December 2018 - Islay
It was "quality not quantity" at our December WACWAC meeting as a mere five of us gathered at Ian Anderson's abode to celebrate water of life from the Island dubbed the 'Queen of the Hebrides' (and my personal favourite) - Islay..
The evening started with a 12 yo Bunnahabhain (meaning 'mouth of the river' in Gaelic), which had been matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon and whisky refill casks.. with it's fresh and aromatic nose of subtle smoke, it was a gentle opener to the evening..
The second tipple was a non-aged statement Bruichladdich 'Laddie Classic' coming in at a hefty 50% ABV.. s-l-o-w-l-y distilled from spirit that comes from only Scottish Barley. The bottle we tasted was an example of the complexity of the art of the Master Distiller - coming from a vatting of 83 different casks! The nose opened with sweet oak, barley sugar with a hint of mint and led to a palate of refined sweet oak, barley and coastal hints..
Our third whisky - and the highest rated of the evening - was a superb bottling from the youngest distillery on Islay - Kilchoman Loch Gorm at 46% ABV. A bottle that was the product of vatting 19 Olorosso Sherry Casks from three different vintages (years). The nose gave a strong aroma of fruit cake and cloves and the palate was a balance of spicy richness, brown sugar sweetness and earthy peat smoke..
Our generous host Ian then produced a bottle of a real 'peat monster' of a dram - a classic Ardbeg - to nicely round off the evening.