A couple of months ago I bought two of those little tubs of Glenfiddich minis containing the 12, 15 and 18. I found that I also had a couple of the old NAS minis in the old style pointy triangular bottles, not with the new rounded corners. (Makes a difference to the taste, don't you know) Anyway, I thought I could have a little tasting session with four minis.
Glenfiddich NAS Special Old Reserve
This is a malt which I recall being a bit boring (malt snob talking here?) but it was good to be able to reacquaint myself with one of the classics. It's one of the first three malts I tried.
Anyway, my verdict here was that it was light, simple, pleasant, a touch spirity and nothing special.
Glenfiddich 12 year old Special Reserve
Much more winey and fruity than the NAS and less spirity. A huge improvement. Not one I'll buy by the bottle but I would now be happy to have an occasional dram of it in a pub.
Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve
The weakest link in the three standard offerings. Basically no improvement on the 12 year old, in fact I thought the 12 had more to offer.
18 year old Ancient Reserve
Fruit and honey. A lovely smooth malt which would be even better at 43% or 46%. A touch thinner than I'd like but not one I'd turn down!
On the next night I went back and finished off the four minis and decided that I felt the same way about them. Some people rave about the Solera Reserve but it just didn't do anything for me
Mustardhead wrote:A couple of months ago I bought two of those little tubs of Glenfiddich minis containing the 12, 15 and 18.
I had one of these a few months ago too. I agree with you that the 18 is wonderful, however I definitely preferred the 15 over the 12. My notes say the nose & palate were both more balanced had more vanilla and were less malty, and the finish was much nicer. Not saying I'm a huge fan of the 15, but compared to the 12 I like it.
I also just picked up a pack of 3 100ml Taliskers. It includes a 10, an 18, and a Distillers Edition (doesn't seem to specify a vintage for this one). Can't want to dive into these. I've tried the 10 and loved it, but have not tried either of the others.
Ganga wrote:Well, I took Batch 16 and 18 way down in percentage high teens, low twenties. The charcoal remains in the Batch 16, reminds me of campfires - we burn oak out in CA. Batch 18 has hints of "meaty" fruits like peaches and apricots. There is no real hint of the charcoal I found in Batch 16.
Actually, batch #17 is the most sulphured I've tasted so far. It's not hidden at all in that expression. Actually being a A'bunadh-lover (tasted about 10 different expressions so far) that's the reason why I rate that one as the poorest of the bunch. #18 didn't show the sulphur to me, but I found it not as good as most of the previous batches, but I was happy to not find any sulphur since I was afraid it would be the tendency.
If it tastes like a campfire I would suggest phenolic notes. But for A'bunadh??? So, probably it's something like exhausted fires or spent fireworks and that would qualify under sulphur....
Talking about tasting flights. I'm planning to do an A'bunadh tasting next year if I can find all expressions (for reasonable prices). So if anyone here on the forum could help me:
I'm still looking for batch:
and the millenium silver label.
And I don't know yet how I can find out which is which in the first 5 batches that weren't numbered.
I can swap batch #6 en #8 amongst others.
Is there any way to 'fight' against it, or is it perfectly natural and even preferably the way to taste the Islay whiskies against each other as their own natural enemies? Right now I usually drink two non-Islay before sipping the next Islay, hoping to let them come more to their own right. I find that it's the peat and smoke explosion that makes them so enjoyable, and I don't want to spoil that experience just yet.
Had an evening of 4 Islay whiskies a while back. I did notice the differences between them but the evenings when I use Islay as highlighters between the rest always felt a lot better. Perhaps I should serve something to eat between them next time...
Glengoyne 17 y/o
Nose: Rich fruit cake, caramilised sugar, slight oily tar, lighter and sweeter with water, citrus and floral.
