Wednesday, 19 October 2016

SMWS Pairs–10yo wine casks

I’ve got a few pairs to post, that are mostly outturn-less and on the bar at Greville Street.  If the impending November outturn isn’t scary enough they’ve sent London a whole load of unannounced random things from other countries!  They fall nicely into pairs on the whole but there’s a white wine cask Ledaig I had to try which didn’t have a friend, so I’ve somewhat awkwardly forced it into bed with Corn N’ Oil.

SMWS 35.150, Glen Moray, Corn N' Oil, 10 years old, 60.8% A+

17th June 2005, 276 bottles, 1st fill Moscatel hogshead. Holy moly look at the colour on that. Corn N' Oil is apparently a cocktail made with dark rum and sugar syrup.

IMG_0114Nose - Not dirty, but very dark, practically dank - herbal too, peppery. Gastrique and seared foie gras, fresh rolling tobacco and sawdust. With time there's a hint of sherry cask funk, but it's hidden behind dusty raisins and herbal seared meats. More sexy (funkier offal) with water, roasted apples too. Really interesting.

Body - I'm still sat in that posh restaurant, I think it's a peppered rib eye now though, with a reduced red wine sauce. That nutty wine cask is much less sloppy that the rest of the years' Gordas (for example). In fact both the nose and delivery are very precise - black pepper, engine oil and retronasal pomander and candied peel. Fruitier and less demanding with water, but still quite challenging.

Finish - Long with orange juice then grapefruit zest. Yet more pepper (pre-ground though) with Sichuan peppercorns right at the end.

Very compelling, although relatively strict neat. Much more drinkable with water and quite Japanese overall. You should take a dram of this before they run out.


SMWS 42.26, Ledaig, 'Chim, chim, cher-ee', 10 years old, 60.5% A⊕

8th November 2005, 282 bottles, 2nd fill white wine hogshead

IMG_0298Nose - It looks like a glass of white wine. It smells like a cross between young Ledaig and Chardonnay. It's nuttier than that though, and fighting to get out from behind the usual sea shells, vinegar and coastal peat is a richness and balanced funk I would associate with Ardbeg.

More farmyard and owl-shit with water.

Body - Fresh initially - beautifully sweet and vinous, with ripe pears and Fizzers. Building Ledaig musk and farmyardy tones, charred bay leaves. Cut mango with water.

Finish - Spicy, herbal, peppery and very long. Chilli powder against lots of toffee. That almost infinite peat finish builds to such a heat that another sip is irresistible. If you can resist, orange wax and orange icing develop.

Resistance is futile.


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