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

February 1, 2020





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Liquid Brexit
A new dawn has broken, has it not? Behold the glorious freedom we have woken to here in these newly liberated British isles. Taste it! In fact, let’s do exactly that. Just as Serge bid farewell to us yesterday, so too must I shoulder the national responsibility of bidding farewell to Europe and hello to a Union Jack-tinged future. Resplendent, delicious, chill-filltered, 40%abv, caramel-infused, Trump-clutching, trouser-tightening, carbonated, crash-diluted nationalism. Crack open the English sparking wine! Pull another pint of old puddle water for Nigel. And gather round for a farewell dash on the Brexit tourbus before we set sail for the 1950s and all the extra NHS spending we can eat!


Calvados Daron 1968 / 2001 (40%, OB)

Calvados Daron 1968 / 2001 (40%, OB)
Just one of the many filthy French things we’ll be bidding farewell to… Colour: bright amber. Nose: lots of varnish and sharp apple notes. Concentrated apple peelings, cider apples, hardwood polish, raisins and various dark fruits all concentrated and soaked in… well, Calvados. Mouth: a tad cardboardy and dusty. Some sultanas, golden syrup, toffee apples and more towards pears and farmy perry. Some touches of olive oil and brown sugar, even hints of navy rum - in the way that many older spirits often converge. Some rather big tannins and still this background cardboard note. Finish: medium and slightly bitter and chocolatey, like apple pips and orange pith. Comments: Pow! Take that France! Who needs calvados when you’ve got Carling!
SGP: 640 - 74 points.



The English Patient (51.9%, The Regensburger Whisky & Wine Club)
Not sure about this one, seems appropriate to do it now, although there are rumours of some kind of Riesling and sherry wood combination being involved. Also, it would appear the Germans are laughing at us Brits! Be careful Germany, I hear Jacob Rees-Mogg is dusting off his Spitfire… Colour: deep gold. Nose: what is happening? This is some odd combination of sprayable furniture polish and plasticine. Some notes of Marmite on toast, young calvados (I’m using a fresh glass I promise) and buttery cereals. There’s also a touch of wood glue, feels like there’s some rather jumbled but active oak influences all tussling with each other - not unlike the internal struggles of the Tory party. Varnish and vanilla notes. With water: sour wood, glue, paste - you could use it to fashion a papier mâché bust of Boris Johnson. Mouth: Gah! A garish mix of pencil shavings, molten plasticine, hot varnish, rubber and vinyl. Definitely the whisky of Brexit! With water: seriously, this is not good. Sour, flat, milky, lightly acidic, stale beer, hints of mould. Finish: the wood is rather jagged and aggressive again, a bit all over the place and again these notes of sour beer and bread along with cardboard and something like mushy paper. Comments: An artificial Brexit whisky fashioned by treacherous remoaners it would seem! Anyway, haven’t you heard, Germany? Once climate change get’s a bit more steam on, only glorious pastoral England will be able to grow Riesling (you pay attention too, France!) This is a deeply misleading whisky, to taste it you might be given the impression that Brexit is a load of rubbish!
SGP: 631 - 68 points.

The English Patient (51.9%, The Regensburger Whisky & Wine Club)



Flower Of Scotland (40%, blended malt bottled 1998 for the 125th anniversary of Kirkcaldy football club)

Flower Of Scotland (40%, blended malt bottled 1998 for the 125th anniversary of Kirkcaldy football club)
It seems those cheeky Scots north of the border are dissatisfied with our Brexity goodness and have designs on their own independence.  Apparently ‘their’ nationalism is better than ours! Colour: straw. Nose: mashed potatoes, freshly cooked grains, Scotch broth, damp cereals, plain toast and wee touches of root veg and cardboard. Mouth: any initial promise on the nose falls rather flat here, indeed the whole is rather empty and drab. Some slightly artificial sweetness, more cardboard, stale porridge, stamp glue. Not much else to report. Finish: mercifully non-existent. Comments: Quite terrible. Once again this is a sample that was given to me by a German, what are they trying to say…?!
SGP: 330 - 57 points.



