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30 Apr 12

Caol Ila 1982, 27 YO, Blackadder, 55.8%, B: 2009. Cask 757, 217 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Farmy, peaty, on iodine, seaweeds, with light floral notes.
Taste: Salty, spicy, peaty, slightly soapy, on peat smoke and seaweeds. The finish is medium to long, peaty, maritime, intense and quite smooth.
General Impression: A rounder version than the Perfect Dram.
Rating: 15/20 FP:A7


Caol Ila 1982, 27 YO, The Perfect Dram, 62.4%, B: 2009, 108 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Floral, very maritime, smoky, peaty, clean, fragrant and on seaweeds.
Taste: Salty, maritime, quite floral, on seaweeds and seashells, peat smoke, with some farmy flavours. The finish is long, fresh, very maritime, slightly peaty, clean, with some pear drops.
General Impression: An interesting Caol Ila, light, fresh and surprisingly floral, not dominated by the peat. Fresher than its age would suggest. Thank you Carsten.
Rating: 15/20 FP:A7

29 Apr 12

Caol Ila 1982 for LMDW, 26 YO, Berry Bros & Rudd, 55.4%, B: 2008, Cask 756, 248 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Nicely peaty and smoky, maritime, slightly mineral, with some citrus and light floral notes. Nicely balanced.
Taste: Very peaty, slightly spicy and citric, intense, slightly floral, with some sweet fruity notes and cold ashes. The finish is long, peaty, round, slightly syrupy, tarry, on cold ashes, with some citrus and pineapple.
General Impression: An excellent Caol Ila, reminding me of the old Caol Ila.
Rating: 18/20 FP:A9


Caol Ila 1996 NC2, 16 YO, Duncan Taylor, 46%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: Fresh, peaty, quite floral and soft, on drying grass and seaweeds.
Taste: Surprisingly floral, maritime, salty, peaty, quite soft and on coriander. The finish is long, dry, ashy, peaty, slightly bitter and floral, with some soapy notes.
General Impression: A good Caol Ila, quite floral, with some sweetness.
Rating: 13/20 FP:C9

28 Apr 12

Caol Ila 1990 Old Malt Cask Rum finish, 17 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2007, ref #3898, 182 b. Price:
Colour: Pale yellow
Nose: Very peaty, fresh, on dry hemp rope with some sugary sweetness and on cold ashes. A typical Caol Ila nose, but more intense than normal.
Taste:  Dry, very peaty, tarry, phenolic, very maritime, on hemp rope and smoked fish. The finish is long to very long, dry, peaty, clean and smoky. Very nice.
Diluted, it becomes slightly floral and sweeter.
General Impression: A very intense and peaty Caol Ila, with a very subtle Rum influence, barely noticeable.
Rating: 18/20

27 Apr 12

Caol Ila 1996, 12 YO, Berry Bros & Rudd, 56.7%, B: 2008, Cask 12245. Price:
Colour: Light gold-straw
Nose: Very peaty, maritime, dry, slightly floral, smoky and on hemp rope. A typical Caol Ila nos, but peatier.
Taste: Dry, peaty, salty, intense, some hemp rope and pineapples. The finish is long, very peaty, slightly bitter, with some liquorice.
General Impression: A very good example of Caol Ila, very intense.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A9


Caol Ila 1979 Old Malt Cask, 25 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2005, Ref 2102, 271 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Peaty, maritime, smoky, on smoked fish, hemp rope, seaweeds and with some diesel and tarry notes. Rather mellow.
Taste:  Rye bread, maritime, peaty, on lemon, hemp rope, sweet smoke, smoke fish, lime tree tea, with some light toffee and round tarry aromas. Quite creamy. The finish is of medium length, smooth and mellow, on hemp rope, peat and smoke. Quite maritime.
General Impression: A good, but mellow and surprisingly smooth Coal Ila, less peated than usual and quite creamy.
Rating: 15/20

26 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Caol Ila 1995 Old Masters Sherrywood, 14 YO, James MacArthur, 58.4%, B: 2010, cask 10042. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Clean, medium peated, tarry, ashy, with some mineral notes and dry hemp rope. Very smooth and round.
Taste: Maritime, salty, with some mild spices, tangerine, intense (spicy), on BBQ, wood smoke, some hemp rope and peat. The sherry contributes to some pleasant roundness and smoothness.  Diluted, it becomes quite fruity (tangerine and orange). The finish is long, peaty, smoky, oaky, with some wet wood smoke, slightly maritime and salty, with some tangerine.
Impression: An elegant and charming Caol Ila, intense, smoky, with the sherry influence contributing to a very pleasant roundness.
Rating: 16/20 FP:E6

25 Apr 12

Special Whiskyschiff Zurich

Lochside 1981 Fino, 29 YO, Whisky Doris, 58.8%, B: 2011, 403 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold- gold.
Nose: Clean, on dry white wine and slight grassy notes. Rather austere and dry. In other words, very much “fino”.
Taste: Intense, rather sticky on the palate, with some white dried raisins, straw, some lactones and toffee. Very oaky. Diluted, it becomes lighter and fruity. The finish is medium, very oaky, on dried white grapes, with a rather pleasant fino influence.
Impression: The fino sherry provides a nice dry influence to the whisky and this one is no exception. The whisky is pleasant, but the effect of the wood is rather heavy, slightly too much to my liking and making it difficult to identify the character of the distillery when drank straight without any water. More expressive and fruity once diluted.
Rating: 14/20 FP:B1

24 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Lochside 1967, 44 YO, Cooper’s Choice, 41.1%, B: 2011, butt 802, 328 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose:  Smooth, mellow, fruity, on tropical fruits (papaya, guava, mango).
Taste: Very smooth, slightly grainy, on cooked cereals, peach, guava and mango. The finish  is medium, grainy, very smooth, on cooked cereals, peach and guava.
Impression: A fine and very smooth Lochside. It tasted more like a blended (grain+malt) Lochside than a single malt that has well mellowed (too much?) during its long maturation. Fairly price compared to recently released old Lochsides.
Rating: 14/20 FP:D1

23 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Lagavulin Horae Solaris 1988, Moon, 50%, B: 1998, 1300 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Peaty, mineral, slightly tarry, maritime, with some round and sweet notes, on drying kelps and charcoal.
Taste: Dry, peaty, mineral to very mineral, clean, smoky, on iodine, disinfectant and light maritime flavours. The finish is medium to long, clean, peaty, mineral, slightly ashy and tarry, on iodine and some disinfectant, with light maritime notes. Rather smooth. There is a very long peated reto-olfaction.
Impression: A very good mineral Lagavulin with rather strong iodine notes. Rather close to the Lagavulin 12 Year Old cask strength released by Diageo as part of their Annual Releases.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A6

22 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Lagan Mill (Lagavulin) Sherry, Cooper’s choice, 56.5%, B: 2011, cask 9143. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Round, peaty, intense, on wet wood, slight meaty notes and some iodine.
Taste:  Smooth, peaty, slightly salty, round, with some tangerine, orange and light maritime flavours. Rather oaky. The finish is medium, peaty, salty, maritime, well rounded, with some light sherry flavours and on wood smoke (BBQ).
Impression: A good sherried Lagavulin, slightly young and smooth, but very intense. A very good dram for a cold and rainy day. I wished the proprietors would bottle more often Lagavulin from a sherry cask.
Rating: 14/20 FP:E7

21 Apr 12

Strathisla 1937 for Cinzano, Gordon & MacPhail, 70 Proof, B: 1980s. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Floral, grassy to very grassy, mineral, slightly metallic, on a mixture of dry and bold peat, with a nice fresh and sweet fruitiness as well as some eucalyptus.
Taste: Rich, intense, slightly minral and vegetal, on heather and strong eucalyptus flavours. The finish is medium to long, rather thick, vegetal, mineral and on eucalyptus.
Impression: An interesting old Strathisla with strong eucalyptus flavours. A rather difficult malt. Thank you Patrick S.
Rating: 15/20 FP: D3

20 Apr 12

Strathisla 35 YO Bicentenary, OB, 43%, Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Very malty and spicy, floral, on hay, some lilac, violet and geranium, a hint of smoke and some berries (redcurrant).
Taste: Malty, floral, slightly smoky and grassy, slightly mineral, with some redcurrant and eucalyptus. Diluted, it becomes very spicy, more intense and more on eucalyptus. The finish is medium, slightly metallic, bitter, and grassy, on caramel, floral notes and redcurrant.
Impression: A charming and rather soft Strathisla that requires water to open up. Thank you Patrick S.
Rating: 15/20 FP:D3

19 Apr 12

Stathisla 1989, Clydesdale, 63.5%, cask 3619418, 244 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Floral, on heather, strawberries, raspberries and some pollen.
Taste: Smooth, floral to very floral, with some drying grass, on heather and berries. The finish is long, smooth, floral and grassy.
Impression: A well made Strathisla, where the rich floral notes are nicely expressed.
Rating: 15/20 FP:C3

18 Apr 12

Strathisla 1957, 50 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: On precious wood, old furniture, bloody oranges, leather, tannins and red berries.
Taste: Tannic (woody), slightly rubbery, smooth, with a lot of red berries. The finish is medium, dry to very dry, astringent, tannic and on red berries.
General Impression: A good Strahisla, but the wood is showing off.
Rating: 15/20 FP:J3

17 Apr 12

Strathisla 1969, 36 YO, Coopers choice, 54.5%. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Old polished exotic wood, floral, winey, on berries (strawberries and raspberries), cooked apples, dried plumps, and with some sweet Rum-like flavours. Rich and complex. Diluted, the nose becomes more balanced and offers a superb flavour profile.
Taste: Spicy (peppery), tannic, floral, quite smoky, on grapes, strawberries, balsamic vinegar and Rum aromas. Diluted, it reveals a second layer of complexity, more balanced and with some fudge. Changes all the time. The finish is quite long, smoky, tannic, relatively dry and thick, on old furniture, strawberries and oranges.
General Impression: A very fine Strathisla, with a very pleasant nose, very complex. The wood influence is quite striking, not too woody and fits to its aromatic profile.
Rating: 17/20

16 Apr 12

Longmorn 1973 first fill sherry, 33 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 54%, B: 2006, cask 3650. Price:
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: Very heavily sherried, strongly berry flavoured (brambleys and strawberries), on violet, chocolate, apricots, with a zest of orange and nice rubbery flavours. Diluted, it becomes more on toffee and smoky (matches).
Taste: Spicy, lemony, on rubber, orange, chocolate, apricots, violets, berries, leather and some beewax. The finish is thick, bold, on milk chocolate, apricots, violets, and rubber.
General Impression: A very sherried Longmorn, with strong and good rubbery notes. Quite thick and not as complex as some sherried Longmorns from the early 1970s (e.g., 1972).
Rating: 16/20

15 Apr 12

Longmorn 1975 Cross Hill, JWWW, 53.20%, B: 2007, 130 b. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Slightly smoky and oaky, on sweet and ripe fruits (pear, peach and melon), with some discreet wild berries.
Taste: Slightly dry and spicy, oaky, floral, on brambleberry tea, with the fruitiness less pronounced than in the nose. Relatively bitter and citiric, with some jasmine tea flavours. The finish is medium to long, oaky, slightly dry, resinous, fruity and with some brambleberries flavours.
General Impression: A very good and fruity Longmorn, relatively oaky and slightly rough.
Rating: 16/20


Longmorn 1969 refill sherry for the Whiskyfair, 38 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 54.6%, B: 2008, cask 3724. Price:
Colour: Old gold-orange.
Nose: Very fruity, sweet and juicy, on soft peat smoke, tangerine, Rum, strawberries, with some heather and lavender. Diluted, it becomes more on leather, raisins, and some lemon grass. It becomes also fresher and more floral.
Taste: Juicy, spicy (ginger, pepper, with some chilli), slightly salty and peaty, then comes the sweetness and the fruitiness (strawberries, peach, brambleberries, tangerine and orange). Diluted, it becomes more fruity, but the attack becomes also more citric and spicy. The finish is medium, oily-waxy, sweet, juicy, fruity and spicy.
General Impression: Most of the Longmorn that I have tasted so far from that period where 1st fill sherry. This refill sherry is smooth and mellow and as good as you might expect from a Longmorn of that period.
Rating: 18/20

14 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Longmorn 1969 Reserve for Van Wees, Gordon & MacPhail, 59.4%, B: 2011, cask 5294, 402 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Round to very round, smooth, with nice sweet fruity notes, berries, some high grade leather, nice mild spices and on orange. Slightly smokier and drier than the 1972, with extra notes of dried plums.
Taste: Very fruity, rich, intense, very complex, on orange, tangerine, some mango and papaya, toffee, cocoa, some coffee beans. The finish is long to very long, thick, intense, fruity, on berries, toffee, fudge and cocoa.
Impression: An excellent, rich, intense and very complex Longmorn.
Rating: 19/20 FP:I2

13 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Longmorn 1972 Reserve for Van Wees, Gordon & MacPhail, 53.4%, B: 2011, cask 1084. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Round to very round, smooth, with nice sweet fruity notes, berries, some high grade leather, nice mild spices and on orange. With some rancio and faint rubbery notes.
Taste: Very round, smooth, on tangerine, orange, cinnamon, spices, some rubber, tannins, pineapples, as well as some lingoberries. Oaky without any excessive woodiness.  Diluted, it becomes slightly fruitier. The finish is long, thick, syrupy, with a slight to medium woody and tannic influence, on burn sugar, cooked fruits and some berries. Diluted, the finish is less woody  and more fruity and on burnt sugar and toffee.
Impression: A fine old Longmorn with an excellent nose, complex, with no excessive rubbery notes, but some woody notes on the finish.
Rating: 17/20 FP:I2

12 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Arran Single Cask Peated 2005, 4 YO, OB, 59.4%, B: 2010, cask 127, 264 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Fresh, young, fragrant, floral, slightly spirity and peaty.
Taste: Young, oaky, peaty, spirity, floral, fragrant. The finish is short, dry, peaty, floral and slightly bitter.
Impression: A young, rather rough whisky. Would be interesting to taste it with a couple of years more.
Rating: 08/20 FP:A4

11 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Arran Machrie Moor First Edition, OB, 46%, B: 2010. 9000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Young, smooth, fresh, clean, peaty and slightly aromatic.
Taste: Young, smooth, peaty, slightly floral, with some pears and light mineral notes. The finish is short, dry, aromatic, fragrant, peaty, tarry and slightly bitter.
Impression: A young medium peated Arran with some bitter notes. Still very young. Made with barley peated at 14 ppm.
Rating: 08/20 FP:A4

10 Apr 12

Longrow 1987, Samaroli, 45%, cask N°123. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Peaty, clean, farmy, and maritime.
Taste: Peaty, maritime, slightly soapy and floral, on seaweeds and some salt. Diluted, it becomes saltier, bitter and more farmy. The finish is long, dry to very dry, peaty, farmy, slightly floral, on seaweeds, sea brine and disinfectant. Diluted, bitter notes of gentian are released
Impression: A dry and peaty version of Longrow, with farmy and slightly bitter notes.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A7

