Thursday, 13 December 2012

Milroys of Soho Tweet Tasting

This was The Whisky Wire's last Tweet Tasting of 2012, and this time we had four drams from independent bottler Milroy's of Soho. Founded in 1964 by John and Wallace Milroy, Milroy's of Soho is London's original whisky specialist. They carry a comprehensive range of more than 700 hand selected whiskies from around the world. All of the operating and many of Scotland's closed distilleries are represented, together with a strong selection from Ireland, Japan, the USA and Canada. The whisky selection is supplemented by a collection of fine Rum, Cognac, Armagnac and other spirits. Over the years, the Milroy's of Soho wine offering has expanded and they now have access to a portfolio of over 2,000 Champagnes, wines and fine wines. 

Visitors to the shop will find over 300 malts available for tasting at any one time and the shop runs a programme of tutored tastings throughout the year in its own tasting cellar.

The four drams arrived in plenty of time although a few of the tasters had lost samples in the post. I ended up with four intact bottles but number four was either not filled or leaked in transit as there was barely a dram left in the bottle. Proceedings started as usual at seven o'clock with Steve of @TheWhiskyWire leading the tasting we started with our first whisky, labelled strangely enough with a number one:

Whisky Discovery #282

Finest Blended Malt, (40% abv)
Blended Malt Whisky
£19.95 70cl

The label reads: An elegant, malty blend selected from distinguished Highland and Speyside distilleries. Aged in high grade hogshead casks to achieve a perfect balance that is seductively rich and mellow. We were told that up to thirty single malts are used to create this blended malt whisky.

So What Did I Think?

This had a lovely nose, very sweet, with honey, a little light sherry, toffees, a light fruit cake note that reminded me of the slices of cake that were singularly wrapped that we had at school, Madeira cake I think it was called, made by Huntley and Palmer's I'm sure. After a little while I started to get a little maltiness now and then a good hit of vanilla. There was a light white pepper along with some richer spices too.

On the palate there was an initial citrus flash which then turns sweet and creamy, with vanilla toffees, honey, malt and a nice spicy pepper kick at the end.

I went back to nose this after our third third dram and it had opened up to smell strongly of melted vanilla ice cream or cream soda, really sweet. This is an excellent value for money blended malt whisky, very easy drinking, smooth and creamy, quite sweet but with a spicy pepper kick at the end.

Some of my favourite tweets for this blended malt

@champdenwhite: At first a little sweetness and then some fruit cake.
@dvdbloke: Nose - Honey syrup sweet. vanilla, tiny whiff of light smoke.
@TIA568B: Lots of spongy sweetness, vanilla, with maybe a faint whiff of spice on the nose of this one.
@DramStats: Is there Bruichladdich in this? Getting a whiff of that crumble and cream note
@TheWhiskyWire: Cardamons dipped in toffee & dusted with white pepper.
@rickfurzer: Spiced pears moving into baked apples & hint of cinnamon & all spice
@petedrinks: Vanilla, honey, perhaps a little sherry on the nose. No pears though, so clearly my nose is broken
@ifotou: Nose: Homemade Victoria cream sponge cake sweet but cereally slight smoky notes hiding in the background a touch of ground ginger
@TIA568B Really nice, smells like my grans kitchen when she was baking cake
@steveprentice: Palate: Smooth and easy drinking, touch of spice and dryness which I enjoy, not too sweet, but fruits coming though
@TheWhiskyWire: A real quaffable, cosy, confident & bountifully balanced drop of blendage. A great dram for Crimbo

Whisky Discovery #283

Longmorn 1999, 13 Year Old, Milroy's of Soho (46% abv, 2012) 
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
£35.00 70cl

This Longmorn has been drawn from a single ex-Bourbon barrel, creating a wonderfully delicate aromatic whisky. We were told that this one was bottled for light summer drinking.

So What Did I Think?

