Google Drams of New York

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

May 12, 2018





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Drams of New York
Apologies for such an awful title. I was in New York this past week and had a chance to meet some great whisky people and share a few drams. Although, I only managed time to record a mere triplet of notes. As you can see they were all ‘highlights’.


Highland Park 20 yo 1975/1995 (54.3%, Signatory Vintage for USA) Highland Park 20 yo 1975/1995 (54.3%, Signatory Vintage for USA)
Colour: Gold. Nose: Pure acacia honey, soft cigar tobacco, the lightest, earthiest lick of peat. Aged mead, a touch of lemony goats cheese, white pepper, camphor and some kind of heather infused wax. Totally beautiful, pure Highland Park. With water: the fruits really sing now. Lemon jelly, damson puree, nectar, baked apples and mustard seeds. Mouth: Syrupy, salty wax. Herbal liqueur, aged muscat and quince jelly. All the soot, wax, soft peat, herbs, heather and background fruits you could want from an HP. With water: totally beautiful! Olive oil mixed with mead and various ointments and a touch of sea water. Glazed fruits, toasted nuts and a little paraffin. Finish: Long, complex, oily and with a resurgent herbal peat which is pure Orkney. Comments: To think these sorts of casks were ubiquitous and cheap at one point. Not that I approve of such obscene nostalgia however. A totally brilliant and classical Highland Park.
SGP: 563 - 92 points.


Glen Grant 1972/1995 23 yo (55.8%, Signatory Vintage for USA, sherry)

Glen Grant 23 yo 1972/1995 (55.8%, Signatory Vintage for USA, sherry)
Colour: Amber. Nose: Dense fig jam diluted with prune juice and cognac then topped with a fist full of sultans. Earthy, lean, pristine old school sherry permeating everything. Some notes of coal hearth and soy sauce, but generally this is about the density and intensity of the fruits. With water: please call the antimaltoporn brigade! In fact, I’m not sure I have the number for their New York branch... superbly and pristinely fresh, complex, earthy, luscious and increasingly spicy. Mouth: spectacularly intense and resinous. A generosity of dark and unctuous fruits along with whole shovels of moist earth, walnut wine, ancient pinot noir and baked raisins. Some meatiness as well in the form of game, then dried cranberries, black olive paste and mineral oil. Totally spectacular! With water: strawberry wine with more walnuts, fresh grapefruit, mint leaf, pipe tobacco... the list of flavours could go on and on. Finish: Endless, resinous, earthy, spicy, fruity... perfect and stunning in other words. Comments: Glen Grant 1972 captured at a perfect age from a totally stunning cask - what more to say...
SGP: 751 - 93 points.



Smooth Ambler 8 yo ‘Old Scout Rye’ (64.1%, OB for Smoky Beast, cask #990) Smooth Ambler 8 yo ‘Old Scout Rye’ (64.1%, OB for Smoky Beast, cask #990)
Colour: deep amber. Nose: the purest kind of wood polish. Oak spice, boot polish, freshly ground black pepper, precious hardwood shavings, the inside of a freshly made acoustic guitar. Various waxes, mineral oil, orange bitters, throat sweets, cough medicine and crushed cloves. With water: these boot polish notes really increase with water and at the same time there’s more cloves, paint, ointment and now mint jelly as well. Becomes almost smoky with time with these notes of earl grey tea and bergamot. Mouth: undeniably hot and peppery but also polished and lean in its spiciness. Vanilla cream laced with maraschino cherry syrup, brown bread and marzipan. With water: pure Rye spiciness. Lots of black pepper, cumin, brown bread, smoked oatmeal, corn bread and an almost leathery sootiness. Finish: Long, earthy and full of black tea, raspberry jam, charcoal biscuity and jagged spiciness. Comments: my kind of American Whiskey. The syrup and spice of the distillate are perfectly controlled - and controlling of - the wood. A really compelling and perfect ‘whole’. I love it.
SGP: 542 - 91 points.


Big thanks to Josh and Kurt  







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