Whisky 2017 – 82-84

Three outstanding drams last night. How do these become independent bottlings? Glenrothes really need to look at what IBs are doing with their casks – heavy and black sherry bombs!

The Glenrothes was bottled for 6 bars across Asia, including my local The Elysian Whisky Bar and my favourite Tokyo bar, The Mash Tun. It’s an incredibly heavy and complex dram – a huge congratulations to Kelvin and Yao and everyone else involved in this bottling. 

82 – Club Qing 1975 40 Years Speyside Sherry Fino Butt, Cask KT518
Wood glue, hazelnuts, vanilla essence, white pepper, cardamom meringue, pound cake, warm Coke. Golden syrup, loads of brown butter, stewed stone fruit, egg white, raspberry, raspberry leaf, milk chocolate mousse, tropical fruit, licorice. Wow!!


83 – Three Rivers Glen Garioch 1995 21 Years Whisky for Whisky Lovers Nagoya
Coconut rough, turps, cold butter, tropical fruit. Green grass, pepper, tropical fruits, peach Melba, salty butter, old pop corn (but not in a bad way).


84 – The Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1997 (for 6 bars including The Elysian and The Mash Tun)
Butter, rubber, musk, lpg, roast chicken gravy, leather, roasted shallot sweetness, grilled pineapple. Rose hip jam, musk lollies, tea tannins, old butter, cola, salt, coffee grounds, ice coffee, fried eggs, camomile tea. With water maple syrup, pancakes, breakfast fruits – watermelon and mint, brown sugar.

Whisky 2016 – Favourites of 2016

179 Whiskies done this year. Here are my top 5 in no particular order. 

89 – Spencer Collings & Co The Founders Release
Brown sugar, dark toffee, honey comb, sarsaparilla, marshmallow, vanilla. Honey, toffee, caramel, dark malt cake. Stunning heavy whisky.

102 – Ben Nevis The Whisky Agency 2013 1995 18 Years
Old leather, cake mix, almonds, green herbs, hazelnuts, as it opens up more and more cake mix – it is stunning. Slow to start but this amazingly long cake mix thing which lasts and lasts, apricot jam in a cake.

109 – Springbank 12 1990s bottling
Christmas cake, dusty and fruity, brandy, brown sugar, salty butter, rose hips, egg white, apricot . Huge butter, caramel and rubber, coffee, apricot delight, passion fruit. Brilliant.

136 – The Whisky Agency Ben Nevis 17 Years 1996 for The Mash Tun
Sweat (in a good way), caramel, salt, marmalade, creme brûlée, honey ice cream, baked potatoes. Tropical fruit, ice coffee, salt, butter in coffee, egg custard. Wonderful.

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.

Whisky 2016 – 106 Old Crow Bar, Zurich

So more traveling this time in Zurich. Jetlagged to hell, I decided that is was worth trying to find the Old Crow Bar. Bloody hell was it worth it! I’ll be going back again during my short stay. 

I had two drams; a Glendronach 15 Revival (geddit??) I’d had many times before but this Ben Nevis is up there with some of the best whisky I have had. Not the huge jammy apricots or marmalade that I associate with Ben Nevis but loads of cocoa and chocolate and so elegant. 

106 – Ben Nevis 1973 1999 Cask 750
Sarsaparilla, maple syrup, medicinal, vanilla, maraschino cherry. Cloves, cocoa, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, green herbs, musk, slight fruit. 

Whisky 2016 – 68-76 (Kavalan Tasting)

68 – Kavalan Solist Manzanilla
Gluey, woody, smells hot and salty, nutty. Unexpected sweetness, dried orange and apricot, Terry’s chocolate orange, floral, mango Weiss bars.

69 – Kavalan Solist Amontillado
Glue, musk, wood, brown sugar, caramel, melted cultured butter. Salty, leather, brown sugar, caramel, walnuts oil, loads of musk on the finish, bitter almonds, toasted almonds. Maybe a bit bitter for me.

70 – Kavalan Solist Moscatel
Chicos, milk chocolate, instant coffee, treacle and I’m reminded of little thyme flowers. Smooth so so smooth, butter loads of it, honey, caramel, maple syrup, maybe some passionfruit and just freaking good.

71 – Kavalan Solist PX (Pedro Ximenez)
Corn tempura, butter, cream, dried fruits. Really smooth big tropical fruits, macerated berries, slight mint, slight motor oil.

72 – Kavalan Solist Fino
Glue, dry sherry (ha!), rock melon, coffee, white peaches and cream. Tropical fruit, caramels, salt, creamy, rose water.

