Whisky 2018 – 164-162 – Whisky Agency 10th Anniversary Tasting

164 – Ben Nevis 1996 21yo Hogshead, 50.3%
Nose – lemon, citrus, cake mix, marzipan, orange fizz,
Palate – cream, salt, vines, bitter caramel
Finish – cream, sea salt, toffee

165 – The Perfect Dram Irish Whiskey 1989 28yo Barrel, 49.9%
Nose – leather, wooden boxes, rosemary, snickers bar
Palate – sun dried peaches, almond shells, salted butter, passion fruit
Finish – cream, butter, brown sugar, dried apricots

166 – Speyside Region 1979 38yo Barrel, 43.4%
Nose – caramels, stonefruit, glue, old paper, red apple skins, peach melba, orange jelly
Palate – sweat, sulphur, toffee, Xmas spice, juicy
Finish – cream, fruit syrup

167 – Speyside Region 1973 44yo Butt, 48.6%*
Nose – cream, glue, match heads, grilled peaches, mint, caramel, crystallized violets
Palate – apple crumble, ice cream, dried apricots, cold salted butter, mango ice, condensed milk
Finish – cream, cream, toffee apple, woody, fruit mince pie

168 – Highland Park 1999 18yo Hogshead, 51.7%
Nose – honey, salt, boiled oranges, green bananas
Palate – chalky, fire place, brown sugar, shortbread, salt, bitter caramel
Finish – match heads, rubber,

169 – Bruichladdich Heavily Peated (Port Charlotte) 2003 14yo Sherry, 52.9%
Nose – honey, smoked sweet paprika, melted butter, cheese and bacon Cheetos
Palate – pepper, smoked beef fat, rotten eggs, bruised apples
Finish – rock in a fire, chalk, medicinal

170 – Springbank 1996 21yo Hogshead, 50.3%
Nose – green peanuts, roses, roast chicken, caramels, apricot jam, cream, eggy pudding
Palate – cream, medicinal, Xmas minced fruit, salted butter, cloves, honeydew
Finish – matchsticks, brine, bruised apples

171 – Springbank Peated Type (Longrow) 1996 21yo Hogshead, 50.9%*
Nose – peanut butter icecream, glue, fresh dough, pepper, poached pear, chicken skin
Palate – smoked chicken, apricots, salt, nori, flowers in the country
Finish – brine, chicken skin, slight medicinal

172 – Irish Single Malt 28 Years “Black Irish” 42.4%
Nose – flat coke, cream, tropical fruit, woody, maple syrup on French toast
Palate – Maraschino cherries, liquorice, super dried out peaches, oden eggs
Finish – cream, loads of dried stone fruit and spice

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Whisky 2018 – 152-159, The Drunken Master Whisky Bar, Kaohsiung

So when in Kaohsiung, where do you go? The Drunken Master Whisky Bar of course. One of the world’s great whisky bars and responsible for many incredible bottlings. I started out on some Ben Nevis and then the awesome Kuo made some recommendations for me. Great stuff!

The Clynelish and the Cragganmore were exceptional. And the old 1970s springbank was still lively and fresh.

152 – Ben Nevis by The Whisky Agency 1998 lightly peated 16 years 50.2%
Nose – lemon delicious, cake, apricots, raw dough
Palate – apricots, cake, green vines, cream, Xmas spice
Finish – cream, green almonds

153 – Ben Nevis Signatory 1991, 24 Years Cask 3833 54.7%
Nose – honey, maple syrup, orange cake, almond kernels
Palate – honey, cream, scorched almonds, rum baba,
Finish – cream, water, wax

154 – Ben Nevis Signatory 1991, 22 Years Cask 2382
Nose – coconut, green vines, caramel, honey, apricots, golden syrup
Palate – green peanuts, slightly peated
Finish – old leather, tobacco, cream

155 – Cragganmore 27 years 1989 World Bar Tour*
Nose – apples, cream, lemon balm, stone fruits, new leather shoes, peanuts
Palate – apples, licorice bullets, wax, butter, salt
Finish – wonderful length, salt, butter, wood and perfume

156 – Drunken Master 1980 Blend 35 years (Highland Park, Macallan, Tamdhu)
Nose – Old leather couches, bruised apples, honey, cream, peanut brittle
Palate – Old whisky, cream, arrowroot biscuits, honey joys
Finish – Old wood, Old sherry, Old cream, Old… makes me nostalgic.

