torsdag 30. oktober 2014

Banff 34yo 1975-2010 44.1% A. D. Rattray Cask Collection cask#3354

Can you believe it?!! Another fragile-corked oldie, I'll vote for any political party that proposes rubber corks to the whisky industry at next election. The color on this one is deep brown/auburn. It smells sweet, lemon liqueur, caramelized onions, butternut squash, dried herbs, figs, sage, mould, dust, quite a modest 34yo. Perhaps it needs some water, lets try it neat first. The taste is burnt, sandalwood, nectarine, wax, peat, leather, sawdust, charcoal, at first a bit nervous, then comes on like a bomb on the palate. It's strangely salty'n'sour as well, tarry cream? With water it becomes sweeter, more stearic, waxy, grenadine, caramel, banana, hops, barley grain, toffee. I must admit, I have no idea how much the problems with the cork really have affected this whisky, but to me, it seems much less vague than I usually find a whisky at this age. That being said, with enough time, just time, no water, it becomes a little special something with them tarry cream notes...

Tarry cream? Yes, I've not really tasted all my references: 7.5

Next tasting: Highland Park

lørdag 25. oktober 2014

Glenugie 32yo 1977-2010 58.6% Signatory Vintage cask#1 btl.257/670

This is a sherry finished Glenugie, one of those distilleries with too few casks left after mothballing, so there's far too little to go around these days. The cask#1 is the sherry butt in which I guess 3 or 4 hogsheads were finished for 90 months. Yes, 90 months is excactly 7 years and 6 months. If I did my math correct... All in all quite a long finish. Yeah, yeah, less numbers, more tasting notes. Color is dark golden/amber. It smells waxy, leather, honey, dark chocolate, nougat, malty, a bit spirity, as I'd imagine with this strength, vinegar and plum liqueur. The taste is quite on the bitter side, some rubber, phenols, gasoline, glue, starch, raw ginger, crayons, soap. An extreme one, lets try it with some water. Now it turns more rounder, some cotton notes, vodka premium, mashed/mushed veggies, mushroom broth, peppery, salmi, green peppers, grassy, floral, concentrated malty vinegar notes. Oh yes, after a while of breathing there's sawdust, orange marmalade, beetroot liqueur, cointreau, a bit unpleasantly sweet.

I know Glenugie can be superb, but this doesn't nearly enrich my evening: 4.5

Next tasting: Banff Distillery

lørdag 18. oktober 2014

Rosebank 16yo 1991-2008 57.9% Gordon & Macphail Cask cask#2104,2105,2106,2107

This Rosebank was all matured in refill bourbon barrels, that, and at a considerable young age for a Rosebank, could make for a whisky with much of the distillate character left. Rosebank seems to be closed for good, but there were some rumours about Arran, I think it was, opening it again, but then as a brewery, I've gotta read up on how that went. The color is golden. It smells vanilla, caramel, honey, butterscotch, walnuts, nutella, popcorn, waxy, one can hardly feel the strength in this one. But its far from bland, just no off-notes. The taste is salty, licorice, salmi, peppery, floral, herbs, salt and herbs are big in this one. I now discover more of the strength, and I believe a bit of water could open this whisky a bit more to the palate. But it's not shy of excellence bare, either. Now it turns sweeter, perfume, butter, vanilla, marshmallows, coffee cream, kiwis, honey, perhaps a bit more lowland-style, but there sure was life left in those casks. The finish is long, honey lozenges, dry white wine, white peppercorns.

