Thursday, March 29, 2012

Whisky in the jar... and smoke in the air...

Yesterday I was able to make it, after I had to pass on the first evenings which've been organized by Thomas Portmann in the bar of the Hotel Einstein in St. Gallen... a nice line-up made me find a gap in my time schedule... the whiskys of the evening were the following:
  • Littlemill 1990, 18 yo., 53.5 %,  Single Cask
  • Mortlach 1997, 60.5 %, Single Cask
  • Benromach 11 yo., 50.0 % Portwood
  • Brora 24 yo.,  46.0 %, Single Cask
  • Linkwood 27 yo., 53.3 %, Single Cask
  • Bowmore 1989, 53.0 %, Single Cask
  • Octomore Comus 04.2 (2012), 61.0 %

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The line-up of the evening

My recommendation for the cigars was
  • Cuaba Tradicionales
  • Romeo y Julieta Cazadores

The cigars I recommended for the other two evenings was always a good match, so I hoped it would be a good combo again.

Before we start let's introduce the guys who were resonsible for the different parts of the evening:
  • Thomas Portmann from Portmann Tabakwaren GmbH for the cigars
  • Roland Wagner from the Alpstein Drogerie for the whisky
  • Reto Konrad from Hotel Einstein for the food

Thomas Portmann

Roland Wagner

Reto Konrad and Thomas Portmann

The tasting itself started with a surprising big bang... I had some Littlemills before but this one was an amazing fruit bomb... just WOW! Very floral and bloomy... a fantastic start.

Littlemill 1990, 18 yo., 53.5 %,  Single Cask

    The second whisky was slightly "disappointing" - ok, it's complaining on a high level - but I definitely had better Mortlachs before... it's still a good whisky but the Littlemill we'd first really smashed it.

    Mortlach 1997, 60.5 %, Single Cask

    While we enjoyed the whisky the first course with some sweet-sour pumpkin was served.. a good match with both of the whiskys.

    Appetizer with some pumpkin

    We continued with the Benromach which's finished in a Portwine cask... a pleasant sweetness, floral notes paired with a decent aroma of the wood...

    Benromach 11 yo., 50.0 % Portwood

    Then it's time for the Brora... wonderful malty aroma... some dried fruits... very fat in the mouth and some kinda "meaty"... there are some hints of smoke and peat... the main course was served too... and after it the first cigar of the evening was lit.

    Brora 24 yo.,  46.0 %, Single Cask

    Main course - duck breast

    Cuaba Tradicionales

    Cuaba Tradicionales and Brora 24 yo.

    A short break while we enjoyed the cigar in combination with the whisky... I got another glass of the Littlemill which was my favorite of the evening at this time... it went very well with the medium bodied Tradicionales...

    Then we continued with the Linkwood... some woody notes... malty sweetness... but not too impressing...

    Linkwood 27 yo., 53.3 %, Single Cask

    The one which followed I definitely liked much more... a Bowmore from 1989 which's been bottled in 2011... a great one, an old-style Bowmore like I really love it... aromas of salt and seagrass, some decent notes of smoke in the nose. Intensive notes of smoked bacon, dark chocolate and also some saltiness in the mouth... you think you can chew it.... oh wow.... great!

    Bowmore 1989, 53.0 %, Single Cask

    In the meantime the dessert was served... Crème brûlée... a great combo for me... sweetness of the dessert and smoke of the whisky... then the combo with the cigar... a strong cigar to be a good counterpart to the whisky... it matched really well...

    Crème brûlée

    Romeo y Julieta Cazadores

    RyJ Cazadores and Bowmore 1989

    The last whisky of the evening was the latest Octomore release... brand new... finished in Chateau d'Yquem casks. Another finish in a wine cask after the Orpheus release two years ago which's been finished in a Chateau Petrus cask... the peatiest whisky of the world with 167 ppm but you didn't feel the peatyness at all... all well-embedded in the sweetness of the wine.... really good stuff...

    Octomore Comus 04.2 (2012), 61.0 %

    It was a great evening, I really enjoyed it... thanks to the guys who made this happen... and I'll be back in September when the tasting events with Single Malts will be continued...

    The group's enjoying the whisky and the cigars

    The group's enjoying the whisky and the cigars

    Serving the cigars