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Hi, you're in the Archives, May 2005 - Part 2
May 2005 - part 1 <--- May 2005 - part 2 ---> June 2005 - part 1

May 26, 2005

Malt Maniacs OFF TO ISLAY WITH THE MALT MANIACS! Back on June 4th. GPRS is working just fine on the island, and Bruichladdich has now a Wi-Fi hotspot, so we should be able to keep you updated on what's happening during the festival. Crazy tours, tastings, meetings, joint sessions, masterclasses, bottlings for the Festival... and even the Malt Maniacs' official 10,000th score, that will be given to a very, very special malt. I can't tell you more right now - it's almost a state secret - but you'll find all that right on time on our Vacation Special page, which will be updated on a regular basis. So, stay tuned - and wish me luck ;-). - Serge.

Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, May 1st 2005 - by Nick Morgan

England: Food
(21st Century - personnal archives)

  Hey Serge, have you tried that new Pizza thing? I’m not sure if you have it in France yet, but I’m sure you soon will. Apparently it was invented in America (I think by a man called Domino Pizza) – and it’s a bit like a pork-pie. Flattened that is, and without the pork, and with a much thinner pastry crust, covered with white gooey stuff, tinned tomatoes and lots of bits and pieces of foodie thingies. Yummy! And you can eat it with your fingers, so there’s much less washing up to worry about. Ace!
The reason I got to eat one was that Mike (remember him – Racoon skin hat and French cigarettes?) was in town. “Let’s go and see Mose Allison at the Pizza Express” he said. Well I have to confess that I know almost as much – or as little – about Mose A. as I do about Pizza. And much of what I do know is thanks to covers by other artistes, amongst whom I should mention the good old Barcodes (although the list is endless), who are great fans. Anyway, Mike was very excited (if you can imagine that) so off we went to see Mr A. performing during one of his twice yearly three week visits to London (if you want to share the Pizza fuelled atmosphere then check out the two live CDs recorded at this venue).  
Mose Allison Mike Nicolson
Mose Allison (left) with Mike Nicolson (right), blues guitarist extraordinaire and ex-distillery manager at Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Royal Lochnagar etc. You can read an interesting and funny interview with Mike on Maltmaniacs.
Nice venue, good seats, Pizza (hmmmmm …) and a full house to welcome this diminutive septuagenarian and his band, bass player Andy Weinberg and drummer Paul Clarvis. Now I should apologise to Andy if I’ve misspelt his name but would point out that these two London based performers were quite excellent, particularly given that they were chasing Mose most of the night as he moved from song to song, calling out numbers (a bit like ordering in a Thai restaurant then) to guide them through the extensive song book that he carries round with him. And not all his; so we were treated to tunes by Percy Mayfield, Jimmy Davies (‘You are my sunshine’ – a real treat for Morecambe and Wise fans everywhere), Johnnie Fuller, Big Joe Williams (‘Baby please don’t go’) Robert Lockwood and Willie Dixon (several times, including ‘I live life to love and love life to live’). But no matter the writer, each song came through strongly with a real Mose twist (sometimes a twist of the knife).
Born in the Mississippi Delta, inspired by early jazz greats (such as Fats Waller, Louis Jordan and Duke Ellington), an English and Philosophy graduate, a pianist to the stars (Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan) Allison appears to combine a wide array of influences. Whilst his piano playing (and frankly I’m somewhat out of my depth here) seems to move from laid back blues through fairly free running jazz with a hint of well-informed classicism, his voice and lyrics suggest (the highly unfashionable) Hoagy Carmichael, Tom Lehrer, and the mightily misogynistic James Thurber.   Mose Allison
But the end result is hugely compelling, the music great, and the songs so wickedly funny that it was hard to keep a straight face. “This guys over 70 and he’s still taking the piss – I like that” said Mike.
‘Ever since the world ended I don’t get out much anymore’, ‘Look what you made me do’ (with a rhyming sequence of “avenue”, “Suburu” and “moon blue”), ‘The foodkiller’, ‘What’s your move’ (“are you the artist that’s misunderstood, or the bad guy who’s trying to do good”), ‘Certified senior citizen’ (a Barcodes favourite), ‘Who’s out who’s in’, ‘Your mind is on vacation’ (“but your mouth is working overtime”), (“I’m not downhearted but I’m almost”) ‘Getting there’, ‘The more you get’ (“the more you’ve got to loose”). Well you probably begin to get the picture. Razor sharp lyrics with a deadpan delivery (is that some sort of Pizza service too Serge?) and elegant improvised musical discursions in between. Over thirty songs in two sets. Pizza heaven indeed. Nick Morgan (photos by Kate, except pizza by London Institute of International Studies of Biological Weapons of Mass Destruction)
Many thanks, Nick! I knew Mose Allison quite well and I do own a few of his old records - yes, I like him. But what's this thing again? Pizzo? Pitza? Bitza? Wait, oh yeah, pizza! Strange name. Do you have a lot in London? I think I read something in a medical review here... Isn't it what they serve with kind of a brownish lemonade called Caco Loco or something? And don't the people get sick and fat? As for Mose Allison, let's see what we have... Oh, yes, here we have him singing You are my sunshine.mp3 live. Perhaps his voice got a little less sure after all these years but he's still very special indeed.
Mose Allison  

100 Club, London, May 5th 2005
by Nick Morgan

Serge, as you know I’m behind with my reviews, so in keeping with the electric pace that this gig was played at, I’ll try and keep this one short and quick.

