The RCWS had another round of tastings on Friday, April 9th, and what a night it was. It was a beautiful St. Louis spring night and we tasted the scotches on my patio. I am sure by the end of the night my neighbors were annoyed, but what the hell, this doesn’t happen often.
It was also one of those nights when he had several members show. (One had to cancel at the last minute due to an illness). So, 10 bottles is what we had. We did things a little different this time. We asked each member to pick a price that they would pay, and we would find the bottle. However, each person was not to tell anyone else their price, as this was going to be a “blind tasting,” in that, no one knew what they where having, or how much it cost. The bottles ranged from about $22 to $100. We tried the following:
Brand Approx. Price
Dewers 12 Year Old (D 12) $22
The Arran Malt (Arran) $30
Bruichladdich – Rocks (Rocks) $45
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (GF) $45
Macallen 12 Year Old (McA) $45
Compass Box –Peat Monster (Peat) $55
Auchentoshen Three Wood (Auch) $60
Sheep Dip 1990 Old Hebridean (SD) $70
GlenDronich 15 Year Old (GD) $80
The Antiquary 21 Year Old (Antiq) $100
The results were pretty interesting. The bottle I couldn’t wait to try, and the most expensive, finished 4th. The first two bottles ranked the highest, GlenDronich and Sheep Dip respectively were voted bottom two by one of the two guys in the club who loves peat and smoke. Speaking of Peat, The Peat Monster by Compass Box was voted near last by everyone except for the two peat lovers in the bunch. (If you like peat and smoke then this is your drink.)
Here are the rankings. One member got there late so he did not vote.
As for the top two: Here are the tasting notes as described by Malt Advocate:
GlenDronich 15 year old: Deeper, richer, more viscous, and more intriguing than 12 year old (and not as sappy as the 18 year old). Complex and intriguing, with raisin, orange marmalade, grape skin, sugar plum, cinnamon bun, raspberry preserve, mixed nuts, and coal ash. Nice tannic grip on finish. The best of the bunch, and very impressive!
Sheep Dip: A marriage of Dalmore, Fettercairn, and Ardbeg, and their personalities certainly show. The whisky was blended and then aged for an additional 15 years—very atypical. The marriage of the three really works very well, combining a rich sweetness (honeyed malt, toffee) with spice, brine, vanilla, bitter chocolate, charcoal, espresso, tobacco, cigar ash, subtle marmalade, and firm—but not dominating—leafy peat smoke. Thick, nicely-textured body, too. Lingering brine and smoke on the finish. Delicious as it is, I can only imagine what it would be like bottled at 46% and not chill-filtered. (I probably would be bumping it up a few points.)