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Hi, you're in the Archives, September 2022 - Part 1

       
 

August 2022 - part 2 <--- September 2022 - part 1 ---> September 2022 - part 2

 

September 14, 2022


Whiskyfun

Another new flight of great young cats

All young malts from recently built Scottish Distilleries. But what does 'recently' exactly mean at WF Towers, you may ask? Let's say any facility built after Arran (1995). That was right last year, was it not? Having said, there will soon be more new names than old ones up there in Scotland! Of course that's very cool…

Ardnamurchan Distillery

 

Drumblade 10 yo 2011/2021 (46%, Duncan Taylor, Battlehill, blended malt, sherry cask)

Drumblade 10 yo 2011/2021 (46%, Duncan Taylor, Battlehill, blended malt, sherry cask) Three stars and a half
Drumblade is teaspooned Ailsa Bay, William Grant's new peated lowlander (2007). We've often fund Ailsa Bay a little simple, but we're ready to be convinced otherwise, maybe with this little indie?  Colour: straw. Nose: a piney, vegetal smokiness at first, as if they would have used younger peat when malting the barley, and in smaller quantities. The sherry's chiming in later on, with raisins and some artisanal butterscotch, as well as our usual walnut cake and pecan pie that we always just love…. Mouth: good peppery punch, with a moderate smokiness and rather bonbons, or agave sweets (without the worm that's not a worm that some Mexican friends would put into their sweets and lollipops). Some leafiness over all the butterscotch and raisins. Finish: medium, sweet and peppery. Comments: good and less peaty than the official Ailsa Bays in my book. In truth the peat is discreet.
SGP:552 - 83 points.

Annandale 6 yo 2015/2022 (59.7%, The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, 1st fill oloroso sherry butt, cask #TWB1028)

Annandale 6 yo 2015/2022 (59.7%, The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, 1st fill oloroso sherry butt, cask #TWB1028) Four stars and a half
I think I'll simply copy-and-paste what The Whisky Barrel have written about Annandale, as it is just perfectly concise and, well, perfect. 'Annandale is a modern Scottish distillery situated within an historic distillery building. Originally established in 1830 ait produced single malt whisky until 1921 when it was closed, stripped and the buildings that remained became the site for a Porridge oats company, livestock 'warehousing' and, sadly, disrepair. The Annandale Distillery Company purchased the site in 2007 and undertook mammoth effort to restore the buildings and bring whisky production back to Annandale. In 2014 the spirits flowed again and the first, new, single malt Scotch whisky from Annandale was released in 2018.' Oh and happy anniversary to you, The Whisky Barrel! Colour: deep gold. Nose: butterscotch, tobacco and peat, that's some rather modern combo. Simple and efficient, no quibbling at all this far. In the background, some menthol, tar, curry and camphor. With water: similar, except that everything tobacco and camphor too the lead. Very funny whiffs of tomato leaves and sour-sweet bulldog sauce. Mouth (neat): a little strong, perhaps, with some acetone and varnishes over rather a lot of pepper and even chillies, but you do feel that's it's going to be all right once a little H2O is added. With water: extractive, concoctiony, modern, and just awesome. Wonderful sweet spiciness on top of this tobacco-y smokiness. Finish: long and, believe it or not rather sake-y and shochu-like. Rounder, almost honeyed aftertaste. Comments: with sushi, perhaps! I'm surprised the Japanese do not actually produce this style. Extremely high quality/age ratio.
SGP:566 - 88 points.

Let's try bourbon… In general, I like them best with peated whiskies, but it's true that that sherry was already very high…

Annandale 6 yo 2015/2022 'Peated' (56.2%, Best Dram, Kirsch Import, 1st fill bourbon, cask #567, 254 bottles)

Annandale 6 yo 2015/2022 'Peated' (56.2%, Best Dram, Kirsch Import, 1st fill bourbon, cask #567, 254 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: straw. Nose: I have the feeling that this is going to be a draw. I don't know why but I'm getting something Japanese once more (starts with Chi and ends with bu), with smoked almonds, charcoal bread, meringue, one small green olive, the infernal chalk + grist combo, then lemon and lime juices. Extremely well carved. With water: this time again, some menthol and some camphor, plus fresh sourdough and grapefruits. Mouth (neat): ho-ho, lemon drops and even marshmallows at first, then chillies this time again, and then massive amounts of peaty lemons. Or lemony peat, as you like. High zestiness, always great. With water: the peat gets less talkative, although lapsang souchong tea and smoked espumas would still sing. Did you notice that more and more young chefs would tend to smoke many parts of their dishes? Especially sauces and, yes, espumas? Everything's carpaccio-ed and everything's smoked these days. No complains, I love that. Finish: medium, a little more bonbony again. More lemon drops. Comments: I told you this would be a draw. Let's watch Annandale a little closer in the coming years…

SGP:655 - 88 points.

The next one will be obvious after those Annandales…

Ardnamurchan 5 yo 2015/2021 (52.5%, North Star Spirits, ex-bourbon, 247 bottles)

Ardnamurchan 5 yo 2015/2021 (52.5%, North Star Spirits, ex-bourbon, 247 bottles) Four stars and a half
These new distilleries seem to have understood that it's way smarter to let the best indies use their names and thus propagate their messages. Provided the whisky's good, of course. Colour: straw. Nose: close spirits, this one being just a little more, say self-restrained, a little oilier as well, and rather more on breads, rye, wholegrain, pumpernickel, all that. A little more fermentary. This time again, we won't complain! With water: a lot of porridge, plus a little Swiss cheese and a baby's gym socks. Mouth (neat): more acetic, sour, fermentary, glue-y… In short, a little more profound and wild. With water: leaner this time, with the usual lemons, smoked almonds, indeed olives, mezcal, breads… Finish: rather long, with notes of petroly riesling and some sweeter bread. Comments: I think I love this one just the same. One day we'll do a large fighting session, new Scotland versus new Japan. What do you say? Having said that, this baby feels seriously less peaty than the Annandales.

SGP:553 - 88 points.

Just to be sure…

Ardnamurchan 6 yo 2015/2022 (58.4%, Thompson Bros., first fill barrel, 267 bottles)

Ardnamurchan 6 yo 2015/2022 (58.4%, Thompson Bros., first fill barrel, 267 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: straw. Nose: it is a little older but it feels a little younger, with more varnishes and nail polish, even UHU glue (our favourite brand, we endorse UHU), but that may well be the higher ethanol. Let's see… With water: hey hey, horse saddle, hay, porridge, whey, cottage cheese, fruit peel, ale, tobacco… Mouth (neat): yes, a little hot and bonbony/varnishy. Water please… With water: bingo. Gets simpler, actually, but it's full of greengages while greengages are up there in the top of my list. The smoke is perfect, even a tad mentholy and on eucalyptus. Finish: long, more herbal and like cough medicine. Comments: probably a slower cask. Either they added two years in wood, or you'll add twenty years in glass. That's doable, no? I would say the North Star was tad more 'wildly chiselled' but to be honest, this is splendid too. Perhaps does it need a little more work from the taster, or indeed twenty more years in your cellar (to reach 90+).
SGP:564 - 88 points.

Listen, coming up with different scores wouldn't make any sense, we have the future of Scotch in our glasses, let's just celebrate accordingly! Oh and we were also having this one…

Ardnamurchan 6 yo 2015/2022 (59.7%, Thompson Bros., first fill barrel, cask #356, 267 bottles)

Ardnamurchan 6 yo 2015/2022 (59.7%, Thompson Bros., first fill barrel, cask #356, 267 bottles) Four stars
Ha-ha, that's the fellow that's always been on Adelphi's blend on the label. Some say that's Charles MacLean when he was a student, but I doubt it, Scotsmen don't do flamenco, do they? Colour: white wine. Nose: let's do this one quickly, it should be a sister cask. Well, no, it's actually a lighter, fruitier Ardnamurchan, but that may be the very higher strength. Two tons of little easter sugar eggs and just distant whiffs of garden bonfire. With water: closes down, gets grassier, doughy, malty and beerish. Two whiskies in one, as we sometimes say. Mouth (neat): a fruit foam bomb, lemons, toffee apples… With water: some tropical fruits showing up.  Finish: long and a little eau-de-vie-ish. Comments: it was a little simpler, but why are they all this good?
SGP:653 - 87 points.

I'll do several 'masterclasses' (gosh I hate that expression) with Charlie, with Dave, or with Angus, in Paris (whisky live) and in London (whisky show), and even in Warsaw later in the year. What I want to say is that I hope the whiskies will be this good and inspiring!

