Hi, you're in the Archives, August 2005 - Part 1
of concert reviews to come! Yesterday
it was Iggy and the Stooges, tonight
it's Marilyn Manson (nope I didn't
change my mind), and we'll also
have some great reviews by Nick.
listening: 1986, Françoise
Hardy sings V.I.P.mp3.
Oh, by the way, Françoise,
it's GlenMOrangie, not GLENmorangie...
Anyway, Miss Hardy's most recent
opus, 'Tant de belles choses', is
really excellent. Please buy it,
especially if you understand French.
- Mortlach 22 yo (80 proof, Cadenhead
dumpy black label, 70’s)
Colour: straw. Nose: starts on lots
of chocolate, herbal tea. Gets then
a bit yeasty, with some smells of
mashed potatoes, tobacco and leather.
Quite grassy too, with some notes
of freshly mown lawn. Lactones, old
books. Slightly dry on the nose, in
fact. Mouth: lots of vivacity! Great
tropical fruits and citrus, with a
nice ‘green’ bitterness
(lemon seeds). Some citronella. Perhaps
a little mono-dimensional, in fact,
but it’s very compact and highly
satisfying. 87 points.
1974 (40%, G&M Connoisseur’s
Choice, old map label)
Colour: amber. Nose: starts on some
nice oak, light caramel, breakfast
honey. Hints of sweet white wine.
Some nice notes of apple pie and white
pepper… A very nice nose, rather
fresh. A perfect breakfast malt ;-).
Mouth: light but not weak, with quite
some oak, tannins, pepper… Yet,
it’s far from being a monster.
Develops on apricot jam, cocoa powder,
getting rather herbal, on infused
tealeaves. Rather long and peppery
finish, getting a little dry and slightly
too woody. 80 points.
– Jazz - Strongly
recommended listening: German pianist
Kühn plays an ever-developing
Marleen.mp3 that will leave you
short of wind. This guy is totally
brilliant! Please buy his wonderful
music (perhaps you could just avoid
his early jazz-rock work but even
SUMMER ADS - PART VII
Above, left - Seagram's
VO 1971: 'For people
who really know how to live.'
right - Seagram's VO 1971:
'For people who squeeze
all they can out of life.'
Left - Seagram's VO 1971:
'For people who do
everything just right.'
no doubt horse riding, diving or
sailing are most enjoyable hobbies
that 'make the good life good' in
summer, but frankly, can't these
ugly machos pour their wives (or
girlfriends) a dram or three - at
least for the pictures?
- FOUR DAILUAINES - from best to not
31 yo 1973/2005 (47.8%, The Whisky
Fair, butt #14739, 204 bottles)
Colour: full amber. Nose: rather oaky
and perfumy attack with some smells
of wine cellar. Simpler than expected.
Notes of wet wood, burnt cake and
overripe oranges, getting then quite
flowery (nectar, yellow flowers from
the fields) – with something
of Balvenie. Goes on with some typical
dried fruits (bananas, figs, pear),
some caramel. Some very funny hints
of fresh parsley that give it some
extra-complexity. Some notes of golden
rum as well. Much more complex than
I had thought at first nosing, this
one really smells like an ‘old
single malt’. No sign of tiredness,
though. Mouth: rather bitter attack,
on lots of burnt bread and burnt cake,
roasted sultanas… There is quite
some wood in there, obviously. Some
nice dried fruits notes (oranges),
marmalade, bitter almonds, dry sherry.
A bit of pepper and also some dried
herbs (Thyme? Rosemary? Parsley again?)
Interesting, I must say, although
it might lack a little more sweetness.
Rather long finish, on strong red
wine (tannins) and artichokes (!),
quite drying. A ‘different’
kind of sherry, that’s for sure,
and a very interesting Dailuaine,
whatever that means. 87 points.
18 yo 1986/2005 (58.6%, Scotch Malt
Whisky Society 41.31, 258 bottles)
Colour: dark straw. Nose: very spirity
at first nosing, with the alcohol
sort of masking all other aromas.
