Google Whisky Fun by Serge and Angus, blog, reviews and tasting notes since 2002
Whiskyfun Malt Madness Malt Maniacs
 

Serge whiskyfun

 

Whiskies 18,108
Other spirits 2,800
Angus 1,724

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Index of whiskyfun


Whisky Tasting

 
Aberfeldy (62)
Aberlour (
136)
Abhainn Dearg (2)
Allt-A-Bhainne (
43)
An Cnoc/Knockdhu (3
7)
Ardbeg (4
68)
Ardmore (
131)
Arran (
121)
Auchentoshan (1
26)
Auchroisk (
45)
Aultmore (
81)
Balblair (102)
Balmenach (42)
Balvenie (1
3
6)
Banff (5
2)
Ben Nevis (2
72)
Ben Wyvis
(3)
Benriach (1
9
9)
Benrinnes (
112)
Benromach (
8
5)
Bladnoch (
8
9)
Blair Athol (
116)
Bowmore (5
88)
Braes of Glenlivet (
5
7)
Brora (1
4
7)
Bruichladdich (3
41)
Bunnahabhain (
4
25)
Caol Ila (792)
Caperdonich (
106)
Cardhu (4
5)
Clynelish (4
66)
Coleburn (2
5)
Convalmore (
30)
Cragganmore (
90)
Craigduff (4)
Craigellachie (
117)
Dailuaine (91)
Dallas Dhu (41)
Dalmore (1
3
7)
Dalwhinnie (
44)
Deanston (
6
6)
Dufftown (
65)
Edradour (95)
Ladyburn (12)
Lagavulin
(1
9
3)
Laphroaig (
5
28)
Ledaig (1
42)
Linkwood (
204)
Littlemill (1
33)
Loch Lomond (
116)
Lochside (7
3)
Longmorn (2
3
9)
Longrow (
85)
Macallan (331)
Macduff (9
3)
Malt Mill
(1)
Mannochmore (
57)
Millburn (2
5)
Miltonduff (
103)
Mortlach (2
22)
Mosstowie (2
5)
Scapa (61)
Speyburn (
53)
Speyside (22)
Springbank (
4
36)
St-Magdalene (
60)
Strathisla (
11
4)
Strathmill (
61)
 
 
Pete and Jack



2022
November 1 - 2
October 1 - 2
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July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
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2021
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October 1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
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2020
December
1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October 1 - 2
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April 1
- 2
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2019
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
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December
1 - 2
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1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
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2017
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2016
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2015
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2014
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1- 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2013
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2012
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2011
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2010
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2009
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2008
Music Awards
December
1 - 2 - 3
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2007
Music Awards
December
1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September 1 - 2
August 1 - 2 - 3
July 1 - 2
June 1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May 1 - 2
April 1 - 2
March 1 - 2
February 1 - 2
January 1 - 2

2006
Music Awards
December 1 - 2
November
1 - 2
October
1 - 2 - 3
September
1 - 2
August
1 - 2
July
1 - 2
June 1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May
1 - 2
April
1 - 2
March
1 - 2
February
1 - 2
January 1
- 2

2005
Music Awards
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October
1- 2
September
1 - 2
August
1 - 2
July
1 - 2
June
1 - 2
Feis Ile
Special
May
1 - 2
April
1 - 2
March
1 - 2
February
1 - 2
January
1 - 2

2004
December 1 - 2
November 1 - 2
October
1 - 2
September
1
August
1
July
1
June
1
May
1
April 1
March 1
February
1
January
1

No archives for 2002-2003

 
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The Magical History
of the Great
Brora Distillery
1969 - 1983

   


 

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that used to be here

   

 

 



Disclaimer
 

All the linked files (mp3, video, html) are located on free commercial or non-commercial third party websites. Some pictures are taken from these websites, and are believed to be free of rights, as long as no commercial use is intended.

I always try to write about artists who, I believe, deserve wider recognition, and all links to mp3 files are here to show you evidence of that. Please encourage the artists you like, by buying either their CDs or their downloadable 'legal' tracks.

I always add links to the artists' websites - if any - which should help you know more about their works. I also try to add a new link to any hosting website or weblog which helped me discover new music - check the column on the right.

I almost never upload any mp3 file on my own server, except when dealing with artists I personally know, and who gave me due authorizations, or sometimes when I feel a 'national' artist deserves wider recognition. In that case, the files will remain on-line only for a few days.

I do not encourage heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages, nor dangerous motorbike riding. But life is short anyway...

As they say here: 'L'abus d'alcool est dangeureux pour la santé - à consommer avec modération'

   
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Copyright Serge Valentin
Angus MacRaild
2002-20
22

 


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December 9, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little Duos, Aberfeldy amend

We've had some pretty difficult official Aberfeldies the other day, but both had been heavily finished in red wine, so it's been two clear cases of HPE (Hawaiian Pizza Effect) while we all know that Aberfeldy is better than that. So let's have two other young ones, I was about to add some 'normal' young ones.

Raisin Roll
Raisin rolls (cookomix.com)

 

 

Aberfeldy 12 yo (40%, OB, +/-2022)

Aberfeldy 12 yo (40%, OB, +/-2022) Three stars
I believe this one's perfectly normal indeed, without any unnecessary make-up. Currently 35€ in France at dramazon, where they tell us that it 'contains sulphites' (right) and that it's 'grown in the shade' (I kid you not). Colour: light gold. Nose: it's hard to imagine some malt whisky that would be even more on barley, cereals, Fruit Loops, apple cake, kougelhopf, custard, raisin rolls, gingerbread, malt… It's hard to fathom why anyone would decide to disfigure this classic profile using sill red wine casks. Mouth: rather simpler on the palate, but once again, it's some classic malty whisky, with cakes aplenty and a very pleasant honeyness. The low ABV does it no good, but I'm not finding it particularly weak. Finish: rather medium, cakey, with some brown beer, more gingerbread, and with tiny touches of aniseed in the aftertaste, which I'm finding most pleasant. A little cardboard too, which a notch less pleasant. Comments: after many years, the relatively humble 12 from Perthshire is leaving the 70-80 zone in my book, at last. You may pour 1 teaspoon into your pumpkin soup, that would work perfectly. Love that.
SGP:441 - 81 points.

And now, please a very young Aberfeldy, we already had a lovely 7 last month…

Aberfeldy 6 yo 2013/2020 (46%, Van Wees, The Ultimate, hogshead, cask #304375, 395 bottles)

Aberfeldy 6 yo 2013/2020 (46%, Van Wees, The Ultimate, hogshead, cask #304375, 395 bottles) Three stars
This one should be totally au naturel. Colour: light white wine. Nose: pure barleyness. Whiffs of gueuze, pear cake, plums (greengages), apple juice… Not a lot to add, I would say, it's very nice elementary malt whisky, in the best sense of the word elementary. The pears do give the young age away. There's also a slight Glenmo-y side to this youngster. Mouth: rawer, but that's to be expected from a 6 years old. A little more lemony too, with more green apples as well, a grassiness playing with your gums, that famous limoncello that we keep mentioning every other day, a little rhubarb wine… Finish: medium, fruity and malty. Comments: another one that's not earthshattering (how could it be) but that's perfectly all right. Young malt whisky as nature intended, safe from any red wines based on Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon or Syrah (to mention but a few).

SGP:541 - 80 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Aberfeldy we've tasted so far

 

December 8, 2022


Whiskyfun

Three Tormore
31 32 33

La Maison kindly remind us that Tormore was the first new Scottish Distillery to be built in the 20th century, in 1958! Which means that no new Distillery's been built over Hadrian's wall between 1900 and 1958. Is that even possible, whilst they keep building literally dozens of them these days.


Sernik (larecettepolonaise.fr)

 

 

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (48.4%, Loza Dzentelmenow, Rambler, refill bourbon, 64 bottles)

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (48.4%, Loza Dzentelmenow, Rambler, refill bourbon, 64 bottles) Four stars and a half
A wee bottling for Poland, found at Whisky Live Warsaw. We've already had a sip, and I say no more… yet. Colour: straw. Nose: simply a large, Ozzy-Osbourne-size pack of wine gums, with just all flavours, from cassis to raspberry, through oranges and lemons. You could also believe you're nosing some champagne rosé from a good house, while other flavours are chiming in, especially banana, before more pastry-like aromas would appear. Perhaps serniks and paczkis? Mouth: starts with some slightly sour, lemony wood, which is very pleasant as it would remind us of champagne again, then displays more wine gums and grittier fruits such as some plums, small vicar's apples (or cider apples), green bananas… Finish: same, between those grittier, grassier fruits and those easy wine gums. And champagne, naturally. Comments: it is rather dual, and of course very good. We already tried an excellent blended malt by Loza Dzentelmenow, their Angel's Whisky (WF 86), we also remember a superb official Glenmorangie single cask done for them (WF 90).
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Tormore 32 yo 1988/2021 (44.1%, Whisky-Fässle, hogshead)

Tormore 32 yo 1988/2021 (44.1%, Whisky-Fässle, hogshead) Four stars
The ducks are back on Whiskyfun. Colour: white wine. Nose: a very different kind of Tormore, not so much on fruits, rather on marzipan, bits of rubber, then indeed on lemons, also putty and almond paste, barley wine, apples, a little sesame oil… It is very intriguing, I'm very curious about the palate now… Oh and litres of apple juice (that vicar's)… Mouth: certainly a rawer Tormore, all on apple peel, young calvados and young marc de Bourgogne, zests, white pepper, grass, some raw cinnamon from the hogshead (I suppose), a drop of Cynar and one of Fernet… Finish: rather long but grassier yet, getting a tad tannic, but with some good mead in the aftertaste, as well as some very honeyed old beers. Some trappiste, I would say. Comments: excellent, naturally, but I'm starting to wonder if these series of Tormores take old age super-well.

