Monday 6 October 2014

Fine spirits amongst fine suits (Tasted #126 - #128)

Last week I headed back to The Whisky Library (which we featured recently) to chew the fat with their whisky guru Marlon, and taste two recent whisky arrivals (and a sneaky rhum agricole thrown in for good measure).

The whiskies to be tasted were Douglas Laing Old Particular Glen Grant 18yo (48.4% ABV, $1,550HKD) and Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014 (46% ABV, $1,150). Having tasted and enjoyed the 2013 Loch Gorm earlier this year when Anthony Wills visited Sydney, I was keen to see how the 2014 stacked up. The rum, a 45% ABV Rhum Agricole from Guadeloupe, bottled by Samaroli (who I suspect you'll hear more of now that we're based in Hong Kong) was a unique way to finish off the tasting.

The setting for the photos was the stunning The Armoury store in Landmark Men, conveniently connected to the Whisky Library. Fine spirits and fine suits - a perfect match.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Glen Grant 18yo (48.4% ABV, 18yo, Speyside, Scotland, $1550HKD)
Colour: Light, golden sunset.
Nose: Vanilla, toffee and hazelnuts.
Palate: Spice, but sweet. More cinnamon than paprika. Toffee notes. Some heat, but not excessively so.
Finish: Long and smooth, with some lemon notes and a continuing cinnamon tinge right to the end.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. A fine example of a middle-aged, enjoyable, reliable Speysider.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014 (46% ABV, 5yo, Islay, Scotland, $1150HKD)
Colour: Deep Amber
Nose: Campfire smoke and raspberries.
Palate: Deep intense smoke, but not in a "bite your head off" style like some other younger Islay malts. but not bite your head off. Toasty cinnamon with some berries.
Finish: Long, smoky and earthy.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 93/100. An improvement on the 2013 release I think - less bananas and youth, and more of a well-rounded, full-bodied Sherried Islay whisky. Can't wait to try future releases.

Samaroli Rhum Agricole - distillery unknown (45% ABV, Guadeloupe, $1800HKD)
Colour: Orange golden
Nose: Citrus - lemon and grapefruit mostly.
Palate: Smooth, very smooth. Very light and "thin" when compared to the previous whiskies. Boiled lollies predominantly. Very easy-drinking.
Finish: Medium to long, with oranges, apples and a hint of toffee at the end.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 93/100.

Whilst none of the whiskies in the photo below were tasted, I noticed this 40yo OB Laphroaig on the shelf and just had to include a photo (the company it keeps isn't too bad either). Bottled in 2000 at 42.4%, it's not too often you see an OB Laphroaig that was distilled in the 1960's!


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