Switches to hot butter and pear juice
for a moment, before it gets a little
flowery. Hints of varnish, and then
lots of radish, mustard, freshly cut
grass. Again, a special malt. Mouth:
bold and powerful, rather sweet right
at the start but soon to get quite
herbal and a little bitter. Burnt
cake, over infused tea, overcooked
coffee… Notes of pineapple juice
(the alcohol). Gets really tannic
and drying. Some notes of tequila
with limejuice, ginger ale. In short
this one’s good but it lacks
a little complexity and depth for
my tastes. 80 points.
14 yo 1979 'Friars Carse' (59.7%,
The Whisky Connoisseur, cask #8965)
Nose: very herbal, dry and yeasty.
Sawdust, cardboard… Hints of
dried oranges. Mouth: dry, herbal,
with some notes of rotten oranges
and caramel. Gets very bitter. Too
difficult to enjoy, I’m afraid,
but good news: I think they only did
some minis ;-). 63 points.
– Highly recommended
listening: if, like some other maniacs,
you often complained about the fact
that bagpipes neither swing nor rock,
maybe it's time to have a go at Taxi
Chain, from North Mississippi,
Brown ate my bagpipes.mp3. Get
prepared to roll on the floor and
please buy Taxi Chain's music! (via
RUMOUR: EGYPT IN SCOTLAND?
no secret that building tourist attractions
in the vicinity of a Scottish distillery
is an interesting way of improving
its cash flow. It's also well known
that Egyptomania rules since quite
some decades now and that's why a
leading drinks company is said to
have decided to build three 'Cask
Pyramids' in the courtyard of a famous
Speyside distillery. Their names should
be McKeehops, McKeefreain and McMeeckereenos.
of Glasgow's new Cask Pyramid Builder
– BLUES - Recommended
listening: truely excellent harmonica
player and vocalist Paul
deLay does a finely crafted
old to scold.mp3. He's brilliant
on the chromatic harp and he's also
a great composer. In short, please
buy his music! (via livinblues)
– THREE INDIE T******RS ;-)
Talimburg 19 yo 1986/2005 (45.9%,
The Whisky Fair, bourbon hogshead
#1485, 252 bottles)
Colour: white wine. Nose: very clean
and fresh attack, very maritime
at very first nosing (fresh oysters).
Some bold but very enjoyable notes
of lemon and grapefruit juice are
soon to arrive, with also lots of
grassy notes and Riesling wine (which
I like, of course). Whiffs of sawdust,
hints of books. Very little cask
influence and not much complexity,
but a most enjoyable freshness.
One to sip on oysters? Mouth: very
nice attack, very similar to the
nose. Simple but fresh and very
clean. Lots of lemon juice, lemon
seeds, smoked tea and perhaps not
much else, but I like it a lot for
its superb ‘cleanliness’.
Not enough complexity to reach 90
points or more in my book but I
feel it deserves a good 88
32 yo 1972/2005 (45.2%, The Whisky
Fair, rum finished refill hogshead
#1568, 146 bottles)
I guess one could wonder why they
decided to ‘finish’ a
32 yo T******r… Let’s
see if a tasting will give us some
answers… Colour: gold. Nose:
uh-oh, this is rather strange…
The very first nosing reveals some
rather heavy notes of varnish, paint
thinner and glue. It then gets better,
with some nice wax polish and pineapple
juice coming through. The varnish
notes are slowly disappearing (I say
good news), the whisky getting very,
very lemony and herbal. Still not
utterly enjoyable, I’d say.
Really strange, probably another love
it or hate it indie T******r. No smoke’n’pepper
that I can smell. Mouth: mmm, interesting
attack! Lots of bitter almonds, marzipan
and lemon peel, quite punchy if not
bold. Some notes of gin, herbal tea,
dill. Lots of spices (clove). A little
bitter, I must say, with some green
tannins that make your tongue stick
to the palate. It gets more and more
lemony with time, getting rather extreme.
