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Singleton Artisan, Sullivans Cove, Bowmore 21

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Welcome to tasting notes from a monthly private whisky club in Mumbai, India.  Alas as I’m in Jakarta, am missing our May session, so offer instead notes from last month’s session.

Tasting Notes from 17 April 2014

As usual, we blind tasted samples before revealing the whisky. This month featured: Singleton Artisan, Sullivans Cove and Bowmore 21 year.

It was another interesting evening with three distinct offerings!

Lining up for some serious tasting!

Lining up for some serious tasting!

Singleton Artisan 40% (bottle DF 00319 AA)

  • Colour – Deep amber
  • Nose – Flowery sweet hinting of a sherry cask, rubber quality, spice dabba like cardamom and clove, even dirty sock
  • Taste – Fruity warm with a bitter chewiness, smoky and very dry
  • Finish – Short yet the bitter quality remained
  • With a few drops of water – Dry coconut bitterness emerged, sweetness reduced to highlight the spice more

This offering was a good reminder to not dismiss airport offerings.

Singleton Artisan

Singleton Artisan

Sullivans Cove 47.5% (bottle 120 of 455)

  • Nose – Instant aaah!  A bouquet of scents with little peat, spice, citrus, pear and fig, chocolate, even coffee bean and toffee
  • Taste – Spicy sweet, licorice, peppery chillies, just oodles of character even if not as complex as the nose hinted
  • Finish – All chilli spice yuminess
  • With water – Smoother but character slightly quashed

Clear it has a higher alcohol content, speculated around 47 – 48%. Thought would pair fabulously with chilli chocolate. While must be a young whisky, had plenty of character.

A remarkable find picked up by chance a year ago from Dubai duty free. Now thanks to its award winning status, near impossible to obtain. This Tasmanian treasure has no age declared yet clearly takes full advantage of the warmer climes speeding up the aging process in new French Oak barrels. A treat for the merry samplers!

All the way from Tasmania!! Sullivans Cove

All the way from Tasmania!! Sullivans Cove

Bowmore 21 year 51.5% (1988)

  • Colour – A distinctive ruby red – port cask?
  • Nose – Clear blue cheese or smoke cheese, a medicinal element
  • Taste – Very smooth, enveloped in smokiness, hint of ash and spiciness
  • Finish – Long, strong,  smoky swirls
  • With water – While becomes much more bitter, even smoother too

Much higher alcohol content than initially apparent, with the age and richness from the port cask clear. Definitely one to sip, savour and come back to again.

Bowmore 21 year

Bowmore 21 year

Another memorable evening with interesting whiskies to sample. Our Sullivans Cove contributor was generous in sharing a few extra drops of with our host donating sampler bottles so we could carry home goodies!! Yum!!

Triple hit!

Triple hit!

Author’s aside:

I’m often asked – how do we acquire our whisky samples in Mumbai? The truth? Each member goes on a quest to discover something new to try. Into our fourth year, this is becoming increasingly challenging and requires advance planning.

In the case of the Sullivans Cove, I had tried – very unsuccessfully – to obtain it via a Jakarta project cohort from Australia. My plan was to request it be brought from Australia to Indonesia and then I would take it from there back to India. This slightly round-about way of acquiring a dram was dashed when I discovered it was SOLD OUT at regular retail in Australia.

Good thing another member had a full year earlier acquired it in Dubai!

Now… just how fabulous is our group of whisky seeking souls?

For more posts on our tasting sessions and whisky explorations… check out my other blog Whisky Lady.

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  1. Brad Pragnell says:

    Nice to see your review of Sullivan’s Cove – Australia’s own world-class whisky!

  2. Always good to see some praise for the Sullivans Cove. Interestingly it’s such a small batch, single barrel type whisky that the next one they release may not be anywhere near as good – or it might be better! Which is an almost frightening thought!

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