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Hi, you're in the Archives, May 2021 - Part 1

       

April 2021 - part 2 <--- May 2021 - part 1 ---> May 2021 - part 2

 

May 14, 2021


Whiskyfun

New Glen Grant 67 yo 1953
with apéritif and digestif

There's a new very old Glen Grant by Gordon & MacPhail who have really become the guardians of this increasingly rare style. We'll try it today, also try to find a proper sparring partner (G&M might be of help too) and first, the usual apéritif. Perhaps this wee one?... Rather cunningly, the strength here is that same as that of the new very old G&M, and that's why we chose it. A matter of coherence, you see… (nah, in fact, it's just a coincidence).

Glen Grant 21 yo 1997/2019 (59.4%, Signatory Vintage, 20 Jahre COTWE Zürich, hogshead, cask #38889, 180 bottles)

Glen Grant 21 yo 1997/2019 (59.4%, Signatory Vintage, 20 Jahre COTWE Zürich, hogshead, cask #38889, 180 bottles) Four stars
COTWE stands for Confrérie de l'Ordre des Taste Whisky Ecossais. Mind you, serious stuff! Such an honourable company, especially their Zürich branch, could not have selected a bad whisky… Colour: pale gold. Nose: strong and burns a wee bit but you do feel there's something old-school in there, especially touches of smoke beyond the expected pastries, banana cake, cornflakes, popcorn... With water: I find it very fermentary, bready and beery once water's been added, you could almost find notes of sake. Well, I do. Classic sponge cake and madeleines in the background. Did we say classic? Mouth (neat): some heat, some cider apples, some lemon and a feeling of Damson eau-de-vie as it runs from the still, including these bitter almonds. Tough guy when neat. With water: very good, pretty tight, with more fruits, especially apples and grapefruits, as well as Belgian gueuze. Aren't all gueuzes Belgian anyway? Not too sure, I know next to nothing about beers. Finish: medium, very barley-y, on more cakes and some obvious strong green tea. I'm thinking of 'Gunpowder'. Banana skin. Comments: very, very good. A rather 'centrist' whisky that sits right in the middle of all styles.
SGP:451 - 86 points.

Glen Grant 67 yo 1953/2021 'Mr George Legacy' (59.4%, Gordon & MacPhail, first fill sherry butt, cask #4209, 355 bottles)

Glen Grant 67 yo 1953/2021 'Mr George Legacy' (59.4%, Gordon & MacPhail, first fill sherry butt, cask #4209, 355 bottles) Five stars
G&M have already done a 62/1956 'Mr George Centenary' back in 2019. I had thought it was just sublime (WF 93). As for 'Mr George', that's former G&M CEO George Urquhart of course, probably the man who really pioneered the marketing of single malts on a wider scale. For example, he created the Connoisseurs Choice range back in 1968. I've heard he was a great man but sadly, I don't think I ever met him personally. He was still chairing the company in the year 2000 but he sadly died in 2001, at the age of 82. By the way, did you really notice the strength of this very old whisky? What's sure is that it cannot quite be 'fragile'. Colour: mahogany with red hues. Nose: as I had said about that very old Ben Nevis we tried yesterday, very old spirits tend to converge and indeed, I wouldn't have cried wolf if you had said this was pre-war rhum agricole or cognac. What's particularly spectacular here is the amounts of all things from the bees, especially wax, as well as this avalanche of wee honeyed, resinous and herbal tones. More about that after we've added a little water… With water: I'm not adding too much, better safe than sorry. Oh what a wonder! The aromatic territory is that of a 100 years old Sauternes that's digested all its sugars. It is stunning, with dozens and dozens of aromas, but should we only quote ten, I would say beeswax, heather honey, miso, chocolate, proper mocha, Smyrna raisins, dried figs, pipe tobacco, a little tiger balm, and a wee metallic touch. Grandma's famous old copper kettle. I cannot find any flaws in this nose, especially none that would be related to old age. Mouth (neat): massive! This time I would mention tobacco, Szechuan pepper, honey, chocolate and of course raisins, but watch this baby, at 67 it could still hit you right between your eyes. How old is De Niro, by the way? With water: sweet Vishnu! This is gloriously pine-y but absolutely never too dry or green. Many dried fruits, herbal teas and liqueurs, light toffee, pipe tobacco… But in truth it is one, not just an accumulation of flavours. Finish: long and rather more on that very old Sauternes that went stunningly dry. Comments: this malt is eternal. This lot will go to 100 easy and maybe even see the year 2100. I am not joking, at all. And I'd bet the first 100 year old will be one of these. As for the butt, it was a star. Perhaps even a proper ex-solera cask? We can only bow before G&M.
SGP:561 - 94 points (so one more point than the already glorious 62 yo).

And so, we said we would have a digestif after that piece of resistance… In theory, the digestif should be older, which is hard to do here. Unless we retrieve an older 'vintage'…

Glen Grant 1936 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 75cl, +/-1985)

Glen Grant 1936 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 75cl, +/-1985) Five stars
We've tried some Glen Grants that had been distilled even before 1936, but never as a 'single vintage' version. There's no age statement and no neck label on this one, but there's also a 1936 that had been bottled as a 50 yo in bottles and decanters, so indeed the odds are high that this is +/- 50 years too, and consequently bottled circa 1985. Please be sure that we've taken our time and that we're not quaffing this lighter old GG just thirty seconds after we've finished the rather monstrous 1953. No, but you never know. Colour: gold. Nose: a little smokier, a little more metallic, not fragile this far, a little more on waxes than honey, with more walnuts than dried fruits, and so a slightly more oloroso-y profile. Pinewood and embrocations in the background, that's closer. A drop of old apple brandy, perhaps, otherwise toasted brioche and wee hints of menthol and liquorice. It is complex and totally fresh. We're in 1936 and nothing has changed! The 40% do not feel either, but as we always say, the devil is on the palate… Mouth: well, he's not there, apparently. Not the tiniest sign of cardboard, stale tea or dust here, quite the contrary, with perfect oranges and tangerine jams, golden sultanas, some toffee, even butterscotch, mountain honey, a touch of wood smoke, I am reminded of Macallan of old. Stewed bananas in honey and sweet wine, with a little mint. This one's absolutely not tired. Finish: this is where it would start to nosedive, the finish is very short. But still no cardboard, rather a little mead. Comments: I was not sure this one would have survived the new 1953, but it was actually a great little fighter. Let's just forget about the finish (the what?)… Oh and did you know that Buddy Guy was born in 1936?
SGP:462 - 91 points.

(Many thanks, Carlos and Ryan!)

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

 

May 13, 2021


Whiskyfun

Isn't Ben Nevis addictive?
(More of it for Colin Ross!)

I think I've heard you moaning. Indeed I agree we couldn't have left that little tribute to Colin Ross without having had at least one or two older Ben Nevisses. It's true that we've had mostly new or very recent ones since Monday, which was probably not very 'Whiskyfun'. So let's proceed with one of the lightest, which is also, incidentally, probably the oldest Ben Nevis to date!

Ben Nevis 51 yo 1966/2017 (41.5%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, hogshead, cask #4278, 120 bottles)

Ben Nevis 51 yo 1966/2017 (41.5%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, hogshead, cask #4278, 120 bottles) Five stars
Amazing, incredible, flabbergasting… Good, the tone has been set (I've tried this one before but never wrote any proper tasting note). Colour: amber. Nose: don't you love it when very old spirits converge? Frankly this could as well be (a great) rum or (a great) cognac. Time erases differences and brings the best to light, provided the wood knew how to behave. Which is obviously the case here. Stunning 'beehive-y' notes at first, then sublime camphory ones, then many earths, many herbs, and both a little umami and a little osmazome. So this wonderful, ever-subtle meatiness that does not really display any proper notes of meat. See what I mean? There are myriads of other aromas but you'd rather call the Anti-Maltoporn Brigade NOW…  Mouth: starts with tiny fruits and the jams and liqueurs made thereof. Which is pretty unusual in a 50 yo whisky! Such as wild strawberries, white currants, probably a little cassis… Very impressive. Quite some resin too, which is not unheard of in old spirits (actually it was in the nose too), then tobaccos and various oils and waxes. Beeswax is very prominent, as it was on the nose. Some sappy honeys, old chardonnays of Montrachet-quality, a little gum Arabic… Oh and peaches, nectarines, apricots, and even a touch of salt. Good, I think I hear the Anti-Maltoporn Brigade in the yard… Quick… Finish: not eternal but fresh, not woody although rather resinous indeed, with an unexpected freshness in the aftertaste. Beeswax and a curious feeling of very old bourbon. Really! Old spirits do converge indeed… Comments: I would have liked to share this one with Colin Ross. Actually, maybe I did while at Whisky Live Paris back when it came out, but I am not sure it was this one. Let's officially state it was.
SGP:551 - 93 points.

While we are at it…

Ben Nevis 30 yo 1975/2006 (63.9%, Signatory Vintage, bourbon barrel, cask #7445, 169 bottles)

Ben Nevis 30 yo 1975/2006 (63.9%, Signatory Vintage, bourbon barrel, cask #7445, 169 bottles) Three stars
I'm sorry but isn't there a typo here? 63.9% at 30 years? Have they stored this one in Guyana or Kentucky? Now a lazy sister cask, #7447, had even been bottled at 64.3% by SigV (WF 82 back in 2006). Colour: straw. Nose: feels strong and young. Eaux-de-vie and young calvados or something like that. Let's not push our luck… With water: little sugar eggs and Havana Club, English breakfast tea, banana cream… Well I wouldn't say there's much Ben-Nevisness in this one, this is almost a lightish middle-aged Speysider on the nose. Mouth (neat): … while we tremble… Right its very sweet and almost sugary, with some bubblegum here and there and a fattish oiliness. A little lemon curd. With water: rather a little better, with more green tea and less straight sugary fruitiness, but it really is a very light, almost thin Ben Nevis in my opinion, although it would tend to improve with breathing. Finish: medium, sweet. This feeling of young calvados once again. A little coconut wine in the aftertaste, I suppose that's the barrel. Comments: I'm having trouble with these ones, must be me as some friends rather love the parcel. I suppose one cannot change his own nature. That 1991 by SigV over this one, anytime!
SGP:531 - 82 points.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2021 (55%, WhiskySponge, Edition 22C, refill sherry hogshead, 203 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2021 (55%, WhiskySponge, Edition 22C, refill sherry hogshead, 203 bottles) Five stars
A fabulous label sporting 'God' as… Colin Ross! Or the other way 'round. You could even read his name on God's cap. See how 'cult' Mr Ross had become amongst us whiskyrattis? Colour: white wine. Nose: it's a lovely sour one, on gooseberries and morello cherries, bone-dry chenin, leaven and gueuze, chalk and wool, fresh rhubarb… It's all there, we may go on… With water: cut grass, more rhubarb, green lemons (not limes) and some kind of sooky apples, should that exist. A path of light. Mouth (neat): perfection and moderate Irishness. Passion fruits, lemons, chalk, drop of fruity olive oil, scones, pink bananas, grapefruits… Well careful, this one goes down faster than Franz Klammer (apologies to younger generations) as it's very clean and fruity. With water: pristine, indisputable, ultra-clean high-precision fruity Ben Nevis. Finish: medium, very fruity, close to indie Bushmills once again. Comments: you could argue that there was nothing dirty/sooty at all in this one. Correct, but this fruitier style too does wonders in my book.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

Let's rummage in the boxes…

Ben Nevis 15 yo 1998/2014 (57.7%, Acorn, hogshead, cask #1352, 177 bottles)

Ben Nevis 15 yo 1998/2014 (57.7%, Acorn, hogshead, cask #1352, 177 bottles) Four stars and a half
I believe these ones are usually for Japan but you could find them in, for example, Switzerland. Colour: white wine. Nose: a rather hotter style, moe eau-de-vie-ish, but that's probably the younger age. Gooseberries, pancakes, perhaps roasted pine nuts, then grist and toasted brioche… No quibbling whatsoever. With water: fresh wholegrain bread, grist, soot, sesame oil and pistachios. Fresh croissants. Mouth (neat): very good, starting with a little varnish and even a feeling of acetone, then limoncello over soot and ashes. White cherries, kirsch, almonds. With water: excellent, tart, nervous, vibrant, on lemons, limes and grapefruits. It actually got a little narrower after reduction's occurred, but no problems,; what it does it does well. Excellent. Finish: medium, lemony, on a chalky ground and with an ashier, grittier aftertaste. Comments: typical youngish Ben Nevis of the highest quality. Once again, I'm a fan.
SGP:551 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 19 yo 1997/2017 (52.3%, S-Spirit Shop Selection, Taiwan, hogshead, cask #603, 300 bottles)

Ben Nevis 19 yo 1997/2017 (52.3%, S-Spirit Shop Selection, Taiwan, hogshead, cask #603, 300 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: it's rather an austere one, rather on grasses and oils, then dough, leaven, chalk and grist. Classic and most pleasant, given that some wee coastal notes are making it to your nostrils as well after thirty seconds. Whelks, shall we say. With water: bread, lemon, chalk, flour, wool, a galopin of gueuze. Mouth (neat): excellent. Tart and green, bold, with a drop of raw kirschwasser, then lemons and grapefruits, more chalk, more soot, more fresh almonds. Just a wee tad rustic this far but hey, it is not even 20. With water: absolutely lovely, it's just that it got a little too young and fruity once reduced. We've known fresh mirabelle eau-de-vie… (no one's interested in your private life, S.) Finish: medium, fruity. Fresh fruitcake, cassata, these wee bananas… Comments: no really, it's excellent, just still a wee-tad youngish here and there, in my humble opinion. The Sponge's '97 was 'higher' but it's true that it was also four years older. Very good stuff nonetheless.
SGP:552 - 86 points.

