With adc in town, we were always going to drink a dram or two. MS and JH free themselves up and join in on the fun. KB will not show up, unfortunately.
The programme is inoffensive and lighthearted. It is a bright mid-May day and we will have a few without much thought put into it.
Caperdonich 12yo 1997/2009 (46%, DMG Provenance, Refill Hogshead, Spring Distillation, C#DMG5569) (brought by me): nose: plum juice, raisins, cherries. Thirty minutes later, pears and rum appear. Mouth: fruity and acidic, though not overly so, with more plums and raisin pips. Finish: mellow, gently fruity, with even a note of tame chocolate in the background. Very good dram to start with. 7/10
Balvenie 15yo 1989/2004 (47.8%, OB Single Barrel, C#8419) (me): nose: adc thinks it smells like cheese. Coconut and fruit juice (plums and grapes again). Mouth: a bit thin, but enjoyable nonetheless. Vanilla makes way to pepper. Finish: wood influence (coconut, vanilla and spices). Decent, not blinding, today. Easy to drink. JH finds it bland and weak. 7/10
Kornog (46%, OB) (brought by JH): nose: a camp fire in the distance, with a dominant note of roasted, juicy apples and a whiff of rose petals. Pine-tree resin (adc). I detect some juicy berries, but am unable to identify them. Red-fruit-and-marzipan shampoo. Mouth: this is more powerful than expected, yet it remains balanced, with lots of fruit (cherry). It is lively, peppery, yet mellow -- if it makes sense. Finish: some peat at last, kept well in check, and lots of fruit (more cherries). Mellow, complex, whilst strangely accessible. Wide, full, rich and plain lovely. A souvenir from Brittany, this turns out to be close to kornography (boom-tsch). 8/10
Glenlivet 16yo Nàdurra (55.5%, OB, Batch 1013Z, LG31569, b.2013) (brought by MS): nose: lime, coconut, mojito (JH), hawthorn, a touch of verbena, nettles and lemongrass. adc and JH find vetiver. They should run a gardening store. Mouth: Serrano ham is the immediate impression, yet it is also sugary and peppery at the same time. Werther's Original, says JH. Finish: the wood influence is wonderful, if one likes that. Vanilla is flowing, and there is a fleeting note of killer fruit (apricot, I think). "It irradiates," says adc. It leaves a metallic impression on the tongue. 8/10
Dailuaine 17yo 1996/2014 (56.9%, ADR Cask, Bourbon Hogshead, C#10622, 281b) (brought by JS): nose: ivy, bay leaves and Oreos (MS). Mouth: pretty spicy (green chilli) and leafy (ivy and bay leaves again). Finish: it is now rather dry and bitter, with white grape skins. JH and MS love this, but then they compete in their love for Dailuaine. 7/10
We move out to the newly-refurbished terrace, while the sun is shining.
44.56 23yo d.1989 Sweet and sour creative tension (51.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 300b) (JS): nose: tarragon (JH), cigars (JH). I am distracted and take little notes. Mouth: floral, with the mellowness and acidity of fruit. Foie gras (JH) or liver pâté. Finish: more floral qualities to it, with plant juice and lovely bakery essences. 8/10
64.40 22yo 1990/2012 Gingery heat and oaky tannins (53.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 172b) (me): nose: wood juice all round -- custard, coconut, cocoa, pine dust. Mouth: super fresh, with wood shavings and lots of freshly-milled pepper on top. I am not getting much of the ginger the label talks about, though it is spicy. Finish: a lovely mix of custard, pine needles and wood shavings, with a twist of the pepper mill. 9/10
Glen Elgin 30yo 1978/2009 (49.1%, Cadenhead Chairman's Stock, Bourbon Hogshead, 234b) (me): neither JH nor MS were here for Golden Promise and I want adc to taste this, so there you go. Nose: caramel and vanilla (adc), herbs and metal, with an added note of fruit. Nail varnish is here too, burnt wood (adc), tame liquorice and pears (MS). "I don't like this" (JH); "Oooooooh!" (adc); "Reminds me of HP18: damp, wet attic" (JH). Mouth: this is so mellow and balanced, with grape juice, even grapefruit notes (the acidity), and so fresh, still. Mint and liquorice (MS) show up in the mouth too. Finish: damp earth, liquorice, herbs (basil, says adc) and blossoming buds. Love it. 9/10
Bowmore 32yo 1968/2000 (45.5%, OB Anniversary Edition, 1860b) (me): because if one cannot pour it in such perfect circumstances, then when is it any good, eh? Nose: cocaine (JH), poppers (JH), Swiffer Dusters (adc), citrus (kalamantsi or kumquat, adc reckons). Mango and papaya, as far as I am concerned, but 1) I know what it is (the others do not) and 2) it is tame while outside, where they first nose it. We go back in for this: the gentle wind is sweeping away all the aromas -- a shame. It has a tame seaside aspect and is slightly earthy. Dates, Turkish delights (MS), Barolo (MS). Mouth: lavender (adc), a fruity cavalcade with a hint of smoke. Is this stupidly good? Of bloody course, it is! Mangoes come up in the back, JH even finds tiramisù (and reckons it is a grain). Finish: odd (MS), unexpected (MS), rubber-shoe soles (adc): sweet, rubbery and a bit worn out, she says. Banana (adc). I find an artistic balance of fruit, earthy tones and smokey dryness. MS keeps saying he finds "nothing wrong with this at all," which I find an extremely British thing to say. JH believes it is a grain or a Speyside, adc says a Longmorn 28yo, JS thinks of a single blend, while MS claims it is a 22yo Speysider from a bourbon hogshead. All wrong. 10/10
I disclose the pedigree of the bottle, at which point, MS observes: "You keep saying it is not a competition to bring the most impressive bottle, but then you pour things like this."
Half a point, I suppose.
Excellent afternoon, with quite a few surprises. MS kindly put together a chirpy selection of music we all enjoy (I take the hint ;) ). It includes a version of Romeo and Juliet he attributes to The Killers; I have to prove him wrong by playing it and the original together without missing a beat: it is the Dire Straits original indeed.