Tag Archives: 12 years

Longmorn-Glenlivet Pure Malt 12 yo (1980s)

Tasting: Longmorn-Glenlivet Pure Malt 12 yo (1980s)

Longmorn-Glenlivet Pure Malt 12 yo (1980s)Dram data:
Distillery: Longmorn-Glenlivet
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail, licensed bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 1980s
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40
unknown colouring/filtering
Whiskybase link (similar, but older bottling)

There are things you just can’t say no to – like this wee old miniature bottle of whisky I stumbled across in Arkwright’s Wine and Spirit shop earlier this year. Who would pass on the opportunity to experience what whisky bottled decades ago tasted like? This was bottled in the 1980s as a licensed bottling by Gordon & Macphail, distilled in the 1970s – some of the new make might have even been produced when Longmorn was a distillery with only two stills and those were fired directly. Back then what we now call “Single Malt” was called “Pure Malt” and distilleries proclaimed their region by attaching “-Glenlivet” to their name. Those were the times – and they are now bottled history! Anyway, all of that means almost nothing if the whisky is bad, so let’s dive right in!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose features a surprising amount of alcohol for a 40% whisky. Once the alcohol settles down, a dry, layered, spicy, sherried whisky is revealed. We’ve got orange peel, ginger, nutmeg, a whole truckload of cloves and cinnamon and dusty beeswax on a base of dried apricots and sulphured sultanas with a smidgen of motor oil on top (the good kind, you know…). Nicely layered and balanced, not flabby at all. We’re off to a very good start here.  Let’s check the palate!  Continue reading

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

Springbank 12 yo Burgundy (2016)

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #16: Springbank 12 yo Burgundy (2016)

Springbank 12 yo Burgundy (2016)Dram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: 11.2003
Bottled: 05.2016
Age: 12
Limitation: 10260 bottles
Casks: 1st fill Burgundy barrels
Alcohol: 53,5%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

So… we’ve had Madeira finished Finnish whisky yesterday, so let’s stay with wine finishes/maturations and pour a dram of a hugely popular Springbank from earlier this year.

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose opens with quite a lot of peat smoke for a Springbank whisky. I’ve had more subtle Longrow drams! Not that I’m complaining! Once you cut through the peat there’s the usual slightly salty note intermingled with fresh mint and a whiff of alcohol. Digging even deeper we finally arrive at the core of the whisky. Very noticeable wine cask influence. Sweet grapes, grape seeds, candied oranges and pineapples, pickled ginger, mango sorbet with lemon drizzled on top, fruity pipe tobacco and Swiss orange cough drops. Not an easy dram. Let’s check the palate:  Continue reading

Yellow Spot 12 yo Single Potstill Irish Whiskey

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #8: Yellow Spot 12 yo Single Potstill Irish Whiskey

Yellow Spot 12 yo Single Potstill Irish WhiskeyDram data:
Distillery: Midleton
Bottler: Mitchell & Son
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Butts & Malaga Casks
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

We’ve had a few Scottish and a German Whisky so far – how about an Irish whiskey next?

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 orange
The nose opens with notes of ethanol, cookies and citrus fruits – freshly cut lemons, limes and green clementines. Some essential lemon oil too? Green apples, pears and pineapples provide an additional fruity-acidic note. After a while the citrus notes transform into oranges, the apples turn red, a dash of honey appears along with a trace of cinnamon and there’s a hint of vanilla and a faint trace of fragrant oak. 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

Slyrs 12 yo

24 drams till christmas 2016 #3: Slyrs 12 yo

Slyrs 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Slyrs
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: 2003*
Bottled: 2015*
Age: 12 years
Limitation: 2000 bottles
Casks: fresh american oak
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered(?) and uncoloured
Whiskybase link
*no info on the sample bottle, it could either be the first or second batch

After tasting a less than stellar 3 yo whisky from the Bavarian distillery, I’m putting high hopes in this very expensive and collectable 12-year-old dram. Let’s check it out!