Oh yes – band background for the uninitiated. Well, established in 1977 by a South London (Tulse Hill of all places, hardly the Delta) bloke called Dennis Greaves (guitarist) and his pal, shy yet Ace harmonica player Mark Feltham, and two others. A few decent albums, notably Live at the Marquee (1980), then lots of people leave, other join (e.g. Barcodes harpster Alan Glen), band does not a lot, then sort of reforms with Greaves and Feltham and ex Rory Gallagher rhythm section Gerry McAvoy (bass) and Brendan O’Neill (drums), various CDs (including the not bad 2004 Hat’s Off) and this gig at the 100 Club. Phew! Read the rest on what is even by my standards the somewhat anal band website (“Brendan has his own special sticks made to his own specification by Shaw Stix, which he is very satisfied with” – I mean to say!)
Nine below Zero   Anyway if I was confused at being here – it wasn’t my idea I should say, but a treat for a Scottish Pal and Big Fan who almost cried when his name was read out on stage by Dennis, “This is a song for a bloke from Furnace who wants to buy us some whiskies” – my confusion was nothing compared to the Japanese couple transfixed in front of the stage.
“Albert Hall not as big as expected” confided the man to me, “and Ginger Baker, he look much better than expected”, “Why there four not three?” Well, I suppose that’s what you get if you get your Cream tickets from touts – but I can’t help thinking that we (and the Japanese couple) had more fun than the staid middle aged liggers who filled the AH for four nights or so on vastly overpriced corporate entertainment beanos.
For the 9 Below 0 boys played their hearts out – worked through all their (and everybody else’s) classics – and had the place absolutely humming. They have a truly British turn on the Blues greats – try out their version of Muddy Walters’ Willie Dixon special, ‘I wanna be loved’. And Feltham – with his wonderful collection of harps - was something very special – at least until he sang – which was probably the weak spot (not just him, but Greaves also) of the whole band.  
Nine below ZeroMark Feltham's harmonica collection on stage
I would also have to observe that although we had the photographer and another lady in our party this was really boy’s R&B. So I was hardly surprised that when it kicked off in front of the stage (as it had too) John yelled “Let’s rumble”, and only failed to join the fray when no-one volunteered to hold his beer. Meanwhile the Japanese guy was giving it off to all-comers shouting ‘No show disrespect to Eric like that”. The band grinned, turned up the volume, and once the casualties had been removed cranked it up for another half an hour or so. Oh what a night – and I’m so glad we were there paying our dues rather than down at the crossroads with the toads and politicians getting it all for (I feel) free. Nick Morgan (photos by Kate)
Many thanks again, Nick. We have some pretty excellent Nine Below Zero here: I should have left it up to you.mp3 (via Bluesvertaerker).


Carling Academy, Glasgow,
May 21st 2005 - by Nick Morgan

Normally the thrill of the gig is that marvellous sense of being there. In this instance however it’s possible that it was getting there that provided the greatest excitement, the A3 being the final icing on the cake of a fantastic journey. And instead of cats and dogs my companions were Maniac (Malt and otherwise) shipmates on a voyage that started a week earlier on the West Coast of Scotland.


