Laphroaig 1989, 15 YO, Douglas Laing OMC, B: 2005, 50%, 619 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Very sweet, meaty, some light citric notes, slightly peated and mineral with Rum sweetness.
Taste: Woody, peaty, sweet, on pineapples, then gets more peated, maritime and on iodine. Mellow. The finish is of medium length, on dried bacon, smooth and sweet.
General Impression: When tasting this whisky, I really got the impression that this Laphroaig was either matured or finished in a Rum butt, since it was very sweet and the whisky darker than one would expect from a bourbon cask. In any case, the end result is a very sweet easy to drink whisky.
BenRiach 1968, 36 YO, OB, 46%, Cask 2711, Bottled for La Maison du Whisky, Price:
Nose: Sweet exotic fruits (passion fruits, pineapple, guavas and mango), some discreet round peat, nice oaky influence, with aromas of cooked apples and eucalyptus. Some floral undertones.
Taste: Floral (lilac and narcisse), tropical fruits, woodlands berries, and apples. Spicy, rich, complex and well equilibrated. Nice, mellow and quite long finish.
BenRiach 1968, 37 YO, Duncan Taylor, 48.6%, Cask 2597, Price:
Nose: Very similar to the OB, but more spirity, more floral and smokier. After a few minutes of aeration, notes of berries (blackcurrant) are smelled. Diluted, it becomes very close to the OB. Difficult to make out the difference. Maybe more brambely flavours.
Taste: Quite dry, floral (lilac), spicy (ginger, pepper) and round smoke. Intense. Rich, slightly winey, needs time for the tropical fruits to go through the smoke. The finish is bold, smoky, slightly bitter and quite long. Less fruity than the nose would suggest.
BenRiach 1968 sherrywood, 34 YO, Hart Brothers, 49.8%, Price:
Nose: Very close to the 1968 OB, with smokier and some plumps flavours. Diluted, the nose gets closer to the OB, but with apple flavours.
Taste: Bitter, floral (lilac and narcisse /jonquil), smoky, slightly peaty, tobacco, cooked fruits, pineapple and Darjeeling tea. The finish is quite long, slightly bitter (dark chocolate), fruity and with toffee. The sherry influence is quite discreet. Dryer than the DT.
General Impression: the driest of the 3 BenRiach 1968, but also the smokiest. They are all excellent variation of the same whisky and it is difficult to say which one is the best one. Try them and make your own opinion.
Ledaig 1993, 56.5%, MacArthur, B:2003, cask 271, Price:
Nose: Peaty, dry malt (gristy), simple and clean. Seems quite young. Firm.
Taste: Dry, on bourbon, malty and feinty (sweat). The finish is short, dry, peaty and gristy.
General Impression: Next whisky, please.
Glenmorangie Burr Oak 1993, 56.3%, OB, B: 2004, 1152 bottles, Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Sweet, winey, buttery, some pineapple and mango. Flavours suggesting some pepper. Slightly soapy. With water it gets nice, round on butter scotch toffee.
Taste: Creamy, buttery, with a nice spiciness, salt and pepper. It is however less spicy and softer than the Truffle Oak. Woody with saw dust taste. The finish is of medium length, on an interesting winey-spicy and buttery finish.
An interesting maturation in virgin oak wood (Burr Oak), different from the truffle oak, less rough, but still a lot of wood influence. Gives a new dimension to the Glenmorangie. The difference between the influence of the two virgin oak types is quite surprising.
Glenmorangie Truffle Oak 1993, 60.5%, OB, B: 2005, 886 bottles, Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Perfumed with a wood-spicy nose. Subtle, on exotic fruits, some lavender, resinous wood and camphor. Very nice. With some water, it gets more on toffee, burnt sugar, saw dust. Smells like the inside of a wooden hut.
Taste: Very spicy, peppery, salty, with chilli, before getting very woody (tannic) and finally on sweet fruity notes. Intense and winey. The finish is winey, smoky, dry and short.
Ardmore, 10 YO, Signatory, 43%, Casks 1351/2 585 b., Price:
Colour: Pale yellow
Nose: Quite young, spirity, peaty, firm dry malt, a hint of lemon peel and mint. With water, it gets more floral.
