Hi, you're in the Archives, February 2005 - Part 2
- TWO INDIE BRUICHLADDICHS
1993/2003 (57%, Berry Bros, cask
Colour: dry white wine - don't believe
the 'official' picture on the right.
Nose: lots of coffee and caramel,
and lots of grainy notes too. Hot
milk, porridge, müesli, mashed
potatoes, almonds… Really
close to a new make, but with less
fruity notes. Some grassy, herbal
notes, like green tea, freshly cut
roots, green melon, green apple…
alos quite briny, with a lot of
vivacity! Mouth: sharp and bold,
with lots of rooty aromas. Very
herbal, with some lavender, smoked
tea, cinnamon, aniseed, dried parsley…
Strangely, it’s not fruity
at all. It gets leafier and leafier,
and then a little too bitter towards
the long and very grassy finish.
10 yo (58.2%, James MacArthur Old
Colour: straw. Nose: powerful and
very grassy, vegetal. Mustard, radish,
pepper… Almost aggressive. Develops
on curry, vinegar… Really special.
Hints of green apple, bamboo shoots,
pear… This one is sort of ‘funny’.
Mouth: very strong, with some heavy
cherry and plum. Lots of green pepper,
mustard again, horseradish…
Goes on with some watermelon and fresh
pineapple, green tea… Okay,
maybe it’s a little rough but
it tastes very ‘natural’,
with almost no wood influence. Yet,
it’s rather balanced and quite
compact and satisfying. A very good
and interesting one. 84 points.
– Very, very
highly recommended listening - Popa
Chubby does Stoop
down baby - mp3. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
(that was the shortest review ever).
Please buy truckloads of Popa Chubby
CDs. (photo Tasic Dragan)
WHISKY ADS - WHISK(E)Y AND ICE, DANGEROUS
ACQUAINTANCES THROUGH THE AGES...
- Four Roses introduces a
new cooling idea using ice, but then
suggests: 'Wouldn't you
rather drink Four Roses'
- Pinch, aka Dimple, says
it was 'perfected more than 3
centuries ago' (yeah, sure) and
sort of suggests it shouldn't be drunk
on ice, as the large glass on the
left is empty. Ha-ha!
- Chivas won't argue, and
makes things even clearer: 'Scotch
without rocks.' A whole new paradigm
is installed: good whisky is drunk
naked (and bad whisky on ice...)
- Old Taylor says it doesn't
really matter, as it's 'So good...
even the rocks taste better'.
Yeah well, we all know that whisky
improves the taste of water, don't
- VAT 69 shows us a 'neat'
glass, while telling us the whole
story behind its name. The Old Man,
when asked which vat did hold the
best whisky, answered 'I dinna
ken, it could be the first vat...
it could be the 69th!...' So
it was at random! ;-)
- John Begg, who had seen
Chivas' 1962 ad just above (I guess)
makes things clear too: the ice stays
outside the glass. Hey, there's some
Royal Lochnagar in there! Anyway,
at the end of the 1970's, good whiskies
were to be drunk neat... Yet...
- The Glenlivet, a single
malt, puts its product on ice again
and in a big tumbler. That's probably
what brought a 'taste beyond 12-year-old
- But Whyte &
Mackay, a blend, insists:
'Laissez les cubes aux petits'
does it say to its French audience
(Leave the cubes to the children.)
- Chivas seems to have changed
its mind since 1962, and shows a glass
that contains much more ice than whisky.
It's obviously a good way of drinking
less, that is...
- Glenfiddich, which always
advertised its NAS/8 yo /12 yo range
'with ice', finds a clever way of
talking to its German customers: the
12 yo must be drunk on ice (left),
the other ones neat (right).
- Yet, Jim Beam Black,
the brand that never brags about itself
but says it's 'The highest rated
whiskey', shows another glass
that contains much more ice than whiskey.
- And finally, Jack
Daniels says 'Crafted
with care. Please enjoy it the same
way' while showing a guy from
the distillery with a 'neat' copita,
and for the consumer, two big tumblers
with lots of ice. Very logical, eh?
- Greenore 8 yo (40%, OB, single
grain) This one has been
distilled at Cooley, in Ireland. Colour:
straw. Nose: heavy notes of caramel,
burnt wood and vanilla cream at first
nosing. Very grainy, with some notes
of hot milk, getting somewhat dusty…
Develops on mashed potatoes and breadcrumb,
with some feint hints of flowers (a
bit of violet). Quite simple and undemanding.
