Whisky 2017 – 162-165

The whisky legend, Toru Suzuki of Tokyo’s The Mash Tun visited Melbourne! He brought some special drams with him. While I missed the tasting (as I was in Sydney) he “just happened” to be at The Elysian. 

4 very special drams. 

162 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #8259 59.9% (Kawasaki, Chichibu, Scotch) Sample 26.08.17
Menthol, stewed apricots, spearmint, passionfruit vine, apricot cake, maple syrup. Soy, butter, cream, short bread, leather, honey, chocolate mousse, raspberries.


163 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #8258 59.0% (Kawasaki, Chichibu, Scotch) Sample 26.08.17
Honey, fairy floss, lemonade, 7-up, toast with butter and honey, rock melon, pineapple, raspberries Butter, toast, honey, salt, hazelnuts cooked in butter, salty chocolates, shiso, raspberry lollies, green bananas.


164 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Cask #7880 60.8% (Kawasaki, Hanyu) Sample 28.08.17
Leather, wood, soft salted butter, maple syrup on dry toast, carob, pipe tobacco, . Pouring melted butter into my mouth with plums, grapes, leather, salt, soy, smelling lavender on a hot day, orange zest, rose petals. Old whisky!!


165 – Cragganmore 27 for Club Qing and Mash Tun, Sherry Cask
Rock melon, leather, candle wax, old apples. Wax and fruity, white pepper, salt, lemon pith, coconut, passionfruit, cucumber.

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Whisky 2017 – 150-151 – Helvetica, Perth

Two special drams to finish my time in Perth. Normally, I am not a fan of red wine casks but wow! 

151 – Ichiro’s Malt ChichibuXHanyu Gasai for Isetan
Dusty apricots, carob, butter and spice cake, ozone, galvanized fence, hand cream, slight lemon zest. Hot malt, tobacco, leather, cream, slightly salt, old whisky, apricot bars, bitter herbs, boiled sweets, ice coffee.

152 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu first fill red wine for Isetan*
Massive nose, intense candle wax, buttered toast, boiling butterscotch, chocolate mouse, vintage soap. Manuka honey on buttered crumpets, aspirin, well structured tannins, bitter chocolate, brandy cream on warmed fruit cake, dried pears and peaches, raw cashews, toasted coconut.

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 – 82-84

Three outstanding drams last night. How do these become independent bottlings? Glenrothes really need to look at what IBs are doing with their casks – heavy and black sherry bombs!

The Glenrothes was bottled for 6 bars across Asia, including my local The Elysian Whisky Bar and my favourite Tokyo bar, The Mash Tun. It’s an incredibly heavy and complex dram – a huge congratulations to Kelvin and Yao and everyone else involved in this bottling. 

82 – Club Qing 1975 40 Years Speyside Sherry Fino Butt, Cask KT518
Wood glue, hazelnuts, vanilla essence, white pepper, cardamom meringue, pound cake, warm Coke. Golden syrup, loads of brown butter, stewed stone fruit, egg white, raspberry, raspberry leaf, milk chocolate mousse, tropical fruit, licorice. Wow!!


83 – Three Rivers Glen Garioch 1995 21 Years Whisky for Whisky Lovers Nagoya
Coconut rough, turps, cold butter, tropical fruit. Green grass, pepper, tropical fruits, peach Melba, salty butter, old pop corn (but not in a bad way).


84 – The Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1997 (for 6 bars including The Elysian and The Mash Tun)
Butter, rubber, musk, lpg, roast chicken gravy, leather, roasted shallot sweetness, grilled pineapple. Rose hip jam, musk lollies, tea tannins, old butter, cola, salt, coffee grounds, ice coffee, fried eggs, camomile tea. With water maple syrup, pancakes, breakfast fruits – watermelon and mint, brown sugar.

