MBD Angels and Devils Tweet Tasting

Trick or Tweet 30th October 2014

Trick or Tweet Tasting Box
Trick or Tweet Tasting Box

So yesterday it was tweet tasting time, and today another one!  It’s good to be the Corner sometimes. This time it’s wall to wall spooky fun, with the good people at MWB kindly inviting us to take part in a Halloween Tasting.

The #AngelsandDevils (I’ll let you decide which one is me and which one is Stewart).  We received The Auchentoshan – Virgin Oak II (@TheAuchentoshan), Bowmore – The Devil’s Cask II (@Bowmore1779) and the Glen Garioch – Virgin oak (@Glengarioch1797), oh and some Halloween goodies, toffee apple, dark chocolate and candy floss too.

To avoid confusion I tweeted for the Corner and Stewart as himself.

Are you excited yet? Oh wait, did I mention that Rachel Barrie (@TheLadyBlender) was personally hosting, no, well she is.  So, excited?  We are.

So how did it go?  Who reigned supreme the angels or the devils? Time to find out.

So enough talking, let’s get tasting!  First up:

The Auchentoshan – Virgin Oak II – 46% ABV

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak
Auchentoshan Virgin Oak

Famously the only whisky distillery in Scotland to triple distil every drop, Auchentoshan have been placing small batches of their spirit in North American virgin oak since the start of the millennium. This has a spicy note and a great complexity.  Triple-distilled absorbing layers of oak sweetness & spice. At 46% abv & NCF, Virgin Oak II was made to entice

Nose :

Nail polish, green peppercorns, ginger and scotch bonnet chillies, Banoffee pie, buttery soft fudge, green apples. a touch of lemon as it opens up, and chewy meringue, good quality envelopes and wax seals, icing sugar & orange ginger beer coming through, bringing with it gentle cocoa powder and apple strudel, there is a touch of lime too.

Palate:

Dream topping at the start, there’s a fiery kick of ginger and the sweetness of paprika, apples with lemon juice. There are some soft red apples, but the ginger is still the star of the show, spun sugar & some banana bread.  Now it’s time to add the candy floss, it brings the dryness of the oak out, & then brings forth fruit, apples with fresh strawberries and a good dollop of clotted cream.  Candy floss in the glass, a heavenly sweetness rises, but the spice tries to pull it down, like the devil himself calling the angels to join him.

The Glen Garioch – Virgin Oak 48% ABV

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak

Released in 2013, this is the first ever release of a Glen Garioch whisky aged entirely in virgin North American oak.  Scotch whisky has a history of using used barrels, be it sherry, bourbon or something else, as it is widely felt that new wood would overpower the delicate flavours.  This is rich with notes of treacle, chocolate and orange. The hearty Glen Garioch is baked, spiced and sweetened by maturing in American Mountain oak casks.

Nose:

It’s buttery pastries, glazed with apricot jam, All spice, nutmeg, the wood is drying, savory notes, rosemary. Small touches of baked pears, poached in white wine, plantin with sage, Tangy white grapes, star anise, and that musty wet dog note.  There’s hints of juniper and bluebells, The spices are still there, you can really pick up the influence of the cask

Palate:

bitter espresso notes, topped with chocolate, slight creaminess coming in, a gentle spice, hits the roof of the mouth, rich and oily, yet somehow still light and fresh There is some coconut wrapped around fudge, it’s soft shortbread with a crunchy sugar topping, dipped into milky tea.  Then apples, a touch of raisin and sultana’s with more chocolate.  Once paired with the toffee apple, it’s sticky toffee goodness, orchard fruits just pop out, and the cream suddenly reveals itself, soothing, sweet, and fruity. More please!

Bowmore – Devils Casks II – 56.3% ABV

Bowmore Devil's Cask II
Bowmore Devil’s Cask II

Exclusively matured in the finest first fill sherry casks (which is unusual for Bowmore), the second small batch release of Devil’s Casks is still mischievous.  Having mellowed under a cloak of smooth velvet and sublime sherry cask indulgence, it reveals even more of Bowmore’s devilish dark side.  This small batch release is, quite simply, devilishly good!  The expression gets its name from a legend nearly as old as the distillery itself.  It was claimed that the Devil was once spotted and chased through the town, eventually hiding away in the distillery.  After searching, the Devil was nowhere to be seen, having made his escape in a whisky barrel.

