Burns Tasting 2016

It's been a quiet January  but we made up for lost time on Tuesday evening when Glasgow's Whisky Club held a combined AGM and Burns night in the Bon Accord and it was a busy evening!  We had traditional Burns fare with haggis, neeps, tatties etc. (all fantastic!). We then enjoyed eight (yes eight!) interesting and varied drams (photo's below) including a Clynelish 7 yr old, the 8 year old The Quiet Man, the Benromach 5 year old, a 23 year old Aberlour from Whiskybroker, a 22 year old Bruichladdich from Dream Drams, "Portsoy Boy" a private bottling of Glenglassaugh, the Kilkerran Sherry Wood (work in progress) and bringing up the rear the 2014 Kilchoman (Land Rover) Tour bottling.

Dram of the night? "Portsoy Boy" a private bottling of Glenglassaugh from a port cask which was donated by a club member.

Moral of the night?  If you love whisky and can pool resources to buy a cask go for it you could find yourself with a right cracker!

Bowmore Small Batch

  • Age: No age statement
  • ABV 40 % 
  • Bottle size: 70 cl
  • Price: £37
  • Nose 21 /25 - Initially engine oil then clifftop seaweed, rock pools and a hint of vanilla
  • Taste 20 /25 - Spicy cinnamon and a fair amount of peat, lots of warmth from cloves and black pepper followed by a fair bit of sherbet.
  • Finish 21 /25 -  bitter, salty with some chocolate lime.
  • Balance 22 /25 - very nicely constructed, short to medium but rather enjoyable.
  • Total 84 /100

Bowmore Small Batch is a very accessible Islay single malt, it’s matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small Batch it’s light and well balanced with plenty of honey, coconut and vanilla notes.

Connemara Original

  • Age: No age statement 
  • ABV 40 % 
  • Bottle size: 70 cl
  • Price: £34
  • Nose 18/25 - apples, Edinburgh Rock and banana chips.
  • Taste 17/25 - not all that complex, there’s peat but not much sophistication, pretty dull really.
  • Finish 20 /25 - it hangs around in the mouth for a while but doesn’t really improve or become much more interesting,
  • Balance 16 /25 - frankly no it really isn’t balanced.  It’s quite confused and not really clear what it’s attempting to achieve.
  • Total 71 /100

A double distilled Irish whisky (not the normal triple distilled so common in Ireland) along with peat should be a curiosity, a challenge and interesting but I came away somewhat disappointed.

The Ardmore Legacy

  • Age: No age statement
  • ABV 40% 
  • Bottle size: 70 cl
  • Price: £30
  • Nose 20 /25 - Vanilla, honey and a hint of marshmallow.  Gentle toffee apple and very light smokey notes.
  • Taste 19 /25 - Pear and citrus and possibly a hint of custard cream
  • Finish 18 /25 - it’s lightly smokey and extremely short but and frankly it seems a little on the young side.
  • Balance 21 /25 - you’ll not scare anyone off peat with this dram but really I doubt you’d really convince anyone that it makes a big difference.
  • Total 78 /100

Emerging from the village of Kennethmont in Aberdeenshire the Ardmore Legacy is bottled at 40% and is chill filtered. It’s made up of with 80% peated and 20% unpeated malt.  It’s a pleasant dram, light and easy to drink. I’d say it’s fairly unremarkable but inoffensive.

Laphroaig Select

  • Age: No age statement 
  • ABV 40 % 
  • Bottle size: 70 cl
  • Price: £34
  • Nose 22 /25 - well peat that goes without saying but in a fairly gentle way, burnt toast a hint of marmalade, sea salt,  charcoal and salted beef.
  • Taste 21 /25 - cigar ash, grapefruit mint, green apple and damp hay.
  • Finish 22 /25 - of medium length, the peat rumbles away.
  • Balance 22 /25 - overall it’s nicely balanced.  it’s clearly aimed and Laphroaig newbies as it’s far more accessible than the mega TCP releases.  It won’t necessarily suit the Laphroaig Loons but I rather enjoyed it.
  • Total 87 /100

Select takes it name from the wide variety of casks selected a mix of European cask Oloroso sherry butts, straight American white oak (non-filled with bourbon), PX seasoned hogsheads, Quarter Casks and finally first fill Bourbon Casks