Glasgow Distillery 4 yo 2017/2022 (61.1%, The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #TWB1029)

Glasgow Distillery 4 yo 2017/2022 (61.1%, The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, 1st fill sherry butt, cask #TWB1029) Four stars
We're on Deanside Rd in Glasgow now (obviously - bravo!) Colour: full gold. Nose: this is a different style, more on rubbers and leaves at first sniffs. Very leafy sherry, but at 61% vol. you just can't really tell. So, with water: grasses, then various nuts (Brazil) and crude chocolate. Some flowers too, peonies, pansies, geraniums… The palate will tell. Mouth (neat): huge, on Fanta and marshmallows. Water please… With water: and there! Cakes, panettone, orange blossom water, dried figs, oriental pastries, baklavas, makrouts, all that. It was worth the wait, even if we're not exactly in the same cluster as that of the Annandales and Ardnamurchans. This is rounder, softer, a tad more MOTR even if it remains a brilliant young malt. Finish: medium, with more honey and cakes, as well as raisins. Dried pears. Comments: a tad more 'regular' than the others, but it's also virtually unpeated. No quibbles at only 4 years of age, on the contrary, and Glasgow is awfy Glasgow.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Lindores Abbey 3 yo 2018/2022 (58.9%, OB for The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, oloroso sherry butt, cask #585, 720 bottles)

Lindores Abbey 3 yo 2018/2022 (58.9%, OB for The Whisky Barrel, 15th Anniversary, oloroso sherry butt, cask #585, 720 bottles) Four stars
Let's not talk about friars and exchequer rolls, but what a colour! Colour: reddish mahogany. Nose: prune juice and soy sauce, with some hoisin and some kinds of smoked embrocations that may not exist in real life. And then, big molassy rum (old Demerara) and heady chocolate. Quite some cask action here. With water: ganache, chocolate, molasses indeed. Mouth (neat): really thick and spicy. Imagine some prune spirit boosted with some 'End-of-the-world' chilli and with some slightly brutal old Armagnac from Ténarèze. More or less that. With water: back to civilisation, with some raisins and cinnamon cookies or rolls, plus dried figs and dates. Some batches of the old 10 yo C/S by Macallan used to be a bit like this. Some early A'bunadhs too.  Finish: rather long, on chocolate filled with raisins and various liqueurs. More spice again in the aftertaste, pepper, clove, cinnamon… And pencil shavings. Comments: pretty brilliant, if perhaps less 'high-precision' than the ex-bourbon Ardnamurchan and Annandale. As watch enthusiasts, we love high precision.

SGP:662 - 86 points.

Strathearn 8 yo 2014/2022 (49.8%, Thompson Bros., Seven Casks Series, virgin American oak, cask #17, 58 bottles)

Strathearn 8 yo 2014/2022 (49.8%, Thompson Bros., Seven Casks Series, virgin American oak, cask #17, 58 bottles) Three stars and a half
A few years ago we went to Strathearn to distil a few litres of our own with some friends including the Thompsons, but I don't think this would be 'our' cask. Colour: gold. Nose: you do feel the small still-set, this is not exactly old-school pot-still malt whisky, it's rather a crossbreed between rum, bourbon and Scotch malt indeed. Banana cake, rye bread, pancakes, sugarcane syrup, blancmange, croissants, vanilla cake, pistachio nougat, a few crumbles of ginger cookies… Mouth: again a feeling of 'cross-genre whisky', with some coconut cake, young bourbon, cinnamon rolls, rye… Indeed, a lot of rye for sure. Finish: medium, with many oak spices and vanilla fudge, with drops of tangerine liqueur and grenadine. Ginger cookies again in the aftertaste. Comments: a lot of fun here, even if 'this cannot be Scottish'. But do they really need to make Scotch, in Scotland?

SGP:641 - 84 points.

Last one…

Dornoch 4 yo 2017/2022 (55.5%, OB, Thompson Bros., 1st fill 100l bourbon, cask #54, 178 bottles)

Dornoch 4 yo 2017/2022 (55.5%, OB, Thompson Bros., 1st fill 100l bourbon, cask #54, 178 bottles) Four stars
Don't we all love this pocket distillery and the distillers (and their parents?) I think it's the first time I'm trying a bottled ex-bourbon expression of Dornoch and frankly, I wouldn't have waited much longer. Colour: straw. Nose: first, please note that I shall never, ever inflate or boost any comments or notes or scores about spirits just because they were made by friends. What's more, we've got friends within Diageo or Pernod as well anyway. Good, this has fresh sawdust, oils (sunflower and grape pips), root vegetables, artichokes, eggplants, rye bread, pumpkin seeds and tapioca. I find it quite austere, which I always like rather a lot. With water: fresh-sawn pinewood and balsa, plus porridge. Mouth (neat): craft and rather belonging to a gang of a few distilleries of the world that are producing whisky 'differently'. I mean, it's a malt from Dornoch that's much closer to Westland in Seattle than to actual neighbours Glenmorangie, for example. More rye bread, muesli, Swiss Läckerli… With water: a tad more on breads, with touches of anise and poppy seeds this time. Finish: medium, with even more anise cookies, or 'anis bredala', as we say in little Middle-Alsace. Comments: I find it very 'worldwide', despite the small size and the location of the Distillery. Doesn't whisky make you travel anyway? Great, great young bready drop.

SGP:461 - 86 points.
 

September 12, 2022


Whiskyfun

Another bag of whiskies

As they come, without any kind of logic

On the corner

 

 

Mac NaMara (40%, OB, blended Scotch, +/-2022)

Mac NaMara (40%, OB, blended Scotch, +/-2022) Two stars
There used to be a Poit Dhubh 21 yo by the same bottlers back in the 1990s that was just out of this world. The Mac NaMaras have not been in the same vein, but it's been ages since I tried any of those 'Gaelic whiskies'. Colour: gold. Nose: toffee and fudge, sawdust, brioche and a distant hint of grass smoke. Feels a tad dusty but this is only the nose. Mouth: I rather like it, it's a tad rougher than your usual commercial blend (but isn't everything commerce these days?) A little sour wood, cereals, sour apple juice, candy sugar, marmalade, cardboard… The body's a little oilier having said that. Finish: medium and a little bitter and even more cardboardy. Not the best part. Comments: a rather honest and loyal proposition but as many large-volume blends would do, it would nosedive towards the end and get dusty and cardboardy.
SGP:451 - 75 points.

Distilled at a Highland Distillery (Westport) 17 yo 2005/2022 (57.1%, Watt Whisky, 198 bottles)

Distilled at a Highland Distillery (Westport) 17 yo 2005/2022 (57.1%, Watt Whisky, 198 bottles) Four stars and a half
An unusual Westport bottled as a single malt. Colour: deep gold. Nose: big cakes here, cereals, anything by Kellogg's, a lot of butterscotch, even more millionaire shortbread, then salsify gratin and perhaps even moussaka. Good fun! With water: wonderful milk chocolate with a touch of mint, After Eights, more shortbread and scones, and certainly a lot of butterscotch. Mouth (neat): absolutely excellent, with an earthy kind of mineralness, leaves, Mars and Twix, and perhaps even more moussaka. Cheers to our friends in Greece! With water: the best cakes, filled with marmalade. Jaffa cakes. But of course, Jaffa cakes! Finish: long, on the same kinds of notes. Comments: were we the Distillers, we'd be proud to see such an indie bottle bear our actual brand name. One of my favourite fairly recent Glen***gies, and that's not Glenugie.

SGP:551 - 89 points.

Secret Speyside 28 yo 1994/2022 (50.6%, Les Grands Alambics, The Jazz Series, butt, 118 bottles)

Secret Speyside 28 yo 1994/2022 (50.6%, Les Grands Alambics, The Jazz Series, butt, 118 bottles) Five stars
Miles on a bottle of whisky, that's pretty much like eating proper goose foie gras and drinking champagne while driving a black Miura along the Riviera, no? For once we'll listen to some music while tasting this whisky, which we never do, and that'll be… say On The Corner (just because it was better recorded than Bitches Brew). Colour: pale gold. Nose: I'm not sure we've ever been this close to fresh amaretti and maraschino. Would then move towards 'paler' fruitcake (pears etc) and old vin doux naturel, perhaps Rivesaltes, fresh walnut cake, turon, sesame cream, plum jam… With water: perfectly waxy. A savoury side too. something coastal as well. Mouth (neat): extremely very good (what?) with a tenser side – you'd believe you're further north along the East coast - and some greener fruits. Seriously, aren't we rather somewhere between Inverness and John o' Groats? With water: excuse me? Olives? Brine? What's the trick? Do they do butts in Jamaica? Finish: long, unexpectedly briney. Comments: hope I haven't made any mistakes or misinterpretations here, but after all, as Miles said, 'don't play what's there, play what's not there' (he probably added 'mother***er!) Not sure that's a good idea with tasting notes, have said that. Great, great 'Speysider' nonetheless.
PS I've got a very funny anecdote with Miles in Nice but I'll tell it another time.

SGP:562 - 90 points.

Just to check one thing…

Distilled in the Highlands 9 yo 2013/2022 (55.6%, Thompson Bros., blended malt, refill hogshead, 327 bottles)

Distilled in the Highlands 9 yo 2013/2022 (55.6%, Thompson Bros., blended malt, refill hogshead, 327 bottles) Four stars and a half
There's some kind of cat on the label (come on, it is a cat) so we know what's in there. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: these are never easy when they're this young, while they were in the late 1960s (but that was still the neighbouring distillery). Now the wax and citrus are there in full force, it is just a little narrow, a little limoncello-y. With water: fresh wool, paraffin, chalk, grist and mud. Classic. Mouth (neat): eau-de-vie de barley kept in a waxed jar that had previously contained homemade limoncello. Or something like that. Hot young baby. With water: gets perfect once you got the amount of water right, which ain't too easy to do. What a spirit! Finish: perhaps not that long, and probably more eau-de-vie-ish than older expressions, but all that is only normal. Wonderful - meow! Comments: en route for some 90 points at 12 years of age.

SGP:562 - 88 points.

