Whisky 2020 – 1-5

Kicking off for 2020. For reference ^ is half a star.

1 – Glenlossie 22 Years 1997 by Maltbarn no. 117 bourbon cask
Nose is full of apricots and glacé ginger on top of a vanilla pound cake, layers of strawberry jam and hints of juniper.

Palate is dense with whipped cream, spice and salt. Reminds me of Ben Nevis with grassy notes, but was expecting more stone fruit.

Dried muscats and prunes on the finish

**^

2 – Old Pulteney 1983 American & Spanish Oak Casks 46%
Deep and brooding, loads of dried dark fruits like prunes and dates, lifted by orange zest. A clear but not unpleasant metallic and varnish element. With some time liquorice and chocolate. Surprisingly a few hints of watermelon and green plums.

Palate salty butter, sea spray, bitter caramel, tea tannins and almond shells. Quite layered and complex for a 46% whisky. Apple snow with a lick of cream leads to hay and malt.

Finish is lovely notes of tobacco, cream and candied apple.

****

3 – Craigellachie 2008 10 years by Battlehill, sherry cask finish no. 759000943
Ok super interesting Maggi chicken 2 minute noodles, butterscotch, prunes and wonderfully dusty.

Palate is intense dried prunes and figs. Fino sherry liveliness that lovely maritime and apple note. Slight ashiness.

The finish is long and fills your lungs, rubber, spice and terrariums.

****

4 – Glendronach 1992 26 years port pipe cask no. 5896 49.3%
Steel, zinc, metallic in the most wonderful way. Nail varnish, cocoa and orange zest, cloves, anise and plastic. Ice coffee mixed with melted butter!!! This nose just keeps giving – prunes and sun warmed plums. This is a glorious nose.

Palate was cooling initially and then really clear black fruit sweetness hits. Some interesting dry bones, black berry vines, nori butter flavours. Finally super nutty – caramelised pecans and walnuts.

Great finish of walnuts cooked in salty brown butter.

**** (mainly for the nose)

5 – Glendronach 2006 13 years Oloroso puncheon cask no. 3359 56.7%
Wow what a nose – cream, caramelised stone fruit, beautiful apricots and peaches, toasted brioche with mascarpone and hot toffee.

Palate has beautiful stone fruit and berries, some great toasty notes. Imagine brioche (again) with tinned pears cream and clove.

Finish is sweet and buttery… berry sweetness mixed with metallic elements not overwhelming at all but long and extremely pleasant.

****^

Whisky 2019 – 124-127

124 – Craigellachie 12 for Quaich Bar Cask #39215 PX
Nose that is strongly honeyed, with cold butter and minerality. Some liquorice and caramel, slight ozone and green hills. Palate has honey continuing, deep woody notes and controlled sulfur there is a lovely puff of marshmallow. That honey note is even in the finish and there is some real earthy soil.

****

125 – Springbank 12, 1996 NC2 by Duncan Taylor 46%
Nose of honey, hay and (unpleasantly) plasticine but the apricots and tropical fruits are positive. The palate is gentle and tropical with dried salted mango and a hint of peanut brittle. Simple finish of grape vines. Hmmm… disappointing.

**

126 – Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 2019 bourbon barrel for The Whisky Plus cask 7172 59%
Delicious grilled bananas with brown sugar on the nose followed by raspberry lollies, dried pineapple, vanilla and crushed ants. Palate is very bourbon like toasted pound cake with vanilla cream, butter, some stone fruit, waffle cones. Lovely long but simple finish of tropical fruits and rancio.

****

127 – Longrow 1993 10 year old
Nose of lemon barley! Some old bottle effect is there but it blows away with time to revea caramel, hay, salt and pepper. The palate has some Campbeltown funk, bruised apples in light caramel sauce with toasted sesame seeds. The finish has more bruised apple then apricot seeds and green grass.

****

Whisky 2019 – 55-57

55 – Craigellachie 1980, 16 years by Cadenhead 59.3%
Nose: wax, tropical fruit, vanilla candles, lemon balm, white peaches with cream, aspirin

Palate: autumn leaves, sweet and ripe tropical fruit, ash, stones, caramel

Finish: shaving cream, old leather, dry spice, apple skins, olive brine

****

56 – Port Charlotte 2001 bottled 2016 by Eld Vatten sherry hogshead #901
Nose: Chocolate, prunes, liquorice, bacon and cheese Cheetos, vanilla extract, wax

Palate: Baked apples, ashy, creme caramel, salty, brown sugar

Finish: Camp fireplace, cream

****

57 – Nikka Black Aromatic Fruity & Sweet limited edition 2017
Nose: melon, pears, wax

Palate: cream, apricots, old apples, pear juice, tropical fruit

Finish: cream and coffee

***

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 2017 – 178-183 – Suntory Tasting

178 – Yamazaki 10
Apricots and cream, leather, sarsaparilla, kiwi fruit. Dry, ginger biscuits, fruit cup, grilled pineapple.

179 – Hokuto
Egg whites, plastic, peanuts, chocolate, toasted grains, chocolate mousse, peanut brittle. Leather, soap, tobacco, passionfruit vine, leather.

180 – Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 18 Years
Apples, lemonade, boot polish, grape jelly, yeast buns, kiwi fruit, orange blossom water, cream in water, instant coffee grounds. Green wood, tobacco, menthol, rubber.

