Whisky 2017 – 166-171 – The Gresham, Brisbane

Back in Brisbane for work and I took the opportunity to visit The Gresham again. Fun place, not up to the standard of Mebourne’s biggies but a solid selection. The Octomore 7.3 was excellent! 

166 – Signatory Glenturret 1987 Hogshead Cask 374 50.1%
Short bread, preserved lemons, leather, caramel, Marion’s fruit buns, jelly fruits. Herbaceous, peaches, apricots, butter, cream, salt, tobacco, menthol, hobnobs, milk chocolate.

167 – SMWS 46.32 Glenlossie “Summertime and the whisky is easy” 1992 22 years
Toffees, Madeira cake, kiwi fruit, pineapple daiquiri, malty, macadamias, soapy, bubbling bicarb. Disappointing and confused on the palate the butter hits after a strange bitter note, stone fruits, sulfur, shortbread, slight iced coffee.

168 – Glendronach 2003 PX Puncheon Cask 4034
Wood shavings, marshmallows, pineapple upsidedown cake, lemon butter, chicos, peanut brittle and ozone. Whipped cream, wood, leather, salt, roasted peanuts, rose petals, melted butter, hazelnuts, loads of Manzanilla, weak raspberry cordial, still young and fresh, slightly dusty and green almonds, chestnut cake.

169 – Glendronach Peated
Cream, apples, band aids, imperial leather soap. A really pleasant dram fruity (peaches and apples) and friendly, some oaky and buttery notes and a touch of flinty smoke. Pretty simple but easy drinking.

170 – Ardbeg Kelpie
Heather, leather, cream, caps, salt, pink pepper corns, honey, plastic toys, ham on rye, apple snow. Earthy and leafy, flint, coals in a cold fire, cream, Guinness – better on the nose.

171 – Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3
Caramel toffees, plasticine, Eaton mess, smoke, wood glue, fake Parmesan, milk chocolate, leafy. Quite dry and smokey, bacon and HP sauce sandwich, dried apple rings, sulfur, salt, cream, tea tannins, burning leather and bracken.

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Whisky 2017 – 150-151 – Helvetica, Perth

Two special drams to finish my time in Perth. Normally, I am not a fan of red wine casks but wow! 

151 – Ichiro’s Malt ChichibuXHanyu Gasai for Isetan
Dusty apricots, carob, butter and spice cake, ozone, galvanized fence, hand cream, slight lemon zest. Hot malt, tobacco, leather, cream, slightly salt, old whisky, apricot bars, bitter herbs, boiled sweets, ice coffee.

152 – Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu first fill red wine for Isetan*
Massive nose, intense candle wax, buttered toast, boiling butterscotch, chocolate mouse, vintage soap. Manuka honey on buttered crumpets, aspirin, well structured tannins, bitter chocolate, brandy cream on warmed fruit cake, dried pears and peaches, raw cashews, toasted coconut.

Whisky 2017 – 149-150 – Helvetica, Perth

So, I’ve easily hit 150 this year. With all the work travel, I’ve somehow managed this. Helvetia is a nice little whisky bar in Perth with around 400 bottles. Some interesting Ichiro’s bottlings there too. Worth checking out if you are there. These two drams were excellent. I don’t know much about Bellwether except they are from WA and this was a monster at 70%.

149 – Bellwether Cask Strength Port Cask peated 30ppm, bottle 38/38
Leather, honey, tobacco, maple syrup, dates, green olives, scones out of the oven. Honey, butter, toast, dust and bones, tobacco.

150 – Kilchoman Caroni (Rum) Cask by LMDW 2011
Apple juice, dried apricots, leaf matter, heather, salted butter, rocks in an old fire, pound cake, roasted parsnips. Leather, salt, butter, apricot cake, fireplace, green herbs, honey, gun powder.

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 – 111-113 – The Gresham, Brisbane

So in Brisbane for work. Always trying to find whisky bars and discover The Gresham an SMWS bar. Had a great time and the staff were quite knowledge. Not really a quiet bar but still a good selection with some 2015 SMWS bottlings that are long gone. 

111 – SMWS 9.83 Tiger balm, limoncello and scented candles (Glen Grant)
Raw peanuts, spring onions, lemon zest, tinned pineapple, nail polish remover, vanilla and apricot crumble. Zingy totally understand the limoncello and tiger balm, over fried garlic, green onions (in a good way – first time I’ve thought that), with time cocoa, old butter and dusty.

112 – Glendronach 1992 24 years olorosso butt cask 226 %58.4%
Match heads, old apples, caramel, pepper, rhubarb compote, dust, roasted shallots, balsamic reduction. Wow so deep and heavy, soy sauce caramel, dusty, old apples, mushroom funk, gravox, cocoa, melted butter, red apple skin, caramel.

