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Hi, you're in the Archives, February 2009 - Part 2
       

February 2009 - part 1 <--- February 2009 - part 2 ---> March 2009 - part 1

 

February 28, 2009


 

CRAZY WHISKY COMMERCIALS - F*CKING FUNNY?
It seems that these are Romanian commercials. These people have understood everything about Scotland, haven't they?
 
 
Oban

TASTING – TWO OBAN

Oban 14yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008) Colour: gold. Nose: this well known westerner starts as coastal as expected, with whiffs of sea air, quite some iodine, dried kelp… It’s also maybe a tad soapy (just a tad). Other than that we get bitter oranges, butterscotch, grass and a faint smokiness that gives it a pleasant elegance. Actually, this is an unusual profile, coastal but not fully so, candied but not fully so, fruity but not fully so… That gives it maybe a slight fragility. After 15 minutes: quite some beer and baker’s yeast now. Mouth: once again, this is a little dichotomous. Orange cake and caramel on one side and salt and tea on the other side, with a little lemon bringing everything together. Finish: medium long, drier than expected. Tea and a little tinned pineapple in the aftertaste. Comments: an intriguing dram, less easy and ‘commercial’ than one would expect. SGP:442 – 80 points.
Oban 18 yo 1978/1996 (59%, Signatory, cask #215, 272 bottles) Independent Obans are very rare but I already had a 1963 by Cadenhead that was absolutely stunning. Colour: white wine. Nose: rather harsh, very grassy, flinty and grainy… Water may well be needed right from the start. With water (neat): well, this is quite spectacular. An immense grassiness, extremely nice, and various herbs such as rosemary, sage and bay leaves plus quite some wax and shoe polish. Very classy, old school whisky. Mouth (neat): rather smooth at the attack but then it just doesn’t stop growing bigger and more assertive. Raspberry eau-de-vie, ginger, cloves and orange liqueur. Yes, unusual! With water: it got truly wonderful! Perfect combination of ‘resinous’ fruits (orange zest, walnuts) with an oily waxiness and lots of spices, first ginger and then peppermint, plain black pepper and even a little cumin. Excellent, perfect balance. Finish: long, ending on peppered oranges and just a pinch of salt. Comments: a very classy dram that takes its time but that just wouldn’t stop getting more and more complex yet compact after a few minutes. The OB to the power of two. SGP:462 - 91 points.

MUSIC – Recommended listening: something very sweet by Cabo Verde's Sara Tavares, it's called Lisboa Kuya and it's on Balancê. Please buy her music a.s.a.p.

Sara Tavares
 

February 21, 2009


Black and White ON HOLIDAYS!

Whiskyfun will be on holidays for a few days and we’ve decided to limit our digital (but not liquid!) activities during this week, so please don’t expect any new posts until next weekend, unless, unless…. Anyway, we’ll be away in a beautiful German speaking country so we thought we should post this marvellous 1970 German ad for Black & White. Ha, Germans!
Copy: Wenn ein Mann black & white sieht… dann denkt er an Whisky, der an der Spitze steht. (When a man sees black & white… he thinks of a whisky that’s on top.)
Ben Nevis

