New year, more whiskies. First tasting at Regional this year was blind. No info on the whiskies, just cost. So we had NZ $90, $115, $130, $140, $150, $200, $450 [or roughly] and no other info. Our usual cabal assembled...
25 February 2021
1 January 2021
Every-so-often, when I remember, I compare untappd records between Alec and I. Who has the most beers, badges, etc.
So in the spirit of erratic updates, here's where things stand between us.
I'll probably pull together a top10 albums list at some point, but in the meantime here's the last.fm stats on what I listened to in 2020.
So Top Artists for 2020:
17 December 2020
Regular readers will remember this years' 25 years of Daniel tasting, woohoo we got a second go at the dram.
So our regular, now enhanced, cabal of four turned up to drink to the great man...this time down in the trenches with us...
Cadenhead Bunnahabhain '89 28yo 43.8% b1/3/2018; bourbon hogshead
- N: grassy, honey suckle, pineapple, wine, bourbon, lemonade
- P: lager, lemon, light, green tea
- F: long peppery, gentle salt, warming
8.5/10 I'm beginning to realise that Neil maybe right and that I like Bunnahabhain. This seems a good thing. Came 8th with 8.0 [story on why there's 8 later]
Adelphi Linkwood 1993 25yo 50.4% Bourbon cask #4469
- N: bourbon, warm, strong, salt/meths, effervescent lemon, floor polish
- P: fruit, ginger, spicy
- F: pepper, long
- N: peat, bacon, salt, delicate, vinegar, smokey
- P: salt, bacon, asphalt, methanol
- F: medium, smokey
- N: rubber, egg, sulphur, sweet vanilla, sherry, lanolin
- P: sulphur, burnt ash, socks,
- F: short
- N: caramel, salt, toffee, cream, yummy, vanilla.
- P: warm, honey, peat, ash, bread, sweet
- F: long and peppery
- N: banana, sweet, ash, vanilla, PVA glue, violets, peat, sherbert
- P: sweet, aniseed, lemonade
- F: hot, med-long
- N: sherry, sweet, old, complex, cinnamon
- P: complex, sherry, old, xmas cake
- F: long, sweet
16 December 2020
Another year, another best of the best. Admittedly tastings were a bit haphazard and disrupted for some reason, but we still got through a reasonable amount of whisky.
Due to the reduced number of tastings we had two mystery drams for the tasting.
Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% [Mystery]
- N sweet, peat, salt, rubber, earthy, medicinal, aniseed, chlorine, pear drops
- P peat, sweet, tasty, dry, ash, oily, hot, creosote
- F long dry
9/10 I liked this a lot, although it came last with 8.1 on the night.
Benriach Batch 16 Pedro Ximenez Butt #6924 56.2% 21.2.2005-2019 13yo
- N sweet, tobacco, toffee, sherry, turkish delight
- P warm honey, sweet, odd sick taste
- F short, almost bitter finish
- N fried egg, sherry, marshmallow, dry, raisins, burnt caramel
- P warm, leather polish, aged smooth, dry, sherry, raisins, complex
- F long, warm, complex
- N light, sherry, nectaries, fried egg
- P sherry, xmas cake, not subtle, tannins, treacle
- F medium
- N sweet, bourbon, citrus, linseed, latex, canvas
- P sweet, hint of bourbon, spiky, fighty, vigorous
- F med - long
- N salt, rubber, bacon, peat iodine
- P sweet, smoky, sherry, bacon
- F long, sweet
- N caramel, sweet, old, complex, amazing, eggs, sulphur, candied oranges
- P honey, complex, aged, smooth leather
- F superb, long
15 November 2020
In the last 20 years New Zealand has undergone a beer revolution, and in the last 5-10 years the spirits industry has decided to kick on. There's a lot of new(ish) gins on the NZ market, and many of these makers are using gin to subsidise their longer term plans of producing a NZ whisky.
NZ whisky doesn't have an illustrious reputation. Historically all of the stuff I've had has been rough, immature, and apparently aged in poor quality casks. To an extent that's understandable, as the cost of good port/sherry/bourbon casks to NZ was prohibitive.
But recently things appear to be improving, with Cardrona producing (apparently, I haven't tried it yet) excellent 3yo. And some distillers realising they've got gold on their footsteps with NZ Pinot Noir barrels, ageing has started in them...
Thomson ran a tasting a Regional, and so Rich, Nabila and I popped along. I had low expectations.
Thomson Two Tone 40%
P: wine, light, peppery, pinot noir
Catching up on a couple of tasting notes before the Best of the Best later this week. As a fan of Springbank I was looking forward to this one...
Couple of weeks ago we had a Springbank Local Barley tasting, these are quite distinctive yellow and black bottles from specific barley farms who supply Springbank.
Springbank LB 11yo 02.2006-02.2017 53.1% 26 Bourbon casks 9000 bottles Bere barley Aros Farm
P: very sweet, sticky, lemon, salt
F: long, citrus, tequila.
7 October 2020
Another month, another delayed tasting. But with Wellington back to Level 1, we got to have the Peat Feast.
Wolfburn 'Kylver Series' III 50%
- N: bananas, custard, lycee, light peat
- P: sweet, IPA, fruity, prickly, honey
- F: long, dry, salty, well balanced.
Nice enough, but not great. It came 6th (7.87) and I'd given it a 7/10
Smokehead Islay 43%
- N: medicinal, smokey, peat (lots), bacon, maldon salt, vigorous, sherbert, pecorino
- P: bitter, light, low alc, phenol, salt.
