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

May 4, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Oddities from William Grant
A short one today, two unusual things from Glenfiddich and ‘Balvenie’. 


Glenfiddich Vintage Cask ‘Solera Vat No 3’ (40%, OB, 2018)

Glenfiddich Vintage Cask ‘Solera Vat No 3’ (40%, OB, 2018)
A duty free bottling I believe. A quick rummage through the internet reveals this officially sanctioned gathering of words about this product: “Hand selected casks of peaty malts matured in European and bourbon vintage casks are married in the Cask Collection Solera Vat No.3 for a luxuriously smoky, intense and velvety whisky.” Nope, me neither. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s certainly peaty and it actually noses rather nicely. All on sooty hearths, medical embrocations, seawater, bandages, ointments and wee hints of caraway and fennel. Pretty pleasant really. Dig a little deeper and there’s gentian root, dried herbs, earth and hummus. Moving away from the shoreline to the farmyard. Some graphite and pencil shavings peep around the corner. Mouth: Hmmm, things fall apart rather quickly here. Lots of stale cardboard, sawdust, some medicine, flat cola and wood glue. Also just feels rather empty in the middle of the palate. A big sink hole has opened up where there should be flavour. Some plasticine and hints of something like floor cleaner. In time a little plain peat begins to resurge, but its not enough to save it. Finish: Hello? A lick of smoke and something slightly sour and not much else. Comments: I liked the nose but it’s all downhill from there. Now, it’s not actively horrid - just devoid of soul.  
SGP: 633 - 70 points.



Burnside 26 yo 1991/2018 (45.4%, A.D. Rattray, cask #7379, bourbon barrel)

Burnside 26 yo 1991/2018 (45.4%, A.D. Rattray, cask #7379, bourbon barrel)
As we all know, Burnside is Balvenie teaspooned with Glenfiddich. Colour: straw. Nose: another galaxy entirely from that silly Glenfiddich thing. This is all on green and garden fruits, custard, honey, golden syrup, figs and quince jelly. The kind of fruity, lush and seductive mid-age Speyside profile that nobody can be against. There’s also buttery toast, cereals and muesli studded with sultanas and dates. A tiny hint of grass and fresh herbs as well. The definition of ‘easy’ in malt whisky. Mouth: a tad extractive on delivery. There’s a sense of it being a little too long in the wood with these light notes of bitter almonds, white pepper and oak. However, there also some residual greenery and fruit still hanging around. Enough to keep things in check. Some green apple, pear eau de vie, yellow plums, elderflower cordial. In fact the fruits pick up the pace over time and it begins to recover nicely. The oak still nibbles a tad too much but the balance is swinging back ther other way now. More syrups and wood spices over time. Finish: medium and back to garden fruits such as gooseberry, plum and apple. Also some white flowers, pollen and sandalwood. Comments: there’s quite a few of these very good early 1990s Burnsides kicking about, while this isn’t my favourite it’s still a good example of the style and goes down very easily. 
SGP: 641 - 85 points. 









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