An aperitif is accompanied by an impromptu rendition of a traditional song now legally publicly performable after passing into the public domain two years ago.
The song originally called ‘Good Morning to All’, was written around 1893 and first appeared in print with the ‘Happy Birthday’ lyrics in 1912.
This didn’t stop the Summy Company claiming copyright ownership of the song in 1935, a company subsequently bought by Warner/Chappell who collected up to $2million annually in copyright performance revenue until the copyright was declared invalid in 2015. A federal court declared ‘Happy Birthday’ was in the public domain in 2016.
Where was I? Aah, whisky!
- N: Yummy, youthful, oily malt with a desirable ppm touch. Character-wise, it’s much like currently excellent official 10yo [WB].
- T: Are my tastebuds deceiving me or is this Brora-esque? At first certainly, though once the rich & dense fruits subside against the more stalwart cereal [green barley] maltiness, a more [contemporary] Deanston style emerges. Light earthy/peaty/mineral hues accompany.
- F: Faithfully barley juice all the way home.
- C: I love this. Sadly I can’t find one for sale. Much time has past.
Scores 87 points
So, we are here to celebrate a man’s 40th birthday, which is confusing as he is already old!? With great anticipation, here goes the [long-awaited] tasting, with a focus on active distilleries and of course, the anniversary theme
All but one were tasted blind.
- N: Not sure anyone expected another Ben Nevis. Cunning! Notes are light, fleeting & varied and include funny clay, Fimo & insulation boards, lemon scented shaving foam, apple-y floral fruits and mineral hues. I’m sure another day would wield very different observations.
- T: Thin on the palate and blend-like, so much so I stuck my neck out for it being a 1960’s, malt-rich blend – steered in part by Phil. The minimum abv doesn’t do this 1962 vintage any great favours though it’s more than survived the passing of time. From a delicate sherry cask, I noted a desirable bone-dryness whilst Jacob intuitively spotted the medium-green fig note.
- F: More fig into a light, less bone-dry finish that concludes with a grape-y soup – grapes appearing more than once during this flight.
- C: Revealed, it’s a 50/50 blend from birth – noted by Phil as being down to [amongst other factors], the owner’s [let’s say], frugalness at the time.
Scores 87 points
- N: Fruity, bready, sweetish mineral & fungal old-skool number with a firm ‘lick of the cask’ quality and fully integrated smoke.
- T: Fragile yet complex OBE/old skool/old vintage profile, with fully integrated notes centring around earthy metals, old peat~coal and soot. Overall I get a vivid sense of the [airborne & surface] dirty, grimy industrial environment of an old distillery – fabulous!
- F: Light finish leaning vegetal waxy-fresh and mineral-y with stoney/flint & sandy qualities. I got a better weighted mouthful with water.
- C: Various guesses, none a Cragganmore. I plumbed for a 60’s Springbank bottled in the 1980’s. Bygone era stuff all the same, one that edges me close to the emotional realm.
Scores 91 points
Things are hotting up. Meanwhile, a Hot Tug chugs by.
- N: Chalky fruit, dry dunnage soil, sweet cucumber, light floral shades and feint-y spices.
- T: Another fragile/thin number [40.2% I guessed!], with woody-light bourbon-y matured sweet fresh & fungal fruits.
- F: More bourbon-y action, concluding with naturally sweet toffee and chalk.
- C: This one really grew on me. A few distilleries with this light, bourbon-matured chalky style come to mind – Glencadam and Tomintoul for example – though I’ve not had many Tamnavulin of this ilk, nor indeed, much Tamnavulin period.
Scores 90 points.
Already flying high, we are poised to take off. See Part 2 HERE