Whisky Tasting – 3 Guest Tasters (Part 1)

It is 6.45 pm on Friday 11th of March 2011 and Nicola has just arrived with Scott (her husband) and two of our guest tasters, Reg Aulds who has been a guest taster on a few occasions in the past.  Nicola also had with her one of Reg’s pals, Gordon Carlisle.

Gordon is a retired architect who previously worked alongside Reg at the Cumbernauld Development Corporation.  Married with 3 sons, 1 grand-son and 1 grand-daughter, Gordon is a Whisky loving family man who now lives in Linlithgow.

So all the introductions were done and we awaited our third guest, James Farrelly (a fellow student on our recent Scotch Whisky Trail course) who for the past 20 years or so has worked for the NHS and is currently Head of HR. A family man with a lovely wife, Eileen and two daughters aged 12 and 14. His dad worked for 40 years at Hiram Walker in Dumbarton and James enjoys learning every day about the joy and wonder of the world’s Whiskies.

3-guest-tasters

Now that everyone on our guest list had arrived we adjourned to the dinning room to commence our evening of delightful tastings. So we had Jim, Nicola, Reg, Gordon and James sitting around the tasting table with glasses at the ready. In the lounge was Jacqueline and Scott both enjoying The Botanist Islay Gin.

The first of the night was from Ireland.

Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Sherry Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 46% Alc/vol, 70 cl

This Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whisky comes from the Cooley Distillery. Bottled at cask strength of 46%, this picked up a well-deserved medal at the World Whisky Awards 2010.  Initially matured in American Oak and finished in Sherry Casks.

whisky-boy-jim-and-tasting-bottles

Colour…Dark marmalade

Nicola’s tasting

Nose…Honey and lemon hints.
Taste…Fruit and nuts – smooth and full of flavour, wood hints and loads of sherry.Finish…Medium finish but oh so smooth.

Score…3 Corks

James’s tasting

Nose…Oranges, honey, so full of citrus fruit.
Taste…Smooth, sherry and a bit of oak coming in.
Finish…Smooth with a slight pepper burn.

Score…3.5 Corks

Gordon’s tasting

Nose…Marzipan.
Taste…Fruity toffee.
Finish…Very smooth.

Score…3.5 Corks

Reg’s tasting

Nose…Almonds, a sweet aroma.
Taste…A slight hint of peat, so so smooth.gordon-carlisle-guest-taster
Finish…Smooth and so easy to sip.

Score…3.5 Corks

Jim’s tasting

Nose…Honey and sherry, this is complex dram.
Taste…Creamy oak, loads of sherry a delight.
Finish…Long and sweet sherry, pour me another.

Score…3.5 Corks

Overall score… 3.5 Corks

That started the night of on a high note, this is an ultra smooth Single Malt from Cooley, and this grand dram can be bought on-line from Master of Malt, so we put this bottle to the side and brought out our next taste sensation.

Bladnoch 20 Year Old Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 52.4% Alc/vol 70cl

Known as “ The Spirit of the Lowlands “ this is Scotland’s most southerly distillery and sits on the green banks of the River Bladnoch in a beautiful part of Galloway.

Colour…Light straw

Nicola’s Tasting

Nose…Lemon and limes, with some sweet undertones, quite pleasant.
Taste…Floral, still with citrus hints, but does need water.
Finish…Long and heavy.

Score…3 Corks

James’s Tasting

james-farrelly-guest-taster

Nose…Sharp, grain and citrus notes.
Taste…At cask strength, must be drunk with water.
Finish…Lightening finish, a bit peppery.

Score…3 Corks

Gordon’s Tasting

Nose..Pungent.
Taste…Green hedgerows.
Finish…Fiery.

Score…2.5 Corks

Reg’s Tasting

Nose…Fruit and slightly sweet.
Taste…Sweet but not too smooth, needs water.
Finish…Burning but not unpleasant.

Score…2.5 Corks

Jim’s Tasting

Nose…Only a little fruit in here.
Taste…Strong and powerful and certainly needs water which brings out some more complex flavours.
Finish…A pepper nip and a burn that sits for quite a wee while.gordon-carlisle-and-tasting-bottles

Score…3 Corks

Overall score 3 Corks

That was a strong one that challenged all the tasters, maybe after the sweet sherry of the Tyrconnell this powerful dram was a little too much. Jim had a dram the next evening and added water and without having any other drams prior to the Bladnoch, it certainly was good and complex.

We are slowly getting to the end of the first half of the evening and it is an Islay next.

Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old, Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43% Alc/vol 70cl

If you are a regular reader of this site you will know by now that Jim is truly. deeply madly in love with all things Islay, especially their Whiskies.

Colour…Deep, deep amber

Nicola’s Tasting

Nose…Wow is it Christmas, raisins soaked in sherry and chocolate.
Taste…Chocolate and Christmas pudding, raisins busting full of flavour, almost overpowering.
Finish…Long and delightful.

Score…4 Corks

James’s Tasting

Nose…Dry, smooth and a slight peat note.
Taste…Big, bold and a great dram.
Finish…Lingering, with just a hint of smoke.

Score..3.5 Corks

Gordon’s Tasting

reg-aulds-guest-taster

Nose…Spices and nuts, peat is in there.
Taste…Such rich Christmas pudding.
Finish…Intense peppery smokiness, grand.

Score…4 Corks

Reg’s Tasting

Nose…Liquorice, hints of Christmas.
Taste…Strong, smooth a really excellent dram.
Finish…Very pleasant and long lasting.

Score…3.5 Corks

Jim’s Tasting

Nose…Chocolate and lovely Islay smoke.
Taste…Wood, smoke and treacle tarts, light peat pepper an absolute delightful dram.
Finish…Full on finish with sherry trifle.

Score…4 Corks

Overall score 4 Corks

An absolute gem of a dram to finish the first half of the evening, and all at the table just loved this really fine Bowmore.

whisky-tasting-part1

So we cleared the table of bottles and glasses and Jacqueline supplied all the hungry tasters with a fantastic Shepherd’s Pie which most of us had more than the one helping.

The second part of this evenings tastings will commence in a little while, so it’s good-bye for just now, the second part should be published soon. In the meantime, if either of these fine drams are of interest, they can be purchased by clicking on the window below:

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