Whisky 2017 – 197-203 – The Society Bar, Tokyo

Great set of whiskies to finish my trip in Japan and hit 200. The staff at The Society Bar took good care of us. The Linkwood SMWS definitely one of the best this year.

198 – SMWS 3.268 (Bowmore) Lady beachcomber’s dram 1995 20 years
Yeasty, bread, sea salt, caramels, juicy stone fruit, sponge cake, liquorice, strawberry and apricot jam, cherries. Green leaves, chocolate, chilli, old lace, lavender, cakes, sea water, rocks in a fire, chocolate mousse, dashi.

199 – SMWS 96.9 (Glendronach) Icy – Chill 2007, 8 Years
Cream, peanut butter caramels, roses, peanut brittle, with water candied apples, grilled pineapples. Yoghurt, almonds, green vines, with water loads of cakey notes, vanilla, hints of rubber, clove and leather.

200 – SMWS 39.102 (Linkwood) Rum-soaked black cherries 23 years *
Crushed ants, woody, maraschino cherries. Such a gentle dram, buttery, cake, sweet fruit like glacé apricots, pencil shavings, honey, salt, butter, old butter and sherry. The finish is forever – apples, cloves, melted butter and crisps.

201 – Ichiro’s Malt Single Cask 706 2010, 4 Years – bottled for Modern Malt Whisky Market in Osaka
Weet-box with milk and honey, medicinal, caramel, lemon butter, pound cake, glacé orange peel. Grains, multigrain bread, salted butter, wicker chairs, burnt butter with walnuts.

202 – Blackadder Ichiro’s Malt Cask 2630 PX Cask June 2010 6 Years
Apples, chocolate cake, sarsaparilla, cloves, old butter, crushed ants, dried apricots. Cloves, cake mix, passionfruit vines, chocolate and herbs.

203 – Ichiro’s Malt The Peated 2015, Distilled 2011
Medicinal, malt, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake, metallic, stewed apricots. Charcoal, heather, leather, soot, fruit dipped in caramel, lantana, candles blown out on a birthday cake.

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Whisky 2017 – 166-171 – The Gresham, Brisbane

Back in Brisbane for work and I took the opportunity to visit The Gresham again. Fun place, not up to the standard of Mebourne’s biggies but a solid selection. The Octomore 7.3 was excellent! 

166 – Signatory Glenturret 1987 Hogshead Cask 374 50.1%
Short bread, preserved lemons, leather, caramel, Marion’s fruit buns, jelly fruits. Herbaceous, peaches, apricots, butter, cream, salt, tobacco, menthol, hobnobs, milk chocolate.

167 – SMWS 46.32 Glenlossie “Summertime and the whisky is easy” 1992 22 years
Toffees, Madeira cake, kiwi fruit, pineapple daiquiri, malty, macadamias, soapy, bubbling bicarb. Disappointing and confused on the palate the butter hits after a strange bitter note, stone fruits, sulfur, shortbread, slight iced coffee.

168 – Glendronach 2003 PX Puncheon Cask 4034
Wood shavings, marshmallows, pineapple upsidedown cake, lemon butter, chicos, peanut brittle and ozone. Whipped cream, wood, leather, salt, roasted peanuts, rose petals, melted butter, hazelnuts, loads of Manzanilla, weak raspberry cordial, still young and fresh, slightly dusty and green almonds, chestnut cake.

169 – Glendronach Peated
Cream, apples, band aids, imperial leather soap. A really pleasant dram fruity (peaches and apples) and friendly, some oaky and buttery notes and a touch of flinty smoke. Pretty simple but easy drinking.

170 – Ardbeg Kelpie
Heather, leather, cream, caps, salt, pink pepper corns, honey, plastic toys, ham on rye, apple snow. Earthy and leafy, flint, coals in a cold fire, cream, Guinness – better on the nose.

171 – Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3
Caramel toffees, plasticine, Eaton mess, smoke, wood glue, fake Parmesan, milk chocolate, leafy. Quite dry and smokey, bacon and HP sauce sandwich, dried apple rings, sulfur, salt, cream, tea tannins, burning leather and bracken.

