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Hi, you're in the Archives, June 2007 - Part 1
May 2007 - part 2 <--- June 2007 - part 1 ---> June 2007 - part 2

June 14, 2007

Bowmores 70






Bowmore 27 yo 1973/2000 (50.2%, Blackadder, cask #3176, 233 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: probably a little spirity at first sniffing but then we have very pleasant notes of tropical fruits ‘as usual’ (more mangos this time as well as quite some tangerines and papayas) and light honey and pollen. A little vanilla, caramel, café latte. Also not too ripe bananas. Fruity but quite robust. Mouth: the palate matches the nose. Lots of tangerines and oranges and lots of vanilla. Gets a little oaky after a while, a little tannic and cardboardy, drying (quite some white pepper). Also a little more peat than on the nose but it’s far from being a peat monster. Finish: rather long, nicely hot, still orangey. Lots of honey at the retro-olfaction. Not the best old Bowmore ever but it’s still a great whisky. 87 points.
Bowmore 20yo 1976/1996 (53.6%, Signatory, cask #3547, 275 bottles) Colour: pale gold. Nose: rather discreet at first nosing, with faint whiffs of yellow flowers from the fields, banana skin and vanilla as well as a little honey (light breakfast honey like they serve you in most hotels). Actually, it never really takes off without water. With water: huge saponification… Let’s wait. After a few minutes: water brought out a few tropical fruits but it also made the tannins bigger and drier, like if it was a 35yo whisky, a bit tired. Strange. Mouth (neat): much better than on the nose when neat, candied and very fruity (oranges, butter pears). Alas, it gets then a little drying and oaky. With water: that work on the palate, we have now fruit salad with lots of bananas, oranges and tangerines. Finish: quite long, honeyed and vanilled. A Bowmofre dating from the time when the ‘tropical fruits’ changed to more ‘northern’ ones. Good whisky, more interesting with water. 86 points.
Bowmore 1976/1989 (60%, McLelland's for Scotch Single Malt Circle, cask #1976/47) Colour: full gold. Nose: a little bizarre at first nosing, kind of dirty (old wine barrel) and musty. Hints of English brown sauce and stale orange juice. Not development. Water needed I guess… No, that doesn’t quite work. It got very dry, cardboardy, with maybe just some added notes of cocoa and mocha. Mouth (neat): hot and quite tannic and peppery. A little hard I must say. With water: now it’s the spices that came out, lots of ginger, pepper, even chilli. Amazingly peppery in fact. Strange… Also something slightly soapy (even after a good twenty minutes). Finish: long but hot and too spicy, with just hints of green apples. A tricky one! Not much pleasure. 78 points.
MUSICRecommended listening: let's go Irish today with Flogging Molly and May the living be dead (in our wake).mp3. True Irish punk! Please by their music... Flogging Molly

June 13, 2007



Dalwhinnie 15 yo (43%, OB, circa 1986) A pre-Classic Malts version. We’ve heard from reputable sources that whilst most malts don’t go too well in refreshing cocktails, Dalwhinnie sort of does, so it’s probably one of the very few global warming-compatible malts. But let’s try this oldie neat…

Colour: pale gold. Nose: quite vibrant, maybe not as gentle as expected, starting very honeyed and fruity (lots of white peaches). A delicate wood smokiness in the background. Also lots of vanilla, pollen, flowers and nectar as well as notes of apple juice. Rounded but not as soft as anticipated. Mouth: ho-ho, this one is truly restless and not really smooth. Strong despite the 43%, caramelized, very malty and nutty, toasted… Heavy notes of natural vanilla and chicory, strong honey, cake… And still a little smokiness. Really punchy although maybe a little too much on the malty side. Finish: yes, long, still very malty, cereally, candied and nutty… Good powerful whisky, probably one to pour your friends who’d like to move up from blended whisky. If you’re suffering from a heat wave and plan to use it in cocktails, please watch your proportions. 84 points.
Dalwhinnie 20 yo 1986/2006 (56.8%, OB) This one comes from refill European oak casks. Colour: full gold. Nose: this one is quite nutty, malty and cereally, with hints of toasted bread and coffee as well as a little grass. Keeps a little shy for a while but then we have quite some sherry coming through as well as roughly the same aromas as in the older 15yo, that is to say peaches, honey, pollen and beeswax. Also very ripe gooseberries and plums and a similar smokiness as well. Gains complexity with breathing, with a wider palette of fruity aromas (melons, guavas, strawberries, sultanas…) Very, very elegant. Mouth: more sherry at the attack, with quite some kirschy notes. Huge maltiness again. Slight rubber – nothing disturbing – and lots of cooked fruits (apricots) and orange marmalade, with that slight bitterness. The nose didn’t need any water but let’s try what happens on the palate (while the nose got nicely mentholated): it got fruitier but maybe a little simpler too, more orangey. No real improvement – not that it needed any. Finish: rather long, a little spicy now (ginger and cloves) and just a tad rubbery again. Maybe not the most characterful of all malt whiskies, even at cask strength, but it’s got something to say and is certainly very palatable. 85 points.
MUSICRecommended listening: they are just fabulous I think, they are Nick's beloved Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and they are playing Wuthering Heights.mp3 (from Anarchy in the Ukulele - LOL - better than Kate Bush if you ask me). Please, please, buy their music... Ukulele

