After two jaw-dropping days [WLP],..
[& WLP], with The Old Man of Huy & co,…
,… it’s time for a good chin wag over yet more golden liquid delights. Notes are scant.
Cambus 1989/2016 27yo SMWS G8.7 ‘Caribbean Banana Fritter’ [240 bts] 59.7% WB82.75
- N: Pancakey, some subtle underlying hessian.
- T: ‘Classic’ rich grain that’s performing well at ‘just’ 27 years. Great balance is its superpower.
- F: Young sweetcorn,… really true finish – Nectar d’Or resemblances.
- C: Another Sauternes thumbs up. Can’t fault it.
Scores 87 points
Girvan 1964/2012 48yo The Whisky Agency/TWE ‘Fight’ ex-sherry butt [487 bts] 49.5% WB89.59 WF90
- N: Perhaps from the distillery’s first-ever spirit run, this has spent 48 years in sherry – no shit! A vibrant expression. Water = more ethanol,.. and fried bread?
- T: Same again really. Reminiscent of a 1977 sherried Strathclyde I once enjoyed (WLP), but with more power/presence.
- F: A straight shooter, the cask firmly driving a clean/neutral spirit where you can easily separate the two.
- C: The cask holds this one altogether. This was already relatively expensive [for a grain] when it came out – €220 – at a time when you could pick up (closed distillery) Port Dundas for £87 or a 48yo Caledonian for £102 (WB), for example.
Scores 87 points
Tormore 1992/2019 27yo The Whiskyfind for The Mash Tun Tokyo cask #101154 [276 bts] 44.6% WB88.89
- N&T: Sweet eggy dessert vibes, light yeastiness/bready/raisiny [white bread dough], rum n raisin icecream < coppery,.. Ben Nevis-y at times.
- F: Maintains the same trajectory as before with a soft middle and not a great deal at the end.
- C: Faithful, decent overall.
Scores 87 points
Jura 1990/2020 30yo Thompson Brothers [186 bts] 46.33% WB89.55 WF90
- C: A light sweet subtle nose. Slightly sour and coppery to taste with some fragility overall. Would no doubt shine in a different context.
(Provisionally) scores 86 points
[St. George’s] English Whisky Co. 2012 08yo SMWS 137.10 ’Smoky, Sweetie, Meaty’ [231 bts] 64.7% WB87
- N: Sweet onion [relish], winkles, heap loads of oil: olive and 2-stroke.
- T: Onion-sweet-vibrant greasy gritty > salty, carbon, clay/earth, cake-y vanilla,….
- F: So much flavour [thankyou abv], the finish resonates over salty oaky vanilla, and those allium-ey phenols.
- C: Fabulously idiosyncratic. Another English cracker in as many months.
Scores 88 points
Ardbeg 2001/2021 20yo Elixir for The Whisky Show 2021 Adventures in Flavour – ‘Phenolic Phantom’ 51.4% WB90.11 WF89
- N: Relaxed yet crisp, sweet > sweaty meaty salty hammy vegetal/leathery/plastic-y < (long time-banned) domestic weed killer, Bovril, [tawny] port,… Quite the nose!
- T: Oily greasy > Creasote, a splash of peach juice, sour lemon > sweet vegetal, salty – very salty!
- F: Salty/malty, vegetal, pine needles [without eucalyptus], diesel, oysters,.. all with an underlying ex-bourbon/barley legacy faithfulness.
- C: ‘Classic’ Ardbeg which, according to those that tried it at the Whisky Show in 2021, has benefitted from opening up, though the price-tag of £399 remains difficult to swallow.
Scores 89 points
Alongside the Ardbeg, BA has also brought along beers and cider. I tried the Vienna beer from Mills Brewery and found it extraordinary. I shall be on the look out for more from this Gloucestershire-based micro brewery. Untappd.com says of the Vienna:
- ‘Vienna is a single barrel bottling made from one brew in May 2019. It struck us as perfectly balanced for a single barrel (very few are), with both enticing aromatics and easy drinkability. Far too nuanced to potentially be lost in a blend. We made a turbid wort with Vienna malt, rye and raw barley. Slovenian hops, both aged and fresh, were added during the boil. Fermentation and maturation took place in a well travelled 500 litre butt which was previously used for sherry, Scotch whisky and Herefordshire cider. The beer was bottled after 30 months in barrel, then conditioned slowly over winter‘.
Talisker 30yo (+/-2022?) Ob. 48.5% WB90.82
- C: What a whisky Talisker is, that it can fire so superbly at 10, 18, and 30 years of age. Yet another one I could/should have stocked up on back in the day, it’s only today’s pricing that prevents this from being a little more of an occasional dram than a once-in-a-blue-moon dram. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out this one’s bottling year but it’s brilliant stuff all the same.
Scores 92 points
What a weekend!!!