By @Nozinan on 22nd Apr 2015, show post
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@Victor Smith & Cross is a beautiful rum. Or at least, my current open bottle is and has been from the first pour right up to the last time I tasted it a few weeks ago.
4 months ago 4Who liked this?
@OdysseusUnbound I was the one who introduced Smith & Cross Rum to the Toronto Connosr circle about 7 years ago, from which it has since become popular. That was my FIRST bottle of it. which was excellent from the get-go. My second bottle was not like the first bottle, not by a long shot-- until it took 3 years of air time. Batches, my friend. Sad, but true. Sad mainly because, man, I would like all of my bottles of S & C Rum to taste just like that first one.
4 months ago 3Who liked this?
@Victor That’s a very good tip about pre-opening bottles slated for a tasting event.
4 months ago 2Who liked this?
@YakLord, I stand corrected. The first/early batch(es) of Virginia black did not state that it isn't made in Virginia.... later batch(es) carry this comment. I have one of each, both are gifts, neither have been opened.....yet.
4 months ago 0
@Victor Talk about epic tastings! I remember that Smith and Cross sample you brought with you when we met up north. I believe I was inspired to buy two bottles at the LCBO the day I drove home. Sadly that expression is now rare as hen's teeth in Ontario. Luckily I have a good stock - it's great for Flambes.
Now Lemon Hart 151 - the other rum you introduced me to that day - it took me a LONG time to find it in Canada. I'm still enjoying the bottle you gave me those many years ago. And I never want to be without a backup of that one.
Today my brother-in-law and his wife came to Toronto for a few days. My niece has been staying with us for the past few weeks to spend time with her cousins. They will stay past the weekend and then take her home in time for school.
Last couple of visits here, we had a few evening dram sessions where I introduced him to some fine whiskies and spirits (I just noticed that between his visits in 2018 and 2019, 26 of the bottles we tasted from are still open in my cabinet...sigh). Of course COVID has kept hims away for three years.
After dinner we did some shopping to prepare for tomorrow's big dinner, and then we sat down to try a few drams. Given this was our first visit since the death of our brother-in-law @nosebleed, we first had some Glenlivet Nadurra from a bottle that had been in his collection (which I opened with Connosr friends in November). We talked about him for a while.
Then I introduced him to some Israeli single malts. I passed on the new-make, "Last One" underage and Classic expressions, then joined him for the Elements Sherry cask finished bottling. We finished off with the Apex series CS pomegranate wine cask finished whisky.
Tomorrow we are grilling XinJiang - style lamb kebabs, so we may have a little peated whisky to go with it.
So nice to have someone to share whisky with. Makes me long all the more for in-person whisky tastings, which are hopefully not far away...
about one month ago 6Who liked this?
And…. We had an Epic tasting of Epic proportions.
Saturday and Sunday nights a small group of us tested the COVID waters and met, first at my home, then at the home of @fiddich1980, to eat great food and sample great spirits.
Stay tuned - I will try to post the whole story sometime soon…
27 days ago 2Who liked this?
Epic Tasting Sept. 3/4 2022
A very long awaited get-together. On Sept. 3/4, we took advantage of the long weekend to schedule 2 back to back tastings. The first night, @Cricklewood, @Paddockjudge, @Fiddich1980 came over to my place, and the second night was hosted by @fiddich1980.
Part 1 - Sept. 3
The first night had a couple of broad themes. We started with a vertical tasting of Milk and Honey distillery offerings. We had all tasted 4 malt expressions (Newmake, under 3, 3YO Classic and a distillery bottling) in a zoom tasting in 2021, and one sherry cask finished bottling last fall, so this time we focused on some more advanced tasting.
We started off with the Classic (3 YO, 46%) to get a good baseline
Next up we revisited the Elements Sherry cask (46%). This bottle was originally @Taleander’s, and contributed for our education. This one has very clean sherry.
Next we cracked the seal on the Elements Red wine (STR) cask (46%). This one has a creamy nose.
We stayed with the wine cask theme by moving to the Apex Pomegranate wine cask (batch 8 - 59.5%). This one takes water and has some interesting properties. It will take some more exploring.
We rounded out the Elements series with the peated Islay cask (46%). This one was very impressive.
Then we moved along to a Balvenie flight curated by @paddockjudge with some contributions from @fiddich1980. Many good examples of the Balvenie signature on display
We started with some unobtainium - Blavenie Tun 1401 (Batch 9 - 49.6%). This one was phenomenal. Simply phenomenal, and my favourite of the flight.
Then the 17 YO doublewood (43%)
This was followed by the 16 YO triple cask (40%). Some unique tangerine notes on the nose.
Next up a 15 YO single barrel (Sherry cask - 47.8%). This one was a real treat, with juicy sherry and the Balvenie signature coming through.