- F: short, salty, bitter
- N: sweet, bourbon, cut grass, creme brulee, low peat?, ginger, pineapple, winegums
- P: winegums, spicy, cinnamon/nutmeg
- F: medium, bitter
- N: toffee russian fudge, trifle, espresso martini
- P: tingly, watery, one dimensional
- F: long builds, hot
- N: ash, seaweed, fresh gumboots, salty, sweet, med vigorous
- P: peat, medicinal, light
- F: peat builds
- N: yes! cabbage, alcohol, waxy, oily, smoke, bacon, carbon
- P: ash, strong, vigorous, peat, medicinal, big
- F: medium
- N: toffee, macaroni cheese, wood chips, manuka
- P: salt, peat, bacon, not subtle,
- F: long
- N: winegums, icecream, apple, pear, maple syrup, vanilla, boubon oak, spearmint
- P: complex, sherry, smoke
- F: long complex
10 August 2020
Daniel, the dodgy bugger who led us into the whisky world, has been doing it for 25 years. So Regional Wines decided to celebrate with a line up of 25yo whiskies.
We've expanded to a quartet and so we assembled to drink booze.
Glenrothes 25yo 43%
- N: light, sherry, sweet, oranges, elegant, lowish alcohol
- P: apples, pears, woody, sweet, caramelised sugar, oily, salt
- F: long, dry
9/10 all the hallmarks of a Glenrothes, but on 'roids. Fantastic stuff. This came 5th on the night (8.6/10)
Talisker 25yo 45.8% 1990-2017
- N: soft, smokey, tyres, gunpowder, citrus, oily seaweed, wet dog.
- P: warm, peat, smoke, hot, light, matchhead, phosphorus
- F: long, hot
- N: perfect, sweet, parmesan, prickly, Demerara sugar, maple syrup
- P: prickly, smooth, hot, young
- F: hot, medium
- N: sherry, sack cloth, oilskin, wood polish
- P: long sherry, leather, perfect.
- F: long, sexy.
- N: apple, pears leather polish, poster glue (PVA), sherbert
- P: light, prickly, envelope glue, thin
- F: light, medium
- N: light, apples, pears, mellow, musty, sweet, vanilla.
- P: Interesting, stone fruit, ginger, banana lollies
- F: medium, sugar mice
- N: floral, dish soap, vanilla, caramel, smooth, sherry, light
- P: light, almonds, aniseed, musty, star anise, cardamon
- F: medium, aniseed
3 July 2020
We had a tryptch, but had swopped Blair for one of my workmates.
G&M Mannochmore 56.8% 2003 15yo 1st fill sherry
N: sweetish, honey manuka, cereal, fruity, malty, vanilla
P: fruit salad, sweet, apples, ginger
F: medium, red wine?, fruit
I've had a few Mannochmores through SMWS - they don't release a lot of single casks, so it's usually the independent bottlers. I liked this a lot, interesting, fruity, and definitely worth drinking. For those playing at home, it came 7th. Which was wrong. People, they're idiots.
Adelphi 'Breath of the Highlands' 2007 12yo 52.7%
N: fruit salad, dryish, apple,
P: fruity, musty, cream, boring
disappointment, not sure we ever established what highland distillery it was from, but then again not keen to find out either.
6/10 [came 8th]
Dramfest 'Dirty Little Secret' 11yo 56.9% [Caol Ila]
N: rubber, sulphur, damp wool, peat
P: rubber, ashtray, sweet, cigars, iodine
F: long, ash, peppery
Dramfest bottling, and yes it's superb. It couldn't really tick any more boxes for me for a Islay whisky :) Although as people are idiots, it only came 5th. I know. twats.
Bunnahabhain Adelphi 2009 10yo 58.9% cask #900022
N: chocolate sweet, old car, smoked cheese, caramel, mushrooms
P: warm, honey, smooth, vanilla, burnt brandy snaps
F: warm-long, dry, late evening dram
8.5/10 Also great stuff (came 4th), also more reasons I shoudl really buy some Bunnahabhain, it'll make Neil feel vindicated if nothing else...
Amrut Portonova Batch 22 62.1%
N: strong, savoury, red berries, sweet, oloroso?
P: warm, woody, ashtray, redwine/port,
I think I'm going to have to admit that Amrut have come a long way from their rubbish first releases. This is now two that I've really liked. this came first, but wasn't my favourite
Ardnamurchan Malt Spirit 2019AD 57.4%
N: sweet, candied fruit, marmalade, delicate, hint of peat, perfumed
P: peat, pepper, heat
F: medium, peat
It's less than 3yo so can't be called scotch, but tasted very good. 7/10
Ballechin Straight from the Cask Bordeaux 2007 11yo 60.2%
N: rubber, salt, bacon, sulphur, creamy, sweet, inky
P: pepper, peat, not complex
Edradour's peated expression, much better than the early releases I tried, but I do find the SFTC a bit hit and miss from them. Came second, which was generous.
Glenturret G&M 2005 14yo 53.5%
N: vanilla, golden syrup, light, apple, apricot
P: nutty, astringent
well this was rubbish, nose was good, everything else disappeared. And yet it came 3rd? I mean I shouldn't judge my fellow booze hounds, but really people ! really close to a fail from me.
As from last tasting, great to be back tasting whiskies with the group, and huzzah to NZs covid response allowing us to start up again. Next month (well ok, later this month) is the 25th anniversary of Daniel's tastings, so all whiskies are 25yo - really looking forward to that.