Thursday 29 November 2018

Whiskies & More, Timeless & Tasty and 3 delicious single casks from Laphroaig, Glentauchers and Ardmore (Tasted #407 - #409)

Whisky fans in Hong Kong would find it hard not to notice the proliferation of new whisky shops these days - it seems like every week there's a new one, opened by a passionate whisky lover (or group of whisky lovers), and on the whole it's a great thing for the whisky scene.

Whiskies & More however are a little different. Part shop, part distributor, part whisky events coordinator, W&M and their online shop, Timeless & Tasty are run by passionate whisky lover Hil, someone for whom I have massive respect, having come from the same industry I work in (not whisky - this is just a hobby for me) and switching it up to run a successful business in whisky.

Not only that, but Whiskies & More  also arrange some of the most epic whisky tastings in Hong Kong (like when they brought the guys from WM Cadenhead out for a tasting of 6 whiskies, straight from the still maturing casks, including 3 closed distilleries!)

The list of brands Whiskies & More distributes includes a number of hugely-respected independent bottlers (Asta Morris, AD Rattray, Elements of Islay, WM Cadenhead, Blackadder), well-loved OBs (Arran, High Coast, others) and even my favourite Cognac Vallein Tercinier (aka the cognac for malt lovers). The fact that Whiskies & More so regularly bring out guests from these brands for regular masterclasses in HK (like Bert from Asta Morris) is a testament to the relationships Hil has built in a short space of time.

To try out some of the range, Hil recently gave me a few samples from three of W&M's brands, all of relatively young ages, and all proof that "age is but a number":

Asta Morris Glentauchers 2009-2017 (52.5% ABV, 8yo, Speyside, Scotland, 1 of 90 bottles, $995HKD)
Colour: Orange-brown gold.

Nose: Spirity and fruity at first, with some varnish and sultanas, and a slight peppery note. After a few drops of water, some Vegemite and barbecued meat.

Palate: Rich and sweetly sherried - more sultanas, a nuttyness, pear notes and some red fruits.

Finish: Long, with some light tannins, sugar-coated sultanas, dried apricots and pears.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. A simple yet surprisingly moreish dram.

The Single Malts of Scotland Aird Mhor (Ardmore) 2009-2018 (59.4% ABV, 8yo, Highlands, Scotland, 1 of 123 bottles $850HKD)
Colour: Straw

Nose: Spiced fruit, cinnamon eggnog. Hints of peppery smoke.

Palate: Similar to the nose, with more cinnamon and more pronounced peat smoke, followed by some flamed orange peel, cardamom and Christmas cake.

Finish: Long, with smoky-sweet stone fruits at the very end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 87/100. From an ex-Laphy barrel, I learned afterwards!

AD Rattray Williamson (Laphroaig) 2011-2017 (61.3% ABV, 6yo, Islay, Scotland, 1 of 96 bottles $850HKD)
Colour: Light straw.

Nose: Big campfire peat smoke with some stone fruit notes, and slightly medicinal notes (but not an "iodine bomb").

Palate: Hugely mouth-coating. Spicy peat, meaty, oily, some tobacco and leather, then some toasted bread, apricot jam and some barbecue smoke.

Finish: Medium to long in length, sweet with caramel notes and just a hint of smoke.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 91/100.

With Christmas around the corner,  W&M's shop Timeless & Tasty would be worth a look for anyone looking to buy a whisky present (it can be for yourself - we won't tell), as would the above three whiskies.


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