June was quite full with all three tasting groups holding their regular sessions plus a few interesting visitors with:
- An evening with Caitlin Hill with Botanist & Bruichladdich* (coming soon!)
- An evening with Michael Morris with Quiet Man 8 year
With our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents, we shifted gears to have an evening dedicated to open bottles – a complete mixed bag of what was lying around. Which in our case meant a merry trip through:
- Westland American Oak 46% – What we once impressive…. now disappoints with an odd edge… just not what it used to be
- Glenmorangie 19 year 43% – Soft citrus, fruity, light florals, lovely… classic Glenmorangie style
- Balblair 05 46% – Had a slightly sour element not previously found but still most drinkable
- DeCavo NAS Batch 10 Cask 92 46% – Still lip smackingly good! We’d love to try more and a 375 ml bottle is perfect size for our tastings…
For the Whisky Ladies, it was a night of “Highland Hijinks!“
- Old Pulteney 12 year 40% – Revisiting a most enjoyable familiar friend
- Glenmorangie The Duthac 43% – Not bad but didn’t stand out
- Aberfeldy 18 year 40% – The clear disappointment of the evening
- Compass Box Phenomenology 46% – While not in keeping with the theme, simply had to share this remarkable blend!
And our original group? We were introduced to a remarkable new independent bottler – North Star with a terrific trio of:
- North Star’s Cask Series 001 – Glenrothes 20 year (Oct 1996/Oct 2016) 54.6% 1 of 252 bottles*
- North Star’s Cask Series 001 – Ardmore Peat 8 year (June 2008 / Oct 2016) 57.1% 1 of 198 bottles*
- North Star’s Cask Series 002 – Caol Ila 8 year (June 2008 / May 2017) 58.3% 1 of 230 bottles*
Last month, I took our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents on a European Exploration and caught up with all the tasting notes which had a clear divide between ones we quite enjoyed…. and those we decidedly did not!
The thumbs “down” category included:
- This Buckwheat from Bretagne – Eddu Silver Buckwheat Whisky 40% – falls into the “different” and “unusual” and with that perspective, the gents gave the experiment a “go” but wouldn’t repeat.
- Italy – Puni Nova Bourbon Cask, Batch #2 (2015) 43% – I had sampled a trio from Puni in Singapore years ago, picked up Puni Alba Marsala + Islay casks for another session and this one for myself. I was so looking forward to it…. and found this 2nd batch rather disappointing… Sigh….
- France – Domaine Des Hautes Glace Organic Single Malt 42% – Picked up purely on ‘spec’ at La Maison du Whisky, it had a fungal aroma that was terrible and even more suspect was the growth like sedimentation that was likely caramel colouring – despite the bottle stating the colour was natural. Avoid.
And in the thumbs “up” category?
- Belgium – Gouden Carolus Single Malt 3 years 46% – Thrown in by our host who just “happened to have it”… it was pleasant and far better than a Belgium Owl sampled years ago
- Switzerland – Forty Three Swiss Highland Single Malt Whisky 43% – A find from a trip to Germany and far more enjoyable than anticipated
- Germany – DeCavo NAS Batch 10, Cask 92 46% – Purchased at a speciality store in Munich, it was the favourite discovery of the night!
In addition to our normal tasting evenings, we were fortunate to have not one but two IBHL sessions in April and May respectively with:
- An evening with Samantha Peters, Digital Marketing with Speyburn 10 year 43%, Balblair 05 46%, Old Pultney 12 year 40%*
- An evening with Stuart Harvey, Master Blender with Balblair 05, 99, 00 and Speyburn 15 year
Evenings with Krishna Nakula, India’s Malt Maniac are always a pleasure. This time we ambled through a rather remarkable range of whiskies…
- Ardbeg (1990/2003) Sherry Cask 3133 46% (Gordon + MacPhail)
- Amrut Fever Club (2017) Batch No 1 46%
- Amrut Port Pipe Peated 62.8% (LMdW)
- Bunnahabhain 25 year (1991/2017) Raw Cask No 5436, 50.5% (Blackadder)
- Glen Grant 64 year (24 Nov 1949/6 Jun 2014) First Fill Sherry Cask 2200 + 3185 40% (G+MP)
*Tasting notes coming soon…
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