By @Wodha on 15th Jan 2010, show post
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Tonight, finished off my bottle of Deanston SMWS 79.6 (9 year - April 2012) "Rough and jumble" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 60.8% ABV. Notes of barley and biscuits.
Also had a small dram of a peated Glenturret SMWS 16.60 (10 year - Nov. 2010) "Entering uncharted paths" - Re-charred hogshead - 56.9% ABV. More of a woody smoke than peat.
3 months ago 2Who liked this?
@RianC thats a shame, although it sounds an interesting experience. I hope it improves with a bit of time open.
@jordytropp came over this afternoon to pick up some firewood. After loading the wood, it was time for a couple of drams.
Finished off my bottle of GlenDronach SMWS 96.34 (11 year - March 2009) "Stroll Through the Seasons" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 60.2% ABV.
Followed by Westland Distillery (Seattle, WA) Cask # 6140 Single cask release, cask strength 7 year (4 year New American Oak + 3 year Pineau des Charentes brandy cask) 50.5% ABV.
3 months ago 4Who liked this?
Late last night, I finished my 2023 budget for work. Celebrated with a dram of Glen Scotia SMWS 93.177 (8 year - March 2013) "Crossing the event horizon" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 58.6% ABV. This is so good!
3 months ago 3Who liked this?
A couple of Black Manhattan's made with Maker's Mark 46.
@Timp - update: I decanted it (always a last resort but felt like it really needed some loosening up!) And had left the cork off for 24 hours prior), left it for a few days then tried some again last night.
A definite improvement. It needs time and water but one where you have to go literal drop by drop or it falls apart. I shall put some in samples for you guys now.
Went on quite the journey with a dram last night. It's very complex and changes lots with time and every drop of water. It's basically a dry peater with a wee hint of some sherry in the background: dry and herbal, spices of ginger and white pepper, roasted lemons, boozy almond paste, plasters, boozy cocktail cherries ... I could go on.
I won't decant again but still.feel that it will get better with more air. Quite the character and keen to get another's take on it.
I had some B&G 11 (George Dickel?) bourbon to hand and poured a dram atop the last few mls of the CI pour. Amazing! Like really amazing! Ratio was at least 10:1 but it added a whole new dimension of sweetness and thinnned out the thicker malt nicely, without losing any flavours. Man, if I could buy a blend like this ...
I'm genuinely tempted to make a full bottle from a home made vatting it was that good, but these things seldom come out as good again.
Had dinner at my nephew’s and he poured me a dram of Noah’s Mill that he had picked up in the US. To my knowledge I had never tasted it before. This is a tasty, solid, cask strength bourbon.
3 months ago 7Who liked this?
@Nozinan Noah's Mill is from K.B.D., aka the Willett people. That's an unusually high-pitched bourbon, and quite unlike anything else I've ever had from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. A very nice solid bourbon, but its profile has never been a favourite for me because I prefer to have more bass notes in my drink for balance. This one goes for a high-pitched elegant effect, sort of like 2010 Pappy Van Winkle 15, but it can't get there for me, probably because it's made with rye rather than wheat. I've known this bourbon for 11 or 12 years, have tasted it 7 or 8 times, but have never purchased or wanted to purchase a bottle of it. But for many it is the cat's meow. And it is very reasonably priced in the USA, maybe $ 55.
On Saturday night, I went to a friend's house for his birthday celebration, but I was the one receiving the presents from his amazing whisky cabinet(s)...
30 year (Feb. 28th, 1989) Inverlen (closed distillery) SMWS 20.25 "My God, it's full of starts" from a refill ex-bourbon barrrel - 47.5% ABV. Only 128 bottles out of this cask. Beautiful and delicate.
29 year (Sep. 24th, 1985) Longmorn SMWS 7.116 "It's good to arrive" from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 58.5% ABV. Even with everything else I had during the night, this one continued to stand out and hold its own.
