo Caol Ila is very smoky but has a funny undertone that caused it to be a little off putting (this sort of thing often burns off with more time to taste or have the bottle open for a week or two so it could improve). 30yo Longmorn was really nice, a huge improvement over the 15yo OB IMO. 35yo '68 Glenlivet was wonderful, a world of improvement over the 18yo OB (though I'm told the 30yo OB is even better). Highlight of the night for me was a 33yo '69 Macduff, simply heaven in a glass! Wonderful wide, low notes in the nose of malt, some citrous, more fruit in the body some suggested as peaches, just a wonderful thing to have (seconds were welcome and still lovely). Kirsty did a nice job with the class.

I forgot to try Talisker 18yo, the new one and didn't check out Jura either where I'd hoped to try a heavily peated one. Last booth on the end and part of the Johnny Walker exhibit and things must have been a bit fuzzy by then... :oops: One of the first on my list of those to try too.

Thanks so much to Johanna for organizing the event and for the Roy Thompson Hall staff for making it go smoothly. If anyone from Fedex has found the missing cases from Duncan Taylor, please let me know when the Christmas party is taking place ;) Here's looking forward to SOT '05!

Well met, Frodo. To others who were there, sorry I didn't introduce myself as I was too busy tasting.

Harry
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:00 pm

Sounds like a great evening Harry, I'm going to try and make it next year.

I'm off to the Willow Brook event in Calgary November 17th, my second day back at 'work' after my 30 day hiatus.
:D
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Postby Frodo » Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:50 am

Well met harry. I was really disappointed with the 18yr old Talisker. The 10yr old is one of my favorites, but the 18yr old (OB) seemed a bit watery. Maybe I just tried a bad bottle? The booth was so crowded that I couldn't try the JW green. Doesn't sound like I missed much from other opinions on this forum. Biggest suprise (or revelation) to me was the Hedonism vatted grain from compass box. Not sure I'd spend $85 cdn on a bottle, but something differant.

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Postby Admiral » Mon Nov 01, 2004 3:10 am

Interesting to read that both Frodo & Harry were taken by the Hedonism.

I tried this last April, and it was like a mouthful of weak-flavoured bourbon. Don't get me wrong - it was by no means unpleasant - but it was just so unexciting.

It's worth mentioning that I tried this as a blind - I initially had no idea it was a grain whisky, so personal prejudices did not affect my opinion. But I did note very strong bourbon / vanilla characteristics, and was one of two people around the table to suggest that it was a grain whisky.

But I agree most of all with Frodo's comment about the price. Here in Australia, the one store that has Hedonism on sale retails it for AUS$120, which is about the same price as a Macallan 18yo or a Laphroaig 15yo. Unless there is some tremendously old grain in the vatting (i.e. 30 years +), I don't know how they justify the price tag. Isn't grain supposed to be cheaper than malt?

Frodo....don't be discouraged on the JW Green. Whilst it doesn't set the world on fire, it's a very drinkable dram with a fair chunk of complexity that is missing in many other vatted malts. I believe it to be a significant improvement on JW Black. :)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby hpulley » Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:07 pm

I agree with you, actually, Frodo on the Hedonism. It is a nice grain but grain whisky had better be cheap, IMO, which is why I really like Forty Creek as both the Barrel Select and Three Grain are about $22 CND. For the price, Forty Creek has to be one of the best values going in a nice grain. The W.L Weller 12yo Bourbon at $27 is probably a little better quality than the Forty Creek so about the same value for a nice grain. But I only buy a bottle or two a year of grain compared to the at least 10-15 bottles of scotch I buy yearly. But I say this never having tried the old Duncan Taylor Invergordon '65 which I'm told shows that old grain can, even in a blind tasting, be wonderful stuff. Too bad DTC didn't bring any to SOT :(

So it sounds like I didn't miss much on the Talisker. To be honest, I think even the 10yo has gone downhill recently (or my tastes have evolved). It used to be a mind blower. It is still good, but not that good.

You can get a 50mL sample of Johnnie Walker Green, if not on its own then around Christmas usually in a Johnnie Walker gift pack of 50mLs. Something to ask for if a relative doesn't know what to get you or you could treat yourself ;)

Harry
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Postby bamber » Mon Nov 01, 2004 3:51 pm

Ballantines 17YO - best blend I've ever tasted. Bit like JW gold. Honeyed malt with a sliver of smoke. Incredibly complex and smooth. Really very very good. Still rather have good SMS or good Bourbon though !

WT Sherry Signature. Lets just say it's not the best American whisky I've ever tasted ;)
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