Google Whisky Fun by Serge and Angus, blog, reviews and tasting notes since 2002
Whiskyfun Malt Madness Malt Maniacs
 

Serge whiskyfun

 

Whiskies 17,923
Other spirits 2,722
Angus 1,679

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Index of whiskyfun


Whisky Tasting

 
Balblair (102)
Balmenach (42)
Balvenie (1
3
6)
Banff (5
2)
Ben Nevis (2
72)
Ben Wyvis
(3)
Benriach (1
9
9)
Benrinnes (
112)
Benromach (
8
5)
Bladnoch (
8
9)
Blair Athol (
114)
Bowmore (5
86)
Braes of Glenlivet (
54)
Brora (1
4
7)
Bruichladdich (3
34)
Bunnahabhain (
4
25)
Caol Ila (760)
Caperdonich (
106)
Cardhu (4
3)
Clynelish (4
66)
Coleburn (2
5)
Convalmore (
30)
Cragganmore (
90)
Craigduff (4)
Craigellachie (
115)
Dailuaine (91)
Dallas Dhu (41)
Dalmore (1
35)
Dalwhinnie (
42)
Deanston (
6
4)
Dufftown (
65)
Edradour (95)
Ladyburn (12)
Lagavulin
(1
9
3)
Laphroaig (
5
26)
Ledaig (1
3
8)
Linkwood (
202)
Littlemill (1
31)
Loch Lomond (
116)
Lochside (72)
Longmorn (2
3
9)
Longrow (
85)
Macallan (329)
Macduff (9
3)
Malt Mill
(1)
Mannochmore (
57)
Millburn (2
4)
Miltonduff (
103)
Mortlach (2
16)
Mosstowie (2
5)
Scapa (53)
Speyburn (
51)
Speyside (22)
Springbank (
4
36)
St-Magdalene (5
6)
Strathisla (
11
4)
Strathmill (
5
6)
 
 
Pete and Jack



2022
September 1
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2021
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October 1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2020
December
1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October 1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1
- 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2019
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2018
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2017
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2016
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2015
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2014
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1- 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2013
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2012
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2011
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2010
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2009
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2008
Music Awards
December
1 - 2 - 3
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2007
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2 - 3
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2006
Music Awards
December 1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2 - 3
September
1 - 2
August
1 - 2
July
1 - 2
June 1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May
1 - 2
April
1 - 2
March
1 - 2
February
1 - 2
January 1
- 2

2005
Music Awards
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October
1- 2
September
1 - 2
August
1 - 2
July
1 - 2
June
1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May
1 - 2
April
1 - 2
March
1 - 2
February
1 - 2
January
1 - 2

2004
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September
1
August
1
July
1
June
1
May
1
April 1
March 1
February
1
January
1

No archives for 2002-2003

 
Malt maniacs goodies
 

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The Magical History
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Brora Distillery
1969 - 1983

   


 

Ye Auld Pages
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Disclaimer
 

All the linked files (mp3, video, html) are located on free commercial or non-commercial third party websites. Some pictures are taken from these websites, and are believed to be free of rights, as long as no commercial use is intended.

I always try to write about artists who, I believe, deserve wider recognition, and all links to mp3 files are here to show you evidence of that. Please encourage the artists you like, by buying either their CDs or their downloadable 'legal' tracks.

I always add links to the artists' websites - if any - which should help you know more about their works. I also try to add a new link to any hosting website or weblog which helped me discover new music - check the column on the right.

I almost never upload any mp3 file on my own server, except when dealing with artists I personally know, and who gave me due authorizations, or sometimes when I feel a 'national' artist deserves wider recognition. In that case, the files will remain on-line only for a few days.

I do not encourage heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages, nor dangerous motorbike riding. But life is short anyway...

As they say here: 'L'abus d'alcool est dangeureux pour la santé - à consommer avec modération'

   
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Copyright Serge Valentin
Angus MacRaild
2002-20
22

 


Scotch Legal Announcement


 
 

October 5, 2022


Whiskyfun

More little duos, today Talisker SR vs 27

I'm extremely glad that there would be more Talisker around, even if the new Special Release is now 11, after the formidable 8s from recent years (and, naturally, the regular albeit always rather fantastic 10). Let's try the SR and then find a proper sparring-partner…

Jelly

 

 

Talisker 11 yo 'The Lustrous Creature of the Depths' (55.1%, OB, Special Releases 2022)

Talisker 11 yo 'The Lustrous Creature of the Depths' (55.1%, OB, Special Releases 2022, Elusive Expressions) Four stars and a half
This new SR was matured in first fill ex-bourbon, refill, and wine-seasoned casks. I appears that wine's become almost mandatory in all of Whiskydom, do not ask me why (but if you do, I've got a few ideas). Oh and the kind of luminescent jellyfish that's on the label seems to be one of Skye's own legends. Animals, real or mythical, keep ruling on Diageo's malt whiskies (not talking about managers and blenders here). All spacey new graphics are actually superb IMHO. Colour: straw. Nose: it seems to be a rather lighter Talisker, perhaps a little more on some kind of smoked herbs, and samphires perhaps, and tarragon, green peppercorn, then unexpected notes of lighter mezcal. Olive brine in the background, never a miss. With water: smoked bread, raw wool, perhaps more mezcal. Mouth (neat): perhaps more power on the palate, more peppered and pickled lemons for sure, notes of fudge soon to get salted and peppered, some spiciness, Pad Thai, capers and camphor… It does feel a little modern but many new whiskies are. I mean, they hardly ever use the traditional method anymore. You know, 1. Fill cask, 2. Wait, 3. Bottle. With water: relatively sweeter, but otherwise clearly briney and, of course, peppery. Finish: medium, more on citrons and other citrus, but it's clearly Talisker. Comments: it's meant to be a lighter peater, but it's still a pretty peaty – and excellent – young Talisker in my book. Some echoes of the current 10 here and there; well, obviously.
SGP:465 - 88 points.

