Whisky to me is all about the pursuit of enjoyment and how this satisfaction is reached depends on the participant. Whether it’s the collecting of, or the tasting experience itself; a good whisky can transport you to distant memories or places.
As a side-line I do collect the odd whisky, normally of the closed distillery variety and ideally always try to buy in duplicate; adopting the practice of one to enjoy and the other for a rainy day. Sometimes this approach isn’t financially viable or practical as those gorgeous Cadenhead releases are often just one per person. Even then, when faced with disappointment I’m realistic and decent enough to note you cannot win them all. I just cannot envisage a situation where anyone should need to be abusive to a whisky shop staff member down the phone just because they’ve missed out on the latest single Springbank cask bottling. Sadly this does happen and what does it achieve?
For the record I did miss out on that Springbank and a recent Littlemill, as when the allocation line was drawn I was the first customer on the wrong side. Disappointment indeed, but no need for abuse as there is plenty of whisky out there and the line does need to go somewhere. As Mark at Malt-Review pointed out in his Glenfarclas Festival Edition review, a sudden act of kindness can be appreciated and replicated. I’ve always taken the view that throughout my experiences as a whisky enthusiast, everyone has been so kind and generous. The least I can do is keep the ball rolling and bring a little joy and hospitality to someone else. Hence the opening of that bottle in that situation – it was going to be opened anyway – so let’s get on with it!
A perfect exactly of this contagious generosity came as part of our residency during the 2016 Spirit of Speyside festival, our group all brought along a bottle of something for the members to enjoy. Perhaps I had slightly over done it by collating a sizeable spread of Tormore releases including one that cost me £200. The other group members also chipped in with bottles so we had a viable high-end bar on tap during our long weekend.
Bottled: 1999 at 24 years of age
Strength: 57.1% vol
Additional: cask #1766
Nose: a really fresh and fruity Port Ellen this one. Ginger and oranges mixed to a sublime degree. A slightly wet door mat transforms into salted peanuts and fir trees. Pineapples revive that fruity aspect with a struck matchstick and then the vegetation takes over before dissolving into sea shells and melted caramel.
Taste: a sweet barrage upfront with that coastal vegetative postcard snapshot before the smoky bacon and port scratching move in for a residency. More grilled pineapple straight off the barbecue and a tin of peaches full of syrup.
Overall: a Port Ellen that justifies the hype. A great bottling and one best shared with friends or #thetormore4 to be appreciated. That's the joy of whisky folks not values or hoarding but sharing. Do it #thetormore4 style.
Labels: Adelphi, closed distillery, featured, islay, peated, port ellen