Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Battle of the Glens

Two offerings from D&M went head to head - winner is Glen Garioch, but only by a nose.
Glen Garioch 16 YO distilled in 1990 at cask strength (57.1%) Cask#10291 Tasting notes: see earlier posting.
The Glen Moray 14 Year Old, distilled in December 1992 from cask #4065 and was bottled exclusively for the D&M Connoisseurs’ Club. Bright, lively Sauvignon Blanc/straw color with thick legs. Spicy nose, with peppermint, fruit and light notes of the sea. Rich texture, but light bodied- Very charming with candied fruit and pepperminty notes. Finishes pretty, with vanilla/caramel on the finish.
Bottom line: join this club via the D&M link on the right side of this site.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Linkwood vs Rosebank

Not your everyday challenge...but the Linkwood won this one.
Adelphi bottling of a 15yr old Linkwood. Clearly a bourbon cask single but still characteristic of the house style --a light, floral Speyside, with cherries and rosewater but a bit more spice than usual (thanks to the lack of sherry. The Rosebank is great – a real spicy Lowland that Cadenhead’s did a wonderful job finding. Found this one in Scotland, and cannot replace it in the US, a regret. The Linkwood wins out by virtue of my ability to get more of it (note in the pic how low it is) and how deep and well rounded it is.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lochside - another lost distillery

Cask: Aged in only a refill bourbon cask. Nose: sweet, hint of camphor and toasted malt, almost creamy. Others claim -- a rich oily note of toasted macadamia nuts. and lush ripe poached apples and pears fruit notes. They even add spice notes of basil and a touch of white pepper. Palate: Such a rich, velvety, dense mouthfeel. Flavors of pumpkin seeds, creamy custard and soufflé wraps its around your mouth and linger on your palate. Beautiful elegance with unbelievable length!
This distillery started as a brewery in the 1890s and then started producing whisky in the 1950s. It was closed in the 90s and demolished in 2005.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back on the Dallas Dhu

A signatory special 1975, 31 year old. Dallas Dhu is a Speyside distillery that was closed in 1983. Very pale in color because it is from a single bourbon cask. Mouth-coating, but not heavy or cloying. A clean whisky that emphasizes its sweeter notes, with honeyed malt, ripe barley, butterscotch, and vanilla. Subtle notes of cinnamon, lemon grass, and fruit in syrup. A dried, oak-spice finish provides balance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cragganmore Spice with a Syrah finish

1985 Cragganmore 21 year old, Murray McDavid Mission Gold Top Bourbon/ Guigal Cotes Rotie Syrah Cask, Single Malt Whisky
Jim McEwan'sTasting Notes: Colour:Ripe peach Body: Beautifully rounded and plump. Nose: Almost a Champagne style efferevescence - grape, nectarine and pear tickle the nose, a compote of summer flavours that fizzes and delights. Palate: Again the flavours dance and sparkle on the tongue, the sweetness of fudge, followed by cherry and plum and then even a hint of liquorice all flirting harmoniously with the tastebuds. Just finished a bottle and scooping up more!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Port Ellen Heaven

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice bottle of 1982 Port Ellen is a great example of a smooth but smokey Islay whisky. This is a elegent dram from a closed distillery. Tasting notes are found here: http://www.gordonandmacphail.com/ClickThro.asp?PDF=ccportellen82-40.pdf

Highland Park Duo

Tried 2 HPs from our friends at Binny's. The clear winner was the Celtic Heartlands Highland Park 1967-35yr Old. Amazing dram that keeps to the tradition of HP but slightly less sherried. The other was classic HP - full robust sherry. It is a Special single cask bottle - exclusive to Binny - a 1971, 34yr old.
Here is the review of the Celtic Heartlands version: http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/highland_park/whisky1897.html

Monday, July 30, 2007

Can't wait to turn 42

42 is a great age if this 1962 (42 yr old) Glenmoray is any indication. This is a wonderfully complex dram presented in a spectacular decanter - the Celtic Heartland from Jim McEwan.
"Elegant and beautifully composed aromas of sweet mellow mature oak coated with honeyed vanilla open the treasure chest followed by soft orange, Mandarin rind scents. Notes of sweet dark cola, sugared almonds, banana nougat, guava and passion fruit all rise from the depth, plus a little evergreen mint adding a freshness to this olfactory mind blowing experience Genuinely lovely as it slowly unfolds. Exiting gracefully on rich dark vanilla."(Jim McEwan's Tasting Notes)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Glen Garioch - another win from D&M

D&M has another success. We never had a Glen Garioch and if others are like this we will be visiting.
16 Year Old Glen Garioch, 1990 Cask Strength: Deep reddish walnut color with slow, very thick legs. The nose is is soft with sweet heather and lanolin. The body is very firm, almost stiff. The palate has white chocolate, and a good amount of smoke. Finishes with cocoa and vanilla.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Jam Master J's 41st

Started off with a 1969 (34 yr old) Springbank -HUGE!!!!
Moved on to a 1966 Banff - Mackillops did the honor.
1975 Duncan Taylor Banff to follow - #2 to the Springbank
Moved on the Dallas Dhu - Machlocet on the Rum Finished 27yr vs the Signatory '75. The birthday boy was in a minority on the '75.
For those that still had their stomach - the Syrah cask finished Dufftown and Mortlach followed. A great dessert.
Dan's hiccups and the rest will remain legend.
Many thanks to those that came - and big appreciation to Harry's Monti #2's

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nosing Wheel

How to say it?

This site has the correct pronunciations for all the distilleries.

The new HP25 - a terrific dram

Still need to try the 30, but the new 25 is excellent. Classic HP, but seems to be less sherried. This and the Springbank below have been added to the collection.
Colour: Natural colour; dark red golden, clear and bright
Bouquet: Very rich, mature oak; chocolate; fudge
Palate: Full, rich burst of flavour; soft honey; nutty toffee
Finish: Rich, long and surprisingly sweet for its age

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Springbank 1969 (34y) from Signatory - off the charts

Found this at Brandy Library with the He Man Woman Hater Club. It is packed with citrus notes (lemon, orange) along with subtle spice notes (especially cinnamon), red licorice, polished oak, and that signature Springbank fresh brininess, albeit a bit reserved. This Springbank is not as heavily sherried as some and much appreciated. Turns out it is about the same price as one of the club favorites - the older (2004) 21yr old distillery version.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Scapa - an amazing treat

This Scapa was from a single cask care of Mackillops. D&M club label on it - many thanks to them for the find.
This one has a terrific malty sweetness and some spices. Nose has cottan candy in it. Body is very complex and vibrant. Finish is stolen from the older Highland Parks, but without the Sherry. Almost tastes like some cinnamon.
And here are the official tasting notes: Deep gold color with slow, thick legs. The nose is composed of white chocolate, red fruit, white pepper, loads of malt and vanilla, and a burning Viking ship in the distant harbor. The body is thick and mouth coating. The flavors are chewy, with loads of cocoa up front, followed by vanilla and a very pure sweetness. The back part of this is where it shows off its island origins—sea salt shows up, followed by a light dressing of barley sugar candy then there’s the smoke—pure, dry, filling the sky at sunset.

Speaking of Dallas Dhu

This is the hands down winner of the Dallas Dhu tasting. So sad that this distillery is gone.
See the following link for other silent stills: http://www.maltmadness.com/silent.html

Dun Bheagan's Dallas Dhu

Dallas Dhu is fast becoming a favorite of the He Man Woman's Hater Drinking Club. This one is finished in a RUM cask!!!
Wildly good, and complex. Great nose of oranges and vanilla and can't hide the rum. Body is chewy and a good amount of oil. Finish is long, sweet, and smooth.
Thanks Harry!

How can Highland Park dissapoint???

Drinkable, but no character at all. No nose, slight hint of Highland Park in the middle, not much finish. Shocking that this single from an oak cask is such a dud.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A fond memory

Benromach 1968, 41.8%

Tasting notes: UNDILUTED -- Nose:Sweet, rich fruit aromas - ripe apples & pears. Smoky - burnt wood notes together with a dry spicy edge - liqurorice & aniseed. Palate:Rich fruit & spices, resinous with cream sherry flavours. Smoky, okay notes also present which slowly dry the palate. WITH WATER -- Nose:Burnt sugar, treacle notes evident with floral aromas ( lavender & wax polish). Sherry wood & mulled fruits in the background. Palate: Toasted, malty flavours initially with fruit & sherry wood following. A subtle smokiness & a hint of pot pourri. Body:Rich Finish:Sherry and a touch of peat smoke. Cask Type:First Fill Sherry Hogsheads

We had this at Gordon & MacPhail and I am working on getting a bottle...

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Is Springbank's Bourbon Wood the best?

Hard to beat this one! Light color sings bourbon. Incredible body - very full, malty and slightly sweet. Add water and a fruity nose develops toffee notes with a hint of vanilla. Nice finish and complex throughout. As usual, Springbank gets the balance right. Hard to find, but just found a few cases...who is in?

Friday, January 5, 2007

Highland Park in a new bottle

Glad to see that HP has done another re-design. This takes them a positive step back to the bottle we all fell in love with. Now let's hope the new 18 tastes like the pre 2000 18yr.
With Tasting notes like this - how could you not love it!!!
Whisky Magazine Tasting Notes
Nose: Warm, notably flowery. Heather-honey, fresh oak, sap, peat, smoky fragrance. Very aromatic and appetising.
Palate: Remarkably smooth, firm, rounded. Lightly salty. Leafy (vine leaves?), pine nuts. Lots of flavour development: nuts, honey, cinnamon, dryish ginger.
Finish: Spicy, very dry, oaky, smoky, hot.
Overall: If I smoked I would have a cigar with this one.

What a Mortlach

A find! Murray McDavid - 1993 Mortlach 12 year old, Bourbon cask, finished in a Guigal Cotes Rotie Syrah Cask. Great color, amazing nose, opens wonderfully with water. Note the picture is not the actual bottle, but representative of the new Murray McDavid line.