Whisky 2021 – 4-9

4 – Glenallachie 2009 10yo Sauternes Barrel cask no. 3727 58.9%

Nose is very Sauternes with honey and blossoms. Hand cream, salt, freshly cut pink lady apples dusted with brown sugar.

Palate is quite hot, flinty, gun powder and rubbery. its got honey and caramel but it’s a bit disappointing Mr Walker for you.

Finish liquorice, fennel salt and burnt caramel. Hints of cream.

3/5 Stars

5 – Glenallachie 2005 15yo Madeira Barrel cask no. 3756 60.7%

Nose is orange, almond cake mix, burnt vanilla cream and brown sugar. It’s got a super pleasant dried apricot note.

Palate is hay, cream… wow lots of cream. Nutty and sweet apricots. Orange zest and cake mix.

Finish is unsurprisingly is cream.

4/5 Stars

6 – Arran 2002 17yo by TWA 49.2%

Nose honey, hay, intense fruit sweetness… fun fruit sweetness if I may. Eggy pudding.

Palate isn’t this a Ben Nevis? Eggy pudding, citrus, apricot, grape vine and plum cake. Nutty.

Finish is fake plum flavouring, date pips and slightly tannic.

4/5 Stars

7 – Ben Nevis 1996 23yo by TWA 47.6%

Nose is super waxy!!! Orange zest and brine. Honey and hay. Coffee and chlorine?!

Palate is savoury and waxy. Reminds me of burnt brioche. Green pineapple, olive brine.

Finish is (still) sharp acidic green fruit topped with cream. A bit spicy.

4/5 Stars

8 – Tobermory/Ledaig 1995 25yo by TWA 48.5%

Nose is waxy and lemon zest, fresh cut pineapple, pineapple upside down cake

Palate waxy, green peaches and pineapple, lemon zest, vanilla biscuits, grape vines and cream.

Finish is green fruit, spice, cream and spice. Maybe chocolate mousse.

4/5 Stars

9 – Bunnahabhain 2013 by The Whisky Jury ex Oloroso 53.2%

Nose is chlorine and Cheetos, clear raisin and date sugars. Band-aids and fritz?! (That’s Bologna for my US friends)

Palate is capsicum and cheese pizza, rocks and slightly ashy.

Finish is more Cheetos, rocks and fritz.

4/5 Stars

2020 – Eurgh – Top 5

Apologies for my record keeping in 2020. Like most work and life were thrown some challenges thanks to COVID. Unsurprisingly I was still drinking drams and had the opportunity to partake in some sensational online “virtual” tastings including all of the Longrow Reds and a Aberlour A’Bunadh through the batches. Anyway here are my top 5 drams for 2020 – lots of Springbank!

Springbank 1991 by the whisky agency 27 years 46.4%

Nose is beautifully waxy and shows loads of fruit including apples, bananas and apricots. There is caramel and slight spice – some Springbank funk and old whisky smell.

The palate is rich and deep. Old apples, fruity, old and funky, waxy and pristine. Honey and super nutty. Wow there is some interplay between the elements.

But wow this finish is just nuts. It lasts for ever with mango and wax. Old whisky, candles and apples, dusty draws. It is elegant and pristine – the warmth of a smile from a girl in a summer dress.

Bunnahabhain 1976 35yo by Liquid Sun

Nose: cream, pencil shavings, raw chocolate cake dough, wax, underripe yellow nectarine

Palate big and impressive, sweetness, spice woody, red apple skin, bounty bars, fruit mince, hand cream, peaches

Finish freshly cut stone fruit, cream that lasts and lasts (we’re talking minutes here), a pleasing metallic resonance

SMWS 27.111 (Springbank) A coal bucket full of marshmallows

Nose unmistakably Springbank. Earthy, tobacco funk with a lattice of sweetness, leather and brandy snaps, dusty, roses

Palate sweet but not cloying, a heavy spirit. Leather bound books, orchard fruits. More fruit with water, start seeing beautiful waxiness, stone fruit and peanut brittle.

Finish charcoal dust, bitter almonds, salty, candied apple.

Berry Bros & Rudd Retro Label for Shinanoya Teaninich 1983/2018 34yo #6729 Refill Bourbon Hogshead, 46.2%

Wow! This nose. Shoe polish, maybe?? Carob, pineapple lumps, camphor

Palate really funky, minerality, lots of spice and juicy fruit. Tastes like “old whisky” and elegant.

Finish leather, tobacco, orchards.

Springbank 18YO 2000 Pacific Edge

Nose of pencil shavings, rock melon, cream, honey, iodine, dried apricots. Wow it just keeps giving, new things keep appearing like lemonade and lemsip.

Palate dried fruits, marmalade, orange zest, pencil shavings, rock melon, shaving cream and tobacco

Finish of gun powder, passionfruit

Whisky 2020 – 31-36 – Signatory Tasting

31 – Cameronbridge 1984 35YO by Signatory cask 19300

Nose of caramel, leather, intense white stone fruit, crushed ants, grilled pineapple, bones, cola

Palate it tastes big for 49.6% butter cream, bourbon cream sticky buns, horlicks, milky coffee

Finish green pineapple and rose hips

****

32 – Linkwood 1996 22YO by Signatory casks 8731+8732

Nose pepper on steak, honey, stone fruit, green pears, kiwi fruit skin

Palate cooling and cold, but feels narrow and one dimensional, stewed pears, steel and honey

Finish mead and fennel seed

***

33 – Deanston 2008 11YO by Signatory cask 900072

Nose firecrackers, dried apricots – the nose is for me beautiful and promised so much.

Palate is sulfur, pop corn, soy sauce, honey and stone fruit but the sulphur tired cask notes overwhelm… it’s faulty to me and I love over done sherry.

