Whisky Focus - The Scottish Craftsmen’s Association 20th Anniversary Whisky Experience

Scottish Craftsmen’s Association Anniversary Whisky Experience

24th April 2017
The Scottish Craftsmen’s Association - Twentieth Anniversary Whisky Experience By Murray Cohen, Companion of the Quaich.

Murray Cohoen in front of the whiskies tasted on the night, the backdrop is a map of Scotland hand-crafted in wood with lights showing the distilleries where the 5 whiskies originated.

It was my privilege to once again attend a memorable whisky event in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada on April 21, 2017 hosted by The Scottish Craftsmen’s Association. The evening was filled with Scottish themes and depth of feeling created by the bagpipes and drums of the Niagara Police Pipe Band, the Highland dancers and finally the flight of 5 single malts specially selected for the evening. One has to acknowledge in particular the enthusiasm and work of John McIntosh who worked tirelessly to make this yearly event special in every way.

The 5 specially selected single malt were as follows:

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1989 Port Cask Matured Tasting Notes:

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1989 Port Cask Matured ReviewThis whisky was bottled in 2013 with a limited edition of 12,000 bottles. David Simpson, the farmer and founder of Bowmore would be proud of this one.

Colour: Reddish Amber.

Nose: Instant cherry blossom chocolate candy, cherries jubilee and heavy sweet layers from the port influence. The smoke caresses the chocolate. An intermittent sour cherry note jives well with late smoked salmon which is both pervasive and delectable.

Taste: Full-bodied. Drying with oak tannin like a lightning flash. The cask strength invigorates with spicy mandarin oranges. The peat parachutes and splashes down with a pleasant thud. Concentrated orange peel and sugared grapefruit round out the profile.

Finish: Long. The peat is now magnified with surging spice and shades of Echinacea and throat lozenges. A nut melange executes in delightful fashion.

Comment: The nose entertains with a variety of fruity aroma and flavor threads. The cask strength breaks the satisfaction threshold by a mile.

Score 95.5/100

Related: www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk review of the Bowmore 23 Year Old 1989 Port Cask Matured

Glenfarclas 12 year Lorne Scots 150th Anniversary Tasting Notes:

This release from Glenfarclas, "The Valley of the Green Grass" commemorates the 150th anniversary of a storied Canadian regiment (Halton) and is part of the Lorne Scots Commemorative Whisky Collection which also includes an 8 and 10 year as well as a vintage 2007 single cask whisky.

Colour: Gold.

Nose: A dark fruit parasol unfolds with deep floral hues and Turkish delight essence. Fresh figs play an olfactory tune with a prune underlay and a honey burst.

Taste: Full-bodied. Spice and Robertson’s orange marmalade fuse with blood orange peel and dried apricots.

Finish: Long, the candied fruit and sweet shop notes billow forth with carnival candy apple pulling the caboose.

Comment: A pleasant dessert dram which exudes fruity character and has an attractive candied backbone.

Score 86/100

Talisker 25 Year Old Tasting Notes:

This offering from the "Misty Isle" was bottled in 2011. The distillery stands on the storm-lashed shores of Loch Harport with a mineral rich water supply.

Colour: Sunny amber.

Nose: A voluptuous smoke erupts immediately with medicinal protuberances and oaky notes soaring with aged wooden galleon boards. The peat halo hovers with medium intensity. The epilogue includes Mennonite cured beef salami and pears in sweet liqueur. A musky cologne surprises.

Taste: Full-bodied. Sticky lice and peat sandwich with a dressing of black licorice. There is a mysterious syrupy fruity sweetness lurking offstage.

Finish: Long, somewhat astringent. The black Australian licorice reaches an exalted status. Kalamata olives fill the plate with subtle smoke and ash. The peat reaches its ultimate level now with a sweet interlude.

Comment: A robust Talisker that struts its stuff with splendour and grace.

Score 93.5/100

Tomintoul 16 Year Old Tasting Notes:

This Speyside single malt is a creation of master distiller Robert Fleming.

Colour: Amber.

Nose: Peaches and cream “runneth over” with apple and spice accents. Fruit compote arises with carrot cake and just a hint of mince pie. Late crème brulee with light menthol and sunflowers in full bloom. Crème de cocoa and coconuts are a fine epilogue.

Taste: Full-bodied. Spice and oak collide in a creamy boat ride. Candied carrots embedded in savory spice take the day. A citrus fruit platter is served late.

Finish: Long. Tri-colored corn on the cob takes center stage with elements of strawberry rhubarb pie.

Comment: This 16 year old has a sense of depth and layers of aroma and flavors making it a solid economically priced dram.

Score 84.5/100

GlenDronach 21 Year Old Parliament Tasting Notes:

This release from “The Valley of the Blackberries” has nothing to do with politics. Released in 2011, this whisky is aged in a mix of sherry casks (Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez) It is named “Parliament” to reference a group of rooks living in the trees near GlenDronach.

Colour: Mahogany.

Nose: A sweetish tinge intersects with identifiable lilacs, black cherries and honey. Cooked breakfast cereal meets pumpkin seeds and a smoky essence.

Taste: Full-bodied. A peppery element merges with a sweet membrane ushering in some smoke and Mediterranean spices. Citrus infused cake circles the wagons.

Finish: Long, a cornucopia of fruit carries the show. The spicy platform perseverates. Late anise gives an interesting twist.

Comment: This is a substantial dram signalled by its age and personality. It has a bit of a split personality from nose to palate to be honest but in this case it works brilliantly.

Score 90/100

Most of the drams are available from LCBO stores and specialist online whisky retailers such as Master of Malt

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