Whisky 2020 – 31-36 – Signatory Tasting

31 – Cameronbridge 1984 35YO by Signatory cask 19300

Nose of caramel, leather, intense white stone fruit, crushed ants, grilled pineapple, bones, cola

Palate it tastes big for 49.6% butter cream, bourbon cream sticky buns, horlicks, milky coffee

Finish green pineapple and rose hips

****

32 – Linkwood 1996 22YO by Signatory casks 8731+8732

Nose pepper on steak, honey, stone fruit, green pears, kiwi fruit skin

Palate cooling and cold, but feels narrow and one dimensional, stewed pears, steel and honey

Finish mead and fennel seed

***

33 – Deanston 2008 11YO by Signatory cask 900072

Nose firecrackers, dried apricots – the nose is for me beautiful and promised so much.

Palate is sulfur, pop corn, soy sauce, honey and stone fruit but the sulphur tired cask notes overwhelm… it’s faulty to me and I love over done sherry.

Finish salt and heather and more sulfur.

*

34 – Bunnahabhain 2007 12YO by Signatory cask 586

Nose is pineapple upside down cake, steel, chocolate

Palate: honey, strawberry jam, sulfur

Finish green grass and melted butter

**^

35 – Clynelish 1995 23YO by Signatory cask 11242

Nose is pretty simple; malt, steely, honey, grape stems

Palate dusty, honey, soy, rocks and sand. With water old tired sherry is revealed and it is not pleasant.

Finish soy and old sherry cask

**^

36 – Caol Ila 2007 11YO by Signatory casks 322307+322308

Nose banana leaf, glue, salt, honey yoyo biscuits

Palate stones, sea, medicine cabinet, driftwood

Finish medicinal and the sou’wester of a brusque dockmen

***

Whisky 2020 – 13-18 – North Star Tasting

13 – North Star Inchgower 11yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 52.5%
Interesting nose of honey, mandarin and menthol. Cold salted butter and Some steely notes.

Palate is consistent with the nose and shows loads of honey and dry spice, salty melted butter on toast. It’s quite hot.

Finish is surprisingly ashy, salty and woody.

***^

14 – North Star Girvan 26yo, Bourbon Barrel, 53.5%
Nose is bounty bars, marshmallow and woody which leads to pine resin, apricot brandy

Palate is initially light, loads of cream and vanilla hits and leads into saltiness and stone fruit.

Finish salty whipped cream, green plants, and some coconut cream

***^

15 – North Star English Whisky Co 11yo, Burgundy Barrel, 49.8%
Very sherry like nose woody, lpg, funky and tannic, honey, heather and medicinal, quite meaty. It promises a lot.

Palate is confused with intense green capsicum, some pepper. Late there is some old tired wine casks, tannin and some positive minerality.

Finish is rubbery

*^

16 – North Star Blended Grain 36yo, Bourbon barrel 52.5%
Nose is crushed ants, butter, and quite bourbon like with notes of vanillin and pancakes. Some lemon balm and cherry strudel adds some real intrigue.

The palate is all toffee and stewed fruits. Some varnish, melted butter and brown sugar. Interesting fatty nuttiness like Brazil nuts.

Finish is great fruit sweetness, salty and clear… and super juicy.

****^

17 – North Star Glenrothes 11yo for ralfy.com 10th Anniversary, Oloroso Butt, 51.4%
Nose is typically sherried Glenrothes that salty boiling caramel thing I really like. Then some prunes and muscat grapes, honey, maraschino cherries.

Palate is super honey, prunes with great minerality. Later there is cold sweet ice tea and apricot jam.

Finish is simple and a bit surprising with river stones and ash.

****

18 – North Star Caol Ila 9yo, PX Sherry Finish, 51.8%
I found the nose quite exciting with pine, tar and Cheetos and some fruitiness from prunes.

Palate is bushfire with some nice seaside elements like crushed prawn shells and seaweed. Some fruit with prunes again and then with water a wonderful cinnamon sugar donut.

The finish maritime and boot polish.

***^

Whisky 2020 – 6-12 – Bushfire Relief Tasting

6 – Armorik 2016 Maître de chai 46%
Nose is cream, cloves and caramel. Some dust and orange zest.

Palate quite cooling initially, really sherry fino influence. Sticky cinnamon buns and salted butter.

Finish cream and herbaceous

***

7 – Overeem sherry cask OHD30 43%
Varnish and cream! Blackberries, lpg, mandarins and eggy pudding on the nose.

Palate is refreshing. Slight citrus, creme caramel,

Finish is pine and citrus cooling.

***

8 – Redlands Private Investor Cask RD208#16
Nose is wonderful friendly bananas split with chocolate. Some cream and freshly cut pine.

Palate of bananas, cream and egg whites. It’s hot and big!

Finish salt, cream, cucumbers and new make.