Alabama 3

Sailing to Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides to view the site of the SS Politician’s sinking we then (after a few weather-foiled attempts) made an overnight dash for that island on the edge of the world, St Kilda (‘Ann is as ro do bhracaist!’ as the ancient motto of the St Kilda Yacht Club would have it). Our return – in the teeth of the gale that had pursued us like a pack of hounds on our outward journey – was suitably epic, and we finally blew into Glasgow on Saturday evening like Outlaws from the frontiers of hell. Or at least that’s what we thought. Our taxi driver said, “St Kilda? Nice beaches eh? And bloody hot at this time of year”. As Vivian Stanshall once said, “sometimes you just can’t win”.
Alabama 3
Robert Brown and Paddy Hill
  Paddy Hill, a member of that other numerically handled and well beaten-up combo, the Birmingham Six, has no doubt endured worse journeys than ours. Tonight he’s on stage, along with Glaswegian Robert Brown (cleared for murder after serving 25 years in jail) appealing for support for MOJO, the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation in Scotland, and a favourite cause of the Alabama 3. And perhaps he’s the right sort of guy to introduce an evening dedicated to showcasing the new A3 album (it’s out now folks) Outlaw.
So from a content perspective the gig was divided between some raucous renditions of old A3 favourites – ‘Mansion on the hill’, ‘Mao Tse Tung said’, Peace in the valley’, ‘Hypo full of love’ et al. – and a selection from Outlaw, including ‘Last train to Mashville’, ‘Hello…I’m Johnny Cash’, ‘Have you seen Bruce Richard Reynolds’ (the previously reported homage to the Great Train Robbers featuring – on the album - BR himself), the remarkably mellow and soulful ‘Honey in the rock’ and ‘How can I protect you’ (surely not a hit single boys – steady on) and a full band version of the previously recorded acoustic gem ‘Up above my head’. All great stuff struggling against a recalcitrant sound system that fell apart at the seams as the volume was inexorably pumped up as the evening wore on.
The night belonged partly to the diminutive and feisty singer Devlin Love (Zoe Devlin), member of the Larry Love Showband and regular support singer with the A3. Her singing is really quite remarkable and she stole the show on ‘Up above my head’ and ‘How can I protect you’. But of course, back on his home turf (“Its great to be back in Glasgow, Scotland, my favourite part of London”) D Wayne Love moved into surreal overdrive, regaling us with head nodding narratives about his early years in Glasgow, football, sectarianism, boy meets girl romance Glasgow style (“I met a girl in Buchanan Street and said, ‘hey baby, let me get into your pants’ – and she said, ‘why should I when there’s one arsehole there already’”) and just about anything else that came into his mind - or mouth.   Alabama 3
Deranged and demented D Wayne (and the band) provided a suitably diverting and bizarre entertainment to draw our Odyssey to a close, when five minutes after everyone else he finally left the stage with the Trojan phrase “My name’s Mr Fancy Knickers. Goodnight”.
Editor’s note: the St Kilda 7 refused to be photographed for this review. The St Kilda Yacht Club is a registered trademark. Nick Morgan (photos by Nick's Nokia)
Wow, Nick, three reviews in a row! Thanks! As for your illustrations, I must say we like the great art of pointillism too and no doubt Seurat, Signac or Cross would have appreciated your superb efforts. I especially like both your works #1 ('A Bunch of Drunk Martians Landing Near Glenkinchie at 23:32 pm') and #3 ('Intergalactic War Near Jupiter or Why the Dark Forces Will Always Win'). Is that what we should call the 'St Kilda 7 school'? Now, as for Alabama 3 aka A3, we have Rehab.mp3. Thanks again!
Old blends
What could be more appropriate than a bunch of mundane blends gathered by Olivier to prepare our palates for the magnificent Islay malts, especially old versions of these blends? Indeed, all blends we have on the table have been bottled between 20 and probably more than 40 years ago. Let’s go (short notes only, sorry)…
Big “T” Black Label (40%, Tomatin Distillers) The label says, in golden letters: ”Delicate and very rare”. Really? Nose: very grainy but with quite some character. Hints of violets and a bit of liquorices. Rather nice and not dull in any way. Mouth: quite bold and rather creamy, with some notes of toasted bread and lots of malt. A bit of toffee and burnt caramel. The finish is rather long, on overcooked coffee. Better than expected, IHSWM (I’ve had some worse malts). 70 points.
King George IV (70 proof, The Distillers Agency Limited) This bottle is probably more than 30 years old. Nose: wow, very perfumy, on bitter orange, rosewater, with some notes of old books and fresh vanilla. Hints of (good) gin. Very, very nice! A great surprise. Mouth: wow, again it’s rather powerful but there are too many notes of rotten fruits, alas. Lots of overripe orange and rum. The finish is long but perhaps a little bitter. Now, IHSWM. The Big “T” was more balanced on the palate. 68 points.
The S.S. Politician (43%, for the USA) This one should be younger, but it’s the younger one by Dunacn Taylor. Nose: lots of caramel, crème caramel, vanilla. Sort of bourbonny. It then gets very grainy but with quite some balance. Mouth: nice, caramelly attack but it then gets very sugary and falls apart, with just some bitterness remaining on the palate. This one mustn’t have been blended that carefully, but it’s still drinkable. 60 points.
The Antiquary (40%, J&W Hardie Ltd) Probably bottled 20 years ago. Nose: quite weaker than all three I had before, but perhaps a bit more complex. Quite yeasty, on mashed potatoes, with some hints of freshly mown grass and even some meadow flowers. It smells like a light, young Speysider. Mouth: rather delicate, on tea, herbal tea, all sorts of dried herbs and some toffee. It’s nicely balanced and quite enjoyable. The one I prefer for the moment. IHSWM. 72 points.
Haig Gold Label (70 proof, John Haig & Co, Ltd.) Probably bottled 30 years ago or earlier. Nose: more “commercial” but also more balanced. Grainy, yeasty and caramelly, rather fresh and developing on toffeeish notes. Whiffs of coastal notes. I like it! Mouth: ouch, it’s bold and powerful, but also very bitter. Lots of burnt caramel, over-infused tea, with quite some pepper at that. In short, lots of body but not a nice one. 65 points.
Johnnie Walker Red Label (70 proof, John Walker & Sons, Ltd) Probably bottled 40 years ago or even earlier. Nose: a bit more closed, with some notes of old books, papers… It then gets even more maritime than the Haig, with some sea air, iodine,… Develops on tea (oolong). Very complex and highly enjoyable. What a surprise! Too bad this one is too old to contain some Brora – but there must be Lagavulin in there! Mouth: wow, it’s quite good again. Possibly not as complex than on the nose but there are still lots of flowery notes, dried oranges, fudge, cappuccino… I’m impressed. 80 points.
Bell’s Extra Special (70 proof, Arthur Bell & Sons, Ltd, white plastic twist cap) Probably bottled 30 years ago or earlier. Nose: grainy and quite malty, on burnt cake, with quite some smoke. Again, a nice balance. Hints of wet stone, lacking some fruitiness and floweriness. Mouth: punchy attack, again quite bitter, similar to the Haig. Lots of toffee again, sugar, caramel… but not much else. But how powerful! 66 points.
White Horse Fine Old Scotch Whisky (70 proof, White Horse Distillers) Probably bottled 30 years ago or earlier. Nose: a little lighter but also more elegant, without the usual toffeeish notes. Gets nicely yeasty and malty, with some notes of fresh apples and apricot. Very, very nice! Mouth: wow, classy stuff! The usual toffeeish notes again but with quite some added complexity, with some cake, roasted peanuts, and some interesting notes of lavender cream. Lots of oomph too! 77 points.
Ballantine’s (70 proof, George Ballantine & Son, Dumbarton) Probably bottled 25 years ago or earlier. Nose: much fresher this time, with lots of herbal tea and quite some smoke and coastal notes. Is that Laphroaig? Gets grainy and yeasty, but with no toffeeish notes this time. A completely different style – I like it! Mouth: ho-ho, that’s very good! Starts on some liquorice and butter caramel, developing on herbal tea, and getting quite spicy with some aniseed, parsley, dill… Very complex, I like it as much as the old Johnnie Red. 80 points.
VAT 69 (70 proof, WM. Sanderson & Son Ltd) Probably bottled 30 years ago or earlier. Nose: that’s funny, it’s very close to the Ballantine, but perhaps grassier, with even some diesel oil, stone, cold ashes. Wow, it’s beautiful! Mouth: again, it’s very similar but even better than the Ballantine’s. Much more phenolic tastes, some camphor, truffles (the cheapest truffles ever ;-), hints of peat and a bit of Turkish delight. Extremely complex for a mundane blend. It’s the clear winner, and with just a little more oomph it would have approached the 85 points. Imagine! 82 points.
I’m not used to blends so I won't draw any conclusions regarding these blends’ supposed ‘dumbing down’ and all that jazz but all I can say is that I really liked most of these old bottlings. As I said before, IHSWM!
Buster Keaton   CRAZY RUMOUR #1 - Yes, it's rumoured that a famous Islay distillery is looking for a new manager. Luckily, we could get hold of this photograph of one of the new candidates, Kuster Beaton, taken as he had just entered the distillery's courtyard.
The company's official comment just in: 'Mr. Beaton's candidature has been rejected, but we wish him lots of success!'
A second candidate, Willibald Python, has been asked: 'Mr Python, how would you prepare the distillery to welcome the hundreds of anoraks and self-styled whisky connoisseurs who will assault it during the Islay Festival at the end of May? Which special measures would you take?' Again, we could get a photograph of Mr Python answering that cunning question (see at the right).
The company's official comment just in: 'Mr. Python's candidature has been rejected, but we wish him lots of success!'
  Monty Python
Beating barrel   CRAZY RUMOUR #2 - A little known old custom has just been revived at some distilleries: casks that gave poor whisky, especially casks used for finishing, are beaten with two oak sticks until they fall into pieces. That's called 'finishing the finisher' (see picture taken at a famous Islay distillery - starting with a B - where they call that '4B', or 'Beating the Bourbon Barrel at B....').
Now, another source just told us that the picture does in fact represent a drummer playing the 'Pelodaiko', which is a large drum constructed from a white oak Bushmills whisky barrel. Beating the Bushmills Barrel? More here.
CRAZY RUMOUR #3 - Aficionados from all over the world are wondering why a certain distillery has problems keeping its managers. Perhaps we have the answer, as we just got this picture of the Manager's Official Appartment, which is in warehouse #17. Yet, it was OK, until the marketeers decided to let the people visiting the distillery have a look at the appartment (see the photograph). 'That's too much, I quit!' said the latest manager to The Scotsman. Understandable, isn't it?   Distillery manager
Strange casksWernie checking the empty UF6 casks
arriving at the distillery.
  CRAZY RUMOUR #4 - It's also rumoured that a famous Islay distillery - sorry, no names - will be starting a new experiment during the Islay Festival 2005. 'Some of our finer spirit will be finished for 6 months in some depleted UF6 casks (depleted uranium hexafluoride) coming directly from the Czech Republic', said to The Scotsman new manager Wernie von Brown. And he added: 'We're still looking for a name, but we expect a lot of oomph!'. Of course, the Malt Maniacs will be there - due reports to follow!
Check our Vacation Special page for more hot news from Islay (not just rumours, this time... ;-))