Mouth: the attack is sort of weak,
with some notes of burnt wood, burnt
sugar and overcooked fruits, banana
flambéed, rum… Not really
satisfying and too sweetish, with
some hints of overcooked herbal tea.
It gets somewhat spicy (cinnamon)
but that isn’t enough to make
it interesting. Well, Cooley makes
some much, much better single malts
– and even blends. 60
listening: if you desperately need
some 'sunny' music right now, try
Três Filhos - mp3. A Brazilian
Al Jarreau? Maybe... But we'll see
if you'll manage not to tap your feet...
Btw, take care, the end is... well,
quite brutal! Please buy his music
if you like it.
FOR THE WEEKEND - Fellow
Malt Maniac Peter Silver, from New-York
City, draws our attention to this
nice and funny painting by Valery
Milovic, seen on eBay.com.
Its name is 'Mr. Pig Extols The
Virtues Of A Single Malt Whiskey'
and Taiwanese Maniac Ho-Cheng just
told us that the newspaper's headline
(bottom, right) reads something like
'sudden death of a man jams a main
street'. Erm... is it kind of a warning?
And who was the model for this? Anyway,
I quite like this 'oUtSiDeR art -
bRoKeN art', as Valery Milovic calls
- Glen Keith 1983 (43%, OB, circa
Colour: straw. Nose: starts in a nice
way, on lavender and liquorice. Hints
of cold ashes, matchstick. Gets quite
grassy (freshly mown lawn) and sourish
(Chinese sauce for the dim sums).
Hints of burnt caramel, with quite
some wood too. Mouth: quite bold,
herbal. Cold herbal tea, liquorice,
nutmeg, cinnamon. Hints of old wood
and coffee liquor. Medium long finish,
on infused camomile and lavender sweets.
I quite like it, because it’s
not just like any other MOTR Speysider.
FOR THE WEEKEND – Love,
what else? Recommended listening:
Panamean born Chocolate
Genius sings Love
- mp3. Yeah, love, love, love!
I don't know if this song has anything
to do with the downtown New-York avant-garde
scene as it ought to, but I do like
it. Please buy Chocolate Genius' music
if you like it too - coz of course
- TWO HEAVILY PEATED YOUNG JURAS
of Jura 5 yo 1999/2004 (60.6%, OB,
Colour: dark straw. Nose: big, bold
peat that takes no prisoners. Yawn…
It really smells ‘the kiln’,
but maybe not much else. Peat smoke
plus peat smoke = peat smoke x 2,
right? Mouth: ah, that’s better.
A lot of sweetness from the alcohol
plus, again, some big bold peat,
but that’s all, that is. Don’t
get me wrong, it’s quite enjoyable,
but I feel it’s somewhat like
pepper vodka: just pure alcohol
with an added flavour. Thank god
it’s a flavour I love! I found
some previous casks I tasted, like
#92 at 3 yo and #21 at 5 yo , to
be more complex, and aromatically
much more interesting. But what
a genuine peat monster, this one!
of Jura 5 yo 1999/2004 (61.3%, OB
for The Whiskyfair, cask #144)
Colour: golden straw. Nose: ah, here’s
something subtler. Lots of peat smoke
again, but also some burnt leaves,
cold ashes, beer, cooked apples. Again
it isn’t too complex but rather
interesting and smoother than #19.
Develops on hay and freshly cut grass.
Mouth: yawn, it’s strong! Biting,
pungent, yet sort of sweet. What a
beast! Lots of peat smoke, grass and
cold coffee. A rather simple one,
though, even if much more balanced
than #19. I like it better, no doubt.
Besides, the water works well with
this one, helping many fruity flavours
to develop (apple compote). 85
– Highly recommended
listening, just in case you don't
know it: 1983, Ryuichi
'Kyojoo' Sakamoto plays
Colours - mp3 with the great David
Sylvian - see February 17 - on vocals.
That's right, the theme was the same
as Sakamoto's 'Merry Xmas, Mr Lawrence',
the OST for that famous movie with
David Bowie and Tom Conti. Remember?
Many cried... And if you want more
of the excellent music by 'The Professor'
- mp3 or his superb, 2002 rendition
of Caetano Veloso's Coraçoa
Vagabundo - mp3 with Paula Morelenbaum's
beautiful singing. Wow! Please buy
WHISKY ADS - JIM BEAM: 'YOU ALWAYS
COM BACK TO THE BASICS'
(a click on the images
will show you larger ones)
- Xmas trees
very interesting and clever series
of ads run by Jim Beam at the turn
of the 90's and that stresses the
vanity of fashion and its cycles.
