Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Slow Tasting - 4 Connoisseurs Choice
It's time to slowwwwww.... dowwwwwwnn....
Here at Caskstrength.net we would never dream of a speed tasting. Not when it comes to whisky anyway!
Savour and enjoy.
Be it Bells 8 Year Old or the Port Ellen Feis Ile Bottling, pouring that magical liquid in to your glass should afford you time to sit back and savour. That stuff has taken at least three years to even become whisky, so why not give it some of your time? (FYI- these were tasted in the following order: Rosebank, Aberfeldly, Ledaig, Caol Ila. But are listed here in alphabetical order):
Aberfeldly - 1989 / 2009 - Connoisseurs Choice - 43% - 70cl
Nose: Orange zest; wow! This is a fresh nose. Fantastic. It does have a hint of household cleaner about it, but it zings!
Palate: Orange cream chocolates (esp the ones from Quality Street), Fanta Orange (or Solo, of you live in Norway- Big up my fellow Norse massive!). A touch of toffee and bitter chocolate. This is how you do orange-flavoured whisky!
Finish: Long, esp at this ABV with the fizzy-sherbet nature taking the driving seat.
Overall: This is the first Aberfeldy we've posted and it's gooood! If you like fizzy orange, you'll like this!
Caol Ila - 1996 - Connoisseurs Choice - 43% - 70cl
Nose: Smoke (d'oh!), some blackcurrant (as there was in the Rosebank), black-jack penny sweets.
Palate: Initially a delicate hit, this is a lovely dram that sits comfortably on the tongue, bursting into life after a good swill about the palate; a hit of stewed fruits, blackcurrants and ribena
Finish: Long, with the blackcurrants and smoke taking the driving seat. Like warm ribena by the bonfire.
Overall: It's been a while since I've found myself in the familiar arms of a Caol Ila. Like a f*ck-buddy (for those of you that are single), Caol Ila represents a dependable "friend" whom one can visit in a time of need; an often awkward bedfellow but one whose characteristics you know inside out from the first time you meet and you know will satisfy every basic instinct you have. Not too complex, but different every time. I find Caol Ila a fun dram, less serious than the Kildalton distilleries but every bit as competitive on the peat front. Not the greatest Caol Ila in the world, but very drinkable.
Ledaig - 1990 / 2009 - Connoisseurs Choice - 43% - 70cl
Nose: I was expecting smoke, but no. Instead you get fresh winter veg (in the UK), so we're talking Parsnips, Cabbage and turnip. But with time in the glass (and it's time that makes whisky a drink, not a shot) it develops a sweetness like shortbread.
Palate: Initially it hits the palate very cold, with some of the nose carried over; a hint of winter veg soup, cheap vanilla ice cream and wet woolen blanket.
Finish: Long and spicy with a slight bitterness. The wet wool won't go away.
Overall: The overall sensation is that I want to go back to the Aberfeldly....
Rosebank - 1991 / 2009 - Connoisseurs Choice - 43% - 70cl
Nose: Vanilla Creme Brulee, Blackcurrant cough sweets, Rhubarb and Custard boiled sweets
Palate: The rhubarb comes through with a hint of liquorice and mint.
Finish: The liquorice really lasts coupled with hints of red chillie.
Overall: Less floral than other Rosebanks of this age; the nose is the stand out, let down slightly by the bitterness of the palate and the finish.
OVERALL: For me, the Aberfeldy was the pick of the drams here today. The orange zest, "fanta" notes that came through were just fantastic. But hey, that's my opinion. You might like the sound of the others. If so, take a chance. Sit back and enjoy them. Give them some time. After all, they've given you some of theirs.