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Hi, you're in the Archives, August 2021 - Part 2


August 2021 - part 1 <--- August 2021 - part 2 ---> September 2021 - part 1


August 31, 2021



Summer Duets
Today indie Aberlour, young and old
Always a joy to try the highly respected Aberlour, especially when the sherry's absent or very discreet…

Aberlour 10 yo 2010/2021 'Marsala Cask Finish' (46%, Hart Brothers, Finest Collection)

Aberlour 10 yo 2010/2021 'Marsala Cask Finish' (46%, Hart Brothers, Finest Collection) Four stars
All right, I agree avoiding sherry to get into marsala instead does not make much sense, but I'm really glad to be able to try some pretty new stuff by Hart Bros. Colour: white wine. Nose: a fairly sour and porridge-y start, gearing towards chardonnay and brioche, super-fresh walnuts, ultra-fresh panettone, and just more of all that. It's funny how the mind works as I'm also finding other Italian delicacies, maraschino, amaretti, a little banana liqueur (is that really Italian?) and pinot grigio. Pinot grigio ain't the best part, but this is some charming nose. Mouth: really sweet and spicy, with something Thai this time. Thai basil, coriander, small lemons… All that in a whole litre of pink grapefruit juice, apple juice, and once again that feeling of chardonnay. Aberlour's a fruity make but this marsala thing seems to have made it even fruitier. A tiny touch of mustard and curry. Finish: medium, rather fresh, all on yellow fruits and oranges, with this mustardy signature again that would remind us of fino sherry. Not complaining at all. Comments: really pleased with this young indie Aberlour but watch these, with this kind of fruitiness there's much more 'evaporation' than usual. See what I mean.
SGP:651 - 86 points.

And now a much older indie Aberlour. Those aren't common, are they?...

Aberlour 30 yo 1989/2020 (51.5%, The Perfect Fifth, 241 bottles)

Aberlour 30 yo 1989/2020 (51.5%, The Perfect Fifth, 241 bottles) Five stars
I've just checked and indeed, I've never tried such an old independent Aberlour. Rejoice, rejoice! Colour: gold. Nose: the most wonderful notes of artisan cider at first, then mirabelles and quinces (a trait that, in my book, Aberlour shares with Balvenie). It is not a very complicated nose this far, but balance is perfect. Whiffs of crushed mint too. With water: it would get waxy, chalky, and almost a little coastal. There's even a little shoe polish and a drop of linseed oil. Had someone claimed this was HP, I wouldn't have cried wolf. Mouth (neat): excellently orange-y. Orange cordial, marmalade, white pepper, notes of honeysuckle and clover honey, beignets, zests, some chalk too, Sancerre, verbena, riesling… This is pretty perfect, with a fantastic tightness at the ripe old age of 30. With water: decomposes into small herbs and berries. Touch of myrtle, perhaps, lemon caviar, more chalk and even a mineral grittiness. Finish: long and bright, just going on with the same flavours, chalk, lemon, green apples, berries, dry white wine… Comments: will there be more 'natural' old Aberlours or was it a one-off? Only the future will tell…  Exceptional whisky if you enjoy these slightly tighter styles.
SGP:561 - 91 points.

Very happy with those indie Aberlours…

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


August 30, 2021


A short trip around the world...
Time to have more 'whiskies from the rest of the world', although I'm not sure anyone's still using that expression up there over Hadrian's wall… Let's simply start from… France.

Le Breuil 'Origine' (46%, OB, Château du Breuil, France, single malt, +/-2021)Le Breuil 'Origine' (46%, OB, Château du Breuil, France, single malt, +/-2021)

Le Breuil 'Origine' (46%, OB, Château du Breuil, France, single malt, +/-2021) Three stars
Château du Breuil are rather Calvados makers but all distillers of the world are making gin and whisky these days, so why not those fine folks in Pays d'Auge. They've used Golden Promise (think old Macallan) and smaller French oak casks. Now, why 'Origine', I couldn't tell you. Colour: straw. Nose: extremely fresh and fruity, with notes of pineapples and indeed, pears and apples. I'm also finding some orange squash and perhaps elderflowers, then a little tapioca, from the oak I suppose. Mouth: burst with vanillin and foam bananas, then pears again as well as peach syrup. It sure is very fruity but it hasn't got any cloying sweetness. Finish: a little short but clean and fruity indeed, until more straight oak and cinnamon would come out in the aftertaste. Comments: a little light for malt whisky, despite the strength and the Golden Promise, but it's still a success that wouldn't disappoint anyone. I also like that they found a 'difference', without having used any silly wine casks or else, as far as I can tell.

SGP:731 - 80 points.

Off to Ireland…

Waterford 'The Cuvée' (50%, OB, Ireland, 2021)

Waterford 'The Cuvée' (50%, OB, Ireland, 2021) Four stars
This is a brand new self-blend of no less than 25 single farm origins, bottled late in July this year. Which means that it's still pretty terroiry as all farms are located in the south-east of Ireland. Colour: gold. Nose: there's this loud and clear element that's rather crucial in my book, grains and the breads made thereof. I'm rather reminded of one of these long breakfasts you may have in posh hotels in Mittelleuropa, where they would have dozens and dozens of different breads on the tables (and champagne, plus usually terrible coffee, but that's another story). Lovely vanilla and plantain in the background. So, keyword: bread. With water: gets a tad more floral, with notes of fresh walnut cake and even a little chardonnay. Mouth (neat): the oak spices are talking first (curry, cardamum, cinnamon, caraway) then a few pencil shavings – cedarwood – and then sweeter fruits and grains. Bananas of course,  touches of guava… With water: water makes it oilier and would bring out a little more lemon. Zests. Finish: rather long, perhaps a little oak-forward but that's nothing since in this very case, oak's the next flavour after bread. Milk chocolate and caramel in the aftertaste. Lactones C7 and C8 (gee…) Comments: excellent but you may almost want to cellar this for a good twenty years, as you would do with a great young Pauillac that's not totally digested the fresh oak yet. By the way, French oak?

SGP:551 - 87 points.

To Belgium…

Wave Distil 6 yo 2014/2020 (50%, Bottles & Legends, Belgium, 140 bottles)

Wave Distil 6 yo 2014/2020 (50%, Bottles & Legends, Belgium, 140 bottles) Four stars
This is a first on WF, I had never tried some Wave Distil before. They're located in Sorinnes near Namur and seem to be having much fun making gin, vodka, rum and indeed, malt whisky. This very indie bottling is ex-first fill bourbon and French oak. Oh and I believe it's a Porsche 356 on the label. Colour: light gold. Nose: new wave indeed, with some sweet oak and many pastries and sweeter breads, plus custard and crushed bananas. Also popcorn and nougat, plus a drop of triple-sec, a combo that would just always work. With water: tiny petroly whiffs, rubber boots, all the rest being on pastries and nougat-like aromas. Warm nougat at the factory, yummy! Mouth (neat): creamy, fat arrival, lifted by citrus and coriander. Then oranges and apples, and then once again, those welcome nougats and popcorns. Biscuits. Pretty fat and yet alert body, very pleasant. With water: this is a surprise. Rather perfect balance between some rather active oak and a tart, lively, brisk distillate. Finish: rather long, on similar notes. Comments: very surprising mwah, I say. To be honest, I had never heard of them before, shame on me. Goes very well with the excellent Waterford, with many similarities.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Since we're in Europe…

St. Kilian 2017/2021 'Pleased to meet you' (60%, OB, for Whiskyfolks, Germany, cask #666, 433 bottles)

St. Kilian 2017/2021 'Pleased to meet you' (60%, OB, for Whiskyfolks, Germany, cask #666, 433 bottles) Four stars
An ex-PX peater from Deutschland, that does not grow on trees. And we won't comment on the cask's devilish number (well you just did, S.) Oh and we're trying this baby after Charlie Watts' passing, he who did such great drumming on 'Sympathy'. Here's to you, Mr. Watts. Colour: gold. Nose: we've got our head in a bag of maize flour, while someone's burning old tyres in the neighbourhood. The kind of slightly wacky nose that's actually very pleasant, partly because of that wackiness. With water: old dusts in the attic, old books, old clothes, more maize flour, ground rye, old cigarettes… Really, all good fun. Mouth (neat): great fun once again here. Very strange arrival, a tad plastic-like and with some kinds of burnt earthy spices, then smoked marmalade. I mean, you take a jar of marmalade, pour a bottle of Lagavulin into it, shake, let rest, shake, and voilà. With water: it loves water, getting cleaner, losing its dryingness (do you say that?) and displaying more marmalade, spicy chutneys, even notes of satay. Cardamom and tamarind. Good fun indeed while you would have first thought this would be a Fiat Multipla of whisky. It's rather a BMW. Finish: long, tight, spicy, green, then rounder, with even some butterscotch in the aftertaste. I think this would go well with dim-sum. Frankfurtian dim-sum (the Distillery's located south of Frankfurt). Comments: whisky should be fun and this is fun, and very good. But give it time, it's a boisterous fighter; remember, cask #666.

SGP:574 - 87 points.

Let's just hop to Canada… (with special nods to our friends Davin and Lawrence!)

Macaloney's Caledonian 'Peated Darach Braiche' (46%, OB, Canada, ex-bourbon, 2020)

Macaloney's Caledonian 'Peated Darach Braiche' (46%, OB, Canada, ex-bourbon, 2020) Four stars and a half
This baby from Vancouver Island, where they started to distil in 2016. That ex-Lagavulin and bluesman extraordinaire Mike Nicolson, who by the way did write a few witty articles for Whiskyfun a long time ago, would be on board this venture can only be a good sign. But do they keep doing gigs in the stillhouse? Will this wee whisky be growling? Colour: white wine. Nose: clean, crisp, with lemons, buckwheat, tarragon galettes, oriental bread, then some wee whiffs of cauliflower and Brussels sprout, white IPA (a new thing, apparently) and then just peated grist, then more yeasty touches, fresh sourdough bread, leaven... Just love that. In short, it is a very wonderful, natural nose. Oh and some Dr-Swan witcheries included too. Mouth: maybe 48 instead of 46% vol? Nah I'm pushing things because I find this rather splendid, complex, fat, smoky of course, citrusy, spicy, caramelly, with some butterscotch (a Dr Swan signature, in my book) and these bready notes that I enjoy so much. Excellent, fat and fresh. Finish: lovely, long, a little more on green spices, cardamom, bell pepper, perhaps even a pinhead of wasabi… Comments: some sides remind me of Rémy's Westland, just a few miles away, in the US. I know, on this continent, just a few miles may mean quite a few stag leaps. Young age, very high quality.

SGP:576 - 89 points.

All very good or excellent whiskies today. We'll do another 'world trip' very soon.


August 29, 2021


Summer Armagnacs


Younger ones, lighter ones, easier ones... In theory! Summer's not over until Sept. 22

Laballe 'Résistance' (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2018)

Laballe 'Résistance' (43%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, +/-2018) Three stars and a half
This is 100% Baco (sometimes mistakenly spelled Bacco) 22A. Baco is an hybrid created by a certain Mr Baco to resist the phylloxera and a cross between folle blanche and the terrible noah, done around 1900. It is said that it is the only such hybrid that's allowed within a French appellation contrôlée. On the label, a phylloxera, naturally! Colour: gold. Nose: noses rather firm and pretty young, almost boisterous, with touches of menthol and pine resin (new oak?) and sponge cake, Jaffa cake, marmalade, orange zests, red apples and cinnamon. A little jasmine tea as well, orange blossom water… It is certainly not an old-school armagnac. Mouth: good news, not much raw oak, rather all things oranges, mirabelles, apricots and even quinces, with once again a little menthol. Chlorophyll. Tends to become drier. Finish: indeed the finish is drier, a little tea-ish, less bright, but our friendly oranges will save it in the aftertaste. Comments: really good, I think, even if it's probably a little young.

SGP:551 - 83 points.

