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.

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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.

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Finish is salty and woody, unsurprisingly.

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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!

*****

Whisky 2019 – 85-87

85 – SMWS 139.4 (Kavalan) ‘Spellbindingly Sublime’

Wow this nose! Immediately reminds me of the Australian sweet ‘chocolate bullets’ (compound chocolate and liquorice), then comes hand cream and cloves some really deep and complex spice. Oranges and apricots steeped in warm brandy. I don’t think I’d pick this as a Kavalan.

The palate is woody deep and long. Beautiful grass and spiced cream notes are everywhere, it’s packed in deep. Really intense green fig, hay and creme caramel.

The loooong finish is melted butter with a sprinkle of brown sugar poured over grilled apricots and topped with whipped cream.

****

86 – Old Pulteney 8 years by Gordon and Macphail 40% (90s bottling)

Honey, lemon zest and almost a lavender like smell. The nose definitely reminds me of old whisky with the hit of pencil shavings and wax. With some time, sweet roasted rice tea. W

Cooling on the palate, think pencil shavings leading to bitter chocolate and then loads of interesting fruit like watermelon and custard apple and finally fennel seed.

Finish is typical old whisky – bruised apples and dusty draws.

****

87 – SMWS G4.18 (Cameronbridge) ‘The paradise patisserie’

Super weird nose of chlorine and rockmelon, terrariums and earth chocolate funk.

Cream and tropical fruit on the palate. Butter and tea tannins.

The finish is unusual like caramelised green pineapple and sweet onions, melted butter.

***

Whisky 2019 – 83-84

83 – Bunnahabhain 2005 “Feis Ile 2018” by Douglas Laing for The Islay Whisky Shop refill hogshead DL12519

Lovely dried tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, some really interesting candied white peaches and hand cream

Pretty simple palate of hay, butter and bread, and some tropical fruits.

The finish was where this whisky shone. Think of a wonderful super creme caramel with subtle bitter caramel.

***

84 – Ledaig 8 Years by Signatory for TWE’s 20th Anniversary cask 700389

Super clean and spritely nose. Smelling the ozone and standing in the sea spray. Opening a chocolate box, with whiffs of glue and flint, then a gentle warm honey and touches of dried apricot.

The palate of earth and flint – really powerful minerality. It gives way to oysters and grass and a surprising touch of cocoa.

Loved the finish as it turns in to a charming burnt chocolate cake and grass stained knees.

*****