Dram Busters – The Dram Team

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Last night saw the “Dram Team” tasters try a slightly different format instead of the normal monthly tasting. This saw those involved trying the “15s”, namely Glenfarclas 15 year old from Speyside and the 15 year old Springbank from Campbeltown. Both of these are single malts and both 46% abv – from November’s box ‘Dram Busters”.

First up was the Glenfarclas. I had recently purchased a bottle of this fine dram, so it was like having an old friend in my hand. I love the colour of it; a beautifully rich golden amber, the nose is creamy butterscotch, with the beautiful sherry notes and a warm fruitiness. I think I got a slight hint of orange last night. The palate is delightful. Malt and sherry and sweetness (I had the faintest waft of pencil sharpenings) and the merest touch of peat. A reassuring finish that is long and sherried… Happy to have this in my hand.

Some notes were going slightly awry on the night (think this was due to the fact I was aware people weren’t necessarily using the hashtag, so not sure when we started the Springbank.)

The second dram was the 15 year old from Springbank, this is a first for me. Yes, I know the distillery and have seen that they have a training school which I admit looks like something I would truly love to do (somewhere – hint hint).

However, I digress… the dram. I was getting a subtle smokiness, or maybe old tins of St. Bruno, some rich dark sugar (demerara) and some treacle toffee. A little banana and the mustiness of an old book. The palate took me by surprise in as much I was expecting something slightly bolder. Creamy vanilla, orange rind, tobacco, oak and leather. A long finish with pepper and a touch of sherry. I was quite intrigued by this, but feel this was that it was not what I expected. I noted it was “rather good” but feel there was something missing. A certain need to drink it again, but I don’t see this happening.

And I’m still not sure about this new format.

I had a think about what we had done previously. I liked doing the five drams with the sixth treat dram in one evening, yes it can get a little hectic, but it was a good pace, good tasting notes between the group involved and generally a fun evening.

So we shall see what comes…

The samples remaining are:

The Macallan (Speyside) – 12 year old, Double Cask

Glenfiddich (Speyside) – IPA Experiment

Laphroaig (Islay) – Quarter Cask

and the sixth, The Balvenie (Speyside) 21 year old Double Wood.

I’ll probably explore them over the weekend.

But thanks to the guys at the Dram Team and those involved on the night. Interesting notes, a few smiles and some interaction (and giggles) from friends tasting the Bruichladdich tenstroika.


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