Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to School: Lombard Teaninich 12

My groove generating apparatus seemed to be a bit gummed up today, resulting in a significant reduction in my rate of mojo juice production.  The loss of sleep that resulted from a certain 5-year-old wetting her bed at 5:45 a.m. probably had something to do with it, as did the rain-dropping weather system that slowly moved in through the day.  Throw in a bit of seasonal shock over the suddenly increased pace of life and number of commitments to juggle, and that's a pretty decent recipe for a good ol' case of meh-ningitis.

The cure?  Cast on a new knitting project (pumpkin hat for my little pumpkin), set up the next episode of Justified, and settle down with a blanket and a cup of tea.

Who are we kidding?!  First, a glass of something a bit more curative.  Maybe something like Lombard Teaninich 12 year old?  It's a highland single malt distilled at the Teaninich Distillery (pronounced te-an-in-ick), a little north of Inverness -- the first distillery to have electric light.  Most of their product goes on to be blended into things like Johnny Walker, but they do bottle some of it as single malt.  And whaddaya know, I happen to have a bottle!  And it's getting low, so it's about time I preserve the memory.

I picked this up in the Vintages section of my local LCBO for $66.95.  It was a very reasonable investment.

I always find it hard to truly and authentically taste a scotch that has tasting notes right on the bottle, but in this case, I have to admit that I don't feel especially lead on by their description.  It's quite apt:  "Stimulating nose of light, citrus fruits.  Develops to a sweet palate.  Long, soft finish with a hint of peat."  The nose is certainly "stimulating" -- in fact, a bit into the sinuses, but not in that cheap blend kind of way.  There's definitely citrus, but I'd add a sort of clover smell to it, too.  It is fresh and clean on the palate, reminiscent of a chilled slice of brandied pear.  I pick up a bit of nuttiness just before the finish rounds out to the peaty end, but it's a mild nuttiness, more like pine nuts than pecans.  It's really a very pleasant malt, and would be lovely and refreshing on a warm summer day.

Shall we have another?  Let's add a few drops of water this time...

aaahhh.... that certainly smooths out the "stimulating" effect on the nose, but it also brings out a bit of a gingery or peppery kick on the palate, which I was completely not expecting.  The citrus and clover sweetness remains, too. The finish is longer, and seems warmer, and somehow, at the very end, bananas come to mind.  I don't recall ever seeing "banana" in any tasting note, ever, but there it is.  Ask me again another day and I'll probably think I'm crazy, too.

I have one small glass of Lombard left, which I think I'll go ahead and finish up tonight, hoping it will help my mojo return at full strength upon waking in the morning.  I've enjoyed this bottle.  I generally prefer something with a little more smoke and peat and dark, low notes, but this was pleasant, and I would certainly consider buying it again for a nice light change.

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