May 25, 2005


Ardbeg 12 yo 1992/2004 (46%, Silver Seal for Collecting Whisky) Colour: full amber. Nose: perfectly balanced, with a very refined, yet powerful peat. Nice notes of crystallised oranges and white peaches… Again, a perfect balance instead of a peat storm like in many other (too) young Ardbegs. Great! Mouth: ah, it’s curiously watery at first sip, and even the middle is a bit ‘sleepy’, but like often, it then wakes up with some delicate peat growing bolder and bolder, lots of dried fruits and even these gentian flavours I cherish. An highly enjoyable young Ardbeg that isn’t just peat and peat plus peat, congrats to our Milanese friends from Collecting Whisky for having put it on the market (although I’ve heard it’s already sold out – too bad). 89 points.

  Ardbeg 12yo 1992/2004 (46%, Silver Seal for Collecting Whisky)
Ardbeg 10 yo 1994/2004 (59.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 33.51) Colour: dark straw. Nose: very peaty but rather simple. Lots of smoke but also lots of grainy notes. Notes of apple juice. Quite nice but lacking complexity. Mouth: bold and extremely powerful, extremely peaty and extremely sweet. But again, not extremely complex. A bit too sweet for my tastes, in fact. I think Ardbeg needs more ageing. Now, it’s not bad at all, of course: 82 points (but I know some other Maniacs who rated it up to 93 points)
Swish   CRAZY CANADIANS - Fellow malt maniac Davin de Kergommeaux, from Ottawa, reports: "It is known here that you can buy a recently emptied whisky barrel to use as a rain barrel or whatever, but if you add a bit of water, seal it up and then roll it around you can extract a lot of whisky from the wood and make a type of home-made hooch called "Swish". I know the barrels at the garden centres often smell very much like whisky and they are often very charred inside which would provide a lot more places for the whisky to soak into the wood (...) But I have never actually done this myself, so maybe it's just an urban legend..."
Well, according to Mile High Distilling from Colorado, Swish does exist as they are selling various 'essences' that will help you convert your 'swish' into either Bourbon, or into a famous 'red label' whisky, or even, yes, into a more 'classic Canadian whiskey'.
MUSIC – Recommended listening: French and German DJ's Miss Kittin (photo) and Sven Väth do Serge Gainsbourg's scandalous Je vais et je viens.mp3... Thirty five years later, the technique seams to be as popular as ever! Please buy their music if you're into that kind of stuff... or fly to Ibiza this summer!   Miss Kittin

May 24, 2005

Springbank 1965/1998 (46%, Murray McDavid, cask 580, 204 botles)  


Springbank 1965/1998 (46%, Murray McDavid, cask 580, 204 botles) One of Murmac’s old presentations. Colour: pure gold. Nose: very honeyed, with some big notes of bitter orange, fudge and candy sugar. It goes on with some fresh tropical fruits like guava, mango and pineapple, and whiffs of dried herbs. Nice but perhaps a little too ‘laidback’. Mouth: rather punchy this time, but also a bit too tannic. It gets surprisingly peppery, with some heavy notes of black tea. The finish is long but curiously herbal and grassy, more austere than what you’d expect from such an old Springbank. Anyway, it’s a good one but not one of the best old Murray McDavid Springbanks (some, including from 1965, are thrilling). 87 points.

Springbank 1969/1997 (51.6%, Dun Eidean, butt #2381, 590 bottles) Colour: mahogany-brownish. Nose: wow, a beautiful sherry that smells like some old Bourgognes. Notes of game, old books, smoked ham…Quite close to being sulphury but it isn’t. Very special, with no fruitiness. It then develops on some very bold coffee, Tia Maria, dark chocolate… Not too mach distillery character but it’s still excellent. Mouth: now it’s much more complex and fruity (dried fruits, banana flambéed). Lots of white pepper and ginger, with quite some vivacity (kiwi, fructose). The finish is very long and amazingly fresh… Just superb! 92 points.   Springbank 1969/1997 (51.6%, Dun Eidean, butt #2381, 590 bottles)
Johnnie Walker ad Hennessy 1984 ad
Left: Johnnie Walker Red Label 1972. 'Stay calm under pressure. If you wilt you won't win. Stay cool. Keep calm. And collect. You see, when all about you are losing their heads you'd do well to keep yours. So methodical. Orderly. Pull rank, and let others do the filing. Remember, "success is an empty in-bray". We know. We're the acknowledged experts when it comes to succeeding. Johnnie Walker - the world's most successful Scotch whisky. The smooth, mellow worldleader that's still out front after 150 years in the business. And one of the greatest calming influences known to man. Johnnie Walker. Take it from us, we're the world's most successful Scotch whisky'. In other words, if you're into trouble, just get drunk! I guess that would also work with traffic jams, family problems, taxes, whatever... O Tempora, o Mores!
Right: Hennessy 1984. 'The civilized way to call it a day' Well, it looks like it's not only the Cognac. By the way, guess who's on the phone? Yes, his wife... "Are you coming home soon, Bernie? Remember we have the Smiths tonight... - Wait, Suzan, just a bit of work to be done and I'm coming!"
Macallan 2003 ad Macallan 2003 ad
The Macallan 2003. 'Lead a more colorful life - The Macallan Single Malt Whisky - rich in color, rich in taste.' Wow, special effects indeed! Feeling you take off, hallucinations... Better than the best Morroccan dark chocolate, no doubt! ;-) As somebody said, there's no traffic problems when you can fly...
Dean Hall   MUSIC - Recommended listening: this is not Mister Clean, but the excellent blues guitarist and singer Dean Hall. Have a try at his great sound (Albert Collins anyone?) on Ice house blues - mp3 and please buy his music if you like it. Now, not sure I agree with this journalist who wrote: 'If Jimi Hendrix had grown up in rural eastern Kentucky he may have sounded a lot like Dean Hall'.