June 12, 2007

Bowmore 33 yo 1969/2003 (42.5%, Duncan Taylor Peerless, cask #6085, 238 bottles) Colour: straw. Nose: classic tangerines and passion fruits right at first sniffing but with maybe a little more pat than usual – or, at least in comparison with the 1968’s. Very nice smokiness, notes of quince jelly, grenadine, pomegranate. Very intriguing notes of cardamom in the background as well as quite some rice pudding. This one is very entertaining. Mouth: candied attack, with more caramel and honey than usual with these old Bowmores. Hints of violet sweets, quite some toffee, vanilla fudge, roasted chestnuts. Also a little overripe orange. Finish: not too long but truly salty and orangey. Very, very good, not tired at all. 91 points. (and thanks, Konstantin.)
Bowmore 1964/1979 ‘Bicentenary’ (43%, OB) Colour: pale amber. Nose: a completely different style, much more coastal. Whiffs of sea air, dried kelp, then balsamic vinegar, then all kinds of herbs such as thyme, oregano, pesto… Truly amazing. It gets then fantastically resinous (fir honeydew, a little camphor, cough syrup, hints of natural tar…) Also lots of dried fruits (dates, figs)… And curcuma, and saffron, and freshly ground black pepper (quite heady), and of course tropical fruits (guavas). And hints of wormwood. Truly mind-boggling. Mouth: creamy, thick, very sherried, probably less complex than on the nose. Kind of smoky blackberry jam. Also prunes, a little chlorophyll, cough sweets, quite some mint. Lots of pepper (various kinds), crème brulée, chestnut honey… Parsley, quetsches… And a long, creamy finish, with quite some nutmeg and cumin. No further comments needed. 95 points.
Bowmore 1965 (43%, OB, mid-1980's) A lighter version of the 'full proof' 1965 that we found in a Milanese pizzeria with Johannes a few years ago. Colour: full gold. Nose: maybe a little more sipirity (although it’s not spirity – well, you see what I mean). A little more caramel, hints of tapioca, polenta… The sherry is more on red fruits (strawberries, blackberries), peonies, blackcurrants… Probably more classic. Very nice pepper, a little dill, parsley, crystallised oranges, hints of smoked ham, spearmint… Less complex than the Bicentenary on the nose but still very beautiful. Mouth: bolder, more powerful than the Bicentenary at the attack, fruitier, more honeyed. It’s almost thick! Goes on with plums (both green, yellow and red), smoke, spices of all kinds (lots of nutmeg and cinnamon). Finish: amazing, preciously woody and spicy, candied, jammy… Absolutely wonderful. 94 points.
Bowmore ‘Bowmist’ (70°proof, OB, Sherriff, bottled 1960’s) A fabulous old bottle of Bowmore, a ‘finest west highland scotch whisky’! Colour: pale gold. Nose: not bold ‘of course’ but rather expressive considering the age. No ‘loud’ fruitiness but rather a fine minerality, whiffs of ashes, stones, wax, marzipan (like often in these very old bottles). Gets meaty with time. There are also quite some flowers from the fields (dandelions). Hints – just hints - of tangerines. Really complex, subtle, with a long development, ending on tallow and soot. Mouth: punchier than expected! Now we have some lemon sweets, lemon pie, roasted hazelnuts… Then verbena and spearmint (other flavours that are quite common in very old bottles) as well as a great waxiness. Gets then quite maritime, with a little salt that starts to play with your palate as well as grapefruit juice. The peat is well here in the background, also a little honey. How good! Bowmist
Finish: long, salty, lemony and nutty, even better than at the attack or the middle. Great aftertaste on mandarins. What an excellent surprise, with a development that’s much longer than expected. And it got neither drying, nor tea-ish - at all. 91 points (and many thanks, Olivier).
MUSIC Recommended listening: Belgium's Micheline van Hautem sings Jacques Brel's La valse à mille temps.mp3. Very, very good, please don't forget to buy her music and please go see her live if you can. Michelle van Hautem

June 11, 2007

Ardbeg 1967
Ardbeg 32 yo 1967/1999 (43.1%, Douglas Laing OMC, 120 bottles) Colour: amber. Nose: starts on a rather beautiful sherry, very fruity (apricot jam) and quite lively, even if the distillery character is a little absent here. Nice notes of parsley, chives and a little fresh mint. Starts more and more to smell like a freshly opened pack of liquorice all-sorts. Also quite some orange marmalade. Absolutely no sulphur at all. A little peat after a long time. Mouth: the attack is on very dry sherry, with lots of bitter chocolate and espresso, cocoa, Smyrna raisins and mint. Again, little distillery character left in this one. The peat takes its time but when it comes it’s rather beautiful, sort of earthy, leafy and tobacco-like (chewed pipe tobacco). Finish: not very long but quite beautifully dry, coffeeish and earthy. Not the best very old Ardbeg ever (the sherry is maybe too dominating) but it’s still a legend. 89 points.
Ardbeg 32 yo 1967/2000 (49%, Douglas Laing OMC, 309 bottles) Colour: pale amber. Nose: starts peatier, closer to the distillery, even if it’s not as expressive. Whiffs of peonies, blackcurrant buds and beer (a strange mixture indeed), then fir honeydew, mint sauce, dill… A little camphor… It gets more and more on ‘Ardbeg’… A very long development, very complex. More and more on cough syrup and old nuts, then cinchona (Campari). Mouth: one that slowly takes you by the sides, soothingly (is that maltoporn or what?) Notes of wormwood, earl grey tea, kumquats, mint liqueur, verbena… Then small bitter oranges. Superb smokiness, bitter chocolate from the best makers, curcuma… Excellent old Ardbeg. Finish: not immensely long but balanced, subtly resinous and herbal. Just a tad drying but that’s normal. 93 points.
Ardbeg 32 yo 1967/1999 (47.5%, Douglas Laing OMC, 185 bottles) ‘A green Ardbeg’. Colour: bronze (amazingly green), greener than anything else we’ve seen before. Nose: I don’t know if this is my mind playing dirty tricks but it smells like fir buds liqueur, honeydew and aluminium pan. Gets more and more resinous, camphory… Then we have humus, wild mushrooms, shitake, black tobacco (Balkan Sobranie). Extremely entertaining and ‘different’. Mouth: (I must confess this green colour is scary). Quite some mint at the attack, various herbs (verbena again, dill…), a coastal side that subsists despite the old age and the odd wood. Alas it slightly falls apart after a moment, like an old wine. Notes of old wood, spearmint, sorrel… Very different indeed. Finish: not long but nicely dry and minty, still herbal, with hints of plum jam… A very unusual Ardbeg. From Mars? 90 points.
Ardbeg 30 yo 1967/1997 (49.8%, Signatory, dark oloroso, cask #1140, 536 bottles) Colour: full amber. Nose: more power, more oomph, a little more peat. Gentian and liquorice, quince jelly, mint again, moss… Then it’s more on vanilla and plum pudding. Faint whiffs of church incense, tobacco, leather. A little flowery as well (peonies). Mouth: vibrant and punchy, candied and freshly fruity (pomegranate), with quite some oak. The tannins are of the silky kind. Goes on with rosehip tea, dried mushrooms, very ripe plums, mint drops… Now, the tannins get a little too bold after a moment (cocoa). Maybe not the best of all ‘1967 olorosos’ by Signatory. Finish: longer than the OMC’s, fruitier but also a little more tannic again. But what a wonderful old whisky. 92 points (and thanks, Ho-cheng).
Ardbeg Ardbeg 29 yo 1967/1996 (52%, Kingsbury, cask #923) Colour: full amber. Nose: extraordinary honeyed attack (chestnut, fir) with superb notes of old sweet wines (Yquem springs to mind) and all sorts of herbs. Verbena, citronella, chamomile… Then it gets all on roasted nuts and milk chocolate, bourbon vanilla, nougat… The peat is wonderfully integrated. We have also a great meatiness (well-hung game, smoked ham) as well as quite some wax polish (grandma’s cupboard). Symphonic.
Mouth: amazing attack. Totally amazing. Bold, majestic, powerful but never overpowering… All kinds of nuts and fruits, chocolates, ganaches, rare spices (saffron), ginger, quince jelly, balsamic vinegar. And the peat? You may ask. It’s well here, crouched behind the sherry, providing this wonderful dram with even more structure and zing. Amazing. Finish: long, toasted, peaty, jammy, nutty… It’s got everything. 96 points.
Ardbeg 29 yo 1967/1996 (54.6%, Kingsbury, cask #922) Colour: full amber. Nose: less on honey but more on roasted nuts and coffee beans. Hazelnuts, black nougat… The sherry is also stronger than in cask #923, the whole getting fruitier (blackberry jelly, strawberry jam). Immensely elegant. Also humus, mushrooms, high-end sake, balsamic vinegar, Spanish ham (patanegra). This one simply leaves me speechless. Mouth: similar to cask #923, really, maybe just a tad more peppery and even more assertive. A true monster. Enough said. 97 points. Pure madness: a vatting of both casks. On the nose, it got much more organic, with more notes of dried mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. The mouth didn’t quite change but they were rather similar right from the start. Just between us, they should have vatted both at Kingsbury’s, maybe that would have given us the best whisky in the world (in my books).
Ardbeg 28 yo 1967 (53%, Scotch Malt Sales, 500ml) An ultra-rare version! Colour: pale gold. Nose: what an amazing purity! It starts right on honeysuckle, almond milk and apple skins and gets then amazingly maritime, smelling just like a plate of queen scallops and razor-shells. It gets then even fresher (now it’s really oysters and lemon) and then fantastically phenolic (faint whiffs of diesel oil). There’s also hints of wet wool. Incredible purity and freshness! Mouth: amazing attack, really in line with the nose. The peat is extraordinary and so are all the fruits (lemons, citrons, pink grapefruits). Then we have notes of lavender sweets, violet sweets, high-end marzipan, a little salt… Then the same oysters and queen scallops, hints of liquorice, cappuccino, argan oil... And then it’s the fresh almonds again. Ardbeg SMS
It’s amazing how this ‘naked’ old Ardbeg stands comparison with the sherried Kingsburies. Finish: long, almondy, leaving a surprising sweetness on your tong as well a just a little salt. Tremendously good. 95 points (and heartfelt thanks, Bert).
MUSICRecommended listening: Let’s have some very great fiddle today with friend François Dreno and his band Trefiddle playing Tripping up the stairs.mp3. François is one of the best French fiddlers and besides playing excellent traditional Celtic music he’s also an accomplished jazz and classical musician as well as a musical director and composer for movies and theatre. Please buy his music as soon as his new CD, ‘The Irish Call’ is out! (we’ll also try to interview him within the coming weeks). François Dreno

