CYWL: Halloween Special

I’m slowly but surely catching up on the backlog. Here’s what happened on Halloween. Not long after our first visit [WLP],…..

,… Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group was back at Cut Your Wolf Loose, and there’s a birthday to celebrate too. We don’t hang about.

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A sighter to begin.

Balblair 07yo [2019] TBWC Batch #1 [btl #772/1305] 49.9% [50cl] WB84.29[9]

  • N: A crisp clean creamy breakfast dram with a farmy hint in the background.
  • T&F: A crisp entrance leading to a Balmenach-esque [another distillery in the Inverhouse stable] raisiny coppery malty spirit, turning more straw-like, citrusy, and chalky in keeping with the Balblair signature.
  • C: An ethereal/Euro-like dram still transitioning from spirit to malt, aka, a 7yo going on just 3 years.

Scores 84 points

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Tormore 1992/2019 26yo BB&R cask #101158 44.5% WB83.50[2]

C: Clynelish-esque waxiness to smell & taste, it oozes rich barley juice on the palate, initially, but appears more basic after first contact.

[Provisionally scores 86+ points]

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Glentauchers 1989/2021 31yo Chorlton Bourbon Barrel [153 bts] 47.5% WB89.25[4]

  • N: Beautiful honeyed nose that tells you in no uncertain terms that this is an old boy.
  • T&F: Rather soft and uneventful at first, it finishes strongly though there is undoubtedly some woodiness.
  • C: Woody it may be but a dangerously drinkable dram too.

[Provisionally scores 87+ points]

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I’m not sure where to go from here. Barney goes for one sharing his birth year. To see a 1972 vintage 40yo single malt [WB] available to enjoy by the dram in Brighton is quite something – kudos to CYWL. What could possibly go wrong?,…. and Glenglassaugh cooks well at low slow temperatures. A quick snifter & sippet confirms it. This is one for me to come back and savour another time.

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Staying with Chorlton, I’ve decided to go for a pair of smokers.

[Tobermory] Ledaig 2009/2021 12yo Chorlton [311 bts] 55.5% WB86.71[9]

I’ve only been to CYWL twice before and I’ve already forgotten what I’ve had. Take 2 then, for this one [without first comparing notes].

  • N: Fruity smoky aromas,…. wowee, what a nose! Laphroaig, yes? Oh, no.
  • T: With a narrow [slightly Irish?] fruitiness subsequently continuing with barley almond casings followed by candy floss/marshmallows confectionary notes, the complexity on the nose doesn’t fully translate on the palate but I’m nit-picking.
  • F: Straight-ahead dry creamy vegetal barley sugar finish.
  • C: This hints at CYWL’s two younger Ben Nevis’s [WLP], but without all those layers. Still, a very good dram, the nose especially [pretty much what I noted the first time around].

Scores 87 points [+1 today]

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[Loch Lomond] Inchfad 13yo [2019] TBWC [btl# 1716/2473] 49.5% [50cl] WB84.43[9]

  • N: Dry, medicinal fabric plasters, leather,….
  • T: Beer-maltiness with a perceived dry ashy greasiness. 
  • F: Dry, meaty-ish, and malty.
  • C: Caol Ila-like in part, this Inchfad – my first – is not to be sniffed at. No, hold on,… sniff away!

Scores 84 points

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Like whisky in a cask, CYWL as a venue is evolving as the weeks roll on since its recent opening. Much of the graffiti art on the staircase has been repainted. In its place, hip [Viv-styley?] maxims.  

I finally find the hedgehog and win a t-shirt. No doubt I shall live in it for years to come. I think the Foz is still looking for the spiny mammal.

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I fancy a dessert dram.

Glenrothes 2009/2020 11yo AWWC Infrequent Flyers cask #6343 [611 bts] 59.1% WB87.48[67]

This is an Infrequent Flyers bottling by Alistair Walker [Whisky Company], an IB-first for me.

  • N: A clean sherried [~Edradour-like] nose with a sweet omelette eggy-ness.
  • T: [Faultlessly] clean amalgamated sugary sultana-sweet sherry malt with a soft bitter note. 
  • F: Solid travel and development into a consolidated rice pudding gravy-ness, seasoned/flavoured with Demerara sugar and vanilla cream. Yum!
  • C: A refined [not crude] PX sherry bomb.

Scores 86 points

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Remaining near the desserts counter, I go for bourbon.

Elijah Craig 12yo [2016] Ob. Barrel Proof Batch #B516 139.4 proof/69.7% WB84.70[69]

  • N: With EC’s idiosyncratic herbal note [as well as cherries,.. cardboard], this is just the ticket, though perhaps there’s more vanilla than other EC’s [WLP86].
  • T: We start with a spicy hit that suggests there’s more than 10% rye in the mash bill. Must be the oak then. Again, EC’s [mint/spinach] herbal side is restrained over the vanilla, though the spicy viscous agar-like corn oils carry the performance through, joined by light-sour liquorice wood shavings.
  • F: A toasty/dry-ish vanilla > herbal finish. 
  • C: Benchmark bourbon I wish to see available and affordable.

Scores 85 points

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Suddenly aware of the damage/bill – given I’ve included a bottle of Daftmill to the tab too – I attempt to keep things affordable.

Yellowstone Select [+/-2021] Ob. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 93 proof 46.5% [750ml btl code: LF4557] WB82.68[33] WF85

C: Very soft for a 46.5% presentation, but then this did follow a bourbon at 69.7%. A poor decision in the circumstances, but the whiskey itself isn’t to blame.

[Provisionally scores 80/81]

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This shambles of a flight is followed by:

[Bruichladdich] Port Charlotte 2009/2018 08yo Artful Dodger Sauternes cask #1063 [398 bts] 64.2% [50cl] WB87.89[30]

  • C: Odd,… Benriach Heredotus vibes. Not quite my thing at this time of night. Un-scored but it provisional sits around the 83/84 point area.

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Perhaps it’s time to call it a night, with whisky at least. A beer is followed by a Halloween-inspired cocktail. Soon enough, however, another whisky finds its way into my hand. Things could get messy though my note-taking diligence remains to the last.

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Glen Elgin 2008/2021 13yo CYWL 56.6%

Dist: 14/05/2008 / bottled: 25/08/21

  • N: A charming nose on musty-dry honey, apple,.. and with malty molasses hints.
  • T: Same again, a musty malty honeyed bready dram. Despite the quality and quantity of what’s gone before, this is the ideal dram for this moment in time.
  • F: Runs along with the same honeyed profile with the perfect pinch of ground pepper.
  • C: Praise be for bourbon casks! Dram of the night in many ways and an absolute bargain at just £6.50. Prices are set to rise when the next bottle sets come in, so fill your boots whilst you can.

Scores a solid 87 points

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Yet another spiced-pumpkin Old Fashioned later and everything around me seems very peculiar. We’ve some Sunnydale High School students [Buffy] in attendance, ‘Carrie’, and a gorilla. I’d forgotten all about Halloween.

It’s been another brilliant night at Cut Your Wolf Loose. How I cycled home without incident that night is a miracle.

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END

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