Finish salt and heather and more sulfur.

*

34 – Bunnahabhain 2007 12YO by Signatory cask 586

Nose is pineapple upside down cake, steel, chocolate

Palate: honey, strawberry jam, sulfur

Finish green grass and melted butter

**^

35 – Clynelish 1995 23YO by Signatory cask 11242

Nose is pretty simple; malt, steely, honey, grape stems

Palate dusty, honey, soy, rocks and sand. With water old tired sherry is revealed and it is not pleasant.

Finish soy and old sherry cask

**^

36 – Caol Ila 2007 11YO by Signatory casks 322307+322308

Nose banana leaf, glue, salt, honey yoyo biscuits

Palate stones, sea, medicine cabinet, driftwood

Finish medicinal and the sou’wester of a brusque dockmen

***

Whisky 2019 – 100-101

100 – Balmenach 2001 by MASAM cask 06/06081

Nose is like fino sherry. The salt, the spray, the nuttiness. Some oyster shell and leather. With time the caramel, notes ring.

Palate is creamy, burnt wood giving way to stone fruit and camp fire rocks with a driving minerality.

Finish is clear and fun boiled sweets, fruit tingles and sherry saltiness

*****

101 – Bunnahabhain 40 years by MASAM cask 7229

Nose full of fruit and apricots, cream and light caramel, pencil shavings. Would not pick it as a Bunna.

Pencil shavings, candle wax, intense jasmine tea, stewed fruit, and soy sauce on the palate.

Finish of waxed fruit, apples and stewed apricots with cream

****

Whisky 2019 – 83-84

83 – Bunnahabhain 2005 “Feis Ile 2018” by Douglas Laing for The Islay Whisky Shop refill hogshead DL12519

Lovely dried tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, some really interesting candied white peaches and hand cream

Pretty simple palate of hay, butter and bread, and some tropical fruits.

The finish was where this whisky shone. Think of a wonderful super creme caramel with subtle bitter caramel.

***

84 – Ledaig 8 Years by Signatory for TWE’s 20th Anniversary cask 700389

Super clean and spritely nose. Smelling the ozone and standing in the sea spray. Opening a chocolate box, with whiffs of glue and flint, then a gentle warm honey and touches of dried apricot.

The palate of earth and flint – really powerful minerality. It gives way to oysters and grass and a surprising touch of cocoa.

Loved the finish as it turns in to a charming burnt chocolate cake and grass stained knees.

*****

Whisky 2018 – 112-114

112 – Edradour 2006 for the Whisky Exchange Oloroso Sherry Cask 391 58.5%
Nose – malty, dried raspberries, custard, scalded milk, purple sweet potatoes
Palate – dark chocolate peanut brittle, raspberries, vanilla, pastries
Finish – vanilla, salt, caramel

113 – SMWS 7.197 (Longmorn) Mature beyond its years Sherry butt 59.8%
Nose – sarsaparilla, fruit leather, stewed apricots, honey, maple syrup
Palate – pastry, vanilla, prunes, pancakes with maple syrup and butter
Finish – woody and vanillic, salted butter, tannins

114 – Bunnahabhain 1980 by Silver Seal bottled 2014 cask 84*
Nose – Apple snow, wax, white Christmas balls, chi latte
Palate – white chocolate, wax, roasted parsnip, roasted pear, cloves
Finish – cream for days, earl grey tea

Whisky 2017 – 136-138

136 – 1972 Invergordon Cask #37 selected by Phil & Simon Thompson 43 Years
Raspberry leaf, boot polish, cream, glacé ginger, maple bacon. Cream, toasted grains, Pavlova, kiwi fruits, glacé ginger, sweet milky tea.

137 – 1973 Invergordon Cask #10 for Club Qing 42 Years *
Dry biscuits, cloves, cinnamon, ice cream, apple snow, raspberry lollies. Incredible whisky tea tannins, loads of cream, fresh cracked paper, cardamom icecream, liquorice, macadamias, prunes, sight white peach.

138 – 1988 Bunnahabhain 28 Years by The Whisky Agency and Drunken Master Bar, Sherry Hogshead Cask 475
Cadlewax, hazelnuts, old apples, liquorice, dust, fruitcake. Fennel, dust, salt, stewed fruits, chocolate bullets, raw peanuts.

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 – 74-78 Signatory Tasting

74 – Signatory Dailuaine 1997- 19yo
Pineapple, acetone, apricots, dried apples, kiwi fruit, old champagne, egg shells. Salty, green herbs, burnt chocolate, fruity, slight waxy.

75 – Signatory Clynelish 1995 – 20yo
Matches, Forrest wood, leather, mushrooms and earth, maple syrup, nutty. Wood, chocolate almonds, salt, soap bubbles, coffee grounds, tea tannins.

144.2016 – Signatory Bunnahabhain 1989 – 26yo
Pine, orange zest, green bananas, iced coffee, slight medical, old shells. Dusty, flinty, cocoa, an old fire, white wine tannin, old apples.

76 – Signatory Glenlivet 1995 – 20yo
Ice cream cone, wafer biscuit, peanut brittle, ice cream, wood, cane sugar, golden syrup, rock sugar, apple pie, coco pops. Butter, coffee, sarsaparilla, musk, pepper, rose hip jam, tannins.

77 – Signatory Isle Of Jura 1989 – 26yo heavily peated
Leather, quite neutral, mushrooms, dry ginger, nutty, lemon zest, pine wood, walnut oil. Mango, bacon, ice cream, maple syrup, rock melon skin, salted almonds, lemonade.

78 – Signatory Ledaig 2005 – 10yo
Bonfire, medicinal, toasted bread, corn chips, smoked ham. Flinty, Dry, fire, Sherry, slight BBQ meat, apple seeds.