June 10, 2007

Caol Ila 16
Caol Ila 16 yo 1969/1985 (40%, Intertrade) Again, it’s always interesting to try a ‘pre-expansion’ Caol Ila. Colour: pure gold. Nose: just fantastic. Extraordinary notes of leather (‘Russian’ would add true wine anoraks) and tar, big fat oysters, incense smoke, high-end cider and bergamot. Stunning. The rest is censored by the anti-maltoporn brigade – yes we have a new government over here. Mouth: definitely censored. Totally great. Same notes as above, please just add hints of small bitter oranges. I think I never had a whisky at 40% that was that big – a masterpiece, the Callas of the Hebrides, or the first piece of Monteverdi's Orfeo. 95 points (and many thanks, Marc S.).
Caol Ila 16 yo 1990/2006 (56.3%, Milano Whisky Festival, 277 bottles) Colour: pale straw. Nose: completely different. Much grainier, mashier, less peaty, more vanilled and slightly cardboardy. Don’t get me wrong, this is perfectly all right but the 1969 was so big despite its 40%... Nice whiffs of sea breeze, that is. An average Caol Ila on the nose – which still means a beautiful Islayer. Mouth: excellent attack this time, nowhere near the 1969 of course but absolutely flawless, compact, sweet and peaty, liquoricy, candied, balanced, peppery… Prototypical modern Caol Ila, with an ultra-long finish. 85 points.
Caol Ila 16 yo 1991/2007 (57.4%, Whisky-Doris, bourbon cask) Colour: pale straw. Nose: we do have roughly the same whisky here. Very little differences… Maybe this one’s a tad more crystalline and more maritime. Keyword: oysters. Mouth: almost the same whisky again. Maybe a tad sharper again, more precise aromatically and maybe a tad more lemony. Great finish, very powerful and very compact, as smoky as it can get. A Caol Ila that’s just as ‘boldly peaty’ as any of its compadres from the south shore. 87 points. (I agree I should have had the 1969 at the end, but I had thought the 40% would have handicapped it. I was wrong.)


MUSICRecommended listening: it's Sunday, we go classical with good old Georg Philipp Telemann and his Rejouissance, 5th movement.mp3 from the Suite in a minor for recorder, strings, and b.c. played by The New Trinity Baroque. Please go to their concerts!


June 9, 2007

Old Coal Ila





THE FEIS ILE SESSIONS – THREE CAOL ILAS from the old distillery.