Ben Nevis 20 yo 1996/2017 (53.1%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #1528, 466 bottles)

Ben Nevis 20 yo 1996/2017 (53.1%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #1528, 466 bottles) Four stars and a half
Why this one had slipped through my paws, I couldn't tell you. Maybe because it was a sherry butt? Colour: full gold. Nose: rather gentle and cake-y at first, with some walnut wine and only a touch of curry, some wood smoke, some Maggi, tar liqueur, pinewood ashes… This is all most intriguing. With water: hey, peat! This baby never stopped gaining speed and power. Beach bonfire, dried kelp… Boy did it evolve! Mouth (neat): raw and smoky indeed, with a sourness (cherries), some kind of smoked wine (don't say that doesn't exist!) and probably some eucalyptus and menthol. Really very different and really pretty peaty, in fact. With water: very good but I'm lost. What is this? Is this Ben Nevis indeed? Finish: long, peaty, peppery, very ashy. Comments: who the hell did rebadge a cask of Talisker while no one was watching? Do not let tourists in!
SGP:465 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 19 yo 1997/2017 (57.5%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, for Taiwan, 1st fill sherry, cask #69, 266 bottles)

Ben Nevis 19 yo 1997/2017 (57.5%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, for Taiwan, 1st fill sherry, cask #69, 266 bottles) Five stars
As it appears, some of these had been bottled for the USA too, but I'm all for world peace. Love Blackadder anyway, hope some newer ones will find their way to Château Whiskyfun. Now it's true that I'm very slow… Colour: golden amber. Nose: oh smoked cakes, Danishes, metal polish, brake pads 'after the Nürburgring', old walnuts, tobacco… In truth this is very close to some official small batches of OBs. The sherried ones, obviously. With water: moist garden peat and Bulldog sauce, umami sauce, stuff for sushi… Yeah even wasabi. Mouth (neat): big boy, on hectolitres of walnut wine, the driest olorosos, and just soot and coal. Then coffee and cigars. With water: orgasmic oloroso. But you really have to like them mustardy and full of last-century walnuts. Finish: very long and more medicinal, ala deeply sherried Laphroaig. Comments: never has the name 'Raw Cask' been more deservedly earned, I would say. I would say twelve people in the whole world love this rather extreme kind. Who are the other eleven?
SGP:273 - 90 points.

It is, indeed, getting a little tough. Ish. But more sherry's demanded…

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1995/2017 (52.7%, Wilson & Morgan, Barrel Selection, sherry wood, cask #656, 314 bottles)

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1995/2017 (52.7%, Wilson & Morgan, Barrel Selection, sherry wood, cask #656, 314 bottles) Four stars and a half
Hey good pick, how are you doing, Wilson & Morgan? I'm really glad they're not bottling only barrels within their 'Barrel Selection' range. Colour: amber. Nose: there's this rather typical, but not always observed metallic side to this one, old copper tones, strawberry jam and walnut cake, then rather some kind of caramelised marmalade and really a full bag of raisins, bot fresh, full-dried, and roasted. With water: little changes. Perhaps more chalk? More wool? Mouth (neat): extremely, and I mean extremely good. Extremely old-school, and even kind of a blend of Ardbeg with Macallan -who's never tried that? Very leafy and leathery too, that's the harder side of it. With water: no, we're fine. Good smoked honeyed and raisiny cake, with a growing smokiness and even ashes. Finish: long, salty, tobacco-y, raisiny. It's been done goodly, as they used to say at the White House. Only the aftertaste would be a little green and tannic. Comments: very good, but it's to be wondered if oloroso and Ben Nevis do not generate peat when married together. Molecules gone wild, perhaps? We should ask a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, such as Donald J.. Nah, love this rather adventurous malt.
SGP:463 - 88 points.

What have we still got?... Eenie meenie…

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1999/2017 (55.3%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, for Taiwan, hogshead, 207 bottles)

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1999/2017 (55.3%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, for Taiwan, hogshead, 207 bottles) Four stars
Hey, more Blackadder, which makes better sense than a tomato fitted with wheels! (I'm bad at quoting the series, really). Colour: gold. Nose: lovely. It's a crystal-clear, pretty smoky, rather mineral and really very doughy Ben Nevis, with grist, flour, fresh bread, carbon paper, and just bone-dry white beer. This one's authentic – not saying he others were not. With water: touches of ripe apples and pineapples popping out, that's funny. I was expecting even more minerality, but I am not complaining. To whom would I file a complaint anyway? To the SWA? Mouth (neat): how good is this? Excellent, barley-driven, sourish and lemony arrival, only getting tenser over time. Grapefruit liqueur and chalk. One day someone will have to try to make inorganic liqueurs, but that's another story… With water: pretty perfecto. Top notch mineral distillate, knowing that minerality is saving wine, and will save whisky as well sooner or later. Yeah I know, distillation… Finish: long, kind of clean, chalky, almost perfect. Comments: bam! Another rather excellent one, it's just not hugely complex yet.
SGP:452 - 86 points.

Let's have a last, a very last Ben Nevis, until, at least, say July 1st. Or we'll have gone rather too far… Let's choose another OB at random, eenie… Oh, no, it's a beast!...

Ben Nevis 25 yo 1991/2017 (61.3%, OB, oloroso sherry butt, cask #3711, 584 bottles)

Ben Nevis 25 yo 1991/2017 (61.3%, OB, oloroso sherry butt, cask #3711, 584 bottles) Five stars
We'll do this one quick, if you don't mind. Colour: gold. Nose: oh lovely, stock and salty bouillons, glue (UHU), cured ham, chalk and tobacco… But indeed it is strong. With water: lovely acetic notes, more fine glues and varnishes, roots and earths, all things that sound bad yet nose lovely. Superb structure, not a much talked-about concept in whisky but I say that's got to change! Mouth (neat): I think this is perfect. Menthol and lemon curd, chalk, ginger and turmeric, green spices… Now it is really too strong and just wouldn't unleash its full potential yet. Well, theoretically… With H2O: vanquishes you, as they say at Aston Martin's. In truth it would rather get softer, but these bitter tones just work. Grasses, teas, even vegetables (artichokes) and a feeling of ashes and coal. This is truly Ben Nevis, pretty uncompromising and just uncommercial. F**k commerce, we're in it for arts and culture, we are not vandals! Finish: long. Mandarins and bitters, forgot to mention mandarins and bitters. Salty and peaty aftertaste. Comments: glorious. I'm  glad we're putting an end to this madness with this very glorious and panache-y official Ben Nevis made by Mr Colin Ross. Cellar this and see you around 2030. Utter star, guaranteed.
SGP:553 - 91 points.

That's 32 Ben Nevisses since Monday. Not bad. Frankly, we could go on with many more, what a stunning, fat, versatile and corpulent distillate! All that thanks to Colin Ross. Pace e salute to your lovely, most honest soul!

(Thanks to KC, Lucero, Tim)

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

 

May 12, 2021


Whiskyfun

Ben Nevis for Colin, part three

And last. Adios and R.I.P.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (45.9%, Scottish Beauties, Edition No.1, refill bourbon hogshead)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (45.9%, Scottish Beauties, Edition No.1, refill bourbon hogshead) Four stars
Very funny retro label that reminds me of the cans of lager from Tennent's that we used to quaff when I first drove to Scotland (I cannot remember whether that was 1978, 1979 or 1980, I keep quoting different years). Oh, could we please have Samantha Fox next time? Colour: white wine. Nose: this one starts straight on porridge and leaven bread, before some passion fruits, some soot, some lemons and some chalk start rise to the surface. Ultra-classic fresh untouched Ben Nevis. Mouth: I just hate it when a session starts too fast and high. I know, I should have chosen a Zinfandel finish instead, but who would kill a Nevis in Zin? Salt, lemon, chalk, soot, oysters, wee smoke, some kind of smoked liquorice and a touch of butterscotch for some extra-dimension. Finish: long and very pleasantly bitter. Yet another dimension! Comments: to be honest some may find the finish a little too bitter. Perhaps are we more resilient?
SGP:462 - 86 points.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (48.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #1641, 280 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (48.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #1641, 280 bottles) Five stars
Looks like Elixir are really firing on all (twelve) cylinders these days. Now, that Bumbu Cream Liqueur, perhaps not. Colour: white wine. Nose: maracuja and pink bananas upfront, then wax and fresh paint, then eucalyptus and the chalk/flints/concrete/clay stampede. Some more delicate notes of fresh butter and hazelnuts too. It's a fruitier, more delicate one. Mouth: mirroring the nose but with deeper sootiness, even ashes, although it would remain rather extravagantly fruity. I'm wondering, is that the result of aging or was it already 'tropical' at 5? Finish: medium, with some IPA and lime I would say. Citra hops. I really enjoy the grassier aftertaste good. Comments: terrific Ben Nevis, fully on tropical fruits but with the expected deeper texture too. But warning, it's the kind of bottle that tends to 'leak' a lot. Yeah you're right, or evaporate.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

Oh, to check whether there could be fruit in some very young ones, the best idea would be to try some, no?...

Ben Nevis 4 yo 2015/2020 (50%, Càrn Mor, Strictly Single Cask, sherry hogshead, 220 bottles)

Ben Nevis 4 yo 2015/2020 (50%, Càrn Mor, Strictly Single Cask, sherry hogshead, 220 bottles) Four stars
There are also small-batch versions of this make. It takes guts to bottle these kinds of youngsters, if you ask me. Colour: gold. Nose: capeesh, it's a full-peater. Remember peat tends to erase (or rather mask) immaturity. In truth this works rather beautifully on the nose, with a feeling of mezcal and white Jamaican rum that's only complemented with abundant peat and ashes. And olives, gherkins, butterscotch and just roots. Rather impressed, I am. With water: it takes water extremely well. A young Ian Thorpe. Grist, flour, ashes, coal smoke, hold on, and bananas! … Mouth (neat): rather hugely smoky, fresh, reminding me of top young Caol Ila with these bountiful ashes. Lemons, naturally. With water: very good and certainly coastal. No coast no peat! Finish: once again, only the finish is a tad bitter and kind of pungent. Salty aftertaste, with lemons. Comments: of course they know what they're doing. Granted, this is not Laph**aig 30 years old, but it is already extremely quaffable. Worth trying in any case.
SGP:467 - 85 points.

A wee break is needed after such a heavy peater… (but should they really all do peat as well? Discuss…)
OK we're back.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (46.1%, Whisky Nerds, hogshead, cask #954, 75 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (46.1%, Whisky Nerds, hogshead, cask #954, 75 bottles) Five stars
Who the h**l drank the remainder of the cask? Colour: pale white wine. Nose: well, soot lemon sourdough chalk passion fruit croissants concrete linseed oil sauvignon blanc white asparagus banana skin beeswax shoe polish earth leaven… Please catch your breath! Mouth: wham, this one's got everything. Amazing purity, fruit peeling, maracuja, lemon, chalk, porridge, a wee spoonful of mascarpone, paraffin, salt, bananas… yadda yadda yadda. Textbook untouched Ben Nevis. Finish: rather long, on salt and lemon. This feeling of readymade margarita that I always tend to enjoy. Seawater. The aftertaste is a little medicinal (cough syrup). Comments: this one befriended the eagles (not the band). Pure and perfect.
SGP:452 - 91 points.

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2018 (46.5%, Golden Cask, cask CM 252, 150 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2018 (46.5%, Golden Cask, cask CM 252, 150 bottles) Five stars
Could this be the other part of that cask? Hum hum… Colour: well, the colour's completely different. Full gold. Nose: this one's more medicinal it seems, more on embrocations and mercurochrome at first, then pretty coastal, with oysters and then the expected bananas, grapefruits, a milder chalkiness and some nice fresh maize bread. I believe this one's rather softer, almost smoother (but that word has been banned from the Web, same as 'mellow'). Mouth: laughing out loud, on the contrary, this one's rather fierce on the palate, even a tad hot, with some kind of gritty marmalade and quite a lot of strong green tea. Then the usual salt and lemons, but without much waxiness or oiliness. The thing is, I like this style a lot too. Finish: lovely lemony/sour finish. Haven't I mentioned readymade margarita before? Peach skin in the aftertaste, which is new (in this session). Comments: I'll say it, with rare exceptions, Ben Nevis 1996 is the Bitcoin of whisky. But do what you want, do whatever you want.
SGP:462 - 90 points.

Perhaps some sherry?...

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2019 (50%, Cask & Thistle for Or Sileis, sherry, cask #2199, 300 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2019 (50%, Cask & Thistle for Or Sileis, sherry, cask #2199, 300 bottles) Four stars
Our friends in Taiwan seem to like to add full-blown back labels that make their bottles look like Janus. I find that custom charming, really (really!) Colour: mahogany. Isn't this one the first 'very dark' Ben Nevisses we'll have tried this week? Now careful, we know that heavy sherry and heavy distillates may clash… Nose: looks like someone's bought some old armagnac and has literally smoked it over peat and coal. I'm sure you could do that! The thing is, that worked out and we're almost nosing a new box of old Partagas. Plus concrete, walnuts, crude cocoa, proper coffee, and some drops of tar liqueur. Extremely curious about the palate here. With water: literally litres of old Spanish rancio and walnut liqueur. The walnut liqueur isn't obligatorily Spanish having said that. Mouth (neat): an OB taste-alike, really. Meats, cigars, pemican, beef jerky, Bovril, salty stock, autumn leaves, umami… All this is a little brutal but water may help… With water: just ad a drop of H2O or it would sink to the bottom. Bad swimmer (falls apart) but at 50%, no water is mandatory. Finish: long and totally on sherry. I hate to say that the heavy sherry has won the game. Walnuts everywhere. Comments: a spectacular sherry monster that, if that rings a bell, reminds me of that Brora 1972 DL for the Whisky Shop. Old story, but yes it remains great whisky. Led Oloroso.
SGP:373 - 87 points.

Ben Nevis 24 yo 1995/2019 (53.2%, Sansibar for Slainte, 150 bottles)

Ben Nevis 24 yo 1995/2019 (53.2%, Sansibar for Slainte, 150 bottles) Four stars
Lovely drawing (watercolour?) of the Distillery but I would have added a wee Coilin Ross to the front. Colour: amber. Nose: sherry again, obviously. Whiffs of new plastic bags (remember?) and brake pads, that's the kind of combo that only sherry + solid spirit will generate. Then umami sauce and a fresh-opened family pack of beef jerky. Truffles and gunpowder too. With water: back to bread, and just back to the original distillate, with only a handful of raisins thrown in. Very funny. Mouth (neat): wait Kate, this just works, it's pretty gamy, sour, full of walnuts and flints, triple-sec (which really isn't sec), then indeed walnut wine and the thickest beer. Like Westvleteren 12. With water: sardines? Anchovies? Careful with water, as always with sherry monsters. A tiny drop will do the trick. Finish: long, salty, rather on raw cocoa and the strongest black tea. Comments: I find this one excellent too. It's just that most Ben Nevis al natural are really great 'as they are'. Muy seco.
SGP:263 - 87 points.

Perhaps one or two by The Sponge. He's done a much lauded trilogy this year, but three is a lot, given that we've got so many other BNs yet to try…

Ben Nevis 23 yo (48.5%, WhiskySponge, Edition 22 B, refill hogshead, multi-vintage, 2021)

Ben Nevis 23 yo (48.5%, WhiskySponge, Edition 22 B, refill hogshead, multi-vintage, 2021) Four stars and a half
Order? What order? Colour: white wine. Nose: grapefruit, sauvignon blanc, chalk, raw wool, porridge, lime, soot, stems, drop of varnish and gum Arabic. Wee hints of strawberry yoghurt, coconut cream and marshmallows. Gentler, yet authentically BN BN. Mouth: excellent, it is one of those 'Irish' Ben Nevisses, close to indie Bushmills, with fruit salad, barley syrup, touches of bark and leaves, pink bananas, IPA, and just some green tea to prevent it from getting 'too' fruity. There's some fruity lightness to this one. Finish: the best part, with herbal teas, fruit skins, ripe gooseberries, and a leafier background coming with some salt and grapefruits, plus a little coconut. Coconut does not always kill. Comments: huge fruitiness in this one, which makes it a little extreme in that respect, and easier as well. We're extremely far from the more extreme coastal BNs, and indeed closer to the best Irish. Some Bushmills, some Cooleys. Which we like a lot, of course.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

It's probably time to put an end to this humble little tribute to Colin Ross. Almost wrote 'Sir Colin Ross'. A Distillery manager who used to side with the malt enthusiasts rather than with any dehumanized corporate blandness and who never needed to hire any commercial escorts; a gentleman who was, in truth, well ahead of his time. Of course, our last dram will be the mush lamented official 10…

Ben Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB, +/-2020)

Ben Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB, +/-2020) Four stars and a half
I believe this is, more or less, one of the very last batches of the much lauded 10 years old they did. Perhaps was it bottled in 2019, actually, not too sure. Bring it back (if you can!) Oh, and yeah of course packaging's never been one of their strong points, but remember when Pétrus (or Cheval Blanc, or Lafite, or Haut-brion…) last changed their totally outdated presentation? Me neither. Colour: gold. Nose: a lesson in oils, in cereals, in citrus, in minerality and in coastalness. Some very lovely oranges too. One of the best official tenners in my book, siding with Talisker, Springbank, and (the sadly weaker) HP. Mouth: I'd have loved to share this one with Colin Ross. Brilliant drop. Adieu! Finish: never. Comments: Ben Nevis 10 is/was proof that Man is part of terroir.
SGP:452 - 89 points.

May the younger guys and gals at the Distilleries never become too 'corporate' and remain authentically human! Remember, brands suck badly and are just becoming a thing of the past. No brands, just genuine people! As was Colin Ross.

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

 

May 11, 2021


Whiskyfun

Ben Nevis part two (always for Colin Ross)

More Ben Nevis for dear Colin Ross. Oh and that story about those washbacks made out of concrete, the idea of which owner Joseph Hobbs had brought back from California after he had visited a few 'new world' wineries! Another funny story…

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2010/2020 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Un-Chillfiltered Collection, refill butt, cask #130, 725 bottles)

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2010/2020 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Un-Chillfiltered Collection, refill butt, cask #130, 725 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: well, this was extremely refill and we shan't complain about that. Leaven, grist, fresh plaster, fresh-ground almonds, kirschwasser, any eau-de-vie really, drops of tequila, even a little cologne… Well this eau-de-vie de barley is very fine, but I'm not sure it's totally mature yet. Mouth: totally eau-de-vie de barley, what's more Ben Nevis' distillate is big enough to allow this proposition. I would say you couldn't do this with a light, diaphanous distillate (no, no names). More sweet bread, maize, semolina, fruity ale, and as I already said, kirschwasser. You could almost believe this is vapour-distilled (ever tried that? Soon on WF!) Finish: medium and expectedly sootier and chalkier. Very dry aftertaste. Comments: In a way, this one's very 'West-Coast'.
SGP:462 - 83 points.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2020 (49.2%, Whisky-Fässle, hogshead

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2020 (49.2%, Whisky-Fässle, hogshead) Five stars
The excellent 'Little-Cask' had had a rather lovely 1997 back in 2008 (WF 88). That's right, Whisky-Fässle means Little-Cask, which almost sounds like a Sioux name, no? Colour: white wine. Nose: straight, high-precision mineral and lemony arrival, unfolding on many chalks and clays, limes and citrons, granny smith, new wool, fresh almonds and hazelnuts, spitzenklasse riesling, plus a little soot and a little metal polish. How very Ben Nevis. Mouth: this is where it takes off. Amazing nut cakes, barley water, camphor, cough drops, chalk, a curious combination of pistachio and liquorice that works very well, pink grapefruits, fir honey, and just a faint touch of vanilla. Forgot to mention mullein syrup, which is excellent for yourBen Nevis part two (still for Colin Ross) bronchial tubes. Sorry we don't do prescriptions. Finish: rather long, with a perfect balance and a slightly floral side that's a little unusual. Comments: totally excellent. Seriously, at times I would have said this was an old Cadenhead 'Black Dumpy'.
SGP:462 - 90 points.

Ben Nevis 1996/2020 (50.4%, The Whisky Jury, refill hogshead, cask #1372, 242 bottles)

Ben Nevis 1996/2020 (50.4%, The Whisky Jury, refill hogshead, cask #1372, 242 bottles) Five stars
The Jury's previously bottled some excellent BN. Colour: white wine. Nose: this sour, lovely feeling of raw apple juice at first, then almonds, then waxes, and only then oils as well as a drop of diesel oil. And after twenty seconds, enter bags of citrus fruits. With water: wool and chalk, some other typical markers. Mouth (neat): terrific, gentler than the 1997 and with many more tropical fruits, somehow ala Bowmore. Passion fruit tarte and wee pink bananas, plus quinces and peaches. You could say a very good Pinot Gris. In the background, naturally, waxes, citrus and minerals. With water: gets a tad grassier, with a little more paraffin and linseed oil. Touches of salt too. Finish: medium, extremely complex, with just everything we've mentioned before. Comments: it's great to compare 1996 with 1997, both from great refill. If you believe in vintages, naturally. Isn't 1996 fruitier and a little softer and gentler, generally speaking?
SGP:552 - 90 points.

Great. So more 1996, perhaps…

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (49.3%, Hunter Laing/The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, hogshead, cask #HL17398, 230 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (49.3%, Hunter Laing/The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, hogshead, cask #HL17398, 230 bottles) Five stars
When you spot dragons on a label you know it's not a bottling for Rhineland-Palatinate (love you all good people). Colour: pale straw. Nose: extremely similar, just a wee tad softer. Apple juice, banana juice, touches of honey and mead, pomelos, beeswax, almonds… This is utterly lovely and, once again, rather a little gentler. In a good way. Mouth: grand softer Ben Nevis, reaching 1965-1968 Bowmore style. I am not joking. Mangos, passion fruits, bananas, grassy smoke, clams and whelks, then lemon and grapefruit. This one should be cellared for around twenty years. I know that's the harder part. Finish: medium, on all-vitamin fruit juice, chalk, and always these wee almondy and sooty notes. Comments: 90 today, 91 circa 2030, 93 in 2040. People often ask me 'what should I collect?' The answer is 'this kind'. Drop the heavily branded junk for unlearned label drinkers.
SGP:552 - 90 points.

Oh, a 1998, that's interesting…

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998/2020 (53%, Artful Dodger Whisky Collective, refill bourbon hogshead, cask #674)

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998/2020 (53%, Artful Dodger Whisky Collective, refill bourbon hogshead, cask #674) Four stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Nose: Love this style too. Less fruits, more wool, chalk, even washing powder and pencil eraser. Some crushed pine nuts and a general direction  that would go towards fresh nuts indeed, as well as fresh putty. Almond milk. One day I'll tell you about that time when I tried to make almond milk myself in the kitchen and almost divorced as a consequence. With water: same plus whiffs of damp clay and chalk. A lot of wool. Mouth (neat): oh this is a tighter one, much more on lemons and even unripe kiwis, green gooseberries… This is a style that I like very much too. Sylvaner. With water: gorgeous grassy, rubbery and waxy style. Zests and chewing rubber bands (when we were kids). Some lemon and a drop of grassier grappa. Or marc de Bourgogne. Finish: long, tight and grassy. Sauvignon blanc. Only the aftertaste is a tad more, say 'wobbly'. Comments: this style too I just love. I know all these scores that are more or less the same look a little dodgy, but I believe these makes are just 'obvious'. Buy and accumulate, as they say in finance.
SGP:462 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 26 yo 1991/2017 (57.3%, Signatory Vintage, sherry butt, cask #2377, 599 bottles)

Ben Nevis 26 yo 1991/2017 (57.3%, Signatory Vintage, sherry butt, cask #2377, 599 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: pale gold. Nose: an older vintage and more tobacco-y notes, some moss, pine smoke, walnut cake and various waxes and oils. There's a dirtier side that would remind us of older officials, touches of balsamico, old sweet wine that went dry, so perhaps Madeira, some chocolate and some coffee, a touch of leather… So this one's less 'immediately immaculate' (well done S.) but this nose that's globally on cigars works very well too. Indeed, old-school Ben Nevis. With water: gets much gentler, almost cake-y. Quite some mead. Mouth (neat): this sour/sweet arrival with a lot of punch, then notes of curry and cigars, ham, plasticine, Szechuan pepper and even softer chilli, game, walnut wine, sweet mustard… With water: some salt barging in, cold bouillon, walnuts... Finish: rather long, salty, meaty, waxy, shoe-polishy… Loses one point at the aftertaste it leaves in your mouth because of some rather unwanted cardboard. Dura Lex, sed Lex. Comments: nah, it's another very excellent Ben Nevis. I'd love to be able send a few angels to interview Colin Ross about the various vintages at BN… That'll teach us, never do later on what you could do immediately.
SGP:362 - 89 points.

A last one…

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1990/2015 (60.4%, Jack Wiebers for Whiskyship Luzern, Great Ocean Liners, sherry, cask #0218, 120 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1990/2015 (60.4%, Jack Wiebers for Whiskyship Luzern, Great Ocean Liners, sherry, cask #0218, 120 bottles) Four stars
The kind of stuff that we keep in the ever-growing sample library. I know the numbers do not add-up, but who cares? I so miss Luzern, but 2022's already in big bold letters in 'Calendar'. Colour: reddish amber. Nose: much more sherry in this one, burnt cake, walnut cake, cigars, chocolate, mocha, a little miso, dried porcini, old armagnac, chocolate, menthol, liquorice, a tarry side… So a whole different game, and indeed rather the style of some earlier official bottlings. With water: the distillate manages to float within all this sweet sherried goodness. Honeycomb and raisins, millionaire shortbread, fruit-flavoured pipe tobacco…  Mouth (neat): a little huge I have to say, rather on heavy marmalade, raisins, more raisins, even more raisins, Smyrna, Corinth, Sultanas… But this is very strong. With water: some peppery earth, dried mushrooms, Seville oranges and a good dollop of bitters chiming in. Some pretty earthy spices, around cloves and cinnamon. A big boy. Finish: rather long rather fattish. Aftertaste on game, beef stock and umami sauce. The sherry speaking out. Comments: no dead mice in this very good one, I'm almost disappointed (understand that if you can). Another excellent one, now it hasn't quite got the zing and the brightness that younger vintages did display. We'll see if we go on for a little while, we might stumble upon similar tipples…
SGP:551 - 87 points.

See you tomorrow… Perhaps.

(Thank you Lau and Tony)

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

 

May 10, 2021


Whiskyfun

Ben Nevis (a tribute to Colin Ross)

Colin Ross, former Distillery Manager of Ben Nevis passed away last week. He was an extraordinary, sweet and deep man and I'll always remember his incredible stories. The maharajah, his plane and his barrels, anyone? Not to mention the fabulous whiskies he and his team used to make. He sure made out of Ben Nevis a both profound and shining star amongst aficionados – and, between us, contributed to the current glory of many a Japanese whisky too. These wee Ben Nevisses are for him and his son.
We have many on the table, let's do them randomly, and perhaps not in one go…

CR
At Ben Nevis Distillery with Colin Ross,
many moons ago

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2010/2021 (56.7%, The Duchess, Shiraz cask finish, cask #1800020, 317 bottles)

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2010/2021 (56.7%, The Duchess, Shiraz cask finish, cask #1800020, 317 bottles) Four stars
Ducks are fashionable these days, but shiraz? Well, it's true that Ben Nevis could take just anything, so why not shiraz?… Colour: apricotty. Nose: starts steely, with some soot and some copper (old coins), yoghurt, sour cherries, then we have fresh concrete and damp gravel. It's just been raining… Chrome polish, pu-her tea. There's often pu-her in Ben Nevis. With water: leather, tobacco, and more sour cherries, with wee hints of truffle and fumes in the background. Mouth (neat): quite a lot of pepper and chilli sauce, with this chutney-y character, pickled fruits, bitters, some tar and a little rubber… Well I'm sure you could make some high-class spritz out of this one. Please pass the bottle of champagne… Rather fat body. With water: gets gentler, fruitier, with rather more red berry jams. What we call an 'old bachelor's jam'. Touch of mead and stout, fifty-fifty. Finish: rather long, reminding me of that cherry jam they make in Itxassou, in the French Basque country. Goes well with hard cheese. Comments: clearly something else, a tad dissonant here and there. Thelonious Monk's own Scotch? Love Thelonious Monk, so…
SGP:562 - 87 points.

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2008/2018 'Batch No 1' (62.4%, OB, 9000 bottles)

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2008/2018 'Batch No 1' (62.4%, OB, 9000 bottles) Five stars
This baby matured in bourbon, sherry and wine casks. I would say this is one of the very last 'emblematic' BNs Colin Ross composed, which makes it even more moving. Colour: gold. Nose: no winey notes, that's sorted. Then pure Ben Nevis, very fat, full of oils, petrol, sesame, some kind of thick bread, roasted pecans, walnuts, a touch of metal polish and one of mustard, soot, lees and beers… Plus, I have to say, quite some ethanol. Mind you, 62% +! Oh and a manzanilla-y touch, always a hit at WF Towers. With water: I so love manzanilla! Does manzanilla grappa exist, by the way? Wonderful salty, coastal, walnutty and mustardy nose. Mouth (neat): huge, full of mustard, manzanilla indeed, green walnuts, seawater, green peppercorns… In truth it's pretty brutal, but water will help. With water: perfect sootiness, saltiness, and, well, finoness (?) What a distillate! Finish: very long, on just the same flavours. A great old fino by Bodegas Tradición. Comments: 90 + 1 for Colin. I do what I want, this is my blog. No, no refunds, who do you think you are? Cheers Colin!
SGP:373 - 91 points.

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1998/2020 (54.4%, Hidden Spirits for LMDW, 2nd fill sherry, cask #BN9820, 208 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1998/2020 (54.4%, Hidden Spirits for LMDW, 2nd fill sherry, cask #BN9820, 208 bottles) Four stars and a half
There's been a 21 1998 by Hidden Spirits that just rocked my tulip (glass). This is a sequel bottling, I suppose… Colour: deep gold. Nose: oh yes, abundant old walnuts, old British car engine, mustard sauce, pine resin and menthol essence, autumn leaves, old cigars, old dry Madeira, vin jaune… I find this just sublime. With water: a little more dirtiness, old oils, linseed, soot, coal dust and all that. Very Ben Nevis. Mouth (neat): imagine a blend with 95% old fino and 5% proper moscatel. Touches of resinous woods and chlorophyll, plus a tiny drop of crème de menthe. Perhaps less complex than on the nose, but this game isn't over… With water:  there, these sour, gritty, rubbery and slightly acidic touches that are not unseen in BN. Tends to refuse you at this point, it is a fighter. Sweet earthy mustard. Finish: long and curiously sweeter, almost honeyed. Have I mentioned moscatel before? Sour-sweet. Comments: one that doesn't like to let it go. Bas***d!
SGP:462 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 3 yo (56.6%, Whisky Hood, peated sherry bloodtub, 2019)

Ben Nevis 3 yo (56.6%, Whisky Hood, peated sherry bloodtub, 2019) Four stars and a half
Good fun from Switzerland. 3 years, that's pretty young, but we could notice, in the past, that bloodtubs were very fast! Colour: amber. Nose: rusty, spicy, peaty, very medicinal. Embrocations, thuja wood, teak oil, retsina, loads of tar, old tarry ropes, peach leaves… With water: Grisons meat (no wonder, the honourable bottler is Swiss) and bresaola, plus touches of new tyres and alpine mud. I am not joking and am finding this lovely and very pleasantly 'different'. Mouth (neat): good fun indeed! This works, it's thick as a liqueur, mentholy and camphory, very tarry, extractive, with a good dollop of green chartreuse and probably some Bénédictine to boot. It's very good, I think. With water: perhaps a nod to butter pears, otherwise more cough medicine and tar. Finish: long and tarry, with some coastal elements as well as some heavy beer in the aftertaste. Comments: truly excellent. These little bloodtubs can be true bastards and leak more than a Jaguar, but when they work they work. Excellent, and probably pretty rare. Grüezi!
SGP:565 - 88 points.

Ben Nevis 'MacDonald's Traditional' (46%, OB, +/-2020)

Ben Nevis 'MacDonald's Traditional' (46%, OB, +/-2020) Three stars and a half
We've tried and earlier expression back in 2013 and were not totally flabbergasted, but it was good (WF 83). Colour: white wine. Nose: more peat than I remembered. Dirt and scoria, gravel, soot, old stove, apple peelings and last year's walnuts. Definitely kind of metallic as well. Then ripe plums, tartes and cakes. A little brine too, capers… Mouth: hold on, this is good. More dirt and soot, ashes, kippers, green apples, some grist and flour, perhaps a tiny olive, seashells… It's peatier than I remembered. Finish: good length, with a little vanilla coating it. A grassy peatiness and some pepper and coconut  in the aftertaste. Comments: probably a little young (that coconut) but the spirit is pretty vigorous, hale and hearty. And peaty.
SGP:454 - 84 points.

A last one but there should be more tomorrow…

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (56.1%, Elixir Distillers, The Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #1684)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (56.1%, Elixir Distillers, The Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #1684) Five stars
They say the 1996s are all great. Are we really sure? Colour: straw. Nose: you can't quite fight this. Peaches, sunflower seeds (or oil), fresh almonds, plaster, a drop of mint essence, white asparagus… The taster just bows before this. With water: wool, new magazines, ground barley, chalk and a brand new tweed jacket. Which I'll go buy in Edinburgh as soon as we're allowed to fly. Mouth (neat): astounding precision. Maracuja, flints, chalk, citrons, touch of pepper, olive oil, whatnot… With water: more on cakes. Finish: medium, saltier. Lemon, salt and pepper in the aftertaste, the salt even plays with your lips. Comments: boringly excellent. Fab selection once again, nothing to add. Or rather this, 'more please'. They could sell subscriptions, no?
SGP:463 - 90 points.

