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31 Dec 12

Laphroaig 1965, 20 YO, Intertrade, 50.4%, B: 1986, 171 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Peaty, smoky, maritime, medicinal, with some iodine, camphor, old wood and peat smoke, seaweeds, a twist of tangerine, melon and tar. Less intense than the 1967 Signatory.
Taste: Subtle, citric, rather sweet and salty, maritime, slightly smooth and  mineral, on seaweeds, melon, grapefruits, subtle and delicate peat smoke, as well as some mango and passion fruits. The finish is long, very smoky, peaty, slightly tarry, ashy and maritime, medicinal, on grapefruit, melon and some exotic fruits. With a nice bold peat smoke.
Impression: An excellent old  complex,Laphroaig, with a declious sublte peat smoke, some citrux and exotic frruits. I love this old type of whiskies (e.g., old Brora, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Ardmore and Glen Garioch).
Rating: 19/20 FP: D6

Laphroaig 1967, 27 YO, Signatory, 50.1%, B 1994, cask 2957, 208 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smoky, subtle, maritime, medicinal, slightly mineral and oaky, on old peat smoke, some ashes, tar, fish and camphor, with a zest of citrus.
Taste: Intense to very intense, smooth, spicy, oaky, slightly citric and lemony, on camphor, some bandage, peat smoke, vanilla and melon. Diluted, it becomes spicier and smokier. The finish is long, citric, lemony, smoky, peaty, oaky, on vanilla, camphor, bandage and some seaweed.
Impression: A rather citric and oaky Laphoraig. Very good, but I find the oak speaking rather loud and less sublte than original expression of Laphroaig distilled in the same period.
Rating: 17/20 FP:A6

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Laphroaig 12 YO Decanter Bonfanti (75 cl), OB, 43%, B : 1980s. Price :
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Peaty, maritime, intense, slightly mineral, with round peat smoke, on seashells, some kelp and a nice sweetness. Complex and harmonious.
Taste: Salty, smooth, on kelp, seaweeds, tangerine, sea brine, old bold peat and wood smoke, tar, ashes, tangerine, orange, melon and grapefruits. Diluted, it becomes smokier and with lots of sweet citrus. The finish is long, elegant, slightly mineral, with delicate medicinal notes, on subtle peat smoke,
Impression: A delicious citric Laphroaig, with an old fashioned and delicate peat smoke.
Rating: 18/20 FP: E6

30 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Ardbeg 10 YO “Clear Bottle” (Spirit SPA import), OB, 40%, B: 1980s (75 cl). Price:
Colour: Straw-gold
Nose: Peaty, maritime, slightly mineral and citric, with lots of cold ashes, seaweeds, on iodine, bold “old fashioned” peat smoke and some camphor.
Taste: Salty, subtle, elegant, complex, slightly citric and mineral, peaty, with some camphor, iodine, seaweeds and diesel smoke. Medicinal and briny.The finish is medium to long, medicinal, on camphor, bandage, seaweeds, bold peat smoke, on cold ashes, diesel smoke, seashells, some lemon juice, liquorice roots and other indescriptible flavours.
Impression: An excellent complex and subtle of fashioned Ardbeg, close to the Ardbeg OB bottled in 1966, with slightly less intensity.
Rating: 18/20 FP: A8

Ardbeg 1991, 21 YO, Cadenhead’s, 44.7%, B: 2012, 132 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold.
Nose: Maritime, peaty, smoky, briny, oaky, with some vanilla and liquorice roots. Rather complex.
Taste: Peaty, on wet liquorice roots, some gentian, oak, peat smoke, lemon juice, sea shells, seaweeds and a slight mineral flavour. The finish is medium, oaky, with some sweet lemon juice, peat and wood smoke, some maritime influence, liquorice roots and seaweeds.
Impression: A complex, medium peated Ardbeg at a rather affordable price.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A6

29 Dec 12

Tomatin 19 YO, Master of Malts, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale Straw
Nose: Clean to very clean, smooth, malty, slightly oaky and with some honey drops.
Taste: Slightly oaky and floral, juicy, malty, with some toffee, a touch of smoke and some light grassy notes. The finish is medium, round, malty, rather clean and slightly malty, with a faint smokiness.
Impression: A good warming and fresh malty whisky
Rating: 13/20 FP:B1

Tomatin 1976, 34 YO, Duncan Taylor, 51%, B: 2011, cask 6822, 301 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Smooth, very mellow, on honey, and rich fruity notes of mango, orange, tangerine and some peat smoke.
Taste: Smooth, mellow, grassy, rather big, intense, spicy, on orange, mango, peat smoke and some cinnamon sticks. The finish is medium, fruity, syrupy, slightly peaty, with mango, guava, orange, tangerine and grassy notes. Diluted, it becomes rather zesty and on Fanta.
Impression: A very mellow, rich and fruity Tomatin, with no discernable woody notes. Excellent.
Rating: 17/20 FP: E2

28 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Tomatin 40 YO, OB, 42.9%, D. 1967, B: 2007, 1614 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Smooth to very smooth, slightly grassy, on beeswax, orange, some grassy and leathery notes and light notes of cocoa.
Taste: Very smooth, slightly tannic, on spices (pepper), leather, slightly citric (bitter lemon), some cocoa, orange, tangerine, exotic fruits, grass and honey. The finish is long, grassy, waxy, slightly citric, and fruity, on exotic fruits and sweet barley. With some peat smoke. Diluted, it becomes slightly sour, smokier, slightly bitter and with some cinnamon.
Impression: A smooth, waxy and fruity version of Tomatin, elegant and rather oily.
Rating: 16/20 FP: F2

27 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Tomatin 15 YO, OB, 52%, B: 2012, 3150 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Intense, rich, grassy, on humus, some honey and fresh notes of fruits from the orchards and peach. Diluted, it becomes more on citrus and winey notes becomes slightly enhanced.
Taste: Juicy to very juicy, oaky, fresh, on vanilla, apple and pears, slightly sour berries, faint winey notes and some light fragrance. The finish is medium, slightly sour and citric, oaky, slightly waxy, on vanilla and oak.
Impression: A nicely intense Tomatin, with some slight sour berry and citrus notes. This Tomatin is a vatting of 2nd fill bourbon barrels and Tempranillo wine casks. The tempranillo is the main variety of grapes used for the Rioja and contributes probably to the sour berry notes from this whisky. This works pretty well and offers an enjoyable version of Tomatin.
Rating: 12/20 FP:C1

25 Dec 12

Glen Garioch 1978 Singe Cask for Milroy’s, OB, 58.8%, B: 2012, cask 10999, 146 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smoky, slightly peaty, bold, mellow, rich, on vanilla, quince, some heather honey and slightly fruity. Most pleasant.
Taste:  Smoky to very smoky, peaty, tarry, aromatic, waxy, slightly ashy, on heather, some quince, peach and diverse fruits from the orchards. Complex to very complex. Diluted, it becomes slightly fragrant and subtler, with some drier peat smoke. The finish is long, rich, thick, smoky, peaty, aromatic, slightly tarry and ashy, with syrupy fruity notes of peach, some apricots, quince, heather honey and fruits from the Orchards.
Impression: An excellent example of old peaty and smoky Glen Garioch, smokier, sutbler and peatier than the 1978 released in 2009, with pleasant aromatic notes. An old Glen Garioch as I like them. An excellent choice from the staff at Milroy’s !
Rating: 18/20 FP: A6

