Mar 062011
 

–  BOMB –

                            THE SUBVERSIVE’S GUIDE TO SHERRY BOMB DEFUSING & DISPOSAL

It occurred to me while on page 124,754 of my personal manifesto that the world would be a better place if more people were disposing of bombs.  It was Che Guevara that said “Deje el mundo cambiarle y usted puede cambiar mundo”, which has inspired me through my experiences to help change the world for the better.

There are two schools of thought on defusing a sherry bomb.  The old school approach is to cut the foil around the bottle between the neck and the cork, which would allow you to remove the foil around the cork and leave the foil on the bottle.  The down side to this is you can cut your finger slicing around the neck.

The approach I like is to take the knife and cut up the side of the bottle, away from your body and remove the foil from both the bottle and the cork.  This will allow you to see the cork and see if there are any problems occurring.  Also for the benefit of the rum drinkers out there you won’t cut your lip swilling from the bottle using this method.

As for bomb disposal, I think the phrase “many hands or mouths make light work” would apply here.  So gather your friends, pour a large dram, repeat your favorite toast  (“I drink to your health when I’m with you, I drink to your health when I’m alone, I drink to your health so often, I’m starting to worry about my own!”)  and do a world of good and start disposing.

Tullibardine 1966

August, 2008.  49.9% ABV.  Cask # 3509.  Bottle 29 of 246.  Bottled for WP – Calgary.

NOSE:  Toffee, raisins and chocolate.

TASTE:  Very silky, not the usually spice parade.  Stewed fruits, maybe a bit jammy and some sweet port.

FINISH:  Very smooth and long.

ASSESSMENT:  Not a hint of sulfur and quite mellow for an older sherry cask. Very different from the 1966 world edition which had way more spice

1966 Tullibardine

Longmorn 1973

April 30, 1973 – May 26, 2006.  Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.  54 % ABV.  Cask # 3650.

NOSE:  Coffee, sweet notes and some subtle fruit.

TASTE:  Apples and oranges.  Fruit cake with a little cinnamon and some marzipan.

FINISH:  Long and heavy.  Warming at the end.

ASSESSMENT:  Bam, green eggs and ham…this is a great first fill sherry bomb.  Right in the middle between the silky Tullibarine and the spicy Glenrothes.

G&M Longmorn 1973

Glenrothes 1979

1979 – 2006  56.6 % ABV  Cask # 13459 bottle # 246 of 492

NOSE:  Sharp hot spice, and yes some sulphur notes in the mix.  Raisins and dark chocolate with some bananas at the back end.

TASTE:  Robust and chewy.  Liquorice, raspberry jam.

FINISH:  Intense to say the least.  Long and warming.

ASSESSMENT:  First things first,rant…get rid of the packaging (not the bottles, love the holy hand grenade thing): heavy, sharp wood edges; bottles fall out; hard to store; almost impossible to get out of the cardboard box.  I mean really…who designed this?  Some rum lover or a single malt sadist?

This is a single glass per night after dinner drink.  Maybe a little long in the cask but still good…but you need to love scary sherry to drink this.

Glenrothes 1979

Aug 142010
 

A fine night hosted by Andy Dunn, of Gold Medal Marketing.  Andy is a truly engaging speaker.  His sharp wit and caustic humor helped set the tone for another great night at Willow Park.  It is somehow liberating to throw out the pretention every now and then and listen to a great presenter who is casual enough to toss out the occasional insult…catch one in return…be a little naughty…and occasionally dip into the spicier side of our vocabularies.

The malty spread this eve consisted of bottlings from Tullibardine and Springbank.  Tullibardine is a single malt Highland whisky, first distilled in 1949.  The history of the region and the distillery is fascinating, and Andy’s brief aside detailing the history of Blackford was entertaining and enlightening (go…do your research).  The distillery was mothballed in 1994, lying dormant until 2003 when it, and its entire stock of whisky, were purchased by the present consortium, and once again the uisge beatha flowed.

Andy trotted out a young Tullibardine Aged Oak first.  Light and dusty…citrusy and herbal…dry and oaky.  Meh.  Not bad by any means, but a tad underwhelming.

Next up was a 14 y.o. Tullibardine Moscatel.  More of a craft presentation than the first we tried.  46% and non-chill-filtered.  Still fairly light.  I picked up raw grains, freshly cut hay, fruit and chocolate.  This had an interesting pink hue to it.  Maybe just the lighting in there…maybe one too many whiskies…or maybe that actually was the color. 

From here we moved onto the Springbank line.  Though I enjoyed the Tullibardines, this was much more to my liking.  Springbank is one of only three operational distilleries in Cambeltown.  A shame really, as Cambeltown was once home to more than 30 legal distilleries.  Springbank relies heavily on tradition and human involvement in all stages of production.  The whiskies are distinct, colorful and craft-presented (no chill-filtration, no coloring, higher abv, etc), which of course is appreciated.

First up…Springbank CV.  Lots of smoke and fire (almost kerosene-like), some peat and spice, a touch of sherry and a dash of salt.  Decent marks for this one.

Next up…Springbank 18.  Nice…very nice.  Beautiful on the nose, with notes of cream and caramel, light fruits and hot spice.  Even a few drops of water did not mellow this one too much.  The price point is high, but the product is very good.

Springbank 12 Cask Strength.  Now we’re talking.  54.6% abv.  Well done, Springbank, for allowing us the opportunity to decide how strong we like our dram.  This was a solid number full of salt, sherry, smoke and raisin, some pepper and a smoked meat quality to it.  Rich and rewarding.

Finally Andy brought out the big guns.  Springbank Claret Finish (12 year, I believe).  Wow.  Another beefcake bottled at 54.4%.  This deep mahogany whisky was full of rich caramel toffee, vanilla, smoke, apple, spice and peppers, and had a wonderful oily viscosity to it.  Simply amazing.

Look for some more detailed reviews in the days to come.   

Thanks, David and Andy, for another great tasting.