Hi, you're in the Archives, April 2005 - Part 1
WHISKY ADS –
Are the Scots tough guys or are
they as gentle as lambs? That’s
an important question, no doubt,
but we sure won’t find any
answer in these old ads, as in 1939,
shows us an old threatening clansman,
one hand on his sword, the other
hand next to his dagger, whereas
in 1938, Old Angus’
landlord plays with some lambs…
Sweet as a baby!… But maybe
that was during the Highlands Clearances?
listening - I first got interested
in Klezmer music after having seen
Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood's
movie 'Bird', with Forrest Whittaker.
Charles McPherson actually recorded
the sax part because there hadn't
been any taping of the actual event,
a Jewish wedding where Charlie Parker,
who had been hired to entertain the
guests, switched from jazz to tradtionnal
Jewish music - so funny!. Anyway,
one of the best Klezmer bands I know
Klezmatics , aka 'the
possessed Jewish with horns'. Listen
to them playing Katz
un Moyz - mp3 and please buy their
music if you like it. (via piranha)
- TWO (POOR) BALMENACHS
1979/2000 (58%, Scott’s Selection)
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: grainy,
herbal, on freshly mown lawn. Some
hot milk... Not much else, I’m
afraid. The cask must have been
quite neutral (who said dead?) Mouth:
extremely spirity, yet bland. Quick,
some water... Now it’s killed!
- even with Gleneagles. Frankly,
I’ve been told there are some
much better gins out there. 69
12 yo 1981/1993 (62.3%, Cadenhead)
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: spirity,
grassy, simple... Gets extremely
grainy… and that’s all.
Mouth: monstrously pungent. Water
please... Thanks! It gets better,
I mean drinkable. Yet, it’s
much too grassy, grainy, with some
hints of raw French beans, burnt
bread... Okay, one for cocktails.
- TWO BRORAS
29 yo 1971/2000 (50%, DL Old Malt
Cask, 210 bottles)
Colour: straw. Nose: ‘a very
delicate cow stable’. Well...
Extremely refined, elegant yet so
farmy! Paris Hilton? Kidding. Anyway,
another evidence of Brora’s
absolute top class in those years.
Need I say more? Mouth: beautiful
and totally flawless. I’m
speechless again. Couldn’t
be better, really, and what a perfect
balance! Okay, I’d better
stop now... Ah, just this: perfection
is when you can’t draw out
nor add anything, according to Olivier.
And again, this Brora is perfect.
It’s just a bit less explosive
and demonstrative than the latest
30 yo OB '2004', that is. 94
18 yo 1981/1999 (58.3%, SMWS 61.9)
Colour: straw. Nose: well, 1981 wasn’t
1971 (yeah!) and at Brora, that’s
particularly true. Yet, this one is
very nice. Whiffs - just whiffs -
of smoke together with cooked apples,
milk, muesli, a bit of candy sugar...
A nice one indeed, compact and satisfying.
Mouth: the attack is sugary and fruity,
but there‘s quite some peat
coming through after a while. Alas,
it’s too strong to be enjoyed
‘naked’ any further, so
let’s ad a few drops of Gleneagles
water (some recent tastings revealed
it’s one of the waters that
fit whisky best). The mouth now gets
rounder, creamier and even fruitier...
making it really enjoyable, with a
long and rounded finish. Anyway, a
nice one, that proves, once again,
that Brora wasn’t just about
heavy peat. 88 points.
– Blues - Recommended
Chevalier, from Eugene,
Oregon, plays When
dream die - mp3. A special singing
that strays from the beaten track
and a great guitar, we don't need
anything more, do we? Please buy Brian
Chevalier's music if you like it.
– BLUES - Recommended
and the Red Hots play
a long pot-pourri of tunes. Just click
Excellent voice and excellent players,
they are cool! Please attend their
gigs - I've not seen any record yet
- TWO CONVALMORES
12 yo 1969 (40%, G&M CC, Old
Colour: straw. First nosing: rather
mellow. It then starts on some notes
of Cologne water and lavender perfume
but in a rather nice way this time.
Develops on beer, porridge and goes
on with some fruits such as crystallised
oranges or tangerines. Some hints
of liquorice, vanilla and caramel.