09 Apr 12

Longrow 1987 Dreams, Samaroli, 45%, B: 1999, 967 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Dry, peaty, farmy to very farmy, clean and austere.
Taste: Very intense and powerful, peaty, tarry, dry, with some nutmeg, then comes some liquorice and salt. The stables are not very far. Diluted, it becomed more mineral. The finish is long, peaty, farmy, citric (langue de chat), intense and pungent.
Impression: A very peaty and farmy Longrow, not for the faint hearted. Noticeably different from the Longrow of the 1970s.
Rating: 15/20 FP:C8

08 Apr 12

Longrow 1995 Toakji wood finish, 10 YO, OB, 55.6%, B: 2005, Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Sweet, very winey, sugary, on grapes, burnt sugar, peat and some soapy notes. Diluted, it becomes yeasty.
Taste: Peaty, very salty, maritime, sweet, very winey, sugary, bitter, soapy and on peat smoke. The finish is long, peaty, salty, sweet, on seaweeds and grape.
General Impression: A rather strange whisky, with the Tokaji influence dominating over the spirit. A whisky without compromise:  hate or love.
Rating: 12/20 FP:E7

07 Apr 12

Longrow Gaja Barolo cask finish 2000, 7 YO, OB, 55.8%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Smoky, meaty, winey, slightly maritime, with some sweet sultanas.
Taste: Winey, salty, smoky, peaty, intense, spicy, slightly floral and soapy, with some strawberries. The finish is long, smoky, meaty, spicy, sour, winey, on red grapes and strawberries, with maybe some blackcurrant.
Impression: A combination of peaty, meaty, maritime and winey flavours that are not very much to my liking.
Rating: 10/20 FP:D7

06 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Arran 12 YO Cask Strength, OB, 54.1%, B: 2011, 12,000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Round, malty, rather sweet, on tangerine, orange and pastries.
Taste: Rich, intense, spicy, with some ginger, on orange, tangerine and light fragrant notes. The finish is medium, on slightly bitter toffee notes, orange, tangerine, and a few drops of grapefruit.
Impression: A good whisky, slightly less complex and subtle than the Eagle, but with a slightly better (less citric) finish. A vatting of first fill and refill sherry casks.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A1

05 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Highland Park Thor, 16 YO, OB, 52.1%, B: 2012, 23’000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Fresh, fragrant, rather floral, with some varnish, heather, and aromatic smoke. Seems rather young on the nose.
Taste: Juicy, on peach, mango, tangerine, vanilla, with some heather and honey. Starts on sweet notes and becomes slightly drier over time when the soft peaty smoky notes are released. The finish is medium, on peat smoke, honey, light grassy notes, some vanilla, tangerine and heather. Slightly aromatic.
Impression: A very good Highland Park, with nice clean notes, but a rather discreet peatiness.
Rating: 15/20 FP:D3

04 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

BenRiach 17 YO Septendecim, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Very peaty, phenolic, dry, smoky, tarry, with light aromatic heathery notes.
Taste: Dry, light, smoky, phenolic, tarry, slightly ashy and aromatic, and some sea brine. The finish is long, dry, light, phenolic, peaty and tarry. Diluted, the finish becomes shorter.
Impression: The old stock of floor malted peated BenRiach are dwindling and this 17 YO peated BenRiach is now replacing the 10 YO Curiositas. It is slightly less peaty and lighter, but more subtle and elegant, with only a faint influence of the cask. A very good whisky fairly priced.
Rating: 17/20 FP:A6

03 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Arran 1999 The Eagle, OB, 46%, B: 2012 Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Juicy to very juicy, malty, with some mild spices, on sunbathed barley, and some light notes of tangerine and orange
Taste: Juicy, spicy, oaky, rather intense, with light gingery and peppery notes, as well as some pleasant grassy flavours, a slight smokiness and some lemon pie. The finish is medium, on ginger, orange, some bitter lemon, grapefruit, and light toffee notes.
Impression: A very nice unpeated whisky, rather intense. The finish is surprisingly citric-bitter considering its nice round and smooth taste.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A1

02 Apr 12

Special Whisky Schiff Luzern

Glenglassaugh Revival, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Oaky, young, smooth, slightly earthy, on vegetal condiments and some floral notes.
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, oaky, rather young and round, with some spices, strawberries, orange, fudge, and grassy and slightly earthy notes. With some floral and yeasty flavours as well. The finish is short to medium, smooth to very smooth, clean, with some vegetal condiments and a touch of vegetamine and honey.
Impression: A good whisky considering it is just 3 years old. The influence of the first fill oloroso cask is very noticeable and the extraction from the casks (octaves ?) is rather impressive. It does not fully mask its youth, but provides a welcome complexity. A smooth, pleasant easy drinking whisky.
Rating: 09/20 FP:E1

01 Apr 12

Glenrothes John Ramsay Legacy, OB, 46.7%, B: 2009, 1400 bottles, Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very smooth, rich, intense, very fruity, deliciously sweet, on tropical fruits (papaya, mango, guava), with some peat smoke.
Taste:  Sweet, fruity, slightly grassy, with some bold peat smoke, a touch of cardboard, extremely fruity, slightly mineral, on all kind of tropical and exotic fruits. The finish is medium to long, sweet, slightly peaty, very fruity.
Impression: 30 casks from 2nd fill American sherry oak from vintages ranging from 1973 to 1987 were selected and vatted by John Ramsay as his legacy to Glenrothes after his 40 years spent in the industry. The result is an excellent Glenrothes, the best official release from the distillery I have tasted. Dangerously drinkable.
Rating: 18/20 FP: G2

31 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1969, 34 YO, Blackadder, 53.8%, B: 2004, 273 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Orange peel, candied oranges, honey wax, nice sweetness and beautiful oakiness. Very rich, intense and complex.
Taste: Oily, slightly rubbery, smoky, oaky and with aromas of ginger, oranges, leather, white pepper and some spearmint. The finish is round, lingering, spicy, on oranges, oak and beewax. Very pleasant and quite thick, oily.
General Impression: A beautiful Glenrothes, rich, complex with a rare intensity.
Rating: 18/20

30 Mar 12

Glenrothes Select Reserve, OB, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Fruity, floral, light, malty, on orange, tangerine, honey and a light toffee note.
Taste: Malty to very malty, slightly smoky, slightly floral, on orange, toffee, honey and some cardboard. The finish is medium, malty, on oranges, honey and floral notes.
General Impression: A good allrounder, easy to drink and an excellent introduction to Glenrothes.
Rating: 12/20

29 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1972, 31 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2004. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Very nice nose, strong sherry (orange and some tangerine) influence, smooth, on juicy malt, honey and some old leather. Harmonious nose.
Taste: Spicy (clove and white pepper), fragrant, smoky, on orange and fudge. Quite thick, rich and intense. The finish is medium, oily-chewy, spicy, smoky, smooth and round, on juicy malt and tangerine.
General Impression: Like most old Glenrothes, the result is a rich, complex, intense and pleasant whisky.
Rating: 16/20

28 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1985, OB, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Malty, sweet, round, on orange, tangerine, honey and heather. Relatively complex and smooth.
Taste: Sirupy, slightly floral and spicy, oaky, on juicy malt, toffee, vanilla, orange and butterscotch. The finish is medium, slightly smoky and oily, malty, on toffee, orange and tangerine.
General Impression: A nicely balanced Glenrothes, with more character than its younger siblings.
Ratng: 13/20

27 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1961 Rare and Old, 40 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 40%, B: 2001. Price:
Colour. Gold.
Nose: Fresh, very floral (lime blossom tea), peaty, mineral and on pollen.
Taste: Mineral, meaty, floral, peaty, minty, on pear, tangerine and some gentian. The finish is medium to long, peaty, mineral, slightly dry, clean and vegetal.
General Impression: Glenrothes is mentioned on the label, but when you taste it, the peaty and mineral flavours are not what you would expect from a Glenrothes, but more from an Ardmore. Was Glenrothes more peaty and mineral until the early 1960s? I do not know, since I have not had the opportunity to taste more such old Glenrothes. Anyway, this is a whisky that I enjoyed very much.
Rating: 17/20

26 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1994, OB, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Malty, on honey and a lot of vanilla.
Taste: Malty, floral, slightly dry and spicy (white pepper), on vanilla and cardboard. The finish is short, malty, round, on bitter toffee and some tangerine.
General Impression: A correct Glenrothes, containing probably a good proportion of first fill bourbon.
Rating: 10/20

25 Mar 12

Glenrothes 1991, OB, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Gold- old gold.
Nose: Quite rich, round, malty and floral, with some pleasant orange, tangerine, oaky and honey flavours.
Taste: Sweet, malty, on orange, tangerine, vanilla, and bitter toffee. Diluted, it becomes spicier. The finish is short-medium, on bitter toffee, vanilla and some orange.
General Impression: A pleasant Glenrothes, richer and more complex than the 1994 bottling.
Rating: 12/20

23 Mar 12

Auchroisk 1997 95.8 A curious personality, 10 YO, SMWS, 59.3%, B: 2008, 314 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Clean, malty, young, slightly immature with light floral and toffee notes
Taste: Clean, malty, floral and on toffee notes. The finish is short to medium, slightly floral and on bitter caramel.
Impression: A correct whisky, but not much is going on.
Rating:  08/20 FP: A1

22 Mar 12

Isle of Jura 1973, 30 YO, OB, 55%, cask 3155, 468 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Smooth, mellow, round, floral, on toffee, with some dried fruits, orange, light maritime and coconut flavours. The toffee notes are rather pronounced.
Taste:  Salty, intense, spicy, slightly mineral, rich, complex, slightly aromatic, with mineral peaty and smoky notes, some coffee, toffee, camphor and resinous notes. The finish is long, syrupy, floral, on toffee, walnut, some coffee, salt, and resinous notes, with a hint of mint.
Impression: One of the nicest Isle of Jura I have tasted, with round, smooth toffee notes on top of slightly salty and maritime flavours, all well balanced.
Rating: 17/20 FP: E3

20 Mar 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

GlenDronach 1985 for Lateltin, 25 YO, OB, 54.1%; B: 2011, cask 1034, 603 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Smooth, round, with light spices, raisins, dark fruits and tangerine. Well balanced.
Taste: Oaky, slightly spicy, juicy, fruity, slightly smoky, with some red berries, tangerine, orange and mild spices. Harmonious and very smooth. The finish is medium to long, rather thick, rich, spicy, on tangerine, orange, some plums and traces of rubber and wallnut.
Impression: A charming, smooth and very balanced GlenDronach that should seduce any enthusiasts enjoying sherried whiskies. A very nice cask selection. An exclusive bottling for Switzerland.
Rating: 17/20 FP: E3

19 Mar 12

Ardmore 1977, 23 YO, Signatory, 58.1%, cask 1183, 306 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Floral, smoky, peaty and slightly meaty. The peat is rather aromatic. Subtle and elegant.
Taste:  Peaty, slightly floral and fragrant, with some light mineral notes of charcoal and some vanilla. Complex. The finish is medium to long, complex, subtle, elegant, peaty, aromatic and slightly floral.
Impression: A very elegant, subtle, nicely (medium) peated whisky. I really enjoy this type of whiskies. Thank you very much Lukas.
Rating: 17/20 FP: A5

12 Mar 12

Ardmore 1977 35th Anniversary, Samaroli, 45%, B: 2003, cask 7631, 736 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very sweet and smooth, floral, round, with some tropical fruits, slightly mineral and with some bold peat. Very appetizing.
Taste: Sweet, fruity, floral, with some discreet and mineral peat, on banana, passion fruit, orange and tangerine. The finish is medium to long, fruity, with some bitter, floral and peaty notes.
General Impression: A nice sweet fruity and medium peated Ardmore.
Rating: 16/20 FP: F5

11 Mar 12

Ardmore 1992, 18 YO, Adelphi, 50.7%,B: 2011, cask 4998, 267 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smoky, peaty, meaty (smoke ham), round, and with some heather
Taste: Round, floral, slightly soapy, peaty, with some heather, old wood fire smoke. When you keep it in the mouth, it evolves and becomes drier and on dried tobacco leaves. The finish is medium to long, with some liquorice roots, peat smoke, some spices and notes of smoked ham.
Impression: A more rounded and meatier version of Ardmore than the Whisky Doris bottling.
Rating: 16/20 FP: B4

10 Mar 12

Ardmore 25 YO, OB, 51.4%, B: 2009. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Sweet, oaky, fruity (melon & mango), slightly mineral, some peat smoke, a hint of stable notes, some flowers, as well as some tangerine.
Taste: Spicy, fruity (coconut, pineapple, melon and pink grapefruit), slightly mineral, nice smoky notes, with a light maritime spiciness. Well balanced. The finish is medium to long, quite fruity, slightly citric, on old tobacco and peat smoke.
General Impression: A very nicely balanced whisky, harmonious and well made, although some might consider it slightly thin.
Rating: 17/20 FP: B5

09 Mar 12

Ardmore 1985 66.30 "An outdoor banquet", 24 YO, SMWS, 52.5%, B: 2009, 244 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Peaty, smoky, quite maritime and austere, slightly farmy and salty, with a hint of bitterness and warm wood fire smoke. With time, it becomes more on honey, toffee and seashore.
Taste: Floral, smoky, savoury, quite mineral, slightly metallic and farmy, with some honey and milk chocolate, melon, seaweeds, and pink grapefruit. Very harmonious. The finish is medium, smooth, on peat smoke, slightly floral and quite fruity.
Impression: A very nice and well balanced whisky. Highly drinkable.
Rating: 17/20 FP: B5

08 Mar 12

Ardmore 1985 66.20 "Sun-dried sprats and prune juice", 20 YO, SMWS, 54.1%, B:2005. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Peaty, smoky, slightly maritime, on melon, grapefruit, peach, some pineapple and seabreeze.
Taste: Savoury, fruity, sweet, slightly floral, smooth, on peat smoke, dried fruits (mango, melon and pineapple), dried fish and honey. The finih is medium, smoky, slightly citric and bitter, on tobacco.
General Impression: A slightly austere version of Ardmore, with quite some dried fruits.
Rating:15/20 FP: A5


Ardmore 1985 66.25 "pink ladies and dark chocoloate", 22 YO, SMWS, 52.3%. B: 2007, 295 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Malty, farmy, smoky, on horse stable and porridge.
Taste: Floral, malty, slighy grassy, becoming very farmy, on straw, with some tobacco and peat smoke, BBQ sauce, herbs, disinfectant and camphor. Diluted, it becomes more lemony, with a light sweet fruitiness and more smoke. The finish is medium, farmy, on disinfectant, camphor and some vanilla, with some peat. Diluted, it becomes more smoky.
General Impression: At full strength, it is dominated by its farmy and medicinal flavours. Water is required to the release the peat smoke and the underlying flavours.
Rating: 15/20 FP: B4

07 Mar 12
Ardmore 1996 Old Malt Cask, 12 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2009, ref 1139. Prix:
Couleur : Paille-or
Nez : Très tourbé, viandé, fermier, passablement floral, goudronneux, avec un peu d’algue et de fumée. Proches des arômes d’un whisky d’Islay. Avec le temps, des arômes de poisson s’en dégagent.
Bouche : Salé, fermier à très salé, avec un peu d’amidon, de la vieille fumée, des herbes de Provence, de la mangue et de la papaye. La finale est moyenne à longue, fruitée, légèrement florale et citrique, sur la vieille fumée de tabac, de la fumée tourbée, de vieilles cendres, des herbes et quelques gouttes d’ananas.
Impression générale : Une combinaison très agréable de notes tourbées, fruitées et fermières.
Score : 15/20 FP:E5

