Last Thursday evening (29th September) I took part in my first tasting. I will admit I was rather apprehensive as this was something entirely new to me.
This was The Dram Team’s “Worldwide Whiskies”. This journey had us embarking on a flight that would see us visiting the USA, then on to Canada, then India, Japan, Ireland and finally New Zealand. What a whistle stop tour…
Firstly there was Michters US*1 Small Batch: the nose on this was fruity & spicy, a lovely rich nose. The palate was smooth and had hints of nutmeg, spices and cinnamon, the finish was warming spices and pepper.
Next was Canada and Canadian Club Sherry Cask Small Batch: a lovely rich colour, the nose inviting with fruits and oak. The palate of rich fruits, dates and sultanas and again that oak coming through. The finish hitting on the sherry and the oak again.
Then we found ourselves in India with the delicious Brilliance from Paul John. The nose was feint spices, honey and a hint of cinnamon, I even had a hint of a very slight bit of hops…The palate again smooth and warming, a hint of cocoa, honey and a smile as I enjoyed tasting it again. A lovely finish with vanilla and soft spices.
Our journey then saw us visiting Japan for Nikka From the Barrel. The nose had hints of spice and a smooth aroma, fruity and some oak. The palate: honey, spice and cloves. I added a couple of drops of water, which brought out fruit and a crispiness. The finish had oak and was long, warming with a lasting spice.
Next stop saw us landing in Ireland for the Connemara (12 years). The nose offered a sweetness and the obvious peaty aroma. The palate: extremely smooth at the start, a bit waxy, then the fruit develops whilst offering you the peat. Didn’t find the cheese… but the finish was creamy and peaty. I did like this, though I am trying to enjoy some other whiskies which are non-peated. Life is all about change and the opportunity to try new delights after all.
The last stop was a 1992, 22 year old Cask Strength from The New Zealand Whisky Co. The nose was sharp with a hint of smoke, the palate: quite spicy, a lot of warmth and a tad sour. The finish I found was dry with a smack of salt and a drop of ginger, and quite a short finish too.
I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and dare say I would like to do more…
Thanks to those that kept me right on the night!