Today’s sample is peated, fruity and a bit odd. The last two of those characteristics tend to be in my list of ‘yummy’-factors, so let’s find out whether they add up to a good and/or tasty whisky!
Yesterday was a day to quickly forget for me. I changed my guess halfway through the night from Glendronach to Glen Scotia, which cost me a cool 40 points and dropped me back to place 7. I’m thinking place 5 is realistically where I should be aiming competition-wise. Whisky-wise the stunners far outnumber the duds this year, for me at least, which is awesome. Today could be another stunner if the first sniff is indicative of the rest.
The nose starts off very closed. A little smoke (seems to alternate between coal and wood), some lemon/lime and a whiff of pine forest. With time and a few drops of water, more aroma’s arise: white fruits, white pepper, glue, pine resin and a light floral note. Also some weird stuff: burnt plastic and vegetable cooking liquid. Sounds disgusting probably, but actually works rather well together.
In the taste, which is quite mouth coating and oily, I get vanilla and creaminess first. Then ash. Pine resin again, laundry detergent and rose petals. Also fresh green grass, chili pepper hotness and liquorice root. Later on and quite suddenly, it becomes mineral, flinty even.
Overall I quite like this combination of ‘smoke on ex-bourbon’ with ‘pine air-freshener’. The second adds a touch of intrigue to the first, and I find a tastier dram because of it. A number of distilleries crossed my mind: Springbank (or Hazelburn), Highland Park, Caol Ila and Kilchoman. Since it is quite young (I think) and not really that peated, Caol Ila feels like a poor fit. The smoke, I feel, is too heavy for Highland Park and too woody for Springbank. Which leaves Kilchoman and an age of 4 or 5. This is a big gamble, as it will likely score 0 age-points if it isn’t this most westerly of Islay’s distilleries.
My guess: Kilchoman, Islay, 5yo, 59.2%
My score: 86/100
What it turned out to be:
Glen Scotia 1999 SMWS 93.55 (whiskybase) 31.07.1999 - 02.2013 (13yo) ABV: 61.4%