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Hi, you're in the Archives, October 2016 - Part 1

       

 

September 2016 - part 2 <--- October 2016 - part 1 ---> October 2016 - part 2

 

October 14, 2016


Whiskyfun

Special Releases Special, today Mannochmore

So, Mannochmore. The name hasn’t got the cachet of Brora, Port Ellen, or Lagavulin, but I’ve had some good ones in the past. No, not that famous ‘black’ one that used to be quite a tearjerker ;-)… We’ll have the new Special Release today, but first some apéritif(s) as usual…

Mannochmore 12 yo 2000/2012 (46%, Douglas of Drumlanrig, refill hogshead, cask #9231, 162 bottles)

Mannochmore 12 yo 2000/2012 (46%, Douglas of Drumlanrig, refill hogshead, cask #9231, 162 bottles) Two stars and a half In my experience these young Mannochmore aren’t quite whiskies to nose, but the palates can be real good. Colour: white wine. Nose: bright fresh apple juice and barley water, with a thin layer of honey and touches of fresh croissants. Then a little mint and rather more peelings than fruit flesh. Perhaps limestone? Yes, wet limestone. A nice fresh nose. Mouth: typical young unsherried Speysider, but rather more pungent than others, with some green pepper and bitter apples. Then all kind of apples, seasoned with white pepper. Pretty unsexy, and probably malt whisky ‘for blends’, but I enjoy this presence. Finish: medium, a tad too bitter and ‘green’, perhaps. Comments: solid, honest, quite austere ‘natural’ malt whisky. SGP:361 - 78 points.

Mannochmore 1998/2014 (46%, Spirit of Scotland)

Mannochmore 1998/2014 (46%, Spirit of Scotland) To be honest, I used to think that this older line by G&M/Speymalt had been discontinued a long time ago. Apparently, I was wrong (who said again, who?) Colour: white wine. Nose: more or less the same, but this one’s also got a wee petroly/metallic side that comes unexpected. Old toolbox. Had the cask been patched? Were there nails inside? Mouth: bizarre, spirity, extremely grassy, and frankly unbalanced. Bitter oils? Not much pleasure to be had here… Finish: rather long, very peppery. Thai pepper prawns without the prawns. Likewise with red chilli instead of pepper. Comments: it’s difficult, I think – and I believe I’m no chicken. SGP:281 - 65 points.

Mannochmore 25 yo 1990/2016 (53.4%, OB, Special Release, 2,954 bottles)

Mannochmore 25 yo 1990/2016 (53.4%, OB, Special Release, 2,954 bottles) Four starsDiageo had another 1990 six or seven years ago that had been just excellent (WF 88). It was a 18 years old. Colour: gold. Nose: some first fill or new American oak involved, it seems. Some creamy vanilla, fresh sweet sawdust, marshmallows, nail polish remover, candyfloss… We’re actually almost in bourbon territories, which is surprising, but given what we experienced with our aperitifs today, I won’t throw stones. Especially since I quite enjoy this! Let’s see what water will do to it… With water:  a farminess coming through, as often, and rather more straight barley than before. Fresh coconut water. Mouth (neat): creamy and fruity, we’re in a candy shop. Lemon bonbons, more candyfloss, custard, a little coconut, a little green pepper… With water: good. Peppery wood, sweet wood, orange squash, coconut, vanilla, tangerines… A style that can be found in some contemporary Benriachs. Finish: medium, on the same flavours, more or less. Comments: a feeling of re-racking that’s been well and smartly done. To think that they could have poured this rather lovely juice into… Loch Dhu when it was younger! SGP:551 – 85 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Mannochmore I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 13, 2016


Whiskyfun

Special Releases Special, today Caol Ila

There's still quite a lot of Caol Ila around, and I haven’t heard of anybody complaining. Caol Ila has become ‘the sure bet’ as far as peaters are concerned, I don’t think I’ve tried one that I haven’t adored or quite liked in recent years. It’s also true that Caol Ila’s #1 on Whiskyfun to this very day, with exactly 452 different tasting notes. Whether that’s a lot or not, I don’t know, but let’s add a few more if you don’t mind. And as the apéritif, why not have a recent batch of the official 12?

Caol Ila 12 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2016)

Caol Ila 12 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2016) Four stars Yes we’re trying a newer batch almost every year. Colour: white wine. Nose: gherkin and olive brine, oysters, seaweed, bandages, grapefruits. Rather more medicinal than you would think. Mouth: sweeter and a little rounder, but bright, salty, lemony, ashy, peaty… You don’t need any more literature, do you? (yeah, like, you and literature, S.!) Finish: medium, very fresh, smoky, peaty, and lemony. Iodine. A drop of apple juice in the aftertaste, as well as a little candy sugar. Comments: certainly not just a beginner’s peater, and absolutely not a ‘light’ peated whisky. In other words, anytime, anywhere. SGP:346 - 85 points.

Caol Ila 18 yo (43%, OB, +/-2016)

Caol Ila 18 yo (43%, OB, +/-2016) Four stars Colour: pale gold. Lighter than previous batches for sure. Nose: the 12’s more expressive, more obvious, while this 18 whispers and simpers, with rather a little sap and wood oils, branches, butter cream… It’s an elegant nose, but yeah, it’s no Wagner. Mouth: closer to the 12 as far as expressivity’s concerned, while there are unexpected touches of tequila in the arrival. Yes I’m serious. Then rather oranges, candle wax, salted anchovies, and certainly some salted chocolate. It is, I have to say, one of the most elegant readily available drams out there. In my opinion, eh. Finish: medium, sappy, smoky, and herbal. Drops of old chartreuse, for sure. The obligatory kippers in the aftertaste. Comments: the perfect gift, if you want to convert your neighbours or family to the glories and pleasures of peated whisky. Anybody not liking this needs to go see a psychoanalyst. SGP:455 - 87 points.

Caol Ila 15 yo 2000/2016 (61.5%, OB, Special Release)

Caol Ila 15 yo 2000/2016 (61.5%, OB, Special Release) Two stars As we’ve already noticed in recent years, those unpeated Caol Ilas (aka Highland Caol Ila) are never totally unpeated. Just like Champagne ‘brut’ is never totally dry. Colour: straw. Nose: spirity and alcoholic. Not saying it’s totally un-nose-able, but I’m not too fond of methylated spirits. Some cider, perhaps? With water: gets a tad vinegary. More cider. Nose: Mouth (neat): it’s good, but there are many other ‘Highland’ whiskies that are just as good, if not better, within Diageo’s very wide portfolio. You don’t need examples, do you? Oh and it burns. With water: canned fruit juice. Finish: medium, with grapefruits. Comments: totally not my business, obviously, but I do not quite understand why they don’t issue a middle-aged regular Caol Ila CS within the Special Releases, instead of those rather unnecessary unpeated versions. Fairly good whisky, no question about that, but what’s the idea? The message? The philosophy behind it? (given that we aren’t blenders). SGP:632 - 75 points.