May 23, 2005

TASTING – Talisker 21 yo 1952 (43%, G&M Connoisseur’s Choice black label, for Pinerolo)
Nose: extraordinary smells of seawater, seaweed, humus, forest after the rain… Fern, Darjeeling tea… Whiffs of resin, eucalyptus, mastic, old turpentine. So subtle, delicate and complex! Mouth: unexpectedly full bodied, starting with some tea jelly and fresh oysters, and developing on all sorts of herbs and smokes. What a maelstrom of flavours! There’s also some mushrooms and a bit of dill… A thrill! A magnificent whisky, that aged perfectly well in its bottle. 93 points.
  Talisker 21yo 1952 (43%, G&M Connoisseur’s Choice black label, for Pinerolo)

I don’t want to bother you with wine too much, but I think this time it’s really worth it. Indeed, friend Christophe just organized a super tasting session and I must say almost all reds we had were high-flyers. Here’s the honours list with short notes:
Château La Nerthe Cuvée des Cadettes 1997 (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France)
Colour: cooked strawberries. Nose: very fragrant, on rosewater, oriental pastry, Turkish delight. Beautiful notes of syrah. Lots of cooked fruits. Powerful yet extremely elegant and balanced. Develops on lilac and old rose. Wowie! Mouth: superbly balanced yet bold, but not monstrous in any way. All sorts of fruits and spices. An absolute winner, a grand wine. 97 points.
Les Terrasses 2000, Alvaro Palacios (Priorat, Spain) Colour: dark ruby. Nose: wow, elegance at its best. Spicy and fruity, with again some notes of oriental perfume, violets, lavender ice cream. Extremely refined. Mouth: very coating, sensual but not lumpy in any way. Notes of praline and liquorice. Thrilling. 96 points.
Clos Mogador 1998 (Priorat, Spain) Colour: blackcurrant juice, rather opaque. Nose: beautiful mix of fresh grape and cooked wine. Rose, books, balsamic vinegar. Perhaps a bit more austere than the Terrasses. Mouth: bold, rich, on all sorts of jams. Lacks a bit of vivacity but the powerful aromatics sort of counterbalance that. Bunches of red fruits, melon… Long finish, more nervous this time. 92 points.
Château de Pibarnon 2001 (Bandol, France) Colour: dark cherries. Nose: very spicy, on fresh pepper – very ‘mourvèdre’. Notes of nutmeg, mulled wine, mulberry and blackcurrant jam, grenadine syrup. Excellent. Mouth: beautiful attack, very ‘jammy’ yet nervous and fresh. Provence herbs, cooked red fruits. Long and very satisfying finish. Pibarnon gets better and better these days, it appears; congrats, Monsieur de Saint-Victor. 91 points.
Château de Beaucastel 1999 (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France) Beaucastel uses all 13 grape varieties that are authorized at Châteauneuf: grenache, mourvèdre, syrah, cinsault, vaccarèse, counoise, terret noir, muscardin, clairette, picpoul, picardan, bourboulenc and roussane. So much better than many dull ‘single grape’ wines! Colour: dark and opaque. Nose: rather austere, in a good way. Quite some green tannins at the start and some lactones (not from the wood) but also lots of blackcurrant and sweet pepper. How elegant! Hints of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Mouth: lots of strawberry jam, tomato jam. Nice acidity, getting curiously ‘bourguignon’. Not too bold but highly drinkable. Pure pleasure. 90 points.
Mas de Daumas-Gassac 2000 (Vin de Pays de l’Hérault, France) Colour: dark ruby. Nose: very ‘Bordeaux’ this time, with lots of Cabernet-Sauvignon. Blackcurrant jam, mulberry jam… notes of toasted bread. Very ‘classical’, bold but elegant. Mouth: lighter, with some rather green tannins and sweet pepper. Not very bold but nicely balanced. Rather long finish on fresh blackcurrant. 88 points.
Domaine de Trévallon 1993 (Côteaux d’Aix en Provence, France) Colour: garnet-red. Nose: very vegetal, on fern, sweet pepper, parsley. Develops on game, getting quite sulphury. Quite metallic at that, and fishy too. Very special if not too enjoyable. Mouth: very ‘Bordeaux’ again, typically Trévallon. Somewhat narrow, with some notes of cold tea. The finish is a bit too short. Trévallon never really convinced me, and this 1993 (not the best vintage, that is) had some hard time against all the other winners we had. Besides, it went flat quite quickly. 79 points.
Many thanks again, Christophe and team!

Jimi Tenor   MUSIC – Recommended listening: Finnish jazz/soul singer Lassi Lehto, aka Jimi Tenor (!) sings a most enjoyable little piece of easy bossa nova called Beyond the stars.mp3. Nicely crafted, don't you think? Please buy Jimi Tenor's music if you like it.

May 22, 2005

TASTING - Glen Flagler (40%, OB, ‘Gothic Label’ for Italy, 70’s) I’m not sure this one was a 'single' Glen Flagler. Colour: white wine. Nose: very yeasty, grainy and spirity, with no particular aromas other than that. Rather close to a gin or, perhaps, to the (in)famous Italian Glen Grant 5 yo . Mouth: sugary and surprisingly creamy… Really close to some diluted raw sugar, and aromatically weak. Just a rarity, that was most certainly used for mixers or on lots of ice cubes. A flavourless, but rather flawless malt. Not too bad, after all... 60 points.   Glen Flagler (40%, OB, ‘Gothic Label’ for Italy, 70’s)
KM David   MUSIC – Recommended listening: I'd bet you had never expected to see some African raggamuffin on whiskyfun, right? Right, but what's better than something like Gabonese singer KM David's Les Demoiselles - mp3 on a sunny day like today? (well, sunny in Alsace...) How to buy his music? Sorry, I have no clues, even the Web doesn't know.
PS: well, as Maniac Roman once wrote, weather doesn't depend on weather forecasters. It's raining cats and dogs this morning.