Glen Garioch 1999 Hand Bottled, 13 YO, OB, 59.0%, B: 2012, cask 2907. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smooth, round, with some heather honey, freshly crushed malt and some juicy oaky notes. More complex than the recent 1997.
Taste: Intense, rich, floral, slightly fragrant, aromatic, on sweet barley, delicate and rich spicy notes, juicy oak and heather honey. The finish is long, smooth, floral, aromatic, juicy, slightly fragrant, with some vanilla and heather honey.
Impression: A sweet, aromatic, rich and juicy Glen Garioch, more complex than the 1997 for Travel Retail. For sale excusively at the distillery.
Rating: 16/20 FP: A1

24 Dec 12

Port Charlotte 2001, 7 YO, Malts of Scotland, 66.2%, B: 2009, cask 829. Price:
Colour: Old gold – amber
Nose: Clean, young, sweet, oaky, on vanilla, dried seaweeds, tar, some diesel smoke and a few drops of pear.
Taste: Young, spirity, tarry, ashy, rather rough, on toffee, buttercotsch, some pepper, liquorice, ashes, orange, dark fruits and some fresh rubber. The finish is medium, sweet, peaty, tarry, on liquorice, salted liquorice, toffee, rubber and seaweeds. Diluted, it becomes sweeter and saltier.
Impression: A rather good and young Port Charlotte, on a combination of sweet and salted liquorice candies. Some water is needed to tame the alcohol.
Rating: 10/20 FP:E7

Bruichladdich 3D3 The Norrie Campbell Tribute, OB, 46%, B: 2006. Price:
Colour: Straw- gold
Nose: Heavily peaty, tarry, on grilled bread, some floral and lemon notes. The peat is dry and the nose quite good.
Taste: Very dry (astringent), intensely peated, some acidic and citric notes and strong aroma of grilled bread. The finish is dry, heavily peaty, tarry, slightly saline, smoky and on grilled bread. The finish is long.
General Impression: This is the third edition of the 3D Bruichladdich, containing some Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and very young Octomore. 3D stands for 3 peat levels. In this edition, the peat starts to be too dominant and gives the impression of drinking peat smoke and ashes. A rough whisky, which will appeal to the peat monster lovers.
Rating: 13/20

23 Dec 12

Octomore Comus 4.2 167 ppn, 5 YO, OB, 61%, B: 2012, 18,000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very peaty and tarry, with some light sweet white notes.
Taste: Peaty to very peaty, sweet, clean, young, tarry, with some sweet white wine. The finish is medium, sweet to very sweet, very peaty, tarry and with some sweet white wine. The mouth feeling is most pleasant giving the impression of tasting some peated sugar, without any harshness or dryness.
Impression: It is young and lacks complexity. Never the less, the combination of heavily peated spirit and Sauternes wine casks gives the impression of drinking some peated grapes. A pleasant but not cheap surprise.
Rating: 13/20 FP: D9

Octomore 4.167 Orpheus, 5 YO, OB, 62.5%, B: 2011. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Very peaty, young, maritime, fishy, oaky and some seaweeds.
Taste: Very peaty and spicy, peppery, with some chilli, very clean, with some seaweeds, fudge and rather strong oaky notes. The finish is short to medium, very clean, salty, maritime, oaky, farmy, on fudge and vanilla. Diluted, it becomes farmier, saltier and more peppery.
Impression: This whisky is indeed very peaty but the peatiness coming from the use of barley malted to 167 ppm of phenols is not overpowering this young and clean whisky. It seems like the whisky is interacting strongly with the wood. A good whisky, but slightly too young to my taste.
Rating: 13/20 FP: A9

22 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Port Charlotte 2002 Private bottling Raz/Marti, 10 YO, OB, 63.9%, B: 2012, cask 151, 281 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Very peaty, tarry,  mineral, ashy, on soot, some menthols with some “harbour” flavours. Delicious. Given ample time, it becomes slightly rubbery.
Taste: Floral, fragrant, on heavy and thick sherry notes, tar, soot, peat, fresh rubber, salt and on maritime flavours. Diluted, it becomes on cola and sticky toffee. The finish is medium to long, peaty, tarry, ashy, thick, on sticky toffee, seaweeds and other maritime flavours.
Impression: A very peaty, intense, rich, and thick Dark Sherry Port Charlotte. There are some slightly too pronouced notes of rubber to my liking, but otherewise, it is an excellent rich and intense Port Charlotte that should fly from the shelves very quickly.
Rating: 17/20 FP: H8

21 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Port Charlotte The Peat Project, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Young, sweet, farmy, peaty and slightly fragrant. Seems to lack some coherence.
Taste: Salty, farmy, on sweat, seaweeds, vanilla, tar, ashes, smoke, peat, with some youngish notes. The finish is short to medium, salty, sweet, young, peaty, maritime and with some seaweeds.
Impression: Tasted like a rather thin and diluted Octomore or Port Charlotte, with rather young notes. Not the best balanced whisky. The Peat Project is a Port Charlotte made with barley peated to 44 PPM and matured in Port Charlotte.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A7

20 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Octomore 10 YO 80.5 PPM, OB, 50%, B: 2012, 6000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very peaty, maritime and tarry, with lots of seaweeds and strong maritime flavours and some ashes.
Taste: Tarry, ashy, peaty, dry, on liquorice root extract, soot, charred wood, seaweeds and some vanilla. The finish is medium to long, dry, ashy, very tarry, peaty, smoky, with some soot, root extract, charred oak and vanilla.
Impression: Compared to the PC10, it is clearly more peaty, somkier, drier and ashier. Besides the very strong peaty flavours, there are some strong notes of charrred oaky notes, without any other strong influence from the cask. It is nice to see the Octomore reaching the threshold of 10 years of age. A good dry and tarry whisky, but rather pricey (£150).
Rating: 14/20 FP: A9

Port Charlotte PC 10, 10 YO, OB, 59.8%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smoky, on some rather dry and subtle peat, with a slight sweetness, some tar, ashes, tangerine and seaweeds.
Taste: Peaty, tarry, ashy, sooty, dry, strongly maritime, oaky, with some salt and sweet notes. The finish is long, dry to very dry, very tarry, ashy, on dry peat, seaweeds, some smoked meat, diverse maritime flavours, soot, charred oak, some vanilla and a touch of tangerine.
Impression: A slightly more complex, oakier and less peaty version than the Octomore 10 YO. Compared to previous official releases of Port Charlotte, it appears dryier and more oaky.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A8