Let’s find some heavy medicine…

Caol Ila 19 yo 1996 (55.3%, Kingsbury, sherry hogshead, cask #800, 242 bottles, +/-2016)

Caol Ila 19 yo 1996 (55.3%, Kingsbury, sherry hogshead, cask #800, 242 bottles, +/-2016) Five stars Colour: dark amber. Nose: in my meagre experience, peat and sherry can create either total disasters, or amazing wonders. It seems that this baby belongs to the latter category, with this blend of gunpowder and damp volcanic earth. Brake fluid, new tyres, burnt prunes, brand new leather jacket, Bakelite, cigars, beef soup… You get the picture, don’t you? With water: the distillate is retaliating, with seashells, seaweed, old balsamic vinegar, coal, more cigars… Mouth (neat): heavy, thick, invasive, herbal, meaty, tarry… and totally huge. Beef jerky re-cooked in liquorice and pitch, or something like that. Parsley, chives, bone marrow… We haven’t seen such a monster since around the year 2005. With water: bitter oranges and mint, with one stock cube. Finish: extremely long. A black cigar dipped into Marmite. Apologies. Comments: echoes of a glorious past, as they would say in Buckingham. A lost style? Anyway, kudos to Kingsbury for keeping the flame alive in such brilliant manners. SGP:367 - 91 points.

Lets simply go on…

Caol Ila 2007/2015 (51.2%, Beacon Spirits, 168 bottles)

Caol Ila 2007/2015 (51.2%, Beacon Spirits, 168 bottles) Four stars What’s 168 bottles? Just enough to make a marinade ;-). Colour: pale white wine. Nose: what a spirit! Sure you feel like this was distilled just yesterday, but the cleanliness and the almondy smoke just work. Lemon, wool, oysters, kelp smoke, punto e basta. With water: did I mention raw wool? Mouth (neat): it’s so disappointing that such a young malt can be so good! We’re in the same territories as the best mezcal jovens’, or the best tequila blancos’, or the best Alpine gentians’. In short, some immaculate peated no-fuss malt whisky. With (useless) water: useless indeed. Perhaps a little more lemon and salt, James-Bond-style. Hold on… Finish: sadly. Comments: perfect, just, perhaps, a little ‘simple’ and perhaps a little ‘too easy’ when compared to, say Lagavulin 8, or to some ‘new’ Ledaigs. Oh forget, it’s great spirit anyway. SGP:357 - 87 points.

And now an older bro…

Caol Ila 36 yo 1980/2016 (52.3%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 210 bottles)

Caol Ila 36 yo 1980/2016 (52.3%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 210 bottles) Four stars Yeah, some other bottlers, whom I won’t mention out of Christian charity, would have bottled such an old glory into an ugly crystal decanter sourced from Alibaba.com and (tried to) sell it to Kazakh billionaires for twenty times the price. Yeah, or in airports. While William Cadenhead (what does the ‘M’ in ‘WM’ stand for, by the way?) would just sell it for around 300 Euros to dedicated whisky enthusiasts, behind a label that my highly skilled Portuguese housemaid could have designed in her spare time. Colour: pale gold (hurray). Nose: in this case, age doesn’t matter. An astounding light medicinal profile, with eucalyptus, camphor, almond oil, liquorice roots, and just an avalanche of tinier herbal and smoky and waxy notes. Oh and it does smell of ‘a dunnage warehouse on Islay’. With water: new tyres and fisherman’s ropes. Some lamp or graphite oil as well. Mouth (neat): a dazzling lemon and some stunning waxy/tarry notes. Now I won’t deny that there is a wee bit of and excessive rubber appearing in the mix. Perhaps. And a slightly invasive oakiness. With water: shan’t we call this ‘a more than mild disappointment’ now? A gingery oak has really started to take over. Not sure wtaer was necessary. Finish: a touch difficult. We’ve gone downhill - sloping gently. Green oak and paraffin. Comments: an old Caol Ila to nose and it’s a nose that’s totally superb. Downing it might not be compulsory. In my opinion, they could have sold the cask to other bottlers, who would have bottled such an old glory into an ugly crystal decanter sourced from Alibaba.com and… SGP:354 - 85 points (but I know some friends utterly adored it, so there...)

Cadenhead, the floor is still yours…

Caol Ila 34 yo 1982/2016 (60.1%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 2016)

Caol Ila 34 yo 1982/2016 (60.1%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 2016) Five stars It’s true that old whiskies are almost always better as small batches of two or three casks than as single casks. And check the strength! At 34 years of age! Colour: gold. Nose: ooh sublime! A fishing port on the Mediterranean. Sardines, anchovies, old tyres, used engine oil, seawater, old tarry ropes, seaweed, pastis… Right, not pastis. With water (while it gets very cloudy): oh old books, old tweed under the rain, oyster mushrooms, forgotten balms and embrocations, chicken curry…  Mouth (neat): sublime indeed. Sea salt, dry chocolate, roasted cashews, salted liquorice, crème de menthe, Aperol (Aperol’s not only for hipsters), ginger… Everything is just utterly perfect in this, the casks were born to marry each other eventually. With water: did I already use the word sublime? Menthol and grapefruits, oysters and lemongrass, Spanish ham, juniper, bitter oranges… Actually, it gets drier and drier, not unlike a great old amontillado. Black tobacco. Finish: endless, bitter, sublime. Comments: I may have used the word ‘sublime’ a little too often, but I wanted to make sure you got my point. SGP:365 - 93 points.