** (not great but glad I got to try it)

9 – Longrow 11 years by Cadenhead cask strength Port Cask 57.8%
Nose of prunes, figs, sweat, chlorine, earth, chocolate and cream

Palate of ashy stones, mango, Seville orange, rich earth. Prunes, leather, liquorice and medicinal.

The medicinal nature rings through the finish, and then some delicious caramel.

****

10 – Ardbeg Drum committee release
Nose of caramel, salt preserved lemon, sea spray, stones and paprika

Strongly tropical palate with clear pineapple, ash, salt. Great and intense minerality gives way to loads of tropical fruit and oranges.

Yoghurt, pineapple and ash.

****

11 – Laphroaig Cairdeas 2012 (18th year of Friends of Laphroaig)
Nose is quite tropical, pineapple and mango skins,

Palate is really ash and minerally, plastic, corn chips, but then kicks into clear sweetness.

Finish is cooling coals and ash. Beautiful clarity.

****

12 – Ledaig 1974 43% (bottled 1992)
Nose is chocolate pudding, old cream and smoke. Waxy, hay and stones. Coconut rough!

Palate orchard fruits apples, pears, wax. Chocolate and earthy stones.

Finish is more stones and green moss. Extremely long… more chocolate, ashy stones and finally cream. and butter.

****^

Whisky 2019 – 102-107, Blackadder and Firkin Tasting

102 – Blackadder Raw Cask Aultmore 2006 11yo, 57.6% Cask #307142

Nose starts tropical with strong dried pineapple and mango skin, sweet honey, raw pastry, salted lemons

Palate of milky sweet tea. It’s malty with tropical and stone fruit. A hint of flinty minerality.

Finish is a simple salty butter.

****

103 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin 49 Tullibardine 2011 8yo Oloroso Amontillado Casks, 48.9%

The nose was nutty, clear stone fruit, lemon sip, milk chocolate.

Palate had a lovely iced coffee note. Followed by heather, flinty, Brazil nuts and a touch a salty citrus.

Finish of cold salted butter, kopiko (coffee) lollies.

***

104 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin Ten Royal Brackla 2008 10yo Madeira Cask, 48.9%

Nose: Rose heads, peach ice tea, my mum’s Madeira cake (yes I’m serious)

Palate: great mouthfeel, light tropical, nutty,

Finish: long finish, liquorice, flourless orange cake

****

105 – Blackadder Raw Cask The Old Man Of Hoy 2005 12yo 2018 Batch 1 Single Orcadian Malt, 60.7%

Nose was rubbery and chocolate which makes me think HP. Has very good seaweed and maritime elements.

On the palate it is heavy, honey and charcoal dominant. Pleasant sweet rubbery notes.

The finish becomes flinty and minerally and heavy with wet stones.

****

106 – Firkin Whisky Co Firkin Islay Caol Ila 2012 7yo Marsala Cask, 48.9%

Nose super maritime, gluey, dark chocolate, sweet lemons, corn chips

Palate has a gorgeous mouth feel, really flinty, stones and campfire

Finish of band-aids, dusty, toasted almonds and campfire

****

107 – Blackadder Raw Cask Smoking Islay Blended Malt 2019, 60.2%

Nose of glue and honey, chlorine,

Palate smokey, autumn leaves, pool water

Finish glue, salt and sea water, burnt leaves

**

Whisky 2019 – 91-96 – The Single Cask Tasting

91 – TSC Royal Brackla 2006 11yo Cask #310864

The nose was chocolate dipped pineapple with a side of sweet milky tea. Some nice woody notes.

Sweet and oily palate. Lemon tart, resin and chestnuts with spice. With water sweet jasmine tea

Simple sweet and salty finish.

***

92 – TSC Braeval 1994 22yo Cask #165641

Nice nose of snickers bars, stewed stone fruit and toasted coconut.

Simple and straightforward bourbon cask palate that is full of tropical fruit. It has nice creamy and woody notes.

Finish is really delicious salted coconut milk with fresh mango.

***

93 – TSC Deanston 1997 20yo Cask #1982

Curious nose with great earthiness like terrariums. Some chocolate and surprisingly gun powder. End notes of jasmine flowers.

Older Deanston are known to express waxiness on the palate and this certainly did. It was sweet and tropical like tinned pineapple and salty. The the earthy and mineral notes came.

The finish was salty sweetness with leather.

****

94 – TSC Tobermory 1994 23yo Cask #SA1294

Nose: roasted chestnuts, earthy, apricots and salt, vino cotto

Palate: hot and salty, peaches, really interesting and complex.

Finish: bitter and oily but in a good way.

Super confusing dram.

***

95 – TSC Ledaig 2008 10yo Cask #700076

Nose is gluey and oily, salty and maritime. Crisp green apple.

Palate is like licking a painters pallet splashed with fruit cordial.

Oily and maritime, standing in the sea spray.

