Blind tasting in Warsaw.
Two weeks ago, oh how time flies … I had the pleasure to participate in the Whisky Legend 2016 tasting organized by Daniel and Grzegorz from Whiskymywife.
Leitmotif was Port Ellen versus the rest – only closed distilleries. Convention the same as at Whisky Legend 2015 – blind tasting. Information about what, in what order we drank was revealed at the end. Below I present my basic tasting impressions, but I didn’t write everything during the event, in effect, records are not able to cast magic of the liquor ;). I also added a score of the whole group and mine.
Here’s the whole set:
Caperdonich, 20 years old, 1994/2014, 46%, Berrys’
N: sweet, citrus, generally nice, a lot of apples, oranges, candied cherries;
T: sweet, grapefruit, a lot of bitter apples;
F: quite long, mineral.
Score: 3.5/85, group 3.76/ca. 86.
Dram 1 Place 12
Littlemill, 24 years old, 1990/2014, 50.6%, Maltbarn, 158 bottles.
N: mineral, ripe sweet apple, honey, vanilla, cooked apples, pears;
T: sweet with honey, vanilla, and further turns up something to reach the fruit, grapefruit bitterness, grapefruit peel, little tweaks on the tongue;
F: medium length, with apple and honey.
Nose pleasant, taste with bitterness.
Score: 5/88, group 4.85/ca. 88.
Dram 2 Place 10
St. Magdalene, 32 years old, 1982/2014, 58.1%, Cadenhead, 282 bottles.
N: citrus, lemon, lime, traces of wood, hay, and then mineral, after adding a few drops of water scent became biscuity, buttery;
T: initially sharply and warming, we need water, then came grapefruit and lemon;
F: quite long with elements of sweet and lemon.
Lemons, then biscuits.
Score: 4/86, group 5.28/ca. 87.
Dram 3 Place 13
Port Ellen, 15 years old, 1974/1990, 40%, Antica Casa Marchesi Spinola.
N: you know immediately that this is Port Ellen, peat is evident, smoked fish, mackerel, coastal, sea air, bonfire from a distance;
T: a little lacking power, peat present, smoked seafood, but the lack of impact;
F: medium length peaty.
Score: 4/86, group 4.72/ca. 87-88.
Dram 4 Place 4
Karuizawa, 29 years old, 1983/2013, 59.4%, cask 5322, 205 bottles.
N: of course sherry, leather seats, sofas, a little smoke, prunes in chocolate, plums, poster paints, motor oil, dried fruit, burnt wood, the interior of the old cabinets, furniture polish;
S: here it is clear sherry too, lots of dried fruit, cough syrup, figs, dates;
F: long with dried fruits, prunes, dates.
Score: 7/92, group 6.93/ca. 92.
Dram 5 Place 1
Port Ellen 10th, 31 years old, 1978/2010, 54.6%, OB, 3000 bottles.
N: peat, but not so striking, a pharmacy, a dentist from a distance, with a drop of water, lemon, lime, wet soil, hard candy, over time the peat becomes more evident;
T: there are also elements of peat, blunt, with time there is quite a lot of fruit, salty, ashy.
F: long with ash and fruit.
From the beginning peat is in the background, but over the time it gets bigger.
Score: 7.5/93, group 7.43/ca. 93.
Dram 6 Place 8
Brora, 27 years old, 1981/2009, 51.3%, Duncan Taylor, Rare Auld, cask #291, 330 bottles.
N: flowers, lemon, calm, gentle, hard candy, grass, quite fresh;
T: I’ve got a little honey, pepper, fruit and a touch of peat;
F: long with elements of sweet and traces of peat.
Score: 6.5/91, group 6.07/ca. 90-91.
Dram 7 Place 9
Port Ellen, 23 years old, 1982/2005, 55.7%, Taste Still, MH Cask Selection, 240 bottles.
N: quite calm, honey elements, between tougher notes sweetness emerges, lemon then I have traces of peat and smoke;
T: sparkles on the tongue, then creamy, sweet, honey, toffee, over time appears peat;
F: long with remnants of sparks.
Yes, this is Islay.
Score: 6/90, group: 5.89/ca. 90.
Dram 8 Place 11
Caperdonich, 38 years old, 1968/2007, 51.4%, Duncan Taylor, cask 2619, 166 bottles.
N: some mineral notes, a bit of smoke, burnt wood, mint and further plums, dark chocolate, mango, banana, pineapple;
T: a lot of fruits, peach, pineapple, lots of pepper, a lot of sparks on the tongue, traces of peat and wood;
F: long fruity, still with traces of pepper and wood.
Lots of pepper.
Score: 4/86, group 5.17/ca. 88.
Dram 9 Place 6
Imperial-Glenlivet, 37 years old, 1977/2015, 53.5%, Cadenhead, 204 bottles.
N: from the beginning delicate peat, chalk, wet chalk, medical, bandages, slightly meaty, wet earth, after addition of a drop of water, quite fresh, more sweet, but with a drop of lemon too;
T: peppery and tweaky, but also with the emerging fruits;
F: long with pepper, peat, waxy and chalky.
Interesting chalk, some pharmacies.
Score: 7/92, group 6.76/ca. 92.
Dram 10 Place 2
Port Ellen, 25 years old, 1982/2007, 57%, Signatory, cask 2847, 417 bottles.
N: peat, chalk, but also traces refill sherry, medical, meat, steak, traces of sulfur, antiseptics;
T: some pepper, still medically, grilled meat, oranges;
F: long peaty, with traces of fruit.
Steak, traces of sulfur, beautifully.
Score: 8/94, group 7.37/ca. 93.
Dram 11 Place 5
Glenury Royal, 32 years old, 1968/2001, 49.4%, Douglas Laing OMC, 258 bottles.
N: intense sherry, meaty, old dusty cabinets, figs, dates, dark chocolate, cocoa, traces of smoke;
T: overwhelming, peppery, but relatively quickly passes, raisins, strong tea, Earl Grey;
F: medium length with raisins and figs.
Sherry, a lovely nose.
Score: 6.5/91, group 6.83/ca. 91.
Dram 12 Place 3
Port Ellen, 28 years old, 1983/2011, 54.3%, Reifferscheid, RCC, cask 229, 180 bottles.
N: bandages, antiseptics, in one word hospital, dentist, grilled seafood, sea air;
T: peat, medically, sea, beautifully;
F: very long.
Score: 8/94, group 6.98/ca. 93.
Dram 13 Place 7
Port Ellen, 27 years old, 1982/2010, 62.6%, The Whisky Agency, 168 bottles.
N: immediately perceptible very high power, peat, but also traces of biscuits, vanilla, bananas, a few drops of water beautifully opens flavor, provides fruits;
T: large trapped power, a drop of water is needed here, releases a whole, fruits are comming, grilled meat – or maybe it is my tongue ;),
High power trapped.
Score: 8/94, group 6.74/ca. 93.
It follows that the group’s winner turned out to be Port Ellen 10th, dram 5, with an average score 7.43/93. I rated it at a similar level 7.5 so 93. In my classification on the podium also stood Port Ellen, even three of them, each rated at 8/94: dram 10 Port Ellen, 25 years old, 1982/2007, 57%, Signatory, cask 2847, dram 12 Port Ellen, 28 years old, 1983/2011, 54.3%, Reifferscheid, RCC, cask 229 and dram 13 Port Ellen, 27 years old, 1982/2010, 62.6%, The Whisky Agency. What should I do… I like honest peat.
Thank you all very much for the successful tasting and wonderful company. Until next time!!!