Initial impressions on the nose gave me malty notes, like fresh bread dough, before it has proved. There was a linseed oil like putty note too. The fruit started to appear by way of sultanas. Although my initial impressions seemed quite bold statements, the nose was in fact quite delicate really, which slowly released some floral notes and vanilla very feint in the background. Nosing deeply there was some mint notes too.

The palate comes across as a mixed citrus based fruit juice which gives way to a spicy chilli heat. There is the expected vanilla notes and there is a nutty dryness towards the finish

Some of my favourite tweets for this Longmorn

@whiskywardrobe: The Longmorn seems to be more shy. I get little on the nose; honey, spices, a bit floral, a bit fruity.
@champdenwhite: The Longmorn has a lighter sweetness for me, a little tropical mixed with floral. Touches of honeycomb (a waxy sweetness)
@TheWhiskyWire: Tropical fruit topped Danish pastries.
@ifotou: Nose: Tickly peppery spice start with a light smoke element,citrus fruits especially lemon and a wisp of tomato plant.
@DramStats: Nose: Biscuits! Hint of Um Bongo (seriously), slightly floral and is that tomato puree?
@dvdbloke: Palate; nice coating mouthfeel, hot pepper, boiled fruit sweets, turning dry, with a long finish of floral and sweet oak
@whiskyrepublic: Palete - Tremendous light & shade.Gentle hit followed by a powerful peppery wave fading into fruit, oak, spicy, buttery bourbon
@champdenwhite: The flavours dance across the palate quite quickly making this very interesting before becoming settled and balanced.
@TheWhiskyWire: Candied spiced oak, more suggestions of tropical fruit & a wisp of menthol freshness in the finish
@TIA568B: Surprised how much there is on the palate, tropical fruit, some Caribbean notes, spicy, more ginger, a bit of mint leaf, lovely

Whisky Discovery #284

Cooley 2001, 11 Year Old, Milroy's of Soho (46% abv, Cask 3440, 2012)
Irish Single Cask Whiskey 
£55.00 70cl

Until recently Cooley was the only privately owned distillery in Ireland. The distillery was sold at the end of last year to multinational Beam for about £60 million. This is an Irish whiskey that has been bottled in Scotland. No doubt this will become a talking point - but not for long as only 296 bottles were produced from this single cask.

So What Did I Think?

This had a great nose of bananas, pear drops, soft over-ripe papaya, and there is a subdued nail varnish note - not a burning acetone type smell, but like the nail varnish is almost dry. (I have a teenage daughter who paints her nails on an almost daily basis at the moment).

The palate picks up with the tropical over-ripe fruits; bananas, papaya and jack-fruit, coconut and limes. It builds up to a spicy crescendo which quickly sweetens back to the fruity sugars. This has a very interesting palate to go with the delightful nose

Some of my favourite tweets for this Cooley

@bumpythechemist: Lots of esters and nail varnish remover on the Cooley  then over ripe banana and sweet vanilla
@whiskywardrobe: Haha! Melon? Yep, vanilla, floral, chewing gum. Connemara for sure!
@rodbodtoo: Now that smells... different. Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more.
@MaltMad: Wow, when you said banana that hit me hard, spot on
@whiskyrepublic: Poached pear Hubba Bubba! Miguel, you were right about the Connemara I think
@TheWhiskyWire: An instant seductive lunge of bourbon influences & Fry's Turkish Delight
@whiskywardrobe: My favourite so far. So perfect... perhaps the best Connemara I have had
@rodbodtoo: Smells great! Creamy lime & coconut; herbal & rye notes, even some coriander
@ifotou: Nose: Sweet dewy grass with nail polish (not remover) heavenly floral notes, really fruity I want to dive right in and stay there
@TIA568B: I want to curl up in a ball in front of a fire, nose this and be in my own little world, reality's too cold!
@champdenwhite: Very soft and smooth on the palate, lovely sweet fruit flavours. Tropicals and white stone fruits.
@dvdbloke: palate 3 - Rye Rye Rye, vanilla, rich oak, super spicy pepper. beautiful, but so much more bourbon than whisky. still fantastic! 
@steveprentice: Palate: Much more tropical and fruity on the palate than expected, very pleasant dram this one, spicy and sweet, moorish
@rodbodtoo: Loving the Cooley 11yo. With water I'm getting the full panoply of melon/ bubblegum/ rye/ creamy limes/ bitter herbs

