Sunday, 27 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #129

SMWS 104.14 (50.6% abv, Single Cask)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Club bottling, not for general sale
The second celebratory dram upon my new membership 
John McCheyne pulled this bottle out from under the counter, this was his choice of dram to celebrate my new membership. Unfortunately my tasting notes had gone 'wayward' by this time of the afternoon, and I had no idea how special this whisky was until I got home and investigated on the SMWS site.

This whisky was distilled in June 1974. I was still living in Mauritius and about to return to the UK after two glorious years growing up out there. But being distilled in 1974 is just one small part of this story. Distillery #104 is listed as Glen Criag, a closed distillery, that never actually existed - at least not as a separate set of buildings. 

Glencraig was the name of the whisky that was distilled in two special 'Lomond Stills' at the Glenburgie distillery between 1956 and 1981. So after being distilled in June 1974 this spirit was laid down in a refill ex-bourbon barrel for 36 years, yielding just 179 bottles at 50.6% abv. The following notes came straight from the label:

'An angel fallen to earth' 

There is no tasting note for this whisky because our pathetic scribblings could not do it justice. In any case the Panel were dumb-struck (unlikely as that may seem) – this whisky closed down the logical, language side of the brain in favour of the more primitive pleasure receptors – mainly grunts of contentment. Some whiskies deserve revered silence; besides which, the Panel are sitting waiting like beady-eyed crows, hoping that no-one else will buy this Lomond still production from the distillery at Alves. 

Drinking tip: While reading Norman MacCaig's 1974 poem

No comments: