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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 9, 2013


Tasting Lomond not from Loch Lomond

There’s a fairly new Glencraig by Cadenhead but most sadly, I haven’t got any other yet-untasted Glencraig to go with it, and no new Mosstowie or Inverleven either. Yes we’re talking Lomond stills… But wait, maybe I’ve got an idea… Why not a Scapa? Indeed, Scapa use or used an old Lomond still as a wash still. Let’s simply settle for a recent bottling such as the popular 16 yo if you don’t mind.

Scapa 16yo (40%, OB, +/- 2013)

Scapa 16yo (40%, OB, +/- 2013) Two stars and a half This bottling has dedicated fans while other friends find it a little bland. I’ve tried it several times in the past but let’s check if the new batches stand on their feet. Colour: gold. Nose: immediately very malty and buttery, with a saucerful of porridge (not secrets) and then more honey, sweet beer, hay and cider. Maybe a little mint.  It’s a very nice, fresh nose but will it be big enough on the palate? Mouth: nicer than I recalled, certainly a little fatter, mainly on apples, peelings, cider and such. Also touches of pears and lemon. Sadly, it tends to become thinner after just ten seconds and a bigger honey note is not enough to give it the oomph it lacks. A little caramel? Finish: short, even evanescent. More or less on caramel and some sort of hay/grass. Comments: very nice profile, fresh and perfectly balanced, but it’s simply too thin at 40% vol. in my opinion. I’m sure this would be superb whisky at 45 or 46%. SGP:331 - 79 points.

Glencraig-Glenburgie 31 yo 1981/2012 (50.8%, Cadenhead, bourbon, 186 bottles)

Glencraig-Glenburgie 31 yo 1981/2012 (50.8%, Cadenhead, bourbon, 186 bottles) Four stars The name stresses the fact that indeed, Glencraig used to lie within Glenburgie Distillery. Cadenhead already had several very good 1981 Glencraig in the past. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: as close to white eau-de-vie as malt whisky can be, and I must say I like this since we’re rather on small berries such as sorb and elderberries than on ‘straight-ahead’ fruits. There’s also a feeling of sugar cane and juicy raisins, then much more cigar tobacco, leaves, maybe a little patchouli… and gingerbread. Unusual, fun and, well, very nice. Water doesn’t change much to it. Mouth: excellent gin-fizz or gin and tonic. Seriously. Clean, fresh, with little oak (no wonder it’s almost white) but a perfect fruitiness, wider than in the nose. For example, there’s a lot of grapefruits but no bubblegum like in younger ultra-naked whiskies. In short, a perfect zestiness. Finish: good length, with more lemon, grapefruits and ginger tonic. Comments: one of the youngest old whiskies if you see what I mean. And it’s perfectly mature. Worth checking – and Glencraig is very rare. SGP:441 - 87 points.

(with thanks to Peter)


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback in ST. Tropez
(the buggers are on holidays again)







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