The whole is nicely balanced. Palate:
the first mouth feel is powerful
while the attack is on vanillin
and smoked tea, with some soft tannins.
It develops on caramel cream, with
some notes of nutmeg. Globally,
the palate is astonishingly rich
and satisfying. An excellent surprise,
bold and most satisfying again.
The finish is long, on white pepper
and toffee. A very good one, indeed.
14 yo 1983/1997 (43%, Signatory, cask
Colour: straw. First nosing: fresh
and warming at the same time. Starts
on lots of fresh hazelnut skin. Interesting!
It develops on cereals and hot brioche,
followed by some grassy notes. In
short, it’s interesting but
simple (or the contrary). Palate:
the mouth feel is quite creamy. Attack
on sweet fruit liquor (the one in
the sugar Oyster eggs). It develops
on Malibu liquor (save my children),
bubble gum, marsh mallow. Some grassy
notes, cold herbal tea… Rather
robust but again, simple. With a long
but bitter finish, on burnt vegetables.
Okay, 80 points for
the rather special notes of hazelnut
- TWO DALLAS DHUS
Dhu 17 yo 1974/1992 (43%, Signatory,
Colour: dry white wine. Nose: very
fresh, young and flowery - and grassy
at first nosing. Develops on heavy
passion fruit, rosewater and eau
de Cologne. Gets a bit yeasty, on
hot milk and porridge. Hints of
rubber. Something Bowmore-ish. Nope,
I didn’t write soapy. Mouth:
oh, too bad. Lots of chemicals,
oddly grassy. Rather undrinkable,
to tell you the truth. Very bitter
and disjointed, extremely soapy:
there is a problem in there. Let’s
stop the pain a.s.a.p! 59
points, because the nose
Dhu 23 yo 1981/2004 (53.5%, The Whiskyfair)
Colour: straw. Nose: starts on cold
coffee, then cold coffee and then,
perhaps, cold coffee? That’s
funny, a perfect breakfast malt! It
then gets very smoky (wood smoke for
the moment, not peat). Cold ashes,
matchstick. Something Ardmore-ish.
Quite austere, in a nice way. A special
one, that’s for sure. And the
peat arrives after a good ten minutes...
Mouth: completely different! Quite
sweetish but also very peaty right
from the start (of the farmy kind
of peat). Interesting! I didn’t
know Dallas Dhu did some rather highly
peated batches. It’s also nicely
balanced, with quite some orange juice
and a dash of pepper. Long finish.
A special one indeed, not overly complex
but sort of ‘funny’ and
very interesting. Congrats for having
sourced this one, Whiskyfair. 87
listening: somebody wrote that 'Rodney
Jones can lay down a
groove faster than you can say James
Brown' and that might well be
true. But why not judge by yourself
while having go at his excellent version
of Franco-Cameroonian sax player Manu
Makossa - mp3? Yes, it's the great
Maceo Parker on the sax! Please buy
these guys' music if you like funk
and soul jazz.
- An Cnoc 1990/2004 (46%, OB)
Very balanced, creamy, malty, with
some light caramel, some pollen and
nectar. The mouth is sweet, with some
heathery notes, caramel, vanilla crème.
It’s like the relatively new
12 yo , just bolder and with a longer
finish. Very sippable! 84
points. By the way An Cnoc
distilled some peated malt (35 to
38ppm) last year, and will do it again
this year. Fashion!
listening - 1995: crazy veteran French
underground singer Brigitte
Fontaine sings Conne
-mp3 (Dumb). I can assure you
she isn't! Please buy her music if
you like it... and if you understand
French, otherwise you'll miss most
of its... err... charms!
ADVERTISEMENT - After
having read Whiskyfun's tasting
notes regarding one of the casks
he owns at Glenfarclas, which I
rated 93 points (it's cask #689
- at 37 yo it's a stunner), fellow
maniac Luc Timmermans decided to
let it being bottled immediately
instead of waiting till 2008. I
think it's an excellent decision,
especially since Luc is now selling
a chunk of his lot on a 'first come,
first serve' basis and as very short
term futures (a matter of days).
prices are very fair for such an old
single malt that is right at its peak:
195 Euros for one bottle.
899.99 Euros for one bottle plus a
hand signed cricket cap like the one
Luc's wearing on the picture.
