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Monday 5 October 2009

Manager's Choice... Part Deux

In the 2008 / 2009 season, there were 9 managerial changes in the English Premier league. That's nearly 50% of the clubs choosing to replace the man at the helm, the man with whom the buck stops, the man whose stamp is on the team.

Diageo are certainly one of the major Premiership clubs when it comes to drinks, esp with regard to whisky. What a haul of distilleries they own, run and draw fantastic profit from. Yes, their starting line up includes international super-stars such as Arthur Guiness and Jose Cuervo all dressed up in their nice Red Stripe kit and marshalled brilliantly by Captain Morgan.
But there is some home-grown Brit talent in there too. The English midfield of Archers and Pimms, backed up by Tanqueray and Gordons, but it is their Scottish talent which which really shines through. The back line of solid, dependable drams which are consistently good if not spectacular.

In the Manager's Choice we get to see these distilleries individually, on player-cam as it were, at their supposed very best. In this first release of the rare bottlings, we get to see the first-team regulars of Oban, Cardhu, Mortlach and Linkwood. And the lesser known bench-warmers of Teninich and Glen Elgin. Below we saw how the Oban, Linkwood and Glen Elgin got on up close, so lets see how the other three get on with their bid for first team glory.

Teaninich - Distilled 1996 / Bottled 2009 - Managers' Choice - cask 9802 - 246 bottles -

Nose: Well, you'd know where this comes from, just by the nose. Is that a hint of Glenmorangie whipping up the nostrils! Plenty of light, floral notes, brandy-butter, vanilla, clear apple juice, almonds. Pleasant.

Palate: Humm, not what I expected at all. A huge explosion of moss and earth, dark chocolate moose, oak and toffee. With water the dark chocolate powder.

Finish: Medium, sweet and fruity like moist fruit cake.

Overall: A nice dram that really performs well with a drop of water in. Some lovely flora
l aspects which make this a great example of the distillery.

Mortlach - Distilled 1997 / Bottled 2009 - Managers' Choice -
cask 6802 - 240 bottles - 57.1% Vol

Nose: So much character comes shooting out of the glass with the overriding sense of honey roast ham crisps by Branaggans backed up with spearmint.

Palate: It's an odd one this. With a 57.1% you'd think a drop of water is required, but I found it okay without, but it didn't really perform as well as I'd hoped. A little lackluster and with water even more so. Like mash potato with too much milk in it.

Finish: quite yeasty in a Real Ale sense, the finish is quite long and hot with a meaty quality like bovril or bisto.

Overall: 'Bulky' would be the word to describe this one. Complex if we were being kind.

Cardhu - Distilled 1997 / Bottled 2009 - Managers' Choice -
cask 3362 - 252 bottles - 57.3% Vol

Nose: A lovely nose of coconut, vanilla, lemon drizzle cake / homemade lemonade. Really fresh and lovely. If my clothes came out of the washer smelling like this, I'd be happy! With water
, a hint of white pepper.

Palate: Strong and robust, with zests of lemon and lime. With water: This really comes to life. Really yummy now the strength is knocked down and the flavours really come to life. All the citrus fruits: orange, kiwi, lemon and lime come flooding out. Super stuff.

Finish: A great length; not too short, not too long. The epitome of medium! This malt coats your mouth with a delicate waxiness and leaves you just dry enough to want to take another sip, like a good dry white wine.

Overall: Absolutely the best of the three in this section of the tasting. A stick-on first teamer and so far the first name on my team sheet.

Overall our favorite was the Cardhu by a county mile. We're yet to see the big guns of Talisker, Lagavulin and Caol Ila but on this evidence Diageo need to get those guys off the bench and on to the pitch, to really show their skills off. This ain't no pre-season friendly, this is real life. And Diageo need to play to their strengths. On this evidence, the only Glen they need is Glen Hoddle.

**Note: We have now freed up the "comments" section of the bog so anyone can now leave us a comment, not just registered users! Enjoy!**