SGP:461 - 86 points.

Tormore 33 yo 1988/2022 (51.3%, Signatory Vintage, LMDW Antipodes, second fill sherry butt finish, cask #2, 449 bottles)

Tormore 33 yo 1988/2022 (51.3%, Signatory Vintage, LMDW Antipodes, second fill sherry butt finish, cask #2, 449 bottles) Four stars
Whether doing a finishing using a second fill casks still is a finishing remains to be seen, unless the previous content was a peater, for example, a trick that's certainly not unseen these days. Probably not here, having said that... Colour: light gold. Nose: in wine territories, between pinot gris Auslese (right, Grauburgunder) and a good chardonnay from around Beaune. Add mirabelles, quinces, butter pears, and perhaps one or two raisins, plus one or two fresh mint leaves, rubbed between your fingers. Or there, tarte tatin made with quinces instead of apples. With water: brioche dough and a little honey, plus more of that tarte tatin made with quinces instead of apples. Mouth (neat): closer to the Fässle, so grassier, tighter, more on peel, resin and leaves, while the fruits got greener. Now the texture is a little oilier. The resin is intriguing. With water: some smokiness coming out! Some rubber, some tar, in tiny quantities… Finish: medium, good, a wee tad rubbery indeed. Comments: I'm not sure I should have added any water. Another very good one, but we'd love to know a little more about the butt's previous content.
SGP:562 - 86 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Tormore we've tasted so far

 

December 7, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little Duos, today Macallan again

Well, one of them will be one of those secret Speysiders that 'could' be Macallan, but a tiny bird told me that in this very case, there's very little doubt.

(Picture, Bocuse's Soupe VGE, Académie du Goût)

VGE

Macallan 2003/2022 'Speymalt' (57.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, LMDW Antipodes)

Macallan 2003/2022 'Speymalt' (57.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, LMDW Antipodes) Five stars
La Maison are having two different Speymalts at Cask Strength this year, a superb 2001 that we've already tried a few days ago (WF 89) and this even newer 2003. To think that any 2003s, which was just last year wasn't it, are about to become twenty years old… Colour: brown amber. Nose: I'll get killed one day but I think this is more Macallan than Macallan. I mean 'traditional' Macallan, starting with a little gunpowder and struck matches, moving towards truffle soup and dark toffee, going on towards chestnut honey and chocolate, then hectolitres of old oloroso, bags of walnuts, clove, liquorice, sludge, tar, flints, something basaltic… We're back in the years way before 2003. With water: truffle soup! There's one thing that's almost like this, it is Bocuse's 'Soupe VGE'. Some soup harbouring truffles, foie gras and Noilly, what could go wrong? Mouth (neat): pure flinty oloroso, extremely rich, thick, bordering heaviness but some lemon is saving it all. This is extremely spectacular, you do almost have the feeling that someone's added lemon juice to lift this cask to new heights. Fantastic. With water:  this is a time machine. Salty toffee, more truffle, very old oloroso, and always this lemon juice that's adding just the right amount of freshness. These little notes of chervil are helping too. Finish: very long and superbly meaty. This is the kind of whisky they should have at *** restaurants, instead of the usual 'supermarket' bottles. Some saltiness in the aftertaste. Comments: I believe Silvano Samaroli as well would have selected this cask, it is very 'Silvano'. R.I.P. Silvano.
SGP:662 - 91 points.

Secret Speyside 30 yo 1992/2022 (49.2%, Fadandel.dk, 1st fill sherry quarter cask, cask #1408831, 28 bottles)

Secret Speyside 30 yo 1992/2022 (49.2%, Fadandel.dk, 1st fill sherry quarter cask, cask #1408831, 28 bottles) Five stars
A tiny, yet very extravagant release, finished for three years in a wee PX quarter cask. They called it 'Uisge Beatha Rolls Royce', so indeed, it shouldn't be Allt-A-Bhainne, let's see… (hey, nothing against Allt-A-Bhainne, which is a very fine drop, just not a Rolls Royce of Uisge Beatha). Colour: amber. Nose: I had feared this would have been too tough after the G&M, but while indeed it is softer and rounder, these sweet notes of millionaire shortbread, pancakes with maple syrup, manuka honey, banana cake, geranium and wisteria, butterscotch and then just raisins are pretty splendid. The floral side is absolutely lovable. Mouth: the finishing was smartly done, you do not really feel it, while the little cask too behaved. In short, no lousy coconut, rather some precious jams and Christmas spices. For example, marmalade and clove, mulled white wine with star anise, some mango chutney, blackberry jelly with a little caraway, and indeed raisins, especially sultanas. Finish: long, with a little orange juice that keeps lifting it. Isn't it funny that both Macallans were pretty citrusy today? More oak spices in the aftertaste, but we do remain in safe territory. Comments: this was a death seat after the Speymalt, but it pulled through with glory and honour.

SGP:651 - 90 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Macallan we've tasted so far

 

December 6, 2022


Whiskyfun

Little Duos, today two young Glen Spey

Glen Spey is one of those 'little' names that we love to try every once in a while. In fact, we try as many as we can and if good people don't care too much about these shier players, well, they should.

Rosehip
Rosehip tea (vaya.in)

 

 

Glen Spey 11 yo 2010/2022 (Signatory Vintage, Un-chillfiltered Collection, 1st use hogshead, cask # #804789+804790)

Glen Spey 11 yo 2010/2022 (Signatory Vintage, Un-chillfiltered Collection, 1st use hogshead, cask # #804789+804790) Four stars
I would suppose 1st use means 1st fill, unless there would be a story about re-coopering or similar matters here. Or a new hogshead made from fresh barrels? Colour: white wine. Nose: I think we're getting that '1st use', which would translate into more vanilla and coconut than usual. We're almost nosing a fresh opened pack of coconut balls and macaroons, then rather muesli with bits of apples. Quite curiously, this is all balanced and fresh, while in my book, coconut is never a good sign (wine or spirit too fresh). After a good fifteen minutes, you'd almost believe you're nosing some Irish pure pot still. Mouth: same feeling, word for word. Is this Redbreast undercover? Sweet and sour apples, clover honey, coconut and papayas, that combo rings a bell indeed… Finish: medium, on the same flavours plus a little white pepper and cinnamon. Some rosehip tea too and perhaps a little sawdust in the aftertaste. Comments: another one to pour blind to your friends.

SGP:641 - 85 points.

Glen Spey 10 yo (46%, James Eadie, Small Batch, recharred hogshead, casks #801625+801626, 753 bottles, 2022)

Glen Spey 10 yo (46%, James Eadie, Small Batch, recharred hogshead, casks #801625+801626, 753 bottles, 2022) Four stars
Probably not a dissimilar setup here… Colour: pale white wine. Nose: we're very close, which was to be expected, this one being just a little rounder, less 'acidic' as far as the fruitiness goes, less 'Irish', yet more honeyed… Some fresh pastries, angelica, perhaps parsnips (as they're all the rage these days). Mouth: closer yet. Lovely tartness, a lot of complexity to be found if you give it a little time, including something coastal, around anchovies, and even some kind of sweet risotto. Say risotto with orange juice and bits of white asparagus, how does that sound? Finish: medium, honeyed, very close to the Signatory. Peppery aftertaste (black pepper plus Szechuan). Comments: it's always great to try whiskies that are this similar, that pushes your limits and lets the tiniest nuances come out, but scores cannot be different.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glen Spey we've tasted so far

 

December 5, 2022


Whiskyfun

A
quintet
of
Laga
vulin

Not much to add about Lagavulin today. One of the star Distilleries, as everyone knows. Let's try a few…

Lagavulin

 

 

Lagavulin 8 yo (48%, OB, +/-2022)

Lagavulin 8 yo (48%, OB, +/-2022) Five stars
The first new 8, which they did to celebrate the Distillery's two hundred years back in 2016, had been excellent in my opinion (WF 90) but I haven't tried any subsequent releases, while quite some friends have been fearing this 8 was actually a sneaky little move to replace the popular 16 with a whisky half the age and at roughly the same price. I for one wouldn't care too much, both drops being equally excellent; what's more the 8 comes with some precious extra-5% vol. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: 'putting your head into a long-abandoned coal stove', or something like that. Then diving into the Irish sea, smelling oysters, nosing lemon juice, muscadet, beach sand, newly washed pull-over, old newspapers, plus the obligatory olive brine. There's a lot of purity and cleanliness, you could almost think 'Scottish mezcal'. Mouth: perfect, straight to the point, bold and tart, with this funny fat minerality that's very Lagavulin in my book, quite some saltiness, lemon, roots, earths, clam casserole, olives, tar and just smoked fish. Kippers. Finish: long, pretty peppery, maybe a little savoury now (miso), with olives and lemon twists. Mr Bond would approve, I suppose. Kippers and anchovies in the aftertaste, plus loads of smoke. Comments: a little uncomplicated but I would say that's an asset in this context where precision is the key. I can't see why we wouldn't keep those…

SGP:368 - 90 points.