Domaine de Baraillon 2001/2019 (47%, OB, Bas-Armagnac)

Domaine de Baraillon 2001/2019 (47%, OB, Bas-Armagnac) Three stars and a half
One of the favourite domaines amongst whisky-talkers. Many have been tremendous, a few were excellent, and a couple just 'very very good'. As they used to say before Internet forums and Facebook, 'buy with confidence'. This is one of the youngest Baraillons I've ever had on our tasting table. Colour: full gold. Nose: no, stewed bananas and sugarcane caramel? How is that possible? And more jasmine, ylang-ylang, power-Sauternes? And liquorice and menthol? Who's responsible with adding all these aromas to these wee armagnacs?  Mouth: a tad more rustic and green at first (stems, stalks…), making me think of some marcs (Bourgogne, Jura…) Some melon skins too, peach skin, a little candy sugar, aniseed and mint… Indeed I find this one a little rustic for Baraillon. Finish: rather long, really leafy. Orange zests in the aftertaste. Comments: absolutely lovely, just perhaps a tad less Baraillon-lovely than others, in my humblest opinion.

SGP:561 - 84 points.

Dartigalongue 15 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2020)

Dartigalongue 15 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2020) Four stars
This is a house that's got an excellent reputation in France. They're located in Nogaro, a -city that's also well-known to all sportscar enthusiasts. However, please never drink great old armagnac and drive great old Ferraris. I mean, simultaneously. Colour: full gold. Nose: I wasn't expecting that this would be fruitier and fresher than the Baraillon, with many more peaches, pears, gooseberries and apples. It's pretty floral too, rather on yellow flowers (dandelions) and peonies, while it would then gear back towards ripe peaches of several kinds. I really enjoy these more 'modern' armagnacs that are not, as were and still are many old-skool 'gnacs, ridden with raisins and prunes. Mouth: goes the distance despite the 40% vol. Peaches and apricots stewed in white wine, with some honey and fresh vanilla thrown in. Just a little cinnamon too, also herbs. I find verbena particularly obvious here, while I cherish verbena. Minimal sucrosity, if any. Finish: medium, still going the distance, with touches of crème brulée and sweet liquorice, plus green tea in the aftertaste. Comments: very good, pretty easy and yet not too easy. You could call it a proper all-purpose armagnac, even if a slightly higher voltage would have been welcome.

SGP:551 - 86 points.

It is always fascinating to do these things vertically, is it not. Even if these are rather the work of some skilled blenders than just that of time…

Dartigalongue 25 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2018)

Dartigalongue 25 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2018) Four stars and a half
As I just told a good friend in the US, saying Dartigalongue isn't any harder than pronouncing Bruichladdich or Bunnahabhain, is it? Anyway, in theory, this should be the 15 +10 years. Colour: golden amber. Nose: there, big juicy sultanas, ripe figs, fudge and praline, nougat, acacia honey, and of course peaches, as well as honeysuckle and elderflowers. A non-criticisable nose, with more aromatics than in the 15, and rather less (good) tension. Mouth: 25 is a great age with malt whisky (hey Springbank) and I believe it is for brandy, even if good brandy, being richer and fuller, tends to age slower and go longer distances. Well, in my book. This is rather splendid, but it's approaching the dangerous zone of ueber-drinkability. See what I mean? Mead, apricot nectar, Sauternes, just grapes, Wulong tea… It's all beautifully nested. And a little too easy… Finish: medium, grassier and leafier as usual, but without any gross and rustic aftertaste. It's all easy… Comments: perfect nightcap armagnac, easy and yet complex.

SGP:551 - 88 points.

That, at 46%... But let's go on…

Dartigalongue 30 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2018)

Dartigalongue 30 ans (40%, OB, Bas-Armagnac, 2018) Four stars and a half
Colour: amber. Nose: more stewed red fruits and teas as well as more tobacco (cigars), which are some of the signs of older age. Cedarwood, incense, balsa, then Spanish ham (hurray) and indeed peonies, that's all absolutely lovely and, would I add, poetic. Black nougat and a little chocolate and mocha latte. Proper mocha latte is a killer, let's move on. Mouth: once you move past a slightly oaky-ish attack (grandma's Darjeeling) you're in for a rather splendid stewed fruit – soft spices duet, peppered with, well, err, peppermint and black liquorice. Some piney tannicity is starting to fight you (pipe tobacco, cigar tip, cough medicine) but this was the right moment, it's still all rather under control. But I for one wouldn't have gone up to 31… Finish: rather long and with something we really enjoy, sour cherries and liquorice that bring back one of armagnac's lauded markers: some kind of rusticity. Comments: excellent, if a wee bit at the limits (or I would have gone to 90).
SGP:461 - 89 points.

Isn't it a little stupid that you could get a 12-case of Dartigalongue 30 for the price of one bottle of Macallan 30? While the former's evidently better? I say the value of BS is too high these days in the world of spirits. Anyway, we'll have more Dartigalongue next time we're doing armagnacs, in the meantime, a wee old one by Aurian before we call this a tasting session…

Aurian 1965 (43%, OB, armagnac, +/-2020)

Aurian 1965 (43%, OB, armagnac, +/-2020) Two stars and a half
1965 was a terrible vintage in Bordeaux and elsewhere, that's why you just couldn't find any of these wines these days. Mind you, they've all been sinked and many châteaux haven't even bothered making wine. Having said that, wine that's made for distillation or, as in Jerez, fortifying is something else, sometimes the baddest vintages will provide the greatest sherries, Madeiras, or indeed brandies. Let's see if that was the case here… Colour: red amber. Nose: oh, 3-star sangria, red peaches and blood oranges, quince jelly and jam, some good caramel, rosehip, cedarwood, just a tiny touch of copper polish, then big fresh ceps and morels. Let me remind you that I would kill for ceps and morels, and that we've got an old Czechoslovakian machine gun in perfect working conditions at WF Towers (we're just missing the ammos). Mouth: it got a tad fragile on the palate, a tad shaky and wobbly, with notes of old carboard and stale teas mingling with some otherwise lovely peaches and oranges. Still quite gorgeous here and there, but in my opinion, dusk is about to fall on this wee old armagnac. Finish: medium, herbal and cardboardy. Its Götterdämmerung is near… Comments: with these oldies you need to enjoy the good sides and just ignore the rest. The good news is that we've got some other, rather perfect Aurians queuing in the line.

SGP:361 - 78 points.

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


August 27, 2021


Mixed bags

Whiskyfun's mixed bags
A Scottish Hotchpotch

A little bag of single malts that wouldn't quite fit in any of our regular tasting sessions, most of the time because we've got only one expression from this or that distillery in our stash. Which usually happens with brand new distilleries, such as…

Isle of Raasay 'Release no.1' (46.4%, OB, batch #R-01, 7500 bottles, 2021)

Isle of Raasay 'Release no.1' (46.4%, OB, batch #R-01, 7500 bottles, 2021) Three stars
This pretty distinctive bottle was filled in June this year. As I understand it, this is a blend of peated and unpeated Raasay matured in various casks such as ex-rye, ex virgin Chinkapin oak and, whoops, ex-Bordeaux red. Hope the latter's impact has been minimal. By the way, Raasay lies between Skye and the mainland (I was about to write the continent, ha). Oh and I remember Raasay's first newmakes had rather impressed me with their display of 'liquid bread'. Colour: white wine. No Bordeaux pink. Nose: interesting and new, with a peatiness that's rather light, in the style of HP, some metallic notes that I tend to enjoy (copper, silver cutlery), mildly sour citrus (pink grapefruits) and indeed a coastal side that would rather remind me of the Mediterranean (olive oil and fresh rock fish). All that is pretty intriguing and I cannot wait to see what happens on the palate… Mouth: ha, we're in South America this time, with notes of white tequila and just raw aguardiente (rum), as if it didn't catch its Scotchness yet. Mind you, those are all flavours that I enjoy. Cucumbers, gherkins, olives, anchovies, grapefruits. Then sweet barley and bubblegum, pomegranates... Finish: a little short. Creme eggs and pear drops. Comments: some good fun to be had with this one. Oh and the Bordeaux doesn't feel too much. The concept of self-blend with peated and unpeated aged make is interesting too.

SGP:643 - 80 points.

Dalmunach 5 yo 2016/2021 (57%, Dram Mor, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #52, 260 bottles)

Dalmunach 5 yo 2016/2021 (57%, Dram Mor, first fill bourbon barrel, cask #52, 260 bottles) Three stars
You could argue that I could have tried this one together with a few Imperials, as Dalmunach was built by Pernod as a kind of replacement for the bulldozed distillery that used to be there. Naturally, since that happened, bags and bags of stunning indie Imperials have jumped into the market. Colour: gold. Nose: more traction than with the first Dalmunach that I had tried. It is a young bready malt, with good vanilla and cakes, some sunflower oil, some shortbread, and certainly a floral side, around yellow flowers and jasmine. No quibbling, we're somewhere within the lighter styles of Glenfiddich or Cardhu. With water: a little more porridge, dough, fresh bread, cereals… Mouth (neat): easy, simple, good malty style. Ale, scones, pancakes, corn syrup, vanilla, biscuits… With water: around the same flavours. Orange blossom, earl grey, sweet focaccia… Finish: short to medium, rather maltier. Touches of pears. Comments: this time we're with an ultra-classic ueber-blend style. I'm sure it'll sell a lot in France once it's reached the magical 10. Kudos to Dram More for having one of those.

SGP:551 - 81 points.

Kingsbarns 'Bell Rock' (46%, OB, 2,208 bottles, 2021)

Kingsbarns 'Bell Rock' (46%, OB, 2,208 bottles, 2021) Three stars
Of course it's limited, while it would come with colours that remind me of some Kilchomans, no? Apparently, the barley comes entirely from Fife. I've been happy with the first Kingsbarns I could try but all these new distilleries tend to work like meteors, you hear a lot about them for a few months and then, well, basta. Colour: white wine. Nose: fresh barley, meadow flowers, muffins, brioche, crushed banana, muesli, ripe apples, touches of orange squash, some bubblegum. Not exactly characterful but totally flawless, I say. Mouth: good fruity fun, with even more muesli and bubblegum. Juicy Fruit, liquorice allsorts, Cointreau, a little banana liqueur and some sultanas. Finish: medium. All-vitamin juice. Comments: very good, perhaps just a tad too perfect, too 'streamlined'. I know what I'm trying to say.

SGP:641 - 82 points.

Maybe this one?...

Kingsbarns 'Balcomie Sherry Cask' (46%, OB, 2021)

Kingsbarns 'Balcomie Sherry Cask' (46%, OB, 2021) Three stars and a half
I was about to say, rather stupidly, that I had never heard of 'Balcomie Sherry' but Balcomie is just the name of this new little full-sherried lowlander. What's more, it seems that this is integrally oloroso and that PX has been kept at bay. Presto, ten more points! By the way, how many working distilleries are there now in the Lowlands of Scotland? Colour: light gold. Refill, I suppose. Nose: we're very close to the Bell Rock, this is just a tad rounder, with a little more caramel, although oranges would tend to bring more liveliness. A little yeast too, which I always enjoy, as well as 'sweet roots'. Beets? Mouth: quite bizarrely, I find this sherried Kingsbarns tarter, tighter, more refreshing, more citrusy than his partner today. Orange cake, preserved oranges… Remember, oranges will save us all. Now it would tend to gear towards Aperol Spritz, which, naturally, cannot quite be good news. Maybe the oranges? Finish: seriously, it's a very good young drop in my opinion, lease forget about that Spritz. Comments: very good sweet very young malt whisky.
SGP:641 - 83 points.

Wolfburn 2014/2021 'Vibrant Stills' (50%, OB, 1,206 bottles)

Wolfburn 2014/2021 'Vibrant Stills' (50%, OB, 1,206 bottles) Two stars
Ah yes, I remember Wolfburn. This very one was finished in some ruby Port hogsheads. With a few exceptions, as always, ruby's the cheaper, entry-level kind of Port. Tawny's better, then you have the Vintages. In general, ruby's all about red berries, which should now show… Colour: blush wine, onion peel, partridge eye, however you call it, it's pink. Nose: starts a little musty, gets then all on fermenting berries and bubblegum. Bags and bags of raspberries and tons of red and purple Jell-O. Sour cherry cake. With water: dog rose tea! That's something that I rather like. I'm not against all the muesli that's coming out now either. Mouth (neat): extremely sweet, feeling pre-mixed. Juicy Fruit and liquorice allsorts, strawberry jam, cheesecake. With water: Schweppes Premium Mixer Lavender & Orange Blossom. Indeed that does exist. Finish: medium. Comments: let's be serious, this is funny and rather well made. In my book, it's just not whisky, it's some kind of readymade cocktail.

SGP:751 - 76 points.

Good, perhaps small casks instead of cheap sweet red wine… But this will be anecdotal.

