Water of Life Society 02/04/2014
The Final Fling
In the words of our president:
Just in case you were swithering about coming to this evenings event…. here are all the reasons to come;
We have whisky
We have beer
We have pre-ticket sales for exclusive Kilchoman and Compass Box tastings…
We have awards to give out
We have a mini whisky raffle
We have the most hip happening ceilidh this side of the Forth!
What better excuse to dress up and let your hair down?!
Most, if not all, of these thing may have been true. I have a hazy memory of most of these things…
See also Dominic’s more Gothic take on proceedings here
In the spirit of the final fling, this weeks tasting was blind. We were treated to select drams from festively wrapped bottles and left to our own devices to determine what they may have been. The line-up was as follows (or so we have been told!).
1. Aberlour 10 Years Old (Official Bottling)
A classic Speyside single malt, matured in a combination of oak ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts for a minimum of 10 years. Welcoming, vibrant and rewarding.
A staple favourite of mine, so highly embarrassing that I swigged the whole dram and didn’t even come close to guessing what it was! They do say “Familiarity breeds contempt” though quite who ‘they’ are I haven’t figured out yet.
Previously reviewed here: Aberlour 10 year old , scored 83/100
2. Teanininch 10 Years Old (Flora and Fauna)
Teaninich was founded in 1817 by Captain Hugh Munro who owned the estate for which the distillery was named. The whisky distillery remained in Munro family hands up until 1904, when Robert Innes Cameron, formerly a major share holder, became the sole owner. Following his death in 1932, the distillery was acquired by Distillery Company Limited a year later. Following various mergers during the latter part of the 20th century, the distillery is currently owned by Diageo. There has only been one official release from the Flora and Fauna range and very few independent bottlings.
43% ABV, £45 for 70cl, Colour: Gold, Nose: sweet acetone and esters but also sour, Palate: Vegetal, grassy, Cucumber, cinnamon bubblegum, sour cream or cream cheese, Score: 76/100
3. Baron de Sigognac VSOP Armagnac
A Bas Armagnac grown on sandy soils in the heart of the Bas Armagnac where one finds Domaine de Bordeneuve. Spending six months in new oak followed by a seven year period in old oak.
The joker in the pack! I was convinced this really didn’t taste right so I guessed Auchentoshan (that Three Wood still has a lot to answer for!)
40% ABV, £30/70cl, Colour: Ruby amber, Nose: Perfumed rose, sweet sherry, amyl nitrite and bicycle/rubber inner-tubes, Palate: Warming, sweet perfumed orange blossom, rubber, oak wood, Score: 65/100
4. Glenrothes 23 Years Old 1989 – Signatory Cask Strength (Signatory Vintage)
Bottled at 53.9% ABV after 23 years maturation in a Sherry cask, un-chillfiltered and natural colour.
53.9% ABV, £85/70cl, Colour: Dark Amber, Nose: Toffee, malted cereal barley, tannic leather and chocolate, Palate: Dark treacle, black cherries, toffee and cocoa, black forest gateaux, Score: 87/100
5. BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year Old Peated (Official Bottling)
Curiositas is a 10 year old, peated release from the BenRiach distillery in what they call the ‘classic Speyside style’. A distinct malt with great depth and a bittersweet balance. From the outset something tasted a little too sweet and floral with this peated whisky to convince us it was from Islay. Adam hit the nail on the head by finally declaring it a peated speysider!
40% ABV, £26-33/70cl, Colour: Pale gold, Nose: Peaty and sweet, Palate: Icing sugar sweetness, malty cereal barley, sour mash/mashtun and earthy and heathery peat, Score: 82/100
Congratulations to all the WoLS award winners, and thanks as usual to our tireless committee who even provided beer and live music for the orchestrated commencement of Ceilidh-induced injuries!