Proposed line up (there might be some tweeks depending on luck)
Clynelish 2008 Signatory Bourbon cask 46%
Now and Then - the same dram bottled decades apart - is there a difference?
Top Secret but I can say distilled 1979
Something peaty probably cask strength Ardmore 8yo
Tasting will run every 3 weeks from the above date until Christmas.
Dram 1 Bells - the current version : not a record low but a grim 22% : 111222222223334'. 'Smells better than it tastes', 'ok for a hot toddy', 'too young and spirity', 'no nose', 'bland taste, but it's still a whisky, not my go to', 'sour with water', 'easy to drink', 'funky, a bit odd, growing on me after 10 minutes, moments of genius shine through a mostly tired dram'.
Dram 2 Bells 26 2/3 fluid annouces (so bottled about 40 years ago) better than the modern bottlng but still pretty poor: 112222233344444 : 28%. 'Better than the current version', 'more depth, nutty, walnut/banana loaf', 'better than 1', 'smells like caramel', 'more wine-ish/sour with time'.
Dram 3 Henry McKenna single cask Bourbon 50% US exclusive. Despite strongly appealing to Jim Murray this only managed a modest 34% : 000233344445558. 'Fennel/aniseed, I'm not a fan, tingly & sweet', 'I'd pour it away if you bought it for me but as I paid for it I'm going to drink it', 'hard to make sense of but intriguing, quite delightful', 'lovely nose, a bit too strong at first but better after a while & with water', 'the more I drink it the more I like it', 'outstanding', 'holds balance very well, just a really well constructed dram'.
Dram 4 BBR/RMW 1979 single cask blend 38yo. Best of the night 444455566666788 : 58%.'Sweet. I like it', 'sweet but still a little feisty', 'baclava, tropical fruit, orange, walnut, sultanas, light spice cardamom, all rounder', 'thank you, a wonderful dram', 'good all rounder, a drinking whisky', 'would drink this all day', 'juicy fruit', 'salted caramel, yum', 'nice balance, rich nuttiness, brandy soaked raisins and dates, sherry trifle, never too sweet '.
Dram 5 Port Askaig 14yo 45.8% single Islay malt. 123344456666677: 48% - again modest. 'Smells nicer than it tastes', 'peaty but still quite light, I'd nick the dregs', 'over right banana, off milk, lemon pith, I like it I think, Ardbeg?', 'bitter back palate but otherwise (very) good', 'it's alright', 'mermaid pee, pretty dull, standard modern Islay/Caol Ila '.
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