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

June 28, 2013


Two closed Scotch grains

There are quite a few closed grain distilleries in Scotland, Carsebridge, Cambus, Dumbarton, Garnheath... Not to mention the very rare Caledonian, closed in 1988, and one that was closed in 2010 if I'm not mistaken, Port Dundas. We'll have those two today, both at an easy 46% vol...

Port Dundas 1991/2011 (46%, Whisky & Rhum, L'Esprit, Hogshead, cask #15676, 302 bottles)

Port Dundas 1991/2011 (46%, Whisky & Rhum, L'Esprit, Hogshead, cask #15676, 302 bottles) Two stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: very typical youngish grain, starting with a little varnish and bubblegum before rather massive notes of coconut and vanilla kick in. It's not impossible that this was a first fill cask as owners Diageo used to like to 'season' their new casks with grain before pouring some precious malt whisky into them. The vanilla never stops getting bigger, together with more warm sawdust. Mouth: sweet candies on peppery and gingery oak. Schweppes and cardboard, more pepper, cardamom, sour wood... Not quite my style I'm afraid. Orange sweets. Finish: short and less peppery than expected, less extractive. Comments: certainly not a bad one, it's just a style that doesn't click at WF Towers. I like the nose better than the palate. SGP:660 - 75 points.

Caledonian 21 yo 1963/1984 (46%, Cadenhead, white dumpy)

Caledonian 21 yo 1963/1984 (46%, Cadenhead, white dumpy) Four stars I've only had Caledonian once. Yup this one is one of the rare 'white dumpies' by Cadenhead's. Colour: dark amber. Nose: this is completely different, as expected. It's from a sherry cask and it's not 'grainy' at all, we're actually much closer to rum here. So big raisins, pipe tobacco, sugar cane, sandalwood and then more chocolate and café latte. Also touches, just touches of beef stock and maybe parsley and mint. Surely mint. And marrow? It's a great nose, complex and unusual, without the maltiness that's usually to be found in... malts. Yes, even in sherry monsters. Mouth: now it's REALLY rum. Dry spices, raisins, coconut liqueur, tobacco, big cloves and some kind of mead. Bitter almonds. And bags of candy sugar. Good body. Finish: long and even spicier. Mulled wine, cloves, liquorice wood. Comments: an intriguing old grain. You can actually feel that the distillate is thinner than malt or rum behind the loudish oak, and that makes it even more interesting. A true rarity. SGP:561 - 86 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Grains I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback







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