Oyster juice. Some will love it but
some will hate it, I think. Hard to
make up my mind, it’s not that
I love it but I enjoy the fact that
it’s so special. At least, it’s
not boring – at all! Okay, I
guess 87 points will
do (but I wouldn’t be surprised
if some would give it 95 points, and
some others only, say 75!)
31 yo 1970/2002 (50%, Douglas Laing
Old Malt Cask, sherry finish, 222
Colour: deep gold. Nose: very different!
Less fresh and less lemony, the attack
being more on hot butter, vanilla
crème and orange water. Much
more wood influence, in a very nice
way. Milk chocolate, caramel crème,
white pepper… Very little smoke
and no peppery blast, but still lots
of vivacity. Apple pie, cinnamon.
Lots of cooked apricot, peach pie…
Very, very nice but not really typical.
Oh, finally, some notes of eucalyptus
and varnish. Well… Mouth: again,
not very T******rish right at the
start. Bitter caramel. Some curious
notes of seawater, though, but also
lots of citrus again. Rather rough,
tannic, hot. More and more citrusy,
in fact. Concentrated lemon juice?
Quite some oak, and also some peat,
finally. The finish is extremely long,
almost burning, with some rather strong
salty notes that play with your tongue.
Funny? Not really but this one is
really extreme, hence worth the try!
SUMMER ADS - PART VI
VO 1959: jet set party on
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. We learn that
'With the start of the festivities,
the scene shifts to V.O.. This richly-rounded
whisky adds a welcome international
flavour wherever there is cause for
celebration'. An international
flavour, isn't that what we're looking
for indeed, from Bali to Ibiza, and
from Acapulco to... Hawaii?
Right - Seagram's
7 Crown 1971: 'It fits
right into your world.' We like
the tartan cloth on the beach!
8 yo (43%, OB, Rinaldi, early 70’s)
Colour: dark amber. Nose: again lots
of sherry but of a very elegant kind.
Bunches of dried fruits, developing
on cooked strawberries and then fresh
ones. A very, very nice one, perfectly
balanced if not tremendously complex.
Mouth: full bodied, with some bold
notes of bitter oranges and lots of
various liqueurs (Grand-Marnier, Cointreau,
Bénédictine, Tia Maria…)
And again a very long finish! Pure
pleasure if not a masterpiece…
listening: when I'm not listening
to Frank Zappa, I'm having a little
Beefheart, like his beautiful
eyes are a blue million miles.mp3.
Okay, one might not like the drummer
too much, but otherwise, 'sss magic!
Please buy the Captain's records (or
his nice paintings).
- FOUR INDIE LONGROWS
1973/1988 (50%, Samaroli Fragments
of Scotland, ‘Campbeltown’,
Colour: dark straw. Nose: starts
on quite a lot of camphor, beeswax,
Tabasco. Develops on herbal tea,
dried fruits (pear, banana) and
fudge. Much less smoky than the
1973 OB's, and closer to a Springbank.
Notes of pollen and a bit of marzipan.
I like it a lot, it’s quite
complex. Mouth: peatier than expected,
with some caramel, burnt cake, lots
of spices and ginger. Quite bold!
It gets more and more gingery, and
even a little bitter but in a nice
way. The finish is long but perhaps
a bit too grassy. Anyway, an excellent
Longrow, perhaps just a tad less
impressive than the OB’s from
1973. 92 points.
1987/2002 (55%, Samaroli, cask #115,
Colour: sweet white wine. Nose: extremely
sweet, attack, with quite some bubble
gum and strawberries that are soon
to be replaced with the usual herbal
notes, plus quite some peat smoke,
seaweed, rotting hay. Quite clean,
fresh and very lively – lots
of things happening in there! Wow!
Mouth: punchy attack, on gentian spirit,
smoked tea, caramel, hot butter, hay
jam… Gets very spicy, with some
pepper, sweet pepper and ginger…
Really superb, with a rather long
finish, getting more and more coastal.
Watch this one, it’s superb.