TASTING
TWO ‘GERMAN’ 1967 BEN NEVIS

Ben Nevis 37 yo 1967/2004 (54.4%, OB, for Alambic Classique, Sherry hogshead, cask #2219, 225 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: unusual, very unusual. Like cooked ham that would have been coated with a mixture of tar and chestnut purée… I know this sounds very weird but this whisky truly starts like no other. Then we have a sudden burst of tropical fruits, especially mangos and passion fruits, then walnut liqueur, then strong coffee (and maybe also chicory coffee), the apple peeling, then leather polish… And here they come, the trademark notes of fresh strawberries that are often to be found in Ben Nevis in our opinion… Then we’re more on strawberry jam… Then we get a faint mouldiness and a little rubber… This one just wouldn’t keep quiet! Highly entertaining on the nose. Mouth: punchy and wackier than on the nose, starting on a rather heavy but not unpleasant woodiness, like some overinfused herbal tea (aniseed, thyme). Gets then meaty and kind of ‘Indian’ (curry, cardamom) and finally maybe just a tad bitterish but also with nice notes of bitter oranges and cinchona (Campari at cask strength ;-)) Finish: long, back on these notes of chestnut purée that we found in the nose. Comments: very unusual and needing your attention, not one to sip while watching a stoopid moovie on TV. In short, a demanding but ‘anti-boring’ old whisky. SGP:462 - 88 points.
Ben Nevis 41 yo 1967/2008 (50.1%, OB, for Alambic Classique, Sherry hogshead, cask #1280, 103 bottles) Yes, only 72 or 73 litres have been left in this cask by the greedy angels! Colour: brown/bronze. Nose: we’re in the same family but this is has much, much more sherried tones, hence more coffee, more tar and more toasted/burnt oak and cake at first nosing. The strawberry jam is well here as well, leather polish too, old walnuts… And once again a fruity blast occurs, this time more on kiwis (agreed, that can be close to fresh strawberries). The whole gets finally more and more leathery and, just like its younger twin, pleasantly mouldy. Not really classic but once again, anything but boring. Hints of very old rum coming through after twenty minutes. Mouth: amazingly big, rich and concentrated at 40 years of age, when so many other malts start to get a tad, err… Say slightly senile. Once again there’s a lot of strawberries but more as liqueur this time, together with a heavy liquorice and these tarry notes that we already had on the nose. Other than that we have a lot of ultra-dry sherry character (flor), a load of bitter chocolate, litres of un-sugared coffee (ristretto!) and buckets of walnut liqueur. And hints of bitter herbs liqueur (pick your fav’rit’ brand). Finish: very long and a tad fruitier again (strawberries never give up, do they), with a lot of dark chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste and at the retro-olfaction. Dry sherry, what else? Comments: spectacularly big dry sherry and, above all, no traces of sulphur. Sure you have to love heavy sherry to like this but if you do, you’ll adore this Ben Nevis (err, does that make any sense?) SGP:373 - 90 points.

MUSIC – Recommended listening: he's a teacher in our little valley in Alsace and his name is Patrick Breitel (no website yet it seems...) He's singing a funny blues called Elsasser Assa... In Alsatian! You should buy Patrick Breitel's music but to do that you have to come over here to find his CD... at the butcher's!

Hansi
Alternatively, you may find many of the delicious Alsatian dishes and specialties he's signing about on the website of La Cigogne Gourmande (the gourmand stork).
 