06 Mar 12

Ardmore 1979 Old Malt Cask, 21 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2001, 648 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Some soft floral notes, with a light fruitiness, are melded with a nice dry peatiness and some bitterness.
Taste: suprising fruitiness, slightly salty and peaty, with a lot of peach and apricots, with some pears, passion fruits and mango. The finish is medium to long, smooth, fruity, with some candies (caramel) and peat.
General Impression: With its strong peach and apricot flavours, it tastes like a peated multi-vitamin drink. Different, but I really enjoyed it.
Rating: 17/20 FP: F6

05 Mar 12

Ardmore Traditional, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Peaty to very peaty, slightly farmy, rather subtle, maritime, on hemp rope and slightly vanilla notes. Very pleasant without the harshness or dryness usually associated with peated whiskies.
Taste: Rich, peaty, salty, maritime, on iodine, some disinfectant, seaweeds and tobacco, with a pleasant oakiness. Pleasantly balanced, with slight fishy notes. The finish is medium to long, peaty, maritime, slightly salty, rather round and mellow, oaky, on vanilla, seaweeds, some iodine and liquorice root.
Impression: A very Islay-like profile with the nice rich and complex peaty notes associated with sea brine and other maritime influence. The mellowness offers a soft delivery of the peat and generates a most pleasant balance to this whisky. I tasted when it was released and there is a marked improvement, without the youth notes (i.e., more matured) present in the first release. Very good value.
Rating: 16/20 FP: A5

04 Mar 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Ardmore 1992, 19 YO, Whisky Doris, 49.6%, B: 2011, 197 bottles. Price: :
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smoky, peaty, farmy, with light fragrant and floral notes.
Taste: Light, slightly salty, bitter and soapy, floral, with some bitter aromatic herbs and old wood fire smoke. The finish is long, subtle, complex, smoky, with some peat, gentian and a light fragrance.
Impression: A nice and well-made Ardmore, with a most pleasant subtle and complex finish.
Rating: 17/20 FP: A4

03 Mar 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Highland Park 1981 Funghi, 30 YO, The Whisky Agency, 52.2%, B: 2011, 198 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Clean, mineral, smoky, peaty, with some heather and seaweeds. A pleasant mineral nose.
Taste: Mineral, smoky, with some tobacco quid, heather, sea brine, charcoal and butterscotch. The finish is long, mineral, and smoky, on seaweeds, peat smoke, and some kipper and sea brine.
Impression: A very pleasant, rather old fashioned and smoky expression, with a subtle wood influence. Diluted, it becomes smoother and on fudge. If you like this type of Highland Park, then you will really enjoy it.
Rating: 16/20 FP:C3

02 Mar 12

Dalmore 1998 13.36 Tea and marmelade, 17 YO, SMWS, 59.3%, B: 2006, 588 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smooth, floral, fruity, with some old peat smoke.
Taste: Spicy, floral, fruity, fragrant, with some smoke, violet, marzipan, and tangerine. The finish is medium to long, spicy, oaky, rich, slightly floral, on fruit marmelade.
General Impression: A very pleasant, rich and intense Dalmore. Thank you Alain M.
Rating: 15/20 FP: D2

01 Mar 12

Dalmore 1963, James McArthur, 48.1%, B: 2001, cask 5753. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Floral, deep, intense, complex, with some old peat smoke, Christmas cake, leather, tannins, dark fruits, berries and some exotic fruits. Delicious nose.
Taste: Rich, fruity, very complex, smoky, floral, with some humus, Christmas cake, cherries, mango, papaya, leather and berries. The finish is long to very long, fruity, juicy, complex, on bold smoke, some leather and tannins, banana, tangerine, mango, and lingoberries.
General Impression: An impressive Dalmore, very fruity and complex. The old Dalmore were remarkable whiskies. I wish I could more of them.
Rating: 19/20 FP:H2

29 Feb 12

Dalmore Vintage 2000, OB, 46%, B: 2010. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very round, smooth, malty, with lots of toffee, on caramel, some spiced bread, tangerine, a touch of vegetal condiments suggesting a good proportion of sherry casks.
Taste:  Smooth, slightly floral, malty, on toffee, caramel, mild spices, melon and tangerine. Sweeter than on the nose. Diluted, it becomes oilier and spicier. The finish is medium, round to very round, malty, slightly grassy and winey, with some tangerine.
Impression: A pleasant and round Dalmore, with strong toffee flavours. A nice treat fairly priced.
Rating: 12/20 FP:F2


Dalmore 1976, 19 YO, Cadenhead's, 58.7%, B: 1996. Price:
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: Very intense and fruity, oaky, on melon, papaya, some peat smoke, with light earthy notes.
Taste: Spicy, buttery, milky, floral, fruity. A melon-mango milkshake? The finish is medium, oaky, milky, buttery and floral.
General Impression: A surprising milky-buttery Dalmore.
Rating: 13/20 FP:C2

28 Feb 12

Glenugie 1977 for Waldhaus am See, 29 YO, Signatory, 45.6%, B: 2010.Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Slightly humic and nutty, with some old smoke and flavours of old damp stone warehouses, some pollen, a light spiciness and light fruity notes.
Taste: Malty, slightly spicy, rather smooth, with some humus and peach. The finish is medium, smoky, slightly humic and woody, with some sweet yellow fruits and some tangerine. Diluted, it becomes sweeter.
Impression: A pleasant and well made Glenugie that smells “old”.
Rating: 14/20 FP:D3

27 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Highland Park Single Cask for Waldhaus am See, 22 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose:  Very smooth, round, mellow, on Christmas cake, raisins, heather, honey and some wood smoke. Slightly peaty
Taste: Smooth, salty, spicy, rich, with some tangerine, a touch of rubber, dates, raisins, rich mild spices, honey, heather, some seaweeds and peat smoke. Diluted, it becomes more maritime and on orange. Very pleasant. The finish is medium to long, very smooth, with some leather, peat smoke, sea brine, heather, honey, Christmas cake, raisins and dates.
Impression: A fine expression of Highland Park, very smooth and without any harshness. I only wished it was bottled at cask strength to give slightly more punch to this whisky. Dangerously drinkable.
Rating: 17/20 FP: H2

24 Feb 12

Ardbeg 1993, 18 YO, Murray McDavid, 56.5%, B: 2011, 306 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Round, peaty, slightly floral, with some toffee, tar and mineral notes. A rounder and slightly less maritime version that its sibling
Taste: Round, peaty, smoky, on vanilla, some bitter caramel, with some seaweeds, cumin, ginger, a touch of chilli and some burnt wood. The finish is long, round, peaty, smoky (tobacco), on toffee, some dark chocolate and rather strong and hot spicy notes.
Impression: A rather different version from its sibling, spicier, hotter, and with stronger notes of burnt wood.
Rating: 15/20 FP: B7

23 Feb 12

Ardbeg 1993, 18 YO, Murray McDavid, 56.9%, B: 2011, 245 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Smooth, peaty, on vanilla, camphor, iodine and some seaweeds.
Taste: Very maritime, clean, peaty, on iodine, salt, seaweeds, some vanilla and medicinal notes. The finish is long to very long, dry, peaty, maritime, and on camphor.
Impression: A very nice clean and maritime version of Ardbeg, with pleasant notes of salt and iodine. We are getting close to the old style of Ardbeg, although the peaty notes are bolder.
Rating: 16/20 FP: A7

22 Feb 12

Ardbeg Alligator Committee reserve, OB, 51.2%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Rich, intense, round, very peaty, on burnt wood, barbecue, charcoal, iodine, seaweeds and some aromatic herbs. The notes of burnt wood are very present.
Taste: Tarry to very tarry, ashy, on burnt wood, ginger, some chilli, fudge, old seaweeds, burnt sugar and charcoal. The finish is long, ashy, tarry, spicy, peaty, and slightly maritime, with strong notes of charcoal, some chilli, cumin, vanilla and roasted coffee beans.
Impression: A well-rounded and spiced version of Ardbeg, with extreme notes of burnt wood and charcoal, dominating the whisky. A whisky that I enjoyed tasting, but not necessarily drinking a whole bottle. A peated version of the medicinal charcoal for treating intestinal disorders.
Rating: 14/20 FP: A8

21 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Ben Wyvis 1968, 31 YO, Signatory, 50.1%, B: 2000, cask 681, 84 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Grassy to very grassy, creamy, slightly smoky, bold, with light malty and toffee notes.
Taste: Oaky, grassy, slightly citric and fragrant, and on grapefruit. The grassy notes are rather green and fresh. The finish is medium, bold, slightly grassy and citric, with a touch of salt? and slightly unbalanced. Diluted, it becomes slightly on tobacco and old wet wood.
Impression: I tasted a sister cask a couple of years ago and it was rather unremarkable. This version appears grassier to me, with rather pleasant citric notes of grapefruit. However, I find it slightly unbalanced. In conclusion, a rather good whisky, but nothing exceptional.
Rating: 13/20 FP: A1


Ben Wyvis 1968, 31 YO, Signatory, 50.6%, B: 2000, cask 687, 151 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Very round, slightly floral, oaky, on vanilla and a good dose of heather honey. Diluted, it becomes slightly fruity.
Tate: Rather rough, very oaky, slightly soapy, on wax tree and gum. Rather unremarkable. The finish is medium to long, rather heavy (full bodied), floral, with a lot of oak and sawdust.
Impression: The nose is rather good, but thereafter, this malt is rather unimpressive, but might have contributed to give body to a blend. Some distilleries were closed for good reasons. Thank you Patrick S.
Rating: 10/20 FP:B1

20 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

BenRiach 1975 for the Whisky Agency, 34 YO, OB, 50.6%, B:2010, cask 3061, 348 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Rich, thick, fruity, on canned (tinned) fruits, mango, guava, papaya and some peat smoke.
Taste: Rich, very fruity, slightly spicy, on camomile, some ricotta, peat smoke and tropical fruits. The finish is medium, thick, fruity, syrupy, slightly tannic, with some eucalyptus and other bitter notes.
Impression: A very good BenRiach, rather thick and syrupy, with some tannin from the wood as well as some light bitter notes of eucalyptus and ricotta. Not my favourite 1975 BenRiach.
Rating: 14/20 FP: D3


BenRiach 1976, 34 YO, OB, 57.8%, B: 2011 cask 6942, 469 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very smooth, harmonious, slightly peaty and grassy, with nice bold fruity notes.
Taste: Rich, slightly spicy and woody, with some chocolate, tangerine, papaya, guava, tangerine and a nice mineral and peaty smoke, as well as some light citric notes. The finish is medium, mineral, slightly ashy and mineral, with some faint woody notes, on chocolate, papaya, mango and peat smoke.
Impression: A very good BenRiach, rather mineral and ashy, slightly less fruity than the previous releases and the wood starts to speak. Thank you very much Bernhard.
Rating: 16/20 FP: D4

19 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Glen Ord 1997 Liquid Library, 14 YO, The Whisky Agency, 50.4%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Clean, light, fresh, on drying grass, some bitter smoke and light toffee notes.
Taste: Clean, light, fresh, on toffee, with a light grassy and honey notes, as well as some delicate smoke. With a twist of lime and oak. The finish is medium, light, clean, and slightly bitter, on tobacco leaves and some toffee. Diluted, the bitter notes and the tobacco notes are more pronounced.
Impression: A good whisky, clean, fresh, with some bitterness. More enjoyable than the previous official 12 YO bottling.
Rating: 11/20 FP: A1

18 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Penderyn Sherrywood, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Spicy, gingery, oaky, malty, with some light winey notes.
Taste: Smooth, clean, young, sweet, gingery, fragrant, rather sweet and spirity, with some winey notes and pears. Dilued, it becomes even cleaner, sweeter and on oak extract.  The finish is short, sweet, malty, gingery and fragrant.
Impression: A decent whisky, with lots of gingery notes, but once diluted, the new make-like flavours are rather strong and completed by wood extracts (lactones). A rather young whisky that has strongly interacted with the wood. Clean, simple, but not unpleasant.
Rating: 08/20 FP:D1

16 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Littlemill 1988, 20 YO, Hart Brothers, 46%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very grassy, fresh, round to very round, with slight floral notes. Very good.
Taste: Very smooth, grassy, with some citrus (mainly pink grapefruit), some pollen, a touch of smoke and some light tropical fruity notes. The finish is medium, grassy, slightly citric and smoky, with some tobacco and tropical fruits. Very intense, even once diluted. With water, some notes of menthol can be identified.
Impression: A very nice smooth and grassy Littlemill. Most enjoyable.
Rating: 14/20 FP:C2

 

15 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

As a consequence of a hardware failure, a few weeks of work have been lost, therefore the following tasting notes will be short. My apologies.

Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten, 10 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
The first official bottling of the 10 YO from the new owners. A rather light and delicate version giving the impression that mainly refill cask have been used allowing a smooth, slightly maritime and onctuous notes of Bruichladdich to shine through. A very nicely made whisky and most enjoyable.
Rating: 14/20 FP:C2

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004 Kentraw Farm Foreland, OB, 50%, B. 2011. Price:
Tasted at the same tgime as the Laddie Ten, this version is bigger, younger, more malty and slightly less maritime. It gives the impression that the malt was more "cerealy" and "sticky". A nice experiment to show the relative effect of the barley origin on the flavour profile.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A2

Glen Scotia 1992 For The Whisky Schiff, 18 YO, Hart Brothers, 54.0%, B: 2011, First fill sherry cask. Price:
A very vegetal (nutmeg, spices) expression of Glen Scotia, with a thick sherry influence, some light rubbery notes, but as well as with a nice oiliness, smokiness and rather strong maritime flavours. A muscular whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP:J3

Caperdonich 1972 The Whiskyschiff Zürich, 39 YO,The Perfect Dram, 45.0%. B: 2011 Price:
A pleasant well rounded expression of Caperdonich, comparable to the 1972 Caperdonich recently bottled by diverse independent bottlers. The malt is getting slightly thin and the wood rather loud.
Rating: 13/20 FP:D1

14 Feb 12

Breath of Speyside 1991, 18 YO, Adelphi, 54.3%, B: 2009, Cask 5145, 520 bottles. Price: 
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Fruity, fresh, on tangerine, with light floral and grassy notes, as well as a slight saltiness.
Taste: Slightly tannic and bitter, sweet, fruity, with a nice soft spiciness, on berries,some vanilla and rubber. The finish is long, rich, dry. with some fresh rubber. Rather fruity and with some liquorice.
General Impression: A rich, fruity and very enjoyable whisky from Ballindalloch.
Rating: 16/20 FP:J2

 


Liddesdale Sherry Wood 18 YO, Adelphi, 46%,B: 2010, 2962 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Slightly salty, smooth, dry, on sherry, cinnamon and a slight smokiness.
Taste: Smooth, malty, with some light citric and metallic (gun powder) flavours, some leather and slight traces of seaweeds. The finish is short to medium, oily, creamy, and slightly smoky.
General Impression: A nice subtle and rather mineral sherried whisky, with only slight rubbery flavours and some distant seabrine. A very nice expression of Bunnhahbhain.
Rating: 14/20 FP:G2

