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Category: Offline Experiences

Earlier this month, I attended a scotch tasting with Brother Lakeview and Brother Ville….well, I didn’t really attend for long but before leaving placed an order for a relatively new offering from Signatory—an 18 year old Bruichladdich, vintage 1989.

I got the chance to open the bottle tonight, and was somewhat surprised by the scotch.   The nose is floral and perfumy then followed by a whiff of alcohol pad.   The palate is sweet and oaky with a warm finish.   The sweetness is more of a citrus fruit than chocolate or caramel.   I found it easy to drink although for an 18 year old, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of complexity in the palate.    It definitely does not follow the typical Islay characteristics.

But, while searching for other tasting notes for this release, I came across this blog:

Check it out sometime if you’re looking for a female’s perspective on some of our favorite scotches.

Some photos from Brother Ville’s visit to the Auchentoshan distillery. Enjoy.

Auchentoshan Grounds

View from the Auchentoshan Grounds

Auchentoshan Tour Begins

Megan and John starting the Auchentoshan Distillery Tour

11 Whisky Ingredients

The 11 Ingredients comprising Auchentoshan

27 Still 3 Close Up

Close up of an Auchentoshan still

I wanted to get in the record my Haley Cognata hosted tasting notes. It was a memorable night and eye-opening. I was very impressed with Deanston 12 –minty, yeasty, light and approachable. Reminded me a bit of Littlemill 7. Definitely on my “buy” list. Tobermory 10 “from Mary’s well” was licorice, honey and fennel. Ledaig 9 “safe harbour” was iodine amd medicinal nose–not particularly enjoyable. Bunnahabain 12 was light and sweet with a cereal nose and lots of energy. Not particularly complex, it finishes clean with a slight burn on the back of the tongue. Bunnahabain 18 was caramel nad rubber with a suprisingly quick finish for its age and heaviness. We drank Bunnahabain 25 too but my notes are thin (it was getting late). I don’t recall it spectacular. It was fun drinking Black Bottle again. Haney informed us it’s 45% malt, 55% grain. The nose is an ashtray and the pallette peaty–but that’s it–not much going on here. Overall it was exciting discovering Deanston and Haley added a lot of color to the International Beverage Company evening.

I had the nice fortune of sampling the Suntory “Yamazaki” 12 yr old Single Malt Whisky from Japan, while at Sam’s in Downers Grove. The Spirits chief (name forgotten) was kind enough to bring me into the tasting room after asking about the spirit. Before I get into the technical definition of this drink, let me describe it. The nose is grassy, light, with a hint of sweetness. Pallette is dry, grassy, herbal with a touch of mint. I would say that it’s most closely aligned with the Lowland set. The spirit is good but it doesn’t motivate you to buy a bottle. At $29 it’s a fair deal. Now, is this scotch and does this belong in a lineup–or even in an offline experience? First, it’s not called scotch. It’s produced just like scotch but in another land. Being a purist, I consider this not scotch. Like champagne, which is only from Champage, France, similarly produced drinks created anywhere else are called sparkling wines. So “Yamazaki” is a barley single malt, or something like that. I encourage each of you to try it but I don’t think it’s scotch. Comments, please.

Ardbeg 1978

Jun 23

Hmmm…How is it possible that we’ve not tasted as a group Ardbeg 1978? Last night I had one of those “reach back into the top shelf to see what I can find” experiences, looking for that perfect night cap. Ardbeg 1978 is the perfect way to end a day–it takes the edge off a difficult day or makes a great day better. It has light peat in the nose with brown sugar and citrus. Pallette is dry, earthy with a distinctively lemon finish. It makes a nice statement without trying to garner too much attention like it’s younger siblings. Seek it out.