Whisky 2020 – 40-44

Tasting with social distancing and isolation is a bit difficult. Things have certainly slowed down. Thankfully some whisky bars have been sending samples.

40 – SMWS 63.49 (Glentauchers) In the dark of the abyss

Nose is intensely vanilla, with delightful citrus rind. Some caramelised figs and hazelnuts, toasted marshmallow and musk.

Palate is very sherried. Very woody and a slight sulfur note. Dry cooking spices, vanilla cream, dried apricots and dates.

Finish rubber, wood char, toasted nuts, brown sugar and praline

****

41 – Four Roses Single Barrel – Warehouse KE Barrel 64.3E

Nose vanilla cream, cracked pepper, cardamom, crushed ants, raspberry and raspberry leaf, pink marshmallow and orange zest. A lovely backbone of shoe polish and spice.

Palate vanilla cream, buttery, nutty, some slight rubbery notes, mashed strawberries, Christmas biscuits.

Finish melted butter for days and fresh wood shavings.

****

42 – Benrinnes 1995/2019 23yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian Hogshead #9080, 48.5%

Nose of lemon, malt, honey and wax. That real “old whisky” waxy smell with slight tropical fruits.

Palate sweet like kiwi fruit and dusty mangos. Hay and boot polish. Finally some lovely liquorice and pepperiness.

As the palate fades a bolt of vanilla cream and aniseed that lingers

****^

43 – Glen Elgin 1995/2019 23yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian, Hogshead #3271, 51%

Tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, whipped cream and chewy meringue. Getting a slight medicinal sense?!

Great palate weight. A strange mix of floral, roses, chocolate bullets and black cats. Feels like an old whisky

Finish leather bound books, cream and potpourri

***

44 – Caol Ila 2006/2019 12yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian, Hogshead #311572, 57%

Medicinal honey. Aspirin! Salty and mineral. Pink lady apples and fairy floss.

Palate is autumn leaves, seaweed and forgotten oyster shells. Caramel and cream.

Finish is sea spray, autumn leaves and cream.

(As an aside we had a piece of white chocolate at the end and wow! Islay and white chocolate… who knew! Try it!)

****

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

***

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

*****

Whisky 2016 – 124-127 Bar Chèvre, Kyoto

124 – 3 Rivers Ben Nevis 1996 19 Years “The Dance”
Unmistakable Ben Nevis cake mix, marmalade, apricots, gentle cloves, pepper, butter powder. Green, coffee, less honey, flintiness, milk chocolate.

125 – The Arran Exclusive for Whisk-e 1997 18 Years Sherry Hogshead
Oranges, vanilla, heady, hand cream. Vanilla, cream, pound cake, sooooo creamy, gas, leather, salt.

126 – 1975 Glen Elgin 34 years for Bar Superhero 3rd Anniversary ny Kingsbury & Co
Melons, kiwifruit, egg whites, pavlova, apples and plums. Tobacco, rum, honey cakes, delightful fruit cocktail.

127 – Salon de Shimaji Pen x Shinanoya Glenfarclas 19 years Cask 3781
Apricots, passionfruit, maple syrup, wood, musk, orange zest. Orange juice, pancakes, maple syrup, Xmas fruit and cream, salt, cloves, coffee.