1987 11 month old (57%, New filling
malt, Samaroli, Fragments of Scotland,
Colour: almost white. Nose: very farmy,
peaty, grassy… Much less sweet
that any new make from Islay, for
instance. Really interesting. Mouth:
sweeter but very nicely balanced –
incredibly balanced in fact. This
one is almost a bottle aged malt and
sure it doesn’t really taste
like new make. Should that show evidence
of bottle ageing? Maybe… Gets
very salty and fishy, perhaps a bit
astringent… Incredibly drinkable!
I'd say it's as good as Samaroli's
'Ageing Monography 18 months old',
so it's going to be 85 points.
14 yo 1990/2004 (57,8%, Scotch
Malt Whisky Society
114.4, 624 bottles)
Nose: lots of peat, in the farmy genre.
Heavy smells of lamp petrol, grapefruit
juice and even wet stone. Austerity
at its best! Mouth: lots of ginger
tonic together with some liquorice.
Powerful but also a bit too austere
this time… Not an easy one,
for sure, but I still like it a lot.
COULD IRRESPONSIBLE SCORING BE DANGEROUS?
we really blame getwhisky.com
for the way they're using Jim Murray's
ratings on their web site? Well, not
sure and Big T is probably a very
decent dram, but I doubt it's any
better than The Macallan 18yo, whether
the latter is the finely oaked version
or the heavily sherried one. Very,
very embarrassing, don't you think?
(But I doubt Murray's spelling is
as bad as that, that is!)
Of course I tasted and scored
– Oldies but
Goldies: 1971, the Staple
Singers, aka 'God's greatest
hitmakers', do a blend of R&B,
reggae and soul that hits #1 in the
US charts: I'll
take you there.mp3. Wow, what
a family! No wonder they are in the
Rock+roll hall of fame. Please buy
their music. (via livinblues)
- Habemus Cerevisiam Destillatam (50%,
Regensburger Whisky-Club, Germany,
This one is a very special bottle,
both because it's been the Malt Maniacs'
10,000th rating, which was given by
Johannes on Islay earlier this year,
and because of its own story. Indeed,
it was Peter Krause and his Regensburgian
fellows who decided to let some Islay
malt mature for a few more weeks in
some oak that grew near Regensburg-Pentling,
which is the place where the new pope
Benedict XVI was born. When they learnt
about the "white smoke"
that came out of the Sistine Chapel,
they decided to bottle the malt -
a smoky one indeed - in honour of
the new pope. But let's taste it now,
with no condom of course.
deep amber. Nose: quite powerful,
with a very nice smoke, very Laphroaigish.
Lots of seaweed, iodine, and lots
of oaky notes. Perhaps a tad too simple
(like the dogma?) but the whole is
rather balanced and very enjoyable.
Mouth: bold and peaty but perhaps
a tad too woody again and sort of
winey (mass wine?). Some curious notes
of English brown sauce. Gets slightly
sour and also meaty after a moment,
but it's good. Anyway, a very interesting
(and blessing) proposition by the
crazy Regensburgians! 87 points.
(at the left: part of the back label)
- Kinclaith 26 yo 1975 (52.3%, James
MacArthur’s Fine Malt Selection)
Colour: gold. Nose: a very nice blend
of sherry and Grand-Marnier, Mandarine
Napoléon liqueur, bitter orange.
Lots of various herbal teas too, developing
on cake, fudge. Some hints of aspirin,
ginger ale, honey sauce… Very
special nose – quite enjoyable.
orange cake, orange water, Turkish
delight… All sorts of crystallised
fruits, big bold notes of crystallised
kumquats… Very, very good, getting
also quite spicy (mulled wine) and
even slightly soapy. Nothing too offending,
though. A great experience, as Kinclaith
seems to have been not only rare,
but also an excellent malt. Great!
(and 1975 was the last year of distilling).
Now, this was a mini and I don't think
there were any full bottles issued.
Perhaps one or a few bottles from
another bottler (Signatory?) rebottled
and relabeled. 90 points.