Taste: Round, bitter, winey, on dry malt (grist), peat, smoke and some saltiness. With water, the bitterness fades and the whisky becomes more juicy. The finish is dry, winey, malty and peaty, of medium length.
General Impression: A very nice nose, with a nice palate and would have benefited of a % more (e.g., 46%).
Glen Grant 1971 Cross Hill, 35 YO, JWWW, 53.6%, 168 bottles. Price:
Nose: Peat, honey, berries, strawberries, floral (violet), round sherry. Rich, heavy and complex, with some leather. With a few drops of water, it smells like an old worn English couch, on toffee and with an omnipresent fragrance.
Taste: Spicy (curry, ginger and chilli), black berries and strawberries. Very perfumy and floral (violet), some leather and soft peat, with some rubber and bitterness. The finish is of medium length, dry and bitter, on dark chocolate, dry peat and some fragrance.
General Impression: Sexy body, nice smell, but the finish is too dry and bitter to my taste.
Glen Grant 1965, 40 YO, Signatory, 56.8%, cask 5543. Price:
Nose: Smooth, floral and fragrant, sherried nose, smoky, peated and very round. Smells “old”.
Taste: Very smooth and spicy, floral (violet), maritime, on pineapple, cointreau and rum. Intense, rich and complex, with some tannic presence. The finish is of medium length, peat, rum and cointreau, with some rubber and tannic.
General Impression: A nicely balanced venerable Glen Grant, harmonious, thin, and more a Rolls Royce than a BMW.
Glen Grant 1970, 33 YO, The Strathblair Collection 2, 55.5%, bottled for Switzerland, 84 bottles Price:
Nose. Very similar to the Prenzlow Glen Grant, but rounder (more on fudge and butter).
Taste: Spicy, salty, maritime, blackcurrant, strawberries, smoke and peat, then comes the leather, the oranges and some fruitiness. Needs a bit of water to release its fruitiness. The finish is quite long, peaty, smoky and intense. With a pleasant aftertaste on berries and leather.
Glen Grant 1970 Prenzlow Collection, 33 YO, Jack Wiebers (JWWW), 55.1% Price:
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: Very fragrant (violet), quite light, floral with some fruitiness on the background. With a few drops of water, the heavy flavours are released: round peat, leather, nuts and berries.
Taste: Deliciously sweet and fruity, on exotic fruits (mango, pineapple and peach), berries, peat and old leather. Rich and complex, smoky and with notes of orange. Diluted, gets more fruity (pineapple) and smoother. The finish is on dry leather, round smoke and berries. Intense, long with some fruitiness and a hint of rubber.
General Impression: A superb juicy, fruity and floral Glen Grant. Complex and nice, with a strong sherry influence.
Islay Trilogy 1969, Murray McDavid Mission, 36 YO, 40.3%, B:2006, 1200 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Old oak, exotic fruits (mango, passion fruits), peach. Very sweet and smells like a fruit basket.
Taste: Very sweet, slightly tannic, on exotic fruit cocktail (banana, passion fruit, peach and mango) with a hint of smoke. Diluted, gets very tannic, bitter and smoky. There is some dryness on the sweet finish of medium length, slightly tannic and with a hint of smoke.
BenRiach 1984 (Sherry), 21 YO, Single Malts of Scotland, 56.7%, cask 490/514, 481 bottles. Price:
Nose: Very peaty, firm, quite strong sherry nose at the start before the peat takes over, floral notes, honey sweetness and eucalyptus. Rich and very intense. After a few minutes, notes of tar are perceived. Diluted, the nose becomes phenolic, very peated, more floral and fruity (peach).
Taste: Very spicy and slightly tannic attack, massive peat, floral and fruity notes (Lipton peach ice tea), then smoky, on tobacco. Rich and complex. Diluted, it is oily and dry at the same time because of the peatiness, quite fruity (peach and pink grapefruit) and malty. The finish is long, very peaty, firm, smoky and on peach ice tea. Diluted, the finish is peated, long, citric and somewhat dry.
General Impression: A very suprising BenRiach, extremely peated and with a lot of punch. Rich and multi-layered. It resembles the heavily peated Broras from 1975. A quite extreme whisky.
Cragganmore 1989, 15 YO, Signatory, 55.4%, B: 2004, cask 983 Price:
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Very floral, heather, honey, oaky, some old lavender seeds flavours. Quite light and fragrant. Diluted, it starts to open, more floral notes (spring flowers).
