Age: 19 years
Limitation: 846 bottles
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
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…
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!
Continue reading “Tasting: Deanston 1994 19 yo by Cadenhead’s Small Batch Collection”
Bottler: hand bottled
Age: 19 years
Casks: Recharred Sherry #606
To mentally prepare for the Springbank festival in May, which I’ll attend, I think it’s time I tasted a “wee toon dram” again. How about this 19 yo from last year’s festival? Let’s take a look – and a sniff and taste!
The nose has a lot of power! wow! it’s a re-charred cask (hogshead?), so there’s no sherry left, this is all Springbank distillate and even more wood! The cask spices are immediately there up front – I’m guessing European oak! Cough lozenges, liquorice, cloves, allspice, gentian and a hint of wormwood. The typical Springbank smoke is there, but it really has to fight through the spices, you could easily miss it! The base is made up of burnt toffee, caramel, a whiff of old cigar box and the freshness of illicit cherry distillate with loads of cracked cherry stones in the mash. An aromatic powerhouse, not for the faint at heart!
Continue reading “Tasting: Springbank 19 yo 1997-2016 (warehouse tasting)”
Limitation: 498 bottles
Casks: Sherry Butt
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
What’s that wee dusty miniature back there buried below other samples? Tobermory? Haven’t had one in a while – don’t mind if I pour one…
The nose opens on… aaah! Dirty sherry whisky profile! None of this highly polished, clinically, modern stuff! Burnt rubber and oily rags with a bottle of Manzanilla poured over them on first contact! Not for wimps, that’s for sure. But what else is there? Almost burnt roasted dried fruits (any fruit, really), lovage, burnt toffee (hey, how many more burnt things can you cram into a Sherry butt?), high-octane chocolate and a handful of cloves. Sulphur, you ask? Well… err… maybe a burnt matchstick, but that’s about it. With water: not too much change, just a tad more accessible for people not used to this style of whisky. Let’s check the palate! Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas 2016 #14: Tobermory 19 yo by Cadenhead’s”
Bottler: A.D. Rattray
Limitation: 203 bottles
Casks: refill ex-Bourbon #2239
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Dirty, peaty, smoky Islay as we love (or hate…) it on the nose! Phenolic peat smoke, damp oily rags used to wipe down a puffers’ engine, cigarette ash and iodine wound disinfectant paired with a lemon-infused get-well-tea in the Bowmore hospital. Oh and a eucalyptus shrub as a twisted gift for the patient thrown in for good measure! Salty too – licking sea-stones at the Laphroaig pier.
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #19: Laphroaig 1990 19 yo by A.D. Rattray”
Age: 19 years
Limitation: 264 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon / ex-Chateau Lafitte since 2009
The nose is… different on first sniff. Slightly alcoholic and summer fruits (strawberries). Is this some sort of finishing? Doesn’t say on the miniature so let’s check online. Ah yes, there you have it, matured in a Chateau Lafitte (sic!) red-wine cask since 2009 (roughly six years). Thought as much. Thank god the wine finish isn’t overdone, it is still a light spirit from most likely an initial x-fill bourbon cask kindly nudged into a different direction without killing it. Now that’s established we can go back to nosing, shall we?
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #8: Strathmill 1995 19 yo by Cadenhead’s”