An unpeated evening with The Ladies' Share
- Port Ellen 1982 26 YO OMC
- Bowmore 100 degrees proof
- Laphroaig PX
- Lagavulin 12 YO Special release 2014
- Kildalton 2007 7 YO Svenska Eldvatten
I was supposed to write reviews of these whiskies, but it seems I put my notebook away and forgot all about them! Reviews will be coming up in the next few weeks.
Well, as the heading of the article says, we decided to have an unpeated evening when we met last Thursday. Since most of the Ladies are huge fans of peated whiskies, it is good learning for us to taste some unpeated ones. As we all bring our own bottle when we meet, we sometimes have a strange combination of whiskies in the line-up. But this evening I think there was (sort of) a common thread.
The tasting notes below sum up what we smelled and tasted, but the scores are mine alone:
Glen Elgin 1991 13 YO Cadenhead Authentic Collection, 59,5 %
Nose (21/25): Light, fresh, gentle, mild, and woody in a good way. Lemon and concentrated citrus.
Taste (23/25): Rich, really rich. Vanilla, caramel, licorice, lemon candy and aniseed.
Finish (23/25): Rich and warm. Chocolate and slightly woody. More specific about the wood from one of the Ladies: It was dark wood, maybe teak, maybe mahogany. Delicate dryness.
Balance (22/25): The smell was kind of hard to get, while the taste was rich and complex. Water killed the smell, and to me the taste became more boring. One of the other Ladies found that water made the taste more smooth.
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008, bottled 2014, 50 %
Bere Barley is an unpeated whisky from Bruichladdich. Distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2014. The release was limited 36000 bottles.
Nose (21/25): While comparing it to the Glen Elgin 13 YO: Licorice, pines, juniper, gin and grassy. After finishing the Glen Elgin 13 YO and enjoying the Bere Barley alone: The smell of a "Life" shop (health food products), tea leafs, grapes, grapefruit, elder flowers, mint, eucalyptus and a whiff of acetone (luckily this disappeared).
Taste (22/25): Fresh and resinous. Mint, eucalyptus, caramel, fudge and salt.
Finish (21/25): Warm and heavy. Oak. Quite short and metallic.
Balance (21/25): This whisky gave us a very strange experience. In one moment it was really good, and in the next moment it was not good at all. Luckily the overall impression made it a good one. One of the Ladies had a couple of good descriptions: "Happiest alone." "A feminine lumberjack."
Glen Elgin 12 YO, 43 %
This Glen Elgin was released in 2007, and is an official distillery bottling.
Nose (21/25): Sweet. Marzipan, figs, prunes, cloves and oranges. One Lady smelled roses, but she could not decide which color ;)
Taste (22/25): Sweet. Plums, the core of peaches (one Lady uses to open them...do not know why) and figs.
Finish (20/25): Warm, and dry as after eating plums. Oak.
Balance (21/25): An easy drinking whisky.
GlenDronach 18 YO Allardice, 46 %
The Allardice is part of the core range from GlenDronach. It was matured in Oloroso sherry casks.
Nose (19/25): Burnt rubber - summer tires, not winter tires (!), and car, not motorcycle, as one of the Ladies jokingly suggested. The sherry notes were obvious. It smelled quite dry and oaky, and some artificial sweetness from candy, more specific "Mallorca-blanding".
Taste (21/25): Warm and smooth. Figs and dates.
Finish (20/25): Warm and metallic. Oak and coffee beans.
Balance (21/25): A balanced whisky, but we guess it would have been better if it not were a part of this line-up.
A cask sample from Smögen, 4 YO, 57,3 %
As a surprise, I served the Ladies a cask sample from Smögen distillery as the last dram this evening. The whisky was matured in a Sauternes cask. We do not have a lot of notes on this whisky, probably because we were doing a lot of talking at this time of the tasting.
It should be noted here that this was a heavily peated whisky, so not an entirely unpeated evening after all...
Nose (22/25): Pine, juniper, gin and gooseberries.
Taste (21/25): Warm, sherry notes, dry and sweet. Very rich.
Finish (21/25): Sweet and lasts for a long time, especially for such a young whisky.
Balance (21/25): This whisky was the best one for a couple of the Ladies. Cool!
The tasting order
We gave a lot of thought to the order of the whiskies in the line-up. After nosing them we decided on the order in which I have presented the whiskies here. We do not know if this was the best solution. It was made very obvious to us that the Glen Elgin 12 YO and the Allardice was watered down as we tasted them after the whiskies with a higher ABV. But at the same time the sherry maturation might have overwhelmed the Glen Elgin 13 YO and the Bere Barley.
Anyway, we were happy Ladies at the end of the evening :)
- Tone, and the rest of the Ladies