I know Option #2 is
much more appealing, but as far as
I'm concerned, I chose Option #1 (Luc,
just between us, does this cap have
a sentimental value or something?)
Anyway, should you
be interested, be quick and ask Luc
the details by clicking here.
Oh yes, by the way, the vintage is
1968 - a very good one at Glenfarclas
(don't ask me why, I have no clue).
– TWO NEW BOTTLINGS FROM CHIVAS
Longmorn 17 yo 1987/2004 (55.1%,
OB, Chivas Brothers, batch #LM 17
This one is very creamy and floral
at the same time – perhaps
a little too tannic. 82
16 yo 1988/2004 (56.9%, OB, Chivas
Brothers, batch #GL 16 003, 50cl)
Sweet and yeasty on the nose, sweet
and caramelised on the palate. Not
very much happening here, but it’s
quite enjoyable and flawless.
REVIEW: DIZZEE RASCAL
Hall, London - Tuesday March 15th
2005 - by Nick Morgan
ok Serge, I know it’s late,
but like I told you, I very nearly
didn’t even get to the gig.
After all, I’d had a week in
Paris on some sort of marketing thing,
enduring some of the worst food I’d
ever eaten in my life (Serge said
he thought an Englishman, Irishman,
Scotsman and Welshman must have got
into the kitchen, but I have my doubts)
then back to blighty for a quick hour
or two at Whisky Live (more than any
normal man can handle) followed by
a very Big weekend and a great night
at Nick Lowe on the Monday. Well,
the photographer was keen (although
as it turned out the excessive security
prevented any reasonable access for
shooting purposes) as was my daughter
(no – she was positively twitching
with excitement). But me – well
I wondered if I really wanted to be
it turned out I wasn’t alone.
First up on this special night at
the South Bank Centre’s Africa
Remix Festival was Nigerian drumming
Allen, the right hand
of Fela Kuti, and often acknowledged
as the co-founder (with Kuti) of Afrobeat.
Boy – he was almost as unhappy
as me. “I just want to say,
I don’t want to say nothing,
I am just here for the Dizzee”.
Playing second fiddle to a teenage
East End prodigy was clearly not his
bag, and his painful indifference
to the gig was only compounded by
his most pedestrian band, who had
clearly undergone a rhythm bypass
and a funkechtomy. Add to this two
“singers” whose booty-shaking
was a tribute to the (just withdrawn
from the market) Rowntree’s
jelly-cube (and maybe as appetising
too) and you should begin to see just
how bad it was. Sort of in-between
early Santana and the Crusaders, with
barely a dash of Africa, and at several
RPMs less than it deserved. So for
one I wasn’t quite as surprised
as Allen’s band when he abruptly
left the stage as they prepared for
their final number; “Now I hand
you over to the Dizzeeee”.
Rascal rocking the Royal
Festival Hall (yes Serge, the Royal
Box was devoid of teenagers and soon-to-be
weds) – not an immediate match
made in heaven. Dizzee with an awesome
DJ deckmeister (“how did he
make all that noise?” I asked
my daughter, still half deaf, in the
homeward bound hooptie) and a fellow
MC whose repetitive hand gestures
suggested he spent the whole night
in fear of loosing his testicles through
the crotch of his baggy denims. A
Dizzee who, despite his various brushes
with rival MCs from the grime (don’t
ask me, but apparently a very high
velocity London take on Garage and
Hip Hop) posse, and the boys in blue,
seems more likely to die by suffocation
at the hands of the chattering white
middle classes than from a drive-by
no doubts, these clever clogs are
grasping at DR as the acceptable face
of young black music in the UK, a
Mercury Prize winning alternative
to misogynistic US rappers and their
over-aggressive crews. And they are
all out in force - beards, sandals,
Guardians and all - at the RFH safe
in a comfort zone never afforded by
the Brixton Academy.