18 Dec 12

Tomintoul 33 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Rich, intense, smooth, spicy, spirity, slightly floral and smoky, with some berries and heather. Given time, it becomes more gentle, smoother and mellower, with some malty notes.
Taste: Very smooth, slightly creamy and milky, on sweet and juicy malty notes, some smoke, chocolate, heather, light grassy notes, with some cinnamon, light tannic notes and vanilla. Fruity. The finish is medium to long, slightly bitter, on tobacco leaves, cinnamon, some leather and fruity notes. Diluted, it becomes rather floral and fragrant.
Impression: A very nice and old Tomintoul, with sweet and milky malty notes and a rather spicy and oaky finish. The finish is of rather medium length if you consume rapidly the whisky, but if you keep it for several minutes in the mouth, the finish becomes longer and rather astringent and dry. At first, the nose is rather spirity and strong before becoming more gentle after a little while. A special and gentle dram to discover. Fairly priced.
Rating: 15/20 FP: E1

Tomintoul 16 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2006, Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Juicy malt, on nice leather, tangerine, orange, some peat smoke, raisins and almonds.
Taste: Rubbery, salty (sweat), malty, on orange, spices, tannins, leather and honey. The finish is medium, rubbery, malty, clean, slightly peaty and on bitter toffee.
Impression: A pleasant and gently whisky.
Rating: 12/20

17 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glen Moray 30 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2004, 6000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Soft, rich, complex, round, slightly creamy, on old wooden furniture, beeswax, some bergamot, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, with elegant floral notes and some additional sweet oaky notes. Very good.
Taste: Rich, gentle, slightly grassy, on bergamot, cinnamon, melon, some mango, beeswax, leather, mint, honey, heather, and other aromatic flavours. Diluted, it becomes spicier (cloves and some nutmeg) and juicier. The finish is medium, spicy, oily, oaky, luscious, on honey, some leather, orange, bergamot, cinnamon and vanilla cream.
Impression: An excellent rich, soft, smooth and complex whisky, harmonious and well balanced, with a rather oily body. A whisky worth tasting.
Rating: 17/20 FP: D2

Glen Moray 16 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Oaky, intense, floral, slightly smoky, on vanilla and some fudge.
Taste:  Rich, oaky, floral, slightly fragrant, rather oily, with some frangipane, honey, tangerine, light spices and slight grassy notes. The finish is short to medium, oaky, slightly spicy, smoky with light bitter tobacco leaves, some liquorice and a touch of heather.
Impression: A rather robust but well made malt with a rich flavour and a slightly bitter finish.
Rating: 12/20 FP: A2

16 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glen Moray 12 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Oaky to very oaky, clean and on vanilla.
Taste: Malty, oaky, slightly creamy and buttery, on vanilla, some toffee, juicy oak, some fresh wood, berries and light fragrant floral notes. Diluted, it becomes spicier, slightly salty, with some brambles slightly immature. The finish is medium, oaky, on wood dust and other spicy flavours.
Impression: A rather spicy and oaky version of Glen Moray, with the wood speaking rather loud (“modern” whisky).
Rating: 10/20 FP:A2

Glen Moray 10 YO Chardonnay Cask Matured, OB, 40%, B:2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Winey, oaky, on vanilla, white sweet grape and a touch of toffee.
Taste: Smooth, oaky, very juicy, sweet, winey, slightly syrupy and grassy, with light spicy notes. The finish is medium, winey, rather sweet, spicy, slightly grassy, on juicy oak and some vanilla.
Impression: A pleasant dram, very juicy and fresh, with some medium influence from the ex-chardonnay casks.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A2

14 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Rosebank 21 YO, The Whisky Exchange, 48%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Fresh to very fresh, clean, intense, lemony, slightly floral, on vanilla and a hint of smoke
Taste: Malty, slightly round, floral, with lots of vanilla and some lemon, with a light fragrance. The finish is medium to long, intense, clean, fresh, floral, slightly malty and on lemon. Diluted, it becomes more spicy, floral and with some bitter smoke.
Impression: A nicely clean Rosebank rounded, on vanilla and showing a pleasant balance, with an intensity that you would expect from a whisky much younger than 21 years of age.
Rating: 15/20 FP:A2

13 Dec 12

Longrow for the Usquebaugh Society 1999, 10 YO, OB, 57%. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Peaty, salty, oaky, rather clean and maritime, with some vanilla.
Taste: Peaty, salty, slightly peppery, oaky to very oaky, slightly maritime, on vanilla and some farmy notes. Diluted, it becomes rather smoky.
Impression: A rather oaky Longrow, peaty, without being a peat monster.
Rating: 11/20 FPA6

12 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

longrow red

Longrow Red, 11 YO, OB, B: 2012, 52.1% Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Peaty, oaky, winey, with some seaweeds and red berries.
Taste: Peaty to very peaty, meaty, slightly winey, with some red berries, some oak, vanilla, wood smoke and maritime flavours. The finish is medium, meaty, peaty, very smoky and farmy, winey and slightly acetic. Diluted, it becomes more winey.
Impression: A very smoky Longrow, intense, with some winey and slightly peppery influence from the cabernet sauvignon cask. These winey contributions are not that much to my liking.
Rating: 10/20 FP:D7

Springbank 1995, The Whisky Exchange, 56.5%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Clean, peaty, smoky, oaky, and slightly maritime. Rather spirity at full strength.
Taste: Intense, salty, clean, slightly floral, very maritime, slightly soapy, on seaweeds, some lemon and other flavours. The finish is medium to long, intense, peaty, citrusy, slightly bitter, on tobacco leaves, some liquorice and farmy flavours. Diluted, it becomes smokier, more meaty and gains some softness with light notes of chamomile.
Impression: A nice and clean expression and peaty expression from Springbank distillery (aka Longrow), with little influence of the wood and thus allowing the whisky to express its full profile.
Rating:14/20 FP:A7


11 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Bowmore Tempest Batch IV, 10 YO, OB,  55.1%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose:  Very smoky, on wet wood, strongly maritime, on seaweeds, kelp, peat and tar.
Taste: Smoky, salty, maritime, oaky to very oaky, on strong vanilla notes, some toffee, wood smoke, kelp, seaweeds and other maritime flavours, with some light floral and fruity notes. Diluted, the vanilla flavours becomes more intense and less smoky. The finish is medium to long, very smoky, slightly peaty, on wood smoke, seaweeds, vanilla and strong oaky notes.
Impression: It might not be the peatiest batch of Bowmore, but the smoky flavours are intense and most pleasant. A very enjoyable smoky and maritime Bowmore.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A4

10 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glen Garioch 1995 batch 10, OB, 55.3%, B: 2012, Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very light, malty, fresh, with a thin thread of peat smoke, on freshly crushed barley and some pear drops. Diluted, it becomes more on freshly crushed barley.
Taste: Fresh, light, malty, slightly waxy and spicy, with some vanilla, ginger, some tangerine and light floral notes, on top of a nice light peat smoke. The finish is medium to long, slightly smoky and peaty, with some fruits of the orchards and almonds, as well as some light fragrant floral notes.
Impression: I do not know if the type of casks used for this batch is the same as the previous vintages, but the flavour profile is rather different, being lighter and, to my opinion, of better quality, more subtle and less waxy. Very enjoyable and fairly price. If you wish to taste a Glen Garioch, this might be a very nice introduction.
Rating: 16/20 FP: A3

