SMAC:More New Whiskies

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It was time for yet another session of the Single Malt Appreciation Club, sometimes degenerating into So Much Alcohol Consumed. This time, we pretty much kept strictly to whiskies, there wasn’t a beer in sight. We brought along the Connemara and Ardberg Uigeadail, both of which I’d featured earlier. There was so much whiskey that night that I had to take two photos to get them all!

I started with the Aberfeldy 12 year (40%) that was very sweet and full of honey, vanilla and fruitcake on the palate.  It was fairly dark – a pale brown more than the typical honeyed orange of a young whisky. Looks like the makers added caramel colouring. It was a simple straightforward whisky, the kind people at clubs mix with green tea. Mix on, I say, this one’s too much of a baby for it to matter.

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Next on the flight was the Glenmorangie 12 year (46%) that came in an impressive looking bottle. Again, it was dark amber and again, a baby. There was plenty of sweet honey on the nose, as well as vanilla and fruitcake. The difference between this and the Aberfeldy? The Glenmorangie smells sweet but doesn’t taste sweet.

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Next up on the list of not very interesting whiskies was the Bowmore 12 year (40%). It was such a disappointment, being not much else than smoke, peat and salt. It didn’t have a great deal of body and was pretty forgettable.

I didn’t try the Aberlour A’bunadh that night, will do it another time, but I did try the Old Pulteney. It was a special edition Isabella Fortuna 499 Cask Strength (52%), brought back all the way from London by the J-thing. This was something very special indeed, it was a pale lemon-coloured liquor with a heady grassy nose and a slight whiff of honey. On the palate, there was plenty of sharp citrus and lemon, followed by mellow honey, then finished off very nicely with salty peat and smoke. There was a fleeting bit of fish right at the end, which Mfluder insisted that it was like “sucking on a fish.” If he says so! I think it was a better experience than my Ardberg Uigeadail and it’s my favourite for now.

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Whiskey with an E: Two Irish Specimens

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DC’s parents brought back two bottles of Irish whiskey from a recent trip and we were excited to finally try whiskey. The friends who introduced us to whisky are fairly staunch Scotch single malt fanatics and woe betide anyone who dares to spell whisky with an E. Folks, they drink whisky and would never be caught dead with whiskey. Beware the difference!

Now we plebs drink anything whiskey, E or no E. And this is what I think of the Knappogue Castle 12 year old (40%). For a fairly young whiskey, it does really well on the complexity front. The bright yellow-orange liquor gave a first wash of sea salt over the tongue, followed by light smoke and plenty of orange peel and grass. I liked how it was hard and robust, yet had a good whiff of vanilla, with some floral honey notes. I think the hardness I perceived came from the mineral aftertaste that I love so much in white wines like chablis and muscadet. It’s great stuff considering how young it is. I wonder how the older ones fare.

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Next was the Connemara Peated Single Malt (). DC likes it a lot more than me. I’m not sure about it as I feel that while it’s got a lot of peat that I like, it’s rather unbalanced. It’s as if the whiskey was turbo-charged on peat and has little else to offer. Sadly, it doesn’t make my to-collect list.

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