Wolfburn 2014/2018 (59.8%, OB for The Cyprus Whisky Association, quarter cask, cask #123/14, 160 bottles)

Wolfburn 2014/2018 (59.8%, OB for The Cyprus Whisky Association, quarter cask, cask #123/14, 160 bottles) Four stars
Love… Cyprus! Colour: white wine. Nose: tough, acetic, varnishy, probably not meant to be nosed when unreduced. Baker's yeast. With water: some paraffin, new sneakers, new electronics, plaster… That's all pretty nice. Mouth (neat): this is ultra-tight and totally on lemon, lime, and the tartest apples. Whiffs of Woolite. With water: pears, apples, sauvignon blanc, rhubarb and gooseberries. Finish: medium, a little grassier. Lemon in the aftertaste. Comments: a very good one, no doubts. Compensates the 'ruby' and offsets the raspberries; thank you, Cyprus!

SGP:553 - 85 points.

That's enough. See you soon with more new cats that do good (when they don't do silly Doritos-like finishings).


August 26, 2021



Summer Duets
today Benromach again

Yes, again, but there's rather many new Benromach around and we sure shan't complain. Neither shall we keep these ones in the B-boxes for years…


A passer-by signs cask #1 at the inauguration of the Distillery, 1998. (Benromach)

Benromach 2010/2021 (58.4%, OB, for The Whisky Exchange, first-fill bourbon barrel, cask #390, 211 bottles)

Benromach 2010/2021 (58.4%, OB, for The Whisky Exchange, first-fill bourbon barrel, cask #390, 211 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: straw. Nose: a tad hottish but gloriously filled with burning hay and lemon icing at first, then mercurochrome and just iodine. The no-sherry situation seems to make it more coastal than usual and, a contrario, rather less farmy. Less see… With water: the first-fill side of the barrel comes out, with some custard and cakes and a rounder profile on the nose, but the combo would also generate notes of eucalyptus and patchouli, perhaps even a little 'good grass'. Mouth (neat): I would say never a Benromach has been this close to a peated Islay whisky. Clear and loud peat smoke, medicinal notes, lemons, chalk, even kippers and shellfish, all that on a rather fat, oily body. Dried apple chips. With water: super good, tight and fat at the same time, with these notes of sharp green white wine (sauvignon blanc) that we enjoy so much. Less Islay too but it clearly remains 'a peater'. Some herbs, sage? Tarragon? But only wee bits… Finish: rather long, still fat, tight and bright. More saltiness, more seashells, more minerality. Comments: absolutely lovely and clearly on the Highland Park – Clynelish – Benromach (some) – Ben Nevis – Springbank line.

SGP:455 - 89 points.

Benromach 40 yo (57.1%, OB, first-fill oloroso sherry, 1047 bottles, 2021)

Benromach 40 yo (57.1%, OB, first-fill oloroso sherry, 1047 bottles, 2021) Five stars
I couldn't spot any vintage statements on this brand new one, so it could be a multi-vintage expression, just like the superb 2019 edition that we tried earlier in August (WF 91). Now the 2019 was bourbon + sherry, whilst this new 2021 is full sherry. It's still 'Diageo' distillation as G&M bought the then silent Benromach Distillery in 1993 and restarted production in 1998. By the way Diageo kept bottling some Benromach after the sale, for example with a 1978/1998 Rare Malts which, by the way, I didn't like too much, but let's move on... Colour: bronze gold, so they weren't 'dark' sherry casks. Nose: starts with a little plasticine and whiffs of brand new electronics but gets then absolutely shock-full of dried fruits, including tropical ones. For example, our good friends the bananas. And then, it would move towards bouillons and Asian sauces, soy, teriyaki, sesame... Rather dazzling so far. With water: the plasticine is still there while all the rest is rather sublime and would remind me of some much older 'full sherry' bottles by another, perhaps a tad more famous Speyside distillery. A little wood and rubber smokes (much distant whiffs of burning tyres). Mouth (neat): these slightly sour touches at first (cherries, balsamic vinegar) that we've already encountered in older vintages, going towards leather, pepper and cigars, then lighter gravy and then marmalade and kumquats, with touches of coffee. Moves a lot, in all senses of that word (except senses that I wouldn't know of as a non-native, naturally). With water: rather different, that is to say more on aromatic and 'fruity herbs', which is just fantastic. Peach leaf syrup, yellow chartreuse (that's easier than quoting many herbs – a taster's trick), fir honey, earl grey, oriental pastries, mint and almonds… What's more the oak remains extremely civilised all along because while being there, it would never raise its voice. Finish: long, with more chocolate, coffee and marmalade, with a salty touch and another drop of bouillon, the old fashioned way. The plasticine is back in the aftertaste, which I find funny. There's quite some cracked pepper too. Comments: a longer tasting note says it all.
SGP:562 - 93 points.

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


August 25, 2021


The Ultimate Sessions, today Lagavulin

There are quite a few 'Secret Islays' that should be Lagavulin around, including some that would give you good clues about what they actually are, but I'd rather have a recent batch of the very popular official 16 as the sparring-partner. Honour where honour is due.


Lagavulin 16 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2021)

Lagavulin 16 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2021) Five stars
Some good friends would claim that the 16 is going down but to be honest, I've always heard that and last time I tried it (it was a +/-2019) I enjoyed it rather a lot. The very early 'Classic Malts' were rather superior indeed in my book (late 1980s, early 1990s) but since those glorious days, things have remained relatively consistent. We'll do this quickly. Colour: gold. Nose: impeccably tarry and rubbery, with this feeling of unpacking a new scuba diving suit (I've seen some would say a new SM outfit but I'm lacking experience). Then oranges and walnuts from the sherry, seawater, dried kelp, black olive brine, lapsang souchong and lit cigar. I find this impeccable and very, guess what, 'Lagavulin 16'. Mouth: absolutely excellent. Bright and rich, tarry, with excellent sherriness, liquorice, salt, olives, marmalade… It's even got something refreshing. Finish: smoke and olives, touches of curry and cardamom. Perfect. Comments: Lagavulin 16 is my go-to malt whenever I'm at a restaurant or a bar that's not a 'whisky bar'. I think I'll maintain that tradition. An exquisite batch, perhaps a little less 'sweet' than earlier recent offerings. BFYB.
SGP:467 - 90 points.

Lagavulin 28 yo 1992/2021 (47.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 1081 bottles)

Lagavulin 28 yo 1992/2021 (47.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 1081 bottles) Five stars
Is it even possible that a 1992 would be 28 years old? Wasn't 1992 only yesterday? This one was entirely matured on Islay and spent its whole life in fresh-charred American oak hogsheads, something that was rather experimental back then as the gospel was rather to first season casks that were very active, including first fill ex-bourbon if I remember well, with cheaper grain whisky before filling them with precious malt. How things have changed! Colour: light gold. Nose: it is fascinating to nose this after the 16, which was smokier and 'peatier' for sure. This 1992 is almost fresher in fact, tarter, more on lime and pink grapefruits, perhaps even maracuja, also almond paste, olive oil, linseed oil and orgeat. A tiny bit of plasticine but no big whiffs of peat this time. Having said that, not unlike other older peaters, it would also welcome rather a lot of camphor, embrocations, iodine… And oysters! I'm not sure I wouldn't have said 30 yo Caol Ila. Mouth: essences from the wood come out, thyme, menthol, pine resin, even a touch of turpentine, while it would then become extremely salty and 'coastal', possibly tighter and fresher than similar vintages but without a lot of peat. This feeling of having swallowed a little seawater while swimming in the sea isn't unpleasant, neither is the growing camphory side. It would then become a little softer, with some waxy citrus, also with the trademark tarry and rubbery smokiness. Finish: long, a tad acrid and gritty perhaps. Oak spices in the aftertaste, cinnamon mints, ginger, turmeric… Comments: excellent, naturally, but that recent batch of the humbler 16 was just perfect and so the competition has been very fierce. We decide it was a tie.
SGP:466 - 90 points.

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


August 24, 2021


The Ultimate Sessions, today Auchroisk

The original Singleton, twenty years ago or was it thirty? Was it more? Moderately sexy whisky, if I remember well. Anyway, we'll first try two very young '1st fill' babies as the apéritifs, then taste the new official 1974 which is, by the way and unless I've lost my maths, the oldest expression within this year's Prima & Ultimas. Mind you, 47 years, what's more it is the first cask they ever filled at Auchroisk as J&B's Distillery was indeed built in 1974!

Auchroisk Distilley (Anne Burgess)

Auchroisk 9 yo 2010/2020 (59.9%, Fadandel.dk, 1st fill Port barrique, cask #46, 285 bottles)

Auchroisk 9 yo 2010/2020 (59.9%, Fadandel.dk, 1st fill Port barrique, cask #46, 285 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: funny and strange, a little dissonant at first (earth and strawberries?) with a touch of soap, it's also true that at such strength many weird things can happen. So… With water: old wine barrel, cinnamon rolls, pear leaves, Wulong… And no soap left. Mouth (neat): a strawberry pie literally covered with caramel and liquid fudge. Millionaire shortbread, butterscotch, pancake sauce… You see… With water: it's really not one of those hastily wine-finished whiskies that used to abound just ten years ago. No names, no. Finish: rather long, a little more peppery, but also with more red berries and all jams made thereof. A greenness in the aftertaste (stalk). Comments: pretty good, way better than what I had expected. Things improve everywhere, that's fine. Charring?
SGP:551 - 84 points.

A close sibling…

Auchroisk 10 yo 2010/2021 (58.7%, Fadandel.dk, anniversary, 1st fill oloroso hogshead, cask #73, 256 bottles)

Auchroisk 10 yo 2010/2021 (58.7%, Fadandel.dk, anniversary, 1st fill oloroso hogshead, cask #73, 256 bottles) Four stars
Colour: dark gold. Nose: more walnuts, peanuts, meaty touches, a wee petroly side perhaps, black nougat, molasses, milk chocolate, a few pencil shavings… So a tad modern, as expected, but everything's well in place and was done well, as far as I can tell. With water: whiffs of cellulosic varnish, more roasted nuts, plus some raw liquorice when you nose deeply. Mouth (neat): huge butterscotch, caramelised popcorn, treacle toffee, latte, Frappuccino, even Nutella. Reminds me of some caramel vodka that some crazy friends used to make. With water: takes water extremely well, as do most 'modern' whiskies that have seen, well, how shall we call them, say 'further activated casks'? Good caramel, toffee, corn syrup… Finish: long, on more fudge and toffee. Comments: I find this extremely good and I almost feel shame. Well, I suppose we must keep up with the times.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

And the old glory…

Auchroisk 47 yo 1974/2021 (48.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 382 bottles)

Auchroisk 47 yo 1974/2021 (48.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 382 bottles) Five stars
This from a single European oak butt, so since, again, this was the first cask ever filled at Auchroisk – on January 15, 1974 - it must have been Cask #001! I find it a little wow that they would have bottled this within this series instead of doing a whole thing with bagpipes, bells and whistles once it's reached 50. I have to admit I'm finding that rather a little impressive, panache-y and elegant. Colour: straw. Nose: most probably refill, unless it was fino. It is extremely delicate, whispering, elegant indeed, with a bouquet of meadow flowers, touches of gooseberries and rhubarb, a little white nougat, honeysuckle, fresh bark, chardonnay juice, a tiny touch of coconut, then more flowers (lilies of the valley), gearing then towards rose petals and pomegranate juice… This is, for sure, extremely impressive and indeed, again and again, elegant. Hope the palate will hold on… Mouth: they have monitored this one closely for sure. No tea-ish, wood-saucy arrival, on the contrary, it's all very delicate indeed, rather on stewed plums I would say (those preserved greengages from our childhood), acacia honey, elderberry syrup, there's even some barley or at least grist remaining within this combination. It's great that it did not lose more power and remained rather, say fresh and vibrant. Finish: medium, perhaps even a tad short, but when and where many very old malts get flattish and too drying, it does not. Green tea and oranges. Good, there, in the aftertaste, perhaps a wee tannicity, and a little caramel as well. Comments: not my business but I hope the old distillery workers who were there on January 15, 1974 and are still with us will have the opportunity to try this precious little beauty that aged so well (just like us my friend).
SGP:551 - 91 points.

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


August 23, 2021


The Ultimate Duos, today Mortlach

We're going on with our exploration of Diageo's new Prima & Ultima series and shall keep giving them a hard time. Because, as you know, triumph without peril brings no glory (said Corneille in Le Cid). This time it's going to be Mortlach, starting with a proper sparring-partner from the very same vintage.