Sad such great whiskies from closed distilleries, but would we otherwise have found them?: 8

Next tasting: Glenugie Distillery

mandag 13. oktober 2014

Laphroaig 18yo 1990-2008 55.6% Berry Bros & Rudd cask#2248

I got this one one for a very fair price at around 55 quid about a year ago, in a whisky shop in Herning, Denmark. So I guess its been sitting on their shelves for a while..? But damn, show me anywhere you get an 18yo CS SC Laphroaig at this price, fantastic! The color is white wine. It smells peat smoke, cinnamon, earl grey tea, lemon lozenges, vanilla, chlorine, acrid, bitter apple juice, iodine, medicinal, dry licorice, guava paste, malt. The taste is very sweet, vanilla, meringue, honey, sweet white wine, ashes, basil leaves, chili, cinnamon, oysters, white wine vinegar. The finish is all on medicinal peaty notes, quite intense. I'll add some water. Now it turns more Islay-ish, salty, charcoal, gunpowder, lime zest. Hardcore laphroaigness now, more complex when bare. It's a bit strange how they've spelled "Scots Whisky"...

I'd say this one belongs up there with the best bourbon-matured Laphroaigs: 8.5

Next tasting: Rosebank Distillery

onsdag 8. oktober 2014

Ardbeg 18yo 1990-2008 46% OB Airigh Nam Beist

The label doesn't state 18yo, which means it could be 17yo actually, for the rigid ones of you. Here we go then, I remember this was my second ever bottle of Ardbeg that I purchased. Back then I got it for 60€. Oh, how prices are sky-rocketing. In 1990 Ardbeg only produced spirit two months a year, so I think there can't be many 1990-vintages around? The color is acacia honey. It smells damp, musty, chlorophyll, sweet sherry, tobacco, coffee beans, vanilla, whipped cream, sugar, hints of peat smoke. The taste is caramel, peat, honey, peanut butter, vanilla, butterscotch, praline, milk chocolate, I can hardly recognize the distillate in this one. The finish is peppery, some peat and sherry. It's a fine dram, but knowing this is an Ardbeg sort of ruins a bit of the joy. One can't have an Ardbeg without expecting a bit more of coastal or peaty notes.

Unexpected Ardbeg: 7

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

tirsdag 30. september 2014

Port Ellen 26yo 1982-2009 50% Old Malt Cask Douglas Laing cask#5398

Port Ellen Distillery needs no introduction, I believe. This one comes from a refill butt holding no less than 712 bottles. Butts have usually matured sherry or wine prior to whisky. I remember this one was sold at norwegian Vinmonopolet for about 100GBP back in 2009 when I bought it. And at that time it was seen as very cheap Port Ellen. Nowadays, any single malt whisky over 18yo at 100GBP is seen as an affordable one in Norway. How time flies... The color is golden. It smells coastal, seaweed, sea salt, dried fish, dry white wine, malt syrup, peat smoke, tar, smoked bacon. The taste is peppery, peat, cinnamon, ginger, honey, chillies, mushroom soup, earthy, leather. What a great surprise, 26 years on oak usually tames the peat quite a bit, but not in this one. The finish is caramel, black pepper, soy sauce. Adding some water. Now it turns simpler, more malty notes and a subtle peppery character.

What a whisky, seems younger than 26, a real beast: 8

Next tasting: Ardbeg Distillery

torsdag 25. september 2014

Fettercairn 33yo 1975-2009 50% Old Malt Cask Douglas Laing cask#4939

First things first, I'm sorry about the crappy photo, but that's what I get when I forget to bring my camera to the cabin, and use my cellphone instead. This one comes from a bourbon hogshead, and have previously gotten my attention because it was quite cheaper than many other old bottlings in this series. Time to see if that's just, or was this another affordable liquid treasure. The color is auburn. It smells cream cracker, butter bisquits, heather, honey, vanilla, oranges, figs, dates, vanilla curd, meringues, light perfumy, toffee, coconut oil, peppermint, marzipan, caramel. I could sit and nose this for hours, it reveals just a bit more with every new sniff. It's not a rough whisky, and it's not a massively sherried or oaky one, it's just perfectly refined in every sense of the word. Not an off-note in sight, but still massively complex due to all the layers of different light/sweet aromas.  The taste is heather again, vanilla sweetness, waxy, stearic, ginger, beetroot, banana liqueur, oaky, leather, hay. Leaves a little more to be desired. Time to add some water. Now it turns sweeter, more honey, lavender, syrup, floral, camphor, nougat, cinnamon, lime peel, sweetness and bitterness in harmony. The finish is cinnamon and peppermints, herbal lozenges too.