Lagavulin 'Distillers Edition 2022' (43%, OB)

Lagavulin 'Distillers Edition 2022' (43%, OB) Four stars
Double matured in PX seasoned casks and now coming without any age or vintage statements, while last year's still had one, 2006. Gulp! At least it lasted from the glorious vintage 1979 to vintage 2006. Colour: golden apricot. Nose: nice, fresh, not quite PX-y, rather on lapsang souchong and pu-her, old hunting jacket, Barbour grease, lanolin, with a little game, Maggi, lovage, soy sauce… Some camphor and cough syrup too. Sadly I haven't got any older vintages at hand, but I have the impression that this is fresher and less on coffee and chocolate than its ancestors. Mouth: the sherry feels a little more on the palate but it's still a refreshing and lively Lagavulin, pretty smoky, with a growing toffeeness and a little pipe tobacco. Would tend to get then heavier and a little leathery, but with good marmalade and jams (plums). Finish: medium, a little medicinal, with a feeling of sweet cough syrup. No meatiness that I can detect on the palate. The aftertaste is a notch too jammy and sweet for me, this sweetness being new. Comments: nutshell, they cancelled the vintage and age statements and seemingly raised the price to +/-125€, while bottling a fairly better and possibly younger juice. Loved the lovage in it. Crikey, I just don't know whether we should start to complain or not.
SGP:656 - 86 points.

Lagavulin 12 yo 'The Flames of The Phoenix' (57.3%, OB, Special Releases 2022, Elusive Expressions, 2022)

Lagavulin 12 yo 'The Flames of The Phoenix' (57.3%, OB, Special Releases 2022, Elusive Expressions, 2022) Four stars and a half
From refill American and virgin oak casks. They love their legends, last year it was a lion on fire, this time it is a phoenix. I just adored last's years 12 yo SR (WF 92). Colour: white wine. Nose: goodness gracious, this is a blend of seawater, sorb and holly eaux-de-vie, gentian and chlorine (pool water). Some white asparagus too, shoe polish, sauna oils, new rubber bands and tyres, kerosene… And perhaps a little more fatness than in earlier releases. With water: some fresh paint this time, and even more new tyres and inner tubes, leatherette, benzine, kerosene (airport runway after a busy day) ... Mouth (neat): two-stroke Lagavulin, with citrus liqueurs and with straight peat smoke. Some kind of smoky limoncello, perhaps a little binary, but water should help. With water: this is funny, we've found the 8 in this 12, now that water's been added, but the 8 was a tad more in high-res, so to speak. Finish: long, with a little fatness from the woods (I suppose) and even something very marginally syrupy. Classic aftertaste, on iodine, tar, lemon and pure peat. Comments: some extra-sweetness in this variant. Awesome, as always, but the 8 has been a little nasty. Bugger!

SGP:557 - 89 points.

Lagavulin 30 yo 1991/2022 (44.3%, OB, Cask of Distinction, for Hong Kong Whisky Fellows, House Welley Whisky Bar, Christoph Kirsch, Sebastian Jaeger and Boris Borissov, 1st Fill PX/Oloroso seasoned European oak butt, cask #5403, 318 bottles)

Lagavulin 30 yo 1991/2022 (44.3%, OB, Cask of Distinction, for Hong Kong Whisky Fellows, House Welley Whisky Bar, Christoph Kirsch, Sebastian Jaeger and Boris Borissov, 1st Fill PX/Oloroso seasoned European oak butt, cask #5403, 318 bottles) Five stars
In a way, you could argue that this is another kind of 'world whisky'. Colour: mahogany. Nose: it's funny how our minds work, I'm reminded of another Lagavulin that I last tried in 2007 (!), a fairly musty yet very impressive NAS spring cap rotation 1958. Chinese mushrooms, old kettle, old coins, metal polish, old toolbox, old stove, various bouillons, soups and broths, cigars and coffees, mead, suet, marrow, a little paraffin, pu-her again, mint sauce, even lamb, raw chocolate, dried kelp on a beach at low tide… And so on! Long story short, the impression that this is a pretty old bottle. Mouth: takes a few seconds to find some kind of equilibrium on your palate, then unloads loads of secondary and tertiary flavours, including the expected walnut wine from the sherries. Mushrooms, precious black teas, tobaccos, dried meats, embrocations, old balms, polishes, spices (subtle turmeric and caraway), clams and affiliated shellfish, old waxes, old bottles of triple-sec and various herbal cordials… And old sherry, both dry ones and sweet ones. Perhaps some old cream, dulce, V.O.R.S…. Finish: medium to long, this time a little more on citrus and chocolate. Umami sauce, honey meat glazing, chocolate and yuzu, there. Comments: those were only the highlights of what I could find, could be that there's virtually every aromas and flavours in this Lagavulin, which, by the way, also reminded me a bit of Laphroaig 1974 for France.

SGP: - 93 points.

Let's celebrate with a super-young indie and then call this a proper Lagavulin session. Cheers.

Dubthach 6 yo (56.5%, La Table de Urs Hauri Selection, bourbon, 180 bottles, 2021)

Dubthach 6 yo (56.5%, La Table de Urs Hauri Selection, bourbon, 180 bottles, 2021) Four stars and a half
A bottle for Switzerland by The Stillman. La Table de Urs Hauri is a restaurant with an excellent reputation in the Swiss capital, Bern. They're making little secret about what's inside this little bottle… Colour: gold. Nose: starts with giving you a slap on the cheeks, gets then gentler, yet very smoky and much earthier than all officials. Humus, fresh compost, cigars, a little leather, a little camphor… I can't wait to add a little water. With water: we unleashed passion fruits, bananas and tangerines, sauna oils and once again a little fresh rubber (hevea). Bicycle inner tubes, raw wool, paint... Mouth (neat): we're not too far from some earlier versions of the 12 SR, with some rather massive tropical fruits (mangos this time), beyond the equally massive coastal, salty smoke. But once again, water is needed… With water: excellent, modern, young of course but already easily drinkable, as long as you add a few drops of water. More smoked tropical fruits. Finish: medium, on similar flavours, with more oak spices but everything remains under control. Szechuan pepper and cinnamon in the aftertaste. Comments: very excellent young Lagavulin, with good balance between the wood and the spirit. Note to self, go to Urs Hauri's as soon as we're in Switzerland again…

SGP:646 - 88 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Lagavulin we've tasted so far

 

December 4, 2022


Whiskyfun

A bag of seven rums

Rum remains a very fascinating and diverse category, with countless styles and origins, from old-style pure rums combining two main characteristics (cane juice or molasses, pot still or column) to new brands born just yesterday that would tend to blend faux Victorian designs and revolutionary names with more or less doctored industrial juices. Or rums from the distilleries vs. rums from the labs… As usual, too pretty designs tend to be no good signs, but there are many exceptions… Let's see if we ever come across some of these…

Cihatan
Mayan dog with wheels, found in Cihuatàn (National Museum of Anthropology San Salvador, fundar.org)

 

 

Cihuatàn 12 yo 'Cinabrio' (40%, OB, El Salvador, +/-2022)

Cihuatàn 12 yo 'Cinabrio' (40%, OB, El Salvador, +/-2022) Two stars and a half
We've tried one Cihuatàn 'Xaman XO' earlier this year, which we found pretty good if a little sweetish (WF 80). This Cinabrio seems to be paying tribute to some Mayan sun god, whilst Cihuatàn is the name of the largest Mayan site in El Salvador. What's more, cinabrio is cinnabar, so mercury sulphide (or some Estée Lauder perfume). Colour: light gold. Nose: very unusual at first, with rather a lot of anise and fennel seeds, surely some lime zests, then a metallic side (old tin box) and a curious herbal combination, with some angelica, Szechuan pepper, and just more star anise. Very intriguing – if this wasn't doctored in the lab. The palate should tell… Mouth: starts a little sugary, gets then drier, always very herbal, with more anise than on the nose, plus some coconut (from the wood or from the lab) and a little vanilla. The low strength feels, it is a little flabby. Finish: shortish, but with nicer notes of oranges and cinnamon liqueur. The aftertaste is rather peppery. Espelette pimento pepper, yes that exists. Comments: no cinnabar and that's probably better, I've seen it's toxic. A feeling of pepper and cinnamon liqueur overall, Egoïste de Chanel...

SGP:750 - 78 points.

Trinidad Distillers 8 yo 'Single Estate' (43%, Cane Island, Trinidad, +/-2022)

Trinidad Distillers 8 yo 'Single Estate' (43%, Cane Island, Trinidad, +/-2022) Two stars and a half
So Angostura, so molasses in column… Since I'm not familiar with the house Cane Island, I don't know whether they doctor their rums or not, let's see… Colour: deep gold. Nose: hey, nice! Some heavy fuel and some rotting bananas, not an unseen combination. Then liquorice, muscovado, some kind of tarry fudge and, perhaps, some sugar syrup, which is a little more frightening, but this nose is very pleasant altogether. Mouth: a little sweetness indeed, as if someone had added some banana and pineapple liqueur. Once again this is not unpleasant, but while other flavours would fade away, the sugariness remains on your tongue for a long time, which I do not like too much. The core is pretty lovely, too bad it's sweet. Finish: medium, with more cinnamon, and always rather a lot of cane syrup. Peppery aftertaste, once more. Comments: same ballpark.
SGP:751 - 78 points.

