Hi, you're in the Archives, September 2005 - Part
ON WHISKYFUN - Here
McPEAT AND JACK WASHBACK
listening: always a good laugh,Toby
Keith doing I'll
never smoke weed with Willie again.mp3
(on the Bob
and Tom radio show). I know,
Toby doesn't look too 'funny' on
the picture... But it's also always
interesting for us Europeans to
observe a 'patriotic' artist because
we haven't got any - almost an oxymoron
over here (except for a few skinheads).
Now, it's true it's 'country' music,
Royal 29 yo 1970/1999 (57%, Rare
Nose: rather dry, very herbal and
grassy. Some farmy notes…
peat? Getting more and more interesting,
like kind of a mini-Talisker. Mouth:
sweet, perfumy and nicely structured.
Again, some farmy notes developing.
Lots of crystallized fruits too
and even some fresh ones. A very
good one, that gets even fruitier
with a few drops of water. 87
– THREE GLEN GARIOCHS
Garioch 1975/1988 ‘Fragments
of Scotland’ (50%, Duthie
for Samaroli, Italy, 648 bottles)
Colour: straw. Nose: the attack
is very spirity and rather simple,
but that doesn’t last for
long. It gets then both delicately
perfumy and fantastically peaty
and smoky, somewhat in the Brora
genre (yes!) A very ‘vegetal’
peat at first, getting then very
maritime, in a very delicate way.
Seaweed, fireplace. What a sublime
nose, very fresh and very complex
– and clean! Gets slightly
rubbery (bicycle inner tube) and
tarry. Stupendous nose. Mouth: yes,
a superb attack! Peat, pepper, ginger
enter the dance right from the start,
the whole being perfectly ‘rounded’.
Develops on gentian spirit, liquorice
roots, tea, quite earthy. Gain some
feint rubbery notes, getting quite
leafy. Certainly the most peaty
Glen Garioch I ever had, and it
stands the comparison with all islanders
– easily. The finish is long,
peaty, earthy and most enjoyable,
with a “come back later”
taste. 94 points.
Garioch 16 yo 1988/2004 (54.4%,
From a Dutch bottler and whisky
club. Colour: gold. Nose: rather
medicinal attack, with again quite
some peat and lots of notes of smoked
tea together with some fudge, hot
butter and hot caramel. A little
camphor and paraffin. Goes on with
old rose and nutmeg. Pretty nice
nose, I didn’t know they were
still making such great whisky at
Glen Garioch in 1988. Mouth: creamy
but nervous attack, again rather
peaty (although much less than the
‘Fragments’) Lots of
tropical fruits mixed with sugared
coffee, pastry. Really nervous and
powerful. Quite a beast in fact,
but an harmonious one (?) Also some
notes of great old rum and even
Marc de Bourgogne spirit (earthy
flavours). Very long finish, quite
impressive. Just a bit rough…
Garioch 1988/2005 (55.9%, The Whisky
Fair, Refill Cognac Cask)
light gold. Nose: Ha! But this doesn’t
smell whisky – nor Cognac,
for that matter. Very sweet and
very winey, with some notes of burnt
cake and some bold notes of fudge
and butter caramel. Not too subtle,
I’d say, but rather ‘coherent’
and enjoyable. Is it whignac? Cogsky?
Just a few strange and slightly
disturbing sulphury notes. Mouth:
sweet attack, sort of caramelly
and rather fruity, getting then
very earthy and rooty (gentian).
Bold and compact – and very
quaffable – even if, again,
it lacks a bit of extra-complexity.
Rather long and creamy finish. A
marriage that works pretty well.
LIVING IN LONDON -
I know, this is perhaps off-topic
but I thought it was really funny.
Imagine, you're in London - in
a pub. Here's what will happen
to you, in twelve steps...
Stone cold sober. Brain
as sharp as an army bayonet. -1.
Still sober. Pleasure
senses activated. Feeling of well
being. -2. Beer
warming up head. Chips are ordered.
Barmaid complimented on choice
-3. Crossword in
newspaper is filled in. After a
while the blanks are filled with
random letters and numbers. -4.
Barmaid complimented on choice of
bra. Partially visible when bending
to get packets of crisps. Try to
instigate conversation about bra.
Order half a dozen packets of crisps
one by one. -5.
Have brilliant discussion with a
guy at the bar. Devise a foolproof
scheme for winning the lottery.
Sort out cricket/ tennis/ football
problems. Agree people are same
the world over - except for the
bloody French. -6.
Feel like a demi-god. Map out rest
of life on beer mat. Realize that
everybody loves you. Ring up parents
and tell them you love them. Ring
girlfriend to tell her you love
her and she still has an amazing
arse. -7. Send
drinks over to woman sitting at
table with boyfriend. No reaction.
Scribble out message of love on
five beer mats and frisbee them
to her across the room. Boyfriend
asks you outside. You buy him a
pint. -8. Some
slurring. Offer to buy drinks for
everyone in room. Lots of people
say yes. Go round the pub hugging
them one by one. Fall over. Get
up. -9. Headache
kicks in. Beer tastes off. Send
it back. Beer comes back tasting
same. Say, 'That's much better.'
Fight nausea by trying to play poker
machine for 10 minutes before seeing
'out of order' sign. -10.
Some doubling of vision. Stand on
table shouting abuse at all four
barmen. Talked down by barmen's
wives, who you offer to give baby
to. Fall over. Get up. Fall over.
Impale head on comer of table. Fail
to notice oozing head wound. -11.
Speech no longer possible. Eventually
manage to find door. Sit and take
stock. Realize you are sitting in
pub cellar having taken a wrong
turn. Vomit. Pass out. -12.
Put in taxi by somebody. Give home
address. Taken home. Can't get key
in door. Realize you've given address
of the local football club. Generally
pleased at way evening has gone.
