Google Crazy world sessions number four

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2020


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

December 22, 2020


Crazy world sessions to put a proper end to a messy year
Number Four

Let’s fly straight to India…

Amrut 10 yo 2010 (63.9%, Artist by LMDW, ex-Pedro Ximenez, cask #3521, 286 bottles)

Amrut 10 yo 2010 (63.9%, Artist by LMDW, ex-Pedro Ximenez, cask #3521, 286 bottles) Four stars
For once we’ll rather talk about the label if you don’t mind (of course we’ll try the whisky too). Isn’t it wonderful? I find it extremely reminiscent of one of the lesser known, and yet most magnificent albums by Carlos Santana, called Borboletta (1974). All right, I agree, on to the whisky… Colour: golden amber. Nose: unusual for sure. We’ve known old bottles of Talisker that used to display such noses, between green walnuts, thick black olive brine, mentholated camphory balms, and grass smoke. I need my nose so I won’t take any further chances, but it seems that it’s rather beautiful. Quick, with water: hold on, some huge saponification happening, so let us wait… … … (after five good minutes)…  good, milk chocolate and figs, lit cigar, tinned mussels, big paraffin and lamp oil, eucalyptus, ointments, Vicks…

Mouth (neat): walnut stain and nail polish remover. Tends to anaesthetise your tongue so we shall not insist – except that we might send a letter to Bangalore. Right. With water: bags of pepper coming out. Also raisins and dried figs. Perhaps too many spices? Cardamom and coriander seeds. Finish: long, a little leafy and leathery, the rest being rather perfect. Mentholated, peppered and smoked raisins, something like that. Comments: I do recommend both Borboletta by Carlos Santana and this restless little Amrut by La Maison du Whisky.
SGP:573 - 86 points.


Let’s take Qantas, fasten our belts, and fly to Tasmania…

Hellyers Road 2003 (60.6%, OB, for Taiwan, Australia, cask #3163.11, 2020?)

Hellyers Road 2003 (60.6%, OB, for Taiwan, Australia, cask #3163.11, 2020?) Four stars and a half
We’ve already tried quite a few good many Tasmanian Hellyers Roads. Looks like our friends in Taiwan have just imported quite a few casks. Colour: straw. Nose: but yes, one of those rare whiskies that feel very oily right on the nose. Sunflower and walnut oils, lamp petrol, coconut wine, pad Thai, white chocolate, karite, suntan lotion… Who needs holidays in the tropics just now? Yours truly! With water: perfect putty, marzipan, sesame oil, and coriander. Bring the prawns! (oops, carried away…) Mouth (neat): wonderful at this age. Many sauces and dishes from Thailand or why not Bali, garam masala, coriander, more coconut water, puréed avocado perhaps, sour spices… Now it’s a tricky baby, you would believe you could down it like that and forget about the high strength. That would be lethal, almost. With water: perfect. Notes of chicory and caramel make it a tad rounder. Torrefaction. Finish: long, extremely well balanced, spicy, fruity, and just ‘Thai’. I agree I need to widen my tasting vocabulary. Comments: they should do a version at 46 or 48 or 50% vol. 60+ is cool but it’s an uphill struggle to find the right strength, even with a golden pipette from Van Cleef’s. Don’t google that, I was joking.
SGP:663 - 89 points.

Since were flying high (figuratively), let’s gear towards Japan…

Shizuoka 2019/2020 (61.4%, OB, Japan, octave, cask #2019-530)

Shizuoka 2019/2020 (61.4%, OB, Japan, octave, cask #2019-530) Five stars
Virtually newmake, unpeated, me not believe this was bottled, me not sure. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: tangerines, grapefruits, citrusy hops, acetone and model glue, cherries, williams pears. W.w.: more acetone, sourdough, mussels, carbon paper, kelp, lime. Mouth (N.): asparagus, gherkins, olives, pears, pineapples, UHU stuff, salt. W.w.: isn’t this the best distillate in the world, currently? (not talking ‘bout our own, naturally, but those are off-commerce). Finish: I hope Covid won’t catch me, so that I can live long enough to be able to try this utter jewel when it’s 15 or 20. Comments: what were you saying? As good as the peated ones. And yes life is unjust. They really have both the worst swill there ever was and the most fantastic spirits ever in Japan. A land of contrasts, as they say at National Geographic’s.
SGP:661 - 91 points.

Crikey, we’re too high, we’re really too high (and the Scots will start complaining…) so let’s push it hard and off to Ireland…

The Ash Tree 30 yo 1989/2020 (48.1%, The Whisky Cask Company, Irish, rum cask, 276 bottles)

The Ash Tree 30 yo 1989/2020 (48.1%, The Whisky Cask Company, Irish, rum cask, 276 bottles) Five stars
I’m sure the rum cask will have become superfluous in this wonderful Swiss bottling of B. They’re champions by the way, I believe they’re number one with these batches. Bravo, TWCC! Colour: light gold. Nose: oh they’re now getting rather smoother, closer to old rieslings would I say, which is a compliment, naturally. Perhaps a little less on mangos and affiliated tropical fruits than before, and a little more on cantaloupes, peaches, and perhaps litchis (which is pretty tropical, I agree). Let’s say these B.s seem to be getting more elegant with older age. Just like whisky tasters. No, no winks. Mouth: fruit salad, oranges, bananas, passion fruits, guavas… Well I agree that’s all pretty tropical, but there are also softer honeys, acacia, perhaps lavender, also some green tea from the oak. Not that they’re getting oaky, not at all, but I’m not sure they would go the distance until 35. To be discussed. Finish: medium, soft. Crushed bananas, white chocolate, a drop of coconut water, some slightly sour green tea from the oak. Comments: superb and exceptional, as expected.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

What’ really fascinating, and full of hopes if you ask me, is that the baby Jap managed to hold a candle to the old Bushmills. If this is the future of whisky, instead of unbridled arrogance and fake branding from Speyside, well, I’m game! Good, didn’t we say five ‘odd’ bottles per day? Looks like we need one more…

Let’s fly to… eenie meenie… Ta-dah, France!

Yeun Elez ‘Jobic’ (46%, OB, Armorik, France, 2020)

Yeun Elez ‘Jobic’ (46%, OB, Armorik, France, 2020) Two stars
All right, Armorik have done some peat too. Who hasn’t? Perhaps Auchentoshan? Not even sure… I would add that just like Gaelic, Breton is a lovely language. And just like Gaelic, it may get a little tiring to non-speakers (so to 99.99% of the audience). Just saying, as they say. But anyway, great people, great place, great distillery, great label, yada yada. No, that’s true. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: simple, elementary smoke. Smoked apples if you could do that. Some varnish, some acetone, some amyl acetate. So, feels very young. Mouth: it’s good, no doubts, but it’s not Lagavulin-good, not Laphroaig-good, not Caol-Ila-good, and not Ardbeg-good. But indeed it’s good, with perhaps a wee Ardmore-ness. Actually, the peat/smoke is really rather huge, it’s just very monolithic. Finish: rather long, still rather simple. Comments: I utterly love Armorik and what they do, and they sure belong to the top-three of French malt whisky (mail me $10 in an envelope and I tell you about the other two), but I think this is a little too simple and, well, maybe a little boring. Love you guys.
SGP:357 - 76 points.

Thanks to the fine folks at Whiskay







Whiskyfun's Home