Millonario '10 Anniversario Reserva' (40%, OB, Peru, +/-2022)

Millonario '10 Anniversario Reserva' (40%, OB, Peru, +/-2022)
Many websites or retailers are advertising this one as a tenner, but nowhere does it say that the number '10' is related to this baby's age. It's even funny to read stuff such as '2/3 of this 10 years old consist in rums aged for 6 years in ex-Heaven Hill barrels. Love them still. We had tried the 15 back in 2010 and, as it seems, thought it was shockingly sweet (WF 60/65). Colour: gold. Nose: burnt tyres, tar liqueur, bananas flambéed, old copper, shoe polish, then prickly pear syrup and once again, this feeling of sugar load that you would get right on, and in the nose. Mouth: starts okay, on pepper, tar and oils, but the sugar gets massive and frankly cloying. More Cointreau than in Cointreau. I'm not sure anyone could actually quaff this without two tons of ice, or at least one litre of fresh cool water. Finish: long, much too sugary. Coffee liqueur and triple-sec. Comments: no, three tons of ice. Even Coca-Cola is not this sweet. Next Millonario, perhaps around 2035. Actually, I am joking, we've got more Millonario on the desk. Next time, okay?

SGP:920 - 45 points.

Renegade 'Etudes Dunfermline' (55%, OB, Grenada, 1,200 bottles, 2022)

Renegade 'Etudes Dunfermline' (55%, OB, Grenada, 1,200 bottles, 2022) Four stars
Ex pot still and eighteen months of ageing. Colour: straw. Nose: Laphroaig. Not saying that because this baby would share some traits with the famous Islayer, rather because you immediately get this feeling of 'love it or hate it'. In this case the fresh fermented cane juice is just all over the place and would come with a blend of roasted sesame oil, olive oil, lanoline (there, Laphroaig), diesel oil and some very fruity compost. As well as, in the background, some kind of camphor and menthol-based balm. With water: no changes, same rum, unless, wait, would this be anchovies?... Mouth (neat): what tinned sardines? What anchovies? What aspirin tablet? What pomegranate and pink grapefruit juice? This should go well with some Portuguese dishes (anchovy and garlic paste or something). And Puttanesca, naturally. Seriously, I'm a fan of high-character spirits, and this is one of them. Finish: long, salty, on benzine and anchovies. Overripe bananas and.. gentian (!) in the aftertaste. Comments: a lot of fun in this one. High presence and a style of its own, a tiny wee tad reminiscent of grogue and/or clairin here and there. I'm too close to Renegade to feel allowed to come up with an 'official' (well…) score, but let's say we're well in the high eighties already.

SGP:463.

Karukera 4 yo (54.3%, OB for LMDW, Antipodes, Guadeloupe, cask #576, 2022)

Karukera 4 yo (54.3%, OB for LMDW, Antipodes, Guadeloupe, cask #576, 2022) Three stars and a half
Karukera is the old Indian name of the island of La Guadeloupe. This is pure cane juice, while 'Karukera' is an offshoot of Longueteau, with their own methods of aging etc. We've already tried some excellent Karukeras. Colour: light gold. Nose: some presence, but this is much gentler and softer than the Renegade, perhaps also subtler. Fresh cane juice, broken branches, sunflower oil, notes of preserved peaches and mirabelles, a little crème brulée…  It really is a very gentle and elegant agricole so far. With water: remains a little restrained, hard to pin down, with rather many small aromas but perhaps no real guideline. That or I'm very tired. Mouth (neat): oh this is a cognac finish, capeesh. The oak's a tad heavy too, maybe… Cloves, peaches, kumquats, Timut pepper… With water: some kind of citrusy oak, with some olive oil, pumpkin seeds, lemon oil, eucalyptus wood… This baby really needs your attention if you'd like to get a good grasp of it. Not an easy one. Finish: medium, with things from the cognac (praline and raisins)… It's really hard to handle. Peppery olive oil and lemon essence in the aftertaste. Comments: rather soft and subtle, and yet tough and rough (ooh!) This one really requests all of your attention.

SGP:451 - 84 points.

To some heavier hitters…

Long Pond Cambridge 12 yo 2010/2022 'STCE' (57%, National Rums of Jamaica, LMDW, 5,153 bottles)

Long Pond Cambridge 12 yo 2010/2022 'STCE' (57%, National Rums of Jamaica, LMDW, 5,153 bottles) Four stars and a half
A vatting of fifteen (15) bourbon barrels. That's almost as many as in a batch of Johnnie Walker Blue, no? Now, as for this little rum and as I understand it, the name Cambridge refers to an old distillery whose make they're replicating at Long Pond, the marque STCE meaning 'Simon Thomsom Cambridge Estate'. Good, and the name 'continental flavoured' refers to one of the four styles they're making altogether, namely a rather high-ester one (500 to 700 gr/hlpa). Good, hope I've got everything more or less right, let us proceed… Colour: full gold. Nose: varnishes, acetone, polishes and carbon dust (a Porsche after the Nürburgring, as they say). Gosh they'll cancel us too one day. Then the expected rotting (well, rotten) bananas, artichokes, black olives, and Scotch tape. With water: more of all that, with perhaps a different balance. More Scotch tape. Mouth (neat): massive loads of rotting tropical fruits, with a feeling of ammonia, and certainly more varnish, plus coal tar and just diesel oil (right, a feeling of diesel oil, or rather something reminiscent of diesel oil). With water: sorrel juice (yep) and guava juice taking over. Very unusual – well I'm not familiar with these makes anyway. Acidic and rather sour. Finish: long, with more tart fruits of all kinds. Sour, gherkiny aftertaste. More liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: extreme. Quaffing dressers often comes with a challenge, this is an excellent (and actually excellent) example.
SGP:463 - 88 points.

We need a 90+ to call this a rum session. Sure bet…

Uitvlugt 30 yo 1991 (56%, Jack Tar, Dream Catcher, Illusion Series, Guyana, cask #3)

Uitvlugt 30 yo 1991 (56%, Jack Tar, Dream Catcher, Illusion Series, Guyana, cask #3) Five stars
Aged in Europe. This from the Port Mourant double wooden still when it was still at Uitvlugt. In a kind of way, all these +/-30 yo Uitvlugts remind me of all these +/-30 yo Lap… I mean Secret Islays that are all so good these days. Colour: straw. Nose: it's got this coastal purity, these old forgotten fruit liqueurs and pastes, this amazing mentholy earthiness, lip balm, these touches of camphor and these traces of olives filled with anchovy paste. I know we keep mentioning these… With water: yeah, old magazines, ink, stale rainwater, new tarmac, Barbour grease and olives… There's even a little butterscotch. Mouth (neat): I won't say there aren't any similarities with the Cambridge, especially on the diesel oil side. Stunning briney unfolding here but then again, this came expected. Olives, rotting fruits, carbon, varnish… With a relative softness. Cough syrup. With water: glorious. A few pencil shavings, some molassy Demerara sugar (how come) and a little tobacco. Finish: long, fantastic, salty. Very funny notes of butterscotch and toffee in the aftertaste, now THAT came unexpected. Comments: some butterscotch in an old Port-Mourant-at-Uitvlugt, by gum, I think we've seen it all now.
SGP:563 - 91 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all rums we've tasted so far

 

December 3, 2022


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Angus  
Glenmorangie
& Westport
Glenmorangie would, I suspect, struggle to sell every cask at the price they seem to think bottles of their official single casks should command. Perhaps that goes some way to explaining why there's a few of these Westport batches about the indy bottler market these days. It also perhaps explains why they are called 'Westport' and not 'Glenmorangie'. I remain fond of Glenmorangie as a whisky generally speaking, although I've always felt that it should perhaps be a slightly 'bigger' personality than it is, given its coastal and Highland location.

 

Glenmorangie 10 yo 1982/1992 (58.8%, OB, cask #5341)

Glenmorangie 10 yo 1982/1992 (58.8%, OB, cask #5341)
I have to admit a soft spot for these totally gorgeous old Glenmorangie single cask labels. And, as I recall, the whiskies weren't too shabby either, but it's been a long time since I tasted this one… Colour: straw. Nose: you just cannot imagine Glenmorangie issuing such a cask officially these days. This is extremely pure and honest whisky that, with its abundant green and orchard fruits, light waxes and easy cereal tones, cleaves wonderfully close to the raw distillate character. Also some white stone fruits coming now, wee chalky and wool touches, white flowers. Humble and subtly beautiful. With water: gets more citrusy with orange and lemon vitamin tablets, boiled lime sweets, then more hints of soft leather, mineral oils and a touch of hessian. Feels like it needs quite a bit of water and time. Mouth: rather raw and sharp at first, spiritous but very clean with trebly white stone fruits, citrus rinds and tiny flinty mineral qualities. Struck stones, chalk dusters, chamois leather. Again you just think of purity and raw ingredients and honesty. With water: rounder, more on grassy olive oil, eucalyptus, tarragon and tiny medical notes of lanolin and Elastoplast. Still terrifically pure, direct and chiselled. A sort of brittle and sharp profile that really makes you think of some top notch dry Chablis. Finish: medium, back on raw ingredients, freshly milled grist, malt syrup, old shilling ales and dried flowers. Comments: really in that 'barley eau de vie' territory with all this crisp, chiselled purity. I would take this over pretty much any of the highly oak-infused Glenmorangie single casks. Although, I would say it needs water to fully shine. I find it pretty sad that the distillery would just never in year of Sundays release this sort of single cask bottling anymore, probably because - like every other big whisky company these days - they're very keen to maintain the impression that their OB single casks are worth more than gold, despite the fact they pump out gazillions of litres of the stuff each year! This one is entirely about humility and charm.

SGP: 451 - 88 points.

