Whisky 2019 – 109-123 Flora & Fauna Tasting

Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series was front and centre for The Elysian’s 3rd birthday! Strap in for 15 drams.

109 – Strathmill 12yo
Great nose of lemon curd slathered on shortbread, dried ginger, green cardamom, egg white. But it comes apart on the boring palate of unripe pear and olive oil. This finish is overly salty with hints of underripe stonefruit and some cream.

**

110 – Linkwood 12yo
Nose has some lovely green apple sorbet notes with creme fraiche, dry baking spices, dried apricots and vanilla bean. Transforms on the palate to ice cream and sun ripened slightly green apricots. The whole vanilla/cream thing continues to be melted ice cream on the finish.

***

111 – Glendullan 12yo
Simple but pleasant nose of caramel and was spicy like an uncooked apple crumble. Palate was quite neutral nothing really stood out but had a great mouthfeel. It was heavy and chewy. How is this a 4 star rating? The finish, long and deep! It was amazingly creamy and full of bitter almonds like marzipan and frangipane tart. For a simple whisky the finish lifts this to an excellent whisky.

****

112 – Dailuaine 16yo (Discontinued)
Nose was very elegant. It had lovely dried rose petals, dried stone fruit all sprinkled with brown sugar and a healthy dose of cream. Tastes of hay and coffee grounds leading into hand cream and dark chocolate. Indulgent finish of a chocolate and caramel cake.

****

113 – Rosebank 12yo (Closed Distillery)
Fruit medley nose with dried apples, tinned pineapple, young ginger. Some interesting whiffs of vanilla pod and curiously dry bones. The palate is grassy, with more orchard and stone fruits, some lovely hints of marshmallow and leather. Simple finish that grassy and salt.

***

114 – Blair Athol 12yo
Sherry influenced nose – wood varnish, caramel, snickers bars and a touch of rubber. The palate has sweet tea tannins and touches of flat coke. There is some nice fruit of dried peaches and muscat grapes. Beautiful white peach and salted butter finish.

****

115 – Auchroisk 10yo
Confusing nose of marischino cherries and marzipan, tomato paste, pears. The pear notes continue with pear tea cake with cream on the palate. Pears return on the finish with a salty and saline, pear juice lick.

***

116 – Inchgower 14yo
Promising nose of hand cream, baking spice and dry cocoa. Some grassy notes and a touch of apricot leather. The palate reminds of stewed apricots with cloves and pepper, unfortunately a saltiness interferes. Cream, baking spice and flat lemonade to finish.

***

117 – Mannochmore 12yo
Nose of glue, lemon, shortbread and slightly salty peanut shells. An initial floral palate moves to sweet tea and slight snickers bar. The finish continues slightly nutty and a lovely floral note.

***

118 – Glen Spey 12yo
The nose was really really interesting with a mixture of minerality and Portuguese tarts. The Portuguese tarts were just there when tasting as it was overwhelmed by dry spice and not much else. The finish was overly grassy.

**

119 – Mortlach 16yo (Discontinued)
Wonderfully complex nose of lemon zest, dried rose petals, apricots, caramel, butter, chocolate and dusty shelves, hay and sweet tea… so many layers. Palate with great stone fruit of dried apricots and green peaches and a surprising note of liquorice and fennel. Just falls a bit short on the finish slight stone fruit notes and salty.

****

120 – Pittyvaich 12yo (Closed Distillery)
Nose of dried orange zest, furniture varnish, woody, salted lemon zest, brown sugar and melted butter. Sherry sherry sherry! Palate of coffee, toffee, with a surprising mulch and woody note, dried cherries, wine grapes. Lovely finish of spent coffee filters and melted butter.

****

121 – Bladnoch 10yo (Discontinued)
Woooo!!! Bourbon nose! Mango, green apricots and pineapple, grassy, hand cream. Palate of salty roasted peanuts and dried mango. On the finish it moves really nicely into hay and cream. A solid dram.

