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

June 10, 2021


A Couple of Rhosdhu

Old Rhosdhu used to be one of those moderately attractive names. It was cheap, it was one of the very few NAS single malts around (there was also a 5), and it was often used for derisive comparisons, such as 'this Glen Whatever isn't too good, but it's not as bad as Old Rhosdhu', alternately with Loch Dhu or brother Loch Lomond. Things started to change when Murray McDavid issued a superb old one, after owners Glen Katrine had released another very old one, a 1967 that hadn't been bad either. Old Rhosdhu was said to draw its ueber-fruitiness from the fact that the distillers were cutting a part of the first run before it would get into the spirit still, but not too sure that's true as it sounds pretty anti-economic.

Old Rhosdhu 30 yo 1990/2020 (48.9%, Les Grands Alambics, hogshead)

Old Rhosdhu 30 yo 1990/2020 (48.9%, Les Grands Alambics, hogshead) Four stars
So a variant of Loch Lomond. Colour: light gold. Nose: a funny juice that cannot not make me think of those Juras we had the other day. There are some off notes but it's not set in stone that these notes are indeed off. Like, paraffin, a touch of fish oil, yoghurt, engine grease, cardon paper, fresh-pruned privets and box trees, bags of fruit and vegetable peelings… Do you get the picture? As always, the palate should play first part… Mouth: fun stuff indeed. There is some fresh oak, which may suggest this or part of this was re-racked, bananas, teas and vanilla, no greasiness, rather curry, sour fruits (chutneys), a little mustard, a little sawdust… We're not too far from the group's modern style (recent Glen Scotias, Loch Lomonds…) Finish: medium, with notes of earl grey, bergamots, and sweet mustard combined with a little green walnut liqueur and some soft yellow pepper. Comments: very intriguing and worth checking out. More than ever, it's a matter of taste. Not even sure about my score, please take it with two grains of salt.
SGP:451 - 85 points.

Old Rhosdhu 27 yo 1993/2020 (50.8%, Maltbarn, bourbon)

Old Rhosdhu 27 yo 1993/2020 (50.8%, Maltbarn, bourbon) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: it is rather cleaner, probably simpler, rather more on bitter almonds, marzipan, cut cactus, with more coconut and vanilla as well. Shall we call this nose 'a tad more commercial'? With water: more fruits, especially bananas, and only a tiny amount of cream cheese. Mouth (neat): very close to the 1990, just a tad more lemony and peppery. Marginally fruitier. With water: moving towards the 1990, but with more fruit drops, Jell-Os, liquorice allsorts… So more sweets than fruits. Finish: medium, leafier. More bergamots. Comments: would you please tell me if I like this? I know, reversing roles, sounds odd but once again this a dilemma in my glass. I'll work on my Rhosdhus before the next Rhosdhu session on WF.
SGP:651 - 85 points.







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