Taste: Bitter, spirity, oaky, some grapes, toffee and smoke. Diluted, it gets very smoky. The finish is short, dry, smoky and winey. Diluted, it gets even smokier, with some bitterness and liquorice.
General Impression: A floral, dry and very smoky Cragganmore. Unusually smoky.
Fiskavaig (Talisker), 27 YO, TheWhiskyShop, 51.3%, D: 1977, Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Some old dry peat fire, spice, some oak, sea influence, grapes and a hint of sherry. Intense nose and pungent.
Taste: Oily, very spicy (cayenne pepper), winey, smoky, peaty, toffee and some tobacco. Intense and surprisingly fresh for its age. The finish is long, quite intense peat smoke with dark bitter chocolate, sea kelp and toffee.
General Impression: An incredibly spicy whisky for its age. More intense, complex and spicer than many OB’s Taliskers.
Longrow 1996, 10YO, OB, 46%, B:2006. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Dry malt and biscuit, hay, dry peat, some vanilla fudge and a nice sherry flavour. Diluted, it gets saltier, on seaweed and with some earthy notes.
Taste: Salt, spicy, dry peat, some malt and bubblegum. It does taste like sea water with seaweed. The finish is quite short, very peaty, dry and smoky, with some rubber and salt liquorice flavours.
General Impression: A Longrow with a stronger sherry influence and more maturation than previous editions.
G2 (North British ?) Approach with Caution, 16 YO, SMWS, 65%, D:1989, 164 b. Price :
Colour: Pale yellow- straw
Nose: Spirity, varnish, peach, apricots and sweet corn. Very smooth. Diluted, it gets smoother and sweeter.
Taste: Very smooth, sweet corn, a hint of plastic, some varnish and apricots. The finish is short, clean, sweet, on corn and apricots.
General Impression: A very nice nose, smooth and sweet. An easy to drink grain whisky.
Tomatin 1967 OMC sherry, 33 YO, D. laing, 50%, B: 2000, Price:
Colour: Old gold-light amber.
Nose: Tangerine, kumquats, oak, grassy and earthy. Rich, complex, round and quite heavy nose. Diluted, it smells like a nice bouquet of flowers, mixed with some grass.
Taste: Tastes quite of earth, grass and is bitter and smoky. With sweet and citric flavours contrasting with the heavy grass and earth notes. The finish is of medium length, round, smoky, earth and lingering sweet fruit.
General Impression: Tomatin are quite special whiskies, with earth and grass notes. The sherry influence is very nice and gives a nice smoothness and fruitiness. Great cask and difficult to judge. Without the unusual balance of this whisky on the palate, would have scored more. If you like this type of whisky, you will be positively surprised.
Rosebank 1990 OMC, 15 YO, D. Laing, 50%, B: Oct 2005, 242 b. Price:
Colour: Straw- gold
Nose: Light, floral, winey, grapes, some spiciness and oak dryness, sawdust. Diluted, it gets more salty and drier, even very dry.
Taste: Very malty, dry, saw dust, some grapes and dry smoke. Quite spicy. The finish is short, on sweet smoke, and toffee. Clean, but quite complex.
General Impression: A light, dry to very dry and winey Rosebank.
Ardbeg Almost There, 9 YO, OB, 54.1%, D: 1998, B: 2007 Price:
Colour: Pale yellow
Nose: Dry bread and dry barley, some discreet citric notes. Clean, very peated and quite young in the nose. Diluted, gets rounder, more floral and less aggressive on the nose.
Taste: Very peated, salty, maritime, dry bread and barley and then gets rounder, some dried meat, on bitter citric notes and some floral notes (lavender). Diluted, it becomes rounder and more lemon notes are perceived. The finish is dry, peated, on hay and dry bread with some saw dust and peat notes.
Dalmore 12 YO, OB, 43%, B:2006, Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Grassy, malty and fruity (berries), with a touch of smoke. Needs a few drops of water to release its flavours.
Taste: Very malty, dry cereals, wood dust, bitter and dry, some smoke and peach-apricots flavours. Bold. The finish is of medium length, dry bread, smoke and bitter toffee.