***

122 – Glenlossie 10yo
Interesting nose of peanuts, fresh strawberries and green coconut. A cooling mouthfeel makes way for grassy, hay, bounty bar, tea tannin palate. Interesting and complex finish of mango seeds, salt and slight butter and some bitter notes of dark chocolate, grape seed.

***

123 – Benrinnes 15yo
Nose of manuka honey and aspirin and it becomes quite flinty and mineral with touches of caramel. Wonderfully umami palate with flavours of soy sauce and nori butter, Parmesan rind. Finish of coffee grains and more butter!

***

Whisky 2019 – 108

108 – Ben Nevis 1996 by Elixir Distillers, sherry butt cask #1528

Great nose of honey and caramel, marshmallows and strong minerality. Falling rose petals in a rose garden.

Honey, green grass and coal. Reminds me of the tar shampoo I used as a kid. The grassy note is a little too strong for me and takes away from the honey. A bit of burnt camp sausage floats in.

Straight forward finish is flinty, with green grass again and a hint of cream.

***

Whisky 2019 – 102-107, Blackadder and Firkin Tasting

102 – Blackadder Raw Cask Aultmore 2006 11yo, 57.6% Cask #307142

Nose starts tropical with strong dried pineapple and mango skin, sweet honey, raw pastry, salted lemons

Palate of milky sweet tea. It’s malty with tropical and stone fruit. A hint of flinty minerality.

Finish is a simple salty butter.

****

103 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin 49 Tullibardine 2011 8yo Oloroso Amontillado Casks, 48.9%

The nose was nutty, clear stone fruit, lemon sip, milk chocolate.

Palate had a lovely iced coffee note. Followed by heather, flinty, Brazil nuts and a touch a salty citrus.

Finish of cold salted butter, kopiko (coffee) lollies.

***

104 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin Ten Royal Brackla 2008 10yo Madeira Cask, 48.9%

Nose: Rose heads, peach ice tea, my mum’s Madeira cake (yes I’m serious)

Palate: great mouthfeel, light tropical, nutty,

Finish: long finish, liquorice, flourless orange cake

****

105 – Blackadder Raw Cask The Old Man Of Hoy 2005 12yo 2018 Batch 1 Single Orcadian Malt, 60.7%

Nose was rubbery and chocolate which makes me think HP. Has very good seaweed and maritime elements.

On the palate it is heavy, honey and charcoal dominant. Pleasant sweet rubbery notes.

The finish becomes flinty and minerally and heavy with wet stones.

****

106 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin Islay Caol Ila 2012 7yo Marsala Cask, 48.9%

Nose super maritime, gluey, dark chocolate, sweet lemons, corn chips

Palate has a gorgeous mouth feel, really flinty, stones and campfire

Finish of band-aids, dusty, toasted almonds and campfire

****

107 – Blackadder Raw Cask Smoking Islay Blended Malt 2019, 60.2%

Nose of glue and honey, chlorine,

Palate smokey, autumn leaves, pool water

Finish glue, salt and sea water, burnt leaves

**

Whisky 2019 – 100-101

100 – Balmenach 2001 by MASAM cask 06/06081

Nose is like fino sherry. The salt, the spray, the nuttiness. Some oyster shell and leather. With time the caramel, notes ring.

Palate is creamy, burnt wood giving way to stone fruit and camp fire rocks with a driving minerality.

Finish is clear and fun boiled sweets, fruit tingles and sherry saltiness

*****

101 – Bunnahabhain 40 years by MASAM cask 7229

Nose full of fruit and apricots, cream and light caramel, pencil shavings. Would not pick it as a Bunna.

Pencil shavings, candle wax, intense jasmine tea, stewed fruit, and soy sauce on the palate.

Finish of waxed fruit, apples and stewed apricots with cream

****

Whisky 2019 – 97-99

97 – Bruichladdich 2004 13yo by Silent Third Kyoto Cask 1543

Heavy maple and crispy bacon smoke on the nose, with heather and rich nori butter

Palate of wood smoke with a great heavy coating mouthfeel. The caramel and peat very fell integrated into orange zest scented Xmas pud.

The orange zest continues on the finish and turns dusty into date and date syrup.

