Whisky 2020 – 40-44

Tasting with social distancing and isolation is a bit difficult. Things have certainly slowed down. Thankfully some whisky bars have been sending samples.

40 – SMWS 63.49 (Glentauchers) In the dark of the abyss

Nose is intensely vanilla, with delightful citrus rind. Some caramelised figs and hazelnuts, toasted marshmallow and musk.

Palate is very sherried. Very woody and a slight sulfur note. Dry cooking spices, vanilla cream, dried apricots and dates.

Finish rubber, wood char, toasted nuts, brown sugar and praline

****

41 – Four Roses Single Barrel – Warehouse KE Barrel 64.3E

Nose vanilla cream, cracked pepper, cardamom, crushed ants, raspberry and raspberry leaf, pink marshmallow and orange zest. A lovely backbone of shoe polish and spice.

Palate vanilla cream, buttery, nutty, some slight rubbery notes, mashed strawberries, Christmas biscuits.

Finish melted butter for days and fresh wood shavings.

****

42 – Benrinnes 1995/2019 23yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian Hogshead #9080, 48.5%

Nose of lemon, malt, honey and wax. That real “old whisky” waxy smell with slight tropical fruits.

Palate sweet like kiwi fruit and dusty mangos. Hay and boot polish. Finally some lovely liquorice and pepperiness.

As the palate fades a bolt of vanilla cream and aniseed that lingers

****^

43 – Glen Elgin 1995/2019 23yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian, Hogshead #3271, 51%

Tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, whipped cream and chewy meringue. Getting a slight medicinal sense?!

Great palate weight. A strange mix of floral, roses, chocolate bullets and black cats. Feels like an old whisky

Finish leather bound books, cream and potpourri

***

44 – Caol Ila 2006/2019 12yo by Drunken Master & The Elysian, Hogshead #311572, 57%

Medicinal honey. Aspirin! Salty and mineral. Pink lady apples and fairy floss.

Palate is autumn leaves, seaweed and forgotten oyster shells. Caramel and cream.

Finish is sea spray, autumn leaves and cream.

(As an aside we had a piece of white chocolate at the end and wow! Islay and white chocolate… who knew! Try it!)

****

Whisky 2020 – 37-39 – The Whisky Bar KL, Malaysia

37 – SMWS 27.111 (Springbank) A coal bucket full of marshmallows

Nose unmistakably Springbank. Earthy, tobacco funk with a lattice of sweetness, leather and brandy snaps, dusty, roses

Palate sweet but not cloying, a heavy spirit. Leather bound books, orchard fruits. More fruit with water, start seeing beautiful waxiness, stone fruit and peanut brittle.

Finish charcoal dust, bitter almonds, salty, candied apple.

****^

38 – Arran Angels Reserve 1996 18 years 51.1%

Nose is typical butter cake, apricots, brandy snaps, buttered toast with that metallic note. Also there is some menthol… with time in the glass it became waxy.

Palate apricot crumble with melty vanilla icecream – truly delicious. Some interesting waxy, ice coffee, and hay notes.

Finish green grass, coffee cream and saltiness

****

39 – Hazelburn 2003, 13 years Oloroso cask bottles March 2017

Nose fruit cake, buttered fruit toast, campbeltown funk

Palate is honey joys, fruit cake, bruised apples, wooden shelves, dried cranberries

Finish cigars and Xmas pud

****

Whisky 2020 – 19-24

19 – Glen Elgin 1995 by The Whisky Agency 23 years 48.2%

Nose is beautifully waxy and full of tropical fruits, river stones, marshmallow and green apricots. It is beautifully elegant.

Palate is initially sweet and pure and cheeky like raspberry lollies. Green grass, green mangos, cream which leads to riper mango flavours.

Finish is creamy and loooooong. Slight hints of salt, minerals and fruit.

****^

20 – Highland Park 2003, 14 years bottled for Duty Zero cask 6138

Nose is richly peated and sherried; like a beautiful smoked ham dipped in toffee. Walking through an orchard in autumn.

Loads of minerality on the palate, honey, toffee pecans and green sticks.