February 20, 2009


Bruichladdich 18

TASTING
THREE 18yo LADDIES

Bruichladdich 18 yo (40%, Duthie for Giorgio d'Ambrosio, early 1980s?) Colour: full gold. Nose: fine and complex right at first nosing, with big whiffs of melon (not just the pulp, the whole fruit with its skin) as well as notes of old roses and antique perfume, very feminine (Joy de Patou?). Hints of bergamots and herbs (chives, coriander). Really smells like a high-end perfume (not the other one - facing extinction thank god – rgar we know only too well among whisky aficionados). Beautiful nose, rather unusual. Great OBE too. Mouth: really big at just 40% (probably 39 or 38% after all these years in glass), unexpectedly salty and superbly and delicately sherried and mentholated. Like old-fashioned cough sweets – remember the original Pulmolls? Hints of plum spirit and apricots and then more salt. Oysters. Very ‘Islayer without the peat’ if that makes any sense. Finish: medium long but still very salty. Salted apricots? Comments: this one reminds me of these legends about Islay barrels being rolled into seawater so that they could board the puffers that couldn’t reach the shore… Hence their huge saltiness. Ha, legends! SGP:352 - 88 points. (and thank you, Patrick)
Bruichladdich 18 yo 2nd Edition (46%, OB, Matured in Petit Manseng casks from Clos Uroulat, Sweet Jurançon, 2008) Jurançon is in the far southwest of France, and all wines are white there and mainly sweet. Petit Manseng is the grape variety. Colour: straw. Nose: not easy! Much less demonstrative than the first version of the 18 (Opitz Pinot Noir) and actually quite shy, with notes of fresh wood, barrel (slight mouldiness), grass and ashes. As if the wine cask had sort of neutralised the usually more expressive spirit. Takes off a bit after quite some minutes (butter pears and pineapples, plums) but never gets really, well, expressive. The wine is discreet, even if there are a few perfumy notes flying around (roses again.) Mouth: the wine is more obvious here. Hints of pineapple liqueur – or pineapple-flavoured tea, vanilla fudge and ‘white wine’, getting then rather more citrusy (grapefruits). Nicely made but not exactly my cup of malt because it’s a tad too dual for my taste (whisky + wine). Finish: rather long, more lemony. Just a little rubber in the aftertaste. Comments: pretty drinkable and guys who like these combos will really enjoy this, no doubt. I’ll go a little higher than when I first tried this baby blind, but I won’t swap one bottle of 2001 Resurrection for 12 bottles of this. SGP:541 - 79 points.
Bruichladdich 18 yo 1989/2008 (49%, OB, Bourbon Cask Strength, Asia) Colour: gold. Nose: straight, raw, natural and ultra-clean spirit, with some vanilla but not too much (not a wood bomb at all), the same kind of notes of melon skin as in the oldie, hints of kirsch (fruit stones) and fresh almonds and then a pleasant grassiness. Quite self-restrained but elegant and classy, far from the more exuberant wine-ace’d Laddies. More oak coming out after a while. Mouth: this is good! Once again, it’s a little raw and unpolished but it’s straight ahead natural malt whisky, right at the border between grassiness and fruitiness. Apples, white peaches, chlorophyll gums, liquorice… This one really grows on you, the liquoricy notes getting bigger and bigger. I like liquorice! Finish: long, on, well, liquoricy apples – should that exist. Comments: very good whisky, a little austere but very ‘honest’ and pleasing. Exactly the opposite of a ‘commercial ‘ malt whisky, I’d say. Did this one have go to Asia? SGP:441 - 86 points.

MUSIC – Recommended listening: Yes, time to have a little blues again… Why not Oscar ‘Buddy’ Woods, king of slide guitar, singing the Lone wolf blues around 1935? (that’s on the very good CD The Early Blues Roots Of Led Z). Please buy these old bluesmen’s music.

Oscar Woods
 

February 19, 2009


Glann ar Mor TASTING – GLANN AR MOR'S FIRST

This first official bottling ever of Britanny’s Glann ar Mor is out… And more or less sold out. We already tried some cask samples from both the unpeated and the peated version and both having being much to our liking, we’re more than happy to be able to taste this new baby. Now, to which other bottling should we oppose it? Obviously not to another Glann ar Mor, as there isn’t any yet (the peated version should be out in November this year, watch it!) so let’s try this in solo for once, with just Glenmorangie 10 and Tyrconnel NAS as benchmarks on the side.
Glann ar Mor ‘Taol Esa – 1än Gwech 08’ (46%, OB, bourbon barrel, 305 bottles, 2008) Gee, we already had to learn Gaelic with the Scots, and now we have to learn Breton. So much for dwindling languages! Colour: white wine. Nose: sure it may be the extra-3% but this is clearly bigger and more aromatic than the Glenmo. And truth is that I really like this (and I really, really, really mean it, it’s not just because I’m French! ;-)) Starts on vanilla, as expected, but also on rather beautiful notes of resin varnish, with the fruits coming out after a few seconds. Fresh orange juice (quite a lot), fresh almonds, hints of grapefruits… But rather less pears and pineapples than expected, which means that this is already quite mature indeed. Quite some muesli too and distant whiffs of sea spray. Oh, and fresh almonds! It’s complex spirit that’s got a few similarities with the Tyrconnel (ah, youth!) but that truly destroyed the rather shy Glenmorangie. Mouth: it’s powerful, fat and oily and one may recognise the small pot stills’ work here. It’s more or less the same sequences as on the nose, first oak and resins, then fruits (hints of bananas) with notes of cough syrup and plain eucalyptus, and finally more fruits (cider apples) with a little bubblegum and a slightly grassy ‘capsule’ around the whole. Really characterfull. Finish: long, frankly grassier and waxier now, with more obvious signs of youth that should disappear after a few more years of maturing. After all, this is barely 3yo! Comments: Brittany is a little hotter than Scotland (but just as ‘maritime and Atlantic’) so whiskies mature fairly quicker and this cask seems to have been very active, even if this 3yo is still a bit in the junior league. We aren’t very far from Scotland’s Northeastern coast here… and with style and panache! SGP:461 - 84 points.