Whisky 2017 – 139-141 – Baxters Inn, Sydney

Traveling for work again. Had a chance to finally get to Baxters Inn in Sydney. Some great whisky there but these places like Boiler Maker house in Melbourne and The Gresham in Brisbane only ever are really able to cater to the whisky nerd when it is quiet. I had a good chat to some of the staff before the throngs arrived and saw some of their lovely older bottlings in their whisky room but it’s a busy busy drinking barn – difficult to enjoy a dram. 

How good is old Bowmore! 

139 – Littlemill 1988 Cask 57 25 Years Berry Bros
Shortbread, cream, vanilla, plastic, new make. Fresh apricots in caramel sauce with ice cream, passionfruit vine, hand cream, salt.


140 – Bowmore 17 (1990s bottling)
Honey, fruitcake, salt, hay, barnyard, chocolate milk, band-aids, dusty butter. Honey, salt, raisins, bandaids, green peppercorns, clover, hazelnuts, pencil shavings. 


141 – Glendronach Olorosso Sherry Butt Cask 76, 1992 23 years
Bubblegum, rhubarb, swimming in melted butter, mushrooms, dates, hazelnuts butter, brown sugar. Chocolate, buttter, wood, salt – a little underpowered for a single cask Glendronach. Eventually  butter, crushed ants and flapjacks on the finish. Great nose but a disappointing Glendronach single cask. 

Whisky 2017 – 111-113 – The Gresham, Brisbane

So in Brisbane for work. Always trying to find whisky bars and discover The Gresham an SMWS bar. Had a great time and the staff were quite knowledge. Not really a quiet bar but still a good selection with some 2015 SMWS bottlings that are long gone. 

111 – SMWS 9.83 Tiger balm, limoncello and scented candles (Glen Grant)
Raw peanuts, spring onions, lemon zest, tinned pineapple, nail polish remover, vanilla and apricot crumble. Zingy totally understand the limoncello and tiger balm, over fried garlic, green onions (in a good way – first time I’ve thought that), with time cocoa, old butter and dusty.

112 – Glendronach 1992 24 years olorosso butt cask 226 %58.4%
Match heads, old apples, caramel, pepper, rhubarb compote, dust, roasted shallots, balsamic reduction. Wow so deep and heavy, soy sauce caramel, dusty, old apples, mushroom funk, gravox, cocoa, melted butter, red apple skin, caramel.

113 – Glendronach 1989 26 years olorosso butt cask 2662 54.5%
Apricot jam, caramel, Granny Smith apples, pound cake, really good tomatoes, pound cake. Tobacco, chocolate, weeds, plastics, dust, savory, old apples, slightly funky, old leather, shaving cream, flint, burnt onions, tarte tatin.

Whisky 2017 – 52-57 – Back In Melbourne

52 – The Whisky Agency Casa De Vinos Ben Nevis 17 Years 2016
Honey, salted butter, golden syrup, kiwifruit, pear nectar. Chocolate mousse, orange segments, salt, green herbs, grilled pineapple, vanilla pudding, green grass.


53 – Glen Garioch for Shinanoya Ginza 21st Anniversary Bourbon Barrel 657 15 Years
Egg nog, flat Coke, vanilla, pine, hazelnuts, rose petals. Musk, white pepper, sarsaparilla, crushed ants, vanilla, slight sulphur.


54 – Adelphi Longmorn 28 Years 1985
Slight motor oil, grilled pineapple, green tomatoes, black jellybeans. Malty bread with butter, green herbs, grilled pineapple, salt.

55 – The Exclusive Grains Port Dundas 1991 25 years Cask 50412
Salami, honey, lemon zest, roasted quails with salt and pepper sauce, soy sauce. Tropical fruit, oily fish, green garlic shoots.


56 – Distilleries Collection Miltonduff 17 Years 1996
Glue, honey, salty butter, caramel, dried peaches and pears. Dry cake mix, vanishes away to nothing, caramel and bitter herbs.

57 – Glendronach 2003 for Sansibar Cask 4630 PX Cask
Dried apricots, pancakes with butter, glacé lemon, orange syrup, cocoa, pencil shavings. Stewed apricots, Xmas spice, dark chocolate, sultanas, vanilla, orange blossom water, sarsaparilla and malt.

