Whisky 2017 – 139-141 – Baxters Inn, Sydney

Traveling for work again. Had a chance to finally get to Baxters Inn in Sydney. Some great whisky there but these places like Boiler Maker house in Melbourne and The Gresham in Brisbane only ever are really able to cater to the whisky nerd when it is quiet. I had a good chat to some of the staff before the throngs arrived and saw some of their lovely older bottlings in their whisky room but it’s a busy busy drinking barn – difficult to enjoy a dram. 

How good is old Bowmore! 

139 – Littlemill 1988 Cask 57 25 Years Berry Bros
Shortbread, cream, vanilla, plastic, new make. Fresh apricots in caramel sauce with ice cream, passionfruit vine, hand cream, salt.


140 – Bowmore 17 (1990s bottling)
Honey, fruitcake, salt, hay, barnyard, chocolate milk, band-aids, dusty butter. Honey, salt, raisins, bandaids, green peppercorns, clover, hazelnuts, pencil shavings. 


141 – Glendronach Olorosso Sherry Butt Cask 76, 1992 23 years
Bubblegum, rhubarb, swimming in melted butter, mushrooms, dates, hazelnuts butter, brown sugar. Chocolate, buttter, wood, salt – a little underpowered for a single cask Glendronach. Eventually  butter, crushed ants and flapjacks on the finish. Great nose but a disappointing Glendronach single cask. 

Whisky 2017 – 136-138

136 – 1972 Invergordon Cask #37 selected by Phil & Simon Thompson 43 Years
Raspberry leaf, boot polish, cream, glacé ginger, maple bacon. Cream, toasted grains, Pavlova, kiwi fruits, glacé ginger, sweet milky tea.

137 – 1973 Invergordon Cask #10 for Club Qing 42 Years *
Dry biscuits, cloves, cinnamon, ice cream, apple snow, raspberry lollies. Incredible whisky tea tannins, loads of cream, fresh cracked paper, cardamom icecream, liquorice, macadamias, prunes, sight white peach.

138 – 1988 Bunnahabhain 28 Years by The Whisky Agency and Drunken Master Bar, Sherry Hogshead Cask 475
Cadlewax, hazelnuts, old apples, liquorice, dust, fruitcake. Fennel, dust, salt, stewed fruits, chocolate bullets, raw peanuts.

Whisky 2017 – 130-135 – Balvenie Tasting

Huge tasting on at the Elysian. Alex Moores from Dark Valley brought back some very good hand drawn single cask bottles from Balvenie. Alex and I shared a few other drams afterwards. 

130 – Balvenie 13yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #2022, 61.7%
Ice cream on warm pine apple pudding, red apple skin, choc-banana muffins. Super huge raspberry, choc-banana muffins, loads of vanilla cream, gooseberry, leather, dried apple.

131 – Balvenie 14yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #13330, 53.2%
Fruit tingles, lemon and coconut cake, vanilla cream, strawberry jam. Great mouth feel, short bread, toasted coconut, strawberries, loads of cream, wood shavings, green herbs.

132 – Balvenie 14yo ex-sherry butt matured, cask #2378, 62.7%
Roasted corn cobs, treacle, crushed cloves, roasted almonds, peanut brittle, marshmallow, Earl grey tea cream. Woody, beef jus, rubber, peanut brittle, caramel taken too far, hazelnuts, Musk sticks, mushroom pate, tea tannins.


133 – The Whisky Find and The Mash Tun Craigellachie 1990 Cask 5401
Candle wax, soft gooey French cheese, dried apple, rock melon skin, caramel, fruit sherbet bombs, lemon butter. Bees wax, coconut, rock melon, coffee, strawberries, flowers, nasturtiums, caramels, salt.


134 – The Whisky Agency 2003 13 Years JD for Bistro Inn, The Elysian Whisky Bar and Drunken Master Bar
Butter soaked toast, crushed ants, tomatoes, rhubarb and whipped cream. Butter, cultured butter, cream, formic acid, cinnamon toast, dusty, raw almonds.


135 – The Arran 21st Anniversary Edition – Ex-Olorosso Cask
Cream, metallic apricots, toffee, chocolate, pouch tobacco, peanut brittle, hazelnut paste. Tobacco, apricots, green grass, cream, tinned pineapple, hazelnut butter.

Porridge recipe!