All right, my aim was to only try the new Special Release, plus one sparring partner/apéritif. Well, I failed again. Miserably. More Coal Ila soon on WF.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Caol Ila I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 12, 2016


Whiskyfun

Special Releases Special, today Lagavulin

It’s always the same story at this time of year, the leaves are falling from the trees and there is a new Lagavulin 12. But first, an apéritif…

Lagavulin 2000/2016 'Distillers Edition' (43%, OB, lgv 4/505)

Lagavulin 2000/2016 'Distillers Edition' (43%, OB, lgv 4/505) Three stars and a half One of the few bottlings that I should hate (finishing some Lagavulin?) and that I usually like a lot. Even if, in my opinion, the tremendous quality of the first one, that 1979, isn’t totally here anymore. But the DEs are still singing loud… Colour: dark gold. Nose: bwah bwah bwah (did you take your potion S.?) Did anyone ever tried to use pencil shavings for smoking ‘stuff’? Cedar wood, burning fir wood, Vicks VapoRub, huge piles of dried kelp, and prunes. And dried mushrooms. And black olive brine. And bitter oranges. My it wouldn’t keep quiet! Did they find the old recipe again, perhaps in an old drawer? Mouth: well, perhaps not quite, it’s a tad too oak-forward for me. Caramelised wood and caraway liqueur, burnt honey sauce, rum… The whole’s really thick and even heavy, we’ve lost a part of the complexity that was obvious in the nose. Chocolate and salt, and a chipsy feeling, as we say in wine (that would be oak chips). Finish: long, a little fat, and even a little liqueury. That must be the PX – oh, forgot to say that it was finished in PX. PX kills many whiskies if you ask me; but of course this one isn’t quite dead. And it doesn’t even smell funny. Comments: I completely adored the nose, while I was a little less fond of the palate. Perhaps isn’t it ‘Lagavulin’ enough for me? Did it change? Did I change? We’ll see what happens next year… SGP:556 - 83 points.

Lagavulin 12 yo 'Special Release 2016' (57.7%, OB)

Lagavulin 12 yo 'Special Release 2016' (57.7%, OB) Five stars Probably a very large batch. Lagavulin 12 is a kind of Porsche 911 of whisky, everyone loves it, for good reasons. Yes, fast and reliable. It’s to be noted that this baby is another one that celebrates the distillery’s 200th anniversary. Colour: white wine, so refill wood. No complains. Nose: I think it’s even simpler than its predecessors, but that simplicity is exactly what we’re looking for here. Bauhaus whisky? Peat smoke, tar and burnt rubber, sea spray, artichokes, and Islay mud. With water: exceptionally almondy and waxy, with a perfect tar. Mouth (neat): elementary, straight, direct, uncomplicated, and perfect. Bacon, smoked fish, bitter oranges, thyme tea, bitter almonds. I find it seriously drier than last year’s SR, but I haven’t got that one in my hands just now, so please forget about these aimless ramblings. Now, the peat is huge. With water: lemons! Finish: very long. How did you like this cigar that you just chewed? Comments: I don’t know, in a way, this baby’s akin to some young Port Ellens that we could try in the past, even if there isn’t any feeling of brown coal this time. Do they have a secret programme? Recreating PE at Lagavulin? And it’s integrally distillate-driven and mature. My preferred way and style. One of the must buys of the year, together with that perfect Kilkerran 12, remember? SGP:367 - 92 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Lagavulin I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 11, 2016


Whiskyfun

Port Ellen, vertically again

After the Brora, let’s have the new Port Ellen today. We’ll even try to build an interesting wee verticale, with some middle-aged PE and some young PE from adjacent vintages. 1979-1978-1977, how does that sound? Not that we’ve never done that, I know, I know…

Port Ellen 24 yo 1979/2004 (56.8%, Signatory Vintage, cask #6773, 541 bottles)

Port Ellen 24 yo 1979/2004 (56.8%, Signatory Vintage, cask #6773, 541 bottles) Five stars I’ve already tried and scored this baby when it came out, but never wrote any proper tasting notes. Boohh! Colour: deep gold. Nose: some PEs could be just superb, but a little monolithic and even a tad simple, and this is a good example, so far. A peppery and tarry peat, with curious hints of venison (refill sherry?) and a very earthy coastalness, around wet beach sand and dried kelp. Something both medicinal and mustardy in the background. Couldn’t this be wasabi on sushi? Some gentian coming though after five minutes, that’s very nice. With water: very medicinal! Embrocations and old musty cellar, damp old hessian, old walnut wine… Mouth (neat): high-impact lemony/herbal peat, very singular. Lime blossom and more wasabi, earth, fresh ginger… It’s rather blade-y, I’d say. With water: gets sauvignony, as they say in the Loire Valley. Sharp and chiselled, this is almost a katana (dipped into lemon juice). It’s definitely not a very tarry PE. Finish: long and even blade-ier. Would it cut paper indeed? Comments: a pretty brilliant ultra-chiselled and very angular Port Ellen. You could count your vertebras when it goes down. SGP:467 - 91 points.

Port Ellen 37 yo 1978/2016 (55.2%, OB, Special Release, 2,940 bottles)

Port Ellen 37 yo 1978/2016 (55.2%, OB, Special Release, 2,940 bottles) Five stars It was a 1983 last year (WF 92), but we’re being offered a 1978 again this year. Ooh, the ultra-punchy Rare Malts 20 and 22, remember? Colour: refreshingly golden. Nose: some say Port Ellen is/was best at around 25, and that’s not totally impossible if you ask me. This is absolutely lovable, but it may be missing of that that, say impact that younger PEs had. Around luxury cardboard (?) and cough syrup, with a little plasticine, as well as a touch of, wait, could that be sage? Verbena? A little quiet perhaps, but water may make it furious, let’s see… With water: water works very well. Seawater, first rain, hessian, and well-brewed old Pu-erh tea. But it didn’t get any more furious, after all it’s become an old lady… Mouth (neat): oh! Unexpectedly sharp and millimetric, on smoked lemon juice. I should have taken the 22 Rare Malts for due comparison today, like I did yesterday with the Brora 1972. My bad, it’s too late… With water: rather smoked brine. A little camphor as well. Finish: long, and very peaty. It did not lose its smokiness! Comments: on par with the 1979, I’d say. Careful with water. It’s a bit like those old sports cars, you dream of them, and when you drive them, you’re a tiny wee tad disappointed. Just a tiny wee tad, I’d call that the ‘E-Type effect’. But no worries Jag people, we love you. So, a truly superb old PE, for sure, but the bodywork may have become a little more flabbergasting than the engine (and no it hasn’t got any brakes). SGP:367 - 91 points.