Pass out again. (via z-jokes)
REVIEW - HUSKY RESCUE
Bush Hall, London, Thursday 8th
September, 2005 by
is getting spooky. There we were
in the faded splendour of the Edwardian
Bush Hall (built, apparently, by
Irish publisher William C Hurndall
as a gift for his daughter –
I hope she remembered to say “thanks
Dad”) luckily seated at one
of the few tables in front of the
makeshift stage, sharing our space
with a couple of West London types.
As support band Hardkandy
take the stage (a not unpleasing
baggy-jeaned funk soul outfit with
a great vocalist) the bloke to the
left of The Photographer takes out
his little black notebook and starts
reviewer! Not to be outdone out
comes my little black number, and
we spend much of the rest of the
evening sparring with occasional
bouts of frenzied scribbling (hands
guarding our pages like paranoids
in an examination hall), followed
by long periods of contrived cool
indifference to all around us. We
both refuse to be drawn into any
audience participation, and he,
at least to my way of thinking,
clapped somewhat too enthusiastically.
gunslingers at dawn we stared at
each other through dead eyes, waiting
to see who would blink first. Needless
to say it was the kid, seen off
by my Elvis ‘Jailhouse Rock’
shirt (a real collector’s
item I have to say), the debris
of beer bottles that I intimidated
him with, and when we compared notes
at the end, the fact that I’d
managed to include ‘Ian Dury’,
‘John Malkovich’, ‘The
Helsinki marathon’, ‘Anthony
and the Johnsons’, ‘Jim
White’, ‘Seasonal Affective
and ‘homemade Thai sausages’
into my jottings, compared to his
and ‘crisps’. A hands
down victory for the mature man
we’re really here to see Husky
Rescue, the latest
big thing to hit the music scene
from Finland (oh yes, and no surprises,
the night is sponsored by Nokia,
part of their Raw Tour series for
‘the best breakthrough acts
of 2005’). From Helsinki,
Husky Rescue is a collective, a
band, and just Husky himself, and
the gig was advertised as a solo
performance – “hypnotic
one man band” said the Guardian.
What we got was the excellent five
piece outfit – Husky (aka
bass player and studio multi-instrumentalist
Marko Nyberg), singer Reeta-Leena
Korhola, keyboards, guitar and computer
man Ville Rippa, drummer Ansi Sopanen,
and Fender and lap-steel guitar
ace Miika Colliander. At least I
think that’s who it was –
no one was introduced on stage and
Catskill Records didn’t reply
to my request for the band line-up
(or a set list) – so if it’s
wrong I’m sorry guys, but
you know who to blame.
Husky produce ‘cinematic music
strongly influenced by the power
of films and the hypnotic quality
of photography’ says their
web site, and the word ‘ambient’
seemed to be on everyone’s
lips (they’d probably read
that a great influence was David
Lynch, and apparently Lars von Trier,
who I personally have never forgiven
for the uniquely depressing ‘Breaking
the Waves’). Well I could
be wrong, but what I was hearing
were very pleasing, catchy and artfully
constructed country influenced tunes,
with a bit of ambient in the background
(and the fact that the album version
of ‘Mean Street’ seems
to have a coda of two minutes of
silence won’t persuade me
be sure, the single ‘New light
of tomorrow’ could have come
straight out of a Lynch film, but
a lot of the rest of the short set
wouldn’t have been out of
place on a Jim White album –
although there was perhaps less
of Jim’s eccentric and black
humour, and more bleak rain swept
and sun-deprived Finnish landscapes
(the band claim to produce “exquisite
music to shield themselves from
the bitter cold of Finland’s
harsh artic winters” but somehow
I don’t think they can quite
guitar was responsible for the country
feel – and I suppose the steel
guitar did add a ‘hypnotic’
twist too. His Fender work was outstanding
– here was a person who really
knew what a Telecaster was for and
how to play it.
But the eye catcher was vocalist
Korhola. With blonde hair and the
sort of glasses my mum used to wear
in 1965, dressed in a knee length
dress and white shawl, it wasn’t
clear if she had just come from
a drug crazed weekend at Woodstock
or the school library. But her breathless
soft vocals were quite captivating
– if not sometimes (deliberately?)
difficult to hear, and she whipped
the Finnish boys in the crowd (have
you ever heard Finnish heckling
Serge?) into a frenzy as she Yippe-aye-ayed
her way through the middle section
of the wonderfully poppy ‘Summertime
cowboy’, thigh slapping and
all (curiously The Photographer
said this was irritating). This
was a strong counterpoint to Husky,
who occasional smile apart, barely
moved all night (but he did play
an excellent bass), and Riipa, who
seemed to be trying to outstare
the two reviewers in the audience,
much to our mutual discomfort.
set started with the curious ‘Good
man’ (with an introductory
taped monologue from hot Finnish
DJ Jonathan Hutchings – well
actually he’s a Welshman who’s
lived there for years, and obviously
– and understandably prefers
Helsinki to Haverfordwest) and ended
with the lullaby ‘Sleep tight
tiger’. In between there was
(amongst others) ‘Sweet little
kitten’, new single ‘City
lights’, ‘Rainbow flows’,
‘My world’ and especially
for Serge, ‘Gasoline girl’,
with the refrain “I’m
dreaming of a girl on a motorbike”.
reminds me Serge, apparently Husky
is a great motorbike fan too, and
he drinks ‘White Russians’,
but only made of organic milk. Cool
a very satisfactory evening, a thought
backed up by a few plays of the
album Country Falls, nicely packaged
with sleeve graphics like a cross
between some of the early (and impossible
to find) Ronnie van Hilversum albums
and the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine.
Whether you’re in a log cabin
in Finland, a flat in London, or
a farmhouse in France, sit with
a glass of your favourite dram with
Country Falls playing, and let the
Atlantic waves of Scotland’s
Midnight Wine slowly break over
you, and the surf gently pull you
back, and then push you forward,
and feel, as Husky promises, ‘a
warm breeze to counter the chill
of daily life’. That’s
my way of saying ‘please buy
their album’. Ok ? - Nick
Morgan (concert photographs by Kate)
you Nick. A very good new band from
the cold indeed, that already caught
attention in France as well. And
guess what? We do have New
light of tomorrow.mp3, and there's
also this nice streaming video of
cowboy (thanks for that one).
