Regional Tasting - New Age Malts

Posted by Leo | Posted in | Posted on 20:43

Well another tasting has been and gone at Regional Wines & Spirits and this was another great one .......I think!

It started well with my mandatory stop at this fine establishment. Past the sign and down the magic tunnel and into my happy place....he he!

Indoors there was a dizzying array of tastytasty liquor and I just had time for one. So I scanned the bar! Decisions decisions!! They have a wonderful whisky selection and I was quite spoiled for choice. In the end I chose an Ardbeg 10 as the tasting was non-Islay and that's just not a good thing!!

Then onward to see the good folk at regional. First things first though...... I was forced to check out the comprehensive array of whiskies residing on-site. It never fails to astonish me that there is always something new to see. Indeed I saw my next purchase on the shelf staring me in the liver!

With this arduous task completed I went upstairs to find my seat at the big table where we taste the whisky. And this is what awaited me. Seven spectacular whiskies plus beer and water. The initial beer was Yeastie Boys Punkadiddle followed by the always delicious Emersons Bookbinder. It is also worth noting that the person across from me didn't turn up and their whisky was up for grabs. Let us call this bit of good fortune  'the beginning of my downfall'....cause with Ian away in Nelson working with the fishes and  Donna becoming an Australian citizen, I found myself, unfortunately, without any adult supervision!! he he :-)

But enough of that for now, on to the business end of the evening as I remember it!

The drams were as follows:

Whisky :    Aberlour A'bunadh, Batch 28,  59.7%       "THE MYSTERY"
Notes :      A big whisky, nose of Molasses, raisins fruitcake, hint of rubber in taste, herbaceous finish!
Score :      Me - 9  /  Us - 9.22             1st

Whisky :    Ben Nevis, 14yo, Double matured, 46%, Sherry barrel 2623   NC2
Notes :      Nosed as toffee apples & old socks, taste of malt biscuits...low strength. Quite drinkable!
Score :      Me - 7  /  Us - 8.56            2nd =

Whisky :    Benriach, 20yo, 54.3%, 1998 - July 2009, Gaja Barolo Hogshead 4424, 59 of 322
Notes :      Nosed of Mandarin, sweet vanilla & figs, taste of oily wasabe, slightly metallic finish.
Score :      Me - 8  /  Us - 8.56            2nd =

Whisky :    Isle of Arran, 8yo, Fino sherry wine cask, 50%, Bottled 2007, 7980 bottles
Notes :      Nosed of caramel, G Syrup & wet dog, sweet tasting with finish of bitter dark chocolate.
Score :      Me - 8  /  Us - 8.1              4th

Whisky :    Auchentoshan, SIGNATORY, 25yo, 55%, Bourbon barrel 266, bottle 123 of 148, NC2
Notes :      Nosed of football & young linseed, taste of dates and liquorice, spicy finish
Score :      Me - 7  /  Us - 8.02            5th

Whisky :    Mortlach, SIGNATORY, 1991, 17yo, 46%, Sherry butt 5882, bottle 372 of 727 NC2
Notes :      Nosed of popcorn, grass & chalk, finished slightly smokey & bitter "WEAK"
Score :      Me : 7  /  Us - 7.67             6th

Whisky :    Cragganmore, DUTHIES CANDENHEAD, 15yo, 46%, NC2
Notes :      Nosed of banana & sherbet, tasted of citrus & peppermint, warm metallic finish!!#$@
Score :      Me : 7  /  Us : 7.41              7th

Clearly the Aberlour was an exceptional dram and I do hope it finds it's way to best of the best in December.
It was however the pick of a very dreary bunch. Again I think too much was made of the "old" whiskies. Even at cask strength, some of these barely registered on the taste scale. They tasted bland and dreary.

That said of course I was encouraged to help consume some of the better drams from the empty seat across from me and I did so with great enthusiasm and with scant regard for my own sobriety. The Benriach and the Aberlour going down particularly well! And if it had stopped there I would have still have had my health and remnants of my dignity. But no! That's not my way. The peat, the water, barley & the yeast were calling me saying "oh no you're not" (finished).
So I was talking to Daniel as he tidied up afterwards and he said "Look at all that whisky people left behind" and I'm like "well we can't have that" so one thing led to five others and a few more number 4's and 7's later I was completely off my chops....but in a good way. I have vague memories of KFC and a green taxi but that's about it.

All in all a great night at regional!!

Purchases - 2 bottles of Kilchoman Spring Release (to be reviewed shortly)

Upcoming tasting (20th October) - Adelphi Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmmmmmmm!

Upcoming foray (13-26th November) - My triumphant return to Scotland. Orkney, Glencoe, Stirling,
Glasgow and at least 7 distilleries.              

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