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

 

May 9, 2021


Whiskyfun

Three young rums

Indeed, just a wee trio for a change.

La Mauny 5 ans d'âge (45%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-1990)

La Mauny 5 ans d'âge (45%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-1990) one star and a half
La Mauny is very largely available in France. This is an older bottle, which was very largely available as well around thirty years ago.  We were to crack it open one day… Colour: gold. Nose: I find this rather splendid at first nosing. No old bottle effect, some diesel oil, flints, rotting bananas, touches of tar and liquorice, it would just get a tad sugarish after three minutes, maybe because our brain's now filtered out the diesel oil. Mouth: it's really cool that they would have bottled these at 45%. What's sure is that liquorice and bonbons are running the show now, with clearly some syrup or liqueurs in the background. Were these sauced-up at that time? Some mild disappointment, shall we say. Finish: no, falls apart, gets even more sugary, I'd almost say sacchariny, while the aftertaste's rather bitter and burnt. Comments: I was having high hopes after a few first sniffs, but it all went pear-shaped after that. Maybe do some retro ti-vieux out of what's remaining?
SGP:631 - 68 points.

We need comforting ones…

Diamond 9 yo 2011/2020 (67.4%, Or Sileis, Guyana, bourbon barrel, cask #18, 248 bottles)

Diamond 9 yo 2011/2020 (67.4%, Or Sileis, Guyana, bourbon barrel, cask #18, 248 bottles) Three stars and a half
Comforting, right. To think that this wee thing travelled to and from Taiwan by plane! Colour: virtually red. Lovely garnet. Nose: I'm getting a little incense and whiffs of rose and perhaps balsa wood, and for sure ripe pomegranate and a huge barbecued T-bone steak. But no chances will be taken here, so… With water: guess what, it's rather a lighter Diamond, not one from the pot-stills. Rather a lot of caramel and roasted nuts, molasses aplenty, then carrot cake. It's very intriguing, reminding me of some 'rhums de sucrerie'. Which it probably is, by the way. Lovely earthiness coming out, roots… Mouth (neat): this is frightening, is it not? But after all, we've already tried bourbons that were at 70% plus (yeah well, look how that worked out, S.) Rich, thick, caramelly, with a feeling of deeply stewed Campari or something. Boy does it move like honey, you'd almost need a spoon to get it out of your glass. Quite. With water: all on molasses, burnt caramel, brownies…  Finish: medium, sweeter, rather on Demerara sugar, rather appropriately. Comments: a beast to frighten your enemies and your mother-in-law. With really a lot of water, it gets as gentle as a lamb. Not an estery one for sure.
SGP:640 - 83 points.

Hampden 8 yo 'OWH' (61.9%, OB for Whisky Live Singapore 2021, Jamaica, cask #669, 2020)

Hampden 8 yo 'OWH' (61.9%, OB for Whisky Live Singapore 2021, Jamaica, cask #669, 2020) Five stars
I've heard you'd better make friends with this one. It is also about the lizard cuckoo, which is a bird and not, mind you, a French politician. Last year's OWH for Whisky Live Paris, a sister cask (#667) did really please me (WF 90) even if OWH is, I believe, the lowest, meaning the lightest marque at Hampden. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it is like Ardbeg, the lighter ones are pretty heavy. Metal polish, scoria, anchovies, tapenade, pencil lead, tyres, praline, roasted pecan… Perfect profile, rather more coastal than others. Tinned sardines! With water: old fisherman's boat, tarry ropes, hessian, olives, benzine, pencil shavings, eucalyptus wood… Mouth (neat): huge, naturally, and wonderful. Truckloads of salted liquorice plus crushed chilli sardines and just wax. Water may be needed… With water: water adds lemons and olives. Some shoe polish too, teak oil, embrocations… As a matter of fact, we've known some dry martinis that have been a little bit like this. Finish: long, with tiny bits of fruits. Green lemons, green tomatoes. Sure tomatoes are fruits. Sweeter liquorice in the aftertaste, allsorts? Comments: provided you get the amount of water you add right, I find these casks just superb.
SGP:563 - 90 points.

I know we usually try 5 'malternatives' on any Sunday, but I feel like no other rums would manage to step over that Hampden anway.  So, dismiss! 

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

 

May 8, 2021


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our Scottish correspondent
and skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Edinburgh
Angus  
Dornoch Distillery charity auction
No big tasting this weekend. Instead, just an attempt to draw your attention to some bottles that are  currently being auctioned for a very worthy cause. 10 bottles of Dornoch Distillery single malt have been specially created and are up for bidding over at Whisky Auctioneer in aid of Covid relief programmes in India. It's a very lovely looking set of bottles and a very pressing and necessary cause. You can check it out here.

 

Dornoch Distillery 2017/2021 (58.43%, OB charity auction special for India Covid relief, cask #26a, PX sherry/refill octave, 12 bottles)

Dornoch Distillery 2017/2021 (58.43%, OB charity auction special for India Covid relief, cask #26a, PX sherry/refill octave, 12 bottles)
Matured for 1 year in a PX sherry butt then transferred to a refill octave cask. Colour: orangey gold. Nose: reminiscent of the inaugural bottling in that it is rather bready, rounded and rich with some slightly tense and sharp citrus fruits like tangerine and grapefruit. Indeed, I find this side with bergamots, orange peel, cheng pi and crystallised lemon only intensifies with time. Some white flowers and blossom aromas also emerge, feels like it gathers freshness over time. Also some mint julep and citronella wax. With water: more scented and aromatic and vegetal with hints of asparagus, sandalwood and old workshops. There's also a more honeyed element giving an impression of sweetness and citrus curds. Mouth: lots of dried citrus peels, mirabelle, some lemon marmalade and cupboard spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Quite peppery and bready once again with some notes of pot pourri and a further impression of citric waxiness. With water: much spicier, more towards rye bread and toasted seeds. The youthful side comes out more with some grassy and grappa-esque notes. There's a nice earthiness too with tobacco leaf, mulch and turmeric. Finish: medium, on wood spices, caraway, green pepper, dried citrus peels and a light medicinal quality. Comments: Very good, although I think I preferred the inaugural bottling by a small margin. Feels like the move to the refill cask was quite smart. Now, who actually gives a stuff about scores and all that when this is for charity, and a very worthy and urgent cause at that. SGP: 551 - 87 (pointless) points.

 

 

 

 

May 7, 2021


Whiskyfun

World sessions
Number Twenty
Another trip around the whisky world. We'll do many others as more and more 'whiskies of the rest of the world aye' are coming our way, which is just excellently cool. Once again, we'll start this from little France…

Kornog 2007/2020 (57.7%, LMDW, Version Française, France, 243 bottles)

Kornog 2007/2020 (57.7%, LMDW, Version Française, France, 243 bottles) Three stars and a half
So this is peated Glann ar Mor, as you know. Still shuffed that we managed to pull quite some money for Parkinson's UK with our own cask of Kornog, in celebration of Michael Jackson's life. But that was earlier this year… Colour: reddish amber. Nose: Sauternes! After Glenmo who did that rather loosely at first, Kornog's former owner has really pioneered Sauternes in whisky (as well as sister sweet wines, Cadillac, Monbazillac, Cérons et al.) In my humble opinion, these are the only unfortified wines that do always work very well with whisky. So, we have apricot jam, quince jelly, acacia honey, then propolis, pine resin, menthol, teak oil, garden bonfire, a little curry, walnut wine, camphor… Grand slam, would I say, but the championship isn't over. With water: gums, tyres, engine oil, tarmac, caraway and coriander seeds… Boy is this a heavyish nose. But I like it. Mouth (neat): honey, peaches, lanoline and menthol, which may lead to… Rum. The oils from the cask are pretty loud, having said that. Thuja, pine, teak, fir, balsam, loads of natural tar… With water: I'm glad water worked, because in my meagre experience, these profiles could just get totally flat once reduced. A lot of camphor, chlorophyl, tar, cough medicine, curry-like notes from the wood, then dried apricots, raisins and figs. Finish: long and very mentholy and camphory. Also chartreuse and verbena. Oak and pinewood in the aftertaste. Comments: I suppose the cask came from a top château. Which could mean that they had only filled this French-oak barrique once, and sold it on while it was still extremely active. I am speculating but you do feel the oak's essences a lot here. Which I do like for sure, but I'd still file this under the 'rather deviant' category.
SGP:485 - 84 points.
fr

Off to the Netherlands…

Cley 3 yo 'Cask Strength' (52%, OB, The Netherlands, cask #127, 2020)

Cley 3 yo 'Cask Strength' (52%, OB, The Netherlands, cask #127, 2020) Two stars and a half
First time I'm hearing from these fine folks up there in or around Rotterdam. This youngster malt has been finished in toasted virgin American oak quarter casks, so we might expect a few IKEA-y notes here and there, let's see… Oh, just wanted to add, I find the Bauhaus presentation lovely. Colour: gold. Nose: the expected cakes, breads and fresh-sawn woods. This is not disagreeable at all, it's just a little simple this far. Water should help… With water: banana cake with a little cinnamon, pancakes and scones, a hint of tar. Mouth (neat): the distillate isn't big (Holstein or similar?) but the oak did indeed add some texture and some fine notes of lemon curd, cloves and caraway. Sweet curry, turmeric, cinnamon. With water: hey this one swims well! Water adds a few lovely citrusy touches, then we have coffee, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The oak is taking over at this point, but this remains 'not an oak-bomb'. Phew. Finish: rather long, all on oak spices and pipe tobacco. Bitterish aftertaste. Comments: pretty encouraging, I would say. Not sure this fine spirit really needs this much oak, having said that.
SGP:451 - 78 points.
nl

Let's move further north…

Stauning Rye 'Batch 02/2020' (48%, OB, Denmark, 2020)

Stauning Rye 'Batch 02/2020' (48%, OB, Denmark, 2020) Four stars
Love rye and rather loved an earlier rye by Stauning, now that was a 2013 bottling (WF 84) so that's water under the bridge. Colour: gold. Nose: I needed all those years to find out that I'm pretty much a rye guy. It's not that this baby's void of any excessive woody aromas, but these breads and pastries just do it in my book. A huge loaf of wholegrain bread, with caraway, fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, pistachios perhaps, and possibly some carrot added to the dough. Love love love these whiffs of orange and elderberry blossom that are rising to your nostrils after a while. Mouth: probably no textbook-whisky, but I find this extremely good. I find this very 'old-Europe', whatever that means, with many herbs and seeds, as if this was made by a skilful old apothecary. Also, these big, obvious notes of peach liqueur are just incredible (given that they've probably not added any peaches to the wash). Superb palate. Finish: are we sure no one's added any peaches? Nectarines perhaps? Comments: whether this is 'whisky', organoleptically speaking, remains to be seen, but I say who cares, it's rather fantastic spirit. Holland, nine points! (nearly)
SGP:751 - 87 points.
dk

Further north…

Mackmyra 5 yo 'Batch 2' (50.3%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Sweden, +/-2020)

Mackmyra 5 yo 'Batch 2' (50.3%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Sweden, +/-2020) Three stars
That Master of Malts would have embraced world whiskies this much is just another sign of the times. We still need to recover from that 'Motörhead' bottling by Mackmyra, having said that… . Colour: white wine. Nose: very young, very fresh, extremely fruity, on syrups and liqueurs. Melons, litchis, cherries, touch of varnish, blood oranges, green apple liqueur (Spanish manzana verde). Oh and pears. With water: green tea and amyl diacetate. Pears, pineapples… Mouth (neat): a 5-kilo pack of Haribo's finest (not all in one go), plus some apple peelings and just cut grass. With water: same, plus a little more breadiness. Some would add 'it was about time' but this little Mackmyra really wakes up the little kid in us. Finish: medium, hyper-fruity. Bags and bags of bonbons, jelly babies, crocodiles, jellybeans, easter eggs, liquorice allsorts, marshmallows… Comments: very funny, but this very extreme fruitiness is a little hard to stand after you've had, say 2cl. Still spectacular.
SGP:840 - 80 points.
sw