By the way, did the young gunslinger
leave the hospital?
- THREE INDIE BRUICHLADDICHS
14 yo 1985 (57.9%, Gordon &
MacPhail Cask Strength, cask #1961)
Colour: full amber. Nose: a great
sherry. Lots of Grand Marnier, crystallised
oranges, light caramel, strong honey.
Xmas cake and Chinese plum sauce
(the one they serve with the Peking
duck). Very nice! Mouth: some funny
notes of marshmallows, dried fruits,
overripe oranges and marmalade.
Some weird perfumy notes, getting
a little too tannic and quite bitter.
The nose was absolutely great but
the palate has lots of offbeat notes,
too bad. 82 points.
14 yo 1986/2000 (55.6%, Scott’s
Colour: white wine. Nose: very fresh
and fragrant. Lots of the usual
white fruits, melon, peach, gooseberries,
freshly cut pear… A very nice
one. Mouth: spirity, bold and punchy.
Some green tannins and a sugary
feeling that may come from the alcohol.
Lots of salted liquorice too, grapefruit.
Long and spirity finish, getting
a little bitter, with some notes
of gin and tonic. 85 points.
12 yo 1991/2003 (58.7%, James MacArthur)
Colour: white wine. Nose: very yeasty,
on mashed potatoes, porridge, muesli…
Also some cooked yoghurt, mash…
Mouth: sweet and fruity attack,
very young and spirity. The usual
melon, gooseberry and apple. A rather
simple, yet very enjoyable young
Laddie. 83 points.
- TWO OLD TAMDHUS
8 yo (70° proof, Gordon &
McPhail licensed bottling, 70’s)
Colour: deep amber, almost mahogany.
Nose: wow, heavily sherried! Lots
of chocolate, raisins, strong
caramel, all sorts of dried fruits,
Grand-Marnier… An extraordinary
balance, quite unexpected, to
be honest. In the same league
as some Macallans (Gran Reserva),
perhaps better. Fantastic old
style sherry, totally brilliant.
A great surprise! (just whiffs
of old papers).
so bold and rich – and creamy.
Perhaps it’s a little too
bitter (burnt caramel) but it’s
still an excellent heavily sherried
malt. Smyrna raisins, bitter chocolate,
Provence herbs. Hints of balsam,
old Port, mocha, tea… Wonderful
whisky – and eight years old!
The finish is quite long, at that,
with a funny salty feeling on the
tongue. What a nice surprise indeed!
10 yo (40%, OB, 80’s)
Colour: gold. Nose: very fresh,
nicely grainy and very flowery,
with also whiffs of sea air. Beautifully
clean. Develops on acacia honey,
sweet white wine (Sauternes, and
one of the best), quince jelly.
A stunning nose again! Whiffs of
peat… Also quite some orange
marmalade and hints of aromatic
herbs. Lots of flowers (lilac).
Again a fantastic surprise! Wow!
Surprisingly complex – hundred
percent pleasure. Mouth: quite punchy,
creamy, sweet, really full-bodied.
Something nicely sour and winey,
with lots of fudge, Xmas cake, grass
jelly. Again, the balance is perfect
– the guy who did this vatting
(I guess he’s retired now)
deserves the Malt Maniacs golden
medal – should that exist.
Great honeyed notes, ripe mirabelle
plum. How good! Long, creamy and
bold finish, with a superb ‘peacock’s
tail’. 90 points,
WHISKY ADS - NATURE'S CALL
Seagram's V.O. 1992
'Getting close to nature. Nice
to see that tradition back'
- right: Glenmorangie 2004
'Take yourself to the glen of
tranquillity'. Thanks to these
two big brands for offering us true
listening - oldies but goldies:
you're in 1969, you take a little
Hendrix, a little Cream, a dash
of Led Zep and a pinch of The Who
(and perhaps something Airplane-esque),
stir well and you get Bubble
Puppy and their devilish
smoke and sassafras.mp3. The
good old days indeed...
- Bullseye Baggies ‘Whiskey
super premium’ (40%, Little
This oddly packaged product is made
by a Dublin firm that’s owned
by an American businessman and has
already been withdrawn from most
Irish retail outlets, because as
it’s packaged like some candies
(or French letters?) it’s
been said it could lead to increased
underage drinking. But the company
managed to put its ‘baggies’
on all Ryanair flights (where a
two-for-one offer is currently available
– not so good news methinks).
It has also signed a deal with a
distributor in the Balkans, where
nine ferries should already stock
funnily, the Little Drinks Company
also said that it was 'targeting
women in their 20s and 30s who might
like to use the new product for
home entertainment' (statement
made before it was withdrawn from
the 'regular' retail outlets). But
let’s taste this 'condomised'
whiskey now, as the actress said
to the bishop… Colour : gold
– orange. Nose : well, it
does smell whisky indeed but it’s
very weak. Grain, caramel, alcohol
and a bit of burnt wood. Whiffs
of rotting oranges, and perhaps
traces of burnt meat. Not totally
disgusting but very watery and lacking
aromas, similar to many cheap supermarket
blends. No ‘Irishness’
that I can smell but again, it doesn’t
claim to be Irish, even if spelled
‘whiskey’ (or is it
American?) Mouth: very light, but
again, not totally repulsive at
first sip. Lots of caramel, lots
of overcooked or burnt ‘things’,
orange liqueur, grain… The
burnt tastes get stronger and stronger,
but there’s almost no finish
except kind of a bitterness. Well,
again, it could have been (even)
worse… And good news, there’s
no tastes of plastic!… A rating?
Well, that’s hard and rather
pointless, but I’d say something
between 20 and 30 points.