So, that much wanted sparring-partner…

Talisker 27 yo 'Elements' (58%, OB, 2,000 bottles, 2022)

Talisker 27 yo 'Elements' (58%, OB, 2,000 bottles, 2022) Five stars
More wood stories here, as this baby's been triple-matured, first in refill, then in heavily charred wood, lastly in European oak puncheons. Sometimes you cannot not wonder if they should really tell us. Colour: gold. Nose: wood mangos, if you see what I mean. Plus bananas, papayas and once more, touches of mezcal, with the peppery and smoky coastalness rather in the background. I find this smart kind of set-up on a fairly older peater extremely attractive. With water: embrocations, cough syrup, passion fruit… Aren't we on Islay? Mouth (neat): let's be honest, this worked a treat. Everything's extremely good, tropical, smoky, mango-y indeed, with a camphory and coastal peat that's very well integrated. Really feels like a whole and not like the sum of several parts, while it would sometimes remind you of early-to-mid 70s Bowmore. Lovely mentholated waxiness too. Finish: rather long, with some elegant pepper kicking in. Exceptional aftertaste that would even remind us of Islay in the 1960s. Comments: it's a little unclear whether this is a 1993, so a single vintage, or not. What's sure is that it is stunning whisky from 'The Oldest working Distillery on the Isle of Skye'. Watch your bottle, it'll go down fast.
SGP:656 - 91 points.
PS: I liked it much better than earlier this year, perhaps was it bottle shock

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Talisker we've tasted so far

 

October 3, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, revisiting Glen Grant once more

Always a joy to taste the old ones by G&M or the bright young or middle-aged ones by several indies, but bizarrely, we're a little less acquainted with the OBs.

Fats

 

 

Glen Grant 15 yo 'Batch Strength 1st Edition' (50%, OB, +/-2022)

Glen Grant 15 yo 'Batch Strength 1st Edition' (50%, OB, +/-2022) Three stars and a half
What a batch strength is, I couldn't tell you. A matter of poetic license, perhaps? This is integrally ex-bourbon. Colour: straw. Nose: pure natural, slightly mineral, otherwise all on barley and soft vanilla combo. Smaller whiffs of dandelions, honeysuckle, meadow honey, gooseberries and granny smith. Lovely freshness here. With water: honey and honeysuckle up! Mouth (neat): sweet apples, acacia honey, a feeling of hay, peaches (reminds you of young cognac at times) and a welcome moderate vanillaness. With water: once again, sweet barley, honeysuckle and honey. Finish: medium, gently sweet yet still rather bright and tight. Stewed apples drizzled with honey.  Comments: 'When I'm taking sips, From your tasty lips, The honey fairly drips, You're confection, goodness knows, Honeysuckle rose.' (Fats Waller, 1928).
SGP:641 - 84 points.

Glen Grant 18 yo (43%, OB, +/-2022)

Glen Grant 18 yo (43%, OB, +/-2022) Three stars
We may have had to try this baby before the 15 yo at 50%. Too late, Kate… Colour: white wine. We seem to be noticing a tendency to lower caramel content almost everywhere in Whiskydom, which is cool. Nose: styles are extremely similar, gentle, honeyed, although this one would go rounder and a little more on cakes, while that's not only the lower strength. Less stamina for sure, and more averageness shall we say. Mouth: a tad more on overripe apples, teas, raisins and biscuits, as well as sweet ale. Really an allrounder that will easily please just everyone. Finish: a little more vanilla, banana, raisins and cakes. Some sweet sherry in there, apparently. Sweet fudge in the aftertaste. Comments: everything is working very well in this talented little Speysider of good age. Even the strength is very okay, although the price would be a little steep IMHO.

SGP:641 - 82 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glen Grant we've tasted so far

 

October 1, 2022


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Angus  
Young Aberlour:
old and new
I don't try Aberlour as often as I'd like to, and I have a couple of youthful examples on the tasting desk so why not a quick pair of youngsters with old bottling vs new.

 

Aberlour 5 yo 'Pure Malt' (40%, OB, 1980s)

Aberlour 5 yo 'Pure Malt' (40%, OB, 1980s)
There seems to have been many, many random variations and versions and age statements of distillery Aberlours during this era. Quality is highly variable in my experience. Colour: gold. Nose: sultanas and golden syrup on the one hand, mashy cooked grains on the other. A yin and yang kind of nose so far. You can also add some malt syrup, slightly sweetened breakfast cereals and sweetish old style beers and ales. Not bad. but not stellar by any measure. Mouth: hmm, a tiny soap note threatens things from the off. But there's some sweet biscuits, some ales, breads and still these cooked and mashy cereal notes. Not great if I'm being honest. Finish: pretty short and with some notes of flat beer. Comments: it was going ok until that vague soapy note on the palate. Youth + caramel + heavy filtration + 40% ABV does not for a winning cocktail make in this instance.  There are many vastly superior contemporary Aberlours to be enjoyed out there.

