Whisky 2016 – 128-131 Bar Cordon Noir, Kyoto

I’ve had a lot of good whisky over the past few weeks. Ichiro’s Cask 2688 and the Chieftan’s Springbank were no exception – both wonderful drams. 

128 – Hart Brothers 1966 Ben Nevis 39 Years
Marzipan, apricot jam, leather, formic acid, golden syrup. Pan cakes, vanilla, touch of brown sugar, wood, crushed ants, stewed apples.

129 – Chieftan’s Springbank 1972 30 Years Cask 410
Old leather couches, boot polish, corn chips, salt and vinegar crisps, maple syrup, peanut brittle. Apples, cigar smoke, leather, beef stock, cloves, dry spice, over baked meringue, woody.

130 – Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt 2011 Mizunara Heads Cask 1429
Bananas, honey dew melon, Darjeeling tea, honey. Honey, salted butter, salt, toast, green herbs, orange cordial, kiwi fruit, mango.

131 – Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt 2013 American White Oak Cask 2688
Intense yeast, malt, bananas, whipped cream. Malty, HUGE maple syrup, salted butter, pancakes, tobacco, brown bread.

Whisky 2016 – 124-127 Bar Chèvre, Kyoto

124 – 3 Rivers Ben Nevis 1996 19 Years “The Dance”
Unmistakable Ben Nevis cake mix, marmalade, apricots, gentle cloves, pepper, butter powder. Green, coffee, less honey, flintiness, milk chocolate.

125 – The Arran Exclusive for Whisk-e 1997 18 Years Sherry Hogshead
Oranges, vanilla, heady, hand cream. Vanilla, cream, pound cake, sooooo creamy, gas, leather, salt.

126 – 1975 Glen Elgin 34 years for Bar Superhero 3rd Anniversary ny Kingsbury & Co
Melons, kiwifruit, egg whites, pavlova, apples and plums. Tobacco, rum, honey cakes, delightful fruit cocktail.

127 – Salon de Shimaji Pen x Shinanoya Glenfarclas 19 years Cask 3781
Apricots, passionfruit, maple syrup, wood, musk, orange zest. Orange juice, pancakes, maple syrup, Xmas fruit and cream, salt, cloves, coffee.

Whisky 2016 – 121-123 The Mash Tun, Tokyo

121 – Salon de Shimaji Pen x Shinanoya Hanyu 2000 14 years Mizunara heads
Chocolate box, Terry’s chocolate orange, lemon balm, balsa wood, lemonade. Spice busicuits, short bread, doughnuts, honey, marshmallow, salt.

122 – Mars 618 20 Years 1989(?) Single Cask
Egg whites, whipped cream, milk chocolate, strawberries, green peppercorns. Dry to begin then crushed ants, huge vanilla, tannic salty mouth with a finish that just keeps going, cloves and sarsaparilla.

123 – Suntory Hakushu 1988 Bourbon Cask 8J40514
Plastic, chocolate, flinty, strawberry jam and whipped cream on scones, kiwifruit and pineapple. Pina colada, medicinal, coal, tropical cordial, salt, chocolates by a campfire, leather and bracken. A beast of a whisky!

Whisky 2016 – 117-120 The Mash Tun, Tokyo

Back in Tokyo. As I said to Suzuki-san (owner of The Mash Tun) all I’ve done in Japan is drink these excellent Scottish stuff I haven’t touch Japanese whisky while I’ve been here. 

117 – Springbank 21 Single Cask Japan Only
Boiled sweets, Xmas fruit, kiwi fruit. Honey, green herbs, medicinal, salty, rubber, cigars, bitter chocolate, angry jam.

118 – Springbank 20 TIBS 2016
Hazelnuts, gas, chocolate, candle wax, roses, marzipan. Rubber, salt, bitter herbs, coriander seed.

119 – The Arran – The Mash Tun 12th Anniversary Bottling
Bananas, marmalade, loads of fruit, marzipan and beautiful sweetness. Apricot jam, cream, pepper, cream, chicos, coffee, rum baba, egg whites and clove. (Suzuki had these for sale – I bought one)

120 – The Arran The Devil’s Punch Bowl III
Soy sauce, leather, eggs, dried pineapple, chicos. Stewed apple, blue vein cheese, apricot jam, bitter green herbs, salt, pineapple, lettuce, tomato sauce, Caesar salad.

