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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 8, 2014


Tasting Duo

  The Tandem Sessions
Or the joys of trying rare whisky with a co-taster and yet good friend, on location in Scotland.
Today: pre-1907 OVG with Hideo and Dalmore 20 with Jeroen

Old Vatted Glenlivet Whisky (44.2%, OB, blend, Andrew Usher & Co, pre-1907) Four stars One of the earliest versions of the seminal OVG. The cork was driven, the ABV was measured with an electronic device at Whythe & Mackay’s right yesterday. No ABV was mentioned on the label. The composition of this blend was said to be 80% Glenlivet and 20% grain. Colour: straw. Nose: we get some green bananas and glycerine, touches of plasticine, very fresh vegetables such as freshly chopped celeriac, cabbage (not cooked mind you), sweet potatoes (old bottle of sochu), green beans…


Then more dust, carbon paper, coconut husk, fennel, dill, a little iron, machine oil… Globally quite subtle and discreet, but very complex. Mouth: starts rather soft and a little camphory, also with some peach juice and quite some barley sugar, a little tinge of lime, crystallised citrus, grapefruit peel, mildly salted liquorice, then rather starchy water. A little gleutenous. Finish: relatively short, maybe slightly mustardy (Dijon). The vegetables are back as well, together with a little pepper and touches of plain sugar. Comments: a rather delicate oldie, but it’s far from having lost all its teeth. SGP:342 – 86 points.

Dalmore 20 yo (43%, OB, Duncan Macbeth, 1950s)

Five stars This line used to be stunning, there were an 8, a 12 and a 20. The 20yo is Colour: gold. Nose: starts with wheelbarrows of grapefruit and orange peel, then a little iron and an obvious peatiness, a bit in the style of the old Bowmores (tropical peat, haha). Touches of scented soap (Dove?), a little gravel, thyme, cut grass… Keeps unfolding rather on more aromatic herbs, aniseed, dill, ‘old Ricard’, then rhubarb, olive oil, old sauvignon blanc (Mission-Haut-Brion blanc 1953 – and why not?)


Also jamon iberico, more pastis, more peat, touches of damp earth… Amazing nose, but that was to be expected. Mouth: wonderful arrival, smoky and mentholated, quite peppery as well (with some cinnamon sweets), and then it’s rather an explosion of vibrant citrus and other tropical fruits such as passion fruits, pineapples… Many soft spices with delicious drops of tar liqueur and more and more liquorice lozenges. All right, let’s call the anti-maltoporn brigade! Finish: long, with more or less the same flavours plus maybe a little more peppermint. Comments: a whisky to marry. Nose and palate lived happily ever after… SGP:552 – 92 points.







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