The end of last month saw the next meeting of the Manchester Whisky Club held at The Castle in Manchester. Like previous meetings, a region of Scotland was the order of the day, with Smoke in the Water covering Islay and beyond being the chosen. Club founder Andy brought with him 5 expressions, but like last month, set a challenge to the rest of the members and revealed the brand names at the end, so effectively a night of blind tastings. So without further a do, lets see how they all fared –
Tomatin Cù Bòcan – 46%
Very light with a nose of chocolate, peaches and plums. Aromas of cereal and barley come through too. A dryness on the palate, with corn syrup flavours dominating over whispers of peat and oak. Long.
Millstone Peated – 40%
Golden syrup notes on the nose, with light lemon and caramel also present alongside delicate smoke aromas. Peppermint blends with caramel on the palate, creating a smooth texture with flavours of smoke, prickly heat and a short finish.
Bunnahabhain Toiteach – 46%
Rich tequila like notes on the nose with subtle smoke, a slight citrus aroma and salty fudge blended with hints of iodine. An incredibly rich and powerful palate with mouth-watering bursts of vanilla, plenty of smoke and fresh iodine straight from the sea. Very, very long. Stunning.
BenRiach 17yr Septendecim – 46%
Slight smoke on the nose with a light cream and oil aroma. Slightly floral too. A sharp, dry biscuit flavour on the palate, with a developing peat and heather heat, with a short citrus burst. A very long finish.
Kilchoman 100% Islay 3rd Edition – 50%
Aromatic pears on the nose has a subtle smoke lingering soon after on the nose. Soft peat on the palate, with some flavours of citrus lemons coming through for a long finish.
A very diverse collection, with many of the expressions causing quite a discussion. As you can see there were none of your regular Islay and Smoky names such as Lagavulin, Bowmore or Laphroaig, so this gave a great chance to try some of the lesser known, or in the case of Tomatin, brand new expressions. A highlight for me though would be the Bunnahabhain Toiteach. An incredible dram, and one that I’ll be searching in every whisky bar known to man. This should be there.
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