 

 

Westport 17 yo 2005/2022 (57.1%, Watt Whisky, 198 bottles)

Westport 17 yo 2005/2022 (57.1%, Watt Whisky, 198 bottles)
Colour: pale amber. Nose: a very nicely sticky and jammy sherry profile which also feels rather light on its toes with roasted nuts, sultanas, hot chocolate and a few blackcurrant wines gums in the mix. Juicy and easy, which is always good news. With water: juicy fruits, jelly beans and also wee hints of liquorice and aniseed, also a few bready and beery touches. Mouth: still on this very jammy profile, but there's earthier notes and some tobaccos in the mix now too. I find leaf mulch, black coffee and some more bitter chocolate notes too. Balances robustness with more playful red and dark fruit notes. With water: goes towards fruit loaf and boozy Christmas cake, more tobacco leaf, sultana and marzipan. Finish: medium, and back on those nice easy jammy vibes, milk chocolate and treacle. Comments: excellent, I like it just as much as the old 10yo, even though they are wildly different beasts.

SGP: 651 - 88 points.

 

 

Thanks to Martin!

 

 

 

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenmorangie we've tasted so far

 

December 2, 2022


Whiskyfun

A case of Glenburgie
Part Two

Because we were having more…


(Picture, Loretta Lynn - Decca Records)

Lynn

Glenburgie 21 yo 1998/2020 (56.7%, Elixir Distillers, The Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #751398)

Glenburgie 21 yo 1998/2020 (56.7%, Elixir Distillers, The Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #751398) Four stars and a half
This one came with a very funny label, paying tribute to Loretta Lyne (arm). Sad news since this one was released, Lorretta Lynn passed away just a few weeks ago. To Loretta Lynn! According to the high scores fetched by its sister bottlings, everything should be fine… Colour: white wine. Nose: a grassier one this time, in other words there's no mango extravaganza, rather green gooseberries, apples and rhubarb playing around, followed by vanilla and a little sorb eau-de-vie. With water: funny whiffs of aniseed and mint. Artisanal Scottish pastis – quite. Mouth (neat): tight, citric, with a bag of lemon drops, the obligatory limoncello, and then passion fruits, plus indeed rhubarb wine. Rhubarb wine, when well made, could really fool wine freaks and make them believe it's some kind of riesling or grüner. Good fun guaranteed when tasing blind. With water: wonderful citrus and maracuja. Finish: long, fresh, zesty, even refreshing. Comments: excellent. Thinking of Loretta Lynn…

SGP:651 - 88 points.

Glenburgie 20 yo 1998/2020 (55.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, refill American hogshead, cask #4036, 245 bottles)

Glenburgie 20 yo 1998/2020 (55.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, refill American hogshead, cask #4036, 245 bottles) Four stars
Colour: straw. Nose: a little more oak, which would translate into a little more banana, vanilla, and some syrup (barley syrup). The rest is as fruity, rounder, more on ice cream and liqueurs. Orchard fruits, something very faintly officinal if not medicinal, touches of earth and grist, a little silage perhaps… All that before some louder lemons would make a comeback, not mention that Italian lemon liqueur that we keep mentioning. With water: damp fabric, old jacket, wool, grist and husk… Mouth (neat): a tad more rustic than the TSMOSs, leafier, and certainly much grassier. Apple peel. With water: gets gentler, softer, meaning that tangerines and oranges would come to replace all this grass and all these lemons. Finish: medium, fruity, with more pepper and just cinnamon. Chalkier aftertaste. Comments: excellent, it's just that the TSOS were bombs.
SGP:561 - 86 points.

Let's change vintage (barely) and cask…

Glenburgie 21 yo 1997/2018 (51.5%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, sherry butt, cask #DL12572, 607 bottles)

Glenburgie 21 yo 1997/2018 (51.5%, Douglas Laing, Old Particular, sherry butt, cask #DL12572, 607 bottles) Three stars and a half
So sherry, but we might not be as 'heavy' as the ones we started this two-part session with. Colour: gold. Nose: cakes and oils, Ovaltine, Nut***a, butterscotch, shortbread… No actual raisins though. Wasn't it a refill butt? With water: rather a little rubber coming out, could be that water was not mandatory here. Mouth (neat): walnuts and hazelnuts in all there guises, roasted, baked in or on cakes, as liqueurs, as spreads, in pralines, in nougats… With water: chocolate chiming in, cranberries perhaps, also that little rubber, leaves, leather… But all that remains gentle. Finish: medium, grittier, but walnuts are back in the aftertaste. In all their guises. Comments: very fine, it's just a little tough to have these after 'the fruit bombs'. My bad.
SGP:452 - 84 points.

Glenburgie 24 yo 1995/2020 (56.7%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, first fill sherry puncheon, cask #6347, 543 bottles)

Glenburgie 24 yo 1995/2020 (56.7%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, first fill sherry puncheon, cask #6347, 543 bottles) Four stars and a half
Well, some previous ones had some Nut***a flavours, while this one looks like Nut***a. A darker Nutella, you could almost pour it into a beer glass, they'll think it's Guinness. Or Mackeson Stout.  Right, I'm exaggerating again, but you get the picture… Colour: bronze-ish amber. Nose: someone's mixed chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, triple-sec, black tea, walnut wine, hay, pipe tobacco, then thrown cloves into that, well, that brew. A few old copper coins too. With water: earth, undergrowth, humus, mushrooms… And a lot of chocolate. Mouth (neat): creamy mouth feel, while this time, we're more on oranges, hay indeed, fudge and toffee, raisins and PX… We're clearly more in the style of those old Glenburgies that had been bottled for Italy by.. Gordon & MacPhail. Gordon & MacPhail have NOT broken their moulds, so to speak. With water: marmalade and honey at the helm. Gets easier. Finish: long, very honeyed this time. Raisins, old rancio, and some molasses in the aftertaste. Comments: a classic, richer one that will remind some of us of the good old days. You'd almost believe this cask was used in a solera.

SGP:651 - 88 points.

Glenburgie 23 yo 1995/2019 (57.5%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, bourbon hogshead, cask #6585, 272 bottles)

Glenburgie 23 yo 1995/2019 (57.5%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, bourbon hogshead, cask #6585, 272 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: back to TWE/Elixir's favourite style, with a very clean nose, full of orchard fruits and small seeds and nuts. Perhaps pumpkin, perhaps sesame, perhaps pine nuts? Otherwise greengages and apples. With water: more greengages, a little earth, more apples and cider, some chalk… I wouldn't say there's a lot happening at this point, not an usual selection by the TWE gang. Mouth (neat): there, buckets of citrus and tart tropical fruits! Where have they been? Passion fruits, oranges, papayas, lemons… With water: and voilà, mangos and touches of tar and mint. Phew! Finish: medium, with some marzipan and putty, but the tropical fruits are back in the aftertaste. Comments: very funny two-step Glenburgie. Very funny and very good, as expected.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Further down the vintages…

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 26 yo 1992/2018 (50.2%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, hogshead, 216 bottles)

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 26 yo 1992/2018 (50.2%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, hogshead, 216 bottles) Five stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: more fun, this time with some tomato sauce, even Bolognese sauce, before some secondary fruits would kick in, vine peaches perhaps, fruit wine, bits of mangos, acacia honey, beeswax, ripe damsons, gorse… You would almost believe we're in Northern Ireland. With just a little water: tiny whiffs of peppermint. Mouth (neat): fruit bomb alert! Blood oranges, mangos, heather honey, mirabelles, quinces, pinot gris… I'm sorry, but wasn't it rather 'Glenbushmills' on the stencil? With water: could have been Littlemill from the same vintage just as well. Finish: medium, very fruity, also floral, also herbal. White chocolate and just a little coconut in the aftertaste. Comments: nah, no water was needed. But why haven't I tried this one when it came out? The good news is that we have another one…
SGP:751 - 90 points.

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 27 yo 1992 (48.9%, Cadenhead, Single Cask, bourbon hogshead, 222 bottles)

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 27 yo 1992 (48.9%, Cadenhead, Single Cask, bourbon hogshead, 222 bottles) Four stars and a half
As the other guy said, with this charming way of adding 'Glenlivet' to many a Speyside name (except to 'Glenlivet', naturally), WM Cadenhead are offering you two whiskies for the price of one! Colour: white wine. Nose: very similar, almost identical. This one's just a tad chalkier and with a little more custard. Perhaps a notch less extravagant hitherto, less 'Irish'.  Mouth: it's rather firmer this time, before it would become more honeyed, with a little mead as well, and even a salty touch. Finish: medium, with hints of sweet wine and even a little cognac in the aftertaste. Comments: this one too is rather sublime, but in the end of the day, my preference goes to the Authentic Collection, by a whisker.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

I believe it is time to put an end to the Glenburgian madness, let's find a really old one…

Glenburgie 44 yo 1975/2019 (41.8%, Hunter Laing, Old & Rare, Platinum Selection, 159 bottles)

Glenburgie 44 yo 1975/2019 (41.8%, Hunter Laing, Old & Rare, Platinum Selection, 159 bottles) Five stars
The Platinum Selection used to gather the first really expensive independent malt whiskies. Mind you, they were sometimes selling for north of £100! But if I remember well, the price for an Ardbeg and that of a Glendullan were the same. As they still should be, only its age should make the price of a whisky, no? As for this 1975 vintage, remember they were having two Lomond stills until 1981. The output has always been treated separately, under the name Glencraig, but you never know (S. please, no conspiracy theories on WF!) Colour: gold. Nose: and voilà, anything from a beehive, as some other malts from that period could showcase ('donich, 'livet, 'grant…) Nectar, honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen and old pine wood, in that order. Plus a little fresh putty, marzipan, ripe apples, Turkish delights, camphor… It is a sumptuous nose, and of course, an ode to age. Mouth: two steps, first dried coconut, wine gums and honey, then many more oak spices but it'll always stay below the limits. In short, no proper tannicity will ever show up, which is rather incredible. We find many different old wines, especially sweet ones that got drier over the years, then cinnamon rolls and earl grey. Plus myriads of smaller flavours which will remain between me and this old glory. Finish: medium, perhaps a tad tea-ish and tannic here and there, but once again it behaves. Awesome honey and bitterer resins (black propolis) in the aftertaste. Bees are so important. Comments: it is admirable that no one ever thought that this marvellous old malt should be housed in a Crystal decanter and released with an asking price of £9,999.

