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

Whisky 2017 – 101-105 Heartwood Tasting

For World Whisky Day, Tim from Heartwood presented to a small group at Bad Frankie. Very interesting tasting, even Tim seemed impressed with some of the bottles Seb opened. 

101 – Heartwood The Beagle 2 
Juicy and vanilla, caramel, marshmallow, pancakes with maple syrup. Chocolate, rubber, ice coffee, sarsaparilla, Terry’s chocolate orange. 

102 – Heartwood The Revelation (Lark)
Pancakes with boozy raisins, pine resin, pepper corns, mint. Cola, pepper, rancid butter, stewed apricots, white pepper, melted butter. 

103 – Heartwood We are Brothers LD218/219
Marshmallow, tomato water, gooseberry jam, quince jelly, sponge cake, . Strawberry shortcake, milk chocolate, vanilla cream, white pepper, cardamom, violets, quince jelly. 

104 – Heartwood @#$%^&* (2nd fill sherry cask) td0124
Vanilla, cloves, hand cream, pine resin, chocolate, apricot nectar, pound cake. Sponge cake, mint, raisins, mint slice biscuits, stewed stone fruit. 

105 – Adams 6 Months Slosh Port Cask
Caramel, cloves, cucumber, butter, wood chips, baked potato, strawberry jam. Sarsaparilla, Coke, salt, cucumber, red apple skins and tea tannins. 

2015.155 – Heartwood Convict Resurrection 14
Chocolate fudge brownie, toasted walnuts, Sacher torte, . Buttered popcorn, cherries, Black Forest cake, lemon zest. 

2016.150 – Heartwood 2 of 3
Marshmallow, apple snow, wood resin, gooseberry jam, Pavlova with loads cream, apricot with pepper, pound cake. Firecrackers, popcorn with butter, red apple toffees. 

Whisky 2017 – 64-72 – Heartwood tasting

64 – Redlands newmake
Apples, rock melon, lemon zest, pepper, juniper, cucumber. Roses, apple skin, aniseed, green strawberries.

65 – Adams Distillery 12 weeks old young make
Menthol cigarettes, mint leaves, musk lollies, brown sugar. Prunes, proper smoked bacon, coal, pepper, salt, Japanese black sugar candy.

66 – Belgrove oat whisky
Dust, stones, barnyard, perfume, musk, menthol. Glue, boot polish, brown sugar, butter almonds, pickled onions (but not in a bad way).

67 – Heartwood 3 of 3
Caramel, musk, brown sugar, lemons, prunes, chocolates, stewed apple, ice coffee, old butter. Heavy, kangaroo poo, leather, beef stock, dusty, soy sauce, coffee grounds, tomato paste.

68 – Heartwood We are twisted cousins (Lark)
Prunes, raisins, pastry, strawberry and mango, pine needles, pastis. Menthol, dust, raisins, eucalyptus, slightly medicinal.

69 – Heartwood Beagle 4
Soy sauce, raisins, creme patisserie, stewed apples, beef stock. Raisins, prune, musk, salt, soy sauce, marshmallow, tomato salad.

70 – Heartwood Calm before the storm
Deep malt, soy, deep sweet Asian beef cheeks, huge chocolate, glue, turps, burnt pineapple. Glacé lemon, beef consume, leather, soy sauce, bitter dark chocolate, pine needles.

71 – Arran Madeira Cask
Gas, apricots, a malted chocolate, some sulfur and rubber, acetone, ants trapped in strawberry jam, marshmallow. Brandy snaps, some vanilla, roasted peanuts, old strawberries, zatar, mellows over time – the slightly bitter finish doesn’t help.

72 – G&M Glenturret 2002
Butter, cherries, licorice, toffee, fairy floss. Bit weak, grapes, toffee apples, slight cloves.

Whisky 2017 – 24-26

24 – The Whisky Agency Caol Ila 2007 8 Years Bourbon Hogshead
Preserved lemons, dried pineapple, seaweed, lemonade, crushed prawn shells. Tobacco, salt, iodine, tropical fruit sugars, dark cocoa.

25 – SMWS 30.91 Deliciously dark and sweet (18 Glenrothes)
Toffee apples, caramel sauce, apple cider, whitepepper, tropical fruit. Caramel sauce on icecream, angry busted up wood, rancid butter, tannins.

26 – Lark Private Cask Port LD1180 for Whisky & Alement bottle 10 of 24
Toasted grains, banana paddle pops, raspberry leaf tea, stewed rhubarb, black beans, chocolate drops. Rhubarb danishes, crushed ants, good English breakfast tea, sarsaparilla, cardamom, melted butter.

Whisky 2017 – 9-13

9 – Asta Morris Glen Moray 2005 10 Years Cask AM032 fresh bourbon
Lemon balm, honey, glue, salt, vanilla yoghurt, lemonade, burnt matches. Chewy, butter, toast with apricot jam, green grass, lemonade spider.

10 – Asta Morris Caperdonich 1995 20 Years Cask AM021 ex-bourbon
Dusty kiwifruit, orange zest in custard, cake mix, vanilla and violets. Heavy cream, stewed apricots, passion fruits, salt, pound cake.

11 – Asta Morris Auchentoshan 1991 24 Years Cask AM044 Sherry hogshead
Stewed apple, sulphur, rubber, match heads, vanilla cream, wood varnish, toasted hazelnuts, cake mix. Christmas cake with brandy cream, maraschino cherries, salt, black tea, toast with butter and honey, marshmallows and musk.

12 – Maltman Hazelgrove 14 Year Sherry Cask, Cask 6
Honey, caramel, tennis balls, marzipan. Odd very sweet to begin with, leather, boot polish, caps and sulphur, stewed apple.

13 – Limeburners Directors Cut Barrel M123
Woody, pine sap, cherry flavored medicine, musk, skin, Mexican drinking chocolate. Holy god – musk, brown butter, hollow, medicine, flat Coke, licorice.

Whisky 2016 – Favourites of 2016

179 Whiskies done this year. Here are my top 5 in no particular order. 

89 – Spencer Collings & Co The Founders Release
Brown sugar, dark toffee, honey comb, sarsaparilla, marshmallow, vanilla. Honey, toffee, caramel, dark malt cake. Stunning heavy whisky.

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.

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.

136 – The Whisky Agency Ben Nevis 17 Years 1996 for The Mash Tun
Sweat (in a good way), caramel, salt, marmalade, creme brûlée, honey ice cream, baked potatoes. Tropical fruit, ice coffee, salt, butter in coffee, egg custard. Wonderful.

150 – 2 of 3 Heartwood
Chocolate mousse, cocoa, stewed apple, toasted malt, rose petals, flat coke, egg custard, pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream. Toasted malt, roasted corn, sarsaparilla, brown butter, raspberry soda, milk coffee. Wonderful.