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Tast Toe !

Booze

Nadat mijn laatste whisky aankoop nogal teleurstellend was, ben ik toch maar eens op zoek gegaan naar een andere whisky winkel. De Carrefour was een handige tijdelijke oplossing nadat Terclavers verdween uit Leuven, maar na een tijdje ben je wel uitgekeken uit hun hoofdzakelijke (en beperkte !) Islay assortiment.

Tast Toe is een prachtige winkel aan Kampenhout Sas (perfect gelegen !) die een uiterst uitgebreid aanbod heeft van single malt Scotch. In het prachtige houten interieur liggen werkelijk honderden whiskies als veelkleurige sieraden uitgestald. Vele special editions ook, al liggen die met hun prijzen tot 500 Euro buiten mijn prijsbereik. Lang geleden dat ik me nog eens als een kind in een snoepwinkel voelde :)

Ik kocht de Tullamore Dew (al lang geleden - ben benieuwd hoe ik 'em nog vind na al dat Islay geweld), en de Bruichladdich 12yo. Binnenkort een verslagje van deze laatste.

Tullamore Dew

Booze

DrWhisky reviews the Tullamore Dew and concludes its misty taste is unlike anything else he has ever tasted. Tullamore Dew is an Irish blend, and my favorite whisk(e)y (though Bowmore is quickly reaching for that place too), famous for its soft and sweet 'misty' taste. If you're fond of Talisker or Ardberg, chance is that you'll hate Tullamore. If the Laphroaig harsness is the yin, then the Tullamore sweetness is the yang. And remember : Tullamore is just another way of writing Tout l'amour.

The nose : fruity, sweet, a hint of smoke.
The taste : a fresh breeze on a hot summer night. A faint mist rising from the fields, covering you like a warm blanket. Mountain dew in the morning. The taste of an angels kiss. How ice cream and vanilla tasted when we were young. Yes, I'm getting lyrical, but that's the effect of Tullamore on me, sir.

On a side note, I received the Whiskey Encyclopedia from Michael Jackson as a Christmas present. 2008 will be a good year.

Glenturret, 8yo

Booze

Time for a new whisky ! I was looking around for a Bruichladdich, but without success. I decided to switch back to Speyside whiskies, and found the Glenturret. Only the 8 year old malt was available, so I knew this was going to clash with my previous experiences (Lagavullin, 16 yo). But this I wasn't prepared for :

The nose : fruity, sweet, strong hints of sherry. Definitely the taste I wanted to return to.
The taste : hello, taste ? Where are you ? Very weak, a light copy of the smell.

What a disappointment. This whisky certainly is way too young to enjoy. Good for cooking, or mixing in coffee and coke.

Lagavulin, 16 yo

Booze

Lagavulin (Lagga-Voolin) means "hollow where the mill is" and has been there since 1816. Since James Logan Mackie & Co of Glasgow bought the distillery in 1867, Lagavulin is one of the three Kildalton distilleries (with Ardbeg and Laphoraig) on the south-east shore of Islay. Since the 16yo was introduced as a part of a Classic Malts range as the representative of Islay it has been impressing drinkers everywhere. It is pretty incredible that 3 neighbouring distilleries can vary in character so much.

Lagavulin came to my attention as my collegue Robartes kept announcing it as his favourite whisky. Priced at 40 Euro, and being classified as a Classic Malt, this is certainly not something you want to mix in your cola or coffee.

The nose : peat, lots of smoke, orange zest. I smell cheese, Grommit. Very weird indeed, very complex.

The taste : Holy crap ! Complex, even more than the smell. The taste equivalent of a 5 minute video clip compressed into 10 seconds. More peat, more smoke, dark chocolate. The most difficult malt I ever tried.

Bowmore, 12 yo

Booze

I finished the Solera Reserve I bought lately, and because the surroundings of my regular liquor shop (that is, where I buy my Tullamore Dew) is still plagued with road works, I decided to shop elsewhere and acquire a quite different brand of whiskey. I heard lots of good of Bowmore, so I took the 12yo with me.

Found in the capital of Islay, Bowmore distillery is the oldest (legal) distillery on Islay and the second oldest in Scotland, and is one of the more renowned whiskeys of Islay. For over 200 years Bowmore has attracted the respect of those lucky enough to taste what it produces. In his Spirit Journal, F. Paul Pacult wrote "that Bowmore might just be Scotland's foremost malt distillery at this time"(2003), and in his book, Raw Spirit, Ian Banks writes , "If you can't find a Bowmore to fall in love with, you may have to consider very seriously the possibility that you're wasting your money drinking whisky at all." With a wide range of releases, and a whole new line to familiarize yourselves with, there is bound to be a Bowmore that you'll dig.

The nose, then : smell of pears, honey, a distinct fragrance of peat, and a slight hint of salt, seaweed. No surprises so far : this is an Islay after all. Tasting : the peat taste is much more present here, still sweet, and somehow syrupy, medical, sherry alike. Very different from the Speyside brands, but not that much also. Good and complex taste, I'm gonna like this. I guess I'm ready for a Talisker after all...

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