SGP:561 - 91 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenburgie we've tasted so far

 

December 1, 2022


Whiskyfun

A case of Glenburgie

I've just checked when I last did a Glenburgie session. Shock, horror, damnation, putrefaction and pestilence, that was three or almost four years ago, in January 2019. So we'll do this one by way of an apology, and take them as they come out of the box… (or not, we'll see…)

Juicy

 

 

Glenburgie 8 yo 2012/2021 (54.5%, Cooper's Choice, marsala cask finish, cask #128, 312 bottles)

Glenburgie 8 yo 2012/2021 (54.5%, Cooper's Choice, marsala cask finish, cask #128, 312 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: I would suppose it was some dry white marsala. We're rather on young smells here, porridge, a little mustard Madeira-style, bitter almonds, a little leather, morello cherries, then we find light fruitier smells,  perhaps dragon fruit? The wine would tend to become more obvious, but always gentle. With water: wool, earth, baker's yeast, bloom… Mouth (neat): full young malt, on green apples, pears and grapefruits. It's almost as if wine and whisky are almost 100% overlapping. With water: a little sweet and fruity beer. Perhaps Belgian Kriek? Finish: medium, with those cherries that we already found on the nose. Drops of Heering or guignolet. Leafier aftertaste. Comments: very good, but I believe 8 remains very young. 8 isn't the new 12, it's not even the new 10. But yeah, this one's very good, with nice cherries.
SGP:551 - 83 points.

Glenburgie 10 yo 2008/2019 (52%, Asta Morris, Caroni finish, cask #AM106, 259 bottles)

Glenburgie 10 yo 2008/2019 (52%, Asta Morris, Caroni finish, cask #AM106, 259 bottles) Three stars and a half
More proof that our economy is becoming more and more circular. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: the high-petrol, quasi-smoky side of some Caronis would indeed impart some smoky notes, or rather tarry ones to a gentler Speysider, as is the case here. Tarmac, new rubber, then plain grass and grape pip oil. Not an easy Glenburgie, but water may help. With water: porridge and grapefruit pips, soot, touches of fennel seeds and caraway. That's a funny touch. Mouth (neat): the whisky's having the upper hand this time, but it remains very grassy, tarry, and even a tad metallic. The rubber is back too. Some friendlier notes of bananas flambéed arising. With water: chalk and diesel oil, over grass, bananas and grapefruits. Finish: long, greener and always tarry. Comments: rather feels assembled, but I find it good.

SGP:552 - 83 points.

A sibling please…

Glenburgie 13 yo 2008/2021 (52%, Asta Morris, sherry, cask #AM096, 676 bottles)

Glenburgie 13 yo 2008/2021 (52%, Asta Morris, sherry, cask #AM096, 676 bottles) Four stars
I remember G&M have had some wonderful sherried Glenburgies in a rather distant past. Colour: full gold. Nose: a little gunpowder and varnish, as often in such young sherried malts, but that goes away quickly, leaving room for some chocolaty liquorice of some sort, pistachio crème, pipe tobacco, and buckets of roasted nuts of all kinds. Walnut tarte and honey-roasted pecan nuts (which is a sin, padre), also cereals; cornflakes... With water: lovely! Miso soup and old red Bourgogne, civet, Marmite, American smoked barbecue sauce… Mouth (neat): very 'high game' at first, switching to chocolate, millionaire shortbread, brownies, more roasted pecans… With water: funny that some varnish would come out once you've added water. Thyme tea too, white vermouth, chicken bouillon, dried meat… The sourness here is awesome. Finish: very long, very dry, much on pipe tobacco. Old walnuts in the aftertaste. Comments: as powerful as the 'Caroni', and more coherent in my book.

SGP:362 - 86 points.

Glenburgie 11 yo 2008/2019 (57.5%, Hart Bros., for Switzerland, selected by Gianni MIgliore, first fill sherry butt, 312 bottles)

Glenburgie 11 yo 2008/2019 (57.5%, Hart Bros., for Switzerland, selected by Gianni MIgliore, first fill sherry butt, 312 bottles) Four stars
Colour: apricot. Nose: a much gentler and softer sherry, on raisins, cakes, roasted peanuts, coffee, and chocolate. There isn't much to say, except that it's rather awesome this far. With water: a pack of Mars bars, with some sate sauce (peanuts) and the moistest Cavendish. That's pipe tobacco. Mouth (neat): indeed a sweet, very raisiny sherry, as if they had used cream sherry. Lovely orange liqueur in the background, as well as fir honey (honeydew). With water: we almost recreated… cream sherry. Touches of strawberry liqueur and mushrooms behind that. Finish: rather long, a tad more on leather and tobacco, which is normal. Some pepper and a little mustard. Comments: the easier side of ex-sherry, eve, if it is a little PX-y. Only good things to say.
SGP:651 - 86 points.

Glenburgie 14 yo 2007/2021 (62.5%, La Maison du Whisky, Plume, Conquête, sherry)

Glenburgie 14 yo 2007/2021 (62.5%, La Maison du Whisky, Plume, Conquête, sherry) Four stars
Colour: amber gold. Nose: this one's more on walnut cake and nougat at first, while it would then become a little Martiniquan (rhum agricole). Then chocolate and peonies. But we won't ush our luck, did you see the ABV? With water: catches up with the Hart Bros., becoming very chocolaty. Hoisin and pipe tobacco in the background. Mouth (neat): terrifyingly thick, huge, brutal, earthy and a little acetic (balsamico). But not a belter without water, as they say… With water: you'll need to add a lot of water and shall then find prunes, armagnac, chestnut honey and black nougat. Finish: very long, with a curious sweet earthiness, more prunes, a few pencil shavings, the blackest dried dates, then some heavy; chocolaty stout in the aftertaste. Comments: it's not that this style cannot be a little tiring at times, but this bottling too was perfectly executed.
SGP:561 - 86 points.

Glenburgie 14 yo 2007/2021 (62.2%, Signatory Vintage for Kirsch Import, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #900079, 543 bottles)

Glenburgie 14 yo 2007/2021 (62.2%, Signatory Vintage for Kirsch Import, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #900079, 543 bottles) Four stars
In theory, we should be close. There was a feather on the LMDW, well there are two on this one. Are they trying to suggest these are light whiskies? That's almost misleading advertising! Colour: darkish amber. Nose: chocolate, beef soup, Maggi, pine needles, walnut stain, porcinis. I would suppose water is needed here too… With water: some walnut wine and cake, a good glass of amontillado, some beef jerky, and some pumpernickel. Where have you put the butter? Mouth (neat): it is almost peaty! Very tarry for sure… Someone's forgotten the old kettle full of lapsang souchong on the stove. Other than that… 62.2%. With water: whoops, not too sure, water brought out pine resin and some very bitter, earthy black chocolate. Perhaps is it all a little excessive? Finish: very long, rather smoky this time again, salty, with some of the amontilladoest amontillado, salty and peppery. Once again, pencil shavings and tar in the aftertaste. Comments: ups and downs and twists and turns, but in the end, and since we remember a few ultra-sherried Glenburgies for Italy that were not that different, it is still a remarkable whisky. If a brutish lout at times.
SGP:463 – 86 points.

Mind you, we haven't even made it into the 1990s… But as regard to the wood, let's make an about-turn…

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 14 yo 2004/2018 (53.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 294 bottles)

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 14 yo 2004/2018 (53.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 294 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: some simple, crystalline, softly fruity malt, with vine peaches and mirabelles, some hoppy beer, apples, cantaloupes… and light vanilla. Typical and typically nice. With water: soft doughs, croissant, brioche, cheesecake… Mouth (neat): cakes, touches of grapefruit and pineapple, lemongrass, green tea, just grass… With water: some apple liqueur and limoncello coming out, plus some tropical fruit cocktail. Say mango, guava and papaya, with a dollop of very soft honey (no, I didn't say 'and 10cl of Neisson white'). Finish: medium, this time with a little leafy green oak, beyond all the fruit peelings, banana skins etc. Comments: classic ex-BB HHD quasi-youngster, no quibbles whatsoever.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

Last one from the current millennium…

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 15 yo 2004/2019 (54%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, two bourbon hogsheads, 570 bottles)

Glenburgie-Glenlivet 15 yo 2004/2019 (54%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, two bourbon hogsheads, 570 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: elderberries! This one's more naked than its single-cask counterpart, there's mainly stewed rhubarb, ripe gooseberries, maple syrup, a little icing sugar, fresh sourdough bread, touches of fresh mint… With water: whoops, it kind of snap shuts. Well, no, you just have to wait, but I find no new aromas. Mouth (neat): grassy and zesty, in the style of some older vintages of Bladnoch. Shall we mention limoncello again? Green apple liqueur? Tonic water? Schweppes? With water:  same as the single cask once water's been added. Finish: same. Comments: careful with your pipette, Yvette.

