A while ago a game was hosted by Glen Grant on Facebook, in which you could earn points with a group of friends to win a trip to Scotland for four persons. A well respected club member of the Usquebaugh Society started a clan in this game and invited a lot of nice people. Of course, the first idea that was posted was to organize a clan tasting. Nothing more than a BYO tasting for members of our little group. Teun has a pretty nice place to do such things so a location was not a problem!
Of course, we wouldn’t be proper Usquebaugh Society members if we didn’t already start the tasting on the train there, so the first couple whiskies were tasting en route, the rest in Teun’s basement, the SM cellar…
Ardmore 12, Douglas of Drumlanrig, Whisky Live Leiden (for 2008?), 46%
Lightly smoky with a little medicinal hint. Some dry grass and sugary sweetness. Lemon zest. The taste feels a bit dusty and quite alcoholic for a 46%, again that sugar flavour. The finish is short and a little too light. Not my cup of tea.
Bunnahabhain 18, OB for Feis Isle 2010, Pedro Ximinez cask, 51.4%
Nice and fruity with some chocolate and sherry wood. The taste is more herbal with lots of heavy overripe fruit and not as much wood as in the nose. The finish is not a bit surprise but very good at what it does. Again a lot of fruit.
Some blended whisky from the Elzas, France.
No notes, bad whisky
Mortlach 17, 1992, Exclusive Cask, Creative Whisky Company, 51%
A Port hogshead finish that had a lot of influence on the whisky. Buttery and heavy fruit. The taste is less influenced by the Port. Quite beefy and not as sweet expected.
Glen Garioch Founders Reserve, 48%
Thin with some light peat smoke. A little bit leathery. On the palate its more peppery and spicy with a sugary sweetness. The finish offers some fruit. A rather mixed dram, but not really great.
Glen Grant 30, 1972-2002, Kruger Schloss Whisky, 55%
Lots of dried fruit on the nose with European oak as well. The taste is very dry but again, very full of fruit with leather and wood. A very nice and heavily sherried whisky.
Glen Elgin 17, 1991, Blackadder Raw Cask, 57.8%
Thin and a little volatile. Sugary sweetness and some fruit. The palate has a lot of cereal, musty wood and overripe fruit. The finish gives off old sherry, spices, wood. Quite long but its a bit of an odd combination.
Linkwood 1983-2009, Royal Mile Whiskies, The Gathering of Edinburgh, 46%
More alcohol than expected at 46%, and less flavour. Malty and slightly drying on the palate with a short finish.
Glendullan 12, SMWS 84.12, Party in the Vinyard. 59.3%
Cereals and vanilla, coconut and a little perfume on the nose. The taste burns your tastebuds initially and keeps increasing. Very fierce. The finish is a bit sweeter with sweet vanilla again.
Caol Ila 12, 1998-2010, Whisky Club Groningen, 46%
Very clean, crisp Caol Ila. Clean with some rope, tar, sea weed and iodine. Also some pastry dough. The flavour is light and salty, quite dry as well. The finish is a tad oily, salty and grassy. That kind of grass you find on the edges of the beach. Typical Caol Ila. Not bad at all.
Glen Grant 27, Bladnoch Forum, 2008, 53.2%
Nice thick sherry influence, typical of older Glen Grant. Quite a lot of wood some dried peach on the nose. The taste has a lot of tannines but is still quite fruity. The finish is not really exciting, dry and chalky.
Glen Grant 27, Bladnoch Forum, 2008, 54%
Very herbal and only after a while a leathery taste comes through. A lot more weight than the previous version of the Bladnoch Glen Grant. Wood spices as well. The taste is again quite dry but less fruity. The finish starts of with a slight alcohol burn but mellows nicely into a more fruity variety.
Longmorn 1996-2010, Berry’s Own Selection, 56.7%
At first I thought to smell sherry, but that was hard to find after a minute. Hard candy, apple, vanilla and malty. The taste has a lot of alcohol, wood, new oak shavings. Brown sugar, vanilla and light fruits. The finish is quite long, soft and becomes a bit more sweet with more vanilla.
As you can see with this tasting (and yesterday’s report) there was absolutely no plan to taste whiskies in a specific order. A complete mixture of cask strength and lower alcohol whiskies, no order in casks and peat levels. This makes for a fun and spontaneous tasting, but can be quite annoying when you just had a Caol Ila and spot a nice Lowlander afterwards. The fun thing was that there were a lot of Glen Grants available at this Glen Grant Clan tasting.
In the end, our clan won the competition on Facebook and four of us are going to Glen Grant in autumn. Unfortunately, I am not one of those four…