The Southside Whisky Club  

  << Choose whose rankings you want to see   |   scores are out of 10:

Iain has attended 41 of 100 meetings.
They've reviewed 112 whiskies, giving an average rating of 6.5 out of 10.
Tasting whiskies from 19 regions, most (26) have come from Islay.
The average whisky they've tasted is 49.9%.

 
 
9.0

8.7

The outdoor picnic continues – not sure if there is enough food to go round but glad everyone remembered to bring their herbs and seasoning: plenty of black pepper, rosemary, thyme and fresh peppermint.
8.5

I don't know what 'distilled grass' is, but if it were a real thing, it would smell like this - but also haggis.
8.5

8.5

A mixed evening of interesting bottles. From an SMWS Glen Scotia to an Icelandic 'whisky', a Japanese blend and a private cask bottle from Glenglassaugh.
8.5

Apple strudel. Superglue. Molten syrup. Ail varnish remover, games workshop's own-branded superglue
8.5

The nosings spread out a little bit into a plethora of nature's best offerings: plants and herbs (oniony fennel, coriander leaves, licorice and coffee), more tangy offerings (orange zest, aniseed, paprika and pepper) and some nice locations (a pebble beach with a fire, The W...
8.5

First sip makes a big impression; this isn't just smoky, it's a forest in flames, a peaty explosion. Sugar and salt tickle the palate in delicious combinations, smoky bacon with maple syrup, toffee apples, honey-roasted nuts and sweet and sour pork.
8.4

Pop round to Bill Tong's house for a biscuit (he lives in Pleasantsville) and he'll no doubt give you a peak into his musty old wardrobe. If you ask nicely, he'll even show you his peppery cucumber - a true delight!
8.2

These tasty flavours are also in competition with moth balls and a slight fiery chili that creeps up on you.. but it's balanced with a creamy sweetness - like the Mexican devil throwing crème brûlées at you from behind a cactus.
8.2

'Touch Tackie!' - If I recall correctly, it was the hazy summer of 1996 when Brandy released her worldwide smash, Toffifee & Milo. Well, actually it wasn't, was it? But we did indeed get 'brandy' with those two.
8.2

It's definitely rubbery but also really sweet (brown sugar), creamy (cream soda, butter) and peppery (er.. pepper). "What do cymbals smell like?" ("cymbolic?" - it's no longer clear how well this joke went down..). In fact, it smells of cymbal cleaner - the drummers in the a...
8.0

Some unusual nosing techniques attempted here (giving the unusual category of 'taste on the eye', conclusion: sting-y), and someone said "the biggest fucking joke in the whisky club", we're virtually "100% farm" sure this wasn't meant negatively towards the nose, but who kno...
8.0

From the sawmills to the farmyard, with undertones of burning turf and old leather, it’s stylishly unrefined. And for those dessert enthusiasts, there’s even a dollop of molasses in there to sweeten the deal.
8.0

A rich, earthy flavour with the windswept reminiscence of moorland walks with a grouse. The breeze brings thoughts of seasalt, lavender and highland pastures; a blade of grass clenched between milk teeth.
8.0

Like cruising through city streets in the summer (verging on the edge of regret) the taste of warm tar and worn leather merges with a strong theme of burnt food: sugar, soda bread and toast with marmalade.
8.0

A little heavy on dessert but we'll catch a salty mackerel and sit on summer straw bails to eat it before washing with coal tar soap.
8.0

8.0

Zimbabwean mint & lamb crisps take us in an unusual direction before we're redirected to herbs and freshly cut grass. Roast pork and yoghurt sounds like a tasty dish, but it's all washed down with evil gingerbread!
8.0

Islay isn't particularly famous for its cake, but that might be as they've put all their useful ingredients into the nose of this peaty offering: cinnamon, prunes, lots of marzipan, almonds, vanilla, apples and Christmas itself.
8.0

There's more bite on the mouth than on the nose, with sea salt, peat, kippers and a medicinal impact all featuring. There are still fruity vibes though, mainly lime, strawberry and vanilla and a sweetness comes through with syrup and thoughts of a heather meadow.
8.0

The database doesn't like umlauts :(
8.0

Christmas pudding seemed to feature for more than one person, but its rich depth only truly came out with a few warm up drams - but had the ability to beat its way to first place.
8.0

Burnt Moss (Stirling's son, conceived after a very sexy race at the Nürburgring, very different to Colin McRae's win at the Nuremberg Rally
8.0

