|The full line-up!|
|G&M Edradour 10yo from 1982|
And it was an Edradour, distilled in 1972 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail a decade later at 40%, as part of its long-running Connoisseur's Choice range. As Angus explained, Edradour has had a bit of a mixed reputation over the years, but some of the older bottlings are worth exploring.
|Bruichladdich 15yo from 1990|
Next we went to Islay and Bruichladdich, a club favourite in general, but on this occasion we were trying a dram from long before its recent resurgence. It was a 15yo, distilled in the mid-70s and bottled around 1990.
This was really very pleasant indeed. Beautiful and light, with a soft fruitiness about it. "Starchy!" as someone suggested. Bruichladdich don't make them quite like this anymore.
|G&M Scapa 8yo from early 1980s|
At 57% this packed quite a punch at first, but that soon gave way to something sweet and sherried, "like candyfloss inside" as someone commented. It was a spicy one too, quite unusual with lots of character. It also changed quite a bit with a few drops of water. Arguably a bit more interesting than some of the more modern expressions to have emerged from Scapa.
|Pure Malt Gold 106, mid 1980s|
A 10yo expression, the actual distillery or distilleries involved remain something of a mystery. Although the sherred, Speyside-style put plenty of drinkers in mind of a slightly more subtle version of Christmas favourite Glenfarclas 105. It's 60.5%, which Angus suggested gave it a "big, hot and healthy" character. People really liked this one.
|SMWS North Port 16yo from 1996|
This particular expression was a 16yo, bottled in 1996 at 57.3%. And it got the thumbs up, with comments including "nicely spicy" and "waxy character". There was a lot going on on the nose, too, although this divided opinion a little more.
|SMWS Longrow 14yo 2004|
It was a 14yo at 57.8%, and was a peaty one, but "not in an Islay way, more in a smouldering beach smoke way". That subtle smokiness gave it a take on peaty whisky which was a new one for some of us, and very welcome it was too!
And this last whisky came pretty close in the dram of the night voting, but it was just edged out by number four, the Macphail's Pure Malt Gold 106. Given that particular whisky's sherry character, and the number of sherry monsters inhabiting the club, perhaps the outcome was no surprise really!
Thanks must go to Angus for travelling down from Edinburgh for the tasting and bringing not only six great bottles from his collection, but also giving us the benefit of his great whisky knowledge. And also thanks to faces old and new who made this maybe our most memorable tasting yet.