We’ve seen worse… But
'super premium'? By the way, here's
Ryanair's tasteful advertising...
listening: quite a lot of Irish
music these days, like these Blaggards
songs.mp3'. They say they're
making some Irish stout music and
that's probably right. Please buy
their music - they have a CD out,
'Standards' (via Celtic
- Linkwood 19 yo 1985/2005 (60.6%,
Dewar Rattray, cask #4543, 233 bottles)
Nose: very bold, bourbonny attack,
on light caramel and breakfast honey.
Lots of vanilla cream. Quite some
oaky notes, vanillin, lactones.
Mouth: bold and powerful attack,
very sweet and curiously winey.
A bit too hot, I’d say, but
water doesn’t really improve
it. Develops on lots of fudge and
caramel. In short, it’s rather
nice and enjoyable but perhaps it
lacks a little extra-complexity.
listening - sure they seem to be
completely crazy but have a listen
and Dread Zeppelin
hotel.mp3 and don't tell me
it's not, at least, amusing. Btw,
some say even Robert Plant loves
them! Please buy their music...
REVIEW - K.T. TUNSTALL
HMV Oxford Street, London, 6th September
2005 by Dave
was early for the next appointment,
so decided to kill time by browsing
in HMV Oxford Street. Just browsing,
are you kidding? Browsing infers
no intention of buying. Your version
is about resisting temptation
and only buying one cd rather
than five and then trying to convince
yourself that money has been saved
because four have been put back.
“Just the one” ..
It’s the same with drink.)
Anyway, I’m looking for
Doctor Dog. It’s hard to
tell if there’s anything
there because a bloody mixing
desk is blocking the end of the
‘D’ section. I twist
into a ridiculous shape to try
and discern the presence of the
call that browsing?)
mixing desk doesn’t register
as I wander into the next aisle
look. What was on the list? Forget
the list.) When I turn
around I’m wedged in by a
crowd of remarkably clean and glossy
young people. Maybe there was a
reason for the mixing desk. Right
enough, there’s a stage, a
mic and a big screen saying “K.T.
Tunstall here at 1pm”
Might as well hang on. Don’t
mind K.T. Scottish you know. She’ll
also stop any “just the one”
The last in-store performance I
witnessed was Elliot Smith (the
at Amoeba Records in Haight Street,
the best record store in the world
.. up there with Aquarius .. oh
and Louisville’s ear-X-tasy..
and NYCs Other Music.
making another list. Stop it.
voices are in here?)
Anyway he was fantastic. Chatty
and happy even if his songs were
of despair and heartbreak. I found
myself crushed against the C section
looking into the eyes of Gene Clark
(the alcoholic singer songwriter)
It seemed too much of a coincidence.
Just the one..
I wait for the same thing to happen
another minute then I must go
East of Eden
.. she must be on soon ..
Froufrou Fruit Bats
Free freak kitchen
If you’re still here you
must really like her.
Fountains of Wayne!
and she’s on.
has a voice. A very very good voice,
a natural blues voice rather than
the swallowing technique which makes
the singer sound like she’s
singing in Martian in a empty metal
septic tank. Think Anastacia.
She has songs. Black Horse and the
Cherry Tree is a cracker. She’s
from a folk tradition, a blues tradition
which drifts into soul. She does
Other Side of the World, Another
Place to Fall (a bit Macy Gray,
which is no bad thing) and Black
Horse, stomping on pedals to create
loops of claps, backing vocals,
sounds, layering the sound. I clap.
said, I have a problem with her
album. It’s overproduced,
her solo-penned numbers are stronger
than the ones with joint credits.
(though the little electronic bleeps
and grinds on Universe & U takes
her towards Beth Gibbons territory).
You get the feeling her personality
is drowning as the buttons of style
are pressed (bit of nu-soul? tick;
hint of country? tick; straight
pop? tick). She’s on the verge
of being airbrushed into acceptability
: oor wee KT from Skye.
Here, on her own, in the aisles
she’s better, more raw.
This is has happened before. In
the 60s and early 70s, Glasgow
produced two great r&b singers.
One was Maggie Bell who formed
Stone The Crows and then .. well
.. disappeared, potential unfulfilled.
The other was Lulu who ended up
a national pop treasure. I want
KT to be Maggie Bell. Jerry wexler
could do wonders with that voice.
Reckon her management want her
to be Lulu.
I’m still in the F’s.
I’m looking at Lepidoptera
by Fursaxa. Moths and butterflies.
Night and day. Seems to make sense.
I buy it. Just the one... -
thanks, Dave. And writing in colours,
indeed! I had a try at the music
of that lassie from Skye and my
daughter jumped into my room, wondering
if I was alright. I mean, that's
precisely the kind of music I should
not like. But it's so charmingly
composed and so nicely overproduced
that, well, I enjoyed it. Yes, even
the over-overproduced Other
side of the world.mp3. A strawberry
milkshake from Skye rather than
a Talisker, but yes, I liked it.
Ah, I feel so young just now! (but
is that what Nick calls 'pink' music?)
TASTING - THREE PORT ELLENS
Ellen 1982/2003 (61.2%, Scotch Malt
Whisky Circle, sherry)
Colour: full amber. Nose: great
sherry combined with some eucalyptus
and menthol. Peat and dark chocolate,
burnt bread, a bit of pepper. Not
a sweetish sherry this time! Mouth:
very nice mix of peat, bitter chocolate,
bitter oranges and all sorts of
tropical fruits. Gets very bitter,
though, and quite drying. It makes
the palate stick to the tongue!
Long finish, on strong coffee. 86
17 yo 1982/1999 (46%, Murray McDavid,
Nose: typically smoky, with the
usual notes of tar, burnt tyre and
whiffs of sea air. Notes of fresh
oysters. Typical indeed. Mouth:
rather sweet, with also lots of
marzipan. Gets very fruity, with
some nice notes of roots. I like
the freshness and the cleanliness.
Excellent if not overly complex!
And also: Port
Ellen 25 yo 1978/2004 4th release
Really bold and powerful, very good
but perhaps 'a little tad' simpler
than the previous editions. I really
have to have a more serious go at
it. 90 points.
