Category Archives: Speyside

Glen Spey 2004 by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #22: Glen Spey 2004 by Gordon & MacPhail CC collection

Glen Spey 2004 by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Glen Spey
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 26.09.2013
Age: ca. 9 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Refill bourbon barrels
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Glen Spey. That’s the Diageo distillery producing one of the lead malts for their J&B blends. How does it work on its own as a young malt?

Tasting notes:
The nose starts off on the light side – Vanilla, orange and a malty sweetness with some alcohol on top. Fruits? Well, maybe a cheeky pear and a red apple with waxed skin have somehow made it into the barrel. Quality distillate for sure and very nice, but just a tad generic? Like a beefed-up (ABV-wise) young Glenlivet or Glenmorangie from the supermarket. Well, let’s see what happens on the palate! Continue reading

The Macallan Edition No.2 NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #11: The Macallan Edition No.2 NAS

The Macallan Edition No.2 NASDram data:
Distillery: Macallan
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: 7 different types
Alcohol: 48,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

The Macallan, probably one of the most widely recognised luxury whisky brands in the world, released their 2nd “edition” whisky, this time made up of no less than seven different cask types. It would be rude not to give it a proper review after being given a blind sample for a competition amongst malt mates!

Tasting notes:
The nose opens with dense, heavily sherried, aged aromas. You could bury your nose in there for a long time. Let me rephrase that – you CAN! The European oak spices dominate, paired with mixed sherry impressions. Cinnamon, star anise and a pinch of nutmeg rubbed on a new leather jacket lying on a boardroom with old oak flooring. Raisins, caramelised ginger, dark chocolate too.
Very interesting and dense – but after close to a quarter of an hour in the glass and having taken a sip something happens: The nose gets much lighter, less “dark” and intense. Most whiskies improve with time in the glass, this one, strangely, seems to lose. A LOT! This happened to me on the first, blind tasting and now upon retasting as well. Let’s see what the palate has in store! Continue reading

Glen Keith 1992 21 years by Archives

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #9: Glen Keith 1992 21 years by Archives

Glen Keith 1992 21 years by ArchivesDram data:
Distillery: Glen Keith
Bottler: Archives
Distilled: 10.1992
Bottled: 03.2014
Age: 21 years
Limitation: 218 bottles
Casks: Bourbon Barrel 120599
Alcohol: 51,5%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Another “first” for the blog – I can hardly believe I’ve never officially tasted a Glen Keith before?

Tasting notes:
 light gold
The nose opens on the sweet and fruity side, but with a lightness to it at the same time! Sweet oranges, a hint of wax, sweet fruits (grapes, apricots, mangos) and light vanilla dominate the initial impression. We’ve got an ex-bourbon fruit bomb here! As time passes, the aromas get more complex and richer, the fruits get darker, with an almost jammy/syrupy aspect to them. Let’s see what the palate has in store! Continue reading

Strathisla 2005-2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till christmas 2016 #2: Strathisla 2005-2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

Strathisla 2005-2015 by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Strathisla
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail
Distilled: 2005
Bottled: 16.12.2015
Age: ca. 10 years
Limitation: –
Casks: first fill sherry hogsheads
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered(?) and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

That’s only the second Strathisla I’ve reviewed for the blog – let’s see if this independently bottled 10 yo from Gordon & MacPhail’s “distillery labels” series has an edge over the official 12 yo!