SGP: 541 - 69 points.

 

 

Aberlour 7 yo (54.0%, Dram Mor, cask #800914, Portuguese red wine finish, 328 bottles)

Aberlour 7 yo (54.0%, Dram Mor, cask #800914, Portuguese red wine finish, 328 bottles)
Portuguese red wine finish. Are there four more terrifyingly ordered words in the English language? Now, Dram Mor seem to have a knack for very clever flash-finishes like this so let's keep a wide open mind please… Colour: straw. Nose: youthful, rather sharp and slightly acidic, maybe even red fruit acids, but that could be my mind playing tricks. I also find it a little teaish and biscuity. With water: improves, gets more floral and goes towards some decent mirabelle eau de vie in style. Young but good spirit in other words. Mouth: not too sure about this, I find it clean enough but a little green and sappy and astringent. Some nice notes of pears and lemon cough drops though. With water: this sense of tea and biscuits is back, a little vase water, some mashed potato, slightly funny now really. Finish: medium in length, vase water again, a little sooty and some more of these slightly acidic fruit notes. Comments: quite a funny whisky, certainly better than the old 5yo, but still a little unlikely in my view. A fine candidate for ice and soda come the sunshine months.

SGP: 441 - 76 points.

 

 

Bonus: I just remembered I have this bottle knocking about on a shelf…

 

 

Aberlour 10 yo 1990/2000 (62.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 54.14)

Aberlour 10 yo 1990/2000 (62.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 54.14)
Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: hay, barley, lemongrass, crushed green herbs, handfuls of milled grist, oatcakes etc. Raw, pure and completely stark naked malt whisky. Once again it makes you think of certain plum eau de vies, just without the same assertive fruitiness. But it's certainly rather charming within this very naked profile - makes you think of many similarly raw old Cadenhead AC bottlings. With water: hello? Seems to flatline a little, some carbon paper, ink and wet ferns perhaps. Mouth: indeed, petrols, crushed flower stems, chopped parsley, mineral oils, shoe polish and hints of caraway and fennel seed. With water: at its best here I would say, fatter in texture, barley extracts, mineral oils, shoe polish and touches of darjeeling tea. Finish: medium, slightly hot and peppery, hints of clay and plasticine too. Extremely austere malt whisky. Comments: from an era when indy bottling had terrific highs, some extreme lows and rather a lot of this kind of thing which probably should instead have been tipped into a blend. Perfectly fine if you like them this raw, petrolic and austere, but otherwise completely unessential.

SGP: 351 - 77 points.

 

 

Tough session today! But I still love Aberlour.

 

 

 

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Aberlour we've tasted so far

 

September 30, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, two extremities
of French whisky

 

Old French whiskies! There are tons of new malt whisky distilleries in France these days (well, distilleries that are making whisky, which is not exactly the same concept), but French whiskies that are +/- 15 to 20 years old are extremely rare and surely stuff of pioneers. Let's have two of them…

Eddu 21 yo 2001/2022 'Graal' (43%, OB, France, 304 bottles)

Eddu 21 yo 2001/2022 'Graal' (43%, OB, France, 304 bottles) Four stars and a half
This is buckwheat whisky, which Eddu, a.k.a. Distillerie des Menhirs in the far west of Brittany have pioneered in the very early 2000s already (they had released their first buckwheat whisky back in 2002). Buckwheat a.k.a. black wheat or sarasin is a very traditional 'quasi' or 'pseudo' cereal in Brittany, with the best crêpes made out of it (yum!) Frankly, some are making whisky out of rice, so why not buckwheat. Yeah, I know rice IS a cereal. What's more, we've already tried some excellent Eddu in the past. Colour: deep gold. Nose: we're wandering between old malt and old cognac territories, with this peachy sweetness, honeys, raisins, ripe melons, ripe damsons, then vanilla and brioche, a floral side (dandelions), perhaps a little mead, beeswax, old firwood, mirabelles, macaroons… I find it lovely and extremely civilised, as there are strictly no obvious woody tones. Mouth: once again you could believe this is old cognac, and we shall not complain. Raisins, more honey and beeswax, orange zests, tarte tatin, preserved peaches, dried figs… and still no obvious tannins. Extremely seductive. Finish: medium, still very fresh and fruity, with touches of agricole rum this time (really) and raisins/honey in the aftertaste. Comments: an awesome spirit. Oh and I'm finding it funny that while just everyone in Charentes is also making whisky these days, some Breton whiskymakers would have managed to make a wonderful 'cognacqy whisky' using some pseudocereal. Great fun, very superb drop, very well done.

SGP:641 - 88 points.