- TWO YOUNG TOMATINS
10 yo (43%, OB, ‘golden
Colour: gold. Nose: again a punchy
oldie, starting on some bold notes
of fresh oranges and passion fruit.
It gets more and more citrusy,
with also all sorts of other fruits.
A malt can hardly be fruitier,
I think. Not too complex but very
nice and straightforward. Mouth:
lots of fruits again! Passion
fruit again, mango, kiwi, and
something of the famous Chinese
liquor called ‘mei kwei
lu’. Quite gingery too,
and nicely balanced if, again,
not too complex. Rather long and
satisfying finish. Most drinkable!
12 yo ‘Scone Palace’
(40%, OB for the Earl of Mansfield,
Colour: quite nice but much more
‘classic’, with lots
of grain, light caramel and mashed
potatoes. Goes on with some hot
butter, boiling milk, hot porridge
(aaah!) Simple but good, no question.
Mouth: smooth but a bit thin at
first, getting then very malty but
also cardboardy and quite bitter.
Some notes of burnt vegetables,
strong liquorice, but other than
that it’s also curiously watery
and disjointed. Well, it’s
not a winner, for sure. 70
– Jazz - Recommended
listening: again, this is drumming!
Cuban powerstation Julio
Barreto plays a very
with his fellow compatriots Leandro
Saint-Hill, Eduardo "Dudu"
Penz, Ademir Cândido and Tany
Simon Milanés, aka 'Julio
Barreto Latino World'. Thats on
their ' Live & Rhythm' CD -
please buy it you like it! Btw,
Julio Barreto has been Gonzalo Rubalcaba's
drummer, which says it all!
- THREE 'OLD YOUNG' GLENTURRETS
Turret NAS (75 proof, OB, Paisley
Whisky Co, 70’s)
Colour: straw. Nose: rather bold,
very sweet and quite grainy and
flowery, with some whiffs of roots.
Develops on violets, fresh butter,
dill… Rather clean and quite
fragrant, nice! Also slightly maritime
(sea air), with also some notes
of freshly squeezed oranges. A great
surprise, getting a little yeasty
(porridge). Quite vibrant!
sweet but again, rather bold attack,
very perfumy (Cologne water –
hard to drink, I know), with some
notes of rotten oranges (yes, not
too good) and cardboard… Getting
weirdly bitter (burnt herbs, burnt
caramel, ‘flawed’ dried
almonds if you see what I mean).
Hard, very hard… To bad, the
nose was so great! Long (alas) and
bitter finish… Well! 70
points, still, for the
very nice nose.
Glenturret 8 yo (43%, OB, 80’s)
Colour: straw. Nose: milder, very
different, starting on some very
bold cardboard, almonds, orgeat
syrup. I never had that so boldly
in a malt. Notes of dried mushrooms,
Chinese mushrooms, mastic, argan
oil, orange skin… Quite bizarre
but sort of enjoyable. And some
bold notes of paraffin, burning
candle… More interesting than
really good, actually. I’m
curious about the palate…
Mouth: light and sweet, but again
lots of cardboard, wax, orange water,
soap… Difficult, very difficult,
especially because it then gets
bitter and too grassy, with some
notes of cheap vodka or gin. Gets
watery, yet bitter… Medium
finish, getting quite sour and always
bitter. Well another miss, and the
nose wasn’t that great…
Glenturret 10 yo ‘High Proof’
(57.1%, OB, 80’s)
Colour: white wine. Nose: strong
and spirity, with again these fresh
almonds right from the start, but
also some nail varnish. Gets very
herbal, grassy, with some notes
of fresh parsley… And again
something chemical (varnish, glue)
and some apple vinegar. Not completely
unbalanced in fact, but rather hard
to enjoy. Now, with a few drops
of water: the ‘chemical’
notes do vanish, but the malt gets
even more herbal and rather yeasty,
with again some notes of rubbed
orange skin. Not too bad, in fact,
but that’s not what I would
call ‘pleasure’. Mouth:
(neat) punchy, almost pungent, but
more enjoyable than its lighter
brothers. Lots of grapefruit, lemon…
Also a strange metallic taste, iron…
And then it gets quite salty. What
kind of reaction is that? Anyway,
it’s not as bitter as the
other ones, good news! With water:
ah, yes, this is more like it. Lots
of citrusy notes, passion fruit,
kiwi… Some icing sugar…
And also quite some pepper, parsley,
ginger. Quite austere but I like
it. Long finish but with a heavy
metallic taste (and grapefruit juice).
At least, this one is interesting.
listening: let's all remember the
Gallagher, and listen
blues.mp3. Please buy Rory Gallagher's
music. (boohh, that was short)
- THREE FINE HIGHLAND PARKS
Park 25 yo (53.5%, OB, late 1990’s)
Colour: amber. Nose: rather bold
and extremely honeyed and heathery,
as usual. Lots of nectar notes
and quite some peat coming through
(unusual at that level). Quite
some sherry too and also some
fine oaky notes. Rather complex
and surely full bodied. Mouth:
starts rather drier than the current
version, but with lots of oomph.
Strikingly saltier as well. Complex
development, with some notes of
seawater, wood, smoke, and still
quite some sweetness, the whole
being perfectly balanced. The
finish is bold and long, on honey,
smoke and salt. A great classic.
Park 26 yo (44.6%, Adelphi, cask
Nose: extremely honeyed and waxy
again, developing on oak, aspirin
and gin. Quite bizarre! Gets then
more and more herbal and dry. Mouth:
sweeter and more rounded at first
nosing (good news), getting more
and more powerful and even a bit
prickly and very peppery. Some fruity
notes coming through, finally. Quite
nice but still a little too dry
altogether for my tastes. 84
Park 18 yo 1984/2003 (56.1%, Scotch
Malt Whisky Society, 4.96)
Nose: powerful and very, very fruity
instead of the usual honeyed notes.
Lots of vivacity, with some grapefruit
skin, orange, tangerine, getting
then very chocolaty. Not too complex,
in fact, but very, very enjoyable.
