Saturday, 25 October 2014

Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve

Glen Garioch 1797 Founder's Reserve

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Highlands
Amber
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, soy sauce, raisins, vanilla, white grapes, white chocolate, smoked ham, hints of orange peel.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, turn syrupy, mouth coating.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Smoked ham, orange peel, white chocolate, soy sauce, walnuts, vanilla, cocoa butter, hints of brass polish.
Finish: Medium. Walnuts, white chocolate, orange peel, honey.

Comments:

Chocolaty, milky, somewhat buttery, with a nice tangy fruity bite. This is good whisky, and a new (ish) no-age statement bottling from Glen Garioch. I'm beginning to think the distillery character is mainly chocolaty and raisiny.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Speyside 17 yo 1993/2010

Speyside 17 yo 1993/2010

Scott's Selection, Speyside Distiller's Company
Single malt - Speyside
Pink
61.5% ABV 
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, chillies, grilled beef, tobacco leaf, peanuts, fresh baked bread, vanilla, hints of cinnamon. With water, more vanilla, acacia honey, leather, more grilled beef.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, loosens, turns watery, slippery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Vanilla, peanuts, chillies, tobacco, leaf, orange peel, fresh baked bread, hints of cinnamon, hints of saffron. With water, saltier, more bread, saffron, grilled beef.
Finish: Long. Chillies, orange peel, tobacco leaf, peanuts, walnuts.

Comments:

An unofficial official bottling - Scott's Selection is independent whisky bottled by the Speyside Distiller's Company. I don't know why they did this. Anyway, it's meaty, fruity and delicious. With water it turns saltier, and I can taste a nice (if slightly odd) combination of bready fruit and Turkish kebab. Very unusual, and very good.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Cragganmore 12 yo Distiller's Edition 2000/2013

Cragganmore 12 yo Distiller's Edition 2000/2013

Official bottling 
Single malt - Speyside
Copper
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, vanilla, malted grains, tomato juice, cookie dough, oranges, lemons.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, chewy, syrupy.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Oranges, peaches, tomato juice, pears, apricots, hay, hints of walnuts.
Finish: Long. Peaches, pears, tamarind, hay, walnuts.

Comments:

Odd whisky. I can definitely taste the port pipe it was matured in, but there's grassy, slightly woody notes, alongside with some fruity savoury (tomatoey!) notes. No change when one adds water. I categorise this one as one of those where the nose doesn't quite match the taste.

Verdict:

I like this.



Bushmills 16 yo Three Wood

Bushmills 16 yo Three Wood

Official bottling 
Single malt - Northern Ireland
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Tobacco leaf, red grapes, oak, vanilla, cedar, black pepper, orange peel, hints of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, chewy.
Tasting: Sweet sour . White grapes, red grapes, orange peel, honey, roast carrots, vanilla, hints of cloves, hints of cinnamon.
Finish: Long. White grapes, red grapes, orange peel, sherry.

Comments:

Fruity and rich, yet light and drinkable. This is pretty good triple distilled whisky, but I note, rather similar to the Auchentoshan Three Wood in texture, if perhaps not in flavour. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.

Verdict:

I like this.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Banff 32 yo 1976/2008

Banff 32 yo 1976/2008

Connoisseur's Choice, Gordon & Macphail
Single malt - Speyside
Light gold
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, peat, apple juice, molasses, honey, pears, roses, hints of lemons.
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, mouth coating, turns watery.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Apple juice, pears, walnuts, leather, lemons, honey, hints of chocolate, hints of orange blossom.
Finish: Long. Walnuts, pears, molasses, roses, orange blossom.

Comments:

My first Banff! At first sniff tastes a bit old and tired, like it's been sat too long in the bottle. Perhaps even a little understrength. But leave it for a bit, and it develops, tastes tart and bitter but with luscious sweet notes of honey and pears flowing through it. It even becomes floral and citrusy. Very nice indeed. It's a real pleasure to taste a whisky older than I am, sadly gets rarer and more expensive every year.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Edradour 12 yo 2000/2012 Chardonnay Cask

Edradour 12 yo 2000/2012 Chardonnay Cask

Official bottling 
Single malt - Central Highlands
Straw
56.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, mint, white grapes, apricots, lemons, hints of sandalwood, hints of honey. With water, mint, dark chocolate, more honey.
Mouthfeel: Light body, tingly, loose, turns watery.
Tasting: Sour. Sandalwood, mint, pine nuts, white grapes, honey, lemons, hints of figs, hints of balsamic vinegar. With water, sweeter, more honey, dark chocolate, apricots.
Finish: Medium. White grapes, honey, lemons, figs, hints of chocolate.