13 Feb 12

Probably Speyside Finest Old Malt Cask 1966, 42 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2008, Ref: 4191, 328 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very smooth, floral, on camomile, honey, tangerine, ripe orange, some bold peat, red berries, old leather as well as some fruitiness.
Taste: Spicy (cinnamon powder, cloves); slightly rubbery, on leather, spearmint, “gummy”, with the rubbery influence becoming more intense with time. The finish is medium, slightly tannic, rubbery, on leather and orange peel.
General Impression: A very good whisk from a Ballindalloch, not overly woody and rubbery.
Rating: 16/20 PA:D2

12 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 40 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Nice round and fruity notes of sherry, almost velvety, slightly smoky and peaty, on orange, tangerine and maybe some peach.
Taste: Round, mellow, rather fruity, slightly bitter, on apricots, tangerine, some Christmas spices, chocolate and old peat smoke. The finish is medium to long, woody to very woody, astringent, on bitter chocolate, smoke and some fruity notes.
Impression: The nose is a most pleasant one, very round and nicely fruity and the first impression on the palate does not disappoint. Once the whisky flows further down your throat, then the rather pronounced woody notes comes in. A good whisky if you do not mind woody notes.
Rating: 13/20 FP:J3


Glenfarclas 1961 Family Cask, OB, 52.2%, B: 2009, Cask 1322. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Deep sherry notes, with some peat smoke, swiss chocolate, tangerine, orange and some leather. Great balance.
Taste: Intense, very rich, complex and well balanced, on orange, tangerine, some cinnamon, as well as the influence of exotic fruits, wild berries and some old bold peat smoke. The finish is long, rather clean (at least compared to the 1965 Family Cask, fruity, slightly bitter, on orange, berries, cloves and cinnamon.
General Impression:  Tasted at the same time as the 1965 Family cask, the two vintages were quite different. The 1961 was more vibrant, more fruity and less tannic than the 1965, but also maybe slightly less complex and deeper. In any case, two excellent whiskies.
Rating: 18/20 FP:J3

11 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 1965 Family Cask, OB, 60 %, B: 2007, Sherry butt 3861, 417 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Woaw, this a beautiful very rich and sherried nose married with some sweet fruity notes, including strawberries, tangerine, orange, as well as some high grade leather.
Taste: Smooth, floral, slightly spicy, with round fruity notes of orange, tangerine, some beeswax, heather, with some slightly bitter notes and coffee developing after a while. The finish is long, slightly dry, woody and bitter, on dark chocolate, coffee, orange skin, cinnamon and cloves.
General Impression: A superb nose and taste, but the finish is rather dry and bitter. An excellent whisky that I enjoyed very much at its impressive full strengthof 60%!
Rating: 18/20 FP: J3

10 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 1986 Family Cask, OB, 56.5%, B: 2009, refill sherry puncheon 3434, 521 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Rich, on Christmas cake, leather, orange, tangerine, Glühwein , wild red berries and a touch of peat smoke.
Taste: Long, rich, spicy to very spicy, on leather, Christmas cake and Glühwein. Intense and complex.  The finish is long, on tannins, cinnamon, leather, spices, orange and Glühwein.
General Impression: A very warming, rich and spicy Glenfarclas. A top notch sherried whisky. Excellent.
Rating: 17/20 PA:I3

09 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 1960 Family Cask, OB, 52.4%, B: 2007, cask 1767, 228 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Sweet, very rich, complex, on leather, some rancio, humus, beeswax, orange and some melon. An excellent and flawless nose.
Taste: Rich, complex, deliciously sweet, juicy, and fruity, on tropical fruits, tangerine, orange, leather, some tannins, rancio, walnut, dark chocolate, treacle, marmalade and some eucalyptus. The finish is long, tannic, woody, on walnut, berries, bitter orange, some smoke and dark chocolate. Diluted, it becomes less woody and tannic.
Impression: The nose is simply excellent and the initial feeling once the whisky rolls on your tongue is superb but then fades and the wood starts to speak up quite loudly. An excellent whisky that I would have loved tasting younger. A few drops of water reduce the woodiness. Thank you Pierre N.
Rating: 16/20 FP:I2

08 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 25 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smooth, round, slightly peaty, oaky, on tangerine, orange, some papaya and with some grassiness.
Taste: Quite dry and oaky, with a slight bitterness, on smoke, bitter orange and tangerine. The finish is medium, dry, oaky, with a slight fruitiness.
General Impression: A good Glenfarclas, with a competitive price.
Rating: 13/20 FP:D3


Glenfarclas 1996 Manzanilla cask, 9 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2005. 816 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Rich, sweet, fruity, on orange, cocoa, wild berries, some treacle, spices, and with a light peat smoke thread
Taste: Very sweet, fresh, spicy, floral, slightly grassy, on gooseberries and fudge. The finish is medium, slightly rubbery and tannic, rich, slightly winey, with some leather, red fruits and meaty notes.
Impression: An original and pleasant variation of Glenfarclas, with the manzanilla cask contributing to a mixture of sweet sugary notes as well as some meaty flavours. Thank you Jean-Michel.
Rating: 12/20 FP:G2

07 Feb 12

Glenfarclas 1973 in Flames, OB, 58.8%, B: 2007, cask 2578, 189 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Sweet, intense, on milk chocolate, treacle, fudge, toffee and balsamic vinegar.
Taste: Juicy, slightly syrupy and chewy, very intense, rich, slightly peppery, fruity, with some cocoa, smoke, humus, dark fruits, wild berries, prunes, and melon. Complex.  Diluted, it becomes smoother, fruitier, with exotic fruits, some notes of pineapples and slightly peated smoke. The finish is long, on cocoa, vanilla, leather, some honey, berries, orange and slightly bitter smoke.
Impression: A superb expression of Glenfarclas, complex, fruity, with some peppery notes when drank neat and water releases some excellent tropical fruity notes. An excellent pick by Anders Fridén from the Swedish In Flames heavy metal bands. Thank you very much Misako.
Rating: 18/20 FP:H2

06 Feb 12

Port Ellen 1978 6th Annual Release, 27 YO, OB, 54.2%, B: 2006, 4560 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Peaty, light, fragrant, floral, dry, on camphor, eucalyptus, seaweeds, hemp rope, fish, bonfire smoke and some pear.
Taste: Oily, peaty, citric (pear and apple), salty, slightly rubbery, on diesel smoke, eucalyptus, seaweeds, and iodine. The finish is long, oily, smoky, peaty, tarry, on dry hemp rope and smoked fish.
General Impression: An elegant and refined Port Ellen, with a long development.
Rating: 17/20


Port Ellen 1982, 26 YO, Old Bothwell, 52%, sherry cask 2729. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber,
Nose: Smooth, peaty, on seaweeds, sea brine, tangerine, with a pleasant sherry sweetness. Diluted, it becomes significantly peatier and smokier.
Taste: Spicy, peppery, peaty, fruity, surprisingly sweet, on melon, pineapple and tangerine, with some seaweeds. The finish is medium, smooth, very mellow, quite sweet and fruity, with some peat in the background.
General Impression: A very pleasant, fruity, and gentle PE.
Rating: 17/20 FP:F6

05 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Port Ellen 1982, 28 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 60%, B: 2011. , Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Maritime, on seaweeds, salt, iodine, liquorice root
Taste: Smoky, dry, tarry, slightly soapy, maritime, on seaweeds and seashells. The finish is medium, round, oaky, salty, very maritime, with some mint.
Impression: A very maritime and slightly Port Ellen. Very good.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A7

04 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Isle of Jura 1988, The Whisky Agency, 52.9%, B: 2011, 201 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Smooth, rather mellow, with some light grassy and floral notes, honey and a slight sea brine.
Taste: Spicy, oaky, rich, floral to very floral, with a light toffee notes, some sea brine, oak spices, a touch of citrus and smoke, and on honey. Diluted, it becomes smoother, creamy and on butterscotch. The finish is short to medium, slightly citrusy, with a touch of salt, some smoke, honey, tobacco leaves and some oak extract.
Impression: A well made Isle of Jura, more complex than most original bottlings and water gives it a pleasant smooth and creamy texture.
Rating: 14/20 FP:D2

03 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Strathmill 1974 for The Whiskyschiff 2011, 37 YO, The Whisky Agency, 44.4%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Light, fresh, floral, very smooth, on freshly cut and dry grass.
Taste: Light, fresh, slightly grassy and sweet, on pear juice and a slight note of fudge, strawberries, apricots and a touch of smoke. The finish is medium to long, smooth, slightly sweet, on pears, some light grassy notes and pollen. Diluted, some lemony notes are released.
Impression: A very good Strathmill, fresh, light and grassy, with some fresh notes of pears. If you never tasted a Strathmill before, it might be time to give it a try.
Rating: 15/20 A1

02 Feb 12

Glen Mhor 1966, 44 YO, Blackadder, 49.7%, B: 2010, cask 1898, 428 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Mellow, slightly grassy and smoky, on humus, some dark fruits and mushrooms (morels).
Taste: Mellow, smooth, slightly grassy, with a hint of mint, smoke, dark fruits, humus and raisins. Complex. The finish is medium to long, mellow, smooth, rich, complex, on dark fruits, some mint, humus, mushrooms as well as some leather, chocolate and oranges.
Impression: A very good, rich, complex and surprisingly intense Glen Mhor with a rounded sherry influence, as well as some humus and mushrooms flavours, typical of Glen Mhor. Most pleasant.
Rating: 16/20 FP:F2

01 Feb 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Glen Mhor 10 YO Dumpy “Charles Mackinlay”, OB, 43%, B: 1970s. Price:
Colour:  Old gold.
Nose: Grassy to very grassy, round, mellow, slightly mineral, on graphite, some humus, mushrooms (morels) and a light fruitiness. Interestingly, the first time I tasted this whisky, the mushrooms flavours were very strong but have diminished a few weeks about the opening of the bottle.
Taste:  Grassy to very grassy, green, on old wet wood, some peat smoke, mushrooms, toffee and fudges. Rather special and unique. The finish is medium and on the same flavour profile as on the palate.
Impression: A rather special and unique flavour profile. This Glen Mhor is pleasant, rather full bodied and pleasant to drink. From what I have been told, there is a significant variation between the batches (bottles) . A whisky that needs time to breath.
Rating: 14/20 FP:D3

31 Jan 12

Mannochmore 1990, 18 YO, OB, 54.9%, B: 2009. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose; Very sweet, on toffee, vanilla, strawberries, maple syrup and other ripe fruits. Lovely.
Taste: Sweet, fruity, oaky, slightly spicy and floral, on vanilla, tangerine, orange, some other fruits, with some smoke and charcoal. The finish is medium, fruity, sweet, slightly syrupy, on vanilla, fruits and burnt wood.
General Impression: A very good Mannochmore, complex, with a wide range of different flavours, from some "engineered" casks. Thank you Bernhard.
Rating: 16/20 FP:G2

30 Jan 12

Hakushu 25 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Very smooth, soft, velvety, with some plums liqueur, honey, cooked apples, light fragrant notes and slightly biscuity.
Taste: Very smooth and soft, slightly herbal, fragrant, aromatic, with some honey, plums, some light spices and a touch of smoke. Velvety. The finish is medium, smooth, mellow, soft, with some peat smoke, vanilla, plums liqueur, rosewater, cooked fruits.
Impression: A very nicely made, soft and smooth whisky, reminding me of the sensuality of the aged Hibiki blends. More sophisticated than the core Hakushu, but on a very price tag ( £550). Thank you very much Misako.
Rating: 15/20 FP:D2

29 Jan 12

Glenfiddich 19 YO Age of Discovery, OB, 40%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold.           
Nose: Clean, winey, sweet, malty, on grapes and some strawberries.
Taste: Sweet, winey, spicy to very spicy, with some ginger and pepper, strawberries and sweet wine and a slight smokiness. The finish is medium, rather bitter and winey, slightly smoky and oaky, with some nuts.
Impression: the nose was rather sweet, winey and pleasant, but then the winey influence becomes stronger and peaks in the finish then it creates rather bitter notes and some unbalance. Not really my style of whisky.
Rating: 11/20 FP:D2

28 Jan 12

Glenmorangie 25 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Light, floral, smooth, on tangerine, with a hint of lavender.
Taste: Light, smooth, mellow, malty, on citrus, tangerine and orange. The finish is medium to long, round, mellow, slightly creamy, oaky, with some tangerine and orange.
General Impression: A well made juicy malt, with a pleasant sherry influence.
Rating: 16/20 FP:E1

27 Jan 12

Glenmorangie Signet, OB, 46%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Strong toffee-fudge notes, roasted almond, burnt sugar, honey-like, slightly smoky and with some vanilla.
Taste: lots of fudge, toffee, toffee and butterscotch, on vanilla, green apple, with an underlying fruitiness and oakiness. The finish is medium, on fresh oak, vanilla, warm toffee, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted almond.
General impression: A very special Glenmorangie prepared with roasted barley, giving a strong fudge-toffee-chocolate flavour.
Rating: 13/20 FP:F3

26 Jan 12

Glenmorangie Quinta Rubin, OB, 46%, B: 2010. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Yeasty, slightly meaty and sulphury, sweet, sugary and slightly winey.
Taste: Soapy, slightly yeast and meaty, with some coconut, cane sugar, rosewater, Turkish delight, slight oaky and mineral notes, as well as winey flavours.  The finish is medium and on the same flavours as on the palate.
Impression: Difficult to find the Glenmorangie character in this whisky overwhelmed by the Port cask finish.  Not a whisky for me, but if you like “Portshky” (Port-whisky), then you might enjoy this one pretty much. Thank you Thomas.
Rating: 09/20 FP:C2

25 Jan 12

Glenmorangie Artein, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Oaky, juicy, mineral, on peach and apricots.
Taste: Oaky, juicy, slightly mineral and smoky, on strawberries and some round and sweet winey influence. The oak spices are released after some seconds. The finish is medium, slightly mineral, oaky, on grapes, strawberries, oak extracts and winey flavours.
Impression: A good malt with pleasant mineral notes and rather well contained winey notes from the Supertuscan  (Sassicaia) barrels used in the preparation of this vatting. 
Rating: 12/20 FP:D2

24 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 1984, 24 YO, Signatory, 55.4%, B: 2008, cask 264, 159 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Floral, malty, on pollen, with a light freshness of the lowlands, including some vanilla. Diluted, a lemon zest is nosed.
Taste: Creamy, slightly spicy and fruity, floral, slightly smoky, on melon and apricots. The finish is medium, smooth, creamy, malty, floral, on vanilla, with a light fruitiness.
General Impression: A rich, creamy and malty Auchentoshan.
Rating: 15/20 FP:D2

22 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 21 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Malty, fruity, oaky, on pollen, melon and some peach. More complex and flavoursome than the 18 YO.
Taste: Creamy, smooth, on tobacco leaves, toffee and light spices. Smokier than the 18 YO. The finish is medium to long, smooth, smoky and on wet tobacco leaves.
General Impression: A nice fruity nose and smokier than the 18 YO. A well balanced whisky and Auchentoshan ages very well. Noticeably improved compared to the previous releases.
Rating: 13/20 FP:D2