Glen Moray 14 yo 2007/2022 (54.6%, Best Dram, Kirsch Import, 1st fill bourbon barrel, casks #5697+5699, 433 bottles)

Glen Moray 14 yo 2007/2022 (54.6%, Best Dram, Kirsch Import, 1st fill bourbon barrel, casks #5697+5699, 433 bottles) Four stars
I agree we should have had this one within a Glen Moray session, but first we were curious, and second, there's no Glen Moray session planned before December. Colour: white wine. Nose: very barley-y, which is very Glen Moray. Crystal-clean doughiness, sourdough, baguette, plantain, then apples and cherries. We're extremely close to the raw materials (remember, that would be barley, yeast and water). With water: some plasticine and shoe polish, even some soap. Nothing abnormal in this context (it saponifies bigly while we haven't got a lot of time). Mouth (neat): sweet barley, plum spirit, barley sugar, finger biscuits and cider. Exactly 'Glen Moray', with no make-up whatsoever. With water: some williams pears and even more barleyness. Finish: pretty long and rather more citrusy. Almost hoppy in the aftertaste. Comments: malt whisky as Mother Nature intended, would they write in good brochures.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Glen Spey 2010/2021 (59.7%, Or Sileis, Mercury Selection, bourbon barrel, cask #80057OA, 239 bottles)

Glen Spey 2010/2021 (59.7%, Or Sileis, Mercury Selection, bourbon barrel, cask #80057OA, 239 bottles) Three stars and a half
Same, no Glen Spey session planned before long, that's why we're putting this one into this hotchpotch. Colour: gold. Nose: same style, word for word. An immense barleyness, less grass than in older expression of Glen Spey, more cakes, toasted bread and nougat… Well, modern wood improved almost all malts, but it also made them a little alike. What we may start to miss is… asperities, as they say. Nice savoury side too, even if this baby's ex-bourbon. With water: lemon squash and sourdough. Mouth (neat): raw, tight and sharp eau-de-vie-y barleyness. Sums it up, I would suppose. With water: well it loves water, even if it would remain pretty simple and probably similar to the other million casks they would shelter within the central belt of Scotland. There are four casks per inhabitant in the country, apparently, so 20 million casks altogether. Hope no one will ever need to use them as energy source. Finish: medium, sweeter, simple, barley-y. Kirsch in the aftertaste. Comments: indeed, this wee Glen Spey for Asia reminds me of some kirschwassers that some distillers have tried to mature in wood. Few asperities here, but it'll disappoint no one.
SGP:541 - 83 points.
 

September 11, 2022


Whiskyfun

A wee basket of rums

Let's see what we find in the boxes…

Carùpano 6 yo 'Reserva Especial' (40%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2021)

Carùpano 6 yo 'Reserva Especial' (40%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2021) Two stars
We've never tried any Carùpano (I know the accent on the u is not right). It's from the land of Diplomatico and Santa Teresa so we're expecting some sweet lightness. Colour: light gold, so not ridden with caramel. Nose: this time it's fully on caramel, Werther's Originals, café latte and… well, café latte. It is extremely Starbucksy on the nose, do they also own distilleries? Mouth: more butterscotch, plus some rawer, thinner spirit that would make us think of very young grain whisky. Really loses any focus it would have had after ten seconds. Finish: short, spirity, and indeed full of caramel. Comments: this very light rum is not bad, actually, but it's certainly not a sipper. Neither is it very 'especial'.
SGP:720 - 70 points.

Ron La Progresiva de vigia '13' (41%, OB, Cuba, +/-2021)

Ron La Progresiva de vigia '13' (41%, OB, Cuba, +/-2021) Two stars
Another brand I had never heard of although I have been roaming Cuba quite some years ago (but then again and again, I'm no rum expert). But here's a clue, it's said that it used to be made only for the Cuban nomenklatura and as gifts to heads of state visiting the island. But of course. Very flannelly packaging. Colour: gold. Nose: pretty nice I have to say, reminding me a bit of my favourite Cuban, Santagio 11 yo, with a deeper and more complex structure. Lovely hints of old copper, fresh-crushed sugarcane, touches of lavender and even rye, violet sweets, then the expected oranges, as drops and as cordials. Doesn't feel too 'sweet' on the nose. Mouth: as almost always, the palate isn't quite on par and perhaps a little indefinite, but the good news is that you wouldn't really feel any added sugar or sauces. It's actually rather vegetal, dry, and indeed with quite some cane juice. Finish: the palate is a little rougher, and a little drying, and certainly pretty grassy. Fruit peel and a little burnt caramel. Comments: naturally, the figure '13' is only mimicking an age statement, but it is a fine Cuban rum.

SGP:640 - 74 points.

Diamond 18 yo 2003/2021 (54.2%, Wealth Solutions, The Colours of Rum, Guyana, cask #32, 242 bottles)

Diamond 18 yo 2003/2021 (54.2%, Wealth Solutions, The Colours of Rum, Guyana, cask #32, 242 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: white wine. Nose: high-ester rum, pretty pure, with 'a sense of' mezcal and olives, many fermentary smells, leaven, very distant whiffs of durian, anchovies, brine and all that. In short, it's rather brilliant. With water: some acidic fruitiness coming on top (lemons, rhubarb, gooseberries) and even notes of bandages and ointments. Mouth (neat): pretty massive, appropriately dirty, salty, perhaps in the style of Versailles, or of that of several Jamaicans. Or of raw Talisker. Bags of olives and anchovies. With water: similar, with also a dirtyish grassiness. Fresh compost and old hay, perhaps. Finish: rather long, on just the same kinds of notes. Dirty aftertaste – the kind of dirt we enjoy in rum. Comments: some very excellent salty rum. I've tried a wee blend with 50% this and 50% Talisker and I have to say I'm pretty proud as that pushed the citrus to the stratosphere. Sadly that also generated some soapiness.

SGP:463 - 89 points.

Since we're in Guyana…

Port Mourant 2010/2021 (61.2%, Milano Rum Festival, Guyana, cask #2, 242 bottles)

Port Mourant 2010/2021 (61.2%, Milano Rum Festival, Guyana, cask #2, 242 bottles) Four stars
According to the label, this one should burn, no? Colour: white wine. Nose: a bit blocked by the high ethanol but you do feel some varnish on top of the crushed olives and salted fish. Water should be added sofort (we've decided to speak European on little WF). With water: some new plastic, plywood, more salted fish, capers, engine oil… And yet there is some kind of lightness too. Mouth (neat): it's not always easy to make a difference between Versailles and Port Mourant. In any case, this is way too hot at full strength. I agree, no surprises. With water: a few sugary touches, otherwise fruits starting to get overripe (bananas) and a salty tarriness. Finish: rather long, with some 'sweet varnish' over overripe plums. Comments: I say it's as good as young Port Mourant gets.
SGP:562 - 87 points.

Perhaps a really old Uitvlugt?

Uitvlugt 1989/2022 (46.7%, The Whisky Jury, Guyana, refill barrel, cask #8, 203 bottles)

Uitvlugt 1989/2022 (46.7%, The Whisky Jury, Guyana, refill barrel, cask #8, 203 bottles) Five stars
WF's new mouser, P'tit Noir, looks a bit like the one on the label. Colour: amber. Nose: wow wow wow wow wow. I know that's not very professional but then again, I'm not a pro, by any means. Lorries full of fruits from all countries, sublime tarry spices (a maharaja's own recipe for yellow curry), liquorice, tar, old car (King Charles' old Rolls) and many kinds of polishes. Mouth: we're approaching utter perfection here. Sublime combination of 'easy' fruits (all kinds) and petroly and tarry elements (all kinds as well), plus oysters and olives. Finish: perhaps the hardest part because of some kinds of tobacco-y tannins. There's quite some espresso coffee too. Comments: wow wow wow wow wow (any ideas how someone could lay himself off?)
SGP:463 - 91 points.

Off to Trinidad and Tobago, with the usual…

Caroni 18 yo 1997/2015 (50.5%, Whisky-Fässle, Trinidad)

Caroni 18 yo 1997/2015 (50.5%, Whisky-Fässle, Trinidad) Four stars and a half
It's funny that they would have kept one of their famous western ducks instead of switching to scarlet ibis or rufous-vented chachalaca. Colour: full gold. Nose: this baby doesn't quite smell like high-ester, a.k.a. 'heavy' Caroni, but as far as lighter styles go, it's all rather pure and caney at first, then more on vegetables and green fruits. Green bananas, for example. Some flints in the back. With water: linoleum and Barbour grease. Who remembers linoleum? Mouth (neat): come on, it's not light at all! Possibly a blend of light and heavy Caroni, with these rather specific notes of patchouli, menthol and eucalyptus (but those may come from the wood). Salted lemon juice. With water: some chocolate, some salt, some eggplants, a little cardboard. Not exactly your average Caroni, but as I could taste some old officials in the past, I would say we're rather close here. Finish: rather long, saltier. Some salted and peppered fudge in the aftertaste. Comments: it's been a little hard after the supersonic Uitvlugt, but it turned out very all right in the end.

SGP:452 - 88 points.

No rum session would be complete without a Jamaican!

Hampden 3 yo 2018/2022 'HLCF' (64.6%, Velier for Salon du Rhum Belgique, Jamaica, bourbon, cask #284, 262 bottles)

Hampden 3 yo 2018/2022 'HLCF' (64.6%, Velier for Salon du Rhum Belgique, Jamaica, bourbon, cask #284, 262 bottles) Five stars
HLCF, that's supposed to mean between 500 and 700 grams esters per HLPA, so rather high. But once again and just like ppms peat, those figures do not always translate into the end spirit. As for such a young Hampden, that's pretty much the equivalent of a proper Toledo sword dipped into hemlock; let's try to survive… Colour: white wine. Nose: sour wine, green lemons, brine, Mediterranean seawater (I'm joking), carbon paper and diesel oil. Some unexpected mangos and bananas in the background, after all this is rum. With water: superb, on new Formica (I've heard they're producing some again) and whey. Mouth (neat): pretty splendid and seemingly full of acetone, ammonia, benzine, carbon dust and dead oysters. Something demoniacal at almost 65% vol. With water: the usual oysters and olives, some smokiness, and a lot of brine or seawater (not obligatorily from the Mediterranean). Finish: very long, rather more on rotting bananas of all kinds, yellow, blue, green, pink… Comments: totally love this spirit. I know I should not grant such young booze with such high scores.
SGP:452 - 90 points.