BONUS - This photograph of owner Jean Donnay doing the first trials at Glann ar Mor a few years ago. The process was soon to be very much improved after these very early days, as it was decided that the stills would be better driven from the outside (whilst the spirit would get less beefy ;-).

 

Jean Donnay

MUSIC – Recommended listening: She’s from Naples, Italy, she’s big in Japan it seems, and she’s singing the very nice Valse de la lune in French (from Wolf’s Rain O.S.T.). Here name is Ilaria Graziano; please buy her music.

Ilaria
 

February 18, 2009


Glenlivet 1972

TASTING – TWO 1972 GLENLIVET AND A BONUS

Glenlivet 36 yo 1972/2008 (44.9%, Alambic Classique, Jamaica Rum finish, cask #810251, 228 bottles) To be precise, this one was finished for ten months in a cask from Long Pond Distillery. Colour: full gold. Nose: quite superb I must say but the first whiffs are of plain rum, with a lot of sugarcane, overripe bananas and that very particular grassiness that’s only to be found in Caribbean rums. It’s very interesting to nose this alongside an original official 1972 Glenlivet… Very different spirits for sure and not much of Glenlivet to be found in here (even if ‘Glenlivet’ isn’t too easy to define.) Okay, enough gibberish, this is simply a very, very nice Caribbean rum with a Scottish base, the latter only come through at deeper nosing, with hints of ale and wet hay. Mouth: once again, it’s the rum that talks first, with quite some brown sugar, dried bananas and notes of bergamots and orange marmalade, followed with a little milk chocolate and a slight smokiness. Actually, the whisky says zilch here! Finish: long and, once again, as rummy as rum, with only a faint maltiness and a little salt at the very end of the end. Comments: it must have been some rum in that barrel! Did they really check if the barrel had been emptied before pouring the whisky into it? Oh, and are you hesitating between an old rum and an old whisky as your next purchase? Hesitate no more, try this; Rumlivet, one of the best rums I ever tried ;-). SGP:650 - 88 points.
Glenlivet 1972/1998 (54.3%, OB, Vintage, Code 2LVF010) ‘Pure Single Malt Scotch Whisky’! Colour: full gold. Nose: this has nothing to do with the 36yo, it’s rather more subtle but also shy and discreet, with only a few floral notes flying around at first sniffing, as well as a little vanilla. Gets then rather maltier and candied, with hints of cloves and a little mocha but it’s still really low-key. A little fresh oak and hints of bubblegum. Let’s add water: nada, niente, nichts! Water just killed it – and it’ll never resurrect. Mouth (neat): more to my liking than on the nose when undiluted, more nervous but still round and very fruity (pineapple, Juicy Fruit, very ripe apricots). Quite honeyed and vanilled too. Good whisky now. With water: ah, now it worked, the whole getting smooth, fresh, even fruitier and more honeyed, also with more spices. Finish: it gets bigger and bigger now, while the nose stays almost dumb. Bizarre, bizarre, how bizarre… Comments: very good whisky for sure but maybe this one really suffered from the comparison with the highly exuberant Rumlivet. SGP:431 - 84 points.
BONUS – this one wasn’t distilled in 1972 but bottled in 1972: Avonside Glenlivet 33 yo 1938 (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, rotation 1972) I’m not too sure there’s Glenlivet inside, especially since some younger Avonsides were actually blends or vatted. It’ll be hard to find out after so many years… Colour: full gold. Nose: a first! Seriously, it’s the first time that I can nose a whisky that smells exactly like a basket of fresh mushrooms, and this is no joke. Believe me, there’s nothing else, only fresh mushrooms. Don’t worry, we’ll spare you useless descriptors such as “rhodopaxillus obscurus picked in early November at 6am” or “young boletus edulis found next to my stepfather’s country house” but you get the drift. And I absolutely adore mushrooms… Avonside
Mouth: well, this is less mushroomy, but still a bit on the mouldy side. Good body at the attack, with also very pleasant leathery notes, a little coffee, a little liquorice, a little mint, hints of aniseed, then more liquorice, then kind of an earthiness that leads us to… more mushrooms! Isn’t this whisky magic? Finish: not too long but clean, full and more candied and honeyed, with quite some mint in the aftertaste. Comments: maybe you would think that these mushroomy notes mean a flawed old whisky, but it’s not the case at all. In truth, this is rather beautiful, even if not technically ‘perfect’. And after all, it’s pre-war whisky! Is it Glenlivet? No ideas… SGP:262 – 89 points.

