Monday, 27 November 2017

#BlindTasting Series 2 - part 1

It's always hard for a band to come up with a good second album and the #BlindTasting team thought long and hard about what to do for the second series..... in the end we decided to change nothing and just do the same thing again, it worked really well - why change it?

Friday, 24 November 2017

#LightOnDark Peated Whisky & Coconut Marshmallows

I entered a competition on Twitter from the @anCnoc_whisky distillery for a tasting kit to launch their new Peatheart whisky and won! A couple of days later they sent me through a large parcel.

It was a beautifully pictured box, inside were tasting notes, a tasting mat, samples of their 12 year old and new Peatheart whiskies and a marshmallow tasting kit box from @marshmallowist

At the appointed time I was to join a band of reviewers to taste and tweet about the whiskies, some of these boxes had been sent out to whisky bloggers or competition winners around Europe so it was a bit of a mixed language session!

There is an interesting difference between the bottles and drams on the theme of #LightOnDark the 12yo is sold in a clear (light) bottle and Peatheart in a black (dark) bottle....


...but when you pour the drams, the 12yo is darker than the Peatheart!

First up was the anCnoc 12 year old at 40%

My thoughts:

Nose: lots of honey and fresh cut grass, some orchard fruit notes, developing with vanilla and icing sugar, definitely pears in their somewhere.
Palate: a little oily, tongue coating. fresh warm honey, with a little spice. Honey dominates with the spice but there is some dryness towards the end - icing sugar again? and some vanilla.

Other people's thoughts:


Then on to anCnoc's latest release Peatheart at 46% and 40 ppm (The name comes from the heart of anCnoc - they say it's quintessentially anCnoc but it has a beating heart of solid, black peat.)

My thoughts:

Nose: gentle smoke, hints of saltiness and smoked fish, underneath are notes of stewed pears (thanks @ansgarspeller) with vanilla custard.
Palate: it starts similar to the 12yo - oily, buttery even, then the spice hits you - makes your tongue curl! Then there is a slap in the face from the peat smoke - this is wonderful stuff! Once you get past the smoke there are pears and vanilla again from the nose, some bitter chocolate and maybe a hint of coconut? Every whisky is different and every peated one is different - this hit's the spot perfectly!

Other people's thoughts:


Finally it was on to the marshmallow tasting kit from the marshmallowist:

Simple instructions told us how to light the burner and gently toast the coconut marshmallows

I'd saved a little of the Peatheart to enjoy with the marshmallows and that's exactly what I did - the peat smoke mingled nicely with the toasted coconut, and the icing sugar and coconut hints in the whisky complemented the sweet marshmallows. Mrs MaltMusing even stuck her head round the door for a taste after catching a whiff of the smell!

Some of our European friends had their own ideas on toasting marshmallows!

Many thanks to anCnoc and the marshmallowist for the box and my fellow twitters for making a thoroughly enjoyable evening!

Other reviews:
Peter Moser FOSM

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Dewars Aberfeldy Tweet Tasting

Another great @TweetTasting this week with 3 drams from Dewar's Aberfeldy Highland Distillery - this one was a real treat - as well as sampling their 'standard' 12 year old we also received two Cask Strength Distillery Exclusive Single Casks all in a lovely hand tied box!

Dewars thoughtfully included a tasting mat:

Some of the team from the distillery were on hand to guide us through the #dramples but theirs were slightly larger than ours.....

First up was the Aberfeldy 12 year old at 40%


My thoughts:

Nose: Warm honey, tropical fruit, boiled sweets. A little sherry note and some citrus.
Palate: The honey covers your tongue like a wave, more of the tropical fruit from the nose and a gingery spiciness all over. Yummy! Vanilla coming through on the tongue now with the honey, there's some sweet toffee and porridge too. A little drying from the pear notes. The finish is quite dry - with little hints of honey!
With a little water: Adds a note of spice to the nose and subtly changes the palate - getting the pepper that others have but the honey becomes 'more fuller' ? and the spice jumps at your throat!

Other people's thoughts:

Second was a distillery exclusive single cask #21444 from 2001 at 55.5%


My thoughts:

Nose: Old leather, vanilla, cream soda (Thanks @rodbodtoo) apples and pears from the 12yo (distillery signature?) some nuts in there somewhere - Brazil I think! Develops into coconut sprinkled with chilli! There's also some saltiness like a faint sea breeze!
Palate: The spice hits you straight away, it's like sucking on a chilli, then every now and again you get a little hint of honey and pears (again a distillery characteristic?) the the chilli comes back to blow your head off - FANTASTIC. Over time the palate develops with loads of honey and orchard fruit but also a  little vanilla, coconut and some saltiness - similar to the nose.
With a little water: with a drop of water : Nose is a little less spicy - more of the honey and pears, Palate: chilli calms a little - getting hints of ginger - but it is only hints - this is a chilli monster - FANTASTIC DRAM

There's nothing like trying a dram straight from the cask in the distillery....

Other people's thoughts:

There was a little problem....

....finally was another distillery exclusive single cask #5 from 1999 at 56.5%

My thoughts:

Nose: Colour - bronze, swirled in the glass it leaves lines which defy gravity! Nose: Sherry hits you straight away, no honey like the previous two, hints of apples and pears. Some ginger and cinnamon, develops into Christmas fruits covered in golden syrup.
Palate: WOW - CHILLI it hits you immediately, covering your tongue and giving no mercy! I'm sur there's something else there too ginger or cinnamon just waiting to give you the sucker punch! The finish on this one is quite abrupt - the chilli disappears and a little of the distillery honey pokes out from under a stone to say hello!
With a little water: Love the oily interaction between the water and whisky as a drop slides down the glass! The whisky seems to gobble up the drop of water, on the palate it's now quite drying, lots of berries coming through, a little more honey but still that big chilli prowling in the background - lovely dram!

Other people's thoughts:


Just in case they ran out - the distillery boys had further supplies...

We carries on with our smaller ones...


Many thanks to Steve @TheWhiskyWire for organising, @DewarsAberfeldy for supplying the drams and all my fellow tweeters for a great evening!

I prefered the 2001 Cask #21444 it just ticked all the boxes! The 12yo and Cask #5 coming close behind.