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With water (at roughly 43% to make it more comparable with the oldies): it got even straighter, on a pure mix of seawater and lemon juice. Mouth (neat): again, what’s striking is that there’s much more lemon and even lime in this ‘new’ one.

I’m in the urinals, and the gentleman next to me, eyes pointed purposefully on the porcelain, says “Jeez, this one’s gonna be the hottest I’ve had for years”. Just read the slogan on the back of the matching T-shirts worn by the two rather militant ladies we saw somewhere – “The home of the blues is in the Delta, not a restaurant’.But the fact remains that they’re capable of bringing medium-name headliners to venues such as this, which local promoters would probably find difficult to do.Cough drops, orange liqueur, malt, grilled herbs, bitter chocolate, bitter oranges… Nose: we’re starting more or les in the same vein as with the 1951, except that this is somewhat rounder and more candied and orangey, less austere. Comments: maybe a little old Islay style on the nose but definitely ‘Talisker’ on the palate. Nose: this one is sort of between the 1951 and the 1952 at first nosing, mid-ashy, mid-orangey, but also with much bigger notes of shoe polish and soot. Certainly drier than both the 1951 and the 1952 now, with even more shoe polish, metal polish, ink, gun grease, wet chalk… Amazing how these three old Taliskers are similar yet different on the nose. It’s much more ‘coastal’, with much more notes of iodine, sea air, oysters, kelp…Granted, there’s a little less complexity than on the nose but it’s still wonderful. Finish: medium long, all on oranges, salt, peat and tea. It’s also a little more medicinal, somewhat more Islay style. Develops on more minty and resinous notes, camphor, metal polish, cough medicine… A work of art, amazingly big at 43% and after 35 years in glass. There’s also quite some ‘good’ soap; I mean, not soapy soap, rather deluxe soap. Mouth: very coherent, with again these resinous and waxy notes. Comments: well, this one is the least impressive on the palate but the nose was absolutely amazing, which will prevent me from going below 90 points. As for the fruity side, we left the oranges for more lemons and green apples.More smoke as well (roasted chestnuts, BBQ) and whiffs of fresh mint. Comments: amazing saltiness, we’re very far from the light and easy young Glen Grants. Nose: more austere than the older G&M, less meaty (but it could not have been meatier on the nose), with unusual notes of crystallised lemons and plain lemonade and orangeade. Lemon-scented candles, waxed paper, fermenting hay, dust, curry and mustard. Finish: long, even more on lager (say Pils), with hops’ bitterness. Nose: starts a bit spirity and on rather heavy notes of cut apples. Mouth: lively, quite malty and grainy, developing on apples again. That makes quite a difference since WF currently gathers more or less 2,800 visits a day, whilst only 1,500 of them are really 100% ‘useful’ in our opinion. Comments: like when you mistakenly swallow shampoo while taking a shower. Comments: this cask managed to tame the fearless spirit. I believe this was already distilled by the new owners. Redcurrants jelly, kriek, butter cream and cherry stem tea. Remember Ballechin #1 was matured in Burgundy and #2 in Madeira. Port hogsheads, that is to say casks made in Scotland out of ex-Port wood, are obviously much less ‘winey’ than plain Port casks. Seriously, this is great, very different from most other peated whiskies but probably ‘closer to Islay’ than batches #2 and 3. Mouth: excellent, perfect alliance of the peat and the candied side from the cask. Mouth (neat): powerful, aggressive, bitter and cardboardy. With water: indeed, water helped a bit this time but the whole is still week and grassy. Comments: maybe a tad better than the 1974 on the palate but way ‘under’ the OB – and it wasn’t the best OB ever.