23 year (Sep. 23, 1993) Glenfarclas SMWS 1.205 "Captivating complexity". After aging in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished in a 1st-fill ex-PX hogshead - 54.3% ABV. Perfectly named and a perfect example of a PX finished whisky.
34 year (May 28th, 1984) Girvan (grain whisky) SMWS G7.15 "Mind-altering hugs". After aging in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished in a new oak hogshead - 57.2% ABV. I've owned a bottle of this one previously, but it is long gone. Fun to revisit it and it lived up to my memory of it.
30 year (May 12th, 1989) Macallan SMWS 24.139 "Beauty beyond skin deep" from a refill ex-sherry butt - 46.9% ABV. An absolutely beautiful Macallan. The way all Macallan's should taste.
29 year (Nov. 28th, 1984) Clynelish SMWS 26.105 "Bumblebees by the sea" from a refill ex-sherry butt - 57.6% ABV. Must have been a very used cask because the sherry influence was minimal at most which was fine. This whisky had the typical waxy note that you expect from this distillery but had a wonderful earthiness in the finish which may be the cask influence. With a little water, it became slightly smokey. Awesome dram!
26 year (April 19th, 1989) Jura SMWS 31.31 "A couple of classic icons" from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 55.8% ABV. I've never been a big fan of Jura, but if they all tasted like this, it could change my mind.
27 year (June 16th, 1990) Longmorn SMWS 7.199 "Self-perpetuating perfection". After aging in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished in a 1st-fill PX hogshead - 52.3% ABV. As good as this Longmorn was, and it was a beauty, the previous Longmorn was better, in my opinion.
20 year (May 13th, 1998) Laphroaig SMWS 29.263 "Exquisitely playful" from a 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 54.9% ABV. Everything you would want and expect from a 20 year Laphroaig. Peated perfection.
21 year (Nov. 8th, 1996) Springbank SMWS 27.112 "A broadside cannon barrage" from a 1st-fill ex-sherry butt - 54.7% ABV. Another one that I have previously owned that also lived up to my memory of it. A really good balance between the sherry and the Campbeltown funk.
Finished the night with a 12 year (June 21st, 2002) Port Charlotte SMWS 127.43 "Kissing a smoker" from a refill ex-bourbon barrel - 65.0% ABV. I owned a bottle of this when it was released in 2015 and I loved it. This is one where it didn't live up to my memory. It was still very good, but not as special as I remember it being.
Last night (Sunday), for happy hour, my wife and I had a couple of Jerry Thomas Manhattan's made with Old Forester Rye (50% ABV).
3 months ago 6Who liked this?
Last night, I had the next to last dram out of my bottle of Blair Athol SMWS 68.65 (12 year - Feb. 2009) "Floral laurel" from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 58.3% ABV.
I was surprised at work yesterday when my boss presented my team and I bonuses for all of our extra work the past few weeks related to moving to our new office building. I celebrated last night with the following drams.
Loch Lomond SMWS 135.42 (21 year - July 2000) "Fun in the sun" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 54.9% ABV. This one is a little industrial neat, but water mellows it out.
Dalmore SMWS 13.89 (13 year - May 2007) "Amped-up!" - After 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished 2 years in a 1st-fill charred with toasted heads wine barrique - 57.0% ABV. This one tasted hotter than 57%, but again, a little water helped this one out as well.
Finished with Allt-A-Bhainne SMWS 108.19 (7 year - Nov 2011) "Forget Convention!" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 64.6% ABV.
3 months ago 5Who liked this?
Last night, Allt-a-Bhainne SMWS 108.47 (10 year - Sep. 2011) "I dream of genie..." - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 62.1% ABV.
I had a few drinks last night, but I got the order kind of wrong.
You are a brave man. I would never dare to get up and pour myself, another drink, interrupting my wife in an important conversation.
@Nozinan the key is to get up to pour while you are doing the talking.
