The Regional Tastings is a member-organized series of tastings held in certain regions of the Netherlands. The members are of the Usquebaugh Society. This to accomodate smaller groups that don’t like to drive all across the Netherlands for a few drams.
The tastings in Noord-Holland, the province where I live, started just last year, but have been highly succesful! Below you will find the list of all drams I had. I wrote tasting notes as long as I could, but in the end my palate was quite ruined…
The whiskies were tasted blind, so the notes were not hampered by expectations:
Rosebank, 1989-2000, Provenance, 43%
Young, with pepper, a slight bitterness and liquorice. The taste was sharp with again liquorice and the finish didn’t add much.
Ladyburn / Rare Ayrshire, 1975, 32yo, Signatory, 46%
Toffee and wood with cocoa and orange marmalade. The flavour was a bit thin with orange and wood. A slightly spicy finish.
Aberlour-Glenlivet 12, 40%, 75cl, bottled before 1990
Vegemite, with a sweetness in the background. Old Bottle Effect. Herbs and a bit of a thin profile. Spices added in the taste with the finish becoming nicer. This one needed to aerate a bit because of the old bottle.
Vat 69, 40%, bottled during the 60’s
Soup spices, oily and heavy but also some thick lemon flavours. The flavour is a bit thin, but not bad at all. Quiet industrial, but I like that. Beefy, soy and a hint of rubber.
High West Rye 21, 46%
Sweet flowers, typical rye spices with cinnamon and clove. Fruity, coconut, chocolate coated orange. A dry finish with more spices, coconut and a rum-like sweetness.
Benromach Sassicaia finish, about 5yo, 27 month finish!, 45%
Heavy leathery, with wood polish, European oak, cigars, autumn leaves. The flavour is dry tannins, tea and old wood. A slight industrial note to the finish, quite heavy and a touch of salt.
Scapa, Old Malt Cask, 17yo, 50%
Citrus fruits with a dry hint, orchard fruits, soft and sweet, icing sugar and blood orange. The finish is very nice with summer fruits, lots of those.
Bowmore 1993-2010, The Perfect Dram, 53.8%, Ex bourbon hogshead
The Jacobite (a steam train) with coal smoke, tinned peach syrup. The taste gives a build up towards sweet and dry saw dust. The finish has ropes, smoke and saltiness. A very good Bowmore!
Glen Scotia, Kintra Whisky, 18yo, 52.6%, 1992-2010, 62 bottles
Leather and sherry, wood polish and leather bound books. Heavy tobacco, salt and anise. The taste is a bit less heavy but the flavours all come back. Delicious!
Imperial, Gordon & MacPhail, 1997-2010, 61.6%, First Fill Sherry Cask
We all expected an old bourbon cask whisky, but it was a first fill sherry butt. A full frontal nose with heaps of dry wood, and bacon. Butter, lemon.
Bruichladdich 2-1990 – 9-2009, Valinch, Gene Genie, 53.6%
String beans on the finish, but before that, some rather thin sherry. Very weird, very not-my-thing.
My Teaninich which I will review another time
Glenrothes, Cadenhead, 18yo, 1990 – 10-2008, 56.9%
Dry, tannines, a lot of other flavours that you usually don’t match. Mint, spices, salt, dried fruits.
Caol Ila, 6-1995 – 2-2005, Medoc Finish
A very typical wine finish. That put me off straight away. Spicy, smoky, musty and some red fruits.
Laphroaig Cairdeas, Ileach edition, 2011
A heavy nose, with cream, straw, liquorice, smoke and fire. The taste and finish are dry, long and very good. Some fruits as well!
At this point I stopped taking notes…
Hanyu, Ichiro’s Malt, 2000-2010, 61%
Strathisla 1974, 57%, Gordon & MacPhail
The tasting was a huge success. I didn’t come home completely hammered, but I did have a hard time getting up the next morning, and the one after that. There were some very nice drams in the line-up, especially the Glen Scotia, High West and I was really surprised by some other (Scapa, Imperial). Good times!