why all the fuss? Well once you got
over the jarring and largely alienating
high speed rhythms (too many RPMs
!) and almost industrial bass lines
and samples (although I have to say
the former did send a thrilling vibration
through my thickly textured corduroy
trousers) and caught up with the Dizziness
himself (“Don’t ask me
to sing slower, just listen faster”)
what you got was a surprisingly intelligent
and fiercely moralistic young man,
singing with his heart on his sleeve,
a plaintive voice for the young inner-city
dispossessed. Actually I’m not
sure that singing is the right word,
but his powerfully delivered lyrics
could have been written by his mum,
though I suspect she might have used
fewer “fucks”. Witty,
good-humoured, and at the end of it
all hugely optimistic I have to say
that the final result was almost life-affirming
(I last saw this word used in the
Guardian of all places, in a review
of a Chas and Dave gig! Surely it’s
better placed here?).
What were the songs? How should I
know? But a bit of research and listening
afterwards showed that he played almost
all of the new Showtime and The Boy
in da Corner. You can make up the
rest for yourselves. Oh yes –
and I should have mentioned Dizzee’s
fiercely expressed pride in his home
city, which came through in his interplay
with the audience (although we remain
disappointed that he didn’t
give it out to the Chiswick Crew)
and his songs. Now the boy had better
watch out, because if he’s not
careful Ken Livingstone will co-opt
him onto London’s Olympic bid
(Ken, you read it here first mate),
and then you Serge, and your Paris,
just won’t stand a chance.
- Nick Morgan
Nick. Yes, a Hilton might not be
the best place to eat when in Paris
(was the porkpie that bad?) Lazy
choices make bad memories, said
a famous travel consultant ;-).
Now, as for Dizzee Rascal, hats
off, that's dedication, and sure
you deserve the Pulitzer. I didn't
know this rascal, so I had to do
a bit a research and... well...
I mean... you know... it's like...
well, not my cup of t... I mean,
not my glass of malt. I have nothing
against the heavy use of samples,
provided it doesn't sound like a
heavy use of samples. Anyway, I
could find two 'interesting' tracks.
We have Just
a Rascal - mp3 and Lucky
Star - mp3 with Basement Jaxx
(and I sort of like Basement Jaxx).
As for Tony Allen, that's another
story, as Every
Season - mp3 will testify.
Note to French readers
/ Note aux lecteurs français:
vous voyez sur quelles bases nous
sommes jugés? Ces Anglais
sont incroyables, quand ils se rendent
à Paris, ils séjournent
dans un Hilton et après,
ils viennent se plaindre de la qualité
de la cuisine. Je parie que la prochaine
fois qu'ils loueront une Jaguar
chez Avis à Charles-de-Gaulle,
ils mettront sur notre dos le fait
qu'elle ne tient pas trop bien la
route et que la qualité du
cuir n'est plus ce qu'elle était.
Ah, ces Angliches, il en faut de
- TWO COLEBURNS
Coleburn 17 yo 1965 (40%, G&M
CC Old Brown Label)
Colour: light amber. First nosing:
very refined and elegant. Very nice!
It then develops on some very empyreumatic
notes, beeswax, resinous wood, cedar
wood… Develops on some turpentine.
It goes on with vanilla and caramel,
and some hints of dried flowers.
Superb! Palate: the first mouth
feel is full of smoothness but satisfying.
Then lots of nutmeg and white pepper,
a bit drying right at the start.
Develops on passion fruits - the
old bottle effect? Some notes of
bitter orange and milk chocolate.
In short, it’s classical,
it’s balanced and it’s
refined. A superb old whisky. The
finish is medium long, that is,
on white pepper and nutmeg again,
with the soft tannins being well
present. Another very good old Connoisseur’s
Choice. 88 points
(it would have been worth 90 points
without the dryness).
19 yo 1981/2001 (46%, Signatory Unchillfiltered,
sherry, dist 22/10/81)
Colour: straw. First nosing: quite
sharp! It’s very sulphury right
at the start, not far from H2S, I’m
afraid. Then I got some hot milk,
porridge, yeast, and some whiffs of
rubber band. Some rather heavy burnt
sugar. Not repulsive but way too ‘yeasty’
for my tastes. Palate: quite creamy,
with some sherry and some honey. It
develops on orange marmalade, with
some notes of ginger tonic and infused
tealeaves. Hints of candy sugar, with
lots of crystallised orange towards
the finish. Globally, the palate is
bold and satisfying, most enjoyable.
