The order of the tasting was:
Cutty Sark, Famous Grouse, Black Grouse, Ben Rioch 12 yr, Glen Dronach 15 yr and Yoichi - Nikka 15 yr. My previous notes cover the Cutty Sark, Grouses, Ben Rioch and Glen Dronach. Todd and I had not tasted the Nikka 15 yr until that night.
*Nikka 15 yr 45% ABV
-smelled sweet wood/vanilla
-tasted slightly smoke/pepper
-trailed oak sour
-with water lightened the vanilla and no smoke
-tasted chalky pepper
-turned quickly to sour tannins and oak
Water is not good for this whisky!
Later the bartender at the Hilltop Restaurant gave us a taste of a rye whisky.
*Colonel E. H. Taylor Straight Rye 50%ABV
-smelled slightly sweet rye/oatmeal
-trailed a little dough
-tasted rye with chalky pepper
-with water smelled rubbery sweet confection
-tasted peppery with candy hearts, rye bread (Todd described as licorice)
-quickly went back to pepper oak
-smelled buttery rye bread
-more water - mellowed rye and increased oakiness
-trailed tannins and oak
I like rye bread. Rye whisky is somewhat of a mystery to me since I have only had a few. There are interesting sweet notes mixed with the bitterness of the grain. I would like to see how much marketing hype is pitted against the actual flavor of the rye whiskies that are supposed to be the "the next thing."