Google Blends and undisclosed malts

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

February 5, 2019


Blends and undisclosed malts

So bastard whiskies, as we used to call them amongst the Malt Maniacs. Was that a little excessive? Not too sure…

William Cadenhead Blend 20 yo (46%, Cadenhead, blend, butt, batch 2, 2019)

William Cadenhead Blend 20 yo (46%, Cadenhead, blend, butt, batch 2, 2019) Three stars
That is right, the first whisky bottled in 2019 that we’re trying on little WF! Every year a great moment, a moment that happens earlier and earlier in the year, having said that. Colour: reddish mahogany. Nose: sherry, walnuts, chestnuts, strawberries, figs, geranium, peonies, rosehip tea, prunes, goji berries. That’s right. Some pencil shavings too. Mouth: there’s more grains in mezcal, I’m telling you. In truth this is the heaviest form of whisky one could think of, chock-full of caraway, sloe, blackberries, cloves, morellos, and the oddest Outer-Mongolian herbal liqueurs ever. Really totally odd and un-whisky, perhaps a drink for hard-brexiters only? Finish: extremely long, liqueury, pine-y, heavy, thick, invading, tarry… Comments: a statement? A cry for help? A tribute to the Austro-Hungarian empire? Slade? T-Rex? Golden Earring?
SGP:382 - 82 points.

Speyside Region 43 yo 1973/2017 (47.4%, The Whisky Agency for The Whisky Exchange, butt, 568 bottles)

Speyside Region 43 yo 1973/2017 (47.4%, The Whisky Agency for The Whisky Exchange, butt, 568 bottles) Five stars
We know these batches well, all bottlings we’ve tried so far have been pretty brilliant. Colour: gold. Nose: madre de dios! Old apples, honeycomb, beeswax, oranges, lime-flower tea, honeysuckle, a touch of camphor, jujubes, cigarette tobacco… This nose is simply astounding, magnificent, otherworldly, superlatively entrancing (that’ll do, s.)… Mouth: as I said. There’s some kind of mentholated oak as well, toffee apples, thyme honey, crystallised tangerines, earl grey, peaches, apricot stones, ripe mirabelles and the spirit made thereof, pine sap sweets… It’s all perfect, while the oak would never get in the way. After forty-three years! Finish: rather long and rather sappier, with even more pine, camphor, and eucalyptus. A wonderful cough medicine, this. Sumptuous earthy/pine-y aftertaste. Comments: maybe I’m amazed. Well, I am. If you like pine-y stuff as much as I do, you may consider trying to secure a bottle of this wonder!
SGP:562 - 93 points.

Speyside 29 yo 1989/2018 (49.1%, Maltbarn, bourbon barrel, 133 bottles)

Speyside 29 yo 1989/2018 (49.1%, Maltbarn, bourbon barrel, 133 bottles) Four stars and a half
Love squirrels, but friends who live where there are many say they’re a nuisance. Colour: straw. Nose: the parentage with the 1973 is pretty obvious, although this one would be fresher, and more on a blend of orange and apple juices. Add vanilla and add fresh almonds, and presto, you’ve got a marvellous fresh old Speysider. We could also mention sunflower oil and just wee ideas of copper. One penny, no more. Mouth: almost perfect. Fresh, a tad more mentholy now, rather fat, with walnut skins, pumpkin seeds, a touch of salt, more apple juice, and a curious tea-ishness, not easy to describe. Anyway, the whole’s absolutely lovely and rather characterful (not always the case with some Speysiders). Finish: rather long, malty and barley-y at the same time. Tell me about some energy bar! Oranges are back in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent, pure ‘malt’. You actually feel the barley.
SGP:551 - 89 points.

Port Askaig 34 yo (49.7%, Elixir Distillers, 2019)

Port Askaig 34 yo (49.7%, Elixir Distillers, 2019) Five stars
A single cask and a brand new bottling I couldn’t even find a picture of (at time of writing), so I've decided to put a portrait of Elixir's master blender instead. So, Caol Ila or Bunnahabhain this time? Well I guess someone could also name some Glenturret ‘Port Askaig’, would that be verboten? Colour: gold. Nose: not Bunnahabhain (and neither is it Glenturret, ha). Rather the purest form of old peated Islay, extremely vertical, iodized, almondy, brine-y, wonderfully sour (riesling), and very delicately peaty. Raw wool, oysters and langoustines. You may drop the langoustines. Or, there, squat lobsters. Mouth: amazing how it remained bright and lively. Still kicks you, mind you, with salt, olives, peat, peat ashes, oysters, and that element I always find in Caol Ila, fresh almonds. And let’s not forget lemon. Finish: very long, still fresh, vertical, lemony, smoky. Smoked trout. Comments: impressive. I’ve often noticed that Caol Ila could age extremely slowly, I just couldn’t tell you why. Anyway, this Port Askaig is simply fantastic, please do not miss it.
SGP:357 - 91 points.

And why not another Port Askaig of similar age?

Port Askaig 33 yo (50.3%, Elixir Distillers, Impex Beverages USA, 2018)

Port Askaig 33 yo (50.3%, Elixir Distillers, Impex Beverages USA, 2018) Five stars
An USA-only bottling, so 750ml, naturally. So with one third of an extra-dram ;-). Colour: gold. Nose: same whisky. I mean, perhaps not exactly the same, word for word, but quite. Very mucho beaucoup quite. Mouth: well, I could quaff twenty-five litres of each trying to detect major differences, and I sure would ask for twenty-five extra litres. Of each. Say the 33 has got a little more earthy/rootiness, but that’s like comparing plain white with plainer white (with apologies to Kazimir Severinovich Malevich). Finish: did I ever tell you the joke about that chef who always cooks with whisky? Comments: or, there, the one about the recipe of the whisky turkey?
SGP:357 - 91 points.

There will be more bastard whiskies tomorrow on WF, stay tuned…

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






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