Mouth: bold, compact and balanced
at the same time. The attack is
quite peppery, with also lots of
cooked fruits and jams. It then
gets nicely bitter (lemon peel).
In short, it’s not too complex
but still very satisfying. 87
news! We can now take some peated
baths without being obliged
to pour a dozen bottles of Ardbeg
10 yo into our jacuzzis or hot tubs.
explains: 'Now you can enjoy
the benefits of peat in your jetted
tub. There is no risk of clogging
the jets as it is only liquid.
The beneficial aspects of peat are
extracted, concentrated and placed
in a handy container. Also great
for those who do not want the natural
muddy peat in their bath. Moor Peat
Extract is excellent for quick body
wraps. Little mess, quick application
and easy to apply. Benefits of Moor
Peat Extract: • great for
jetted tubs • body wraps •
great for those who do not want
muddy peat on them • relaxing
• nutritive properties: contains
minerals, trace elements, humic
acids, enzymes, plant oils and other
nutrients beneficial to the skin.'
Moor Bath has a
molasses-like consistency and comes
at $37.95 a bottle.
also sell another 'liquid' they
call 'Baleno Peat'
(maybe it's rather 'Balneo', eh?)
that comes from the Czech Republic
and that's supposed to cure: 'Scoliosis
• Post-workout tightness •
Post-workout soreness • Joint
stiffness • Poor flexibility
• Sore muscles • Eczema
• Psoriasis • Chronic
Tendonitis • Chronic sprained
ankle • Fibromyalgia •
Chronic Arthritis • Detoxification
• Immune stimulant •
Cold or mild illness (sweat it out!)
• Insomnia • Stress
• Anxiety • Carpal tunnel
syndrome • .....and more.'
Yeah, exactly like whisky!
And oh, they also have a Peat
– BLUES -
Recommended listening: Buddy
Guy and Bonnie Raitt
(as a guest singer) do a quite unsually
mainstreamish but absolutely beautiful
like rain.mp3 in 1993. Please
buy Buddy Guy's stupendous music
if you like the blues or any good
music. (via livinblues)
– THREE OLD INDIE GLEN ELGINS
Elgin 14 yo (80 proof, Cadenhead,
black label, late 70’s)
Colour: deep amber. Nose: incredibly
powerful, with a delicate oakiness
and some superb sherry notes. Nicely
vinous. Develops on camphor, getting
quite medicinal (herbs, Chartreuse
liqueur). Smells of old wine cellar,
moisture. Very, very nice and unusual,
with a beautiful sherry. Almost
like an excellent wine – also
some notes of fresh strawberries...
powerful but balanced. The attack
is on cooked strawberries and pepper.
It’s rather woody but it’s
enjoyable wood. Quite some nutmeg
as well, the malt getting quite
drying after a moment. Notes of
Van Houten cocoa, burnt caramel,
getting rather extreme in fact.
Some funny hints of parsley. Long
finish, a little too drying and
tannic. An excellent Glen Elgin,
just too tannic to make it to 90
points. It’ll be 87
Elgin 13 yo 1965/1978 (45.7%, Cadenhead,
black label, bottled October)
Colour: golden amber. Nose: much
subtler than the 14yo. Great notes
of salted butter caramel, getting
more and more maritime (curiously).
Develops on beeswax, grandma’s
cupboard. Very subtle and refined
indeed, it’s all delicacy.
Gets then very nicely herbal and
minty, with even some notes of seawater,
fresh oysters, and strong honey
(like chestnut). Wow! Mouth: superb
balance but also lots of oomph.
Lots of oak again but no sherry
that I can get this time. Lots of
cooked fruits, though, and also
light caramel and vanilla fudge.
Gets then a little peppery, with
all sorts of spices (mainly clove),
quite gingery. The finish is long
and again, perfectly balanced, with
again quite some fresh mint. A beautiful
Glen Elgin! 90 points.
Elgin 1971/1988 ‘Fragments
of Scotland’ (50%, Duthie
for Samaroli, Italy)
Colour: gold. Nose: very special
start, on full tea mode (old pu-her)
and candy sugar. Develops on lots
of peppermint, with a superb balance
again, getting very complex. Lots
of honey, oriental pastry (orange
water) and natural mastic. What
a superb nose! Mouth: a beautiful
attack again, with again quite some
tannins but still a superb balance.
Gets very peppery, yet nicely rounded.
Strong caramel crème, cooked
apples, honey sauce…
it’s very ‘natural’,
with little cask influence that
I can get, except oak itself. The
finish is very long, very peppery
and almost prickly (it teases your
tongue). And very, very salty at
that! Another wonderful old Glen
Elgin: 91 points.
listening: 1995, excellent Belgian
jazz singer David
Linx and his compadre
Wissels do a quiet
and beautiful song called Lord
of the Groundless.mp3 (from
'Up close') Wow, that's delicacy,
don't you think? Please buy their
music! (photo Michel Vonlanthen)
- Hillside 25 yo 1971/1997 (62%,
UD Rare Malts)
In other words: Glenesk. Colour:
gold. Nose: very grassy and malty
attack, growing more and more herbal.
Extremely strong, hard to enjoy
neat. It gets a tad smoky with a
few drops of water, with also quite
some honey. Mouth: very powerful
attack, with some nice notes of
spices and herbs beyond the sweetness
that make me think of Oban. Some
notes of fresh apricot. A good,
kind of 'natural' one, too bad the
finish gets just a little bitter.
listening: better than both Keith
Moon and Carmine Appice? If you
like heavy percussions, perhaps
you should have a go at the late
Nigerian drummer Babatunde
Olatunji doing Flirtation.mp3
(no mourvèdre in there ;-))
Please buy Babatunde's music - and
support African music! (and Africa
as a whole, while you're at it).
– TWO GIANT ARDBEGS HEAD TO
A well known Ardbeg, always a huge
pleasure to have another go at it.