Today, I received the 7 whiskies that I will be pouring for a whisky tasting this coming Monday. One of them is not part of the blind tasting. I was told I could either use it as a welcoming dram or use it for a cocktail. The whisky is the 15th in the series of blended malts that the Society has released. It is 10 years old and is a combination of peated Islay and Orkney whisky matured in ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and ex-PX casks (50.0% ABV). I first tried it neat. Nose is fruity (blackberry) and smoked caramel. Palate is peppery and smoky with some root beer notes. With water, nose is sweet and salty liquorice. The diluted palate is now rich sherry cream and smoky dark fruits.
After trying it neat, I made a bloody (smoky) Rob Roy cocktail with it. 50ml Scotch, 20ml sweet vermouth, 2 dashes of angostura bitters and a garnish of Luxardo cherry and an orange twist. The cocktail was ok, but I felt like it covered up the smoke. Not sure if I will offer the blended malt neat or in a cocktail on Monday night, but right now, I'm leaning toward neat.
Later, while playing on-line poker with the guys, I continued the peated whisky theme.
Allt-A-Bhainne SMWS 108.19 (7 year - Nov 2011) "Forget Convention!" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 64.6% ABV
Allt-a-Bhainne SMWS 108.47 (10 year - Sep. 2011) "I dream of genie..." - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 62.1% ABV
Finished with Glen Scotia SMWS 93.177 (8 year - March 2013) "Crossing the event horizon" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 58.6% ABV
Relaxing and watching a K-drama after dinner with the family. One of the problems with having so many open bottles is that if you don't know exactly what you want you can be overwhelmed with choices. I was about to reach for a Caol Ila 15 YO unpeated CS, but behind it I saw the blue can of the Bruichladdich 10 (first edition 46%). The decision was easy. I can't believe the last time I poured this was August 2019... and that was for a sample for @cricklewood. No idea if I had some that day, and the previous pour was almost 2 years before that!
This whisky is not overpowering, but at 46% has enough heft to carry itself. It's quite delicious. It reminds me that I have a long overdue vertical tasting and reviewing to do of this one and a few NAS Laddies...
Neroli. Actually, neroli-like. At 0920 hrs on a Sunday I am sipping some Amrut Naarangi. I have consumed almost no alcohol within the last two months and I am very excited at the prospect of seeing some old friends again soon.
Those who know essential oils/aromatherapy know that Neroli is a species of bitter orange.
This Amrut Naarangi (in Hindi naarangi = orange) is Amrut base malt matured in casks treated with sherry AND orange rinds. There is no sweet orange juice or orange sugars effect here whatsoever. This is sour and bitter orange. The underlying sweetness of the Amrut base malt is just barely sufficient to keep this from being dry as a bone. FABULOUS!!!
This is bottled at 50% ABV. I can only imagine how glorious it would be at or near cask strength. Amrut's version of 'near cask strength' seems to be the neighbourhood of Navy Strength-- 57.1% ABV.
I would like to see not only more orange rind cask treated barley-malt whisky, but also barley-malt whisky from casks treated with the rinds/dried skins of other fruits, such as plums/prunes, cherries, blackberries, bergamots, etc.
@bwmccoy and @Nock, I hope to be drinking some of this with you in about 11 days.
2 months ago 4Who liked this?
Now I am sipping some Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo, 53.5% ABV, from the 2010 release, which I have called my favourite bourbon. Favourite, but definitely air-exposure variable. This bottle was opened on September 26, 2018, when I last saw @bwmccoy. I am sampling to see whether this bottle has diminished in quality of flavours from having been open for four years. This bottle retains the original price sticker of what I paid for it in 2010, $ 69.99, plus 6% tax, = $ 74.19. A far cry from wine-searcher.com's current average world asking price of $ 3,695.
Yes, I think that this bottle has diminished somewhat over the last four years of air exposure. I'll have to open a new bottle for @bwmccoy's take-home sample.
