Category Archives: Highlands

Deanston 1994 19 yo by Cadenhead's

Tasting: Deanston 1994 19 yo by Cadenhead’s Small Batch Collection

Deanston 1994 19 yo by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Deanston
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1994
Bottled: 2014
Age: 19 years
Limitation: 846 bottles
Casks: Butts
Alcohol: 56,4%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

I guess everybody has one – a distillery whose products they’re struggling with. There are very few of them – but Deanston is amongst them. It’s hard for me to find a Deanston malt that “connects” with me – for whatever reason. So what drove me to purchase this bottling by Cadenhead’s? Don’t remember! Let’s see if this is a Deanston malt that “works” for me…

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 dark straw
The nose is pretty light – second fill butts were probably used for maturation. We’re greeted by lemon, citrus peel, a whiff of alcohol, unripe grapes and grape seeds on a bed of candyfloss. A mix of limoncello and grappa, perhaps – aged in oak barrels. After 19 years this is still rather spirit-driven, which is not a bad thing unless you’re expecting a sherry bomb. Let it sit for quite a while and more subtle nuances appear, together with a grape and apricot sweetness and fruitiness. Not a dram to be rushed. Quite good so far – let’s see if it’s the same on the palate! 

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Glendronach 1995 21 years cask 1523 for Shiuh Heng

Tasting: Glendronach 1995 21 years cask 1523 for Shiuh Heng

Glendronach 1995 21 years cask 1523 for Shiuh HengDram data:
Distillery: Glendronach
Bottler: official bottling for Shiuh Heng
Distilled: 24.03.1995
Bottled: 04.2016
Age: 21 years
Limitation: 684 bottles
Casks: PX Sherry Puncheon
Alcohol: 54,6%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Glendronach in Sherry, what else? And matured for “twenty-one long years”. Well, thank god, because I hate whisky that’s matured for a number of short years! Anyway, let’s get on with it!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose has quite a lot of alcohol sitting up front – and a load of dark aromas lurking behind. Burnt sugar (Demerara), molasses, old Caribbean rum, burnt caramel, raisins, 100% cocoa chocolate-covered orange peel. A lot of “dark” aromas, not much in terms of sweetness (as one would expect from a PX Puncheon). A tough one, it does have its qualities, but it doesn’t seem to connect with me.  Let’s see if it’s the same on the palate! 

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Royal Lochnagar 12 yo - 1990s bottling

Tasting: Royal Lochnagar 12 yo – 1990s bottling

Royal Lochnagar 12 yo - 1990s bottlingDram data:
Distillery: Royal Lochnagar
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 1990s
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
coloured / chill filtered
Whiskybase link

While this should probably be tasted head to head with a recently bottled sipling, lacking a sample of one I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got – a Royal Lochnagar distilled in the “dark days” of the 1980s, bottles sometime in the 90s. Let’s see how this one fares!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 light copper
The nose is quite delicate upon the first contact, with the alcohol vapours being somewhat noticeable. Once the nose cuts through that, there’s a tiny whiff of smoke – not peat smoke, mind you – on a base of sweet things! Vanilla, sweetened coconut milk, fudge, dried mango pieces, canned peaches and apricots with a pinch of ready-made spice mixture on top. This is very likeable indeed and quite a lot deeper than modern supermarket drams in this price range. Let’s see if it holds up on the palate! Continue reading

Banff 1976 40 yo - Cadenhead's 175th anniversary

Tasting: Banff 1976 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Banff 1976 40 yo - Cadenhead's 175th anniversaryDram data:
Distillery: Banff
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: 2017
Age: 40
Limitation: 192 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon hogshead
Alcohol: 51,2%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

This 40 yo Banff, distilled in 1976, was part of the 175th anniversary bottling by the independend bottler Cadenhead’s, and we got the chance to try it during the matching tasting with Mark Watt during the Campbeltown whisky festival 2017. I liked what I tasted (I had it at a tie with the Rosebank), so I brought most of the sample home for a proper tasting session. Let’s do this!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 coppery gold
The nose is anything but weak – still going strong after 40 years in a hoggie! What did they do differently in the 70s? Many drams from that era (even ones bottled at a relatively young age) have such a rich, fruity, waxy palate that has rarely been produced since. We’ve got orange peel, waxed red apples, tinned peaches and tangerines, brown banana, banana bread, strawberries in milk chocolate. In short: a complex, rich summer fruit salad served on sweet bread. (Please, hipsters, don’t make that a thing!). Oak, you ask? Well… just a smidgen of oak influence and a light generic herbal note holding everything together in the background, but this is mostly distillate and age talking here. With extended time in the glass, the herbal notes intensify a bit.

