Whisky 2017 – 130-135 – Balvenie Tasting

Huge tasting on at the Elysian. Alex Moores from Dark Valley brought back some very good hand drawn single cask bottles from Balvenie. Alex and I shared a few other drams afterwards. 

130 – Balvenie 13yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #2022, 61.7%
Ice cream on warm pine apple pudding, red apple skin, choc-banana muffins. Super huge raspberry, choc-banana muffins, loads of vanilla cream, gooseberry, leather, dried apple.

131 – Balvenie 14yo ex-bourbon barrel matured, cask #13330, 53.2%
Fruit tingles, lemon and coconut cake, vanilla cream, strawberry jam. Great mouth feel, short bread, toasted coconut, strawberries, loads of cream, wood shavings, green herbs.

132 – Balvenie 14yo ex-sherry butt matured, cask #2378, 62.7%
Roasted corn cobs, treacle, crushed cloves, roasted almonds, peanut brittle, marshmallow, Earl grey tea cream. Woody, beef jus, rubber, peanut brittle, caramel taken too far, hazelnuts, Musk sticks, mushroom pate, tea tannins.


133 – The Whisky Find and The Mash Tun Craigellachie 1990 Cask 5401
Candle wax, soft gooey French cheese, dried apple, rock melon skin, caramel, fruit sherbet bombs, lemon butter. Bees wax, coconut, rock melon, coffee, strawberries, flowers, nasturtiums, caramels, salt.


134 – The Whisky Agency 2003 13 Years JD for Bistro Inn, The Elysian Whisky Bar and Drunken Master Bar
Butter soaked toast, crushed ants, tomatoes, rhubarb and whipped cream. Butter, cultured butter, cream, formic acid, cinnamon toast, dusty, raw almonds.


135 – The Arran 21st Anniversary Edition – Ex-Olorosso Cask
Cream, metallic apricots, toffee, chocolate, pouch tobacco, peanut brittle, hazelnut paste. Tobacco, apricots, green grass, cream, tinned pineapple, hazelnut butter.

Whisky 2017 – 118-124 Black Gate Tasting

Black Gate is a small producer in New South Wales. Was really fascinating to hear Brian’s story of how he ended up being a distiller. He did say he was afraid of change, and I think he’s fairly keen on his 3 year maturation but to me the new make still comes through. Despite the 7% yearly loss, I think these would do better with just a couple more years. 


118 – Black Gate #BG005
Caramels, deep toffee, gum leaves, banana, brown sugar, kangaroo poo, cherry coke, maple syrup. Sarsaparilla, mint, slight bacon, dry spices, slight newmake hit, peanut butter.

2016.35 – Black Gate #BG007
Marzipan, string, yeast, ice cream, hand cream. Pine, ice cream, cucumber, dry ginger, dried apple.

119 – Black Gate #BG008
Custard, rose petals, ice cream, glacé ginger. Dry ginger, star anise, cream, pine resin, cherry ripes.

120 – Black Gate Cask Strength #011
Chocolate, raspberry lollies, marzipan, chocolate, soy sauce, strawberry jam, slight bacon fat. Sarsaparilla, dry cloves, strawberry jam, kangaroo poo, rose petals.

121 – Black Gate #BG020
Mango, pineapple upside down cake, yeast, cream. Still a bit young, weak instant coffee, salt, cream, tequila, orange zest.

122 – Black Gate Peated new make 
Cheese, pine wood, cucumber, banana, just extinguished coals, caramel. Butter, tobacco, white pepper, barn yard.

123 – Ben Nevis 16 Years Hidden Spirits “Highproof” Cask BN9916
Unmistakably Ben Nevis vanilla extract, pound cake, stone fruit, apricots, chocolate, dust, chicos, red skins, pine resin. Stone fruit, cut grass, pound cake, brown bread with butter.

124 – Glenfarclas Family Cask 1995 Cask 6640 52.1%
Sarsaparilla, rubber, butter, caramel, Xmas cake, white peaches. Apples, rubber, caramels, black beans, stewed pears, brioche, red apple skins, charcoal, soy sauce, funky butter

Whisky 2017 – 106-110

Perhaps the best tasting I’ve been to ever. Finished it off with something different with the Jack Wiebers’ Classic of Islay. 


106 – Glenrothes Single Cask Australian Exclusive Single Cask #5579 OB 2003 13yo 56.6%
Butter, aspirin, plastic, quince jelly, egg pudding. Soy sauce, chocolate, black beans, orange zest, mandarin, cream, cocoa powder, sarsaparilla, red apple skins.