A short drive from the west of Brittany to the north of Alsace (that's only around 1,000 kilometres after all…)

Uberach 2004/2022 (46.5%, LMDW, Version Française, Banyuls cask)

Uberach 2004/2022 (46.5%, LMDW, Version Française, Banyuls cask) Four stars
So this insane Alsatian malt whisky has first spent a lot of time in an ex-Banyuls cask (heavy sweet wine), was then reracked into small virgin casks, and then let to rest in demijohns since 2017. So technically, I believe it is a 12 or 13 years old. Oh and the colour alone is a little frightening. Colour: dark mahogany. Really. Nose: tar and black Corinthian currants, stewed rhubarb, morello cherries, old Burgundy (say Clos Parantoux by Henri Jayer – joking but thank god you don't have to pay when quoting a wine), a lot of walnut stain, other herbal decoctions (peach leaves), and then a growing sweet fruitiness that really lifts it, around blackberries and cassis jelly. Some gamy notes in the background, grouse, wild boar, pheasant, umami, old soy sauce… Mouth: what a concoction. More walnut stain, pipe juice, a triple ristretto, black chocolate (like 85% cocoa), meats, more wild boar pâté, roasted chestnuts, black raisins, bouillons and broths, cold cuts, bresaola and Grisons meat, beef jerky, perhaps even Turkish 'pemican' (forgot the Turkish name)… Of and a lot of tobacco. Finish: long and a little leathery – this was to happen. Black 'Gauloise' tobacco in the aftertaste. Comments: whether this is totally legal or not, I wouldn't be too sure. Of course it is, great fun, well done Master Jean!
SGP:572 - 86 points.
 

September 29, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, today Glenfiddich
and gooseberries

Fist time we try the new experimental Glenfiddich, called 'Orchard', while wondering whether they did not 'add pears to pears' with this combination – which would be a little tautological, no? Let's see…

 

Glenfiddich 'Orchard Experiment' (43%, OB, 2022) Three stars
The story goes like they've finished a fairly young Glenfiddich in 'Somerset Pomona', which, as I understand it, is to Somerset what Pineau des Charentes is to, well Charentes. Basically a blend of apple juice with apple brandy (vs grape juice and cognac). Or there, pommeau from Calvados. What's more, this is a short finishing, 4 months. Colour: gold. Nose: indeed, pears to pears, plus some extra-zestiness brought by notes of green gooseberries and granny smith, making it somewhat gossamer. In the words of Rowan Atkinson, this is "very nice". A lighter honey in the background, perhaps acacia. Mouth: sweeter than your regular Glenfiddich, reminding us that that English pommeau is a liqueur, so very sweet. Certainly very good, but we've lost a part of the lightness that we really enjoyed when nosing it, while this would rather be geared towards Spanish apple liqueur, Manzana Verde or else. Still good though, thanks to the zesty apples. Finish: medium, sweet and zesty indeed, not unlike some good German rieslings. Comments: well, they did not quite add pears to pears, rather apples.
SGP:641 - 82 points.

Another Glenfiddich please…

Glenfiddich 18 yo 'Small Batch' (40%, OB, +/-2022)

Glenfiddich 18 yo 'Small Batch' (40%, OB, +/-2022) Three stars
Ex oloroso and bourbon. Classic version of Glenfiddich, hope it'll be a little less thin than last time we tried it, back in 2016. Colour: gold. Nose: this one's much more buttery, cakey, with touches of sour wood (or walnut bur) and a curious feeling of fern and menthol, rather unexpected. A little cedarwood too, English breakfast tea, fig cookies… Really a fine nose, once again. Mouth: once again a cakey arrival, but this time rather with oranges and roasted nuts (and black nougat). The middle is rather drier, if not a little drying, with good leafy sherry. The oranges striking back after a while. Finish: medium, dry, with some tobacco, bitter chocolate, malt, plus indeed marmalade. Comments: I liked the new Experimental 'fiddich a little better for it was zestier. I'm sure this 18 would reach a (relatively) higher league when bottled at 43% vol. or even a little higher.
SGP:341 - 80 points.

 

The malt wars (print ad, 1986)

 

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenfiddich we've tasted so far

 

September 28, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, today two special Tormore

Elixir Distillers' Tormore Distillery! We just can't wait… But in the meantime…

Panettone

Tormore 27 yo 1995/2022 (48.3%, WhiskySponge, for LMDW, Collection Antipode, refill hogshead, 136 bottles)

Tormore 27 yo 1995/2022 (48.3%, WhiskySponge, for LMDW, Collection Antipode, refill hogshead, 136 bottles) Four stars and a half
On the label, an anthropomorphic sponge lying on the ground while dreaming of flowers. Too much Tormore, probably, unless that would have been 'something else'. Colour: gold. Nose: flowers perhaps (mullein? Honeysuckle? Freesia? Orange blossom?), most probably honeys, and fruits for sure. Pink bananas, juicy sultanas, prickly pears, rambutans, plums, melons big time, papayas… I'm also finding a few droplets of pinot gris. Alsatian pinot gris, naturally. Mouth: feels stronger than 48.3, with bags of orchard fruits and touches of caramel and stout. I'm sure it would take water with ease and joy…  With water: and it does. Moist marzipan (with kirschwasser, of course) plus melons ala Bruichladdich and peaches ala Ardmore. Wonderful 'western' fruitiness. Zwetschke. Finish: medium, fruity and doughy. Brioche full of candied fruits. Comments: bordering stardom, a perfect bridge between fruits and doughs. Who said 'so, panettone?'

SGP:641 - 89 points.

Tormore 29 yo 1993/2022 (54.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, first fill sherry butt, cask #5053, 554 bottles)

Tormore 29 yo 1993/2022 (54.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, first fill sherry butt, cask #5053, 554 bottles) Four stars
It's to be remembered that G&M are filling their own casks. Colour: full gold. Nose: much more sherry here, obviously, so more roasted nuts, walnuts, coffee, perhaps a little gunpowder too, struck matches, bitter oranges… With water: soy sauce, game, leather, burnt caramel, umami sauce (litres of that), soot… Mouth (neat): heavy flinty sherry, orange zests, salted liquorice, almost some tar, leather, some mustard sauce, slightly overly infused tea, dry Madeira, bits of tobacco… It has to be said that it's not easy to come after the very natural WhiskySponge with this kind of leafy and faintly s******y sherry. With water: at the frontiers. Finish: long and extremely umami-y, but with a sweeter aftertaste on candied grapefruits. Comments: some parts are brilliant, others are perhaps more difficult. A style that's slowly parting in most parts of the whisky world (just not in Mittelleuropa, ha!)
SGP:472 - 85 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Tormore we've tasted so far

 

September 27, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, today young clean Glen Elgin

It's said that more and more indie Glen Elgins are now being bottled as 'Secret Speysides', but we'll have some disclosed ones today. What's sure is that the times of all undisclosed Speysides being Glenfarclas (and Cragganmore) are definitely over, so smarter blind tasters, beware!

Sancerre
Sancerre (Cave des Vins de Sancerre, very good wines)

Glen Elgin 12 yo 2009/2021 (53.7%, Acla Selection, Wow Tasty!, hogshead, cask #81754)

Glen Elgin 12 yo 2009/2021 (53.7%, Acla Selection, Wow Tasty!, hogshead, cask #81754) Four stars
Pure Warholian design from Far-eastern Switzerland, on the Austrian border! Colour: white wine. Nose: this is where you do notice the clear connection between Glen Elgin and White Horse, especially older bottles of White Horse. Indeed this is austere, extremely mineral (old granite, sand) and full of concrete, soot and coal dust, with only wee bits of green pear at the fruit section. Another one that's pretty 'Sancerre-y'. With water: gets fruitier, more on gummi bears and marshmallows, barley sugar, candy floss… Mouth (neat): very green and grassy, full of fruit peel, green plums and pears, and the most acidic jelly babies. Crunching leaves and grass, lying in a meadow, admiring the sky. With water: once more it's becoming sweeter, rounder, with a lovely sweet barleyness that makes you think of… Mother Nature. Finish: medium, clean, malty, with barley and banana foam. Grass is back in the aftertaste. Comments: tasty indeed, Andy.
SGP:561 - 85 points.

Glen Elgin 13 yo 2008/2021 (57%, HNWS Taiwan, hogshead, cask #807935, 260 bottles)

Glen Elgin 13 yo 2008/2021 (57%, HNWS Taiwan, hogshead, cask #807935, 260 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Nose: same spirit, obviously, only with a little more oak impact, bananas, tiny touch of coconut and papaya, other than that this grassy, green and mineral development that's working so well. Glen Elgin is a wonderfully textured natural malt whisky. Forgot to mention a little parsley. With water: exactly a Sancerre this time again, but this one's met some oak in its early life, while the other one was all 'stainless'. Fresh butter, touch of coconut, crushed banana… Mouth (neat): rather powerful, spicier than the Acla (and that's the wood, obviously), with some pepper and nutmeg, then a wee sourness (cider apples). Just a little tough when undiluted. With water: it's kept this peppery sourness, the cider apples, the green bananas… Finish: rather long, with more pepper, otherwise ripe apples and a touch of pineapple. Comments: absolutely excellent, it's just that I enjoyed the 2009's extreme clean side even more. A little more.
SGP: 561- 84 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glen Elgin we've tasted so far

 

September 26, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, today Glendronach 1993 ex-puncheon, PX vs oloroso

They are using really a lot of sweet PX at Glendronach, they could well actually support the whole PX business. You're right, almost, now what's sure is that we've stumbled upon quite a few stunning 1993s. Even ex-PX!

Pflaume

 

 

Glendronach 1993/2019 (51.1%, OB, The Whisky Exchange exclusive, PX puncheon, cask #6853, 772 bottles)

Glendronach 1993/2019 (51.1%, OB, The Whisky Exchange exclusive, PX puncheon, cask #6853, 772 bottles) Five stars
Some chocolate and some prunes should be found… Colour: golden amber. Nose (neat): right, those Mozartian Austrian chocolates filled with damson prunes indeed, plus plum eau-de-vie. Those things kill – positively. They do have family-packs but the saying goes like 'once opened, emptied'. Or rather like 'you'll never find an opened pack that's not empty'. Anyway, this is brilliant, beyond those chocolaty prunes, as there's also some soups, umami, marrow broth, armagnac, Corinth currants, black pipe tobacco and whatnot. With water: oh, something medicinal! Old embrocations, massage balms… It's true that not too long ago, Glendronach used to share its destiny with Laphroaig, under Allied's banner. Mouth: ancient style. Earthy, tea-ish, salty(ish), more on tobacco than on chocolate. I suppose if you cellar this for twenty years, you'll come up with some 'Samaroli'. See what I mean? With water: grand. Gets dry, superbly sour(ish), with the wonderful trio, chocolate, coffee and tobacco. Finish: long. And there, once more, something medicinal. Did they treat an ex-Laphroaig cask with PX, and then filled it with Glendronach? We won't complain! Comments: very splendid. Glendronach are kings of PX. Oh and I should have tried this baby earlier, rather than keep it in a stupid 'TBT' box. That's 'to be tasted'.
SGP:562 - 91 points.

