The March tasting will introduce our members & guests to the world of peated whiskies. We carefully selected 6 whiskies and hope that our selection will appeal to whiskey enthusiast who are looking for a (re-)introduction to peated whiskey and to our experts who enjoy peat on a more regular basis. We will start off with a couple lightly peated whiskies, slowly pumping up the volume until we come to the grand finale and present you with some of the rarer classics.
As you might guess, most of the whiskies are coming from our Scottish neighbours (Highlands, Islay) but we will also present you an Irish treasure, which will stand up to its Scottish counterparts.
Peat was used for a very long time as part of the whiskey production process and it was only replaced in more recent times when other fuels (e.g., coal, gas and electricity) were widely accessible and new technologies (indirect firing, large scale malting) were introduced as part of the distilling process. We will present some facts about peat in the whiskey production process and some interesting stories from visiting distilleries. But don’t worry, tasting and enjoying the whiskies will be our highest priority.
Please, note that we are trying out a new venue. The tasting will be held in Wynn’s hotel on Lower Abbey Street. It is only a couple of hundred yards away from the old venue, the Gresham hotel. See http://www.wynnshotel.ie/location.htm for more details about the hotel.
Note: At the end of the night we vote for our favourite whiskey. Number of votes and placing are included in the tables below.
1. Highland Park 12 - Nose: Heather-honey sweetness, peaty smokiness, floral notes abound the senses with a light grassiness, Palate: rounded smoky sweetness, full malt delivery, Finish: quite long with peppered spicy and wood shavings
2. Black Bottle Old Presentation - Nose: Rich and punchy, peat smoke wafting over
plumes of fresh blossom and fruit, Palate: honeyed smoke clings 'til the last, Finish: offers more peat, but this time a honeyed, sweetness develops, fruitcake and oak
3. Celtic Cask Naoi - Nose: raisins, vanilla, pear, Palate: citrus, smooth, smoky, oak, caramel, Finish: slightly dry, oak, not too long
4. Bowmore Tempest 10 yr Batch 3 - Nose: sweet notes initially, with ripe apples and hay; then some medicinal peat, a lot of iodine and bandages, Palate: very big at full strength. sweet and hugely smoky initially - burnt wet wood and leafy bonfire smoke, Finish: soot and coal with some of that citrus sharpness
5. Benriach 17 Solstice - Nose: stewed summer berries with a muscular peaty blast, Palate:
dry roasted nutty notes, becomes a heavy peaty affair, subtle notes of dried raisins, Finish: smooth and very long.
6. Laphraoig 10 Cask Strength Batch 003 - Nose: "medicine", smoke, seaweed and ozone characters overlaying a sweetness, Palate: massive peated burst of flavour with hints of sweetness at the end, Finish: long and savoury