Tag Archives: Speyside

Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Tasting: Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary

Convalmore 1977 40 yo – Cadenhead’s 175th anniversaryDram data:
Distillery: Convalmore
Bottler: Cadenhead
Distilled: 1977
Bottled: 2017
Age: 40 yo
Limitation: 522 bottles
Casks: Butt
Alcohol: 56,8%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Another whisky in the stunning lineup to celebrate Cadenhead’s 175th anniversary! I only have a very small sample left, so I’ll make the best of it to get my first tasting notes for a Convalmore up!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 gold
The nose is still surprisingly vibrant and alive for a 40 yo whisky! Definitely not an overoaked, dead dram (hey, I’ve seen it happen, they usually come in crystal decanters and expensive lacquered boxes!)! A massive waft of orange peel up front, mixed with gooseberries, apricots, mangos, sweet grapes, pickled ginger – let’s call it a seasonal (summery) fruit basket. But there’s more to it! A few mint leaves rubbed onto a lacquered oak box (ahem) held together by a leather belt, a cinnamon stick and a pinch of ground allspice. Noses more like a 25 yo whisky at first, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, does it? Give it time and time and time again, and it settles down, with the fruity notes getting darker / more condensed. Continue reading

Benriach 20 yo

Tasting: Benriach 20 yo

Benriach 20 yoDram data:
Distillery: Benriach
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2016
Age: 20
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

It’s been quite a while since I last had a Benriach, a distillery I’ve often had a bit of trouble with (with exceptions, such as the rather nice daily dram the 12 yo is). So let’s try this 20 year-old sipling!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose is very promising upon first contact, soft and mellow, yet rich, with an “aged” base and heavily sherried! Old banana, banana chips, vanilla sauce, sweet grapes, some pickled ginger, fresh figs, rum-soaked plums and juicy sultanas. The fruity component rests on a bed of slight cask smoke, a whiff of dunnage warehouse and spices – cloves and cinnamon come to mind. Rich, juicy, fruity and dark, without too much wood, just about right for a 20 yo dram.
Continue reading

Speyside Region 1975 40 yo by The Whisky Agency

Tasting: Speyside Region 1975 40 yo by The Whisky Agency

Speyside Region 1975 40 yo by The Whisky AgencyDram data:
Distillery: undisclosed
Bottler: The Whisky Agency
Distilled: 1975
Bottled: 2016
Age: 40 years
Limitation: 389
Casks: Fino Sherry Butt
Alcohol: 55%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

When you get the chance to taste a stunning dram like this one, you better bring your tasting notebook with you! Because it was originally handwritten, this review is slightly shorter than the usual ones, but I’ll try to keep it interesting nonetheless!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 gold
The nose promises great things right from the first contact. Deep and rich, with old, sweet tropical fruits. We’ve got Mango, papaya, dried apricots, all stored on the oak shelving of an old-style Scottish candy shop with un-lit beeswax candles being stored nearby. Very rich, dense and interwoven, a style only lots and lots of time and a good cask can create.
Continue reading

Ballindalloch distillery

Speyside trip 2016: Part four – a surprise tour at Ballindalloch, a surprise “lunch” at Glenlivet, a not-so-surprising tasting with Dave Broom and Martine Nouet book launch

It’s been a while a long time since part three of the #dram16 stories, but better late than never, right? *ahem*. Well, #dram17 is around the corner so no better time than the present to relive some memories!

Ballindalloch Distillery

Ballindalloch Distillery

Ballindalloch Distillery

The best stories in life happen by accident. We weren’t supposed to do anything that morning. My brother and I didn’t get tickets for any exciting events so our plan was to drop our friend Jo off at Ballindalloch distillery and then drive on to Glenlivet for a breakfast, for which we had bought tickets. Who buys tickets for breakfast anyway? Crazy!
Getting out of the car at Ballindalloch distillery we were greeted warmly by Mr. Russell, the distillery’s founder and owner of the Ballindalloch Estate. As we later heard, he personally greets everybody who makes the effort to visit his distillery. He’s even there every morning at 7 a.m. to meet Colin, the distiller. Feeling properly welcome, my brother and I couldn’t resist asking whether we could “hop on” the tour since we were already there and all. Long story short – and a popular vote by all of those who had booked onto the tour later – we were on and found ourselves in the distillery’s comfy lobby, sitting in armchairs, a cup of tea in our hand and listening to the brilliant and ever so cheeky “tour guide” Brian telling us everything there was to know about the distillery. This surprise tour would turn out to be a real highlight of the entire festival – way over two hours of in-depth, completely un-rushed, un-branded, no-BS enjoyable time. 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

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:
Colour:
 amber
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:
Colour:
 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

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:
Colour: 
honey
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