Too bad the nose is so sulphury, but
the great mouth makes it worth 82
points in my book.
listening: she's an excellent 'smoky
slide guitar' player and singer! Natalia
Zukerman from NYC does
a groovy and elegant Fool's
gold - mp3. Good, eh? Please buy
AND MUSIC - My old
friend Paul Adam loves both whisky
and music, especially Serge Gainsbourg's.
That's why he did let his bar being
personalized with one of Gainsbourg's
most famous profiles, sand-blasted
on the glass. Would that work with
Janet Jackson too?
- FOUR OLD HIGHLAND PARKS - PART II
Park 38 yo 1966/2005 (42.4%, Duncan
Taylor for The Whisky Fair, 168
Colour: light gold. First nosing:
mellow, refined and elegant. It
starts on apricot syrup, Mirabelle
jam and beeswax, all at the same
time, and then develops on pineapple
and caramel cream. Quite a lot of
vanillin too, with some very soft
tannins, going on with some fructose
or icing sugar. There is some wood
but it’s not overwhelming
at all. Again, a superb one. Palate:
alas, it lacks a little balance
on the palate, getting even quite
bitter. Happily, that strange phenomenon
vanishes after a moment and the
malt then gets nicely creamy and
heathery, with some hints of camphor,
eucalyptus and cold tea. Some burnt
butter and roasted almonds. It tastes
much younger than it is, in fact.
Rather long finish, getting even
flowery (nectar, light honey). Excellent!
Park 30 yo 1973/2004 (47.8%, OB for
Japan, sherry, cask #11207, 520 bottles)
Colour: amber. First nosing: very
warming, with lots of toasted bread!
A bit subdued right from the start,
in fact, but it then develops on some
heavy eucalyptus again, turpentine,
burnt heather (when they burn it to
let the grass grow to feed the starving
sheep in the Highlands). It goes on
with some apricot syrup, apple pie,
squeezed orange, sweet white wine,
sherry… Again a thrilling one,
it appears. Some hints of smoke and
rubber… It’s so complex
and full-bodied! Palate: compact,
creamy and… fabulous. Lots of
smoke, herbs, fruits, spices and essences
of all sorts: the list would be too
long, just like the finish. Just endless.
Perhaps it just lacks a little elegance
this time… Anyway, here’s
my rating: 91 points.
– JAZZ - Recommended
listening: Peruvian born pianist Felipe
Riveros plays French
Dance - mp3, which I don't like
only because of the name, I promise!
This great tune has a French feeling
indeed, and is on Felipe's CD 'Ten
Easy Pieces', which you should definitely
buy if you like jazz. And the sax,
WHISK(E)Y ADS - THE ONES WHO SERVE
IT TALK ABOUT IT BEST!
Roses 1938: In the heat of
the night avant l'heure? The actual
old-fashioned blaze of glory was to
happen one year later anyway... (and
no, they didn't have Adobe Photoshop
at that time, it appears)
1953: 'A dividend in
value!' says the young guy, who's
already obsessed by money. 'A
dividend in taste!' answers the
old guy, who knows about true values...
Ah, Santa Barbara!
Deluxe 1955: 'Elegant
in taste, uncommonly good'. Ah,
old black buttlers, you couldn't beat
Deluxe 1965: They fired the
old black guy (who's been hired by
Uncle Ben's then) and hired an old
European-style buttler who says 'Nothing
else quite measures up.' Noticed
- FOUR OLD HIGHLAND PARKS - PART I
Park 17 yo ‘no vintage’
(43%, OB, James Grant green dumpy,
Not to be confounded with the ‘vintage’
versions. Colour: greenish amber (eh?).
First nosing: mellow and extremely
elegant. It starts on some beautiful
notes of dark old rum, chestnut honey
and resinous wood again. Develops
superbly, on eucalyptus, turpentine,
varnish… It goes on with some
tropical fruits, tangerine, apricot
syrup. Some fantastic winey notes
too, mostly flor and walnut skin.
