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

January 3, 2014


A little bag of Speysiders

Bits and bobs, really...

Singleton of Dufftown 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2013)

Singleton of Dufftown 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2013) Three starsI knew the 12 and the 18 but never tried the 15. Now's the time, Charlie. Colour: orangey gold. Nose: like! Some kind of flowery maltiness, with hints of stout, orange cake, honey and liquorice. It's all quite fragrant and pleasant. Mouth: same feeling, and it's not particularly weak despite the low strength. Honey and maple syrup, orange liqueur and a tiny-wee meatiness. Plus liquorice again for good measure. Very all right. Finish: pretty long! And it's got these notes of oriental pastries, baklavas, angel hairs and such. Comments: I think this one's a little bigger than the 18. Very pleasing, easy but not simple. SGP:441 - 81 points.

Cragganmore 20 yo 1993/2013 (50%, Wilson & Morgan, PX sherry finish, cask #1903-1904)

Cragganmore 20 yo 1993/2013 (50%, Wilson & Morgan, PX sherry finish, cask #1903-1904) Four stars and a halfColour: amber. Nose: hey-oh, this is very fragrant! Many raisins, many flowers and many syrups, then quite some coffee and Cointreau. I really like all this coffee, works very well. I would have also said 'maraschino', but that may be my mind playing tricks, knowing that the excellent bottlers are Italian. Ha! With water: orange liqueur - Camels - honey - hay.- plus old muscat wine. Nothing to not like. Mouth (neat): excellent, rich, coating, wit raisins and honey, coffee again, and wee touches of truffles, which is terrific. No I won't say 'white truffles', that would be my mind playing etc, etc, etc. With water: between an old liqueur and a Sauternes, and yet its not too sweet. Finish: quite long, sweet yet balanced. Lots of raisins. Comments: who said I was not into finishings? This works perfectly. SGP:741 - 89 points.

Braeval 21 yo 1991/2013 (53.1%, Brachadair, bourbon barrel, 230 bottles)

Braeval 21 yo 1991/2013 (53.1%, Brachadair, bourbon barrel, 230 bottles) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: it's a nutty, toasted one. I get warm brioche and apple pie, vanilla, then more oranges and a little tea and oak. Whiffs of fresh coffee too, some hay in the background, malt... All fine. With water: the hay got bigger, I also find cigarette tobacco and a little humus, which is great. Mouth (neat): sweet, oily and malty arrival, on, well, Ovaltine and café latte, then honey cake. Half a kumquat adds vibrancy. Also nougat. It's got something of Chivas Regal, is Braes a component of Chivas? With water: excellent! Perfect malty and honeyed all-rounder that would beat many more famous names in the same category. Finish: of medium length, on tarte tatin, crème brûlée and marmalade. A little ginger in the aftertaste. Comments: perfect as far as malty whiskies are concerned. Impressive body - this is a perfect 'central' Scotch malt, the word central being taken as a compliment here. These Braevals/Braes are starting to be impressive... SGP:551 - 87 points.

Glenglassaugh 40 yo 1972/2013 (43.1%, C&S Dram Collection, refill sherry butt, 300 bottles)

Glenglassaugh 40 yo 1972/2013 (43.1%, C&S Dram Collection, refill sherry butt, 300 bottles) Five stars These excellent German bottlers already had some frankly superb old Glenglassaugh. Colour: straw (surprisingly pale). Nose: a faint porridge at very first nosing, then anything from a beehive, honey, beeswax, pollen... Very floral yet relatively light, and it would go on with ripe yellow fruits, mirabelles, bergamots, a little tarte tatin... After ten minutes, there's even a little smoke, whiffs of hay, a little toasted oak white-Bourgogne-style, and we're back on that beehive. Simply wonderful, ala Caperdonich 1972 if that rings a bell. Mouth: a wee notch oaky but otherwise, all is perfect. We've got the same aromas as in the nose, plus some crème au beurre, fudge and old triple-sec (the kind that the hip bartenders are hunting down these days). Touches of sandalwood, perhaps. Finish: that's where it's losing one or two points, it's a notch too short and, well, not weak but a little too mellow. But the profile is lowly and the oak never really got dominating. A little coffee and marzipan in the aftertaste. Comments: maybe not as much an instant winner as earlier 1972s that were selected by the same people for Germany, but it's still a totally superb old honeyed Glenglassaugh. SGP:651 - 91 points. PS: I know GGlassaugh isn't officially a Speysider, but Michael Jackson said it was. There.







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