PICTURES JUST IN:
AUGUST, THE DISTILLERY
MANAGERS ON VACATION!
in Marbella (Spain)
in Portofino (Northern Italy)
– BLUES - Highly
recommended listening: awarded vocalist
Magness sings an absolutely
of a man.mp3 that just hits you
between your eyes. Is it rather gospel?
Who cares, please, please buy her
music... (via livinblues)
TRY THE MEKHONG EFFECT!
whisky (35%, OB, Bangyikan Distillery,
Thailand) Tasted last
week with some friends at the Blue
Elephant, Paris. Colour: deep
orange. Err, that's a nice start!
Nose: industrial alcohol, caramel,
cheap Cologne water, molasses, rotten
oranges. Almost putrid! Mouth: aaargh!
Finish: yes, me. Points:
pointless. Okay, I must confess I
didn't drink more than one tiny drop
of it (I don't want to get blind)
but my friend Fred had a good idea...
put a few drops of Mekhong whisky
on his neck and that immediately attracted
some very pretty girls! (see the picture).
So, forget about Guerlain and try
the Mekhong effect - and it's also
much cheaper. But please, please,
don't drink it, it's probably full
of glycerine, methanol and various
listening: yeah, that's right, Marilyn
Manson. When my daughter
told me she wanted to go see Mr Grand
Guignol at the Foire aux Vins of Colmar
on August 14, I said "Honey-you-cannot-go-there-alone-so-I-will-come-with-you".
Now we have the tickets and I guess
I can't turn back anymore... Okay,
time to dig a little deeper then...
I saw Mr Manson only once, it was
in Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine'.
Quite a cool guy, if you ask me, but
I still had to put my hands on his
music. Hey hey, guess what I found?
Some Eurythmics, some Depeche Mode
and some David Bowie! And it was good!
I'll write a due report about the
'concert', of course (yes, I will
survive), but in the meantime, why
not have a listen to Bowie's cover
years.mp3? Not bad at all! Please
buy Marilyn Manson's music - yep,
Serge speaking. (music via shuck
AND THE ANIMALS
Jazz Café, London 4th August
by Nick Morgan
say that you can never escape your
past, so it’s probably not
surprising that Eric
Burdon drew the evening
to a close (much to the relief of
the adoring fans in the audience)
with That Song. Verging uncomfortably
on self-parody – as he had
done a number of times during the
set - Burdon was constrained by
a voice that only occasionally reached
the nerve jarring pitch of his early
In fact I have to say that I spent
much of the night thinking, as I do
whenever the photographer plays her
Animals albums, less of the great
songs he’s rightly famous for,
and more of all the great songs he
never recorded in a career hamstrung
by an almost overwhelming self destructiveness.Whilst
his reputation as one of rock and
roll’s greats is undisputable,
he must also rank very high on the
“might have been even greater”
From chart-topping Animals to a solo
Eric Burdon, through WAR, collaborations
with Jimmy Witherspoon, Animals reunions,
Brian Auger and Eric Burdon, the New
Animals, and now Eric Burdon and the
Animals his career has never captured
the greatness deserved by one of popular
music’s truly unique voices.
An intimate of Jimi Hendrix, one-time
drug user extraordinaire, allegedly
John Lennon’s ‘the Eggman’,
the invader who took Brit rock to
the heart of California, drinker,
singer of Radio Hanoi’s favourite
track (‘We gotta get out of
this place’) – Burdon
has enough in his CV to satisfy most
rockers several times over, and yet
regretful under-achievement, ironically
the theme of That Song, is the thought
to which one constantly returns.
who are these Animals? On guitar Dave
Restrum, School of Rock guitarist
with an Alvin Lee chin. On bass leather
trousered Dean Restrum (hey Dean,
it must have been sweaty in there),
who I understand is fond of cats.
On keyboards Martin Gerschwitz, a
dead ringer for Lennie the Lion, and
on drums the beanie wearing Bernie
Pershey, doing, errr…. Animal.