Caol Ila 1966/1995 (40%, G&M Centenary Reserve) Colour: amber with orange hues. Nose: delicate like a very old Sauternes. Only hints but superb hints of anthracite, wet earth, fir honeydew and trappist beer. Then it gets more on apricot juice, light honey, mullein flowers. Hints of overripe apples, toffee, caramel crème, cappuccino… And the peat? It’s well here, subtle, delicate… Marvellous old Caol Ila, if only they had bottled it at a slightly higher strength… Mouth: excellent attack on baked apples, mead and soft pepper. Not weak at all I must say. Apricot pie, crystallised oranges, toasted brioche, white pepper. Very nice notes of smoked salmon. Finish: quite long! Toasted, peaty, with quite some dried figs… A tad drying, ‘of course’. A poem, quite moving. 91 points.
Caol Ila 20 yo (40%, Sestante, ‘red lettering’, 1980's) Colour: pale gold. Nose: this one is much smokier, mineral, ashy… Notes of wet clay and chalk, old books, straw… Light spices (soft paprika). A little linseed oil, paper, whiffs of fresh mint… Rather less expressive than the 1966 but still delicate and subtly smoky. Same comment on the ABV. Mouth: weaker, quite tired, on apples and lightly infused tea. Cardboard. Too bad. Very short finish. Very nice nose but almost no palate I’m afraid. 72 points.
Caol Ila 1968 (57%, Samaroli, oval label, 1980's) Colour: pale gold. Nose: powerful, punchy, peaty, peppery and superbly herbal. Lots of vegetables (fennel, celery, salsify), superb whiffs of pine tree smoke, oak wood smoke. Gets then rather camphory. Notes of cider apples, kiwis. Tiger balm, lemon-flavoured toffee, butter and lemon sauce. Litres of sea water as well. Sensational nose. Mouth: hugely candied and peaty, maritime and medicinal just like these official single cask Ardbegs distilled in the early 1970’s. Lots of cough syrup (eucalyptus, mint). A little mastic, high-end pu-erh tea (great earthiness), gentian and liquorice, mustard, horseradish… The rest is censored by the anti-maltoporn department. 96 points.
And also Glen Ila 5 yo (40%, OB, Bulloch & Lade, late 70’s) A ‘pure vatted malt’ by the owners of Coal Ila, that probably contains Caol Ila. Colour: straw. Nose: waxy and delicately peaty, with obvious whiffs of wood smoke. Goes on with green apples and marzipan. A young vatted malt that was nicely composed and that has some of Caol Ila’s freshness. Mouth: quite powerful, still waxy and smoky. Not unlike a vatting of young Caol Ila and Clynelish plus a Speysider or two to add roundness (a recipe that John Glaser wouldn’t disown). Excellent balance. Finish: surprisingly long, more honeyed and delicately peppery. 84 points. (thanks, Lindores) Glen Ila
MUSICRecommended listening: we're in 1971 and it's the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation who's doing Invitation to a lady.mp3 (from 'Remains to be heard'). I love the very minimalist first measures... Please buy Mr. Dunbar's music. Aynsley Dunbar

June 8, 2007

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
February 2nd, March 9th, May 29th 2007
Amy Third time lucky, or so they say, but it doesn’t quite feel like it up here on the second floor of a packed and sweaty Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Amy Winehouse is over thirty minutes late and the audience don’t like it – booing, foot stamping and all that stuff. Some of the out-of-towners are audibly worried about buses and trains home. Some of the younger girls around us (in this highly diverse audience) are taking a tip from their heroine and simply getting plastered – her hit single ‘Rehab’ has become something of an anthem for them and their like. But hang on – Amy’s not thirty minutes late, she’s over three months late.
This gig should have been on 2nd February, but Ms Winehouse postponed. It was rescheduled for 9th March and by the skin of my teeth, I made it to the Bush from Scotland to meet closed doors. Amy had broken a tooth “following a fall” was the excuse, but as tabloid pictures showed, it didn’t stop her from buying wine at Sainsbury’s or boozing in Camden Town pubs. Hot gossip was that she’d split up with her beau. Tonight’s hot gossip – there’s a lot of gossip about Amy - is that she has just married her beau (no – not that one, but the other one from before, who apparently inspired most of the songs on her fantastic album Back to Black). So what? This time it’s been a ferry, car and plane ride from Islay (and horror of horrors, no dinner) to get here on time. On time? Maybe I’m just getting old-fashioned.
A few minutes later, Amy totters out onto the stage and as you might imagine everything is immediately forgiven. It’s a nightclub set-up: ruched curtains, satin-shaded standard lamps and red carpet. Amy’s dressed for the part (as are her dark suited nine-piece band) in a tiny dress, her crown of dark hair tumbling down her tattooed and scarred arms (self-harming apparently). Her legs are painfully thin. Her heels dangerously high. And she’s on a high too. Sir Elton, who was here last night with David (there’s a Gallagher on the other side of the balcony tonight – Noel I think, and a Weller too) proclaims her “the world’s most talented female singer”. She’s just won an Ivor Novello award (her second) for the self-penned ‘Rehab’ and she also picked up the Brit Award for Best British Female Artist – pipping little Lily Allen at the post (much to the delight of many). Lily, you may like to know, has struck back by putting a lot of whine into her grotesquely self-indulgent and self-regarding Myspace blog – “fat, ugly and shitter than winehouse” she wrote recently. But back to Amy – she’s tipped for just about every prize that’s going this year, and of course, like I said, she’s just got married. Sadly, the latest gossip is that after only a month it’s not going too well – as Ms Winehouse wrote, ‘Love is a losing game’.
What with those legs, and those shoes, Amy doesn’t too a great deal of moving (it’s a sort of inhibited shimmy with exotic hand movements), except that is to curtsey painfully (remember the skirt?) to pick up one of two glasses by her monitors. In one, an ever-replenished supply of red wine and in the other, something that looked like Lemsip. She’s got a bit of a throat, or as she explains after singing the Zutons’ ‘Valerie’, “Me voice is going all shitty”. Actually that’s about as eloquent as Ms Winehouse got in the speaking stakes. Every attempt at communication ended in a faded barely articulate mumble. She did manage to introduce us to dad (on the right of the first balcony), and hubby (on the left of the first balcony), and ‘my girls’, who are up there squeaking and squealing with hubby. Hubby, by the way, gets lots of waves, kisses and long languid looks – it’s sometimes as though the audience isn’t there. She talks a little about the songs, which could be interesting, but it all ends up getting lost in the Norf London mumble – “this song’s about, well, I dunno, oh fuck it…” Shame. I’d like to know how a little girl (figuratively) can write such complex and grown up songs. Yes, they’re probably very self-focussed in terms of content but the structure is immensely mature and sophisticated. That comes across even more when you hear the stuff being performed live by a very accomplished band. Amy Winehouse
It’s almost too good, and it makes me wonder what happened between 2004 after the release of her first album Frank and the release of Back to Black at the end of 2006 – did she sell her soul to the devil at the Golders Green and Finchley Road crossroads?
Amy Winehouse
Throat problem or not Ms Winehouse’s voice is a pretty remarkable thing, and she excels on songs such as ‘Back to black’, ‘Tears dry on their own’, and ‘Me & Mr Jones’. And who could imagine having songs like ‘Rehab’ and ‘You know I’m no good’ (with its deliciously aromatic, if not botanical lyric, “sniffed me out like Tanqueray”) at the age of 23? It’s great stuff, and what Ms Winehouse lacks - particularly movement - is made up for by her band and the two singer/dancers who barely stop dancing all night. Pity that it ends with a great song (the Maytals’ ‘Monkey Man’) poorly executed, but maybe her voice had given up by then. Booing and jeering long forgotten, an exhilarated audience made their way happily home across Shepherd’s Bush Green. I certainly wouldn’t have missed this for anything – not any means of transport you care to mention – but I still couldn’t help thinking that three months was just a bit too long to make me wait. - Nick Morgan (photographs by Kate)
Muchas gracias Nick. I know Amy Winehouse perfectly well, we’re in close contact through email. Well, actually, she sends me a lot of emails. I mean, not her personally, but Island Records, who are using her name and mailing list to promote many of their artistes (Ramble strips, Mutya Buena…) The trick is well known, you have an artiste with quite a following, then you make him/her record duets with several other artistes and try to stir things up via myspace and/or emails, trying to create kind of a ‘nuclear reaction’… Seems to work! Now, Amy’s Stronger than me.mp3 is quite nuclear too I must say. - S.
Glenturret Glenturret 26 yo 1980/2006 (47.3%, Murray McDavid Mission Gold, enhanced in Rioja casks, 680 bottles) I’ve always had troubles with Glenturret, I hope that’ll improve soon. Why not today? By the way, Rioja is a famous Spanish wine, some being purely splendid. Colour: apricot – salmony. Nose: a little strange I must say. Vinous (blackcurrant buds, cherries, peonies) and milky-mashy, with also whiffs of tapioca and beer. Reminds me of that kriek beer our Belgian friends make. A funny nose, not unpleasant at all but quite far from ‘whisky’ I’d say. Ah yes, also notes of mashed carrots and pumpkin soup. Or is that the colour?
Mouth: funny, very funny! A lot of liquorice sticks, all kinds of roots, gentian, turnips and celeriac, dry wine such as Jura’s or dry sherry (yes, I know Rioja has nothing to do with those), notes of strawberries, wine-poached pears and blackcurrant jelly. It’s good winesky and most certainly better than it was prior to finis… I mean enhancement (indeed). Finish: quite long, rather balanced, liquoricy and nicely dry, with a little caramel and blackcurrant jelly again. Interesting. Mind you, almost my best Glenturret ever, mucho gracias! 83 points.
Glenturret 20 yo 1986/2007 (50.3%, Cadenhead, 222 bottles) Colour: straw. Nose: green, grainy, even mashier than the ‘Rioja’, with notes of ginger tonic, raw wool, wet wood, milk and porridge. Rough and quite immature I’m afraid, but maybe the palate will be nicer. Mouth: it’s not. Very bizarrely perfumy and kind of ‘dirty’. ‘Chemical’ orange sweets. Prickly finish. Forget. 55 points.

