Currently [due to the global circumstances] an online affair, this open friendly active group [Meetup] is all about swapping, sharing, talking, drinking whisky, and with more besides.
The ‘Irish Loch Lomond’, the distillery’s Lomond Still is in play here.
- N: What a pretty nose. Creamy vanilla and apples & pears, the fruits becoming more and more tropical as time passes.
- T: Body-wise, it’s never going to be the weightiest, but after a slightly green yet thin honeyed, vanilla-led shallowness early on, time eeks out more of those Irish-esque lightly syruped tropical fruits.
- F: Slightly oily < vanilla citrus fruits with a light sweet~sour halva~tahini-like distillate base.
- C: Both cask and spirit have their defining moments, and maybe the yeast/fermentation imparted some too. Scores mainly for the nose, the rest light and refreshing.
Scores 86 points
I wasn’t expecting bourbon, but one in a line-up is always welcome in my book. Priced at around $30 in the US, incredibly perhaps, this is my first Bernheim.
TWE tells us: ‘,… made by Heaven Hill and is the only straight wheat American whiskey available. A winner of the Gold ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ from Whisky Magazine with a score of 17.75 out of 20 from Dave Broom & Michael Jackson, Bernheim is 51% winter wheat, 39% corn and 10% barley malt’
- N: There’s an illusion of fine age from a Scotch whisky perspective. From a whiskey perspective, this has that chalky dunnage-y fungal note that appears identifiably unique to the US, and its whiskey with some relative age behind it.
- T: Starting peppery/spicy, I find the arrival abv-firm in keeping with the Inchmurrin though many have spotted it’s lower in abv. Though not the best swimmer, we are graced with sharp-citrus varnish with a soft savoury-sweet > freshness, the 51% wheat mash bill ratio providing a welcome change to predominant corn and associated heavier vanillins.
- F: The spirit talks, the woodiness controlled. Stays calm, steady, and true to form.
- C: Straight forward, nothing complicated, easy, tasty.
Scores 82 points
Glenglassaugh 2012/2019 6yo for Franck Debernardi ‘La Cuvee de Cobalt’ Octave cask #SC89 [btl #23/65 bts] 57%
- N: Ooh, this is different. I’m straight away thinking of mainland distilleries, oak from Troncais, and even going as far East to India with those funky PX-led aromatic curry spices. There’s plenty of desirable grape-forward rubberiness that leads to shoe polish and malty leathery-ish notes with hints of orange & ginger cake. There are harks also to Kilkerran’s 57.1% 8yo [WLP], though the cask influence here is a tad more sympathetic.
- T&F: Anything you want really. With more of that expansive and graceful briney [Glenrothes-esque] ‘boing’ and a subsequent intriguing chewy mouthfeel, I picked out juicy leathery peanut-y spice amongst a plethora of oral delights. It soon relaxes and evolves, revealing many paths.
- C: Everyone wanted a bottle of this singular expression. Well played [Franck] on getting the whisky out of that PX octave after 6 years. It’s done its job brilliantly, and what this could be like in a few years in glass?
Scores 88 points
- N: I last tried the Ileach back in November 2015. I liked it a lot, but that was the CS version, finding it leaned closest to Caol Ila. With this 40% version in 2020, a profile that speaks of dry-smoky medicinal pickled onions, brine, olives, salad leaves,….. suggests more Laphroaig today. Nice nose either way.
- T: Nothing out of sorts here. Arrives fine, falling down thereafter due to its soft presentation. though some semblance of weight can be tamed out with patience.
- F: Young tempered spirit with a light/dusty smoked barley sweet > [soapy] > tar-like quality.
- C: The nose belies the softness, but this independent ’Select’ holds a little more weight, mouthfeel, and form.
Scores 81 points
With thanks to the Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group.
[Part 2 HERE]