Google Dramborend

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

July 7, 2018





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
A pithy yet totally stupid title. This weekend marks the final iteration of the Dramboree festival on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland. If you aren’t here, well, I’m sorry you missed it. It’s been six years of a very special brand of fun, daftness, tomfoolery, japes, friendship and, last but not least, numerous excellent whiskies. A celebration of excellent people and myriad malts cobbled together each year with inimitable panache by Jonny McMillan and Jason B Standing.


It has always possessed a seemingly impossible sense of intensity and all-out ‘plunge in the loch’ relaxation. It probably means different things to different people after six years, but the chance to drop out and dislocate from everyday life is a powerful shared motivation amongst attendees and, perhaps best of all about each year the festival has happened, everyone attending has seized the opportunity whole heartedly. Let’s try a random selection of drams from the dram table by way of a mini farewell celebration...  


Glenlivet 11 yo 2007/2018 (66.2%, Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection for The Whisky Exchange, first fill sherry hogshead, cask #900135, 299 bottles) Glenlivet 11 yo 2007/2018 (66.2%, Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection for The Whisky Exchange, first fill sherry hogshead, cask #900135, 299 bottles)
There’s a few such high octane Glenlivets out by Signatory at the moment, most seem to be receiving glowing reviews. Let’s see... Colour: deep amber. Nose: hot - understandably - but full of chestnuts, walnuts, gingerbread, wet leaves, old wines, damp earth and celery salt. A modern style of sherry that’s big, punchy and superbly clean. With water: dried cranberry, wild strawberry, moss, earthen floored cellars, turmeric, black pepper and a touch of mint tea. I find it really excellent, perfect power and concentration in balance. Mouth: strawberry syrup, red liquorice, sticky toffee pudding, walnut oil and some damp sack cloth. With water: golden syrups, lime oils, hardwood resins, a lick of tar, some pressed wildflowers and potpourri. There’s a lot of peppery spice but also a rather elegant herbal aspect underneath. Finish: long and full of slightly salty old sherry, preserved lemons, mineral oil, more walnuts, some crushed pecans, dark brown sugar and old rhum. Comments: What’s not to like? Clean, powerful but well matched by the range and intensity of flavour. I like it a lot - although it does need water...
SGP: 661 - 88 points.


Bladnoch 25 yo 1990 (60.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #50.85, ‘Conversations with my son’, refill barrel, 144 bottles) Bladnoch 25 yo 1990 (60.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #50.85, ‘Conversations with my son’, refill barrel, 144 bottles)
The society have bottled numerous 1990 barrels of Bladnoch over the past couple of years. Most of them excellent in my experience. Colour: pale gold. Nose: I’m sorry Serge, but we have ‘struck Kumquat’. Thankfully it’s also wrapped up in satsuma, lemon jelly, old Calvados, sweet Perry (pear cider), apple turnover, spiced mead, buttery waxes and some honeyed porridge. A wonderfully syrupy and ‘textural’ Bladnoch. With water: gets really quite aromatic and mentholated now with notes of tea tree oil and eucalyptus resin. Runny honey, naptha, white pepper and sweet plum wine. Mouth: many cooked garden fruits, some camphor, excellent vanilla custard, prunes, quince, candied oatmeal, orange oils and five spice. With water: some young Sauternes; lots of candied citrus peels, pears baked in sugar, lime jelly and vapour rub warmth. Finish: Long, slightly sooty, some lemon peel, sandalwood ash and buttery toast. Comments: I really love this style, it feels extremely ‘Bladnoch’, if you know what I mean. Yet another great one by the SMWS in this series of casks; I’ve yet to find a dud.
SGP: 641 - 89 points.


Of course, it’s never only Scotland which is represented on the Dramboree table...  