Tasting notes:
Colour: dark straw (exactly what it says on the leaflet.. I didn’t cheat, I swear!)
The nose starts off a wee bit shy and on the sweet side. First fill sherry hoggies? I wouldn’t have guessed that from the first nose. Well, all right, dry, light sherry, perhaps, because that’s what the nose says after a while. American oak, too. Vanilla, custard, faint traces of dry sherry, green apples and pears, apple peel, rhubarb and donut glazing with a splash of citrus in it. Faint traces of oak. Well… light and nice enough but not the “usual” heavily sherried style of Strathisla. On to the palate! now! Continue reading

Inchgower 2002 - 2016 by G&M Connoisseur's Choice

Tasting: Inchgower 2002 – 2016 by G&M Connoisseur’s Choice

Inchgower 2002 - 2016 by G&M Connoisseur's ChoiceDram data:
Distillery: Inchgower
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail
Distilled: 2002
Bottled: 06.05.2016
Age: ca. 14 years
Limitation: –
Casks: refill sherry hogsheads
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured

It’s been a while since I last had an Inchgower – they’re not a very prominent distillery in the whisky shops, with no widely available official release by Diageo we have to rely on the independent bottlers!

Tasting notes:
Colour: red gold
The nose starts off fruity and aromatic. Not an in-your-face sherried whisky, it shows an elegant restraint, yet still loads of character. Apple and pear compote (including slightly green peel) with honey and the odd dried date thrown in. There’s also a hint of honey-covered crunchy muesli in the background with a whiff of fragrant oak. Oh, and a cinnamon stick and exactly two cloves. Fruity, but not overly sweet – the magic of good refill casks! Let’s check the palate now! Continue reading

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Blind tasting: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614CDram data:
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: June 2014
Age: 16 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 1st fill ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 55,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Oh, a mystery whisky! I love tasting mystery whiskies – even if there’s a chance I’ll make an utter fool of myself, but that’s part of the game! Let’s dig in!

Tasting notes:
Colour: apple juice
The nose is pleasant and light on the first nose with a hint of alcohol dominating. Light vanilla, red apples and red pears, strawberries, dried pineapple, summer honey, candyfloss and dextrose sugar pieces for athletes with added lemon aroma and heather tips. With time and careful nosing there’s quite a lot going on here, creating a summer-dram profile. Not too much oak influence, if you asked me I’d put this at about 10 years. My first intuition says Highlands (or maybe Speyside). A very clean and unobtrusive style of whisky – a Glenmorangie with more oomph than the 10yo or a slightly richer Glenlivet? Something along those lines. Even if it’s not, that’s what it reminds me of and it smells familiar. Definitely modern whisky and I’m 99,9% sure it’s Scotch malt whisky (leaving a tiny margin of error open, because, well, you never know, blind tastings are funny things). On to the palate now! Continue reading

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt

Tasting: William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt (Review #200)

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt Dram data:
Distillery: undisclosed (see below…)
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1970s
Bottled: 09.12.2015
Age: 40 (stated; actually 43yo*)
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon (my impression)
Alcohol: 40,2%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Unless I’ve lost the ability to count, this is whisky review #200 – time for a small celebration! How about… oh, a 40yo “undisclosed” Single Speyside malt by William Cadenhead’s? Only they could be so cool as to print the completely unrelated letter combination “Glenfarclas” just above the bottling number. No, I’m sure these letters don’t mean anything to anybody… I love you guys up there in Campbeltown!

Tasting notes:
40,2% ABV – this better not be weak on the nose! Ah…. no! Oh! Ah! Properly aged whisky from a refill ex-bourbon cask, that’s a style I love! Golden honey with a bit of beeswax, majestic oak jam cupboard (just the right amount of oak) with a leather jacket and garden herbs for drying hanging from a hook on the side, sweet summer sunset in an orchard captured in a glass, tropical fruits (dried mangos and papayas ), condensed orange juice, slightly vanilla-flavoured Virginia pipe tobacco (non-vulgar vanilla!), ah, what a lovely, dense yet still elegant and fragrant mixture. Just the dram to pour those “age doesn’t matter” folks, that’ll teach ’em!  Continue reading