09 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show


Kilkerran Work in Progress 4, OB, 46%, B: 2012. 9000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Peaty, smoky, oaky, rich, maritime, salty, on honey, kippers and other harbour flavours. With time, it becomes less peaty, smoother and with a light sweetness.
Taste: Oaky (old fashioned “oaky style”), salty, maritime, on harbour flavours, seaweeds, kippers, some toffee, pears and a light smokiness. Rather juicy. Diluted, it becomes rather salty and coastal, with some vanilla, floral and additional oaky notes. The finish is medium, on juicy oak, slightly briny, maritime, smoky, on seaweeds, keepers, thin notes of toffee and vanilla, as well as some tobacco leaves.
Impression: A rather robust, old fashioned style of whisky, with a rather light influence from the cask contributing to a whisky with its own identity, rather different from most “modern” whiskies. A type of whisky that I enjoy pretty much.
Rating: 14/20 FP: A3

08 Dec 12

Port Charlotte 2002, 5 YO, Private bottling for Giorgio D'Ambrosio, 46%, B: 2008. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Young, very clean, fresh, malty, peaty, farmy, with some vegetamine.
Taste: Very smooth, salty, malty, on orange, tangerine, peat, with a hint of rubber. Diluted, it becomes saltier, very maritime, and wilder. The finish is medium, clean, malty, slightly maritime, and on fresh rubber.
Impression: A nice smooth, clean and rounded Port Charlotte, without any harshnes. It benefits from some dilution.
Rating: 13/20 FP: G7

07 Dec 12

TWE Whisky Show

Elements of Islay PL1 (Port Charlotte), Specialty Drinks, 60%, B:2012, Price:
Colour: Old gold – amber.
Nose: Peaty, dry, smoky, on smoked bacon, lots of tar, some barbecue, seaweeds, sea breeze and some sweet thick fruity notes. Diluted, the fruity notes becomes more present and are rather complex and difficult to describe (a mixture of dates, dark berries, dark cherry, cola and some treacle?).
Taste: Very peaty and tarry, intense, peppery, on bacon, barbecue, gruyere cheese, some camphor, on iodine, seaweeds, other meaty flavours and some thick rather syrupy fruity notes. Robust. Diluted, it becomes more on iodine and other disinfectant. The finish is medium to long, thick, syrupy, peaty, tarry to very tarry, maritime, on seaweeds, soot, and some thick fruity notes.
Impression: A very good Port Charlotte, with thick notes of dark fruit (Dark Sherry) contributing to a robust and heavy whisky with strong peaty and sherry notes. The whisky being thick and intense, adjunction of water is beneficial to its full enjoyment. Maybe not the most typical Port Charlotte, but definitely worth tasting. Slightly too heavy on the sherry to my liking.
Rating: 13/20 FP: E7

Port Charlotte SMWS 127.1

Port Charlotte 2001 127.1 Harbourside barbecue, 8 YO, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 66.5%. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Tarry, peaty, salty, clean, slightly young, on barbecue, seaweeds, seashells, camphor, light fragrant and floral notes, as well as some ashes.
Taste:  Young, dry to very dry, fragrant, slightly floral, slightly soapy, with some barbecue sauce and some sweet tobacco and peat smoke. With time, some notes of fish, tar, soot and diesel notes are released. Diluted, it becomes more fishy and with a short burst of red pepper. The finish is short, fishy, peaty, tarry, on tobacco smoke and some liquorice. Diluted, it becomes slightly smoother and younger, with some pear drops, pepper, chilli and liquorice roots.
Impression: A pleasant Port Charlotte, well made but still rather too young to my taste.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A8

06 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Glenglassaugh evolution

Glenglassaugh  Evolution, OB, 57.2%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Clean, sweet, slightly grassy, buttery, and farmy, on honey, vanilla and some faint winey notes.
Taste: Sweet, malty, slightly winey, young, with strong and round vanilla notes, some spices, treacle and oaky notes. The Bourbon influence is clear. The finish is medium, oaky, on vanilla, treacle, some toffee and butter, and with some light fragrance as well
Impression: A very different expression than the Revival, although bottled at the same  young age (circa 3 years old). The whisky is clean and pleasant, with strong flavours of Bourbon, giving the impression that some bourbon was vatted with the Glenglassaugh spirit. Interesting and enjoyable.
Rating: 09/20 FP: A2


Glenglassaugh 1983 Master Distiller’s select Sherry, OB, 49.8%, B: 2011. 390 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Very sweet, smooth, rich and round sherry, on cinnamon, toffee, light floral and fragrant notes, with a mixture of red berries and dark fruits.
Taste: Very sweet, robust, slightly smoky and oily, rich, floral, fragrant, on toffee, some leather, berries and spices (spices for Glühweig; cinnamon, cloves, etc). The finish is medium, sweet, fragrant, on spices, some tannins, tangerine, wet tobacco leaves and slight bitter notes.
Impression: A very nice sweet and rounded Glenglassaugh, with a pleasant sherry influence and fairly price for a Glenglassaugh.
Rating: 15/20 FP: E2

05 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich

Arran 1999 Christmas Cask for Switzerland, OB, 54.9%, B: 2012, cask 101, 180 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very smooth, clean, slightly round, malty, with some light honey and vanilla notes.
Taste: Very smooth, malty, slightly smoky and floral, on vanilla, some heather and apples. The finish is medium, smooth, slightly bitter, smoky, floral, malty, oaky, with some vanilla and tobacco leaves. Diluted, it becomes more bitter.
Impression: A very smooth and well rounded expression of Isle of Arran, with a very nice maltiness.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A2

04 Dec 12

Special Whisky Schiff Zurich


Arran 1996 Christmas Cask for Switzerland, OB, 54.1%, B: 2012, cask 630. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Light, fresh, malty, with nice sweet and rounded notes of sherry (tangerine) as well as a light smokiness.
Taste: Intense, spicy, complex, slightly spicy and smoky, with some leather, tangerine, cocoa, some Christmas cake and sweet notes of tangerine and orange, as well as some additional peat smoke after some time. Diluted, it becomes even more expressive. The finish is medium to long, complex, malty, slightly mineral, with some dark chocolate, some peat smoke, on orange and tangerine.
Impression: A deliciously complexe Isle of Arran with some peat smoke and mineral flavours contributing to some « old fashioned » sherry whiskies. Very good.
Rating: 16/20 FP:F2

03 Dec 12

Arran  1994 Bere Barley, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Very light, clean, malty, with light floral, toffee , oaky and vanilla notes.
Taste: Malty, light, fresh, floral, with some sweet barley, some nice juicy notes, as well as some apples and a touch of smoke. The finish is short to medium, malty, sweet and smooth, on vanilla, with light floral notes.
Impression: Tasted head to head with the Bruichladdich Bere Barley, the Arran was more matured and complex. However, I found it surprisingly weak and not very expressive. You need to search for the flavours on the nose, and on the palate, you need to keep it a while before it delivers its best. A 10 years old is foreseen in 2 years from now and I hope that the distillers will bottle at a higher strength so that we can fully appreciate it.
Rating: 10/20 FP:A1

Note 04/Dec/12: Tasted again a couple of day ago after the session where I took the tasting note above, the whisky was more intense on the nose, with some dusty notes of barley and more chewy in the mouth, suggesting that this whisky needs some time to enjoy it best.

