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EPIC TASTINGS!

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By @Nozinan @Nozinan on 22nd Apr 2015, show post

Replies: page 16/17

@Nock
Nock replied

@TracerBullet My experience is that I enjoy the 2009 slightly over the SN2010. But both are in an "epic" league for me (NOT for most people). I found both the SN2014 and the SN2015 to be a big step down. I slightly prefer the SN2015 to the SN2014 . . . but that is splitting hairs. I would still score both around a 93. But they don't come close to the "peat ecstasy" of those first two. The 2009 and SN2010 are two of my favorite whiskies of all time.

10 months ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Maybe not epic, but a very pleasant 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon with 3 good friends and a few good whiskies in a gorgeous garden. The Boutique-y on the right hand end is a 19 year old Teaninich. It was really outstanding. First Teaninich I’ve had And I’ll be looking for more. That 15 year old Talisker was very tasty too. We had two versions of the Cadenhead 21 year old Loch Lomond. They were both bottled in 1996 from different casks. One was 51.5% and the other was 52.5%. Not much between them and they were both excellent, but we thought the 52.5% one had a slight edge. I saved my last bottle of Laphroaig 18 for a good occasion and this was it. We managed to take it down to half full before we wrapped it up and called the wifely drivers in. Good day, good dudes, good drams. What more can you ask for.

6 months ago 12Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@BlueNote, that is an impressive lineup. Two thumbs up!! thumbsup thumbsup

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge I forgot to mention that one of our guys had a 1 ounce sample of a Kavalan with an odd wine finish that, based on the cost of the bottle, came in at around $21/ounce. We each had about a quarter ounce taste and none of us could come close to guessing what it was What it was, was effing amazing. That kind of stuff is way too spendy for any of us ordinary schmuks, but it was an experience to taste it.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@BlueNote, sharing exotics and/or doing blinds in a group is a lot of fun. Hats tophat off to the citizens of B.C. for successfully managing the current crisis. Nice to see our Connosr friends and affiliates having gatherings.

Kavalan is special, pricey, but oh so good. Perhaps you would be interested in some Amrut, another distillery producing exotic and high quality single malts. wink

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge Yes, I need to get on the Amrut case. @Nozinan and you have been tempting me for years and I still haven't had one. I think there are only a couple available in BC.

We are still being very cautious about the Covid-19 which is why we intentionally kept that little gathering outdoors and with just the four of us. I hope you guys are keeping your guard up back there. You've been hit quite a bit harder than us. I don't see much hope of seeing our relatives in Ontario any time soon. And as for the relatives in Oregon, it may be a lot longer before there's any border crossing happening either way. Same goes for the cousins in England and Scotland. The mere thought of spending 9 hours on an airplane these days makes me shudder. I think we are going to look back on this as the time the world and the way we live changed forever.

Yikes, it's only 11:00 am and I'm starting to depress myself. Oh, well, only 5 hours 'till happy hour. smile

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@BlueNote The reason you are managing better is because of your awesome chief medical officer, and a government that knows enough to listen to experts.

I will have to toast your government's COVID response with some Amrut later today if the mood strikes me. It rarely does these days.

It sounds like the is a large deficiency in your single malt experience. I know that recently you had such a hole filled in the Canadian whisky department. I will have to consult with my mentor @paddockjudge to see if there is something I can do about that and how...

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nozinan I talked to a friend today who has a bottle of Fusion and a bottle of Naaranji (sp). He is promising samples of both whenever he gets around to opening them. I'll see what is available in BC and then check out Alberta. Thanks for your kind offer to fill this gap in my whisky experience. The dictionary definition of generosity has pictures of you and @paddockjudge beside it. thumbsup thumbsup

6 months ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Astroke. Could be, I’ll check with my friend, but I think it was more expensive than that one. Whatever works out to $21/oz.

6 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander replied

@fiddich1980 ran a great blind Zoom tasting, with myself, his niece Michelle, @Nozinan @paddockjudge and @cricklewood - trying to guess the wacky drams (not all of them whisky) was futile for me. I don't recall the order of tasting but the four pours were:

  • Old Pulteney 17yo 46% - I'm sure I had this before, but strangely I didn't love it (I liked it though, don't get me wrong!) Found it a bit too lemony, but with quite a bit of spice and of course brine. I do have a bottle stashed away somewhere, which I had purchased long before the bottling was discontinued.

