Monday, September 23, 2013

Glenmorangie SIGNET

Sturdy. Steady. Strong. When you pick this bottle up, you will be amazed by it’s build and weight. It is made to give out a statement, that it is not just a average dram walking on it’s way. There is a mind behind. Signet is captivating on it’s form and design, also the color in the bottle is fantastic. But that’s just the bottle, what about the Whisky?

20130907-20130907103624-IMG_1927_smallSignet is a non-age statement whisky. I was given this one as a present, and I heard that whisky store owner had quite a tale to tell during the acquisition. They say, it has at least 5% of 40 YO Glenmorangie, in the internet they talk about over 30YO but only the distillery knows, I think. It is good to think that there is at least a bit of 40YO in it. Signet is a combination of rare elements and, by their words, clouded in secrecy. And I do like good tales, so this is provocative about it’s origins. Also, Signet has collected winnings in whisky competitions which only makes the anticipation and expectation higher.

One thing I must say already, which I don’t like, is that the coloring is a construct and not a natural result. Of course it is mostly just the color, but it kind of takes away one respectable foot from the evaluation. 

Nose is pleasant and rich. It is smooth, easy and made to serve. It is a mix of multiple aromas, where sherry is the most dominant – but using soft leather gloves so there isn’t any snap in it.

Taste starts smooth and pleasurable. After a while there is a bit more sherry, but there isn’t much sting that Glenmorangie often serves for me. This has no edges, it is a rolling hills with meadows that are always sunny and shiny. Lustful and seductive, sweet tastes that combine with kind of coffee like characteristics and on the second mouthful I do get more spices, much more spiciness.
The taste lingers in the mouth a long time after the last sip. I must say that while this is not of Islay, this is something that I do enjoy. There are no harsh feelings, no stingy bees but instead a finely tuned mandolin that can make you feel good and just enjoy the smooth evening!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bruichladdich Valinch 23YO 2013 Lions Tour

20130907-20130907100229-IMG_1837_smallThe Autumn is closing in. Leaves of trees change their form and color. Some give up and take the last glide towards the ground far beneath. Some are stubborn and enjoy the sun and last moments of the summer, that has lasted longer than usually in Finland. I do welcome that, since there will always be a winter and the dark. In recent tasting I’ve used great lake of Saimaa as a mood agent. It’s been a while since I was able to visit the Lapland, that some memories are fading away. Change is constant as the Northern Star.

Bruichladdich Valinch 2013 is not of smoke. Nor is it of power or peat either but it is of something different and unique. It is only available to distillery visitors and they have a special barrel from which they bottle these drams by hand, using an old copper Valinch. In short: single cask (026) , cask strength (49.9%) and thus this bottle is 160/400. They distilled this one 16.10.1989 and bottled it this summer. Each cask gets a different title, celebrating a different occasion or theme.

This one is said to be “enhanced in premium French oak”. Vigorous searching provided some results that pomerol casks were used for finishing. Deep red wine (bordeaux) as can be seen in the color. The redness is not just about the looks, it is about everything here. I’ve had the pleasure to taste a few red wine barrel finished drams, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. However, rarely they are this strong in character.

20130907-20130907103502-IMG_1922_smallThe color is deep and captivating. You can stare at it. Oils flowing, light scattering and changing it’s form. It is very much alive and kicking! The nose is full and promises strong experience. Bordeaux wine is pleasant and the result has a broad spectrum to experience.

Taste has the first bite. It is strong and oily, while changing it’s form and feel many times when enjoyed. By all means, it is not simple or straight-forward. Red is a strong taste and it runs the overall experience. It is a strange and enthralling combination of whisky and wine, doing something interesting from both worlds. Also, it is not standing in a corner but takes it’s place in the dance floor. Strong and proud, tall and talented. There is fire in these Lion’s eyes, that bellow in deep red and can burst into flames in case the situation requires such an action. Guardian and con-man, historian and futurist. But also you can tell jokes and stories, that will make the crowd laugh!

The taste lingers and gives out memories that remind you of the dancing nights, moonlit walks and lost ways. It will be till the morning, until this one fades away.