30 Nov 12

Talisker 1979, Duthie’s, 46%, B: circa 1995. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Intense, peaty, maritime, slightly tarry, mineral and ashy, with some TCP, and some pear.
Taste: On a strange interplay between dry peaty and starchy notes, with some pepper, old dried peat, with a light sea brine. Rather ashy and on tobacco. The finish is medium, sweet-dry, with strong woody peaty notes as well as a light sea tang. Diluted, it becomes more intense and peppery with some chilli.
Impression: An interesting Talisker that requires some water to release its full intensity and the oaky contributing to some roundness as well as nice old dry peat smoke flavours.
Rating: 13/20 FP:B5

Talisker 1979, 14 YO, Cadenhead’s, 64.3%, B: 1994. Price:
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Peaty, ashy, intense and with some spiciness.
Taste: Slightly ashy, spicy, peppery, with some kippers and peat. The finish is medium, spicy, peppery, peaty, with some seawater.
Impression: A good clean and peaty Talisker, lighter and less oaky than the current production.
Rating: 14/20

29 Nov 12

Fascadale Island batch 2 (Talisker), 10 YO, Adelphi, 46%, B: 2010. Price: 
Colour: Straw.
Nose: Smoky, dry, peaty and with some seaweeds.
Taste: Smoky, rather sweet and juicy, peppery and on chilli. The finish is medium to long, smoky, sweet and peppery, on seaweeds and liquorice root.
Impression: A good Talisker with some “Islay-like” flavours. More easy-drinking than the official bottling.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A5

28 Nov 12

Talisker 175th, OB, 45.8%, B: 2005, 60’000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Surprisingly soft, with a discreet peatiness, light floral and grassy notes. Distant sherry notes with a whiff of sea breeze. Diluted, it becomes slightly tarry and on wood ashes.
Taste: Maritime, salty, smoky, on black and white pepper, juicy malt, orange skin, toffee, and cooked apples. The finish is medium, creamy, salty, peaty, on orange, toffee, wood ashes and malt.
Impression: A gentle variation of Talisker giving another dimension to the standard 10 YO, with less punch. This bottling was done to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the distillery.
Rating: 15/20

27 Nov 12

Talisker 30 YO, OB, 50.7%, B: 2007, 2958 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: different from the 30 YO bottled in 2006, more floral and grassy. It is fresh, very clean, coastal, with some “farmy” flavours  and peat. Tobacco quid is also present and with time, it becomes more mineral, on flint stones.
Taste: Peppery, mustardy, mineral, on seaweed, cold ashes, and herb schnapps (Genepi). The finish is long, very mineral, on cold ashes, old peat smoke, seaweed, and liquorice candies.
Impression:  Another excellent Talisker, more malty and less fruity than the 2006 bottling.
Rating: 18/20

26 Nov 12

Talisker 30 YO, OB, 51.9%, B: 2006, 3000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Peaty, round, floral (end of spring flowers), with some fruitiness and old pipe smoke. Maritime, with some dry fish notes. Diluted, it becomes more on violet and cold ashes.
Taste: Very salty, with a strong maritime influence, some flint stone minerality, dry flowers and a certain dose of fruitiness (dry apricots?). The finish is medium to long, maritime, peaty, mineral, on dry kelp and with some sweet fruity notes.
Impression: A delicious old Talisker, quite mineral and very enjoyable. This was the first 30 YO Talisker bottled by the owners. Thank you Patrick S.
Rating: 18/20

25 Nov 12

Taslikser 1991 distillers

Talisker 1991 Distiller’s Edition, OB, 45.8%. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Nice and sweet sherry nose, smoky and with clean peat. Rounder and smoother than the 10 YO.
Taste: Some bitter-rubbery notes, spicy (pepper), smoky, peaty and on rye bread. The finish is. The finish is long, dry, winey, smoky, rubbery and on grapes.
Impression: This Talisker was finished in an Amoroso (sherry) cask and gives a pleasant sherry influence. However, it is quite rubbery and the marriage between the bourbon maturation and the sherry finish has some sharp edges.
Rating: 14/20

24 Nov 12
Talisker 20 YO, OB, 58.8%, D: 1982, B: 2003. Price:
Colour: Straw-gold
Nose: Malty, fresh, floral, smoky and peaty. The peat and smoky are less pronounced than in the 10 YO OB. There are some fruity notes coming through (nectarine). Diluted, the nose becomes more fruity, on pineapples.
Taste: Very spicy, citric, maritime and fruity (melon and nectarine). Very intense and pungent. If you can keep it in your mouth, then you will savour the aromas of  pineapple and soft peat smoke. The finish is of medium length, sweet and fruity (pineapple), clean and smoky.
Impression: The intensity of the 10 YO in the mouth, with the fruitiness enhanced by adding some water.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D6

23 Nov 12

Talisker 25 YO, OB, 56.9%, B: 2006, 4860 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Starts on surprising flavours: prunes, Mirabelle, and dandelion salad. Then, it becomes mineral, salty, meaty, on cold ashes, dry kelp, macadam nuts, and faint tangerine notes. A whisky that you keep nosing  and nosing to identify all the different flavours.
Taste: Spicy, peppery, salty, oily-creamy, on seaweed, orange, marmelade, bergamot, and violet. Diluted, it becomes more peppery and punchy. The finish is long, slightly dry, salty, smoky and on marmalade.
Impression: A good old and mineral Talisker, sweetened by some sugary marmalade components.
Rating: 17/20

Talisker 25 YO, OB, 57.8%, D:1979, B: 2004, Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Nice and sweet fruitiness (passion fruits and mango), slight smokiness and maritime. Very different from the 10 YO, with a lot of exotic fruits and a nice finesse.
Taste: Spicy (peppery), peaty, salty, smoky, sweet and fruity (exotic fruits and tangerine). The finish is smooth, very fruity (tangerine and oranges), quite long and with some peat smoke.
Impression: A beautiful Talisker, with a lot of finesse.  The marriage between the spiciness and peatiness with the fruitiness of the sherry leaves a beautiful impression on the palate.
Rating: 18/20

22 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Talisker 25 YO, OB, 45.8%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Intense, salty, smoky, round, on old wet wood, peat smoke, seaweeds, sea brine, iodine and some oaky notes. With time, some light floral notes are released.
Taste: Oaky, rather juicy and sweet, round, with some salt, peat smoke, a touch of pepper, on kippers, some tar, iodine, vanilla and a touch of honey. Diluted, it becomes softer and smoother. The finish is medium to long, oaky, salty, and slightly maritime, with some distant peat smoke, tar, seaweeds, vanilla and some sweet and round notes
Impression: I have not tasted any Talisker 25 YO for a couple of years, but I was in the impression that this version is softer and smoother, with probably more sherry influence than the previous cask strength versions. A very good Talisker.
Rating: 15/20 FP:C3