June 7, 2007

Bunnahabhain 1977


Bunnahabhain 1977/2006 (43%, Private Cellar Collection) Colour: gold. Nose: soft and fruity, starting on ripe apples and hawthorn tea, with notes of boiling milk in the background. It smells younger than it is. There’s also a little ham, beer, grass starting to ferment… And a little porridge as often – although rarely in 30 yo whiskies. Pretty harmless I’d say.

Mouth: again, very soft, sweet, grainy and cereally with hints of liquorice allsorts and sugared tea as well as a little brioche (yeah, five o’clock indeed) and toasted bread. All that is a little subdued but I wouldn’t say it’s a weak Bunnahabhain. Finish: moderately long, quite candied, with just hints of oak remaining on your tongue. Not for hardcore malt aficionados but this one should please anyone else. 80 points.
Bunnahabhain 28 yo 1977/2006 (45.1%, Thewhiskytrader ‘Edition 01’, 210 bottles) Colour: full gold. Nose: again, a rather delicate Bunnahabhain but this one is much more elegant, with some beautiful notes of yellow flowers from the fields (buttercups, dandelions) and quite some acacia honey. Very ‘Bunnahabhain’. Gets then fruitier, with very nice notes of ripe bananas and apples, almond milk and quite some spearmint and lemon balm. Extremely pleasant. Mouth: nice body, firm and assertive but again, with that understated elegance that’s often to be found in old Bunnahabhains. We have different kinds of honeys (including fir and maybe eucalyptus), roasted hazelnuts, a little café latte, a little cinnamon, a little orange cake… The oakiness is very pleasant, giving the whole a perfect backbone and even a little dryness that balances the honeyed notes quite perfectly. Hugely shippable. Finish: not the longest I’ve ever seen but it’s smooth, soft, delicately fruity and nutty, with also an unexpected smokiness at the signature. Quite perfect if you need an alternative to old sherry and/or peat monsters. 89 points.
With thanks to K.
MUSIC by Nick - Well Serge, we should have spent our Wednesday night enjoying great music (and dinner) at the Jazz Café, listening to the Originator himself, one of the fathers of rock and roll, and number 20 in Rolling Stone's Greatest Musicians of All Times list, Mr Bo Diddley. But sadly Bo suffered a stroke a few weeks ago during a performance in Iowa. He's back home now in Florida in a rehabilitation facility so let's wish him a speedy recovery and hope he makes it back onto a stage. In the mean time, let's listen to his You can't judge a book by its cover.mp3. Bo Diddley

June 6, 2007

Hi! The Malt maniacs are in the habit of bringing lots of old Islayers to the Islay Festival each year and of organising anthological tasting sessions at their birth place. This year again, we had some real crackers! We’ll publish our notes from time to time within the coming weeks, starting right today with…
Port Ellen 70


Port Ellen 18 yo 1970 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail CC old map label) Colour: gold. Nose: fresh and delicate, starting on hints of lemon pie and linseed oil as well as a little caramel and light honey. Fine notes of old books, putty, plasticine… Then pollen, dandelions, then tinned sardines… Rather complex and beautifully maritime. Nice smokiness but also quite some caramel.