SGP:651 - 84 points.

Let's add one from the 1990s and then call this a session. We have many, many more, including very old ones, we'll see what we can do…

Glenburgie 20 yo 1998/2019 (51.1%, Elixir Distillers, The Single Malts of Scotland, bourbon hogshead, cask #900899, 248 bottles)

Glenburgie 20 yo 1998/2019 (51.1%, Elixir Distillers, The Single Malts of Scotland, bourbon hogshead, cask #900899, 248 bottles) Five stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: clearly different, more 'tropical', with more bananas and bamboo shoots, clementines, maracuja and a few earthy vegetables and roots (gentian), which is very welcome as some full, dead-on tropicalness can get too heady, quickly. With water: splendid. You would almost believe this is petit manseng; wine freaks, think Jurançon or Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh (the latter being scandalously unknown). Mouth (neat): mango, passion fruit and blood orange juices, this is almost all-vitamin fruit juice. Sits between old Bushmills and Bowmore, and I am not joking. With water: superb. Finish: medium, stupendously fruity. Juicy Fruit. Comments: I will pray to St. Magdalene that Elixir keep issuing such wonderful, err, wonders.

SGP:741 - 90 points.

I think I heard you…

Glenburgie 21 yo 1998/2019 (59.4%, Elixir Distillers, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #900887, 298 bottles)

Glenburgie 21 yo 1998/2019 (59.4%, Elixir Distillers, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #900887, 298 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: no. I mean yes, but it is not one of those stupendous fruit bombs this time, as this sister cask seems to be much chalkier, earthier, possibly more common… With water: we're getting there, but its rather all about bananas this time. No Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, I'm afraid. Mouth (neat): too powerful for me, almost acidic when neat. Watch it, it could detach your tongue from your palate if you're not careful. With water: casks are as unpredictable as people, aren't they. This time we're nearing the younger sister, but without that wowowow effect from the mangos. Now, I've just seen on Wikipedia that there were 55 (fifty-five) types of mangos. Finish: medium, very fruity, just less immaculately precise than the 20 yo. Comments: and so we'll have many more Glenburgies very soon…
SGP:641 - 87 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenburgie we've tasted so far

 

WF Favourites
Whiskyfun fav of the month

November 2022

Serge's favourite recent bottling this month:
Caol Ila 32 yo 1990/2022 (51.5%, OB, Casks of Distinction, Wu Dram Clan, Pierrick Guillaume and The WhiskyNerds, refill American oak hogshead, cask #6223, 181 bottles) - WF92

Serge's favourite older bottling this month:
Speyburn-Glenlivet 15 yo 1975/1991 (63.1%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) - WF92

Serge's favourite bang for your buck this month:
None

Serge's favourite malternative this month:
Le Notoire (44.8%, Fanny Fougerat, très vieux fins bois, hors-série, 680 bottles, 2022)  - WF91

Serge's Lemon Prize this month:
Aberfeldy 18 yo 'Tuscan Red Wine' (43%, OB, batch #2922/A, +/-2022) - WF72
 

November 30, 2022


Whiskyfun

Strathisla 10 - 15 - 20 - 25 - 30

A kind of session we very rarely do, a proper single-Distillery, single-Bottler verticale. Well, it was just too tempting and Strathisla is a great make. Kudos to La Maison du Whisky for having bottled these five Strathislas simultaneously, they remind us of that 'Millennium' series by Springbank. Right, in a way…

(Photograph, Lepista Nuda, Jardiner Malin)

Lespista

 

 

Strathisla 10 yo 2012/2022 (62.2%, Artist by LMDW, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #209668, 210 bottles)

Strathisla 10 yo 2012/2022 (62.2%, Artist by LMDW, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #209668, 210 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: sure it's a little numbing at such high strength, but you do get full baskets of both red and green gooseberries, as well as granny smith, greengages, white peaches (not too ripe) and just cider and clay. Very fresh and youthful. With water: some roundness now, around custard and barley syrup, as well as the expect porridge and, of course, croissants au beurre. Are we in Paris here or not? Mouth (neat: extra-punchy, but if you're careful enough, you'll find stewed rhubarb and once more, gooseberries. Granny smith apples are there too, and probably a little agave juice as well. With water: some fresh barley speaking out, some tiny herbs too, especially wormwood. It's almost as if some special envoy from LMDW would have poured a bottle of absinth into the cask before bottling. Not a bad idea, that! Finish: medium, very fresh, still very much on gooseberries and rhubarb. A little clay is back in the aftertaste. Comments: pretty immaculate, with some extremely well controlled wood that really behaved. We're pretty high already – a figure of speech.

SGP:651 - 87 points.

Strathisla 15 yo 2007/2022 (62.7%, Artist by LMDW, first fill sherry butt, cask #205217, 553 bottles)

Strathisla 15 yo 2007/2022 (62.7%, Artist by LMDW, first fill sherry butt, cask #205217, 553 bottles) Four stars and a half
I would suppose there's been some debate between those who would have liked to pick only bourbon barrels, and those who preferred more variety. The latter won, apparently, on the other hand, Strathisla and sherry form another seminal combination. Colour: amber. Nose: oh! The high ABV blocks it a little bit but you do get old copper (kettle), metal polish, walnuts, tobacco, eucalyptus smoke (to be experienced in Corsica), blood oranges. I may be wrong but all that bodes extremely well for a relatively young whisky, I can't wait to add water. With water: bits of meat (bresaola, Grisons meat) and drops of spicy liqueur, with a little juniper and clove inside. Some shoe polish too. Mouth (neat): heavy, on butterscotch and fruity varnish, strawberries, tamarind, kirschwasser, roasted bitter almonds… I think it really needs water. With water: winner. Spicy and sweet, with fruitcakes and oriental pastries, but without any flabbiness. It's tight and it knows it (what?) Finish: long, a little more on walnuts, bitter tobacco, amontillado, and indeed a little clove. Comments: did the same gentleman (or lady!) from LMDW pour a bottle of very old genever into this one, after having dealt with the ten? I find it pretty exceptional (nose 90, palate 88). To cellar for twenty years and presto, 90+.
SGP:562 - 89 points.

Strathisla 20 yo 2002/2022 (55.4%, Artist by LMDW, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #27057, 192 bottles)

Strathisla 20 yo 2002/2022 (55.4%, Artist by LMDW, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #27057, 192 bottles) Four stars and a half
Back to bourbon (well observed, S.) Showing the back label this time. Colour: white wine. Nose: it is fascinating to compare this one with the 10, as you would experience exactly the effects of ten extra-years of maturation. Same core, on ripe gooseberries and greengages, or even preserved greengages, but with an added layer of shortbread, banana cake, vanilla, honeysuckle, acacia flowers... It's also to be said that 55% do work much better than 60+, in my humble opinion. With water: classic ex-bourbon, rounder than the 10, much cakier as well, with some sunflower oil, nougat, roasted pumpkin seeds and pears poached in Sauternes. Mouth (neat): oh sweet and tart, I think I'll need mentioning limoncello, as well as more greengages, also mirabelles, our beloved quinces, williams pears, perhaps a wee bit of banana foam… With water: seems to tighten, which I find interesting and certainly pleasant, as it gets zestier, with some tangerines beyond the mirabelles and pears. Finish: Comments: this other excellent one really reminded me of a Distillery in Dufftown that starts with a B. Certainly not a bad reference.
SGP:651 – 89 points.

Strathisla 25 yo 1997/2022 (50%, Artist by LMDW, refill hogshead, cask #78844, 269 bottles)

Strathisla 25 yo 1997/2022 (50%, Artist by LMDW, refill hogshead, cask #78844, 269 bottles) Five stars
Colour: light white wine. Nose: brilliant exposé, really, you really get the wee earths and tertiary elements that appear after many years of aging, while another brilliant idea was to select a shier cask for this 25. Lovely whiffs of young ale, cider apples, lime blossom, spicier mushrooms (pied bleu mushrooms – lepista nuda, they're growing now in the Vosges mountains), some fermentary notes too (yoghurt), dough, chalk… you would almost believe this is a Highlander, but in a way, it is. With water: chalk and wool chiming in, always a great sign in my book. Mouth (neat): absolutely superb, getting mentholy, almost phenolic, with quite some liquorice wood, gentian, otherwise muscat and melons at the fruit section. Lemon marmalade too, a thing that I just adore but that's not easy to find in Alsace (while post-Brexit, it would come heavily taxed if I tried to get me some from sweet U.K.) Why are governments only making our lives more complicated and never simpler? With water: indeed, ginseng, chalk, green pears, grapefruits, and perhaps sorb eau-de-vie? Finish: medium, pure, with a few dried fruits, papayas, perhaps bananas… While the background would remain beautifully chalky. Comments: fantastic and very smartly selected. I don't think that special envoy from LMDW poured anything 'extra' into this very cask.
SGP:561 - 91 points.

