[Tasting Session] Blind Tasting 24/09/16

I had not been to a tasting session for a couple of months so when I realised there was a blind tasting on in Manchester, I had to sign up for it. It is actually the second blind tasting I attended at the Whisky Shop. The first one was in February and revealed some interesting whiskies, in a positive way for the cheaper Cutty Sark Storm, which I genuinely believed was a single malt, or in a less positive way such as the Glenfarclas 2000 vintage bottled for the Whisky Shop, which I found rather disappointing. The added twist on Saturday's session however was that Phil, who conducted the tasting, didn't know either what had been decanted. 
I think that once who've got a bit more into whisky and have tried a few different bottles coming from different regions (or countries), a blind tasting session is a great way to test your nose and palate, taking your knowledge out of the equation. No previous checks on the region, the distillery, the ABV, the fact it is a blend, grain, malt blend or single malt, it is all about experiencing the whisky with prior outside influence. 
So what did we get to experience then? Well here they are:

Number 1: very pale in colour, quite a crisp, fresh, floral and grassy whisky with citrus and white chocolate notes. To be honest, it wasn't really for me. I thought it was out of the Loch Fyne range .

Number 2: Bolder, richer nose with sherry and spices. Hints of smoke too with some rich dried fruit. I did like it and I thought of Glen Scotia Double cask.

Number 3: Again quite a sweet nose and palate with a lot of caramel, vanilla and some sherry flavour which made me think of a blended whisky. Not bad, but not the best.

Number 4: I kind of new what was in there as had tried this one in the shop a couple of weeks before. The colour was rather pink, the nose and palate were very raspberry-ish so there was no question, it was a red wine aged malt. Very unusual as full red wine maturation or even just finish is not that frequent. A very nice different dram though!

Number 5: Stronger on the nose straight away, so I thought higher ABV. Quite rich, fruity but with some peat/smoke running around on the background, coupled with some iodine. It had to be Islay, but where from. We ended up deciding Bruichladdish.

Number 6: As soon as I nosed it, I knew it was a Laphroaig because of that distinctive TCP smell. However, there was a lot of fruity sweetness too which led me to a sherry butt aged single cask bottle from an independent bottler. Strong ABV too. Absolutely delicious though!

And now for the big reveal:

Phil in full explanation mode!

Number 1: The Girvan Patent Still No4 Apps, single grain Scotch whisky 42%
Number 2: Glenfarclas 10 years old 40%
Number 3: The Loch Fyne Blended Scotch Whisky 40%
Number 4: Auchroisk 7 years old Bordeaux Cask matured 46%
Number 5: Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie 50%
Number 6: Laphroaig Triple Wood 48%

A few surprises again, particularly with the first three, but some more obvious smell and flavours. Another great experience at the Whisky Shop. And talking about experiences there, I have also signed up to their Whisky and Cheese tasting session next Saturday. That should be interesting too!

Thanks again to Phil and Alex for a very successful evening


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