Whisky 2021 – 21-24

21 – Clynelish 1993 26yr by Carn Mor Cask 112115

Nose is full of beautiful intense citrus fruit, fruit fizz, cream and leather. Roses and milk chocolate. And of course wax.

Palate is so elegant. Fruit more citrus and some bruised apples. Cream, honey. Flinty.

Finish is all hot warm double cream and minerality. This is a godlike finish.

5/5 Stars

22 – Blair Athol 1988 30yr by Sansibar 46.9%

Nose is all dusty berries… imagine raspberries and blueberries pulled out of a dusty draw. Warmed butter.

Palate is strawberry jam, chocolate and then gets some lovely savouriness. Some savoury passionfruit vine.

Finish jam, grass, cream… good!

4.5/5

23 – Clynelish 1997 21yr by The Auld Alliance & The Malt Affair 49.9% (10th Anniversary bottling)

Nose is cream, citrus, honey and wax. It’s classic. Squeezed apricots and pears?!?

Palate is honey beautifully with infused citrus and blossoms. Nothing is out of place. It is really balanced.

Finish savoury, baking spices and cream.

4.5/5 Stars

24 – Inchmurrin 1997 23yr by Liquid Treasures 48.5%

Nose is ginkgo nuts and beef marrow. Plastic and funky. Cloves.

Palate beef marrow, light peaches and apricot, tropical and pineapple syrup.

Finish medicinal, grassy and more stone fruit. And chalky?! Weird and wonderful.

Whisky 2021 – 19-20

19 – Springbank 13 (2015 Green label white cap)

Nose is musky tobacco. Orange zest, wooden draws, carob and some vanilla bean. It does have that Springbank funk. Brioche laced kaya toast!

Palate is bruised apples and flint. The Oloroso comes through with salty leather. Cream, caramel, toasted coconut, licorice and wood.

Finish green apples and apple seed. More of that lovely coconut, orange pith.

4/5 Stars

20 – Springbank 16yr 1997 Single Cask 56% cask 07/178-3 (10 years refill bourbon 6 years fresh Madeira)

Nose of milk chocolate and wood glue is bolstered by citrus zest, bruised apples and dusty drawers. Some lifted florals and berry notes.

Palate is sweet and honeyed. There is some real complexity but not particularly integrated. But it’s funky and really interesting. Woody, dark fruit, tobacco and dried out raisins… then more honey. It is really all over the shop raspberry cordial suddenly appears.

Finish is flinty, bruised apples, chalky, slightly peaty with licks of warm milk and honey with a dollop of cream – and those berries?!?

4.5/5 Stars (a wonderfully weird Springer)

Whisky 2021 – 14-18

14 – Glen Grant 1995 24yr by The Whiskyfind “The Drunken Cat” Bourbon Hogshead #119469

Nose is super floral, rose hip syrup, milk chocolate and vanilla pods. It’s quite densely packed on the nose. Pink bubblegum.

Palate is pink flowers, pink jelly, grassy, citrus fruit, grapes and nutty.

Finish continues with the pink flowers, it has a lovely toasty note, melted butter and some vanilla.

4/5 Stars

15 – Tormore 1992 27yrs by The Whiskyfind for The Mash Tun, Bourbon Hogshead #101154

Nose is really waxy and fake banana flavouring, burnt banana bread with a lick of old butter.

Palate is reminiscent of 1970s whisky with an initial hit of tobacco. Elegant and pretty with bright fruit, green figs and fig leaf.

Finish has slight saltiness and more green figs, and hint of milk chocolate.

4/5 Stars

16 – Glenrothes 1987 32yr by The Whiskyfind for The Mash Tun, Hogshead #9980

Nose is mainly ginger ale but has good apricot notes with salty caramel, salted lemons and black tea.

Palate is hot and spicy. The flavour of cloves, cola and sarsaparilla. Feels like it is too old.

Finish is grassy and salty with cream and woody tannins.

3/5 Stars

17 – Arran 2012 7yr for The Mash Tun’s 16th anniversary, 1st fill sherry #12/2768

Nose is smoked paprika, dates, medicinal honey, honey ham chips. Flambéd Xmas pudding. Cola.

Palate is initially dark fruits followed by some refreshing flinty/minerality. Honey dipped orange pith.

Finish is steely, sweet and stony. There is some good orange zest notes in there.

4/5 stars

18 – Clynelish 1999 21yr for The Whisky Exchange & The Mash Tun sherry butt #305054

Nose is honey, cream and wax. With some slight rubberiness. Maraschino cherries and rich dark dried fruit.

Palate is big and powerful. More dark fruit! Honey and loads of citrus and stone fruit. Some really balanced and integrated cask influence. It’s good.

Finish is musky and sweet almost like fresh cut strawberries. The sherry shines with bruised apples, salty and woody notes.

4.5/5 Stars

Whisky 2021 – 10 – 13

10 – Tamdhu 1991 24yrs 54.4% by Cadenhead

Nose is fruity and full of fruit jelly. Jersey caramels, cream and grassy. Orange blossoms.

Wow the weight on the palate it is thick and rich. Intense apple, grassy, egg white and spice. Cream and caramel.

Finish more spice and a touch of creme patisserie.

3.5/5 Stars

11 – Irish 21yr 1998 by TWA 51.3%

Nose is peach tea and mango. Almonds and milk chocolate. Liquorice and interestingly the slight saltiness of soy sauce?!

Palate is all juicy dried peaches and peach ice tea. Leads to green grass, LPG and cream.

Finish is like sitting under an almond tree in the sun eating toast with peach jam.

4/5 Stars

12 – Port Ellen 1983 27yrs by Duncan Taylor cask 672 49.4%

Nose is seawater and plums. Bruised apples and seaweed. Flinty. Pineapple jelly, pear juice and caramel.

Palate is super complex. Beautiful Fruit and peat and minerality. Iodine, burnt bacon and juicy tropical fruit.

Finish is long… seaweed, iodine, and bacon and scallop sandwiches with lingering diluted stone fruit.

4.5/5 stars

13 – Springbank 25 2020 bottling

Nose is peppery and fruity (topical and stone fruit). Burnt butter porridge and pineapple. Seaside pier wood.

Palate is fresh cut apricots and bruised apples, brambles. It has leather and salt. It’s pretty flinty, and has good oyster shell. I wanted a little more it felt a touch light.

Finish is buttery and funky in only the way Springbank can do with wood and spice.

4.5/5 Stars

Whisky 2021 – 4-9

4 – Glenallachie 2009 10yo Sauternes Barrel cask no. 3727 58.9%

Nose is very Sauternes with honey and blossoms. Hand cream, salt, freshly cut pink lady apples dusted with brown sugar.

Palate is quite hot, flinty, gun powder and rubbery. its got honey and caramel but it’s a bit disappointing Mr Walker for you.

Finish liquorice, fennel salt and burnt caramel. Hints of cream.

3/5 Stars

5 – Glenallachie 2005 15yo Madeira Barrel cask no. 3756 60.7%

Nose is orange, almond cake mix, burnt vanilla cream and brown sugar. It’s got a super pleasant dried apricot note.

Palate is hay, cream… wow lots of cream. Nutty and sweet apricots. Orange zest and cake mix.

Finish is unsurprisingly is cream.

4/5 Stars

6 – Arran 2002 17yo by TWA 49.2%

Nose honey, hay, intense fruit sweetness… fun fruit sweetness if I may. Eggy pudding.

Palate isn’t this a Ben Nevis? Eggy pudding, citrus, apricot, grape vine and plum cake. Nutty.

Finish is fake plum flavouring, date pips and slightly tannic.

4/5 Stars

7 – Ben Nevis 1996 23yo by TWA 47.6%

Nose is super waxy!!! Orange zest and brine. Honey and hay. Coffee and chlorine?!

Palate is savoury and waxy. Reminds me of burnt brioche. Green pineapple, olive brine.

