...for a charity fundraising whisky tasting. The six whiskies were all donated, so there was no theme, but some interesting contrasts arose anyway.
Tullibardine was mothballed in 1995 and did not produce whisky again until 2003, when they became independent. They have approached the problem of this gap in production (which leaves them unable to offer a ten year old whisky until 2013) and made a virtue of necessity by presenting the whisky as a Bourbon Cask Edition, which is rather like Hovis offering their bread as the Yeasted Edition. It's a light easy whisky which reminded me of Auchentoshan 10yo, being spirity and sweetly floral. Good, 3+.
Tormore 12yo and Dufftown 12yo (sorry Diageo, Singleton of Dufftown) were both very easy Speysides in the toffee-ish mode, although I did see an interesting herbaceous aftertaste in the Tormore. Bunnahabhain 12yo was also an easy malt, and tonight it seemed maltier than usual for an Islay whisky.
Lagavulin 16yo and Laphroaig Quarter Cask were a fine pairing. The Lagavulin (the oldest standard release of any malt?) is all smoke and brine and intense oily saltiness, but the Quarter Cask has reined in the usual Laphroaig TCP aroma somewhat, perhaps allowing the whisky to appeal to a wider audience. The texture, too, is easier -smoother- than the ten year old. Both these whiskies I rated as excellent, 4 to 4+.
The best description of the night, about the Lagavulin, was, "like a mixture of amyl nitrate, ether and methylated spirits", from a chap who claims that he fuels model airplanes with such a mixture.