So, the younger 1977…

Port Ellen 14 yo 1977 (59.7%, Intertrade, +/-1991)

Port Ellen 14 yo 1977 (59.7%, Intertrade, +/-1991) Two starsIndeed, an Italian bottling. Colour: gold. Nose: you could not imagine a whisky that would be more austere. Nosing crushed grass and leaves. And lovage, I’ve never found this much lovage in any whisky. It’s even a little balsamic, and certainly quite leathery. With water: some kind of vegetable bouillon, more lovage, chives… Also barley wine… Certainly not the average Port Ellen. Things settle down a bit after ten minutes, it tends to become a little cleaner. Wax smoke. Mouth (neat): a round against Muhammad Ali. Hyper-punchy, but also rather oddly metallic, bitter, and actually, kind of unpleasant. Not saying Muhammad Ali was unpleasant, I wouldn’t dare. Eating grapefruit-flavoured plasticine. With water: difficult. Too paraffiny for me, too dry (and I love dryness in my whisky), and too bitter. And a little ‘chemical’ (plastic). Finish: long, bitter, hard. You just chewed leatherette. Comments: I’ve exaggerated, it’s not a very bad PE, but I think I’ve had some better ones (all that IMHO, as we used to write on thee Interweb). So much for young PE, but we all know some others had been stunning. Now the new Special Release was, comparatively, totally and utterly glorious! SGP:276 - 75 points.

(and thanks Diego S. and thanks Paul B. and Greg S.!)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Port Ellen I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 10, 2016


Whiskyfun

Bottled philosophy

Diageo’s newest Special Releases have arrived, and once again they are making for one of the highlights of the whisky year. Now I just wanted to ask you, would you mind if we started with the Brora?...

Brora 38 yo 1977/2016 (48.6%, OB, Special Release, 2,984 bottles)

Brora 38 yo 1977/2016 (48.6%, OB, Special Release, 2,984 bottles) Five stars Last year’s SR was already a 1977, and I just loved it (WF 95). 1977 and similar vintages never quite had the reputation of, say 1972, but now that quite some water has flown under the Scottish bridges, the complexity of those whiskies just stands out. Plus, it’s not impossible that Diageo have been rather picky with the casks they selected for these recent releases… Colour: refreshingly golden. Nose: oh f*** it. I almost feel like I should leave it all here, and rather taste the new Glenkinchie. This is like nosing the hot engine of an old Aston. Bakelite, castor oil, petrol, fumes, tyres… It’s not very expressive, in fact, but it’s one of the most elegant noses I’ve been given to put under my nostrils in recent months. Or perhaps years. Also love these whiffs of ‘old books under the rain’, carbon paper, manure, autumn leaves (under the rain as well), damp earth, moss… Oh and these notes of new electronics, when we used to unpack a new stereo, around 1975… And the camphor is there as well, a bit of seaweed (nori?), paraffin oil, perhaps tinned sardines… My my my!

Mouth: I had thought it would have gotten a little shy – at least shier than younger expressions – but not at all, it still roars and kicks you. What’s really remarkable is how dry it is, it’s even drier than the driest manzanilla! Ashes, bitter green tea, liquorice extracts, artichokes, tar… You’d almost believe you’re eating tiger balm at times. Well, I imagine. More wax and paraffin as well, mints, perhaps a little tarragon, bitter almonds for sure… What a ride! There are even hints of very old Sauternes that’s integrally digested its sugar. Finish: long, still bone dry, with more artichoke and ashes. A sublime dryness. Comments: the opposite of all these new Kardashian whiskies that abound here and there. Philosophical whisky, perfectly blended. Same score as last year, but it needs no score, of course. It’s expensive whisky, but I find it a little depressing that the Port Ellen would be 40% more expensive! Don’t get me wrong, it’s the PE that’s too expensive, and not this Brora that’s too cheap! Anyway… SGP:375 - 95 points.

Now, which other Brora should we have after that very complex beauty? We’ve got a few indies that we haven’t tasted yet, but do something more useful and try to find one that may be even ‘better’… Such as this one…

Brora 22 yo 1972/1995 (61.1%, OB, Rare Malts)

Brora 22 yo 1972/1995 (61.1%, OB, Rare Malts) Five stars Indeed we’ve already formally tried this utter beauty, but that was eleven years ago. Or a few bottles ago, as they say in Glasgow. Yeah I know, just any excuses… Colour: gold. Nose: you insane brute! What’s really striking at first nosing, is how close to the new 38 this is, it really is almost the same make. I’m starting to wonder if they weren’t making at least two different distillates in 1977, one that was akin to the 1972s, and one that was lighter, for other purposes or clients. Now this 1972 is more massive, more a body-builder, with more fermentary and farmy notes, and certainly more straight peat. Petrol, camphor, Bakelite again, leather… Oh well, it’s brilliant, but we knew that. With water: very troubling, this is almost a younger 38 – or rather, the 38 was an older 22. Ooh my head… This 22 is just a little easier (never thought I would write that one day), and with rather more sweet farmy notes. Crushed almonds, damp hessian, camphor, thymol, wet dogs (dogs, we’re sorry, you know that), and lip balm, perhaps. Poetry in your glass. Mouth (neat): totally huge, sweeter than the new 38 – but that may be the alcohol – and more mustardy, peppery, salty, and simply smoky. But at this strength, it hits you hard, so please, water… With water, at approx 48% vol. for the sake of comparison: same comments, the 1977 may have been distilled under the very same specs as this 1972. Oh and please call the anti-maltoporn brigade NOW. Finish: sadly. Menthol and almonds in the aftertaste. Comments: I’m still in love. SGP:466 - 96 points (unchanged).

More tasting notes Check the index of all Brora I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 9, 2016


Whiskyfun

To Haiti
with love


Because of hurricane Matthew, yet another disaster just struck Haiti, and while it’s cool to have fun with booze whenever we can, perhaps is it also time to show support and help the various organisations that are on and in the field. Come on, do you really need that very unlikely new bottle of GlenWonka NAS finished in German Schwarzbier casks? Of course not, rather donate there or elsewhere

Now, we could also taste a little clairin (or klerin) while thinking of Haiti…

Clairin ‘World Championship 2016’ (46%, Velier)

Clairin ‘World Championship 2016’ (46%, Velier) Four stars and a half A bottle that celebrates a bartending competition that took place this year in France and then in Haiti. Not too sure it’s a ‘single’ clairin, maybe is it a blend of various great distilleries such as Vaval, Casimir or Sajous. I believe that’s what it is but should I gather more details, I’ll update this short post. Colour: white. Nose: purrfekt. Capers and olives, then engine oil and that strange dashboard polish we used to use in the 1980s in our cars (some used to call it spritz or car renovator). Also fermenting vegetables, perhaps turnips, some mustard, and not the slightest hint of a sweetness. Mouth: lime, oyster juice, raw liquorice, salsify, olives, and seawater. A rather rough spirit, but that’s what you would expect from a good clairin. And this is good clairin. Finish: long, with a feeling of salted limejuice. The bitterish vegetables keep singing in the aftertaste, but there’s also a sweetness (sugarcane syrup). Comments: no objections whatsoever, Your Honour! Oh and l’union fait la force! SGP:362 - 88 points.