MUSIC – Recommended listening: When two luminaries such as Jean 'Toots' Thielemans (not Timmermans) and Bill Evans get together to record a LP, if simply can’t give anything but wonders such as Sno' Peas (from their very famous 1978 record Affinity.) Please buy these wonderful musicians’ music!

Toots
 

February 17, 2009


Lagavulin

TASTING – TWO LAGAVULIN AND A BONUS

Lagavulin 1991/2007 'Distillers Edition' (43%, OB, lgv 4/495) The Lagavulin DE has always been a very embarrassing whisky to me, especially the 1979 and other early versions (but not the 1984) because it’s exactly the kind of bottling I should not like: a wonderful malt whisky ‘quickly finished’ in unlikely so-called wine casks to offer… what? Range-widening? Alas, I always found these DEs to be wonderful whiskies. Sugar, how disappointing! Colour: gold/amber. Nose: totally superb! An amazing rubber boots/bitter oranges combo, evolving towards more coastal elements (dried kelp, brine), old leather, camphor, tobacco and orange marmalade, then beef stock, pu-erh tea and soot. Disappointingly brilliant ;-). Mouth: I think it’s not possible that this whisky hasn’t a higher ABV than just 43%. Starts extremely ashy and amazingly kippery and salty, with a lot of tobacco (chewed Habano), gentian spirit, dried ginger and salted liquorice. Develops on the same beautiful aromas and keeps bombarding us with the same ultra-huge ashy smokiness. Finish: it’s long (maybe not the longest, but still) and still very kippery, with some caramel coming through now. Caramelised kippers? Comments: the first time I tried this one it was blind and I went for 92 points, but that’s obviously much too high for a finished whisky. Let’s mark it down! SGP:448 - 91 points. Yes, that’s still disappointingly high, so let’s try to take revenge with an oldie…
Lagavulin 12 yo (43%, OB, green on cream label, France, very late 1970s) The very first version of this green/cream, right after the delightful white labels. Colour: dark gold. Nose: this is unexpectedly close to the DE, only less beefy and more sooty and mineral. In that sense it’s also different from more recent versions of this 12, such as the well-known version for Montenegro in Italy (no, not Montenegro the country). Almond oil, olive oil, soot, shoe polish, kumquats and gingerbread. Very, very nice but less spectacular than the recent DE. A little austere. Mouth: ahhhh, this is huge! It’s much more medicinal, resinous and chocolaty than the DE, with notes of tropical fruits that start to emerge like in many old peat monsters (Ardbeg/Laphroaig 1967, anyone?) There are huge notes of grapefruit plus hints of mangos and passion fruits but those do not actually replace the peatiness like in some other old Islayers – that is to say that this one has still got his two cylinders so to speak. Other than that there’s the classic ‘coastalness’ and a lot of orangey things as well as a beautiful earthiness. Simply excellent. Finish: very long and, just like the recent DE, very kippery/salty. Comments: a great dram. It’s quite amazing that the very recent DE and this old 12 are so similar. This one is just a tiny tad more complex on the palate. SGP:358 - 92 points.
Vanilla Sky 14 yo 1994/2008 (53.3%, The Whisky Fair, bourbon hogshead, 274 bottles) Of course this could be any distillery, we added it to a Lagavulin session completely at random. Colour: white wine. Nose: this, it seems, has much less wood influence, and it’s certainly not from a sherry cask. It’s very clean, peaty but not excessively so, very smoky/ashy and kind of metallic (stove), that being complemented with notes of crystallised quinces and hints of lemon pie. Whiffs of sea breeze and wet wool like many true peaty Islayers but the whole is rather shier than the OBs and displays little cask influence. A version that’s truly ‘au naturel’. After twenty minutes: more ashes and straight smoke. Mouth: au naturel indeed. Young, fruity (pears and apples) and rather mineral (Riesling), with also hints of gentian eau-de-vie and other earthy/leafy stuff. The sweetness grows bigger after the attack, with a little more vanilla (custard) but also an obvious saltiness. Finish: long and on the same profile. Comments: a slightly sweeter version of the well-known official 12yo CS, but a young wild beast nonetheless, despite its 14 years of age. Very good ‘young’ peaty baby. SGP:538 – 87 points.

