In: Minutes28 Sep 2010
Minutes of the Meeting
September 25, 2010
Members Present: Single Malts Present:
Bruce Card Ledaig 10
Mike Day Ardbeg 10
Jake Hartigan (V) Caoil Ila 12
Jim Dice Scapa 16
Bobby Fowler Springbank 10
Jim Spaulding The Arran Malt
1. This meeting of the Old SNOTS was held at the O’Fallon residence of Mr. Gary Machovina. Gary once again did a superb job of hosting our auspicious group; our thanks to him for hosting another great event. This meeting produced two faces that are relatively new to many in our group. Jim Spaulding, an Old SNOTS veteran, recently PCS’d back to Scott AFB rejoining us following a few years absence. Jake Hartigan, a virgin to the group, was finally able to attend after several months of schedule conflicts. Glad to have both of you gentlemen with us.
2. After a fantastic meal, we settled down to sample the evening’s selections of single malts, but first a few orders of business were attended to. It was noted that with such a large group and the need to charge a fee to those who did not bring a bottle, our fine group needed to impart financial responsibilities upon a designated purser. Fortunately, earlier in the evening, and without his consent or presence, a rogue group of our clan unanimously appointed Bruce Card to carry out this duty. Bruce being a fine man of good character and possessing an ability to count without removing his shoes, gladly(ok, begrudgingly) accepted the duty—thanks Bruce. It was further decided that the host should be exempted from this bottle fee as they will likely spend far more on carpet cleaning following our visit. Further discussion took place on the idea of saving part of the fees to purchase a “special” bottle at the end of the year—though this conversation bogged down in matters pertaining to what genre of Scotch would be purchased. Jim Spaulding suggested financing this bottle through a ponzi scheme…there were no takers.
3. The reviews.
a. Ledaig 10
“That’s an odd aroma”-Steve; “Nice aroma”-Jim D; “This could be the best of the evening”-Gail; “This is an arbitrary lineup tonight”-Steve; “This one has a lot of things going on”-Mike R; “Really light, almost no burn”-Bruce; “Taste like cough medicine”-Stan; “Vanilla”-Gary; “I like the taste of this one”-Jake; “Seaweed flavor”-Stan; (At this point, after tasting, Mark Caslen made an ugly expression on his face that words just cannot do justice); “Like being in the ocean and getting saltwater up your nose”-Mark C.
b. Scapa 16
“Big hint of vanilla on the nose”-Stan; “Vanilla…snooker doodle”-Gail; “Or dirty sock”-Bruce; “Bourbon cask”-Gary; “Sour mash smell”-Mo; “Almost bourbon tasting”-Steve; “You can really taste the bourbon after you taste it”-Mike R; “Now think about that last statement!”- Mike D
c. The Arran Malt
“Weak aroma”-Jim D; “Horseradish effect, that slaps your taste buds; harsh and almost burns”-Gail; “Water sweetens it up”-Steve; “When you add water, it expands the alcohol”-Bobby; “Yea, entirely different flavor”-Steve
d. Springbank 10
“Another weak nose, weak flavor”-Jim D; “Sherry nose, clover maybe”-Mo; “Floral nose”-Stan; “My tongue is still burning from number 3”-Bruce; “Not much finish”-Mo; “Flat finish”-Gail; “Hint of peat”-Bobby; “Butterscotch nose”-Mike D (Scribes note: Springbank would have not received such lackluster comments had it not followed a cask strength whisky)
e. Caoil Ila 12
“Hint of peat”-Gail; “Hint of asphalt”-Jim D. “Salty peat”-Gail; “Pick that one out of my teeth”-Mike R; “Jake’s turning green”-Mike R; “A lot of smokiness”-Bobby; “This might be good for a pheasant hunt”-Gary; “This would go well with cigars”-Bobby; “Yea, it taste like an ashtray”-Gail
f. Ardbeg 10
“Hickory aroma”-Jim D; “Starts out tasting like dirt; taste more like sod than peat”-Gail; “Have you tasted sod”-Jim D; “I used to play softball”-Gail; “A lot going on here”-Mike R; “Changes flavor as you drink it”-Bobby; “Starts mellow, then gets a deeper flavor…water sweetens it”-Bobby
4. It should be noted that this was a blind tasting, which makes some of the above comments rather interesting. Islay lovers not necessarily loving all Islays; Highland lovers tolerating Islays. The scribe must admit, in extreme shame, that he actually voted for the Ardbeg; Brian Kelly would have been proud! What does this all mean? Has the world changed? Will the sun come up in the west tomorrow? Probably not, but perchance our group has taken one more step in refining our taste for single malts. After a long game of “guess the bottle,” Steve finally let us all in on which Scotch was which. With six votes the Springbank 10 came in first (see comments above) with the Ardbeg 10 and Ledaig 10 bringing in a distant silver and bronze medal performance. All of these Scotches were very different, with a tasting most of us didn’t expect. We did agree that none of us are getting any younger and perhaps it was time for Steve to place larger numbers on the decanters so we can identify them…or just get bigger bottles. Then we all sipped on single malt while we watched Jake explore every room in the house in search of the bathroom. “If there’s a washer in there, STOP!”—Gary.
5. The next gather of the Old SNOTS will be held in October at Mr. Stan Skavdal’s residence. We’ll sample Speysides at that gathering. Hope to see ya then.
“Cab for Bean?!”
A group of men and women from all walks of life and all parts of the globe who, when the situation permits, warrants or demands, succumb to the reverence of Scotland’s most distinctive product—uisghe beatha, water of life, single malt whisky—and firmly of the conviction that “Whisky may not cure the common cold, but it fails more agreeably than most other things.”