Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting Part 2

Cutty Sark Whisky

Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire is really packing in the Tweet Tastings in the run up to Christmas, with one scheduled each week now. Tonight we revisited Cutty Sark, a whisky I was first introduced to properly at the first Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting in April.

Once again we were joined by Cutty Sark Master Blender Kirsteen Campbell, who was tweeting in on the action via @CuttySarkBlend and was also on hand to answer all our Cutty Sark questions.
Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting

With everything ready in place for seven o'clock we started with Cutty Sark Original:

Whisky Discovery #71

Cutty Sark Original (40% abv)
Blended Scotch Whisky
circa £16.00 70cl

This is one of the whiskies I remember from my childhood, the yellow label on the green bottle in my father drinks cabinet. I first tasted this back in April of this year on the first Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting so click on the link to find out what I thought then and see how it compares this time. Kat on the other hand had not tasted any of the Cutty Sark range and so all four were new to her. 

Kirsteen told us that the blend is made up from a range of ages, mainly American oak casks. Some sherry, some bourbon.

So What Did We Think?

Kat said: The first thing that came to mind when first nosing was how fresh this felt. I was getting  green apples with hints of citrus and vanilla. The a creamy note in the background like whipped cream. The sweet notes reminded me of icing sugar because it's sweet, but with a power feel.

With all the talk of apples and custard, I was reminded of apple crumble and cold custard, then after a little longer the malty notes now, and seasoned dried oak, then a pear note. The sweet notes overall were.

When going to taste I was definitely getting the smell of Krispy Kreme sugar glazed doughnuts and on the first sip got a nice hit of fresh ginger. Lot's going on!

Dave said: I got that fresh cut hay note immediately on the nose, like a summer meadow being cut. This is so light and fresh, and after the hay started getting sweet floral notes and some malty biscuits too. after a little longer some oaky notes started to develop and a passing pear drop sweetness every so often.

The palate is light bodied, smooth sweet and fresh - a summery dram. Malted Milk biscuits are there for me, along with barley and vanilla. Great opening dram once again and this could be a great introduction whisky, light and very easy to drink, and at a price you can afford to drink everyday

Some of my favourite tweets for this expression

@MaltBox Green apple, malt, a light ale such as Thwaite's Wainwright, haylage and Rhubarb & Custard sweets

@TheWhiskyWire Floral fresh, with wisps of apple & vanilla
@whiskyrepublic That vanilla really comes through - almost a vanilla & custard fusion. Vanilla custard if you will! 
@ifotou Fruity, oranges apples and touch of lime, with fresh vanilla pods. a hint of freesias and a little edge of digestive biscuit
@TheWhiskyWire Just by the nose alone this stands out to be a real drop of class in a glass!
@whiskytube Sweet palate mixed with a vanilla infused butter with a dusting of spice on the finish
@jalcock1982 Bargain price really for such a easy drinking tasty dram 
@saint_jimmy A lot of ginger on the taste. Vanilla, fudge and dried coconut. A almost salty, lingering finish 

Whisky Discovery #267

Cutty Storm (40% abv)
Blended Scotch Whisky
circa £18.00 70cl
Cutty Sark Whisky

The recently released Storm was our second dram for the evening and a new Whisky Discovery to the both of us

Crafted from the same top quality grain whisky as Cutty Sark Blend, Storm features a higher proportion of older single malts resulting in a fascinating blend of brooding depth and exciting complexity.

Master Blender, Kirsteen Campbell, has created a profoundly rich whisky which, although bolder and deeper, is in keeping with the Cutty Sark philosophy of accessibility and versatility.

Impactful older whiskies from the world’s most celebrated distilleries have been used to create a tempestuous blended Scotch whisky; between the depth of flavour of the older malts and the vibrancy of the fresher grains lies the perfect Storm.

Kirsteen told us that Storm contains higher percentage of malt & older malts to give it richer edge, again American Oak rather than European Oak sherry casks are used. Kirsteen went on to say that she wanted to give it an edge over the Cutty Sark Original Blend and taste wise it’s Cutty with a bit of a kick! This is Kirsteen's second creation after the fabulous 25 Year Old Tam O’Shanter 

Official Tasting Notes

Appearance: Bright amber - with a suggestion of hidden depths
Nose: Rich and exotic, fudge and tropical fruit – intriguing depth that only comes from aged malts.
Palate: Sweet, ripe stone fruit, peaches and cream – layers of complexity and attractive velvet texture.
Finish: Gently drying, medium to good length, spicy with undertones of oak – exuberant yet mature with perfect balance.

So What Did We Think?

Kat said:  On the nose I had fresh papaya and was getting sense that this has some sherry cask in it, with dried fruits; raisins and figs. I also found coffee and some cedar wood. After a little longer hints of vanilla came through with a hot chili kick!  I Liked it!

Very smooth and silky on the palate with fruity notes coming through and towards the end there's a taste like fresh greens or raw broccoli.

Dave said: I found rich dried tropical fruit mix on the nose; coconut, pineapple, mango, papaya with some raisins and sultanas too, a little sherried fruit and toffee fudge, after a little while the vanilla was teased out. There was fleeting a sour note too.

On the palate it was much richer than the Original and felt more viscous with a darker, creamier sweetness at first, then a spicy pepper attack.

