Bump. So I had an interesting whisky drinking experience the other day. A friend poured me a dram, and without know what I was drinking, make some tasting notes and give it a grade. So I did. It was a good tasting dram; nothing spectacular. Nosed of some fruit and tasted very dry/spicy with a bone dry finish. An average whisky. Then my friend told me what I was drinking: Old Pulteney 21, the whisky that critic, Jim Murray listed as the best whisky of 2011.
My friend is putting research together for a blog entry. Apparently everybody who is tasting this is reviewing it as being rather average.
i think its all subjective though. kind of like how i love talisker, but my husband thinks it's "meh". most people might find old pulteney to be average as you say, but i guess that critic's got a soft spot on his taste buds for it. it's why i don't really go by the recommendations of critics--there's the subjective factor and then sometimes they're just full of s***, haha.
your blind taste test reminds me of the one ABC did with grey goose. bunches of people swear it's awesome vodka, but when blind tested, it came out with underwhelming results. (i agree, it's just an average vodka).
I had some cheap ass ($15) Trader Joe's Speyburn 10 last night. For some reason it was better yesterday than it was the past. But I would never recommend it or give it to someone. I just bought it on a whim a few months ago. The peat has a metallic taste to it.
The thing about Jim Murray in the world of whisky is that he tends to be very supportive of distilleries that are "supportive" of him. I heard that one year he rated Ardbeg 10 the best whisky of the year. Coincidentally, he was working for Ardbeg at the time.
Bump-been far too long since we rocked this thread.
Last night, my friends and I were hosted by the Balvenie reps who presented the 12 Year Doublewood, 15 Year Single Barrel, 14 Year Caribbean Cask, 21 Year Port Finish and the Tun 1401 Batch 3. For the money, the Doublewood is a great value. I heard its about $35 at Trader Joes, and is a very drinkable whisky. I didn't care much for the 14 and 15 year. The 21 was very tasty, but probably not worth the price (I don't know its price point).
The gem was the Tun. This bottle is not normally in their presentation, and at $250 per bottle you can see why. These bottles I believe are sold out. The concept behind the Tun 1401 is the Master Distiller vats 10 different barrels together in a tun (Tun (unit) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), creating a very unique expression. On the nose, I got sweet tea, spice, cinnamon, marmalade/jam, tobacco, leather, mint/menthol, and little hint of "first aid kit". The taste was more difficult to peg, but had an explosively wonderful palate that included leather, heather, black licorice, bubble gum, black pepper and something I couldn't quite figure out. The finish was very long and basically, I got goose bumps when I drank it. The reps said that Balvenie is currently making Batch 6 of the Tun 1401 that will be distributed in the US only, and should be out some time in October of this year.
My new favourite....only tried this based on the award but it is truely very quaffable.
BBC News - Wick malt named world's best whisky
A single malt distilled in one of Scotland's most remote distilleries has been named the world's best whisky by a leading expert.
Old Pulteney was crowned World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray's 2012 Whisky Bible.
The 21-year-old single malt scored a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100.
The whisky is matured in American oak casks and bottled at the Pulteney distillery in Wick, Caithness.
Celebrated the Kings' Stanley Cup victory with this. Yum.
I suppose now is a good time to get back into looking at a quality scotch.