May 21, 2005

BET - My old friend Paul was wondering if I would have the guts to publish this picture he just sent me. Ha! Perhaps we'll have a Scot one day?
TASTING - Port Ellen 22 yo 1982/2004 (61.1%, Douglas Laing for PLOWED, sherry cask #748, 264 bottles) Colour: light amber. Nose: subtler and more delicate than expected at first nosing. Some big notes of banana flambéed with lots of fresh, ‘genuine’ farm butter. At the same time, it’s rather fresh and clean, with lots of sea air that mixes with the butter. A farm at the sea? It gets a bit musty, and the usual rubbery notes are soon to emerge. Formula 1 tyres, no need to say (Michelin, of course ;-) Hints of fresh cream… It goes on with quite some chocolate and some coffee… Wow, it’s endless! Yes, so complex… Mouth: powerful and simply very big. Much more sherry than on the nose, but it’s surprisingly easy to drink at such high strength. It switches to meat, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce… Notes of hot ham… Then it gets sweeter, with some candy sugar and raisins. Some big notes of burnt sugar and heavy caramel. Perhaps a little less distillery character than on the nose, but it’s still superb.   Port Ellen 22yo 1982/2004 (61.1%, Douglas Laing for PLOWED, sherry cask #748, 264 bottles)
Definitely in the same league as the Port Ellen Old Malt Cask that won the Top Sherry Cask Award at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2004, and which I rated 94 points. I think this PLOWED version is even more complex, but on the other hand it’s just a little too much on burnt sugar… Okay, let’s rate it just the same: 94 points. Well done again, guys! (and thanks, Jay).
Chris Cain   MUSIC – Recommended listening: between Albert Collins and Larry Carlton: Chris Cain is playing World Got The Blues Before Sunrise.mp3. Maybe that's 'FM' blues, but I still like it pretty much! Please buy Chris Cain's music if you like it.

May 20, 2005

Glen Garioch 8yo (43%, OB for Lemar Italy, 1970’s)  


Glen Garioch 8 yo (43%, OB for Lemar Italy, 1970’s)
This batch is said to be much better than some other versions made for some other Italian importers. Let’s see… Colour: dark straw. Nose: beautiful smoke, getting resinous and waxy. Wow! Develops on old papers, ‘good dust’. It then gets rounder, with some praline and caramel, dried flowers, tea… Very delicate and subtle. Mouth: rather bold and ‘wide’, with lots of refined peat, all sorts of smoke, developing on resins, crystallised angelica and earl grey tea (bergamot)… The finish is very long, subtle and supremely balanced. Superb! 91 points.

Glen Garioch 21 yo (43%, OB, green decanter, 90’s)
Colour: amber. Nose: starts quite smoky and a bit meaty, but it’s a little weak – weaker than some older 21 yo ’s, in any case. Does that come from the decanter? It goes on quite delicately, with some dried fruits and some dried flowers. Nice but again, it lacks a little oomph and expression. Mouth: quite creamy, and more nervous than expected. Good news! Spicy, fruity, with quite some vanilla crème and light toffee. In short, it’s obviously less smoky than the older expressions – especially from the 80’s – but it’s still a very nice whisky. 85 points.
  Glen Garioch 21yo (43%, OB, green decanter, 90’s)
Moishe Lichtfuss   MUSIC – Very highly recommended listening: not a big name yet, but I'm bloody sure these guys will 'do something' in the near future. Quick, have a listen to Moishe Lichtfuss & the a-signifying semiotics (Lol!) playing Firetrucks.mp3. Yes, something of Momus and perhaps it's still a bit rough around the edges, but all that is very clever... Please buy it!

May 19, 2005

Springbank 21yo (46%, OB, dumpy ‘John Mitchell’)  


Springbank 21 yo (46%, OB, dumpy ‘John Mitchell’)
This one is older than the one signed ‘Archibald Mitchell’ in golden letters. Colour: gold. Nose: extremely complex this time, with some see water, bunches of dried fruits and fresh fruit juice. Develops on liquorice root, gentian root, flower jam, fudge… Endless and absolutely fantastic. Mouth: extremely delicate and satisfying, with some mullein flowers syrup, some pollen and some praline. Flower nectar, beeswax, Turkish delight… Thrilling! Some whiffs of white pepper and smoke counterbalance the sweetness, making the whole a total stunner. Extremely impressive, even better than the more recent ‘Archibald Mitchell’ version. 94 points.

Springbank 1968/2004 (51.4%, Dun Bheagan, cask #1415, 432 bottles) Colour: amber. Nose: quite powerful, but starting too oaky, gingery and spicy. The wood seams to have taken too much of its share… It then gets rather grassy and herbal, with just some hints of oil and cooked meat. Not bad at all but aromatically rather narrow. Mouth: starts a little prickly and bitter like Campari. Very vegetal, peppery and tannic, getting suddenly very sugary. Not extremely enjoyable, I’m afraid, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad one. Just a small miss… 81 points.   Springbank 1968/2004 (51.4%, Dun Bheagan, cask #1415, 432 bottles)
Barbara Dennerlein   MUSIC – JAZZ - Recommended listening: Whiskyfun favourite Barbara Dennerlein plays a grooovey Give it Up - mp3 with Dennis Chambers on drums, Roy Hargrove on Trumpet, Ray Anderson on trombone and various other top-notch musicians such as Don Alias or Lonnie Plaxico. Please buy Barbara Dennerlein's music!

May 18, 2005

Glenfarclas 1974/2004 (50.5%, OB, cask #6041, 246 bottles)  


Glenfarclas 1974/2004 (50.5%, OB, cask #6041, 246 bottles) Nose: starts very flowery, with some nice minty notes. Cooked white fruits… Little sherry influence, even if there are some nice notes of bitter oranges. Hints of dried figs… Not too complex but very enjoyable. Mouth: rather creamy and, again, minty. Notes of citronella and spearmint, getting a little resinous. Notes of camphor and herb jellies. Long and sweet finish, very satisfying. A very good one: 88 points.

Glenfarclas 12yo (43%, OB, Frattina, 80’s)  
Glenfarclas 12 yo (43%, OB, Frattina, 80’s) Nose: nice but a bit dusty, with some orange marmalade, some honey and some caramel. Quite simple, in fact… Mouth: nicely balanced, with a lemony attack. Unusually citrusy, and quite spicy with quite some cloves. Medium long finish, on lemon seeds. Lots of vivacity! 84 points.
Glenfarclas 1976 ‘4th fill sherry’ (WIP, cask #3104)   Glenfarclas 1976 ‘4th fill sherry’ (WIP, cask #3104)
An astonishing cask sample brought to Limburg by George Grant (thanks again, George). Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: extremely fresh, youthful, lively, and so refined and delicate. Great notes of rosewater and orange juice, together with meadow flowers and almond milk. Highly enjoyable. Mouth: superb balance, on crystallised fruits and lavender ice cream. Goes on with some fresh pineapple and light tea, as well as lots of lemon juice and tangerine. Long and refreshing finish. Not to far from the best Rosebanks, I’d say. It’s a thrill to get the distillery’s character with very little oak and wine influence. Wow! 88 points.
MUSIC – Recommended listening: Vic Chesnutt sings a tender and lunar What do you mean.mp3 from his new album 'Ghetto Bells. The glorious interplay between Chesnutt and accompanying vocalist Liz Durrett makes it really vibrant and moving, not to mention the fact that the man at the guitars is the great Bill Frisell himself. Please buy Vic Chesnutt's music!   Vic Chesnutt

