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!
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.
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.
80 – SMWS 27.97 (Springbank) Glazed cashews and lemon lollies
Loads of Campbelltown funk on the nose. A super zingy lemon and honey drive the nose. It’s met by green almonds and the seaside salt of a good sherry.
On the palate lemon zest and gun powder flooded by red plums and tea cake followed by almond butter.
An interesting finish of oil paints, glue and red grapes.
81 – Ben Nevis 1992 17 Years by High Spirits cask 2624
Nose: Lemon, peaches steeped in champagne, prunes and apricots
Palate: Grassy and loads of dried pineapple, honey and salted butter smeared on rye bread, loads of funky cask spiciness
Finish: super juicy citrus and stone fruit
82 – Ben Nevis 10 Years cask strength Batch 1 distilled 21 April 2008 62.4%
Crisp and clear nose with overwhelming honey with such beautiful fruit sugar brightness, a twist of coffee and toffee.
The palate features loads of tea cake (as expected with Ben Nevis), butter and honey. Some great mineral flinty and coal like, late reminiscent of soft liquorice.
Wine like tannins and stonefruit really pushes through on the finish, honey, maple syrup.