Comments about Van Winkle bourbons, or "why the hell would anybody pay those ridiculous prices for them?":
1) they are an acquired taste
2) many people find it easy to acquire that taste, WITH REPEATED EXPERIENCE
3) few people are getting the opportunity for those repeated experiences, e.g. having owned a few bottles of them and had the leisure to drink those bottles,... because the bottles have become so scarce and expensive
4) the VW bourbons work for different, mellower and sweeter moods, than most other whiskis
5) they are HIGHLY batch variable, across the line, something very few people talk about
Conclusion: Van Winkle bourbons have sadly become collectibles now and baubles of the rich. I considered them to be great long before their price was bid up to 30 to 50 times what I was paying for them in 2010. Yes I actually bought bottles of VW 10 under $ 30 in 2010. $ 1,000 now. They are quite lovely if you get the chance to try them. But no, I myself would not now pay more than maybe $ 300 or 400 for any of them.
2 months ago 5Who liked this?
FWIW a tip I've learned from experience: if anyone has a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle which has become a bit flaccid and a bit sour with long air exposure the best pepper-upper is the small addition of some wood-aged rum. Maybe 3-5% addition by volume of 8+ yo rum. The right rum will bring flaccid/sour PVW back most of the way to its initial glory. What happens with diminished Pappy is that the sweetness is lost to sourness over a long period of time.
@Victor that tip about the rum addition is very interesting. Have you had any other success with this mix?
2 months ago 3Who liked this?
@Timp, yes, a good wood-aged rum works for firming up and gently sweetening anything bourbon-cask matured. Bourbons, ryes, many Canadian whiskies, bourbon-cask matured malt whiskis, and many Irish whiskeys. .
The only good answer to deteriourated wine-cask products is the addition of a small amount of top tier CS wine cask malt whisky, like Macallan Cask Strength or Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1%. Using a good oloroso sherry addition will give some improvement also, but it works a lot better with first-rate CS sherried malt.
I encourage you to experiment and let me know what results you obtain. Some wood aged rums will work much better for this than others. What is needed is body and a bit of added wood sweetness. I personally would avoid using any rums which tasted of added sugars, rather than natural wood sugars. But you will be the one to decide what you like.
@Victor thanks very much, great advice as usual from you.. Will definitely let you know when I try this. Cheers..
On Friday night, sampled 3 of the 6 whiskies that I will be pouring for a blind tasting on Monday night. Details after the tasting.
Last night (Saturday), I went over to my brother-in-law's house for dinner. Afterwards, we had a few drams.
Glenfarclas SMWS 1.257 (8 year - Dec. 2012) "Lip-smacking, and summery" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 63.1% ABV.
Ben Nevis SMWS 78.52 (8 year - Dec. 2012) "Jolly nice" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon hogshead - 59.1% ABV.
Caol Ila SMWS 53.373 (10 year - Nov. 2010) "The gourmand maltster" - Refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 59.5% ABV.
After I got home, sampled the last 3 whiskies that I will be pouring on Monday night for the blind tasting.
Tonight, my wife and I had a couple of Black Manhattans made with Maker's Mark 46 for happy hour.
Inspired by a text conversation with @OdysseusUnbound and the cocktail photo from @yaklord, after a busy day (and evening charting) I poured 10 cc of Wiser’s 23.
This is really good whisky. I’m surprised that my original bottle (opened 3 years ago) is still 2/3 full. But glad because at this rate I will enjoy it for another 6 years…
2 months ago 7Who liked this?
Tonight, I hosted the Society's monthly Outturn Preview tasting event in the Seattle area.
Glen Moray SMWS 35.309 (9 year - June 2012) "Darwin's tipple" - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 60.3% ABV. Wonderful nose with a complex palate. There's a lot going on with this one.
Glenfarclas SMWS 1.253 (8 year - Dec. 2012) "The real deal" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 63.5% ABV. This one didn't do much for me.