Whether Jim Beam is a basic whiskey
or not is another question... And
I hope they weren't suggesting we
should buy a bottle every 30 or 40
years, because that would have been
a rather strange way of building customer
loyalty, don't you think?
– THE ART OF BLENDING?
The Century of Malts (40%, OB)
This one is a blend of 100 different
malts that was launched quite a while
ago, so it’s technically a Pure
Malt – sorry, a Blended Malt
Whisky. I'm curious because they are
now selling the blended Chivas 18
yo at a higher price, which could
be bad news for the 'Century' regarding
their confidence in its quality. Colour:
pure gold. Nose: fresh and rather
clean, but curiously simple and undemanding.
Vague hints of sherry and freshly
cut apple, together with a bit of
caramel and fresh cream, but not much
else. Was it really worth the trouble
– and the fuss? Mouth: rather
bold attack but again, really un-definite.
Notes of sherry and wood, together
with some toffee and dried orange…
That’s all. Of course it’s
drinkable, but it isn’t any
better than a simple Single Malt like,
say Tamnavulin or Tamdhu. A perfect
example of a 70 points
Blended 35 yo (46%, Duncan Taylor)
This one is a blend composed in the
early 80's that has been then re-racked
for further maturing. Colour: full
amber. Nose: yes, this is something
else! Lots of ‘old’ smells
like beeswax, shoe polish, old turpentine,
pine needles… really great and
beautifully complex. Yet, it’s
fresh and lively. Great hints of mint,
eucalyptus, camphor, smoke and liquorice.
The wood is beautiful, bringing some
subtle spices and some great notes
of fresh vanilla from the Bourbon
isles (nothing to do with the whiskey
;-). I don’t know if they did
put some of their legendary old Invergordons
in there, but this blend is superbly
composed. Mouth: wow, how bold and
powerful! Extremely enveloping, with
lots of oak but a nice one. Very elegant,
very satisfying, with bunches of fruity
flavours and spices, mostly white
pepper. Rich and complex indeed, and
not tired in any sort of way at such
an old age. Wow! 90 points
– yes, for a blend!
listening: 'Sinatra on Prozac,
Nick Cave on Lithium... Simultaneously
beautiful and horrifying'
- that's what his record company says
about New Orleans artist Glyn
Styler. Hey, that's support!
You'd better listen to The
desperate ones - mp3 and judge
by yourself... I did, and I liked
it a lot. Please buy Glyn Styler's
JUST IN! - We
could get hold of this official
photograph of the brand new Beckham
baby. When our special
reporter asked Posh where she'd
go to recover after the accouchement,
she answered: "We are considering
the Black Cuillins, despite the
fact that David has good contacts
with the Brora Rangers..."
- THREE YOUNG INDIE BOWMORES
(Bowmore) 1992/2002 (56%, Aflodal,
cask #3740, 310 bottles)
The name ‘Lochindaal’
might hint at Bruichladdich but
this one is indeed a Bowmore. Odd.
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: wow,
lots of peat! Very clean, rather
austere, with some notes of wet
straw, hay… Hints of Schweppes,
white pepper, with no oily notes
at all. Really great, even if not
overly complex. Mouth: again, a
beautiful peaty attack, with loads
of gentian roots, earth, smoked
tea, dill. Extremely clean and pure
even if, again, not too complex.
One to try chilled, on caviar or
oysters! Hints of chilli, green
pepper… The finish is long
and delicately peaty, which leaves
your mouth fresh like a baby’s
mouth. An excellent young cask strength
Bowmore, far, very far from the
official version. Good news! 90
points. (Thanks, Peter)
10 yo 1992/2002 (46%, McNeill’s
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: finely
smoky, peaty, and maritime at first
nosing. Extremely fresh and clean.
Hints of fresh oysters, seaweed…
Really delicate. Then comes a whole
basket of fresh white fruits, like
apples, pears, perhaps guavas…
Some white currant, gooseberry,
fresh banana… Beautiful! Notes
of fresh butter… Yes, ‘fresh’
is word considering this great Bowmore.
strong and bold, even a little prickly.
Lots of peat again, but also some
farmy notes this time, herbal tea,
dried grass, parsley and lots of mustard.