A sparring partner, perhaps… Sadly, no Barbancourt at hand, and no other clairin… Oh, perhaps this?

Monte Negro ‘Grogue Original’ (42%, OB, grogue, Cape Verde, +/-2016)

Monte Negro ‘Grogue Original’ (42%, OB, grogue, Cape Verde, +/-2016) Four stars Grogue is akin to clairin, so cane juice distilled in small pot stills, except that it’s made in Cabo Verde. It’s very popular locally, but rarely exported. This one’s made in Santiago, Colour: white. Nose: a little smoother, apparently, but not any less artisanal and ‘authentic’, with plenty of briny cane juice and these earthy, rooty, and vegetable-like tones. I’m also getting green bananas, while the whole tends to become gentler than the roaring clairin. Hints of baijiu. Mouth: excellent! Closer to the clairin, with added notes of cured ham, very salty olives, some kind of pickled roots (not ginger though), and freshly squeezed lemons, including zest oil. Finish: long, limy, earthy, drier than the clairin. And there are even more olives. Comments: the clairin was a little more, say immediate, but this is one bright cane spirit! Makes for a perfect cane-y triangle, cachaça, clairin, and grogue. Okay, add some of the French white agricoles if you need a rectangle instead, such as Neisson’s latest whites – more about those later. SGP:362 - 87 points.

Haiti, courage!

 

 

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October 7, 2016


Whiskyfun

Kilchoman vs. Ballechin,
two peated rumskies

Yeah well, since many bottlers are emptying casks of Caroni these days, no wonder they then use those empty casks to finish some malt whiskies. We’ll have two examples today, both pretty young, and both very peaty. Caroni and peaters, couldn’t that be like Jack White and Nick Cave playing together? Let’s see…

Ballechin 2005/2016 (56.7%, OB, for LMdW, Caroni rum finish, cask #906)

Ballechin 2005/2016 (56.7%, OB, for LMdW, Caroni rum finish, cask #906) Four stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: sweet Vishnu, they reinvented teak oil! Quite an experience, smoky of course, and very medicinal. The rum pushed the little Midlander towards Islay, as this has more coastal notes than usual, more brine, more kelp, and certainly more tincture of iodine. In fact, it is not impossible that they managed to recreate Laphroaig circa 1985. How funny! With water: plasticine and bicycle inner tubes, nothing to complain about. Mouth (neat): love it. Sweet peat, citrons, tar, and apple peelings, with a green bitterish side that works very well, and bandages. Seriously, 1985 Laphroaig. With water: it even gets a little salty, while there are more grapefruits and lemons coming to the front. And our beloved Caroni-esque olives? No, let’s not exaggerate, I don’t quite find them… Or perhaps a tiny wee bit… Finish: long, a little ashier and sootier. A sweetness in the aftertaste, but that’s not sugarcane, is it? Comments: a great idea. A shame that you cannot leave a good 50 litres of the previous content in the cask prior to refilling it, but I’d love to be able to try a… Carochin or Balleni. A true hyper-congeneric world spirit! SGP:457 - 87 points.

Kilchoman 2011/2016 (59.4%, OB, for LMdW, Caroni cask finish, cask #531)

Kilchoman 2011/2016 (59.4%, OB, for LMdW, Caroni cask finish, cask #531) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: shy after the Ballechin, but that may be the higher strength. More sugary touches, and not that much peat or phenols or tar. Is it blocked? Let’s try to unblock it! With water: sweeter and less deep than the Midlander, as well as a little narrower. Less tar, but more sea spray and kilny notes. Shall we all it more ‘minimal’? Mouth (neat): not blocked at all this time, but not immensely complex. Rather on lemons and grapefruits coated with a little pitch, I have the feeling that the rum’s almost having the upper hand this time. Not too sure… With water: ah, more tar, balsam, fir wood, honeydew… We’re starting to talk! Once again, the rum’s a little dominant, but that really works. A lot of tar, really. Finish: long, brinier, and more citrusy. Comments: once again, very good, if less profound and fat than the Ballechin, which I rather preferred. SGP:357 - 85 points.

So, who’s up for doing a real high-ester rum plus peated malt vatting? Come on, please… (yeah I know we could do that ourselves in our glasses, but that’s not the same…)

 

 

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October 6, 2016


Whiskyfun

Two extraordinary Amrut

I mean, they are anything but ordinary. It seems to me that India’s Amrut have been a little less, say uproarious in recent times, but here they are with two new bottlings. Lets simply try them…

Amrut ‘Rye’ (50%, OB, India, +/-2016)

Amrut ‘Rye’ (50%, OB, India, +/-2016) Four stars This is malted rye, so it is a ‘single malt whisky’. An appellation that, I believe, you couldn’t use in Scotland, as malt has to be made out of barley. Glann ar Mor in France already had a single malt rye last year, called ‘Only Rye’. It was excellent, in my opinion (WF 87). Colour: deep gold. Nose: pineapple bread, or something like that. Mango cake, stewed guava, papaya chutney… You see what I mean. The balance between the tropical fruits and the rye’s breadiness seems fragile at times, but the combo works to perfection, quite miraculously. Indeed, pineapple bread (who will try to bake pineapple bread one day?) With water: very fragrant, musky, with a little geranium (flowers, not stems or leaves). Very, very unusual. Mouth (neat): very unusual indeed, the rye imparting some strange medicinal flavours to an otherwise very exotic/tropical whisky. If you will, a blend of Laphroaig, 1976 Benriach, and Rittenhouse Rye. Unusual indeed, but it does work once the wonderment has gone. With water: rye up, fruits down, certainly not for the worse. A touch of lavender (not in a B-way), plus aniseeds. Really fun. Finish: quite long, just as unusual as before, with bready flavours, and, wait, could this be lotus seeds? Comments: not an easy one to assess, but it’s so ‘different’ from any other whiskies, and so fine-tuned, that you just cannot not like it. Very well done, Amrut, this is innovation that makes sense, rather than, you know, ‘hey, let’s find some Zinfandel casks and do a finishing!’ SGP:751 - 86 points.