Review: Miltonduff 2006 9 yo by Single Cask Collection

Tasting: Miltonduff 2006 9 yo “Golden Reserve” by Single Cask Collection

Review: Miltonduff 2006 9 yo by Single Cask CollectionDram data:
Distillery: Miltonduff
Bottler: Single Cask Collection
Distilled: 22.03.2006
Bottled: 13.12.2015
Age: 9 years
Limitation: 204 bottles
Casks: Bourbon barrel #30452
Alcohol: 57,3%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

September’s almost gone and I’ve only managed to publish three whisky reviews (this one included) this month and no article in a while – sorry about that. Things have been quite busy during the summer and the decreased volume of posts is not a sign of me getting bored (only getting bored of high-class whisky prices, but that’s nothing new).
So to spice things up here’s a whisky review of a chance buy – an independently bottled single cask Miltonduff, bottled for an Austrian own-label whisky distributor in a range sold in Austrian supermarkets (no idea how widely distributed, just found it in a bigger one…). The market is definitely changing and I applaud the placement of indie bottles in stores to spice up the whisky shelf – if it’s a good one, as we’re about to find out…

Tasting notes:
pale gold
The nose opens on quite a hit of alcohol – no wonder at 57% ABV. Citrus peel, a hint of orange, apple pie prepared with green apples, slightly green mango, yoghurt with a hint of real vanilla and a touch of nuts as well as oak with wood smoke. With a considerable amount of water: Roughly the same profile, just a tad mellower and without the dominating alcohol. A bit more on the grassy/green side now, but this is still young, fresh and citrussy overall, yet not without substance. Continue reading

Glenrothes 1997 18 years "Chocolate Orange Segment" by Wemyss

Tasting: Glenrothes 1997 18 years “Chocolate Orange Segment” by Wemyss

Glenrothes 1997 18 years "Chocolate Orange Segment" by WemyssDram data:
Distillery: Glenrothes
Bottler: Wemyss
Distilled: 1997
Bottled: 2015
Age: 18 years
Limitation: 357 bottles
Casks: Hogshead
Alcohol: 46%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
golden apple juice
The nose opens on… well, the suggestive title seems to work, there is orange up front, actually more like tinned tangerines, but that’s the same category. Oh, and orange sherbet powder. The fizziness usually associated with sherbet powder comes in form of a constant alcoholic tingle. Chocolate? Hmmm… not really. Oh, hang on, Well, maybe something along the lines of a well-known chocolate treat filled with cherry and cherry liqueur. But definitely more on the cherry and liqueur side than chocolate. The background is made up of notes of vanilla, ginger and an herbal, flowery note that’s hard to pin down. Cherry blossom perhaps? Light-ish and summery. Continue reading

Tomintoul Tlàth NAS

Tasting: Tomintoul Tlàth NAS

Tomintoul Tlàth NASDram data:
Distillery: Tomintoul
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: American oak
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered/unknown colouring status
Whiskybase link

When the press release for the Tomintoul Tlàth (which translates to gentle, mellow) hit my inbox, something caught my eye. These past few years distilleries seemingly seemed to battle out a competition on who could do the most finishes, find the most extravagant casks and come up with all kinds of nonsensical tweaks of the whisky theme. Not this one, it is plain and simple, a “collection […] of whiskies of various ages matured in first-class American oak bourbon barrels”. My preferred style of Scotch. And attached with it: No far-fetched story, no flannel and a “daily dram” worthy price tag of about 30 GBP/39€ (I’ve seen street prices announced for less than that). Yes, it’s NAS (no age statement), but we’ll see whether it’s one of the good ones. Let’s dig in!
Tasting notes:
The nose fits the “the gentle dram” tagline. A slight alcoholic hint up front which disappears quickly revealing notes of citrus and orange with a touch of menthol, sugar-reduced cake frosting with a dash of lemon juice in it, a sneaky lychee, gooseberry and a slice of apricot with a mixture of vanilla and caramel pudding in the background (not too loud on the vanilla). We’ve got 20°C inside – this works quite well. Light, fresh and young-ish, but with a twist to keep it interesting. Continue reading