****

98 – Tweeddale “Grain if Truth” 46%

Nose: Honey leads to jersey caramel and a slight earthy new make smell.

Palate: nicely sweet and then some nice chocolate milk notes but that’s about it. It’s simple.

Finish: Stays chocolate milk and hot and a little cream. Pretty flat on the finish though.

*

99 – Littlemill 1988 bottled in 2015 by Pearls of Scotland Cask #135

Nose is intensely over sherried wood, leather, maple syrup and hairspray.

.

Initially sweet and spicy, it is rancio in the extreme. Some great plump raisins and cooked pastry but those old wood notes are a frontal assault. There is really clear fresh and dried figs.

.

Finish is salty and woody, unsurprisingly.

.

Love this dram for it’s uniqueness… but objectively it is only good as those woody rancio notes are ridiculous.

***

Whisky 2019 – 91-96 – The Single Cask Tasting

91 – TSC Royal Brackla 2006 11yo Cask #310864

The nose was chocolate dipped pineapple with a side of sweet milky tea. Some nice woody notes.

Sweet and oily palate. Lemon tart, resin and chestnuts with spice. With water sweet jasmine tea

Simple sweet and salty finish.

***

92 – TSC Braeval 1994 22yo Cask #165641

Nice nose of snickers bars, stewed stone fruit and toasted coconut.

Simple and straightforward bourbon cask palate that is full of tropical fruit. It has nice creamy and woody notes.

Finish is really delicious salted coconut milk with fresh mango.

***

93 – TSC Deanston 1997 20yo Cask #1982

Curious nose with great earthiness like terrariums. Some chocolate and surprisingly gun powder. End notes of jasmine flowers.

Older Deanston are known to express waxiness on the palate and this certainly did. It was sweet and tropical like tinned pineapple and salty. The the earthy and mineral notes came.

The finish was salty sweetness with leather.

****

94 – TSC Tobermory 1994 23yo Cask #SA1294

Nose: roasted chestnuts, earthy, apricots and salt, vino cotto

Palate: hot and salty, peaches, really interesting and complex.

Finish: bitter and oily but in a good way.

Super confusing dram.

***

95 – TSC Ledaig 2008 10yo Cask #700076

Nose is gluey and oily, salty and maritime. Crisp green apple.

Palate is like licking a painters pallet splashed with fruit cordial.

Oily and maritime, standing in the sea spray.

****

96 – TSC Bruichladdich 2004 14yo Cask #12

Generous nose with apricots, crispy bacon, leather and carob. Reminiscent of old butter slathered on camp fire toast.

According to everyone at the tasting this is my type of palate – super sherried, super rancio with controlled sulfur. Great black fruit and proper maraschino sweetness. Loads of Christmas pudding!

A gentle finish which is dusty and has the umami of dried shiitake

****

Whisky 2019 – 88-90

88 – Springbank 1989 bottled 2002 by Cadenhead Sherry Puncheon 56.1%

Nice nose of caramel and furniture polish, bruised apples and salt flakes on chocolate mousse.

A really intense palate… wow! Pencil shavings, toasted coconut, liquorice and molasses. The mouthfeel is intensely thick and honeyed.

With the finish the liquorice lingers on top of an eggy chewy toasted meringue.

****

89 – Springbank 17 Year Old Sherry Wood bottled 2015

Lovely umami like nose – gunpowder mixed with dashi, milk caramels sitting in dusty drawers.

Classic springbank palate; funk, dried fruit and bruised apples. A slight dusty xmas pudding and hints of toasted marshmallow.

The finish is old world charm of sitting in an old leather chair eating the cream on top of a roasted apple.

****

90 – Bowmore 1995 by Wemyss “Nostalgic 70’s Flavour”

An intense nose of spiciness and jersey caramel. I’m immediately thinking freshly grated nutmeg. Pencil shavings on chocolate mango pudding.

On the palate a beautiful whisky, showing balance and charm. Red apple, mangoes, loads of fruit and gentle spice. This is a coconut drenched old whisky. There is real elegance here.

To finish red apples and tropical fruit by the seaside

A dram to return to many times!

*****