Friday, October 21, 2011

Scotch Roundup: September

As Joe at Federal W&S had recently emailed me to say that he had received some bottles of Ardbeg Uigeadail, a bottle about which I had previously inquired, I decided to swing by and pick it up.  Unfortunately, as I had already made arrangements to meet some friends for dinner at Oliveira's in Eastie, I did not have enough foresight to consider that I would have to lug my precious new acquisition across town.  Nevertheless, the bottle made the trek with me and waited patiently as the rodizio churrascaria kicked into full gear, with nary a moment where my plate was without meat.  Afterward, I went home to recover and to slake my thirst.

Ardbeg Uigeadail (non chill-filtered, 54.2% abv):
Nose - smoke, smoke, soot, peat, bonfires, saline, burning leaves in autumn, smoke; after adjusting to the smokiness, jamon, lingonberry jam, bread pudding and Kansas City-style barbecue, pancakes and bacon; a savory, meaty sweetness subsumed by smoke
Taste - hit of initial spice, aggressive pepper, cigar tobacco both before being smoked and the ash after, salted caramel, worn leather, s'mores, a medicinal bitterness, cherry candy at the very end as everything else is fading; after a bit of water is added, the smoke and spice drop off a bit to reveal a touch of creamy sweetness, toffee, brioche, cashew butter, cinnamon, darkly roasted coffee

Ardbeg Uigeadail
 Later in the month, when I was down in DC, I met up with Carlos and Casie at Jack Rose.  My previous trip there was fantastic, so I was eager to go again.  Not much had changed since my last visit, although the gears seemed to be a bit better oiled.  I wasted no time in ordering my first dram, having picked the distillery of Longmorn while on the Metro ride over, as it got consistently good marks in the Malt Maniacs Matrix.  The second was a Port Charlotte because I could not afford the Port Ellen, and the third was just a random shot in the dark.  I also had a chance to try the Dallas Dhu that Carlos ordered.
Port Charlotte (PC6 is pictured, PC8 tasting notes below)
  • Longmorn 15 (45%):
    Cooked apples, lychee, mild British-style curry, lemonade sweetened with honey
  • Port Charlotte PC8 (60.5%):
    Cumin, hickory-smoked barbecue, cedar-wood sauna, peaty
  • Glenburgie 26 year (Signatory C/S collection, 1983-2010, hogshead C#9812, 266 of 289, 55.2%):
    Bubblegum, grapes, sweetened breakfast cereal, tangerines or kumquats, black pepper but not the spice thereof
  • Dallas Dhu 18 year (The Cooper's Choice):
    Very fruit forward, mango, celery, gooseberries, champagne
Glenburgie 26 year
 After Jack Rose, we adjourned to Carlos' apartment, where he was kind enough to share a bit of his Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix.  By this point, my palate was no longer as sharp as it should be to appreciate the nuances of whisky, but it tasted the most grain-forward of the scotches that night, more specifically, buttered toast.  In addition to the grain malts, it tasted of honey, nuts and fall fruits.
Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

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