The Southside Whisky Club  

Cadenhead's Cooley 2005 13yo | 60.6% | Ireland
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Meet #55   |   20/09/14   |   Hosted by Ali
It was not only our first tasting of a Port Ellen (our 100th bottle.. in spirit) but Liz was leaving us (for a while). So Port Ellen matched with a peated Cooley as an Irish goodbye - a dream duo?
Other bottles sampled:
#107 Port Ellen OMC 26yo | SSWC review 55a
With Russell's declaration that he went to an amateur wrestling match ringing in our ears, we cracked on with the smells. The result reads like a shopping list for the dessert menu of an ailing restaurant, whose chef is unable to see the difference between wackiness for its own sake and genuinely interesting flavour combinations: vanilla, apricot, treacle, sultana, but also pickled onion, and can you pick me up a few packs of Wotsits? There was also heather, to varying degrees of burntness, cherry sweets, grapefruit, banana bread, and - perhaps with one of the restaurant experiments coming good - some mad alcoholic trifle.
Still reeling from the revelation that Russell went to an amateur wrestling match, we got down to the business of tasting. Something's still burning in that restaurant kitchen. It's brown sugar, or perhaps those smoked oak chips. The fruity notes were rather more bitter in character: orange peel, grapefruit and lime. There's still some buttery sweetness in the form of Werther's Original, and thyme complements lemon (you look lovely today, lemon), albeit in the form of lemon meringue mix. I don't know about you but this is all very reminiscent an eastern European evening. Overall, a good sweet & salty (Gary) b(B)al(l)ance.

  Our favourite Irish whisky to date, and no stereotypes in sight.
Finish & Comments
Now no longer recalling the context for Russell's story about going to an amateur wrestling match, we sank the remainder of the bottle. The burnt theme continued with both caramel and blackcurrant jam. Perhaps someone (ooh, foreshadowing) was not watching the hob? Moreover it was a corny nightmare of sour mash and strawberries. And, from the mind of the nose that brought you mad alcoholic trifle, the unmistakeable taste of fizzy lemon sponge.

It was decided that the best measure of length would be the universally acknowledged hob scale. Here were the responses:
- Four hobnobs eaten really fast with five sips of coffee
- Hob Holness
- Hobbled
- Hob Geldof
- Back to the Hobture III
- Gas Mark 2

Now as I'm sure you will see, the latter is not a valid position on the hob scale (for obvious reasons). This resulted in a normalised deduction of 0.05 from the score of the person in question, which triggered that infamous night of outrage on twitter.

~£55 (70cl)
Useful Links
Whisky Whisky Whisky review: Cadenhead's Cooley 13yo   |
CricInfo: Gary Ballance   |
WhiskyBase: Cadenhead's Cooley 2005 13yo   |
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.

83 / 100

Average score

Detailed scores (out of 10)
Ali: 6.5
Hamish: 6.6
Liz: 7.8
Martin: 6.9
Phil: 8.2
Russell: 7.2
Shelley: 6.3
Tasting Game Points (out of 11)
Ali: N/A
Hamish: 2.09
Liz: 2.59
Martin: 2
Phil: 4.5
Russell: 3.5
Shelley: 4.4


[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic ]