Whisky 2020 – 1-5

Kicking off for 2020. For reference ^ is half a star.

1 – Glenlossie 22 Years 1997 by Maltbarn no. 117 bourbon cask
Nose is full of apricots and glacé ginger on top of a vanilla pound cake, layers of strawberry jam and hints of juniper.

Palate is dense with whipped cream, spice and salt. Reminds me of Ben Nevis with grassy notes, but was expecting more stone fruit.

Dried muscats and prunes on the finish

**^

2 – Old Pulteney 1983 American & Spanish Oak Casks 46%
Deep and brooding, loads of dried dark fruits like prunes and dates, lifted by orange zest. A clear but not unpleasant metallic and varnish element. With some time liquorice and chocolate. Surprisingly a few hints of watermelon and green plums.

Palate salty butter, sea spray, bitter caramel, tea tannins and almond shells. Quite layered and complex for a 46% whisky. Apple snow with a lick of cream leads to hay and malt.

Finish is lovely notes of tobacco, cream and candied apple.

****

3 – Craigellachie 2008 10 years by Battlehill, sherry cask finish no. 759000943
Ok super interesting Maggi chicken 2 minute noodles, butterscotch, prunes and wonderfully dusty.

Palate is intense dried prunes and figs. Fino sherry liveliness that lovely maritime and apple note. Slight ashiness.

The finish is long and fills your lungs, rubber, spice and terrariums.

****

4 – Glendronach 1992 26 years port pipe cask no. 5896 49.3%
Steel, zinc, metallic in the most wonderful way. Nail varnish, cocoa and orange zest, cloves, anise and plastic. Ice coffee mixed with melted butter!!! This nose just keeps giving – prunes and sun warmed plums. This is a glorious nose.

Palate was cooling initially and then really clear black fruit sweetness hits. Some interesting dry bones, black berry vines, nori butter flavours. Finally super nutty – caramelised pecans and walnuts.

Great finish of walnuts cooked in salty brown butter.

**** (mainly for the nose)

5 – Glendronach 2006 13 years Oloroso puncheon cask no. 3359 56.7%
Wow what a nose – cream, caramelised stone fruit, beautiful apricots and peaches, toasted brioche with mascarpone and hot toffee.

Palate has beautiful stone fruit and berries, some great toasty notes. Imagine brioche (again) with tinned pears cream and clove.

Finish is sweet and buttery… berry sweetness mixed with metallic elements not overwhelming at all but long and extremely pleasant.

****^

Whisky 2019 – 85-87

85 – SMWS 139.4 (Kavalan) ‘Spellbindingly Sublime’

Wow this nose! Immediately reminds me of the Australian sweet ‘chocolate bullets’ (compound chocolate and liquorice), then comes hand cream and cloves some really deep and complex spice. Oranges and apricots steeped in warm brandy. I don’t think I’d pick this as a Kavalan.

The palate is woody deep and long. Beautiful grass and spiced cream notes are everywhere, it’s packed in deep. Really intense green fig, hay and creme caramel.

The loooong finish is melted butter with a sprinkle of brown sugar poured over grilled apricots and topped with whipped cream.

****

86 – Old Pulteney 8 years by Gordon and Macphail 40% (90s bottling)

Honey, lemon zest and almost a lavender like smell. The nose definitely reminds me of old whisky with the hit of pencil shavings and wax. With some time, sweet roasted rice tea. W

Cooling on the palate, think pencil shavings leading to bitter chocolate and then loads of interesting fruit like watermelon and custard apple and finally fennel seed.

Finish is typical old whisky – bruised apples and dusty draws.

****

87 – SMWS G4.18 (Cameronbridge) ‘The paradise patisserie’

Super weird nose of chlorine and rockmelon, terrariums and earth chocolate funk.

Cream and tropical fruit on the palate. Butter and tea tannins.

The finish is unusual like caramelised green pineapple and sweet onions, melted butter.

***

Whisky 2019 – 48-50

48 – Teaninich 12 Years by Hidden Spirits cask TH619 51.7%
Nose: light floral honey, juicy stone fruits, slight smoke, warm zinc, dough

Palate: great mineral elements, oil paints, light fruits, heather, leather, soil, nutty

Finish: light cream, flint

****

49 – Ben Nevis 13 Years by Hidden Spirits for Whisky & Alement cask WA916 57.1%
Nose: Honey, honey, honey, lemsip, nuts, earthy

Palate: Burnt toast with margarine and honey, thyme, prunes

Finish: burnt thyme, chicken stock, honey

****

50 – SMWS 52.23 “Ice cream and gorse by the sea” (Old Pulteney) 2nd Fill PX
Nose: Rich porridge, coal, rose hip, vanilla yoghurt, stewed apricots, fruit tingles

Palate: Creamy, so creamy, oats, pepper, leather, grape vines, snickers

Finish: cream, apricots, almonds

****

Whisky 2019 – 4-5

4 – Old Pulteney 1994 bottled 2007 by G&M Sauternes Wood Finish cask 06/125 1-5

Nose: Fairly simple honey, dust, lemon balm, sulfur

Palate: sweet and hollow to begin giving way to loads of cream, apricot danish, elegant stone fruits, walking through a lavender farm, passionfruit vines

Finish: cream, salted butter, bitter almonds and a slight waft of matches.

****

5 – Arran 1998, 20 Years for The Mash Tun 14th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel cask 618 53.1%

Nose: Musky, waxy fruit, peanuts and chocolate, chlorine, marshmallow, old whisky

Palate: Huge cream and salt, complex with green pineapple and passionfruit vine, grapefruit pith, terrarium, sour cherries, coffee,

Finish: Lime zest and fruity, pavlova, whipped cream, cream, dried apricots

****

Whisky 2016 – 114-116 Old Crow, Zurich

114 – Old Pulteney 1996 Cask 3557 Bottled 2011
Apricots, chocolate, salt, pepper, chicos, cloves. Really chewy, rose hips, apricot, cream.

115 – Aberlour Cadenhead 1995 19 Years Sauternes Cask
Sulphury, cucumber, stewed apples. Fruity soooo fruity, vanilla cream loads of it, brandy snaps, dried figs, green figs, peaches

116 – Benrinnes 23 Years
Rubber, sulphary, honey, stewed apples. Honey, cloves, rubber, lettuce, brown butter, leather, roast beef, dry wood. So freaking good.