Amrut 12 yo ‘Greedy Angels’ (60%, OB, India, decanter, 2016)

Amrut 12 yo ‘Greedy Angels’ (60%, OB, India, decanter, 2016) Four stars and a half This is the Chairman’s Reserve, thank you Mr. Chairman. There already were a 8 and a 10 in this series, but this one’s the rarest, they only issued ‘around 100 decanters’. Colour: gold. Nose: classic tropical fruitcake, vanilla, and manuka honey. Mangos, longans, and above everything, juice blood oranges. No single trace of any over-oakiness. Because, they say one year in India is equivalent of three to four years in Scotland, which means that this baby’s between 36 and 48 years old. Sort of. With water: menthol, eucalyptus, cough syrup, embrocations… And many tropical fruits. Wonderful. Mouth (neat): a fruity blast, then some oak, then many essential oils and saps. Mango and orange jam cooked in new oak and flavoured with fir sap. No, it’s actually better than that, of course. Strong but not undrinkable at 60% vol. With water: jammier, fruitier, with more citrus that, as usual, lift it. Finish: long, a little more custardy. Pineapple-flavoured desert cream. Comments: those greedy angels left the best part for us. It’s pretty concentrated and even thick, but it’s kept a fruity lightness that’s quite splendid. A great Amrut, it’s just ‘a little expensive’ ($1,000, it seams). SGP:751 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all World Whiskies I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 5, 2016


Whiskyfun

Glenlivet black outside or black inside

There’s a new one that’s NAS and very mysterious, which is kind of the same thing. Frankly, I don’t know what to think. It’s called ‘Cipher’, and let’s try it. And I’m sure we’ll manage to find a fitting sparring partner afterwards.

Glenlivet ‘Cipher’ (48%, OB, 2016)

Glenlivet ‘Cipher’ (48%, OB, 2016) Two stars and a half According to a charming brand ambassador of some sort, I’m supposed to taste this baby while browsing some special web pages. Why not, but I haven’t got any Internet connection while writing this, so maybe I’ll do that later. As for the story and the packaging, I’d love to know where they’ve found those new pills… (Apologies, you know we love you). Colour: pale gold. Nose: classic, pretty natural, slightly flowery, with good vanilla and notes of hoppy beer. Then the usual overripe apples, pears, and gooseberries. And cakes. Perhaps two rose petals. It’s Glenlivet. Mouth: you feel some oak, so some pretty active wood may have been in use, like in many modern NAS. Vanilla, sawdust, and a growing bitterness from the oak. Not quite bourbonised, but you get the idea. Finish: maltier, but with even more oak spices, between ginger and cinnamon. Comments: I don’t feel very inspired, I’ll really need to check those special web pages. What’s sure is that this is a little too oak-forward for me – but hey, that’s only me. Other than that, it’s a very fine dram. Oh and the fruit flies love it. SGP:461 - 79 points.

Eennie meenie … oh this is unfair!...

Glenlivet 41 yo 1974/2015 (46.8%, Signatory Vintage, oloroso finish, cask #1, 363 bottles)

Glenlivet 41 yo 1974/2015 (46.8%, Signatory Vintage, oloroso finish, cask #1, 363 bottles) Four stars and a half Actually more double maturation, as the finishing lasted for four years. So yeah, this is unfair, but life is unfair, and after all, there isn’t anything telling us that the NAS wasn’t very old as well (yeah, quite). Colour: amber. Nose: subtle, drier than expected, not sherry-monstrous, and full of various tobaccos, earths, and nuts. And wild mushrooms. Add a touch of camphor and pinesap. And ferns and mosses. A touch of manure as well. I adore this kind of nose. Have I mentioned walnuts? Mouth: okay, it’s very oaky, but that’s a whole different oak than the Cipher’s. Loads of bitter chocolate, chewing a cigar, crunching coffee beans, and sucking black tea leaves. So yeah, it’s very oaky and tannic, but quite bizarrely, the whole kind of works. Frankly, it’s like eating some 99% cocoa chocolate (coz, you know, they can’t make 100%). Finish: very long. Perhaps too long ;-). Comments: spectacularly oaky, this is almost walnut stain. And yet, I like it quite a lot, must be some kind of disease. But you’ve been warned. SGP:381 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glenlivet I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 4, 2016


Whiskyfun

Little duets, today Glen Grant

Glen Grant have revamped their packaging again. Some juices haven’t changed, while there’s a new 18 years old. Let’s have it, and first, a little sparring partner chosen at random…

Glen Grant 14 yo (46%, Duthies, +/-2014)

Glen Grant 14 yo (46%, Duthies, +/-2014) Three stars Good choice, this should be easy and light. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: easy and light indeed, all on barley and apples. Porridge, Weetabix, a little leaven, dough, baker’s yeast… One for breakfast? Mouth: solid malty malt whisky, rather oily, with roasted nuts, bread and cakes, more porridge, more apples, a little muesli… Hoppla! The strength is perfect. Finish: rather long, on the same flavours. Comments: this will have been quick. It’s good malt whisky, with an averageness (hey?) that’s not unpleasant at all. Great to show your non-malt friends what is traditional malt whisky. SGP:441 - 80 points.

Glen Grant 18 yo (43%, OB, 2016)

Glen Grant 18 yo (43%, OB, 2016) Three stars On the label they say that this is ‘extremely rare’. Well, I love Glen Grant in general, but that may be best drink-and-food-related joke since Rowan Atkinson’s Paperback Raita. Colour: white wine. Nose: same ballpark, only a little rounder and fruitier. Rather more apples, rather less porridge. And pears. In truth I really like this averageness (hey hey?), it’s all very clean and quite refreshing. A little fruity beer. Mouth: very good, I have to say. Once again it’s this very classic maltiness that works very well, as well as the notes of orange cake and pastries. Well a member of the infernal Speyside trio, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and Glen Grant. Oh there’s another one starting with M… or something.  Finish: medium, a tad grassier. Burn grass and burnt cake. Comments: it’s a little more approachable than the Duthies, perhaps. Maltier than malt. And hey, it’s got an age statement! SGP:451 - 81 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glen Grant I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 3, 2016


Whiskyfun

Three Crazy Dalmore

Dalmore is a mystery. It’s a rather pushy ‘brand’ that whisky geeks often don’t like too much, and yet the very same whisky geeks just love all the people that work at or for Dalmore. And rightly so, they are great, very friendly and very knowledgeable people! And it’s always a treat to be able to visit the distillery… Anyway, let’s have three new ones. We won’t mention the prices, you’ll easily find them online.