And let's swim to London…

Bimber 'Netherland Edition' (59.7%, OB, England, bourbon cask, cask #87, 257 bottles, 2020)

Bimber 'Netherland Edition' (59.7%, OB, England, bourbon cask, cask #87, 257 bottles, 2020) Four stars
Bimber, that's another new urban distillery that rather mystified us when we first tried the first batches. We've got several others that we should try but since we're in a very worldly mood today, let's try this édition hollandaise. Colour: gold. Nose: right. Apricot cake, honeysuckle, cauliflower beignets, mirabelle liqueur. I believe that pretty much sums it up. With water: grated cinnamon, zwetschke tarte. Mouth (neat): it's pretty clear that they have sorcerers at Bimber's. Vanilla, mirabelles, quince, more mirabelles, Turkish delights, more mirabelles, bergamots, more mirabelles, moshis, more mirabelles… I think you caught the idea here, this is m.i.r.a.b.e.l.l.e.  liqueur. So with water: spices from the oak chiming in. Finish: rather long. Spicy lemons and gingery mirabelles. Great chalky and autumny earthiness in the aftertaste. Comments: that was some very mirabelle-y Bimber for sure! Great excellent, well-constructed and very seductive modern young whisky. There was a pleonasm in that sentence, go find it ;-).
SGP:651 - 87 points.
eb
 

May 6, 2021


Whiskyfun

World sessions
Number Nineteen
Yes we're leaving for another wee virtual trip around the world today! Starting from France, naturally…  

Domaine des Hautes Glaces 'Maximus' (57%, OB, France, 233 bottles, 2020)

Domaine des Hautes Glaces 'Maximus' (57%, OB, France, 233 bottles, 2020) Four stars and a half
Always loved what they do at DHG, even if they do use a lot of wine wood. But with moderation, well at least their distillates are big enough not to let the wines get in the way. Let's see if that's the case again here. This is from the 2013 harvest and it is organic, while it was matured in a Crozes-Hermitage cask. Let's hope it was a white… Colour: straw (not red). Nose: typical 'fat' nose, fresh, with perfect citrus and doughs. Very close to the raw materials, NOT including the wine. Although there would be whiffs of mead… With water: some chalk, damp earth, grist, even fresh plaster, fresh wholegrain bread… All things we like. Mouth (neat): a tad hot and spicy at first, with good sourness and always this citrus. A feeling of fir wood and even thuja, with notes of rye. But there isn't any rye, naturally. With water: impeccable, even if a few grapey tones are popping out here and there. A wee feeling of viognier, perhaps? I may well be dreaming… Finish: medium, refreshing and yet still fat, not unlike a full-bodied… err, white Crozes. Hints of aniseed and dill in the aftertaste. Grapefruits are back too. Comments: we were expecting something very good indeed. Graillot?
SGP:451 - 88 points.
f

I would like to fly to Israel now…

Milk & Honey 'Classic' (46%, OB, Israel, +/-2020)

Milk & Honey 'Classic' (46%, OB, Israel, +/-2020) Four stars
I've tried several M&H, some pretty pretty good, but if I remember well I've always said I liked the regular 'Classic' best. Until I realised that I had never published any proper tasting notes for that one. It was time… Colour: light gold. Nose: I would never believe this stems from a hot country, as it is really fresh and light, very pleasantly so, with even a few coastal notes, beyond the wee touches of coconut and caraway. There's also a very lovely light earthiness, and perhaps even a little gentian. Do they grow gentian in Israel? Doubt it… Mouth: good punch, with an arrival on dried pineapple and coconut that are absolutely not out of place here, then some gingerbread, cassata, panettone, marmalade and just 'good barley'. All that works in perfect sync. Finish: medium, on pretty much the same lovely notes. Comments: beyond some funny other 'experimentations', some very successful should I add, I think they nailed it with this Classic. Or am I being too 'classic' myself?
SGP:551 - 86 points.
il

Why not Africa?

Three Ships 12 yo 2007/2020 (46.3%, OB, South Africa, American oak)

Three Ships 12 yo 2007/2020 (46.3%, OB, South Africa, American oak) Four stars and a half
This single malt from James Sedgwick's. We've had an excellent 7 yo for Whisky Brothers just one year ago. This 12 stems from their 'Master Distiller's Private Collection' but guess what, just like all whisky distillers all around the world, they keep parting with those reserves. How very generous from them! Colour: white wine. Nose: this is unusual, rather medicinal at first nosings, with some iodine, gauze, some clay, sea breeze, and a global style that would rather remind us of the distillery on the south shore of Islay that does start with La and does not end with Lin. Quite some menthol and eucalyptus too, as well as camphor. Very clearly medicinal. Oh, and peaty. Mouth: but how do they do this? Very good, medicinal, with even that citrus that would be found in the output of 'that distillery' circa the year 2000. Even passion fruits and guavas, roots, and perhaps a few drops of, wait, cachaça? Was some kind of resinous wood in use? Let's not speculate, I just find it very good. Finish: medium, very fresh, with perfect balance between tropical fruits, cough medicine, and just 'peat'. Comments: full globalisation in action in malt whisky. Excuse me? What terroir?
SGP:655 - 88 points.
sa

How about Finland?

Teerenpeli 'Kulo' (50.7%, OB, Finland, +/-2019)

Teerenpeli 'Kulo' (50.7%, OB, Finland, +/-2019) Four stars
This baby's been matured in sherry. I haven't tried Teerenpeli since the year 2016. In French, Kulo is pronounced 'culot', which means 'nerve'. Let's see if this baby has a nerve! Colour: dark gold. Nose: it is a modern bready malt, with many breads and cakes, including gingerbread and drops of honeyed beer. I've tried that the other day but forgot the name (I feel shame). It was good. Some raisins too, I suppose there is some proper PX and/or moscatel in there. No complains this far. With water: some lovely whiffs of wood essences and teak oil. Spent lees too. All that works a treat. Mouth (neat): rich and sweet, with the sweeter part of the sherry upfront. Really a lot of raisins, but no off-notes, no unwanted leafy marks either. I'm reminded of my favourite honey, chestnut. Or white clover. Honey cake and Cointreau taking over and still no off-note. With water: careful with water. Not sure it needs any on the palate. Well, it does not. Finish: medium, sweet and pretty complex. Fresh oranges with mint leaves, olive oil and honey, a magical combo if you get the proportions right. Complains on a postcard. Comments: I had been told this was going to be very good too. Not by Finns!
SGP:641 - 86 points.
fin

To England?

Cotswolds 'Small Batch 20 rue d'Anjou' (60.8%, OB for LMDW, England, 480 bottles, 2020)

Cotswolds 'Small Batch 20 rue d'Anjou' (60.8%, OB for LMDW, England, 480 bottles, 2020) Four stars
This is a blend of four casks, bourbon, PX, oloroso and virgin. It's young, obviously, but LMDW have now become a good old house (what do you mean?) This time again, I've heard good things about this baby… Colour: gold. Nose: naturlich, things have been done well. Many breads, including fruit breads, really a lot of banana-y flavours, candyfloss, marshmallows, all that without an ounce of vulgarity. Plus big notes of honeysuckle and elderberry syrup. Extremely seductive, aromatic, yet not too extravagant. With water: totally new-generation-good. Jelly babies, cakes, breads, very soft spices, faint fermentary notes. Mouth (neat): wow. I cannot not think of some Chichibus. Thick and creamy fruitiness with some orange blossom water and various crystallised citrus. A whole family pack of artisanal fruit jellies, really. Never give me a pack, I'd wolf them all down before Chopin's minute waltz is over. With water: I'd say quinces, greengages, and apricots. Talking about those fruit jellies. Finish: medium, very fruity. Some leafier wood appearing in the aftertaste, as if it was saying 'I was there too!' Comments: modern-school whisky, rather perfectly made. Hope they keep some casks for 2035.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

So, grouped fire, as expected. That was the whole idea in the first place, having said that.

 

May 5, 2021


Whiskyfun

Three unusual Bunnahabhain

I know that's not much, but we've had a lot lately and what's more, these won't just be 'any' Bunnahabhains. Or, as we sometimes call them amongst supposedly enlightened whisky-chatteratti, 'Bunnies'.

Bunnahabhain 17 yo 2002/2020 (55.1%, Bon Accord, for Tung & Read, cask #3187)

Bunnahabhain 17 yo 2002/2020 (55.1%, Bon Accord, for Tung & Read, cask #3187) Four stars
I don't think this is the Bon Accord in Glasgow. This is, in truth, an intriguing bottle by Epicurean Selection, a bottler in Philadelphia, USA. Colour: deep gold. Nose: starts with rather a lot of 'good' sulphur, which, in my book, translates into big fat Cuban cigars and truffle cappuccino. Sounds nicer, does it not? Would then rather gear towards regular cappuccino and glazed chestnuts, as well as bouillon, dried porcini or Caesar's mushrooms. Unusual and intriguing so far. With water: mushrooms ruling the show, including morels and truffles. Also cured ham and more tobacco, leather, ground turmeric, ginseng powder… Mouth (neat): bites you a wee bit, with loads of bitters, dried mushrooms again, leather, and this feeling of sucking your cigar while you reach its end (as I remember that). Includes ashes. Very tight, almost paprika-y at times. With water: cold broth full of ham, chives, parsley, mushrooms, coffee… Finish: long, still tight and ultra-dry, with some bitter chocolate and even more salty bouillon. Comments: fun stuff. Some friends wouldn't kill for this style, but in this very case, as far as I'm concerned and since I love mushrooms, I think it worked. Forgot to mention green walnuts.
SGP:272 - 85 points.

Bunnahabhain 30 yo (48.5%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, Feis Ile 2019, 560 bottles)

Bunnahabhain 30 yo (48.5%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, Feis Ile 2019, 560 bottles) Five stars
I've tried 2020's 30 yo Bunny Kinship a few weeks ago and was just floored (WF 91). So it's going to be a little tougher for this earlier version, I suppose. Colour: white wine. Nose: nothing beats an old malt that's been matured with moderation in some elegant wood. So, in high-class refill. Indeed this is just another higher-echelon Pouilly-Fumé made whisky, what we could even call a 'pur sang'. Stunning lemons and grapefruits, angelica, coriander leaves, dill, seawater, kelp, chalk and flints, then perhaps not-too-ripe mangos and just the tiniest signs of grated coconut, and fresh marzipan. All elegance. Mouth: oh very good. You could say proper old refill HP. Some smoke and some resinous and almondy herbs, the better side of glue-y flavours, more marzipan, something reminiscent of fresh putty, or orgeat syrup, pistachio syrup (just had some right this morning, I'm serious), pear cake, and really a salty peatiness. I'd swear you feel time, not wood. Finish: not too long but sublimely almondy, with this salty and frankly coastal background. Touches of peat and lime in the aftertaste. Comments: love these ones. Now I've been hesitating between 90 and 91 until iTunes started to play that old tune by The Soft Machine. So…
SGP:564 - 91 points.
PS the tune was their hit 'Memories'.

Bunnahabhain 40 yo (51.6%, Masam, cask #7229, 520 bottles, 2019)

Bunnahabhain 40 yo (51.6%, Masam, cask #7229, 520 bottles, 2019) Four stars
Some of Silvano Samaroli's own stock, bottled by his wife Maryse, after the maestro's very sad passing back in 2017. Let's keep in mind that these batches, whichever the bottlers – I suppose it's a 1978 – have sometimes been a little sketchy. The whisky loch, remember… Colour: white wine. Nose: certainly not the easiest batches indeed, with a lot of carboard, paraffin, even plastics, then damp flours, acidic dough, and just today's edition of the WSJ. That's right, paper and ink. All hopes are on my dear, faithful Vittel. That's water… With water: got to love Vittel, since H2O literally transforms this old Bunnahabhain. Perfect citrusy and herbal notes, with various vegetal oils singing in unison in the back. The choir, you know. Almost a christic transfiguration (hold your horses, S.) Gets perfect after you've let it breathe for a few more minutes, getting rather wonderfully medicinal. Mouth (neat): ah, wait, no quibbles here, despite these wee touches of varnish and paraffin. Nice limes and lemons, kiwi juice, a little riesling, then mint tea and a little olive oil. And green bananas. Unusually green given that it is 40 years old. What's sure is that this palate's much, much, and I mean much nicer than the nose when water was not added yet. With water: careful, do not add too much, it would become a little too green and rather drying and cardboardy. Well don't add any. Finish: medium, rather on green tea. Comments: I would say this one is to be had with water on your nose, and naked on your palate. I know, I know… Very good score for these vintages.
SGP:361 - 87 points.

