Whisky 2020 – 19-24

19 – Glen Elgin 1995 by The Whisky Agency 23 years 48.2%

Nose is beautifully waxy and full of tropical fruits, river stones, marshmallow and green apricots. It is beautifully elegant.

Palate is initially sweet and pure and cheeky like raspberry lollies. Green grass, green mangos, cream which leads to riper mango flavours.

Finish is creamy and loooooong. Slight hints of salt, minerals and fruit.

****^

20 – Highland Park 2003, 14 years bottled for Duty Zero cask 6138

Nose is richly peated and sherried; like a beautiful smoked ham dipped in toffee. Walking through an orchard in autumn.

Loads of minerality on the palate, honey, toffee pecans and green sticks.

The finish is a lovely mix of charcoal and marshmallow

****

21 – Balblair 1990 by Kingsbury 23 years refill sherry cask 10116 52.9%

Nose honey, mandarin, leather, cloves, peanut shells. Very restrained.

Palate is powerful and eye opening. Honey and reserved citrus – like a citrus gel. Toffee and burnt caramel and apricots.

Finish waxy and gentle citrus.

****^

22 – 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.

*****

23 – SMWS 80.10 “Champagne and Roses” Glen Spey 11 years 55.8%

Nose is honey and floral, slightly nutty and toasted, pine resin

Palate is quite dry and hot … super biscuity, loads of shortbread. I understand why “roses” is in the title as it is slightly floral and rose hips.

Finish is green sticks, salt and slight cream

**^

24 – SMWS 9.167 “Part of the furniture” Glen Grant 23 years

I’m digging the nose apricots, hand cream and sticky date pud, maple walnuts

Palate is straightforward coffee, green grass, cream, green mango

Finish of chalk and tropical fruit

***

Top 5 for 2019

My favourites from 2019, in no particular order.

11 – Bowmore Hand-filled 54.0%

42 – Ichiro’s Malt Single Cask 2019 rum Cask #5821 9 years old

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

90 – Bowmore 1995 by Wemyss “Nostalgic 70’s Flavour”

100 – Balmenach 2001 by MASAM cask 06/06081

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 – 88-90

88 – Springbank 1989 bottled 2002 by Cadenhead Sherry Puncheon 56.1%

Nice nose of caramel and furniture polish, bruised apples and salt flakes on chocolate mousse.

A really intense palate… wow! Pencil shavings, toasted coconut, liquorice and molasses. The mouthfeel is intensely thick and honeyed.

With the finish the liquorice lingers on top of an eggy chewy toasted meringue.

****

89 – Springbank 17 Year Old Sherry Wood bottled 2015

Lovely umami like nose – gunpowder mixed with dashi, milk caramels sitting in dusty drawers.

Classic springbank palate; funk, dried fruit and bruised apples. A slight dusty xmas pudding and hints of toasted marshmallow.

The finish is old world charm of sitting in an old leather chair eating the cream on top of a roasted apple.

****

90 – Bowmore 1995 by Wemyss “Nostalgic 70’s Flavour”

An intense nose of spiciness and jersey caramel. I’m immediately thinking freshly grated nutmeg. Pencil shavings on chocolate mango pudding.

On the palate a beautiful whisky, showing balance and charm. Red apple, mangoes, loads of fruit and gentle spice. This is a coconut drenched old whisky. There is real elegance here.

To finish red apples and tropical fruit by the seaside

A dram to return to many times!

*****

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 2019 – 61-67, Fleurieu Tasting

61 – Springbank 15 (early 2000s bottle)
Nose: Nose of a wax dipped brown banana, caramel dipped old apples, pencil shavings and a hot chocolate on a dusty shelf, hit of my mother’s apricot jam on a honey joy biscuit.

Palate: Beautiful mouth feel, cooling even. A very gentle whisky Honey, burnt rocks and old cream. Green leaves about to smoke.

Finish: Old wood, green leaf smoke and apple snow.

*****

62 – Fleurieu New Make
Nose: Apricot kernels, raw dough, apricots, raisins

Palate: Super intense fruit sugar, raisins, pastry

Finish: Gentle citrus

(No score as new make)

63 – Fleurieu Fountain of Youth 53.3%
Nose: Chestnut flower honey, rubber, salt water taffy

Palate: Raisins, old butter, golden syrup, green figs

Finish: Prunes and muscat grapes

***

64 – Fleurieu single port cask, selected by Whisky and Alement 49.7%
Nose: Super intense sweet honey and again the metallic taste of chestnut honey, white cheese mould, lemsip, grape seed

Palate: Plum cake, salt, cold butter, sweet jasmine tea

Finish: Prunes in maple syrup

Still a bit young for me

***

65 – Fleurieu Cartoon Lourve peated port and sherry cask (Not released)
Nose: Spicy rubber, honey and plums, smells very sweet

Palate: Chocolate, ash and madarin

Finish: Honeycomb and cream

****

66 – Fleurieu 7 Banger blend of 7 105L casks (Not released)
Nose: Cake, cake, cake and more cake, chocolate mousse, pepper and grape seed, cardamom

Palate: Creamy, salt, prunes, plums with a great mouthful, chalky and marshmallow, spicey cake

Finish: Salty butter, plums

***

67 – Fleurieu We’ll Always Have Paris – peated cask strength
Nose: Leaves, caramel, blue vein cheese, grapes and prunes

Palate: Burnt chocolate cake, ashy rocks, prunes, with some great mineral elements

Finish: Old leaves, prunes, grape seed

***

Whisky 2019 – 51-54 – Silver Seal Tasting

51 – Glen Elgin 1995 by Silver Seal – Madame Butterfly 51.9%
Nose: Cake mix, lemon zest, glacé fruit, milk coffee, kiwi fruit, pineapple, cherries

Palate: hot, heavy dough, salty, biscuits, marzipan, kiwi

Finish: pepper, spice, toasty eggy cakes

****

52 – Glen Garioch 1990 by Silver Seal – La Norma
Nose: Toasted coconut, white peach, leather, sea salt caramel, cream

Palate: Toffee, almonds, orange zest, nashi pear, nectarines, dry leaves

Finish: Old papayas, cream

****

53 – Glenburgie 1989 by Silver Seal – Cavalleria Rusticania
Nose: Grilled pineapple, mango, cream, caramel, cake mix, formic acid, yeast, stone fruit, malty

Palate: Brown sugar, grilled tropical fruits, cream, spices, dried cherries, tobacco

Finish: Cream, spice, salt

****

54 – Bowmore 1990 by Silver Seal – Pagliacci
Nose: Cream, pencil shavings, caramel, pound cake, dry leaves, prunes, paprika

Palate: Kiwi, beautifully clean sugars, salted lemon drops,

Finish: Beautiful clean tropical fruit, flinty, minerally

*****