Dalmore ‘Quintessence’ (45%, OB, 2016)

Dalmore ‘Quintessence’ (45%, OB, 2016) Three stars and a half You couldn’t make this up, this NAS baby has been finished in five different Californian red wine casks. Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Seriously, Zin. Colour: amber. Nose: first achievement, it’s not too winey. Second achievement, it’s pretty Dalmore-y, with some chocolate and some oranges. And then, it’s malty, with whiffs of Mars bar and a wee earthy/ferny side that’s rather pleasant. Perhaps does it rather go towards Cognac? Pleasant. Mouth: no, this is very unusual. Seriously, it does taste like some kind of American craft whisky, flash-aged in very small barrels. And it’s pretty good, with some pumpernickel, gourd pips, sloe, cloves, ginger… It’s just not very Dalmore anymore. But funny it is. Finish: medium, on bitter chocolate, cigars, black tea, and green pepper and juniper. Some French oak involved, perhaps? Comments: Dalmore’s first craft whisky? Really, it almost made me laugh, and this, I like. And it’s rather very good IMHO. SGP:461 - 83 points.

Dalmore 20 yo 1995/2016 (53%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Sauternes finish, cask #4, 290 bottles)

Dalmore 20 yo 1995/2016 (53%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Sauternes finish, cask #4, 290 bottles) Four stars Not 100% sure about the strength. Sauternes is one of the wines that can work as finishings, as we’ve noticed several times in the past. Mind you, it’s not touriga nacional. Colour: gold. Nose: quite amazingly, it’s more ‘Dalmore’ than many Dalmores. I mean, we’re closer to some excellent indies that to the brand’s usual ‘heavier’ style. Malt, croissants, and cakes (or panettone), then oranges, fudge, and white chocolate. Perhaps dried apricots, but I’m not too sure. This baby does not seem to need water, so for once… Mouth: indeed, it’s more ‘independent Dalmore’, fresh, quite vibrant and refreshing, with squeezed oranges and mullein flower syrup. That, you should try one day, if you haven’t. Typical Sauternes. Finish: long, fruity, never too oaky, with added tones of aromatic herbs, such as lemongrass, or perhaps honeysuckle. Blackcurrant leaves in the aftertaste. Comments: can we have the name of the château? Nah, I’m joking… I really like this. SGP:551 - 85 points.

Dalmore 35 yo (40%, OB, 2016)

Dalmore 35 yo (40%, OB, 2016) Four stars and a half Yes, only 40% vol. And warning warning warning, some colheita Port pipe has been involved. Oh and Baccarat crystal. Baccarat are just half an hour away from the Whiskyfun Towers. I’m scared… Colour: amber. Nose: phew, no invasive red wine notes, rather cakes and ‘an Austrian breakfast buffet’, as well as very soft Indian spices and some very lovely shy flowers. No roses and stuff, rather tiny ones from the fields. Nuts. I mean, there are nuts in this nose. Mouth: can we have a version at a higher strength if we pay more? In truth this is quite perfect, full of soft dried fruits, flowers, oranges, with touches of ginger cake, speculoos, roasted malt… And no red Port in sight, hurrrray! (don’t get me wrong, I love Port, just not in my whisky). Finish: medium to short, whispers a bit, but there are many herbal teas. Chamomile, wild roses, and honeysuckle. A little more oak in the aftertaste, but that’s nothing. Comments: perhaps a tad fragile, but it’s a great old Dalmore for sure. They managed to bury the Port wine, no small feat. SGP:551 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Dalmore I've tasted so far

 

 

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October 2, 2016


Whiskyfun

Malternatives, Crazy Caroni

Many malt enthusiasts are turning their attention to rum these days, and some have already noticed that while there are many very lousy hyper-doctored rums, there are also a few ‘Islay-like’ gems that are coming from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Guyana (but rather the independent ones in that case), while the ‘Highlands’ would rather come from the French West Indies. I know, not much sense, but I believe we can build parallels, high esters in rum corresponding to peat or smoke in malt whisky. Sort of. Now which are the Ardbegs or Lagavulins of rum is debatable, what’s sure is that there’s one Distillery that pleases many whisky lovers, and it is the sadly closed Caroni, in Trinidad.

Caroni

Let’s have a few, as many whisky bottlers are having some theses days, which is great. First one at reasonable strength, then utter monsters!

Caroni 18 yo 1997/2016 (46%, Dornoch Distillery, Trinidad, 48 bottles)

Caroni 18 yo 1997/2016 (46%, Dornoch Distillery, Trinidad, 48 bottles) Four stars and a half This baby by these excellent fellows up there at Dornoch Castle, who have also started a very lovely pocket distillery. But this is well Caroni… Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s a rather rounded Caroni, not a heavy one, with a Martiniquan side. Did they make agricole too at Caroni?? Overripe bananas, maple syrup, a discreet tarry side, and only in the back, a few black olives and a piece of salted liquorice, Dutch style. Perhaps whiffs of old roses as well. A very elegant Caroni, not a brute at all. Mouth: very good, bursting with liquorice and fruit jams, maraschino, sweet oak spices, agave syrup, and Grand- Marnier. You could quaff litres and litres of this, but there aren’t litres and litres of this. Finish: rather long, a tad saltier and more olive-y. Which is great, no need to say. Comments: shall we call it a fat light Caroni? Middleweight? Would that make sense? Quality’s very high, in any case. SGP:542 - 88 points.

Caroni 19 yo 1997/2016 (63.2%, Dornoch Distillery, Trinidad, 90 bottles)

Caroni 19 yo 1997/2016 (63.2%, Dornoch Distillery, Trinidad, 90 bottles) Four stars and a halfI had first thought this would have been the same rum, only at cask strength, but the ages do not match, do they? Another beautiful label. Colour: golden amber. Nose: styles are similar, this is middleweight Caroni, with a tad more wood and oranges this time, but that may just be the higher strength. Cedar wood and sugarcane, with a drop of pitch and one of olive oil. With water: it’s rather narrower than the 18 yo, but also a tad earthier. Maybe is it my dear Vittel playing tricks.

