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Friday, 11 June 2010

A Berry Good Friday Threesome



Sometimes the puns slip off the tongue far too easily, but as Friday's sunshine descends into a lovely warm evening, here's a trio of new releases from Berry Bros & Rudd to get your lips around.

Berrys' Own Selection - Glenlossie - 1975 - 49.8%

Nose: Menthol, earthiness (freshly turned soil) some mossy/leafy notes and a little burnt orange, combine with some much lighter, sweeter vanilla/white chocolate aromas. Really superbly balanced. With the addition of water, a hint of candle wax and some floral soap and a fabulous sweet berry note.

Palate: Malt, coupled with some of those minty/menthol notes, with a drying backbeat of rich blood oranges, a hint of sweetness of the marzipan variety and a little prickle from some peppery spices, including cinnamon. A very impressive and well balanced drop indeed.

Finish:
The orange notes morph into some lingering florals and the palate dries off over a very long time indeed.

Overall:
What a superbly pleasant surprise. Glenlossie isn't a distillery we've had the pleasure to cover much but this sets the benchmark right up there. It's a bottling from my birth year, so will now be on the 'list' of purchases for my 40th birthday celebrations (to be fair, a few years off yet!)
Next up... a rather interesting grain...

Berrys' Own Selection - Girvan Grain - 1989 - 45.1%

Nose: A very light and fruity entry, followed by some damp sugar paper, a hint of engine oil, wool sweaters, marzipan and candy floss. Sounds crazy, but this reminded me of the aromas you'd get at an old fashioned steam fair!! And I mean that in the best possible way.

Palate: Wow, super sweet with a big creamy fudge note dominating the mouth. I just returned from St Ives and bought back some Cornish fudge- the similarities are stunning. As the sweetness dies away, some crystal clean grain comes through, into a hint of lemon peel, and Glace cherries.

Finish: Short, but not short on the lingering sweetness.

Overall: Less developed than the 1971 Invergordon Single Grain, which showed really well in our BiG awards a few months ago, but this is definitely a bottle to consider if you have a sweet tooth.

Our final dram in this Friday Threesome is a feisty Cragganmore from 1997. We were driving past the distillery only yesterday- sadly no time to stop, but there's certainly another Speyside trip planned soon and Cragganmore is at the top of our lists...


Berrys' Own Selection - Cragganmore - 1997 - 58.6%

Nose: Creamy, with a soft cheese note, followed by a hint of drying sherry cask aromas, peanut brittle, olives in chilli oil and a few savoury notes. (sundried peppers) Give it a little time in the glass and the savoury elements start to balance out and a distinct note of sharp cooking apple pokes its head through for a chat.

Palate: Big mouthfeel indeed. Hot and very savoury, with a mighty maltiness, some pepper, spiced beef and mashed potato. Almost a Cottage pie in fact. Needs some water to really come alive, with a nice sweet side to the malt coupling with cream toffee as the savoury notes subside.

Finish: Lingering spices and cream make for a lengthy finish.

Overall:
I wasn't sure about this one initially and it certainly needed some water to start shining through. If you're a Cragganmore fan, i'd recommend you see if Ed or Doug have this bottling open in the shop for a wee taster- it is certainly worth it.