Someone’s on the Grapa instead (there’s always one) - bet you it’s the one smelling the 15-19 year old girls perfume and exclaiming ‘You've got nice cornicing’..... hello!
7.9

The finish is a fleeting pepper balsamic vinegar, an insistent hot and sour soup, a subtle peppered mackerel, a lingering post-Thai chilli high, a melodramatic steakhouse pepper and a breezy flat 7up - unique!
7.8

The bottle seemed to be reviewed as enthusiastically as the whisky: OMG, #fail, aggressively sexual, I like it, it looks like a buttplug, looks like champagne or overpriced vodka, I do like the text.
7.7

The tastes on the finish mostly strayed towards the savoury end of the palate, with mild chili pepper, cinnamon, taco spice, salted peanuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Sherbert and melon came along to the party in the mouth, but no one could remember if they were invited - they ...
7.6

Gob-stopping sweetness; Cherry Coke, cream soda and apricot jam but with the sour ending of the last sugary key lurking at the bottom of a packet of Tangfastics.
7.6

7.6

In a sort of mad festive disaster, the Christmas pudding meets glue and hot tyres on a Formula 1 track, whilst the Quality Street get covered in coffee cream and lavender.
7.5

It was still aligned with normality when strawberry Starburst and buttery were observed (or obnosed), but then we got a bit abstract: an isolated pond, 'quite sorry like campers' (?), a man peeing on a night out ("Sheila 2014") and deep-fried pig rectum (!)..
7.5

7.5

7.5

We taste old-school sweets and, displaying scant regard for the actual process involved, honey 'direct from a bee's bum'.
7.5

You've been sent to a hospital by the sea with the unfortunate condition of having caramelised your bananas. After the decent run of medical science, it transpired in the late 2020s that actually herbal medicine and alternative therapies were correct, and they swiftly replac...
7.0

Most people felt this had a medium finish (20 yards out?), which kinda means a short finish as no one ever says short, except the people who said short and one who sat on the fence so much we creosoted her, saying 'short-to-medium-to-long'. One wag (in the droll, not doll, s...
7.0

There’s also a subtle earthiness with moss, hay and apple wood (the wood not the cheese)…not sure if I should mention “the blood soaked teddy on a damp fire place”...maybe he meant iron and damp earth?
7.0

A long finish with a slow fade away that's very sweet and salty, whilst a new creaminess comes to the fore multiplying the fruitiness and sweetness of the taste into some banana ice cream.
7.0

There are memories of the Jorvik Museum, nasty sea water, damp swamps, a used griddle and dunking your head in the river – we all hold those dear.
7.0

This does justice to soothing the remnants of last night’s spontaneous soiree. An interesting mix of cider, sherry and apple sourz chasers served with green olives.
7.0

With the first taste the sea rushes up and smacks you in the palate, bam! The salty taste is like a cheeky lick of a dolphin or a freshly landed Arbroath Smokie.
7.0

The flames have died down, now it's like chocolate. It's got a creamy yeah (a creamy yeah), yeah. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. Are you recording this? If it smells like velvet, it tastes like corduroy. I really wish I had a cigar right now.
7.0

7.0

Then chili, cloves and lots of wasabi hit with some salt (from the South China Sea as well as good ol' rocks) and salted whale blubber (for research purposes only) as well as the feeling of internal public space.
7.0

Everything from Chewy from Star Wars to chromotography. From a powdery taste to melted cling film. From the fear of popping candy to other worldly.
7.0

The positive was almond flour. The rest was diluted whisky, clean, empty, acid reflux and a burst balloon. The finish was minus two.
6.9

It’s foosty, like an old Scout Patrol tent or a wool tie from a charity shop. There are also notes of syrup, burnt jam and perhaps a meaty flavour? It’s going to be 'ham-azing' to taste..!
6.9

6.9

If i were going to stick any firework up my arse, it would be a roman candle - so it looks like you're pooping fire
6.9

"It's unclear whether the latter was simply a reference to the length of nail that the pneumatic drilling would be sensibly combined with, or a clever twist on the the band 9 Inch Nails, and this was in fact suggesting this whisky was like pneumatic drilling on a stage for w...
6.8

Much like the nose we have a continued deep, rich sweetness, with milk chocolate, and toffee apples. In fact it's like “skiing into a giant chocolate caramel but then there's a hole in the chocolate like your exact shape – then there's an instant move into toffee”.
6.8