A competent enough outfit, clearly
having fun behind a still menacingly
aggressive yet now heavy and grey
Burdon (so if you look at the publicity
shots you can only conclude that he
must be a shareholder in Grecian 2000).
be fair a well put together set, mixing
the old – ‘Boom boom’,
‘Don’t let me be misunderstood’,
'Gotta get out of this place’,
‘It’s my Life’,
‘Tobacco Road’, with the
new – ‘Once upon a time’,
‘Factory Girl’, ‘Over
the border’. And Burdon certainly
gave the new songs all he could, aided
by frequent resorts to some sort of
inhaler, and a very clever use of
echo on the sound system to contrive
a voice of greater range and depth
than was really there. But many of
the new songs (from the new album
My Secret Life, featuring the Leonard
Cohen song of the same name) were
fairly maudlin rock and roll retrospectives
– ‘Factory Girl’
being the only one that really stood
may be another night out for you,
but it’s a special one for me,
I’ve just had a drink’
said Burdon returning for the encore,
vodka firmly on amp (next to the inhaler).
So we got a thankfully brief drunk
routine before Chuck Berry’s
‘Little Queenie’ and,
of course, That Song.
audience were in raptures, none more
so than the photographer, who with
her second dose of Animals in a fortnight
was so excited that she jammed the
mechanism on the Whiskyfun gig-camera.
Sorry folks – no pics! Me –
well like Eric I’d done another
night on duty, but I left Camden Town
(this dirty old part of the city,
where the sun refused to shine) with
more regret than relief. But Eric,
if you read the note that the photographer
left backstage for you, and happen
to read this review, then please don’t
let me be misunderstood. You were
a contender; you could have been the
best. - Nick Morgan (photos by
Rudolf Uhrig, Follets)
thanks, Nick. If you need a gift for
The Photographer, I just saw that
there will be a new live album issued
in Europe on August 29: 'Athens Traffic
Live'. And guess what, 'That Song'
isn't on it! We also have three interesting
tunes by Eric Burdon and The Animals
now: my old favourite, which is San
Francisco Nights.mp3 (1967), then
a rather punchy and I believe recent
version of Sixteen
tons.mp3, and finally, if you
want something very, very 'moody',
black plague.mp3 (1967 again).
Now we're all ready for a (bottle
- THREE GLEN SCOTIAS (the younger,
Scotia 5 yo (No ABV, OB, A. Gillies
Colour: white wine. Nose: very fresh
and fruity, with lots of longan and
litchi, pineapple juice, watermelon,
rose. Not complex but really fresh
and lively. Certainly a perfect summer
malt. Mouth: rather powerful, grainy
and fruity. Some notes of pear, perhaps
a bit of peat. Interesting! 80
Scotia 8 yo (No ABV, OB, A. Gillies
Colour: straw. Nose: grainy, herbal,
really simple. The 5 yo was much better.
Perhaps some whiffs of lavender and
soap. Mouth: very sugary attack, getting
grassy, herbal and a bit bitter. Not
much else, I’m afraid, but's
it's still quite quaffable. 75
Scotia 1992/2003 (62.1%, G&M Cask
Strength, cask #89.92)
Colour: amber. Nose: almost pungent.
Lots of strange aromas, cabbage, sauerkraut.
Some sherry but not an elegant one,
that’s for sure. Notes of praline
and ‘chemical’ vanilla.
Mouth: again, it’s quite overpowering.
Notes of distillation, still, eau
de vie. Gets very grainy and ‘bacterial’
(gym socks). It gets a bit better
with water but remains very grainy
and aromatically simple. Well…
listening: well-known Anglo-French
a most enjoyable mix of retro riffs
and modern sounds. Archi-lounge? Pedantic
pop? Maybe but I like it - and the
singer, she izzuh Frenchuh! ;-) Please
buy Stereolab's music if you like
it as well...
14 yo 1990/2004 (50%, Douglas Laing
OMC, 331 bottles)
Nose: fresh and very fruity. Pear
candies, pineapple. Gets quite yeasty
(breadcrumb, mashed potatoes). Lots
of Schweppes too. Mouth: full banana
candies and pear juice. Simple but
excellent if you're not looking for
lots of complexity. The finish is
quite long, just a bit too spirity.