  • Hine cognac (single harvest, 2006 vintage, bottled 2016, cask #8, 42.8%) - again strangely, this was my least favourite of the lineup, as I usually love Hine cognac. I also mistakenly thought it was a scotch (embarrassing!) Eucalyptus, creme brûlée, menthol - and I thought I detected the tiniest hint of peat (in a cognac....right) I'm pathetic!!

  • La Hechicera Solera Rum (Columbia) - est. 12-21yo 40% - this was my favourite of the tasting, lots of chocolate, stewed fruits, mocha, tons of oak (but not overpowering). Very elegant. Going into the tasting we knew that one of the four was a cognac - and I thought this was it! Sad, sad, sad.....

  • High West Campfire Batch No. 19H16 46% - I really liked this one too, but funny I guessed incorrectly that this was a well-aged Canadian! Lots of oak, dark chocolate, bovril (giving it a vegetal note), dark honey, cloves on the finish. If memory serves, I sampled a much earlier batch at the distillery in Park City, Utah when I was there for the Sundance Film Festival many years ago (though I believe that batch was likely composed of sourced whiskies).

Tons of fun and full of surprises. I miss these guys. Damn you, pandemic! Damn you to hell!

5 months ago 6Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

Our Semi-Formal / Informal Whisky Group tries to do two or three tastings a year. Obviously in person tastings have been curtailed by COVID, but we've continued virtually. The late fall / early winter tastings (on or around my birthday) are usually the most extravagant, as I tend to celebrate by giving things away, so I host, choose the theme, buy the whisky and provide the food, and then we hold a raffle for the remnants of the bottles at the end of the night (the exception being last November's tasting where it was a joint effort).

So, November 2019 we did Nordic / Norse Influenced Whisky, starting in Orkney with Scapa Skiren and Highland Park Magnus, then moving east to Norway with GJOLEID Praksis 1.2 (a blended whisky), Sweden with Mackmyra Brukswhisky, Finland with Teerenpeli Portti, and then circling back west to Denmark for the Braunstein Library Collection 18:2.

People providing bottles were also to bring traditional(ish) Scandinavian dishes to pair with them, so we had gravlax with mustard dip and rye crisps, cinnamon thumbs, Prinzregenten Torte, Kolasnittar, and Gjetost (Ski Queen Cheese).

The December before than (2018), we did Wine and Whisky, pairing wine finished whiskies with the wines that had influenced the barrels used to finish the whiskies, and appetizers usually served with those wines. The line up was as follows:

1) Casa-Dea 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve (VQA: Prince Edward County) and 66 Gilead Crimson Rye, a Canadian Whisky from Prince Edward County aged in Pinot Noir casks from a Prince Edward County winery. Food Pairing: Brie with Roasted Pear & Thyme

2) Wayne Gretzky Estates 2016 Cabernet-Merlot Blend (VQA: Niagara Peninsula) and Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask, a Canadian Whisky aged in red wine casks - of an unspecified type - from the Gretzky Estates Winery. Food Pairing: Bacon, Stilton, and Mushroom Shortbread Squares

3) J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, California) and Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished, a Canadian Whisky finished in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from the Paso Robles region of California. Food Pairing: Curried Lamb Burger Sliders w/ Mango Chutney

4) Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella 2014 (Veneto, Italy) and Isle of Arran Amarone Cask Finish, a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been finished in Amarone casks. Food Pairing: Mature Parmegiano Reggiano drizzled with Honey and Balsamic

5) Alvear Pedro Ximenez De Añada 2014 (PX Sherry from Spain) and BenRiach 12 year-old Sherry Wood Matured, a Single Malt Scotch Whisky aged in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry Casks. Food Pairing: Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

6) Apothic Inferno, a red wine blend from California aged in used whiskey barrels. Food Pairing: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream and Salted Caramel

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@YakLord An interesting concept. Unfortunately any time I mix red wine and whisky the result is a pounding headache the next morning. Otherwise, I would love to try that.

Not sure how the picture relates to the text.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@BlueNote Even with small amounts? These were really small samples of each: like 3/4oz of wine and 1/2oz of the whisky, to nose and taste side-by-side, as I wanted to make sure there was enough left over to make giving the bottles away worthwhile.

