Tag Archives: Cherry skins

Bruichladdich Black Art 2 – Whisky Reincarnate!

Islay region – 49.7%ABV – $170 | £84 | €97

Truth be told, one of my favorite posts here on the JSMWS blog was for the 1st Edition of the Bruichladdich Black Art.  I was able to touch on some of the things that helped shape me as a kid: Black Sabbath, The Ramones, Lord of the Rings & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Hold please, need to push my horn rimmed glasses up the bridge of my nose…

OK, I’m back.

While I’m not sure I can top that previous post, maybe I can tell you what’s shaping me as an adult:  First & foremost, my kids.  It’s bloody f%$&ing amazing to be a dad to two wonderful little girls.  It beats any adventure I had slaying dragons (oops, see image above).  My girls are both life changing and affirming.  Also, I’ve got a great wife/life partner who I can share this adventure with.  She’s like me only smart and funny…  and has boobies.

Music helps shape me to.  You may or may not know that I am a musician in a band called Kimono Draggin’here’s one of our videos – here’s some of our music.

The music I play really has nothing to do with the music I listen to (for the most part).

The people & bands that top my list are: Bonnie ‘prince’ billy, Joanna Newsom, Dr. Dog, The Sparks, David Bowie, Jobriath, Neil Diamond, Slayer (and many other metal bands), Gentle Giant, Yes, John Fahey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop.

Any recording with Jascha Heifetz!

And the list can go on and on…

Lastly, whisky has shaped me and continues to shape me.  If it weren’t for whisky I would not have met some many amazing people & new friends.  I’d not have this great society which is growing in ways I never imagined (most of which I can’t even talk about right now!).  It also helped me to change the way I approach the world.  I stop to smell the roses a bit more (hey, they could be a tasting note after all).  The subtleties of whisky have helped me to better appreciate the little things in life that often get missed.  It might sound stupid but, it’s true.  There are food & wine aficionados that will say the same thing.  The only difference here is that this is booze and not wine & food.

So, to broaden my horizons more, Bruichladdich has released a new whisky in their Black Art series: Black Art 2.  Thank you Bruichladdich!

On the nose Crushed cherries and toasty coconut shreds.

I’m not sure of the make up in this whisky as it’s a closely guarded secret but there’s a sense of “new wood” here; like a freshly charred barrel which is offering up some of that coconut I got plus some vanilla and fried walnuts.

A spiciness which can be confused as effervescence (or perhaps vice versa…).

Pear drops, a touch of hay and an absolute thread of smoke…

Cranberries and fried banana.

With water: the focus is more on the banana but now with added custard notes.

On the mouth Spicy, tannic and winey – think red raspberry, blackberry, fresh soil, black pepper, black cherry and cranberry (basically everything deeply red, dry and sweet).

Black cherry skins.  With water, like the first Black Art, all of the red fruits just got incredibly juicy.

Softer, less spicy but also slightly artificial.

An added note of watermelon – fantastic!

Finish It’s all on slightly salted watermelon and spice.  Long, dry and fruity.

In sum Surely this whisky is of the same “spirit” and genre of the Black Art version # 1.  Strong character, truly unique and inspiring.  It’s a whole new game that Bruichladdich and Jim McEwan have created here and I doubt anyone would be able to follow suit.  Kudos x 2 Mr. McEwan!  This is one to discuss amongst friends – a great way to start an intriguing conversation.

As an aside, I think I liked the 1st edition of Bruichladdich Black Art just a touch more than this.  Like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I will always love the Gene Wilder version more than the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version more.  PS.  That’s me with a full beard (and at least as full as this Jew will ever have) and Mr. Willy Wonka himself!

Glenmorangie Signet – Wonderfully different yet so quintessentially Glenmo!

Glenmorangie Signet

Highlands region – 46%ABV – 750ml bottle – $150200 | £110 | €134

Hi, my name is Joshua and I loves me some Glenmorangie.  But, let’s back up a little bit, shall we?

Growing up I was a fat kid.  Yeah, that’s me with the man-boy boobs and the feathered cow-lick on the left there.  We’re looking at 1984 – 1985 or so.  I was 11 or 12.  This is the summer I started getting into the Dead Kennedys and got hooked on The Goonies (can’t you just picture me doing the truffle-shuffle?) and Back to the Future.

Why do I bring this up and what does it have to do with Glenmorangie?

Well, it was the summer of 1985 where I ate ‘G-d knows how many peaches’ in one sitting after watching the Cool Hand Luke 50 egg scene just to see how many I could eat (I never did vomit, by the way).  We had 10 peaches and yes, I ate them all (shit, look at that picture of me!).  You see, I love peaches & nectarines.  Always have.  I actually prefer nectarine (they’re like peaches that got a Brazilian wax).

“Dear Joshua, what does this have to do with Glenmorangie?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  Ardbeg is known for peat & lemons.  The Balvenie has their “honeyed” notes.  And, Glenmorangie is known for it’s, among other notes, peach notes.  It’s all coming together now, right?  Love for peaches, love for Glenmorangie… see??

Ok, its a stretch.  I needed a chance to show fat Josh (yeah, right) so, there you go.  Let’s review this.

On the nose Aero milk chocolate bars.

Wonderful scents of paraffin wax.

Whiffs of recently extinguished candles.

Notes of ripe lush oranges and freshly brewed coffee.

Stewed figs and prune juice.

Underneath all of this lies the juicy peach notes (seeeeee!) that I always search for when having a Glenmorangie.

Finally, some great blasts of pipe smoke (how did I not detect this right off).

On the mouth Oh, G-d damn.  Brilliant and warming notes of melting chocolate chips with bits of cookie attached.

Whole milk and steamy lattes.

Fine dry wine.

Like some Clarets I’ve had – soft but tannic.

The mouth feel is right up my alley, lush.

Walnut shells and cherry skins.

Finish Zucchini bread and/or carrot cake with walnuts minus the cream cheese frosting.

There’s a drying nuttiness that pops up about 45 seconds after the swallow.

Yes, this is a nice, long finish!!

In sum I’ve had many-many a Glenmorangie in my whisky tasting life.  Of all the whiskies I’ve had, I’ve had more expressions of Glenmorangie than any other brand of whisk(e)y.  This expression was as much un-like a Glenmorangie as it was like the quintessential Glenmorangie.  Brilliantly different yet so dead on.  Beyond this, it’s unlike any other whisky I’ve ever had.  A bit of a conundrum but, that’s a good thing.  Kudos/Bravo Glenmorangie and Dr. Bill Lumsden!  If you have the money, this is most likely one of the nicest every day drinkers for you to have.  It’s that good.