Why unusual, you may ask? Well the Bon Accord was deeply on 'good sulphur', the fantastic Kinship was much smokier than other old Bunnahabhains, while the Masam was, well, pretty complicated.

(Thanks KC!)

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

 

May 3, 2021


Whiskyfun

Young Caol Ila, rather a marathon

Indeed it is Young Caol Ila Day at Château Whiskyfun. Excuse me? And why not? It's also true that those days when we were wondering whether a 'new' Caol Ila was distilled before or after the rebuilding of the Distillery are long gone…

Caol Ila 8 yo 2012/2020 (58.5%, The Whisky Barrel, 1st fill sherry butt finish, cask #TWB1014, 699 bottles)

Caol Ila 8 yo 2012/2020 (58.5%, The Whisky Barrel, 1st fill sherry butt finish, cask #TWB1014, 699 bottles) Four stars
This one is about Apollo 11. Shall we expect some notes of rocket fuel? Colour: caramel/mahogany. Nose: it's pretty interesting that the spirit would have survived the heavy cask treatment, indeed, there is a little lemon, seawater, oysters and those softer ashes that are so 'CI'. Now the sherry's pretty gamey, with some cured ham, leather, balsamico, and what we sometimes call 'civet' in the wine world. With water: a whole beef bouillon, with notes of teriyaki, coriander, chocolate sauce, then tar and new rubber (tyres). More and more tar.  Mouth (neat): extremely syrupy, extremely bittersweet, leathery and earthy, with some dry chocolate, more gamey flavours, tarry liquorice Dutch-style… With water: water works extremely well on the one, bringing out many small herbs and spices, loads of pipe tobacco, more liquorice, more tar… But also this inherent lightness, which comes a surprise. At +/-40%, it becomes pretty refreshing. Finish: long, on some kind of salty chocolate and liquorice combo that works well. Comments: excellently boisterous young CI. Maybe not the ideal #1 in a line-up but there, it's the youngest we had.
SGP:476 - 86 points.

Caol Ila 9 yo 2011/2020 (56.7%, Clan Denny for Or Sileis, hogshead, cask #DL14148, 306 bottles)

Caol Ila 9 yo 2011/2020 (56.7%, Clan Denny for Or Sileis, hogshead, cask #DL14148, 306 bottles) Three stars and a half
Clan Denny is one of Douglas Laing's sub-brands. Some kind of old kung-fu master on the label (isn't that Fred Laing?) Colour: pale white wine. Probably the opposite of the WB. Nose: a tad raw and spirity at first, that's probably the youth and the well-behaved cask, with a little kirschwasser perhaps, but all the ashes, kelp, oysters and just, well, ashes are well there. With water: raw wool, another staple. More ashes too. Mouth (neat): almost aggressive at first, powerful, bitter, with some sugar too, and something really reminiscent of their newmake. These infants usually wok best at around 46% vol. in my modest experience. So… With water: yes indeed, some pears and melons come out, it got a little gentler (if still a tad newmakey), with another regular flavour in young CI, bitter almonds. Finish: long, saltier. Tonic water and seawater. Comments: very good young, yet-unpolished Caol Ila. A little challenging, I would add.
SGP:466 - 84 points.

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2020 (57.4%, Clan Denny for Or Sileis, 'The Devil and the Black Cat')

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2020 (57.4%, Clan Denny for Or Sileis, 'The Devil and the Black Cat') Four stars
Another one for Taiwan that seems to be featuring Fred Laing on the label. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: this one seems to be much easier, more mature as well, and full of lemons and grapefruits, as well as aniseed, chenin blanc, dill, ashes, oysters… Love this style. With water: perfect coastal freshness, seashells, lemons, seaweed, all that. Mouth (neat): crystal-clean lemonness plus the most coastal peat. Lovely freshness all around. With water: a perfectly chiselled blade. Green pepper, lemons, more ashes, smoke, oysters… Plus just one drop of lemon syrup. Or, say limoncello. Finish: long, very good, slightly medicinal. Comments: you can't quite defeat these ones. All freshness, all pleasures…
SGP:456 - 87 points.

Shan't we try another sherried one?

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2020 (59.5%, Signatory Vintage, refill sherry butt, cask #316643, 599 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2020 (59.5%, Signatory Vintage, refill sherry butt, cask #316643, 599 bottles) Four stars and a half
From the very famous 'Cask Strength Collection'. Colour: rich amber. Nose: the elegant glories of refill. Wonderful crystallised oranges, pine smoke, camphor, green walnuts, cough medicine… Awesome nose this far, while I'm sure it'll swim very well. Let's make sure about that… With water: wonderful old dried kelp on a beach, raw wool, and perhaps tiny whiffs of tiny wet dog after a walk on the beach. We are sorry, dogs. Mouth (neat): perfect. Tense yet wide and rich, with a lot of tobacco and marmalade, cracked pepper, chestnuts, petrol, smoked meats, lemon… No complains whatsoever this far. With water: and presto, a development on tobacco, leathers, dried spices (turmeric, paprika) and marmalade. Finish: long, more peppery and leathery. Loses one point here, there. Comments: seriously, lovely young yet mature Caol Ila from a very good cask. It's hard to do better at ten, I would add.
SGP:466 - 88 points.

We've got quite a bag of 2010s…

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2021 (57.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, APAC exclusive, hogshead, cask #319920, 317 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2021 (57.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, APAC exclusive, hogshead, cask #319920, 317 bottles) Four stars
Not too sure what that APAC is but I'm sure it gathers some very fine ladies and gentlemen. Colour: white wine. Nose: crystal-clean young-yet-mature CI in the style of that second Or Sileis. That is to say very clean, fresh, coastal, oystery (!) and lemony, with a rougher medicinal touch (mercurochrome). With water: there, raw wool and beach sand. You cannot be against that. Mouth (neat): excellent, creamier, fruitier, with this feeling of smoky limoncello that would just always work. No further literature needed (literature?) With water: and there, salt, brine, oysters, green peppercorns, turmeric, bitter zests. Finish: long, very pleasantly bitter. Comments: I would say you need a great sherry cask to fetch a very high score at such a low-tennish (reminds me of an old joke involving Sean Connery) age, but this sure is the nearest best thing. Forgot to mention bitter almonds yet again.
SGP:556 - 87 points.

Caol Ila 11 yo 2010/2021 (53.5%, Morisco Spirits, bourbon hogshead)

Caol Ila 11 yo 2010/2021 (53.5%, Morisco Spirits, bourbon hogshead) Four stars
New Italian bottlers, lovely Masai-style labels, good will, no complains at this end. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: obviously similar. I seem to remember we spent quite some time on Islay back in 2010, so we might have had something to do with this highest quality (yeah yeah, S., but of course). Wools, seaweed, damp ashes, camphor, drops of paint thinner, oysters, lemons… Actually, this one might well sit at the top of its cluster (named CI 10 2010). With water: more wool! Young CI always pushes out notes of raw wool once you've added water. Like, raw tweet from the Islay Woollen Mill and all that. Mouth (neat): excellent. Big lemon, seawater, Sancerre, chalk, medicine, oysters… All is perfect here. I'm even reminded of the best white Pessacs, if that rings a bell to you. With water: excellent. Chalk, grape pips, lemons, our good friends the whelks, lemongrass… Finish: rather long, excellent, fresh, lemony, coastal, smoky, ashy… Comments: looks like someone's done some smart reduction on this one. That's a fine art and it's been done properly here, I think.
SGP:556 - 87 points.

Caol Ila 9 yo 2010/2020 (57.1%, Signatory Vintage for WhiskySponge, 1st fill hogshead, 183 bottles)

Caol Ila 9 yo 2010/2020 (57.1%, WhiskySponge, 1st fill hogshead, 183 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Nose: oh this one's rounder, perhaps better polished, with notes of young branches and cut flowers, then wee fruit crocodiles and jelly babies, marshmallows, frankly I would have said young Ardmore. Let's dig deeper… With water: cassis! Or some one-year-old great red Bourgogne straight from the casks, really. Very pinot-noiry, I'm sure that's just an unwanted, and yet superb combination of molecules that should have never met.  True serendipity. Mouth (neat): it's a very fruity Caol Ila for sure. Less peat smoke, more bubblegum and Haribo stuff. This is very intriguing and 'deviant', not that there's anything wrong with that. White currant jam. With water: back to smoke and oysters. Finish: extremely good. But no more Chambertin, sob, sob… Comments: this slightly loco baby loves and needs good water. It is a perfect tasting partner but it'll need a large chunk of your time. Bah, there's nothing on TV anyway. Post-scriptum: only Caol Ila can get this complex after just ten years. What? Ah, yes, nine years.
SGP:656 - 88 points.

Enough 2010, let's go down the scale for a wee while…

Caol Ila 13 yo 2007/2021(54.3%, Single Cask Collection, bourbon hogshead, cask #321885, 276 bottles)

Caol Ila 13 yo 2007/2021(54.3%, Single Cask Collection, bourbon hogshead, cask #321885, 276 bottles) Four stars
This by some splendid Austrian bottlers. It is sometimes said that Alsatians are Austrians who never made it to Paris. Which reeks of truth and common sense, obviously. Colour: white wine. Nose: it is a rather acetic young Caol Ila, while 'acetic' is a compliment in this kind of context. Creamy white balsamico and whatnot. Mud, wool, kelp, also custard and white chocolate. We're intrigued… With water: there, that old tweed jacket that's seen many moons and showers. I mean, proper Harris tweed from when that was still meaning something, not ex-Portugal. And boy do I utterly love Portugal! Mouth (neat): as if someone had tried to mature a blend of seawater, green pepper, ashes and lemon juice in a wooden vat. The end result is awesome. With water: careful, do not drown this one. Notes of bananas, that wasn't expected. Finish: long, relatively sweet and 'coated'. We used to call this 'sweet peat' when we were still innocents. Comments: I'd love to drive back to Vienna, or Salzburg, or Graz, or Linz…
SGP:656 - 86 points.

Perhaps another 2007 from the Eastern countries…

Caol Ila 13 yo 2007/2020 (54.5%, Maltbarn, bourbon, 149 bottles)

Caol Ila 13 yo 2007/2020 (54.5%, Maltbarn, bourbon, 149 bottles) Four stars
A fantastic label here, Maltbarn's Martin has always given greatest care to the fully original photographs he's been using for his labels, some by his very self. Easily in the Top 10%, together with some Japanese friends. The whiskies aren't half bad either… Colour: white wine. Nose: it is a rather medicinal one, pretty much on eucalyptus-based embrocations and fresh mint. Which means this is no peat monster. Right. With water: mud, plaster, new plastic (pretty much an extinct breed) and homemade yoghurt. A rather bready young CI, that's great. Mouth (neat): excellent! Manzanilla, sea water and bone-dry Mosel riesling blended away together. You may add a tiny drop of pastis. With water: back to peaty, bready ad yeasty flavours. Finish: medium. Comments: very, very good. Perhaps just a little less 'obvious' than others?
SGP:456 - 86 points.