4 months ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@YakLord What ... no pickled Herring?

Thumbs up on the whisky cross reference to wine and the food pairings on the 2018 tasting.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@fiddich1980 No one offered to bring pickled herring, so I hoped to go with gravlax instead, since I figured if I did put pickled herring out, no one would eat it, and then I'd be left with it...

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@BlueNote Also, picture is of the November 2019 Nordic / Norse Influenced Tasting discussed at the top of the post. Here's the line-up from the Dec 2018 Wine & Whisky Tasting...

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@casualtorture

My good friend @thewalkingdad came over last weekend and we combined a few from our collections to let each other try. It was a glorious tasting that included:

American:

  1. Early Times Bib
  2. Knob Creek Single Barrel
  3. Yellowhammer Alabama Single Malt Batch #1
  4. Balcones Texas Single Malt

Scotch/World:

  1. Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
  2. Edradour "Natural" single cask 12yo (bourbon cask)
  3. Edradour 12yo single cask (sherry cask)
  4. Glenmorangie Nectar D'or
  5. Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo 0814D
  6. Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo 0613X
  7. Ardbeg Corryvrecken
  8. G&M Tormore 15yo (Cote sherry finish)

The Balcones single malt stole the show of the American whiskies, while the Edradour bourbon cask was my top scotch. Howard loved the Kavalan and the Tormore.

3 months ago 8Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

This fall, the Toronto whisky event Spirit of Toronto is doing a series of online masterclasses, dubbing them "warehouse experiences", with cask samples not (yet) intended for commercial release (with one sample of a commercial release for comparison). I just finished their first class with Don Livermore, Master Blender at Hiram Walker & Sons in Canada. My comments:

  • there are four drams in the tasting, but I added my own fifth: the standard Lot 40 100% rye (43%). Nose of caramel, vanilla, sawdust, overripe banana and milk chocolate; on the palate we have more caramel, wood smoke, strawberries and cream and allspice; long dusty finish of oak and vanilla; overall it's one of my go-to Canadians, sweet and fruity but with big rye spice.

  • Lot 40 Black Sea Cask 56.3% (experimental, not a commercial release) - these are finished in Russian Black Sea Casks (virgin oak if I remember correctly - it's a specific species of oak native to that area of Russia - Ardbeg Kelpie was finished in the same wood apparently). This was excellent - nose of coconut, ginger and wood smoke; spicy palate and creamy mouthfeel with cloves and baked apple; a very oaky and ashy finish, lots of cinnamon and cloves; overall this was excellent, richer, oakier and spicer than standard Lot 40.

  • Lot 40 Peated Quarter Cask 55.1% (experimental) - very very different from any Lot 40 you've tried - still has the DNA but it reminds one of a peated Speyside like BenRiach. Nose of peat and citrus; very briny flavour (there was much speculation as to where the casks came from - Don had no idea) with pine and lemon pith; long finish of ginger, allspice and lemon pepper. Very good, and peat and rye seem like a very interesting combination that needs to be further explored.

  • JP Wiser's Red Letter 15 Year Old 70.1% (experimental) - holy crap. Slap my ass and call me Sally, this is phenomenal. Huge vanilla and green apple skin on the nose; an amazing palate of cinnamon and huge oak; long finish of buttered croissants and red liquorice (and yes, that works). The best of the bunch. Stunning.

  • JP Wiser's 22 Year Old Limited Edition Finished in Port Pipes 59.7% (official release, coming out soon) - I'm very wary of any finishes but I must admit this one mostly worked - though perhaps it favoured the port a bit too much. Massive fruit on the nose with plum, dark chocolate and leather; Nice mouthfeel with overripe peach and sultanas; massive, super-fruity finish. I'd buy a bottle.

I should add that they were all fantastic neat; they all drank as if their ABV was lower than the reality. The two Lot 40s did not really improve with water, though the two JP Wiser's did. But really, water was not necessary for any of them.

As usual, Dr. Don gave a science lecture that was a lot of fun, as well as a history lesson on the giants of Canadian whisky of olden tymes. Us attendees could use the chat and Q&A functions to interact, which was a lot of fun as well. It was lots of fun but I look forward to the day we can all get back together again in person to share memories, friendship and of course whisky.