May 17, 2005

The Borderline, London
30th April 2005 - by Nick Morgan
Albert LeeLeft: Brian Hodgson, right: Albert Lee
  You might think it’s strange that the man whose ‘phone rings when the great and good of rock and roll want an ace country guitarist was born not in Nashville Tn., but in England’s most rural Herefordshire.
But that’s simply the way it is with veteran ace picker Albert Lee, once of Head, Hands and Feet, accomplished solo recording artiste and performer, the man behind the reconciliation of the Everly Brothers (and now their guitarist and arranger) and the owner of the magical fingers that have graced more recording sessions than you’ve had the proverbial hot dinners. And who knows, maybe it’s his pastoral origins that also account for the fact that his appearance is something akin to an overgrown hobbit.
When he’s not recording (he’s just finished an album with a motley assortment of guitar gods and Scotty Moore), touring with the Everly Brothers et. al., or being one of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, he still tours and records fairly frequently with his band, Hogan’s Heroes.
Led by pedal steel guitarist Gerry Hogan, with bass player Brian Hodgson, drummer Peter Baron and featuring ex Jellybread and top-ten artiste hit-record producer and session man extraordinaire Pete Wingfield (“I’m eighteen with a bullet, got my finger on the trigger and gonna pull it”) on keyboards (who I last saw playing more years ago than I would care to remember at the famous Blues Attic – not really an attic as you will recall - behind the Jolly Weavers) they provide and effective and good-humoured backdrop for Lee’s guitar, his surprisingly still effective singing, and his occasional soulful forays on the keyboard.  
Pete WingfieldPete Wingfield
On the second of two steamy and sweaty nights at the Borderline (when I have to add it was impossible to take notes – hence, or partly hence, my somewhat dim recollection of the evening’s proceedings) we enjoyed two sets when Lee worked his way through much of his past solo material, tracks from his most recent album Heartbreak Hill (funnily enough ‘Two more bottles of wine’ is one of the few songs that comes to mind), and Tear it Up with Hogan’s heroes, favourite songs from Elvis (“Hound dog”, on which they got the swinging rhythm down to perfection), the Everly Brothers (also apparently their most obscure, so how the hell am I supposed to remember what it was?), Hoyt Axton, the Beach Boys (another one that had us scratching our heads) and Tommy Steele (yes, I said Tommy Steele – ‘Singing the Blues’), helped out by Wingfield who performed a classy couple of Floyd Kramer tunes.
Albert Lee   If you want an introduction to young Albert then I would commend his 1979 album ‘Hiding’. This of course is something of an albatross round his neck as it contains the hit song ‘Country boy’ with Lee in fretboard burning form (he probably outplayed that other Lee fellow for speed on this one). But it’s a shame when clearly much of the audience have really only come along to hear this one song, not least when there’s far more subtlety, style and guile in his playing than he can ever display at 100 miles and hour.
Nonetheless he gives the audience what they want. And clearly he and the band really enjoy themselves – an admirable reminder to those untouchable superstars who will only grace mega stadiums, that this is what rock and roll is really all about, even for guys who spend most of their days in studios covering up for the flaws of the supposedly great ones. Nick Morgan (first photo by Kate).
Thanks, Nick. Faster than Alvin Lee on Going home? Is that possible? Anyway, here we have a very 'classical' Rock and Roll Man.mp3 from Albert Lee's eponymous album (1982). Not too fast but highly enjoyable! Oh, speaking of speed, did you know this great Italian 'picker' named Luca Oliveri? Have a try at Hot wired.mp3 and tell me what you think...


Highland Park 13 yo 1990/2003 (46%, Silver Seal, 680 bottles) Colour: vegetal and perhaps a bit too much on burnt bread and burnt sugar. Goes on with some notes of cider, light caramel, apple pie… Not bad but not overly complex. Mouth: sweet and rounded but lacking body. It then develops rather weirdly, on Schweppes and salt… Well, it’s not one of the best, I’d say. But perhaps the bottle had a problem (cork?) as I rated it fairly higher last time I had this one. 78 points.

  Highland Park 13yo 1990/2003 (46%, Silver Seal, 680 bottles)
Highland Park 25yo 1976/2001 (43%, Signatory Millenium, cask #1984, 372 bottles)   Highland Park 25 yo 1976/2001 (43%, Signatory Millenium, cask #1984, 372 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: rather fresh, on apples and peaches. Quite clean despite it’s age, and very lively. It’s not too complex but really enjoyable. Goes on with some notes of apricot pie and vanilla crème. Mouth: quite bold and very fruity (apple, pear, gooseberry) with just a dash of white pepper. Again, it’s not too complex but it’s nicely balanced and very enjoyable. 85 points.