You'd think any tasting review that starts with "like lava at Mount Fugu!" would be firmly put in its place for terrible cultural mismatching, but I'm pretty sure this 'error' was intended - it was hot, fiery and there was a small chance of a poisonous death, but if you trea...
6.5

Unripe stewed rhubarb, post-cocaine back-nose dribble (hints of), rosewater, sweet fresh oak, a distant chemical toilet, feijoa (A made-up fruit from NZ)..
6.5

More unusually, we finally picked up hints of the aftertase of a polystyrene cup you've had soup in and when you chew a pencil and get through to the lead..
6.5

The pitch is ploughed, the javelin throw has failed and we've been rugby tackled by a mint rocket gargling chilli water and vacant peat. Emergency stop please.
6.5

That mintiness starts going menthol as piney flavours announce their arrival ("Hullo!") with aniseed balls presenting themselves as the pretentious synergy between palate and finish and eventually going home with no friends.
6.5

As these balance the Lion roars and there's an explosion of spice with paprika, chili and pepper combining with the cream to hint at horseradish. As everything dies down we're left statuesque with a sharp tang of orange peel and rocket as the battle continues.
6.5

On the way, a whale has carelessly left its blubber to filter up the nose, perhaps helping to fertilise the landscape, as first nettles and then geraniums flourish.
6.5

Sweetness came in in the form of a Flake, some fudge, a donut and a dank, old cupboard in a hospital. Actually, scatch that last one…
6.5

This had Finn Russell on the finish, which was perhaps it's most interesting feature?
6.5

6.5

In some kind of mad banana-fuelled rage, he storms out the room, picks up his damp laundry and coffee cake and runs off into the chorizo horizon.
6.5

Give it a little while, and you’ll start to discern something approximating the smoky flavours of your usual Lagavulin - barbequed pork-steak and Frazzles bacon-flavoured crisps. Smooth it might be, but balanced to the point of obscurity.
6.5

It depends on how you like your sailors but this one had been out at sea for at least 40 days and was starting to absorb the aromas of the remaining fermenting bananas and gooseberries.
6.3

6.2

Well, despite his unfortunate decent into chronic financial problems and alcoholism towards the end of his distinguished career, this tastes surprisingly nothing like I imagine he would have tasted.
6.1

Before battle, the two teams feast on sweet treats of honey, Cointreau, honeycomb, molasses and Crunchie bars. Once the fighting is over, the wounds are carefully washed with a little rose water and patched up with some plasters... who knows who the victor was, it's a fictio...
6.1

Nettles grow from cracks in the floor and through a broken window you can almost taste the pine trees and distant rock pools blown into the happy gathering. A small child has grazed her knee and while she blubs and munches liquorice and burnt candy a nurse applies TCP to the...
6.1

That creaminess gives way to a wee spiciness expressed by chili, chili jam and cloves whilst a fruity stalker creeps in butt-naked, coated in elderflower cordial, raisins and grapes (to hide any embarrassment).
6.0

Japanese crabs, tumbledriers and 'accidentally snorting orange juice' provided a summary that's pretty darn hard to interpret. Add to that acetone, eucalyptus and oesophageal burn and you're getting a gnat's breath closer to perception, but sherry came through at the end to ...
6.0

On the finish - a resonance of smoke rings (stolen from another) and a coal shuttle but also a contrasting freshness of fir, caraway, heather and mint. The taste lingers but not as much as you might expect.
6.0

Hmm, this is a young whisky, but does that explain the whiff of teenage boys’ aftershave? Oh no, I see, it’s just Chad Kroeger, munching on a mars bar.
6.0

Things get somewhat more challenging (and non-existent) with peanut brittle popping up without the peanuts (The Ghost of Peanut's Past), hanging out inadvisedly with *something witty*, a man who's so up his own arse that he has asterisks in his name.
6.0

Things get more exciting as our tongues prickle with paprika and popping candy as, the sweetness over, lime pickle squeezes the mouth and English mustard washes like rainwater over this slightly salty ending.
6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

Something really interesting going on here - a mad mix of spices and old wood. Oniony. Lychees. Something a bit chinese going on. Tom yum soup.
6.0

The length seems somewhat hard to pin down, somewhere between being inside the 6-yard box to lost in the opposition half - most agree it's medium. The aftertaste brings a fair bit of salt, with much more fruit than before: melon, sour apples, lemon and aniseed.
6.0

Oranges, orange rind, pith..."What a pithy comment" - Phil (no one laughs). "Says a guy who chases his whisky with milk" - Christina (people laugh). "Another pithy comment!" - Ali L (reaction unrecorded).
6.0

