the whisky lounge - a journal tracking a whisky maturation project involving a newly-acquired oak cask and a significant amount of patience

Monday, June 16, 2008

At Last We Meet

I can think of no better way to take a short break from a Monday's hard work than to sit back and sample a whisky in the name of science. Working at home does have its advantages. :-)

You will doubtlessly remember just how terrible the Glen Parker was when it began. It's been showing a definite improvement over the past several weeks, but at last check was still far from something I'd want to drink, let alone serve to anyone with functional tastebuds. However, I'm now very pleased to report that the impossible has indeed happened: the formerly bland and unappealing Glen Parker has a definite character! And it's not even an off-putting character at that. It's finally starting to show some uniqueness that doesn't derive from fishiness.

The nose exhibits good strong liquorice, rich tobacco smoke and a hint of the blossoms from the crab apple trees that grew on my street when I was a child. I think that's the mystery fruity smell I'd been finding. It's still not a marvellous nose, though: the tobacco-liquorice combo is still a bit unintegrated. I find them both, but they haven't blended. All in all, though, a definite improvement.

On the tongue, things are much better than they started. It's continued the trend of moving away from resinous pine and into oak, cedar and sandalwood territory. It's not got the coniferous tang any longer. There's a hint of hard toffee, the slightest tinge of vanilla (finally!) and some black pepper and liquorice. It's got a long finish with some cinnamon, but I still must report that the peculiar pungency is still faintly there, underlying everything. The very end of the finish reveals a hint of freshly-cut hardwood. At least it doesn't taste like I'm licking a sturgeon any longer.

So, we're finally getting somewhere. It's still far from my favourite, but I'm now no longer in doubt that it will be thoroughly drinkable after maybe a few more weeks.

The cask, by the way, is holding up perfectly with the new cork: the seal holds completely. Pouring is a bit adventuresome, but hey: who doesn't need a bit of adventure now and again?

Catch you later,

Ian

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