Whisky 2020 – 37-39 – The Whisky Bar KL, Malaysia

37 – 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.

****^

38 – Arran Angels Reserve 1996 18 years 51.1%

Nose is typical butter cake, apricots, brandy snaps, buttered toast with that metallic note. Also there is some menthol… with time in the glass it became waxy.

Palate apricot crumble with melty vanilla icecream – truly delicious. Some interesting waxy, ice coffee, and hay notes.

Finish green grass, coffee cream and saltiness

****

39 – Hazelburn 2003, 13 years Oloroso cask bottles March 2017

Nose fruit cake, buttered fruit toast, campbeltown funk

Palate is honey joys, fruit cake, bruised apples, wooden shelves, dried cranberries

Finish cigars and Xmas pud

****

Whisky 2020 – 31-36 – Signatory Tasting

31 – Cameronbridge 1984 35YO by Signatory cask 19300

Nose of caramel, leather, intense white stone fruit, crushed ants, grilled pineapple, bones, cola

Palate it tastes big for 49.6% butter cream, bourbon cream sticky buns, horlicks, milky coffee

Finish green pineapple and rose hips

****

32 – Linkwood 1996 22YO by Signatory casks 8731+8732

Nose pepper on steak, honey, stone fruit, green pears, kiwi fruit skin

Palate cooling and cold, but feels narrow and one dimensional, stewed pears, steel and honey

Finish mead and fennel seed

***

33 – Deanston 2008 11YO by Signatory cask 900072

Nose firecrackers, dried apricots – the nose is for me beautiful and promised so much.

Palate is sulfur, pop corn, soy sauce, honey and stone fruit but the sulphur tired cask notes overwhelm… it’s faulty to me and I love over done sherry.

Finish salt and heather and more sulfur.

*

34 – Bunnahabhain 2007 12YO by Signatory cask 586

Nose is pineapple upside down cake, steel, chocolate

Palate: honey, strawberry jam, sulfur

Finish green grass and melted butter

**^

35 – Clynelish 1995 23YO by Signatory cask 11242

Nose is pretty simple; malt, steely, honey, grape stems

Palate dusty, honey, soy, rocks and sand. With water old tired sherry is revealed and it is not pleasant.

Finish soy and old sherry cask

**^

36 – Caol Ila 2007 11YO by Signatory casks 322307+322308

Nose banana leaf, glue, salt, honey yoyo biscuits

Palate stones, sea, medicine cabinet, driftwood

Finish medicinal and the sou’wester of a brusque dockmen

***

Whisky 2020 – 25-30 North Star Tasting

25 – Cameronbridge 37 Years by North Star series 008

Nose is super sweet with banana lollies and chocolate sauce and a slight soft liquorice.

Palate is quite lovely I know it’s a grain but it’s quite malty? It has some lovely hay. It moves into salt and liquorice ice cream.

Finish is simple and creamy.

***

26 – Auchroisk 13 Years by North Star series 008

Nose is unusually glue and gum trees, some sweetness of mixed lollies,

Palate is simple honey, glue and some herbal notes.

Finish is rock salt and minerality

**

27 – Campbeltown 5 Years by North Star series 009

Nose is promising banana, chocolate, fruit and lovely light orange tingles

Palate is initially minerally, rocks but then moves floral like roses and Turkish delight.

Finish dried rose petals and grit.

***^

28 – Glenturret 8 Years by North Star series 008

Nose is salty bananas, stone fruit, the sea in winter

Palate is maritime! Seaside caramels, sea weed, salt water.

Finish is salty seas and slight bitter almonds

***^

29 – North Star Sirius 31 years

Nose, loads of stone fruit especially white nectarines on the branch, caramel lollies, wood glue and bracken

Palate is super fruity, loads of underripe nectarines in a good way, cream and salt

Finish salty butter and grilled nectarine

****

30 – North Star VEGA 22

Nose bruised apples, peaches, pink peppercorns and sulfur

Palate cooling, chocolate, marshmallow and rubber

Finish rubber, burnt chocolate and raisins

***^

Whisky 2020 – 19-24

19 – Glen Elgin 1995 by The Whisky Agency 23 years 48.2%

Nose is beautifully waxy and full of tropical fruits, river stones, marshmallow and green apricots. It is beautifully elegant.