Next up, a Boutique-y Whisky Co. blended malt, essentially a 25 YO teaspooned Balvenie, bottled at 50.8%
Then we had a 23 YO from The Whisky Agency presented at 51.%
The last one of the series was another teaspooned expression (Burnside) from Archives. A 25 YO at 54.7%.
We then shifted to some ryes and Canadian whiskies, starting with:
Lock Stock and Barrel 16 YO 100% rye (53.5%). This is one that a number of the group had been looking forward for a long time, and I would say it went over pretty well.
We decided to contrast this with Shelter Point Single Grain Rye 2019 release (59.6%). This was the KWM bottling (68 of 240 bottles) of cask 343. I must admit I still enjoy this every time I taste it.
Then we emptied the heel of @Talexander’s Paradigm Spirits Heritage Collection 19 YO CS (67.9%). This is one of the most delicious Canadian whiskies I have ever tasted. And after about 24 h to reflect, and upon hearing that one of the others had ordered one of the remaining bottles from the distillery (while at the table the second night), I succumbed to “peer pressure” and FOMO/FORO and bought a bottle for myself…the most expensive whisky bottling I have bought for myself. Luckily the usual shipping fee was waived so that helped a little.
In Early Feb/Mar The Drop Collective (I am still not really sure what it is but I joined on a lark for this purpose) held a lottery for its members for the chance to purchase a bottle of Corby’s Lot 40 Cask Strength 18 year old 100% Rye (56.1%). I was surprised to see that I had won, and after some consultation, three of us decided to go in together for this (probably overpriced) bottle. This was our first opportunity to crack it and split it. It is VERY oaky.
We finished of the Canadians with some sips of Canadian Rockies 28 YO (46%). This one had the classic Highwood signature, and a peaches and cream corn quality to it.
As a group we finished the evening with a pour from @Nosebleed’s legacy bottle of Glenlivet Nadurra 16 YO 60.2%. Always nice to taste such a well-rounded scotch, and of course remember our fallen friend and family member.
@Paddockjudge finished things off with a taste of Blue Spot, as the only one of us who had not yet tried it.
The next day we joined @Talexander for an excellent lunch at a mid-town patio. I’ve discovered my favourite place for falafel in Toronto.
Part 2 - Sept. 4
It should be noted that at this sitting, @paddockjudge’s long-standing craving for oxtail was finally addressed. The main theme for the second day was “malternatives”. After loading up on single malts the day before, they took a backseat.
We started off with Casterède Année 1960 Armagnac, (40%) a 59-60 year old.
Next was a Delord Vieil Armagnac (Récolt 1980) 20 YO (40%),
Then, perhaps unfortunately, we had a quick taste of Llaird’s Apple Jack (not the cereal) (40%), to prepare for…
Manoir de Durcet 2007 Calvados (13-14 YO, 47%). This one was delightful. It makes me want to learn a lot more about Calvados, but I suspect such examples are few and far between.
To contrast, we then poured one of my favourite Springbank expressions, the 12 YO CS Calvados cask (6 years ex-bourbon, 6 years ex-calvados). Bottled in 2012 at 52.7%. I bought it as an afterthought when I picked up some Claret wood finish Springbank CS. Had I known how good it was then, I would have bought more. So glad we didn’t look it up on WineSearcher until AFTER we opened it or it would still be sealed…
We then moved to a flight of rums starting with:
Havana Club Seleción de Maestros (45%)
Then we moved on to Mount Gay 1703 Master Select, 2018 release (>10 YO, 43%).
We decided, for fun, to try Plantation Pineapple rum, made from pineapple infused rum and macerated pineapple rinds. This is not a liqueur, and is bottled at 40%.
Then we moved to a Valinch and Mallet Clarendon pot still rum (26 YO, 56.9%).
The Whisky Agency Caroni Trinidadian rum (23 YO 42.9%)
Cadenhead’s Caroni 21 YO rum (61.6%).
Kill Devil 17 YO Jamaican rum from Hampden distillers (46%).
At this point things “degenerated” a little. There were a few more that we wanted to get through, and we went through them a little more quickly and perhaps not as carefully (I speak for my own palate fatigue):
Barrell Seagrass rye finished in barrels that used to contain Martinique rum, Madeira and Apricot Brandy (59.56%).
Vallinch and Mallet Glendullan Single Malt (sorry I did not get the age), sherry hogshead (53.1%).
That Boutique-y Whisky Co,. Glen Elgin 22 YO Batch 2 (48.2%)
Antiquary 35 YO blended whisky (50:50 Girvan and Tomatin) at 46%.
Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Batch 4 (60.9%). Not a bad young whisky but a but outclassed here.
And we finished off with Fortaleza 100% Agave reposada tequila at 40%.
This was definitely an epic 2 day event. Having two days meant each night was less rushed and more relaxed. The company was great, the food was great, and the spirits were fantastic. Until the next one!
26 days ago 6Who liked this?
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