Sample 8 was bourbony, Sample 9 is back in winey territory. Last night I got a lot of points but missed the (apparently obvious) distillery profile, tonight I’m utterly stumped.
A starker contrast can scarcely be imagined: yesterday the dirty sherry of the Bowmore Devil’s Casks II, today we have a light, fruity, almost overly sweet bourbon-matured malt.
Sample 7 is what you call a BOMB. Sherry, wood, enormous amounts of flavour. this is going to be tricky to work out! Yesterday we got a Lochside and I got some points while being mostly wrong. So, yay!
Success at last! I actually guessed right last night! Now to prepare for the inevitable doom which shall befall me upon tasting tonight’s sample #6. It is fruity, slightly salty and a little smoky…
Last night separated the men from the boys (and the women from the girls, I suppose), with almost the entire top 10 of the leaderboard sprinting off into the wild blue yonder and leaving those less fortunate (yes, that includes yours truly) in their dust. Tonight it’s peat again, but hidden and supported by sherry tones.
A damn shame, last night was, in terms of points. Nice dram though! Sample #4 then, right off the bat I get an inkling…
Yesterday’s sample was a mixed result. Sample #3 is straight up my alley, into my confortzone: sweet, light and aromatic. Doesn’t make the guessing game much easier, though.
A look back at last night’s sample and the tasting notes for Sample #2, which again is a sherry-bourbon hybrid unless I am severely mistaken, but with a larger role for the bourbon this time ’round. And hey, hey, do I smell hay as well? Intriguing…
It has begun. The Blind Tasting Competition 2014 is underway. Heeeeeeere we go!
The nose of sample 1 doesn’t pull any punches: this is a fairly heavy sherry-matured malt. There’s raisins, marzipan and cherry-bonbons here. Quite soft and mellow sherry with definite tones of American oak: caramel-sauce, banana and apricot. A hint of wood strengthens over time and there’s only the merest hint of solvent. All in all, a civilised sherried whisky, this, with possibly a fairly light spirit lurking beneath. And is that a hint of smoke or just some older wood showing?
December is special. You have your Xmas, your New Year’s Eve, your Sinterklaas (or we Dutch people do anyway). But if you are a member of Dutch whisky club the Usquebaugh Society, there is something extra. For it is on the 6th of December each year that the grand bonanza of the Blind Tasting Competition starts. Boxes containing 18 samples of whisky have been distributed to 73 participants and will be tasted, one each night, from the 6th until the 23rd of December.
Points are awarded for being close to the correct age, region, distillery and/or alcohol percentage. But whether you do well or badly, the BTC is always a ton of fun and a great way to fill up every last bit of December calendar real estate you still had left.
I, your humble host, will attempt to post a blog with my tasting notes and assorted feelings each and every night just after the reveal at 23:00 (GMT+1).
For opinions by two other participants check out these two blogs: