Then the tasting began and they kicked it off with the a travel retail exclusive - The Glenmorangie the Tayne. This expression of the Glenmorangie is the second in a series called the Legends Collection. It was matured in ex-bourbon casks (surprise, surprise, it's Glenmorangie after all) and then got a finish in amontillado sherry casks. It was quit a nice in the nose but for my taste it lacked depth and power on the palate.
The second dram that we got served was bottled by Acla Da Fans in collaboration with The Whisky Agency. it was 27 years old Glen Moray, matured in a bourbon hogshead. It is bottled at 46.5% ABV which isn't cask strength but a good strength. This was a very interesting, spirit driven whisky with a very dominant malty note. Delicious!
The third whisky was a 16 years old Highland Park by Signatory Vintage. It's bottled at 57.1% ABV cask strength and was matured in bourbon barrels. The host pointed out that on the paper it is quite similar to the recently released "limited" (30'000 bottles!) release called Highland Park Ice. The Ice edition is 17 years old, also matured in bourbon casks and it is bottled at 53.9%. Luckily some of the chaps from the whisky forum made a bottle share (which I didn't participate in) and one of the guys at my table decided to pass around his sample to compare. I have to say that I liked the Signatory Vintage far more than the Ice. The Ice was nice in the nose but on the palate it lacked complexity and was a tad too bitter. Thanks to Lukas for letting me compare those two!
We then continued with an Indian single malt whisky. It was a 4 years old single cask from the Amrut Distillery, made from Indian barley, matured in a PX Sherry Cask and bottled at a whopping 62.8% ABV. If you think that 4 years old is very young for a whisky please consider that climate in Bangalore is way different to Scotland and with hotter temperature whisky matures faster (like you can observe with Kavalan). The downside to this is that the angels share (the whisky that gets lost during maturation) is way higher there - Over the 4 years 39% of the content in the cask evaporated. I have to state here that normally I am a huge fan of Amrut, especially their single cask bottlings but this one didn't quite live up to the expectations. It tasted like a fruit brandy and was a rather unbalanced malt overall. Don't worry Amrut I still love you though and I got something special tucked away for another review, watch this space!
What then followed was a very special whisky. It was another joint bottling by Acla Da Fans and The Whisky Agency called somwhere in Speyside. This is a sherry cask matured undisclosed malt from Speyside (who would have thought?). Please note that it doesn't say single malt so it could well contain whisky from different distilleries. The host told us that it could well be from Glenfarclas. Whats' special about this whisky is its age. It was distilled in 1977 and matured for 38 years. It's bottled at 46.8% ABV which isn't the natural cask strength as usual by bottlings from The Whisky Agency. It was a really nice sherry whisky which was very well balanced and not bitter as I had feared. This was a cracker of a dram and the only flaw that you could point out was that it lacked a bit of power, pity that we didn't get it at it's original cask strength which was at about 51% ABV as the host pointed out. Still a very memorable malt moment though.
The next whisky was the Talisker Neist Point which is available through travel retail since last autumn. After trying it we labelled it as a "Talisker light" as it didn't have the same peppery punch as the rest of the bunch (think I should consider a career as a rapper). Don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed this one and thought it was a good whisky but it just wasn't typical Talisker. Maybe this is an option for people who usually don't enjoy Talisker.
After this Talisker we continued with a whisky from one of my favourit distilleries - Springbank. The expression that we tasted was the 10 years old, batch 15/489, bottled at 46% ABV. This whisky is a true bang for your buck as you can get it for 60 Swiss Franks here and for about 33 Pounds in UK. Serge from Whiskyfun.com gave this whisky 91 out of 100 which means quite something.
The last whisky we tasted was another Signatory cask strength bottling, this time from the Tobermory Distillery. It was a Ledaig (peated Tobermory) that was matured in a first fill sherry butt for 9 years and then bottled at 56% ABV. This is a really bold whisky with tons of flavour and a nice punch. I loved this one.
At normal tastings people would have called it an evening and left but not here. You could get a second serving of any whisky that you wanted and suddenly more sample bottles popped up and were passed around. I got to taste a brilliant 23 years old Bowmore, bottled by The Whisky Agency for Three Rivers Tokyo, a 12 years old Caol Ila bottled by Gordon & MacPhail exclusively for a friends shop and a stunning cask strength Lagavulin, bottled for the Islay Jazz Festival 2015.
|The stunning Lagavulin|
Slàinte mhath, U