No matter who you are, its true. You really dont. There is probably no better way to humble yourself than to blindly test a whisky that you know nothing about, and to do it publicly just to give that extra element of pressure.
So when a bottle marked only with a ‘?’ arrived from whisky writer, commentator and all round top whisky chap Greg ‘Great Drams’ Dillon then the challenge was on.
I had also sent him a UDO (unidentified dramming object) which we will discuss in a future article, and now it was my turn to analyse the contents of the mystery bottle sat before me.
Gregs Mystery Dram, ?abv, ?OB, ?IB, avaliable?
The nose is slightly nutty, almonds and toffee. Reminiscent of peanut brittle toffee. There is sherry here, alongside an oaky and spiced sharpness. A very mild soapyness emerges with the addition of some water.
The palate continues to be tannic, nutty and a little dry. There are red fruits here along with a gentle woodiness and a slight hint of honey. Water reveals some delicious buttery vanilla and some sultanas.
The finish is long and tannic. The oak and nutty elements remain thought but a butteriness appears alongside some spices, specifically cloves.
Obviously cask strength and from a sherry cask at that.
Spirit is light in style, with a honeyed feeling so I’m thinking Speyside.
Not a huge sherry bomb, so I’d guess perhaps an older dram, second fill sherry cask.
Middle age, perhaps high teens. Seems too light to be first fill.
Distillery? Nothing specific jumps out as regards Distillery DNA, which doesn’t help my cause, but it’s definitely a light and mellow spirit and smooth in nature.
So I’m thinking due to that then it’s likely to be one that’s also commonly found blends. Auchroisk, Longmorn, Aultmore or similar.
And now the reveal…..
It was in fact: (insert drum roll)
Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 5, OB, 59.8%abv, sourced by sample swap, available here (or at the Distillery)
Wrong about the region and the cask type (first fill, not second).
Oh and wrong about the age too. In fact did l get anything right?
How close was I?
Probably not very, but getting it right wasn’t really the point of the exercise (although it would have been nice)
The point was to sharpen the palate and the mind, to show how much knowing what you are drinking influences your senses and what you perceive to be drinking.
Go on, try it and let me know how you get on.
Please do check out Gregs website, its a mine of whisky information.