In the cold month of February, the usual suspects again gathered to feel the warmth of some of the finest drops in Scotland (and I finally remembered to bring pen and paper to document the whole affair after missing the last two). All told, this may have benn our most successfull gathering, as we had eight whiskeys to taste and critique. Of course, we probably were victims of our own success since our taste buds were probably a bit numbed by the time we had progressed through that many fingers in the tumblers. The results are outlined below.
Glenfiddich - 18 year old, Ancient Reserve.
This fine highland scotch surprising is the first member of the populous Glenfiddich family to make an appearance. The presenation is just what you would expect, a tinted, classic three sided bottle. Now to the hear of the matter. This, despite its age, had very little in the way of nose--a bit surprising really. Once it was dispensed, however, things started looking up.
Upon tasting, it had a sharp front taste, and it immediately began to evaporate off the tongue. After this sharp beginning, it had a nice long finish with quite a bit of complexity. All in all, I wasn't especially impressed; it was good, but not remarkably good. Damon, however, enjoyed it quite a bit (Hell, we all did since it was first, but I think it was quite eclipsed by those below).
Balvenie - 21 year old, Port Wood and Portuguese and American Oak.
This Speyside whiskey had quite an attractive nose to it--a bit spicy and dry, fruity smell. One the first taste, it had a silky texture that was quite pleasing. Once the tastes got going though, the fireworks really began. This was stronger than the Glenfiddich with a nice smoky finish. It was variously described as Tingly, smoky with a nutty finish. Finally, it was quite the dark scotch. Overall, a fine addition to the afternoon that will probabably appear again quite soon.
This Islay was very light in color. After reading from the bible, we discovered that this scotch is grouped with the Laphroaig and Laguvalin distilleries. Finally, it seems we've found our holy trinity (see below). The scotch certainly didn't disappoint our expectations. It had a very peaty nose, as one would expect. Once we began drinking, it showed itself to have a very long, smooth finish with a peaty and briny first taste (in a good way). There were also hints of smoke. Of all the scotches we have tasted over the past few years, this was by far the saltiest, and, as John said, "it makes me smile!" Christian wasn't so impressed, comparing the experience to "licking asphalt." Different strokes for different folks.
Note: Transcribed from my original description.