Today’s pair represent a punt and a prize.
Glenlossie 23yo Cadenhead The Manager’s Cask Sample Selections HHD 56% [20cl]
As a punt, I picked this out from Cadenhead’s tiny wee cage in Edinburgh [blog].
- N: A mature & old-skool, heavily double creamed & vanilla-ed, bourbon-oaky/tannic & malty nose with hints of [gala=cantaloupe] melon and red berries.
- T: Very woody then spicy. More fruity, waxy & bourbon-y notes emerge before a decidedly woody-waxy bourbon-vanilla-honey maltiness pushes through. Later it’s more a waxy/plastic, bitter raisin malt.
- F: Bitter > sweet-oaky waxy finish with a touch of butyric-spicy & blackberry-tannin and a sliver more plastic. However, it’s ever the bitter creamy oaky-bourbon cask[s] that remains the main tour de force. Well-aged/old oaky creamy vanilla is a treat at the death.
- C: Love it or leave it, it is what it is – over.
LAST DRAM or TWO
- N: Dense & permeated oaky vanilla-ed molasses oils, dry-grassy toffee biscuit/wafer and ripe melon should cover it.
- T: Dense, woody, spicy and butyric molasses, moving to an oaky bitter >> sweetish < savoury liquorice middle with more vanilla & firmer waxy glycerine-d melon on the turn. Water tames it somewhat, bringing a more generalised maltiness, though the trade-off is an even firmer bitter liquorice presence.
- F: Oaky floral turning to bitter black treacle, a further butyric-lactose note and bitter creamy/toffee witch hazel oak to finish.
- C: I enjoyed the nose and the tail but found the palate a right struggle. It’s clear that this Glenlossie ran well past it’s sell-by-date.
Scores 78 points
Traditional games proved popular on Ardbeg Day 2018. I won this [the last it turned out], bottle of Ardbeg 10yo by sliding a bung into one of the appropriate circles – left handed! Happy days.
- N: We start with admiration for the pungent yet tempered, vanilled sweet vegetal peated material aspect. Particulars include stewed courgettes, vanilla sponge & a curious combination of dry gherkins, sweetened swede, carrots > carrot cake >> ginger cake, pickled raisins?, hints of pickled onions, lightly sugared thick yet light smears of miso paste, nori sheets, paper, pineapple husks, dry cucumber and mild rocket,…. all deliciously moorish.
- T: Salad-like barley juice with a particular dry-peated vegetal development and savoury-vegetal travel all the way through.
- F: A long long finish directly focused around smokey bitter-vegetal peated barley > sweetcorn cobs and a touch of vanilla [that never encroaches].
- C: Excellent, and still remarkably affordable.
- N: A fabulously simple yet sublime combination of lime relish, [34’s] grilled limes , vegetal-sweet pickle, iodine-heavy welches > muscles and pickled peas & onions – vailed with that subtly sweet nutty peatiness.
- T: Delivers drier than expected, pleasingly ashy-dry in fact, yet when diluted, with more salivating vegetal/seaweed and a curious miso < citrus < sooty seasoning. Serge perfectly describes it as “lapsang souchong with lime, smoked almonds, kippers, plasticine, almond oil, whelks, brine, hessian” [WF]. Is it slightly thin? A touch, but it’s not a big issue.
- F: Charcoaled lime juice, Polytar shampoo, boot polish and something erm,… subtle, sweet & rootsy. Concludes peated barley-faithful.
- C: Whilst the interstellar hype for vintage Ardbeg continues, the standard 10yo remains the bastion of standards, availability & reason. No doubt many of the [thousands of] stored bottles will improve further in their glass over the coming years/decades.
Scores 89 points