Thanks to /u/devoz and /u/xile_ for this sample
Quick recap, if you haven’t read the last review (Skip to the Bold part that says “START HERE” otherwise).
Recently I made a point of stating that, if given an Arran, I’d identify the profile. This started both devoz and xile_ thinking, which is never good for me.
You see, recently devoz acquired a smoke gun. From what little I understand of it, it’s a gun that shoots smoke. Because he’s amazing at cocktails. And that’s needed.
So they took this as a challenge. What I should have said was “I can identify an Arran profile from a whisky that hasn’t been fucked around with, specifically by a smoke gun”. Oh well, hindsight.
As such, I was handed three samples, blind. No idea what they were. At all. I knew they were alcohol, and samples to be reviewed. Beyond that? Could have been anything.
So this is the one that started it all. The angry monkey of my dreams that has been smoked. Wait, I won’t eat monkey, that makes little sense.
What I’m saying is this is an Arran, and I had no idea. So let’s see how the smoke gun did with an aged Scotch.
Price: N/A anywhere
Age: 19 years
Number of Bottles: 284
Cask Type: Ex-bourbon hogshead (there is a typo on the label)
Cask Number: 1085
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Potato chips, smoke, perfume, spritey, dill
Lots of potato chips. Overall that takes up most of the nose. It’s too strong. There’s some spice to it, however it’s mostly potato chips.
Thinking that this was still Mezcal, I looked up Mezcal’s that taste like potato chips. This was not helpful, much in the same way that using google to learn about vaccines was not helpful.
On the upside I know what measles feels like now.
Taste: Dill, lime, coconut, pine, potato
More spice, there’s some earth going on here, and the ever present flavour of potato.
The mineral notes of the original whisky are evident here. It’s less hot, however the original flavour is overtaken. I don’t mind this, however tis no Scotch profile.
Finish: Lime, oak, coffee, grainy
Gone are any subtle notes. There’s some lime, some oak leftover, and any cereal has meshed with the smoke to become grain like. That said, there’s an interesting coffee note developing. So that’s something.
Conclusion: Again, thought this was a Mezcal. Was incorrect.
Here we see that the hickory took over most of the nose. And while I don’t think the original was that interesting (frankly felt that it was a miss), I think what came out was only a slight improvement.
At the end of the day, so much of the original was buried under smoke, spices, and other things that this was unrecognizable from the original. Comparing the two I can see that some of the earth, rough element stayed, however given mysteries aren’t my forte, it was pretty rough.
We’ll see what the next one brings.
Guess: Mezcal Reposado from Oaxaca
Actually: Arran 19 1997 Kensington Wine Market Cask 1085 smoked with hickory and lapsang souchong
Scotch review #723, Island review #91, Whisky Network review #1196
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