Glendronach 28 yo 1993/2022 (53.2%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Oloroso puncheon, cask #7099, 630 bottles)

Glendronach 28 yo 1993/2022 (53.2%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Oloroso puncheon, cask #7099, 630 bottles) Five stars
This one's brand new and this time, I am not late. Colour: golden amber. Nose: oloroso sweeter and rounder than PX, is that even possible? Unless the cask was shier and the distillate, which is superb at Glendronach as we all know, could have its say. This will be another 91/100, I can already tell you. Sultanas, menthol, guavas, coconut balls (but no vulgar coconut here), then sorrel soup, cress soup, chocolate, Cuban cigars… Well, I have to say this one too has the look of a winner. And ripe bananas. With water: banana cake! Plus old high-brow Sauternes, posh muscats, and a lot of apricot jam. Mouth (neat): yeah well, this time it is drier indeed, on coffee and bitter chocolate, plus black tea and tobacco. Umami-y things in the background, especially hoisin sauce. And now, the fruits I suppose… With water: I'm reminded of some pipe tobacco I used to smoke when I was twenty (so very recently), which was flavoured with cherries. Finish: long, with this admirable sour, quasi-bitter signature that prevents the whole experience from getting too… decadent? Comments: another stunning one, unless you don't like old-skool sherry monsters. Nothing medicinal in this one, having said that.

SGP:661 - 91 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glendronach we've tasted so far

 

September 24, 2022


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Angus  
Two celebratory old Dalwhinnie
I've always wanted to do this wee session as these are two of what amounts to a midgie's sporran-full of cask strength, 1960s distilled examples of Dalwhinnie that are known to exist in bottled form. And I recall both being really superb when tasted on various separate occasions. Plus, I'm finally going back to Whisky Live Paris this weekend, after many years not being able to make it, so I'm pretty excited for that and these gently historic wee Dalwhinnies seem like a fitting way to celebrate.

 

Dalwhinnie 36 yo 1966/2002 (47.2%, OB 'Special Releases', 1500 bottles

Dalwhinnie 36 yo 1966/2002 (47.2%, OB 'Special Releases', 1500 bottles)
One of many highly impressive early releases in this series, although I always felt it got a little forgotten about over the years. Now, Mr SV recorded notes for this one all the way back in 2005 and was impressed but maybe not 'aggressively' so with WF88. Colour: pale bronze. Nose: typically old and old school at the same time. Rather mentholated, polished and medicinal with animal fats, tiger balm, sooty and coppery notes and wee impressions of aged mead, camphor, marzipan and ginger. There's also dried herbs and ointments with a few various glazed and crystallised fruits. I also find some interestingly fat beery and malt extract notes. Mouth: excellent arrival, powerful even at this ABV, loads of medicinal waxes, boot polish, soot, camphor, oils, a glimmer of peat smoke and a few rather extracted exotic fruit teas, mineral oils and natural tar resin. Becoming more and more reminiscent of some much older Scotch whiskies in the way it makes you think of long-aged herbal liqueurs and curious old medicines. Finish: good length, rather warming, gently peppery, some ginger once again, more beers, dark grains, medicines and camphor. Comments: 1960s Dalwhinnie seems to have been involved considerably more with peat than today's make. There's many aspects about this that make you think of properly historic 'antique' profiles of Scotch Whisky. 90 big fat points in my wee book, but I would say what distinguishes this from many modern bottlings that also easily hit that mark, is that this would be a 'soulful' 90, rather than a 'technical' 90 - I'm sure you see what I mean.

SGP: 563 - 90 points.

 

 

Dalwhinnie 37 yo 1965/2003 (58.1%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 102.14 'An off-road oldie')

Dalwhinnie 37 yo 1965/2003 (58.1%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 102.14 'An off-road oldie')
Once again, Serge beat me to this one with WF90 back in 2018. I was always a fan of this bottling as, as far as I'm aware, it's a unique single cask with no sibling stocks to be found at any other bottler; a bonnie wee slice of Scottish distilling history. Colour: gold. Nose: many proximate qualities to the 1966, only I would say this is immediately sharper and more powerfully on medical embrocations, wintergreen, herbal wines, bandages, vapour rubs and even touches of iodine and citronella wax. A highly distinctive and unusual profile, even for the 1960s I would say. With water: superbly fat, oily, waxy and even farmy now. These peaty and medicinal aspects and subdivided into something greasier, earthier and more old school waxy/mechanical. Also some more refined notes of smoked olive oil and good old classic hessian. Really charming! Mouth: very herbal, oily, medicinal and camphory. I also find quite a lot of pepper, hints of anchovy paste, sandalwood and some wonderfully crisp and elegant old school peat smoke. It's also rather salty and with slight meaty notes like a top quality slice of Serrano. With water: lots of herbs, fir wood resins, natural tar extracts, medical embrocations, wee notes of smoked tea, iodine and many more assertive feelings of camphor, putty, hessian and medical balms. Finish: long, resinous, herbal, medicinal and with sweet tar and gentle peat smoke. Comments: I have to say, I find this outstanding. A brilliant whisky that's both soulful and technically great, but also a true example of a properly unique single cask. I have to say, this wee session also reveals the difference between Serge and I. He is a far more disciplined taster, whereas I am an over-emotional and giddy Scotsman who gets too excited about these sorts of whiskies. Hence…

SGP: 364 - 92 points.