Some of my favourite tweets for this expression

@whiskytube Has a briny salty nose with a subtle sweetness at the finish

@whiskyrepublic Very subtle nose, the merest hint of tobacco? An autumn forest floor...earthy....wet, pleasant leaf-mash notes
@bumpythechemist Sherry cask influence on the nose. balsamic vinegar and a little smoking match on the storm. older, more complex nose
@whiskytube Getting a lot of oak on the nose here. I get a hint of tropical fruits too
@MaltBox Surprisingly rich and fruity, mango? toffee, very rich, getting coffee and kiwi fruit too
@TheWhiskyWire A steal at the price
@ifotou Big Sherry influence, tobacco leaves and a touch of fresh leather with a large handful of sultanas and raisins a little dewy grass
@whiskyrepublic This hasn't got a long finish but nor is it gone in a flash...more of a gentle farewell. Adieu mon orage
@whiskytube Really getting that coffee coming through on the palate mixed with a lot of demerara sugar

Cutty Sark Whisky

Whisky Discovery #72

Cutty Sark 12 Year Old (40% abv)
Blended Scotch Whisky
circa £24.00 70cl
Cutty Sark Whisky

Another first tasted this back in April of this year on the first Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting so click on the link to find out what I thought then and see how it compares this time.

So What Did I Think?

Kat said:  My initial tweet when nosing this 12 Year Old expression was "Ooohhh getting chocolate on the nose immediately!" Then I started getting some nutty notes, honey roasted nuts. which developed into roasted sesame seeds with a slight oiliness to it, which in turn developed into Brazil nuts. I loved the nutty woody notes, while still retaining a lovely freshness.

This was really nice and very smooth, with a hint of mild pepper at the end. I started getting a woody dried leaves taste probably from the sherry casks right at the very end.

Dave said: Dark marmalade on buttered granary toast, wet oak wood, malty biscuits and  dried fruits coming through now, and some honey. There seems to me a light smoky char underlying too

Much lighter and fresher than I was expecting on the palate. Lots of vanilla creaminess, citrus freshness and a light chili zing

Some of my favourite tweets for this expression

@whiskytube It has a syrupy nose with maybe some hints of figs. That famous vanilla is back too!

@jalcock1982 Pleasant nose fruity, rum and raisin, butter icing, sherry, all spice, Christmas Pudding
@bumpythechemist Fruity, rummy, sherry. very complex and balanced
@dvdbloke Very complex nose. creamy custard with raisin and fig compote
@ifotou Fruit cake, rum and raisin, floral gums and caramelised banana, some very tropical notes in there
@WHISKYILEACH Getting the chocolate hazel nuts smothered in honey
@dvdbloke Light, well balanced, honey nut sweetness, thick, long drying finish, with fruit cakey excellence. Beautiful, just beautiful
@whiskyrepublic Smooth on the palate, gentle spicy sweetness, toffee - Marathonesque....(or should that be Snickeresque?)
@cuttysarkblend Nuttiness coming through as the whisky complexity increases with age. Combination of great casks and fantastic whiskies

Whisky Discovery #73

Cutty Sark 18 Year Old (43% abv)
Blended Scotch Whisky
circa £57.00 70cl
Cutty Sark Whisky

Another first tasted this back in April of this year on the first Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting so click on the link to find out what I thought then and see how it compares this time.

So What Did I Think?

Kat said:  I can't remember having any whiskies to date with as many nutty notes., again this 18 year old has a similar profile, it's really interesting. After a little while I was picking out toffee and chocolate on the nose.

On the palate I was getting mincemeat from mince pies, and thought that this would be nice with a bit of ginger cake. Towards the end there was a bitter sweet caramel finish. 

Dave said: On the nose I was immediately getting Christmas Cake, marzipan, ginger, clove spice, vanilla, candied peel, even a little liquorice coming through. Then after a short while, although starting off much more Christmassy, became more Jamaican Ginger Cake like. 

There were some dark chocolate notes, which reminded me that I had bought some Green and Black's Chili Spice Dark Chocolate, and dash out to the fridge to get some!

On the palate it was absolutely mind-blowing with that chocolate!

Some of my favourite tweets for this expression

@TheWhiskyWire Just from a mere sniffette you know a rich rewarding rumpus awaits

@bumpythechemist Tropical sherry, limes in with the raisins and dried fruit. a little meatiness too on the nose
@MaltBox Very Speysider-esque oof this smells good, deep christmas pudding and parkin cake with sherry, orange peel and strong maltyness
@DramStats Nose: chocolate, Coffee beans, dark sherry and plums, Jamaican ginger cake, almonds and soft brown sugar. Wow
@whiskytube A waxy nose with lashings of dried fruits covered in a splash of vanilla essence and steeped in honey!
@jalcock1982 Lovely balanced, sherry, fruitcake, vanilla again, damp, rich, beautifully complex nose
@DramStats Anyone get Jamaican ginger cake on the nose? Loving this
@whiskyrepublic Wow, a robust dram....fresh sawdust drinking a luscious liquidised bread pudding a la Heston Blumenthal
@bumpythechemist Bitter liquorice up front, quite a cloying sweet sherry note to balance on the palate. lots of orange and dark chocolate

As per previous Tweet Tastings there was a great deal of tweeting going on and to see what happened search on the #CuttyTT2 hashtag on twitter for the full story!

Yet another great experience and another highlight of my whisky journey, registering just the one new ‘Discovery’ for me this time, but all four were new for Kat. 

A massive THANK YOU to Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and Kirsteen Campbell, Master Blender at @cuttysarkblend as well as the rest of the team at Cutty Sark and of course the tweet tasters.

This events tweet tasters were:

@TheWhiskyWire @steveprentice @WhiskyDiscovery @FrazerJ @ifotou @dvdbloke @PMaitlando @MaltBox @PresleyKa @WhiskyRepublic @whiskytube @Saint_Jimmy @LRWhisky @WhiskyDemon @bumpythechemist @Dramstats @jalcock1982 @WhiskyIleach

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