I like this one – lots of pleasure
in there. 85 points.
RUMOUR: AN EXPERIMENTAL CASK BARBEQUE?
knows that heating up a cask of whisky
speeds up ageing and imparts nice
flavours to the spirit: roasted nuts,
tar, meat sauce, garden bonfire etc.
That's why a famous distillery in
Speyside is said to use some new custom
made 'cask barbeques' since March.
Manager Pete McPeat just confirmed
on the phone: 'Aye, that's true.
We now use eighty cask barbeques.
We're very pleased with the results,
the spirit tastes like a 30 yo Glendronach
after just fifteen minutes. We're
also experimenting with various seasonnings
since June. Tabasco comes out nice
and satay sauce is a hit. Worcester
sauce din't work out.'
rumours claim that there might be
some problems, though. Some neighbours
just confirmed they heard heavy explosions
last week. 'It was like a giant
machine gun and the cattle got crazy'
said a local farmer. Latest news:
all distillery tours cancelled until
– BLUES - Recommended
listening: excellent singer and guitar
Ellis does a vibrant
or high water.mp3. In the fine
ol' tradition! Please buy his CD's
or attend his shows...
- TWO CAPERDONICHS
24 yo 1980/2005 (57.7%, Weiser,
cask #7341, 249 bottles)
Colour: straw. Nose: very chocolaty
at first nosing, with also lots
of nutmeg and cinnamon from the
wood. Goes on with some hot milk
and mashed potatoes, and even whiffs
of smoke. Yet, it’s very simple
malt, with just some notes of apple
juice coming through as well. It
then gets very dusty, alas…
Mouth: sugarish and sort of perfumy
attack, with quite a lot of Turkish
delight notes but not much else,
I'm afraid. Not too interesting,
in fact, but there's no serious
flaws either. In short, not too
bad. 77 points.
1968 (40%, G&M Connoisseur’s
Choice old brown label)
Colour: straw. Nose: quite herbal
and slightly rubbery attack, with
some paint smells, some burnt bread,
getting then flowery with some nice
notes of heather, light honey and
cooked apricot. Some wet dog too (don't
ask me which 'brand'). Mouth: starts
on vanilla cake and honey, together
with some herbal notes. A bit too
herbal, in fact, with also quite some
burnt caramel. It's still a good one
I thing, even if it’s a little
too much on the (bitter) caramel side.
We've had some much worse ones. 80
10 yo ‘Founder’s Reserve’
(40%, OB, Cognac bottle, 1980’s)
Colour: gold. Nose: very honeyed,
like any classical Balvenie. Nice
notes of quince jam and plum jam.
Whiffs of white pepper and burnt cake,
with even some petrol lamp. Nice!
Mouth: rather creamy, mostly on the
usual notes of cake, biscuits, vanilla
crème and light honey. Quite
bold and even powerful. Develops on
some nice notes crystallised orange
zests and Bailey’s. The finish
is surprisingly long, mostly on sugared
tea, but alas, getting a little too
dry. 80 points.
Vian wasn't only a great
writer and novelist, he was also an
excellent musician, as Je
bois.mp3 should testify. 'I
drink systematically, to forget about
my wife's friends. I drink systematically
to forget about all my troubles. I
drink just any booze...' That
was in 1956 and it was pure fiction,
no need to say...
RUMOUR: THE SECRETS OF THE OLD WHISKIES
malt heads claim that whisky was better
in the old days, and many are wondering
why and which were these old 'techniques'
a part of the industry was using to
come up with these stupendously good
malts. 'Tropical fruits' but also
'good metallic tastes' are the main
descriptors some are using to characterize
the famous 'old bottle effect' and
here's a breaking piece of news: well-kown
journalist Bernhard Barnhard just
put his hands on this very rare XVIth
century etching that represents a
knight's wife dipping her unfaithful
husband into a cask of Highland malt
whisky. The caption states it was
called 'armour finishing' and it appears
that the method was used at almost
all northern distilleries, from John
O'Groats to Perth, roughly.
seems that it wasn't used on Islay,
though, as 'The armours were getting
rusty too quickly there', says
serious: a very interesting
debate on the influence of water here
on maltmaniacs, with Charlie and
Dave digging deep.
- THREE OLD MINI TALISKERS
8 yo (45.8%, OB, John Walker &
Colour: straw. Nose: not too expressive
and even a bit watery at first nosing.
Sea water, grapefruit… Very
little peat. Gets a bit grassy, herbal…
Mouth: sweet and peppery as usual,
with quite some tannins and lemon
juice. Nice but not especially better
than the current 10yo. Gets more and
more lemony and peppery… 86
NAS (70 proof, G&M licensed bottling,
Colour: straw. Nose: nice grapefruit,
tangerine, lemon juice and cooked
apple. A bit herbal. Citronella, spearmint.
No peat but a beautiful balance. Mouth:
too bad it’s a bit watery, dusty
and drying, but there’s quite
some nice eucalyptus and a bit of
menthol. Traces of peat – just
traces. 87 points.
NAS (100 proof, G&M licensed bottling,
Colour: gold. Nose: encaustic, wax
polish, tiger balm, whiffs of eucalyptus
and lots of dried fruits such as kumquats
and bitter oranges. Superb whisky
with some great notes of balsam coming
through. Pine needles, lamp petrol,
butter caramel. Wow! Mouth: powerful,
on some superb notes of lemon juice
and eucalyptus, grapefruit skin…
Gets very peppery as usually, with
also some clove, ginger, nutmeg and
a bit of cinnamon. Too bad it gets
just a bit too drying, with some notes
of cardboard, but otherwise it’s
a great whisky, perfectly balanced
(but you have to like citrus). 92
listening: something fresh and ethereal
for today: Marissa
Nander sings two of her
most beautiful ballads, Mayflower
may.mp3 and Hyacinth.mp3.
Very flowery indeed! Please buy Marissa
Nander's music if you like it...
14 yo 1984/1999 (46%, Murray McDavid,
Colour: light gold. Nose: rather sweet
and rounded, with some notes of fresh
hazelnuts and quite some coastal notes.
The peat smoke is rather delicate
but well here. Notes of apple pie.
Mouth: nicely coating, sweet and quite
fruity. The peat is growing stronger
and stronger. Vanilla crème.
The finish is long and very peaty,
getting quite dry with a pinch of
salt. A very sweet and peaty one –
not complex but highly enjoyable.
One to sip just for pleasure. 86
SUMMER ADS - PART V
Walker 1990: 'She looks
even better when she's walking toward
you. And she drinks Johnnie Walker
Red.' Good, but is she really
drinking while walking in the sand?
Lord Calvert 1971: 'Sure
you could get a perfectly good suntan
in your own back yard.' Well,
it depends on the kind of sun tan
oil you're using, I guess. Whisky,
– JAZZ - highly
recommended listening: gosh, wasn't
he a genius? The great Eric
Dolphy revisits a Body
and soul.mp3 in a way Coleman
Hawkins himself probably loved (I
hope he had the opportunity to listen
to Dolphy's version). And what a line-up:
Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Wayne
Shorter, Cedar Walton, Reggie Workman
and Louis Hayes, no less. Btw, here's
The Master's Version.mp3. I still
listen to the original 78rpm from
time to time on an old gramophone..
Aaahhh! What a sound!
the index of all entries:
malts I had these weeks - 90+
points only - alphabetical:
1987/2002 (55%, Samaroli, cask #115,
Samaroli Fragments of Scotland, ‘Campbeltown’,
26 yo 1975 (52.3%, James MacArthur’s
Fine Malt Selection)
NAS (100 proof, G&M licensed bottling,
31 yo 1970/2002 (50%, Douglas Laing
Old Malt Cask, sherry finish, 222 bottles)