Through the years, the independent bottlers are getting stronger in pushing out their expressions of single malts. In the recent five years, I've been tasting more and more of them. Thought I would do a refresher at the bars around the island. Heeeee. It makes for a very fun ladies' night out.
Went to La Maison du Whisky (LMDW) to taste their own line of Artist bottlings, and their various expressions by Signatory Vintage. So far, I prefer WM Cadenhead's expressions; Signatory Vintage's interpretations come a close second. I've completely forgotten what LMDW's Artist offers, so that night, it was very nice to knock back a few drams.
As much as I try to stay away from the usual Islay malts, the mood of the night simply brings me back to them. No exception for the evening. We had the tasting flight of Artist's Bunnahabhain 25 y.o, Laphroaig 15 y.o and a Caol Ila 30 y.o, in that order. The art on the labels are beautiful. The Bunnahabhain 25 y.o and Laphroaig 15 y.o are done by LMDW's Artist #3- Charles Peloye in his series of illustrations of characters of the world. The Glen Craig 1976 in a bourbon barrel shows a familiar Asian coolie at work. Caol Ila 30y.o is drawn by LMDW's Artist #4- Albane Simon in her series of surrealistic portrayal of the Californian coast.
There was a Signatory Vintage's Caol Ila 1995 Hogshead 19 y.o. Beautiful. Mellow and punchy. The girlfriend ended with a Gordon and Macphail's very fruity, apples and plums, and full-bodied LMDW single cask exclusive of Strathisla 1965 45 y.o (bottled in 2011).
The good thing about LMDW's location- there're plenty of later-night dining options in the area. Eating at 10.30pm will still get us decent food. Yup. We usually drink first and eat later. Hurhuhur. Priorities, you see. That's assuming we'd all have separately nibbled on something late afternoon before escaping from the clients/offices and zoom to this oasis of a whisky bar.