Whisky 2019 – 109-123 Flora & Fauna Tasting

Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series was front and centre for The Elysian’s 3rd birthday! Strap in for 15 drams.

109 – Strathmill 12yo
Great nose of lemon curd slathered on shortbread, dried ginger, green cardamom, egg white. But it comes apart on the boring palate of unripe pear and olive oil. This finish is overly salty with hints of underripe stonefruit and some cream.

**

110 – Linkwood 12yo
Nose has some lovely green apple sorbet notes with creme fraiche, dry baking spices, dried apricots and vanilla bean. Transforms on the palate to ice cream and sun ripened slightly green apricots. The whole vanilla/cream thing continues to be melted ice cream on the finish.

***

111 – Glendullan 12yo
Simple but pleasant nose of caramel and was spicy like an uncooked apple crumble. Palate was quite neutral nothing really stood out but had a great mouthfeel. It was heavy and chewy. How is this a 4 star rating? The finish, long and deep! It was amazingly creamy and full of bitter almonds like marzipan and frangipane tart. For a simple whisky the finish lifts this to an excellent whisky.

****

112 – Dailuaine 16yo (Discontinued)
Nose was very elegant. It had lovely dried rose petals, dried stone fruit all sprinkled with brown sugar and a healthy dose of cream. Tastes of hay and coffee grounds leading into hand cream and dark chocolate. Indulgent finish of a chocolate and caramel cake.

****

113 – Rosebank 12yo (Closed Distillery)
Fruit medley nose with dried apples, tinned pineapple, young ginger. Some interesting whiffs of vanilla pod and curiously dry bones. The palate is grassy, with more orchard and stone fruits, some lovely hints of marshmallow and leather. Simple finish that grassy and salt.

***

114 – Blair Athol 12yo
Sherry influenced nose – wood varnish, caramel, snickers bars and a touch of rubber. The palate has sweet tea tannins and touches of flat coke. There is some nice fruit of dried peaches and muscat grapes. Beautiful white peach and salted butter finish.

****

115 – Auchroisk 10yo
Confusing nose of marischino cherries and marzipan, tomato paste, pears. The pear notes continue with pear tea cake with cream on the palate. Pears return on the finish with a salty and saline, pear juice lick.

***

116 – Inchgower 14yo
Promising nose of hand cream, baking spice and dry cocoa. Some grassy notes and a touch of apricot leather. The palate reminds of stewed apricots with cloves and pepper, unfortunately a saltiness interferes. Cream, baking spice and flat lemonade to finish.

***

117 – Mannochmore 12yo
Nose of glue, lemon, shortbread and slightly salty peanut shells. An initial floral palate moves to sweet tea and slight snickers bar. The finish continues slightly nutty and a lovely floral note.

***

118 – Glen Spey 12yo
The nose was really really interesting with a mixture of minerality and Portuguese tarts. The Portuguese tarts were just there when tasting as it was overwhelmed by dry spice and not much else. The finish was overly grassy.

**

119 – Mortlach 16yo (Discontinued)
Wonderfully complex nose of lemon zest, dried rose petals, apricots, caramel, butter, chocolate and dusty shelves, hay and sweet tea… so many layers. Palate with great stone fruit of dried apricots and green peaches and a surprising note of liquorice and fennel. Just falls a bit short on the finish slight stone fruit notes and salty.

****

120 – Pittyvaich 12yo (Closed Distillery)
Nose of dried orange zest, furniture varnish, woody, salted lemon zest, brown sugar and melted butter. Sherry sherry sherry! Palate of coffee, toffee, with a surprising mulch and woody note, dried cherries, wine grapes. Lovely finish of spent coffee filters and melted butter.

****

121 – Bladnoch 10yo (Discontinued)
Woooo!!! Bourbon nose! Mango, green apricots and pineapple, grassy, hand cream. Palate of salty roasted peanuts and dried mango. On the finish it moves really nicely into hay and cream. A solid dram.

***

122 – Glenlossie 10yo
Interesting nose of peanuts, fresh strawberries and green coconut. A cooling mouthfeel makes way for grassy, hay, bounty bar, tea tannin palate. Interesting and complex finish of mango seeds, salt and slight butter and some bitter notes of dark chocolate, grape seed.

***

123 – Benrinnes 15yo
Nose of manuka honey and aspirin and it becomes quite flinty and mineral with touches of caramel. Wonderfully umami palate with flavours of soy sauce and nori butter, Parmesan rind. Finish of coffee grains and more butter!

