Midlands Whisky Festival 2017: Part 1/3

 

Once again, the festival suffered from the lack of spittoons. We could find only one on the top floor, one less than last year! This ineviatably lead to drunkenness. Water also became a scarce resource with punters asking exhibitors for under-the-counter water over whisky on numerous occasions. Aside from these glaring oversights, like last year, the spirit of the festival was high. It was great to see the return of a fair number of the independent bottlers though Boutique-y were sadly missed. As always, it’s the people both sides of the stand that make the show, and of course the whisky. So let’s get involved.

 

Timorous Beastie 18yo [2017] DL [7258 bts] 46.8% WB85.11[11] WF86

Timorous beastie 18.jpg

A blended malt with whisky from Dalmore, Blair Athol & Glen Garioch. You got to respect DL for that abv.

  • N: Mineral biscuit herbal.
  • T: General rounded niceness.
  • F: Slightly over-baked raisin cereal bars.
  • C: A decent start.

Scores 84 points

 

Strathclyde 1990 26yo DL ‘Old Particular’ cask #11600 56.5%

Strathclyde 26.jpg

  • N: Rum-like grain.
  • T: Burnt distillate neat, but water makes it. Favourable sweetness, regular movement, decent form.
  • F: Savoury sweet corny distillate.
  • C: Decent, well aged.

 

Scores 85 points

 

Cambus 1991/2017 25yo DT cask #1112939 [Btl #1/65] 52.1%

Cambus.jpg

Finished for 9 months in an Octave.

  • N: Mature, thick butter grain with fruity toffee & icing sugar.
  • T: Bitter>sweet to a bitter-sour fizz,… becoming malty.
  • F: Sugar butter, light sherry suggestions and sugar barley water.
  • C: Not overly complex but very good.

 

Scores 85 points

 

Glen Moray 2009/2017 6yo DT Battlehill 53.2% WB0

Glen Moray 6yo.jpg

  • N: Familiar sherry malt style with ginger cake. In fact various sweet fruit cakes. Really exquisite.
  • T: More of the same with a subtle sherry action, fermented fruit and veg juice. Some burnt sherry with light sulphur later on.
  • F: Barley/sherry malt with touches of sulphur & cinder.
  • C: Tastes of its composite parts yet with a certain little extra ‘je ne sais pas’.

 

Scores 84 points

 

Look, another independent Moray:

 

Glen Moray 2007/2017 9yo BBR cask #5129 46% WB0

Glen Moray.jpg

  • N: Creamy, grainy & gritty with mineral notes, salivating tropical dried fruits, wood saw off-cuts,… and yet more mineral.
  • T: Sour-savoury to sour fruits, some sawdust and an odd twang also.
  • F: Sour grain mash.
  • C: Decent yet forgettable.

 

Scores 83 points

 

Bunnahabhain 2008/2017 8yo DT cask #3813403 [btl #1/72] 53.6%WB0

Bunnahabhain 2008.jpg

  • N: Oysters and a rivers/pond complexity.
  • T: Bold start with odd subtle farmy notes and pond/washing up liquid. Changes with time, manifesting towards a curious set of savoury outdoor notes.
  • F: Sour green, but not immature cask action exactly. Mineral ozone and more outdoor stuff with clean subtle light barley grasses.
  • C: Hard to read in such limited time.

 

Provisionally scores 85 points

 

Tomatin 2009/2017 7yo DT Battlehill 51.3%WB0

Tomatin 7.jpg

  • N: Sweet barley with a firm buttery solid grain base. Reminiscent of Deanston 12yo. Water makes it more savoury. Time allows it to become savoury & milky.
  • T: Creamy savoury>sour-sweet. Its sweetness diminishes over time.
  • F: Weetabix=milky white putty.
  • C: Water simplifies it but it’s all good.

 

Scores 83 points

 

 

Fettercairn 2006/2017 10yo BBR cask #107752 46%

Fettercairn 2006.jpg

  • N: Subtle biscuit notes amongst other stuff.
  • T: Another sour one with a subtle complexity and no big sherry-ness at all, given that’s what i tend to expect from Fettercairn. In fact this is likely to come from a bourbon cask. Malty sharp-sour in the main with a favourable bourbon creaminess.
  • F: Very similar to the Glen Moray given its malty-putty-mash nature.
  • C: Really decent naked Fettercairn.

 

Scores 87 points

 

[Tobermory] Ledaig 18yo Batch 3 Ob. 46.3% WB86[3] [WF]85

Spanish sherry wood.

Ledaig 18.jpg

  • N: Mould growing on pvc, sports gyms, vegetal Christmas peat, cinnamon, cloves, rhubarb decay, barley coming through, compost-fruity coal, coal tar,.. Fascinating vegetal complex, salty and sweaty lactose ferments, dusty lofts,…
  • T: Succulent and ashy creamy sour.
  • F: Even more succulent ash and metals.
  • C: Really excellent.

 

Scores 88 points

 

Paul John NAS ‘Classic’ [2015] Select cask Ob. 55.2% WB84[48] [WF]85

Paul John

  • N: Bourbon fruits and chalk, and as Serge says “Whenever chalk arrives, that’s great news”. The complexity lies with those fruits.
  • T: A bit sharp at first but the bourbon fruit sweetness soon emerges and is in no rush to leave.
  • F: True to form, finishing with those bourbon chalky fruits.
  • C: This is a 7yo and far better for it compared to earlier & younger PJ presentations in my opinion. Matured in SW India in air conditioned warehouses, so the climate is less of an issue.

Scores 84 points

 

 

Let’s call that lunch.

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