 

 

Hope to see many of you at the show this weekend. Slante!

 

 

 

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Dalwhinnie we've tasted so far

 

September 23, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little duos, today Ardbeg OB vs IB
(vs Côte-Rôtie)

You cannot deny that Ardbeg and Macallan have shaped the malt whisky scene, in the late 1990s – early 2000s. Things have changed rather a lot since back then, but both Distilleries (ach, brands) will always remain in the hearts of every 'older' malt enthusiasts, together with a few other names. Good, I'm afraid I'll make a brick cry if I go on… Better try two newer 'begs!

Lala
Guigal's famous La-la-La ->

Ardbeg 2011/2020 (57.6%, OB, for Germany, 1st fill Cote Rotie, cask #2303, 302 bottles)

Ardbeg 2011/2020 (57.6%, OB, for Germany, 1st fill 'Cote Rotie', cask #2303, 302 bottles) Two stars
WAIT. First, it's Côte-Rôtie, not Cote Rotie. I know it's tricky to handle foreign letterings on a 1995 Macintosh, but come on. And second, Côte-Rôtie is one of the most distinctive and aromatic red wines, while red wine and peat, well that's like that famous Hawaiian pizza we keep mentioning. Or there, bananas al chorizo. But I am joking, you never know, and after all, some traditional Côte-Rôtie do harbour a few percent white wine. So like 95% syrah, 5% viognier. Let us proceed (with caution)… Colour: full gold. Nose: what is this? Rye, cedarwood, rose petals and hibiscus, ginger, pomegranates, peonies, blackcurrant buds (big time), tomato leaves, litchee syrup, mustard, rosewater, Lebanese bread… What's sure is that we're extremely far from the south shore of Islay, but there is some kind of fun to this, they should just find another name for this kind of winesky. With water: smoked ham and pineapple. There, Hawaiian pizza. Mouth (neat): so bizarre! You would believe it was made by a start-up distillery, somewhere in the Rhône Valley or there, in Schwarzwald. Sour, dissonant, sweet and spicy, with the smoke generating notes of plastic or, well, burnt pomegranates, burnt juniper wood… Phew! With water: it's better, but it is not Ardbeg. At least water brought a little coherence; oh and black olives. Finish: long, not obligatorily a good thing. Comments: too much own product, probably. No indie bottlers would have dared making, let alone bottling this very bizarre mixture. Almost impossible to score, but since we've come this far…
SGP:755 - 70 points.

Indies, help us!

Ardbeg 20 yo 2001/2022 (44.5%, The First Editions, for HNWS Taiwan, refill barrel, cask #HL18657, 146 bottles)

Ardbeg 20 yo 2001/2022 (44.5%, The First Editions, for HNWS Taiwan, refill barrel, cask #HL18657, 146 bottles) Five stars
Always an utter joy to read 'refill barrel' on a label, especially after 'Cote Rotie' (smirk). Thank you, Hunter Laing and HNWS. Colour: white wine. Nose: we're back in the late 1990s and we're having some of those official 10 yo twist cap in our glass. Coltrane on the stereo, and from the glass, these pure, amazingly tarry, sooty and coastal notes that were nowhere else to be experienced. Well, all that is back in this one, with a stunning simplicity and purity, and this very peculiar feeling of oneness. Not many malts are 'one' (especially not when finished or aged in Côte-Rôtie, he he). Ardbeg, what a spirit! Mouth: Ardbeg. A.r.d.b.e.g. ARDBEG. A-r-d-b-e-g (that'll do, S.) Tar, soot, seawater, lime juice and a drop of camphor oil. And basta. Finish: long, still pure, with an ashy signature. Drop of riesling and ideas of bandages and tincture of iodine. Comments: Ardbeg, together with only a handful of other names and provided no silly wood and/or wine's been in use, is a malt that often imposes silence on the drinker. Shh…

SGP:456 - 93 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Ardbeg we've tasted so far

 

September 22, 2022


Whiskyfun

Duos: a little Bowmore and good

We've already had a brilliant Bowmore session last month, but we were having a few more, quite possibly none with any heavy wine-treatment, so pretty much al natural. No, sherry isn't wine, it's something else, no? After all, neither should you ever be allowed to add cheese to pasta alle vongole!

Vongole
(70g.com)

 

Bowmore 17 yo 2003/2022 (53%, WhiskySponge, refill sherry butt, 679 bottles)

Bowmore 17 yo 2003/2022 (53%, WhiskySponge, refill sherry butt, 679 bottles) Five stars
This was the Sponge's 50th bottling, kudos Mr Sponge! Lovely poetic label here, with someone shovelling stars (seemingly) as if it was barley. Colour: gold. Nose: starts with loads of pickled seaweed, or perhaps wakame in brine, before it would rather move towards wee seashells (our friends winkles and whelks – never a word higher than the others) plus almonds, putty and fresh paint. An old boat that's just been repainted. With water: fresh putty and marzipan all the way, seaweed and damp newspapers in the background. Mouth (neat): wonderfully salty, in line with those old Bowmores that were sometimes rolled in the Loch to the puffers. Not sure that was true, but the story is charming. High-concentration margarita, lemon zests, pepper and chillies, ginger, miso and smoked almonds. Really, tastes like someone would have poured a litre of seawater (well, lochwater) into this butt. By the way, in the back, some leaves and leather plus green walnuts, all from the sherry I suppose. With water: a few touches of tropical fruits appearing, which is very Bowmore as well. Finish: long, on salted cold lapsang souchong. Wonderful lemony brine and pure smoke in the aftertaste, classic Bowmore. Comments: just a wee bit leathery/peppery on the palate, that must be the butt, but truly splendid.
SGP:465 - 90 points.