May 16, 2005

The Barbican, London
25th April 2005 - by Nick Morgan

Have you ever thought that there might be just too much love in the house?
It went like this. First the lady who used to run the tea and biscuit trolley at Stax Records in Memphis – she’s now the curator of the recently opened Stax Museum in a recreation of the demolished studios – loved us, for about ten minutes.  
In fact she loved us so much that she came back after the interval and loved us some more. Then Skip Pitts, front man and guitarist with warm-up act the Bo-keys (who played the wicha wicha wah wah bit at the start of Shaft) loved us, as did drummer Willie Hall (who played the tsshp tsshp hi-hat on the same Issac Hayes mega-hit).
Mable John Mable John   Ben Cauley, trumpeter for Otis Redding, sang for us and loved us too, and Marvell Thomas (son of Rufus, brother of Carla) bowed his head in an almost reverential act of love every time the word was mentioned. Mable John, who was guest vocalist with the Bo-Keys loved us in every key except the one the band were playing in, and performed her hit ‘Your good thing is about to end’, during which she indicated more than once that she had a particular affection – if not love - for the good thangs of the men of old London town.
The solemn and scholarly Booker T Jones (Hammond Organ supremo par excellence), when he finally climbed down from the elevated Altar of Groove that he occupied for most of the evening to speak to us, loved us from the bottom of his heart.  
Booker T and the MGsBooker T and the MGs
Pony tailed Steve Cropper – wonder guitarist, genius songwriter, arranger, engineer and ace producer, loved us for being the people who brought Memphis Rhythm and Blues to the world. Donald Duck Dunn loved us for giving him the opportunity to strut the stage, with awesome Fender bass guitar gently perched on an equally awesome beer-belly. William Bell loved us for making ‘Private Number’ such a huge hit, and Eddie Floyd loved the bald man in the front row so much that he couldn’t stop stroking his head. So much love on one stage going out to a long fully sold out Barbican for the last night of the It Came From Memphis series of concerts.
Booker T Jones Booker T Jones
  Of course the guys had got this love fest the wrong way round. We were there because we loved them, and no disrespect to the Bo-Keys, or Mable John (who did eventually get in tune), or William Bell, or Eddie Floyd, but the ones we loved the most were the quite remarkable Booker T and the MGs. Here were three guys (performing with with drummer Steve Potts in place of original skins-man the late Al Jackson) who simply rewrote the book, and whose influence on soul and rock music was arguably as profound and long-lasting as the mercurial Beatles.
We loved Booker T for his deeply soulful no-nonsense playing – understated in gesture and flourish for a Hammond player – and for the occasional smiles that flashed across his face when Potts, Dunn or Cropper delighted with their playing. We loved Dunn for his jovial presence but simply wicked bass playing – his short improvisations astonishing even his colleagues on stage. And of course we loved Cropper, not just for being one half of the partnerships that produced ‘Knock on wood’, ‘Midnight Hour’ or ‘Dock of the Bay’, but also for his elegant minimalist guitar work, and of course his Peavey ‘Cropper Classic’ guitar, one for everyone’s Christmas wish list. We also discovered that we loved drummer Potts for his rip-roaring power drumming. And we loved the MGs together for ‘Melting Pot’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Soul limbo’ (a notable contribution to English cricket), ‘Hang ‘em high’, ‘Time is tight’ and ‘Green onions’ – all of which featured in their set, which was a timeless, and as fresh, as it was some thirty years ago. And we did love Bell, Floyd and Thomas when they all joined the stage towards the end of the set, arguing between themselves like slightly forgetful old men over who played what on which hit record and why.
Actually forget it – sometimes there is simply never too much love in the house. - Nick Morgan (concert photo by Kate).
Thanks a bunch, Nick. That must have been quite an historical moment! Love and jumping hearts, I'm sure... (roll your mouse over the heart just above). There are loads of hits by these guys to be found on the Web, so let's just have one: Green onions.mp3 by Booker T and the MGs. Yes, that's the original version...
Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (57.3%, OB, 1 litre, ca 1995)  


Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength (57.3%, OB, 1 litre, ca 1995) This is the first version, for duty free only. Colour: straw. Nose: extremely smoky, and not only on peat smoke. Lots of grapefruit juice, getting very rubbery (brand new tyre). It then develops on lots of tropical fruits such as passion fruit, guava, mango… Really big and powerful, yet perfectly balanced. Fantastic. Mouth: again, big, bold and superbly balanced. Lots of spearmint, smoke, lemon and all sorts of tropical fruits, with an endless finish. A stunning whisky, perhaps the best of all the Laphroaig C/S I ever had, although all versions have been great, including the latest ‘green stripe’. Worth buying by the case, considering the price. 94 points.

Laphroaig 13 yo 1991/2005 (55.8%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 29.43) Colour: pure gold. Nose: typical Laphroaig, with lots of peat smoke and mango juice plus various herbal teas. Very good, perhaps a little simpler than the official C/S and less ‘compact’ at the same time. Mouth: again, typically Laphroaigish, with quite some liquorice roots and some nose of rose water, like in some Oriental pastry. Very, very nice but, again, lacking a little extra-complexity. 86 points.
Laphroaig 18 yo 1966/1985 (54%, G&M for Intertrade, 250 bottles) An oldie this time. Colour: full amber. Nose: much farmier, and less ‘maritime’ than usually. Some notes of sweat and toasted bread. Lots of rubbery notes, at that… Very special! Certainly a love it or hate it Laphroaig, with something of Port Ellen. Beautiful, I think. Mouth: fantastic, much more classical this time. Lots of smoke and fruits, getting very peppery a la Talisker. Some notes of wet hay, dog and salted liquorice, with a very long finish. Not too clean and completely uncivilized, I’d say – I really loved it.. 92 points.   Laphroaig 18yo 1966/1985 (54%, G&M for Intertrade, 250 bottles)

May 15, 2005

TASTING - Jack’s Pirate Whisky 8 yo (55.2%, Jack Wieber, cask #26703, 347 bottles) A cask vatting of 50% Laphroaig and 50% Caol Ila. Colour: white wine. Nose: full smoke and peat with lemon juice and cooked apples. Not complex at all but very, very enjoyable. Mouth: more rounded and balanced, a bit sweeter than Laphroaig but also a little cleaner and fresher. A perfect vatting, certainly better than a 8 yo Laphroaig or a 8 yo Caol Ila. Does a vatting bring more maturity to whisky? That’s also what for instance the Bruichladdich ‘3D’ suggests… Anyway, 86 points for this most friendly German pirate.   Jack’s Pirate Whisky 8yo (55.2%, Jack Wieber, cask #26703, 347 bottles)
Dr Nick   MUSIC – Recommended listening (again something arty a la Momus): Dr Nick (yes) plays Romance! (full movie+credits).mp3. He's quite good at playing 'detuned' on purpose (it's on purpose, right?) and I like his work pretty much. Please buy Dr Nick's music if he ever sells it! (via demusement.com)

May 2005 - part 1 <--- May 2005 - part 2 ---> June 2005 - part 1


heck the index of all entries:
Nick's Concert Reviews

Best malts I had these weeks - 90+ points only - alphabetical:

Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength (57.3%, OB, 1 litre, ca 1995)

Laphroaig 18 yo 1966/1985 (54%, G&M for Intertrade, 250 bottles)

Port Ellen 22 yo 1982/2004 (61.1%, Douglas Laing for PLOWED, sherry cask #748, 264 bottles)

Springbank 21 yo (46%, OB, dumpy ‘John Mitchell’)

Springbank 1969/1997 (51.6%, Dun Eidean, butt #2381, 590 bottles)

Talisker 21 yo 1952 (43%, G&M Connoisseur’s Choice black label, for Pinerolo)