21 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Talisker 30 YO, OB, 45.8%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Smoky, slightly peaty, salty, with diverse strong maritime flavours, some fish and a light sweetness on the back. With time, some light floral notes are released. Cleaner than the 25 YO.
Taste: Slightly thin, oaky, warming, slightly peppery, mineral, soft, with light tropical fruity notes, some peat smoke, salt , seaweeds,  tangerine and light notes of iodine. The finish is rather short, peppery, oaky, with some liquorice roots, saw dust, tobacco leaves, quid, some old seaweeds and a thin thread of peat smoke.
Impression: An old soft and mellow Talisker, rather easy drinking and pleasant, but I find it rather thin. I wished it were it slightly more expressive.
Rating: 14/20 FP: B3

20 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Talisker 1977, 35 YO, OB, 54.6%, B: 2012. 3090 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Fresh, intense, maritime, with some coastal flavours and “Barbour” wax. Surprisingly smoky, with a strong “old fashioned” peat smoke, enveloping, charming and sensual,
Taste: Intense, peppery, smoky, slightly meaty and farmy, with some iodine, light notes of disinfectant, some spearmint, “Barbour wax”, pleasant oaky notes, some fish (smoked salmon), light citric and fruity notes. Complex. The finish is medium to long, peppery, slightly mineral, with some disinfectant, on old mineral peat smoke, some spearmint, wax, and some tropical notes mixed with some aromatic floral notes and smoked salmon. Diluted, the finish seems longer.
Impression: I have ready many positive news about this new Talisker 35 and keen in tasting it. Tasted together with several official bottling of Talisker I had at home and following a slight disappointment with the latest 25 and 30 years old, I tasted this one with a lot of expectation. As soon as the first flavours reached my nose, the superb smoky notes immediately seduced the body and me surprisingly fresh and intense. In conclusion, one of best aged Talisker released so far.
Rating: 18/20 FP:A4

19 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Dalwhinnie 1987, 25 YO, OB, 52.1%. B:2012, 5358 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old Gold-amber.
Nose: Smooth, intense, on heather, honey, with a touch of mint and lemongrass.
Taste: Very sweet, smooth, rich, complex, on heather, honey, vanilla, with some cloves, and lots myrtle. Surprisingly fresh. The finish is medium, smooth to very smooth, on myrtle, heather and shortbreads. Diluted, it becomes on ginger.
Impression: A rather fresh and intense Dalwhinnie, with strong notes of myrtle and a very pleasant mouth feel. The flavour profile is rather different from the previous Dalwhinnie bottled under their Special Releases.
Rating: 15/20 FP:C2

18 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Caol Ila 14 YO Unpeated, OB, 59.3%, B: 2012, 5958 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold- old gold.
Nose: Very smooth, sweet, soft, floral, with light notes of pears. Rather simple.
Taste: Very smooth, soft, slightly vegetal, smooth, floral, with light notes of butterscotch and fudge, as well as some lavender, tangerine, and light notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.  The finish is medium, smooth, sweet, slightly sugary and floral, with some cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, tangerine and a touch of milk chocolate. Diluted, it becomes spicier and slightly peppery.
Impression: An interesting variation of Caol Ila, rather simple, but very smooth and fruity. Enjoyable. With its strong smoothness and softness, it gives more the impression of being 8 years old whisky than a 14.
Rating: 12/20 FP:E1

17 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Auchroisk 30 YO, OB, 54.7%, B: 2012. 2976 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Floral, smooth, mellow, slightly fruity, with some heather, soft leather, beeswax, a touch of cinnamon, some mango and light soft floral notes. Rich.
Taste: Very smooth, with nice diverse and soft spicy notes, floral, with some spring and end of spring flowers, some honey, pollen, some apricots, gooseberries, melon, orange and a hint of eucalyptus. Well balanced with a very pleasant smooth and mellow structure. The finish is long, smooth, mellow, fruity, slightly citric and bitter, with some eucalyptus, spices, an orange twist, some beeswax, coffee beans and soft leather. Dryer and more citric than on the palate.
Impression: This is the second Auchroisk bottled as part of the Special Releases and the oldest bottled from this distillery released so far by the owner. It received mixed appreciation and I was keen in tasting it. The Auchroisk positively surprised me, with very nice, soft, smooth and fruity notes in harmony with light floral notes. A very enjoyable sensation. Slightly bitter and citric on the finish, but I like the whole very much. Really good and worth tasting.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D2

16 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Port Ellen 12th Annual Release 1979, 32 YO, OB, 52.5%, B:2012, 2964 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Mellow, smooth, peaty, mineral,  with some iodine, on seaweeds and tobacco leaves, with a lingering and delicate smoke.
Taste:  Salty, surprisingly citric, mineral, on peat smoke, iodine, seaweeds, a hint of menthol and some tar. Smooth and with hints of liquorice roots. More intense than the nose would suggest it. Diluted, it becomes spicier, creamier , slightly more smoky (wood fire),  more intense and with some light tannins The finish is long, rather mineral, peaty, with light vanilla notes, some tar, ashes, sea brine and a touch of salt.
Impression: A nice smooth Port Ellen, rather soft on the nose, but then becoming more expressive once it reaches the palate and offering subtle and most pleasant mineral-peaty-smoky flavours, with a hint of tannins in the finish. I slightly enjoyed the previous release better, but the lucky owners of such bottle would not regret their purchase.
Rating: 17/20 FP: B6

Port Ellen Pe5, Elements of Islay, 57.9%. B: 2012 Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Rich, rather intense, on toffee, lots of vanilla, some tar, iodine and slightly fishy notes. A peated and maritime nose, with some sea brine, and light meaty notes.
Taste: Peaty, farmy, tarry, intense, salty, with some citric-acidic pineapples, seaweeds, iodine, camphor, smoke, some liquorice roots as well as on vanilla. The finish is medium to long, peaty, tarry, dry, maritime, on vanilla, seaweeds and a hint of bubble gum. Diluted, it becomes rooty and bitter.
Impression: An intense and oaky Port Ellen, with some rough edges and lots of vanilla contributing to a strong personality.
Rating: 16/20 FP: A7

15 Nov 12

Special Releases Diageo 2012

Brora 35 YO, OB, 48.1%, B: 2012 1566 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold
Nose: Very peaty, intense, coastal, waxy, with some gentian and flinstone. A peatier and smokier version than the 32 YO of last year. More intense as well. Diluted, it becomes slightly ftuity (on candied tropical fruits).
Taste: Waxy, smooth, intense, spicy, mineral, on camphor, old dry peat, some tar, smoke, flintstone, and some candied citric fruits. Complex. Diluted, it becomes more intense, with some nice tropical fruity notes, while maintaining the mineral and peaty flavours. The finish is long, waxy, slightly citrusy and bitter, rather smooth, mineral, with some ashes and tar, with a nice old peat smoke, as well as some herbs (Alp herbs).
Impression: The nose is peatier and more intense than the previous release (the 32 YO), and more minerals and intense on the palate. On the palate, it reminds me somewhat of the 30 YO bottled for the Whisky Exchange last year, but with more peat, spices and mineral notes. An excellent whisky. A vatting of casks distilled in 1976 and 1977.
Rating: 18/20 FP:C6