Tasting notes:
Colour: amber
The nose starts out extremely rich! Different league than the aforementioned 3 yo bottling! Not your usual whisky, though, a distinctive style you could not mistake for a Scottish whisky (which is good, because why should you make whisky that tastes like Scotch in Bavaria?). Rich oak! I couldn’t find any official info on it, but I’d be surprised if it was anything but virgin american white oak casks. This could almost be a well-aged high-malt mash bill, potstill bourbon! Charred oak, vanilla, tannins, ginger, cinnamon and cloves up front, with caramel and toffee sweetness, Werther’s Original, Ricola cough lozenges and a whiff of a new Bavarian cowboy boot (Oh come on, you’ve made that one up!). Very oak-driven, but not too oaky. At the same time there’s also a lightness and freshness on top – you can tell this is not old whisky, but a younger distillate from fresh casks. Let’s check the palate! Continue reading

Kilkerran 12 yo (Inaugural release)

Tasting: Kilkerran 12 yo (Inaugural release)

Kilkerran 12 yo (Inaugural release)Dram data:
Distillery: Glengyle
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: September 2016
Age: 12
Limitation: –
Casks: 70% ex-bourbon +30% ex-sherry
Alcohol: 46%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Twelve long years ago I had just finished school and started my mandatory military service. But twelve years ago, in the “wee toon” of Campbeltown, a miracle happened: A new distillery was born. The owners of Springbank distillery decided to revive the old buildings of the Glengyle distillery, and industry legend Frank McHardy was given the order to carry out the task. And now, in fall of 2016 we can finally taste the first “finished” product after a series of “Work in progress” bottlings, the last of which were truly spectacular, especially last year’s bourbon matured release. Needless to say, expectations are very high but I’m sure we won’t be disappointed!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
gold
The nose is exactly as I expected it to be! Just like the last bottlings, this redefines a light spirit character. This is everything but a modern in-your-face whisky. This is a style almost lost in today’s wood-driven, over-finished marketplace. But how is it? Well, there’s a very light amount of peat (the malt is produced to Springbank style specification) mixed with light fruits, Campbeltown salt notes and a slight mineral note. Very elegant. We’ve got tinned tangerines, apricots, white peaches, sweet grapes, pears, apple peelings and the tiniest pinch of oriental spices. All of those fruits are served next to freshly ground chalk stones on the Campbeltown pier with the smoke from a distant peat fire drifting by. Very well put together, everything is so much more than the sum of its parts. Oh, and did I mention it keeping a light and delicate, yet never fragile profile? No marketing department would order something like that, they’d have it smothered under extreme sherry cask pressure… With water: Slightly rounder and more light fruits. Continue reading

Tasting: Dalmore 12 yo (late 80s/early 90s duty free bottling)

Tasting: Dalmore 12 yo (late 80s/early 90s duty free bottling)

Tasting: Dalmore 12 yo (late 80s/early 90s duty free bottling)Dram data:
Distillery: Dalmore
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: 70s to early 80s
Bottled: late 80s, early 90s
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 43%
Most likely chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
dark orang-ey gold
Woohoo! my nose is finally working again and properly calibrated after being stuffed for well over a week! So it’s back to business with an old Dalmore 12, bottled in the mid-80s to early 90s. This might very well contain whisky distilled in the 70s! I’m excited! The nose is, well, recognisably Dalmore-ish! Light, fruity, sweet and pleasant but not without depth. The first thing you notice is a sweet – but not cloying – rich sweet sherry and fruit sweetness. Px sherry, dried dates and figs, dried pears for making fruit-bread, plum spread, seasoned with Swiss herbal cough lozenges and a dash of plum distillate (with cracked kernels!). Continue reading

Benriach 12 yo

24 drams till Christmas tasting #11: Benriach 12 yo

Benriach 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Benriach
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Oloroso and PX
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: dark honey
The label says “matured in sherry wood” and the nose agrees! Medium intensity, rather dry sherry notes (dry-ish Oloroso?) meet red fruits (cherries, plums), oranges with zest, raisins (+sweetness), caramelised ginger, and mixed spices – allspice, cinnamon and cloves.  Continue reading

Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration - Port wood 12 yo

Tasting: Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration – Port wood 12 yo

Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration - Port wood 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: 18.06.2003
Bottled: 04.11.2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: ca. 250 bottles
Casks: Single Port Hogshead 15/297/543
Alcohol: 60,1%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red cherry juice
The nose opens with surprisingly little alcohol. It’s there, but not 60% ABV there – no idea what they’ve done here but I like it! Toasted oak with slight cask smoke (that’s quercus robur talking loudly!), brambles, cassis, cherries, liquorice, roasted walnuts and assorted spices (again, that’s the oak talking). Continue reading