Yoichi ‘2000s’ 2000-2009 (57%, OB, -/+ 2010) Yoichi ‘2000s’ 2000-2009 (57%, OB, -/+ 2010)
A marriage of Yoichis distilled throughout the first decade of the millennium. Colour: pale gold. Nose: lightly smoked barley, a hay loft, some sooty carpet, citrons, damp chalk, wet sack cloth, paraffin, lamp oil and quite a few mineral notes. With water: orange cocktail bitters, paprika, black pepper and some salty sandalwood. Mouth: peatier than the nose suggests. Lots of sooty waxes, smoked fabric, bath salt minerality, struck flints, dry earth, tobacco leaf and camphor. Excellent. With water: oilier and more ‘fat’. Olive oil, herbal jellies, ointments, pink peppercorns and jasmine tea. Quite a potent wee beast. Finish: Long, lemony, olive oily, grassy, mineral and with a surprising barley sweetness in the aftertaste. Comments: A solid wee Yoichi. Underrated. Probably.
SGP: 463 - 87 points.


Redbreast 2001/2017 ‘All Sherry Single Cask’ (60.2%, OB for Master Of Malt, 582 bottles)
Colour: amber. Nose: strawberry wine, many various cough sweets, coal dust, some dried marjoram, cherry sweeties, brandy snaps and a few sods of damp earth. Rather powerful and peppery as well. With water: toastier and breadier; notes of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Some lemon oil, raspberry liqueur and chopped mint. Mouth: golden caster sugar, buttermint sweets, olive oil, agave nectar, rosewood, lanolin and bitter chocolate. Becomes increasingly chocolatey with time. Also quite some tobacco - of the pipe variety. With water: some cinnamon bark, strong green tea, herbal bitters, cola cubes and a touch of hessian. Becoming more earthy, medicinal and bitter with time and water. Finish: Long, rather intensely herbal - Jägermeister, Fernet etc - lots of bitters, dry earth, black tea and bitter chocolate. Comments: It’s all well and good, but I don’t find it as thrilling as older Redbreasts. I think this pure pot still style works better in gentler wood.
SGP: 551 - 82 points.


There’s also always a few old glories...  


Glendronach 8 yo (43%, OB, Ruffino import, 1970s) Glendronach 8 yo (43%, OB, Ruffino import, 1970s)
These bottlings are always totally brilliant in my book, high expectations here... Colour: another world! Passionfruit, clay, limestone, lemon balm, guava, pink grapefruit and mineral notes of beach pebbles, flints and then evolving more towards hessian, dunnage, damp sack cloth and mineral oil. Really just sublime, aromatically spectral old malt whisky. I should also mention pineapple, white stone fruits, rosewater and many subtle waxy notes. Mouth: perfection at 43%. Tropical fruit syrups, cannabis resin, hoppy America IPA and more of these wonderfully deft and playful mineral qualities. Some pear drops, a glimmer of peat, olive oil, tar resin, herbal toothpaste, lime zest, wood ashes... a totally stunning old whisky. Finish: Long, waxy, herbal, lemony, tropical... totally sublime whisky! Comments: If I’m honest, it’s the kind of whisky that really puts so many contemporary distillates to total shame - and I mean that about the small ‘craft’ guys as much as the big names. World class distillate!
SGP: 752 - 92 points.


Mannochmore 18 yo (66.0%, OB, Manager’s Dram, bottled 1997)

Mannochmore 18 yo (66.0%, OB, Manager’s Dram, bottled 1997)
A well-known monster... Colour: deep gold. Nose: hot sandpaper, burning wax, hessian, white pepper, fruity chilli, paprika, Vicks rub. A big angry beast of a dram. Let’s add water quickly... with water: pummace, turmeric and other dry earthy notes. Dried bay leaves, new leather, ointments and ink. POW, as they say. Mouth: a mad mix of cement, waxes, chalks, white fruits, aspirin, olive oil, cooked asparagus, granite. Mineralic madness, but, I rather like it. It’s a whole galaxy of character and class away from Loch Dhu. With water: vase water, old rope, more interesting waxy and mustardy qualities, vegetable stock, oatmeal... the madness goes on. Finish: Long! Punchy, peppery, a touch of dunder funk, some melon. Bonkers whisky! Comments: It’s long been affectionately regarded as something of a wild child whisky, it is far from technically perfect, but I can’t help but sway to it’s daft charms. Funnily enough I find it more of a palate than a nose whisky.
SGP: 472 - 85 points.



Caps thoroughly doffed to Jason and Jonny (and friend).  







Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed