Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Just back from a week of whisky peddling in Florida. Yes, whisky. In Florida. In August. Amazing.
I have done this before (Malt Mission #62, Malt Mission #308, North American Adventure #5) and I am going to do it again. I am going to taste two drams in one malt mission. It just makes sense in this case. And I am on the road again all next week so the doctor has got to see as many patients as possible while in the office.
Both of these puppies are from Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh's Speciality Drinks/The Whisky Exchange and the first thing that must be said is that the packaging is fabulous. Each of these drops are vattings of dozens of casks and are intended to last a full calendar year in market. Released in April 2009, it is reported that these drops will be joined by a 30yo in the coming months. Probably good as the 25yo is already all sold out.
Port Askaig is, well, a port on the Sound of Islay half way up the east coast of the island where one can grab a CalMac ferry to the mainland or over to Jura. While the town itself has no distillery, it is nearest Caol Ila and then Bunnahabhain.
Port Askaig 17yo
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Sweet smoke, citrus bubblegum, ginger, vanilla and shortbread.
Coal, grapefruit, more bubblegum, and increasing ashiness. Salmon. Some more citrus, bitter like peels, then Apple sweetness and some pepper add to the ever-present smokiness.
Just back from Florida and I find a glass full of citrus. Nice. Loved the nose, maintaining a youthful character among some signs of age. A chewy drop for those that enjoy their peat with plenty of orange, grapefruit, and agave nectar sweetness to keep things interesting. Not overbearingly phenolic, but relentless in its smoky grip.
Port Askaig 25yo
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Sour lemon candy, sweet vanilla, roast chicken, very ripe canteloupe, boiled white rice, and a gently smoky, wood driven core.
Sprite, tar, hickory, salmon. Upon swallowing, oak impressions expand and grow increasingly drying. White grapes, magic marker, and raw potato flavours are all found in the long, woody finish.
Blind, one would be hard pressed to guess just how old this drop might be and rather than adding rich creamy tannins we often find after 20+ years, this drop remains fruity, tight, and dry.
To be fair, neither of these are overly complex drams for extensive nosing, tasting and revisiting. These drops are for dramming, and dramming ye shall do. For £75, you really can't beat the price for a 25 year old whisky, but I would probably prefer to spend my money on the 17yo for flavour. But what do I know? The 25yo is already sold out so let the marketplace be the judge.
Malt Mission #356
Malt Mission #357
Malt Mission #358
Malt Mission #359
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