Saturday, January 19, 2013

18yo SMW Horizontal Tasting

I'm not speaking in abbreviations but the title simply means that we had a line up of 18-year-old Single Malt Whisky tasting at a friend's house. One fine day we were just talking about whisky (actually we talk about whisky all the time even in our whatsapp chatroom) and we decided to do a Horizontal 18 yo SMW.

The rule of entry is simple : a cover charge of 1 bottle of 18-year-old SMW. We had this at Lance's place and it was so kind of him to prepare dinner.

 Pre-dinner Drink - Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary

I saw this in the duty free but never actually bought it. However, I was fortunate enough that I get to taste this yesterday night. I must say that I have always been very skeptical when it comes to whisky without age expressions because I felt that sometimes these commercial bottlings from distilleries are for marketing purposes and it's for those who worships labels rather than what is in the whisky.

Bottled at 43% abv, this is for those who prefers a lick of smoke because it has a very distinctive smokey taste on the palate and then followed by initial hints medicinal notes. It still has some of its Speyside character such as the toffee and dried fig notes coupled with a fresh acidity and a spicy finish. Would I buy this bottle? Nope. I rather buy the Glenfiddich 19yo Age of Discovery release.

 Watercress cream soup, Grain Fed Angus steak cooked with Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary and Macallan 15yo Fine Oak and a plate of garlic potato wedges and a big bowl of salad!
Lance is really a pro when it comes to grilling and the steaks are so awesome... beats some of the restaurants in town anytime. It's juicy and is done medium which is so good on its own or even with a salsa sauce that compliments the steaks very well too. In my opinion, the Macallan 15yo fine oak is good for cooking because it's a disappointing bottle. I might get some stares with this comment I guess but that's just my opinion. Their sherry oak bottlings are so much better.
 The 18yo SMW line up for the night.
Glenlivet 18yo, Glenfiddich 18yo, Laphroaig 18yo, Tomatin 18yo, Macallan 18yo and a Hakushu 18yo.

I've actually tasted all the above except two - Laphroaig 18 brought by Gareth and a Tomatin 18 which I recently bought from the duty free shop in Langkawi. Although I'm not a big fan of Laphroaig, I do drink the Laphroaig Quarter Cask once in a while and it was really an opportunity to give the 18yo a go. I'm quite impressed with the palate as the peat did not overwhelm the other notes of sweetness, seaweed and vanilla. It's very well-balanced and has a smooth and velvety texture. I like it!

The Tomatin (pronounced as To-ma-ten) is quite an interesting whisky. It's the least well-known northen highland single malt whisky compared to the others because it was mainly produced for blends such as the Antiquary and The Talisman. Did you also know that when the Tomatin Distillery Company went into liquidation in 1985, and then one year later two Japanese companies (Takara Shunzo Co. and Okara & Co. came to the rescue and bought the distillery and thus became the first Japanese to own a Scotch whisky distillery.

Surprisingly, I managed to find 1 of the last 3 bottles of Tomatin 18yo in Langkawi and I have to buy it for this tasting. It's indeed one of the most interesting whisky of the night not only because it's something new to our palate but it also has a character that differs from the other commercial labels. This bottle is initially filled in American oak casks and then in Olorosso Sherry butts prior to bottling. This is a very elegant whisky with consistency and well-behaved without giving you a jolt in the palate. It has sherry and toffee, honeyed notes and a very interesting marine finish with hints of cocoa. I only pay about RM300 for this bottle which is quite a reasonable price.

 A photobomb. Whisky that we drank that night.
That's not a Fanta 18yo btw...

What was supposed to be a 18yo tasting ended up a an additional few other bottles such as the Glenfiddich 30yo which the host was so kind to offer and I could see his reluctant expression on his face when he took out the bottle... hahaha.... and a surprising Strathisla 12yo that was so easy drinking!

Next up... a cask strength SMW tasting to be arranged.


Sean said...

wow, that's gotta be at least a dozen bottles! :D

suituapui said...

Oooo...huge steaks! Yummmm!!!!

eiling lim said...

Sean: Yeah we're the boozy buggers!

STP: Yums.. seriously

Ciki said...

food looks even more exciting than the booze! yum yum!

Chef and Sommelier said...

Eiling... Dun tell me you guys finished all the bottles?

Huai Bin said...

Nice! Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary - is that a travel exclusive? I haven't seen it around, would love to get it for CNY!

Interesting bit on the Tomatin - I never had it before too! :D

Mr Lonely said...

wow, so many beer~ @.@~

Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

KY said...

I wouldn't have lasted more than 3-4. lol

missyblurkit said...

wow...that is quite a tasting session!

I tasted Tomatin once...lovely. can't remember where it was though but it was at a whisky tasting session with some pals from Japan.

Overstockist said...

It's good to see fine liquor enthusiasts here. Would you care for more Macallan 18?

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