Comments:

Perhaps the maturation clashes with the spirit a little bit, perhaps it's my own preconceptions (I always associate Edradour with mint and chocolate), but I think this one is less good than it could be. There's a little bit of a cloying sweetness on the nose when neat, which makes it hard to discern the underlying notes. Once water is added though, this disappears, and the familiar Edradour aromas of chocolate and spiky little minty notes appear.

Verdict:

I like this.



Kilkerran Work In Progress 4

Kilkerran Work In Progress 4

Official bottling 
Single malt - Campbeltown
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, iodine, chillies, carrot cake, grass, apple juice, hints of leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, airy, loose, static.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Vanilla, bananas, apple juice, lemon juice, hints of carrot cake, hints of cinnamon.
Finish: Short. Cookie dough, vanilla, bananas, apple juice, carrot cake.

Comments:

These early releases showcasing maturation progress are a bit hit and miss - of course the bottler will want to show good progress, but occasionally later releases don't quite live up to the promise of earlier releases. I'm happy to report that this Glengyle isn't one of them. I like the cinnamon carrot cakeyness of the whisky, and although it's a bit one dimensional and not very complex, that's probably to do with its young age rather than the quality of the spirit. Quite tasty, this.

Verdict:

I like this.



Thursday, 9 October 2014

Poit Dhubh 21 yo

Poit Dhubh 21 yo

Official bottling 
Blend
Amber gold
43% ABV 
Sampler

Nose: Oranges, watermelons, leather, smoke, tobacco leaf, black tea, hints of red grapes.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, chewy, slippery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Oranges, red grapes, smoke, black tea, peat, tobacco leaf, hints of cookie dough, hints of vanilla.
Finish: Long. Tobacco leaf, cookie dough, black tea, coffee.

Comments:

I'm told this is mostly Talisker, and it certainly has a fair bit of that smoke, and a hint of citrus. However, there's a big chunk of sherry sweetness and the fruit that goes along with it. Perfectly constructed, totally delicious. What a great blend.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Friday, 3 October 2014

SMWS G3.4 (Caledonian 27 yo 1984/2012

SMWS G3.4 (Caledonian 27 yo 1984/2012

2012, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Very pale gold
57.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, vanilla, dried cherries, black tea, red grapes, hints of dried apricots. With water, sour, lemons, lime jelly.
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, loose, slippery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Vanilla, dried cherries, black tea, raisins, blackberries, hints of kombucha. With water, more sour, brown paper, lemons, lime jelly, hints of strawberries.
Finish: Short. Kombucha, red grapes, raisins, dried cherries.

Comments:

Interesting sweet, fermented notes, with a savoury edge. Reminds me of nothing so much as the kombu tea health drink lately seen in London. Tannic, with bitter overtones, especially without water, but once water is added it turns a lot more gentle, maybe a little tart.

Verdict:

I like this.



SMWS G10.5 (Strathclyde 23 yo 1989/2013)

SMWS G10.5 (Strathclyde 23 yo 1989/2013)

2013, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Pale peach
61% ABV 
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, leather, roast beef, limes, lemons, peaches, hints of wintergreen, hints of chillies. With water, opens up, savoury, more roast beef, more leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, mouth coating, slippery.
Tasting: Sour. Vanilla, leather, brass polish, peanuts, antiseptic, peaches, limes, hints of wintergreen. With water, salty, brown paper, roast beef, antiseptic, preserved lemons.
Finish: Short. Lemons, limes, antiseptic, brass polish. With water, brown paper, preserved lemons, sandalwood.

Comments:

Not as sweet as the usual grain whisky I have, with that strong vanilla note overshadowed by a lot of other (interesting stuff). Very savoury, and meaty even, with tart lemony notes. With water, the citrus disappears, to be replaced by a fairly salty flavour profile.

Verdict:

I like this.



 

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