Mortlach Distillery
(Anton Lecram)

Mortlach 25 yo 1995/2020 (45.8%, Le Gus't, sherry butt, cask #157, 285 bottles)

Mortlach 25 yo 1995/2020 (45.8%, Le Gus't, sherry butt, cask #157, 285 bottles) Four stars and a half
Le Gus't have acquired quite a reputation within just a few years. You'll also have noticed that this baby's been bottled at a rather Taliskerian strength (right, 80 British proof). Colour: deep gold. Nose: this one's very intriguing, with rather huge mushrooms and resinous woods at first, which is a little frightening I agree, then the blackest burnt molasses and various Asian sauces, teriyaki and such. It would then display more chestnuts (roasted) and cigars, old polished leather, and certainly some kind of glutamate-y, almost sulphury, earthy and rooty umaminess. Which should be pretty Mortlach, even if many Mortlachs nose fruitier and more floral. Big boy, if not a total beast (of Dufftown) yet. Echoes some early batches of the Flora & Fauna. Mouth: bone-dry oloroso, on bags of leather and tobacco, old walnuts, bitter chocolate, then chestnut honey and many roasted nuts. Bitter caramel, and lastly, even more tobacco, with hints of cinnamon and cracked pepper. Finish: medium, very dry, reminiscent of a very old dry Madeira, Malaga or something. Rather a lot of black tea too, especially in the aftertaste. Some salty bouillon as well, and indeed umami and more chestnut honey. Comments: this is Mortlach as in the books! Spectacular, if a little austere: I like it really a lot, it's a classic classic (you don't say!)
SGP:362 - 89 points.

Mortlach 25 yo 1995/2021 (52.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 701 bottles)

Mortlach 25 yo 1995/2021 (52.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 701 bottles) Four stars and a half
This baby from a single oloroso/PX-seasoned butt that matured at the Distillery, in warehouse #3. I do not know (yet!) how they would have made these double-seasoned casks, were they seasoned twice, or did they mix PX and oloroso beforehand and then treat the butt with that bespoke mixture? Colour: gold. Nose: very Mortlachian and, unsurprisingly, close to its sibling, with this dry, tobacco-like earthy start on the nose, dried mushrooms and hardwoods, pinewood too, dried meat (Grisons, bresaola), cocoa powder, roasted chestnuts and really a feeling of black earth. Some small oranges in the back but it remains a dry Mortlach when undiluted. With water: first a little menthol, then pine needles, earth, dunnage, cigars and marmalade. Pumpernickel and dried meat. Another one that's epitomically Mortlachian, in my humble opinion. Mouth (neat): so close to its sister! Maybe a little drier yet, with even more tobacco, leather, cocoa, and at the fruit section, rather stewed damsons. Peppered and clove-y marmalade coming late. With water: there, more sweetness, oranges, black cherry jam, dog rose tea… And indeed some sweeter bouillon and that infamous umami. Some chocolate too, marmalade, Jaffa cakes… Finish: rather long, with an oakiness that's more noticeable, quite some black tea, cinnamon… The aftertaste is a little drying, in my humble opinion. Comments: rather marvellous, just a little less bright than the Le Gus't (which wasn't a bright whisky, but there).
SGP:362 - 88 points.

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


August 22, 2021


New cognac for malt people, vertically

A few little houses have recently gained much respect from within whisky circles and frankly, that was all totally deserved. You were having Jean Grosperrin, then came Vallein Tercinier, then Jean-Luc Pasquet, Maison Prunier… These very smart and lovely people have understood, earlier than others perhaps, that beyond absolute quality, whisky people were seeking power (adios 40% vol.) and probably a tad more 'brighter oomph' (for lack of a better expression, my bad). And certainly not 'old oak juice'.

A traditional 'chai' (Confrérie du Cognac)

Oh and many whisky people tend to believe that obscuration is a plague, just like silly decanters. Good, let's try a few new ones, but first, maybe a funny apéritif that I was having in a box…

Soberano '5' (36%, OB, Gonzalez Byass, Spanish brandy, +/-2015)

Soberano '5' (36%, OB, Gonzalez Byass, Spanish brandy, +/-2015)
Apparently, this is a prestige cuvée but nowhere does it say that '5' is the number of years this was matured for. Colour: amber. Nose: caramel galore then dried black raisins and various roasted nuts. Touches of Kahlua and other coffee liqueurs, and certainly molasses. Not totally unpleasant, would I say, but probably best while on vacation in Spain with very good, easy-going, not nit-picking friends.  Mouth: light and sweet but not totally liqueur-sweet, certainly not with no added sugar though, on American office coffee, light rums, raisins, molasses… Well the thing is that there's virtually no body (in two words). More office coffee at the end of the day. Finish: very short and thin, but rather clean and not too ridden with sugar. Comments: pretty okay, really, I was expecting much worse yet.

SGP:620 - 65 points.

More brandy please… Remember cognac is a wine brandy, branntwein = burnt wine = brandy, but both words, burnt and wine, have to be taken liberally in this context. True, wine brandy could be seen as a pleonasm (burnt wine made from wine) but it is not, wine simply being the result of the alcoholic fermentation of fruits or even grain (low wine). Anyway…

Petite Champagne 1992 (46.9%, Jean Grosperrin, L839, +/-2021)

Petite Champagne 1992 (46.9%, Jean Grosperrin, L839, +/-2021) Four stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: crazily aromatic, full of sweets (even banana foam) and preserved peaches and apricots, with a pineau-y side, notes of wine from Monbazillac, even gewurztraminer, honeysuckle and clover honey, plus the most distinctive maple syrup ever and lastly some fresh mint leaves in the garden. Very catchy, very lovely. Mouth: rather creamy, tighter and grassier – it couldn't have been fruitier anyway – with oranges and tangerines and touches of liquorice and caraway. More and more marmalade over time, which is just very fine. Very lovely drop. Finish: medium, very fruity again, with roasted apricots and a few liquorice allsorts. Comments: let's play a little game today, called 'if it was malt whisky'. This time I would say Balblair 15 years ex-refill sherry.

SGP:641 - 88 points.

Jean-Luc Pasquet V.84 A.36 (53.8%, Old Master Spirits, Grande Champagne, 168 bottles, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet V.84 A.36 (53.8%, Old Master Spirits, Grande Champagne, 168 bottles, 2021) Five stars
Obviously a 36 ans d'âge from the 1984 vintage. Remember, in cognac vintages refer to the harvest, not to when it was distilled. Having said that, they cannot wait for more than a few months, so a 1984 ought to have been distilled either in 1984 or early in 1985. Colour: light amber. Nose: another complex fruity cognac. I'm first getting whiffs of spearmint and citrons, absolutely awesome that, then really a great Sauternes. I know it's a bit fast and clumsy to mention 'Sauternes' in this context, but believe me, it noses like a great old, say Barsac. Apricots, rose petals, wild berries, honeysuckle, juicy tangerines…  What a nose. With water: it would go kind of topical. Guavas and bananas, nothing too extravagant. Mouth (neat): I'm reminded of old bourbons for a wee while (rye and oak) before some liquorice and demerara sugar would take over, only to unleash an avalanche of ripe and jammy fruits. Peaches, apricots and raisins, naturally, also oranges and pomegranates. With water: lovely, feeling rather a little younger. Add melons to the basket. Finish: medium, fresh, with touches of vanilla and that spearmint that's back, then candyfloss and toffee apple. Comments: I'm not sure you would guess this is 36. Absolutely stunning; if it was malt whisky, it would be an ex-hogshead Rosebank 20 yo.

SGP:641 - 91 points.

Borderies 'Héritage N.78-85' (57.1%, Grosperrin for Cognac Sponge, 165 bottles)

Borderies 'Héritage N.78-85' (57.1%, Grosperrin for Cognac Sponge, 165 bottles, 2021) Five stars
The cryptic name would suggest this is either a vatting of the 1978 and 1985 vintages, or a blend of various vintages spanning from 1978 to 1985. Remember Borderies is the smallest cru, but it's got many die-hard afficionados. Such as the Sponge, apparently. Colour: deep gold. Nose: more rustic than the 'Champagnes', tighter, with rather more waxes and even oils (rapeseed, linseed) as well as crystallised citrus. A jar of crystallised tangerines, for example. Also whiffs of potpourri, which would include rose petals once again. With water: the feintest whiffs of teak and thuja wood, perhaps a touch of engine oil. Not a style that's unseen in the best parts of Scotland. Mouth: fantastic, extremely tight, even zesty, blade-y, and yet rich, without being fat. Well I know what I'm trying to say. Superb citrus here, lemon curd, maracuja… With water: a few oaky tones and some beeswax, mint and liquorice. I've now got an idea wrt the whisky comparison… Finish: medium – cognacs are rarely as long as robust malt whiskies – and rather on stewed fruits and herbal teas. Comments: a bit more 'from the countryside' than the Champagnes, which is exactly what you'd expect from a Borderies. Superb cognac for sure, while if it was malt whisky, it would be a 15-20 yo Clynelish in my opinion.
SGP:551 - 90 points.

Vallein Tercinier 47 carats 'Lot 73' (48.4%, Asta Maurice, Petite Champagne, cask #AMF003, 150 bottles, 2021)

Vallein Tercinier 47 carats 'Lot 73' (48.4%, Asta Maurice, Petite Champagne, cask #AMF003, 150 bottles, 2021) Four stars and a half
Probably the year when the US left Vietnam. Colour: full gold. Nose: oh, one of those early 1960s Glenmorangies. Remember the 1963? This is bordering perfection, in truth. Marrow quenelles, bouillon, stewed bananas and peaches, menthol and sultanas, oranges, camphor, Pu-her, pink grapefruits, honey sauce, macha… Wow, really wow. No literature needed. Mouth: amazing that it would kick it off with williams pears, at 47 years of age. You've even got notes of poiré (pear cider) and old Calvados Domfrontais (I know I keep promising a large Calvados session but no worries, it's somewhere in the pipe). Now this wonderful old cognac would tend to become a wee tad tea-ish after that stunning arrival, but that's nothing. There's some coffee too, chicory coffee perhaps, liquorice wood... Finish: medium, with rather more sultanas and some obvious rancio. Comments: absolutely excellent, just a little less 'high-def' than excepted when I nosed it. My, what a nose. If it was malt whisky, it would be Glenmorangie 25 yo rather than the 1963.

SGP:551 - 89 points.

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Confluences Très Vieille Petite Champagne L.49.62.73' (44.3%, OB, 2021, 292 bottles)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Confluences Très Vieille Petite Champagne L.49.62.73' (44.3%, OB, 2021, 292 bottles) Five stars
Good, let me explain, this is a blend of three vintages from three different vineyards/distillers, a 1949, a 1962 and a 1973, all from Petite Champagne. The average age – but that doesn't count – is 58 years. Colour: full gold. Nose: sweet Vishnu, this just some otherworldly herbal tea blended with around five hundred different fruit juices. Should you prefer the expurgated version, let's say honeysuckle and mangos. In the back, crushed mint leaves and a touch of lovage. Amazingly fresh, immediate, and kind of 'obvious'. Mouth: freshness and mint, rooibos, pink bananas, mangos, cantaloupes, very old white Graves, and several other very old sweeter whites. It's very clear that this would be distilled wine (thank you Einstein). Finish: incredibly tight and fresh, it would never bow down. Lovely 'phenolic' honeys, fir honey... Comments: very impressive, you could really understand that the cellarmaster had wanted to keep this heavenly mixture 'as fresh and fruity as possible'. If it was malt whisky, that would be an old Mitchell's Springbank 25 yo 'dumpy'.

SGP:651 - 92 points.