On the subject of Scottish independence…



Springbank 12 yo (53.2%, OB, bottled 2014)

Springbank 12 yo (53.2%, OB, bottled 2014)
Springbank are known for their pro-Scottish independence stance. This batch is apparently 70% sherry and 30% bourbon. Colour: pale gold. Nose: rather dry and chiselled at first. Lots of pebbles, white pepper, newspaper ink, lightly ashy notes and sooty cereals. With a little time the more coastal, citric and waxy Springbank qualities begin to emerge. Putty, lemon cough drops, heather flowers - it’s all very lovely but a tad narrower than other batches and a bit more austere. With water: more easy now, more lemony, coastal, fresh, playful and with this chalky medical side.  Mouth: nice arrival, all on clay, metal polish, waxes and medical tinctures. Rather sharp lemon notes, salinity, crushed seashells and some slightly petrolic mineral qualities. The grumpy side of Springbank. With water: lemon and lime cordials, clay, soot, pebbles, seawater, light peppery peat and some citric zing. Finish: good length, rather dusty, sooty and cereal with more clay, ointments bandages and ink. Comments: Very good but at times rather austere - perhaps reflecting the public austerity that would be necessitated by Scottish independence? Don’t worry, if there’s any problems they can always push for Campbeltownian independence. Just remember, if in doubt, another border will always fix things!
SGP: 463 - 88 points.



Of course we should look to the future in other ways as well. And from this freshly Brexited angle the future is so bright it’s orange…



New York Distilling Co 2 yo Rye (47.7%, Boutique-y Rye Co, ‘Batch 3’, 461 bottles)

New York Distilling Co 2 yo Rye (47.7%, Boutique-y Rye Co, ‘Batch 3’, 461 bottles)
Colour: orangey (no kidding!) Nose: surprisingly syrupy and easy, the spice is there but it’s nicely bready and warming. Notes of orange cocktail bitters, fructose syrup and some kind of sweetened child’s medicine (the expensive, non-NHS kind). Gets increasingly jammy and a tad cloying with some caramelising brown sugar notes. Mouth: hotter, more peppery, red chilli, mustard powder, green pepper, spiced vanilla latte, orange curaçao, cocktail bitters, liquorice root and some more slightly artificial sweetness. Cherry throat sweets, eucalyptus tea and aniseed. Finish: rather long, slightly cloying, still rather peppery and with some fruit syrups and glazed pastries. Comments: A boisterous, orange toddler from New York. What a glorious future! Couldn’t find any chicken though…
SGP: 751 - 76 points.



Who else want’s a trade deal? Trade deals all round… Taiwan, would you like a trade deal…? Go on! Please do a trade deal!!!



Kavalan 7 yo 2011/2019 (57.1%, OB for The Whisky Exchange ‘20th Anniversary’, cask #M111104011A, rum, 151 bottles)
The guys at TWE are, as you might imagine, big fans of Brexit. Colour: gold. Nose: surprisingly lean, grassy and lightly herbal at first nosing. Not too much rum influence, which is a good thing in my book. Some light vanilla, golden syrup, a rather leafy greenery quality and light notes of menthol tobacco. The thing about these Kavalan’s is that they are very good but they do feel like extremely ‘technical’ whiskies. With water: a big improvement! Much more opulent, easy and with this rather bouncy, natural fruitiness. Lots of lemon peel, star fruit, gooseberry and a little pineapple. Mouth: rather hot and peppery, lots of white pepper dried mango, green tea with lemon, some toasted pistachio nuts, chamomile and various green fruits. Very nice. In time you get more of a sense of the rum with these kind of light tropical rum punch cocktail notes. With water: once again, water works really well. More syrupy in texture and more fruity. Fruit salad juices, white pepper, hints of jasmine and herbal teas. Finish: long, creamy and nodding again towards these rum punch qualities with coconut milk, passion fruit jelly and sugar syrups. Comments: Ok Taiwan, where do we sign…?
SGP: 641 - 86 points.

Kavalan 7 yo 2011/2019 (57.1%, OB for The Whisky Exchange ‘20th Anniversary’, cask #M111104011A, rum, 151 bottles)



Who else wants a trade deal? How about Australia? Loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen! We all know Australia is already a bit like visiting Britain in the 1970s so we’re half way to Brexit…



Starward 7 yo 2012/2019 (59%, OB for The Whisky Exchange ‘20th Anniversary’, refill Australian Apera cask, 220 bottles)

Starward 7 yo 2012/2019 (59%, OB for The Whisky Exchange ‘20th Anniversary’, refill Australian Apera cask, 220 bottles)
Apera is a fortified Australian wine not dissimilar to sherry, although I couldn’t tell you more about it than that. Colour: polished gold. Nose: there is indeed something ‘sherryish’ at first. Notes of orange water, ginger bread and some rather pollen-heavy lilies. Rather syrupy and nicely approachable considering the ABV. A few pencil shaving notes begin to emerge in time. With water: greener, more floral, crushed nettles, some light custard notes and more pollen once again. A curious elegance about proceedings now. Mouth: there’s a syrupy texture on arrival that keeps the alcohol well in check and pushes the fruit and floral aspects to the fore. Again more pollens, wildflowers, citrus oils and notes of dried exotic fruits: mango, papaya and guava in particular. There’s certainly a ‘hot climate’ vibe going on. As with the nose, in time some more wood-forward qualities begin to emerge with these wood shaving and green peppery notes. Although, it’s all very clean and precise. With water: a little broader and fatter with water; it certainly swims well this one. Again these notes of pollens, custard, fruit jellies, melon liqueur and pineapple syrup. Finish: good length and with a punchy, peppery heat, some nice bready qualities and more fruit syrups and natural sweetness. Comments: Good news Australia! You too are permitted to join the glorious free market post-Brexit trading bukkake!
SGP: 631 - 85 points.



But let’s try to remember where it all began: when we first made that historic misstep that led to a 47 year long travesty of ill-judgement and a tyrannical over-abundance of cheese! 1973: the year of national shame…



Glenlivet 45 yo 1973/2018 (43.1%, Signatory 30th Anniversary, cask #12/1, hogshead / sherry butt, 394 bottles)

Glenlivet 45 yo 1973/2018 (43.1%, Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary, cask #12/1, hogshead / sherry butt, 394 bottles)
Colour: deep amber. Nose: densely concentrated dried and crystallised fruits with earthy, aged dark teas, fruit loaf, aged mead, some rather luscious old Cognacs, leafy tobaccos and beautifully elegant dark chocolate. Superb and rather amazingly fresh. Wee hints of hessian, earth, rancio, porcini mushroom and old leather. Typically exquisite old whisky on the nose. However, the palate can often go astray with such age… Mouth: it is indeed tannic but in the sense of complex, beautifully earthy aged Pu Erh tea, bitter chocolate, game meats and then spicy rye bread. Wonderful balance and the fruits are still vivid and rich. Some herbal bitters, toffee apple, old madeira and hints of orange wine. Finish: long, leathery, full of cinnamon, nutmeg, lime leaf, old chartreuse and soft dark fruits. Unctuous, deep and highly seductive. Comments: It seems we did some things right in 1973 after all.
SGP: 661 - 91 points.



Gosh, all this Brexiting is going to our heads. Let’s remind ourselves what this is all about…



English Whisky Co 11 yo 2007/2019 (49.8%, North Star, cask #009, Burgundy wine finish, 330 bottles)

English Whisky Co 11 yo 2007/2019 (49.8%, North Star, cask #009, Burgundy wine finish, 330 bottles)
French wine? English whisky? This bottling goes to the very heart of Brexit. Colour: sunburned salmon. Nose: rose petals, Turkish delight, freshly baked brown bread, dried cranberries, some kind of mild salami. All manner of unusualness at play. It’s an out and out war: French wine Vs English whisky - the great battle of our times! Rather a lot of strawberry jam, cherry throat sweets and some slightly zingy fruit chutneys. Weird but not as terrifying as first appearances might suggest (who said ‘just like Brexit’? How very dare you!). Mouth: in no particular order: mint tea, milk chocolate, fruit scones, raspberry jam, rose cordial, maraschino cherry syrup, cornflakes dusted with icing sugar and hessian. I think this battle has reached stalemate. Finish: medium, slightly rubbery, earthy, muttony and with a kind of odd dirtiness rising to prominence in the aftertaste. Comments: If only Mr Croucher had bottled this back in 2016, it might have hastened Brexit by years! Just think, poor old Theresa May would be Empress of India by now and Mr J R-Mogg would be flogging oiks down an old velum mine in Dorset somewhere! (Apologies to literally everyone who isn’t getting this)
SGP: 572 - 76 points.



Let’s end this madness and get ourselves back to the cosy comfort blanked of the 1950s. Remember the 1950s and how great they were?



White Horse (70 proof, OB blend, bottled 1958)

White Horse (70 proof, OB blend, bottled 1958)
This one comes in the Brexit-appropriate format of a miniature. Or, if you’re Mark Francois, a Nebuchadnezzar. Colour: gold. Nose: if there is an aroma that utterly encapsulates Brexit, it’s OBE: ‘old bottle effect’. This pretty much epitomises that profile with lots of mashed vegetables, metal polish, soups, porridge and some rather punchy camphor and hessian tones. Copper coins, menthol rolling tobacco, caraway and hints of cardboard. Mouth: turnips rubbed with Brasso! Tin foil, copper coins, dried marjoram, mashed potatoes with grainy mustard, boiled ham and dry earthiness. Finish: short, metallic, drying and slightly oily. Comments: This might be hard to admit, but not everything was better in the 1950s.
SGP: 473 - 77 points.



Well, that got a bit silly didn’t it. Good day!










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