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 2o16 – 171-174

171 – Old Malt Cask 1997 Auchentoshan for The Mashtun
Malt, clover, lemon zest, cocoa, hand cream, slight gluey note. Sweet and milky like condensed milk, salty, milk chocolate, cream, cold butter, cloves

172 – Gordon & MacPhail Glenturret 2004 for Gilles Club Australia
Gravy, beef, maple syrup, leather and cigars. Sarsaparilla, butter, brown sugar, cloves, salt, heavy and friendly.

173 – Ichiro’s Malt ‘Malt Dream Cask’ 2008 Cask 200 Bourbon Barrel
Vanilla cake, strawberry jam, green grass, flat coke, cream. Pineapple, brown sugar, malt, salt, tropical fruits, cream, wonderful long finish, cloves, melted butter, fruit cake fried in butter.

174 – Bowmore Voyage Port Cask Bottle 0143
Toffee, properly good bacon, salt, garden peas with mint. Caramels, roses, salt, licorice, musk, salt, medicinal, tansy cakes.

Whisky 2016 – 128-131 Bar Cordon Noir, Kyoto

I’ve had a lot of good whisky over the past few weeks. Ichiro’s Cask 2688 and the Chieftan’s Springbank were no exception – both wonderful drams. 

128 – Hart Brothers 1966 Ben Nevis 39 Years
Marzipan, apricot jam, leather, formic acid, golden syrup. Pan cakes, vanilla, touch of brown sugar, wood, crushed ants, stewed apples.

129 – Chieftan’s Springbank 1972 30 Years Cask 410
Old leather couches, boot polish, corn chips, salt and vinegar crisps, maple syrup, peanut brittle. Apples, cigar smoke, leather, beef stock, cloves, dry spice, over baked meringue, woody.

130 – Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt 2011 Mizunara Heads Cask 1429
Bananas, honey dew melon, Darjeeling tea, honey. Honey, salted butter, salt, toast, green herbs, orange cordial, kiwi fruit, mango.

131 – Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt 2013 American White Oak Cask 2688
Intense yeast, malt, bananas, whipped cream. Malty, HUGE maple syrup, salted butter, pancakes, tobacco, brown bread.

Whisky 2016 – 37-40 (Bar White Oak)

Opening of Bar White Oak at Whisky and Alement. Rare Japanese whisky incoming for the next couple of months probably until I go to Japan.

37 – Ichiro’s Malt Bartender’s Choice 2015
Yeast, banana bread, grainy, honeydew melon, stone fruit, chocolate mousse. Banana leaf, bitter leaves, salt, brown bread and cold salted butter, orange pith.


38 – Ocean (Karuizawa) Hanshin Tigers (early 2000s)
Cream, wood varnish, salt and white pepper, plump raisins. Figs, prunes, slight salty and bitter notes, very elegant (for a baseball team!), peanuts, ice coffee with whipped cream.


39 – Ichiro’s Malt and EPower Chichubu Casks #1490 and #1683
Honey, toasted grains, pollen, green bananas, pizza dough, toasted banana sandwich. Vanilla cream, cloves, grain bread, bananas.

40 – Mars Komagatake 1988 Cask 555 White American Oak
Wood glue, boot polish, maple syrup, vanilla bean, geranium. Slightly medicinal, maple, wood, Manuka honey, salty, herbaceous, butter, apricot brandy.

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 – 117-122 (The Mash Tun, Meguro, Tokyo)

I had two great nights at The Mash Tun in Meguro, Tokyo. It’s a short walk from Meguro station and by Tokyo standards easy to find.

The Mash Tun has the largest collection of Cadenhead bottlings I’ve seen, maybe close to 40. While many of the locals (in fact now that I think about it all of them) were tucking into Cadenhead, I was there for the Japanese stuff you just can not get in Australia.

  
117 – Ichiro’s Malt – Whisky Talk 2015
Typical Japanese creaminess, cocoa, autumn leaves, salt, slight gassy note, angry dust. Tastes like it smells. Which is unusual. The peat is really subtle. I can taste this in my throat.

118 – Blackadder and Ichiro’s malt 5 year
Chestnut honey, flour, floral, ginger, egg white, clove and cola. Honey and cola. Really delicious. The sweetness is complex like brown/black sugar.

119 – Karuizawa TIBS 2012
Rubber, apricots, chocolate, maple syrup. Rubber, vanilla, pepper, sulfur, clove, salt, maple syrup.

  
120 – Fuji Gotemba Single Grain Blender’s Choice 2014 029/500
Bananas, coconut, formic acid, some acetone, apricots with ice cream. Butter, crushed ants, vanilla, tropical fruits, toasted hazelnuts.

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.

  
122 – Hanyu King and 6 of Spades Cask 123 (Grappa Cask)
Slight woody pine notes, vanilla, roses, dried strawberries, chocolate and a bit medicinal. Peppery and spicy, instant coffee, a touch of vanilla, strawberries in a day old chocolate cake, length that lasts forever.

  

Whisky 2015 – 104-106

104 – Mars Maltage “Cosmo”
Green almonds, pickled onions, tequila, gin botanicals. Thin and kinda gin like with a bit of vanilla, olive brine and salt. Not really a fan.

105 – Ichiro’s Malt Mizunara Wood Release
Initially woody, creamy and crushed ants – had time to open up and now smells quite alcoholic and resiny with like almond hazelnut biscuits and tobacco. Elegant on the pallet, feels like nothing is out of place – vanilla, wood, some tropical fruits.

106 – Adelphi Glenturret 27 Years
Underripe mango, nutty and chocolate, orange zest, zinc(?!). Huge tropical fruit hit turning to the mist of rain, with passion fruit semi freddo and nougat.