Sunday, 24 June 2012

Talisker 10 yr old 45.8%

Acquired this bottle from a fellow malt whisky drinker who received it as an unwanted gift— not a fan of this style. How many times do we have to explain to well-meaning non-whisky drinkers that it doesn't all taste the same?

Nose: Mostly smoke and peat. Indeed, probably enough to dissuade most active Islay/Island dislikers, but fine for an 'undecided' like me.
Mouth: Initially robust, but the smoky peatiness dissolves into something sweeter. It's a slightly jarring transition but not altogether unpleasant.
Finish: long, sweet and warming. Nice.

The elements don't quite gel, but I like this nonetheless. I swapped it for the dregs of my most recent bottle of Dun Leire and consider that a fair exchange.  A good winter warmer if nothing else.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Name change

'Taste of whisky' was such a bland title I couldn't even find my own blog on Google the other night. So it's now the more distinctive and hopefully identifiable 'Malt Teaser'. 

That is all.

Karuizawa 1990 cask 679 56.1%

A friend's new acquisition: tasted this 2012 bottling side by side with the 1981 Karuizawa.

Smooth, easy drinking leather and wood, sweet and sherried but less dried fruit, and certainly none of the smokiness of the 1981. Until recently, my only experience of Japanese whisky had been a 12 year old Yamazaki several years ago and the woodiness of the nose/initial mouth reminded me of that. It's still very nice, but not as exceptional as the 1981.

Bladnoch (Gordon and MacPhail) 1991 40%

Dug this out of the back of my cupboard while the Auchentoshan, another Lowland, is still fresh in the memory.

A harsh young spirit oily/graininess on the nose, light sweet wood and grassiness on the mouth. A hint of floral notes.

Nice, but no Rosebank. I think the entry level Auchentoshan is better than this, too.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Auchentoshan 'Classic' 40%

The entry level Auchentoshan. The nose is hardly inspiring, bland bourbon with hints of grain and oil— but it gets much better. Lots of vanilla on the palate, the characteristic overwhelming smoothness, and a nice warming finish.

The context certainly helped with this tasting, a crackling log fire (in June!) surrounded by family. I've had this many times before and always liked it, both in its current un-aged 'classic' bottling and the previous 10 year old. Although it's clearly changed, I couldn't choose between them without a side-by-side tasting. It still has that pleasant, easy-drinking quality, and a triple-distilled smoothness that offers something distinct from the Highland malts.

[I've also had the Triple Oak Auchentoshan before and remember not particularly liking it. Will try to taste again now I've got these notes to compare against.]