Whisky 2018 – 152-159, The Drunken Master Whisky Bar, Kaohsiung

So when in Kaohsiung, where do you go? The Drunken Master Whisky Bar of course. One of the world’s great whisky bars and responsible for many incredible bottlings. I started out on some Ben Nevis and then the awesome Kuo made some recommendations for me. Great stuff!

The Clynelish and the Cragganmore were exceptional. And the old 1970s springbank was still lively and fresh.

152 – Ben Nevis by The Whisky Agency 1998 lightly peated 16 years 50.2%
Nose – lemon delicious, cake, apricots, raw dough
Palate – apricots, cake, green vines, cream, Xmas spice
Finish – cream, green almonds

153 – Ben Nevis Signatory 1991, 24 Years Cask 3833 54.7%
Nose – honey, maple syrup, orange cake, almond kernels
Palate – honey, cream, scorched almonds, rum baba,
Finish – cream, water, wax

154 – Ben Nevis Signatory 1991, 22 Years Cask 2382
Nose – coconut, green vines, caramel, honey, apricots, golden syrup
Palate – green peanuts, slightly peated
Finish – old leather, tobacco, cream

155 – Cragganmore 27 years 1989 World Bar Tour*
Nose – apples, cream, lemon balm, stone fruits, new leather shoes, peanuts
Palate – apples, licorice bullets, wax, butter, salt
Finish – wonderful length, salt, butter, wood and perfume

156 – Drunken Master 1980 Blend 35 years (Highland Park, Macallan, Tamdhu)
Nose – Old leather couches, bruised apples, honey, cream, peanut brittle
Palate – Old whisky, cream, arrowroot biscuits, honey joys
Finish – Old wood, Old sherry, Old cream, Old… makes me nostalgic.

157 – The Whisky Agency Clynelish 1996 bottled 2014 Refill Butt*
Nose – raspberry, cherry wood, leather, oak, spice
Palate – cake, cake, cake, cherries, prunes, raisins, perfume, cherry ripe
Finish – cherry cake with cream, tobacco, honey, Xmas spice

158 – Mortlach 1997 by Chieftains for Drunken Master Cask 5241
Nose – honey, dried peaches, terrarium,
Palate – warm spice, plums, prunes, honey, dark chocolate
Finish – honey, salt, wood, cream

159 – Springbank 8 1970s Japanese market ref. 5176
Nose – Old apples, wax, dough, yeasty bread
Palate – wax, apples, cream, old whisky, honey on bread
Finish – apricots, wax, burnt matches

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Whisky 2018 – 72-75 – Baxter Inn, Sydney

In Sydney at The Baxter Inn and half way to my target of 150, celebrated with an old Glengoyne from the 80s. For a low alcohol dram of 43% it really was able to stand up. The Cambus was super disappointing.

72 – Clynelish Adelphi 1996 19 Years ex Bourbon 53.4%
Nose – toasted coconut, coconut rough, green grass, apricot danish
Palate – hot, perfumed, cream, grilled peaches, lemon zest with pith
Finish – cream and perfume, wine tannins

73 – Clynelish G&M 2001 14 Years Sherry casks 307849 & 307850
Nose – typical sherry fino nose, peanuts, rubber, manuka honey
Palate – honey, rose petals, sugar syrup, rock candy, salt, weak ice tea
Finish – aspirin, tea tannins, honey, caramels

74 – Boutiquey whisky company Cambus 24 Batch 2
Nose – roses, heather, cream, pineapple soaked in turps, caramel toffees, plastic
Palate – turps, salt, balsa wood, cream, peanut shells
Finish – cream, old leather

75 – 1980s bottling Glengoyne 17 Years 43%
Nose – wax, rum soaked raisins, fermented figs, the sweetness of cocktail onions, honey, minerals
Palate – wax, pencil shavings, salt and pepper, raisins, spice, OBE
Finish – spicy, pencil shavings, old apples

Whisky 2018 – 1-4

What a set of drams to start the year with.

1 – The Ultimate Imperial 1995 20 Years sherry hogshead cask 50240
Nose: Bananas, yeast, rose hip jelly, wax,
Palate: Wax, honey, slight pepper, cucumber sandwiches, juniper, grilled peaches, cream, honey dew
Finish: Juicy, dried pineapple, apple jelly, cream, apple seeds

2 – Arran James McTaggart 10 Years 2007
Nose: hazel nuts, snickers bars, citrus, coconuts, wax, bananas foster, apricots
Palate: cream, crushed ants, dried stone fruit, still a bit young, toasted brioche, peach and hand cream
Finish: loads of cream, wine tannins, salt

3 – Old Malt Cask Doulas Laing & Co 1974 Talisker bottled 2000
Nose: Pencil shavings, candle wax, clear fruit, clear medicinal, egg yolks, prosciutto fat, brown sugar
Palate: camp fire, stewed apples, ice coffee, wax, bbq jackfruit, crispy bacon, seaside, caramels
Finish: huge length, juicy, herbal, cream, wax, just keeps giving

4 – Jack Wiebers Arran 18 Years Cask 2038
Nose: brown sugar, leather, musk, honey comb, sweet pickled onions, old whisky, strawberry jam taken too far, maple syrup
Palate: caramel dipped apricots, tobacco, bitter chocolate, leather, salt
Finish: tannic, yoghurt, chewy

Whisky 2017 – 218-224 – Closed distillery tasting for The Elysian’s first birthday

218 – Dun Bheagan St Magdalene Sherry Butt 1982 27yo
Glue, mandarin, new make, leather, soap, honeycomb, watermelon. Wheat biscuits, ryvita, cream, salt, tobacco, stewed apricots.

