While at Turku and visiting bars, you definitely do not want to miss the (in)famous Whisky Bar near the central marketplace. While it can be a rough, small, badass and rock’n’roll bar it also contains one of the best selection in Whisky I’ve seen in Finland. And it won again a award for being the best bar in Turku. Visit the bar, chat with the barkeeper and meet the crowd.
Highland Park Odin 16yo
The meeting with Allfather was delayed for many reasons, but I finally got my audience in Asgard. The Odin is the latest of the more expensive Viking/Valhalla series from Highland Park. The previous “woodstand” whiskies were Thor, Loki and Freya. I liked them all.
The nose has the overpowering god embedded in it. This is the overlord, he rules. Not that sweet nor soft, but the history, demeanor and the character is strongly present.
Palate strikes with a dominative hand. This is Highland Park, but that overall taste stays in the background. There is nect.. sherry of the gods, viking legends, fell deeds, justice and smartness. All this has been equally balanced on sword’s edge. The finish lasts like a roman senator’s speech: until it is cut.
I am glad I got to meet this god.
Arran 1996 single cask #1839 by Adelphi
This has the story behind these drams. Somebody bought a barrel from the Arran a long time ago. Eventually the whisky matured but the owner sadly passed away before it was even bottled. Via the whisky loving hands in Finland talks with Adelphi lead to a unique bottling: Adelphi bought the barrel and bottled half of the barrel directly, the other half was finished in a refill sherry cask before bottling.
So what are these alike?
The first half is.. a Whisky. Deep. Wide. Not that sweet, but a blast. This has a strong nose and the palate is balanced, keen, pure, soft and overall.. it is a great Whisky what mystical courtesans would serve, to make the night most pleasantly perfect. This is a mystery, stylish and a a wonderful experience.
Sherry finished half is sweeter than his brother. There is more hidden tastes waiting to be found. The palate also has the rough sweet structure but it is soft as a royal silk cloth. This is not aggressive, but a player of games and hidden secrets.
Both of these Arrans are exceptional and great drams!
Laphroaig 12 YO Nordics
Laphroaig made a special bottling for Nordic region, and for a nice addition this one actually has the age statement. At this point it was good that the whisky was getting more stronger in taste and nose.
The nose in this one is just amazing. There is the Laphroaig, but with a more complex and wider taste. The smoke, the peat and the iodine is just the spot on. A wonderful taste, that is soft but smoky with a perfect balance. It is easy to enjoy, but also gives lot to my mind of peatsmoke maniac.
I recommend to meet this Laphroaig in it’s natural environment (=anywhere).
While at the Whisky Bar I spotted the Cairdeas in the shelf. While it was not 2014 nor 2015 (as I perhaps hoped) I hadn’t taste 2011 either. After the grand 12 years old, this didn’t rise to the spotlight as well.
To put it short: A nice Laphroaig with a great smoke, tar, camping fire, landspace, flight and a good character. I enjoyed this one too, which is not a bit surprise.
Previously my latest talkabout with Octomore was at version 6.2. For a bad luck, I missed 6.3. totally and I had already lost my hopes with 7.1. too. I did see the Octomore very early on in the bar, but I decided that I’ll taste this one the last. And it was the right thing to do so.
Have you challenged yourself and tasted the Octomore? If you have, then you know it is about peatsmoke and “how high can you go”? It is about breaking the limit. About finding your limit on what you like in your whisky. Especially if it is about peatsmoke. This is a Octomore. This blowed the previous drams away, wiped the table clean and filled my mouth with sweet taste of peat and smoke. Over 200ppm is a experience, that can fry your nerves or you can just ride the wave, laugh and love the moment.
This was a super good finish for the exceptionally bad ass and strong tasting. Thank you Whisky Bar!