General Impression: A nice after dinner malt.
Rating: 11/2019 Mar 2007
Springbank Cuvée 65-93, Murray McDavid, 46%, B: 2004,1224 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: On dry grass, old leather, toffee and tannins, plums and some varnish. Rich, complex and intruiguing. Diluted, on old wood bonfire, toffee. Leather and touch of salt. Delicious.
Taste: Oak, juicy sweet maltiness, round, rich and lot of complexity, with old soft peat smoke, some leather, prunes and some saltiness. The finish is sweet, malty and juicy-fruity. Lots of depth and complexity.
Glen Grant 1970 Sherry cask, Duncan Taylor, 53%, B: 2006, 140 bottles, Price:
Colour: Old gold- amber
Nose: A superb, nice and sherried nose, with a huge complexity, on worn leather, juicy malt, sweet fruits and floral-oak notes. Diluted, it gets more on toffee and a huge flavour of honeycomb is released.
Taste: Surprisingly fresh, juicy malt, pineapples, dark chocolate, some peat and honey. A big whisky. The finish is on liquorice, chocolate, old leather, peat and juicy malt. A long, lingering and complex finish.
General Impression: A big juicy and sherried Glen Grant. Rich and complex.
Tomatin 12 YO, OB, 40%. B: 2006 Price:
Nose: Very floral, fragrant, earthy (moss), grassy and some vanilla. With water, it gets more on green malt.
Taste: Sweet maltiness, some soft peat smoke and earthy-grassy. With a drop of water, it gets quite dry. The finish is smoky, heavy, grassy and earth
ey, with some bitter toffee.
General Impression: A nice and floral nose followed by a heavy grassy body and finish.
Rating: 09/2009 Mar 2007
Talisker 20 YO, OB, 62%, B: 2002, 9000 b. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Some shoe polish, old peat, seaweed and spiciness (pepper). Needs time to open, but then the Talisker character comes through and gives the impression of having sea water drops in your nose. Diluted, it leaves the impression of being on the seashore in a stormy day, with some bonfireby.
Taste: Juicy (orange, tangerine), then the tastebuds are anesthetized by an explosion of salt and spiciness (black pepper) and sweet fruits. The finish is long to very long, on round peat, leather. It is creamy, nice and complex.
General Impression: An excellent and pungent Talisker with a lot of personality. Getting difficult to find and won the Non-Plus-Ultra (Overall top scoring whisky) Maltmaniacs award in 2003.
Springbank C.V., OB, 46%, B: 2001 price:
Nose: Oak, vanilla, quite spirity, on kiwi and violet. With water, it does open and gets more fruity (pear drops), more round and less spirit. With some toffee flavours.
Taste: Malty, quite bitter-citric, clean maltiness, some pineapple, smoke and juicy fruits. Diluted, it is more on juicy, on apricots, pineapple and malt. Very fruity.
The finish is clean, silky, fruity and malty, with a whiff of peat and smoke.
General Impression: Not an overly complex Springbank, but very juicy, fresh and quite clean. Nice balance. A nice pre-dinner dram. The Springbank Chairman Vatting(sometimes referred as Curriulum Vitae) was a mix (vat) of young (7-8 years old) and old malts (up to 21 YO). Some sources
Glenglassaugh 19 YO last year of distillation, OB, 40%, B: 2006 price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Winey, malty, floral (violet), toffee and ripe exotic fruits. Diluted strong fudge flavours.
Taste: Earthy-grassy (wet tobacco leaves), toffee and some orange flavours. The finish is winey, smoky and earthy, with bitter-caramel flavours. The finish is short.
General impression: A good whisky, with a quite pleasant nose. Quite strong caramel flavours.
Bruichladdich Infinity 1st Edition, OB, 55.5%, B: 2006 Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: At full strength, it is spirity, on varnish and rubber, then it develops on dry and rye bread, with some peat. Firm malt. The sherry influence is relatively discreet. Diluted, it gets creamier, on toffee and the sherry is getting more pronounced.
Taste: Nice and juicy malt, on underlying peat, with tangerine and orange aromas. The malt is sweet and the texture very pleasant. The finish is long, on nice and round peat, with some smoke, a sweet maltiness. Diluted, it gets more maritime and the smoke (tobacco leaves) more pronounced.
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