Whisky 2021 – 21-24

21 – Clynelish 1993 26yr by Carn Mor Cask 112115

Nose is full of beautiful intense citrus fruit, fruit fizz, cream and leather. Roses and milk chocolate. And of course wax.

Palate is so elegant. Fruit more citrus and some bruised apples. Cream, honey. Flinty.

Finish is all hot warm double cream and minerality. This is a godlike finish.

5/5 Stars

22 – Blair Athol 1988 30yr by Sansibar 46.9%

Nose is all dusty berries… imagine raspberries and blueberries pulled out of a dusty draw. Warmed butter.

Palate is strawberry jam, chocolate and then gets some lovely savouriness. Some savoury passionfruit vine.

Finish jam, grass, cream… good!

4.5/5

23 – Clynelish 1997 21yr by The Auld Alliance & The Malt Affair 49.9% (10th Anniversary bottling)

Nose is cream, citrus, honey and wax. It’s classic. Squeezed apricots and pears?!?

Palate is honey beautifully with infused citrus and blossoms. Nothing is out of place. It is really balanced.

Finish savoury, baking spices and cream.

4.5/5 Stars

24 – Inchmurrin 1997 23yr by Liquid Treasures 48.5%

Nose is ginkgo nuts and beef marrow. Plastic and funky. Cloves.

Palate beef marrow, light peaches and apricot, tropical and pineapple syrup.

Finish medicinal, grassy and more stone fruit. And chalky?! Weird and wonderful.

Whisky 2021 – 14-18

14 – Glen Grant 1995 24yr by The Whiskyfind “The Drunken Cat” Bourbon Hogshead #119469

Nose is super floral, rose hip syrup, milk chocolate and vanilla pods. It’s quite densely packed on the nose. Pink bubblegum.

Palate is pink flowers, pink jelly, grassy, citrus fruit, grapes and nutty.

Finish continues with the pink flowers, it has a lovely toasty note, melted butter and some vanilla.

4/5 Stars

15 – Tormore 1992 27yrs by The Whiskyfind for The Mash Tun, Bourbon Hogshead #101154

Nose is really waxy and fake banana flavouring, burnt banana bread with a lick of old butter.

Palate is reminiscent of 1970s whisky with an initial hit of tobacco. Elegant and pretty with bright fruit, green figs and fig leaf.

Finish has slight saltiness and more green figs, and hint of milk chocolate.

4/5 Stars

16 – Glenrothes 1987 32yr by The Whiskyfind for The Mash Tun, Hogshead #9980

Nose is mainly ginger ale but has good apricot notes with salty caramel, salted lemons and black tea.

Palate is hot and spicy. The flavour of cloves, cola and sarsaparilla. Feels like it is too old.

Finish is grassy and salty with cream and woody tannins.

3/5 Stars

17 – Arran 2012 7yr for The Mash Tun’s 16th anniversary, 1st fill sherry #12/2768

Nose is smoked paprika, dates, medicinal honey, honey ham chips. Flambéd Xmas pudding. Cola.

Palate is initially dark fruits followed by some refreshing flinty/minerality. Honey dipped orange pith.

Finish is steely, sweet and stony. There is some good orange zest notes in there.

4/5 stars

18 – Clynelish 1999 21yr for The Whisky Exchange & The Mash Tun sherry butt #305054

Nose is honey, cream and wax. With some slight rubberiness. Maraschino cherries and rich dark dried fruit.

Palate is big and powerful. More dark fruit! Honey and loads of citrus and stone fruit. Some really balanced and integrated cask influence. It’s good.

Finish is musky and sweet almost like fresh cut strawberries. The sherry shines with bruised apples, salty and woody notes.

4.5/5 Stars

Whisky 2021 – 1-3

And we’re away for 2021. Hope you enjoy the reviews, they’ll be cross posted to Reddit and Instagram.

1 – Wemyss Bowmore 1990 “Satsuma Soap” 48% for Whisky Fair Takao

Nose is salty, flinty, I ripe plums, maraschino cherries and honeyed… really inviting minerality. Touches of cream.

Palate is intensely floral, salty, peachy, tropical fruit, slight licks of smoke

Finish is grassy, cocoa dusted and salty

5/5 Stars

2 – 1976 Blend The Maltman (Clynelish, Dailuaine, Macduff, Teaninich, Ben Nevis, Invergordon)

Nose reminds me of my grandfather’s garden with dried apricots warmed in the hot sun. Day old cream, spice and cloves.

Palate is gnarled woody apricot trees, apricot kernels and more stone fruit. It is salty and loads of vanilla cream. Goes tannic with bruised apples and slightly thin before the great finish.

Finish is super rich vanilla cream.

4.5/5 Stars

3 – Secret Speyside 1993 26 Years by TWA and Three Rivers 49.3% Ex-sherry hogshead

Nose is inviting deep sherry with apples, salt and stone fruit

Palate is cream, spice, and well controlled rubbery sulphur. It’s got a lightness of spirit with great nuttiness.

