August 2018 - 'Highland'
A perfect Highland evening!
In response to a previous meeting's request that we focus on one of the Scottish whisky regions, we immersed ourselves into the largest region - Highland - at Chris Bowmer's for our August meeting.
With its dizzying array of styles from rich and textured to fragrantly floral - as befits an ever-changing landscape of coastline, moor and mountain - it was always going to be tricky to select just three whiskies to taste, but we managed it thanks to two deliciously different whiskies and a guest whisky from Alan purchased at a Highland distillery on his recent Round Britain cruise. We also enjoyed another guest whisky from Chris from his trip to a Canadian distillery in Nove Scotia.
Many thanks to Alan and Chris for their generosity..
Our first whisky was a 15 yo from the Old Pulteney distillery - until recently the most Northern distillery on the Scottish mainland, with its whiskies maturing in traditional warehouses exposed to the fierce North Sea winds, producing the famous 'Marine Malt' flavours. With a nose of rich dried fruit, ripe apples and citrus, honey sweetness and a generous dose of creamy vanilla, and a taste of toffee sweetness with a hint of salty sea air on the finish, it proved very popular.
Next up was a guest Highland whisky from the famous Glenmorangie distillery - a 12 year old Port Finish Quinta Ruben, which courtesy of the Port casks was the colour of Rose wine - beautiful! An aroma of chocolate, tangerines and Seville oranges and its palate of chocolate and walnuts envelop the palate like velvet, laying the foundations for rose, Turkish delight. It was a great find by Alan.
Our third bottle was a guest whisky courtesy of Chris - a Glen Breton Rare 10 year old Canadian single malt (not many of those around!) which is aged for 10 years in American oak casks. The Glenora distillery, where Glen Breton is produced, resides in the beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The nose was vanilla and fruit spice with a bit of toasty oak - and the palate had slight nutmeg and honey. Whilst not yet an award-winning whisky, it is of remarkable quality when you consider that the distillery was only built in 1990!
Our final whisky was a real corker - a 21 year old Glengoyne matured in 1996 and bottled in 2018 - one of 211 botles from a single first-fill Sherry cask. The nose was like 'warm apple crumble' with a touch of cinnamon, followed by a palate that was thick and creamy - buttered wholemeal bread with vanilla custard. A beautiful, complex finish left a rich taste in the mouth of ripe bananas, caramalised nuts and charred oak. It was rated the WACWAC's second favourite - and Chris rated it as our first ever 'Perfect 20' whisky - 20 points out of 20!
A great meeting came to an end but not before Alan came out with two classic qoutes:
- "When we got to Liverpool on our cruise I thought what a great day - the Liverpool Gay Pride March is on!"
- "I was disappointed when we saw the Terracotta Army - I misread the flyer and was expecting to see the Panna Cotta Army..."
I guess you had to be there... :)
Our thanks went to Chris for his excellent hosting...