Whisky 2017 – 41-48 – The Auld Alliance, Singapore

OK – So I went to the Auld Alliance in Singapore. Wow! I understand why it is regarded as the world’s best whisky bar. Yes, it was expensive but completely worth it – my only problem was my mistake ordering the Benrinnes. It is a fabulous dram, don’t get me wrong but didn’t really sit well with the other drams – a slight misstep when you are overwhelmed with such an imposing list. 

The Card Series were impeccable. I know there is a brouhaha regarding Japanese whisky prices and is it worth it. For me I tried three stunning, unique and consistent drams that deserve significant praise. 

The staff presented me with a mystery dram at the end a 1977 Sherry cask bottling of something Speyside. For me this was Ben Nevis but who knows. 

41 – Springbank 15 Years Old Tall Bottle from the 80s
Apricots, hand cream, brown sugar, plump raisins. Stunning mouthfeel, wonderfully spiced, salty, slight warm malt cake, stewed apricots dolloped with cream, cake mix.

42 – Springbank 12 Years Old tall bottle from the 80s
Fruit on a cheese platter, coffee grounds, tropical cordial. Leather, cream, perfumed soap, salt, slight tropical fruit sweetness, woody spices on the finish, malty.


43 – Benrinnes Silver Seal 30 Years 1984 Cask 2268
Malty, stone fruit, banana leaf. Hot, cake, leather, salt, maraschino cherries, Sacher torte, malt loaf with butter.


44 – Glendronach 31 Years 1978 Olorosso Sherry Cask 1040
Gravox, maple syrup, rubber, chocolate mousse, sulphur. Heavy and unctuous just crazy mouth feel, berry jam taken within an inch of its life, angry caramel, match heads, boot polish, motor oil.


45 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 7 of Diamonds 1991 19 Years PX 2nd fill Cask 9031
Caramel, grappa, peanuts, stewed apple, vanilla, turps, sarsaparilla, German spice biscuits. Woody, perfume, bacon fat, smoked praprika, peanut brittle, gooseberries and stone fruit, milk chocolate.


46 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 10 of Clubs 1990 PX 2nd fill Cask 9032
Wonderful cocoa and musk nose, orange marmalade, crepes with butter and cream, boozy stewed stone fruit. Toffee apples, cream, orange blossoms, leather, cream, white pepper, slight meaty note, white peaches, salt.


l47 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series King of Hearts 1986 PX 2nd fill Cask 9033
Smoked paprika, grape skins, roast chicken, Coke spider, sarsaparilla, musk, dark chocolate. Maple syrup, roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cream on Xmas pudding, rockmelon, salty, rose hips, dry ginger.


48 – The Auld Alliance 1977 Sherry Cask (perhaps Ben Nevis)
Chocolate, dried apricots, salty butter, cake mix, yeast. Cake mix, apricots, leather, green peppercorns, cocoa, green herbs and salt, chocolate mousse, tobacco, spiced pumpkin.

Whisky 2015 – 113-116

  113 – SMWS 123.9 The Big Fat Tipsy Wedding (Glengoyne)
Chocolate, menthol, pine needles, dates, maraschino cherries, pink marshmallow, cinnamon ice cream. Spicy, cola, star anise, nutmeg and eggnog.

114 – Blackadder 1991 Glencadam
Prunes, marzipan, vanilla pudding, slight plastic note, light cinnamon and chocolate mousse. Orange marmalade, salt, herbs, citrus, glacé cherries. Slightly bitter finish that isn’t quite right but gives way to marzipan.

115 – Glenfarclas 103 Proof 15 Years
Liquid paper, peach schnapps, chocolate pudding, pain aux raisin. Big fruitcake, stone fruit and raisins. Nice.

116 – Glendronach Tawny Port Finish 18 Years
Chocolate, cucumber, Brazil nuts, Mexican hot chocolate, dates, overripe banana. Sweet and elegant – slightly rubbery, chocolate and cake spice. Had a refreshing finish, almost like an iced tea with some salt and pepper.