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

 

September 10, 2022


Whiskyfun

 

 

 

Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Angus  
Seven Scapa
plus a bonus
Scapa is probably one of the distilleries / brands that I find most bewildering and frustrating. Despite being located in one of the most remarkable and romantic locations in Scotland, and also being an elegant, often high quality and charismatic make, it seems to have suffered from a long and oddly persistent history of neglect.

 

At time of writing the two current official expressions are a pair of pretty uninspiring NAS offerings. If ever there was a distillery that was crying out for a re-think and a relaunch, it is Scapa. Especially given how highly it has been regarded as a single malt over the years by many whisky drinkers; I remember the now discontinued 16yo hardly sat on the shelves when I worked in Peckhams and Oddbins in Glasgow. For now though, it seems as though it is destined to remain a blending machine for Pernod - which no doubt the blenders are very happy about, understandably. It's not often we get to tase many Scapas side by side, so this should be a pretty instructive and interesting wee session. But first, an aperitif… 

 

 

Waitrose Millennium Single Malt Whisky 21 yo (40%, Waitrose, bottled 1999)

Waitrose Millennium Single Malt Whisky 21 yo (40%, Waitrose, bottled 1999)
Waitrose is of course a famously 'middle class' supermarket in the UK which often has its own special, or 'one off' products such as this one. This is a random bottle I picked up at auction recently due to the fact the rear label states that it was 'distilled on Orkney'. So, theoretically this is one of those 'Orkney malts' that really could be Scapa or Highland Park. Although, mentions of 'peat smoke' and 'iodine' would suggest the latter… Colour: straw. Nose: heather honey, beach pebbles, and indeed, a wee thready trace of peat smoke. That smoke becomes a little louder and more dominant with time, the whole also becomes more drying and coastal. It's very charming and very 'Island' despite suffering from the measly ABV. Mouth: dry, slightly cardboardy peat smoke, wet wool, salted honey, camphory touches. Plenty to enjoy, I just get the impression the low ABV and some time in bottle may have robbed it of some muscle and freshness. Finish: medium, smoked teas, dried flowers, camphors and slated honeys again. Comments: my guess would be HP. But that's kind of mute really. A random and obscure old curiosity that would work very well for some lazy tumbler sipping. Shame about the 40%, a few degrees more power would really have elevated this one I think. 
SGP: 454 - 82 points. 

 

 

Scapa 8 yo (70 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, late 1970s)

Scapa 8 yo (70 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, late 1970s)
The 100 proof batches can be really excellent, these old 40% versions tend to be a bit more wobbly in my experience though. Colour: gold. Nose: I find this familiar 'heather honey' quality that I associate with Scapa, but also a rather industrial side with impressions of mechanical oils and toolbox rags, then also aged herbal liqueurs such as some very old Benedictine. A few leathery touches and ideas of medicinal roots. Very good actually and pretty charismatic. Mouth: falls a little flat or arrival here, there's plenty to enjoy with these medical rooty notes again and herbal teas, but there's also this feeling of OBE, a little cardboard and a general feeling of fatigue. I also find a slightly burnt orange note which feels like caramel to me. A familiar story with quite a lot of old 40% young G&M bottlings from this era. Finish: short, tea-ish, slightly sweet, medicinal and overall a bit flat. Comments: a shame as the nose was actually very promising. I suspect this one didn't travel too well in bottle. 
SGP: 533 - 74 points. 

 

 

Scapa 12 yo (40%, OB, 1990s)

Scapa 12 yo (40%, OB, 1990s)
Colour: gold. Nose: golden syrup on soda bread. This familiar feeling of honeyed sweetness, soft bready notes adding some richness and then cereals, beers, wet grains and dried flowers. Soft and easy but not lacking in character - just a little let down by 40% and probably a good slug of caramel. Mouth: fine, but a little weak. Some nice notes of herbal teas, flower honey, white bread, muesli and sunflower oil. But again this feeling of low power and a rather mashy, cooked grain vibe. Finish: short, some biscuity sweetness, digestives dunked in darjeeling tea with sugar and then a little herbal bitterness in the aftertaste. Comments: It's funny, these bottlings, along with the 16yo that came after, were very popular offerings in wine merchants like Oddbins (I remember selling many at the time when I worked there around 2006). But tasting them now I'm left with the feeling that they contained a lovely base whisky that was let down by lack of interest and brutalistic bottling practices. 

SGP: 431 - 77 points.

 

 

 

 

Scapa 10 yo 2006/2017 (59.2%, OB 'Distillery Reserve Collection', cask #2173, 1st fill sherry butt, 888 bottles)
I think this is a rather cool series, but I'm not a fan of 50cl bottles which I feel are a bit fiddly. Colour: amber. Nose: a big, rather punchy sherry bomb. Lots of jams, treacle, sticky toffee pudding, dry earthiness and chocolate. Also some mirabelle eau de vie and wild strawberry notes coming through. With water: a tad brutal as it becomes even drier and on things like earth, coffee grounds, snapped twigs, clay and coal dust. A wee freeze dried raspberry adding a glimmer of light relief. Mouth: a slightly unexpected profile that goes more towards herbs, roots and things like black pepper, natural tar, camphor and prune eau de vie. Also rather mulchy and drying which is in keeping with this particular style of rather punchy sherry. With water: a little easier now, dark grained breads, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, wood spices and cloves. Finish: quite long, bitterly herbal, sooty, lightly tarry and medicinal. Comments: a 'take no prisoners' style of sherry that's a little too brutal for me at times, but I'm sure fans of this particular style will lap this up. Technically impressive no doubt. 
SGP: 472 - 85 points. 

 

 

Scapa 12 yo 2003/2015 (58.5%, OB 'Distillery Reserve Collection, casks #9-12 & 14-16, 2148 bottles)
Colour: pale gold. Nose: a lovely and highly refreshing profile, lots of wet beach pebbles, linens, chalk, white flowers and that familiar heather honey vibe. Impressively sharp, fresh, pure and natural. I also find some lovely firm cereal notes and wee touches of fennel and lime. With water: still a wonderful freshness about it, white flowers, white fruits, citrus zests, light fruit teas and crisp notes of green apple and gooseberry. Mouth: a little sweeter up front, more on citrus curds, white flowers and pollens, sweeter cereal notes, olive oil, overripe yellow plums and lime cordial. With water: lemon infused olive oil, dried mango and pineapple chunks, soda bread and starched linens. Finish: medium in length and again rather natural, fresh and focused on cereals, pebbles, dried herbs and breads. Comments: a lovely Scapa, some slightly sweeter incursions from the wood here and there on the palate, but overall this is all about freshness and natural flavours. 
SGP: 551 - 86 points. 

 

 

Scapa 12 yo 2006/2018 (61.1%, OB 'Distillery Reserve Collection', cask #674, 1st fill butt, 828 bottles)
Colour: rosy amber. Nose: a rather modern and jammy sherry profile that's more about wood than sherry. It's clean wood, but it is rathe assertive with these lactone and spice notes. Underneath that though there are plenty nice notes of sultanas, strawberry jam, fig paste and treacle cake. In fact these rather easy, juicy qualities become more prominent with time. With water: jam and ham! Indeed, these slightly gamey, leathery, meat stock vibes come through clearly here. Along with these red fruit reduction notes. Mouth: spiced dark fruits, cherry bakewell cake, plums stewed in Armagnac and notes of clove and wintergreen. Big, spicy, modern whisky, but very clean and juicy. With water: chocolate sauce, a hint of chilli powder and boozy fruit cake. Finish: good length and with a lot of chocolate, coffee and herbal wines. Comments: these are fun but rather tiring whiskies, I also feel like the Scapa character has been somewhat eradicated by these big beastly casks, which is a bit of a shame. Now, as I mentioned above, they remain technically very good in my view. 
SGP: 561 - 86 points.

 

 

Scapa 15 yo 2001/2017 (53.5%, OB 'Distillery Reserve Collection', cask #663, 1st fill barrel, 312 bottles)
Colour: pale gold. Nose: we're back in the same territory of that bourbon cask 12yo: abundant freshness, linens, citrus, pebbles and chalk. Here it's also a tad greener and more herbaceous with things like pollens and vase water more prominent up front. This is really my type of Scapa, I'd take this any day over and above those big sherry brutes. With water: a wonderful heathery vibe with more pollens, linens, fruit teas and dried herbs. 'Fragrant' would be the word. Mouth: syrupy and sweet here, with the cask obviously having a voice, but this concentration has also produced some lovely green and exotic fruit cordial notes. Lemon curd, citrus jams, soft waxy and peppery notes and a wee coastal flower vibe in the background. With water: juicy yellow fruits now, also a little guava and mango, some stout beer and notes of clove and wintergreen. Finish: long, peppery, herbal and honeyed. Comments: Scapa is such curious make, it can have very clear and lovely personality and charisma, yet seems to be extremely delicate and difficult to pin down well in bottle. Anyway, this one really works, a lovely selection and a hugely charming wee whisky. 
SGP: 551 - 88 points.

