Whisky 2017 – 118-124 Black Gate Tasting

Black Gate is a small producer in New South Wales. Was really fascinating to hear Brian’s story of how he ended up being a distiller. He did say he was afraid of change, and I think he’s fairly keen on his 3 year maturation but to me the new make still comes through. Despite the 7% yearly loss, I think these would do better with just a couple more years. 


118 – Black Gate #BG005
Caramels, deep toffee, gum leaves, banana, brown sugar, kangaroo poo, cherry coke, maple syrup. Sarsaparilla, mint, slight bacon, dry spices, slight newmake hit, peanut butter.

2016.35 – Black Gate #BG007
Marzipan, string, yeast, ice cream, hand cream. Pine, ice cream, cucumber, dry ginger, dried apple.

119 – Black Gate #BG008
Custard, rose petals, ice cream, glacé ginger. Dry ginger, star anise, cream, pine resin, cherry ripes.

120 – Black Gate Cask Strength #011
Chocolate, raspberry lollies, marzipan, chocolate, soy sauce, strawberry jam, slight bacon fat. Sarsaparilla, dry cloves, strawberry jam, kangaroo poo, rose petals.

121 – Black Gate #BG020
Mango, pineapple upside down cake, yeast, cream. Still a bit young, weak instant coffee, salt, cream, tequila, orange zest.

122 – Black Gate Peated new make 
Cheese, pine wood, cucumber, banana, just extinguished coals, caramel. Butter, tobacco, white pepper, barn yard.

123 – Ben Nevis 16 Years Hidden Spirits “Highproof” Cask BN9916
Unmistakably Ben Nevis vanilla extract, pound cake, stone fruit, apricots, chocolate, dust, chicos, red skins, pine resin. Stone fruit, cut grass, pound cake, brown bread with butter.

124 – Glenfarclas Family Cask 1995 Cask 6640 52.1%
Sarsaparilla, rubber, butter, caramel, Xmas cake, white peaches. Apples, rubber, caramels, black beans, stewed pears, brioche, red apple skins, charcoal, soy sauce, funky butter

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Whisky 2017 – 114-117

Once again the Whisky Gods were smiling on me. Yao from The Elysian opened a bottle of Munro’s King of Kings that his parents pulled from their cellar and gave to him. Such an interesting dram – old whisky seems to be a lot more herbaceous to my palate. Not a lot of info out there about this one, except to say James Munro also ran Dalwhinnie in the early 1900s. 

114 – Arran Bourbon Cask 1999 54.8% 2015 Release Cask 78
Pineapple, rock melon skins, apricots, chocolate mousse, passiona. Cream, passionfruit skins, apricot, tea tannins, green apricots, butter, almonds, red skins, raspberries.

115 – Maltman Aultmore 7 Years Port Cask 2008 Cask 100
Honey, crumpets, dark chocolate, musk sticks, pine glue, hot brown butter, menthol, strawberry jam on white bread with butter. Peach ice tea, butter, banana, coffee cream, slight cheese cake, rock melon with vanilla cream.

116 – Munro’s King of Kings Rare Old De Luxe
Wax, soy sauce, ginger, ginseng, heather, leather. Initially really light but wax, caramel, herbaceous, tobacco, old dusty chocolate. Didn’t have much time with this dram as it was a small dram as a gift once the bottle was opened. Old and unique.

117 – Glenfarclas Family Cask for Shinanoya 10 years Cask 5695
Old tropical fruit, musk, grilled pineapple, roasted peaches, milk chocolate, old wood. Cocoa, dusty, orange rind, soy sauce, fruit tingles, bubble gum and vanilla pods.

Whisky 2017 – 111-113 – The Gresham, Brisbane

So in Brisbane for work. Always trying to find whisky bars and discover The Gresham an SMWS bar. Had a great time and the staff were quite knowledge. Not really a quiet bar but still a good selection with some 2015 SMWS bottlings that are long gone. 

111 – SMWS 9.83 Tiger balm, limoncello and scented candles (Glen Grant)
Raw peanuts, spring onions, lemon zest, tinned pineapple, nail polish remover, vanilla and apricot crumble. Zingy totally understand the limoncello and tiger balm, over fried garlic, green onions (in a good way – first time I’ve thought that), with time cocoa, old butter and dusty.

112 – Glendronach 1992 24 years olorosso butt cask 226 %58.4%
Match heads, old apples, caramel, pepper, rhubarb compote, dust, roasted shallots, balsamic reduction. Wow so deep and heavy, soy sauce caramel, dusty, old apples, mushroom funk, gravox, cocoa, melted butter, red apple skin, caramel.

113 – Glendronach 1989 26 years olorosso butt cask 2662 54.5%
Apricot jam, caramel, Granny Smith apples, pound cake, really good tomatoes, pound cake. Tobacco, chocolate, weeds, plastics, dust, savory, old apples, slightly funky, old leather, shaving cream, flint, burnt onions, tarte tatin.

Whisky 2017 – 106-110

Perhaps the best tasting I’ve been to ever. Finished it off with something different with the Jack Wiebers’ Classic of Islay. 


106 – Glenrothes Single Cask Australian Exclusive Single Cask #5579 OB 2003 13yo 56.6%
Butter, aspirin, plastic, quince jelly, egg pudding. Soy sauce, chocolate, black beans, orange zest, mandarin, cream, cocoa powder, sarsaparilla, red apple skins.

107 – Eld Vatten Single Cask Glenrothes 2006 10yo 57.3%
Honey, aspirin, lavender, sight matchhead, banana caramel pie, bacon fat, burnt butter, pine needles, butter, verjuice, pound cake. Honey, salt, heather, thyme flowers, sulfur, rubber, melted butter.

108 – North Star Single Cask Glenrothes 1996 20yo 54.6%
Wood glue, marzipan, toasted coconut, apricot delight, kiwi fruit, pavlova, dry ginger. Banana, stone fruit, passionfruit vine, cream, wine, toasted macadamia, glacé ginger, brown butter, potato skin.

109 – The Maltman Glenrothes Single Cask #7476 1989 27yo 46%
Sulfur, gun powder, apple snow, pouch tobacco, stewed apricot. Red apple skins, flinty, leather, stewed apricots, white pepper.

2017.84 – The Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1997 for The Elysian Whisky Bar & 5 Other Bars 1997 19yo 51.8%

2014.102 – Adelphi Glenrothes Australian Exclusive 2007 7yo 67.6%

110 – Classics of Islay Vintage Malt Whisky Co, Jack Wiebers Whisky World Cask 7118
Butterscotch, kelp, moss, butter, glue, flinty, smoke. Strawberries, seaweed, smoke, flint, seaweed butter on fresh bread, metho (but not in a bad way).