In the autumn, vintage cider apples, with wonderful names like Dabinett, Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Yarlington Mill and Harry Masters, are gathered, blended, pressed and the juice is then fermented in huge oak vats. Extremely aromatic, the fruit even masks the alcohol. A lot of sour off-beat notes, that make it difficult o drink. Absolutely wonderful, somewhat in the Highland Park 18 yo style, only even better – and peatier. Mouth: rich, superbly fruity and, again, quite peaty. You can listen to her beautiful singing on Wedding Dance (mp3). I've somehow shocked myself with the 69 points I gave to the Clynelish 14 yo (46%, OB) while tasting it blind last night. Well, if I really have to give you three names, I’d go for Drumguish, Tobermory or Loch Lomond. After three months the cider is distilled and clear spirit is trickled into either Sherry, or new Hungarian or French oak barrels. I’ll stop it right now, last time I remember I still had a sourish feeling even after I brushed my teeth two times. Palate: quite balanced like a rather good Speysider, but it’s still quite MOTR. Honey, courgette flower, crème brûlée, some lavender. Murray rated it 88, and Jackson 81, and that’s another league! The finish is quite short, making the whole quite unenjoyable. I can’t wait to taste their single malt, to be launched in… From Germany: I’ve heard good things about this new Bavarian single malt. It’s distilled twice in a 450 litres pot still, and then aged in some new American oak casks exclusively. The palate is quite powerful, with some spirity notes, a lot of fruit (melon, gooseberry, kiwi, rhubarb) and quite some wood. What's even funnier is the fact that I saw this bottle in Turkey, just next to its 'regular' version. I like her songs which gather some slightly Celtic influences (no wonder, her name is Briton), some catchy folk-rock ala Natalie Merchant and a haunting voice.
I could have one of my favourite dishes: some great Comté cheese with a Château Chalon by Jean Macle.
Have a listen to 'Roamin in the Gloamin' (both mp3 or real audio on that page). - Gone for a short trip though Jura, France last weekend.
Something like an interbreed of Joe De Francesco and Jimmy Smith. Stafford is brilliant, Jesse Davis had some Coltranian notes, and Alvin Queen... You can have a good example of her beautiful voice on Värmlandsvisan (mp3 - old Swedish song). Nose: light and quite fragrant, but curiously quite unsherried.
And if you want to have a little laugh, perhaps you can try to put your hands on her Swedish rendition of Toots Thielemans' ''Bluesette', called 'Bedårande Sommarvals' - whatever that means. Not utterly interesting, but it could have been worse.
Follow-up translations and comments by Ulf Buxrud: Värmlandsvisa: Värmland= is the name of a province in the heartland of Sweden.