Saturday, April 11, 2020

Glen Scotia, Balmenach, Strathclyde, Longmorn, Open Shelf Backlog Clearing…

Aaaaaaaaiiii Corona! Whelp, we’re all stuck at home so what a time to be alive… And stress-shop for booze… aaaaand drink it? But this isn’t about new stuff its about catching up on what is open on my shelf that I’ve not yet written about… I’ll be arranging it in a semi-random order of me drinking it.

2003 Glen Scotia “Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition
Wife notes: Get that away from me! Ewwww. (She does not enjoy peat)

Full name: 2003 Glen Scotia “Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition” Rum Cask Finish Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky… What a mouthful… And speaking of mouthfuls… Let’s talk nose on this one. To be clear it’s not overpowering… but its sooo punchy and clear and all I can think of is “smoked sugar”. The peat actually fades into background after few minutes and leaves mostly stewed fruits and something tropical, toasted banana on a hibachi grill (why hello there rum). The palate is all about smoke and sugar in almost perfect harmony as it rolls through my tongue alternatively sweet and smoky. Not overly long yet very pleasant smoked stewed red fruits this time with the last whiffs of smokiness fading into little campfire sweetness. Utterly delicious and I am not huge peat fan to enjoy peated whiskeys, but enjoy this one I did. If i could reliably keep it on my shelf instead of Lagavulin 16, I would. To me its that versatile.
https://scotchnoob.c … malts-festival-2019/
Score: N/A

Balmenach 11 Single Cask Old Particular
Wife Note: Medical Alcohol. Do not want.

One of less than 300 bottles out of refill hogshead. As usual with the refills this one leans heavily into cereal excellence territory… Or basically showcases malt rather than cask. 59% its heck of a proof and it definitely shows in the nose, combined with 11 years of age there’s still a good chunk of that mash funk going on in there while it gets some air, it mostly goes away after 10 mins or so. None of those are negatives :). Its funky interesting toasty cereal on the nose. With time the palate opens up into something utterly delicious and unbecoming of a 11 year old. Once past the alcohol bite, its all about spices and cereal notes. Almost sweet but balanced, it goes down into drying spices and a long lingering roasted barley finish, not quite bitter enough to be unpleasant. So Definitely my seal of approval for this one. Sweet peppery cereal, basically. Yum. As a side note this is more interesting or on par with most old malt casks I’ve opened so far. Lets see how it goes down the line.
Score: N/A

Strathclyde 30 Single Grain Cask Strength
Wife Note: Burnt Sugar and vanilla. Its butter cookies.

Let me summarize this in few words… Butter Cookies! I’ve talked about single grain scotch before, and how much I love old single grain and here we are again… This time with an amazing 30 year old bottle. I’m, if ever, utterly blown away by the variety and difference that age and barrel can do to cask’s contents and somehow there are still these mind-blowing flavors can can be coaxed out of a glass. Beyond a tiny whiff of alcohol its basically toasted coconut butter cookies. Very perfume-y and delicate yet still evoking those images of (Mel Gibson’s Braveheart) Scottish highlanders when nosed. This one does need to sit for about 10 minutes to open up into it but the longer it sits in the glass the sweeter and deeper that sugar-vanilla cookie combination is. Straight up amazing and unlikely to be repeated. (Oh, wait I have another bottle of this squirreled away so yay me!).
Score: N/A

Longmorn 14 Single Cask (Old malt Cask)
Wife’s note: Honey Nut Cheerios

On the nose, sweet malt, mellow, sorta apple-banana but not quite, definitely light tropical notes. For me the entire start to finish screams regular cheerios. The spirit itself is very gentle for a 54.9% and its age, considering there’s nothing to hide behind in the refill barrel. Palate is more of the same from the nose, now some malt sweetness, and bit of spice in the back. The finish is initially full of white pepper but then fades into more of that cheerios sweet grain aftertaste. Think Mini Wheats and you’ll get the idea. Deceptively subtle… But add some water… It turns on its head opening up a lot more spice and wood to the palate and becomes almost overwhelmingly complex in its flavors without changing the nose. All that white pepper back unfolds and sprays licorice and bitter citrus peel back into the palate, adding a bunch of wood out of nowhere and it’s as if I’m drinking something entirely different. I’m starting to look at un-watered dram like a tightly-wound spring that just explodes given a chance. One of the few dual-faced whiskeys I’ve had and it’s a pleasure.

Old malt casks I’ve tried so far are all about the celebration of the spirit itself with refill of a refill of a refill wood so its less about the cask and more about the spirit itself and that’s not a bad thing, there will be more but I think this one happens first one that I write about :)
Score: N/A