Hints of over-infused tea, lavender
sweets, green pepper… Less fruity
than what the nose suggested, but
it’s still extremely enjoyable.
The finish is rather long, herbal
and mustardy. Again, a very, very
nice indie Bowmore. 87 points.
15 yo 1989/2004 (46%, Hart Bros)
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: much
farmier, less clean and less pure
than the McNeill’s. Less smoky
but with more cardboard, beer, and
even dust. The fruity part is more
on cooked apples and ripe pears…
It’s nice, but nowhere near
the superb McNeill’s. Mouth:
ah, now it’s much fruitier.
Lots of apple, apricot, yellow plum…
Very good! Develops on aniseed, dill,
violet creme… Now it gets closer
to some OBs, with these usual strange
perfumy notes, but it stays below
the limits, which makes it most enjoyable.
The mouth was better than the nose
this time: good news! 84 points.
– Very highly
recommended listening - she could
have been Jimi's little sister:
Coleman plays You're
with me - mp3 live. Please,
please buy Deborah Coleman's music!
(photo Jen Taylor)
- They thought about
everything! If you ever wondered how
to carry your most cherished bottles
of whisky with style, here's
a company from New-York City, which
can provide you with this stunning
aluminum briefcase that holds six
bottles. Might also work with other
sorts of goods!
- THREE 'MINI' DUFFTOWNS
12 yo 1980/1993 (43%, The Master of
Malt, cask #19877)
Colour: almost white. Nose: clean
and quite fresh, very grassy, herbal.
Develops on quinquina, ginger ale,
freshly mown lawn. Hints of rubber
and copper polish. Not too enjoyable…
Aromatically quite narrow. Some hints
of bitter ale. Mouth: very grassy
attack, strong and penetrating. Cold
tea, mastic, liquorice, lavender sweets…
Very bitter but in a nice way, this
time. Notes of burnt bread, pepper…
The finish is quite long and grassy.
A rather nice Dufftown, with no sherry
at all. 80 points.
13 yo bottled 1991 (59.4%, James MacArthur)
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: loads
of coffee and rubber at first nosing,
the whole getting then extremely grassy.
Roots, straw, liquorice stick, gin
tonic. Quite mono-dimensional, and
even simple, but rather enjoyable.
Mouth: very powerful, with a lot of
sweetness from the alcohol. It gets
very peppery and almost bitter, and
makes me think of some raw fruit spirit.
Hints of ginger, dried pineapple…
Very estery! Lots of rubbery notes
developing… Maybe it’s
a little too simple. The finish is
medium long but quite spirity. In
short, a so-so Dufftown, but not a
bad one. 77 points
20 yo 1981/2002 (50%, DL Old Malt
Colour: dark amber, a little brownish.
Nose: big, bold sherry and some strong
notes of Guiness beer. Quite smoky
and rubbery, and perhaps some sulphur
from the cask. Lots of coffee and
toffee, with plenty of fresh mint
and smoked tea. Some very interesting
meaty notes (smoked ham, sausages).
Lots of ashes developing after a while.
What a nice nose, quite complex! Mouth:
wow, what a nice attack! Lots of sherry
but not of the ‘lumpish’
kind, rough but complex. Heavy dried
orange, green pepper, and lots of
‘winey’ notes, again of
the best kind. Some milk chocolate
and some caramel… It gets a
little sour and woody, but within
reasonable limits. Sure it’s
a sherry infusion – more a fortified
sherry than a sherried whisky, but
it’s a very good one. Besides,
the finish is very long, on Rivesaltes
wine, or Maury. Excellent! 88
– JAZZ - Highly
recommended listening: the great Egberto
Gismonti and fellow Brazilian
artist André Geraissati
play an almost Mozartian Karaté
- mp3 live. Absolutely beautiful,
even anti-jazz and anti-brazilian
music people will love it, I'm sure.
Please buy Egberto Gismonti's music,
'Alma', for instance, is a must.
This one comes from G&M's 'Private
Bottlings' series, and has been made
for a new Milanese club settled by
Giorgio D'Ambrosio and Andrea Giannone,
Whisky'. It's been issued only
for club members, but the membership
fees are 10 Euros, so... And there
are only 120 bottles!
