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 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 – 121-123 The Mash Tun, Tokyo

121 – Salon de Shimaji Pen x Shinanoya Hanyu 2000 14 years Mizunara heads
Chocolate box, Terry’s chocolate orange, lemon balm, balsa wood, lemonade. Spice busicuits, short bread, doughnuts, honey, marshmallow, salt.

122 – Mars 618 20 Years 1989(?) Single Cask
Egg whites, whipped cream, milk chocolate, strawberries, green peppercorns. Dry to begin then crushed ants, huge vanilla, tannic salty mouth with a finish that just keeps going, cloves and sarsaparilla.

123 – Suntory Hakushu 1988 Bourbon Cask 8J40514
Plastic, chocolate, flinty, strawberry jam and whipped cream on scones, kiwifruit and pineapple. Pina colada, medicinal, coal, tropical cordial, salt, chocolates by a campfire, leather and bracken. A beast of a whisky!

Whisky 2016 – 78-81

78 – SMWS 128.6 Rumbling, reverberating resonances (Penderyn)
Wood glue, turps, banana cream pie, Christmas pud. Huge caramel and banana, sweet and delicious, butter and honey.

79 – SMWS 76.125 Enticing sweetness and attractive wood (Mortlach)
Apricot jam, sponge cake, wood turps, salt and pepper. Rock melon, brown sugar, yoghurt, passionfruit vine, brandy butter, great tropical fruit.

80 – Gaiaflow Eigashima Sakura 2015
Wood, chocolate, cocoa, pepper. Honey to maple syrup, butter, pepper, clove, sarsaparilla, flight dusty note. Wonderful whisky.

81 – Yamazaki Whisky Shop WSO-005 2013 (Red Wine Cask)
Red apple, red wine tannins, maple wood, pastrami (?!?), chiffon cake, ginger. Apples crumble, clean and balanced, candle wax, cinnamon, cloves.

Whisky 2016 – 65-67

65 – SMWS 127.44 Cantina Mexicana (Bruichladdich)
Plastic, sulphur, salt, pulled pork, roasted capsicum and pickled chilies, peppery. Taken aback by the initial sweetness, peppery and chilies, bitter cocoa, mustard fruits, toffee and rubber.

66 – Riverstown Ben Nevis 16 Years
Cream, bourbon, tiramisu, caramel, stewed apricots, candied orange, toasted coconut. Marmalade, toffee, cucumber, cream, pepper, yoghurt.

67 – White Oak Akashi 14 Years (White wine finish)
Beef stock, brown sugar, varnish, turps, leather. Brown sugar, maple, slightly floral, heavy and delicious.