We just woke up after a dream tasting and we realized that everything was real: while we were dreaming, we were living, and drinking and enjoying the purest pleasure. Last Saturday, at the Harp Pub Guinness in Milan, we tasted paradise nectars, apart from a 20 yo Port Ellen Rare Malts. About fifteen people attended it: very few, but their happy faces at the end of the day witness that being there was the right decision.
Icing on the cake was a legendary Macallan, one of those masterpieces imported by Rinaldi that helped to create the myth of this distillery in the last century and to transform the Italian market in a Mekkah for collectors. Let’s fall asleep again…
N: immediately open, its intensity is massive. We should rehash the sherry cask concept: here we have a super-sherry cask, with amplified traditional notes. There’s a double vibe, two opposite fields: on one hand you have an “ancient” atmosphere, with scent of old books; on the other hand a fresh, lively and juicy parade of fruits: all the ex-sherry stamps are here, prunes, sultanas, figues, red berries (strawberries, raspberries, cherries). Peaches and mango too, besides a powerful citrus presence with orange, chinotto and bergamot (Earl Grey tea?). It’s easily recognazible also a bakery/pastry profile that reminds of chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar and custard. The whole thing is surrounded by a cuddly aroma of old paper, fragrant wood (old furniture) and glimpses of spices. Tamarind, pipe tobacco. Balsamic.
P: really surprising, compared to the nose. Because, after some confirmations (the balsamic, resinous side takes centre-stage with pine notes), you can’t say that this whisky is a sweet bomb. Tannins are too intense. Not really off-notes, but definetely distinctive ones. Strong taste of balsamic and minty sweets, like Valda pastilles. In general terms, a liqueur’ soul is well defined and you can easily imagine Grand Marnier. Sensational red fruits (cherries!), chocolate, citrus and a bit of mango. The spirit is seriously intense and lively.
F: oak, tobacco, dried fruits (walnuts and hazelnuts). Red fruits, citrus.
The superbe nose would deserve much more than 90 points, but the palate is disorienting. We wonder if 42 years spent in the bottle changed anything. Or maybe we aren’t trained enough for these pieces of History. Anyway, we experimented an interesting and original split between a balsamic/woody side and a more traditional, sweet and fruity one. A two-faced whisky that – don’t get us wrong – we really loved. Indeed, 92/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Aqualung – Strange and beautiful