Mouth: not too bold and probably a little too caramelly at the attack but then there’s quite some peat and pepper starting to coat our mouth. Goes on with orange marmalade, orange sweets, a little salt, notes of oysters hat really taste of the sea, maybe a little cardboard… All that is quite delicate and subtle. Finish: rather short as often with this series but again, delicately peaty and salty, with that layer of caramel. Caramelized oysters? A good old Port Ellen in any case. 87 points.
Port Ellen 19 yo 1970/1989 (40%, Sestante for Gallo, 75cl) Colour: gold. Nose: very different. Starts on hot butter, grains, cereals, muesli… Then Corinth raisins, caramel crème, vanilla crème… More rounded than the Connoisseurs Choice and rather less maritime and peaty but still beautiful on the nose. It’s after a good fifteen minutes that the coastal elements come through (peppered oysters). Also a little tar. Mouth: very nice attack, peaty, clean, purer than the G&M. We have quite some crystallised lemons, marzipan and nougat. Superb smokiness. Also a little pepper and just hints of tar. Too bad this one wasn’t bottled at a slightly higher strength, it would have been a legendary bottling. The finish is a little longer than the CC’s, that is, very nicely salty and almondy. In short, an excellent Port Ellen despite the low strength. 89 points.
Port Ellen 15 yo 1974/1990 (40%, Antica Casa Marchesi Spinola, Collection N°1) Colour: straw. Nose: rather more vigorous than anticipated, with quite some saltpetre, dust, watered lemon juice, raw artichokes and turnips. A little bizarre... Port Ellen 1974
Faint peatiness. A little melted butter as well, old wood… Quite shy in fact, lacking expression. Not very ‘Port Ellen’ I'd say. Mouth: sweetish, weirdly fruity (‘chemical’ sweets). Violet sweets, oranges… A disappointment. Only the finish is a little better, more in line with what PE should be, with a smokier signature now. Well, I’m sort of wondering why this bottling is so famous. Is it the tartan? 75 points (tried from various bottles).
Port Ellen 17 yo 1974/1992 (43%, Signatory, cask #6199, 800 bottles) Colour: straw. Nose: sharper, cleaner and peatier. Notes of metal, flints, coal oven, lemon… A little muesli as well. Much more ‘Port Ellen’, with also a little rubber and tar as often. Classic and clean, I quite like it. Mouth: ouch, now it’s getting seriously weird. Soapy, cardboardy, beerish, milky, dusty… In one word: more or les flawed. Finish: quite long but not any better, maybe except for the nicely peppery aftertaste. A weakish old Port Ellen on the palate, that was promising on the nose (sort of). 72 points.
Port Ellen 14 yo 1974/1988 (64.3%, G&M for Intertrade, 570 bottles) Colour: white wine. Nose: ah, this is another story, and it’s not only for the higher alcohol. It starts on beautiful whiffs of roasting peanuts and cappuccino (that’s funny and unusual) but gets then much, much more classic. Peat, pepper, tar, lemon, fresh butter. As clean and pure as it can get. Brilliant. With water: oh, it got even purer, with added whiffs of raw wool and seafood. Top class crystal-clean Port Ellen despite being quite 'different' at first nosing. Mouth (neat): amazingly punchy but already marvellous. Almonds, pepper, lemon and smoke. With water: it got rounder, sweeter, more candied but not less maritime. It really tastes like fresh oysters with fresh butter on white bread. Finish: long, more peppery and even more almondy. One of the classiest and purest old Port Ellens I could try – and an excellent swimmer. Maybe just a little Jansenist, said Olivier. Matches the recent OB’s. 92 points.
Port Ellen Samaroli Port Ellen 23 yo 1975/1998 (45%, Samaroli, 744 bottles) Colour: white wine. Nose: this one is surprisingly mashy and grainy, smelling just like peated porridge (or porridge topped with a peaty Islayer). Also notes of pear juice, apple juice… Not quite ‘Port Ellen’ to say the least, rather immature and disappointing considering its 'pedigree'. Mouth: better now. Smoky, on apple juice and pepper, mastic, apple skin, a little marzipan… The peat grows then bolder, the whole getting rather peppery. Finish: medium long, peatier, with also nice notes of mandarins… Very nice finish that's good enough to grant him a rating above 80 but it's globally disappointing I’d say. There are so many better Port Ellens around…Rather a collectors' bottle. 82 points.
Port Ellen 24 yo 1975/1999 (56%, Adelphi, cask #1765, 282 bottles) With the first all-white (and maybe more readable) Adelphi labels - sorry, no pictures. Colour: straw. Nose: cleaner but slightly inexpressive. Whiffs of peat smoke, ginger tonic, grass… Very spirity, at that. Notes of chestnut liqueur, wet wool. Something slightly soapy in the background. Second choice Port Ellen if you ask me, which is still good. Mouth: nicer attack fruity – peaty – peppery – chocolaty. Tangerines and oranges plus ginger and white pepper. Gets slightly cardboardy after a moment, too bad. Finish: quite long but that’s mostly thanks to the alcohol. Hints of marzipan this time again and a little salt. Well, maybe 1975 was a poor vintage at Port Ellen. 83 points (for the very good attack on the palate).
In a nutshell, and even if these PE’s are very far from representing a worthy panel of all early distillates after the distillery reopened in 1967, it seems to me that the overall quality improved a little after, say 1976 or 1977. Maybe the demand for peaty malt was back to normal after the big needs of the late 60's - early 70's and maybe they could distill more 'carefully' after that (Caol Ila being back to full production as well). Just wild guesses, nothing serious... By the way, we'll have a few 'Old' Caol Ilas as well in the coming days, stay tuned.
We had prepared this little Pete & Jack cartoon for one rainy, foggy day on Islay, which we believed had to happen. Well, the whole week was as sunny as July in Ibiza! Never mind, here it is…
MUSICRecommended listening: I guess you know Marlena Shaw? She's very versatile to say the least and I quite like her California soul.mp3 with its beautiful Quincy Jones-alike orchestration. Sure it's very, very 70's but don't we have to take things at 3rd degreee sometimes? We already had some Marlena Shaw a few months ago... Please buy her music! Marlena Shaw

