I’m just back from a week away in Argyll so I didn’t get to post this quite as early on as I was planning, this was the tasting that made me decide to create this blog, why? I don’t know, the idea had been bouncing about in my head for a while and I like the idea of documenting it for myself, so here we go…
For those that don’t already know the GWC (Glasgow ‘s Whisky Club) has a “Round the Barrel Night” the last Tuesday of every month, this is a pretty informal get together where we all sit down and enjoy a few drams, as the t-shirts etc. say “A Dram, Not A Drama”. These are always great fun, the last one was on the 26th of July, it was a lovely sunny day which is very unusual for Glasgow, but it was already decided to be an Islay night.
As I mentioned before, I got started with Islay malts and it was all I drank for a long time and I love them, but that night I didn’t enjoy them as much as I normally would have because of the weather, so there’s not much in terms of notes, but I had a great night and that night less than half the drams I had were Islay malts anyway.
We started off with an Invergordon 36 Year Old Single Grain Whisky – this was brought along by Mark Connelly who is part owner of The Good Spirits Co to toast the stepping down of Bill Mackintosh, now former chairman of the GWC, I don’t really know much about this dram, I didn’t even get to see the bottle, but I thought it was a cracking dram, well suited to the weather, light, citrusey, sweet and reminding me somewhat of orange peel.
Next up, another unplanned dram (or two), time for something that’s not even released in the UK yet, something a bit different, from New York (!?!?!), but something we’ll hopefully be able to get our hands on soon…
Hudson Single Malt Whiskey - Year 10, Batch 6, Bottle 274
Bottled at 46%, aged under 4 years in oak and hand crafted by Tuthilltown Spirits, Gardiner, New York.
The presentation on this and the Hudson Baby Bourbon is excellent, they come in 375ml bottles sealed with red wax that looks great, but is a pain in the ass to get off (and hurts when it stabs you under your finger nails), the contents is just as good, if not better!
Palate: loose leaf tea, very refreshing, apples
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey – Year 11, Batch 7, Bottle 1181, 46% ABV
Not really had that much in terms of Bourbon other than Bullet and Makers mark, they all seemed pretty one dimensional and a mixer more than anything else, this seemed a lot more complex like a single malt or a good whisky so I’ve obviously been trying the wrong bourbons!
Hammer Head 20+ Year Old Czech Single Malt - 40.7% ABV
Matured 100% in Czech oak using 100% Czech barley, I’m pretty sure this is my first attempt at any Czech drink never mind whisky, it had an old goldish green colour to it, almost like cheap “gold” jewellery with an oxidised copper colour coming through.
Pretty dry tasting, way too weak tasting, it tasted weaker than 40.7%, way too weak and almost like a bourbon or something that you’d use in a mix.
Bruichladdich 15 Year Old Links Vallhalla - 46% ABV
slightly peaty, earthy, reminded me of Rye whisky, pepper, quite floral
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bottle 210, Cask number 301696, distilled 08/02/2000, 64.3% ABV
very pale like you’d expect from Caol Ila, very powerful (not surprising considering the ABV), peaty, sweet
Lagavulin 2010 Distillery Only Edition – 52.5% ABV
Didn’t write anything here other than “sweet”, like I said earlier, wasn’t in much of an Islay mood, but it was a nice dram from what I remember.
Ardbeg Alligator Committee Reserve – 51.2% ABV
I was really looking forward to this one, but I think all the hype ruined it for me.
dry, smokey, bbq, charcoal, peaty, ardbegy
Smokehead 18 Year Old – 46% ABV
Mellowed out from the standard Smokehead, still very smokey, peaty, sweety, spicy.
It really does remind me of Ardbeg, but that’s a completely different discussion.
Spirit of Unity – 46% ABV
This was my second time tasting this, I liked it slightly better this time, but I’m still not that impressed, but it’s for a good cause so who cares!
raisins, vegetables, sweet.
After my last dram I went to MacSorley’s
for an Abhainn Dearg
which is a stunning dram, one of the most memorable I’ve had so far, but I need to sleep soon as I have to get up early for work and I’m still in holiday mode.