Dram data: Distillery: Highland Park
Bottler: official bottling
Age: 30 yo
Casks: refill sherry casks
uncoloured / unchillfiltered Whiskybase link
Two whiskies down, two to go in this vertical tasting series of Highland Park. Let’s pour the 30 year-old next!
The nose is the most expressive of the range so far. There’s a vibrant oaky not up front – but not too much oak. There are spices, a whole bucket of spices, including cinnamon, star anise and allspice. Someone’s thrown a very sweet, candied orange into the bucket as well and poured some caramel and maple syrup (the oak aged variety) over the mixture. Oh, and don’t forget the sultanas. In fact, this smells like a dusty, oaky whisky-infused fruit cake you can buy in the visitor’s center of many a Scottish distillery (it does get dusty if you leave it open for months. Ask my brother!). Can’t say, I’ve seen them at Highland Park, come to think of it. Oh, and what’s that? Just the hintiest hint of smokiness in the background adding to the complexity. Properly aged whisky, not overdone, not too less. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint on the palate!
Dram data: Distillery: Jura
Age: 30 years
Limitation: 66 bottles
Casks: Bourbon Barrel
unchillfiltered / uncoloured Whiskybase link
That sample took a while to reach me! It went from Salzburg to Vienna, was forgotten and finally found its way into my hands at its bottling place, Campbeltown, this May, only for me to bring it back to Austria to finally taste it. Apparently, it’s a very good Jura (which you can’t say of all whiskies by this distillery), so I’m very much looking forward to giving it a go!
The nose is rather promising. Rich and properly aged with quite a noticeable oak influence, but not too much. We’ve got an oak storage cupboard with a slight layer of waxy varnish and quite a few kinds of fruit – dried bananas, dried peaches, dried pineapple, tinned lychees, sweet red apples, rhubarb some pickled ginger. Add to that a hint of orange peel, honey and a box of tutti frutti. This is unlike most Juras I’ve tasted – the spirit has been taken over by the cask in a very advantageous way. Continue reading →
Dram data: Distillery: Balblair
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Age: 30 years
Casks: refill ex-bourbon barrels 245+246
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!
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 →
Dram data: Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Riegger’s Selection
Limitation: 360 bottles
Cask: Rum Cask Finish
unchillfiltered; natural colour Whiskybase link
In the glass is a (hopefully) nice Caol Ila from the mid-80s, distilled at a time, when many distilleries sadly closed down forever during the last big downturn of the Scotch industry. Let’s get started! The nose is surprisingly fresh from the get-go! I haven’t looked up the details but I guess this was at least a 2nd fill cask. Alcohol, salt spray, a slight hint of menthol, citrus peel and -juice, industrial cleaner (hey, what?) all mixed together with earthy, dirty peat smoke and a whiff of cough lozenges. Continue reading →