Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Blair Athol Provenance 10 Year Old

As I write this the album of choice is Frank Zappa's  Hot Rats. Fantastic, fun album that always makes me smile.

This is my first after the fact tasting. This past Sunday I attended my monthly Scotch Group Tasting. Our group the Whitehorse Fine Malt Society is comprised of over a dozen fine people who meet once a month to enjoy and share in good food and whisky. This months tasting was the Blair Athol 10 Year Old Provenance.

Blair Athol is one of the main whiskies used in the making of the Bell's blended whisky. Bell's also calls the distillery home. According to Bell's website they are Britain's favourite whisky. That bodes well I presume for we are really only what we are comprised of.

This whisky was quite complex and several people in the group found different tastes and aromas. Here are mine:

Nose: Lots going on here. I found the nose to be mellow and sweet. Caramelised sugar (if not burnt) and melon were detected on first sniff. Later tries brought out peaches and cream with gingerbread and a saltiness.

Palate: The palate was equally complex and I found myself discovering several different flavours. Initially there was melon and mint, this was followed by a woodiness like pine or sandalwood. In the background was smoke and salt.

Finish: I found the finish to have a touch of leather and a drying sensation. I also noted a slight hint of what I thought might be durian fruit.    

I opted this time to see what a few drops of water might do. I was surprised to find that the flavour profile was quite different.

Nose: This time around I got salt, pepper and slightly sour wine.

Palate: On the palate I found the salt remained with a slight smokiness. New additions were butter and cocoa, as well as a bit of wine.

Finish: here I found the slightly sour wine and a prickly sensation.

This whisky was in my opinion very complex. Trying to wade through all of the possible taste and flavour associations was quite challenging. This is what whisky tasting is all about. What am I tasting here? and what does this whisky bring to mind? It should also be noted that when a group of people taste together there is a tendency for people to sympathise with each others notes. Is it a group dynamic? Mass tasting hallucinations? or do the scents and aromas really exist? Perhaps questions that we may never have the answers to. Or something I will have to look into.

Bottom line this was a really enjoyable whisky. It challenged the senses (pleasantly) and I really appreciate that. 

Thank you

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