Hosted a tasting event..

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Hosted a tasting event..

Postby Jim » Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:50 am

..a few days ago. I had 3 of my buddies over for a night of scotch drinking and card playing. Before getting into the specifics of the night, I must tell you that while all 4 of us really enjoy scotch, we do not get into the finer details of each one. Another words, you will not find any descriptions of lavender, marzipan, dates, or figs from us. You may hear more generic terms, such as smoky, peaty, fruity, peppery, hint of vanilla, cinnamon, or almond, and maybe a "complex" or two.

The night started with only one rule. My Bowmore 30 was the only bottle "off limits". Every other bottle was fair game. Sometimes, all 4 of us sampled the same, at other times, the 4 of us had 4 completely different drinks. I currently have about 30 different single malts at the bar, so there was quite a few in which to choose.

The following were among the ones sampled.

Springbank 21
Ardbeg 17
Ardbeg 1977
Caol Ila 18
Talisker "Double Matured" 1989 Distillers Edition
Bowmore 17
Lagavulin 16
Laphroaig 30

I can tell you, without reservation, that the Laphroaig 30 stole the show. A couple of the guys are huge fans of both the Lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 15. They really have the taste for the powerful Islays. They absolutely adored the 30 year. While it carries alot of the same qualities of the 15 yr, to me it is very smooth, almost creamy, while the 15 year is more "in your face". If you are ever going to splurge, may I highly recommend the Laphroaig 30.

Surprisingly, everyone really enjoyed the Caol Ila 18. I guess I shouldn't say I was totally surprised, for it is one of my favorites, and is one of those "underdogs" in my book. It was probably the 2nd choice for the other 3 guys. (Mine would definitely be the Springbank 21).

I believe all of the other single malts were also enjoyed, although if there was a luke-warm response to any, it was the Bowmore 17. This was a little disappointing to me, for the 17 yr has always been one of my favorites also.

A couple of malts that were not tried, that I thought would be, was the Macallan 18 & 25, and Highland Park 18 & 25. These are all high on my list. Oh well, maybe next time!!

Cheers to all!!


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Postby Urqhart » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:04 am

Great notes Jim, the Laphroaig 30 sounds like something I'll keep an eye out for. Had a mini tasting with a friend visiting NYC from the UK. He brought me a half bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and a bottle of 21 year old Glenfiddich Havanna Reserve single malt. The Blue is just an easy-going drop that I could sip all night, nothing spectacular going on, just that smooth an' easy drinking thing. I thought at first the Glenfiddich was just gimmickry and doomed to be mixed with plenty of the mixer of your choice. It turns out that a week after opening and given a bit of air, a very pleasant and rich rum sweetness has replaced what was a rather a harsh and nasty bite. We finished with a 26 y/o Glen Livet Adelphi which has been an absolutely wonderful substitute for Christmas pudding but with fewer calories.


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