2 months ago 7Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

This fall, the Toronto whisky event Spirit of Toronto is doing a series of online masterclasses, dubbing them the "warehouse experiences", with cask samples not (yet) intended for commercial release (with one sample of a commercial release for comparison). I just finished their first class with Don Livermore, Master Blender at Hiram Walker & Sons in Canada. My comments:

  • there are four drams in the tasting, but I added my own fifth: the standard Lot 40 100% rye (43%). Nose of caramel, vanilla, sawdust, overripe banana and milk chocolate; on the palate we have more caramel, woods smoke, strawberries and cream and allspice; long dusty finish of oak and vanilla; overall it's one of my go-to Canadians, sweet and fruity but with big rye spice.

  • Lot 40 Black Sea Cask 56.3% (experimental, not a commercial release) - these are finished in Russian Black Sea Casks (virgin oak if I remember correctly - it's a specific species of oak native to that area of Russia - Ardbeg Kelpie was finished in the same wood apparently). This was excellent - nose of coconut, ginger and wood smoke; spice palate and creamy mouthfeel with cloves and baked apple; a very oaky and ashy finish, lots of cinnamon and cloves; overall this was excellent, richer, oakier and spicer than standard Lot 40.

  • Lot 40 Peated Quarter Cask 55.1% (experimental) - very very different from any Lot 40 you've tried - still has the DNA but it reminds one of a peated Speyside like BenRiach. Nose of peat and citrus; very briny flavour (there was much speculation as to where the casks came from - Don had no idea) with pine and lemon pith; long finish of ginger, allspice and lemon pepper. Very good, and peat and rye seem like a very interesting combination that needs to be further explored.

  • JP Wiser's Red Letter 15 Year Old 70.1% (experimental) - holy crap. Slap my ass and call me Sally, this is phenomenal. Huge vanilla and green apple skin on the nose; an amazing palate of cinnamon and huge oak; long finish of buttered croissants and red liquorice (and yes, that works). The best of the bunch. Stunning.

  • JP Wiser's 22 Year Old Limited Edition Finished in Port Pipes 59.7% (official release, coming out soon) - I'm very wary of any finishes but I must admit this one mostly worked - though perhaps it favoured the port a bit too much. Massive fruit on the nose with plum, dark chocolate and leather; Nice mouthfeel with overripe peach and sultanas; massive, super-fruity finish. I'd buy a bottle.

As usual, Dr. Don gave a science lecture that was a lot of fun, as well as a history lesson on the giants of Canadian whisky of olden tymes. Us attendees could use the chat and Q&A functions to interact, which was a lot of fun as well. It was lots of fun but I look forward to the day we can all get back together again to share memories, friendship and of course whisky.

2 months ago 5Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

I will say that a benefit of the virtual online experience is not being rushed out - the tasting went about 90 mins, which is a lot more time than we would have had in person (maybe about double the time).

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

@Nozinan No - when I write a formal review, it takes about an hour and requires more liquid for me to taste, give some time, revise my notes, taste again, etc etc. That's why when life gets busy I don't have time to write full reviews...

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@talexander looks like there’s no other way for it.... I’ll have to buy whichever bottles become available....

2 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander replied

Today's Spirit of Toronto 2020 Warehouse Experience Masterclass was with Stephanie Macleod, Master Blender for Dewar's, to specifically discuss Aberfeldy. She went through two official bottlings and two cask samples (though the cask samples are actually bottlings in their Exceptional Cask Series).

  • I augmented the tasting by adding my own bottle of Aberfeldy 21 Year Old 40% - not of the current design but the older one. I'll do a full review at some point, but I will quickly say that it is very biscuity on the nose, with heather honey, malt, light caramel and strawberries; scrumptious on the palate with buttered croissants, various herbs and more honey; and a finish of gentle oak, cayenne and allspice - very Christmas-y! It's a lovely malt, very honeyed as per the Aberfeldy house style.

  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old 40% - kind of meh, to be honest. Nose is fairly closed but shows nutmeg, cloves and that signature heather honey; similar notes on the palate, but it really needs more punch; finish of oak, spice and banana. It's fine but not exciting or distinctive.

