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

July 13, 2017


Banff vs neighbour

Good, there’s a newish Banff by Cadenhead everyone’s talking about, but most sadly, and I have to repent openly, I haven’t got any other Banff that would have made for a proper sparring partner. So, wait until we find another Banff? Or try to find a well-aged baby from the nearest distillery, that is to say from Macduff? Not a difficult choice…


Banff 40 yo 1976/2017 (51.2%, Cadenhead, 175th Anniversary, hogshead, 192 bottles) Five stars Yeah, and? Colour: gold. Nose: it’s a well-known fact that Banff is growing on you. It was never an obvious dram, and apart from some Rare Malts, there’s never been any OBs if I’m not mistaken. Plus, people rather remember that the distillery was destroyed several times, both by fires and by the Luftwaffe. Now this one’s full of Banffness, with two opposite sides that manage to meet on your nose, metal polishes and engines oils on the one side, and mangos on the other side. Are you following me? There’s also some fern, then mosses, humus, mushrooms, and a kind of medicinal chalk – or rather some kind of embrocations. I’d rather say that it’s an intellectual dram. With water: manure-y herbs! We’re in the countryside. Mouth (neat): this is massively fruity, while the oak’s shooting spices as if there was no tomorrow. Green curry, turmeric, white pepper, ginger… That creates a whirlwind of flavours that sometimes meet, and sometimes don’t, which leads to a funny, and pretty lovely feeling of having several whiskies at the same time. No dissonances though, it just works, I couldn’t tell you why or how. With water: huge! Same feeling of free whisky as in free jazz, with nothing quite in sync, and yet it’s a whole. Herbs, grasses, green tea… The oak sure is having its say. Finish: long. Comments: harmolodics in whisky? This is un-scorable, and some good folks might hate it – while others will just love it. The Ornette of whisky. Still, let’s try to score it (with humility and restraint)… SGP:472 - 92 points.

So, an old Macduff… rumble rumble… Let's make it another one that celebrated an anniversary...

Macduff 31 yo 1972/2003 (45%, Samaroli, 35th Anniversary)

Macduff 31 yo 1972/2003 (45%, Samaroli, 35th Anniversary) Two stars and a half It’s funny that Samaroli would have called this a ‘special old liqueur unblended malt’. Knowing history, you know… Colour: pale gold. Nose: how the mind works! I’m finding a Banffy side to this Macduff… With a touch of mustard, some stewed fruits, a sour spiciness (mulled white wine), and certainly notes of old dry sherry. Old olorosos or amontillados, for example, I remember a splendid super old (I mean late 19th) Barbadillo that had these obvious rancioty notes as well. Leather, cigars… Mouth: all on oranges, with a sour side, leaven, sour dough, porridge… I have to say I’m finding this one a little unlikely on the palate. A wee bit of rancid butter, some leather, dry Madeira… Really not the easiest dram ever, this was probably more a message than whisky. But what was the message? Finish: medium, a little sour. Sour apples, yoghurt, ink. Comments: the nose was extremely fine, but I had trouble with the palate. It’s so sad that Silvano’s left us, I would have loved to be able to discuss this whisky with the maestro. Isn’t life all about missed opportunities? SGP:351 - 78 points.

(Hugs, Diego)

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

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






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