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October was the 1st month that I juggled a new full-time ‘regular’ job that immediately plunged me into a demanding yet incredibly interesting project. And yet, what is a Whisky Lady to do but keep up with tastings too!
Thankfully it was a ‘slow’ month with only the Whisky Ladies and Original club’s having full tasting sessions. To keep things interesting, there were also were a few minis sessions too!
- From Japan – Hakushu 43%,
- From Bhutan – K5 40% vs Misty Peak 40%,
- And back to Japan Nikka From the Barrel 51.4% vs Super Nikka Whisky 43% (revival version)
Whereas our original club had a remarkable rye focused evening:
- Cody Road Rye (Iowa)
- Cascadia Rye (Português Port Barrels) 43.5% (Washington)
- High West Whiskey Double Rye 46% (Utah)
- Pikesville Straight Rye
My mini sessions had three distinctly different bents… The 1st was peaty with:
- Peat Chimney 12 year 40% (Wemyss) – Sea swept salty maritime peat
- Big Peat 46% (Douglas Laing) – Kept shifting and changing, overall delightfully
- Longrow 46% – Earthy, organic peat
- BenRiach Peated Quarter Cask 46% – Peppery peat, Christmas treat!
- Ledaig 10 year 46.3% – Farm peat, spice and straight forward
The 2nd was a revisit of Glenfarclas with:
- 15 year 46% – Straightforward, no pretence
- 105 60% – A full strength sherry berry cake, best had with a few drops of water
- 21 year 43% – Approachable and multi-dimensional
- 25 year 43% – A 2nd date dram that needs time to reveal its full character…
And the 3rd was not whisky at all but rum!
- Diplomatico 40%
- Zacapa 23 Solera 40% vs XO 40%
- El Dorado 12 year 40%
- Criterion 10 year 56%
October also introduced a new guest writer from our original club – Nikkhil Shirodkar – who provided the terrific notes on the September session I missed:
- Writers Tears (2013 Release) Cask Strength 53% – Alas didn’t meet expectations
- Springbank 12 year (June 2016) Burgundy 53.5% – A Burgundy wine twist
- Springbank 12 year (Jan 2017) Cask Strength 54.2% – The clear favourite! Gorgeous sherry and peat interplay
While I missed Mumbai, I did explore a whisky watering hole in Toronto… where I sampled a trio of bourbons at 1602 Dundas:
- Black Maple Hill Kentucky Straight Bourbon 47.5% – Mysterious origins, tasty results
- Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon 40% – Double the Rye, interesting nose
- Elmer T Lee Kentucky Single Barrel Bourbon 45% – Cinnamon spice, oaky and bitter
The month closes with my hopping on a plane to Germany… let’s see what can be discovered next!
Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:
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Tasting notes from 19 Dec 2013:
For the last tasting of 2013, we celebrated with a special whisky-food pairing. Tasting notes were provided to the chef in advance and he was given full license to indulge his creative culinary talents to craft morsels to be complimented by the selected whiskies.
Our approach was to first sniff, swill and sample the whisky then to sip further with food. The idea was to savour both together and distil the flavours. Only after we ate and drank our fill of each course was the whisky revealed. The key was – could the whisky both stand ‘on its own’ and did it enhance the flavours of the food? (more…)