  • Aberfeldy 16 Year Old Madeira Cask 40% - she mentioned how long the finishing was but I missed it... well this is quite nice. Raisin, walnut and oak on the nose; thick mouthfeel with dark honey and cinnamon; spicy finish with cloves and yes, more honey. Good balance between the honey and grape - quite nice.

  • Aberfeldy 20 Year Old 54.1% - this has a four-year finish (!) in oloroso. I don't tend to like cask finishes - especially ones as long as four years - but I have to say, this is excellent. Super-rich nose of dates and toasted walnuts; Christmas cake on the palate with dark honey; and a deep, long, spicy finish. Takes water like a champ, which punts it even higher.

  • Aberfeldy 33 Year Old 51.6% - all refill hogshead - folks, we have a winner! I'm still working on this one and the class finished 30 mins ago. I can't believe a cask-strength 33 year old can be this subtle and complex. Herbal nose with lighter honey and a touch of vanilla; no surprises on the palate but has all those lovely Aberfeldy notes of heather honey and tropical fruits (but it greatly improves with both water and time in the glass); and a long finish with light spice. None of my generic descriptors do this justice, as I just don't have the time (or enough in the glass) to pick it apart properly. Definitely the best thing I've ever had from the Dewar's portfolio.

2 months ago 6Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@talexander, Aberfeldy 16 Year Old Madeira Cask 40% was finished 8 months in those wine casks.

The 20 YO and 33 YO Aberfeldys from the Exceptional Cask Series were both, uhm, EXCEPTIONAL! ... and both selected by Stephanie Macleod.

I thoroughly enjoyed this master class and the company line was stepped on a few times during this session. When asked what her favourite that she did not work on was, Macleod could have mentioned any other Bacardi product, but she didn’t. She commented that Glenfarclas does a great job! She drives by the distillery often and said one day she will stop in. Now that is one straight answer!

2 months ago 4Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

@paddockjudge I thought for sure she had said it finished for four years, not eight months - I remember because I was so surprised - then surprised at how nice it was.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

I gotta say, these Spirit of Toronto masterclasses are really helping my newly-diagnosed arthritic knees. Ok so today's class was with Francis Cuthbert, Farmer Distiller of Daftmill Distillery in Scotland. As I've never had Daftmill before, I was really looking forward to it - and despite some audio problems, it did not disappoint. The first dram was an official bottling, the other three were cask samples:

  • Winter Batch 2006 12 Year Old 46% - very malty nose with lemon curd and rosemary - quite floral; on the palate we have lemon pith this time, anise and a hint of sage; long finish of pine and lemon pepper. A very nice, young, sprightly dram. By the way, the lemon theme runs pretty much through all of these.

  • 2006 14 Year Old (first fill bourbon) 54% - very fruity nose with tons of papaya, also liquorice allsorts - quite fruity; on the palate the papaya is replaced by pineapple with lemon curd tossed in; the finish is similar to the 12yo with the pine and lemon pepper, but it's bigger, with fennel as well. Quite complex and very fruity.

  • 2009 11 Year Old (first fill bourbon) 59% - much meatier on the nose, with iodine and lots of vanilla; creamy mouthfeel with some hot spice and lemon; more cayenne on the finish with pine as well; this is very very good. These are fun!

  • 2009 11 Year Old (first fill sherry) 60.6% - Hm first fill oloroso for 11 years? Makes me nervous.... but it's absolutely beautiful. Fat juicy raisins on the nose with Christmas cake; same on the palate - wow this is super rich but so elegant; long, meaty, spicy finish - very deep. This is how you do sherry cask, folks!

Whenever my whisky travels resume, and wherever they take me, I'll be looking for me Daftmill.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@talexander, the 20 YO was on wood for 4 years, Oloroso Sherry casks, fruit cake/Christmas cake as told by Stephanie Macleod. She also likes to use the word “smooth” A LOT.... spices, licorice, supple, floating over the palate. I like the “floating over the palate” statement.... and also commented about similarity to good chocolate and the way it covers the tongue. The 20 YO did have an excellent mouthfeel.

There was no shortage of information during this session. I took notes throughout. According to Macleod the 20 YO was 54.1% abv and not 51.4% as indicated on the pamphlet.

The 16 YO was finished 8 months in Madeira casks which imparted a “delicate influence”....honey, cinnamon... she specified the orange notes come from the Madeira cask.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

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