SMWS 7.113 - "Takes you to another place"

24 years old, distilled 11th December 1989, 51.7% abv, second fill Port Barrique, 147 bottles

(Released in Denmark, but a case somehow made its way over to the UK and the SMWS London Rooms - thanks Sam!)

The nose has raisins, midget gems, and a hint of spice - cumin? There's also a suggestion of smoke - perhaps incense? The mouth-feel is lush and juicy, but not very coating. The body has ginger, cumin, and fried duck. The finish is light and has a return of the midget gems from the nose.

Water brings big, thick whorling that expands quickly and lingers for quite a while - very nice! The nose now has less of the midget gems and a little more of the incense. The body has light caramel notes, and the spices have moved towards the back of the palate. There's also some melon and a hint of florality. The finish is sweeter - melon, midget gems and ginger!

A very good, graceful dram that would suit a picnic basket.



In 2010 I was fortunate enough to get access to the newly renovated Thames Tunnel, and took a few photographs.

This is one of my favourites from that day:

There's no selective editing here - that's pretty much what I saw. The overwhelming greyness of the background makes the red signal look slightly fake, which is an interesting effect in itself.

SMWS March 2015 Outturn

A smaller outturn which has plenty of decent easy drinkers - just in time for spring!

One of the whiskies was a repeat (the Dailuaine), and some might lament the lack of big hitters - but I found plenty of very pleasant drams. At the rooms, everyone seemed to want bottles of the Laphroaig, but supplies were quite limited. My personal favourite was the Glenrothes - an aged whisky which exercises restraint in delivering its delights. The Glendullan was also superb.

There were also four peated drams - two heavily, two lightly. My favourite was the Coal Ila - a great micture of smoke and meat with sweetness and herbs.

A very pleasant list to write reviews for.

Shadows In The Fire

This was a test shot for a new lens.

Shadows In The Fire

It turns out that if you want to buy a new lens, you should do it in autumn. You get some really nice things to take photos of...

SMWS February 2015 Outturn

Has there ever been a bad outturn from the SMWS? Not that I recall...

This one brings us some less frequent visitors to the Society in the form of a Rosebank, a Caledonian, a Glen Ord, and an Inchmurrin.

There were also two Glen Morays - not unprecedented, but unusual - and a Highland Park.

My favourites were the Rosebank, Highland Park, and the Caledonian - the Rosebank predictably sold out quickly, as did the Highland Park, but the Caledonian lingered as grains seem to do.

The only oddity was the Port Charlotte, which was peatier on the day of release than it was on the following day... My taste buds, or a change in the whisky? More research is required!

Map Geekery - The Undated London Map

Being a geek is an odd thing. Geeks aren't just about computers, science and engineering. We often find interest in the oddest areas.

I quite like maps.

Maps are a wonderful invention. A handy way of representing the world around us, we take them for granted every day. Yet there can be interesting decisions in making the map - like what to include, how to represent it, and so forth.

Some time ago, I was visiting friends and they gave me a map of London as a gift. This was a kind, thoughtful gift, which was much appreciated as it combined history and maps - two of my favourite things!

And when I got back to my hotel room that evening, and spread it out on my bed to examine it, I couldn't find a date on it at all. Which is why a kind, thoughtful gift kept me awake until two in the morning...

SMWS January 2015 Outturn

A larger than expected outturn for January, made special with an old Macallan and a new grain distillery - Dumbarton.

Quite a few drams that I felt were a little too light for these cold days - better suited to summer's evenings - but that merely provokes conversation and brings back fond memories, so it's no bad thing. The Dailuaine in particular proved popular amongst everyone who tried it, but was surpassed by the Linkwood in my opinion.

And there was a decent selection of three peated drams, none of which will disappoint - but the best was definitely the Bowmore. I hate camping, but a bottle of that could make it tolerable!

My Whisky Ratings

The Old Man of Huy wrote recently about whisky ratings, and I got mentioned.

I thought that this was a good time to talk about how I rate whisky.

The basics, first of all - I rate out of 5. And I use half points. Some people don't like that. That's fine - they can use their own rating system! :-)

I use 2.5 as "average", and try to arrange my ratings around that.

0 is technically "no rating". I try not to regard 0 as a usable part of the scale, but more way of recording that I'm not capable of categorising this whisky, and wouldn't want to. It does usually translate into "undrinkable", but might not always do so... If I could only nose the whisky due to medication and someone forced me to give a rating, it would have to be 0 even if I liked the nose!

I want two things from my ratings system. I want it to be easy, and I want it to be useful.

Let's look at easy first.

Expiration of an old domain...

Way back in 2005, at about three in the afternoon on the 6th of January, I registered a domain.

That domain was, and I was going to use it for blogging. (I picked the name because I wasn't sure I'd be able to have a rapid rate of updates.)


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