Whisky 2017 – 197-203 – The Society Bar, Tokyo

Great set of whiskies to finish my trip in Japan and hit 200. The staff at The Society Bar took good care of us. The Linkwood SMWS definitely one of the best this year.

198 – SMWS 3.268 (Bowmore) Lady beachcomber’s dram 1995 20 years
Yeasty, bread, sea salt, caramels, juicy stone fruit, sponge cake, liquorice, strawberry and apricot jam, cherries. Green leaves, chocolate, chilli, old lace, lavender, cakes, sea water, rocks in a fire, chocolate mousse, dashi.

199 – SMWS 96.9 (Glendronach) Icy – Chill 2007, 8 Years
Cream, peanut butter caramels, roses, peanut brittle, with water candied apples, grilled pineapples. Yoghurt, almonds, green vines, with water loads of cakey notes, vanilla, hints of rubber, clove and leather.

200 – SMWS 39.102 (Linkwood) Rum-soaked black cherries 23 years *
Crushed ants, woody, maraschino cherries. Such a gentle dram, buttery, cake, sweet fruit like glacé apricots, pencil shavings, honey, salt, butter, old butter and sherry. The finish is forever – apples, cloves, melted butter and crisps.

201 – Ichiro’s Malt Single Cask 706 2010, 4 Years – bottled for Modern Malt Whisky Market in Osaka
Weet-box with milk and honey, medicinal, caramel, lemon butter, pound cake, glacé orange peel. Grains, multigrain bread, salted butter, wicker chairs, burnt butter with walnuts.

202 – Blackadder Ichiro’s Malt Cask 2630 PX Cask June 2010 6 Years
Apples, chocolate cake, sarsaparilla, cloves, old butter, crushed ants, dried apricots. Cloves, cake mix, passionfruit vines, chocolate and herbs.

203 – Ichiro’s Malt The Peated 2015, Distilled 2011
Medicinal, malt, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake, metallic, stewed apricots. Charcoal, heather, leather, soot, fruit dipped in caramel, lantana, candles blown out on a birthday cake.

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Whisky 2017 – 172-175

Quite an eclectic mix of whiskies here… all were excellent. How good are single cask Teeling? 

172 – The Single Cask Bowmore 2001, 14 years Cask 31931
Banana, malty, band aids, yeasty, proving bread, butter, cream, caramel. Salt, burning grape vines, peaches, preserved lemons, chocolate, lantana, short bread, passion fruit, clear sugars, wonderful mouthfeel, orange zest.


173 – Kingsbury Mhain Baraille 1980 35 Years Blended
Glue, hobnobs, leather, raspberry jelly, hand cream. Cream, passionfruit vine, dried pineapple, pavlova, freeze dried apple. So tasty.

174 – Kavalan Solist Port Cask, Cask 0090908028A 59.4%
Brown sugar, peaches, cocoa, glue, Nutella, apricots, coffee, old butter, maple syrup, boot polish. Woody, stone fruits, glue, melted butter, iced coffee, dried apricots, pine, mushroom pate.

175 – Three Rivers Teeling 23 Year Old Cask 6821
Very dried peaches, leather, shaving cream, sarsaparilla, wood glue. Cream, beef jerky, passion fruit, chocolate, old shoe leather, cream, salt, rubber, pink pepper corns.

Whisky 2017 – 139-141 – Baxters Inn, Sydney

Traveling for work again. Had a chance to finally get to Baxters Inn in Sydney. Some great whisky there but these places like Boiler Maker house in Melbourne and The Gresham in Brisbane only ever are really able to cater to the whisky nerd when it is quiet. I had a good chat to some of the staff before the throngs arrived and saw some of their lovely older bottlings in their whisky room but it’s a busy busy drinking barn – difficult to enjoy a dram. 

How good is old Bowmore! 

139 – Littlemill 1988 Cask 57 25 Years Berry Bros
Shortbread, cream, vanilla, plastic, new make. Fresh apricots in caramel sauce with ice cream, passionfruit vine, hand cream, salt.


140 – Bowmore 17 (1990s bottling)
Honey, fruitcake, salt, hay, barnyard, chocolate milk, band-aids, dusty butter. Honey, salt, raisins, bandaids, green peppercorns, clover, hazelnuts, pencil shavings. 


141 – Glendronach Olorosso Sherry Butt Cask 76, 1992 23 years
Bubblegum, rhubarb, swimming in melted butter, mushrooms, dates, hazelnuts butter, brown sugar. Chocolate, buttter, wood, salt – a little underpowered for a single cask Glendronach. Eventually  butter, crushed ants and flapjacks on the finish. Great nose but a disappointing Glendronach single cask. 

Whisky 2017 – 92-99

Some crazy independents here – thanks to my buddies Kelvin and Yao at The Elysian Whisky Bar. The Bowmore and Tomatin were my picks. 

