Google A few undisclosed malts

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

July 8, 2019


Knock knock, who’s there?
A few undisclosed malts, either blended or single

Today we’ll try to do them unpeated. There are more around, all bottlers trying not to rely on brand names that they cannot control, or on sources that may go dry… Can we blame them?

Blooming Gorse (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, batch 2018/03, 6900 bottles, 2019)

Blooming Gorse (46%, Wemyss Malts, blended malt, batch 2018/03, 6900 bottles, 2019) Three stars and a half
This is ‘a light and delicate Highland malt’, probably from a small number of distilleries. Brand new! Colour: white wine. Nose: fruity hops, beer, sourdough,  muesli, crushed bananas, pears, then rather greener fruits, greengages, gooseberries, more muesli, a drop of lemon juice, and a very moderate, but clear vanillaness. Strictly no one could be against this very easy, yet totally not dull profile. Mouth: in keeping, with more ale, bananas, green pears, more muesli yet, custard, sponge cake, a little limoncello, a few drops of gin and tonic (if you must), more gooseberries and greengages… Finish: rather long and a little spicier. Ginger and cardamom seeds, I would say. A little green woodiness. Comments: fine and all-natural. I like it that they haven’t taken the sherry-seasoning route.
SGP:551 - 84 points.

Overaged Malt Whisky (43%, Michel Couvreur, blended malt, +/-2018)

Overaged Malt Whisky (43%, Michel Couvreur, blended malt, +/-2018) Three stars and a half
I remember the early-to-mid 1990s, I did go to a Couvreur tasting in Strasbourg, where their rep told us that whisky was all about wood. It was the first time I was hearing that; I hated the idea right away. But a lot of water (and sawdust) has gone under the bridge since back then… By the way, I suppose ‘overaged’ means pretty young, with some whiskies you always need to translate those things, don’t you. Colour: deep gold. Nose: well, it’s pretty nice, sherried yet balanced, with a good sultanas/malt combo, just a touch of struck match, some lighter pipe tobacco, and loud and clear notes of dried dates. With a marzipan filling! Nice nose, really, I cannot not think of some young Macallans from that period. You know, the 1990s. Also a little menthol and a little ham. A good surprise. Mouth: really old style, starting with some leather and some tobacco, and going on with a sooty sherry, some dry sultanas, and drops of Guinness plus orange squash. No problems with the lower strength. Finish: medium, cleaner than expected, with some herbal teas, cherry stems, more tobacco… Comments: I tend to like the brighter style of the Blooming Gorse even better, but yeah, this little Couvreur was really nice.
SGP:561 - 83 points.

Vega 28 yo 1990/2019 (46.7%, North Star Spirits, blended malt, Bourbon Hogshead and PX sherry, 800 bottles)

Vega 28 yo 1990/2019 (46.7%, North Star Spirits, blended malt, Bourbon Hogshead and PX sherry, 800 bottles) Four stars
These guys also run an Aston Martin dealership in Glasgow, did you know that? Colour: gold. Nose: typical PX seasoning, with this leafy side that mingles with bags of raisins of all kinds, then cherry juice, cherry pie, and what we call battelman cake over here (nothing to do with Donald T., mind you). Guignolet (nothing to do with Donald T. either). Mouth: much spicier now. Speculoos, fresh gingerbread, caraway liqueur, cardamom, perhaps some sourer marmalade, and a wee feeling of cherry gin (heaven forbid!) I find it very good, firm, with good spiciness that would hint at some gunpowder, without being exactly gunpowder. Finish: rather long, on some peppered marmalade and more raisins. Comments: the PX kind of behaved here, all for the better. It’s got the edge this far.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

Dalaruan (43%, Lost Distillery Company, Classic Selection, blended malt, +/-2018)

Dalaruan (43%, Lost Distillery Company, Classic Selection, blended malt, +/-2018) Four stars
This series was very controversial when they first came out, but rather than run with the wolves (not that the wolves are always wrong, mind you) I had decided to try a few before forming an opinion. And they were good, including an upmarket version of ‘Dalaruan’ at 46% vol. (WF 87!) Now I agree, even if the whiskies are good, the spiel is a little fishy. I mean, you wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen Passat and rebadge it Hispano-Suiza, would you! Having said that, who knows about Dalaruan Distillery? Colour: gold. Nose: that’s the thing, these whiskies are good and nice. In this case, we’re having some old-school sooty/waxy notes, a bit of metal polish, some grassy peat, and some kind of tarry apple juice. Old school indeed. Mouth: very good, I’m afraid. Solid body, earth, chalk, grapefruits, more grassy peat, more grapefruits, sour cherries,  white beer, grass… It really is some old-style malt whisky. Not sure I’ll ever try some genuine Dalaruan, not even sure it would be this good as most Campbeltowners did not have a huge reputation before the closures. Oh well, indeed, it’s very good juice, well done. Finish: rather long, sooty, earthy, bready. Comments: at least they’ve fulfilled their commitments, it was clearly not just a stunt.
SGP:464 - 85 points.

Secret Speyside 24 yo 1994/2019 (49.3%, The Finest Malts, City Landmarks, bourbon barrel, cask #1408895)

Secret Speyside 24 yo 1994/2019 (49.3%, The Finest Malts, City Landmarks, bourbon barrel, cask #1408895) Four stars
No no no, not all ‘secret Speysiders’ are Glenfarclas! But many are… Colour: pale gold. Nose: good age, good freshness, very pleasant fruitiness. Some all-vitamin fruit juice kept in some fresh American oak, with just wee touches of coconut that are hardly noticeable. Better like that. Custard, pink bananas, papayas, a little liquorice, mirabelles… It’s all fine, fine, fine. Mouth: very good. Starts with a touch of soapy rubber, but that almost goes away, and it does. Unfolds with bananas, papayas, white currants, and several kinds of apples and plums that would hint at Balvenie – but it’s most probably not Balvenie, neither is it Burnside (or it would be a blended malt, not a single). Finish: medium, with a little white chocolate, tea, and more bananas. Don’t get me wrong, not bananas as in some rums. Comments: a malt that’s perfectly all right, if not totally extrovert. In other words, it’s doing its work and it does it very well.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Highland Single Malt 22 yo 1996/2018 (52.3%, Whisky-Doris, Nose Art, refill sherry hogshead, 329 bottles)

Highland Single Malt 22 yo 1996/2018 (52.3%, Whisky-Doris, Nose Art, refill sherry hogshead, 329 bottles) Four stars
Ah, those saucy labels… Colour: gold. Nose: what more does the people want? Custard, cakes, dried fruits, mirabelles and peaches, Weetabix, dried apricots, beeswax, acacia honey… Indeed, what more does the people want? Games? With water: ah yes, some wax and some cigarettes! I haven’t touched a cigarette since Clinton (Bill, not George), but I still love nosing a freshly opened pack, whenever a friend has got one. Mouth (neat): I always preferred refill sherry over first fill, unless that first fill was perfect, which is seldom the case these days. Anyway, soft sultanas and small dried figs (from Turkey), hazelnut oil, peanut syrup (all the rage at Alsatian mixologists’ these days), and marmalade. Just works. With water: yep, some wee herbs and essential oils, eucalyptus, rosemary, that’s another dimension. All good. Finish: medium, still fresh, without any vulgar sherryness from hastily seasoned casks. Let us avoid those! Comments: maybe not the greatest pyramid of Egypt, but we’re flying really high this time. I know what I’m trying to say.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Actually, I’m not sure I’ll remember any of those, but they were good, no doubt. Even if that famous ‘sense of the place’ was missing…







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