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.
A sighter to begin.
Balblair 07yo  TBWC Batch #1 [btl #772/1305] 49.9% [50cl] WB84.29
- 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
Tormore 1992/2019 26yo BB&R cask #101158 44.5% WB83.50
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]
Glentauchers 1989/2021 31yo Chorlton Bourbon Barrel [153 bts] 47.5% WB89.25
- 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]
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.
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
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]
[Loch Lomond] Inchfad 13yo  TBWC [btl# 1716/2473] 49.5% [50cl] WB84.43
- 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
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.
I fancy a dessert dram.
Glenrothes 2009/2020 11yo AWWC Infrequent Flyers cask #6343 [611 bts] 59.1% WB87.48
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
Remaining near the desserts counter, I go for bourbon.
Elijah Craig 12yo  Ob. Barrel Proof Batch #B516 139.4 proof/69.7% WB84.70
- 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
Suddenly aware of the damage/bill – given I’ve included a bottle of Daftmill to the tab too – I attempt to keep things affordable.
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]
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
- 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.
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.
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
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.