Google Little duets, today 40 yo Speyside

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

August 24, 2016


Little duets, today 40 yo Speyside

You know them, some are said to be Glenfarclas, others Cragganmore, and sometimes even the bottlers have no clues. Seriously, yes, even after five beers at the bar! But they’re often wonderful…

William Cadenhead Speyside 40 yo (40.2%, Cadenhead, 2016)

William Cadenhead Speyside 40 yo (40.2%, Cadenhead, 2016) Four stars and a half A single malt, said to come from that classy Speyside distillery near where Bob Dylan has (or had?) a house. No, that’s not Malibu… Colour: straw. Nose: oh, typical old cask that ‘went down’ quite a lot, but without having gotten flabby or simply dead. One aroma I often find in these old whiskies is bananas. Other than that, we have herbs (verbena, wormwood) and assorted overripe apples. It’s pretty delicate and indeed lightish, let’s hope it won’t sink on our palates. Mouth: it does not, thanks to some rather marvellous fruits that do fight the obvious oak (tea) and keep the whole afloat. Overripe apples again, bananas again (and touches of mangos), some marzipan, and perhaps a spoonful of chestnut purée, with this light tannicity. Finish: medium, with the oak starting to dominate (green spices, banana skin). But it never gets drying. Comments: the equivalent of some old chardonnay that’s still got all its teeth. Meursault, there. SGP:451 - 88 points.

Speyside Region 40 yo 1975/2016 (55%, The Whisky Agency, fino butt, 389 bottles)

Speyside Region 40 yo 1975/2016 (55%, The Whisky Agency, fino butt, 389 bottles) Five stars TWA and affiliated sub-bottlers often have great old undisclosed Speysiders, this should be no exception. Colour: gold. Nose: awesome. Mandarins and citrons at first, with a funny metallic side (tin box), then some fantastic notes of angelica and rhubarb, as well as very vivid whiffs of a great kirsch. Really very cherry and almond-like. And beyond that, some perfect notes of earthy tea, pu-erh style. An amazing nose, really. With water: extraordinarily mossy and ‘foresty’. Lime and moss, fern, mushrooms… And the subtlest pipe tobacco ever. Stunned. Mouth (neat): malt whisky, seriously? This is some superb old Domfrontais calvados that’s been either mis-stenciled or mislabelled, I’m dead sure about that. Can we see the papers? Fabulous notes of apples and pears of the highest grades. With water: exactly, Domfrontais. Probably pre-war. Please call the anti-calvadosporn brigade! Finish: as often with these old spirits, the finishes are a little less entrancing because the oak is finding its way. But still, it’s excellent, on… old apples! Comments: I find this one totally exceptional. It’s also true that I love a good fino – and a great old calvados. Very well done, Whisky Agency! SGP:551 - 93 points.

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







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