Palate is initially sweet and pure and cheeky like raspberry lollies. Green grass, green mangos, cream which leads to riper mango flavours.

Finish is creamy and loooooong. Slight hints of salt, minerals and fruit.

****^

20 – Highland Park 2003, 14 years bottled for Duty Zero cask 6138

Nose is richly peated and sherried; like a beautiful smoked ham dipped in toffee. Walking through an orchard in autumn.

Loads of minerality on the palate, honey, toffee pecans and green sticks.

The finish is a lovely mix of charcoal and marshmallow

****

21 – Balblair 1990 by Kingsbury 23 years refill sherry cask 10116 52.9%

Nose honey, mandarin, leather, cloves, peanut shells. Very restrained.

Palate is powerful and eye opening. Honey and reserved citrus – like a citrus gel. Toffee and burnt caramel and apricots.

Finish waxy and gentle citrus.

****^

22 – 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.

*****

23 – SMWS 80.10 “Champagne and Roses” Glen Spey 11 years 55.8%

Nose is honey and floral, slightly nutty and toasted, pine resin

Palate is quite dry and hot … super biscuity, loads of shortbread. I understand why “roses” is in the title as it is slightly floral and rose hips.

Finish is green sticks, salt and slight cream

**^

24 – SMWS 9.167 “Part of the furniture” Glen Grant 23 years

I’m digging the nose apricots, hand cream and sticky date pud, maple walnuts

Palate is straightforward coffee, green grass, cream, green mango

Finish of chalk and tropical fruit

***

Whisky 2020 – 13-18 – North Star Tasting

13 – North Star Inchgower 11yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 52.5%
Interesting nose of honey, mandarin and menthol. Cold salted butter and Some steely notes.

Palate is consistent with the nose and shows loads of honey and dry spice, salty melted butter on toast. It’s quite hot.

Finish is surprisingly ashy, salty and woody.

***^

14 – North Star Girvan 26yo, Bourbon Barrel, 53.5%
Nose is bounty bars, marshmallow and woody which leads to pine resin, apricot brandy

Palate is initially light, loads of cream and vanilla hits and leads into saltiness and stone fruit.

Finish salty whipped cream, green plants, and some coconut cream

***^

15 – North Star English Whisky Co 11yo, Burgundy Barrel, 49.8%
Very sherry like nose woody, lpg, funky and tannic, honey, heather and medicinal, quite meaty. It promises a lot.

Palate is confused with intense green capsicum, some pepper. Late there is some old tired wine casks, tannin and some positive minerality.

Finish is rubbery

*^

16 – North Star Blended Grain 36yo, Bourbon barrel 52.5%
Nose is crushed ants, butter, and quite bourbon like with notes of vanillin and pancakes. Some lemon balm and cherry strudel adds some real intrigue.

The palate is all toffee and stewed fruits. Some varnish, melted butter and brown sugar. Interesting fatty nuttiness like Brazil nuts.

Finish is great fruit sweetness, salty and clear… and super juicy.

****^

17 – North Star Glenrothes 11yo for ralfy.com 10th Anniversary, Oloroso Butt, 51.4%
Nose is typically sherried Glenrothes that salty boiling caramel thing I really like. Then some prunes and muscat grapes, honey, maraschino cherries.

Palate is super honey, prunes with great minerality. Later there is cold sweet ice tea and apricot jam.

Finish is simple and a bit surprising with river stones and ash.

****

18 – North Star Caol Ila 9yo, PX Sherry Finish, 51.8%
I found the nose quite exciting with pine, tar and Cheetos and some fruitiness from prunes.

Palate is bushfire with some nice seaside elements like crushed prawn shells and seaweed. Some fruit with prunes again and then with water a wonderful cinnamon sugar donut.

The finish maritime and boot polish.

***^

Whisky 2020 – 6-12 – Bushfire Relief Tasting

6 – Armorik 2016 Maître de chai 46%
Nose is cream, cloves and caramel. Some dust and orange zest.

Palate quite cooling initially, really sherry fino influence. Sticky cinnamon buns and salted butter.