A bit too gentle for some, I presume, but use your time and it'll show there's magic to be found: 9

Next tasting: Port Ellen Distillery

lørdag 20. september 2014

Laphroaig 11yo 1998-2010 61.3% C&S Dram Collection cask#700286 btl#168

There you go, another CS Laphroaig vintage 1998. Finding these were like catching fish in a pond a couple of years back. And many has been great! I remember I had a sherried one from same vintage and same series a while back, great stuff. The color is golden, natural, of course. It smells burnt, peat smoke, camphor, gasoline, burnt, vanilla, herbal tea, ashes, but most of all it's gasoline. I've never found such a strong scent of petrol in any malt before, at least none that I can remember. The taste is very strong, salmi, dry licorice, leather, charcoal, smoky, burnt rubber, gun smoke, burning tires, very extreme. Its like, I'd imagine, chewing on gunpowder. Not very medicinal, coastal, or typical Laphroaig, but a beast nonetheless. Lets add a few drops of water. Now it turns richer, sweeter, more vanilla, scented candles, cinnamon, leather, hay, some mineral notes, greens, junipers, a bit waxy and floral, coats my tounge well and leaves this thick sumptuous sweetness in the finish. When neat, the finish was too strong to really enjoy for me. I have to admit I'm still impressed by the young CS Laphroaig bottlings.

A bit unusual in style, a rich, complex Laphroaig, yet extreme in every way: 9

Next tasting: Fettercairn Distillery

søndag 14. september 2014

Talisker 8yo 1995-2003 46% High Spirits S.r.l.

The cork stopper dissolved when i first opened this bottle. I don't know if that has affected the quality of the spirit. Let's hope not. Independently bottled Taliskers are rare, but maybe even rarer at such a young age. The color is golden. It smells sweet, malty, roasted nuts, wheat flour, grainy, corn cobs, baked beans, horseradish. Not a very coastal Talisker. Little peat as well. The taste is grainy, beans, cauliflower, musty, quite plain so to speak. Lets add some water to try bring some life to this youngster. Now it turns into a more heathery, perfumy thing, old yarn and denim is what I find initially. Water also makes it more full-bodied with aromas of butter and sea salt. It leaps up a few points with water in my opinion. The finish is briny, on leather and peat. Much better now. 

Water and air helps make this a very pleasant experience: 6

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

tirsdag 9. september 2014

Port Ellen 18yo 1982-2001 43% The McGibbon's Provenance, Winter Distillation

If my memory serves me right, I believe The McGibbon's was a lower strength range from newly deconstructed Douglas Laing. I also remember this one getting a bit of criticism for not being true to the Port Ellen style, when it was first released. Sherry and peat can be a disastrous mix indeed, but also work very well together. The color is brown. It smells a bit of leather, seaweed, dried grains, vinyl, rubber, not a very pungent nose. The taste is sweet, licorice, peat smoke, leather, coffee beans, kopi luwak, not a complex one, by far. Maybe adding water will release some more flavors. Now it turns less demanding, if possible, just some caramel and brown sugar. I'd say, though this is both low strength, oak-drivan and rather young, one would expect much more complexity from a PE. The finish is rubber and peat.

For sherry freaks, not peat-lovers: 6

Next tasting: Talisker Distillery

torsdag 4. september 2014

Caol Ila 21yo 1974-1996 60.5% Signatory Vintage cask#12592 btl.847/980

These old CS handsigned Signatory bottlings are become rarer with every day that goes by. It's quite a strength at this age, but I believe the new-make held a higher strength back then. The color is golden. It smells vanilla, tarry, ashes, sooth, black pepper, salmi, iodine, peat smoke, brine, Caol Ila for what its worth. The taste is a frenzy of peat, smoke and peppery notes, highly entertaining, hardly complex. Adding water. Now it turns milder, gentle, some hints of vanilla and peat, we're hardly on Islay anymore. How strange, did the alcohol level deminishing make this whisky's total spirit deminish. The finish is quite light and short, some peppery notes and a bit of wallpaper glue.