****

96 – TSC Bruichladdich 2004 14yo Cask #12

Generous nose with apricots, crispy bacon, leather and carob. Reminiscent of old butter slathered on camp fire toast.

According to everyone at the tasting this is my type of palate – super sherried, super rancio with controlled sulfur. Great black fruit and proper maraschino sweetness. Loads of Christmas pudding!

A gentle finish which is dusty and has the umami of dried shiitake

****

Whisky 2019 – 74-79, Glendronach tasting

74 – GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 3
I really loved the simple nose a cross between a lemon eggy pudding and tiramisu.

Great sweet jasmine tea and fig on the palate leading to white peaches and cocoa, green almonds.

The finish has loads of cream and stewed fruit.

***

75 – GlenDronach Single Cask Oloroso #392 1993 26yo for The Whisky List
The nose was woody with loads of dried dark fruit, an interesting but not unpleasant plasticine note, candle wax and finally the Glendronach hallmark orange zest.

Sweet and nutty on the palate, some expressive stone fruit and orange zest, flinty stones and pencil shavings, great umami with dried mushrooms and coffee grounds. Was looking for maple syrup and caramel but was very muted there.

The finish was a bit muted for with old apples and nuts.
****

76 – GlendDronach Grandeur Batch 10 27yo
A real spritely nose with apricots with loads honey, and cake, cake and more cake.

Initial sweetness and a citrus zip, followed by spiced stewed stone fruit with cream. Later on the palate the sharpness of passionfruit with some sun drenched sultanas.

The passionfruit returns for the finish almost a passionfruit pavlova with loads of cream served with a glass of cola

****

77 – GlenDronach Single Cask Maderia #4761 1995 19yo for Whisk-E
The nose has great depth and complexity, hold on to your hats for this! Like I’ve shoved my face into a chiffon cake. Eating prunes and dates dipped in candle wax from a balsa wood box while taking a stroll through a rose garden.

A super sweet syrupy palate to begin with. Prunes and figs, sponge cake, peanut butter and honey sandwiches stuffed with orange zest and pencil shavings.

The finish is friendly prune cake made by my grand mother with day old cream and butter.

****

78 – Glendronach 12 (2011 bottling whisky would be from before the 1996 closing)

Nose: Pencil shavings, waxy and stone fruit

Palate: Pencil shavings, orange zest, figs, cocoa, flinty and honey

Finish: Flinty rocks and honey, dusty.

***

79 – Glendronach Handfilled distilled 05/06/92 bottled 27/02/19 58.9%
Dark, black, brooding… it looks like motor oil.

The nose is quite restrained with dried and dusty coconut but with some time with loads of fat raisins almost like Madeira and peanut butter on toast. Menthol and spearmint appear and after about 30 minutes in the glass real maple syrup on flapjacks.

The palate is packed with cocoa and dark dark dried fruit (dates, figs and prunes) but has relief from red apple skin tannins. Prunes reappears leading to honey, salted butter and finally pencil shavings.

A strong leather and chocolate glazed almond finish.

****

Whisky 2019 – 68-73, North Star Tasting

68 – North Star Fettercairn 12yo, Bourbon Barrel, 54.3%
Nose: Banana split!! Banana cake, peaches and cream. A freaking fruit bomb with freshly cut wood.

Palate: Chocolate ice cream dusted with cinnamon. Really rich with water, creamy.

Finish: A touch of butter and the spice really lingers

***

69 – North Star Invergordon 31yo, Bourbon Barrel, 63.1%
Nose: orange zest, donuts, orange blossoms, pound cake, glue

Palate: great intense sweetness, cream, tiramisu, dusty shelf, vanilla slice

Finish: melted butter, plasticine and woody but still pleasant.

****

70 – North Star Orkney 12yo, Bourbon Barrel, 56.4%
Nose: honey… loads of honey, aspirin, new leather footballs

Palate: heavy mouthfeel initially honey and fire ash hits immediately, dripping with bacon fat, what seems like high acid cleans the heaviness of the spirit.

Finish: Nan Cooper’s malt loaf, cold salted butter, almond shells

****

71 – North Star Spica 29yo, Sherry Butt, 44.1%
Nose: Grapes, caramels, spicy, chico lollies,

Palate: A bit flat and tired, chocolate, black berry

Finish: Cream and wood

**

72 – North Star Vega Blended Malt 1990 28yo, Sherry Butt, 44.5%
Nose: Asian corn snacks, leather and spice, green peas, ham and mustard sandwich, sulfur

Palate: Gas bottles, coffee grounds, Jaffa, red plums, dates, pop corn, integrated sulfur

Finish: old bicycles tires, port, pop corn

Loads of fun ****

73 – North Star Vega Blended Malt 1985 33yo, Sherry Butt, 44.5%
Nose: Old apples and red apple skin, heather, caramel, chocolate

Palate: Creamy, pencil shavings, orange zest, fat raisins, muscat, red apple, caramel

Finish: cream, salt, bracken

****