Finish cream and herbaceous

***

7 – Overeem sherry cask OHD30 43%
Varnish and cream! Blackberries, lpg, mandarins and eggy pudding on the nose.

Palate is refreshing. Slight citrus, creme caramel,

Finish is pine and citrus cooling.

***

8 – Redlands Private Investor Cask RD208#16
Nose is wonderful friendly bananas split with chocolate. Some cream and freshly cut pine.

Palate of bananas, cream and egg whites. It’s hot and big!

Finish salt, cream, cucumbers and new make.

** (not great but glad I got to try it)

9 – Longrow 11 years by Cadenhead cask strength Port Cask 57.8%
Nose of prunes, figs, sweat, chlorine, earth, chocolate and cream

Palate of ashy stones, mango, Seville orange, rich earth. Prunes, leather, liquorice and medicinal.

The medicinal nature rings through the finish, and then some delicious caramel.

****

10 – Ardbeg Drum committee release
Nose of caramel, salt preserved lemon, sea spray, stones and paprika

Strongly tropical palate with clear pineapple, ash, salt. Great and intense minerality gives way to loads of tropical fruit and oranges.

Yoghurt, pineapple and ash.

****

11 – Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012 (18th year of Friends of Laphroaig)
Nose is quite tropical, pineapple and mango skins,

Palate is really ash and minerally, plastic, corn chips, but then kicks into clear sweetness.

Finish is cooling coals and ash. Beautiful clarity.

****

12 – Ledaig 1974 43% (bottled 1992)
Nose is chocolate pudding, old cream and smoke. Waxy, hay and stones. Coconut rough!

Palate orchard fruits apples, pears, wax. Chocolate and earthy stones.

Finish is more stones and green moss. Extremely long… more chocolate, ashy stones and finally cream. and butter.

****^

Whisky 2020 – 1-5

Kicking off for 2020. For reference ^ is half a star.

1 – Glenlossie 22 Years 1997 by Maltbarn no. 117 bourbon cask
Nose is full of apricots and glacé ginger on top of a vanilla pound cake, layers of strawberry jam and hints of juniper.

Palate is dense with whipped cream, spice and salt. Reminds me of Ben Nevis with grassy notes, but was expecting more stone fruit.

Dried muscats and prunes on the finish

**^

2 – Old Pulteney 1983 American & Spanish Oak Casks 46%
Deep and brooding, loads of dried dark fruits like prunes and dates, lifted by orange zest. A clear but not unpleasant metallic and varnish element. With some time liquorice and chocolate. Surprisingly a few hints of watermelon and green plums.

Palate salty butter, sea spray, bitter caramel, tea tannins and almond shells. Quite layered and complex for a 46% whisky. Apple snow with a lick of cream leads to hay and malt.

Finish is lovely notes of tobacco, cream and candied apple.

****

3 – Craigellachie 2008 10 years by Battlehill, sherry cask finish no. 759000943
Ok super interesting Maggi chicken 2 minute noodles, butterscotch, prunes and wonderfully dusty.

Palate is intense dried prunes and figs. Fino sherry liveliness that lovely maritime and apple note. Slight ashiness.

The finish is long and fills your lungs, rubber, spice and terrariums.

****

4 – Glendronach 1992 26 years port pipe cask no. 5896 49.3%
Steel, zinc, metallic in the most wonderful way. Nail varnish, cocoa and orange zest, cloves, anise and plastic. Ice coffee mixed with melted butter!!! This nose just keeps giving – prunes and sun warmed plums. This is a glorious nose.

Palate was cooling initially and then really clear black fruit sweetness hits. Some interesting dry bones, black berry vines, nori butter flavours. Finally super nutty – caramelised pecans and walnuts.

Great finish of walnuts cooked in salty brown butter.

**** (mainly for the nose)

5 – Glendronach 2006 13 years Oloroso puncheon cask no. 3359 56.7%
Wow what a nose – cream, caramelised stone fruit, beautiful apricots and peaches, toasted brioche with mascarpone and hot toffee.

Palate has beautiful stone fruit and berries, some great toasty notes. Imagine brioche (again) with tinned pears cream and clove.

Finish is sweet and buttery… berry sweetness mixed with metallic elements not overwhelming at all but long and extremely pleasant.

****^