17 November 2014

Whisky Cabal XV: Heavyweight challenge: Ginger Ninja v the Beast of Islay

The full cabal assembled, laid out our wares, sorted out glasses and commenced the fifteenth whisky event. Admittedly none of realised that, but y'know it explains the special, almost magical vibe. That or the booze.
Where possible I'm linking to the lovely people at Good Spirits Co in Glasgow. Go spend money with them. We don't even get kick backs to say this!

121.39 SMWS Easy-drinking dram

Nose: xmas cake, ginger, sherry
Palate: warm, ginger, xmas cake, sherry
Finish: ginger, medium

The return of a cabal favourite, great stuff - and don't bother checking with SMWS there's none left. It was such a win when we tried it the first time all of us bought a bottle, and only Dr Death had some left. We've always liked Arran whiskies, but the ginger in this one makes is quite special.

8.5-9 /10

Cu bocan (Sherry Cask finish) 46%
N: rubber, dark chocolate, 'sweaty crotch', 'choc salty calls' Jayne (firefly): 'smells like crotch'
P: chocolate, peat
F: zombie finish. there's nothing there and then it sneaks up

Quaffable session whisky (will go on the now mythical pub list).
7.5 (A) - 8/10 (rest of cabal).

Provenance - Bunnahabhain dist 2001 12yo 46% sherry butt
N: chocolate, sherry, xmas cake
P: musty, sherry, xmas cake
F: med-long, very smooth

We didn't think it was a very complex whisky, but, to quote Dr Death, it was 'imminently chuggable'. I'm going to presume that puts it on our pub list too.

7 (A) - 8 /10 (rest of cabal).

Glendronach 15yo 46% Revival
N: sherry, raisins, molasses, sultanas, treacle, sherry toffee xmas cake
P: sherry, watery, strong, chocolate, long (or hairy, my notes are illegible)
F: medium

Return of the 15yo - we've had it before, and goddamnit, we'll have it again. Very very quaffable. Sadly unlikely to be a pub whisky.

7 (B) - 8/10 (rest of cabal).

Kilchoman Cask Strength 59.2% 
N: bacon, crisps, frazzles, peat smoke, rubber.
P: wow, peat, sweet, peat, bacon crisps, peat.
F: lovely as fuck, peat, sweet, bats arse mental.

Fair to say we liked this. It's the first easily available cask strength from Kilchoman and it delivers everything the new spirit I had years ago promised. It is superb.
Further research with Neil over the weekend suggests it's the cask strength version of the Coull Point as we tried the two of them and they're very similar.
Note: do not add water, it kills it something chronic and brings out a strong nose of urine. The effect was summarised as 'a night in chesterfield'.

9 (rest of cabal) - 10 (B) /10

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% 
N: peat, smoke, rubber, phenol, medicinal
P: salty, long, sweet
F: long

Very quaffable, this is the sherry finish (kinda) from Ardbeg and therefore doesn't have the usual nut sack ripping qualities of Ardbeg. nice stuff.
7 - 7.5 /10

Carn Mor 17yo 46% 469 bottles, Benrinnes dist 1996 bott 2014.
N: bourbon, sweet
P: bourbon, spicy, meh
F: short-med

Benrinnes is a pretty rare distillery to find a single cask whisky from, and I think this one suffered from being drunk after two Islay monsters. I think we should revisit it, as ratings were:
6 (rest of cabal) - 7 (G) /10

SMWS: 9.68 Plentiful fruit - super charged sweetness 22yo dist 29/08/1990 188 bottles, refill hogshead, ex-bourbon 53.8%
N: mango, fruity, orange, wood glue (PVA)
P: tropical paradise in my mouth, mango
F: long sweet fruity

At the time of writing there are 8 bottles left at SMWS, and as we say to all Glen Grant bottlings from SMWS, you need this.

No bottles killed, no permanent damage to participants, it's like we're managing this quite well :)

Slainte, B

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