 

 

Scapa 23 yo 1992/2015 (58.4%, OB 'Distillery Reserve Collection', cask #1069, butt, 780 bottles)
Colour: pale amber. Nose: straight away you feel this is an older profile of sherry cask, this is more on leathers, waxes, mineral oils and soft notes of preserved dark fruits. Some liquorice, aged mead, ice cider and impressions of very old Fins Bois cognac. A lovely nose thus far. With water: water brings out more fruits such as sultanas, wild strawberry, plums and some herbal liqueur notes too. Mouth: prunes, dates, fudge, game meat stock, Maggi, salted liquorice and herbal bitters. Powerful but at the same time nicely detailed with quite specific flavours in balance. Gets increasingly gamey and leathery with more tobacco and chocolate aspects. With water: rancio, walnut, herbal bitters and game meats. Finish: long, with wood spices, more leathery notes, herbal bitters, aniseed, citrus and treacle. Comments: It's a totally different style to the later sherry casks we just tried, but I feel it's around the same ballpark in terms of quality. I just find the Scapa DNA very hard to pin down in these. Now, in and of itself it's a very fine drop with a little more soul than some of the others. 
SGP: 462 - 86 points

 

 

Thanks to Iain D for making this session possible.

 

 

 

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

 

September 7, 2022


Whiskyfun

Another bag of grains

We'll see if it all happens like last time, with first a handful of assorted grains from various Distilleries, then quite a few Invergordons. That's how it usually goes with grains at WF Towers… What's good is that we haven't got any very young ones on the table today; I mean 10 years old Girvan or bottled varnish, you know…

Last Minute Annoucement
Whiskyfun is supporting all the franchised William Cadenhead shops in continental Europe that are seeing their businesses abruptly terminated. Friendship over whisky, always (and whisky over the whisky business, always).

 

Cambus 29 yo 1988/2018 (45.4%, Cadenhead, Single Cask, bourbon hogshead, 494 bottles)

Xxxxxx xxx xxxxx (XX%, Xxxxxxxxxxx, xxxx xxxx xxxxx)
A seminal grain Distillery, where they were also producing malt in the (very) old days, closed in 1993 by owners United Distillers, whose ancestors had heavily pushed the name 'against the malts' around ninety years earlier. Colour: white wine. Nose: rather a lot of nail polish remover, then grass, herbs and vanilla, but as always when no proper sherry or other active casks have been used, this feels a little empty. As much as we don't like the idea that malts are all about wood, we agree that grains are. Mouth: some vanilla and some sweets, plus a little grass and a few humble half-varnishy, half -vanilla-ed notes. Tends to improve though thanks to some herbs. Finish: short, a little sweet. Rhubarb and juniper in the aftertaste. Comments: an old blend without any malts, as we sometimes say. Not obligatorily very necessary, but frankly honest, to be… honest.
SGP:XXX - XX points.

To Dumbarton…

Dumbarton 20 yo (52%, Dram Mor, cask #211894, 306 bottles)

Dumbarton 20 yo (52%, Dram Mor, cask #211894, 306 bottles) Three stars
Ballantine's huge Dumbarton Distillery was demolished in 2005. By the way, long time not seen an Inverleven, Dumbarton's malt (so to speak). This should be one of the last Dumbartons… Colour: white wine. Nose: shy, herbal. Grass, gooseberries, bison vodka, fresh baguette, a little popcorn… With water: water almost closes it down. Mouth (neat): more action on the palate, with rather a lot of apples, and some lighter white Burgundy, such as a god aligoté. With water: some sugar coming out, as well as liquorice wood. More apples too, even proper artisanal cider. Finish: medium, sweet, clean. Sweet maize, melon, vanilla… Comments: really fine. Feels a bit like easy rum in the end.
SGP:640 - 81 points.

North British 30 yo 1991/2021 (49%, The Golden Cask for The Whisky Barrel, bourbon barrel, cask #CG001, 115 bottles)

North British 30 yo 1991/2021 (49%, The Golden Cask for The Whisky Barrel, bourbon barrel, cask #CG001, 115 bottles) Four stars
North British used to distil only maize/corn, but not sure that's still the case. It certainly was in 1991. Remember it's a joint operation between Diageo and Edrington. Colour: pale gold. Nose: sunflower oil, sesame, pine nuts, white chocolate, then guavas and papayas (moderately), dandelions… It was a good barrel, it seems. Mouth: pretty good, between columns rum, 'malt whisky' and younger bourbon, with even touches of rye, not too sure where those are coming from. Yeah, probably from the bourbon barrel, you're right, what was I thinking? In any case, this old grain is a little fatter than others, and really pleasant. The body is not too thin. Finish: medium, not too sweet, not too thin, and a little tropical. Dried pineapple and coconut. Sweet white wine in the aftertaste, say a Jurançon. Or Irish pot-still whiskey. Comments: certainly a very good sipper. Anybody needing a bottle of grain may choose one of these.

SGP:640 - 85 points.

North British 30 yo 1991/2021 (49%, The Golden Cask for The Whisky Barrel, bourbon barrel, cask #CG002, 42 bottles)

North British 30 yo 1991/2021 (49%, The Golden Cask for The Whisky Barrel, bourbon barrel, cask #CG002, 42 bottles) Three stars and a half Not too sure about the story behind these two. Is there a message, somewhere? Colour: pale gold. Nose: I'm finding this one similar, but a tad drier and more herbal. Certainly less 'sexy' (we'll really have to find another word, perhaps 'sensual'? Or 'stimulating'?) There's quite some maize. Mouth: certainly closer on the palate, but a little less refined, a notch harsher. There are some bits of cider apples, for example, instead of pineapples. Finish: medium, tart. Lemon and grass. Comments: both are very good. Grain that's thinking of malt.
SGP:640 - 84 points.

Why not to Strathclyde?

Strathclyde 15 yo 2005/2020 (60.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #G10.28, 'Pudding faceplant', 164 bottles)

Strathclyde 15 yo 2005/2020 (60.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #G10.28, 'Pudding faceplant', 164 bottles) Four stars
This is a '2nd fill HTMC hogshead finish' and you know what? I don't wanna know what that is. Colour: rich gold. Nose: some concrete dust and some scones, cakes, warm toasted bread, barbecued bananas and caramelised popcorn. With water: more of that plus some hay starting to ferment in the farmyard, as well as some toasted oak in abundance. Mouth (neat): rather a butterscotch bomb at first, then concentrated pineapple juice. With water: gets sweeter, but with a tarter acidic fruitiness. Tastes a bit like Cloudy Bay riesling ;-). Finish: medium, very nice given that it's a grain. Feels like softer bourbon at some point. Comments: the wood did everything here, I imagine. They could sell these Glen Cakes in pastry shops. I hate to say that I'm finding it very, very good.

SGP:630 - 85 points.

Strathclyde 32 yo 1989/2021 (54.5%, Cadenhead, Sherry Cask, refill sherry, 324 bottles)

Xxxxxx xxx xxxxx (XX%, Xxxxxxxxxxx, xxxx xxxx xxxxx)
Forgot to say, Pernod-Ricard's Strathclyde has now taken over the large volumes of Dumbarton and should be feeding oceans of blends. Colour: amber. Nose: burnt raisins chiming in this time, plus vanilla and several dried fruits. There's also a rather spectacular, and unexpected medicinal side, around tincture of iodine. Where did that come from? Or is that an evolution of sulphur? With water: had the cask first been filled with a peater? Mouth (neat): chocolate and cakes. Once again this medicinal side, that's really bizarre, yet not unpleasant. Notes of mashed turnips on top of all this chocolate and pastries. Very intriguing… With water: once again a touch of medicinal smoke… But that works.  Finish: longer than your usual grain whisky for sure, a little citrusy, and still quite medicinal. Hints of Laphroaig in the aftertaste. Comments: feels like an in-cask blend. The thing is, it's very good.

SGP:XXX - XX points.

Good fun with that one, but time to tackle some Invergordons. But first, this…

Blended Grain 48 yo 1972 (49.6%, The Whisky Barrel, cask #TWB1024, 109 bottles)

Blended Grain 48 yo 1972 (49.6%, The Whisky Barrel, cask #TWB1024, 109 bottles) Four stars
Everything suggests this wasn't actually ever blended. What's good fun too is that it was put into cask on the day of the final Apollo 17 moonwalk, on Dec 13, 1972. The true name of this bottle is 'We're on our way, Houston'. Colour: gold. Nose: sweet and gentle, on grain, maize bread, vanilla and coconut water. To be honest, it does not feel like it's 48 years old, it's just very, very gentle. Some notes of young Sauternes (I'll be there in two days, at time of writing). Mouth: it's really the interplay with the wood that shaped this wee whisky, I don't think there was much in the spirit itself. Apples, melons, raisin and apricot bread, coconut, raisin rolls, a little cappuccino… You'd have said this was 15, I'd have answered 'okay'. Except that all the lousy varnishes that lie in young grain are gone for good here. Finish: medium, sweet, easy. Sugarcane and coconut. Comments: a little bird told this could have been an In******on.
SGP: 630 - 85 points.

Speaking of which…

Invergordon 14 yo 2007/2021 (62%, Cadenhead, Sherry Cask, oloroso sherry hogshead finish, 378 bottles)

Xxxxxx xxx xxxxx (XX%, Xxxxxxxxxxx, xxxx xxxx xxxxx)
Ouch, only 14 years and only a finishing. Let's keep faith, they know what they're doing… Colour: gold. Nose: whoops? Copper and tobacco, plus Starbucks' Frappuccino (apologies) and Lindt's milk chocolate. I mean, a good ten kilos. With water: it-is-liquid-chocolate. Mouth (neat): it's too strong but I enjoy these orangettes. In case you don't know, that's strips of orange zests dipped into black chocolate. I know you knew what that was. With water: more orangettes, orange liqueur, raisins, a good glass of old oloroso, and a bit of pecan pie. Easy and good. Finish: medium, chocolaty and orangey. Remember, orangettes. Comments: very well done, this is almost sherried malt whisky from good Speyside. Right, all of Speyside is good.
SGP:XXX - XX points.