21 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 18 YO, 43%, OB, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Malty, clean, floral, on pollen, with some apricots.
Taste: Sweet, malty, on pollen, with light fruity notes, a hint of smoke, tobacco leaves, toffee and vanilla. The finish is medium, smooth, creamy and on vanilla custard.
General Impression: A nice malty and smooth Lowlander, with some light fruity notes and well made.
Rating: 12/20 FP:D1

20 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 1991 Château Montrose wine finish, 18 YO, malts of Scotland, 59.3%, B: 2009, cask 492, 301 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-pink.
Nose: Very strong farmy and winey notes taking over the sweet maltiness.
Taste: Winey, spicy, farmy, slightly mineral, on vanilla and with some strawberries.
The finish is medium, smooth, winey and on strawberries.
General Impression: The winey and farmy notes are not too much to my liking but otherwise, it is a quite good whisky.
Rating: 10/20 FP:E2

19 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 1998 Fino Sherry, OB, 54.6%, B: 2010. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Slightly winey, malty, on vegetal condiments and nutmeg.
Taste: Malty, clean, slightly winey, with a touch of smoke, some strawberries and nutmeg. The finish is medium, round, sweet, winey and on strawberries.
Impression:  A pleasant round, rather light and refreshing Auchentoshan. Suprisingly sweet for a fino.
Rating: 13/20 FP:D1

18 Jan 12

Auchentoshan 1976, 30 YO, OB, 41.8%, B: 2007. 600 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very round, smooth, sugary, slightly floral, on grapes, papaya, guava and other exotic fruits, old leather and honey sweetness. Surprisingly fruity and intense.
Taste: Dry and tannic at the start, then it becomes smoother, creamy and fruity, with a whiff of bitterness on toffee, grapefruit and tropical fruits. Slightly smoky. Diluted, the dryness goes away to be replace by Mocca aromas. The finish is medium, very round, smooth and creamy, on coffee, toffee, juicy malt, with some pineapple and floral notes.
General Impression: The more I taste aged Auchentoshan, the more I discover the subtlety of this whisky.
Rating: 16/20


Auchentoshan 1991, 12 YO, Coopers Selection, 46%. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Malty, on straw, toffee (Malabar), and vanilla. Smells likes freshly cut grass drying in the summer sun.
Taste: Dry, on hay, sawdust, fresh fragrance and vanilla, with some toffee and coffee. Diluted, it becomes smoother, more complex and more pleasant. The finish is short, dry, malty, on hay, toffee and coffee.
General Impression: A pleasant and fresh Auchentoshan, improving with some water.
Rating: 12/20

17 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

Auchentoshan Valinch, OB, 57.5%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Oaky, young, fresh, light, on vanilla
Taste: Light, fresh, oaky, slightly floral, on vanilla, some mild spices and honey. The finish is short to medium, light, on vanilla, honey, and cinnamon, with a light fragrance. Diluted, it becomes smoother, creamier and the vanilla flavours are enhanced.
Impression: An uncomplicated whisky, but fresh, light and well done. Ideal as an aperitif.
Rating: 11/20 FP:A1

16 Jan 12

Tomatin 1967, 40 YO, Celtic Heartlands, 47.7%. B: 2008.  Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smooth, mellow, fruity (exotic  fruits)  and slightly smoky.
Taste: Slightly spicy, intense, slightly smoky, with a nice oily and fruity note, getting fruitier and fruitier as the palate is warming the whisky and revealing sweet notes of orange, mango and tangerine. Diluted, it becomes creamy. The finish is medium to long, syrupy, slightly smoky and grassy, with a nice fruitiness and a touch of mint and toffee.
Impression:   A very elegant, mellow and fruity Tomatin.
Rating: 16/20 FP: H2

15 Jan 12

Tomatin 1973, OB, 46%, cask 25604, Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: The nose starts on a smell of a wood forest, with its mushrooms, flowers and earthy flavours. The flavours are heavy, but round, with some fruity flavours (melon) fighting to go through.
Taste: Dry, earthy, grassy, slightly spirity, chewy, on treacle, caramel, with feint sherry notes (although it is a bourbon cask). Rather unusual, but nice. The finish is rather short, thick, syrupy, bitter, very dry, woody and smoky (tobacco).
General Impression: Tomatin is a quite special malt, heavy and earth, and quite difficult. If you want to try something different, then this one worth a try. I wished the official Tomatin were still priced at the same level as this one was (circa 149 euros)
Rating: 14/20

14 Jan 12

Tomatin 1984, 22 YO, Villa Konthor, 46%. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very sweet and fruity, some old bold smoke, round and most pleasant.
Taste: Peaty, smoky, fruity (peach, melon and guava), salty, maritime and spicy. It becomes more complex and peaty over time. Complex. The finish is long, rich, peaty, smoky, sweet, and fruity.
General Impression: An excellent whisky, very satisfying and highly drinkable.
Rating: 18/20

13 Jan 12

Tomatin 1976 Old Malt Cask
, 23 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2000. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Fruity (watermelon, peach, apricots, ripe sweet fruits), floral, with light grassy-earthy notes and some lime tree.
Taste: Very fruity (melon, mango, papaya), floral (lime tree blossom), sweet, mellow, smoky, some peat and oakiness. Diluted, becomes more earthy and smoky. The finish is quite long, smoky, grassy, slightly earthy and on sweet fruits (mango, bananas, melon).
General Impression: An excellent Tomatin, very fruity, fresh, floral, and not as earthy or heavy as many Tomatins.
Rating: 17/20

12 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

Tomatin 30 YO, OB, 49.3%, B: 2011. 1500 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Intense, slightly earthy, sweet, smooth, rather mellow, very fruity, on tropical fruits as well as some pollen. Lovely.
Taste: Smooth, mellow, round, fruity, slightly spicy, with a faint earthiness, on orange, tangerine, a touch of pink grapefruit, papaya and a pleasant oakiness.
Impression: A very nicely fruity Tomatin, with a nice and full body. Those aged Tomatin have gained recently a good reputation and this one will not contradict the reputation. Finished for 3 years in Oloroso for 3 years. Very good!
Rating: 15/20 FP: D2

11 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

Tomatin 21 YO Limited Edition,  OB, 52%, B:2010, 2400 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Intense, oaky, slightly smoky and earthy, with some light humus and pollen notes. Diluted, it becomes fruitier.
Taste: Oaky, spicy, slightly peppery, earthy, with some peat smoke and tobacco. Rather sharp. Diluted, it becomes more starchy and fruity, on tangerine, some guava and mango. The finish is medium, oaky, spicy, slightly bitter and on tobacco.
Impression:  A rather good Tomatin that really benefits from a slight adjunction of water to release its sweet fruity notes. A whisky maturesd in 5 refill ex-bourbon casks and 1 refill sherry butt, with a finish in a Tempranillo wine cask. The age of the casks was between 21 and 24 years old at the time of vatting.
Rating: 13/20 FP: C2

10 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

Tomatin 1982, OB, 57%, B: 2011, cask 92. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Intense, rather round and sweet, fruity, slightly earthy and humic, on tangerine, orange and pink grapefruit. Very smooth.
Taste: Spicy, slightly earthy and smoky, with a faint bitterness, some tobacco and humus, slightly peaty, with a mixture of orange, tangerine, leather, some mango, papaya, pink grapefruit, and coffee beans. Robust and complex. Diluted, it becomes lighter and much fruitier. The finish is medium to long, rather earthy, with some peat smoke, oak spices and sweet fruity notes of orange, mango and papaya.
Impression: A bolder, richer version of the 21 YO Tomatn. It is also fruitier and more rounded, while retaining a certain spiciness.  Very good, but also very pricey (decanter).
Rating: 15/20 FP: E2

09 Jan 12

BenRiach Richly peated Henriques Madeira finish, 13 YO, OB, 47%, B: 2008, cask 3122. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Richly peated, sweet, smoky, on dry hemp rope, dried raisins, with some light floral notes.
Taste: Sweet, smoky, very peated, vegetal, mineral, on raisins, oak and vanilla. The finish is medium, sweet, sugary, peaty, and on raisins.
General Impression: A very peaty BenRiach with the finish contributing to a rather present grape-winey flavour.
Rating: 13/20


Benriach 1978, 17 YO, Cadenhead's, 59.7%, B: 1995. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Peat, round and soft sherry, some round and pleasant rubbery notes, quite intense and some light fragrant floral notes. Diluted, gets nicely smooth and with some exotic fruits (pineapple).
Taste: Peaty, rubbery, some plastic, malty, on orange peel, then on round smoke. Quite maritime. Diluted, the rubbery notes become less pronounced and the tastes more fruity (pineapples). The finish is long, salty, round but also slightly dry. Quite rubbery and malty.
General Impression: Undiluted, this malt shows a very strong sherry rubbery influence. With water, the rubbery notes fade and gets nicely fruity, like the most recent versions of Benriach diluted around the same time period. I appreciated this whisky when more diluted.
Rating: 16/20

08 Jan 12

BenRiach 1978 Moscatel finish, 30 YO, OB, 50.7%, B: 2008, cask 4412. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Earthy, quite thick, slightly floral, on strawberries, treacle and grapes.
Taste: Winey, rubbery, spicy, earthy, quite heavy and syrupy, and on burnt matches. The finish is long, winey, rubbery, sulphury, and on treacle.
General impression: Might have been a very good BenRiach, but either the maturation was too long and (or?) too much Moscatel was left in the cask. Not really to my taste. Its sister cask was better.
Rating: 11/20

07 Jan 12

BenRiach 1977, 31 YO, OB, 51.5%, B: 2008, cask 7186, 212 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Oaky, nutty, humic (mushrooms), and fruity (pineapple and melon).
Taste: Oaky, humic, slightly earthy, on treacle and a lot of pineapple. The finish is medium, syrupy, oaky, earthy and fruity.
General impression: A very good BenRiach, heavier and more earthy than the 1976.
Rating: 15/20


BenRiach 1977, 34 YO, Adelphi, 48.6%, B: 2011, 217 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Mellow, very round, smooth, with a light peatiness,on round fruity exotic notes, slightly smoky and earthy, with a nice juiciness. 1977 is indeed not far from 1976.
Taste: Very fruity, slightly zesty, peaty, smoky and salty, on banana, mango, peach, some smoke and a touch of salt. The finish is medium, round, fruity, mellow, syrupy, slightly oaky, with a touch of salt and a light peatiness.
Impression: A very good BenRiach with a flavour profile close to the legendary 1976 vintage and its tropical fruity notes and a slight peatiness. The sherry gives a nice roundness to the whisky. On the finish, the intensity is slightly thin and some light woody notes are perceived.
Rating: 15/20 D3

06 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

BenRiach 1995 Pedro Ximinez sherry finish for UK, OB, 58.3%, B:2011, cask 7164, 695 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very round, sweet and fruity, rather bold, on ripe fruits, some peach, apricots and light grassy notes. Very enjoyable.
Taste: Very sherried, with strong spices, on Christmas cake, orange, tangerine, peach, apricots, cinnamon and cloves influence, with a nice oakiness and juiciness, as well as a light and dry peatiness. Complex. The finish is medium to long, slightly oaky, syrupy, with a slight dryness and rich sweet fruits and spicy flavours, including some strawberries.
Impression: I loved the Benriach distilled until the end of the 1970s, as well as the peated 1984 vintage. This BenRiach 1995 positively surprised me by its richness and complexity, with an excellent sweet sherry influence. Highly recommended.
Rating: 17/20 FP:F3

05 Jan 12

BenRiach 1978 Moscatel finish lightly peated, 29 YO, OB, 52.2%, B: 2007, cask 4413. Price: :
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Malty, sweet, juicy, spirity, quite clean and on cloves.
Taste: Round, winey, quite spicy (pepper and ginger), on juicy malt, with some good fruitiness (apricots, peach and grapes). The finish is medium, winey, bittery-dry, rubbery and malty.
General Impression: This one works better that the tokaji finish, although the finish is quite rubbery and bitter.
Rating: 13/20


BenRiach 1984 Port finish, richly peated, 22 YO, OB, 54.5%, B: 2007, cask 4049, 288 b. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Heavily peated, peat reek, grilled bread, sharp and clean, with a touch of sweetness. Very pleasant.
Taste: Sweet, very malty, on grilled bread, peat smoke, and some grapes. The finish is long, winey-peaty, sweet and on grilled bread.
General Impression: The Port influence is rathe discreet, although more pronounced in the finish, and works very well with this heavily peated BenRiach.
Rating: 17/20

04 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

BenRiach Horizons Triple distilled 12 YO, OB, 50%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Light, fresh, smooth, slightly spicy and oaky, with some dried fruits, straw and very light smoky notes.
Taste: Light, oaky, spicy, rather dry, on vanilla, oak spices, and some tangerine. The finish is short to medium, dry and oaky, with faint floral and fruity notes, including some dark fruits. Diluted, tobacco flavours are released.
Impression: The triple distillation resulted in a lighter version of BenRiach. The extraction from the wood (oaky notes) seemed rather pronounced and the sherry finish contributing to some dried fruits flavours.
Rating: 11/20 FP:C1

03 Jan 12


BenRiach 1987 European Oak finish, 19 YO, Exclusive Malts, 51.3%, B: 2007, cask 14388. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Grassy, fruity (pear), slightly peated, round, smooth and sweet. A very nice and lightly peated BenRiach.
Taste:  Slightly smoky and peaty, creamy, on juicy malt, tangerine, orange, pear, mango, passion fruit and some vanilla. The finish is medium-long, round, sweet, creamy, fruity (sweet exotic fruits) and with some vanilla.
General Impression: BenRiach is not producing excellent peaty whiskies, and this bourbon matured version finished in an European oak cask is a very good example and a nice pick from David Stirk.
Rating: 17/20


BenRiach 1976 Tokaji finish lightly peated, 29 YO, OB, 52.5%, B: 2007, cask 4416. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Sweet, farmy, lightly peated, on potatoes and grape. A rather disturbing nose.
Taste: Malty, extremely sweet and sugary, thick, tannic/starchy, on potato and grape. The finish is rubbery, thick, medium, syrupy and bitter.
General Impression: A weirdl whisky, with the tokaji finish giving a very special flavour profile to this malt. My worst BenRiach so far.
Rating: 07/20

02 Jan 12

Special Whisky Show London

BenRiach 1971, 40 YO, OB, 49.8%, B: 2011, cask 1947, 229 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Light, subtle, rather fresh, with some eucalyptus, on pineapple, guava, and some pine wax. Slightly austere. With time, it becomes smoother and slightly fruitier.
Taste: Light, fruity, with some eucalyptus, on pineapple, some peach, passion fruits and other exotic fruits. Rather subtle and with a light smokiness. The finish is medium, light, fruity, slightly bitter and smoky, with some eucalyptus, pineapple, pink grapefruit, guava and passion fruit.
Impression: A nice and subtle BenRiach that has very well matured. The eucalyptus notes give some personality to this whisky and a slight bitterness. A whisky that benefits from some water.
Rating: 17/20 FP:B2

