Have I expressed my love of the SAQ’s weekly tasting yet? Despite all the flack and flaming aimed at our state control institution (plenty from yours truly), the walk-in sessions can be fun and are an invaluable tool in developing your palate. They’ve allowed me to familiarize myself with many different styles of spirits at a reasonable price.
I was happy that they resumed these sessions quickly after the holiday hiatus and so on the 12th of January when I saw that the line-up would include few sherried heavy hitters in the 15r+ category and all that for a tenner I couldn’t resist
These notes aren’t obtained from a slow tasting sessions or from multiple tastes which is what I prefer when reviewing but it’s still fun to get an idea of what to expect so you get my rapid-fire one handed tasting notes.
We started with a 14 year old independent bottling of Benrinnes from Hart Brothers, this whisky was bad and it was the second time they we’re flogging it at a dégustation, I’ll talk about it another time.
Nose: It’s pretty closed up at first, Werthers originals, dusty cumin, earthy, milk chocolate, baked apple skins.
Palate: Dry and oaky, I feel like this is a blending of bourbon and sherry cask or perhaps they used mainly sherried american oak. It’s not quite cohesive, you can feel the battle between the sweetness and the dryness/astringent of sherry. Dark fruits, fudgy vanilla and a slight bitterness in the finish.
I would want to try this again with more time in front of me, I enjoyed this profile despite the unevenness.
Nose: Oranges, damp cellar, cigar tobacco, malty,
Palate: Marmalade, tannic, slight earthiness, sulfur, juicy at first but short cardboard and dry finish.
The nose left the anemic palate in its dust. It’s juicy but has no middle to sustain the flashy opening.
Nose : Deep, really deep complex, slight sulfur, hints of bovril or Maggi sauce, Swedish fish, forest floor, sherry soaked fruits.
Palate: plum sauce, Christmas cake, orchard fruits, deep meaty muscled sherry, rich and full. I thought my love of the 15 couldn’t be outmatched.. I was wrong.
I just can’t bring myself to take full on photos at these things, I don’t want to be the paparazzo or obvious blogger, photographing everything, so please make do with my shitty ones.