So, I made porridge the other day to help with Melbourne’s cold winter. In a discussion with my girlfriend we were adamant that this porridge was pretty close to my idea of a perfect whisky. I thought it was worth sharing with people; the salted butter and the orange zest really lift it. 

Porridge

1.5 Cups Oats (not the fast kind)

2 Cups Milk

1.3 Cups Water

1 Tbs Honey

Pinch of salt

1 Tbs Double cream

2 Dates finely chopped

Topping for each bowl

2 Dates cut into strips

2 Thin slices of cold salted butter (or more)

1 Tbs Maple syrup (or more)

Orange zest

Method

Put oats, milk, water, honey, salt in a pot. Heat over a low to medium heat. Stir gently during this time. After about 5 minutes the oats should have absorbed the liquid, it should be thick and creamy, and begin to boil. Drop the heat to very low (or off depending on how firm you like your porridge) add the double cream and finely chopped dates and stir vigorously until the dates start breaking down.

 Plate into two deep bowls. To each bowl add the butter onto the surface of the porridge and on top of the butter place the strips of date. Slosh the maple syrup about and grate the orange zest over the top of the bowl.

I hope you enjoy it! 

 

Whisky 2017 – 126-128

Was at Melbourne institution and grand dame of whisky bars; Whisky and Alement with a few of my watch nerd friends. When the owner Julian found out we were drinking IB Clynelish he pulled out a Wilson and Morgan 18 year old Tokaji cask – wow what a dram. Not enough for me to make some notes but very intense clear stone fruit – pure and fresh. That said these bottlings were excellent too – no shame there. 


126 – Duncan Taylor Dimensions Clynelish 19 Years 1995 Cask #4676
Freshly cut stone fruit, apricot log, milk chocolate, corrugated fence on a hot day, pepper, rose hip jelly, strawberries. Cream, salt, licking a knife, slight herbal butter note, stewed apricots with clove and cardamom.


127 – Signatory Clynelish 1996 for The Whisky Exchange, Cask 6509
Red apples, toffee, metallic, stone fruit, peanut brittle, clover, stewed apricots. Brown butter, pancakes, old apples, rubber, cream, orange zest and pith, glacé orange, dark chocolate.

128 – Acorn Clynelish 1997 18 years Homage to Caledonia Cask 6934
Apricots, metallic, yeast, brandy snaps, light honey. Brown bread with butter and honey, stewed stone fruit, very elegant and refined. 

Whisky 2017 – 118-124 Black Gate Tasting

Black Gate is a small producer in New South Wales. Was really fascinating to hear Brian’s story of how he ended up being a distiller. He did say he was afraid of change, and I think he’s fairly keen on his 3 year maturation but to me the new make still comes through. Despite the 7% yearly loss, I think these would do better with just a couple more years. 


118 – Black Gate #BG005
Caramels, deep toffee, gum leaves, banana, brown sugar, kangaroo poo, cherry coke, maple syrup. Sarsaparilla, mint, slight bacon, dry spices, slight newmake hit, peanut butter.

2016.35 – Black Gate #BG007
Marzipan, string, yeast, ice cream, hand cream. Pine, ice cream, cucumber, dry ginger, dried apple.

119 – Black Gate #BG008
Custard, rose petals, ice cream, glacé ginger. Dry ginger, star anise, cream, pine resin, cherry ripes.

120 – Black Gate Cask Strength #011
Chocolate, raspberry lollies, marzipan, chocolate, soy sauce, strawberry jam, slight bacon fat. Sarsaparilla, dry cloves, strawberry jam, kangaroo poo, rose petals.

121 – Black Gate #BG020
Mango, pineapple upside down cake, yeast, cream. Still a bit young, weak instant coffee, salt, cream, tequila, orange zest.

122 – Black Gate Peated new make 
Cheese, pine wood, cucumber, banana, just extinguished coals, caramel. Butter, tobacco, white pepper, barn yard.

123 – Ben Nevis 16 Years Hidden Spirits “Highproof” Cask BN9916
Unmistakably Ben Nevis vanilla extract, pound cake, stone fruit, apricots, chocolate, dust, chicos, red skins, pine resin. Stone fruit, cut grass, pound cake, brown bread with butter.

124 – Glenfarclas Family Cask 1995 Cask 6640 52.1%
Sarsaparilla, rubber, butter, caramel, Xmas cake, white peaches. Apples, rubber, caramels, black beans, stewed pears, brioche, red apple skins, charcoal, soy sauce, funky butter