01 Jan 12

Bowmore 1964 Bourbon, 38 YO, OB, 43.2%, 300 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Subtle, oaky, slightly smoky, peaty and maritime, with some citrus and light smooth notes of tropical fruits.
Taste: Mellow, slightly maritime and salty, rather intense, on citrus fruits, mainly pink grapefruits, some peat smoke and passion fruits. Complex.  Diluted, it becomes slightly saltier and peatier. The finish is medium to long, citric, slightly salty and maritime, on pink grapefruits and some slightly less intense tropical notes and some wood extracts.
Impression: An excellent whisky, with a similar profile to the White and Gold Bowmore with its notes of salted pink grapefruit, slightly fresher and more intense, but also less complex and with tropical notes. Thank you very much Misako.
Rating: 18/20 FP:A3

31 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Balblair 1978 (2nd edition), OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Smooth, very round, malty to very malty, on sunbathed barley, some honey and light and mellow fruity notes of peach and guava.
Taste: Rich, oaky, fruity, malty, on kumquats, peach, tangerine, banana, honey and slight smoky notes. The finish is medium to long, rich, oaky, malty, fruity and on honey.
Impression: A very good rich and rather intense Bablair, with very pleasant oaky and juicy notes.
Rating: 15/20 FP:B1

30 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Balblair 1987, OB, 51.4%, B: 2011, cask 0786. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Fresh, light, round, floral, with some straw and end of spring flowers, with some light fruity notes of peach and lychees. Over time, it becomes more on honey.
Taste: Malty, grassy, rather bold, and slightly creamy, with nice juicy oaky notes and some peach and a good dose of honey. The finish is short to medium, round, mellow, oaky and on honey.
Impression: A fine, subtle and pleasant Balblair without any spirity notes. It gave the impression of being bottled at 43%.. With some water, it becomes quickly thin and weak.
Rating: 13/20 FP:B1

29 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Balblair 2000 (2nd edition), OB, 43%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Light, fresh, floral, on kumquats, straw, vanilla and toffee.
Taste: Light, fresh, slightly zesty and soapy, on toffee, butter scotch, vanilla and some straw. The finish is medium, slightly bitter and smoky, malty, with some honey and vanilla.
Impression: A rather different version from the previous Balblair 2000. This version is light, malty and fresh, with a rather light influence from the cask.I was more seduced by the profile of the first version.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A1

24 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Glen Grant 1954, Ian MacLeod's, 42.2%, cask 3612, 100 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Very smooth, mellow and fruity, with some mint, eucalyptus, pine wax, a dry earthiness and some old peat smoke. There are some berries on the background. A rather austere but subtle and most pleasant whisky.
Taste: Fruity,  fresh, fragrant, on peat smoke, berries, including some slightly sour berries, some marmalade, mint, eucalyptus and fir tree candies. Complex and subtle. The finish is long, slightly astringent, fruity, slightly bitter and fragrant, on berries, some smoke, eucalyptus and fir tree wax.
Impression: Glen Grant is normally a whisky standing well (very) long maturation and this whisky was no exception. The woody flavours are well contained, probably contributing to the eucalyptus and fir tree aromas and creating an interesting balance and flavour profile with the fruity and berry notes of the Glen Grant whisky.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D2

23 Dec 11

Mortlach Valentino Zagatti 1990, 18 YO, High Spirit, 46%, B; 2008. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Floral, rich, smooth, with a nice sherry influence.
Taste: Very smooth, floral, slightly bitter, with some eucalyptus and pine wax. Quite fragrant. The finish is light, dry, bitter and on eucalyptus.
General Impression: A very nice and pleasant Mortlach.
Rating: 15/20 FP:D2


Mortlach 1997 Old Malt Cask, 13 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2011, 424 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Rich, round, floral, with some heather, and a touch of lime blossom flowers
Taste: Rich, slightly spicy, floral, oaky, rather complex, smooth and round, on lime blossom, some heather and apples. Rather oily. Diluted, the spices flavours are more diverse and intense. The finish is medium to long, rich, oily, floral, on lime blossom, heather, apples, and a touch of liquorice. Fresh.
Impression: A nice fresh, oily and floral Mortlach.
Rating: 13/20 FP:A2

22 Dec 11

Mortlach 1969, Sestante, 56.5%, B: 1985. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Earthy, humic, peaty, austere, minty, mineral, slightly fruity and soapy.
Taste: Slightly soapy, spicy to very spicy, complex, floral (jasmine), intense, on white pepper, some eucalyptus and a very nice and round sherry. The finish is long, rather dry, bitter, slightly tannic and floral, and on coffee beans.
General Impression: A drier and more sherried version of the 1957 Samaroli. Different, but at the same level of excellence.
Rating: 18/20 FP:F4

21 Dec 11

Mortlach 1957, 22 YO, Samaroli, 45.7%, B:1979, 360 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Mineral, slightly humic and tarry, on walnuts, dry peat smoke, cold ashes, some canned fruits, pine wax, eucalyptus. Very old style and different from the current production.
Taste: Light, fresh, very juicy, some peat smoke, oaky, with some eucalyptus. The finish is medium to long, juicy, with a slight bitterness coming from the eucalyptus notes, as well as some peat smoke and cold ashes.
General Impression: The contrast with the current production is noticeable. A very nice juicy and medium peated Mortlach probably from a second refill sherry cask allowing the character to shine through. Thank you very much Alain.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D4


Mortlach 1993 NC2, Duncan Taylor, 46%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Very floral, on eucalyptus and some genepi (herbs liquor).
Taste: Light, smooth, floral, fragrant, slightly soapy, on eucalyptus. The finish is medium, light, floral, on white wine, lavender and eucalyptus.
General Impression: A decent Mortlach, rather light and thin.
Rating: 10/20 FP:B2

20 Dec 11

Mortlach 20 YO, Sestante, 43%, B: 1980s. Price: N. A.
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Floral to very floral, on walnut, dry peat smoke, leather, tannins, some plums and berries.
Taste: Smooth, slightly dry and tannic, on peat smoke, blueberries and blackberries, with light floral and walnut notes. The finish is medium to long, dry to very dry, tannic, heavily sherried, with some peat smoke, tar, plums, berries and walnut.
General Impression: Another excellent Mortlach on a rather dry sherry style, Slightly too tannic for me. Thank you Geert.
Rating: 17/20 FP:J4


Mortlach 1990, Scott’s selection, 56%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Sraw.
Nose: Nicely fresh and floral, round and oaky, spicy, on freshly cut grass, very malty, on grapes, with a light and delicate fruitiness.
Taste: Surprisingly soft ad malty, quite smoky, oaky and spicy. The finish is short to medium, soft, smoky, malty, very clean, and on toffee.
General Impression: A surprisingly soft and light Mortlach, quite different from the 16 YO OB (Fauna & Flora).
Rating: 13/20

19 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Mortlach 1993, 18 YO, Chieftains, 57.3%, B: 2011, cask 3595, 637 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Floral, rich, with lots of rich spices, ginger bread, Christmas cake and orange.
Taste: Smooth, floral, juicy, on butter scotch, spicy, slightly peppery, on gingerbread, some toffee, Swiss milk chocolate and pleasant Oloroso flavours, as well as some fragrant floral and smoky notes.  The finish is medium to long, spicy, on milk chocolate, Christmas cake spices, orange, tangerine and floral notes.
Impression: A seductive, milky and rich Mortlach matured in a very good Oloroso cask. A whisky to savour.
Rating: 15/20 FP:F2

18 Dec 11

Glengoyne 1988 Old Malt Cask, 16 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2005, Ref 885, 331 b. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Fresh, malty, clean, floral, slightly nutty and on apricots.
Taste: Clean, malty, slightly winey, on grapes, freshly cooked cereals, apricots and a nice oakiness. The finish is short, clean, malty, round and on apricots.
General Impression: A pleasant mellow Glengoyne.
Rating:14/20

17 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Glengoyne 1972, OB, 46%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very smooth, malty, on delicate spices, some dates, tangerines and oranges.
Taste: Very spicy, slightly winey, rich, tannic, on Glühwein spices (cloves, cinnamon and annis seeds), leather and some coffee. The finish is medium to long, very spicy, tannic, rubbery, spicy, on black tea, cinnamon power and some orange peel.
Impression: A very good Glengoyne, richly spiced, with a very strong sherry influence, sometimes almost too strong (at least for me).
Rating: 14/20 FP:J1

16 Dec 11

Port Charlotte 2001 Sherry bloodtub, Gordon Homer Private Bottling, 61.4%,B:2005, R39, 41 b. Price: N/A.
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Very peaty, smooth, strongly maritime, complex, slightly rubbery, with seaweed and lots of oranges. Delicious.
Taste: Spicy to very spicy, smooth to very smooth, salty, nicely maritime, peaty, tarry, smoky, with some iodine, chocolate and some tangerine. The finish is long to very long, strongly maritime, peaty, smoky, on chocolate, rubber and bold smoke.
Impression: A very good Port Charlotte, very peaty, spicy, smooth, strongly maritime and on chocolate. A very well balanced whisky and very complex for its age, quite different from the official PCs. Thank you Gordon.
Rating: 16/20 FP:F8

15 Dec 11

Port Charlotte 127.7, 7 YO, SMWS, 66.6%,  B: 2010, 687 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Fresh, clean, dry, peaty, smoky, slightly mineral, on cinnamon, some chocolate and seaweeds, with some menthol.
Taste: Oily, waxy, citric, salty to very salty, maritime, on tangerine, tar, peat, diesel smoke and some milk chocolate, with some kippers. The finish is long to very long, very intense and peaty, maritime, on iodine, seaweeds, kippers, hemp rope, sea salt and a touch of chocolate.
Impression: A very good, clean and intensely maritime Port Charlotte, with a surprisingly light sherry influence considering its colour. Thank you Lukas.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D7


Port Charlotte 127.4, 8 YO, SMWS, 66.8%, B: 2010, 238 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Clean, intense, maritime, peaty, slightly soapy and fishy, on bacon and vanilla. The dry peaty notes develop over time. Diluted, with some notes of spearmint.
Taste: Clean, oaky to very oaky, intense, hot, peaty, maritime, slightly farmy, on vanilla and dark chocolate, with a slight bitterness. The finish is long, dry to very dry, peaty, oaky, on vanilla and some seaweeds.
Impression: A dry, oaky and rather aggressive whisky, giving the impression of a first fill bourbon cask. Even diluted, it remains very intense, hot and slightly spirity. Thank you Lukas.
Rating: 13/20 FP:A7

14 Dec 11

Special Whiskyschiff Zurich

Port Charlotte 2001 Dark Sherry, 10 YO, The Stillman’s, 57.8%, B: 2011. 317 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very peaty, maritime, on chocolate, loads of seaweeds, tannins, iodine, spices,  and farmy notes. Diluted, strong notes of horse stables are released.
Taste: Dry, very peaty and maritime, tarry, on iodine, seaweeds, disinfectant, chocolate, spices, and bloody oranges. Diluted, it becomes very farmy and on horse stable. The finish is long, very peaty and maritime, on chocolate, iodine, seaweeds and tar.
Impression: A delicious sherried expression of Port Charlotte, with strong chocolate, seaweeds and rather maritime flavours. A rather intense and extreme whisky, but most enjoyable.
Rating: 17/20 FP:H7

13 Dec 11

Old Pulteney 1995, 12 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 45%, B: 2007, Cask 1503. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold
Nose: Smoky, fruity, malty, salty, on peach and fudge.
Taste: Very maritime and salty, on iodine, seaweed, sea water, smoke, smoked fish and peach. The finish is long, salty, maritime, on smoked fish and liquorice.
General Impression: A very good Old Pulteney, smoky, and very maritime.
Rating: 16/20 FP:

12 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Old Pulteney 23 YO Bourbon, OB, 43%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Light, subtle, slightly mellow, maritime, on sea brine, some diesel smoke and nice oaky notes.
Taste: Juicy, oaky, briny, rather sweet, on toffee, smoke and light floral notes. The finish is medium, rather light, coastal and briny, with a slight bitterness (gentian) and some sweet oaky flavours.
Impression: Aged Old Pulteney are infrequent and I was curious to taste this whisky. I found this whisky rather light in taste, with some bitterness and slightly unbalance. A whisky that might have benefited from a higher strength.
Rating: 11/20 FP:A2


Old Pulteney 23 YO Sherry, OB, 43%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smooth, mellow, very nicely fruity, slightly salty, on sea brine, some fish, some sweet, ripe and candied fruits (e.g., peach, tangerine) with some velvety smoke. Most pleasant.
Taste: Sweet, coastal, on sea brine, slightly salty, smoky and fishy, with a light sweet fruity influence of tangerine and orange. This combination of flavours is charming and contributing to an old-fashioned type of whiskies. The finish is medium to long, sweet, briny, fruity, coastal and slightly smoky. Diluted, it becomes more on grapefruit.
Impression: The fruitiness of the nose was a most pleasant one and the interplay between the subtle sweet sherry influence and the coastal briny character of the Old Pulteney envouting. If you like the Old Pulteney style, you should really give a try to this fine whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP:E2

10 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Old Pulteney 12 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Salty, slightly soapy and smoky, on sea brine, diesel smoke, vanilla, and some fish.
Taste: Light, briny, slightly smoky, fishy, slightly salty, on seashells, some lemon and vanilla. The finish is medium, rather sweet, coastal, salty and on sea shells, okay and on vanilla. Diluted, the coastal and “harbour” flavours are enhanced.
Impression: A pleasant whisky with strong coastal notes. Old Pulteney are whiskies of character that I enjoyed tasting.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A2

09 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Laphroaig 1992 Old Malt Cask Sherry,  19 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2011, Ref 7598, 348 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Round to very round, okay, mellow, smoky, on complex maritime notes and a rather contained peatiness.
Taste: Smooth, salty, maritime, on iodine, tar, salt, seaweeds, some tobacco quid, and some light and sweet fruity notes of tangerine. The finish is medium to long, smooth, mellow, subtle, on diverse maritime notes, some tangerine, a touch of ripe citric fruits, some peat smoke, tobacco quid and seaweeds.
Impression: A very pleasant, gentle and subtle Laphroaig, rather easy drinking with a discreet but enjoyable sherried influence.
Rating: 16/20 FP:E6

08 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Fettercairn 40 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very smooth, mellow, on dried fruits, round floral notes, cardamom oil, a touch of tangerine, some creamy notes as well as redcurrant. Very elegant.
Taste: Very smooth, floral, oaky, with some mint, eucalyptus, old tobacco smoke and some marmalade. Complex. The finish is medium to long, oaky, slightly floral, resinous, and smoky, with some eucalyptus and toffee.
Impression: The nose is very elegant and most pleasant, while eucalyptus flavours are released afterwards entangled with round and floral aromas.
Rating: 15/20 FP:E2

07 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Fettercairn 30YO, OB, 43.3%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Floral to very floral, light, on summer flowers, with a faint smokiness. With time, it becomes smoother, creamier, slightly fruity, on vanilla and butter Scotch.
Taste: Oaky, juicy, floral, slightly fruity (yellow fruits), some floral and fragrant notes, some tobacco leaves and old tea. Rather waxy. The finish is medium, bitter, fragrant, floral, slightly astringent, with some toffee and tobacco leaves.
Impression: A good floral whisky, mellow and with some bitter-fragrant notes in the finish.
Rating: 13/20 FP:B2

06 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Fettercairn Fior, OB, 42%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Peaty, earthy, slightly floral, on humus, toffee, with some bold and grassy notes.
Taste: Smooth, slightly young, peaty, floral, slightly spicy, with some slightly bitter and fragrant floral notes, as well as some toffee. There are also some tobacco quid notes. The finish is medium, rather floral, bitter and fragrant, slightly peaty, smoky, on tobacco quid, some violets, bitter caramel, and toffee.
Impression: A rounded, rather heavy, floral and medium peated whisky, with a rather pleasant nose and a finish on bitter caramel notes and tobacco. The Fior is a combination of traditional and (young) heavily peated Fettercairn. Better to drink naked, since water increases the toffee and bitter caramel flavours.
Rating: 10/20 FP:C4

05 Dec 11

Clynelish 1982, 27 YO, Daily Dram, 59.8%, B: 2010. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose; Very intense, spicy,  clean and mustardy. Very “Clynelish”.
Taste: Very spicy, oaky, mustardy, very waxy, slightly lemony, with some nice vanilla flavours and a pleasant smokiness. The finish is long, clean, round, waxy, with some citrus.
Impression: You like Clynelish? Then you will enjoy this one very much. An excellent and flawless Clynelish.
Rating: 17/20 FP:A2


Special Whisky Show London

Clynelish 1982 Old Malt Cask, 28 YO, Douglas Laing, 50%, B: 2011, ref 7553, 238 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Smooth, round, waxy, zesty, with some mustard seeds, pollen and a nice oakiness. A typical 1982 Clynelish.
Taste: Light, fresh, juicy, waxy, on lemon zest, some mustard and a pleasant oakiness. Elegant and subtle. The finish is medium, subtle, with a lemon twist, some mustard, slightly peppery, waxy and on pollen.
Impression: An elegant, light, fresh and zesty Clynelish. Most pleasant.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A1

 

 

04 Dec 11

Springbank 21 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Springbank 21 YO, OB, 46%, B: 2001. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Salty, smoky, slightly maritime, intense, rather sharp, on coconut, some “harbour” flavours and light farmy notes. The older 21 YO was smoother and the new version more on toffee. Diluted, is becomes smoother and fruitier, close to the old one.
Taste: Spicy, oaky, salty, slightly oily, on coconut, some diesel smoke, slightly mineral, with fruity notes of coconut, tangerine, toffee, some coffee, smoke, and dark chocolate. Nicely complex and with a very pleasant rather dry and metallic sherry. Diluted, it becomes smoother, saltier and fruitier. The finish is medium, intense, salty, maritime, smoky, rather dry, spicy, on tangerine, and dark chocolate. Diluted, the finish is slightly longer, saltier, smoother and more fruity.
Impression: A most pleasant Springbank, very well made and a worthwhile successor the famous old 21 YO. Since I had an old Springbank 21 YO opened on my shelf, I compared it head to head with the new one: the 2011 bottling seemed sharper, dryer and more on toffee than the old one, but once you add some water, the differences diminished. I tend to prefer the old one slightly better than the 2011 but both are excellent whiskies meriting the same rating. This was not an easy task, but the job is to my opinion, accomplished.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D3 (2011) and E4 (2001)


Springbank 1997 Geigy Cask 2 for Switzerland, 14 YO, Adelphi, 52.5%. B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Peaty, dry, intense, smoky, on toffee, with a nice but rather sweet sherry influence.
Taste: Lightly peaty, zesty, dry, tarry, with some tangerine, salt, toffee, and sea brine. The finish is medium, on peat smoke, polished wood, a zest of tangerine and on toffee.
Impression: A very nice sherried expression of Springbank, smokier than usual. A fine old style whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP:E4

03 Dec 11

Special Whisky Show London

Dalmore Astrum, 40 YO, OB, 42%. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Very smooth and mellow, fruity, velvety, on dry fruits, strawberries, some tangerine, orange, leather, as well as on light smoky and earthy notes. Complex and excellent.
Taste: Dry, salty, on tobacco quid, chocolate, some mint, tangerine, orange, a slight bitterness. Smooth, slightly fragrant and floral and rather austere. The finish is long to very long, mouth coating, smoky, slightly bitter and floral, with some eucalyptus and mint, as well as some marmalade.
Impression: Maybe not the most typical old Dalmore with its fresh flavours of mint and eucalyptus, but a very good whisky whisky with a rather unique flavour profile.
Rating: 17/20 FP:E2

02 Dec 11

Lagavulin 12 YO, OB, 57.5%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Very intense and maritime, peaty, clean, pungent, on iodine, antisceptic and diesel. A full strength Lagavulin. Superb!
Taste: Salty, dry, peaty, on liquorice root, with a slight oakiness, on antiseptic, iodine, some tar and seaweeds. The finish is long, dry, very peaty, tarry, and maritime, with strong antiseptic flavours. With a very nice smoky retro-olfaction.
Impression: Very clean, peaty and impressive of intensity, with strong antiseptic notes. The influence of the cask is light and allows the matured spirit to shine through. Well done. A Lagavulin that I thoroughly enjoyed. My favourite Lagavulin 12 YO of the Special Release released so far.
Rating: 17/20 FP:A7

01 Dec 11

Lochside 1987, 21 YO, Dewar Rattray, 59.8%, B: 2008, Refill Hogshead 20261 Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Fresh, malty, floral and on almond.
Taste: Floral to very floral, light, smooth, bitter, with some light grassy notes. The finish is medium, light, malty, floral and bitter.
Impression: A light, floral and bitter Lochside.
Rating: 11/20 FP:A3

30 Nov 11

Lochside 1981 Authentic Collection, 22 YO, Cadenhead's, 59%, B: 2004, 276 bottles, sherry hogshead. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Floral to very floral (light summer floral notes), light and malty, with some grassy and farmy notes.
Taste: Light, smooth, floral, on almond, with some grassy and farmy notes. The finish is medium, very smooth, light, floral, quite sweet, slightly smoky and very slightly citric.
Impression: A pleasant and easy drinking Lochside, fresh and light. Thank you Jean-Mi.
Rating: 13/20 FP:E3

29 Nov 11

Lochside single blend 1964, 46 YO, The Whisky Exchange, 42.1%, B: 2011. cask 8970, 139 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Very round and smooth, fruity, slightly grainy, on polished and juicy oak, with some mango and a faint smokiness.
Taste: Very smooth, on cooked cereals, a slight spiciness, on sweet fruity notes of banana, peach, passion fruit and mango. The finish is medium to long, slightly grainy, round, mellow, very fruity, on banana, peach and mango.
Impression: A very enjoyable smooth and fruity Lochside, with lots of tropical fruits, that has aged very well, with no noticeable woody notes. Well done! As for some Ben Nevis, the grain and the malt (50:50) were married before the cask was filled.
Rating: 16/20 FP:C2


Lochside single blend 1965, 46 YO, Adelphi, 52.3%, B:2011, cask 6778, 499 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very smooth and mellow, slightly grainy, with some marzipan, lots of ripe fruits, peach, mango and tangerine. Heavy.
Taste: Spicy, tannic, rather heavy and syrupy, oaky, slightly bitter, with some light grainy notes, rancio, some old rubber, oranges, a light smokiness and some earthy notes. The finish is medium, astringent, tannic, woody, bitter, on rancio and some orange.
Impression: The nose was very nice, with strong sherry notes, but then it becomes very woody with bitter and astringent notes. Excessively woody to my taste.
Rating: 12/20 FP:H1

28 Nov 11

Knockando 25 YO, 43%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Smooth, nutty, on leather, tannins, clove, a touch of rubber and some fragrant floral notes. Diluted, it becomes very floral.
Taste: Rich, juicy, fruity, spicy, intense, nutty, on clove, leather, some cinnamon, coriander, tangerine, light floral notes and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Very smooth and mellow.  Diluted, it becomes fruitier, on tangerine, orange, more on high quality leather and on a very nice sherry. The finish is medium and on the same flavours.
Impression: Knockando is not a well-known malt, but this sherried version is very pleasant, with rather big sweet sherry notes giving a nice depth to this whisky. Reminds me of the sherried whiskies from the nearby famous distillery.
Rating: 14/20 FP:H1

27 Nov 11

Powers John’s Lane Release Single Pot Still, 12 YO, OB, 46%. B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Fresh, smooth, round, rather mellow, some floral notes and a light fruitiness, on pears, marshmallow and some cream fudge.
Taste: Smooth, rather sweet, fruity, grassy, slightly waxy, on freshly pressed pears, with a nice roundness, some marzipan and on tangerine. Very satisfying. Diluted, it becomes lighter, fresher and more floral. The finish is medium, fading rather quickly, but leaving a very pleasant round and grassy mouth feel, and on marzipan and tangerine. Some light cinnamon and cloves flavours are released at the end.
Impression: My experience with Powers is limited to one Powers' Irish distilled some 30 or 40 years ago. While both this recent release and the older ones shared a common round body, this is where similarities stop and the new version is a significant and positive step forwards. This Power John’s Lane is a flawless. It is a very well crafted whisky that I enjoyed very much. One of the best quality products in its age range that worth being tasted. Impressive! If you are looking to impress friends with an Irish whiskey, you cannnot be too wrong with this one.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D1

26 Nov 11

Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy Single Pot Still, OB, 46%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour:  Old gold.
Nose: Light, fresh, intense, floral, slightly fragrant, on pears freshly pressed, some vanilla and marzipan. Smells like a sunny day at the end of spring.
Taste: Light, fruity to very fruity, on ripe pears, some marzipan, vanilla, and light grassy notes. Lightly spicy and subtle. The finish is medium, complex, subtle and on pear juice and some banana.
Impression: A nicely made whisky, rather light, that continuously evolves on the palate as it is progressively warmed up. At first impression it gives the impression of being a light and slightly tired whiskey but this when it gains in complexity and nuances. Very enjoyable. Made of whisky aged between 10 and 25 years.
Rating: 15/20 FP:B1

25 Nov 11

Redbreast 12 YO Single Pot Still, OB, 57.7%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold – old gold.
Nose: On toffee, fudge, cream, Malabar candies (caramel sticks) with some light and fresh floral notes in the background.
Taste: Very floral and fragrant, on cardamom, lilac, violet, marshmallows and some spices. No so much caramel on the mouth.The finish is short to medium, floral, fragrant, on bitter caramel, fudge and some fruits from the orchard.
Impression: I tasted a few times the old Rebreast 12 YO prior to the release of the 15 YO, and I have the impression that this 12 YO cask strength Redbreast offers a new flavour profile more on toffee and less fruity (or my memory fading?). It is a clean and fresh whisky, with strong toffee-fudge aromas on the nose, while it is rather floral and fragrant on the palate. It is a well-made whisky, but not really my type of whisk(e)y.
Rating: 11/20 FP:C1


Connemara peated, OB, 40%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Clean, young to very young, slightly floral, light, heavily peated and with strong farmy notes.
Taste: Light, clean, fresh, young, very peaty, on dry peat smoke, with some light floral notes. The finish is medium, peaty, light, clean, young and slightly floral, with a touch of fresh pears.
Impression: A heavily peated Irish whiskey giving the impression of a light version of a young heavily peated whiskies from Islay. Pleasant.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A7

24 Nov 11

Jameson, OB, 40%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Clean, slightly spirity and smooth. Rather bland (neutral).
Taste:  Very smooth, very light, on straw, hay and pears juice. Rather coarse and spirity. The finish is short and clean, smooth, with some pears and straw.
Impression: A very smooth, light and bland Irish whiskey with certainly a very proportion of young grain whisky. A whiskey for drinking and mixing, but not really for sipping.
Rating: 07/20 FP:A1

23 Nov 11

Glen Garioch 1971, Samaroli, 43%, B: 1997, cask 1239, 300 b. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Peaty, mineral, sharp, on charcoal, cold ashes, some seaweed, and on end of spring flowers with some citric notes.
Taste: Smoky, citric and bitter, peaty, meaty, on honey drops, grapefruit and strong coffee notes (coffee chocolate and espresso). Diluted, it becomes more citric and bitter. The finish is quite long, round, citric, peaty, with strong coffee notes.
General Impression: Another very good and heavily peated Glen Garioch, with rather strong coffee notes.
Rating: 18/20


Glen Garioch 1988, 18 YO, MacArthur, 53.9% Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Intense malty nose, spring flowers, some vegetamite, smoke and grapes. Rich.
Taste: Sweet, soft, oily, malty, spicy and quite smoky, then some aromatic herbs. The finish is clean, waxy, winey, malty and quite long, with some fruitiness (tangerine) that then comes through.
General Impression: I was quite impressed by the intensity and the diversity of aromas in this Glen Garioch. Very good!
Rating: 17/20

22 Nov 11

Glen Garioch 1971 for The Whisky Exchange, OB, 43.9%, B : 2011, cask 2038, 194 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Peaty to very peaty, dry, on old bonfire and peat smoke, floral, slightly tarry and ashy. A lovely highly peated old Glen Garioch.
Taste: Very peaty, on dry peat and bonfire smoke, lightly salty, with a lovely juiciness, some heather, honey and some sweet fruits. Complex and with a lingering peatiness. The finish is long, complex, with a mixture of dry peat and smoke and some round sweet juicy and fruity notes, as well as some liquorice, light subtle floral notes, a touch of heather and a faint citrus note. With a very long dry and peaty retro-olfaction. Delicious.
Impression: The Glen Garioch distilled in the early 1970s were heavily peated and this one is no exception. With age it gained in smoothness and mellowness, while keeping a very good level of peat. The dry peaty notes characteristic of the Glen Garioch seems to stay forever, as if you have spent the night in an old croft house. Simply excellent. A rather different beast than the 1971 Samaroli but equally enjoyable.
Rating: 19/20 FP: B6

21 Nov 11

Glen Garioch 1986, OB, 54.6%, B: 2011. 3000 bottles. Batch N°11. Price :
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Smooth to very smooth, round, slightly floral and waxy, with some quince and some sweet fruits.
Taste: Floral to very floral, slightly bitter and fragrant, with some citrus and violet, as well as some off-notes. The finish is medium, rather bitter, fragrant and floral, with some smoke, yellow fruits, tobacco and nuts.
Impression: The nose was rather pleasant, but on the palate, some indiscernible off-notes can be perceived and thus creating some unbalance.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A3

20 Nov 11

Glen Garioch 1994 batch N°32, OB, 53.9%, B: 2011. 12,000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very fresh and floral, intense, light, slightly peaty, rather round, with some vanilla and slightly creamy notes.
Taste: Spicy to very spicy, oaky, floral, on ginger, vanilla, rather waxy, with some light bitter smoky and floral notes. Rather full bodied. The finish is medium, spicy, slightly bitter, smoky, with some grassy and buttery notes, on vanilla and some oaky notes. Diluted, there are some light violet notes.
Impression: A good spicy and rather bold Glen Garioch, with pleasant floral and smoky notes. This is one of the last Glen Garioch distilled using lightly peated malt made on the distillery’s floor maltings.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A3

19 Nov 11

Rosebank 1981, 25 YO, OB, 61.4%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Floral, oaky, slightly woody and meaty, with some grassy notes
Taste: Very floral, sweet, almost sugary, spicy and very oaky. The finish is long, smooth, round, big, with floral notes of violet, oak and spices.
Impression: A surprisingly big Rosebank, rather heavy, probably due to the large amount of sherry casks used. Not the typical light and fresh Rosebank.
Rating: 13/20 FP:E1

18 Nov 11

Rosebank 1990, 21 YO, OB, 53.8%, B: 2011. 5886 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Very fresh and light, floral, on hay, straw, and some potpourri. With some lemon peel. Diluted, the flavours are more intense.
Taste: Light, fresh, slightly zesty, on candied lemon, some hay and light fragrant floral notes, as well as some elderberries blossom. With time, it becomes rounder. The finish is medium, light, grassy, with some light toffee, marzipan, and lemon notes, as well as some fresh and dry grass. Diluted, some tobacco and a touch of mint are released.
Impression: At full strength, the nose was rather closed and suggestive of an old and tired Rosebank. Fortunately, once the whisky was warmed on the contact with my palate, it regains its colours. This version reminds me very much of the old 12 YO Rosebank from the Fauna & Flora range, with some additional mellowness. Thus, a different type of Rosebank than the previous and rather heavy 25 YO released a few years ago.
Rating: 14/20 FP:B1


Rosebank 1981, 20 YO, Signatory, 43%. Price:
Colour: Very pale.
Nose: Dry, spirity, on hay, some floral notes, smoke and washing product.  The flavours are weak and diluted.
Taste: Very bitter and citric, rubbery, floral and grassy, on hay and cardboard. The finish is extremely dry, bitter, on hay, smoke and some old liquorice root.
Impression: Very pale and the colour matches quite nicely the flavour profile.  If you are interested in Rosebank, look for another one.
Rating: 08/20

17 Nov 11

Port Dundas 1990, 20 YO, OB, 57.4%, B: 2011. 1920 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Grainy, intense, very round and smooth, on cooked cereals, maize (corn), plums, raisins, dried fruits, chocolate, treacle, as well as on floral notes (geranium and violet?). Charming.
Taste: Intense, floral to very floral, smooth, slightly spirity and nutty, on treacle, geranium, violet, tobacco, vanilla, some coffee and orange peel, as well as some spicy cereal notes and some maize (corn). The finish is medium, smooth, on cereals, maize (corn), treacle and corn syrup, with fragrant floral notes, some nuts and tobacco. Diluted, it becomes creamier and the notes of cloves are then very apparent.
Impression: This is the first official release of Port Dundas in Diageo’s special release and this whisky was re-racked at 3 years old in charred European oak, first fill American Oaky and ex-sherry American Oak. This mixture of different casks created a unique flavour profile to this whisky (reminding me of the previous “engineered “ Mannochmore) with a wide range of flavours that I enjoyed very much. An atypical but much enjoyable grain whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP: F1


Caol Ila unpeated 12 YO, OB, 64%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Smooth to very smooth, with some floral notes. Closed when nosed straight.
Taste: Light, slightly maritime, clean, with a touch of hemp rope, some floral notes and a certain roundness. The finish is medium, rather maritime, floral, fragrant, round, with a slight fruity sweetness.
Impression: A light, fresh, fragrant Caol Ila that taste younger than 12 years old. Well-made, but rather one-dimensional. It is interesting to notice the maritime and notes of hemp rope present in the peated version of the 12 YO. The influence of the wood is rather light for a whisky matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A1

16 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Cameronbridge 31 YO, Whiskies of Scotland, 46.0%, B:2011. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Restrained, very smooth and mellow, oaky, with some cereal notes and creamy notes (wheat?), as well as a light fruitiness.
Taste: Slightly soapy, very mellow, spicy, oaky, with some green cereals, a touch of tobacco, mint, and some treacle. The finish is medium, very mellow, on treacle, maple syrup, tobacco and some mint, with a slight soapiness  and nutty flavours at the end.
Impression: An old and very mellow grain whisky, rather easy drinking, but that lost some of its intensity over it long maturation. For the amateurs of aged grains.
Rating: 11/20 FP:B1

15 Nov 11

Special Whisky Show London

Bowmore 1993 The Whisky Show, 18 YO, The Whisky Exchange (Speciality Drinks), 61.6%, B: 2011, 195 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Round, peaty, smooth, with overripe grapefruit, dry peat and some other sweet fruits. Nice balance between the fruity, dry peaty and smoky notes.
Taste: Peaty, sweet, salty, maritime, slightly bitter and citric, intense, on tobacco, some grapefruit and other citric fruits. Diluted, it becomes smoother, rounder and more docile. The finish is long, citric, sour, peaty, with a good dose of wet and dry tobacco leaves, a slight bitterness, some salt and curry. Complex.
Impression: A nice charming and complex Bowmore, rather aggressive straight and becoming smoother with some water. Very elegant.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D6


Port Ellen 1979 for The Whisky show, 30 YO, The Whisky Exchange, 54.1%, B: 2009, 60 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Round, floral, with some game and indiscernible flavours. With time, it becomes smoother and fruitier.
Taste: Salty, smooth, peaty, on jelly citric fruits and Turkish delights. The finish is medium-long, smooth to very smooth, medium peaty, but very fruity.
General Impression: A surprisingly fruity expression of Port Ellen, very enjoyable.
Rating: 16/20 FP:B6

14 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Bowmore 8 YO, Whiskies of Scotland. 46.2%, B: 2011, Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very peaty and tarry, dry, ashy, and rather maritime, with some seashells. After a while, notes of dried fish are released.
Taste: Dry, salty, peaty, tarry, ashy, sooty, on wood extracts, liquorice root, graphite some vanilla and seaweed. The finish is long, drying, peaty, ashy, on liquorice, oak and vanilla extracts, as well as some salt and seaweeds.
Impression: A very peaty Bowmore, with a lot of punch and a remarkable complexity. A very good youngster.
Rating:15/20 FP:A7

13 Nov 11

Special Whisky Show London

Bowmore 10 YO Tempest Batch 3, OB, 55.6%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Oaky, round, peaty, dry, with some hemp rope, a touch of hay and some vanilla. Medium peated.
Taste: Peaty, dry, slightly salty, citric, slightly soapy, oaky to very oaky, intense, slightly hot and peppery, with some seaweeds, old tar and dry liquorice roots. The finish is long, dry, peppery, maritime, peaty, slightly citric, oaky and on vanilla.
Impression: A powerful, peppery and modern Bowmore with a strong influence of the first fill bourbon. Seems dryer, slightly less peaty but more citric than the previous versions.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A6

12 Nov 11

Special Whisky Show London

Port Ellen 1983 The Whisky Show, The Whisky Exchange, 51.1%, B: 2011. 60 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Peaty, strongly maritime, on a mixture of sweet and dry sherry, some tar, diesel smoke, seaweeds, some iodine, tangerine, orange, and dry fruits.
Taste: Salty, very maritime, with iodine, seaweeds, some diesel, tar, dry peat smoke, some sweet sherry, toffee, some seashells, leather, tannins, coffee beans, and some venison. The finish is long, peaty, dry, slightly tarry, some ashes, leather, toffee, coffee, chocolate, and a mixture of dry and sweet sherry.
Impression: A rather dry and tarry version of Port Ellen with some gorgeous sherry influence resulting in an excellent Port Ellen that sold out very quickly. A rather peaty expression and one, if not, the best sherried Port Ellen I have ever tasted.
Rating: 19/20 FP:G7

11 Nov 11

Port Ellen 1979 11th Annual Release, OB, 32 YO, 53.9%. B: 2011. 3000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Round to very round, rather mellow, smoky, peaty, some lemon drops, tar, diverse flavours from the seashore. As for the 10th Annual, not a peat monster, but a mellow, elegant and complex Port Ellen.
Taste: Spicy to very spicy, rather bitter, peaty, smoky, rather on citrus, with some Genepi (Alps herb liquor), diesel, tar, ashes, burnt wood, soot, as well as some resinous notes. The finish is long, peaty, tarry, resinous, slightly maritime, on genepi, diesel, some iodine, and other slightly fragrant bitter notes. The peat and maritime comes back later on.
Impression: It is better than the previous 10th Annual release? Judge it by yourself!
As for the 10th Annual release, this new version is not a peat monster, but a mellower and more mature whisky than the early releases, with some bitter herbs flavours (genepi) that gives it an unique identity. A whisky that could be classified as difficult, but that will be enjoyed very much by most Port Ellen aficionados. Of note, there is a small leaflet inside where it is written” Most Highly Prized Special Release malt whisky 2011”. Well it sold out of the shelves before its shadow reached them, even if some shops sold it 30% above the recommended retailing price.
Rating: 18/20 FP:C6

10 Nov 11

Special Whisky Show London

Brora 30 YO The Whisky Show, The Whisky Exchange, 53.1%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smooth, spicy, mustardy, smoky, waxy, with some costal notes. Very Brora, with a nice roundness.
Taste: Waxy, round, slightly mustardy, with some heather, seaweeds, salt and old smoke, as well as some honey. Diluted, it becomes saltier and spicier. The finish is medium to long, waxy, slightly spicy and mustardy, slightly smoky, with some honey and quince, with maybe a touch of liquorice.
Impression: A very pleasant and very round lightly peated expression of Brora. Not extremely complex, but easy drinking.
Rating:17/20 FP:B3

09 Nov 11

Brora 32 YO, OB, 54.7%, B : 2011. 1500 bottles. Price :
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Intense, coastal, slightly peaty and smoky, with some farmy notes, some salt and faint sweet notes of tangerine. More complex and “vigorous” than currently bottled Brora.
Taste: Very smooth, round, slightly waxy, rather juicy, with pleasant sweet fruity notes of tangerine and orange, mixed with a fine old bold peat smoke, some seaweeds, salt, some mustard weeds and faint farmy notes. Remarkably complex. The finish is long, slightly bitter, with some fragrance, slightly farmy and peaty, coastal, some seaweeds a touch of liquorice root and some tangerine. Some oak at the end.
Impression: Slightly heavier, peatier, and sweeter than the previous 30 YO suggesting that some sherry casks have been including in the vatting as well as probably a few heavily peated Brora. In any case, a fine Brora of at least the same quality of the previous release, with a pleasant “bite” of peat and the most complex Brora I have tasted recently.
Rating: 18/20 FP:C5

08 Nov 11

Glen Scotia 1991 Sherry, 15 YO, Cadenhead, 57.8%. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Extremely smooth nose, round maltiness and with some light fragrant floral notes.
Taste: Smoky, some saltiness, rubber, creamy, smooth maltiness and some bitterness. The finish was malty, creamy, very smooth, with some rubber notes and some smoke at the end. Flawless.
General Impression: A very smooth and malty Glen Scotia from a very good sherry cask. If you have never tried a Glen Scotia and you enjoy the lightly peated sherry malt, give this one a try.
Rating: 17/20

07 Nov 11

Glen Scotia 12 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2007. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Salty, maritime, on coconut and peat smoke. Smells like the harbour in Campbeltown. Very nice. Diluted, it becomes more on grilled bread and more peaty.
Taste: Salty to very salty, very maritime, citric to very citric, smoky and peaty, intense, rich and on coconut. Diluted, it becomes more on burnt wood and paper. The finish is medium to long, salty, smoky, on bitter toffee, seaweed and maritime influence.
General Impression: It might not be the most subtle whisky, but I like its strong intense and maritime influence, as well as the intensity of the flavours. Rather surprising for a whisky bottled at 40%.
Rating: 14/20

06 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Glen Scotia Peated 2002 Distillery select, OB, 45%, B: 2011, cask 164, 410 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw-pale gold.
Nose: Starts on hard cheese flavours, then it develops on  peat, smoke, with some maritime and tarry notes and very light fragrant and manure aromas.
Taste: Peaty, smoky, juicy, maritime, oaky, with some citrus, vanilla, coconut, a touch of salt and some seaweeds. Less peaty than the 2007, but rounder, more mature and complex. The peaty notes gain in strength over time. The finish is medium to long, slightly sour and citrusy, peaty, smoky, tarry, on burnt wood, seaweeds and other maritime flavours, as well as vanilla.
Impression: A different and more mature version of heavily peated Glen Scotia. The peat does not come as a blast as the 2007, but more gradually. A most enjoyable whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP:A6

05 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Glen Scotia 2001 Distillery select, OB, 45%, B: 2011, cask 627, 330 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw-pale gold.
Nose: Very smooth, mellow, sweet, on yellow fruits (peach, apricots, mango) and some smoky notes.
Taste: Very fruity, smooth, mellow, on mango, guava, papaya, peach, banana, some peat smoke and some fresh vanilla. Complex. The finish is medium, very smooth, sweet, fruity, mellow, with the same profile as on the palate.
Impression: A very nice and fruity Glen Scotia that has very matured. It tasted almost twice its age. I had no older Glen Scotia available for comparison, but it seems that the Glen Scotia whiskies distilled by the new owners (Loch Lomond) are smoother and less oily than the previous production (i.e., less rough). In any case, a very good and complex whisky.
Rating: 15/20 FP:A2

04 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Glen Scotia 2006 Distillery select, OB, 45%, B: 2011, cask 087, 320 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw-pale gold.
Nose: Slightly smoky, maritime, oily, slightly oaky and round.
Taste: Salty, slightly oily, clean, smooth, on diesel smoke, seaweeds, sea brine, and nice juiciness. Rather sweet, with some peaches. The finish is short to medium, smooth, slightly young, oily, maritime, bitter and smoky, with a light fragrance. Diluted, it becomes cleaner, smoother and malty.
Impression: A good smooth, round and easy drinking whisky, without the juvenile notes that you could expect from such a young whisky.
Rating: 11/20 FP:A3

03 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Glen Scotia Peated 2007 Distillery select, OB, 45%, B: 2011, cask 225, 370 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw-pale gold.
Nose: Rather young, intense, peaty to very peaty, smooth, on soot, burnt wood, tar, some iodine, sea brine and seaweeds. Rather oily.
Taste: Very maritime, smooth, very peaty, tarry, slightly citrusy, on strong iodine and phenolic flavours, seaweeds and diesel smoke. The finish is medium to long, very peaty and maritime, on tar, seaweeds and iodine.
Impression: A surprisingly rich, complex and very peaty Glen Scotia, with rather strong iodine and maritime flavours.  A very good and positive surprise from this rather unknown distillery, with a rather Islay-like profile.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A7

02 Nov 11

Special Scotland whisky tour

Littlemill 12 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Round, grassy, intense, with some wet hay, caramel, toffee, salami and manure.
Taste: Green, grassy, round, smooth, slightly smoky, with some cardamom, a touch of manure and caramel. The finish is medium, round, grassy, starchy, slightly smoky and bitter.
Impression: I tasted first the Littlemill 12 YO when it was first released and there is a remarkable progress. Surprisingly intense for a whisky reduced to 40%.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A2

01 Nov 11

Littlemill 1990, Scott's selection, 57%, B:2007. Price:
Colour: Pale yellow.
Nose: Light to very light, very floral, fragrant, on straw and freshly cut grass.
Taste: Light, grassy, slightly spirity, floral, fragrant, slightly soapy and lemony. The finish is short to medium, on burnt rubber, toffee, some bitter herbs (gentian), with a zest of lemon and smoke.
General Impression: A correct Littlemill, but with a rather bitter finish.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A2

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