157 – The Whisky Agency Clynelish 1996 bottled 2014 Refill Butt*
Nose – raspberry, cherry wood, leather, oak, spice
Palate – cake, cake, cake, cherries, prunes, raisins, perfume, cherry ripe
Finish – cherry cake with cream, tobacco, honey, Xmas spice

158 – Mortlach 1997 by Chieftains for Drunken Master Cask 5241
Nose – honey, dried peaches, terrarium,
Palate – warm spice, plums, prunes, honey, dark chocolate
Finish – honey, salt, wood, cream

159 – Springbank 8 1970s Japanese market ref. 5176
Nose – Old apples, wax, dough, yeasty bread
Palate – wax, apples, cream, old whisky, honey on bread
Finish – apricots, wax, burnt matches

Whisky 2018 – 148-151, The Malt, Taipei

148 – Ben Nevis 1997, 17 Years by Black Adder Raw Cask, Taiwan Exclusive Cask #963 50.6%
Nose – raw pastry, almonds, play dough, cream, lemon pudding
Palate – cream, pastry, green apricots, salt, slightly twiggy and maritime, cake mix
Finish – cream all over, apricots, peaches, stonefruit

149 – Ben Nevis 1997 by McCraes bottled 2016 Cask HL12157 55.4%
Nose – orange zest, brandy snaps, chocolate cake, coffee cream
Palate – brown sugar, over proved bread, leather, cream, bruised apples, rubber, licorice
Finish – green vines, cream, sucking on a sherry cask

150 – Springbank Sherry Wood 1997 18 Years*
Nose – doughnuts, cured meat, bruised apple, golden syrup
Palate – medicinal, tar, cream, orange zest, peanut brittle, dark chocolate bounty bar
Finish – such beautiful notes of green apple, cream, chocolate bullets, bitter caramel

151 – Benriach PX Single Cask 1996 for Taiwan, 19 years cask #3609 54.3%*
Nose – grilled pineapple, coconut, cream, tropical fruit salad, crushed ants, kit-kats, reef-oil
Palate – chocolate, cream sprinkled with brown sugar, marshmallow, mangoes, orange juice, apricot nectar
Finish – cream loads of it, salt, leather, orange zest, stewed apricots

Whisky 2018 – 139-142

139 – Drunken Master Ben Nevis 1996 20 years Cask 1448
Nose – dusty caramel peaches, fruit leather, lemon zest
Palate – peaches, butter, green peanuts, bourbon cream
Finish – creme caramel, green vines

140 – Maltman Ben Nevis 1996 19 years for Shinanoya Cask 1673 Sherry Butt
Nose – musk, moss, oranges, milk chocolate
Palate – funky, woody, terrarium, terry’s chocolate orange, scorched almonds
Finish – woody, perfume, orange pith

141 – G&M Balblair 1993 24 years Sherry Puncheon Cask 18/006
Nose – chocolate, plums, honey, stone-fruit, wax,
Palate – coffee, Christmas spices, bitter cocoa, peanut brittle, bitter caramel
Finish – chinotto, shaving cream

142 – Drunken Master & Mash Tun Springbank 1992 25 years cask 151*
Nose – wax, wood, green figs, salt, gunpowder, dusty shelves, bruised apple
Palate – creamy, old leather couches, pencil shavings, carob chocolate
Finish – huge length with salty cream