Whisky 2016 – 114-116 Old Crow, Zurich

114 – Old Pulteney 1996 Cask 3557 Bottled 2011
Apricots, chocolate, salt, pepper, chicos, cloves. Really chewy, rose hips, apricot, cream.

115 – Aberlour Cadenhead 1995 19 Years Sauternes Cask
Sulphury, cucumber, stewed apples. Fruity soooo fruity, vanilla cream loads of it, brandy snaps, dried figs, green figs, peaches

116 – Benrinnes 23 Years
Rubber, sulphary, honey, stewed apples. Honey, cloves, rubber, lettuce, brown butter, leather, roast beef, dry wood. So freaking good.

Whisky 2016 – 110-113 Old Crow, Zurich 

110 – Swiss Highland Single Malt Whisky Classic
Malt, banana bread, warm coke and cloves. Nothing just slight cream and some bananas.

111 – Signatory Gottfried Koller Edition Glen Turret 1986 Cask 302
Cream, herbs, band-aids, yeast. Pencil shavings, melon, bitter herbs and salt. Really well put together.

112 – Bowmore Feis Ile 2006
Ozone, warm deep frying oil, panforte, Xmas pudding, dried pineapple, banana lollies, chocolate brownie fresh out of the oven, yeast. So fruity – peaches and apricots, vanilla custard, pencil and wood shavings and a medicinal heather finish.

113 – The Cross Hill 1990 Ben Nevis 2008 Bottling
Glue, pizza, fruit straps, rubber, maraschino cherries, red apple, lemon meringue. Rubber, sulphur, raisins, brown butter, salt and port. A-ma-zing!

Whisky 2016 – 107-110 Old Crow, Zurich

107 – The Arran Devils Punchbowl II
White peaches, cream, ice cream, clove, apple snow, apricots. Bitter herbs, cream, brown sugar and brandy snaps.

108 – Royal Island 30 Years Arran (but really Bunnahabhain and Bowmore)
Chalk, pencil shavings, manzanilla Sherry, apples, toffee, stone fruit. Pencil shavings, some cream, pepper, cloves, pop corn, green herbs, salty.

109 – Springbank 12 1990s bottling
Christmas cake, dusty and fruity, brandy, brown sugar, salty butter, rose hips, egg white, apricot . Huge butter, caramel and rubber, coffee, apricot delight, passion fruit. Brilliant, top 5 this year, easy.

Whisky 2016 – 106 Old Crow Bar, Zurich

So more traveling this time in Zurich. Jetlagged to hell, I decided that is was worth trying to find the Old Crow Bar. Bloody hell was it worth it! I’ll be going back again during my short stay. 

I had two drams; a Glendronach 15 Revival (geddit??) I’d had many times before but this Ben Nevis is up there with some of the best whisky I have had. Not the huge jammy apricots or marmalade that I associate with Ben Nevis but loads of cocoa and chocolate and so elegant. 

106 – Ben Nevis 1973 1999 Cask 750
Sarsaparilla, maple syrup, medicinal, vanilla, maraschino cherry. Cloves, cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, green herbs, musk, slight fruit. 

Whisky 2016 – 102-105 Campbelltoun Loch, Tokyo

The Campbelltoun Loch is small, cramped, run down (don’t expect suit jackets) and full of whisky gems. It’s serious whisky drinking business.102 – Ben Nevis The Whisky Agency 2013 1995 18 Years
Old leather, cake mix, almonds, green herbs, hazelnuts, as it opens up more and more cake mix – it is stunning. Slow to start but this amazingly long cake mix thing which lasts and lasts, apricot jam in a cake.

103 – The Prestonfield 1975 Ben Nevis Cask 7440 La Maison du Whisky 34 Years
Cake mix, crushed ants, hazelnuts, apricots and orange juice. Chocolate, tobacco and cigars, apricot jam on buttered toast, hazelnuts, chocolate. Smells like it is going to come alive in the glass?!?

104 – The Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 19 Years 2013 Ref: HL12148
Pancakes, honey, oranges, stewed apricots, dark toffee and brown sugar. Apricots, green herbs, slightly bitter, crepes, vanilla, Fanta, malty.

105 – Kingsbury Glenrothes 2004 11 years
Rubber, sarsaparilla, smoked paprika, chicos, sulphur. Chocolate and vanilla, Xmas spices, ginger biscuits, cocoa powder on vanilla ice cream, roast chicken.