Finish is (still) sharp acidic green fruit topped with cream. A bit spicy.

4/5 Stars

8 – Tobermory/Ledaig 1995 25yo by TWA 48.5%

Nose is waxy and lemon zest, fresh cut pineapple, pineapple upside down cake

Palate waxy, green peaches and pineapple, lemon zest, vanilla biscuits, grape vines and cream.

Finish is green fruit, spice, cream and spice. Maybe chocolate mousse.

4/5 Stars

9 – Bunnahabhain 2013 by The Whisky Jury ex Oloroso 53.2%

Nose is chlorine and Cheetos, clear raisin and date sugars. Band-aids and fritz?! (That’s Bologna for my US friends)

Palate is capsicum and cheese pizza, rocks and slightly ashy.

Finish is more Cheetos, rocks and fritz.

4/5 Stars

Whisky 2021 – 1-3

And we’re away for 2021. Hope you enjoy the reviews, they’ll be cross posted to Reddit and Instagram.

1 – Wemyss Bowmore 1990 “Satsuma Soap” 48% for Whisky Fair Takao

Nose is salty, flinty, I ripe plums, maraschino cherries and honeyed… really inviting minerality. Touches of cream.

Palate is intensely floral, salty, peachy, tropical fruit, slight licks of smoke

Finish is grassy, cocoa dusted and salty

5/5 Stars

2 – 1976 Blend The Maltman (Clynelish, Dailuaine, Macduff, Teaninich, Ben Nevis, Invergordon)

Nose reminds me of my grandfather’s garden with dried apricots warmed in the hot sun. Day old cream, spice and cloves.

Palate is gnarled woody apricot trees, apricot kernels and more stone fruit. It is salty and loads of vanilla cream. Goes tannic with bruised apples and slightly thin before the great finish.

Finish is super rich vanilla cream.

4.5/5 Stars

3 – Secret Speyside 1993 26 Years by TWA and Three Rivers 49.3% Ex-sherry hogshead

Nose is inviting deep sherry with apples, salt and stone fruit

Palate is cream, spice, and well controlled rubbery sulphur. It’s got a lightness of spirit with great nuttiness.

Finish is lots of stone fruit and sarsaparilla

4.5/5 Stars

2020 – Eurgh – Top 5

Apologies for my record keeping in 2020. Like most work and life were thrown some challenges thanks to COVID. Unsurprisingly I was still drinking drams and had the opportunity to partake in some sensational online “virtual” tastings including all of the Longrow Reds and a Aberlour A’Bunadh through the batches. Anyway here are my top 5 drams for 2020 – lots of Springbank!

Springbank 1991 by the whisky agency 27 years 46.4%

Nose is beautifully waxy and shows loads of fruit including apples, bananas and apricots. There is caramel and slight spice – some Springbank funk and old whisky smell.

The palate is rich and deep. Old apples, fruity, old and funky, waxy and pristine. Honey and super nutty. Wow there is some interplay between the elements.

But wow this finish is just nuts. It lasts for ever with mango and wax. Old whisky, candles and apples, dusty draws. It is elegant and pristine – the warmth of a smile from a girl in a summer dress.

Bunnahabhain 1976 35yo by Liquid Sun

Nose: cream, pencil shavings, raw chocolate cake dough, wax, underripe yellow nectarine

Palate big and impressive, sweetness, spice woody, red apple skin, bounty bars, fruit mince, hand cream, peaches

Finish freshly cut stone fruit, cream that lasts and lasts (we’re talking minutes here), a pleasing metallic resonance

SMWS 27.111 (Springbank) A coal bucket full of marshmallows

Nose unmistakably Springbank. Earthy, tobacco funk with a lattice of sweetness, leather and brandy snaps, dusty, roses

Palate sweet but not cloying, a heavy spirit. Leather bound books, orchard fruits. More fruit with water, start seeing beautiful waxiness, stone fruit and peanut brittle.