Whisky 2018 – 134-138

134 – SMWS 27.112 (Springbank) A broadside cannon barrage 1996, 21 Years*
Nose – heady, chocolaty, rum soaked biscuits, tiramisu, caps
Palate – warm honey, gunpowder, old Christmas cake, bruised apples, chocolate dipped apricots, butterscotch, roasted peanuts
Finish – salted fish, soy sauce

135 – Ben Nevis 12 Heavily Peated by Hidden Spirits Cask BN618
Nose – honey, caramel, cherry medicine, sugar syrup, fruit cake,
Palate – fruitcake, maraschino, flinty rocks, green vines, banana leaf, slight ash
Finish – pinot tannin, salt, gravel,

136 – Ben Nevis 20 by Highlander Inn Cask 97 55.9%
Nose – raisins, muscat, sweetened earl grey tea
Palate – toasted pound cake, honey, apricots, tea tannins, dried figs, cherry ripe
Finish – old apples and fruit leather

137 – Mortlach 1988 by Wilson & Morgan, bottled 1997 46%
Nose – leather, apricots, honey, cedar, smells more like bourbon cask
Palate – vanilla, cream, boozy, kiwi fruit, dusty, rockmelon, stewed plums
Finish – bruised apples, salt

138 – SMWS 107.13 (Glenallichie) Andalusian gazpacho 9 Years 65%
Nose – plums, gazpacho, caramel, honey, chocolate milk,
Palate – milk duds, rubber, hot, caramel, stewed plums, almond brittle
Finish – green vines and salt.

Whisky 2018 – 13-15

13 – Berry Brothers & Rudd 1997 Ben Nevis Cask 27 bottled 2014
Nose: rich and juicy, intense orange, bitter chocolate, hand cream
Palate: butter, tobacco, mustard fruits, cream, dusty, chocolate, caramel chews
Finish: cream, bitter cocoa, rocks

14 – Hidden Spirits 2004 Ben Nevis 13 Years Cask BN417 “Heavily Peated”
Nose: hand cream, old coals, flint, green grass, potato chips, sweat but not in a bad way
Palate: crisps, savory, cream, juicy stone fruit, banana cake
Finish: smoked cream, ash, fallen leaves

15 – The Whisky Agency and Three Rivers 1998/2016 Ben Nevis 50.9%
Nose: honey, aspirin, salted butter, cake mix, orange zest
Palate: salted butter, cream, passion fruit vine, leather, sight rubber, jasmine tea, pound cake
Finish: burnt butter, churned butter, cream, tea tannins

Whisky 2017 – 189-192 – Bar C Shell, Tokyo

I am lucky enough to be back in Tokyo. Tried out Bar C Shell in Shinjuku, near Yotsuya-Sanchome station. The owner Yu is very knowledgeable, super friendly and speaks excellent English (having lived in NYC). The bar is quite different to most Japanese whisky bars and much more casual. Yu has created a unique space for whisky drinkers in Tokyo. Drank some unique old bottlings but I had to throw in a Ben Nevis, because, well, it’s Ben Nevis. 

189 – The Milroy Sprinbank 30 50% 2002 Bottling
Rubber, caramel, peaches, dusty, hazelnuts, pumice stone. Spritz, lemon, hand cream, dried apricots, wonderful mouth feel, preserved lemons, Lavender, chocolate and soap.

190 – Friends of Oak Ben Nevis 1998, 15 Years
Honey, aspirin, hay, marzipan, sponge cake, toasted almonds. Roses, caramel, vanilla cake, strawberry jam, peaches, brown butter, honey, green grass.

191 – Cadenhead’s Glenturret Distilled 1965 bottled 1990
Bee wax, sarsaparilla, dried peaches, chicos, pencil shavings. Cream, pencil shavings, salt, rose petals, soap, wax.

192 – Glen Fraser 1956 for Strathnairn Whisky Ltd
Slight maple syrup, wax, bonox, wood glue, menthol. Pencils shavings, soap, pepper, clove, lemon zest, old raisins, wax, rubber, leather, old tobacco, peaches, shaving cream, dusty, perfume.