Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 – 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050Dram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Distilled: 05.06.2008
Bottled: 15.01.2016
Age: 7 years
Limitation: 414 bottles
Casks: Hogshead 311050
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
new make with a slight copper sheen
The nose is dominated by slightly mellowed-down heavily peated new make. In a good way! A pinch of alcohol with dried orange peel and fresh ginger, raw fire, still warm peaty ash, brown sugar and a spent old vanilla pod rubbed on a slate platter. The cask managed to take away the roughness of the new make and add just a smidgen of flavours – at least third-fill wood in my opinion. Read More »

Tasting: Glen Albyn 1976 – 2012 by Gordon & Macphail

Glen Albyn 1976 - 2012 by Gordon & Macphail'sDram data:
Distillery: Glen Albyn
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: 2012
Age: ca. 36 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-sherry
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
apple juice
My first Glen Albyn – a lost Inverness distillery, founded in 1846 and closed during the miserable 80s whisky downturn in 1983. Bottlings of this distillery are getting very scarce these days…
The nose opens with notes of dusty apple strudel with sugar (no raisins!), old mashed banana, icing sugar with a drop of lemon, rich, creamy old oak and dried orange zest. Very, very mellow and well-aged! The palate has notes of white and red apples – very light, actually, light spices and a lot of creaminess. Old, dried oranges, a hint of cardboard and an old banana with peel with a fragrant oak and a whiff of dusty old cellar (yep!) in the background. Read More »

Tasting: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 7 yo

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 7 yoDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 03.10.2007
Bottled: 21.01.2016
Age: 7 years
Limitation: –
Casks: French oak ex-cognac casks
Alcohol: 57,7%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose immediately met by a fragrant spicy-peaty mixture with a slight alcoholic note on top. Peaty bonfire smoke meets salted herrings, green apples, lemon and grapefruit peel, lemon and tangerine juice, with cinnamon, allspice and one clove on top. Quite fresh yet with loads going on thanks to the spicy French oak – and perhaps a hint of what was in the cask before… Read More »

Tasting: Bruichladdich Laddie Eight

Bruichladdich Laddie EightDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 10.03.2008
Bottled: 15.03.2016
Age: 8 years
Limitation: –
Casks: American and European oak
Alcohol: 50%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
white wine
The nose opens on the fresh, light, almost “springtime” side. Honest fresh, young 8-year-old whisky. An initial hit of alcohol after pouring the dram, but it mellows down quickly. Citrus peel, sherbet lemon, green and white apples, pears, green Kiwi (but not sour), sour apple drops with a pinch of salt. And then there’s something else – Freshly sprung herbs, possibly and hint of vanilla but there are traces of other spices not found in American oak – a whiff of cinnamon stick and allspice. Read More »

Tasting: Glenglassaugh 45 years 1968 – 2014 cask 1601

Glenglassaugh 45 years 1968 - 2014Dram data:
Distillery: Glenglassaugh
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 1968
Bottled: 2014
Age: 45 years
Limitation: 349 bottles
Casks: Sherry hogshead finish in cask 1601
Alcohol: 44,3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose opens on dark dried cherries with kernels and a load of PX sherry underneath. There’s also the distinct smell of freshly unpacked leather shoes, a hint of cask smoke, a pipe tobacco mixture of Latakia and Black Cavendish paired with a whiff of burnt oak. No distillery character whatsoever remains – this is completely taken over by oak and then a fresh sherry finish added on top to get other than oaky flavours in. Read More »

Tasting: Kininvie 17 + 23 years

Last weekend I got the chance to taste the Kininvie 17 + 23-year-old releases while visiting malt mate Keith Wood for a dramming session (or two). Oliver Klimek also popped over and we had a great chat about both malts (and possibly a few more). You’ll find my tasting notes below – a tad shorter than usual due to the handwritten notes.