113 – Glendronach 1989 26 years olorosso butt cask 2662 54.5%
Apricot jam, caramel, Granny Smith apples, pound cake, really good tomatoes, pound cake. Tobacco, chocolate, weeds, plastics, dust, savory, old apples, slightly funky, old leather, shaving cream, flint, burnt onions, tarte tatin.

Whisky 2017 – 49-51 – La Masion du Whisky, Singapore

Last night in Singers. Just grabbed a couple of quick drams at La Maison du Whisky. Nice bar with maybe 200 bottles open, but loads of interesting bottles to buy as you’d imagine from LMDW – a 1990s Springbank 100 Proof and a 7 of Diamonds Ichiro’s (as I drank at Auld Alliance!) – yes please!!! 

49 – Glen Keith LMDW Artist #6 1992 20 years Cask 120584

Marshmallow, cream, ice coffee, vanilla essence. Coconut cream, praline, green leaves, light fruit cake, white peaches and cream, lemon pith, white chocolate.

50 – Boutiquey Whisky Company Tobermoray Batch 3
Glacé fruit in acetone, salt and pepper, bitter caramel, warm cherries. Green apples, pancakes, cream, malty, slight cocoa hit.

51 – Benriach 1999 PX Cask for LMDW 15 Years Cask 5727
Xmas spices, orange zest, vanilla cream, woody and softened butter. Wowsers citrus infused cream, toasted hazelnuts, pepper, and huge length, red apple, loads of warm brown butter, cinnamon scroll out of the oven.

Whisky 2017 – 41-48 – The Auld Alliance, Singapore

OK – So I went to the Auld Alliance in Singapore. Wow! I understand why it is regarded as the world’s best whisky bar. Yes, it was expensive but completely worth it – my only problem was my mistake ordering the Benrinnes. It is a fabulous dram, don’t get me wrong but didn’t really sit well with the other drams – a slight misstep when you are overwhelmed with such an imposing list. 

The Card Series were impeccable. I know there is a brouhaha regarding Japanese whisky prices and is it worth it. For me I tried three stunning, unique and consistent drams that deserve significant praise. 

The staff presented me with a mystery dram at the end a 1977 Sherry cask bottling of something Speyside. For me this was Ben Nevis but who knows. 

41 – Springbank 15 Years Old Tall Bottle from the 80s
Apricots, hand cream, brown sugar, plump raisins. Stunning mouthfeel, wonderfully spiced, salty, slight warm malt cake, stewed apricots dolloped with cream, cake mix.

42 – Springbank 12 Years Old tall bottle from the 80s
Fruit on a cheese platter, coffee grounds, tropical cordial. Leather, cream, perfumed soap, salt, slight tropical fruit sweetness, woody spices on the finish, malty.


43 – Benrinnes Silver Seal 30 Years 1984 Cask 2268
Malty, stone fruit, banana leaf. Hot, cake, leather, salt, maraschino cherries, Sacher torte, malt loaf with butter.


44 – Glendronach 31 Years 1978 Olorosso Sherry Cask 1040
Gravox, maple syrup, rubber, chocolate mousse, sulphur. Heavy and unctuous just crazy mouth feel, berry jam taken within an inch of its life, angry caramel, match heads, boot polish, motor oil.


45 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 7 of Diamonds 1991 19 Years PX 2nd fill Cask 9031
Caramel, grappa, peanuts, stewed apple, vanilla, turps, sarsaparilla, German spice biscuits. Woody, perfume, bacon fat, smoked praprika, peanut brittle, gooseberries and stone fruit, milk chocolate.


46 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series 10 of Clubs 1990 PX 2nd fill Cask 9032
Wonderful cocoa and musk nose, orange marmalade, crepes with butter and cream, boozy stewed stone fruit. Toffee apples, cream, orange blossoms, leather, cream, white pepper, slight meaty note, white peaches, salt.


l47 – Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Card Series King of Hearts 1986 PX 2nd fill Cask 9033
Smoked paprika, grape skins, roast chicken, Coke spider, sarsaparilla, musk, dark chocolate. Maple syrup, roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cream on Xmas pudding, rockmelon, salty, rose hips, dry ginger.


48 – The Auld Alliance 1977 Sherry Cask (perhaps Ben Nevis)
Chocolate, dried apricots, salty butter, cake mix, yeast. Cake mix, apricots, leather, green peppercorns, cocoa, green herbs and salt, chocolate mousse, tobacco, spiced pumpkin.