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OSPITALETTO WHISKY FESTIVAL 2014

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As you certainly know, Italy is lucky enough to host three whisky festivals: Milan, Rome and… Ospitaletto! For the fourth year in a row, GP and Dameris arranged a high-quality tasting. And for the fourth year in a row, the happy community of singlemaltwhisky.it forum met up for a nice day of friendship, grilled meat and whisky. Besides the attended audience, there have been several surprises: first of all, the forum guys tasted and gave an opinion about five Arran samples, in order to help Claudio and Davide to choose a special bottling; furthermore, we had the opportunity to compare three Laphroaigs matured in barrels and hogsheads. Finally, Giuseppe Gervasio Dolci paid homage to all the attendees with a magnificent 1972 Tobermory bottled by Moon Import in the “De viris illustribus” series… Basically, a great show! Our greetings and hugs to any friend we met. And our gratitude to GP and Dameris, charming homeowners. Thanks.

As usual, we tasted some whiskies and we present our sketchy tasting notes: not to be taken at face value… We’ve already written about the Mannochmore. We’re going to review other expressions in the coming days…

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Bladnoch 23 yo (1977/2000, OB, Rare Malts, 53,6%)

Nice surprise from a largely unknown distillery: an extra-clean malt, a bourbon maturation still lively and pleasant, with lots of custard and vanilla/coconut/yellow fruit notes. Pleasant citrusy nuances, mainly on the palate. Hints of herbs and cereals towards the end. We’d say 86/100: simple, clean, straight to the goal.

Schermata 2014-02-24 alle 11.57.37

Ardbeg 17 (circa 2000, OB, 40%)

This nearly 18 yo Ardbeg, replaced in 2006 by the Airigh Nam Beist, has been distilled at a lower ppm level compared to the Blasda. But what a different personality! Great body, despite the abv. It’s really creamy and chewy. Ok, it’s light, but this makes it dangerously drinkable… Perfect balance between a peaty seaworthiness and a sweetness focused on caramel and vanilla. Gorgeous indeed. Hints of strawberry jam towards the end and – over time – a curious aroma of Parmesan cheese. Impressive. Easy Ardbeg, but with such a strong character: 87/100.

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Laphroaig 11 yo Cairdeas ‘Master Edition’ (2010, OB, 57,3%)

Ops, Claudio will forgive us… but we lost our notes! We remember it as a perfect example of young, modern Laphroaig, with a mix of woodiness, licorice, tropical notes and spices… It’s good, we swear. And we would have rated it 88/100. We will be more precise if we’ll find those missing tasting notes…

Recommended soundtrack: Anna F – DNA, let’s party forever!

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