Colour: full gold. Nose: starts
rather simply, on full smoke, peat
and cooked apple. As often with
these stunning Ardbegs, it needs
a few seconds before it bursts into
your nose… And here it goes:
musk, ginger, sea air, iodine, wax
polish, cooked apricots, old turpentine,
old furniture, bandages, camphor…
Need I say more? Even better than
last time – this bottle was
opened more than one year ago and
was 2/3 empty. Incredible, it became
even more complex! But wait, maybe
the palate is a bit tired…
Mouth: now it’s very quick
in action! Smoky, peppery, gingery,
very creamy and even sort of silky.
Lots of Lapsang Souchong tea, grapefruit
juice, dark chocolate… Also
something a little ‘burnt’
(burnt cake, BBQ herbs, curry powder)…
Not monstrously complex but extremely
bold and balanced at the same time,
with kind of a roughness that’s
most enjoyable. The finish is ‘long
like a day without bread’,
peppery and spicy, with also some
clove and quite some tannins. In
short, still a total winner and
a landmark bottling. 95
28 yo 1967/1995 ‘Pale Oloroso’
(53.7%, Signatory, cask #575, 548
A legendary Ardbeg – will
it stand the comparison with the
Provenance? Colour: full gold again,
just a tad darker. Nose: beautiful
attack, with much more sherry (which
means it’s much quicker to
assault your nostrils – peacefully
of course). Not too smoky, nor peaty,
but superbly waxy, with lots of
(which I always cherish), tiger
balm, wax polish. And now come the
sea air, seaweed, almond milk. It’s
a little bolder than the Provenance
actually, which is incredible indeed.
Hints of cider, bitter oranges,
milk chocolate. This is perfection…
After a few minutes, it even overwhelms
the Provenance when putting both
glasses under your nose. Plain crazy!
the attack is very similar to the
nose in style, which is not so common.
Lots of waxy notes, white pepper
and nutmeg, and some superb oaky
notes as well (it makes me think
of a 100% new oak Montrachet just
before bottling). Some caramel,
liquorice stick, pepper sauce again.
The peat is well here but it sort
of hides behind all other flavours…
Long, bold and balanced finish.
In short, the nose is totally stunning
(even more complex than the Provenance’s,
no question), the mouth is extremely
good but perhaps a tad less ‘satisfying’
than the Provenance’s. In
a whole, I feel it’s worth
exactly the same rating: 95
– Blues -
Recommended listening: new cat Shemekia
Copeland (she's only
25) sings Getto
Child.mp3. Very classical but
very beautiful. Please buy Shemekia
Copeland's music! (photo: Larry
- At least, we have the official
picture, and en primeur
at that! No, no, it's not that they
are giving away a free bottle of
whisky with each cupboard you buy,
it's quite the contrary. This is
the official picture of the new
and delicious Glenfarclas
50 yo 1955 that I tasted recently
- 93 points, no less. Thanks again,
Malt Maniacs Belgium! (click the
picture to have a closer look at
it - don't worry it's free)
it's got nothing to do with whisky
or music - rather disgust. The world
has gone mad - especially some advertisers.
Please click on 'Yahoo' at the right
and you'll see... (does not lead
to Yahoo, just a hardcopy).
- FOUR YOUNG INDIE CLYNELISHES
1991/2004 (43%, G&M Connoisseur’s
One of the new CC’s, now
bottled at 43% instead of 40%.
Colour: white wine. Nose: fresh,
clean and very fruity. Lots of
ripe melon and pear juice, pear
drops, ripe kiwi. Very youthful.
It gets also a little yeasty,
slightly sour in a nice way (mashed
potatoes with a good deal of butter).
Also some notes of apple skin,
fern… And some sea air as
well. Very nice, rather complex
and totally flawless.
a nice and very nervous attack,
but perhaps a bit too bitter and
woody this time. Quite tannic, in
fact. It gets also very vegetal
(‘roquette’ salad, the
one they serve with the beef carpaccio),
with some strong notes of over infused
tea, gin, crystallised ginger (lots).
Very strong and almost biting after
a moment. A little weird, I must
say, although it probably is ‘a
profile’. Kind of a metallic
taste, at that. The finish is rather
long but there’s something
strange growing, like a taste of
aluminium. Yet, it’s not a
lightweight malt at all. The nose
was great but the mouth is a little
flawed I think. 77 points
14 yo 1990 (43%, Jean Boyer Best
Cask, ‘small barrel’)
These small barrels were made out
of American oak. Colour: white wine.
Nose: rather powerful but ouch,
this one starts on some heavy nail
varnish, sawdust, sour apple juice…
That’s quite disturbing, but
it gets a little better after quite
some minutes of breathing. There
are still lots of notes of chemicals
in there (artificial flavouring,
jelly sweets) but also some pineapple
juice, lots of ginger ale, aspirin
and sweet sugared mustard (and brown
sauce, while I’m at it). And
always these sour woody notes, with
also lots of butter, stale beer
and quite some lactones and vanillin.
Well, there might have been a small
problem with the cask! Mouth: rather
smooth this time, but also a little
disjointed. Cold overcooked coffee,
burnt caramel, overripe oranges…
It gets rather herbal, with some
rooty notes, herb liquors. Don’t
get me wrong, it’s not too
bad in fact, just a little too bitter.
The finish is rather long and quite
salty, with also something ‘chemical’.
Well, it’ll be 77
13 yo 1990/2004 (46%, Signatory
Unchillfiltered, bourbon barrel
Colour: light straw. Nose: rather
punchy, starting on some toasted
bread and gin. Very grainy and very
herbal, getting even sort of violent.
Beer, sour wood, cider… Also
some cardboardy notes, porridge,
Schweppes, Alka-Seltzer… Yeah
well, I’d say this one lacks
a little sweetness, to say the least.