MUSIC – Recommended listening: We’ve already posted about Brazil’s superb Vanessa Falabella and her very groovy covers (!) but let’s play a little game today if you will. Listen to her rendition of Superstition and try not to move a toe or a finger while it lasts (even when it gets Georgebensonesque)… Right, you lost, so please buy Vanessa Falabella’s music!

Vanessa Falabella
 

February 16, 2009


Ledaig

TASTING
TWO YOUNG 1972 LEDAIG

Ledaig 10 yo 1972 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, Old Brown Label, +/- 1982) We absolutely adored a 13yo in the same series (93) so no need to say that we now have high expectations. Colour: gold. Nose: oh, what a wonderful smoke and what a marvellous wax! There’s the ‘coal stove effect’ happening first (ash, soot, coal, cast iron), then a magnificent fruitiness (quinces), then resins (propolis, gum), then a little camphor, antiseptic, then pu-erh tea… At ten years of age, this is perfect whisky. No wonder this is legendary! Mouth: who would have imagined that such a youngster (and at 40% abv, at that) would be that, err, supersonic? Big peat, loads of crystallised and dried fruits (quince jelly, figs, marzipan, dried oranges), smoked tea (lapsang souchong), liquorice, bitter chocolate… Won-der-full. Finish: right, it’s maybe not interminable, but what a perfect density. Smoked marzipan and… maybe morels. Pepper. Comments: a 10yo/40% malt, really? Exceptional bottle ageing. SGP:457 - 93 points.
Ledaig 1972/1988 (43%, Revived by Full Proof, 228 bottles, 75cl) This is said to be the 15yo MacNab of which the excellent Jeoren has found a stash hidden somewhere in Scotland, which he then labelled or relabelled. Great idea as there’s a beautiful painting by the no less excellent Hans Dillesse on the new label (we’ve got a wonderful watercolour by Hans in our whisky cellar). Colour: straw. Nose: right, it’s not easy to follow a total beauty such as the G&M, but this one is very far from being ridiculous, quite the contrary. Drier, less emphatically aromatic and more on coffee and butter but other than that we do have the same kind of medicinal notes (embrocations), coal smoke, pine resin, camphor… It’s also a little more farmy than the G&M. Mouth: we’re now closer to the G&M, and actually similar. Okay, this one is a little oilier, a tad more medicinal and, once again, drier and spicier. I had written ‘Zubrovska’ about the MacNab back in 2006 and I’ll stick with that. Finish: long, smoky and a little waxier. And the expected pinch of salt. Comments: another superlative 1972 Ledaig. No reason to rate this one lower or higher than the 15yo MacNab… SGP:357 – 90 points.
And also Ledaig 1994/2007 (43%, MacKillop’s Choice, cask #74) Colour: white wine. Nose: pleasantly sharp and austere (flints, chalk, wet stones) but in no way in the same class as the 1972s. Develops more on porridge, fresh glue and ‘new plastic pouch’. Also very, very milky and butyric. Mouth: sweet, almost sugary, but rather more pleasant than on the nose. Apple juice, cane syrup and ‘porridgy peat’ (I’m sure you see what I mean). Finish: the best part, not only because it’s the end. Rather long and enjoyably peppery and gingery. Comments: why they lost the recipe they came up with in the early 1970s, I don’t know! SGP:264 - 72 points.
 
