..Category Archives: Lady of the Drams

Vicky’s Whisky Journey

A Night Out on the Cobbles

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Sunday nights used to be about sitting at home and relaxing before starting work the next day.  Not anymore - once a month The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin has a whisky tasting and like the previous tastings, last night was another great hit.

Graham Coull from Glen Moray took the spotlight this time and even after running a half marathon that afternoon (well done Graham) he still managed to entertain us and bring the audience some fabulous and unusual whiskies.  The whiskies we tasted were all cask strength and not yet bottled.

First up was a single cask, 2006 Sauternes Finish.  The nose was so rich and delightful giving promises of freshly cooked Christmas cake and orange and cinnamon. The taste lived up to the nose giving spicy then sweet hits and bringing the cinnamon to the fore. Well baked Christmas fruit cake and a great one to start with.

Next, came a single cask, 2004 Chenin Blanc. This had earthy notes with vanilla and a slight note of spent matches.  The palate was spicy with soaked raisins coming through leading to a drying finish. A very interesting whisky.

The third whisky of the evening was a 2001 Madeira cask finish which had dark fruits soaked in rum and red grapefruit on the nose. The palate firstly brought a sweet hit then spice before the fruit reappeared. Personally I got fruit pastels but Graham said his tasted like ‘adult jam which, after a few cask strength whiskies, caused many laughs and giggles from the audience.

The final wood finish was a 1998 Port wood.  This one blew me away, an amazing dram of which I will definitely be buying a bottle when its ready.  Polished mahogany, cream soda and port soaked sultanas on the nose with sweet brown sugar on the palate making me think of warm Caribbean nights.

Before taking a well-earned break Graham then introduced us to the first of the peated whiskies of the evening which was a real surprise.  This was a 1994 21 years old which had spent its first 17 years in a bourbon cask then the following 4 years in an Islay cask from a distillery which Graham wasnt allowed to disclose or he would be gagged and tied to a post on Bowmore pier (covered in adult jam no doubt). The peat was light and gentle and made me hungry for a smoked bacon sandwich, but there were also citrus fruits lurking underneath.

After light refreshments to cleanse our palate (well gin & tonic) we moved onto whisky number 6 which was a 1995 sherry cask Glen Moray finished for 3 years in a peated cask. The peat came through a bit more on this one but it was more of a coal fire ash with a zing of lime in single origin dark chocolate.

The final whisky was a young 2010 for which Glen Moray had peated their own barley (which Graham was obviously very proud of) and started out in an ex-cognac cask then transferred to a sherry cask. The nose on this was of freshly lit fires with a taste of tangy, spicy, smoked meat and an underlying sweetness.

The final surprise of the night was a shot of peated cleric which was around 71% abv.  The nose was of malty cereal and very fruity while the taste offered up tangy, fruity, coal peat and finished the night off very, very well.

PS  Mike came up with the title of this post so don't blame me.

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Morrison & Mackay Latest Carn Mor Bottlings

This entry was posted in Blog, Lady of the Drams on by .

Last night Mike and I sat down with 4 of the latest bottlings in the Carn Mor Strictly Limited range and we were quite surprised at some of the flavours we found.

First up was Benrinnes 1996

The nose on this reminded me of lime zest with a light floral note, whereas Mike got floral toffee, roast lemon and candy with sea salt and we both agreed on the presence of pear drops.  The taste gave me an initial chilli prickle with vanilla and lychees, melon and pear and Mike had similar flavours with a coffee bitterness.  This we found after being left for a short while turned to custard creams.  A great dram to get us started.

Next up was Mortlach 1998.

Most prominent on the nose for both of us was fresh laundry, honeysuckle, lemon and coconut.  Although whether the laundry smell was from the whisky or the dishwasher I'm not sure - I may have to try this one again to check.  And again.  The taste began with an icing sugar sweetness over nectarines then a kick of chilli chocolate burst through (milk chocolate that is) leaving a light, fruity, boiled sweets finish.  If the first whisky doesnt wake you up and refresh you then this one sure will.

We moved on then to Glentauchers 2010.

Whilst immediately reminding me of a fruity malt loaf, toffee and Jasmine Mike had stewed prunes with rhubard and liquorice.  Quite a lot off different smells from this young dram.  The taste moved onto over cooked toffee with an orange bitters and smoky edge to it reminding us both of a collection of baking before it goes into the oven. This was so warming and spicy as it went down you could feel it warming you all the way to your belly button.

And finally the Caol Ila 2006

Well, all I am going to say about this is wow! a great mixture of icing sugar sweetness, bonfires on the beach mixed with smoked kippers and smoked ham.  I'm now going to get my BBQ, take it to the beach and relax with a Carn Mor Caol Ila and smoked ham sandwiches.  This is deffinately one you need to buy to try for yourselves.

Slainte

 

A Selection of Hepburn's Choice Tasting Notes

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By Lady of the Drams

Hepburns Choice Mortlach 7 Years Old

I found the nose on this very fruity (Fruitellas) and citrussy (sherbet Lemons) with a hint of polished wood in the background and honeysuckle.  This then led to a taste with an initial spicy hit giving way to liquorice, spiced oranges, star anise with a light hint of smoke in the background.  The smoke lingers on the finish with spices added in and it leaves your mouth tingling.

Hepburns Choice Talisker 6 Years Old

From this whisky I get Mattesson smoked sausage (other sausages are available) covered with salted caramel chocolate. The taste is surprisingly smooth  reminding me of salted pork with a creamy peppercorn sauce poured over the top.  A vibrant finish that makes your mouth come alive, and some lingering smoke ash.

Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 5 Years Old

The nose on this whisky reminds me of cold tar with a hint of seaweed, giving way to a taste of ash from a wood fire, then briny with a hint of waxy lemon skins.  The finish is rather smoky and waxy coating the mouth leaving a finish that lasts quite a while.

 

Lady of the Drams

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This page is the personal views and experiences of a lady in the whisky industry.

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Hi,

Welcome to my first posting as Lady of the Drams.  On this page I hope to entertain you with fun, facts and more importantly, tasting notes to help you decide which whiskies you want to buy from us.

I will admit that before moving to Dufftown I had never tasted a whisky at all and certainly didnt know there was more to whisky than Grouse and Bells and that it wasnt just for old men sitting in their favourite corner of their local pub (yes I know, shame on me, I can hear you all gasping in horror).  My first introduction to whisky, or rather the first one I enjoyed,  was Aberlour 10 as a friend told me ‘there is a whisky for everyone you just have to find the right one for you.  He was right and when I started working for Mike over 4 years ago I found it, or rather I found quite a few.  Lots and lots even.

The world of whisky was opened up to me and I instantly fell in love with this magnificent and diverse liquid.  From there, under the expert guidance of Mike I have learnt to hold my own whisky tastings,  judge whisky in competitions and he even now trusts me to put my tasting notes on the shop website and help him choose our next bottlings (the fool).

So enough about me lets get to the first set of my tasting notes which are from Hunter Laings Hepburns Choice range.  While a lot of the whiskies in this range are young and pale dont let this fool you these whiskies will have your taste buds dancing for joy!