With water: keeps developing and quite beautifully so. Very interesting but maybe not one to pour to your favourite neighbours. ‘First rain after three dry weeks in a large city’ (oh well…) Not the average Glen Grant for sure, nor the average malt whisky. Not that it’s unpleasant, especially since it gets then cleaner, more on apple juice and flints. Comments: interesting that Glen Grant chose this cask as one of their new limited OB’s, now that they seem to have gained more autonomy (under Campari’s ownership.) Rather demanding but we applaud. But we’re shooting for quality anyway, not quantity (proof: YOU are reading this! There’s some iodine (yeah we know where Pitlochry is), hints of bandages, then marzipan, quite some nutmeg, ginger powder, fresh walnuts, light peat smoke and, I must say, these notes of rosemary that we already found in older Edradours, except that they’re much, much more pleasant here. Farmy, albeit less so than earlier batches, more polished, with a fruitiness that’s more on ripe apricots and plums, lemon balm sweets (say Ricola) and kumquats. Comments: it started quite well but never stopped dwindling down. Nose: the biggest of them all, but also the most spirity. Just between us, one may understand why some distilleries don’t like to see their brand names on such dodgy bottlings… Recommended listening: let's have a bit of 'joyful electronica' by Madrid De Los Austrias (Heinz Tronigger and Michael Kreiner) today.

Anyway, here are these figures for last month (Sept 2008): These figures do show that indeed, ‘new countries’ progress much more than ‘old ones’, that is to say that these countries seem to be more and more into single malt whisky (and high-class music reviews! Finish: long, a tad cleaner now, more candied and kind of roasted. Great notes of almond milk and even quite some salt. We had batch #1 at 85 and #2 at 86, and this deserves 87. We don’t know what will be on next year, maybe Sauternes? Five were at 16 shillings (Tormore, Talisker, Ardmore, Macallan and Laphroaig) whilst two were at 16.3 shillings (Glenlivet and Glen Grant) and only one, the most expensive, at 16.9 shillings: Edradour! Nose: starts quite austere, on apple peelings and linseed oil, with hints of wet newspapers. Goes on with notes of paraffin, fresh walnuts, roots and newly cut grass, with just faint lemony notes in the background. A slightly phenolic St Magdalene, maybe a tad rigid but interesting in its own style. Mouth (neat): fruity and even sweet at very first sipping but soon to get oddly vegetal and bitterish. As you may already know, The Malt Maniacs' Awards 2008 are on! Nose: let’s be honest, it’s not quite fair to try recent Caol Ilas after a wonder such as the 1966, but I must say this one is not ridiculous at all - much less so than the pleonastically senile pope anyway (oops).

) It is to be noted that within Asia, the Persian Gulf countries are really skyrocketing. ), India ( 230%), Poland ( 212%), Brazil ( 182%), Russia ( 144%), Norway ( 143%), Spain ( 135%), Greece ( 121%) and Australia ( 108%) that are doing very well among the 'large' countries. Comments: the nose was very nice but the palate is a tad too ‘wacky’ for my taste. Mouth: a tad rounder now and, to tell you the truth, more appealing. Comments: the nose is a tad shy but the palate is very pleasant. Limited to 200 'candidates' (we have 198 new whiskies to try this year, actually) and, as always, completely free and indepedendent. Just the perfect mix of tar, kelp, peat smoke, antiseptic, flints, oysters, seawater and spearmint. From a refill hogshead, with a funny retro label that’s close to the original BBR label from the 1970’s (couldn’t find the old Remington or Underwood in the basement? Fruitier, younger in style even if it’s already 28yo, probably less complex but still very clean and pure.

Please buy any music by Michel Hausser that you may find. But now, like most things it seems, House of Blues (but not the shack) is owned by Live Nation.

It could be the most disconcerting thing that’s ever happened to me. For many, HOB represents perhaps one of the worst manifestations of Corporate Rock, including collaborations with hotel chains and casinos, And many might wonder at the expanding influence of businesses like Live Nation, with through-the-line interests from artist management, to promotion, to venue ownership.

You have to listen to this one to understand just how good it is – naturally razor-sharp guitar playing from the school of Stevie Ray Vaughan and an astonishingly mature voice with a soulful growl reminiscent of Joe Cocker at his best. However, I was prepared to give Mr Lang the benefit of the doubt – on stage he’s a charming, modest and genuine sort of guy, still with the winning smile of a teenager, and when he plays (and my goodness, how he plays) a grimace worthy of the finest blues guitarists.