Digital Dramming #2

Another session of digital dramming from Master of Malt and their Drinks by the Dram service. A collaborative effort of choice between myself and one of my good friends who is not long into his whisky journey, James.
Let’s get right into it!

Date of Tasting 11th April 2020

The Line up . . .

No. 1
Yamazaki Distillers Reserve 43% abv
This was picked out by James, as he had read up on the hype around Japanese whisky and how expensive some bottles were going for.
Nose: Grass, pine, fresh cut flowers, a little oak
Palate: Sweetness, vanilla from a good vanilla ice cream. Thin texture.
Finish: Error: Finish not found.
1/5
James, being the wind-up merchant he is. Refuses to stick to my whole number scoring system and gave this a 2.5/5
It was really a disappointing dram. This is strange as I have had it before; with friends in an informal meet up of my whisky club and it went down just fine. It wasn’t a stunner but there were no complaints. The only thing I can think of is doing these tastings in a sort of ‘isolation’ makes you a little more hyper-critical of drams. . .

No. 2
Glen Keith 25 Signatory Vintage (1991 casks 73651 & 73653) 48.2% abv
Another choice from my drinking companion based on Master of Malts siren call of delicious sounding tasting notes below. . .

Nose: A biscuit tin filled with Custard Creams and Ginger Nuts. A few Jaffa Cakes too.
Palate: Packed with barley and orange, with hints of salted cracker and cinnamon.
Finish: Leafy herbs, more cinnamon, oatcakes.

– Master of Malt

Now I am fairly confident that if you, like myself, are a bit of a biscuit fiend, you didn’t read past the first line and added it straight to basket.
Nose: Green apple, slight fusty damp wood note too, fudge and french polish
Palate: More toffee but a sherbet lemon flavour running through it
Finish: Lemon tart
3/5
James Score: 3.5/5
I added a drop of water to this and the whole thing fell apart, which you’d expect to an extent with its age, a good dram, but no biscuits for me.

No. 3
Dalmore Port Wood Reserve 46% abv

A James pick, he likes a glass of port now and then. Personally I see Dalmore (official releases) as over-coloured and over-rated; still, I’ll give it a shot.
Nose: There’s a damp dog note to start with, morphing into a fruity strawberry syrup vibe with a little dried wood note there too.
Palate: Cherries/tart fruit, cinnamon
Finish: Butterscotch and artificial cherry
3/5
James score: 3.5/5
Pleasantly surprised it wasn’t as naff as other Dalmores I’ve tried (balanced opinion here honest!). It was alright. If I was offered it in a blind line-up, it’d probably do ok

No. 4
Mackinlays Shackelton Rare & Old ‘The Journey’ 47.3% abv
The fancier more premium version of the one that’s available in the supermarket. Blended by ‘The Nose’ himself Richard Paterson to recreate the experience of bottles found in 2007 from Shackelton’s early 20th Century expeditions.
Nose: Fresh rubber tyres and a nose-opening menthol tinge
Palate: Slight smoke, honey, malted cereal, thick oily texture. There’s the rubber again
Finish: Peppery
3/5
James score 3/5
Rather nice blend, and a cool experiment to try and recreate a lost whisky

No. 5
Springbank 12 Cask Strength Batch 19 57.1% abv (No link, sold out wherever I looked)
We are both Campbeltown fans so made sense to have one in the line up.
Nose: Slight rubber, fruit stall, and mint sweets
Palate: High abv means its tight, keeping itself to itself, butter and allspice with a slight chilli kick from the alcohol and some sherry influence.
(With water) strange, not much else showing up to add to the above
Finish: Burnt sugar caramel
2/5
Meh.
James score 3/5

Final thoughts
This was a really conflicting tasting. The ones I expected to like, I was disappointed in; and the ones I had high hopes for fell well short. Whisky continues to surprise, I bloody love it!

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