Our February Meeting celebrated the diversity of these Isles of ours by sampling one bottle from England, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The contenders were...
- The English Whisky Company - St. Georges' Distillery - Chapter 6
- The Dalmore - 12 yr
- Bushmills 10 yr
- Penderyn Madeira
- Midleton - Green Spot
Matured for an initial nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being carefully divided. One half continues its maturation in bourbon barrels, the other half is transferred to 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. Complex.
I love the 12 point stag on the bottle. It appeals to me and looks great (strange maybe but I thought I'd mention it).. It's been on my "to try" list for ages so I was pleased when this finally made its debut at SWC.
Honestly, the nose is a bit odd. It doesn't scream drink me. It's musty, strong sense of raisins and dark fruits. I also get a big hit of (believe it or not) pancake batter. Not bad but it's a little bit weird.
The flavour is better than the nose. Rich, raisins, sherry and vanilla.
The finish is medium to long with sweet raisins an spicy tang.
Verdict. Worth the wait.
Review by TJB. Scored 85/100
The only Welsh Distillery is based near the Brecon Beacons. It has won many accolades and awards and has a first rate visitor centre.
They produce just one cask per day of spirit. The majority of the spirit goes into casks for ageing.
This expression is matured in bourbon barrels and finished in Madeira casks to impart a rich flavour and a level of complexity.
bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose is rich, caramel, sticky dark fruits, butter and vanilla.
The palate gives cereal, honey, fruity dates and figs. Well rounded and fairly big. It gives a good full mouth feel and and a medium finish which is extremely pleasant.
Reviewed by TJB Score 84/100
St. Georges Distillery
This was the dark horse of the evening. I and a couple of others had sampled this before. However, with the extra time in the glass to breath this bottle delivered more than before. It won joint first place on the evenings vote along with The Dalmore 12.
This chapter 6 I have is cask 248 - 252 and is 3 years, 1 month old. It is pale in the glass like Sauternes and bottled at 46%. The nose is grassy, citrus, musty banana sweets and vanilla.
Upon tasting you wouldn't guess its age. It is clean, soft and not harsh. You get honey, oak, slightly spices with oak and citrus. It is pleasantly fruity.
The finish carries this on with a peppery tingle, light spice and smooth.
Water closes the nose slightly at first but then brings out more fruit notes and it softens and mellows beautifully.
Really worth trying. They are doing all the right things so whilst it's not Highland Park 40, it isn't trying to be and for the money it is competing with older and better established scotches.
A wonderful fruity Summer dram.
Reviewed by TJB scored 85/100
Bushmills 10 yr Signle Malt
Bushmills 10 yr is from the only distillery in Northern Ireland. With history stretching back to 1608 they have a heritage to be proud of.
This is an easy to drink crowd pleaser. It is simple, light and goes down very easily. Whilst that is all good, it means it lacks depth and complexity if that it what you seek.
Nose is light, fruity, sweet with banana. On the palate it is clean, fruity and smooth. Floral and easy drinking. You can tell it has been triple distilled. The finish is short but moreish.
On a summers evening you could go through a bottle with friends very easily.
Reviewed by TJB Score 78/100
Only 1200 bottles of this Irish single pot still Whiskey are released each year. The nose offers butterscotch, grass, sweet light fruits and a floral hint. The palate gives honey, oak, a tiny whiff of smoke which leaves with a Medium/short sweet and slightly peppery finish.
A lovely drop, not challenging but easy to drink.
Reviewed by TJB Scored 82/100