View Full Version : Dougdogs' SMSW

07-20-2005, 18:05
One evening in the not to distant past, my son dropped by for a visit and we decided to do a vertical tasting of SMSW from the Glendronach Distillery. Glendronach was one of my early, pleasant experiences in SMSW. Teachers Blended Scotch is one of my sons’ favorite blends. Glendronach is one of the primary single malts used in Teachers’ blend. So, it seems fitting that he might like the malt. Over the past few years he has tasted a few of the different expressions, but never so many in a row, and probably not all of them. I don’t get out the 19yo and the 1968 too often.

This event was primarily spurred by a recent “dusty bottle” find while out hunting. The find that day was a few bottles of the older version of the Glendronach 12yo “sherry cask” edition, (SCORE!) long since out of production and arguably a world class whisky that frankly, the distillery has never been able to reproduce with the newer 15yo and the even more recent 12yo. This old one is a “cracker”! (Although, IMHO, the new 12yo kicks butt on the past 15yo version, hands down!)

Having said that, the malts are pictured in the order that my son finally decided that they tasted the best. (His current preference is for older, woodier flavor profiles) (That’s why the 12 and the 15 are out of order in my book. Also, I‘d of probably put the 12yo sherry cask edition after the 19yo, but again polished oak and a hint of old smooth leather won the day for his palate, but that placement could have been be argued with fervor)

The order was:
12yo “Original”
12yo “Traditional”
12yo new release
15yo previous release
10yo Signatory single barrel
12yo “sherry cask” edition
25yo 1968

Once the order was established and we were satisfied with bottle arrangement, we took time out and enjoyed, individually, the remainder in each glass of the top three whiskies in the flight. The remaining balance of the other glasses were “vatted” together. The two glasses with whisky were the vatting. Surprisingly, the mix was significantly better than expected. I don’t recall what instigated the photo, there must have been a “Scottish Mist” in the air.

In my tasting experience, covering the glass to control and isolate competing smells or aromas is important. Also, the ability to “find” the finer points of any particular whisky are significantly compromised after small amounts, even totaling less than 1 ounce, have been consumed. I feel that if any inebriation is even perceptible, my ability to recognize flavors and sensations is greatly diminished, at which point in time if I’m not having to drive somewhere…I go straight from tasting to drinking. I differentiate greatly between the two. While stronger tastes can still be experienced at any time, the finer notes seriously become blurred and harder to find as inebriation increases.

I greatly enjoy the differences in tastes food and drink! Some tastes are not so good, some are better, and some are delicious. Comparing two delicious whiskies and trying to label one better that the other becomes very subjective, and really, at the end of the day, it boils down to a preference in personal palate! They can just be different and still be superior whiskies!

(I reserve the harsh or “bad” label for a select few drams out there,. They might include but certainly not be limited to: Welch whisky 10yo, Solan #1, VAT 69 Gold and the recent addition to the list of the “new “ version of Old Forester 100 proof) Here, I’d welcome your input to the list so to ascertain which ones to avoid in the future. Although, one cannot fully appreciate how good , good whisky is, if one does not recognize how bad, bad whisky can be. Or, in other words, a good Porterhouse steak wouldn’t have the same value today unless we’ve eaten some hamburger along the way.

Since this picture was taken, I've added a 12yo distilled in 1963, "wine label" version and the new release 33yo.

Regards, dougdog

07-24-2005, 16:09
Nice! I agree that the 12 yo "original" is the best of the the younger versions although I like the older 15 better than the newer 12. There is also a 1977 Signatory 25 yo available that you may not know about.

11-22-2005, 07:05
This verticle was interestng for Ben and me to re-visit...this time we added then new US bottling of the "Quarter Cask"...the bottles on the tabe were the subjects of interest tonight.

In order they were the newer 15yo, standard 10yo, UK version of cask strength, 10yo 90 proof pre-warrant version and the US version of Quarter Cask.

In the top row there are the unopened bottles, starting with a Whyte & Whyte bottling distilled in 67 and bottled as a 27yo, then the UK version of Quaerter cask, then the pre-warrant version of 15yo at 90 proof in a tin and last, the US version of cask strength.

Ben picked the new Quarter Cask as his favorite....mine is still the pre-warrant 10yo at 90 proof, IMHO this is what Laphroaig is supposed to taste like...