– THE BATTLE OF THE PEATED GIANTS
The new Ardbeg 1972 for France finally
reached my doorstep, and as I had
high expectations, I decided to taste
it ‘against’ two of my
all-time favourites peat monsters:
the Port Ellen 22 yo 1979 ‘1st
Annual Release’ and the ’61.1%’
version of the Brora 22 yo 1972 ‘Rare
1972/2004 (49.2%, OB for France, bourbon
hogshead, cask #2781, 216 bottles)
Ah, a pure old Ardbeg! It’s
not that I don’t like the sherried
ones, but I’m always more interested
in the ‘naked’ versions.
Let’s taste this one now…
Colour: pale gold. Nose: wow, lots
of lemongrass and grapefruit juice
at first nosing. The peat is soon
to arrive but it’s a very elegant
one, far, very far from the trendy
‘smack in your face’ kind
of peat promoted by… Ardbeg
(Very Young, anyone?) Some great notes
of seaweed, sea-urchins, oysters…
The lemony smells strike back after
a moment, and then the peat smoke
again, and then the sea elements…
And all these aromas finally melt
to give us something really beautiful
and unique: an old and pure Ardbeg.
oh, what a stunner! A sweet and almost
funnily lumpish attack on apple pie
and pink grapefruit, which doesn’t
manage to hide the big, bold, yet
elegant peat blast for very long.
Sneaky! It then gets both extremely
lemony and smoky, like if you were
enjoying some smoked oysters with
lemon juice. And no sign of over-ageing
whatsoever! Perhaps it’s not
extremely complex, but it’s
superbly compact and amazingly satisfying.
The finish is very, very peaty and
again, lemony (or rather on grapefruit).
Ah, I’m so glad this ‘Ardbeg
for France’ isn’t a sherried
one! Austerity at its best! 95
Ellen 22 yo 1979/2001 ‘Annual
Release’ (56.2%, OB, first release)
I had planned to use the 22 yo 1978
Rare Malts, which I prefer, but I
haven't any opened bottle left at
this very moment. Colour: dark straw.
Nose: ah, this is something completely
different. Sweeter and much rubberier
right at the start, with some typical
notes of tyres, tar, pepper…
Some fruity notes emerge, like apple,
green pear, green plum. Yet, it’s
finally even more austere than the
Ardbeg, and perhaps a little less
then gets quite vegetal (wet fern,
moss) and even a little mineral (wet
chalk). A great one, perhaps just
slightly less stunning than the new
Ardbeg. Mouth: again, it’s crispier
and fruitier at the same time, but
still very austere. More tar, more
rubber, and much, much more pepper.
Some sweetness but it comes from the
alcohol. It then grows more and more
powerful and drier… What a body!
The pepper grows even stronger after
a few minutes… And the sweetness
vanishes, leaving just a mixture of
smoke, pepper and lemon zest that
might displease the lovers of round
and smooth whiskies – but not
the peat heads, obviously. The finish
is very long but again, very austere.
Decidedly! 93 points.
22 yo 1972/1995 (61.1%, Rare Malts)
The malt that still reigns supreme
on my ‘bottled recently’
list – although with another
ABV, but it’ll rejoin the ‘old
bottles list’ later on this
year, where it will have to fight
some old stunners by Springbank and
Bowmore… Anyway, let’s
have a go at it now. Colour: pale
gold. Nose: ha, this one is even more
austere than the Port Ellen! Sharp
like a blade, on pure peat smoke and
beer, with some notes of sour apples.
Lots of seaweed and iodine developing
after a moment, together with some
cold ashes, balsamic vinegar, and
perhaps some whiffs of wet dog. Absolutely
stunning, exactly my taste! And it’s
let’s sum up for the moment:
1st the Brora, 2nd the Ardbeg, 3rd
the Port Ellen. But they’re
all stunning! Mouth: oh yes! Again,
quite a lot of sweetness right at
the start – the alcohol again
– but then there’s a beautiful
peat blast with lots of salt (which
I didn’t get in both the Ardbeg
and the Port Ellen). It then gets
saltier and saltier, with some hints
of oak, loads of peppery notes, some
lemon again, and quite some spices
like clove and chilli. Some hints
of mustard, green tea, wasabi…
It’s more complex than both
the Ardbeg and the Port Ellen, in
fact. Even if, again, it's very austere.
The finish is extremely long, on salt
and un-sugared strong tea. Well, perhaps
like the Port Ellen, this one is an
acquired taste. It’s not immediately
appealing like the Ardbeg, and certainly
more ‘difficult’. But
what a grand whisky! I’ll give
it 96 points, just
one point less than the ‘58.7%’
version which is perhaps even more
complex – and just a little
– PEATY BLUES?