Dram data Kinivie 17 batch 001:
Kininvie 17 and 23 years oldDistillery: Kininvie
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2014
Age: 17 years
Limitation: –
Casks: American Oak and Sherry Casks
Alcohol: 42.6%
chillfiltered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The nose has baked apples with walnuts and hints of vanilla pods, slightly sour apples, milk toffee, a hint of fruit cake with spices – rich and sweet, a tight christmas-cake mix, with bitter Kiwi kernels in the background. The palate is quite different. green apples with peel, Kiwi, gooseberries, quite mouth-coating. A hint of acetone emerges upon adding water (disappears soon afterwards). More bitter apple peel and dried oranges. Read More »

Tasting: Invergordon 27 years 1988-2015 by Maltbarn

Invergordon 27 years 1988-2015 by MaltbarnDram data:
Distillery: Invergordon
Bottler: Maltbarn
Distilled: 1988
Bottled: 2015
Age: 27 years
Limitation: 132 bottles
Casks: Ex-Bourbon
Alcohol: 51.3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light gold
The nose opens on a surprisingly light note for the age of the whisky, but then again spirit intended for blending (as this Invergordon probably was destined for) is sometimes even matured in 5th-fill casks. Let’s delve deeper. A slight spirity note, fresh wheat, citrus, breakfast cereals, lemon rind, fresh ginger, ginger in syrup, white pepper, a hint of cloves, cake icing with lemon juice, unripe gooseberries. Read More »

Tasting: Springbank Local Barley 16 yo 1999 – 2016

Tasting: Springbank Local Barley 16 yo 1999 - 2016Dram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: September 1999
Bottled: January 2016
Age: 16 years
Limitation: 9000 bottles
Casks: 80% Ex-Bourbon, 20% Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 54.3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
barley gold
Springbank Local Barley. Those three words make a malt lovers’ heart beat faster. The old bottlings are legendary and after many years of waiting a new edition is out, with four more to follow in the upcoming years. The barley was grown a few miles south of Campbeltown on Low Machrimore farm. The barley variety used was Prisma – not particularly often heard of these days and I’m glad they mention these little details because the influence of barley on the whisky is rarely talked about these days, but it does exist – just ask a homebrewer – and why would it be different for whisky? This dram was, of course, also malted, distilled, matured and bottled in Campbeltown. A 100% local product. Except for the glass, cork and box… Right, on to the whisky then!
The nose opens on the light, delicate and mineral side. Quite a lot of bourbon in the mix and I can’t help but think of the sublime bourbon matured Kilkerran for a second – they’re sisters in spirit, but different enough. Very well-integrated peat smoke, on the smokier side as far as Springbanks go. A delicate hint of non-vulgar vanilla with wet beach pebbles, sewing machine oil, aromatic red and green apples, sweet pears, pear peel, slightly green gooseberries and apricots with a hint of apricot distillate (including kernels). Read More »

Tasting: (Glen) Ord 10 yo 2004 – 2015 by Cadenhead’s

(Glen) Ord 10 yo 2004 - 2015 by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: (Glen) Ord
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 2015
Age: 10 years
Limitation: 450 bottles
Casks: Bourbon Butt
Alcohol: 60.5%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
barley gold
Well, well, well… those guys from Cadenhead’s have always been a wee bit crazy – but in a good way. You’ve got to read the neck tag of that bottle twice. Or thrice. Matured in a bourbon butt. Yep, not a typo – at 450 bottles I believe this is not “small batch” but actually “single barrel”. I’m sure Mark Watt will correct me if I’m wrong… Anyway, we’re here for the whisky…
The nose opens with – well, what else – quite a bit of alcohol. Hey, this baby was bottled at over 60% ABV! Let’s set the glass aside for a few minutes. Ah! citrus fruits (oranges and tangerines) sprinkled with vanilla seeds (restrained), citrus seeds, zest and pulp. Orange blossom, tea with milk a dash of lemon (I know you shouldn’t add both, but hey…), fresh gooseberries and apricots. Read More »

Tasting: Benromach 35 yo / 2016

Benromach 35 yo / 2016Dram data:
Distillery: Benromach
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: 35 years
Limitation: –
Casks: First fill Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 43%
most likely chill filtered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
reddish amber
It’s not every day (for me at least) that there’s a 35 year-old whisky in the glass, so this is a special occasion. Time to assume position, pour the remainder of the sample I was sent for the #Benromach35 tweet tasting and sniff away!
The nose opens just as expected from a whisky past a certain maturation point. Beeswax, polished oak, oak-matured honey (wait, what?), oily, thickened grape juice and dried orange peel paired with chocolat-ey cigar tobacco and an old, slightly dusty leather jacket forgotten in grandma’s closet (but in a good way). Read More »

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