I'm sorry, adding water totally ruined this one: 6

Next tasting: Port Ellen Distillery

lørdag 30. august 2014

Laphroaig 10yo 2000-2010 59.1% Whisky-Doris

Only 157 bottles from this bourbon hogshead, does that imply it's coming from a shared cask? Maybe, maybe not, hard to know as it lacks a cask number, or reference as some call it. I've earlier given much praise to german bottler Whisky-Doris, as though being a smaller IB seem to source great whisky and sell it at very fair prices. I've had many 1998 Laphroaigs, but this is just my second or third 2000, more modern, more fun? The color is white wine. It smells hay, turmeric, ginger, salt, ketchup, sweet vinegar, salmi, an utmost mild and gentle Laphroaig at this strength. How weird... The taste is wheat, leather, peat smoke, spices like cinnamon and cloves, drying, not much influence from either peat nor cask. I rarely justify adding water to young peated whisky, but this time I will. With water. Now it turns more fruity, some vanilla and apple cores, but still its quite dominated by this dry leather/hay sensation. The finish is cardboard and peppercorns.

A Laphroaig with non/little peat is no Laphroaig: 4

Next tasting: Caol Ila Distillery

Glen Mhor 20yo 1977-1997 58.3% Dun Eideann cask#1557 btl.125

A high strength twenty-year old from Inverness, I guess there will be less and less of those in years to come, if any. Glen Mhor, Millburn and Glen Albyn, not many people miss these, but I believe there was magic made in Inverness, it just disappeared when they added water to dilute the spirit. The color on this one is dark golden. It smells spirity, sawdust, chalk, raw onions, oaky, paraffin, roasted nutmeg, really a peculiar one. The initial sweetness of bananas and vanilla only lasted a couple of minutes, and now its ridden with weird notes. But, let me emphasize this, it's not bad in any way! The taste is peppery, corn starch, vanilla, maize, rice vinegar, juniper berries, wheat flour. Initially it doesn't strike me as a lost treasure. Let's add some water. Now it turns sweeter, some coal and gun powder, a really strange one, dry gin and rubber is what I'm getting. The finish is peppery, burnt, a bit of rubber, quite ordinary.

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

mandag 25. august 2014

Bowmore 11yo 1979-1990 58.4% Cadenhead's

I wonder if I haven't already tried this a couple years back. Anyway, lets have another swing at the sometimes overlooked Bowmore Distillery. This one must be more in the likes of the whisky they will produce in years to come? Young and at CS. I certainly hope the 12yo will remain. The color is golden. Not golden like that shiny adjusted golden. More like the grey-ish golden on old cutlery. It smells rather restrained, some peanut butter and peat. Caramel, banana syrup, shortbread, molasses, green bell peppers, honey, butter, fried banana. This smells0 strangely sweet, yet perfectly rich and honeyed. No peat or coastal notes at all. The taste is pungent, sweet chili sauce, mango, melons, sugar and pepper, barbecue hot sauce, dried red peppers, how weird can a Bowmore get. I'd guess this was some kind of strange south-american spirit. Sugared Cachaca or something. I can't wrap my head around it, lets add some water. Now it turns even sweeter, with some rubber, some shoe wax and even burnt sugar. A strange one indeed.

The more I had the less I wanted, I believe there were some strange Bowmores: 3.5

Next tasting: Glen Mhor Distillery

onsdag 20. august 2014

Laphroaig 10yo 1998-2009 60.4% John Milroy cask#700212

According to John Milroy, there should be a taste of ripe bananas in this young Laphroaig. I made a mistake by reading the label before tasting, which I usually don't. It's another young 1998 Laphroaig, just can't get enough of them. It smells vanilla, peat, sharp in a way, lime zest and eucalyptus, rubber. It's not as clean as I often find these young Laphroaigs, less coastal peat, less medicinal, more spirity, and heavy hints of lemon and other citric notes. The taste is peaty, peppery, vanilla, lavender, strong peppery notes, but not much terroir here. It's a fresh and zesty young spirit, but no bananas. Lets add a drop of water. Now it turns a bit saltier, meaty, savory, soy sauce, quite a difference. The spirity notes as well and the peat takes a step back now. To be honest, it has a bit of sherried Bowmore going on now. The finish is long on white pepper and tar, some heather and salt, smoked bacon. 