107 – Eld Vatten Single Cask Glenrothes 2006 10yo 57.3%
Honey, aspirin, lavender, sight matchhead, banana caramel pie, bacon fat, burnt butter, pine needles, butter, verjuice, pound cake. Honey, salt, heather, thyme flowers, sulfur, rubber, melted butter.

108 – North Star Single Cask Glenrothes 1996 20yo 54.6%
Wood glue, marzipan, toasted coconut, apricot delight, kiwi fruit, pavlova, dry ginger. Banana, stone fruit, passionfruit vine, cream, wine, toasted macadamia, glacé ginger, brown butter, potato skin.

109 – The Maltman Glenrothes Single Cask #7476 1989 27yo 46%
Sulfur, gun powder, apple snow, pouch tobacco, stewed apricot. Red apple skins, flinty, leather, stewed apricots, white pepper.

2017.84 – The Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1997 for The Elysian Whisky Bar & 5 Other Bars 1997 19yo 51.8%

2014.102 – Adelphi Glenrothes Australian Exclusive 2007 7yo 67.6%

110 – Classics of Islay Vintage Malt Whisky Co, Jack Wiebers Whisky World Cask 7118
Butterscotch, kelp, moss, butter, glue, flinty, smoke. Strawberries, seaweed, smoke, flint, seaweed butter on fresh bread, metho (but not in a bad way).

Whisky 2017 – 101-105 Heartwood Tasting

For World Whisky Day, Tim from Heartwood presented to a small group at Bad Frankie. Very interesting tasting, even Tim seemed impressed with some of the bottles Seb opened. 

101 – Heartwood The Beagle 2 
Juicy and vanilla, caramel, marshmallow, pancakes with maple syrup. Chocolate, rubber, ice coffee, sarsaparilla, Terry’s chocolate orange. 

102 – Heartwood The Revelation (Lark)
Pancakes with boozy raisins, pine resin, pepper corns, mint. Cola, pepper, rancid butter, stewed apricots, white pepper, melted butter. 

103 – Heartwood We are Brothers LD218/219
Marshmallow, tomato water, gooseberry jam, quince jelly, sponge cake, . Strawberry shortcake, milk chocolate, vanilla cream, white pepper, cardamom, violets, quince jelly. 

104 – Heartwood @#$%^&* (2nd fill sherry cask) td0124
Vanilla, cloves, hand cream, pine resin, chocolate, apricot nectar, pound cake. Sponge cake, mint, raisins, mint slice biscuits, stewed stone fruit. 

105 – Adams 6 Months Slosh Port Cask
Caramel, cloves, cucumber, butter, wood chips, baked potato, strawberry jam. Sarsaparilla, Coke, salt, cucumber, red apple skins and tea tannins. 

2015.155 – Heartwood Convict Resurrection 14
Chocolate fudge brownie, toasted walnuts, Sacher torte, . Buttered popcorn, cherries, Black Forest cake, lemon zest. 

2016.150 – Heartwood 2 of 3
Marshmallow, apple snow, wood resin, gooseberry jam, Pavlova with loads cream, apricot with pepper, pound cake. Firecrackers, popcorn with butter, red apple toffees. 

Whisky 2017 – 87-91 Ardnamurchan Adelphi Tasting

I was very lucky to be invited to a very special tasting for Adelphi’s new Ardnamurchan bottling. While it isn’t ready, it was nice to try the bottle. I didn’t buy a bottle, there wasn’t enough there for me. The 1998 Glen Garioch was pretty damn good. The Inchgower wasn’t on tasting but thought I should get in a dram before it goes – only 56 bottles. 

87 – Adelphi Archives Inchgower 26 Years Cask 14155
Licorice, blackcurrants, chocolate, molasses, prunes, shaving cream, orange zest, dried apricots, warm eggs pudding. Soy sauce, beef broth, tea tannins, dry bones, chocolate and raisins, bitter almonds.

88 – Adelphi Ardnamurchan Spirit 2016/AD American Oak Sherry butt
Stewed apple, green banana leaf, plastic, cloves, lovely fruit cake, pine resin. Pepper, pineapple, cream, dry and boney, cigarette ash.

89 – Adelphi Glenborrodale Batch 3
Rubber, green herbs, pepper, sugar water, white pepper, honey. Wild oregano, cream, weak, slight honey, salty cream.