***

Whisky 2019 – 22-24

22 – Benrinnes 1997 Berry Brothers & Rudd 18 years Cask 817
Nose: roses, cream, peaches, lemon butter, spicy

Palate: green grass, salty butter, toasted almonds, peaches

Finish: cream, cold salted butter

***

23 – Aberlour 13 Oloroso Cask Hand Filled 57.4%
Nose: woody, vanillin, baking spices, toasted almonds, milk chocolate, peaches, apricots, prunes, cake dough

Palate: woody, spices, cream, dried peaches, butter

Finish: peaches, salted butter, plum jam

****

24 – Highland Park 2003 Single Cask Series Sherry Puncheon 1306
Nose: coffee, medicinal, caramel, vanilla, orange zest, roasted chestnuts

Palate: rubber, campfire, grapes, raisins, coffee, rocks, terry’s chocolate orange

Finish: campfire, leather, old butter, old apples, ashy

****

Whisky 2018 – 105-111 – Shinanoya Tasting

Massive Shinanoya whisky tasting thanks to the Elysian in Melbourne. Some real cracking drams, the Coopers Choice wasn’t on the tasting, just felt like an extra.

105 – DOUGLAS LAING OP CRAIGELLACHIE 1995 SHERRY BUTT 20YO 700ml 59%
Nose – rubber, chocolate, mint, dust, honey, red wine cask
Palate – brown sugar, roasted almonds, hay, sherry, dark caramel, musk, caramelized apples
Finish – musk, brown sugar, cream

106 – DUNCAN TAYLOR DIMENSIONS LAPHROAIG 1997 HOGSHEAD – 18YO 700ml 52.8%
Nose – ham and pineapple pizza, custard, oysters, barnyard
Palate – leaves, nuts, green sticks, honey, butter, roasted garlic
Finish – medicinal, glue, salt

107 – GLENDRONACH 1995 PX SHERRY PUNCHEON #4029- 20YO 700ml 55.2%
Nose – heavy brown sugar, dried apricots and peaches, old butter, green pepper, tobacco
Palate – caramel fudge, brown sugar, musk sticks, manuka honey, salt
Finish – melted butter and caramel sauce

108 – HUNTER LAING OMC BOWMORE 2001 REFILL HOGSHEAD – 13YO 700ml 57.3%
Nose – honey, old leaves, glue, yeasty dough, rosemary crackers, lemon pith
Palate – tropical fruit, kiwi fruit, ash, medicinal, minerals
Finish – heather, salty, burnt matches

109 – BERRY BROS RETRO LABEL CLYNELISH 1997 HOGSHEAD – 17YO 700ml 47.1%
Nose – honey, aspirin, mandarin zest, passion fruit jelly, granita biscuits, waxy
Palate – fruity, waxy, red frogs, apricots, pear juice, chicos, peaches, honey
Finish – grapefruit pith, salt, slight smoked ham

110 – KILCHOMAN 2009-2015 OLOROSO SHERRY BUTT FOR SHIMAJI PEN – 5YO 700ml 59.9
Nose – corn chips, smoked fish, barn yard, pickled onions, honey, dusty, lemon zest
Palate – honey, great mouth feel, ashy, pepper, sushi rice, blown out candle
Finish – old apples, pencil shavings, chlorine, melted cheese

111 – The Coopers Choice 1995 Benrinnes port finished 18 years cask 9547
Nose – cream, tropical fruit, toast and honey, wax, apples, raspberries, rock melon
Palate – waxy, chewy, fennel, cream, apricots, egg whites
Finish – salt, cream, old apples, slight woody,

Whisky 2018 – 38-43, North Star Tasting

38 – North Star Cambus 1983 24yo Single Grain, PX Sherry Barrel, 52.7%
Nose – glue, wood, sherry funk, wheat, cherries, rum and raisins
Palate – cream, mushroom gravy, toffee, honey
Finish – cream, iced coffee, grapes

39 – North Star Benrinnes 10yo, Bourbon Hogshead / Sherry Barrel Finish, 49.1%
Nose – banana paddle pops, fruit leather, roses, metallic, green rockmelon
Palate – honey dumplings, tropical fruits, great mouthfeel, yeast, chocolate
Finish – coal, cake mix

40 – North Star Glen Moray 2007 9yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 57.7%
Nose – banana lollies, tropical fruit, glue
Palate – hazelnuts, banana pies, brown bread
Finish – cream, salt, tea tannins

41 – North Star Orkney 17yo, Bourbon Hogshead / PX Sherry Finish, 55.2%
Nose – rubber, dust, soy sauce, maple
Palate – rubber, apples, Cheetos, milk
Finish – burning rubber, old whisky

42 – North Star Bruichladdich 15yo, Bourbon Hogshead / French Oak Finish, 57.1%
Nose – rich woody stewed fruit, chlorine, butter, maple, dried anchovies
Palate – medicinal, red fruits, brown banana, honey, coconut rough
Finish – weak soy sauce, tea tannins

43 – North Star Islay Malt 12yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 52.3%
Nose – pork, sweat, tropical fruit, bananas, leaves, white cheese mould
Palate – coal, pepper, pepper, smoked fish, medicinal, oil paints
Finish – salt, oily fish, sugar syrup

Whisky 2017 – 193-197 – The Mash Tun, Tokyo

It is always a pleasure to visit The Mash Tun in Tokyo, owner Toru Suzuki is a true gentleman and wonderful ambassador for whisky. On this trip I arrived as they finished a Cadenhead tasting with General Manager, Mark Watt. Truly a special occasion to walk through the door on. I also met representatives from Shinanoya and Whisk-e. I was hanging out with the big dogs, accidentally.