Rarely do I find water to improve a peatmonster in this manner: 8

Next tasting: Bowmore Distillery

fredag 15. august 2014

Laphroaig 12yo 1998-2011 57.2% James MacArthur's Old Masters cask#700233

A young Laphroaig from a bourbon barrel, that sounds good in my ears. What? Bottled at cask strength as well? And bottled by James MacArthur's you say? Now that my expectations have gone through the roof, I will pour myself a glass and try to be as objective as possible. The color is light golden. It smells medicinal, tarry, camphor, peat smoke, burnt rubber, ashes, well living up to my expectations. Classic Laphroaig style! The taste is tarry, iodine, peat smoke upon peat smoke and even more peat smoke. For Laphroaig purists. The finish is long on vanilla, peat and black pepper.

After this you will taste little but peat for the next hours: 7

Next tasting: More Laphroaig

søndag 10. august 2014

Beam's Choice NAS 45% Jim Beam

According to the often reliable, the Beam's Choice is usually bottled at 40%abv, or 80 proof if you like. This one is bottled at 90 proof, which makes for 45%abv. And not only that, it's also charcoal filtered. That's carbon filtering, isn't it? Must read up on stuff, really, but lets rather taste Whiskey. According to wikipedia this should also be bottled at 5yo, but the label states no age, so the plot maybe thickening, who knows? The color is nutty golden. It smells of shortbread, cupcakes, sugar, molasses, cognac, syrup, stewed onions, caramel, almost sickeningly sweet. Goes on with butterscotch and fried bananas. Some perfumy notes as well. The taste is peppery, ashes, sooth, burnt wood, black pepper, burnt rubber. All this aside, I find it slightly better than the original. The finish is short, on vanilla and sugar.

Well, certainly not boring: 3

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

tirsdag 5. august 2014

Strathconon 12yo 40% Blended Malt James Buchanan Co.

Buchanan's are now bottled under Diageo, and I think Strathconon is no longer being produced. The reason I'm having a go at it is, when I first started searching for malt distilleries online, I found many referencing Strathconon as a single malt whisky, which it is not. But I believe many people aquired it believing it was such. One might get that idea looking at this bottle. Okay, as did I (the shame, oh the shame...). Time to finally taste it. The color is golden, though a bit paler than most adjusted whiskies, so it might be natural color, after all, it is 12 years old. It smells sweet malt, malt syrup, white wine vinegar, shag, nutty, old attic, sweet mint, honey, develops nicely in the glass. The taste is rather starchy, potato starch and yeast, spirity, quite plain and natural, hard to pin down any of the distilleries in this blend. I'm akin to say its got a bit of Edradour or Dalwhinnie going on, but I could be very wrong. With added water I find it sweeter, with more malt and corn starch character. The finish is short and a bit on the lighter side, some peppery note and a bit of burnt clay (try licking it).

The nose alone was a positive experience, while the palate gave me very little: 3.5

Next tasting: Beam's Choice

mandag 28. juli 2014

Fettercairn 23yo 1984-2007 52% OB cask#241 btl.154/255

I'm sorry about the weird picture, but my camera was off that day. This is a sherried Fettercairn, from Spanish oak. That meaning the oak comes from spain, and also the sherry I suppose. The color is nutty brown/hazel. It smells rich, minty, bayleaves, onion soup, mushrooms, earthy, vinegar, dry cider. The taste is licorice, spirity, oaky, spices, chili, ashes, sulphur, wax, gasoline, quite strong. Lets add some water. Now it turns sweeter, more mellow, peppery, ashes, ginger, phenol, still quite a beast. At least its not rubbery. The finish is long and peppery. You gotta love your heavy sherries to enjoy this one I think.

strong and bitter, a great whisky for those that can handle it: 8

Next tasting: Strathconon blend

søndag 20. juli 2014

Tasting Benrinnes x3

Ah, Benrinnes! I remember the 15yo, splendid. And then I've had some other great ones too, but I find it's not much Benrinnes around, I've gathered these three for this session. Two slightly older bottlings and one kinda recent.

