January 2022 - New Year, New Drams!
We see in the new year with some interesting expressions, one first release from a rekindled distillery, one incredibly generous contribution and one that has been obtained and waiting in the wings for a long time.
Without further ado lets hop straight in to the tasting!
1. Lindores Abbey The Casks of Lindores - Bourbon Barrel
(70cl, 49.4% vol)
So the story goes, at the Lindores Abbey in 1494 Brother John Cor was commissioned by King James IV to create some spirit for him. He provided 8 bolls of malt to work with. This spirit is recognised as the very first official scotch to be produced. Since then the Abbey had been disassembled to build houses in the nearby town.
Recently the distillery has been rebuilt and rekindled, starting production again in 2017.
This is their first release and has sat solely in bourbon barrels for three years. The ABV surely can’t be a coincidence? A nod to the date 1494?
Nose: An incredibly sweet aroma, very floral and light. Honeysuckle and a light woodiness.
Palate: Opens really sweetly, lots of honey and nectar sweetness continuing through, with a light oakiness.
Finish: Sweetness continues, possibly the sweetest dram that we have ever tasted.
Plenty of comments on what we dubbed a ‘mid-burn’ on the night where the youth shows itself but that sweetness overpowers it and for a whisky of such a young age it really is incredibly mellow. A few comments on the acidity being too much for them along with the almost sickly sweetness.
Overall a really exciting and encouraging introduction to the whisky stage.
2. Glenmorangie Tribute 16 year old
(100cl, 43% vol)
Firstly for this one we have to say a massive thank you to Glenmorangie and parent group: Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). You may remember we tasted their ‘A Tale of Cake’ expression last year, well they were so taken by our effort to pair the whisky with a pineapple cake in line with their suggestions, that they sent us some bottles of two of their different ranges to say thank you! We held onto them waiting for the opportune moment, with another bottling from a different distillery in their family in reserve too for a future tasting. Particular thanks to Ruth for sorting these for us!
This bottling was originally released for the travel retail market, so a nice generous litre! (Big pours all round…) it has a very light peat to it which the ‘Tribute’ name is derived from - paying homage to the distillery’s past where they previously used a peat fired kiln.
Now a disclaimer - we shifted the order of the whiskies to better suit the stew (kindly provided by Jonny) and black bun (kindly provided by Robert) - however we then started reading the notes in the original order. Interestingly we felt these notes fitted this whisky much closer than the correct ones when we realised! The characters were quite different too, but the coffee note that was mentioned in the nose for the third whisky we found really prevalent in this one.
This has spawned a really interesting take for a future tasting - the idea being we demonstrate 3 different sets of notes, then the club has to guess which applies to which! Thanks Robert for this excellent idea.
So was the power of suggestion at play here? We went on to read the correct notes - but disagreed with the zesty emphasis on the nose in the official profiles. We got some coffee and later some smokey bacon on the nose, but found the slightly peated finish to be very pleasant in it’s subtlety.
We agreed that it was a lot more ‘grown-up’ than the first, but some were not so keen on it, resulting in a lower overall score of 3 out of 5 for this one.
3. Dalmore Cigar Malt
(70cl, 44% vol)
To accompany the third whisky we had Robert’s famous black bun that has become something of a January institution for the club. Traditionally presented to neighbours at New Years’ we are always pleased to receive the annual fruit-filled, pastry-clad bake.
This is a much sought-after dram in it’s original guise, however this is the second iteration which seems to have come down in price compared to the original which may suggest that it isn’t quite as well received.
We got a rich caramel nose, with tobacco aromas (however it sparked some debate about whether this was again psychological due to talking about cigars!). A peppery palate, complementing the pepper in the black bun that we were tasting it alongside. Followed by a relatively simply finish, but rich and well balanced.
“Luscious and thick - almost like a dessert wine.”
£100.00 - £81.95
Overall a solid selection on the night, and again thanks to Jonny for the delicious stew and Robert for the equally fantastic black bun.