Petite Champagne 'Héritage N°.71' (52.3%, Jean Grosperrin for Flickenschild, 2021)

Petite Champagne 'Héritage N°.71' (52.3%, Jean Grosperrin for Flickenschild, 2021) Five stars
A botte with a very moving story, I would suggest you check Flickenschild's website. Colour: deep gold. Nose: this one's more on bananas flambéed, then quince jelly and mirabelle tarte. There's also a little custard and lots of raisins rolls, maple syrup, vanilla fudge and just toffee. With water: in the woods (moss, mushrooms, humus) with both some white and some milk chocolate in your pocket. Sesame turon – which kills. Sesame turon is too good. Mouth (neat): we're really flying super-high today. This time I'm rather finding nectarines stewed in honey and white wine, same kind of treatment on pears, and once again this little mint-and-liquorice combo. A few baking spices. With water: turon is back, halva, pistachio nougat, some Wulong tea and some mint… Finish: medium, as always, a tad more herbal. Lime tea, more Wulong, peach skins… And back to mint in the aftertaste. Rather mint tea (in the Sahara). Comments: I love it that it would have started ueber-fruity, to become grassier and more complex over time. Su-perb. You never see these at the large Cognac houses, do you. Excuse me? Ah, yes, if it was malt whisky, that would a slightly tougher Speysider. Say one of those moderately sherried old Glenfarclas.

SGP:561 - 91 points.

Back a few years…

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Lot 68-72' (59.1%, Kirsch Import Edition, Fins Bois, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Lot 68-72' (59.1%, Kirsch Import Edition, Fins Bois, 2021) Five stars
Crikey, all our best cognacs go to Belgium and Germany these days! Quite. Few people do Fins Bois, let alone Bois Ordinaires, but Grosperrin showed us mere mortals how good they can be. I would add that it's not very common that such an old cognac (unless it spent its life in demijohns) would remain this strong. Colour: deep gold. Nose: careful now. Croissants? Brioche? Marmalade? Crème brûlée? We won't go any farer without water, these cognacs are too complex, you could lose your nose trying to unearth all the nuances… So, with water: herbal teas galore, chamomile, mint, cinnamon tea, woodruff, mullein, and just darjeeling. Mouth (neat): sublime, rich, mirabelle-y… And b****y strong. Bitte entschuldingen Sie. Mit Wasser, I mean, with water: exactly what we had found on the nose (herbal teas) plus plum jam and just banana pie. I mean 1968, that's Hendrix, Joplin, Cream, the Doors… (and, S.?) Finish: medium and very coherent. Plums, honey, herbal teas... And almond croissant, which is some utter sin. Comments: not too sure about which malt whisky this could be. Wait, perhaps a Lochside? Yes, certainly, a Lochside.

SGP:561 - 90 points.

Let's remain vertical (no worries, we keep it all on manual control)…

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'V.57 A.63' (47.6%, Old Master Spirits, Fins Bois, 70 bottles, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'V.57 A.63' (47.6%, Old Master Spirits, Fins Bois, 70 bottles, 2021) Five stars
Another moving story about the winemaker and distiller, Mr Aubineau, who had just come back from service in Algeria when he made this wee 1957. Once again, you'll find the whole story on the bottler's lovely website. Colour: gold. Nose: it is a rather cake-y old cognac, rather on pastries, pies and tartes, then humidor and, perhaps, preserved lemons as they make in lovely Morocco. Some cigarettes as well (pack of Camels) and some triple-sec. You do feel a little oak (this one only ever saw oak, never a demijohn) but that would rather translate into notes of earl grey tea. So all is fine and well so far. Mouth: what's this miracle, at sixty-three years of age? Apart from a few tea-ish touches here and there, and perhaps a little cedarwood, it is a bright and fruity old cognac, rather on plums and papayas, with a dollop of heather honey (purple heather) and ideas of bananas flambéed. Flambéed au cognac, naturally, not flambéed al rum. Finish: the miracle goes on, while I would have expected it to become a little drying and oaky now, it just does not, getting even brighter and more on oranges and toffee. Oranges (and lemons) will always save any old spirits. Comments: high score because it's fantastic, not because it's very old. And not because the figure '63' would remind some of us of some good AMGs (make sense of that if you can). If it was malt whisky, it would be an old closed Distillery. Say Coleburn. Or there, Glenlochy.
SGP:561 - 91 points.

1992-> 1957, not bad, is it! See you one of these Sundays with more stunning cognacs.

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


August 21, 2021





Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Two Jura
We seem to be increasingly observing, on these very WF pages, that there are many very good indy Juras about - thanks in no small way to some excellent early 1990s parcels of stock - while the OB bottlings remain a tad more 'unlikely'. Obviously this assertion rests solely on available tasting experience, and if you're putting a 30yo refill hogshead up against the latest batch of Jura 'Seven Wood' then you might be quietly committed for drawing any other conclusion. I think it would be a good idea to test this theory though, as like many distilleries these days, there's quite a few OB single casks quietly slipping into the market all but unnoticed, usually via the medium of distillery exclusives and 'hand fills'. Which, by the way, are no bad thing.


Jura 19 yo 2001/2020 (55%, OB 'Distillery Cask', cask #1708, sherry butt, 470 bottles)

Jura 19 yo 2001/2020 (55%, OB 'Distillery Cask', cask #1708, sherry butt, 470 bottles)
Colour: gold. Nose: it has this immediate and very pleasing 'gingery' quality, which I find quite 'Jura-esque'. Beyond that notes of caramelised oatmeal, millionaire shortbread, tobacco leaf, mineral oils, leather and wee sooty touches. It is undoubtedly a charismatic spirit when presented in pretty straightforward, uncomplicated form like this. Indeed, it becomes a little waxier, and more towards breads, beers and snapped twigs with time. With water: takes on a big leafy quality, lots of wet moss, tree bark, chlorophyll and nice petrichor notes. Mouth: wonderful arrival, all on malt extract, shilling beers, aniseed, cough medicines, lanolin and milk chocolate. The sherry is present but elegantly restrained and well-integrated. More impressions of shoe leather, sunflower oil and turmeric. With water: more aniseed, fennel, hessian, herbal teas, mint and tea tree oil. Very easy and rather honeyed too. Finish: good length, on mead, cough medicines, moss, more honey and ales. Comments: If you have this quality and character of whisky why not try to put that more front and centre rather than buying it under the weight of all that carpentry. The kind of bottling that, had it been an indy release, I expect might ironically have garnered more notice. Quality is very high I think.
SGP: 661 - 87 points.



Jura 2002/2019 (56.5%, OB 'Bottle your own', cask #2441, sherry)

Jura 2002/2019 (56.5%, OB 'Bottle your own', cask #2441, sherry)
This is one from the peated batches of Jura, not something the indys have as far as I'm aware, but these stocks have certainly garnered high praise in earlier bottlings. Colour: gold. Nose: hugely peaty and fat and almost greasy. Memories of this style come rushing back and I'm reminded of the brilliant old 5yo OB for The Whisky Exchange. This deeply sooty, smoky, mechanical and turfy manifestation of peat smoke that involved kippers, TCP and gentian notes. The sherry is well integrated too, which is good news. With water: a more savoury and ashy smokiness now, bacon frazzling in a pan, smoked mussels in brine, aniseed distillate and mercurochrome. Mouth: huge whisky but a restrained arrival due to a wonderfully syrupy and concentrated texture. Big, oily peat, medicines, natural tar, lightly herbal qualities and things like smoked olive oil, camphor and iodine drops. Direct, uncomplicated, beautifully constructed whisky that offers maximum sipping pleasure. With water: a lighter touch from the peat now, although still quite deeply smoky, notes of cloves, five spice, eucalyptus and more tarry and peppery qualities. Finish: long, oily peat, tar again, more hessian, spices and seawater. Comments: I would say some years in the bottle and this would add the requisite complexity to cross the 90 point threshold and keep on going. Extremely good whisky and probably one of the most underrated modern makes about, because who is really nattering about peated Jura? Anyway, I would love to see them make more of a fuss about these stocks.
SGP: 576 - 89 points.



In conclusion, I think it's safe to say that it isn't really about who bottles Jura, so much as how it is bottled. Probably a pretty universal rule for whisky, and I would say one we already knew and that precisely no one needed this wee tasting session to affirm for them. But, at least some fun has been had - and isn't that the point after all?




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


August 20, 2021


The Ultimate Sessions
Today Linkwood

De Funes
There's this new old Linkwood Prima & Ultima and this time we shall try to add more sparring-partners than usual, as WF's wee 'Linkwood' shelf is rather well-stocked these days. But no worries, we keep taking everything in moderation, including moderation as Oscar Wilde once said. And logic, shall I add. We'll also try to find one of the distillery's markers as experienced by Michael Jackson, roses.

Linkwood 17 yo 2001/2018 (46%, Scyfion Choice, Madrasa cask finish, 324 bottles)

Linkwood 17 yo 2001/2018 (46%, Scyfion Choice, Madrasa cask finish, 324 bottles) Two stars and a half
Our Ukrainian friends have bottled quite a few funny whiskies finished in unusual wine casks from their regions. This time it's Madrasa, a red varietal from Caucasus and regions around the Caspian sea. Frankly, this is more charming than when everyone's doing red Bordeaux. Learning about wine with whisky, that's something new! Colour: gold. Nose: I've noticed several times already that Scyfion have recently become more 'moderate' with their finishings, even if this one does display some tart and fruity notes of… white wine. Juicy Fruit, lemon drops, English birthday cake, blueberry muffin, pomegranates, rum baba… So we're rather safe, as it appears. Mouth: perhaps a little more unbalanced, with many more fruit gums, bubblegum, indeed birthday cake (with tons of icing sugar) then whisky sour, with something fermentary and perhaps notes of cherry-flavoured kriek beer. More than okay but I liked the nose better, there's a wee feeling of chemical/soda here. Something by The Coca-Cola Company (don't shoot!) Finish: medium, on similar bonbony, candy-like notes. Cherry Coke. Sourer aftertaste. Comments: pretty fine at first, but things started to deteriorate on the palate. Still of pretty good quality.

SGP:641 - 78 points.

Linkwood 13 yo 2007/2021 (54.1%, The Single Malts of Scotland, APAC exclusive, cask #804456, 282 bottles)

Linkwood 13 yo 2007/2021 (54.1%, The Single Malts of Scotland, APAC exclusive, cask #804456, 282 bottles) Four stars
This should be the total opposite of the Scyfion. Colour: white wine. Nose: totally spirit driven indeed, you're almost nosing a fresh baguette covered with chalk and light acacia honey, plus some cracked pepper, porridge and muesli. It's very simple, but in this case that's almost the opposite of a fault. With water: same, perhaps even chalkier. Drops of ginger tonic and lemon marmalade. Mouth (neat): thick, creamy, almost syrupy, with superb lemons and once again some chalk, bread and beer. When simplicity is an asset. With water: some chalky limoncello and a wee floral side. Edible flowers, pansies, borage… Finish: medium, on the same profile for a while, with grapefruits taking over in the end. Comments: just very very good, almost refreshing.

SGP:551 - 87 points.

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (55.5%, Elixir Distillers, Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #312699, 282 bottles)

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (55.5%, Elixir Distillers, Whisky Trail, hogshead, cask #312699, 282 bottles) Four stars
I'm not sure I'm getting everything from this label and hey, it's not even from an ex-bourbon barrel. Perhaps is it just a matter of… having fun? Colour: gold. Nose: well it was a rather active hogshead, as I'm finding rather a lot of custard, cinnamon cake, gingerbread, then jasmine and wisteria, even violets… Rather intriguing, this. With water: anything for your breakfast. Maple syrup and pancakes, breads, muesli, muffins and scones, toasts, plus naturally, Champagne. Remember, 6cl of Champagne for breakfast will lift the whole day. Mouth (neat): very active indeed, this time rather on pink pepper and marmalade, prickly pears, grenadine, peach liqueur… This baby's got strictly nothing to do with the 2007. I find it very good. With water: no, there, lemons and chalk, that's the classic combo. Finish: long, same. Comments: different style, same high quality – and drinkability. Not for breakfast though.

SGP:651 - 87 points.

Looks like we're caught in the middle of a mini retro-verticale of Elixir's Linkwoods…

Linkwood 8 yo 2011/2020 (57.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #306020, 626 bottles)

Linkwood 8 yo 2011/2020 (57.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #306020, 626 bottles) Four stars
As we all know, Linkwood tends to take sherry well… Colour: straw. Nose: my goodness, olive and sesame oils! And peanut oil! What's this magic? Then sour oranges and notes of fino, as well as fresh walnuts just fallen from the tree. With water: panettone and kougelhopf dough, more peanut oil, less of the other oils. Mouth (neat): rich char, oranges, lemon drops, earl grey and Timut pepper. You're right, no oils this time, perhaps a tiny dollop of sesame? With water: as almost always, the lemons tend to have the upper hand in good whiskies, which is the case here. Finish: medium, pretty tight, lemony, but with an oily texture again. Comments: supersonic nose, the palate was very good too but it was more the speed of a Boeing. Impressive at just 8.