Bowmore 20 yo 2001/2022 (54.8%, LMDW, Artist #20, cask #102)

Bowmore 20 yo 2001/2022 (54.8%, LMDW, Artist #20, cask #102) Five stars
I don't think this baby is out yet but it will be soon, probably during or immediately after Whisky Live Paris, which will take place this weekend. Colour: gold. Nose: very very very, and I mean very close, just a tad more on mangos and umami. Tangerines, putty, engine oil… With water: starts to diverge, with a purer (yet) Bowmoreness, with ashes, ink, oats, mangos, soot, seawater, oysters, pink grapefruits, porridge, suet, cigar ashes (a whole ashtray, really) and a whole wheelbarrow of kelp. Mouth (neat): ultra-tight, bladey, with loads of green pepper and concentrated lime juice. Then a blend of seawater with a few drops of diesel oil (not much, given the costs of Diesel oil these days). With water: rather sublime, as expected. A little more pepper this time again, zests and fruit skins, tar, salt… Finish: long, greener and a notch bitterer, loses one point here. Dura Lex, sed Lex. Comments: seriously, it is glorious, but we all know that these vintages are terrific, provided some well-mannered casks will have been used, and not any of those pumped-up bespoke 'wine' casks that are to Bowmore what the LM002 was to Lamborghini.

SGP:566 - 90 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Bowmore we've tasted so far

 

September 21, 2022


Whiskyfun

Two Glenfarclas 2011

Because after all, winter is near… These will be the first Glenfarclas we'll try after the extremely talented, friendly and abnormally engaging George Grant has left the company, earlier this year. We deeply hope he'll be back, because, well, because whisky is about people way before anything else!

The author with George Grant in front of the Maniac Mobile, 2005

 

Glenfarclas 10 yo 2021/2021 'Empress of Australia' (53.9%, TWCC, PX sherry, 324 bottles)

Glenfarclas 10 yo 2011/2021 'Empress of Australia' (53.9%, TWCC, PX sherry, 324 bottles) Four stars and a half
I'm not sure the label actually says 'Glenfarclas', but let's remember that the stunning board/tasting room at the Distillery has its walls adorned with old wood panels that had been dismounted from the ocean liner named 'Empress of Australia' indeed. Colour: deep gold. Nose: sometimes PX works. Yes, Serge speaking. Indeed this is full of sultanas and dried figs, chestnut purée, rum baba, milk chocolate, hazelnut liqueur, not to forget our beloved amlou (1/3 argan oil, 1/3 crushed almonds, 1/3 Atlas honey). Some rancio too. Perfect nose this far, no deviant leafiness or rubber whatsoever. With water: awesome, sweet and rounded but not dull at all, a little close to good cognac, or perhaps that bottled sin (when it's good) called pineau des Charentes. Mouth (neat): absolutely excellent, round, luscious, all on raisins, rum and Sauternes at first, then with some healthy spiced honeys. Heather honey for sure, once more. With water: fruitcake etcetera. Angelica. Finish: medium, clean and sweet, and full of raisins and other dried fruits. The usual figs, for example. Pepper and clove in the aftertaste. Comments: what a lovely young drop! I've heard some good bodegas were making some bone-dry macerated PX these days, I need to try that!
SGP:651 - 88 points.

Glenfarclas 10 yo 2011/2021 (59.8%, OB, Family Casks, for LMDW 65th Anniversary, sherry hogshead, cask #1173, 304 bottles)

Glenfarclas 10 yo 2011/2021 (59.8%, OB, Family Casks, for LMDW 65th Anniversary, sherry hogshead, cask #1173, 304 bottles) Four stars and a half
I'm sorry, but does the name 'Family Cask' remain valid if George has left? Anyway, if La Maison have selected such a young drop to celebrate their 65th anniversary, there must be a reason, let's try to find it. Colour: deep red amber. Nose: sometimes, rich young sherry monsters may start like bourbon, in this case with rather a lot of varnish and acetone, over a nicely caramelised pecan pie straight from the oven. And then it's cake after cake, kougelhopf, tarte tatin, panettone… Well we're almost over the moon about this young beauty that, what's more, feels unexpectedly 'craft'. With water: seriously, I doubt you could do much better in Speyside, at this young age. Probably buries most neighbours… Mouth (neat): perfect, if a little brutal and a little too much on cherries and strawberries because of the very high strength. And on Texas-style sweet and smoked barbecue sauce. There, let's add water… With water: toffee, chocolate, marmalade, raisins and coffee, the holy pentangle of sherried Speyside whisky. We'll now sip this away while listening to Jacqui Mcshee's Pentangle, if you don't mind… Finish: long and more on raisins, fig arrack, dried jujubes and litchees… The aftertaste is very chocolatey again, with even a little smoke. Comments: as good as it gets at ten years old.

SGP:652 - 89 points.

(Thank you Tim)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenfarclas we've tasted so far

 

September 20, 2022


Whiskyfun