Invergordon 32 yo 1990/2022 (51.1%, Thompson Bros., refill hogshead, 507 bottles)

Invergordon 32 yo 1990/2022 (51.1%, Thompson Bros., refill hogshead, 507 bottles) Three stars and a half
What, the 1990s are now thirty-two? And excuse me, 507 bottles from a hogshead? Oh why not, there's inflation everywhere, especially, it seems, in post-Brexit U.K. Colour: white wine. Nose: first cellulosic varnish, then banana skin, sunflower oil, pine nuts, white chocolate, maize flour… With water: oh, chalk, wool, plaster, paraffin, grist… That was not expected, you would almost believe it is a young malt. Mouth (neat): sweet and natural, almost pina-colada-y. Indeed, coconut, pineapple and lighter rum. Then more citrus, oranges… With water: light Cuban rum! It's that with tall columns, you could distil any raw materials and come up with pretty similar, sometimes almost undistinguishable results. This is a good example. Finish: medium, easy, between cane and grain indeed. Comments: great fun. To pour your friends while asking them about the country of origin.
SGP:640 - 83 points.

Invergordon 34 yo 1987/2022 (54.3%, Thompson Bros., refill barrel, 230 bottles)

Invergordon 34 yo 1987/2022 (54.3%, Thompson Bros., refill barrel, 230 bottles) Three stars and a half
Still not an old sherried Invergordon… Come on, Whiskyfun! Colour: pale gold. Nose: coconut wine and vanilla, candlewax, pine colada, Havana Club, sugarcane syrup, blancmange… With water: balsa wood and semolina. Some roots in the background. Carrots. Mouth (neat): some depth here, herbs and grasses, even a tiny touch of smoke… With water: more on bonbons and wine gums, but here's a grassier background. Asparagus? Finish: medium, a tad 'silent'. Touches of pastis, or rather fennel seeds. Comments: all excellent, just a little… thin, despite the pastis. But I agree not all whiskies can be Laphroaig 1967.

SGP:651 - 84 points.

Last one now. Looks like we won't find any 90+ today, but that can almost only happen with very old sherried Invergordons, while I'm sad to report that we haven't got any left in WF's sample library. Having said that, one observation, Invergordon is the only working grain distillery that's actually located in the north of Scotland. That may mean something, if you ask me… (apart from the fact that they seem to be going on strike every once in a while, that's their French side I suppose).

Invergordon 44 yo 1972/2017 (46.9%, Whisky-Fässle, barrel)

Invergordon 44 yo 1972/2017 (46.9%, Whisky-Fässle, barrel) Four stars and a half
Hold on, here is a duck! You never know with ducks… Colour: full gold. Nose: malt-grain. I know there's some malt in all grain whiskies (did you know that?) but in this very case, that feels a wee bit, even if the whole remains soft, cakey, a little thin but with good bananas, coconut and oranges. Oh and the obligatory vanilla. Mouth: very good, sweeter, with bananas and once again a feeling of light rum, banana cake, white chocolate, soft liqueurs (apricot and mirabelle) plus even a little quince jelly. One of the better grain whiskies out there, for sure. Finish: medium, soft and sweet, but with a touch of varnish and even acetone that would add some dimension to this old baby. Comments: good, this time again we didn't reach the 90-mark, but I think we found today's winner.

SGP:651 - 88 points.

Good, next larger grain session on WF, around February next year. Or later.

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

 

September 6, 2022


Whiskyfun

Wee duets, today Craigel-lachie

We're not expecting our world to get rocked today, but it's always good to have a short go at these names. I will add that we haven't spotted any real new OB for a good while, unless I haven't been paying attention. Having said, that, this statement by owners Dewar's is pretty intriguing: 'Craigellachie is an unapologetic and unique whisky, robust and muscular with a hint of pineapple.' Pineapple? Allyl amyl glycolate?

Pineapple
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
Page 1, Paragraph 8 (Short Stories, 2000)
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

 

 

Craigellachie 15 yo 2006/2021 (48.5%, Decadent Drinks, Equinox & Solstice, 1st fill sherry hogshead)

Craigellachie 15 yo 2006/2021 (48.5%, Decadent Drinks, Equinox & Solstice, 1st fill sherry hogshead) Four stars
Colour: deep gold. Nose: we've rarely been this close to brandy with any middle-aged malt whisky, with preserved peaches, raisins, chocolate and prunes, but that may well be this first fill sherry. A good armagnac, shall we say. Or, no, rather a cognac. It'll need a good five minutes to get maltier, earthier, rootier and more savoury, but I'm sure that's the 1st fill sherry too. Mouth: Ténarèze! Spicy chocolate, black raisins, pepper, blackcurrant jelly, walnuts, coffee, drop of Maggi… Gets then a little Demerara-y, with a tiny smoky side. Some sides remind me of that famous other Distillery that's also located in the region, as it would display more and more chocolaty raisins. Finish: long, this time closer to that famous Family-owned Distillery in Ballindalloch. Pepper, raisins, bitter chocolate. Comments: very good classic 'moderate sherry monster' as we used to say.
SGP:462 - 86 points.

Craigellachie 13 yo 2007/2021 (61.9%, Alister Walker Infrequent Flyers, Tiger's Finest Selection, Asia exclusive, Madeira finish, cask #1827, 299 bottles)

Craigellachie 13 yo 2007/2021 (61.9%, Alister Walker Infrequent Flyers, Tiger's Finest Selection, Asia exclusive, Madeira finish, cask #1827, 299 bottles) Three stars
Colour: straw with faint pink hues. Was it some red madeira? Nose: we're rather in PX territories, with some sweet mustard, sweet grapes with their bitterer pips and skins, some old walnuts, vin jaune, blond pipe tobacco… With water: well, Madeira, walnuts, fino, PX, earth, radishes, a little leather, leaves, fruit peel… Mouth (neat): punchy and very orangey. Pepper, cloves and a large jar of marmalade. With water: back to wine countries, with quite some pepper, plus this sweet and sour side that's rather very 'Madeira'. More mustard too, even a little horseradish. Finish: long and really spicy, but some good dried fruits are also there. Comments: the finishing really feels, with its peppery cortege, but I do like pepper too.

SGP:561 - 82 points.

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

 

September 4, 2022


Whiskyfun

Rums of all nations. Almost

Let's see what we find, starting with easier ones as usual. It's good that we keep the malternatives or putative malternatives for our Sundays, or this lousy website would soon become boozefun.com, which is absolutely not my goal. We'd die.

Alechinsky

Cihuatàn 'Xaman XO' (40%, OB, El Salvador, +/-2021)

Cihuatàn 'Xaman XO' (40%, OB, El Salvador, +/-2021) Three stars
We've only tasted one Cihuatàn this far, a 2004 single cask for Belgium (but naturally) that had been excellent (WF 85). They say this very one has been matured for 15 years in ex-bourbon, but they also say it is a solera, then finished in ceiba wood for one year, which is also called 'fromager' in the French west indies. Ex-molasses, column. Colour: full gold. Nose: very nice within that style, on fermenting cane juice, rotting bananas and pineapples, liquorice, some natural rubber/hevea (is that the ceiba wood?) as well as blancmange, well this is rather Caribbean than Central-American (where small El Salavador is located, in case you didn't know). Mouth: indeed, no sugar load in the arrival, even if this is pretty sweet, with some honey, sugar cane, a pack of soft liquorice, and indeed molasses. No rubber this time. Finish: medium, rather too sweet now, I suppose it was boosted in some ways. Some burnt caramel in the aftertaste. Comments: it's not often that these styles of rum reach the 80-mark in my wee book. Not that it should matter, mind you…

SGP:740 - 80 points.

Let's swim to St. Lucia…

Admiral Rodney 'HMS Royal Oak' (40%, OB, St. Lucia, +/-2021)

Admiral Rodney 'HMS Royal Oak' (40%, OB, St. Lucia, +/-2021) Three stars
Not a name that's very common in France, but it's true that British admirals have never been extremely popular in France, at least not since Trafalgar (but Rodney died in 1792). A basic expression had been moderately exciting in my opinion, back in 2015 (WF 75). This one is xx-bourbon cask for between 7 and 12 years, so a 7 years old, distilled in a Coffey still. As for the name Royal Oak, I suppose they are good friends with the house Audemars Piguet (footballers' watches, really). Colour: amber. Nose: feels spiced-up, with huge whiffs of lilies and aromatic grape varietals such as viognier. Notes of caraway liqueur too, tropical flowers, surely jasmine, earl grey tea… It is pretty pleasant, in fact, it's just a little scary w.r.t. the palate… Mouth: I find it good, actually drier than the Cihuatàn, feeling spicy and floral indeed but not really sweetened-up. A large pack of liquorice allsorts, really all sorts. Finish: medium, with some caramel this time, molasses, and indeed, sweet viognier from the Rhône valley. Right, sweeter than a Condrieu. Comments: same ballpark, good quality, very easy to drink, and not, well, woreish at all. Or, another word that you cannot use anymore, not sluttish. No shame.

SGP:730 - 80 points.