Whisky Discovery #285

Zuidam Dutch Rye, Milroy's of Soho (46% abv, 2012)
Dutch Rye Whisky
£75.00 70cl

My first Dutch whisky and a Rye whisky from Millstone Dutch Single Malt Whisky which is owned and operated by the Zuidam family who have more than 50 years of experience in distilling of exclusive spirits and an obsessive search for perfection.

Boasting 100% rye content, as opposed to the rye/corn mash bills seen in the United States, this rye offers intense orange aromas and citric flavours. Big and bold at only 46% ABV this is a whisky for Scotch and Bourbon aficionados alike. To cap it all off, this is the world's first single cask single rye whisky. 'The rye is actually a really nice batch. In my opinion it is from one of the best batches that we have done thus far. It took some time to age but it has this creamy rich texture that is quite rare.' Patrick Van Zuidam.

So What Did I Think?

What a powerful nose this had. Wow! There's notes of tea, lavender, jasmine oil, it's grassy, there's some Blake's decking paint, perhaps even  little linseed oil. Very complex, but with only a small amount surviving the journey to Whisky Discovery I had just one shot at compiling my nosing notes, and was perhaps a little to eager to dive in and discover the taste.

On the palate there was plenty of Rye (no shit Sherlock!) wood notes, light spices, vanilla cream, more wood notes, and some some oil based paint notes and then all of a sudden my small sample was gone!

Some of my favourite tweets for this Dutch Rye

@DramStats: Dutch Rye: Speaking of not being in Kansas anymore.... This whisky is insane. Lost for notes. Like being beaten to death with a sack of rye. In a rye field
@rodbodtoo: Nose is green/herbal, also lemon boiled sweets, also butter, varnish, workshops, dried grass, sweet hay
@whiskyrepublic: Whoa there big fella! Is this one taking me to a scary place? I think someone's burning carpets. Intriguing nose; Burnt grasses, damp, sweet, vegetal notes
@TheWhiskyWire: Rough, ready & right rollickingly remarkable. Good, good, good, good rye-brations!
@TIA568B: Ikea flat pack furniture, Lapsang souchong, pine wood, menthol, lavendar and a little grassy - Lovely!
@dvdbloke: Palate rich mouthfeel, loads of oak spice and vanilla, rye, something musty in the dry finish. complex and interesting
@ifotou: Nose: very subtle i get brown bread, really struggling to put into words how this smells, touch of acetone also
@whiskyrepublic: I'm stuck in the carpenter's workshop, the oils, the different woods, the heat, the varnish - intense & a little claustrophobic
@DramStats: Palate: Rye, creamy vanilla, freshly sawn oak shavings, cough sweets (fishermans friends or Halls extra strong no menthol, Pepper

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

Yet another great experience and another highlight of our whisky journey, registering four new ‘Discoveries’ this time.

A massive THANK YOU to Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and @Milroys as well as the rest of the team at Milroy's of Soho and of course the tweet tasters.

This events tweet tasters were:

@TheWhiskyWire @Smokiechops @WhiskyDiscovery @bumpythechemist @rodbodtoo @MaltMad @rickfurzer @ifotou @steveprentice @DramStats @TIA568B @robertcjackson @dvdbloke @champdenwhite @whiskyrepublic @petedrinks @fr1day @LaCaveDeCobalt @whiskywardrobe

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I followed along on twitter and I was mostly surprised by the Cooley comments. I would have never thought you were all discussing an Irish Whiskey based on the conversations. I wrote down in my little whisky book that I should try to get some of this in 2013. Thanks for the great blog, I will favorite this one as I see it as a great place to review and use as a resource when I'm re-examining my 2013 wish list!

Thanks Dave!