Some hints of violet perfume. Mouth:
a little spirity and quite peppery
and woody. Also a little sweetish
and again, rather sour and biting
your tongue a bit. Again a slightly
steely taste. I wouldn’t say
it’s perfectly balanced, but
it’s not bad whisky, far from
it. It just lacks aromas and flavours,
and is perhaps a bit too close to
‘alcohol’. Long, powerful,
salty finish, with also some pineapple
(some fruit, finally!) 78
12 yo 1992/2004 (46%, Signatory
Unchillfiltered, hogshead #6306,
Colour: light amber. Nose: ah, this
is much nicer! Starts on some extremely
bold notes of milk caramel (the
famous Werther’s Originals
– I think I never got them
that strikingly in a malt), very
malty. Goes on with some hot butter,
fudge, warm apple pie… And
of course a good deal of vanilla.
Also some cappuccino. It then gets
very nicely sour and slightly woody,
not unlike the G&M. Develops
on white fruits, apples and pears…
It gets perhaps just a bit too sour
but nothing too offending. Definitely
a nice nose, if not totally typical
Clynelish. Some hot milk too. Mouth:
a superb attack, powerful, very
special and so typically Clynelish
this time. Violet sweets, beeswax,
strong honey, Smyrna raisins…
Also lots of dried fruits, mastic
candies, caramel… Very, very
nice, even if just a bit ‘papery’
and perhaps slightly rough. Nice
tastes of caramelised beer (sorry
I know next to nothing about beers)
and liquorice. Nice, medium long
finish. A very, very nice young
Clynelish! 87 points
(and thanks Vincent).
Bloody Irish Boys,
'a fast driven punk band inspired
by the traditional Irish' does Streams
of Whiskey.mp3. They are closer
to the Pogues than to the Sex Pistols
if you ask me, but I like them very
much. But hey buddy, what's that
bottle? Jim Beam??? Dear reader,
please buy The Bloody Irish Boys'
music, so that they can afford some
proper Irish whiskey!
– THREE SUPERB INDIE GLENURY-ROYALS
then gets a little minty, with also
some notes of camphor and turpentine,
all that with a perfect balance
and lots of vivacity after all these
years in glass. Playful and highly
enjoyable, with a very long development
on lots of various ‘micro-aromas’.
Mouth: woody attack, but it’s
nice wood. Then we have a superb
mix of fresh mint, white pepper
and liquorice. Wow, that’s
pretty nice! Not monstrously complex
but so satisfying, special, with
a perfect roundness. Quite some
marzipan. The finish is long, the
malt keeps developing on olive oil
and lemon seeds. The nose was very
nice but the mouth is fantastic.
A beautiful Glenury, worth no less
than 92 points
30 yo 1973/2003 (50.7%, Blackadder
Raw Cask, cask #6861)
Colour: light gold. Nose: similar
to the ‘old young’ Cadenhead,
just a little more on almond milk
and orgeat syrup. Very nicely herbal,
with some notes of camomile tea,
Chinese green tea. Some beautiful
oak. Also some notes of apple skin,
and almost as waxy as an old Clynelish,
paraffin. Also whiffs of peat. A
perfect cleanliness and a great
balance, wow! Mouth: superb attack,
very punchy, on bitter chocolate
and white pepper. Again some bitter
almonds. A bit too cardboardy and
very, very waxy. A great bitterness
(if you like that), with also lots
of roasted Japanese tea (Hojicha).
A superb profile, I think, but it
might not please the lovers of big
peat and big sherry. Just lacks
a little definition when compared
with the Cadenhead. 90 points.
23 yo 1966/1990 (53.8%, Cadenhead
Colour: dark gold. Nose: spirity,
with some very strong notes of mustard,
horseradish, wasabi (Glenury used
to be decidedly Japanese, it appears!)
It gets more and more vegetal, grassy.
Freshly mown lawn. Notes of gin
and Schweppes. A malt that doesn’t
smell ‘Scotch’ at all!
Also some notes of wet fallen leaves,
green tea and old books. Again,
I like that. Mouth: punchy and a
little too spirity but it’s
also very nicely herbal, on Chinese
green tea this time. Alas, it’s
also too woody and tannic, with
also some burnt bread. Don’t
get me wrong, it’s still enjoyable,
almost like an excellent 100 proof
gin (if that exists). Very long
finish, nicely bitter and peppery.
Okay, it’s a bit extreme…
89 points, still.
listening: I should not like this
kind of song, this kind of music,
this kind of arrangement, yet I
love it! Maybe it's because it reminds
me of long gone times (Curved Air?
Renaissance?)... Anyway, have a
try at Heather
Dale singing 'May
queen.mp3' and see if you agree
with me... And then please buy Heather
RECYCLING IS THE THING
over at Taylor
and Green of Etal: 'These
Rocking Chairs are made from Oak
that was reclaimed from a Whisky
Distillery in Edinburgh. The timber
had spent the previous 60 or more
years as large 6ft deep, 32,000
litre Blending Vats used in the
production of “Highland Queen”
Fine Old Scotch Whisky. When the
timber came to us it was painted
white on one side and stained black
on the other due to contact with
the whisky. However, once we had
dressed the surface of the timber
we found that underneath was some
of the finest quarter-sawn English
Oak we had ever seen. When machining
the wood there is still a very strong
smell of Whisky!'
what's funny is that they sell these
rockers for £975.00, while
a rocker made out of new oak is
on Malt Maniacs:
maybe the definitive piece about
FWP and where it came from, by Dave.
Wazzat? Well if you don't know yet,
the index of all entries:
malts I had these weeks - 90+
points only - alphabetical:
1974/1997 ‘Provenance’ (55.6%,
28 yo 1967/1995 ‘Pale Oloroso’ (53.7%,
Signatory, cask #575, 548 bottles)
Elgin 13 yo 1965/1978 (45.7%, Cadenhead,
black label, bottled October)
Elgin 1971/1988 ‘Fragments of Scotland’
Duthie for Samaroli, Italy)
30 yo 1973/2003 (50.7%, Blackadder
Raw Cask, cask #6861)
13 yo (80
proof, Cadenhead, bottled 1979)
Park 25 yo (53.5%, OB, late 1990’s)
Ellen 25 yo 1978/2004 4th release (56.2%,
10 yo (40%, OB,