Let's try to climb up the ladder…

Foursquare 11 yo 2010/2022 (45%, Samaroli, for The Whisky Barrel 15th anniversary, Trinidad, cask #16, 330 bottles)

Foursquare 11 yo 2010/2022 (45%, Samaroli, for The Whisky Barrel 15th anniversary, Trinidad, cask #16, 330 bottles) Four stars
Bottled in Bonnie Scotland, so probably 'early landed', as some would say. There's what's legal and there's what isn't, but I have heard some excellent cognac producers starting to consider that the warmer climate that we're having this year could have a small detrimental impact on the maturing spirits, making them a little 'harsher'. So it's to be wondered if, with climate change, some will not start to try to find means to mature their stocks in cooler and moister environments. Won't Scotland become a giant warehouse one day? Or Greenland? But some (recent) regulations will have to be bent before that can happen… Colour: pale gold. Nose: it's a more phenolic Foursquare, you'd even find some kind of peat, some nail polish remover too, perhaps more esters than usual as well, some hay, fermenting grass, certainly some cane juice, then some 'easier' vanilla and, to make it even more Scottish, some shortbread. Mouth: no, it's very Foursquare on the palate, with a lovely sourness that makes it deeper, otherwise varnish and glues, cane honey, overripe apples, fudge, bonbons and once more, liquorice allsorts. Finish: medium, with this funny wee 'peatiness' back on your tongue. Comments: these lower strengths are a little unusual, but I say they go well with Foursquare. What's more, water is becoming expensive (yeah right).

SGP:552 - 87 points.

Black Tot 'Master Blender's Reserve 2022' (54.5%, Elixir Distillers)

Black Tot 'Master Blender's Reserve 2022' (54.5%, Elixir Distillers) Four stars and a half
Tonnerre de Brest, the British Navy again! Our English friends say 'sacrebleu' whenever they want to swear in French (or pu**in !) but once and for all, we never, ever use that word, you'll only find it in old books! Or in Tintin… Colour: full gold. Nose: very British, that is to say with Jamaica and possibly Trinidad playing first fiddles – or top dressers, with easier ones behind them, probably Guyana.. Oh wait, they published the 'country bill', that would be 'Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad, from different distilleries'. In any case, I find it rather awesome, and it's funny that we just had a Foursquare since this is not too far, not even more petroly or estery, or more olive-y. Some charcoal ashes, cigars for sure… With water: there, new electronics and rubbers, varnishes, engine oil… Mouth (neat): 'better' on the palate when naked, which is always preferable than the other way 'round, saltier, more Jamaican, more petroly, more mezcaly, wilder… Some lovely oranges dipped into diesel oil or something. Fuel. Perfect. With water: yes, the combination works, it's estery but not tiring, salty, with touches of thyme and tar, plus our beloved olives. I've always wondered, do they grow olives in the Caribbean? Finish: rather long, more on salted liquorice. Not an uncommon finish. Comments: top class blend. To think that in the French Marine, they were having Champagne instead. I'm joking, only officers.
SGP:463 - 88 points.

Since we've mentioned Jamaica, let's take risks…

New Yarmouth 27 yo 1994/2022 (60.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica, 285 bottles)

New Yarmouth 27 yo 1994/2022 (60.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica, 285 bottles) Four stars and a half
I've always found these New Yarmouths rather difficult to tackle. But we'll do every effort… Having said that I find this label exquisite, it reminds of one of my favourite painters, Cobra member Pierre Alechinsky. Colour: deep gold. Nose: phew, not exactly a New Yarmouth that would tear you apart and then drown you in wood varnish. It's rather a gentle one, rather cakey and on maple syrup, demerara sugar, bananas flambeed, cedarwood and old cigar humidor, vanilla pods… In truth it's got something agricole. Probably a marque NYE/P. With water: there, varnish, a Saturday morning at Ikea (nice as long as you manage to go out), new sneakers, corn syrup, molasses, chestnut honey… Mouth (neat): oh very good, strong and of course a little varnishy, with some bitter burnt fruits and caramel, some tobacco, some burnt herbs… and a lot of ethanol. So, with water: water works. Gentler than expected, with a lovely bitterness, raw chocolate, stout, and indeed some gentle cane juice. Pretty soft, actually. Finish: long and very chocolaty. Mocha and orange liqueur in the aftertaste, plus a wee cologne-y side in the back of the back.. Comments: so, a gentle batch of New Yarmouth. More complex than you would have thought. And excellent.
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Perhaps another 1994, but from Guyana?

Enmore 27 yo 1994/2022 (53.5%, The Rum Cask)

Enmore 27 yo 1994/2022 (53.5%, The Rum Cask) Five stars
The marque here is 'REV', which should mean 'Rum Enmore Versailles', which would suggest that this was distilled in Versailles' old wooden pot-still while it was still at Enmore, which got closed that year, in 1994, with still and casks subsequently moved to Uitvlugt, which was closed in 2000, with the still finally moved to Diamond, while the cask may have remained in Uitvlugt's warehouse, which Diamond kept using. Phew! Not too sure when this cask was moved to Europe, having said that. Colour: mahogany, so very dark so possibly long tropical aging. Nose: aberrantly wonderfully deep and profound, with deep spices from the wood, many rotting fruits, an unexpected feeling of rye, rye bread, pumpernickel, brown ale, prunes, molasses… Very unusual! With water: very old rye whisky, really! Cross my heart… Mouth (neat): glorious fruity and spicy and woody and extremely liquoricy combo. Love this to utter bits. With water: oh! We'll have to talk about this cask with the Rum Cask folks next year in Limburg, let's schedule an appointment! Finish: long, salty, on salted anchovies and black olives. This is almost rum alla puttanesca. And come on raisins in the aftertaste? Comments: magic. Magic that may not please just everyone, but magic. I also love it that it as bottled under a label that looks like… well, like it's all about what's inside, not outside.
SGP:463 - 91 points.

Only Jamaicans could climb over that one…

Long Pond 2007/2022 (68%, Swell & Co, Jamaica, 367 bottles)

Long Pond 2007/2022 (68%, Swell & Co, Jamaica, 367 bottles) Five stars
Will this be a 'TECA' (1000), a 'TECB' (1300) or a 'TECC' (1500)? Anyway, thank you bottlers and distillers, you seem to believe that we humble tasters are immortal. I mean 68 f****g % vol.! For crying out loud, save us (S., you sissy!)  Colour: red amber. Nose: all kinds of varnishes and a whole focaccia filled with black olives. Not a bad start. With water: same! Plus menthol cigarettes and candied citrons. Candied citrons are part of my own Pantheon, a shame that they are so hard to come by. Mouth (neat): tops salted glues and varnishes. Right. With water: some dirtiness chiming in, always a good sign, while on the other hand, the core would get softer and rounder, I was about to write 'cakey'. Finish: long, with the olives winning it. The esters too, although I wouldn't say it's 'very high esters' Long Pond. So probably no 'TEC', I was probably wrong once more. Comments: joke aside, marvellous Long Pond. Plus, your bottle will be eternal, at this strength.

SGP:463 - 90 points.

Do we do the next one or do we call this a session? You bet?!

Long Pond 23 yo 1999/2022 'HJC' (76%, Plantation for Salon du Rhum Belgique, 298 bottles)

Long Pond 23 yo 1999/2022 'HJC' (76%, Plantation for Salon du Rhum Belgique, 298 bottles) Four stars
Good, we've got our lawyers with us, we may proceed. I have to say I'm not familiar with the marque 'HJC', but I know what 76% mean. In any case, just like ethanol, the proportions of esters may change during aging, as peat levels do in whisky (those ppms peat). Yeah, just figures anyway… Dear lawyers, may we proceed?... Colour: deep gold. Nose: almost nada, niente, rien, nothing, nichts… And that's the amount of ethanol, I'm sure. Your nostrils will just switch to survival mode at this strength, that's it. Well, if you nose remotely, you'll find these light esters, olives, and tobacco. But no risks taken… With water: rather muddy, with old fruits, fermentations, also aniseed, lemongrass, cabbage and asparagus, some bizarre raisins, sweet wine (what?) It's as if all molecules had been shaken and mixed by water. Mouth (neat): take only half a drop please. Seems to work. Oranges and quinces buried in liquorice, tar and tapenade. The lawyers say I must add water right away. With a lot of water: classic pretty estery Long Pond with a sweeter coating. It's showcasing Long Pond's usual roughness but some demerara sugar or something has been spread all over it. Finish: long, excellent, just a tad undecided. Is it dry or is it sweet? Echoes of dried pineapples in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent==/=/* drop (almost vapour, really), but these utter monsters are extremely hard to follow, to handle and to comprehend, that's all I'll say.
SGP:662 - 85 points.

Update: I haven't been paying attention, that one was finished in cognac wood for four years. It all makes sense now…

(Merci Vincent!)

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

 

September 2, 2022


Whiskyfun

Wee duets, today Macduff

Not a lot to say, I'm not sure I've ever seen any official Macduff. I mean, Macduff under that name, as there's been rather a lot of Glen Deveron, which has always been a little 'budgety' in France. But long time no see either, little Glen Deveron…

Glen Deveron

This rather simple French ad from circa 1980 reminds us that Macduff a.k.a. Glen Deveron is the home of William Lawson's.

