Archive for the ‘malt tasting’ Category

Caol Ila 12 yo

October 12, 2009

Not having had the time to have a good dram in weeks, I finally got the time and opportunity this week. Caol Ila. I had brunt myself with an island sounding name two weeks back – “Isle of Jura” which neither tasted like an Islay malt nor like a whisky I’d go back to. More on it later.

May be because I was having a runny nose (which my wife attributes to Swine flu) and craved medicines, or may be because it is a real good whisky, I liked it a lot.

Notes — Sea, peat, smoke and iodine. A bit watery at first, but gets drier in the end. Pretty neat.

Ardbeg Uigeadail

August 16, 2009

This whisky came highly recommended by the friendly guy at the local liqor store, who was candid enough to admit that he could not pronounce the name. I have been eyeing this for a while now, but at $120+, I convinced myself that I should wait for an occasion. It is funny how things turn up. The said occasion was my inlaws going on a week long bus tour. The guy at the store was being a pain in the ass and lectured me on the virtues of free trade and how he could not get some good whiskies from Canada even for his personal consumption. When I finally got home, I could not wait.

Notes — Peat, iodine and salty sea water. Tobacco. Sweet, overpowering and evaporates immediately inside the mouth leaving a minty feel. When a splash of water is added, it is more drinkable and one could feel malty and peaty tones.

Overall, pretty intense stuff at about 54% abv. It is definitely not the kind that you can have 3-4 glasses. I am not sure I liked it the first day, but I kept drinking a glass everyday for a week. It is either the complex and unwelcoming taste or the high alcohol content, this one has a dark allure to it. I will definitely drink this if I had the money and time again. The best Islay malt I’ve ever tasted.

Lagavulin 16yo

July 5, 2009

I was having a bad cold and was feeling a bit feverish. Plus visitors from India next week means that I will have to be contended with the occasional evening drams that I could have at the pub on my way home from work. What better to have than a nice bottle of peaty and medicinal Islay malt? I remember having an Islay malt that hit the right notes and somehow thought it to be the Lagavulin 16yo. Besides, the guy at the liqor store said this is the best peat he had. And he had an impressive collection including ardbeg, laphroaig, caol isla, bowmore and isle of jura. To cut a long story short, I had this bottle of Lagavulin 16yo for the weekend.

Notes — Smells like seaside, peat (not as much I remember it to be), smoke and iodine. Sweet and spicy not unlike a cognac. Smoky and woody with a minty finish.

Singleton of Dufftown 15yo

June 14, 2009

A friend went to Europe on business recently and was thoughtful enough to buy me a bottle of whisky. Not being a whisky drinker himself, he had asked the shopkeeper for something that is not available in the US who gave him a bottle of Singleton 15yo. He invited a couple of us to sample the fare at his house this Friday.

Dufftown apparently is a town which has the highest concentration of distilleries including Glenfiddich and Balvenie. The distillery produces a large quantity of whisky, majority of which is for making blended malts.

Notes — Flowery with hints of vanilla. Spicy at first, sweet and woody later and warming mint finally. Easily drinkable.

Glenfiddich 15yo

May 23, 2009

The last time I had a bottle of Glenfiddich 15yo was quite eventful. Missing a flight home from work, a friend of mine flew to my house instead. Coming from a parched place in Arkansas he was quite thirsty. So we drank a good three-fourths of the bottle all night, reminiscing on the past and generally bitching about common friends. It must have been four in the morning when he dropped a bombshell – that he had to catch a 6AM flight to his home. I dropped him at the airport, came back home and caught a few hours of sleep when the other writer of this blog called saying he was in town. We had the remaining whisky for starters, went out bought more booze and smoke and started on the binge right away

Anyhow that was then and I only wish I could have the same level of metabolism now.

Notes — honey and almonds. Creamy, sweet and spicy with dry finish.

