Special thanks to /u/ounknownto for finishing up our months long swap! In it he gave me two mystery drams, and as I’m the type of person who typically wants to do them while they’re hot (not literally, I’m not boiling my whisky), and because I had quite the productive day, and mostly because I’ve already gone WAY over my limit for the week (seriously, I need to slow down), I decided to do them last night.
And I’ll be trying to slow down, however at this rate I’ll hit 88mph and go back to the 1980s, and no one wants that.
Trust me: No one. Unless your hair is huge, you loved Reaganomics, and Cocaine seems fun, you don’t.
It’s mystery review time for me, where I make a fool out of myself trying my darnest to not be completely wrong. Kinda like watching a tortoise prove he can eat leaves well by climbing a tree.
Up first, we have Mystery #1. I’ll tell you what I know about it.
Price: No idea.
Region: No Idea. I’ve been told it’s a scotch though.
Abv: No idea. At all.
Colour: Ah, this I can tell you! Hooray! It’s Straw coloured.
I’m so informative.
Nose: Floral, light honey, candied lemon, orange rind, grass
Smells very familiar, which at this point… tells me nothing. Shit, I’ve done too many reviews.
Alright, it has floral elements, strong acidity, and some vegetal/grass notes. There’s a little sweetness. I immediately think it’s a Lowland.
Taste: Lemon, light caramel, earth, ginger, light peanut, rose water
Taste is familiar as well. However last time I thought that I ended up throwing myself completely off on the review.
It tastes like a strong Lowland. Or it could be a Highland. I’m so lost.
Finish: Pepper, butter, herbal, earthy, lemon candy
Alright, the finish reminds me of Auchentoshan, yet again, I’m not 100% sure. There’s enough unctuousness in there that I’m a tad lost.
Conclusion: Enough guessing, what did I think of the dram?
Well, I do love Lowlands due to the floral notes as well as the candied citrus notes. Had some nice earth and ginger on the taste, and the finish was a little strong on pepper but otherwise nice to sip. It’s not too complex, not too unique, yet a nice sipper to have. I would probably order a dram of it every so often.
It almost tastes too strong to be a Lowland, however that’s my guess, be it right or probably wrong. Given the lack of complexity, I’m going to guess 10-14 years old. No sherry notes, and the butter notes make me think it’s ex-Bourbon cask.
Guess: Auchentoshan 12
Actually: Clynelish Signatory 18 year
Next up we have Mystery #2. Yes, you’ve all heard about it, it’s Mystery #2 from /u/ounknownto (that’s sarcasm).
I had trouble with the last one, so let’s see if I can figure out the next one.
Price: I don’t really know
Region: Check back later
Abv: There is Alcohol in there, yes.
Colour: Light yellow & orange
Nose: Peat/smoke, sweet cinnamon, rubber, licorice, butterscotch, little brine
As I smell the light amount of peat, I start wondering about different distilleries. It could be BenRiach, however they tend to surprise you on the taste. It isn’t smelling like an Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Kilchoman, or Caol Ila. Well, maybe Caol Ila, however I remember more smoke.
It does remind me of a Laphroaig as I nose it. Little more brine, less peat yet more smoke. However I’m not sold 100%.
Nice amount of sweetness on the nose too. Adds a nice dimension to the peat.
Taste: Molasses, rubber, porter beer, butter, caramel, mint
I’m still learning the inns and outs of porter, so accept my apologies of calling something “porter” at the moment. It reminded me of that part way through.
Tastes sweet, again, though there’s definitely some ex-Bourbon cask going on here. Caramel/butter notes are pretty sweet. It’s nice, and I enjoy it, however it’s not super complex.
Finish: Chocolate, floral, peat, cranberry, dark caramel, umami, light pepper, salt
There’s a lot going on in the end. A lot. Chocolate notes all over the place. And as a guy trying to cut back on chocolate, that’s amazing. I’m within a foot of M&Ms and I’m not craving them.
It’s a good thing.
Anyway, I’m lost at this point. I thought I knew what this was, and now I’m just guessing.
Conclusion: Overall a nice dram. Low levels of peat/smoke, with enough sweetness to really develop. Little bits of brine in the nose, which makes me think it’s an Island or Islay whisky. Some butter in the taste, which makes me drool. And then I’m slapped about by caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits, mixed with umami and salt. Great finish. Most of the score is because of the interesting finish and fun nose.
As for what it is, I’m at a loss. This is a write off this time, so /u/ounknownto, please help me lower my already sinking success rate at mystery drams, and tell the people what I’m missing!
Guess: Laphroaig QA
Actually: Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition 2010
Scotch reviews #233-234, Islay review #59, Highland Review #39, Whisky Network Review #343 –344