We seemed to agree on a hot / sweet flavours here – honey petals (?), spicy cayenne, raisins & bananas, breakfast Weetabix, tart tatin, and deception.
5.6

5.5

In general “fruity as shit”! There is also some grassy, fresh sweetness – like the juice from a fruit salad...or perhaps “an acidic power that you might find in a lab and not sure if you should lick it”.
5.5

A new wooden snare (the excitement of Hamish receiving a new snare; imagine winning it for £1 on ebay!), WHISKY! burnt sugar, Omar Sharif, stewed cherries, Jack Spaniels, orange blossom & mahogany.
5.5

The aromas wafted to the cafe next door where weekend brunchers were deciding on raspberry jam, burnt orange marmalade or honey (specifically Futurama space bee honey) to drizzle on their hot crumpets
5.5

There is a whiff of recently prepared surgical tools but also a floral fruitiness with pineapple, apple (granny Smith to be precise!), cherry pie, lemon (rudely shouted at that) and bluebells feed to a halibut?!
5.5

5.5

Icelandic wood then shifts us towards white wine vinegar and cloves, with basil sitting out there on its herby lonesome (who incidentally sounds like a 50s blues singer)
5.5

Various kinds of confectionary are vying for our attention here - of the sucky sweet variety (cola cubes, barley sugars), more fruit-based efforts (fruit salads, tangfastics) and finally dark chocolate.
5.5

Coriander and over cooked cabbage mingle with a definite ‘Iron’ smell of blood – raw black pudding to be exact. Perhaps a wee bit feisty like Atomic fire balls or even ‘Hepatitis E’.
5.2

Honey and a damp forest make it more esoteric, whilst 'simple' sums it up nicely in one word. Little encouraged us to give a finish, but we all agreed that 'an impressively bouncy cork' was a good enough summary.
5.0

There were lots of floral things being brought up, but the tone wasn't that glowing: outdoors but indoors (like a greenhouse), a bad flower, parma violets - parma violence -, tomato pheromones, and those small white flowers in a flower arrangement.
5.0

5.0

5.0

Definitely the first whisky that has ever smelled of What I go to School For by Busted.
5.0

McNulty from The Wire's guilt and the salt of the sweat of the Taoiseach before a general election. And finishing the whole thing of are perhaps the less-desirable flavours of melted plastic, yellow snow and oil.
5.0

A short-to-medium finish, described by one as, "the length of time between New Zealand winning the 2011 Rugby World cup and their next World Cup win" - 4 years as it turned out. This was then qualified as "in the context of Rugby World Cups, as short as could possibly be" (p...
5.0

Quite light... "it's not an unpleasant thing to put in your mouth though, right?". [bagpipes are drowning us out...] Phil describes bagpipes as "an audible version of a headache". Ooga booga booga!
4.8

Pear and almond tart hanging off a beech hedge over a sea cliff. Tasty treats and lethal peril.
4.5

I’m sat in the saloon, saw dust on the floor, chewin’ tobacco, sipping on a chiili cassis cocktail, garnished with candied peel. I know it’s the end of my marriage.
4.5

"Smells radge" and "holy fuckballs!" sum up the general feeling towards the smell, although there was some variation, with one saying it smelled boring, hard to place, generic and not very good and another saying it was the best nose of any whisky they'd experienced
4.0

Banana foams give us a link from fruit to toffee, with coconut and tree sap watching from the sidelines. Flying saucers too (presumably the sweets?), but also a touch of bleach and Glacier Mints - a mixed bag!
4.0

4.0

Everything from raisin sawdust to Burgundy-coloured tapestries, with a stopover at to see Bruce Springsteen and the original German Werther's factory.
4.0

We seem to have got pretty brand-focused smelling this, think we sent our corporate wing over by mistake: good varnish (like Ronseal), polycement, dried coriander, rubbish Turps, metal, Toffiffees, Chewits, OWLS, Playdough.
4.0

In a mad combo of food, emotions, sacrificial techniques and poor fire control, it was also described as: smoked cheese, emptiness, immolation, oversmoked and citrus toast.
4.0

I have a soft spot for dark wood.
3.0

Lovely cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla custard on rhubarb crumble. Or maybe it’s actually like arse hair in a car mechanic’s workshop. Can’t decide.
3.0

2.0

There's now a herby, bitter sourness and Aquavit is the new alcohol metaphor, with toothpaste and dentist's mouthwash taking on the clinical mantle.