SGP:551 - 87 points.

Another youngster…

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (55%, Dram Mor, 1st fill bourbon barrel, cask #306772)

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (55%, Dram Mor, 1st fill bourbon barrel, cask #306772) Four stars
Colour: gold. Nose: I'm finding some oils here too, but that would rather be around linseed oil, even paraffin oil. Peanuts are back as well, vanilla from the barrel, wisteria and jasmine this time again, a wee mustiness (good wine cellar) and a touch of cedarwood, leather and agricole rum. With water: cinnamon rolls, pipe tobacco, roasted peanuts, that wee mustiness again, as well as this linseed oil. Mouth (neat): thick, rich, flavourful, starting with heavy teas and going on with marmalade and walnut cake. Like it, as expected. But wasn't it rather a refill sherry cask? With water: very good indeed, on teas and spices, garam masala, crude chocolate, damsons… Finish: medium, a tad drying and leathery, but really good. A touch of mint and oranges in the aftertaste, which is always welcome. Comments: rather un-barrel, but that's me. Another very good one, same score as most.

SGP:561 - 87 points.

Tell me about some grouped fire!

Linkwood 11 yo 2009/202 (53.7%, The Maltman, bourbon hogshead, cask #307137, 291 bottles)

Linkwood 11 yo 2009/2021 (53.7%, The Maltman, bourbon hogshead, cask #307137, 291 bottles) Four stars
Let's see what Donald Hart has found… Colour: rich gold. Nose: it is a sourer proposition, with more wine and cordials, orange wine, shoe polish, unexpected whiffs of wood smoke, and really a lot of petroly riesling. I really wouldn't know where all this is coming from. Other than that, we've got some fudge and custard, which come expected. Linkwood's trademark floral side is back as well, with indeed wisteria but also its older marker, rose petals. With water: nuttier, once again you would believe it was sherry. There's even a little 'good sulphur'. Gun that shot. Mouth (neat): a lot of action in here, shoe and metal polishes, plasticine, triple-sec, tobacco and old walnuts, a little rum. With water: once again, are we dead sure this wasn't sherry? Does Linkwood harbour some sherry notes by birth? We would have known, I suppose. Finish: rather long, lovely, kind of a little antique, rather in the style of much older bottlings, with some meaty, metallic, and smoky sides. Even a little cognac. Comments: not exactly young Linkwood ex-bourbon, but there, whisky's also about mysteries and magic.
SGP:562 - 87 points.

We're exaggerating now, are we not. But remember Oscar Wilde. BTW, I passed by his crazy grave the other day in Paris, you should really see it if you haven't already. More young Linkwood please…

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (62.2%, Whisky Is The Limit, Swiss Edition, Bordeaux red wine barrique)

Linkwood 10 yo 2010/2020 (62.2%, Whisky Is The Limit, Swiss Edition, Bordeaux red wine barrique) Four stars
They wouldn't tell you about the château, but they said this was cabernet franc plus merlot. Which leads to St-Emilion…  Cheval Blanc has got a lot of cabernet franc, but shh… No, nothing to do with White Horse, although there would be ties between the owners of Cheval Blanc, LVMH, and Diageo, owners of the White Horse brand. One for the conspiracy theorists of whisky, be my guest… Oh and indeed, Linkwood belongs to Diageo too… The plot thickens… Colour: gold, with a faint roséness. Nose: sometimes these work, especially when the make is an easy one. So I'm finding fresh sourdough and whiffs of blood oranges, but at such high strength we won't try to nose it too deeply. With water: more classic, almost sherried malt, with nuts, herbs, raisins and something a little fermentary. Quite some vegetal oils too, in the style of that lovely 8yo by Elixir. Yoghurt. Mouth (neat): was the barrique recharred? Butterscotch and tea with milk, in short something English. But then again, the high strength… With water: fruits, berries, jams, raspberries and bread, biscuits. Finish: same plus spices, bell pepper, Timut pepper, Seville oranges… Comments: we tend to joke about whisky in red wine, but this was a fine exception, even if it remains 'not totally for us'.

SGP:651 - 85 points.

Let's go down the vintages, it was about time…

Linkwood 24 yo 1996/2021 (54.8%, The Maltman for HNWS Taiwan, bourbon barrel, cask #8712, 195 bottles)

Linkwood 24 yo 1996/2021 (54.8%, The Maltman for HNWS Taiwan, bourbon barrel, cask #8712, 195 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: straw. Nose: much more mashy than the youngsters, with mashed potatoes ala Robuchon (50% potatoes, 50% butter), fresh croissants, whiffs of white ham, clay, white asparagus, even weissbeer… Indeed it's all pretty white (do we have that condition called synaesthesia?) With water: bread and stones, grist, an old mill at a distillery (Porteus? Boby? More about those in Nick's new book (*)) and just lemon juice. Mouth (neat): rather hot, fermentary, on ale and fudge, then kumquats and Werther's Originals. Butterscotch eh. With water: funny, with a pretty dry-waxy side (paraffin) and a little turpentine, then tight limes and really much less butterscotch. A little café latte, though. In fact, I think this is very good. Finish: rather long, on lemon tarte. Right, tarte au citron. Nothing beats tarte au citron, except macarons au citron. Maybe. Comments: rather grand Linkwood, with some oomph and strong opinions. Yeah, a tasting is a dialog.

SGP:561 - 89 points.

Time to have the new OB…

Linkwood 39 yo 1981/2021 (52.9%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 701 bottles)

Linkwood 39 yo 1981/2021 (52.9%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 701 bottles) Five stars
Some sherry witchcraft here, that is to say double-maturation with some PX and oloroso involved, but I really appreciate the fact that they would remain transparent all along, while other makers will let you believe that their rare old whiskies have spent all their lives in a single genuine sherry bodega butt before disgorging. Isn't lying by omission a few distillers' (and brewers, and winemakers…) favourite sport? Colour: amber. Nose: fir wood at first, sauna oils, pine needles, balsa wood, then rather lighter Cuban puros (I used to enjoy my Gloria Cubanas twenty years ago) and chestnut purée, raisins, fig arrack, clay, walnut wine and liqueur (nocino)… Lovely, absolutely lovely. With water: figs stand out, sawn hardwoods, Turkish delights, marzipan… Mouth (neat): hey it's almost brutal at 39, shall we call it Tyson? Great thick sweet wine (muscat de Beaumes de Venise, nothing to do with Venice), orange liqueur, Sauternes, then my favourite fruit salad (peeled oranges, honey, olive oil) and just sultanas. This oldie is very talkative, quite possibly because it's been smartly 'revived'. With water: does the peacock's tail, with chestnuts and pumpkin seeds, bean curd and marzipan, dates and figs, cappuccino and Nutella (apologies), milk chocolate and Jaffa cakes… while all that joyous feast would end up on marmalade. Marmalade, official partner of many a single malt whisky. Finish: perhaps a tiny-tad oakier? But it all remains under control and rather on lovely piney notes than on drying sawdust. Comments: did I mention figs? You do feel, sometimes, that some smart lab work's been done, but I'm sure that was for the better, if not the belter.

SGP:651  - 90 points.

(*) Oh yeah, forgot to say, I would have liked to write about Dr Nick Morgan's new book earlier but I wanted to first read it. I know, how old-fashioned. I've now read the half and it's rather fascinating, discretely witty, sometimes pleasantly schizophrenic, blending only a few tiny corporate reflexes, perhaps a little conditioned (about terroir or glassware, for example), with most of the time, real behind-the-curtain information and opinions that you would just not find in other books. Having said that, I would say the book is around 78 times less 'corporate' than any other books that have been written by high-ranked or formerly high-ranked industry people. To be honest, the very vast majority of the whisky books that sit at WF Towers are reference books that you would have opened every time you were having a question ('remind me how Mortlach works') but this one's different. I suspect even seasoned enthusiasts will read this quasi-essay from cover to cover, exactly the kind of book that's needed while a lot of regular encyclopaedic whisky stuff is now available online. Anyway, as they say at Arsenal FC, 'more later'.  

Everything You Need to Know About Whisky
Everything You Need to Know About
Whisky (But are too afraid to ask)
Nick Morgan
The Whisky Exchange, Ebury Press

PS: Whiskyfun needs new concert reviews!


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


August 19, 2021


The Ultimate Duos, today Glendullan

Tell me about the three main markers of Glendullan, you've got 30 seconds. Tick-tock-tick-tock… Exactly and that's why, I believe, many use re-racking, STR, wine finishing or other means of re-flavouring, except maybe Cadenhead who've often been content with going 'full-rocket-fuel mode'. Let's first have a young indie one that might be very wild, and then the new Prima & Ultima that should be 'something'. Which gentle trick did they find?...


Glendullan 10 yo 2010/2020 (55%, Liquid Treasures and eSpirits Whisky, sherry butt, 240 bottles)

Glendullan 10 yo 2010/2020 (55%, Liquid Treasures and eSpirits Whisky, sherry butt, 240 bottles) Four stars
Colour: light gold. Nose: modern, sweet, fruity and very bonbony. Banana cream, lemon drops, coriander, prickly pears, chenin blanc and a pack of Haribo's best. A family pack. With water: as usual, a little brioche, bread, dough, grist and vanilla. Very nice but just between us, the original distillate is not extremely important under these conditions. Mouth (neat): indeed, good, in the JS style, with some butterscotch, custard and cappuccino at first, then biscuits, cola water and pancake sauce. Pecan pie with some marmalade. With water: more jam, gingerbread, oak spices, a little white chocolate, raisins, pumpernickel… Finish: long and a little brighter. Rhubarb tarte with meringue and custard. Comments: very modern, very good indeed, but this won't help us find the markers of Glendullan.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

The Singleton of Glendullan 28 yo 1992/2021 (60.1%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill + Madeira, 414 bottles)

The Singleton of Glendullan 28 yo 1992/2021 (60.1%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill + Madeira, 414 bottles) Four stars
More double-maturation than finishing because this baby first spent around 14 years in well-behaved refill wood, then 14 years in two 'small ex-Madeira barriques'. As I understand it, this is a little experimental but I suppose it's easier to experiment with Glendullan than with Brora. You say what about Lagavulin + Guinness? No, that can't be real. By the way, lovely blue/green tinted glass ala Johnnie Walker Blue here. Colour: full gold. Nose: very few whisky people, if any, will tell about the kind of Madeira that's been in use, while the differences between various types can be as wide as between, say PX and manzanilla. But this is nice, with smells from the woods (moss, fern) and indeed some soft mustard, dried oranges wit cloves, and whiffs of new thuja wood in a souk. Once you accept, intellectually and philosophically, that you may flavour single malt, you'll find this rather lovely. With water: pencil shavings, thuja wood, brand new humidor and walnut wine. Mouth (neat): a little strong and very spicy. A lot of ginger, more mustard, horseradish, cinnamon mints and bitter oranges, with a sourness (green walnuts). With water: Fernet-Branca, ginger wine, pepper liqueur, and really a lot of straight peppers of all kinds known to Man. Finish: long and rather a little more 'malt whisky', with even a little brown bread and some peppery molasses. Comments: my lizard brain seems to enjoy this concoction rather a lot, but I'm very suspicious of my lizard brain, as anyone should be. No? Conservation no-fuss score here, I have to confess I'm a bit lost. The one I'll always remember is the 38-1974/2014 (WF 91).
SGP:561 - 85 points.

As far as Glendullan's markers go, well look where that's got us, amigo! No-where. We'll try again in the coming… years…

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


August 18, 2021



No secret Skyes today, just one regular OB that I haven't tried since 2015, and then one new IB. And then a last-minute bonus.
Marshal Allen, leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra (Alexis Maryon)  ->

Talisker 18 yo (45,8%, OB, +/-2021)

Talisker 18 yo (45,8%, OB, +/-2021) Five stars
I believe one could psychoanalyse Talisker. I mean, die-hard afficionados tend to love it, and yet I'm not sure it gets the praise it deserves. Maybe because of the way it's always been positioned by the owners (some kind of under-Islay that's all about the ocean, in a rather aftershave-lotion kind of way). Or maybe because no IBs could ever indirectly promote it. Not even BB&R. When was that again? Now indeed the Laing Bros have got some, but those are still young (more about those very soon)… It's all a little tough, but indeed I deeply love Talisker. Talisker needs more love! Colour: gold. Nose: no it is not light, or lighter, or smoother, this is well a full-blown peater, even if it does not quite smell like the exhaust of a Camaro. Where else would you find this many crabs, langoustines, oysters or… Meursault? Indeed there's a wee fattish, buttery, chardonnay-like background, not to mention these drops of yellow chartreuse, but it's all smoked to the core. A very elegant nose. Mouth: seawater and charcoal, cigarette ashes, manzanilla, lemon, peppermint, oysters, and just 'peat'. Perfect lace. Finish: same. Good length. Some touches of maracuja beyond the salty ashes. Comments: bottled smoked oyster juice and less than 100€ a skittle. What do the people want? Love Talisker 18.
SGP:456 - 90 points.

