Last Friday I drove again to Bergen op Zoom for a superb whisky tasting. This time the subject was “Exclusive” and the whisky’s ready to be tasted were quit exclusive. Most of us tasted a total of eight whiskies, six within the tasting and two extras. Which one did we taste?
Eylandt Legend New Spirit (aprox 1.5. years old)
A sample of this to be whisky was passed around. This one is quite special, because the distillery is situated 16 kilometres from my hometown. The spirit is brought down to 40%, cleansing some of the sharpness of usual New Spirits. It is displaying quite a lot of peat and sweet smoke. In the background some coastal notes and fruits. Not unpleasant but still quite rough. Promising to be Dutch whisky!
Bruichladdich 18 years old second edition
Displaying the for me usual Bruichladdich style of non-peated whisky of this brand. Very clean and crisp. Soft and sweet vanilla, fudge. After a while I picked up some stone fruits as apricot or peach. Taste is gentle, slight ginger spiciness and vanilla fudge sweetness. Very balanced and pleasant dram!
Glengoyne 1997/2012 Vintage Palmer Cask
Slightly red coloured dram giving the away the influence on the colour of this Bordeaux cask finished whisky. The nose is Glengoyne liked gentle and a little “mainstream”. Displaying fudge, light woodiness and wine gums sweetness. Also fresh fruity notes as in light sour apples. Taste is sweet with hazelnut woodiness, some gingerbread and fresh sweet and sour fruits. Quite clean and balanced dram. Great as a before diner dram.
Ardbeg 1994/2011 17 year old Murray McDavid (Mission Range)
Nose is definitely an Ardbeg. Beautiful peat and smoke, but somewhat more sweetness present. Coastal influence present, some saltiness, sea weed and a slight touch of iodine. Also some warm cinnamon and pineapple keeps appearing. Taste the sweetness balance the power of the peat and the smokiness. Some marzipan and a little acid of a lime. Still a little bit salt and sea weed. Very warming dram. Excellent Ardbeg!
Difficult, a Lowlander after the power of the Ardbeg. Luckily there was a scheduled break before this one, but at first I had some trouble getting through to this on. The nose is delicate, starting with gentle notes of grass and lemon. Also some subtle nuttiness appearing and some dill spiciness. Also quite some barley. The taste is gentle, but also somewhat old, needs time to develop in your mouth. But after some time it gets flowery with hints of citrus and vanilla sweetness. Somewhat spiced as in unripe pepper or a hint of ginger also. Good, but don’t know if the place in the line-up did it do right!
Tomintoul 1969/2011 Kintra
Definitely an old dram. Displaying old kind of smells, visiting an ancient library and some old leather. Some herbal influence also from bay leave. After getting somewhat more familiar this becomes fruitier with some melon and baked banana. Taste is pleasant with some orangemarmelade and dark chocolate. Again I am having trouble with this dram. It is showing a lot, but also could use more time to taste and play with. What I feel about this dram is that it is again a great choice of Erik (owner Kintra) and displaying an excellent complexity but also some freshness although this one is 42 year old. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t let allow me to taste this one in the home environment, which would be great!
Glenfarclas 21 year olds
Looks like a standard 21 year old, but this one came on the market in 1970, which means that it is distilled late 1940’s. Very special to be able to taste this one, and directly it is showing a different nose then the present Glenfarclas. Much gentler sherry influence, very much farm like smells, hay, grass etc. A pleasant sweetness. Some sweet flower notes and fruitiness (pleasant sweet grapes). It isn’t as pronounced sherried as the present Glenfarclas. It is excellent gentle and balanced, without any tannins or sulphur. Must have been a great dram and it still is. Unfortunately this was the last bottle and at a usual price of 350 euro’s it didn’t came cheap.
Ardbeg Ardbeg Day Bottling
Afterwards a quick dram of this new Ardbeg which will be on sale on Ardbeg Day (2 June) and probable will be sold out immediately (only 135 bottles for the Netherlands). It is a powerful Islay dram. Lots of peat and smoke, balanced out with the sherry cask influence. But very different than the Uigedael. I certainly hope that I can get my hands on a bottle, to taste this one in a more detailed way, and not as the last one of a big flavoured tasting. My feeling after this short taste is that this will be a stunning Ardbeg!
Great tasting, but due to the older whisky tasted the time to taste them was too short. The winner for me was the Glenfarclas. I wish I could taste the Tomintoul again, and both the Ardbegs were superb. Elise and Johan from DH17, thank you for this excellent tasting, had a heck of a time being with you! See you next time!