Finish is lots of stone fruit and sarsaparilla

4.5/5 Stars

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 2018 – 198-200, Copper & Oak, New York

198 – Invergordon 1988 by The Sovereign cask HL10699
Nose – grape vines, cookie dough, milk chocolate, shortbread, raspberry
Palate – chocolate chip cookies, crisps, milk chocolate,
Finish – slight cream and vines

199 – Dew of Ben Nevis 12 Years
Nose – cream, burnt orange, toffee
Palate – green vines, peat, bitter orange, tobacco, honey comb, cream
Finish – marmalade, rubber

200 – Clynelish 1995 by The Exclusive Malts 21 years Cask 10206 52.6%
Nose – wax, banana bread, vanilla, kiwi fruit, raw dough, strawberry mousse
Palate – hot, heavy, waxy, green vines, old whisky, day old pavlova, coffee trifle
Finish – wax, honey

Whisky 2018 – 173-176

173 – Springbank by Best Dram 15 Years 2000 42.9%
Nose – maple syrup, pancakes, ice cream, dates, slightly medicinal, waxy
Palate – wonderful springbank, birthday cake candles, Xmas cake, tobacco, old leather couch, old orange peel, tea tannins, dried shiitake, cocoa
Finish – luscious cream, woody funk

174 – Bowmore by Laing & Co “Old Malt Cask” 20th Anniversary 22 Years 1996 50%
Nose – raw dough, yeast, candied orange orange rind, apricots, caramel
Palate – minerals, loads of stone fruit, slight ashy, creamy, sea salt, tobacco
Finish – warm cream, salt, shaving cream

175 – The Oceans Macallan and Highland Park 2004 12 years old Sherry Butt Cask 0000010
Nose – Cherries, cloves, rubber, leather, mint slice biscuits
Palate – woody, cream, mint, dry spices, kiwi fruit
Finish – old apples, boot polish, leather

176 – Clynelish 18 by Kinko 1997 52.6%
Nose – wax, stone fruit, clear sugar, bright ozone, chocolate cake
Palate – apricots, gooseberries, cream, tobacco, bright and friendly, rock melon, caramel
Finish – gentle caramel, almonds, wax, old apples

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 – 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 – 72-75 – Baxter Inn, Sydney

In Sydney at The Baxter Inn and half way to my target of 150, celebrated with an old Glengoyne from the 80s. For a low alcohol dram of 43% it really was able to stand up. The Cambus was super disappointing.

72 – Clynelish Adelphi 1996 19 Years ex Bourbon 53.4%
Nose – toasted coconut, coconut rough, green grass, apricot danish
Palate – hot, perfumed, cream, grilled peaches, lemon zest with pith
Finish – cream and perfume, wine tannins

73 – Clynelish G&M 2001 14 Years Sherry casks 307849 & 307850
Nose – typical sherry fino nose, peanuts, rubber, manuka honey
Palate – honey, rose petals, sugar syrup, rock candy, salt, weak ice tea
Finish – aspirin, tea tannins, honey, caramels

74 – Boutiquey whisky company Cambus 24 Batch 2
Nose – roses, heather, cream, pineapple soaked in turps, caramel toffees, plastic
Palate – turps, salt, balsa wood, cream, peanut shells
Finish – cream, old leather

75 – 1980s bottling Glengoyne 17 Years 43%
Nose – wax, rum soaked raisins, fermented figs, the sweetness of cocktail onions, honey, minerals
Palate – wax, pencil shavings, salt and pepper, raisins, spice, OBE
Finish – spicy, pencil shavings, old apples

Whisky 2018 – 20-24

20 – The Ultimate Macduff 2008 9 Years Sherry Butt 61%
Nose: honey, aspirin, bananas, caramel
Palate: caramel, flinty, mineral, grilled pineapple, lemon zest
Finish: sherry, rubber

21 – Wilson & Morgan Glenrothes 1997 18 Years Marsala Cask #8731 56.4%
Nose: Soy sauce, caramel, coffee,
Palate: caramel, stone fruit, rubber, milk duds
Finish: short, caramel

22 – Wilson & Morgan Tobermory 1995 21 Years Marsala Cask #1397
Nose: caramel, cream, rubber
Palate: kiwi fruit, milk chocolate, rock melon, dusty, rubber, soy sauce, caramel
Finish: tropical fruits, rubber, black beans

23 – Silver Seal Clynelish 1993 22 Years 51.7% Cask #7562
Nose: birthday candles, fruit, banana leaf,
Palate: wax, tropical fruit, dusty, caramel, chocolate
Finish: dust, wax, old apples

24 – Silver Seal Pluscarden (Miltonduff) 1977 38 Years Cask WA021 46.7%
Nose: leather, vanilla, cherries, wax
Palate: caramel, leather, melted butter, rock melon, dusty, hazelnuts, toasted almonds
Finish: fruit, old apples