|Another Zoom tasting!|
Everyone had a few small surprise samples to try along with the main line-up for the tasting, with the little bits leftover from bottles we tried earlier in the year, so we'd all had the chance to drink something in advance of the opening dram.
We got going with a 13-year-old from Hazelburn, a brand used by the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown. This was an unpeated expression, matured in Oloroso sherry casks. And that sherry certainly came across when we tried it, with a real Christmas cake sort of feel about it. There was also a definite toffee thing going on as well, so all very appropriate for the time of the year.
Someone suggested a bit of water helped smooth things out a bit. Certainly sweet and bold. It was £54 when available (it no longer is, the run of 9,000 bottles has long gone) and it's 47.4%.
|James Eadie Benrinnes|
And no wonder, because it was really very nice indeed. Fairly subtle on the nose but then big and buttery in the mouth, it had a spicy thing going on, maybe cardamom, and also pear drops. It was good value too at £49, and it was 56.1%.
|WB Blair Athol|
You could really tell the red wine a mile off with this one. It helped give the whisky a very distinctive flavour which lingered very pleasingly, too. As is always the case with Whiskybroker, an excellent value bottle at £50, and it was 56.5%. This went down very well indeed.
And once again it was strong and sweet and smooth, tasting all of its 58.7%. But it also definitely had something interesting with the texture, which is presumably where the SMWS tasters got that 'semolina' reference from. It was part of the October 2017 outturn by the SMWS, and at the time was £56 for members.
|Caol Ila 9yo|
It certainly gave us a big blast of peat. The sherry gave it a lingering finish and it was definitely a complex whisky. We thought that, if anything, it might have done from a little extra time in the wood to really bring out more of the flavours.
Amidst all this, Adam kept us all going with a range of quizzes, and thank you to him and everyone who took part, for another successful lockdown tasting.
The dram of the night, mustn't forget that, actually apparently I did because I can't find the results anywhere, so they may well be lost in the mists of time. But for what it's worth my vote would be for the Whiskybroker Blair Athol!