June 5, 2007

PATTI SMITH The Roundhouse, London, May 17th 2007
Patti Smith
I had never really thought that Patti Smith and I would have so much in common, not having been that much of a fan of hers. I mean everyone seemed to have those albums back in the seventies and she was just de rigueur for anyone on the fringes of the feminised radical left. But she didn’t seem to have sticking power and like many artists of the period quickly fell off my radar, confined to occasional radio flashbacks.But here she is on stage at sold-out Roundhouse, baring her soul, her love and her hates.
Take deodorant for example – she hates it, and I hate it too. It’s not natural is it – putting all that icky chemical stuff all over yourself just to stop your body from doing something natural. And she has a thing about so-called ‘English breakfasts’ with baked-beans – don’t they just make you vomit? She’s also got a big problem with so-called ‘attention deficit syndrome’ (ADS), with which I also completely agree. You know, vaguely over-active kids who can’t sit still and get over-excited with stuff, for which now they’re increasingly pumped full of drugs such as methylphenidate (found in patent drugs such as Ritalin). Lynx
She’s so angry about this that she talks about it twice – “they haven’t got attention deficit syndrome. There’s no such fucking thing as attention deficit syndrome. They’ve got ants in their fucking pants. I should know, I did too”. Yup – there go we all but for the Grace of God. You know, I rather like this lady and I’m beginning to think I’ve been missing out on something.
When she leans forward over the standing crowd, foot on monitor, jeans, long hair, baggy white shirt and long jacket (sound familiar?) and sings “Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine” as her excellent band break into opening song ‘Gloria’ from her 1975 debut album, I just know I have. The atmosphere is electric – the band charge into the song like an express train at full tilt - it’s almost, to employ an over-used and rather tasteless Americanism, “shock and awe”.
Undertaker And it stays at the same pace for pretty much all of the night. Of course most of the audience know exactly what to expect – they’re believers, and they’re here to worship. Take my friend Colin whom I bump into by chance (a great admirer of Whiskyfun, Serge, and a passionate and very professional advocate for all single malt whisky, the wonderful Bowmore in particular) – he tells me he’s been to every Patti Smith gig since 1966 (some exaggeration perhaps Colin?), and tonight he’s here with a surprisingly lively party of undertakers from Cornwall. They’ve got their eyes on the cadaverous form next to me – male, around 23, who stands all night trancelike mumbling the words to all the songs and occasionally grinning. In front we have two city-boy drum enthusiasts who swap braggadocio about the size of their tom-toms, and next to them two old guys who are trying to recapture their youth by downing prodigious quantities of what passes for beer in this place (they eventually leave somewhat unsteadily, but very happy).
Ms Smith is here because she’s released a new album, Twelve, a collection of covers of her favourite songs. It’s had mixed reviews, the consensus being that it has its high points, and some inexplicable low points too (of which more later). But Ms Smith is on the offensive. She talks slowly, detached, every word carefully and perfectly chosen (even the expletives) but with menace; she reminds me slightly of Laurie Anderson’s pilot on ‘From the Air’. “People ask me, when I’m enjoying a lonely evening by myself in the gutter, people ask me, ‘Patti, why have you released a covers album? Did you lose your inspiration? Did your record company bind and gag you and tie you to a desk and make you do it?’ And I reply, ‘Because I fucking wanted to’”. Fair enough.
The set mixes these ‘new’ songs and some Smith classics like ‘Redondo Beach’, ‘Privilege’, ‘Pissing in a river’, ‘Because the night’, ‘Rock n’ roll nigger’. From Twelve she largely picks the strongest songs – a remarkable ‘Are you experienced’, an intriguing and unexpected ‘Within you and without you’, a powerful ‘White Rabbit’ which she cleverly uses as a platform to express her rage against ADS, and a steamy version of the Door’s ‘Soul kitchen’. Best of all is ‘Smells like teen spirit’ which she manages to make her own, mystifying the two beer-drinking guys who have clearly never heard of Nirvana. White Rabbit
Unwisely she also sings ‘Helpless’, a wonderful song best left to Neil Young and tuneless school-kids, and most mystifying of all the anodyne ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’, of Tears for Fears fame. Now I know the answer I’d get if I asked Ms Smith why she chose to record this, and certainly performed live it sets her up for a powerful denunciation of those who would seek power as she moves into Babelogue, but really, it is simply a dreadful song.
Patti Smith Not to worry. Nothing could knock the gloss off this outstanding performance. It’s assisted by the playing of veterans Lenny Kaye (guitar) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums), along with accomplished multi-instrumentalist Tony Shannon. But the plaudits have to go to Ms Smith. She towered over the Roundhouse’s performance space like a giant – she threw off an aura (I think that’s the word Serge) that was as entrancing and as captivating as the most exotic perfume. The night belonged entirely to her – and I still haven’t stopped talking about it. If I gave stars or points for concerts, which I don’t, this would have to be five and 95 respectively. Non plus ultra, as we sometimes say. - Nick Morgan
Thank you Nick - let's go straight to Patti Smith's wonderful music with her seasonal Summer cannibals.mp3. And let's all buy her works!