Strathisla 30 yo 1991/2022 (42.3%, Artist by LMDW, refill barrel, cask #1014, 146 bottles)

Strathisla 30 yo 1991/2022 (42.3%, Artist by LMDW, refill barrel, cask #1014, 146 bottles) Five stars
Hurray, they've chosen a refill barrel to cap this wonderful little verticale off. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: woo-ooh… Some beeswax this time, paraffin, wee whiffs of caraway and poppy seed bread, then eucalyptus and spearmint, then lime blossom and Wulong tea (blue-green tea), then fresh-cut hay and citron liqueur (plus touches of myrtle). Something clearly Corsican here. I bow to this nose. Mouth: ho-ho-ho. It's not oak that's joining in, it's sandalwood, or fir, myrtle indeed (I know myrtle is an acquired taste, but this is perfect), then bitter oranges, walnuts, yellow chartreuse, verbena, perhaps a little rubber of high quality, oils, balms, even a drop of seawater… Finish: medium, with more oils, chlorophyll and propolis, bitter almonds,  also blancmange, perhaps. Comments: at times you would have believed it was an old peater. Or did this barrel use to shelter a peater before they re-filled it, in 1991? In any case, it is a brilliant, slightly more 'resinous' than usual old Strathisla. Smart selection, if you ask me.
SGP:462 - 92 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Strathisla we've tasted so far

 

November 29, 2022


Whiskyfun

New world tour

Because there's more and more whisky all over the world, and more and more good whisky as well. As usual, we'll take off from France…

Rozelieures 'Origine Collection' (40%, OB, France, +/-2021)

Rozelieures 'Origine Collection' (40%, OB, France, +/-2021) Three stars
This is Rozelieures' core bottling. The Distillery is located in Lorraine, very close to Alsace. The reputation is good. They've been bottling this expression for a good fifteen years. The prices remain fair, they do not behave as if they were thinking they are producing whisky's Romanée Conti (because some do indeed). Let's add that they've also started malting their barley themselves. Colour: gold. Nose: some freshness, pears, apples, plums, then custard and softer raisins. It's not complicated but it works effortlessly, shall we say. Some peach as well, a little hay, fresh almonds, fresh walnuts, plus a little candlewax.  Mouth: rather drier than expected, malty, a little oaky. A little green pepper, apple peel, green tea. Finish: not too long but the maltiness is back, a few raisins, walnuts and bits of peach as well. Comments: grassy, does the job. Some higher-echelon Rozelieures have more cachet, having said that, no surprises here. What's sure is that this 'Origine' has not been pump)up in any sorts of way.
SGP:351 - 80 points.

To Korea!

Kimchangsoo 2021/2022 '02' (48.7%, OB, South Korea, 2022)

Kimchangsoo 2021/2022 '02' (48.7%, OB, South Korea, 2022) Four stars
We've already tried another Kimshangsoo this year, it had been absolutely excellent (WF 87). This one is new, and indeed not whisky yet upon European laws. It's stemming from the city of Gimpo and was made from 100% Korean Barley and 100% Korean oak. No lousily sourced whiskies here! Colour: gold. Nose: a wonderful freshness. This baby's bursting with pears and jujubes, really a lot of old pu-her tea and, as a consequence, damp earth and humus, plus muscovado, butterscotch, liquorice and liquid caramel. It is much softer than that earlier bottling of Kimchangsoo that had been bottled at 54.1%, but I believe it's as complex. This liquoricy caramel is quite something, rather love it. Mouth: very creamy texture and rather a lot of lemony, piney and mentholy wood, perhaps even thuja. Not a profile we're accustomed too, or perhaps at some American craft distillers? Some heavy herbal tea, with also some thyme and rosemary, sweetened with some very powerful and aromatic honey. Our favourite, chestnut! Finish: long, still rather spectacular, with some chocolate, mead, and some kind of juniper liqueur, perhaps. The aftertaste is rather on those 'lemony, piney and mentholy woods' that were already in the attack on the palate. Comments: to think that Kimchangsoo is a one-man operation! I'd bet that's not going to last like that… Read Kim's moving story at 88bamboo. Fantastic spirit, in all senses of that word.

SGP:561 - 87 points.

To England…

Oxford Rye 2017/2022 'batch 7 - Easy Ryder' (50%, OB, England)

Oxford Rye 2017/2022 'batch 7 - Easy Ryder' (50%, OB, England) Four stars
Made from 'Heritage Grains', or so it says on the label. We've already tried a few excellent ryes by the Oxford Artisan Distillery, now why an 'Easy Ryder', I'm not too sure, beyond the play on words. Should we start to sing 'Corn To Be Wild'? (ooh S., better drop it right away). Colour: gold. Nose: love it, as expected. Model glue, almonds, manzanilla, rye bread, touches of lavender and violet (sweets), drops of Danish aquavit… With water: gingerbread and more rye bread. Mouth (neat): even more model glue, varnish, paint, then spices and indeed lavender, as well as pumpernickel and almonds. Oranges in the background are adding some freshness, and obviously some fruit. With water: it could happen that water would have made some a little too oaky for us, but that's not the case this time, water would rather push the oranges (and violets) forward. Finish: rather long, rootier and earthier. Gentian and ginger – and oranges. Comments: excellent batch; Peter and Dennis (and Jack) would love it. Please one at 80% vol. so that we can pour it into our old Harleys…
SGP:462 - 85 points.

Let's stay in England…

Cotswolds 2017/2022 (OB, England, for the French cavistes, charred virgin oak, cask #1157, 255 bottles)

Cotswolds 2017/2022 (OB, England, for the French cavistes, charred virgin oak, cask #1157, 255 bottles) Four stars
I'm afraid we do not have the ABV and couldn't find it anywhere. We'll add it when we can. Colour: full gold. Nose: probably high. Crème brûlée, custard, sunflower oil. With water: some saponification, let's wait… … … zzz… Good, spring flowers and fresh fruits coming out, citrus blossom, magnolia perhaps… Plums and green apples wrt fruits. Mouth (neat): rich and oily, with some mangos, in the style of some Bs from London or Cs from Japan. Some green tea. With water: some delicate sweets, artisan marshmallows, jellybeans, more apples, both green a white/yellow… Finish: a curious note of rye (not from that Oxford Rye!) and pineapple sweets. Something between young fresh muscat and viognier. Comments: they are really mastering these charred new oaks. Only twenty years ago, everyone in Scotland would have cried wolf! Right, this is not Scotland at all… But this is an excellent modern single cask.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

Why not Denmark, as we've been mentioning aquavit…

Copenhagen Distillery 'RAW Edition Batch No.2' (51.6%, OB, Denmark, 2022)

Copenhagen Distillery 'RAW Edition Batch No.2' (51.6%, OB, Denmark, 2022) Four stars
This new baby – new to me – was distilled from local barley and aged in virgin oak. The back label also states that they have a 'distinct process' at Copenhagen Distillery. This one was finished in sherry cask (which ain't too distinct, is it). Nice cubic bottle. Colour: full gold. Nose: a lot of raw chocolate and burnt wood, fresh-roasted coffee, then prunes and drops of raw armagnac (Ténarèze). Seems heavy, without being heavy, if you see what I mean, with chocolate at the helm. They could almost call it 'chocolate shock' (S, please…) With water: chocolate shock indeed, plus a drop of Maggi and one of old balsamico. Some apricots in the background are adding some freshness. Mouth (neat): more craftiness, this time with full black raisins and even more chocolate, plus clove and a little smooth and gentle capsicum. I'm reminded of some Australians (or rather Tasmanians). Feels like STRised Port or PX wood. No? What's sure is that that worked out. With water: the spices are coming out, but gently. And always a lot of chocolate, and coffee. Finish: wonderful, with new flavours coming to the front, Ovaltine, more clove, aquavit (wink, wink), juniper, caraway, and even a little umami spray. Indeed, umami sprays are available. Comments: surprise. A proper craft movement is really taking off all over the world, let's just hope that Pernod and Diageo are not going to buy them all.
SGP:462 - 87 points.

Who's mentioned Tasmania, who? We've got several Hellyers Road but let's choose the cleanest and tightest of them all (in theory…) as this will be our last whisky today.

Hellyers Road 14 yo 2007/2022 (58.5%, OB, for LMDW, Australia, bourbon barrel, cask #7260.17, 167 bottles)

Hellyers Road 14 yo 2007/2022 (58.5%, OB, for LMDW, Australia, bourbon barrel, cask #7260.17, 167 bottles) Four stars and a half
Back to bourbon wood. We've already tried many Hellyers Road that we've just adored, but as shipping is becoming so costly (on all accounts), I'm wondering if the best remote distillers, such as Hellyers Road, shouldn't start to organise franchised distilling in Europe or elsewhere, as brewers do. Would that be doable? (No worries, I'm wearing my bullet-proof vest, and sorry if I sound Euro-centric, it would work both ways). Colour: light gold. Nose: oh, banana wine! And condensed milk, starfruit, guava (big) and wormwood (big as well). Moves then towards vanilla essence and those chocolaty stouts that crazy brewers are sometimes making, as well as manioc. Crazily unusual – I doubt you could franchise the making of this. With water: sour fruits everywhere, plus a lot of beeswax and of the craziest IPAs. Mouth (neat): immense pineapple and banana with white chocolate, vanilla and chenin blanc. Huge. With water: so singular! Chocolate chiming in, otherwise the same crazy fermentary fruitiness. Finish: long, a tad gentler, more on vanilla and cakes. Moist banana and pear cake in the aftertaste, fino and rustic flours in the aftertaste (wood). Comments: mad whisky. This sour fruitiness is incredible, I think I love it – but it's no consensual whisky.
SGP:761 - 89 points.

Good, we've tried several extremely extractive (pff…) malts today. We'll try to go gentler next time, see you.

 

November 28, 2022


Whiskyfun