73 – Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
Vanilla and chocolate, Xmas spice, toasted coconut. Jasmine, cold milk tea, tropical fruits.

74 – Rest and Be Thankful Bunnahabhain 1989
Green grass, old bananas, brown sugar, passionfruit vine. Coffee, cream, caramel, salt, thyme and a slight iodine hit.

75 – Finlaggan The Original
Iodine, sweet, sea water, cream, caramel, cherry wood. Sea water, pepper, prunes and iodine.

76 – Blair Athol Manager’s Choice Cask 5989
Toffee apple, sulphur, brandy, chicos, egg white, aged sake maybe. Cream, apricot delight, toffee, caramel, apples skins.

Whisky 2016 – 57-64 Bruichladdich Tasting

57 – Laddie Classic Batch 16/004
Chicos, green herbs, wood, rubbery, toasted almonds, roses. Caramel, sea salt, leather, custard

58 – Micro Provenance 12YO Sherry Hogshead
Bitter cocoa, hand cream, slight clove cigarette, brown sugar, huge sherry, Chinese herbs. Rubber, dry white wine, brown sugar, rum, sarsaparilla. Lovely.

59 – Port Charlotte Scottish Barley
Fake Parmesan cheese, plastic, iodine, seaweed, boiled sweets, lemon zest. Salty, dry herbs, slight bacon.

60 – Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008
Glue, new make, tequila, ozone, plastic. Sugary, herby, tobacco smoke, BBQ meats.

61 – Octomore 7.1 Scottish Barley
Butterscotch, caramel, salty sea. Sea weed, iodine, slight smoked meat, dry herbs and salty.

62 – Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak
Hospital, iodine and clove, strawberry cheese cake. Dry cake spices, clove cigarette. Great!

63 – Arran Private Cask Milano Whisky Festival 2014 6 year sherry Hogshead
Crushed ants, dusty, salt, butter, grilled peaches. Butter, toasted, sarsaparilla, custard, peaches, woody and perfumed. Definitely in my top 5 for the year. 

64 – Adelphi Glenrothes 9 Years
Chicos, dusty, wood glue, cloves, pound cake, prunes, plums, tea. Caramel, custard, cloves, spiced biscuits, white pepper and cream.

Favourites of 2015

I’ll probably have a few more drams this year but these have been my favourites for 2015.

49 – SMWS 124.4 (Miyagikyo) Full of Secret Pleasures
Muscat, port, Sherry fino, rubber, dry warmth, oil soaked rags, spices cloves and anise, maple. German spice biscuits, a rubber fire, cocoa, liquorice, toasted bran, so much going on. Jeezus!

70 – Heartwood Beagle 3
Pine resin, the sweet end of turps, marijuana, chocolate, crushed ants, tomato vine. Tobacco, leather, pepper, beef jerky, super powerful vanilla – it’s really chewy and salty. With time pina colada on the nose and beautiful rich thick caramel. Wow! Really impressed. One of the best for 2015.

121 – Ichiro’s Malt 2015 Tokyo International Bar Show Cask 2360
Wow just wow – favourite for the year!! Banana, ice cream, malty bread with butter, tomato paste, fruit tingles, slight vino cotto, CHICOS. Yeast, brown bread, vanilla, banana bread, prunes, plums, grapes.

143 – Whisky Base Ben Nevis
So much honey, aspirin, maple syrup, butter on crumpets. Melted salted butter, cloves and vanilla cream – it’s such a beautifully structured whisky nothing is offensive or is aggressive, pipe tobacco, tiny bit of pineapple and mango.

164 – Cadenhead Glenrothes-Glenlivet 24
Sulphur, gas, maple syrup, wood, chicos, brown tea and hay. Salt, wood, rubber, maple, dried strawberries or maybe strawberry jam, brown sugar, rum, brandy butter, caramel, chocolate and LPG. So damn complex.

Whisky 2015 – 142-144

142 – SMWS 29.161 (Laphroaig) A bodega is burning
Wow – chocolate, plasticine, peat, leather. Slight iodine, medicinal notes that mix up with cocoa, smoke and chalk, some passionfruit(?!?), wet autumn leaves.

143 – Whiskybase Ben Nevis
So much honey, aspirin, maple syrup, butter on crumpets. Melted salted butter, cloves and vanilla cream – it’s such a beautifully structured whisky nothing is offensive or is aggressive, pipe tobacco, tiny bit of pineapple and mango.

144 – Heartwood Any port in storm
Sarsaparilla, dark chocolate, musk, musty, dark leather, coffee liqueur. Perfume, gasoline, butter, maple syrup, wood, caramels, cloves, leather, salty, dried stone fruits. So good.