Whisky 2018 – 5 – Hains & Co, Adelaide

5 – Hains & Co Living Starward Cask – Wine Cask Starward PX Barrel (staff estimate 6th batch)
Nose: banana bread, bubblegum, wood glue, crushed ants, toasted brioche with butter, banana paddlepops
Palate: really gentle, raspberries, ice tea, Christmas biscuits, spearmint gum, passion fruit vine
Finish: potato crisps, butter, wine tannins

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Whisky 2017 – 225

My final dram for 2017. A beautiful peated Heartwood. Tim, you’ve excelled yourself!

225 – Heartwood Darkest before Dawn Cask LD559 Olorosso Sherry *
Brown sugar, yoghurt, cream, boozy stone fruits, dried figs, cream, tomato paste, peanut brittle. Toffee apples, dark caramel, bitter chocolate, brown sugar, pouch tobacco, strawberries and cream, fresh and dried fig, chewy and massive, beef broth, salt, gravy granules.

Whisky 2017 – 218-224 – Closed distillery tasting for The Elysian’s first birthday

218 – Dun Bheagan St Magdalene Sherry Butt 1982 27yo
Glue, mandarin, new make, leather, soap, honeycomb, watermelon. Wheat biscuits, ryvita, cream, salt, tobacco, stewed apricots.

219 – Douglas Laing Glen Mhor Hogshead Refill 1982 27yo
Lemon zest, lemon butter, loads of citrus and shortbread, wood glue, lavender soap, honey, slight flinty, white peaches. Loads of cake mix, honey suckle, fruity, stones, dust, old lace, lantana.

220 – Signatory Glenlochy 1980 30yo Cask 2824
Vanilla cake, salt, some apricots, grass, malt, kiwi fruit, cake mix, toasted almonds, orange oil. Cool ing, huge amounts of tinned fruit, cream, summer grass, tobacco, old dried pineapple, mint, menthol.

221 – G&M Dallas Dhu Bourbon 1979 34yo
Rockmelon, mushroom funk, lemon zest, slight cake. Old whisky, dust, Italian mustard fruits, salt, tobacco and cream, wax, soap.

222 – G&M Port Ellen Refill Sherry Butt 1982 28yo
Honey, salt, peat, medicinal, camp fire, ham, flinty, cream, KFC. Wonderful mouthfeel, ask, autumn leaves, charred bbq steaks, bbq bones, mandarin, chlorine, match heads.

223 – Starward New World Projects Batch 120718-12-759 for Elysian Whisky Bar 1st Birthday 100L Shiraz Cask 56.7%
Vanilla beans, honey, snickers, peanut caramel, Vietnamese coffee. Toffee bananas, bourbon, caramlized walnuts, banana cake, butter.

224 – Asta Morris for Whiskies & More Glentauchers PX Cask AM040
Caramel, caramel, caramel for days, salted butter, vine tomatoes. Salty, dusty, old apples, old rubber and sulfur, really dried apricots, flinty.

Whisky 2017 – 215-217

215 – TIB Redlands Muscat Cask TIBRD001
Lollies, raspberries, butterscotch, banana cakes, columbines, eggy, cloves, mustard. Vanilla slice, raspberry leaf tea, fruit cup cordial, slight butter and berries.

216 – Signatory Glenlivet for The Whisky Exchange 2007 10 Years Cask 900174 *
Woody, sarsaparilla, cloves, burnt strawberry jam, shaving cream, chocolate, whipped cream. Woody, massive sherry notes, red apples, cream, coffee, dried stone fruit, caramel pop corn, cold butter, watermelon, toasted brioche.

217 – Liquid Treasures Glen Garioch 24 Years 1991
Juicy, fruit, honey, maple syrup on pancakes, rose hip jam. Apricots, honey, butter, slightly coal, kiwi fruit, melons, green vines, butter and cream.

Whisky 2017 – 160-161

I got to share some drams at the (Australian only alcohol) Bad Frankie in Fitzroy with the very knowledgeable Tori Suzuki of The Mash Tun in Tokyo and Kelvin and Yao of the Elysian. 

160 – Fleurieu Distillery Rubicon
Anzac biscuits, toast with honey, dates, prunes. Honey, butter, salt, sweet tea – under done.

161 – Heartwood Epiphany at the Lakes 10 Years (Lark Port and Bourbon Cask)
Chicos, prunes, chocolates, French pastries, stewed apricot, dust. Pastries, raisins, chocolate, hazelnuts, marzipan, salted butter. Much simpler than most Heartwood but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Whisky 2017 – 149-150 – Helvetica, Perth

So, I’ve easily hit 150 this year. With all the work travel, I’ve somehow managed this. Helvetia is a nice little whisky bar in Perth with around 400 bottles. Some interesting Ichiro’s bottlings there too. Worth checking out if you are there. These two drams were excellent. I don’t know much about Bellwether except they are from WA and this was a monster at 70%.

149 – Bellwether Cask Strength Port Cask peated 30ppm, bottle 38/38
Leather, honey, tobacco, maple syrup, dates, green olives, scones out of the oven. Honey, butter, toast, dust and bones, tobacco.

150 – Kilchoman Caroni (Rum) Cask by LMDW 2011
Apple juice, dried apricots, leaf matter, heather, salted butter, rocks in an old fire, pound cake, roasted parsnips. Leather, salt, butter, apricot cake, fireplace, green herbs, honey, gun powder.

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