When I first wrote about Paul
music - on Feb 7th - I was far from
guessing that the skilled L.A. blues
guitarist is also a single malt aficionado,
and that his Stratocaster happens
to be fuelled by some ’30
something year old Bowmore’
(not always, Paul told me it’s
also fuelled by Johnnie Walker Black
– maybe at rehearsals?) So,
now it’s time to check whether
Paul’s licks are peated or not,
and if his tremolos are as sweet as
some perfectly ripe mangos. The answer
is in The
Hookman – mp3. Yeah, there
are also some nice hints of old oak
in there! ;-)
Anyway, please buy Paul’s CD
‘Bluteus Maximus’ if you
like his ‘peaty blues’.
And oh, btw, Paul advises us to have
a look at the Blindman's
Blues Forum. 'The Blindman'
himself is a Scottish drummer who
knows and enjoys the good stuff....',
he adds. Ah yes, blues and malt, the
- TWO KNOCKANDO OBs
1987/1999 (40%, OB)
Colour: straw. Nose: very light
and fresh, on caramel, dried flowers,
and vanilla, perhaps slightly vinous.
Sort of enjoyable, actually. Hints
of beer, mashed potatoes and hot
milk. Not too interesting but flawless.
Mouth: smooth and a little grainy,
but not flat, nor dull. Cereals,
porridge, oak, caramel, vanilla…
Getting just a little dry. The finish
is medium long, nicely balanced,
and bolder than expected. Perfect
if you just want a whisky. 78
1984/1998 (43%, OB, US)
Colour: straw, but darker. Nose:
quite similar but a little drier
and woodier, and perhaps a little
less fresh. Some added dried fruits
and chocolate. It’s got more
flesh and is more satisfying. A
nice nose, again, totally flawless
if not a thrill. Mouth: really close
to the 1987, with just a little
more oomph, but that could be just
the extra-alcohol. Better this than
a 'dodgy' single cask, that’s
for sure! 80 points.
– JAZZ - Highly
recommended listening for the weekend:
great virtuoso Mauro
Senise plays Weekend
- mp3, precisely. To be tried
if you're in a bad mood... It won't
last for long! It makes me think of
some old Richie Cole records I have
somewhere in my basement - I really
have to put my hands on them again.
Anyway, please buy Mauro Senise's
music if you like it.
- TWO DALMORES
17 yo 1985 (40%, Longman Distillers,
Here’s one of these ugly 'recycled'
fighting brands: I think this one
was for Germany and of course it's
not one of these rare old malts
from the long gone Glenfoyle distillery.
Colour: gold with an orange hue.
Nose: very winey at first nosing,
slightly sour. Overripe banana,
rum, old wood… Hints of ‘chemical’
vanilla cream and orange zest. Grand-Marnier.
Whiffs of smoke. Not too bad! Mouth:
very sweetish attack, with some
weird soapy notes. Really bad! Rotten
fruits, cheap rum, burnt sugar,
shampoo (you know, when it gets
into your mouth…) Gets then
very dusty: old plank, cardboard…
Too bad, the finish is rather long
and… soapy. Aaargh! Yes, not
all single malts were top notch
in the ‘good ol’days’!
59 points because
the nose wasn’t too horrible,
30 yo 1963/1993 (54.5%, Cadenhead)
Colour: light straw, almost white
wine. Nose: quite oaky at first nosing,
with lots of vanilla. Develops very
nicely on cooked apple, grain, butter…
It then gets nicely flowery, which
is strange considering its age: lily
from the valley, peony… And
then very, very nutty, mainly on roasted
hazelnuts. Hints of fresh almonds,
grass and straw… It’s
rather subtle. Feint hints of old
papers. Oh, wait, now it gets fruity,
on citrus and fresh pineapple. Great!
Mouth: superb attack, very lively!
Lots of fruits and pepper, together
with some nice oaky notes. Gets a
little prickly. Cooked apples, spices,
grass… Too bad, the tannins
get very aggressive and drying, making
the rather long finish quite bitter.
Anyway, this one is very ‘natural’,
whatever that means, and I like nature
;-). 86 points then
(but the sherry and/or peat freaks
won’t like it too much).
