I didn't travel as much in 2016 as I normally do. Family "stuff" kept me close to home. However, I was fortunate to take part in 4 or 5 tastings where old young whisky was being served. Two examples were at our very own festival here in New Brunswick -> The New Brunswick Spirits Festival where the Saturday master classes are for the true whisky geek. These classes would make most of you green with envy. This year we were extremely lucky to have Davin de Kergommeaux lead us through a vertical of Imperial whiskies. You read correctly. A vertical selection of whiskies from a silent distillery. The line up:
1. G&M Connoisseurs Choice, D1970 - B1987
2. Signatory Un-chillfiltered collection, D1995 - B2015 Cask 50229 & 50330
3. G&M Connoisseurs Choice, D1993-B2011
4. G&M Exclusive, D1998 - B2014 Cask 1224
5. Imperial 15 (Distillery Bottling)
6. Benn a Cheo, D1995 - B2013 Cask 50229
What an amazing tasting to attend! BUT WAIT!!! Then the second tasting started and, if you can imagine was even more amazing:
Entitled the Chairman's dram, this class sold out almost immediately and had people travel over 2,000km just to attend. Why you ask?
1. G&M Rosebank, D1979 - B1993
2. G&M Millburn, D1971 - B1988
3. Springbank 12 Rum wood, D1989 - B2002
4. G&M Port Ellen D1974
5. Littlemill 8 year old late 1970's
6. Port Charlotte 15 year old, Nouet Private Cask
Now... I dare any of you to tell me this was not a whisky enthusiast dream dram day!
Of the 12 drams I tried that day, many were the type of dram where the entire room was so quiet you could have heard someone's stomach rumble if they were hungry! But... the stand out for me, above all the rest, was the Signatory Imperial 10 year old (Bet you thought this Lassie was going to say the Port Ellen!)
It was the best Imperial I've ever tasted and as far as I'm concerned should be one of the bench marks of what an ex-bourbon matured whisky should nose/taste like. It truly was perfection for me.
And yes... I took notes:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Fresh coconut milk, papaya and mango salad. Really fragrant!
Palate: Honeyed vanilla whipped cream on a fresh Caribbean salad.
Finish: Long, sweet and very warming. Creamy even.
What a dram! What a Saturday... Hell, what a festival!!! The door is always open for anyone who would like to come and experience our festival, seriously one of the best in North America and worth every single dollar!!!
Here's to the unicorns and the once in a lifetime opportunities. I hope 2017 has more of these on the horizons.
Cheers and down to number 6 and 5 tomorrow!