That’s the kind of sherry I
like! Just plain stunning. Palate:
absolutely fantastic. The attack is,
well… err… it’s
a whole army! Fresh mastic, camphor,
beeswax, eucalyptus pastilles, some
smoke and some cake, wood polish,
butter caramel, kumquats...
sugar, what a stunning whisky! And
a long and extremely refined finish,
at that. Wow, wow, wow! 95
Park 12 yo bottled 8/07/92 (40%, OB,
Colour: it’s funnily light (ohne
Farbstoff this time?) First nosing:
very clean. A bit closed right at
the start, and dusty at that, but...
it then develops on some very fresh
resinous notes, freshly sawn pine
wood, going on with some fresh hazelnut,
of vanilla crème and praline.
Really complex and beautiful. Palate:
superbly balanced and powerful. The
attack is unusually smoky, peaty and
peppery, with lots of caramel cream.
It develops on milk chocolate, cappuccino,
with some notes of herbal tea and
some hints of Havana tobacco. Globally,
the palate is very complex and refined.
Too bad it’s a little weak at
40%. But what a difference with the
current expression! Too bad the finish
is rather short, with a little lack
of oomph. 88 points
but it would have deserved 90+ points
at 43 or 46%).
listening: just another pretty young
American singer fallen off a truck
from Nashville? No, no, Dani
Linnetz is better than
that. Have a listen to her catchy
library - mp3 and I'm sure you'll
agree. So, please buy Dani's music
if you like it!
listening - Irish ex-Virgin Prunes
Friday does a heavy Caruso
- mp3. Wait till the end of the
tune, there' are even some samples
of the great Caruso himself. Please
buy Gavin Friday's music if you like
listening - 1907: the great Enrico
Caruso himself sings Vesti
la gubbia - mp3 from Leoncavallo's
I Pagliacci. (Very good remastering
Evangelista - thanks
for that). Btw, did you know
Caruso was smoking?
- THREE 1992 BEN NEVIS
Nevis 10 yo 1992/2002 (43%, Signatory,
Colour: dry white wine. First nosing:
clean. It starts on some notes of
broiled cereals, porridge, yeast…
Develops on grain and mashed potatoes.
It goes on with some bubble gum,
lilac, yogurt; some hints of gooseberry,
dust, old books. Simple but quite
enjoyable. The mouth feel is quite
strong but a little bitter. The
attack is on grass, over infused
tea and pepper. It develops on oak,
grain, burnt cake with some notes
of yogurt, green tannins and some
hints of turpentine, quinquina,
even pepper vodka, humus…
Globally, the palate is simple,
austere and rather drying. The finish
is long, on burnt green vegetables.
The nose was nice but the palate
is too bitter and grassy for my
tastes. Just another young so-so
cask from a so-so batch? 76
Nevis 10 yo 1992 (55.2%, OB)
Colour: amber. First nosing: warming
an compact. It starts on notes of
heavy sherry, oloroso, caramel. Develops
on chestnut honey, beeswax, getting
very winey and buttery. It goes on
with some balsamic vinegar, soy sauce,
old rancio. Hints of cooked apple,
cooked quetsche, cold coffee. Gets
a little sour... Very, very winey.
It smells almost like a mix of wine
and spirit, like for instance a Macvin
from Jura, or a Pineau des Charentes.
The mouth feel is powerful, compact,
quite satisfying. The attack is on
caramel, burnt cake, dried orange.
It gets bolder and bolder with time.
It develops on pepper, clove, fructose.
Some notes of herbal tea, mustard,
even wasabi. It's getting quite biting.
Some hints of ashes, quinquina, over
infused tea, Jägermeister (German
liquor). Globally, the palate is robust
and a little unbalanced. The finish
is very long, on fructose and heavy
sherry. It gets very salty after a
moment. Salt and pepper indeed! Quite
a beast, this one... 81 points.
Nevis 11 yo 1992/2003 (59.6%, Blackadder,
cask #687, bourbon hogshead)
Another Blackadder with these strange
- and slightly disturbing - pieces
of wood swimming in the whisky...
dry white wine. First nosing: sharp.
