Part 4: MWF Revisited - The Sunday Drams
The first thing on my agenda today is the Caol Ila "Vertical Tasting" at 14:00 so at least I can have a sleep-in and also post a few comments on the forum (which I did) before leaving for the Festival.
I arrived in perfect time to find the Vintage Rolls (automotive variety and not the Steak sandwich ones) were still gracing the foyer and totally unvandalised, undamaged and un-bitten by anyone wishing to try something more valuable than the 62y Dalmore
But there again this is Munich and not .............. (add the city of your choice).
My first surprise of the day was to find that the Caol Ila Masterclass was being hosted by a German chap who writes for one of the German language whisky magazines, which means IN GERMAN LANGUAGE.
Oh well, pin back my ears and listen carefully.
1. Caol Ila 8yr "unpeated" 59.8% vol
Nose: Clean, fresh, almost like a swimming pool in a sunny climate. Lots of bio-apples and a faint aroma of leather.
Palate: Initially very fierce due the high %vol but eventually offering sharp apples and lots of malt.
With a little water: Still very spicy malt.
More water: Some flowery notes beginning to emerge on the nose.
Palate: Fresh air, malt and dry, slightly bitter apples but still spicy.
Even more water: Just too much added by MT now. No longer spicy, very smooth with no fire but much of the flavour has been lost to blandness.
MT Verdict: Unsure about this one. It's too much at CS and also has something of Caol Ila missing. Errrrrmmm, maybe it needs that peat?
2. 12yr 43% vol
Nose: For the second time this festival I was reminded of a Yorkshire Dales chimney emitting gentle peat smoke on a Winter morning.
Palate: Smoke, peat and almonds but slightly oily.
MT Verdict: I prefer Caol Ila at a slightly higher ABV. Although a good dram, this was just a little too light for me.
3. 18yr 43% vol
Nose: Not so smoky & peaty. Quite fresh with grass and straw. Also some wood which reminded me of wet oak.
A little more smoke began to emerge on the 3rd & 4th nosings.
Palate: Sea-air, oak, pears, grasss, straw (or hay) and malt.
MT Verdict: This reminds me of a Scottish Jetty and is probably my favourite of the day so far.
4. Distillers Ed. 1993-2006 "Moscatel" 43% vol
Nose: Warm fire with wood and a little merlot (this from a Moscatel cask
2nd Nosing gave hints of leather and more oak.
Palate: Initial peaty wine is followed by a spiciness which fades to grainy hay.
MT Verdict: A good wood finish with a very interesting character.
5. 25y 58.4% vol
Nose: Malt, smoke and new paint drying in the sun.
On the 3rd nosing I detected some hints of an Alpine meadow.
Palate: Slight smoke, malt, nutty cereal and a few more pungent dark fruits.
With water: (3 drops per 1cl of whisky) Smooth, much more gentle and excellent.
MT Verdict: A good Caol Ila, but at quite a high cost.
Other drams tasted outside of the Masterclass on Sunday
Bladnoch 16y, 50.1% vol, JWWW "Auld" range
Nose: Liquorice, flowers and vanilla
Palate: Vanilla, honey and cereal
With water: More honey, less liquorice
MT Verdict: I like it.
Bladnoch 8y "P. Mackenzie & Co. Ltd, Gradi 43, It. Import
This was an old bottling probably from the early 1980's or even late 1970's on the stand of Lothar Langer.
Nose: Rose petals, hay and sea air.
Palate: Oily, flowery (hydrangea?) with a hint of sea-air, malt & light toffee.
MT Verdict: Very good but quite different.
Dalmore 40y 40 (ish)% vol
After seeing Richard P. Alone on the stand I wandered over for a chat and was made most welcome with a chat about Germany, travel and whisky for something like 20-25 minutes. During this time he offered me a very generous dram from his hidden stock of Dalmore 40y.
Colour: Rich, dark sherry.
Nose: Dark fruits, slightly citrus, marzipan and just a hint of smoke.
Palate: Christmas Pudding! Lots of dark fruits, marzipan and nuts with a slightly dry finish.
Verdict: I was fortunate to sample this at CS in Glasgow last year and although this one at 40% is very good, I preferred the CS version for its length of finish which was still in evidence the following morning (about 12 hours later!).
Tomatin 30y Limburg bottling, 45.6% vol
I was offered this dram by Peter Krause of Munich Spirits / Slowdrink.de during a chat about whisky and food events.
Nose: Hay / horse stables, nuts and sweet exotic fruits.
Palate: Cremy ice cream, apricots and plums.
MT Verdict: I would love to see this one accompany a dessert of ice cream with fresh apricots and perhaps a peach sauce.
Millburn Old Malt Cask, 1969, 36y
As I visited the DL stand one last time to say my good-byes to Stewart and Andreas I was offered my pick of the range. It didn't take long to select this one as it's a dram I have never tried before.
Nose: Fresh, apple crumble, flowery perfume and maybe even a tiny hint of mint.
Palate: Spicy apple crumble! But also including pears and custard (vanilla sauce to the Germans).
MT Verdict: Good! Spicy apple flavour which I would love to match with a fruity, slightly spicy Bruschetta in a Gourmet evening.
Unfortunately, as I was deep in conversation with Donald Hart and a member of HM Consul General in Germany, I didn't manage to record my last two drams of the day which were poured from the Hart Bro's range by Donald. But what I can remember is that they were excellent examples of the Hart Bro's range.