A lot of tannins invade your mouth, making the whole quite ‘sticky’. I guess the very young Calvados taste like this one, but they never sell Calvados that young. It’s made with angelica roots, wild water mint, sea pink flowers, juniper berries, dried lemon, orange peels, cassia bark, liquorice root, ground nutmeg, cinnamon bark, orrisroot and coriander seeds. Very delicate wood, with quite a lot of vanilla and cream (vanilla fudge). Mouthfeel: again, very nicely balanced, and quite bold but not rough at all. They allow the spirit to breathe without imparting any overwhelming oak characteristics. Quite enjoyable, even if much closer to a fruit eau de vie than to a whisky. Develops on orange and litchi, with some milk chocolate and finally some blackberry. Quite odd and, to be frank, not very enjoyable, even if it’s less dull than the previous ones. I’m sorry, but I’d go for the same names again: Drumguish, Tobermory or Loch Lomond. It’s very young, in any case, I’ll rate it 65 points. "Give me the Henny, you can give me the Cris You can pass me the Remi, but pass the Courvoisier Give me the ass, you could give me the dough You can give me 'dro, but pass the Courvoisier Give me some money, you can give me some cars But you can give me the bitch make sure you pass the Courvoisier Give me some shit, you can give me the cribs You can give me whatever just pass the Courvoisier"This one’s colour is the usual ‘straw’ and it’s very fruity at first nosing. Very nice woody structure that holds the whole together. From Scotland: This one comes from the brand new Blackwood distillery, on the Shetland Islands. A little eau de Cologne as well, but I can smell that in all gins. Makes me also think of green Chartreuse or Bénédictine. Fruits (a lot of melon) flowers (lavender, heather,) and roots (gentian, liquorice, wild carrots). That means they use more or less the same still as the one I use myself every year! George, used Bourbon casks make up the majority of the program. Then develops on perfumy notes (old rose, lavender) and Muscat. Hints of fresh orange juice and kiwi, the whole being underlined with some burnt wood notes. Gets even more perfumy and finally quite a lot of oaky notes emerge. A little weak, but a very nice structure and some nice flavours (orange, caramel, apple, wood). Get prepared to a genuine piece of modern litterature... Strawberry and pepper (a woman’s favourite – no sexism intended).
Very difficult to come up with a fair rating, especially because the Houng-Shin-Yu-Chou may well not have being made for occidental palates…Another young new singer I like a lot is Rachael Yamagata. It’s no secret that Clynelish is one of my favourite distilleries, and whereas some independent bottlings – especially some young ones - are quite ‘average’, I couldn’t admit Diageo came up with such a poor expression. Anyway, as I had a second sample on my shelves (thanks, Govert), I just decided to have another go at both, plus at a young OMC Clynelish worth 84 points on my scale.
I’ve got two interesting British samples, and a Bavarian malt I never tasted before. From England: Cider Brandy had not been officially distilled in England for several hundred years until the mid 1980's. The base ingredients are wheat and sorghum, and then it’s flavoured with Longans, a fruit which is quite close to litchi, but which is even fruitier. Its colour is plain white, and I guess it hasn’t been matured at all. Longan of course, but rather dried ones – or almost rotten. Mixture of alcohol and fruit – yes it’s a maceration. Develops on orange and peat, bonfire, dried fruit (apricot) and a lot of heather honey. - Janine Stoll is great young indie Canadian singer. Bt W fellow Californian maniac Mark Adams has just been impressed by Norwegian pop-rock singer Sondre Lerche, while Johannes is more into French 'electronic' band Air these days... Guesses: the same names, Drumguish, Tobermory or Loch Lomond.
In the autumn, vintage cider apples, with wonderful names like Dabinett, Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Yarlington Mill and Harry Masters, are gathered, blended, pressed and the juice is then fermented in huge oak vats. Extremely aromatic, the fruit even masks the alcohol. A lot of sour off-beat notes, that make it difficult o drink. Absolutely wonderful, somewhat in the Highland Park 18 yo style, only even better – and peatier. Mouth: rich, superbly fruity and, again, quite peaty. You can listen to her beautiful singing on Wedding Dance (mp3). I've somehow shocked myself with the 69 points I gave to the Clynelish 14 yo (46%, OB) while tasting it blind last night. Well, if I really have to give you three names, I’d go for Drumguish, Tobermory or Loch Lomond.
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