SMWS New List Tasting 2013-04-05

A superb grain and some very decent young whiskies on this list...

G10.1 Thanksgiving dram
23 years old, distilled 31st August 1989, 59.6%, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Toffee, demerara sugar, caramel, cinnamon and vanilla are in this surprisingly robust nose. The body is very light and slippery, with cigar boxes and vanilla ice cream. When held on the palate, caramel and cardamom become more dominant. The finish is long and sweet, full of demerara sugar and oak.
After water, the gets hints of milk chocolate added to it, and the body gains a very slight note of PVA glue. The finish explodes with wood spices.
Although thin, this grain packs in a lot of flavours and balances them brilliantly.

78.40 Tantalisingly sweet and savoury
16 years old, distilled 17th September 1996, 55.1%, sherry butt
Stewed apples and cherry sponge cake on the nose, then a rich body of rum & raisin and Battenburg cake. The finish is vaguely ginger - like.
After water, the nose has added raisins, which also appear in the body.
A very drinkable dram.

77.30 Attractively accessible and mouth-watering
9 years old, distilled 17th April 2003, 61.9%, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
The nose has barley water, shortbread, and a hint of floral-scented washing detergent. The body is pineapple and vanilla, and the finish is tropical fruits. The mouth-feel is a little harsh - but a look at the strength explains that!
After water, it smoothes out into a very nice, slightly lemony dram. Very fruity on the body - mangoes? - and a nice clean zesty finish.
A session dram par excellence...

44.56 Sweet and sour creative tension
23 years old, distilled 9th October 1989, 51.8%, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
A nose of haribo and honey. The body is fudge and crunchy honeycomb, with hints of honeysuckle. The finish is smooth and lingers a little, with more honeycomb.
After water, the nose is fruitier - melon or pineapple? The body has more vanilla, which continues into the finish.
This is an elegant and drinkable dram, superb for a warm spring day.

1.168 Delightfully dulcet deliciosity
28 years old, distilled 16th May 1984, 53.3%, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
A nose full of tropical fruits - melon, pineapple, banana, oranges. There's also a hint of toffee. The body is reminiscent of crumble from a dessert, with plenty of vanilla and some light fruits - more melon. The finish is oaky and sweet.
After water - not much! - the fruits become stronger and there are touches of gelatin sweets. The body has a little tannin, more leather than wood, and the finish is longer.
Dangerously drinkable!

26.92 Hard glazed pretzel sticks
28 years old, distilled 13th December 1984, 58.2%, refill ex-sherry butt
A quiet, elegant nose - nothing definite, just hints of wax and lemon. The body is light, with wood and ash notes. The finish is dry and sweet, with crystallised oranges.
After water - and after standing this whisky really starts to open up. The nose gains straw, pepper and brine, the body has toffee and coconut, with much more of this distillery's characteristic wax. The finish is an ashen, salty and smokey lingering that there was no hint of before water.
This dram is an odd stalking horse - it seems at first to be a quiet, sweet summer's day dram, and slowly expands into an elegant and interesting tasting that is a delightful surprise. It's only problem is that it takes so long to open up into true excellence.

31.26 BBQ smoke by a rolling sea
24 years old, distilled 27th September 1988, 53.6%, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
Brine, smoke, and aniseed on the nose. The body has smokey bacon and barbecue sauce, and the finish is sweet smoke - like scented candles.
After water, the smoke from the nose begins to billow into the body. It has less fruit from the sauce, but a bit more vanilla sweetness. The finish is now smoke and oak spices.
A superb light Islay substitute, which is the kind of description that I fear masks this whisky's charms or even undervalues it. This should be drunk for what it is - an excellent example of well matured and heavily peated Jura.