181 – Yamazaki Distillery Limited 2015
Honey, sponge cake, strawberry jam, leather, apricot, rubber. Rubber, vanilla, slightly medicinal, massive vanilla finish, jammy, dry cinnamon, passion fruit vine, tobacco, rock melon.

182 – Berry Brothers 1990 26 year old Craigellachie by Whisk-e for Ginza Zenith
Candle wax, stone fruit, a galvanized fence on a hot day, cheap caramel lollies, hand cream. Old whisky, cream, old apples, wax, cloves, ice coffee, grape skins.

183 – Glengoyne Single Cask 1985 21 Years, Cask 629 *
Brown sugar, orange zest, apple crumble, old apples, wood polish, shaving cream, rubber, maple syrup, soy sauce, musk. Rubber, dark chocolate bullets, old apples, plain corn chips, dry cinnamon, old sun drenched rubber, golden syrup.

Whisky 2017 – 130-135 – Balvenie Tasting

Huge tasting on at the Elysian. Alex Moores from Dark Valley brought back some very good hand drawn single cask bottles from Balvenie. Alex and I shared a few other drams afterwards. 

130 – Balvenie 13yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #2022, 61.7%
Ice cream on warm pine apple pudding, red apple skin, choc-banana muffins. Super huge raspberry, choc-banana muffins, loads of vanilla cream, gooseberry, leather, dried apple.

131 – Balvenie 14yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #13330, 53.2%
Fruit tingles, lemon and coconut cake, vanilla cream, strawberry jam. Great mouth feel, short bread, toasted coconut, strawberries, loads of cream, wood shavings, green herbs.

132 – Balvenie 14yo ex-sherry butt matured, cask #2378, 62.7%
Roasted corn cobs, treacle, crushed cloves, roasted almonds, peanut brittle, marshmallow, Earl grey tea cream. Woody, beef jus, rubber, peanut brittle, caramel taken too far, hazelnuts, Musk sticks, mushroom pate, tea tannins.


133 – The Whisky Find and The Mash Tun Craigellachie 1990 Cask 5401
Candle wax, soft gooey French cheese, dried apple, rock melon skin, caramel, fruit sherbet bombs, lemon butter. Bees wax, coconut, rock melon, coffee, strawberries, flowers, nasturtiums, caramels, salt.


134 – The Whisky Agency 2003 13 Years JD for Bistro Inn, The Elysian Whisky Bar and Drunken Master Bar
Butter soaked toast, crushed ants, tomatoes, rhubarb and whipped cream. Butter, cultured butter, cream, formic acid, cinnamon toast, dusty, raw almonds.


135 – The Arran 21st Anniversary Edition – Ex-Olorosso Cask
Cream, metallic apricots, toffee, chocolate, pouch tobacco, peanut brittle, hazelnut paste. Tobacco, apricots, green grass, cream, tinned pineapple, hazelnut butter.

And Whisky 2016 is go

And we are away. Bit of a break over January but we will be breaking 150 for the year again.

1 – The Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 15
Sultana Danish, pear juice, toffee, butterscotch, maple syrup on pancakes with sour cream. Dried mango, pepper, fruit cake, pound cake.

  
2 – The Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 14
Sultanas, brown sugar & butter, wood polish, green bananas. Huge palate, Xmas pudding, custard, salt, slight bitter, slightly woody, slightly sulphury, brown butter and dried stone fruit.

3 – The Coopers Choice Ben Nevis 1996
Eggy cake batter, my Nan’s apricot jam, slight milk chocolate. Apricots, floral, cake mix, vanilla sugar, chocolate milk shake, Sacher torte.

  

4 – G&M Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2001
Band-aids, peanuts, autumn leaves, mulch, cured sausage cooked on a fire. Fire place, liquid smoke, jersey creams and a walk down the avenue in late autumn.

Whisky 2015 – 56-60 – Last Great Malts tasting. 

Dewar’s Last Great Malts tasting at Whisky & Alement.

56 – Aberfeldy 12
A little rubber, sea salt, touch of vanilla fudge, slight oil, cucumber skin, pepper, dried orange zest. Slight salty, flinty and mineral, honey.

57 – Aultmore 12
Rubber, salt, cultured butter, chamomile, slight dusty note. Salt, grains, bracken, chamomile.

58 – Aberfeldy 21
Oranges zest, marmalade, pepper. Old leather and salt, dry and dusty. Delicious. (This was not part of the tasting)

59 – Craigellachie 13
Butter, stewed apples, custard, slight rubber. So buttery initially on the pallet, rubber and sulphur and some sugar.


After the tasting I introduced a couple of mates to the Signatory. The savvy Yao suggested the Old Malt Cask… but unfortunately with all the other drams I don’t think this one came through.

60 – Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 18
Suffers next to a half dram of the signatory. Buttery but I can’t pick up much else. I got some crazy like watermelon flavor in there.

Whisky 2015 – 51-53

51 – New World Projects Single Cask Release #3
Wood, caramel, maraschino cherries, bubblegum, slight cola, honey, egg whites, peanut butter and cloves. Butter, roasted peanuts, vanilla but the dry red wine barrel kills the finish for me.

52 – Glenmorangie Tùsail
Lovely bready nose, grainy and moist, toast, almost roasted onion sweetness and banana – would go well to finish a ploughman’s lunch. Vanilla, bitter herbs, salt and cream.

53 – Signatory Craigellachie 2002 11 years
Butterscotch, glue, rubber, sultanas, raisins, custard, fucking goddam strudel. Salt, huge caramel, sultanas steeped in brandy and vanilla.