(From original update I tried to do in September 2014) The past two weeks have been really exciting. I’ve gotten to attend two whisky tastings hosted by brand ambassadors (one with Bruichladdich and one with The Glenlivet), a tasting of the Bullet, Bullet 10, and three separate single barrel four roses with two other geeky friends of mine after a cocktail history lesson, and in two days I will be hosting a Campbeltown tasting for the East Bay Whisk(e)y Club. Besides all of these fabulous tastings I’ve been interviewing to actually get into this industry that I’m spending all of my time learning about. (and it seems to be going well, but that is all i’ll say for now)
On to the tastings. As you will probably notice I will be skipping two months. (I couldn’t find my evaluation sheets anywhere one for them and the other was moved because people couldn’t make it)
Later edit(now): I have come back to this after months and months and months. Who knew writing a blog could take up so much time and energy that you just didn’t actually ever do it!! I will also sadly not be putting what the tasting winners were because I can’t recall them any longer.
July- Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting (K&L Un-peated CS NCF 1992 Bruichladdich, Bowmore 15 Darkest, Ardbeg Uigeadail)
Being one of those people who doesn’t really care for peat (but actively working on it) I made a lineup more for people who were trying to get into peated whisky then for people who were already into the heavily peated Islay malts. Everyone still enjoyed the tasting, however I will most definitely need to revisit this subject in a future tasting.
1992 Bruichladdich (me=1, G=2/1) (this might be one of my favorite whiskies ever)
The color of a light white wine with very small, very slow forming droplets. The aroma is mellow with toffee, resin, iodine, butter, and fat. This whisky is super viscous, creamy, oily, and rich with flavors of butter, iodine(squid ink), ocean water with an extremely long finish with the iodine flavor lasting the longest and being the most prominent.
With water this whisky opens up to reveal lots of interesting fruit qualities. Pear, apple, citrus fruits, and some soft florals on the nose, but keeping the iodine and resin notes as well. The butter note goes away on the palate, leaving just the briny, iodine flavor that sticks with you forever.
Bowmore 15 Darkest (me=3 for sure!)
Deep tawny port in color, with thick fast moving legs, aromas of iodine, leather, and resin, and also surprisingly soft (can’t feel any alcohol on the nose). The mouthfeel is really soft, and when I say soft I almost mean boring. The taste is sweetish, with iodine, slight peat, leather, and resin. All in all, sadly quite bland.
Water helps a bit on the palate, opening up some strawberry notes, but also adding some tar notes that then linger in a really long and unpleasant way. My other notes I wrote” Rotten vegetable after taste”
Ardbeg Uigeadal (me=2)
Deep copper color with very small, very slow forming droplets. Tuns of stuff going on in this one! Pete, brown sugar, raisin, toffy, butter, oil, pepper, apricot, fruit(general), blueberry?, like I said a lot! Super interesting. Super rich and heavy mouthfeel, creamy, tingly, flavors of woodsmoke, cigar, blackberry, leather, plums, oil, and with a slight medicinal flavor as well. The finish is drying with pete and syrup.
Adding water brings out some weird vegetal notes like bell peppers, moss, pete, and just very earthy. Mouthfeel gets much hotter, and all of the fruit qualities vanish on the nose and the palate. Finish develops a cayenne pepper bite and some of the mossiness stays threw as well. (MUCH BETTER WITHOUT WATTER)
Sadly I’ve lost my sheets for my other tastings but hopefully will be adding more reviews as time goes on.