Blair Athol SMWS 68.70 (12 year - Aug. 2008) "Intriguing idiosyncratic" - Following 9 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, transferred into a 1st-fill custom toasted American and European oak barrique - 59.5% ABV. The influence of this custom cask reminds me of a French oak cask. If I had tasted it blind, I would have thought it was from Copperwork's (Seattle) distillery.
Glenburgie SMWS 71.87 (10 year - May 2011) "Cowboys at dinner" - Following 8 years in an Oloroso butt, transferred into a heavy charred 1st-fill puncheon - 58.2% ABV. My second favorite of the night.
Highland Park SMWS 4.296 (20 year - Sep. 2000) "Life-affirming" - At 17 years, combined selected casks from this distillery. This vatting was then split amongst a variety of casks to develop further. This is one of those casks. Initial cask: ex-bourbon hogshead. Final 3 years spent in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 56.1% ABV. A very subtle, reserved dram.
Caol Ila SMWS 53.395 (11 year - Nov. 2009) "Smoky explosion" - Refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 56.4% ABV. Easily my favorite of the night!
Finished with the Society's blended malt whisky batch 15. A 10-year-old consisting of peated casks from Islay and Orkney matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-PX and ex-Oloroso casks - 50% ABV. This is very good whisky. Ticks all of the boxes for me!
Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey, Batch J, 63.64% ABV. This is whiskey aged 2.4 years in new toasted uncharred barrels, and is distilled from 100% malted rye grain.
Those of you who have never tasted 100% malted rye whiskey are in for a treat when you get a taste of Old Potrero. This one screams with flavour.
Old Potrero, made on Potrero Hill (potrero = paddock in Spanish) in San Francisco, is the distillery associated with the Anchor Steam brewery. Old Potrero is both the granddaddy and godfather of the thousands of US micro-distilleries which have proliferated in the USA since Old Potrero got revved up in the 1990s.
Needed to make some room in my whisky cabinet, so I transferred 4 mostly empty bottles into smaller sample-sized bottles. I also finished off 3 bottles that only had a dram or less left in them.
Cragganmore SMWS 37.136 (17 year - Nov. 2003) "Bar nibbles" - After 15 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, finished 2 years in a 2nd-fill ex-Oloroso hogshead - 59.8% ABV.
Blair Athol SMWS 68.65 (12 year - Feb. 2009) "Floral laurel" - Refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 58.3% ABV.
Finishing the night with a peated Allt-A-Bhainne SMWS 108.19 (7 year - Nov 2011) "Forget Convention!" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 64.6% ABV.
Doing a lot of prep work moving bottles around. I am really trying to pair down the bottles I am taking to what will certainly be an EPIC tasting with @Victor and @bwmccoy.
Tonight I opened a reserve bottle of one of my favorite Springbank 12yo Cask Strength batches. It is batch 15 at 56.6%. Again, I can’t tell you how important it is to taste a whisky from the same bottle as another person. This bottle is totally different from my first bottle. My hope is that it is just the fresh bottle effect. I am glad I have an old small sample to take along to share with @Victor and @bwmccoy next week. I plan to leave the cork off this bottle tonight and hope this bottle improves.
What else am I tasting?
I tried a Longrow Peated 46%. I know you said @bwmccoy that you had little experience with Longrow. This is a good representation of the basic Longrow. But I am already planning to bring the Longrow 11yo Rundlets & Kilderkins 51.7%, Longrow Red 11yo Cabernet Franc 55.9%, and the Longrow 14yo Refill Sherry 57.8%. These are all way better. But maybe you want to see what the generic good old fashioned Longrow is about?
I am also rebottling my Port Charlotte MC:01 56.3%. I opened it over two years ago. I am shocked how little was left in the bottle. I managed to rebottle almost all of it into a 125mL sample bottle leaving just a wee dram for myself. I still love it.
@Victor I have a really good Lagavulin 16yo open. Is that something we need for any reason? My guess is no . . . unless you want to try my fun Everclear experiment.
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