With resident logophile Mr Abbott otherwise occupied, preparing for The Whisky Show it looks like blog of the tasting has been left for me. Or maybe Charly (who hasn’t written about it. Yet…!). So, back in the good care of The Gunmakers, Whisky Squad #21 sat down with Darren formerly of Master of Malt.
6 whiskies were on offer from the Master of Malt single cask range – other than that there wasn’t any other ‘theme’. We started with a Lowland malt – North British (20), a single grain. Light and fresh, with butterscotch ‘Angels Delight’ on the nose this was rather nice. Fruity but nothing specific (for me at least) it was pleasant and definitely an encouragement to try more single Grain.
Whisky #2, saw us move up to Speyside, with a Cragganmore 20. On the nose we got Blackcurrants and Apple shampoo, quite sherberty if that makes any sense. By the palette it became more sulphur and harsh – allegedly tasting like cat food! Not much on the finish – I really wasn’t too fussed on this one.
For Number 3 we stayed in Speyside moving round to Dailuaine with a 1983 distilled, 27 year old. Matured in a refill sherry hogshead, I haven’t actually written much down for this one (oops!).
Staying with Dailuaine for Whisky 4, we moved away from the Master of Malt range, to a 13 year old from 1997. This was much more subtled – lighter and also much less alcoholic at just 46% (1 to 3 were all in the mid 50%s). Adding water led some us to think this gave of eau-du-pond with the most extreme description being a not particularly nice beach, the sea salt spray mixed in with other less pleasant sulphur.
Still Speyside, number 5 came from the secret bottling series so no idea on which distillery. At 30 years old it was the oldest of the night – heavily sherried, it evoked proper Christmas cake, a decent rum (the sugar burn) and spices. Very tasty – if I didn’t want to one day be able to afford a house I’d be seriously tempted by this at £100 – it’s definitely more to my tastes than the Shackleton replica or some of the other £100 whiskies I’ve tasted.
Finally we left the mainland for the island of Islay, finishing with a 1982 26 year old Bowmore. Pretty much everyone in the room reckoned pencils on the nose with a touch of parma violets. For an Islay malt the peat was quite subdued and fruity. On the finish I could even get pear drops. This was ‘a whisky to put lead in your pencil!’.
If this sounds up your street check out http://www.whiskysquad.com/ – bookings for the next event are due to open around 18:00 on Friday October 14th and are filled on a first come first served basis.
Update – Thanks to Mr Standing of Whisky Squad for a couple of corrections, turns out I missed the fact the 2nd Dailuaine was from another range!