It starts on notes of hot milk, mashed
potatoes, porridge, and develops on
lavender, liquorice, hay… It
goes on with some orange zest, cold
herbal tea… Some hints of yeast,
anise, yogurt… A young and simple
one, with very little influence from
the wood. The signatory was cleaner
and livelier. And better on the nose.
This one’s mouth feel is powerful
and sweet. The attack is on bubble
gum, eucalyptus and varnish. It develops
on lavender, Cologne water, cooked
butter… Perfumy indeed! Some
hints of white rum, tequila, chemicals…
This palate is quite indefinite in
fact, very robust and rather austere,
not in a nice way, alas. The finish
is very long on over infused tea again,
grass… It’s getting really
bitter and too grassy! Far from being
enjoyable, I’m afraid... Some
feint hints of pear spirit emerge
after a long moment. 75 points.
- Amrut (40%, OB, India)
This one is actually a 3 yo . It’s
got some nice fruit, cooked apple
and vanilla. Quite rounded and sweet,
not bad at all on the nose. The mouth
is a little blander, grainy, getting
quite vegetal and a little too biter.
But what a nice surprise (especially
when compared to McDowell or, for
that matter, Sikkim!) 75 points.
listening - Did you know this very
'interesting' version of I
put a spell on you - mp3 by transglobal
underground diva Natacha
Atlas? Perfect for a
sunny Sunday, isn't it? Please buy
Natacha's music if you like it...
Oh, by the way, she did also Man's
world - mp3, sweet like honey
- honey from the Atlas Mountains,
no need to say...
listening - Oldies but Goldies: 1974,
Preston plays Outa
Space - mp3. Billy's keyboards
are indeed out of this world, no wonder
both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles
hired him for their recording sessions
(on Let it Be, for instance) and tours.
Billy Preston is still very active,
so please buy his great music if you
- Old Pulteney 17 yo (40%, OB)
A new bottling – strange that
they bottled it at a meagre 40%. The
nose is very fragrant and smoky, with
some hints of rubber and fresh pineapple,
mango, apricot jam and a bit of sea
air. The mouth is very creamy, gingery,
getting quite waxy and peppery. A
good one. 84 points.
- Ardbeg 1980/2004 ‘Kidalton’
I’m glad I could finally taste
this unpeated version. The nose starts
on fresh apples, apple juice. Develops
on mint, peppermint and citronella.
Excellent. The mouth is sweet but
quite spicy, both peppery and gingery,
with quite some wood. In short, it’s
bold but very elegant and balanced.
So, Ardbeg doesn’t just mean
‘peat’! 90 points.
– Raga - French
guitar hero (?!) Louis
jams with Nepalese sitar player Bijaya
Better than John MacLaughlin with
Ravi Shankar? Maybe not, but it's
still nice and very moody... Please
buy Louis' music - it's usually much
more 'rock and roll', like this rendition
of Steve Miller's The
joker - mp3 recorded live in...
Nepal in 2003.
WHISK(E)Y ADS - GUITAR GALORE!
Walker 1938: 'Win an
Amateur Hour? Double your enjoyement
with Hiram Walker's Ten High'. Gosh,
I guess the drawer had never seen
a guitar before!
Sark 1982 - with B.B. King: 'In
a world full of copies, here's to
the originals - The Scotch with a
following of leaders - Cutty Sark.'
Jack Daniels 2002: 'Mr
Jack Daniel was no saint. But he did
start something of a religion' (whith
Jack Daniels sticker on the guitar
Left: Jim Beam 1982
- with Hank Williams jr: 'It's
a family tradition.'
Cutty Sark 2004 (poster for nightclubs):
Aren't we wondering what
she's doing with that guitar? Or is
it another phallic symbol? Anyway,
I guess this one is more appealing
to the yoof... Bad taste? You decide!
(I'm not referring to the whisky,
the index of all entries:
malts I had these weeks - 90+
points only - alphabetical:
1980/2004 ‘Kidalton’ (57.6%,
29 yo 1971/2000 (50%,
DL Old Malt Cask, 210 bottles)
Park 17 yo ‘no vintage’ (43%,
OB, James Grant green dumpy, 70’s)
Park 30 yo 1973/2004 (47.8%, OB for
Japan, sherry, cask #11207, 520 bottles)