Tag Archives: Gordon & Macphail

Glenlivet 1974 33 years GM

Tasting: Glenlivet 33 yo 1974-2008 by Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1974 33 years GMDram data:
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 1974
Bottled: 18.02.2008
Age: 33
Limitation: 726 bottles
Casks: 3 sherry hogsheads
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

I know posts have been far and few between lately – I’m very busy at the moment juggling different tasks, so please bear with me. Since it’s been a while, let’s make this tasting count. Glenlivet from 12 years before I was born? Don’t mind if I do!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red amber
The nose immediately brings a smile on my face. Proper, aged whisky. I’m repeating myself here, there are many truly excellent young whiskies, but there is absolutely no substitute for time. You cannot produce this style of whisky in 5, 10, 15, 20 years, no matter what the marketing guys want you to believe. Older whisky doesn’t mean better, but when it’s right, it’s right! Oh, sorry, I digressed a little. On the nose then… we’ve got a fragrant mix of spices up front. We’re talking mulled wine spices. Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, that sort of thing, but not fresh and sharp, but on their second infusion. The spices are paired with quite a bit of oak wood concentrate, just bordering on too much (I hope this won’t show up too harsh on the palate) and loads of dark, dried fruit notes in the background (rum-infused plums, predominately). Also in the background are notes of Demerara sugar, chocolate cake, slightly burnt toffee, toasted walnuts and sweet vanilla pipe tobacco. All in all a very nice combination of intense, thick aromas.  Continue reading

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

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #24: Mortlach 1954 58yo by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #24: Mortlach 1954 58yo by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #24: Mortlach 1954 58yo by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Mortlach
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 27.01.1954
Bottled: 20.11.2012
Age: 58 years
Limitation: 347 bottles
Casks: 1st Fill Sherry Butt
Alcohol: 43%
chillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Let’s review the oldest whisky in the house – 58-year-old Mortlach, to be exact… just because it’s Christmas!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 mahogany
The nose starts out surprisingly restrained. Not an over-oaked dram at all, as I initially feared. Delicate even, but what a nose! Lots going on in the glass! A myriad of warm, sweet, dried fruits. Seriously! An abundance of dried plums, cherries, figs and a sneaky date as well. But oh so mellow and as elegant as dried fruits can be! Of course we’ve also got spices. But mellowed, gentle spices, no harshness at all. Cloves, a cinnamon stick, bay leaves and allspice. And herbs. Wormwood, perhaps? But that’s not all, of course. The fruits and spices are accompanied by cherry-flavoured pipe tobacco with black cavendish, the leather jacket of an orchard worker, an bee-keeper’s oak cabinet and a slice of chocolate fruit cake. Dense, interwoven, layered, “aged” and still very elegant. What a nose! I really hope the palate will be the same! Continue reading

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:
Colour:
 straw
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

Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #13: Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhail

Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 21.01.2005
Bottled: 20.07.2016
Age: 11 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 4 First-Fill Sherry Butts
Alcohol: 57,3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Young Caol Ila. You can’t go wrong with intense, young Caol Ila, right? Let’s have a taste of this one, from Gordon&MacPhail’s Cask Strength Collection.

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 light gold
The nose is very intense on the first nasal contact! Intense, phenolic peat smoke with alcohol, vanilla and white pepper/horseradish sharpness! Whoa! But I like it! Exactly why we love young, heavily peated whisky! Let’s wait a few minutes… Ah ha! Ginger, peaty apple compote and something spicy… used mulled wine spices? To be honest, I would’ve guessed ex-bourbon maturation, but the leaflet says first-fill ex-Sherry butts. On the other hand… it could’ve been dry sherry, there is a dryness… With water: same general profile, but less alcohol! Let’s see what the palate has to offer!  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

Glentauchers 1996 / 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

Tasting: Glentauchers 1996 / 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail

Glentauchers 1996 / 2015 by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Glentauchers
Bottler: Gordon&MacPhail
Distilled: 1996
Bottled: 2015
Age: 18/19 years
Limitation: –
Casks: first fill sherry butts
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: light honey
The nose opens on the rich, fruity-sweet and spicy side. The first impression reminds me of mulled apple wine with loads of rock sugar. Sweet baked apples with cloves and cinnamon powder, heather honey, dried pineapple, dried apricots, dried orange zest, reduced orange juice, roasted almonds and a very well-integrated oaky richness in the background. A rich, fruity, spicy delight! Continue reading

Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail's Collection

Tasting: Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail’s Collection

Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail's CollectionDram data:
Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Gordon&MacPhail
Distilled: 2006
Bottled: 2015
Age: 8 years
Limitation: –
Casks: refill/first fill sherry hogsheads
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: white wine
The nose opens with fragrant and well-integrated peat smoke. Not too phenolic – somewhere in between Bowmore and the south coast distilleries. Behind the layer of peat smoke we’ve got fresh oak vanilla sweetness, milk toffee, milk chocolate, brown shortbread which work in harmony with the peat influence. Supporting aromas in the background are a pinch of salt, crushed shells and the (positively) dirty aromas I often get in Bunnas – a hint of oil and earth. This is a surprisingly balanced, multi-faceted dram for 8 years! Continue reading

Glen Albyn 1976 - 2012 by Gordon & Macphail's

Tasting: Glen Albyn 1976 – 2012 by Gordon & Macphail

Glen Albyn 1976 - 2012 by Gordon & Macphail'sDram data:
Distillery: Glen Albyn
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: 2012
Age: ca. 36 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-sherry
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
apple juice
My first Glen Albyn – a lost Inverness distillery, founded in 1846 and closed during the miserable 80s whisky downturn in 1983. Bottlings of this distillery are getting very scarce these days…
The nose opens with notes of dusty apple strudel with sugar (no raisins!), old mashed banana, icing sugar with a drop of lemon, rich, creamy old oak and dried orange zest. Very, very mellow and well-aged! The palate has notes of white and red apples – very light, actually, light spices and a lot of creaminess. Old, dried oranges, a hint of cardboard and an old banana with peel with a fragrant oak and a whiff of dusty old cellar (yep!) in the background. Continue reading