 

 

 

Macduff 12 yo 2008/2020 (55.1%, Campbeltown Whisky Company, The Electric Coo Series, sherry butt)

Macduff 12 yo 2008/2020 (55.1%, Campbeltown Whisky Company, The Electric Coo Series, sherry butt) Four stars
This is not, mind you, a bottling for Switzerland, despite what the label may suggest. Colour: deep gold. Nose: I've been expecting something tough and really very rustic, and, well, it is a little rustic (and tough) but these sour wines work well. Very old chardonnay that's starting to 'maderise', as we say, then chalk and clay. With water: very chalky indeed. Flints, soot, some muddiness for sure, even bandages… Mouth (neat): it is a better one, thanks to some raisins and truckloads of ultra-ripe peaches. Sultanas. With water: good! Oranges, raisins and once more a little chalk. It loves water and swims as well as any boomer's hero, nine-time American Olympic champion Mark Spitz. A good one by the way, after Munich, Mark Spitz told the Russian coach that his moustache increased his speed as it was pushing the water away from his mouth. He was joking of course but the next year, all Russian swimmers were sporting moustaches (well, the men). True story. Finish: medium, clean, on raisins and triple-sec. A wee meatiness in the aftertaste. Comments: way superior to many other indie Macduffs from similar vintages, in my book.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

Macduff 13 yo 2007/2021 (56.7%, Alister Walker Infrequent Flyers, Selected by Or Sileis, PX sherry hogshead, cask #1805, 285 bottles)

Macduff 13 yo 2007/2021 (56.7%, Alister Walker Infrequent Flyers, Selected by Or Sileis, PX sherry hogshead, cask #1805, 285 bottles) Four stars
Let's hope this one too is not one of the 'dirty' sherried ones… Colour: wham, mahogany. Nose: no dirty sherry, rather cartloads of chocolate. Pure chocolate. With water: more meaty, oloroso-style sherry, all rather flawless. Noses likesome of these blended old VORS (oloroso plus PX). Mouth (neat): chocolate filled with zwetschke spirit and prunes, plus some marmalade and a touch of ginger. With water: a syrupy texture and indeed a sweeter development. I had expected a meaty side but we're rather all on chocolate, liqueurs and raisins, with some sides rather close to brandy de Jerez. Finish: medium to long, similarly sweet and brandy-like. Dried dates in the aftertaste. Comments: very lovely, rich, easy, absolutely not unbalanced.
SGP:741 - 85 points.

It was a good little day for our 'Macduff section'.

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

 

September 1, 2022


Whiskyfun

Three Swedish Smögen and a blend

You may remember Berry Bros.' Nordic Casks series last year – or was it the year before. Great stuff, and good news, series #2 is here. Last time, we tried them all within one session, but we'll rather have a wee flight of whiskies from the same distillery this time, including some of BBR's Nordics indeed. We thought Sweden's Smögen, which we 'almost' visited this year (regrets regrets) would be a good choice.

Vindoga

Smögen 8 yo 2013/2021 (56%, OB, Sweden, heavily peated optic barley, 2478 bottles)

Smögen 8 yo 2013/2021 (56%, OB, Sweden, heavily peated optic barley, 2478 bottles) Four stars
A gigantic batch, given the usual low outturn at Smögen. Under 100 casks a year according to Berry Bros., so this is more or less 10% of the yearly production. But yeah, no Glenfiddich-figures anyway. Colour: pure gold. Nose: we tend to mention famous Scottish peaters as comparisons when trying such new whiskies, but in truth Smögen stands on its two feet. Smögen is Smögen. Rather some fatness, a few gingery and curry-like oak extracts, some burning fir wood, while all that coats a coastal (alliterations kill, S.) peatiness that's pretty crystal-clean. A touch of vanilla fudge and wee hints of maple sugar make it rounder. With water: water brings out tundra herbs, with something that reminds me of bison vodka – except that this is a gazzzzillion times better. Mouth (neat): once again, it's a little fat and oily, which is lovely, then very peaty and peppery, rather with some nutmeg this time, instead of ginger. You do feel that water is needed, though, despite the relative drinkability of this baby when neat. With water: yes, there, lemons and grapefruit bringing freshness. Finish: the oak essences and spices are back. Comments: so, excellent of course, it's just a tad on the spicy/oaky side, as if this was ex-French oak. So, French oak?
SGP:476 - 85 points.

Smögen 9 yo 2011/2021 (60%, OB, Sweden, super heavily peated, white oak puncheon, cask #59/2011, 911 bottles)

Smögen 9 yo 2011/2021 (60%, OB, Sweden, super heavily peated, white oak puncheon, cask #59/2011, 911 bottles) Four stars and a half
Indeed, the level of peat lies at 96.9ppm here, almost twice that of A. near that cross, but will all these ppms have survived the trip from the maltster to the filling station? Colour: dark straw. Nose: totally pure, with much fewer oak extracts (unless the peat has been masking them this far) and bags of lemon drops. A little high to be nosed too deeply (it'll burn you) but you do already feel that this will be perfect. With water: it takes a lot of water and never stops becoming more coastal, with new animals appearing all the time, from winkles to whales. Maybe not whales. A perfect muddy/gristy side too does come out, as well as something a little metallic (coins, tools). Mouth (neat): as we sometimes say, it cuts you into two halves of exactly the same sizes, to the millimetre. Some limoncello would then add some roundness, while this gingery/nutmeggy side is there again too, albeit in much, much smaller measures. With water: excellently pure and zesty. Up my alley. And the 96.9ppm peat are not a big deal (yeah right). Finish: long, excellent, with a very pleasant spicy feeling in the aftertaste. That's that oak again, it's rather good that it would really express itself only by the end. White oak? American white oak? Comments: absolutely excellent and totally near-90. Ah, that oak! Oh and yes, the pat is really big. Oh and you'll have noticed that I have refrained from doing any stupid jokes related to those 911 bottles. So no Porsche jokes.
SGP:568 - 88 points.

Smögen 2012/2022 (59.6%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Nordic Casks #2, oloroso hogshead, cask #34, 284 bottles)

Smögen 2012/2022 (59.6%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Nordic Casks #2, oloroso hogshead, cask #34, 284 bottles) Five stars
Another coup by BB&R's Jonny McMillan. When one of the oldest wine and spirit merchants in Great Britain, if not the oldest, selects your product that should mean something. Colour: gold. Nose: there was something about those oaks in the two officials, this is much more classic and, dare I add, it better lets the wonderfully pure spirit shine through. Some amazing notes of rotting fruits, fermentation, artisanal porridge, diesel oil, then crushed bananas and, drumroll please, manzanilla! This is folded! With water: green walnuts and seawater, the precious combo. Mouth (neat): amazing. Fat petrol, rotten fruits, Jamaican rum (yep), salt, olives, liquorice… With water: sameish, but saltier yet, all perfect. Finish: long, clean as a Haut-Brion Blanc. Comments: I'll have to send a personal letter to the Distillers with an apology, but I cannot help thinking that this indie 'Nordic' is rather a little superior. I'm totally sure it's a matter of cask.

SGP:657 - 90 points.

The last one will be a Trans-Scandinavian blend by BB&R and Whisky Saga's Thomas Øhrbom, with some Smögen inside. Good fun I'm sure (to sip while binge-watching Vikings on Netflix, I suppose…)

Vindöga 'Blended Nordic Malt Whisky' (59.7%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Nordic Casks #2, sherry cask, 146 bottles, 2022)

Vindöga 'Blended Nordic Malt Whisky' (59.7%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Nordic Casks #2, sherry cask, 146 bottles, 2022) Four stars and a half
In archaic Swedish, Vindöga means windows(*). All right then, they could have called it Övertäckning just as well, which, apparently, means roof, or better yet, Destilleringsapparater, which means still. This is a blend of Fary Lochan, Teerenpeli, High Coast, Mosgaard, Myken and indeed, Smögen. Colour: amber. Nose: proper lovely sherry around a peaty and ashy+% core, with some oranges and walnuts in the back. A little Maggi too, but Maggi isn't Nordic, is it. With water: a few flints, old books, cigarettes, just regular tea (English breakfast), wee bits of cured ham… Very very charming nose. Mouth (neat): wonderful butterscotch, clootie dumpling, milk chocolate, mocha, millionaire shortbread… Hey hey, this is awesome! With water: oh, smoked fish! Anchovies! Black olives! Finish: long, salty, very savoury, pretty exceptional in fact. Comments: what? I'll be honest, I had thought this blend would have been made using any cask dregs or residues they would have had. I'm not saying that's not what they have done, all I'm saying is that the end result is bleeding excellent; but then again, as an Alsatian, I believe in Europe, including Nordic Europe. Greatly done, folks!

SGP:563 - 89 points.

(*) or something like 'from where the wind blows', according to better placed sources.

 

WF Favourites
Whiskyfun fav of the month

August 2022

Serge's favourite recent bottling this month:
Benromach 40 yo '2022 Release' (57.6%, OB, sherry, 1132 bottles) - WF92

Serge's favourite older bottling this month:
Age Unknown 'Keizo Saji' (43%, OB, Yamazaki, 300 bottles, 1994) - WF96

Serge's favourite bang for your buck this month:
Fine Blended Malt Whisky 18 yo 2001/2020
(45.6%, Whisky-Fässle, sherry butt)  - WF89

Serge's favourite malternative this month:
Uitvlugt 31 yo 1990 (48.4%, Wealth Solutions, The Colours of Rum, No.4, cask #18, 161 bottles)  - WF91

Serge's Lemon Prize this month:
None this month

August 2022 - part 2 <--- September 2022 - part 1 ---> September 2022 - part 2


 

 
   
 


Best spirits Serge tried those weeks, 90+ points only

Secret Speyside 28 yo 1994/2022 (50.6%, Les Grands Alambics, The Jazz Series, butt, 118 bottles)

Smögen 2012/2022 (59.6%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Nordic Casks #2, oloroso hogshead, cask #34, 284 bottles)

Enmore 27 yo 1994/2022 (53.5%, The Rum Cask)

Hampden 3 yo 2018/2022 'HLCF' (64.6%, Velier for Salon du Rhum Belgique, Jamaica, bourbon, cask #284, 262 bottles)

Long Pond 2007/2022 (68%, Swell & Co, Jamaica, 367 bottles) 

Uitvlugt 1989/2022 (46.7%, The Whisky Jury, Guyana, refill barrel, cask #8, 203 bottles)

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
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