Finish charcoal dust, bitter almonds, salty, candied apple.

Berry Bros & Rudd Retro Label for Shinanoya Teaninich 1983/2018 34yo #6729 Refill Bourbon Hogshead, 46.2%

Wow! This nose. Shoe polish, maybe?? Carob, pineapple lumps, camphor

Palate really funky, minerality, lots of spice and juicy fruit. Tastes like “old whisky” and elegant.

Finish leather, tobacco, orchards.

Springbank 18YO 2000 Pacific Edge

Nose of pencil shavings, rock melon, cream, honey, iodine, dried apricots. Wow it just keeps giving, new things keep appearing like lemonade and lemsip.

Palate dried fruits, marmalade, orange zest, pencil shavings, rock melon, shaving cream and tobacco

Finish of gun powder, passionfruit

Whisky 2020 – 57-61 – BenRiach Tasting

57 – BenRiach 2006 Sauternes Cask 12yr cask 1853 55.3%

Nose or pears, honey and saffron, egg tarts, pineapple, white flowers

Palate peach, pears, honey

Finish is super long with spice, vanilla egg tarts and flowers

****^

58 – BenRiach 2008 South African wine cask 10yr cask 7856 59% (adoro winery)

Nose for me is heavy cooked chocolate, black berry, graphite, cherry ripe and tropical fruit?!!

Palate super spicy, grass and a touch or cream, blueberry napoleons

Finish woody, coffee and grape seed

***^

59 – BenRiach 2005 PX cask 13yr cask 6924 56.2%

Nose is deep milky caramel coffee, Turkish delight, dates, sultanas, honey

Palate honey joy biscuits, dates, tannin, rubber and sulphur but not balanced.

Finish a bit too tannic, sulphur but some nice plums and liquorice.

***^

60 – BenRiach 21yr “Temporis”

Nose wood chips, plastic, dried seaweed

Palate honey and seaweed, band-aids

Finish really iodine and juicy.

***

61 – BenRiach 1995 peated oloroso cask 23yr cask 7385 51.7%

Nose of BBQ ham, orange and citrus, chlorine, pine needles.

Palate duck a’la orange and smoked ham, green wood smoke and shoe polish

Finish caramel and chalky

***

Whisky 2020 – 52-56 – Berry Brothers & Rudd tasting

52 – Berry Bros & Rudd Benrinnes 1997/2017 19yo Bourbon Cask #856, 46%

Nose is honey, honey, honey loads of honey. Lemsip and apricots.

Palate is biscuity, waxy and some orchard, green pineapple, salty, orange blossom

Finish cream, slate and dried apple slices

***

53 – Berry Bros & Rudd Retro Label for Shinanoya Aultmore 1991/2015 23yo Bourbon Hogshead #6090, 49.9%

Nose is honey, waxy, orange zest, vanilla cake, chocolate milk, chocolate biscuits fresh out of the oven

Palate rye bread with salted butter, honey, grass and white flowers

Finish spicy and salty

***

54 – Berry Bros & Rudd Retro Label for Shinanoya Teaninich 1983/2018 34yo #6729 Refill Bourbon Hogshead, 46.2%

Wow! This nose. Shoe polish, maybe?? Carob, pineapple lumps, camphor

Palate really funky, minerality, lots of spice and juicy fruit. Tastes like “old whisky” and elegant.

Finish leather, tobacco, orchards.

****^

55 – Berry Bros & Rudd North British Single Grain 1996/2014 18yo Oloroso Sherry Butt #224766, 56.8%

Nose is crumpets, maple syrup, butter, Brazil nuts

Palate dates, red dates, wood notes lead chocolate liquorice and super spicy,

Finish dates and metallic

****

56 – Berry Bros & Rudd Ben Nevis 1997/2018 20yo Sherry Cask #85, 54.6%

Nose is apricots and oranges, coconut, lime, bitters, honey cake

Palate butter cake, loads of fruit, leads to dates, golden syrup

Finish metallic honey, toast with butter and liquorice

****^