PETE McPEAT AND JACK WASHBACK
 

MUSIC – Recommended listening: Whether Emeline Michel is really the “Joni Mitchell of Haïti” or not, what’s sure is that she reigns over her island’s music these days. Please try her Gade Papi and then rush out and buy her CDs (unless you prefer to buy crappy mp3s you-know-where).

Emeline Michel
 

February 15, 2009


Ben Nevis

TASTING
TWO YOUNG BEN NEVIS (Nevisses?)

Ben Nevis 1997/2008 (43%, Jean Boyer, Best Casks of Scotland, 2000 bottles) From re-coopered hogsheads. Sorry about the picture, the bottle had been slaughtered by some savages. Colour: white wine. Nose: a full load of fresh gooseberries and strawberries topped with cherry-flavoured yoghurt and a little grated ginger. As natural and pleasantly fresh as a young malt whisky can get. Faint farminess in the background (wet hay). Mouth: unexpectedly big, almost punchy, rather maltier and spicier than on the nose. Quite some fresh fruits as well, bananas, butter pears… And liquorice and a little pine resin. Finish: not too long but clean, more on toffee and vanilla, with even a little salt. Comments: one could drink litres of this young and flawless westerner. SGP:540 - 80 points.
Ben Nevis 12 yo 1996/2008 (46%, Jack Wieber, Castle Collection, sherry cask #815) Colour: gold. Nose: it’s quite interesting that this one is so close to its sibling despite a very different wood treatment. Same notes of strawberries but also more herbal and tea-ish notes. Very pleasant whiffs of hawthorn tea. Gets then more complex, with hints of aniseed and orange liqueur that may come from the refill sherry cask. Very nice, rather delicate nose. Mouth: once again, it’s got rather more oomph than the 1997 but it’s also less clean and faintly rubbery. That’s a little too bad because the rest is excellent, with quite some honey, crystallised oranges, cherry liqueur (guignolet) and ginger tonic. Let’s see if water will make the rubber disappear… Well, yes, that worked, but it got also rather simpler and more on orange squash. Finish: medium long and rather maltier. Comments: good Ben Nevis, good dram. SGP:441 - 78 points.
 
CRAZY WHISKY ADS: DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE?
Dewar's Dewar's, USA, 1903. Body: 'There is no more exhilarating sport or recreation than automobiling. The pleasure of a spin over country roads or through city park is greatly enhanced if the basket is well stocked with Dewar's Scotch "White Label".

MUSIC – Recommended listening: Seabear is an Icelandic indie-folk band from Reykjavik (no, they didn’t have only banks and Björk) that’s very good in our opinion. Their Seashell is very, well, pleasant. Please buy their music, please…

Seabear

February 2009 - part 1 <--- February 2009 - part 2 ---> March 2009 - part 1


Check the index of all entries:
Whisky
Music
Nick's Concert Reviews

 

Best malts I had these weeks - 90+ points only - alphabetical:Ben Nevis 41 yo 1967/2008 (50.1%, OB, for Alambic Classique, Sherry hogshead, cask #1280, 103 bottles)Lagavulin 12 yo (43%, OB, green on cream label, France, very late 1970s) Lagavulin 1991/2007 'Distillers Edition' (43%, OB, lgv 4/495)Ledaig 10 yo 1972 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, Old Brown Label, +/- 1982) Ledaig 1972/1988 (43%, Revived by Full Proof, 228 bottles, 75cl)Oban 18 yo 1978/1996 (59%, Signatory, cask #215, 272 bottles)