Glenfiddich 12 yo

May 14, 2009

One of my friends and former roommates simply loves Glenfiddich. I started it on his recommendation and liked it because it was easy to drink the 12yo. This and the Glenlivet, were our regular drinks 2-3 years back. May be familiarity bred contempt, I got bored of it. It has been a long while since I had the glenfiddich 12 yo.

Notes — Sweet with hints of vanilla and a dry woody finish. Bland.

Ardbeg 10 yo

May 4, 2009

The ardbeg 10 yo whisky was relaunched in 2008 with quite a bit of build up. They launched three bottlings from the 10 yo cask, 7 yo Very Young in 2005, 8 yo Still Young in 2006 and 9 yo Almost There in 2007 before finally relaunching the 10yo in 2008. I hear that those three bottles are now collectors’ favourite. The new 10 yo even was named the “world whisky of the year 2008” by Jim Murray. I have had a 10 yo ardbeg previously in 2005 and so decided to try the new one. If I remember correctly, this one is completely different from what I had in 2005.

Notes — peat and smoke, but very subtle. Sweet at first, then smoky and spicy, again very subtle. Oily. Not so long dry finish.

Summary — Very mellow Islay malt. Does not even feel like Islay malt. I don’t know if that is good or bad.

Glenmorangie Lasanta

April 6, 2009

A series of unfortunate events this weekend led to rationing of my liquor supplies. About two weeks back, my wife was rummaging the house to locate her passport when she stumbled on an unopened box of Microsoft Money software. Ever since she has been pestering me to install and configure it it so that she could keep track of our accounts. I finally relented this weekend. The idiotic software popped up a pie chart of my expenses with a significant slice under the category “liquor”. An audit of the liquor inventory followed – 8 bottles of beer, 3 bottles of wine, a bottle of Glenmorangie Lasanta and half consumed bottles of all that I have written about so far. Now I am supposed to finish all these before I can buy new ones.

Glenmorangie Lasanta is their sherry wood finish.

Notes — For 46% abv, it is very pleasant and fragrant to the nose. Nutty and Sweet. Almonds and honey like breakfast cereal.

Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or

March 22, 2009

I have a simple attitude towards road trips – if there isn’t a starbucks or subway within a mile radius of where you are, you are not supposed to be there. As a driver, I get impatient after an hour on the freeway and start the “are we there yet?” routine. These mean I have to be wary of sunny and warm weekends. My wife usually comes up with one of her atrocious plans to drive 2 hours one way to a small pond or a camping site. The only place we both agree to go is a charming German village with microbreweries an hour or so away.

This week we had a similar plan, but thanks to unexpected flurries and unusual chill outside, we had to drop the plan. Instead, she invited her friends over for dinner and I settled with a bottle of Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or and a DVD of perumaal after they left. This is one of their new labels of the old wood finish bottles. This variant is matured in French casks that used to hold the Sauternes dessert wine. This is supposed to impart a sweet and spice flavor to the whisky.

Notes — Honey and spices to the nose. Honey-sweet with lime and spices, like herb tea. A long warming finish.

Jameson Irish Whisk’e’y

March 18, 2009

Finding oneself in the midst of revellers could be intimidating. I ought to know. Last year at about this time, I was in a train in Boston, on my way to the airport. I did notice an unusual number of green hats and “I am Irish” t-shirts, but nothing prepared me for what happened at the Harvard station. A sea of 20-somethings in costumes of varying “green”ness flooded the train, chocking me to crap my pants. In comparison, the beach-tambaram train in madras is like a limo. Anyhow, that presented me with the excuse to down two bottles of Guinness at the airport.

Today, thanks to a colleague, I found myself in an Irish pub. I somehow have the opinion that whiskeys are inferior to whiskies and blended malts inferior to single malts. That’s just me, however. Never having tried Irish Whiskey, I ordered a glass of Jameson.

Notes — May be because I am conceited, very strong notes of the Re. 1 oorugai potlam and spirits. A few swirls later, wood and flowers. Spicy and nutty with sweet finish.