Whisky 2016 – Favourites of 2016

179 Whiskies done this year. Here are my top 5 in no particular order. 

89 – Spencer Collings & Co The Founders Release
Brown sugar, dark toffee, honey comb, sarsaparilla, marshmallow, vanilla. Honey, toffee, caramel, dark malt cake. Stunning heavy whisky.

102 – Ben Nevis The Whisky Agency 2013 1995 18 Years
Old leather, cake mix, almonds, green herbs, hazelnuts, as it opens up more and more cake mix – it is stunning. Slow to start but this amazingly long cake mix thing which lasts and lasts, apricot jam in a cake.

109 – Springbank 12 1990s bottling
Christmas cake, dusty and fruity, brandy, brown sugar, salty butter, rose hips, egg white, apricot . Huge butter, caramel and rubber, coffee, apricot delight, passion fruit. Brilliant.

136 – The Whisky Agency Ben Nevis 17 Years 1996 for The Mash Tun
Sweat (in a good way), caramel, salt, marmalade, creme brûlée, honey ice cream, baked potatoes. Tropical fruit, ice coffee, salt, butter in coffee, egg custard. Wonderful.

150 – 2 of 3 Heartwood
Chocolate mousse, cocoa, stewed apple, toasted malt, rose petals, flat coke, egg custard, pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream. Toasted malt, roasted corn, sarsaparilla, brown butter, raspberry soda, milk coffee. Wonderful.

Whisky 2016 – 106 Old Crow Bar, Zurich

So more traveling this time in Zurich. Jetlagged to hell, I decided that is was worth trying to find the Old Crow Bar. Bloody hell was it worth it! I’ll be going back again during my short stay. 

I had two drams; a Glendronach 15 Revival (geddit??) I’d had many times before but this Ben Nevis is up there with some of the best whisky I have had. Not the huge jammy apricots or marmalade that I associate with Ben Nevis but loads of cocoa and chocolate and so elegant. 

106 – Ben Nevis 1973 1999 Cask 750
Sarsaparilla, maple syrup, medicinal, vanilla, maraschino cherry. Cloves, cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, green herbs, musk, slight fruit. 

Whisky 2016 – 68-76 (Kavalan Tasting)

68 – Kavalan Solist Manzanilla
Gluey, woody, smells hot and salty, nutty. Unexpected sweetness, dried orange and apricot, Terry’s chocolate orange, floral, mango Weiss bars.

69 – Kavalan Solist Amontillado
Glue, musk, wood, brown sugar, caramel, melted cultured butter. Salty, leather, brown sugar, caramel, walnuts oil, loads of musk on the finish, bitter almonds, toasted almonds. Maybe a bit bitter for me.

70 – Kavalan Solist Moscatel
Chicos, milk chocolate, instant coffee, treacle and I’m reminded of little thyme flowers. Smooth so so smooth, butter loads of it, honey, caramel, maple syrup, maybe some passionfruit and just freaking good.

71 – Kavalan Solist PX (Pedro Ximenez)
Corn tempura, butter, cream, dried fruits. Really smooth big tropical fruits, macerated berries, slight mint, slight motor oil.

72 – Kavalan Solist Fino
Glue, dry sherry (ha!), rock melon, coffee, white peaches and cream. Tropical fruit, caramels, salt, creamy, rose water.

73 – Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
Vanilla and chocolate, Xmas spice, toasted coconut. Jasmine, cold milk tea, tropical fruits.

74 – Rest and Be Thankful Bunnahabhain 1989
Green grass, old bananas, brown sugar, passionfruit vine. Coffee, cream, caramel, salt, thyme and a slight iodine hit.

75 – Finlaggan The Original
Iodine, sweet, sea water, cream, caramel, cherry wood. Sea water, pepper, prunes and iodine.

76 – Blair Athol Manager’s Choice Cask 5989
Toffee apple, sulphur, brandy, chicos, egg white, aged sake maybe. Cream, apricot delight, toffee, caramel, apples skins.