- Recommended listening:
the Canadian band The
Bills play Let
em run - mp3 with fiddles and
all that. From here it sounds like
a mix of Cajun and Irish music - with
a dash of 'humour'. What's sure is
that they are extremely good and full
of energy! Please buy their music
if you like it!
on eBay, these funny little bottles.
From left to right:
Old Croak, Kentucky
Straight Embalming Fluid, 100 Proof
- Bobbled by - U.R.Stiff.
Discomfort The Grand Old
Drink of the House, Mud on the Bank
of the Mississippi, Southern Comfort
Bilge Whiskey, 4/5 Snort,
The Pain Killer of the Plains, Best
Either for Man or Beast, Wild West
Pottling Company, Coated Tongue, S.
Dakota. - Thanks Mayoliver.
ADS RACE GOES ON -
These are two new ads I did for the
malt maniacs - who, of course, encourage
responsible drinking. Click on them
and you'll get larger ones.
can download them, copy them, resize
them, pass them, use them as banners
for links, whatever... But please
don't alter them. Thanks!
listening: I'm not too much into this
kind of 'electronic dance-lounge music'
(eh?) usually, but here it's Robert
Fripp's buddy, the great David
Sylvian singing! Have
a try at the remix of Linoleum
- mp3, from Chris Vrenna's album
'Tweaker'. It's very nicely done!
And please buy David Sylvian's music
if you like it! Another one who got
much better with age...
- TWO MORTLACHS H2H
1984/1995 (40%, G&M Centenary
Colour: light gold. Nose: nicely
fresh and quite spicy (white pepper
and nutmeg). Gets quickly very classical,
with lots of caramel, fudge, dried
oranges, dried pear. Rather expressive!
Notes of light honey and lavender,
getting more and more floral. Very,
very elegant. Mouth: dry attack,
with quite a lot of cardboard and
dust. A little disjointed and bitter.
This palate is already marked by
the wood, and really lacks sweetness…
It gets quite bitter, but also weak
and watery. Very, very different
from what the nose suggested. Yet,
some nice fruity notes emerge after
five minutes, but it isn’t
quite enough to make it to 80 points.
79 points, then.
1990/2004 (46%, Wilson & Morgan,
Colour: amber. Nose: starts on coffee
and toffee, with hints of sulphur.
Some nice hints of camphor then, just
before a whole bunch of dried fruits
arrive (orange, pineapple, guava,
pear). Lots of sherry too, but of
a very elegant kind. Great notes of
violets, with some interesting Provence
herbs (thyme). Hints of soy sauce
and smoke. Compact and complex at
the same time: nice! Mouth: bold and
powerful, with lots of sherry and
dried orange zest. A little bitter
again. Lots of burnt breadcrumb, infused
tealeaves, bitter chocolate. Some
sourish notes from the sherry…
Again a malt that lacks a little sweetness
and balance on the palate, but it’s
still quite enjoyable, globally. Long
finish, on orange zest, but getting
a little too drying…
Carling Apollo Hammersmith, London
Friday, February 11th - by
it’s something to do with
the drugs. If Snoop
consumption is anything to go by
this is a man with a serious habit.
And then I read later in the weekend’s
press that he’s now only a
two ounce a day man, having cut
back from a quarter of a pound (Serge,
what is the cask-strength equivalent?).
very heavy gangsta shite (as ol’
Snoop might say) and quite possibly
the cause of the fog of amnesia that
leads him to endlessly ask his audience
at the Apollo, “What’s
my name?”, of the occasional
anger and frustration he shows, “I
SAID, what’s my motherfucking
name?”. Not that the assembled
throng seem to mind such was their
hazy good humour, despite the fact
that (body searches at the door notwithstanding)
I was convinced that we were surrounded
by more knives than you would normally
find in the cutlery department at
it’s Friday night, two in a
row for me in Hammersmith, and the
Snoopster is eventually with us having
had a busy early evening with ‘live’
TV appearances for Top of the Pops
(plugging his new single ‘Let’s
get Blown’; “he’s
a wanker” says my daughter)
and the Brit Awards. He’s on
stage surrounded by a fog of smoke
(no surprise there then) wearing an
England football shirt, which the
crowd love. It’s a No 5 shirt,
which might make the recently narcotically
challenged Rio Ferdinand a bit upset,
but hell, Snoop’s only doing
his best to make everyone happy.