193 – Benrinnes Bourbon Cask for the Mash Tun 13th Anniversary 17 Years “How can I live at the top of the mountain
Pancakes, vanilla, salted butter, sweet biscuits, cakes, stone fruit, galvanized fence. Apricots, vanilla, rubber, sulphur, salt, red apples, sponge cake, chestnuts.

194 – Cadenhead’s 175th Anniversary Caperdonich 39 Years
Rubber, shoe polish, chocolate, grilled nectarines. Toffee, raisins, butter, brown sugar, ice coffee, plum chutney, green figs, old butter. This thing is huge.

195 – Glenfarclas 32 Years Salon de Shimaji PenXShinanoya Cask 136 1981 bottled 2013
Buttered toast, chestnut purée, raisin, cloves, pickled onions (in a good way), coffee. Honey, butter, pain à raisin, salt, apricots.

196 – Ichiro’s malt “The Game” Madeira Hogshead Cask 1370, 10 Year Anniversary of Shinanoya *
Maple syrup, pancakes, loads of stone fruit, toasty, caramel, toffees, toffee apple, pineapple upside down cake. Rubber, raisins, sulphur, apricots, old butter, musk sticks, butter and maple syrup on crumpets.

197 – Benriach 1976 Sherry Cask/Bourbon Finish Cask 529, 37 years
Plastic, caramel, rose hips, green grass, columbines, salt, passion fruit vine. Butter herbs, butter, caramel, apricot jam, chocolate, stout, kiwi fruits, chocolate, LPG, beef fat, vanilla icecream, pineapple.

Whisky 2017 – 41-48 – The Auld Alliance, Singapore

OK – So I went to the Auld Alliance in Singapore. Wow! I understand why it is regarded as the world’s best whisky bar. Yes, it was expensive but completely worth it – my only problem was my mistake ordering the Benrinnes. It is a fabulous dram, don’t get me wrong but didn’t really sit well with the other drams – a slight misstep when you are overwhelmed with such an imposing list. 

The Card Series were impeccable. I know there is a brouhaha regarding Japanese whisky prices and is it worth it. For me I tried three stunning, unique and consistent drams that deserve significant praise. 

The staff presented me with a mystery dram at the end a 1977 Sherry cask bottling of something Speyside. For me this was Ben Nevis but who knows. 

41 – Springbank 15 Years Old Tall Bottle from the 80s
Apricots, hand cream, brown sugar, plump raisins. Stunning mouthfeel, wonderfully spiced, salty, slight warm malt cake, stewed apricots dolloped with cream, cake mix.

42 – Springbank 12 Years Old tall bottle from the 80s
Fruit on a cheese platter, coffee grounds, tropical cordial. Leather, cream, perfumed soap, salt, slight tropical fruit sweetness, woody spices on the finish, malty.


43 – Benrinnes Silver Seal 30 Years 1984 Cask 2268
Malty, stone fruit, banana leaf. Hot, cake, leather, salt, maraschino cherries, Sacher torte, malt loaf with butter.


44 – Glendronach 31 Years 1978 Olorosso Sherry Cask 1040
Gravox, maple syrup, rubber, chocolate mousse, sulphur. Heavy and unctuous just crazy mouth feel, berry jam taken within an inch of its life, angry caramel, match heads, boot polish, motor oil.


45 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 7 of Diamonds 1991 19 Years PX 2nd fill Cask 9031
Caramel, grappa, peanuts, stewed apple, vanilla, turps, sarsaparilla, German spice biscuits. Woody, perfume, bacon fat, smoked praprika, peanut brittle, gooseberries and stone fruit, milk chocolate.


46 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 10 of Clubs 1990 PX 2nd fill Cask 9032
Wonderful cocoa and musk nose, orange marmalade, crepes with butter and cream, boozy stewed stone fruit. Toffee apples, cream, orange blossoms, leather, cream, white pepper, slight meaty note, white peaches, salt.


l47 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series King of Hearts 1986 PX 2nd fill Cask 9033
Smoked paprika, grape skins, roast chicken, Coke spider, sarsaparilla, musk, dark chocolate. Maple syrup, roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cream on Xmas pudding, rockmelon, salty, rose hips, dry ginger.


48 – The Auld Alliance 1977 Sherry Cask (perhaps Ben Nevis)
Chocolate, dried apricots, salty butter, cake mix, yeast. Cake mix, apricots, leather, green peppercorns, cocoa, green herbs and salt, chocolate mousse, tobacco, spiced pumpkin.