Google A Lowland session starting with a 12 yo Ladyburn

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

June 22, 2017


A very strange Lowland session starting with a 12 yo Ladyburn

As I think I’ve told you the other day, we’ve got a new old young Ladyburn aboard. As rare as a Bigfoot sighting! Let’s try it with much respect and sense of History (kind of) and then see if we find one or two proper sparring partners… Or more.

Ladyburn 12 yo 1966/1979 (45.7GL, Cadenhead, black dumpy)

Ladyburn 12 yo 1966/1979 (45.7GL, Cadenhead, black dumpy) Four stars Believe me or not, I’ve never tried any really young genuine malt from William Grant’s short-lived Ladyburn distillery (1966-1975). Old ones? Oh yeah. And by the way, you may have noticed that this baby comes from Ladyburn’s very first runs. Colour: full gold. Nose: what, botrytis? I’m not joking at all, this noses like some very old Alsatian Pinot Gris Late Harvest that’s digested its sugars. Serious. Also a little shoe polish, quince jelly (PG again), touches of fresh clay, and then some caraway and aniseed. Indeed, a very unusual nose, but I’m all for it, even if you never quite know about what comes from the distillate, and what comes from bottle aging. Mouth: typical shoe and metal polish from these old dumpies. Dry, leathery, even a tad salty, with unsweetened herbal teas and a curious ashy side. No smoke though, and no Lowlandy sweet fruits either. Finish: rather long, dry, with a little pepper and dust. And oranges in the aftertaste! Comments: the old guard remembers that dear Michael Jackson used to smash Ladyburn. Well, I’m not sure he had tried this lovely young one. Quite super! SGP:352 - 85 points.

So, we haven’t got any other un-tasted Ladyburn in the library, so let’s find something else of a similar age that would make sense…

Rosebank 12 yo (43%, OB, Flora and Fauna, +/-1995)

Rosebank 12 yo (43%, OB, Flora and Fauna, +/-1995) Four stars I’ve tried older 12s (such as the Zenith) but never this famous F&F – although I’ve tried the hard-hitting CS version. Colour: white wine. Nose: lighter and fruitier than the Ladyburn, feeling younger, with peaches and melons at first, then rather sweet barley and light international ‘breakfast honey’. A touch of bread dough as well, and a handful of Haribo bears. No huge citrusy burst like in other young Rosebanks, though. Mouth: it’s really very peachy, it’s got more power than you would think, and indeed I’m finding more citrus. Tangerine bonbons, perhaps. Then the usual acacia honey and wee touches of rose jelly. Traces of hay as well. Finish: medium, not short. More sweets, bonbons, and fruit drops, with a nice grassy/hay-y structure. Comments: more ‘Lowlands’ than the Ladyburn. Quality’s equivalent, I’d say. SGP:641 - 85 points.

Another 12 yo? No problems…

Glenkinchie 2004/2016 ‘Distillers Edition’ (43%, OB, G/289-7-D)

Glenkinchie 2004/2016 ‘Distillers Edition’ (43%, OB, G/289-7-D) Three stars This is the Classic Malt that’s finished in Amontillado. Colour: gold. Nose: the wine dominates the light distillates. First raisins, then walnut wine and some kind of floral concoction. Chamomile? Some ripe plums too, whiffs of moist cigars (very amontillado indeed) and then rather a little mint and leather. Intriguing, I would say. Mouth: bacon, ashes, wood smoke, and indeed ‘chewing your cigar’. Is this Glenkinchie indeed? I’m finding it rather bolder, and more, well, intriguing than previous batches. Bags of walnuts, and more tobacco. And this feeling of wood smoke that can be found in some bone-dry sherries indeed. I like. Finish: long, grassy, dry, vegetal. Have I mentioned walnuts? Peppery aftertaste. Comments: really an odd Glenkinchie, but I’m finding it attractive. Did Diageo improve the recipe? SGP:352 - 82 points.

Hell and putrefaction, I haven’t gotten any 12 years old Auchentoshan at hand. So, perhaps an older one and we’re done with the Lowlands.

Auchentoshan 24 yo 1990/2014 (51.5%, The Duchess, Shieldmaiden Ylva, bourbon)

Auchentoshan 24 yo 1990/2014 (51.5%, The Duchess, Shieldmaiden Ylva, bourbon) Four stars This baby has been selected by our friend Luc Timmermans, so in theory, it should resemble a Glenfarclas. I wrote ‘in theory’… Colour: white wine. Nose: no fruity burst, rather an oily and grassy start, with some green tea and cigars (gotcha Luc), then rather tinned fruits, from guavas to peaches. Rather a textured Auchentoshan, without any excessive vanilla-ed oak. With water: floral! Rose petals and, well, gewürztraminer. Rather Luc indeed. Mouth (neat): it’s one of those Auchentoshans that have got an Irish side, with passion fruits and mentholated bananas (?!) at first, then more grassy teas and leaves and peelings. All that rather works in sync, I have to say. With water: a grassier Bushmills of some sort. Finish: medium, fruity and leafy. Don’t I find kiwis now? Comments: an excellent good, clean, and yet complex old Auchentoshan. And above everything, there’s little vanilla! SGP:551 - 87 points.

(Merci mille fois Greg, Paul, Peter) 






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