Saturday, 8 May 2010

#377 - Assorted Tasting Notes

The winter has been long and cold in Holland, with a snowy blanket that covered the land for more than a month. That was quite unusual, and spring has started the same. There has been a green haze around the trees since a few weeks now, but due to unusually dry conditions they did not signal the arrival of spring yet with the usual explosion of fresh green leaves

However, after three warm and sunny weeks we're now enjoying a cold and rainy weekend - ideal for a two day dramming session to 'work away' some old samples and do some serious thinking. The national elections are only a month away and I'm still a 'vigorously floating voter'. I'm even considering NOT voting at all because one could argue that one is satisfied with the current, antiquated electoral system by voting.

Compass Box NAS 'Magic Cask 2006' (46%, OB, Over 480 Bts.)
(A vatting of Clynelish 14yo and Linkwood Madeira Finish)
Nose: Fruity with a hint of oil in the background. Polished. 

Some chloride and very subtle spices emerge over time. 
Taste: Round, light and sweet. Very smooth on the palate.
Score: 79 points - nice; just short of recommendable...

Murray McDavid 'Trilogy' (40.3%, MMcD, Bottled 2006)
(A vatting of Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain)
Nose: Classy, very antique and distinguished. Coal smoke. Fruits.
The fruits evolve over time. I wanted to prolong the experience.
Taste: A bit weak in the start, loads of 'OBE'. Dry, tannic finish.
A bit meaty as well; a perfect example of an 'antique' whisky. 

Coffee. Lots of coal smoke and a hint of beer. I love this profile!
Score: 91 points
- a brilliant vatting that grew on me over time.
For a while it was too weak on the palate for the 90's, but it finally arrived there. After almost an hour it finally reached 91 points...

QE2 NAS (43%, OB, Morrisson Bowmore Ltd., Black Decanter, 75cl) 
Nose: Smoky and sweaty. Tertiary fruits. Crushed plant stems.
Old fashioned menthol sweets. The aroma is simply unique.

Very fragrant; this one has 'a lot of nose' for the first ten minutes.
Taste: Lovely combination of sweetness and 'OBE'. Liquorice.
Gentle tannins in the finish. This one grows sweeter over time.
Score: 88 points - I received this sample from Olivier, who described it as "a ceramic black decanter (jug) done by Morrison Bowmore, probably a vatted or blended malt (can't remember) that was served on the QE2 (the boat) for 1st class passenger after it's launch. There is a NAS version and a 12yo. The Whisky is called QE2 like the ship and not Queen Elizabeth 2."  So there you have it...

Aberlour-Glenlivet 8yo 1965
(50%, OB, Cube bottle, small cork, Rinaldi Import, 75cl) 

Nose: Birch wood smoke. Subtle sweet and organic notes. Great!
Sweet with a hint of pine. Fruity richness in the background.
Mon Cherie - liquor filled chocolates. Just hugely enjoyable...
Taste: Quite unique. Woody and quite dry, but softer 'edges'.
The pine I found in the nose returns on the palate. Dry finish.
Score: 89 points -
incredibly complex for such a young malt.

That's it for now - but expect some fresh notes in a few days.
Most of these samples came from Olivier (Thanks Olivier, lovely stuff!); next time I'll focus on a few samples Craig Daniels sent me.

Meanwhile, I'm very happy to report that I've managed to update all distillery profiles in the 'G' section with the latest details and tasting notes. About two thirds of the Distillery Data section of Malt Madness is now revised; I hope to finish the rest before the preparations of the Malt Maniacs Awards 2010 begin in earnest.

Sweet drams...