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Whisky Tasting Session 2012-08

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Caol Ila , Bunnahabhain , Bowmore , Tomatin , Glen Keith , Longmorn

This Whisky Tasting Session was the last event of the 2012.

In case you missed previous tasting sessions, WTS are a blind tasting of six whiskies chosen by Jean Marie of Whisky-distilleries.info. Our task consists on tasting them, rating and find the right price range of the bottle.

I have been a bit stressed so I decided to do the tasting in a short break that I had and send Jean Marie the results as soon as possible. I have learn two things:
a) Don’t taste on a rush.
b) Don’t trust my skills to guess age of a dram.

Jean Marie placed on this tasting some awesome and incredible bottles some of them over 30 years old. So now that I know what I was tasting I will take a bit of time to retaste them and check if the score or the tasting note departs for the previous blind tasting.
It would be a huge dissapointment if they do, as I do my best not to score the distillery, the color, the price or the bottle but the whisky for itself. I will keep you updated.

The tasting was interesting but nothing close to sensational, but after filling the tasting notes I realized that I have tasted some very special whiskies: a 38 years old Bunnahabhain, a 35 years old Bunnahabhain and a more than 30 years old Caol Ila.

Really, I didn’t have the feeling of having tasted something so sensational. I only clearly enjoyed most two whiskies here: Glen Keith and Bowmore. They both are very good, but the others although looks impressive didn’t have such an impact on me.

Sample 1: Glen Keith 19 years old Anam NaH Alba

“Balvenie Signature? Lovely whisky... just a bit short of nose but lovely and so familiar...”

90
WTS 2012-08 1

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, vanilla, citrus, cinnamon, floral. Maybe a bourbon cask speysider?

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, spices, malt, tobacco, leather. I have had this one for sure... so familiar...

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, leather, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this WTS 2012-08 1 with 90 points over 100.

Sample 2: Bunnahabhain 1973 38 years old Malts of Scotland

“A bit over mean sherried whisky, not bad not stunning. Just do the work”

88
WTS 2012-08 2

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. honey, fruits, plums, wood, spices. Sherried cask?

Palate (89): light, smooth. dates, wood, honey, citrus, spices, cinnamon.

Finish (88): longer than average. wood, honey, leather.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this WTS 2012-08 2 with 88 points over 100.

Sample 3: Bowmore 21 years old Silver Seal

“Lovely peat. Just a bit light whisky... maybe a mid age Caol Ila?”

90
WTS 2012-08 3

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, honey, vanilla, earth. Caol Ila? Familiar

Palate (91): smooth. Peat, earth, honey, pepper, citrus, coffee. A bit more of alcohol would have made this whisky sensational...

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this WTS 2012-08 3 with 90 points over 100.

Sample 4: Tomatin 35 years old Wilson & Morgan

“Is it a rum? No? Seriously? Sherry aged for sure. An interesting one”

89
WTS 2012-08 4

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. sweet, molasses, citrus, ripe pears.

Palate (88): smooth, oily. sweet, dates, raisins, molasses, vanilla, wood, meat. More like a rum than a whisky. Interesting

Finish (88): average. molasses, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this WTS 2012-08 4 with 89 points over 100.

Sample 5: Caol Ila 1979 Bourbon Hogshead Malts of Scotland

“Smell is good but it has something really greenish that distract my attention”

87
WTS 2012-08 5

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, citrus, green apples, spices, floral, vanilla.

Palate (87): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, green apples, ginger, spices, vanilla.

Finish (86): average. honey, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this WTS 2012-08 5 with 87 points over 100.

Sample 6: Longmorn 20 years old Master of Malt

“Subtle, humble, lovely! Just subtlely like whisky. Is this a blend?”

89
Longmorn 20 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (86): average. honey, citrus, malt, vanilla, candies.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, spices, vanilla, pepper, candies.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, citrus, candies.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Longmorn 20 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt) with 89 points over 100.

Miguel says…

My favorite of the whole tasting has been the Bowmore 21 years old bottled by Silver Seal. Overall, it has been a quite humbling experience and a constatation that knowing what I am tasting really have some impact on my ratings.

For example I have tasted the Longmorn 20 years old bottled by Master of Malt later and although the tasting profile is very similar. It is scored two points above the one it got on the blind tasting. Two points, from 89 to 91, doesn’t look like a great thing but for me a whisky over 90 is quite a different thing to one under it. It is like a psychological barrier that I have defined… anything above 90 is a sure buying option.

To avoid this on the future, I have decided to adopt a healthy option: a calibration dram. I have chosen Glenfiddich 12 years old for the task. Because it is a good dram, solid, that doesn’t chance much between batches and easy to get.

Let’s see how it works in the next blind tasting…



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