14 Nov 12

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006, OB, 50%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Very malty, slightly nutty, young, with some vanilla and light floral notes. Rather dense. With time, some notes of freshly cut pears are released. Diluted, it becomes more floral  (lily of the valley?)
Taste: Very malty, intense, dense, citrusy, on barley husk, hazelnuts, fresh pears, vanilla and some honey. It really gives the impression of chewing whole grain malted barley, mixed with hazelnuts and some lemon skin. The finish is medium,  on hazelnut, freshly milled barley and very light floral notes.
Impression:  For being 5-6 years old, this whisky is remarkably complex, with a thick and full body. It gives the impression of chewing whole grains of barley mixed with some hazelnuts glazed with some lemon. Not a standard Bruichladdich, but well made and very enjoyable. I am longing for tasting other and older expression of Bere Barley whisky. A head-to-head comparison with the Bere Barley whisky bottled in the 1990s by Michel Couvreur and the recently announced Bere Barley from Arran would be most interesting. At £40 the bottle, this is good value considering the yield of the bere barley and the intrinsic quality of the content.
Rating: 13/20 FP:B2

13 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Kilchoman Islay 2nd edition, OB, 50%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Peaty, oaky, on straw, hay, freshly crushed barley and seaweeds. Very different from the Machir bay. Smells strongly the barley field.
Taste: Young to very young, salty, sweet, on strong notes of barley, some farmy notes, some varnish, glue and light maritime flavours.
Impression: I really have a problem with this Kilchoman, on strong farmy and barley flavours, as well as some sweet-salty flavours. Sorry, this is not for me (but my wife enjoyed  it very much). It is a 50-50 vatting of 3 and 4 years ex-bourbon casks.
Rating: 07/20 FP:A6

12 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Kilchoman Machir Bay, OB, 46%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Very peaty, tarry and ashy, maritime, clean,  rather young, on seaweeds, sea shells and hemp rope.
Taste:  On sweet barley, cow stables, peat, smoke, lots of tar, iodine, seaweeds, sea shells and hemp rope. Surprisingly sweet considering the explosion of dry and tarry peat smoke on the nose. The finish is short to medium, peaty, ashy, tarry, strongly maritime, on iodine, seaweeds, seashells and hemp rope.
Impression: A clean very peaty and maritime Kilchoman, rather complex for its young age. It is a vatting of 3, 4 and 5 year old Kilchoman, matured in fresh bourbon barrels and finished in oloroso sherry butts for 8 weeks.
Rating: 09/20 FP:A8

11 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Kilchoman 2009 129.1 A smoky, peachy, yoghurt of loveliness, 5 YO, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 60.2%, B:2012, 235 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale straw
Nose:  Complex, peaty, strongly maritime, farmy-meaty, tarry, on iodine, tcp, camphor, smoke, seaweeds and a light sweetness. Intense and subtle at the same time. Diluted, it becomes slightly on wet socks.
Taste: Intense, oaky, maritime, peaty, very tarry, surprisingly creamy and sweet, with some vanilla and light notes of peach. The finish is long, very peaty and tarry, slightly ashy and creamy, with light maritime notes, some hemp rope, drying seaweeds and camphor. Diluted, it becomes slightly bitter (gentian).
Impression: The first bottling of Kilchman  by the SMWS old out within minutes and can be found for sale at some retailers for £500!!! The whisky in itself is very good, surprisingly complex, heavily peated and subtle at the same time. It is already very good and in some years, some stunning Kilchoman are to be expected.
Rating:  14/20 FP:A7

10 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Ardbeg 2005 33.117 A doctors bag, 7 YO, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 64.3%, B: 2012, 151 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Peaty, smoky, maritime, on seaweeds and seashells. Tasted head to head with the Kilchoman 129.1, the nose of the Kilchoman was more complex and intense, but the Ardbeg was more subtle.
Taste: Salty, clean, very peaty, intense, on hemp rope, old wood smoke, iodine, disinfectant, sea weeds, vanilla and some gentian. Very intense.  The finish is long, peaty, maritime, smoky, austere, on seaweeds and oak. Slightly dry and bitter.
Impression: A very good Ardbeg, very intense, on the austere side, with some rough side, but very pleasant. The nose was less pleasant than the Kilchoman, but I enjoyed it slightly better on the palate. A draw between two very good and young whiskies. The winner is Islay.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A8

09 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Ardbeg Galileo 1999, OB, 49%, B:2012. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very peaty, farmy, tarry, intense, maritime, on iodine, disinfectant, seaweeds, oak, vanilla and some other “dusty” flavours. It speaks loud Ardbeg!
Taste: Intense, peaty, surprisingly sweet, slightly winey (red wine), maritime, on iodine, disinfectant, seaweeds, camphor, tar, hemp rope and some red berries. The finish is long to very long, tarry, farmy, ashy, peaty, with some sweet berries and grapes, vanilla, coconut, seaweeds, sea shells, iodine and camphor. Diluted, it becomes sweeter and more on red grapes.
Impression: A mixture of first fill ex-bourbon and ex-marsala wine casks were used to create this experiment. The marketing buzz around this whisky was rather huge, more about the story behind the name than about the content. In terms of content, if you like Ardbeg, then you will recognize the Galileo as an Ardbeg whisky, with very intense tarry and peaty notes. The nose is one of the best from the post 1970s era. On the palate, the marsala influence is rather well balanced and contributes to a sweet and slightly winey flavours balancing the strong tarry notes. In conclusion, a very good Ardbeg and I hope to see more 1999s Ardbeg coming soon!
Rating: 16/20 FP:B8

08 Nov 12

Macallan 1965 Glas Decanter, 25 YO, OB, 43%, Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very smooth, deep, fruity, with some peat smoke, honey, smoked ham and nice round floral notes.
Taste: Very smooth, slightly floral, rather grassy, juicy, with some peat smoke, tangerine, lots of honey and some humus. Complex and mellow. The finish is short to medium, very smooth and mellow, juicy, sweet, very fruity and with a very nice peaty smokiness.
Impression: One of these hugely drinkable sweet Macallan, that one could get addicted very quickly. Excellent.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D3

Macallan 1966, 35 YO, Hart Brothers, 45.1%, B: 2001. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Deliciously smooth and fruity, with a light and delicate smokiness, on peach, some melon and fruits from the orchards.
Taste: Smooth, mellow, with a slight spiciness, some cooked apples and pears, on peach, a nice smokiness, a touch of dry peat and some toffee, with a hint a flint stone. The finish is medium, very smooth, mellow, rather spicy, some light floral and mineral notes, on toffee, and yellow fruits.
Impression: A very enjoyable smooth, mellow and fruity Macallan, with a nice light peatiness. Dangerously drinkable.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D3

