Whisky 2021 – 1-3

And we’re away for 2021. Hope you enjoy the reviews, they’ll be cross posted to Reddit and Instagram.

1 – Wemyss Bowmore 1990 “Satsuma Soap” 48% for Whisky Fair Takao

Nose is salty, flinty, I ripe plums, maraschino cherries and honeyed… really inviting minerality. Touches of cream.

Palate is intensely floral, salty, peachy, tropical fruit, slight licks of smoke

Finish is grassy, cocoa dusted and salty

5/5 Stars

2 – 1976 Blend The Maltman (Clynelish, Dailuaine, Macduff, Teaninich, Ben Nevis, Invergordon)

Nose reminds me of my grandfather’s garden with dried apricots warmed in the hot sun. Day old cream, spice and cloves.

Palate is gnarled woody apricot trees, apricot kernels and more stone fruit. It is salty and loads of vanilla cream. Goes tannic with bruised apples and slightly thin before the great finish.

Finish is super rich vanilla cream.

4.5/5 Stars

3 – Secret Speyside 1993 26 Years by TWA and Three Rivers 49.3% Ex-sherry hogshead

Nose is inviting deep sherry with apples, salt and stone fruit

Palate is cream, spice, and well controlled rubbery sulphur. It’s got a lightness of spirit with great nuttiness.

Finish is lots of stone fruit and sarsaparilla

4.5/5 Stars

2020 – Eurgh – Top 5

Apologies for my record keeping in 2020. Like most work and life were thrown some challenges thanks to COVID. Unsurprisingly I was still drinking drams and had the opportunity to partake in some sensational online “virtual” tastings including all of the Longrow Reds and a Aberlour A’Bunadh through the batches. Anyway here are my top 5 drams for 2020 – lots of Springbank!

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.

Bunnahabhain 1976 35yo by Liquid Sun

Nose: cream, pencil shavings, raw chocolate cake dough, wax, underripe yellow nectarine

Palate big and impressive, sweetness, spice woody, red apple skin, bounty bars, fruit mince, hand cream, peaches

Finish freshly cut stone fruit, cream that lasts and lasts (we’re talking minutes here), a pleasing metallic resonance

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.

Berry Bros & Rudd Retro Label for Shinanoya Teaninich 1983/2018 34yo #6729 Refill Bourbon Hogshead, 46.2%

Wow! This nose. Shoe polish, maybe?? Carob, pineapple lumps, camphor

Palate really funky, minerality, lots of spice and juicy fruit. Tastes like “old whisky” and elegant.

Finish leather, tobacco, orchards.

Springbank 18YO 2000 Pacific Edge

Nose of pencil shavings, rock melon, cream, honey, iodine, dried apricots. Wow it just keeps giving, new things keep appearing like lemonade and lemsip.

Palate dried fruits, marmalade, orange zest, pencil shavings, rock melon, shaving cream and tobacco

Finish of gun powder, passionfruit