The finish is a lovely mix of charcoal and marshmallow

****

21 – Balblair 1990 by Kingsbury 23 years refill sherry cask 10116 52.9%

Nose honey, mandarin, leather, cloves, peanut shells. Very restrained.

Palate is powerful and eye opening. Honey and reserved citrus – like a citrus gel. Toffee and burnt caramel and apricots.

Finish waxy and gentle citrus.

****^

22 – Springbank 1991 by the whisky agency 27 years 46.4%

Nose is beautifully waxy and shows loads of fruit including apples, bananas and apricots. There is caramel and slight spice – some Springbank funk and old whisky smell.

The palate is rich and deep. Old apples, fruity, old and funky, waxy and pristine. Honey and super nutty. Wow there is some interplay between the elements.

But wow this finish is just nuts. It lasts for ever with mango and wax. Old whisky, candles and apples, dusty draws. It is elegant and pristine – the warmth of a smile from a girl in a summer dress.

*****

23 – SMWS 80.10 “Champagne and Roses” Glen Spey 11 years 55.8%

Nose is honey and floral, slightly nutty and toasted, pine resin

Palate is quite dry and hot … super biscuity, loads of shortbread. I understand why “roses” is in the title as it is slightly floral and rose hips.

Finish is green sticks, salt and slight cream

**^

24 – SMWS 9.167 “Part of the furniture” Glen Grant 23 years

I’m digging the nose apricots, hand cream and sticky date pud, maple walnuts

Palate is straightforward coffee, green grass, cream, green mango

Finish of chalk and tropical fruit

***

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 – 80-82

80 – SMWS 27.97 (Springbank) Glazed cashews and lemon lollies

Loads of Campbelltown funk on the nose. A super zingy lemon and honey drive the nose. It’s met by green almonds and the seaside salt of a good sherry.

On the palate lemon zest and gun powder flooded by red plums and tea cake followed by almond butter.

An interesting finish of oil paints, glue and red grapes.

****

81 – Ben Nevis 1992 17 Years by High Spirits cask 2624

Nose: Lemon, peaches steeped in champagne, prunes and apricots

Palate: Grassy and loads of dried pineapple, honey and salted butter smeared on rye bread, loads of funky cask spiciness

Finish: super juicy citrus and stone fruit

****

82 – Ben Nevis 10 Years cask strength Batch 1 distilled 21 April 2008 62.4%

Crisp and clear nose with overwhelming honey with such beautiful fruit sugar brightness, a twist of coffee and toffee.

The palate features loads of tea cake (as expected with Ben Nevis), butter and honey. Some great mineral flinty and coal like, late reminiscent of soft liquorice.

Wine like tannins and stonefruit really pushes through on the finish, honey, maple syrup.

****

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 2018 – 177-180

177 – Glenturret 31 Years 1986 by Cadenhead 44.5%
Nose – rose petals, stewed rhubarb, bees wax, spiced apples
Palate – stonefruit, bitter toffee, great sweetness, creamy, brandy snaps
Finish – dates, cream, coffee trifle

178 – Balblair hand filled 29/1/18 2006 cask 714 59%
Nose – hand cream, walnuts cooked in butter, apricot delight, pine resin
Palate – cream, passionfruit, apricots, raw dough, leather, hay
Finish – salted butter, old butter, racio funk (but not balanced)

179 – Springbank 9 2005 bottling by High Spirits “Lochs & Castles” Port finish
Nose – unmistakable springbank, funky medicinal dark fruit, dates, tar, heather, soy sauce
Palate – Old apples, cream, blackberries, kiwi fruit skin, dusty, manuka honey
Finish – Old apples, cream, pencil shavings, cherry coke, ash

180 – SMWS G7.10 (Girvan) The Texan Tea Party 31 years 1984 – Refill hogshead 59.2%
Nose – toast, caramel, stewed fruit, blood plums, banana, almond trees
Palate – woody and sugary fades away quickly, brandy snaps, chalk, marzipan, toffee,
Finish – cream, toffees, salted coconut cream

