Okay folks - my whisky journey to date has been helped enormously by both this forum and my own recent tasting experiences (both in bars and organised events) but also I admit that recently I have come to follow and appreciate Jim Murray's Bible (after getting the 2007 version for a xmas gift).
I take some of his scoring with a pinch of salt, so to speak, and I tend to look for more of a balanced view but his musings help me explore and understand the various taste profiles of the extensive range of whiskies he lists. I am also starting to broaden my mind and palate away from Islay and have recently got into both decent blends, some Irish and even some Bourbons.
Anyway my question is that of sulphur - one consistent theme Murray goes back to especially for Speysiders (to name a couple Mortlach and Inchgower spring to mind as ones he really seems to find fault with).
Now to quote a couple of personal examples I have experienced of late include a CS Mortlach bottled for Royal Mile Whiskies (sherry finish) which I find I like and can detect some hint of sulphur, or what I like to term a 'meaty' or 'Bovril like' taste. However, for a recent gift I received a small (thankfully!) 20cl bottle of Inchgower 1980 Single Cask CS 59.9% from the liquid deli 'DemiJohn', that I find incredibly 'sulphured' on both the nose and palate, which in actual fact I think is pretty horrid:
http://demijohn.co.uk/buildabottle.asp? ... code=ST011
I don't see the terms 'sulphur' or 'struck match' cropping up on this forum an awful lot or being discussed or explained in any depth. As such my questions are:
a) is this kind of profile something you avoid or indeed like? I have heard that some Europeans, particularly Germans seem to like this heavy sulphur influence.
b) where does this sulphur influence come from? I know it only sems to be referred to in terms of sherry casks but where does the Sulphur itself come from - a reaction between the Sherry and Cask and/or Air? Or does it come from the casks being sanitised to get rid of unwanted elements?
Or perhaps this is something that I should address to the man Mr Murray himself as I don't see it being referred to, at least to the same extent, or explained in other whisky places eg by Serge at WhiskyFun or here.