90 – Adelphi Glen Garioch 1998 Sherry Cask 57.5%
Brown sugar, musk, maple, toasted hazelnuts, slight sulfur, hair spray, apricots. Watermelon, hazelnut, mint, slight sugar, green herbs, chocolate, brandy snaps, kirsch.

91 – Adelphi Ardnamurchan Peated Sample ex-Woodford Reserve barrel 22 months
Bananas, cucumber, caramel, marshmallow, musk, stone fruit. Coffee grounds, cigarette tobacco, fruit tingles, banana and tomato water.

Whisky 2017 – 64-72 – Heartwood tasting

64 – Redlands newmake
Apples, rock melon, lemon zest, pepper, juniper, cucumber. Roses, apple skin, aniseed, green strawberries.

65 – Adams Distillery 12 weeks old young make
Menthol cigarettes, mint leaves, musk lollies, brown sugar. Prunes, proper smoked bacon, coal, pepper, salt, Japanese black sugar candy.

66 – Belgrove oat whisky
Dust, stones, barnyard, perfume, musk, menthol. Glue, boot polish, brown sugar, butter almonds, pickled onions (but not in a bad way).

67 – Heartwood 3 of 3
Caramel, musk, brown sugar, lemons, prunes, chocolates, stewed apple, ice coffee, old butter. Heavy, kangaroo poo, leather, beef stock, dusty, soy sauce, coffee grounds, tomato paste.

68 – Heartwood We are twisted cousins (Lark)
Prunes, raisins, pastry, strawberry and mango, pine needles, pastis. Menthol, dust, raisins, eucalyptus, slightly medicinal.

69 – Heartwood Beagle 4
Soy sauce, raisins, creme patisserie, stewed apples, beef stock. Raisins, prune, musk, salt, soy sauce, marshmallow, tomato salad.

70 – Heartwood Calm before the storm
Deep malt, soy, deep sweet Asian beef cheeks, huge chocolate, glue, turps, burnt pineapple. Glacé lemon, beef consume, leather, soy sauce, bitter dark chocolate, pine needles.

71 – Arran Madeira Cask
Gas, apricots, a malted chocolate, some sulfur and rubber, acetone, ants trapped in strawberry jam, marshmallow. Brandy snaps, some vanilla, roasted peanuts, old strawberries, zatar, mellows over time – the slightly bitter finish doesn’t help.

72 – G&M Glenturret 2002
Butter, cherries, licorice, toffee, fairy floss. Bit weak, grapes, toffee apples, slight cloves.

Whisky – 58-62 – Kilkerran Tasting

I don’t know what was going on with my palate last night. Really didn’t enjoy these Kilkerran when I have previously – the felt very underpowered. I was under an air-conditioner which cooled my glasses significantly and may have not allowed the whisky to shine. 

I’ve had Work In Progress 1, 3 and 5 before so they aren’t in my count for the year, but I thought it was interesting to show the progression. 


WIP 1 Kilkerran
Pineapples, wild fresh mint, glue, salt and pepper, arrowroot, rosemary. Cream, salty, malt cake, slight leather.

WIP 3 Kilkerran
Apple tree ash, fruitier, glue, hand cream, pencil shavings, wild herbs, pineapple. Light palate, cream, tobacco, peaches.

WIP 5 Kilkerran Bourbon Wood
Hand cream, ash, leafy, brown sugar, hand cream, maple syrup, slight peach. Butter, peanuts, salty, burn toast, slight cream and vanilla, leafy.

58 – WIP 6 Kilkerran Sherry Cask
Glue, flint, leather, salt, egg white, pencil shavings, hand cream, Sherry fino. Salty, leafy, gasoline, dry leaves, slight cocoa.

59 – WIP 7 Bourbon Cask Strength
Toasted coconut, lemon zest, glue, pencil shavings, hot ashes, bruised strawberries, eggy chocolate pudding. Toothpaste, preserved lemons, leafy, pencil shavings.

60 – Kilkerran 12
Egg white, Xmas pudding, lemon zest, tropical fruit, tobacco, herbaceous, sea salt, soap, apricots, oysters. Bananas, tropical fruit, olive oil, brown sugar, pencil shavings, leafy.

61 – Cooper’s Choice Ledaig 1998 Cask 0035
Hay, soy sauce, Xmas cake, burning plastic. Barnyard, burning plastic, rubber, sulfur, jersey caramel. Weird but pleased I’ve tried it.


62 – Noah’s Mill Bourbon
Bananas, ice cream with my mum’s chocolate sauce. Bananas, brown sugar caramel, salt, pretty simple.