Book Review: Wort, Worms & Washbacks

At its best, “Wort Worms & Washbacks” gives you the impression that you’re sitting across a table from John, sharing a few drams and talking about the “good old days,” and who could ask for more from such a book?

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#anCnoc Twitter Tasting

I was able to participate in an online Twitter tasting of three anCnoc single malts today, 2/24/2011. With another twenty-or-so tasters, we packed a vertical tasting into an hour and fifteen minutes.

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anCnoc (1996 vintage, bottled 2011)

This third-and-last sample of the brand-new 1996 vintage (which will be released to select European markets) was my favorite, showing a super-chewy body, mounds of savory notes (which I love), salted nuts, and meats.

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anCnoc (16 year)

Very nice after-dinner. Desserty but robust. Not too sweet or cloying. Complex and with interesting spice and off-fruit notes. Not a great deal of depth, but contemplative.

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anCnoc (12 year)

This first sample of the entry-level 12 year expression was generally approved-of, with tasters noting many fruits ranging from fresh spring berries to tropical fruits and flowers.

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Cardhu (12 year)

Those Spaniards know what they’re talking about: a lovely dram – very gentle. Bright and sweet without being cloying in the least. With so many fruits, it’s like drinking a summer fruit punch with vanilla ice cream floating in it. Yum.

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Bunnahabhain (12 year) (Old Presentation)

Caramel and vanilla, full body, almost no smoke or earthiness at all. Salted caramels. This is a good middle-of-the-road dram, mostly notable for its diversion from traditional Islay peat character. Worth a try, although there are better non-peated, non-sherried malts (Speyside, Lowlands) in this price range.

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Springbank (10 year)

Springbank is a composite of rarities. It is one of the very few distilleries which performs the entire distillation process from malting on-site (its own floor maltings) to bottling in its private bottling plant. This is eccentric and nuanced, challenging and satisfying. Great stuff – I can’t wait to come back and discover more!

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Auchentoshan Classic

What a satisfying dram. It is delicate and subtle, sweet and crisp. Like a sugary glass of lemonade on a hot day. A little rough and undefined around the edges, no doubt due to its youth, which is also responsible for this whisky’s delightful crispness.

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Comparative Review: Jameson vs. Powers

In terms of quality, Jameson wins by virtue of its smooth, crisp dryness against Powers’ rough edges. Powers, however, has more interesting and lip-smacking flavors.

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