Caol Ila 2005/2021 (57.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry hogshead, cask #301507, 266 bottles)

Caol Ila 2005/2021 (57.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry hogshead, cask #301507, 266 bottles) Five stars
Have you heard anything from G&M's lately? Me neither, they might be in a state of hibernation… But lots of hugs towards Elgin! Colour: gold. Nose: but naturally, yet another dimension. Granny smith, manzanilla, vin jaune, fresh walnuts, tincture of iodine, gauze, tiger balm, green clay… Oh wow! With water: high-end old pu-her tea, proper wild trees and all that. Mouth (neat): starts like a Jamaican rum, gets then extremely grassy and peppery, with huge iodine and leathery embrocations. Looks like some very active re-racking has occurred, but not too sure… With water: citrons and mint leaves. Finish: very long, grassy, herbal. Artichokes, tobacco, mint, myrtle, grapefruits… And the expected saltier aftertaste. Comments: let's be honest, this is a superb, top-notch higher-echelon panache-y Caol Ila. But G&M? Hello Elgin?
SGP:466 - 90 points.

It's probably time to call this a tasting session, but a (marginally) older CI would make for a perfect nightcap I suppose…

Caol Ila 16 yo 1998/2015 (46%, High Spirits, Life is a Circus)

Caol Ila 16 yo 1998/2015 (46%, High Spirits, Life is a Circus) Three stars and a half
We agree on the fact that life is a circus, dear Nadi. We also confirm that 46% is a perfect strength, even if 50% isn't too bad either. Colour: white wine. Nose: a relatively light, very coastal arrival, rather on green apples, lemons, plaster and sourer wine and beer. There, cider. And oysters, seashells, clams, winkles and langoustines. No less! ; if you please… Mouth: the older style, a tad more on spicy butters, Indian food, peppers, paprika… Very good, absolutely, but it is perhaps not high-definition Caol Ila. There were many such 'buttery' CIs in the 1970s and 1980s. Finish: long, good. Sour cream, overripe fruits and herbal liqueurs. Comments: complex whisky, probably not for a pretty simple mind such as this very one.
SGP:565 - 83 points.

(Thank you KC)

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

 

WF Favourites
Whiskyfun fav of the month

April 2021

Serge's favourite recent bottling this month:
Talisker 43 yo 'Xpedition Oak' (49.7%, OB, American oak hogshead, 1830 bottles, 2021) - WF93

Serge's favourite older bottling this month:
Eastern Highland Malt 1975/1988 (50%, Duthie for Samaroli, 20th Anniversary, Fragments of Scotland, 648 bottles) - WF94

Serge's favourite bang for your buck this month:
Scarabus 'Batch Strength' (57%, Hunter Laing, Islay, 2020)  - WF89

Serge's favourite malternative this month:
Prunier 1967/2021 (52.8%, OB for Wu Dram Clan, grande Champagne, 276 bottles)  - WF91

Serge's Lemon Prize this month:
Glen Garioch 'Virgin Oak No. 2' (48%, OB, +/-2019)  - WF72
 

May 1, 2021


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our Scottish correspondent
and skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Edinburgh
Angus  
Six Laphroaig?
We've got a bundle of new and recent Laphroaig and 'undisclosed Islay' whiskies to try. Let us, without further ado, 'have at'. And we'll commence with a theoretically light aperitif…

 

Laphroaig 14 yo 2006/2020 'Fairy Tales' (40.5%, Club Qing 'The Little Mermaid, bourbon barrel, 120 bottles)

Laphroaig 14 yo 2006/2020 'Fairy Tales' (40.5%, Club Qing 'The Little Mermaid, bourbon barrel, 120 bottles)
Curious about the low ABV on this one. But then, when you are 'under the sea', there tends to be a lot of water about the place. Colour: straw. Nose: reminds me of some of the best old official 10 year olds from the 1990s. Pure, clean, fresh and gently fruity Laphroaig with these notes of bandages, iodine, wet rocks, seashore, grapefruit and a few other crystallised fruits. Extremely inviting and charming. Some medical notes of bandages too - very classical style. Mouth: you feel the softness, but there's an earthy and rustic peat note, more iodine, black pepper, seaweed crackers and miso. Nicely savour and salty, if a little soft. Finish: medium, rather medicinal, lightly sooty, peaty and peppery. Still coastal and fresh. Comments: there's a simplicity and a purity of character here that I find very reminiscent of the older official bottlings composed of 80s distillate. Clever and very good selection.
SGP: 556 - 88 points.

 

 

Laphroaig 10 yo 'Sherry Oak Finish' (48%, OB, 2021) 

Laphroaig 10 yo 'Sherry Oak Finish' (48%, OB, 2021) 
This one seems to have arrived somewhat under the radar, but I must confess to being more than a little excited. Colour: coppery amber. Nose: it's true that modern sherry and peat can be a tricky thing to get right but I think this is smart. Oily phenolics, natural tar, syrupy sweet peat smoke, black pepper, game meats, Maggi seasoning, umami paste - even a little camphor and iodine. It feels well integrated and concentrated so far. Mouth: there's a little nibble of spicy oak, but then cigars, game meats, BBQ smoke, wood embers and lots of charred and spiced meaty notes. Globally though it remains clean with a firm and peppery peat flavour. The ABV is pretty spot on in terms of mouthfeel I think. Big, boisterous modern stuff, but very good. Finish: good length, on dry earthiness, black pepper, more charred and smoked meats, tar and chunky phenolics. Comments: We're a far cry from the sherried Laphroaigs of old, but this is quite a smart drop and I think the balance has been well struck. The price is also fair as well I think. Quaffing juice for the ferry to Islay, beachside bonfires, highballs etc… Now, can we please have the standard 10yo at this strength?
SGP: 466 - 86 points.

 

 

Laphroaig 15 yo 2005/2020 'Lp11' (52.2%, Elixir Distillers 'Elements of Islay', bourbon barrels, 496 bottles)

Laphroaig 15 yo 2005/2020 'Lp11' (52.2%, Elixir Distillers 'Elements of Islay', bourbon barrels, 496 bottles)
I know not all the above info is on the label, but it's on the website, so why not… Colour: white wine. Nose: a gentle and wonderfully subtle and aromatic example. Lots of sandalwood, wet rope, hessian, beach foam, pebbles, chalk and more gentle medical notes such as bandages, gauze and ointments. Lightly herbal too with muddled green herbs. Still very much 'Laphroaig' but very elegantly so. I love this nose. With water: carbolic, smoked cereals, plaster board, wet linens, white flowers and dusty smoky malt bins with a light fug of kiln air. Mouth: clean, salty and sharp. On seawater mixed with lemon juice, TCP, light iodine, pickling juices and hessian. Rather more simple than the nose was suggesting but the purity is lovely. With water: deeper, smokier and sootier. More classical plain peat smoke, seawater, smoked sea salt, some cooking oils. Very good. Finish: long, bone dry, ashy peat, sooty, herbal and with more ointments and a heavier medicinal side now. Comments: really very good, not sure everything matched the initial nose, but globally there's loads to enjoy here. Quite a dry one overall.
SGP: 356 - 87 points.

 

 

Grace Ile 25 Year Old (48%, The Character Of Islay Whisky Company, bottled 2020)

Grace Ile 25 Year Old (48%, The Character Of Islay Whisky Company, bottled 2020)
The label for this one mentions 'hook-nosed sea pigs' - not sure if that's a tasting note or not. Colour: straw. Nose: it does indeed nose a little like a Laphroaig. All these wet rocks, lemon peels, hints of metal and shoe polishes, iodine, medical tinctures and a sense of peppery peat. Mind you, there's also a tarry rope vibe that I'd have said was more Ardbeggian. Probably more of these ex-Allied blending stocks which we will likely never know the true origin/story behind. Mouth: lovely! Soft citrus fruits with gentle medicines, oily peat smoke, seawater, grapefruit, dried herbs and sandalwood. Elegant, simple and superbly fresh, mature and easy. Finish: long, lemony, citric, perfectly saline, coastal, fresh and with a nicely tangy peat in the aftertaste. Comments: extremely pleasurable, perfectly mature 'Islay' malt.
SGP: 456 - 89 points.  

 

 

Laphroaig 24 yo 1996/2020 (51.8%, Elixir Distillers 'The Single Malts Of Scotland', bourbon barrel, 217 bottles)

Laphroaig 24 yo 1996/2020 (51.8%, Elixir Distillers 'The Single Malts Of Scotland', bourbon barrel, 217 bottles)
Colour: gold. Nose: these vintages are becoming totally gorgeous now. Silky soft peat smoke with wee pin holes of exotic fruits peeping through. Camphor, seawater, grapefruit, smoked olive oil, touches of mango, hessian and heather flower. A really beautiful nose. With water: some kind of peated pina colada! Pineapple, coconut, mango, gorse flower, kiln air, natural tar and a stray kumquat. Mouth: yes! Superb concentration, this syrupy effect that time has on peat and fruit flavours, simultaneously elevating and concentrating both. Sandalwood, dried coastal flowers, hessian, myrtle, dried herbs, olive oil, more camphor notes, smoked teas and crystallised exotic fruits. With water: smokier, peatier, more peppery, more leathery and oily textures, more camphor, putty, preserved lemons and exotic fruit teas. Finish: long, heathery, tarry, peppery, herbal and peaty with some resinous, slightly bitter fruits. Comments: Pristine, totally super old 90s Laphroaig captured at a perfect age. I adore this kind of concentrated profile.
SGP: 566 - 91 points.

 

 

Islay Single Malt 30 yo 1990/2021 (48.8%, Thompson Brothers, refill barrel, 273 bottles)

Islay Single Malt 30 yo 1990/2021 (48.8%, Thompson Brothers, refill barrel, 273 bottles)
Another 'mystery Islay'. Colour: straw. Nose: coal smoke, kiln air, coastal freshness, wet rocks, linens, canvass, white flowers, chalk, lemony brine and this overarching, wonderfully ethereal smokiness. Simple in its directness and open-ness, but also extremely pleasurable, 'obvious' and satisfying. Mouth: big, deep, lustrous smokiness. Bags of coal smoke, kiln air, natural tar, green pepper, capers in brine, waxy lemon peel and smoked mineral oils. It really feels like Laphroaig of this vintage just with a dialled back fruitiness. In place there's myriad smoky, seawater and coal ember notes going on. The peat is rawer, plainer and more organic too as a result. Finish: long, oily, lightly tarry, peppery, warming with a kind of glowing peat in the aftertaste. Also some citrus fruits at the end too. Comments: Unlike other 'Islay malt' stocks I've tried, this one leaves little doubt as to origin. It's also totally brilliant juice.
SGP: 466 - 90 points.

 

 

 

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


April 2021 - part 2 <--- May 2021 - part 1 ---> May 2021 - part 2


 

 

 

Best spirits Serge tried those weeks, 90+ points only

Ben Nevis 51 yo 1966/2017 (41.5%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, hogshead, cask #4278, 120 bottles)

Ben Nevis 25 yo 1991/2017 (61.3%, OB, oloroso sherry butt, cask #3711, 584 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (48.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #1641, 280 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (46.1%, Whisky Nerds, hogshead, cask #954, 75 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (49.3%, Hunter Laing/The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, hogshead, cask #HL17398, 230 bottles)

Ben Nevis 1996/2020 (50.4%, The Whisky Jury, refill hogshead, cask #1372, 242 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2018 (46.5%, Golden Cask, cask CM 252, 150 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2020 (56.1%, Elixir Distillers, The Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #1684)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2021 (55%, WhiskySponge, Edition 22C, refill sherry hogshead, 203 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1997/2020 (49.2%, Whisky-Fässle, hogshead)

Ben Nevis 19 yo 1997/2017 (57.5%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, for Taiwan, 1st fill sherry, cask #69, 266 bottles)

Ben Nevis 10 yo 2008/2018 'Batch No 1' (62.4%, OB, 9000 bottles)

Bunnahabhain 30 yo (48.5%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, Feis Ile 2019, 560 bottles)

Caol Ila 2005/2021 (57.5%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice for The Whisky Exchange, refill sherry hogshead, cask #301507, 266 bottles)

Glen Grant 1936 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 75cl, +/-1985)

Glen Grant 67 yo 1953/2021 'Mr George Legacy' (59.4%, Gordon & MacPhail, first fill sherry butt, cask #4209, 355 bottles)

Hampden 8 yo 'OWH' (61.9%, OB for Whisky Live Singapore 2021, Jamaica, cask #669, 2020)

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
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