Whisky tasting notes: February 2020

My latest from Jolly Toper whisky tastings at the Kilderkin pub in Edinburgh…

Please note: I know nothing about whisky. I jot down how each one makes me feel (in my own way), and it’s entirely possible if I tasted a particular whisky again I’d come to a completely different conclusion (depending on my frame of mind.) Regard these notes more as an exercise in creativity than a comment on each dram!
(Previous notes can be found here).

Whisky tasting notes, 20 February 2020

Whisky 1a)

  • Nose: sweet, fruity, banana smell. Palate: this is the good cop of the interrogation. Finish: “We found the killer; you’re free to go.”
    (15yo 40% Miltonduff, bought last week for £60)

Whisky 1b)

  • Nose: sweet and fruity, mixed with farts. Palate: sour and bitter like that librarian you hated at school. This is the bad cop of the interrogation who’ll smack you in the face and say “You’re gonna fall downstairs a few times sunshine!” before you wake up in a piss-stained cell.
    (15yo 46% Miltonduff, bought 20 years ago for £18)


Tonight we were given some raw, uncasked spirits to try, from Buffalo Trace Distillery, Kentucky. This just about killed me.

  • Spirit i)
    Nose: musty, nutty smell. I sniffed too deeply and some went up my nostrils. I don’t need to worry about nostril hair ever again. Palate: fuck that’s weird. Jesus shit a brick. Finish: Tripping balls, man. Sheeeit. Watered down: like going through the star gate in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    (rye-based, 62.5%)
  • Spirit ii)
    Nose: nothing. I got nothing. The abyss stares back into me. Palate: a killer ninja who will fuck you up. Sweet and spicy. Finish: Emptiness. The abyss again. Watered down: mint and menthol and the psychic whispers you get from a haunted house.
    (wheat-based, 57%)
  • Spirit iii)
    Nose: mild nail polish remover. Palate: hypersweetness and rocket fuel. Finish: infinity and beyond. Watered down: please just get this the hell out of my mouth. It’s like detergent or something.

*Back to the regular tasting*

Whisky 3)

  • Nose: shoe leather from old shoes. Palate: sweet. Finish: grabs throat. I don’t know any more. After those Kentucky spirits I need to curl in a ball and rock gently to and fro. I have no opinions any more. Send help. I don’t know anything about anything right now. I am so goddamn drunk. The sweet taste is nice. Yum?
    (Macallan 52.9% ‘The Classic Cut’, Oloroso casks, £95 in 2019)

Whisky 4)

  • Colour: pleasingly dark; signs of living dangerously. Nose: chocolate orange and coffee. Palate: Spicy. Hell yes, this is what I expect from a whisky tasting! Finish: like the breath of elder gods upon your puny mortal form. Strong. Rich. Powerful. High alcohol. This is the secret of steel, from the god Krum, and it will make Conan stronger; gnnnaaaarrrr!
    *Favourite of the night – and the past few nights, even…*
    (Strathearn 55% 3yo ‘Private cask club’ 1/50 bottles from a cask (oloroso) bought for £650 by one of the evening’s attendees)

Whisky 5)

  • Nose: presidential cigar. Palate: intern’s dress. Finish: impeachment. Fuck it, I’m drunk and destroyed right now. This is sweet and smoky. It burns.
    (Caol Ila 59.9% no age stated, sherry cask, £45)

Terry is unavailable right now. Please come back later.




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