Glenlivet 1972/1988 (46%, Moon ‘The Sea’, cask #3156, 384 bottles) Colour: straw. Nose: very fresh and very fruity at first sniffs, starting mainly on bananas and custard. It’s then more floral (huge notes of dandelions), discretely honeyed and spicy (hints of cinnamon). Balance is there. A Glenlivet that smells more like an old Balvenie, actually. Quite elegant. Mouth: quite powerful but maybe not as delicate as on the nose. Rougher, quite peppery and much more marked by the wood, getting somewhat bitterish and bizarrely mustardy. Quite liquoricy as well. A little disappointing I must say. Finish: quite long, liquoricy and a little salty but with still that drying oak… Too bad. It’s very good whisky and the nose was very pleasant but the palate is barely above average in my books. 81 points.
Glenlivet 29 yo 1971/2001 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 558 bottles) Colour: deep amber. Nose: much more sherried – very, very sherried in fact. Starts on hints of cellulose varnish and soy sauce (or Maggi – or lovage), lots of old rum, speculoos… Develops more on ham with pineapple, caramel sweets, cappuccino, Smyrna raisins and chocolate. What’s funny here is that we get the soy sauce first and that it gets ‘cleaner’ with time, whilst it’s usually the contrary that happens (chocolate and such first, then meatiness). Top notch, in any case. Mouth: almost as great at the attack. Maybe slightly sourish as often with sherry monsters but then we have a very entertaining development, with lots of pepper for a start as well as huge notes of cloves and tobacco (like when you chew a cigar). It gets more classical after that (sultanas, chocolate, rum and coffee). Faint hints of old rancio but other than thart, no vinosity. Finish: quite long, compact, chocolaty, with notes of kirsch lingering… Very excellent. 90 points.
Glenlivet 38 yo 1968/2007 (52.1%, Duncan Taylor, cask #6199, 202 bottles) Colour: deep amber – just a tad yellower. Nose: extremely close to the 1971, just slightly more powerful and maybe even meatier, with also notes of dried mushrooms (boletus but also Chinese black ones). Another beautifully sherried one on the nose. Mouth: creamier, sweeter than the 1971 at first sip and then, curiously, drier and more toasted. We have a little bitter caramel, figs and dates, bitter chocolate… Curious hints of metal (aluminium, silver fork). More classically sherry after that. Finish: long, fruity, sort of prickly (those metallic feelings) but that’s more funny than troublesome. Gets very dry, that is. 86 points.
Glenlivet 36 yo 1970/2006 (54.8%, Duncan Taylor, cask #1999) Colour: full gold. Nose: probably the shyer one at very first nosing but it gets then closer to the Moon (so to speak), delicately honeyed (acacia) and just a tad less fruity (a little less bananas but more apple skin). The ten extra-years are well here as well, with more oak on the nose (sawdust) and vanilla. The whole is still quite beautiful, just not immensely complex. Mouth: round, creamy and spicy again, with the oak in its full glory. Lots of vanilla, white pepper, nutmeg and ginger, with then quite some mint and even hints of cough syrup. Also beeswax and pollen. Gets slightly biting after a while (horseradish, wasabi) but also kind of phenolic. Maybe there’s a little peat in this one. I must say I like this one’s peppery notes a lot. Finish: very long, compact, still very peppery and oaky but it is ‘good’ oak. A very enjoyable dryness in any case. 89 points. Horseradich
Glenlivet One Shot Glenlivet 1990/2006 (46%, Jean Boyer ‘One Shot’) Colour: pale straw. Nose: a rather buttery and vanilled attack, with a development on mashed potatoes and boiled milk. Hints of grass. Quite young and maybe not hugely interesting but other than that it’s flawless. Mouth: certainly much nicer now, with a nice oakiness and quite some liquorice, tea and vanilla again. Finish: not extremely long but precise, with pleasant notes of smoked tea and quite some tannins. Peppery signature. One that kept improving. 83 points.

June 4, 2007





Back from Scotland...



Mortlach 1988/2006 (45%, Samaroli Coilltean, sherry) Colour: straw. Nose: milky and fizzy at first nosing, with lots of notes of muesli, grains, porridge and ginger tonic. Something weirdly green in the background (cider apples). All that gets much nicer after a good fifteen minutes, with the sherry coming through (milk chocolate, toffee, vanilla fudge…) Litres of vanilla custard. Not vinous at all but still a little simple. Mouth: sweet, liquoricy and a little woody, prickly, peppery… Interesting notes of peppered oranges and grapefruits (or something like that). Also a little clove. Gets spicier with time, even more peppery. Finish: long, bolder, spicier, more candied… Maybe it was about time! Good but not overwhelmingly so. 78 points.
Mortlach 13 yo 1993/2007 (46%, Coopers Choice, sherry cask) Colour: pale gold. Nose: rounder and mellower than the Samaroli at first nosing, a little more on caramel and vanilla but it’s still very grainy and porridgy. Some very nice notes of hot cake after a while, violet (very temporary), liquorice… Not a cracker, gets a little rougher than the Samaroli at third or fourth nosing. Quite some oak despite its young age. Mouth: a little rounder again at the attack but just as liquoricy as the Samaroli. Quite candied, nougatty and grassy at the same time. Quite some tea as well, both ‘regular’ and earl grey, white pepper. Gets closer and closer to the 1988 but maybe better balanced. Finish: just as long and as spicy, just a little fresher. In the same league but one rank above. 80 points.
Mortlach 1994/2007 (58.7%, Norse Cask) Colour: white wine. Nose: fresher and cleaner than its two lighter brothers, fruitier as well. Pleasant hints of aniseed, whiffs of lilac, liquorice roots, apple skin and ‘good’ lager beer. Hints of hops? Let’s try it with water: first it gets a little grainier, smoky and ashy (nice profile) and then slightly fruitier (crystallised oranges). Whiffs of wet hay and cleaned cowshed. An excellent swimmer, this Mortlach. Mouth (neat): punchy, powerful but quite cleaner than its siblings. Something a little green, bitterish, a little drying… But a nice vanilla on top of all that that smoothens it a bit. Quite some pepper again. With water: it reveals an enjoyable smokiness again, maybe a little tar, cough sweets, chlorophyll chewing gum, liquorice… Again, it swims like Mr. Phelps. Finish: rather long, now spicier just like its younger bros but a little more complex. This one will keep you busy, provided you don’t forget to add a few drops of water. 83 points.
MUSICRecommended listening: let's go German today with Annett Louisian and her Das grosse Erwachen.mp3. Pretty wunderbar I think, even if a little sense of 2nd degree may be needed here (not sure our German friends like her in fact.) Anyway, please buy her music! Annett Louisian
May 2007 - part 2 <--- June 2007 - part 1 ---> June 2007 - part 2

heck the index of all entries:
Nick's Concert Reviews



Best malts I had these weeks - 90+ points only - alphabetical:

Ardbeg 28 yo 1967 (53%, Scotch Malt Sales, 500ml)

Ardbeg 29 yo 1967/1996 (52%, Kingsbury, cask #923)

Ardbeg 29 yo 1967/1996 (54.6%, Kingsbury, cask #922)

Ardbeg 30 yo 1967/1997 (49.8%, Signatory, dark oloroso, cask #1140, 536 bottles)

Ardbeg 32 yo 1967/2000 (49%, Douglas Laing OMC, 309 bottles)

Ardbeg 32 yo 1967/1999 (47.5%, Douglas Laing OMC, 185 bottles)

Bowmore ‘Bowmist’ (70°proof, OB, Sherriff, bottled 1960’s)

Bowmore 1964/1979 ‘Bicentenary’ (43%, OB)

Bowmore 1965 (43%, OB, mid-1980's)

Bowmore 33 yo 1969/2003 (42.5%, Duncan Taylor Peerless, cask #6085, 238 bottles)

Caol Ila 16 yo 1969/1985 (40%, Intertrade)

Caol Ila 1966/1995 (40%, G&M Centenary Reserve)

Caol Ila 1968 (57%, Samaroli, oval label, 1980's)

Glenlivet 29 yo 1971/2001 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 558 bottles)

Port Ellen 14 yo 1974/1988 (64.3%, G&M for Intertrade, 570 bottles)