01-10-2006, 19:15
A7...the 7th conclave called Ardbegeddon...

It all started like this...Thursday, January 5th...

01-10-2006, 19:18
Then it starts to look like this...

01-10-2006, 19:22
Then later on it is looking like this...

01-10-2006, 20:27
A7 is an invitation only event that coincides with the annual CES in Las Vegas every year.

It is a gathering of Single Malt Scotch Whisky enthusiasts from around the world who join forces and share their passion for Malt. It would be an understatement to it was an incredible experience.

As time goes by, I’ll post pictures and text of the event.

In this picture below, I am pouring myself a dram of a 45 year old Limited Edition Springbank that was placed on the pool table very first thing upon our arrival. Before even another bottle touched down…Dave had the cork out and was drammin’ us! (Dave, if you are lookin’ in…thanks for a wonderful dram). Aside from its’ value of over a thousand dollars, this is whisky that few people ever get a chance to see let alone taste.

This was my first time at this event…Even after getting over the initial shock of the Springbank, I had no idea what was about to unfold over the next 4 days.

Others continued to arrive over the next few hours… as each entered the room, the hearty welcome and embrace made it seem like a family reunion was underway…I was introduced to all and warmly received…as each unpacked and settled in, the bottle count on the table grew and grew. Distilleries, bottles and labels that I had only read about and seen pictures of…INCREDIBLE!

Picture #3 above…By this time the table is starting to fill and we are all starting to engage in the art of “Dramming”. Mike had given all of us a gift upon arrival which was a 3 ring binder with the list of malts compiled by Allan. There was room for tasting notes and scores…what a handy item this turned out to be!...I digress…

Drammin’ is taking a small amount of whisky in your glass, nosing, tasting and resting…repeated until the dram was gone…taking notes all the way, then going on to the next whisky of choice. Sometimes we would be doing two or more side by side for comparison... It is not a rushed or hurried exercise, rather, it is relaxed and thoughtful process engaged in individually or with others at a table…then some times comparing the taste experience and perceptions with others that taste the same whisky at the same time. There were often times we would taste different bottlings while at the same table and recommendations would go out to others at the table when a particular whisky was more noteworthy and was recommended for special consideration. This was particularly valuable to me as I would gaze over the ocean of contributions on the pool table…kinda like bein’ lost at sea…others mentioned that I kinda had the “deer in the headlights” look on my face.

There’s more to come…plus the visit to Johns’ house the night before A7.

01-10-2006, 20:35
A sucessful pour and Walla!...ready for the first taste...

(True, I'm wearing a BT T-shirt in a room full of avid Maltsters...proving that I'm brave...and stupid!) But, really, this a great group of guys, they were all very tollerant of the "New Kid"...

02-14-2006, 20:12
I found this bottle in San Francisco, going door to door, like I like to do!

it is a John Jameson 15yo, 26 2/3rds ounces, Bow street address, 70 british proof, no back label, no tax stamp, no UPC (I think this is a 4/5 quart hand carried from Ireland to the city...story has it)

Picture posted just for John (Blackkeno)...sorry to take so long...

best regards, doug

03-05-2006, 18:51
I found some of these...

First up..1963 Scappa, 25yo, Gordon & Macphail bottling, 40%, Imported by John Gross, Baltimor, MD.

A Glenhaven bottling of malt from Glenkinchie distillery, 17yo, 60.6% D 6-78 B 9-95

Next is a Macallan 12yo, 43%, "matured in sherry wood" edition...old imorter was Premier Wine Merchants...I always thought Remy was the only one...

03-05-2006, 19:02
These finds...

Macallan 18yo, 1971, good stuf!!!...also imported by Premiere.

Glenhaven bottling of Benromach Disrillery, 62.3%, Cask strength, 17yo, D 11-78, B 9-95

Prime Malt Selection #27, a 27yo Glen Grant, 40%,Imported by Carlton Co. I'm guessing an early 80's bottling...this should be some good dramming!

And last but surely not least, a Gordon & Macphail bottling of Port Ellen Distillery, 40%, it was distilled in 1974. It is not age stated. It was imported by Whyte & Whyte, they were active as importers and single cask bottlers in the mid 90's. I'd guess this whisky is around 18-20 years old...possibly younger...I hope!