219 – Douglas Laing Glen Mhor Hogshead Refill 1982 27yo
Lemon zest, lemon butter, loads of citrus and shortbread, wood glue, lavender soap, honey, slight flinty, white peaches. Loads of cake mix, honey suckle, fruity, stones, dust, old lace, lantana.

220 – Signatory Glenlochy 1980 30yo Cask 2824
Vanilla cake, salt, some apricots, grass, malt, kiwi fruit, cake mix, toasted almonds, orange oil. Cool ing, huge amounts of tinned fruit, cream, summer grass, tobacco, old dried pineapple, mint, menthol.

221 – G&M Dallas Dhu Bourbon 1979 34yo
Rockmelon, mushroom funk, lemon zest, slight cake. Old whisky, dust, Italian mustard fruits, salt, tobacco and cream, wax, soap.

222 – G&M Port Ellen Refill Sherry Butt 1982 28yo
Honey, salt, peat, medicinal, camp fire, ham, flinty, cream, KFC. Wonderful mouthfeel, ask, autumn leaves, charred bbq steaks, bbq bones, mandarin, chlorine, match heads.

223 – Starward New World Projects Batch 120718-12-759 for Elysian Whisky Bar 1st Birthday 100L Shiraz Cask 56.7%
Vanilla beans, honey, snickers, peanut caramel, Vietnamese coffee. Toffee bananas, bourbon, caramlized walnuts, banana cake, butter.

224 – Asta Morris for Whiskies & More Glentauchers PX Cask AM040
Caramel, caramel, caramel for days, salted butter, vine tomatoes. Salty, dusty, old apples, old rubber and sulfur, really dried apricots, flinty.

Whisky 2017 – 189-192 – Bar C Shell, Tokyo

I am lucky enough to be back in Tokyo. Tried out Bar C Shell in Shinjuku, near Yotsuya-Sanchome station. The owner Yu is very knowledgeable, super friendly and speaks excellent English (having lived in NYC). The bar is quite different to most Japanese whisky bars and much more casual. Yu has created a unique space for whisky drinkers in Tokyo. Drank some unique old bottlings but I had to throw in a Ben Nevis, because, well, it’s Ben Nevis. 

189 – The Milroy Sprinbank 30 50% 2002 Bottling
Rubber, caramel, peaches, dusty, hazelnuts, pumice stone. Spritz, lemon, hand cream, dried apricots, wonderful mouth feel, preserved lemons, Lavender, chocolate and soap.

190 – Friends of Oak Ben Nevis 1998, 15 Years
Honey, aspirin, hay, marzipan, sponge cake, toasted almonds. Roses, caramel, vanilla cake, strawberry jam, peaches, brown butter, honey, green grass.

191 – Cadenhead’s Glenturret Distilled 1965 bottled 1990
Bee wax, sarsaparilla, dried peaches, chicos, pencil shavings. Cream, pencil shavings, salt, rose petals, soap, wax.

192 – Glen Fraser 1956 for Strathnairn Whisky Ltd
Slight maple syrup, wax, bonox, wood glue, menthol. Pencils shavings, soap, pepper, clove, lemon zest, old raisins, wax, rubber, leather, old tobacco, peaches, shaving cream, dusty, perfume.

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 – 114-117

Once again the Whisky Gods were smiling on me. Yao from The Elysian opened a bottle of Munro’s King of Kings that his parents pulled from their cellar and gave to him. Such an interesting dram – old whisky seems to be a lot more herbaceous to my palate. Not a lot of info out there about this one, except to say James Munro also ran Dalwhinnie in the early 1900s. 

114 – Arran Bourbon Cask 1999 54.8% 2015 Release Cask 78
Pineapple, rock melon skins, apricots, chocolate mousse, passiona. Cream, passionfruit skins, apricot, tea tannins, green apricots, butter, almonds, red skins, raspberries.

115 – Maltman Aultmore 7 Years Port Cask 2008 Cask 100
Honey, crumpets, dark chocolate, musk sticks, pine glue, hot brown butter, menthol, strawberry jam on white bread with butter. Peach ice tea, butter, banana, coffee cream, slight cheese cake, rock melon with vanilla cream.

116 – Munro’s King of Kings Rare Old De Luxe
Wax, soy sauce, ginger, ginseng, heather, leather. Initially really light but wax, caramel, herbaceous, tobacco, old dusty chocolate. Didn’t have much time with this dram as it was a small dram as a gift once the bottle was opened. Old and unique.

117 – Glenfarclas Family Cask for Shinanoya 10 years Cask 5695
Old tropical fruit, musk, grilled pineapple, roasted peaches, milk chocolate, old wood. Cocoa, dusty, orange rind, soy sauce, fruit tingles, bubble gum and vanilla pods.