Palate: Smooth, coating, creamy, slightly perfumed
Finish: Light fresh wood
Comment: Very drinkable.... nice
Glengoyne Vintage 1972
Nose: Restrained, BBQ?, sweet flowers, scented, summer, very appealing. Like a heavy Glenlivet
Palate: BBQs, smouldering flowers, woody, quite deep and rich, slight bitterness, bigger than nose suggests
Finish: Long, full, warming, on the sides of the tounge
Comment: Has some very interesting notes to it, but maybe a little complex for my tastes.
Glengoyne Single Cask 32 y/o
Nose: Paint thinners, restrained, stringent alcohol, orange peel, spices, xmas and pears
Palate: Malty, woody, deep and thick
Finish: Cinamon, spices and perfumed
Comments: Not bad, if you like the older whiskies. Good example of an aged goyne.
Glengoyne 21 y/o
Nose: Rich deep, dark, burnt sugar. Lost when water added, hot road tar comes through
Palate: Rum? Burnt, woody and bitter
Finish: More bitterness
Comment: Just to much like hard work, colour is very dark and taste reflects this.
and after that lot I was
MrTattieHeid wrote:I have two Victoria Whisky Festival glasses. Wondering if I can afford a third. Might tip me if they had the year on them....
Can you afford not to? If you do attend once again we have to one or two more drams together. 2007 was much to rushed for me, we're planning a less complex Festival for 2008, but still high quality.
Ganga wrote:This thread is dedicated to whisky flight tastings.
Sounds great - but which airline have you found that offers such great hospitality?
Sorry, couldn't resist!
1. Signatory Laphroaig 2000 (46%). 8.2/10. They have done a series of young Laphroaigs, starting with a 7 year old, which was fantastic. This one is good, but maybe not as good. First thing you notice is the pale colour in comparison to the standard 10 year old. Second thing is the completely different taste profile and the big banana hit!
Nose: A big peat wave at first but with time the smoke clears to leave banana toffee, some floral notes, medicine cabinet.
Palate: The peat is immediately evident, dominating the first part of the taste, there's a chewy liquorice centre, a sweet and sour double whammy with some sweet pepper and some citrus.
Finish: Long and spicy, with peat
Laphroaig 10 year old (40%): 8/10. I drink this regularly, but in this company it does stand out a bit as the weakest link. They should bottle this at 48% like the rest.
Nose: Subdued and elusive, with some peat but apple peel and green salad in the mix.
Palate: Sherbety, with pontefract cakes and defined punch peat.
Surprisingly soft overall though.
Finish: Medium, with some soft toffee notes and peat
Quartercask (48%). 8.8/10. I think its fair to say we all preferred the QC to the 10. What was interesting was comparing QC to Triplewood
Nose: A grinderman nose: powerful, dusty, with green fruits, coal shed smoke, engine oil. All very intense.
Palate: Concentrated and intense industrial smoke, some aniseed, a trace of liquorice, Mouth-coating.
Finish: Sharp and savoury peat notes linger
Triplewood (48%) 8.6/10. This is QC+sherry, but on balance we prefered the QC! That wasnt true of us all, and it was pretty close, but for me the sherry didnt actually do it any favours.
Nose: Creamy and light on peat, with Thai spices, some sherry feistiness and some spiky spices.
Palate: Beach barbecue, lemon drizzled on char-grilled fish, unexpected fruity warmth. Complex but balanced between the sherry fruitiness and the savoury peat. Subtle, challenging and absorbing.
Finish: Rich smoky and fruity, and goes on forever.
Laphroaig 10 year old cask strength batch 002 (58.3%). 9.2/10. Now your talking. I just love this one. We had a small amount of batch 01 to compare, and it is fairly different
Nose: Tarred rope, phenol.
Palate: Seaweedy. Both salty and sweet. Tar-like.