Rachel Barrie, Master Blender, Morrison Bowmore Distillers, said:

“The first edition of this expression was one of the most sought after whiskies of 2013.  This second small batch release will no doubt emulate that success thanks to its devilishly tasty dark side, in debt to the first-fill sherry casks it has been carefully mellowed in.”

Nose:

it’s warm tyres on a gravel road, then dates, damsons, plums, dry steak rub, ginger and liquroice root entwined.  Rich Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, crunchy walnuts and hint of salty, sooty, warm tar with just a touch of honeycomb over hot coals, puffs of smoke linger, then the juicy, stewed fruits come in, with luscious dark cherry, soft plums & sticky dates with a salty hint of parma ham.  Then there’s just the smallest hint of rock salt, it’s balanced by a treacle softness, like a wonderful treacle tart and just a hint of sawdust.

Palate:

Herbal fresh pine sap, with ferns and moss, sticky blackcurrants, ginger and nutmeg, all kept in check by the spicy peat notes, there’s a touch of bbq bananas covered with treacle and a little paprika for spice followed by smoked lime leaves. Peppercorns of every colour and rich steak rub comes to the fore and  there is a rush of dark, sticky, gooey fruits, plums, damsons, blackberries, apples, raisins, sultana’s and just a touch of overripe banana right at the back.  As the fruit ebbs away, like the tide against the shore, there is soot, ash and charcoal, coating the tongue as the fire still smoulders.

Overall thoughts

What a tasting, the food pairings were spot on, it was a really relaxed fun tasting, sometimes tastings are a little, shall we say…intense.  I know that when I am involved in a tasting, it can be like taking an exam, you are concentrating so hard, but Rachel was the perfect hostess, and really set the tone for a relaxed evening.  It was good to try the Glen Garioch Virgin Oak and the Auchentoshan Virgin Oak II, such different flavours.  They were so different, but they just “belonged”, you know there is a family connection there, just in different ways.  The top pick of the night for me was the Devil’s Casks II, but trust me, it was a tough call.  MBD are getting it right time after time, don’t stop now guys.

Kirsty (@kirstyclarke29)

Stewart’s notes:

The Auchentoshan – Virgin Oak II – 46% ABV

Nose :

Very crisp, autumnal sharp cold day, lemon citrus and slight hint of milk chocolate buttons. Some spice coming through, then lovely boiled sweets, finishing with touch of liquorice encouraging you to sip!

Palate:

spicy, spicy, spicy, lovely spice bouncing all over the tongue, some cream coming through to calm things down.  Now lovely green apples join in, the sweets from the nose make an appearance too, gorgeous.  Finishes with a bang, last kick of spice before an almost apple pie and cream texture coats the tongue.  Now to add in the candy floss: this explodes in the mouth, the sweetness and spice collide to make this one devilish dram!

The Glen Garioch – Virgin Oak 48% ABV

Nose:

Lovely creamy goodness, some melon surprises me, but is very welcome, then white grapes join in.

Palate:

Warming beautiful sensation, some spice arrives (yay) and a fruit punch of goodness invites itself in too. Holding it in mouth brings some milk chocolate to the party, there is a lovely creamy feel to this, and the finish is sublime.  Add in the toffee apple: lovely, the apple and toffee melt as soon as the Whisky hits, making this a sugary goodness of a dram.

Bowmore – Devils Casks II – 56.3% ABV

Nose:

Perfect Halloween dram, fiery flames scorch my nose, before wet paint straight from a tin cools them down peat is there, but hiding in the corner, scared of Old Nick, fiery rubber and fruit combo, can’t wait to taste.

Palate:

The peat has risen and sent the Devil running for cover, tyres, burned, on fire still, coat the mouth. The fire never leaves you, instead it is joined by black grapes and red wine gums, smoke takes over almost suffocating you, spice revives you and makes you sit up, almost possessed like, the Devil is in you!  This is one Devil you have to dance with, you’ll be glad you did!  Time to add in the chili chocolate:  the chocolate on its own feels mild at first, but then strikes you hard, wow. Hot tamales! This is H.O.T. The Devil wins this round, with the help of his chocolately sidekick!

Overall thoughts

Three gorgeous drams, all different but all with the same passion that you come to expect from MBD and Rachel Barrie.  It was a fun tasting and a great opportunity to try something different from each of the different MBD distilleries.

Stewart (@StewartCraigon)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Everybody needs a Whisky Corner in their life.

%d bloggers like this: