Oh boy, why did I agree to enter the 2014 blind tasting competition of the Usquebaugh Society?
Well, most probably because my buddy Sjoerd (of Malt Fascination) “Enjoyed” it very much last year (not last place but not far away from it) and since I’m of Polish Jew heritage, suffering seems to be our call 🙂
I admit: blind tastings are a torture and always a very humbling experience. I rarely manage to guess correctly and more often find myself wondering how did I miss so badly.
So, here I am, taking part in the competition hoping not to finish in last place. The notes for the whiskies (Nose/Palate/Finish), for all 18 days are written before the bottle identity is revealed and this is how my mind went trying to guess the first one:
It’s sherried, started mellow yet with time got more punchy. very balanced and with a bit of oak. At first I thought of Aberlour ~16yo with about 46-48%, then switched to Macallan but as there aren’t too many of Macallans with that high ABV and age I switched back and forth between them and eventually settled for another distillery: Longmorn (with a help from a friend who say my notes). As I write this I still don’t know what’s the bottle is and I hope to actually a few points (most likely for region).
Update: Holy cow! I was almost on the spot. I was definitely thinking of the van Wees bottlings so not sure why I stayed with 17yo and lower ABV. Oh well, at least I get to savour being in the first place for one day!
van Wees Longmorn 1996 cask 72323 (57.5%, 608 bottles)
Nose: Hmm, Sherried one and Oloroso, almost no doubt. It’s very balanced and mellow at first (not too high ABV? 46-48 range?). Berries, Sugar, lively and fresh (american oak?), nose got sharper and punchier (so maybe higher ABV?). Some berries sourness and then some chocolate, nutmeg, minerals and some vinegar note were showing
Palate: Oak, sweet stewed fruits, sherry spices with cinnamon and nutmeg, bit of fresh berries and oak bitterness.
Finish: long linger of mild oak and sweet dried fruits
Thoughts: Absolutely a good drinking dram. It’s no wonder that all van Wees longmorns of that year were so successful. if you see one in store, get it!