Finish: Medicinal. Tar, phenol, peat, earth. A wonderfully complex whisky.
sorry, forgot to make notes for the batch 01, getting fairly sozzled at this point, dom was now launching into some music based anacdote, michelle was burning the curry and I was tucking into the whisky... This is what I wrote about the CS batch 002 "'I've come to the end of the bottle of this, I've compared it to batch 001 and the old cask strength and drank it with five other Laphroaigs, and I'm still a bit confused and conflicted. On the one hand, I think its fabulous. Against the others it stood out, its got a clean, sharp taste that is very appealing. On the other, when I've been sat at home drinking whisky, I've really enjoyed the first dram but have not at all enjoyed the second, and moved on to something else. There is a light, floral, sweet quality that sits strangely with the general laphroaig taste. "
Laphroaig 18 year old (48%). 9.5/10. For me (and the other 3 of us I think), this is up there with my all time affordable favorites Renaissance and Lagavulin 12 (gives you an idea of my taste preferences!). This was our clear favorite, followed by the CS.
Nose: Brine and sea spray. Greasy rope. Hot road tar in the rain.
Palate: Industrial steam engine. Red liquorice. Peppered steak cooked on a hickory barbecue. Big and brooding.
Finish: Long, with peat coating the mouth and liquorice and hickory lingering.
We also tried the 2010 festival bottling, but I've lost the notes! I think I preferred the 18 though.
so now to plug (hope thats allowed!) we are selling these 6 Laphroaigs as 6x50ml for £30+P&P.
Next week, an English whisky flight, chapters 6,7,9&10
Today, I varied the theme and went with Early Times 354 Bourbon. It is a 40%ABV that is priced at $14.99 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulleit prices out at about almost double depending upon the retailer. The Old Charter 12 year old, if you can find it is priced at $21.99.
On the Bulleit, I get a vanilla brown sugary honey scent that moves to spearmint then I can sense the wood aging on the nose. It is a 45%ABV that mellows a bit if you let it sit a spell. The taste brings honey spearmint to peppermint spice. It dries a bit from the wood char typical of bourbon. The spearmint peppermint spice feel provides a mouth feel that lingers at just the right tempo. This bourbon is reputed to be a bit stronger than others. Younger, not young, bourbons share these characteristics.
On the Early Times 354 Bourbon, it has a lower 40%ABV. Definitely more honey vanilla on the nose with a orange citrus like scent. More pepper than mint turning into fresh poundcake. As a younger whiskey, I get a more of an H2O feel as the vanilla honey moves to the younger oak wood notes. The spirit is not dry, but drier due to the newer char. Again, this is typical of Bourbon based upon the method. I can only hope that ET is allowed to age some casks in an effort to show how this spirit can evolve. A quite affordable and reasonable bourbon that does not have the sex appeal, since it is looked upon as being too young to win the dance with the stars.
Old Charter 12 year old is a lost icon in bourbon. A sought after, yet once common bourbon, its label is now under the control of Buffalo Trace. BT has decided not to reintroduce Old Charter 12, but focus instead on creating and marketing other brands. The nose is pure brown sugar. I can just hear Mick Jagger singing in the background; oh, it tastes so good, but I haven't tasted it yet. The vanilla follows and I get a bit of newly tanned leather at the end. This also has a bit of peppermint on the nose, as well. The taste starts like mint honey, but has similar feel to the Bowmore 18 y.o. on the finish. It lacks the bit, but the tannin char like finish brings out something similar on the mouth feel. One of these days, I am going to read someone describe exactly what I got in both the Bowmore 18 and Old Charter 10 finish.
Buffalo Trace - Binny's Selection 2009 - 45%ABV - mint honey vanilla with a hint of Lapage's Mucilage glue. The taste is more vanilla honey and almonds than the others. It is no wonder why Hansell praised this whiskey in 2005, which was the year after I visited the distillery. This bottle is a bit over three years old, but was stored well. This is a single barrel selection, I believe, but not cask strength. The mint spice char mouth feel is what bourbon drinkers expect. However, it is not as smooth as the more aged expressions. Its character and complexity are more appreciated after a nip of the Early Times Bourbon.
After samples of all four drams, the limitations of the taste buds are more pronounced. I noticed more almond on the Bulleit after drinking the others.
Summary: I prefer the Buffalo Trace Binny's Select Cask. However, it is unclear whether this selection is from 2005 or 2009. It was purchased in 2009.
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