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Glengoyne Batch Strength Batch 001

Tasting: Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 1 NAS

Glengoyne Batch Strength Batch 001Dram data:
Distillery: Glengoyne
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 (?)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Sherry
Alcohol: 58,7%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

It’s been a while since I last reviewed a Glengoyne, so let’s take a look at this cask strength offering!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose starts off in the typical, light Glengoyne style. Alcohol up front, but not too much, considering the strength! Citrus and fresh ginger meet noticeably spicy European oak casks, providing notes of baking spices – cinnamon, allspice, cloves – as well as dark cherries, cherry pipe tobacco, cracked cherry stones, marzipan, dark chocolate with orange bits,  and a base layer of dark, dried fruits served on an oak platter with a match being lit nearby.
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Balblair 30 yo 1985 - 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

Tasting: Balblair 30 yo 1985 – 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

Balblair 30 yo 1985 - 2015 by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Balblair
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 14.01.1985
Bottled: 27.01.2015
Age: 30 years
Limitation: –
Casks: refill ex-bourbon barrels 245+246
Alcohol: 43%
chillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

I know, I know – I’m really slow with reviewing whisky lately, so many bad nose days… So let’s make today count!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 dark gold
The nose starts out very promising! My favourite style of dram, the marriage of fruits and oak only long periods of maturation in excellent casks can achieve! Where to start… We’ve got dark red apples, sweet pears, thickened sweet grape juice, an abundance of lychees in glucose syrup, sultanas, dried mangos and papaya, a hint of pickled ginger with a wee drop of orange juice, dark milk chocolate, a box of milk toffee with vanilla flavouring and a light cigar, all stored in an old oak cupboard polished with fresh beeswax. The 43% ABV make it ever so slightly watery, but it remains an absolutely stunning nose, defying all “age doesn’t matter” claims. This would be the whisky to convert the NAStivists (I totally just made that word up…). Let’s see if it holds up on the palate!  Continue reading

Edradour 2003 9 yo PTM

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #19: Edradour 2003 9 yo PTM

Edradour 2003 9 yo PTMDram data:
Distillery: Edradour
Bottler: official bottling for LMDW
Distilled: 2003
Bottled: 2012
Age: 9
Limitation: 247
Casks: refill ex-Caol Ila hogshead
Alcohol: 61,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

PTM? What the heck is PTM? Yet another three-letter abbreviation. Well, it stands for “peated through maturation”. Fill your Edradour new make into a hoggie which was previously used to mature heavily peated Caol Ila whisky – and the idea is that some of the peat smoke carries over. Let’s see whether the theory works!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 gold
Ah yes, there’s definitely peat smoke on the nose! Not on the same scale as heavily peated Islay whiskies, but it’s there. Very similar to the inaugural Wolfburn bottling, where they applied the same technique. Surprisingly mellow for over 60% alcohol! We’ve got light peat smoke, vanilla, coconut, strawberry marshmallows, Kiwi, lime and heather. Light, but in no way boring. Let’s try the palate:  Continue reading

Fettercairn 2000 14 yo by C&S

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #17: Fettercairn 2000 14 yo by C&S

Fettercairn 2000 14 yo by C&SDram data:
Distillery: Fettercairn
Bottler: C&S dram collection
Distilled: 12.09.2000
Bottled: 23.03.2015
Age: 14
Limitation: 217 bottles
Casks: Bourbon barrel 3171
Alcohol: 53,5%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

This is the season of “firsts” – the first Fettercairn to be officially reviewed on the blog! Let’s do it!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose opens on the “green” side. Freshly cut grass with lemon and vanilla drizzled on top. Sawdust with resin and a hint of wood glue, dry end-of-season tangerines, old malt sweetness and a whiff of allspice. Very interesting profile that takes a bit getting used to, definitely not mainstream! Adding water and waiting for several minutes reveals more tropical fruity notes Give it some time! On to the palate:  Continue reading

Old Pulteney 12 yo

24 drams till christmas 2016 #6: Old Pulteney 12 yo

Old Pulteney 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Pulteney
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014 (L14 338)
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Cask: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

After thoroughly enjoying a (blind) dram of Old Pulteney 12 yo during a dinner in Speyside earlier this year, I just had to get a bottle and taste it again in my usual, controlled setting. Let’s find out of it lives up the earlier pleasant experience!

Tasting notes:
Colour: gold
The nose is surprisingly aromatic and rich, starting out with blood oranges, dried pineapple and light vanilla. Building upon those, there is a fruity sweetness (peach and apricot juice mixed with ice wine?), tinned tangerines and lychees, white chocolate, a very delicate spicy note (fresh fennel and pickled ginger?) and a faint trace of salt spray. A mix of sherry and ex-bourbon casks, I presume, but active and good wood. This is very good, much better than expected of an entry-level whisky at 40% ABV! Loads going on, yet not overwhelming for beginners. I really hope the palate can keep up with that! Continue reading

Dalmore 1992 22 years by Cadenhead's

Tasting: Dalmore 1992 22 years by Cadenhead’s

Dalmore 1992 22 years by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Dalmore
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1992
Bottled: October 2014
Age: 22 years
Limitation: 264
Casks: refill bourbon
Alcohol: 59,5%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
I’ve been sitting on this miniature for a while now, but Dalmore matured in (refill) ex-Bourbon is not something you see released by the distillery. All the more intriguing – let’s see…!
Colour: copper gold
The nose opens on a light, summery note. Quite a bit of alcohol there – no wonder at close to 60% ABV! Mentholated ginger/orange drops, orange zest, gooseberries, white grapes, icing sugar with a dollop of lemon juice, red apples and fresh pears. Big on the light, fruity side. There’s a hint of oak in the background – light and shy, adding depth, but not more. Continue reading