92 – Berry Brothers 1992 Dailuaine 22 for Shinanoya
Apricots, dried fruit, orange zest, vanilla cake, light Xmas spice. Creamy, grilled stone fruit, green grass, roasted shallots.


93 – Three Rivers Whisky Talk Fukuoka “The Statue” Bunnahabhain 22 Years
Vanilla cake, apricots, slight meaty, ice cream, cloves, handcream. Gentle, fruit cake, hazlenut oil, really nutty, buttery.

94 – Kingsbury Auchroisk 1991 Sherry Butt Cask 2555
Dry ginger, orange rind, leather, sarsaparilla, cloves, wood, salted peanuts, plastic. Hairspray, old butter, leather, beef broth, stewed apples, coffee grounds.


95 – Three Rivers Bowmore 1996 Hogshead Cask 960039
Wet cardboard, caramel, LPG, steak and kidney pie, pepper and honey. Green grass, loads of honey, leaves, hot volcanic rocks, cream, ash, green plums, kiwi fruits, gooseberry, pencils shavings, band-aids.


96 – Glenflorres 12 Years 1970/80s bottling
Warm short bread, eggy pudding, mango, orange zest, slight licorice, wood resin. Soap, lavender, lemon balm, air freshener, slight creamy finish… soooo freaking weird.


97 – Tomatin 8 Years Limburg Dramclub 2015 Club Bottling 5
Chocolate dipped bananas, white chocolate mouse, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cherry ripe. Sweet tomato paste, caramel, banana lollies, pepper candy (is that a thing), musk lollies, clove and quince jam. Huge amounts of vanilla cream and spice with water, old butter finish.

98 – Chieftain’s Mortlach 1997 19 Years, Cask 5245 for Drunken Master Bar
Chicos, powdered gravy, Terry’s chocolate orange, vanilla beans, roasted pumpkin, mushrooms and earth. Sarsaparilla, woody, tea and wine tannin, cream, rubber, dusty, dried cherries and old prunes.


99 – Kingsbury Laphroaig 2000 16 Years Cask 3621
Jersey caramel, bacon on a campfire, sweet autumn leaves, plastic. Bone, mulch, burnt bacon, clear sugars, lemon pith, stones in a fire, banana leaf, slight rubbery.

Whisky 2017 – 73-74

73 – Duncan Taylor Hemp Sparrow Islay blended malt 1997
Crushed sea shells, almonds, light and fruity, slight glue and barn yard, honey jumbles, apple pie, pizza. Crushed prawn heads, Christmas cake, salt, slight dusty.

74 – Bowmore 2001 by Whisk-e for Nippon Bartenders Association Ginza Branch bourbon Barrel Cask no 31928
Wood glue, pine wood shavings, fruit and soft caramel, dusty. Fruit, autumn leaves, salt, such fruity length with smoked salmon and vanilla cream, underripe apples, peanut brittle. Thick and chewy.

Whisky 2o16 – 171-174

171 – Old Malt Cask 1997 Auchentoshan for The Mashtun
Malt, clover, lemon zest, cocoa, hand cream, slight gluey note. Sweet and milky like condensed milk, salty, milk chocolate, cream, cold butter, cloves

172 – Gordon & MacPhail Glenturret 2004 for Gilles Club Australia
Gravy, beef, maple syrup, leather and cigars. Sarsaparilla, butter, brown sugar, cloves, salt, heavy and friendly.

173 – Ichiro’s Malt ‘Malt Dream Cask’ 2008 Cask 200 Bourbon Barrel
Vanilla cake, strawberry jam, green grass, flat coke, cream. Pineapple, brown sugar, malt, salt, tropical fruits, cream, wonderful long finish, cloves, melted butter, fruit cake fried in butter.

174 – Bowmore Voyage Port Cask Bottle 0143
Toffee, properly good bacon, salt, garden peas with mint. Caramels, roses, salt, licorice, musk, salt, medicinal, tansy cakes.

Whisky 2016 – 147-151

I made it to 150 for the year and what a cracker 150 was, Heartwood’s 2 of 3. Simply an amazing dram. 

147 – Kilchoman The Trilogy Bourbon Single Cask 260/2010
Honey, roasted chicken and pork, potato chips, medicinal herbs, apple snow, leather and plasticine, sea weed and sea spray, stone fruit. Campfire, brown sticks and earth, caramel, green herbs, salt, lingering smoke

148 – SMWS 3.265 (Bowmore) Islay meets Provence
Caramel, sea salt, lemon zest, tobacco smoke, rosemary. Intense fruit, charcoal meat, lemonade, raspberries and dry herbs.

149 – Signatory Bunnahabhain 1997 Heavily Peated Cask 5516
Toffee apples, lemonade (again), hand cream, potato crisps, seaweed. Smoke, coffee, cocoa, grilled mackerel, preserved lemon.

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.

151 – Kilchoman The Trilogy Sherry Single Cask 199/2010
Honey, salt, fruit straps, caramels. Seaweed, medicinal herbs, flinty, coal, Xmas fruit, caramel, sea water.