Benrinnes 20yo 1992-2012 55.7% Big Market Sonderabfüllung cask#004

There's no statement of this being from cask#004, it could very well be bottling#004 or batch or bottling or others. Until other information comes along, I'll be guessing the Unicorn number is a cask reference. 4cl bottle. The color is white wine. It smells big, rich, camphor, malt syrup, leather, mint leaves, rucola, wheat beer, spirit based marker, paint thinner, vanilla, boiled cabbage, cod liver. Very fresh. The taste is malty, spirity, quite young-ish, but it has some oily notes in the back that are quite pleasant. Water added. Now it turns to be richer, some sulphur, coffee, cinnamon, wax, heather, lemon lozenges, honey, cooked apples. A much better experience this time around. The finish is bitter and short.

What can I say, a great display of distillate, an everyday dram that takes some water: 6

Benrinnes 21yo 1979-2000 57.6% Scott's Selection

First one from Scott, which in my opinion is one of these smaller IB's bottling mostly whisky from distilleries usually under the GP's radar. The color is golden. It smells musty, prunes, dates, figs, caramel, cinnamon, honey, really rich and sweet, sumptuous some might say. Also quite some sweet mustard notes. The taste is so dry its almost painful, and also of dry white wines and hay. Adding water. Now it turns sweeter, minty, blackcurrants, bittersweet, raspberries, turkish yoghurt, bitter herbs, jägermeister, quite strange one, yet I wouldn't hold that against it. The finish is sweet and peppery.

Another one that excel when diluted: 7

Benrinnes 18yo 1979-1997 62.7% Scott's Selection

The label states that it is both "natural strength" and "undiluted", so at least you know what you're getting into. I've seen 6yo's bottled at CS at lower strength. Same vintage as the 2000 bottling, it could very well be the same cask bottled at two stages. The color is golden. It smells red wine, blackcurrants, blue grapes, rich port wine, dark chocolate, honey, eucalyptus, fennels, by far best nose so far. The taste is creamy, burnt butter, lime, sour notes, dry sherry, a bit too alcohol-driven, lets hope this as well excels with added water. Water makes it more rubbery, sticky, burnt sugar, pure alcohol, a bit hard to understand why they bottled this at such an age and strength, as it seems far from enough matured. The finish is just burnt.

How non-coherent can a nose and palate be?: 3

Next tasting: Fettercairn Distillery

søndag 13. juli 2014

Audny NAS 46% OB Agder Brenneri

This one is from Series 2, and i don't know what series means in this context, perhaps its a batch reference. I believe this one is 3yo, and it came out a year or two back. Yet its still available where I live. That's pretty unusual, it being the first ever Norwegian Single Malt, from a single cask, and limited to 1750 bottles only. Lets see. The color is pale golden. It smells butterscotch, caramel, furniture polish, tonic water, sweet and strange. Remember, it's matured in a big old sherry cask for not many years. The taste is again a bit strange, a lot of furniture polish, paint remover, rubber, burnt plastic, really hard to pin down. Let's add a couple drops of water. Now it turns sweeter, corn syrup, aniseed, perfumy, another side that I find quite hard to enjoy. The finish is on carrot mash and sour wine.
Now, all that being said, I have been in contact with one person that, when he visited Agder Brenneri, got to try a cask sample of this, and in his opinion, it was a much better spirit than what is put out. Perhaps Ole Puntervold lost faith in his spirit, or he was afraid to walk off the straight and narrow at first bottling. Anyhow, I believe this cask could have done wonders given 10 or so more years, and young spirits should usually be bottled CS and from smaller casks. I hope this is not the last we will see of spirit from Norway. From what I've heard, Sweden and Finland, amongst many others, are producing excellent whisky these days.