Talisker 10 yo 2011/2021 (59.2%, Hunter Laing, The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, refill hogshead, cask #18220, 299 bottles)

Talisker 10 yo 2011/2021 (59.2%, Hunter Laing, The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, refill hogshead, cask #18220, 299 bottles) Five stars
We've tried these batches under various guises when they were 3, 4, 5, 6… Always liked them but it's the first time I'm coming across a tenner. Remember, no ten no deal! Colour: pale white wine. Nose: fully and totally and integrally (we get your point, S.) naked and natural. As if someone would have just smoked a blend of mercurochrome and Atlantic water. Smoking a cigar while eating oysters and quaffing, well, Talisker. What's very lovely here is that all OBs are usually more oaked (read vanilla-ed) while this one's naked as a jaybird. With water: very medicinal. Just fake a sprained ankle or something and drink the stuff. Mouth (neat): what-a-distillate. No wood, no oak, no lousy vanilla, no coconut, no oils, just seawater, peat, and iodine. This wee whisky's almost abstract. Miro? Calder? With water: grapefruits and salt, plus ashes and white tequila. Some kind of readymade margarita – not the first time. Finish: same. Rubber boots in the aftertaste. Comments: I know it's only ten, and that it's pretty simple, and that it's perhaps not even fully mature, but there. A wow-distillate, if only everyone could keep any unnecessary vanilla at a distance…
 SGP:467 - 90 points.

Two 90-pointers, that's what I call a tasting session. C.U.

No wait, a last minute bonus came in after I had finished that wee session earlier in the month….

Talisker 41 yo 1979/2021 (47.5%, OB, Prima & Ultima, American oak hogsheads, 556 bottles)

Talisker 41 yo 1979/2021 (47.5%, OB, Prima & Ultima, American oak hogsheads, 556 bottles) Five stars
Even if it doesn't look like that, this is a 'natural cask strength'. Mrs Robinson has chosen the four remaining casks of 1979 that had matured in the Distillery's Warehouse #4 that's the nearest to the see (we need romance, don't we), all American oak hogsheads (hurray). Anyway, 556 bottles from four hogsheads, that's not much, even after 40 years. Excuse me, 41 years. Colour: gold. Nose: these old Taliskers are sublime, what's more the distillate can usually take 'a little more years' without batting an eyelid. This is just another example, the citrus are sublime, the coastal notes are as well (kelp, oysters), and so is this fruity/nutty waxiness, around fresh crushed macadamias and almonds. Add a small cup of high-quality cold lapsang souchong and just a little iodine, and you'll get even more appreciative. No tar and no tyres whatsoever this time, this is not Islay! Mouth: this is almost a fruit bomb! We're reminded of some Islays that had been distilled in the 1960s, with a soft-oily texture and surely some almond syrup, orgeat, yuzu, and a wee handful of small pink olives, the ones that are rather softer and fruitier. The name escapes me. We've got a little oyster juice as well, lemon caviar, a hint of sandalwood perhaps, and always this almondy touch. Perhaps a drop of sesame oil too? Finish: very lovely at 41 yo, very fresh, with a saltier side and tiny bits of Thai basil and coriander. The almonds keep showing up in the aftertaste, but those would have been seasoned with lemon and red pepper. Comments: totally superb, extremely elegant, and almost moving, just like a very old jazzman that's still at the top of his game. Say the intergalactic Marshal Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra – mind you, 97 years this year!
SGP:563 - 93 points.

PS Still wonder what they mean with 'Made By The Sea', made on the seashore or that the sea made them?

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


August 17, 2021


The Ultimate Duos, today Brora

Brora! I won't tell you, once more and again, that they just restarted the Distillery this year and that it's been smoking for some months now. Right, when we say smoking, that's a figure of speech, I doubt any old-skool smoke would still emanate from the buildings. So, there's a 1980 within this year's Prima & Ultima, not a vintage that we've seen much until now. If you don't mind, we'll have that new one first and then today's sparring-partner, as the latter's exactly 10% ABV stronger.


Brora 40 yo 1980/2021 (49.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 505 bottles)

Brora 40 yo 1980/2021 (49.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 505 bottles) Five stars
I find it really cool, and probably very costly, that they would have kept each 'brand's traditional bottle shape and label style, which is exactly the opposite of what they had done with the famed and much-lamented Rare Malts. Or Flora & Fauna. This baby stems from the three remaining casks of 1980 that Diageo were still having, so there will be no more. This time again, 505 bottles from three hogsheads isn't really much, is it? Colour: superb light gold colour. Nose: I'll tell you what I think, this is possibly the Brora that's closest to 'Old' Clynelish that I've ever nosed. I'm thinking official 5 and official 12, especially the C/S versions for Giaccone. Extraordinary mineral arrival, chalk and flints, beach sand and old boat oil, some kind of mentholy lemon (mojito, only a dozen time nicer than the most extraordinary mojito ever), some tiny bandages, some camphory ointments, crushed oyster shells, a few garage-y touches (brake pad, engine oil, leaking old Jag ;-)), and just, well, Clynelish 12. I'd say you'd be well-advised to call the Anti-Maltoporn Brigade before it's too late. Mouth: ah well, this is smokier than Clynelish 12 (note to newbies, Clynelish 12 was made at Brora too), possibly a little fruitier as well (bergamots and dried raisins), a tad more luscious shall we say, but otherwise this is an unloading of fat sooty, chalky, earthy, even burnt notes that do scream 'Brora'. Just as Old Clynelish used to, it tends to become chalkier yet and more lemony over time, ending dense, tight and even a tad biting. Like those Sancerres we like so much. Finish: long, with the famed waxes coming to the front. Touch of salt and ashes in the aftertaste, paraffin. Some tangerines ala modern Clynelish. Comments: I shall overlook no vintage anymore at Brora, but I don't think I've ever seen any at the indies, at least not recently, which would suggest this was the last time we're tasting Brora 1980. At least we can still listen to Bonnie Tyler (what-a-at?)

SGP:565 - 93 points.

And so a sparring partner that's exactly 10% ABV stronger… and twice younger…

Brora 21 yo 1981/2002 (59.2%, Signatory Vintage, LMDW, Straight From The Cask, refill sherry butt, cask #1421, 510 bottles)

Brora 21 yo 1981/2002 (59.2%, Signatory Vintage, LMDW, Straight From The Cask, refill sherry butt, cask #1421, 510 bottles) Five stars
We used to love these wee 'artisan' bottles and their wooden presentation cases that could make for perfect birdhouses or pencil boxes. To think that you could buy some of these 1981s at 43% vol. and for 39.99€ a bottle… It's to be remembered that G&M, Signatory, and later Douglas Laing, have been instrumental to the reputation of Brora. The SMWS and Cadenhead had some even before, but those were too young and extremely rustic, to say the least. Colour: light gold. Nose: wilder for sure, even hot, very much on lime juice, with a few medicinal, almost soapy tones and whiffs of fern and sage, gradually evolving towards waxes and gentler lemons but it remains pretty hot. Do not nose too deeply, you would get a trashing, so to speak. With water: fresh mint leaves, sourdough bread, iron, chalk, wool, plasticine, lemon curd… There's still some youth to this one! Mouth (neat): hot, really, green (biting unripe rhubarb) and rather sour, but there's something extremely appealing to this baby. Its Broraness, perhaps? With water: and bam, lemons, grapefruits, paraffin, wax, gooseberries, aspirin tablets, chalk, greengages, and a few touches of sherry, rather around fino. Fresh walnuts. Finish: long, chiselled and yet fattish, waxy, lemony, and oh-so-lightly medicinal in the aftertaste. Still chalky and even a little mustardy. Comments: it's a thrill to taste a Brora that's perhaps not integrally polished yet, and so still a little brutal and 'WIP'. What a spirit, hope they'll manage to carbon-copy these.
SGP:464 - 90 points.

(Merci Salvatore!)

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


August 16, 2021


The Ultimate Duos, 2021 Edition

There are probably three 'best jobs in the world' altogether. One's being a real astronaut (I mean, not flying a giant p***s for a company that chose you only because you're the owner), the other one's being an F1 driver who's best friends with Verstappen, and the third one a Master Blender at Diageo's. Not obligatorily because it's Diageo, but because they own twenty-seven distilleries and have, in addition, quite some casks of whiskies from closed distilleries remaining in their numerous warehouses. And Brora.

Mauren Robinson
Best job in the world
(photo Diageo)

So yeah, many of us want to become Maureen Robinson, one of their top pipette slingers, who's responsible for all of Diageo's brand new Prima & Ultima 8-series, whilst distinguished colleague Dr Beveridge did last year's beauties. Now, I think I've already written that I wanted to become Maureen Robinson around twenty years ago – or was it fifteen – and never got any notification to attend any job interview, not even a phone call, not even a postcard. It didn't work with wanting to become Dr Beveridge either, isn't life unfair?

Having said that, a ray of light just came through Château Whiskyfun's main door: we have 2021's new Prima & Ultima series on the tasting table! I suppose you could nickname the Primas 'the ones that could have been part of the Special Releases just as well', while the Ultimas would rather be 'the ones that used to be part of the Special Releases in the old days'. Anyway, eight different malts, some very appealing and some extremely appealing, which we'll try in true WF fashion, by comparing them with other expressions from the same distilleries. Because remember, in whiskies, spirits or wines, only comparison is reason!


The Ultimate Duos, today Convalmore

Convalmore Distillery (Anne Burgess)

Ha, I'm sure new cats would have jumped onto the Lagavulin, or the Talisker, maybe the Brora, but I preferred to first go with this rare Convalmore. First because we love the fruity Convalmore (I mean, we've hardly ever tried 30 of them, but anyway) and second, because we love the packaging. And third, because all previous 'Diageo' Convalmores had been stunning. What's more, the leaflet that came with the set and that was particularly well-written and informative, as far as I can judge that, tells us that 'a total eclipse of the sun occurred on the very day these casks were filled'. That is to say on November 22, 1984. Wow, that's even more striking than a 1811 cognac (you know, the year of the comet). But first, a carefully-chosen sparring-partner that may give us an even deeper historical perspective…

Convalmore 36 yo 1984/2021 (48.6%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 647 bottles)

Convalmore-Glenlivet 31 yo 1962/1994 (48.9%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) Five stars
Naturally, this stems from an 'oak cask', a mention that's always reassuring, just like the usual suffix 'Glenlivet'. Having said that, when they used to write 'oak cask' that may have meant 'as opposed to sherrywood'. I've never formally tasted any of those 1962s by CAD, but Angus tried some and thought they were wonderful. It is in 1962 that direct coal firing was replaced with steam at Convalmore, but I just don't know whether that occurred before, or after this baby was distilled. Probably after, as this was distilled in November 1962, so probably 'steamed' liked Chinese dumplings (hey I'm joking). Now, it was certainly distilled before they doubled the number of stills from 2 to 4, which happened in 1964. Colour: gold. Nose: it's going to be a tough fight, as this is splendid, sublimely fruity and yet a little sooty, extremely old-school, with some elegant meaty tones, some metal and furniture polish, beeswax, a wonderful little tartness (dried apple slices, Canadian apple icewine), then rather high-class Pu-her tea between the fifth and the tenth waters (I'm joking again). Wonderful and luminous. Mouth: creamy arrival, with a thick texture and some unexpected notes of all kinds of sweets and drops, orange drops, squash, then cassata, muesli, and this thing that I adore, honey ice-cream. Or nougat ice-cream. Finish: the finish is a little more on soot and old cellar, old magazines, perhaps even old cigars. Comments: the candy-like arrival is a little surprising, the rest is superb. Loses one or two points because of all those 'H&M candies'.
SGP:652 - 90 points.