Whisky 2018 – 160-163, The Malt, Taipei

160 – Burnside 1993 World Bar Tour The Mash Tun 22 Years Refill Hogshead cask 1798
Nose – chocolate cake with whipped cream and apricots, candied orange zest
Palate – chocolate, marzipan, almond shells, green apricots, cherry danish
Finish – chocolate mousse, apricot jam

161 – Glenturret 1977 The Whisky Agency Refill Hogshead 46.3%
Nose – Wood glue, bruised apple, pastry out the oven
Palate – intense short lived sweetness, fruit cordial, old whisky, cream and tobacco, orange zest
Finish – almond slivers and cream, orange pith

162 – SMWS 123.8 (Glengoyne) “In the Spanish mountains” 2001, 12 Years Port refill 59.2%
Nose – Apple pie, spice rack, prune juice, honey, umeshu
Palate – cake mix, spice biscuits, toffeed figs, prunes, woody cream, my grandfather’s dried apricots,
Finish – milk chocolate, panforte,

163 – TTL (Omar) Sherry Cask #754 2009-2013
Nose – roasted hazelnuts, cream, apricots, orange zest, a galvanized fence
Palate – super creamy, loads of stone fruit, dark chocolate, tea tannins, dried fruit
Finish – loads of cream, strawberries and cherries, mango, cloves, liquorice

Whisky 2018 – 143-148

143 – Miltonduff Liquid Treasures 1989 25 years 51.2%
Nose – lemon curd, coconut, caramel, pineapple, honey
Palate – green vines, caramel, salt, raw pastry, honey
Finish – caramel

144 – Glenfarclas Family Cask Spring 2017, 1993 Distilled Cask #3951
Nose – dusty chocolate, wood, sarsaparilla, cream,
Palate – earthy, mushrooms, woody, salty, soy sauce, honey, peanuts
Finish – bitter, raisins, tannic

145 – Springbank 1999, distilled two and a half times lightly peated. Matured in small casks 50.2%
Nose – peanut brittle, prunes, plums, caramel, red wine
Palate – prunes, plums, salt, tobacco, sweet, burnt leaves, grapes, waxy
Finish – roasted peanuts, heather, tobacco pouch, band-aids

146 – Cadenhead Linkwood-Glenlivet 28 Years 1989 43.7%
Nose – shaving cream, honey, apricots, red apple, wax
Palate – bruised apple, pencil shavings, orange pith, kiwi fruit hair, rock melon
Finish – cream, fruit, dried pineapple

147 – SMWS 2.108 ‘The King o’Malts’ (Glenlivet)
Nose – fruity, coconut cream, hand cream, whipped cream
Palate – banana, bourbon, toast with butter and brown sugar, banoffee pie
Finish – tropical fruit, green vines

Whisky 2018 – 134-138

134 – SMWS 27.112 (Springbank) A broadside cannon barrage 1996, 21 Years*
Nose – heady, chocolaty, rum soaked biscuits, tiramisu, caps
Palate – warm honey, gunpowder, old Christmas cake, bruised apples, chocolate dipped apricots, butterscotch, roasted peanuts
Finish – salted fish, soy sauce

135 – Ben Nevis 12 Heavily Peated by Hidden Spirits Cask BN618
Nose – honey, caramel, cherry medicine, sugar syrup, fruit cake,
Palate – fruitcake, maraschino, flinty rocks, green vines, banana leaf, slight ash
Finish – pinot tannin, salt, gravel,

136 – Ben Nevis 20 by Highlander Inn Cask 97 55.9%
Nose – raisins, muscat, sweetened earl grey tea
Palate – toasted pound cake, honey, apricots, tea tannins, dried figs, cherry ripe
Finish – old apples and fruit leather

137 – Mortlach 1988 by Wilson & Morgan, bottled 1997 46%
Nose – leather, apricots, honey, cedar, smells more like bourbon cask
Palate – vanilla, cream, boozy, kiwi fruit, dusty, rockmelon, stewed plums
Finish – bruised apples, salt

138 – SMWS 107.13 (Glenallichie) Andalusian gazpacho 9 Years 65%
Nose – plums, gazpacho, caramel, honey, chocolate milk,
Palate – milk duds, rubber, hot, caramel, stewed plums, almond brittle
Finish – green vines and salt.