Mouth (neat): rich and creamy, not unlike some bourbons, but with more fruits. Tropical ones of course, such as bananas and pineapples. Once again, I cannot not think of dear Martinique. How bizarre! With water: gets more congeneric and phenolic. Rotting oranges and more overripe bananas, plus a few drops of brine. Finish: long, perfectly balanced, salty. Salted oranges, have to try that one day. Comments: super-high quality once again, same ballpark, same score (coz we don’t do halves and quarters). A perfect example of ‘light’ Caroni – which is much heavier than, say Cubans, granted. SGP:542 - 88 points.

Caroni 1996/2016 (64.3%, L’Esprit, Trinidad, cask #BB4, 214 bottles)

Caroni 1996/2016 (64.3%, L’Esprit, Trinidad, cask #BB4, 214 bottles) Five stars Colour: gold. Nose: I believe this is the heavier style, it’s certainly got more petroly notes, more olives, more tar, and more damp earth. Diesel oil and coal tar. With water: amazing, really. Late harvest riesling and camphor, tarry ropes, and black tapenade (crushed olives with anchovies). Mouth (neat): Caroni for gangsters indeed. Drinking gasoline blended with lemon juice and gherkin brine. Makes Ardbeg taste like Glenkinchie! Quite. With water: more of that. I find this quite sublime, with these lemony touches that keep lifting it and making it fresh. Finish: very long, as long as a speech by Fidel, as we sometimes say. Comments: not a surprise, these good people in Brittany are doing a great job, but still, what a fantastic ‘heavy’ Caroni! You’d almost believe it was peated. SGP:454 - 91 points.

Caroni 20 yo 1996/2016 (70.28%, Velier, 60th Anniversary of La Maison du Whisky, cask #R3711)

Caroni 20 yo 1996/2016 (70.28%, Velier, 60th Anniversary of La Maison du Whisky, cask #R3711) Four stars This one aged on location, hence an angels’ share of more than 85%. There are other casks just being launched, but we’ll only have this one. Colour: dark red amber. Nose: a rounder one again, more in the style of the lovely Dornochs, so less Islayian than the L’Esprit. Oranges and warm sawdust, and some cakes straight from the oven. Water may help. Mind you, 70% vol.! With water: lemongrass, menthol, oranges, and pencil shavings. A kind of W.L. Weller of rum, if you like. Mouth (neat): super-strong! Rather citrusy, it seems, but let’s be careful and not burn our taste buds, because we’ve got an even stronger one yet to taste. With water: very extractive, and fairly sweeter again. I mean, than the L’Esprit. I do not think this is Caroni’s heaviest style, but indeed it’s very excellent. Finish: very long, with plenty of sweet oak and other woods. Comments: very, very, and I mean very good, of course. You have to like oak, having said that, and hyper-extractive rums. SGP:542 - 87 points.

And now, thunder and (hopefully) glory…

The Caroni 20 yo 1996/2016 (70.7%, Giuseppe Begnoni, bourbon, cask #R3719, 260 bottles)

The Caroni 20 yo 1996/2016 (70.7%, Giuseppe Begnoni, bourbon, cask #R3719, 260 bottles) Four stars and a half Most probably one from Velier’s racing team. Giuseppe Begnoni, as you may know, owns one of, if not the greatest whisky collection in the world (it puts many ‘official’ largest whisky collections in the world to shame, including Edinburgh’s). And this Caroni too was matured on location. Giuseppe, the floor is yours… But hey what does ‘The’ Caroni mean? A nod to bonnie Scotland? Colour: dark red amber. Nose: plainly in the style of the Velier, which was to be expected. Perhaps a tad less extravagantly oaky, and a notch both earthier and fruitier. Ripe mangos, perhaps. And wait, our beloved late harvest riesling is back! Verbena, wormwood, elderflower… That’s nice! With water: between both Caroni worlds. Not quite ‘heavy’, not quite ‘light’. Love these hints of cough syrup… Mouth (neat): powah! Muhammad Ali’s own stimulant (when he was still Cassius Clay, of course). Quick, water… (cough, cough)… With water: oh very good! Less tannic than the previous one, yet still quite extractive, tarry, earthy… It’s this earthiness that I particularly love. I guess I’m down to earth… Finish: very long. Like two speeches by Raul in a row. Perhaps some bitterish herbs in the aftertaste? Cynar? Comments: one of the most imposing aged spirits you could find these days. As they say, not for the fainthearted. One question remains open to me, is ‘tropical aging’ really an asset? Sure it’s more romantic, and, in a way, coherent, but on the nose and on the palate… Well, we may need yet another healthy debate! Anyway, great great rum, Giuseppe (and Luca, I suppose). SGP:552 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all rums I've tasted so far

 

 

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Whiskyfun fav of the month

September 2016

Favourite recent bottling:
Ardbeg 21 yo ‘Twenty One’ (46%, OB, bourbon casks, 2016)  - WF 91

Favourite older bottling:
Double OO ‘Old Orkney’ (no ABV stated, OB, Real Liqueur Whisky, McConnell’s, Stromness Distillery, +/-1930) - WF 97

Favourite bang for your buck bottling:
Timorous Beastie 40 yo (54.7%, Douglas Laing, blended Highland malt, 1,080 bottles) - WF 91

Favourite malternative:
Hampden 6 yo 2010/2016 ‘HLCF’ (68.5%, Habitation Velier, Jamaica) - WF 92

September 2016 - part 2 <--- October 2016 - part 1 ---> October 2016 - part 2


 

 

Best malts I had these weeks - 90+ points only

Brora 22 yo 1972/1995 (61.1%, OB, Rare Malts)

Brora 38 yo 1977/2016 (48.6%, OB, Special Release, 2,984 bottles)

Caol Ila 34 yo 1982/2016 (60.1%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, 2016)

Caol Ila 19 yo 1996 (55.3%, Kingsbury, sherry hogshead, cask #800, 242 bottles, +/-2016)

Lagavulin 12 yo 'Special Release 2016' (57.7%, OB)

Port Ellen 24 yo 1979/2004 (56.8%, Signatory Vintage, cask #6773, 541 bottles)

Port Ellen 37 yo 1978/2016 (55.2%, OB, Special Release, 2,940 bottles)

Caroni 1996/2016 (64.3%, L’Esprit, Trinidad, cask #BB4, 214 bottles)

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
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