Convalmore 36 yo 1984/2021 (48.6%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 647 bottles)

Convalmore 36 yo 1984/2021 (48.6%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 647 bottles) Five stars
This new official Convalmore from three American oak hogsheads filed in November 1984, just a few months before they closed the Distillery 'for good' (and sold the premises to William Grant). So once again, it is another pretty historical bottle since both were distilled in November, either just after, or just before some major changes were done at the Distillery. Colour: light gold. Nose: it is very striking that both would be this close to each other, although this one would rather have more soft citrus and even sultanas (yes I've noticed it isn't sherry), and a little less wax and polishes. Bergamots and chenin blanc (a rich yet tart Vouvray), even a little muscat (small-berry muscat), blood oranges, and a wee touch of lady's moisturizer. No, of course no soap. Mouth: not a candy store, rather several herbal teas, some with citrus, lemon grass, angelica, a little fresh ginger perhaps, dill, then more and more oranges, large ones, small ones… And quite a lot of white pepper and cinnamon, but those are the wonders of proper refill, the spices never actually seize control. Finish: medium, really on oranges. Some kind of cocktail, too bad I know next to nothing about cocktails, I could have given you a name. Comments: splendid! A notch less complex than the 1962 (less oils and soot) but with a higher definition and some perfect oranges. Large ones, small ones, as liqueur, as cordial, as cream…
SGP:651 - 91 points.

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


August 15, 2021


Five crazy rums

Oh-my-God, last time we tried to do a single distillery rum session that quickly became a chore, despite the fact that all rums (six Caronis) were absolutely splendid. Nutshell: rum is not whisky (no sugar Sherlock) so we'll simply never do that again and rather always seek variety. And, yep, fun.


And we'll start right today, with five rums from five different countries…

Rhum J.M 6 yo 2014/2020 (54.8%, OB for HNWS Taiwan, Martinique, cask #160311, 273 bottles)

Rhum J.M 6 yo 2014/2020 (54.8%, OB for HNWS Taiwan, Martinique, cask #160311, 273 bottles) Four stars and a half
This little tasting note with a thought for heavily Covid-struck Martinique, where they make great rhum but do not want to get vaccinated. J.M is one of the most celebrated agricoles and I have to say some recent batches have really impressed me. The distillery, called Fonds-Préville, is located in Macouba, in the north, while they take care of no less than 150 hectares of cane fields. It's a 'smoking distillery', meaning that they do make rum and are not content with using brand names and just buy white rum made by someone else – or with 'selecting, and blending'. Colour: deep gold with bronze hues. Nose: rather stunning if you enjoy apricots and heather honey as much as I do. The spices are sublime (Timut pepper, softer curry, turmeric etc), the fruits marvellous (all kinds of bananas) and the flowers and herbs just charming (patchouli and mint). A little custard from the oak. With water: lovely, with more hardwoods and more pines too. Thuja and yew wood, liquorice, curry, really a lot of caraway now, Kummel… Smells of ancient times to me, which is absolutely charming. Mouth (neat): it's rather all on spices and tropical fruits. Really a lot of caraway and juniper, spread over small white pineapples and stewed mangos. Wonderful and not aggressive at all, however that there's really a lot of liquorice wood and cinnamon jumping out onto your tongue after a few minutes. With water: this is where it would get really dry and woody but in a good way, as none of those woods would be… oak. Pines, fir, cedar…  Tends to become very mentholy. Finish: long, a tad gritty (remember, 6 years) and perhaps a little more rustic. Still rather 'wow', if not 'wow wow wow' (S., try harder). Comments: I was even at 90/91 until the finish, which was a tad drying and rather austere for a rum. But great J.M! Not 100% sure water was to be added.
SGP:561 - 89 points.

Off to Barbados…

Foursquare 13 yo 2007 (63.3%, Malt, Grain & Cane, for Indonesia, Barbados, 255 bottles)

Foursquare 13 yo 2007 (63.3%, Malt, Grain & Cane, for Indonesia, Barbados, 255 bottles) Four stars and a half
Apart from some crazy local beers that I could drink in Jakarta a long time ago (and funnier stuff yet in Kuta, ehm…), I believe it's the first time I'm trying some drink that's exclusive to Indonesia and am both pleased and proud. It's to be noted that this baby spent its first 12 years in Barbados and was then shipped to Europe where it was finished for 1 year in first fill bourbon. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it is extremely interesting to nose this after the J.M because despite the fact that the processes are totally different (cane juice + colonne créole vs. molasses + self-blended pot still and double-column) in my book both rums share a similar philosophy and even style 'as seen in the glass', a combination of spicy firmness and gentler, almost 'lighter' floral fruitiness. Which would give you a feeling of 'elegant fulness'. Yeah I now, a lot of drivel but there, bananas, mirabelle nectar, fir honey, cinnamon rolls, zucchini flowers, dog rose tea, ginger cream… But boy, let's be careful, this is 63.3. With water: notes of bourbon (varnish, vanillin, coconut) but also many teas, mint, lime tree, peach leaves, young pu-her, garden peat, geranium flowers (not leaves mind you)… Mouth (neat): very sweet and bonbony but I'm sure that's the super-high strength and shall water this down immediately. With water: indeed, we've left the candy store and while this remains a little lighter and kind of thinner than the agricole, plums, quinces, figs and jujubes are running the show. Lovely. Finish: only medium but really fresh and floral. Hay jelly, cinnamon, Thai basil, fresh ginger…  Comments: superb, just a little difficult to get right when you add water. We're wondering, what are Apple doing? When are they going to release an iPipette? Oh and an iTaster while they're at it, that would give me a rest.
SGP:651 - 88 points.

Let's swim to Guyana (do they have sharks?)

Albion 2004/2018 (60.1%, OB, El Dorado, Guyana, Rare Collection Siver Edition)

Albion 2004/2018 (60.1%, OB, El Dorado, Guyana, Rare Collection Siver Edition) Three stars
I haven't tried many Albions in my life, but I just loved the first 'new' ones by Velier.  Naturally, this doesn't come from the original Albion distillery (closed 1968) and was rather made at Diamond with the Savalle continuous still that they would have tweaked to produce the Albion style (marque AN). Colour: deep gold. Nose: it really is a bourbon of rum, with a lot of praline, caramel, molasses, corn syrup, varnish… We're almost nosing a pack of Mars bar. Some cigarette tobacco too, café latte, more caramel... They could sell this at Starbucks'. With water: resinous teas and liquorice over all this caramel. A feeling of After Eight thin mints.  Mouth (neat): extremely sweet and molasse-y. A lot of caramel, pancake syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, popcorn and nougat… Indeed, a bourbon of rum. With water: some sugarcane coming out but once again, it would change really a lot while you add drops of water. Malt whisky is rather easier to water down, I think. Notes of oranges this time, over-infused earl grey… It's hard to avoid the oak and any tannicity. Finish: medium, with obvious tastes of candy sugar and caramel. Comments: I'm mildly disappointed; big body, much smaller engine.
SGP:640 - 80 points.

What more do we have… right, this time I suppose we'll have to fly…

South Pacific Distillery 2012/2021 (58.5%, Barikenn, Fiji, first fill bourbon, 291 bottles)

South Pacific Distillery 2012/2021 (58.5%, Barikenn, Fiji, first fill bourbon, 291 bottles) Five stars
Fiji, molasses, pot stills, rugby. Right, maybe not rugby. Barikenn's a nice new wee French bottler who's already granted us with some very lovely juices, while I've always found these Fijian rums rather a little… Jamaican. Colour: gold. Nose: yeah right, new rubber boots, brand new tyres, heavy petrol, olives and capers, coal tar, coal smoke… This is almost as if some absent-minded blender had inadvertently mixed Hampden with Port Ellen. With water: it's almost as if it wouldn't even take water, as the viscimetry is just immense. Wonderful to watch. Other than that, someone's crushed some carbon paper and mixed it with seawater, ink and Diesel oil. Mouth (neat): love this. Salty, tarry olives with a dollop of caramel and a spoonful of fir honey. Tomorrow morning, you'll believe you've eaten a whole pack of salted liquorice lozenges while binge-watching a new Outer-Mongolian crime series on Netflix. With water: saltier, more on brine, olives, pickled fruits, anchovies… But it is a little less dry than the most extreme Jamaicans. I just love this restless rum. Finish: very long, tarry and salty. Some kind of smoothie that you would make using bits of tyre, liquorice, olives and seawater. Not for the fainthearted. Comments: most certainly a dresser for cheap blended rums originally, but I would say that's part of its charms. You know, US $5 a gallon and presto, ecstasy and bliss…
SGP:464 - 90 points.

Since we've mentioned Jamaica (and passionate French bottlers)…

HMPDN 2011/2021 (67.4%, Swell de Spirits, Wonders of The World, Jamaica, cask #435034)

HMPDN 2011/2021 (67.4%, Swell de Spirits, Wonders of The World, Jamaica, cask #435034) Five stars
W d nt nd vwls, d w? The marque here was 'H', which means this is some high-ester rum (<H> means +/- 1000 g/hlpa esters at Hmpdn, which is terrifyingly huge). Colour: gold. Nose: it is like peat, the feelings are not proportional to the, well, to the proportions (well done S.) and I find this relatively gentle, well in the same category as the Fijian, that is to say full of olives, diesel oil, tar and rubber, but with some welcome roundness (vanilla, fudge, marmalade). In fact, this is unexpectedly civilised. With water: fig wine, really? Mouth (neat): no, it is extreme on the palate. Reminds me of the Baiju you could buy for US €1 a litre in the 1980s… And they would give you back some change. Salty, fermentary, bacterial, deviant, on loads of tar, coal, and just a whole bag of indistinguishable rotten fruits. Very crazy spirit on the palate. With water: why did I mention baiju? All I'm getting now is.. baiju. That'll teach me. Notes of strawberries too, did you even notice that the biggest, most extreme spirits could display notes of strawberries? Finish: back to Jamaica, for a long time. More on olives liquorice, brine and tar. Phew. Comments: love this kind of crazy spirit that'll really make you travel. And not to Craigellachie, mind you…
SGP:663 - 90 points.

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

August 2021 - part 1 <--- August 2021 - part 2 ---> September 2021 - part 1




Best spirits Serge tried those weeks, 90+ points only

Aberlour 30 yo 1989/2020 (51.5%, The Perfect Fifth, 241 bottles)

Auchroisk 47 yo 1974/2021 (48.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 382 bottles)

Benromach 40 yo (57.1%, OB, first-fill oloroso sherry, 1047 bottles, 2021)

Brora 21 yo 1981/2002 (59.2%, Signatory Vintage, LMDW, Straight From The Cask, refill sherry butt, cask #1421, 510 bottles)

Brora 40 yo 1980/2021 (49.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 505 bottles)

Convalmore-Glenlivet 31 yo 1962/1994 (48.9%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

Convalmore 36 yo 1984/2021 (48.6%, OB, Prima & Ultima, hogsheads, 647 bottles)

Lagavulin 16 yo (43%, OB, +/- 2021)

Lagavulin 28 yo 1992/2021 (47.7%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 1081 bottles)

Linkwood 39 yo 1981/2021 (52.9%, OB, Prima & Ultima, 701 bottles)

Talisker 10 yo 2011/2021 (59.2%, Hunter Laing, The First Edition for HNWS Taiwan, refill hogshead, cask #18220, 299 bottles)

Talisker 18 yo (45,8%, OB, +/-2021)

Talisker 41 yo 1979/2021 (47.5%, OB, Prima & Ultima, American oak hogsheads, 556 bottles)

Borderies 'Héritage N.78-85' (57.1%, Grosperrin for Cognac Sponge, 165 bottles, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet V.84 A.36 (53.8%, Old Master Spirits, Grande Champagne, 168 bottles, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Confluences Très Vieille Petite Champagne L.49.62.73' (44.3%, OB, 2021, 292 bottles)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'Lot 68-72' (59.1%, Kirsch Import Edition, Fins Bois, 2021)

Jean-Luc Pasquet 'V.57 A.63' (47.6%, Old Master Spirits, Fins Bois, 70 bottles, 2021)

Petite Champagne 'Héritage N°.71' (52.3%, Jean Grosperrin for Flickenschild, 2021)

HMPDN 2011/2021 (67.4%, Swell de Spirits, Wonders of The World, Jamaica, cask #435034)

South Pacific Distillery 2012/2021 (58.5%, Barikenn, Fiji, first fill bourbon, 291 bottles)