More of a novelty than a serious attempt to make a lasting impression: 2.5

Next tasting: Benrinnes Distillery

mandag 7. juli 2014

Glen Keith NAS 43% OB "Distilled before 1983"

I think this is my first ever version where the "before 1983" is actually printed on the label. Usually Glen Keith was bottled as a 10yo at the distillery. The next 10yo will at soonest be out in 2023.  The color is golden. It smells heather, palm oil, walnut shield, rye bread, molasses, sweet licorice, toasted almonds, sage. The taste is rather perfumed, strong vanilla, lavender, ginger, sawdust, chili oil, root beer, sweet and perfumy, not my kind of malt unfortunately. But there are no real flaws. Some strawberry and exotic fruits in the finish lifts it a bit. Also a nice licorice and peppery sensation that overlaps in the end. This is probably one of the last remaining "lost distillery" ob-bottlings still available both readily and affordable. Catch one while you can. I have a couple more, to use as reference points when going head to head in 2023 and beyond.

Ah, the old times: 6

Next tasting: Agder Brenneri (Norwegian Single Malt Whisky)

onsdag 25. juni 2014

Macleod's Islay Single Malt NAS 40% Ian Macleod's

Time to have a go at another unknown Islay malt, and according to the label, it's both sherried and peat-driven. NAS, low strength, coloring and chill-filtration, here we go! When I come across a bottle like this, I always wonder how good it could've been if it was bottled in a more "natural" manner. The color is dark golden. It smells peat, coal, burnt rubber, leather, potato starch, sawdust, laqueur, paint, glue. The off-notes are many, but that sorta makes them easier to accept. They weaken a bit because one star shines brighter alone in these contexts. The taste is burnt, burnt rubber, is that the sherry wood talking? Raw beans and earthy notes, maybe hummus too. The peat is nowhere to be found. Lets add some water. Now it turns milder, more perfumy, and if possible, more rubbery. The finish is short, peppery, rose water, floral. My guess? Caol Ila or Bowmore, most likely Bowmore, but then again, I really have no idea.

Maybe its just too hot for Islay malts in the summer?: 4

Next tasting: Glen Keith Distillery

onsdag 4. juni 2014

Glenlossie 12yo 1977 62.4% James MacArthur's

A bit evaporation as one might expect, this being bottled around 25 years ago. And being the strength it is, there's plenty of alcohol to go around. The color is white wine-ish. It smells vanilla, soy milk, dry white wine, heather, ginger, raw onions, strong flavors that makes me think of root purees and onions en masse. The taste is starchy, peppery, chillies, vanilla, porter head, hard to get much more than the spirit at this stage, but its far from "new make-spirity". Adding water. Now it turns more oaky, cheddar, peppery, feta cheese, olives, clover, lemon zest, more rich and sumptuous, a splendid surprise. I always enjoy whisky that can handle some water, why? I just get to taste it many more times. The finish is long lasting and peppery.

Quite a bomb: 7

Next tasting: 

søndag 25. mai 2014

Laphroaig 13yo 1988-2001 46% Murray McDavid cask#2108

It's rather unusual to find young IB Laphroaigs at low strength these days, except from the distillers, of course. Lets try this "old" one to maybe shine a light on why. The color is pale golden. It smells medicinal, coastal, salt, turmeric, ashes, charcoal, honey, seaweed, bitter herbs, grassy, burnt sugar. The taste is peat, white wine, white pepper, sunflower oil, turnips, pumpkin seeds, broad beans, its nothing like the peat bombs they release from Laphroaig nowadays. This is actually an utmost gentle and lowland-ish version of Laphroaig, who'd imagine. The finish is peat, mint, quite sweet and refreshing. This one crushes every image I held of Laphroaig as something out of the norm, but on the other hand, it's still a decent malt whisky.

Laphroaig in a cage: 5

Next tasting: Glenlossie Distillery