includes his audience, his band (real
musicians, real instruments, I’m
astonished!), his buxomly bottomed
dancers, the crowd of hangers-on in
the wings (including ‘the dancing
machine’, aka Snoop’s
uncle, who spends most of the night
at the edge of the stage leering at
the girls below), record company marketing
men, film studio executives, various
lawyers and judges, and even the franchise
holders for the ‘Snoop de Grille’,
soon to be available from BBQ stores
somewhere near you. In fact I observe
that the artiste formerly known as
Snoop Doggy Dogg is trying so hard
to please everyone (hell, he’s
even got the Bee Gees on his new album
Rhythm and Gangsta) that he’s
lost his place at the head of the
pack. According to his PR machine
he used to be “a young nigga
who was on the edge”. Now he’s
so far away from the edge that he’s
one-time King of gangsta rap should
at least be thankful that he still
has his brilliant debut album, Doggystyle,
to depend on. Yes I know, its crude
and misogynistic sentiments are offensive
to the sensibilities of liberal middle
class white boys like me (and of course,
our ‘bitches’). But it
was a marvellously executed piece
of work (no doubt largely due to the
influence of the good Dr Dre), mixing
musical and lyrical wit with quite
astonishing verbal dexterity. I should
add that it gave a serous boost to
my pension fund, as the song ‘Gin
and juice’ (and the accompanying
video) proved a far better stimulus
to the sale of Tanqueray in the USA
than either earlier unlooked for musical
tributes (Johnnie Johnson and Keith
or the brand’s hugely expensive
advertising campaign. So a big Bow
Wow to that!
for da Snoop the album was a peak
never to be reached again. And once
he exhausted this backbone of his
material on Friday (interspersed with
some ho’ hum makeweights and
arm-waving chants) he’d also
exhausted both the interest, and patience,
of much of his audience. Had it not
been for the appearance of the hugely
popular Pharrell Williams, which reignited
the enthusiasm of the audience just
in time for the finale, then I think
the whole evening would have faded
into a barely smouldering dog-end.
But with truly awful sound all night,
and a stage act that was just the
end of a leash away from grotesque
self-parody, what could you expect?
Every dog has his day, or so they
say. Snoop’s, I suspect has
passed, and now its time he learned
some new trixx.- Nick Morgan (photos
Thank you Nick, that's dedication,
but are you expected to attend any
event that's more or less related
to that famous drink giant that
owns Tanqueray? I've heard Archers
Aqua will sponsor The Osmonds and
Rubettes Reunion Big Band with The
Gary Glitter Revival Extravaganza
next year... So much good fun in
perspective! Now, maybe that will
be better than that 'arrogant, decadent,
headstrong, debauched, licentious,
spoilt, pompous bitch' named B.S.
But I digress... I've been searching
some Snob Doug... errrr... Snoop
Dogg mp3's on the Web (while my
children weren't looking) and here's
what I could find: Tha
Last Supper - mp3. Not even
sure it's the genuine stuff, with
all these remixes, sorry.
– THREE OLDIES BY SCOTT’S
Ellen 14 yo 1983/1997 (56.9%, Scott’s
Colour: straw. Nose: powerful! Lots
of smoke, tar, rubber, and some quite
unusual ‘farmy’ notes
in this young Port Ellen. Very clean
and straightforward, even if far from
being complex. A smack in your face
Port Ellen. Mouth: surprisingly sweet,
yet very smoky at the same time. Bold
and powerful, getting smokier and
smokier, with lots of tar and some
fresh fruits (strawberry, kiwi). Another
cute little monster!
finish is long but perhaps a little
simple (smoke and sugar). A very direct
young Port Ellen for peat nuts. 87
22 yo 1974/1996 (56.9%, Scott’s
Colour: dark amber. Nose: full-bodied
and satisfying, but quite woody. Lots
of burnt cake, nuts, toffee, caramel…
Hints of liquorice and fresh vanilla.
Mouth: again, bold and coating, very
classical, on toffee, cookies, orange
marmalade and praline, with a long
finish. Very compact and ‘direct’,
but not overly complex. 85
the index of all entries:
malts I had these weeks - 90+
points only - alphabetical:
1972/2004 (49.2%, OB for France, bourbon
hogshead, cask #2781, 216 bottles)
22 yo 1972/1995 (61.1%, Rare Malts)
(Bowmore) 1992/2002 (56%, Aflodal,
cask #3740, 310 bottles)
Ellen 22 yo 1979/2001 ‘Annual Release’
(56.2%, OB, first release)