07 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Macallan Gold, OB, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Smooth, light, grassy, slightly peaty, rounded, fragrant, with some violet and orange.
Taste: Very smooth, sweet, slightly soapy, fresh, juicy, malty, grassy, fragrant, with some liquid honey and orange blossom extract. The finish is short, malty, grassy and on orange blossom extract.
Impression: A very smooth, fresh, sweet and malty expression of Macallan made with whisky matured exclusively in Spanish ex-sherry casks, slightly less complex and spicy than the previous 10 and 12 years old, but also easier to approach, i.e., easy drinking. The age of the whisky is about 8 years old.
Rating:11/20 FP:D1

06 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Isle of Jura 30 YO Camas an Staca, OB, 44% B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Very round, smooth, on vegetal sherry notes, slight maritime flavours, on orange, cinnamon and fudge. Diluted, it becomes slightly more floral.
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, salty, slightly maritime and floral, on cinnamon, tangerine, diverse spices and slightly smoky notes. Well balanced. Diluted, it becomes smoother, lighter and rather fruity, with more tangerine and orange. The finish is medium, smooth, very round, salty, slightly maritime, on fudge, toffee, some spices and orange.
Impression: A nicely rounded Isle of Jura that seemed to have spent the last years of its maturation in a fresh sherry butt considering the smooth and rounded sherry  and toffee notes that I detected. Adding some water increases its fruity notes. A most pleasant Isle of Jura.
Rating: 17/20 FP:F2

05 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Johnnie Walker Double Black, OB, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Smoky to very smoky, maritime, on seaweeds, diesel smoke, tar and hemp rope.  Could be easily confounded with a Caol Ila single malt.
Taste: Peaty, smoky, slighty grassy and waxy, on seaweeds, grains, cough candies, tar, hemp rope, liquorice, some honey and tangerine. This tastes like a slightly diluted Caol Ila from a refill sherry cask. The finish is medium to long, peaty, slightly salty, maritime, on seaweeds, some tangerine, tar, liquorice root, some grain, burnt wood, vanilla and smoke.
Impression: A surprisingly rich blended whisky that could be easily confused with a single malt whisky. No doubt that a fair proportion of Caol Ila has been used for this blend, as well as some heavily charred cask, with pronounced notes of burnt wood, liquorice and ashes. A positive surprise that I enjoyed very much.
Rating: 15/20 FP:B6

and an older Johnnie Walker that has been phased out in most countries:

Johnny Walker Green Label, OB, B: 2009. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very soft, floral, on pollen, with distant maritime flavours and a hint of pepper. The Speyside influence of Cragganmore is very noticeable.
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, slightly smoky, salty and peppery, floral, on pollen and honey. Rich. The finish is long, intense, slightly peaty, floral, peppery, some heather honey and salt.
Impression: A nicely blended (vatted) malt whisky, very smooth and soft, getting more intense and peppery on the palate, with a very nice finish.
Rating: 13/20 FP:C3

04 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Johnnie Walker Platinum, 18 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Rich, aromatic, waxy, malty, with some mustard, some peat smoke, burnt wood, flowers and a soft touch of sherry.
Taste: Soft, grainy, waxy, slightly soapy, mustardy, floral, with some tangerine, heather, cough candies and candy floss. The finish is medium, waxy, with some salted liquorice, mustard, tangerine, and pepper, some peat, smoke and light fruity notes
Impression: A blended whisky that I have problem classifying, with a mixture of mustardy and fruity notes wrapped with a thin layer of smoke. I find the balance of these flavours slightly disturbing. The whole Johnnie Walker range was repacked this year (2012) and the new bottle, with its elaborated and designed shape, shows clearly that Diageo wants to position this whisky in the Premium-Super premium segment. According to some sources, the age statement of this bottle might disappear soon.
Rating: 12/20 FP:D2

03 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glenglassaugh 1978 The Massandra Collection Madeira style finish, 33 YO, OB, 44.8%, B: 2012, 437 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber-red
Nose: Very smooth, rich, intense, with sweet fruity notes, raisins, some aromatic herbs and some light bitter-dry winey notes probably coming from the Madeira
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, grassy, on honey, with some dry wine, heather, light aromatic herbs and sweet fruity notes. The Madeira influence is there but in balance with the spirit. The finish is medium to long, grassy, on heather, honey, some aromatic herbs and some rather dry winey notes.
Impression: The quality of the whisky is very good, with the Madeira finish contributing to a rather dry and winey influence. This might offer a rather different type of flavours for the whisky drinkers enjoying Glenglassaugh, but I would have certainly this version “unfinished”.
Rating: 15/20 FP:F2

Glenglassaugh 1973 The Massandra Collection Aleatico finish, 39 YO, OB, 50.7%, B: 2012, 341 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber-red
Nose: Vegetal, winey to very winey, with rather strong lychees flavours, some light honey and grassy notes. A rather unusual aromatic profile.
Taste: Rich, spicy, very smooth, mellow, grassy, on honey, some pepper, lychees, some notes of red wine and berries, as well as some eucalyptus. The influence of the wine is less pronounced on the palate than on the nose. The finish is medium, grassy, spicy, very smooth, with some strawberries, lychees, tropical fruits, other berries, honey and some eucalyptus.
Impression: Glenglassaugh tends to age very well and this one is no exception. At nosing, the winey notes are well present, but these flavours are fortunately less pronounced on the palate and work well with the spirit.  Very pleasant.
Rating: 16/20 FP:F2

02 Nov 12

TWE Whisky Show

Highland Park 21 YO, OB, 47.5%, B:2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Round, smoky, slightly peaty and mineral, on heather, some orange, tangerine and light maritime and salty flavours.
Taste: Spicy to very spicy, oaky, salty, mineral, on heather, orange, tangerine, wood smoke, some seaweeds and other light maritime flavours. Slightly citric, with a faint rubbery notes. The finish is medium, oaky, spicy, intense, on vanilla, slightly dry and mineral, on peat smoke, a mixture of ripe and bitter orange, some heather and ore. In the finish, the oaky notes are more intense than the fruity notes. Diluted, it becomes more oaky, rather bitter and on tobacco leaves.
Impression: A very nice Highland, with very pleasant light mineral notes and a nice balance. Very enjoyable to drink. Unfortunately, I had no 21 YO from 2008 at my disposal for a head-to-head comparison. From memory, the profile is rather comparable, but the new version seems more oaky.
Rating: 17/20 FP:D4

And for comparison, I purchased a sample from another Highland Park

Highland Park 1955 for Meregalli, Gordon & MacPhail, 54.6%, B: 1989. Price:
Colour:  Old gold-amber
Nose: Round, mineral, smooth, on old bold peat smoke, heather, some burnt wood, orange and tangerine, with some humus and other light sweet fruity notes. Complex.
Taste: Mineral, on bold peat smoke, old wood, some ashes, eucalyptus, on orange, tangerine, vanilla, humus, with some cardboard. Rather smooth and soft. The finish is medium,  waxy/resinous,
smooth, mellow, slightly soft, on peat smoke, some eucalyptus, cardboard, toffee, heather, honey, some treacle, orange, walnuts and diverse aromatic herbs.
Impression: I really like these old smooth and mellow old fashioned noses, with pleasant notes of old bold peat smoke and mineral notes that are seldom present in the modern whiskies. Although it was bottled at 54.6%, it was rather mellow and soft and it has probably lost some of alcohol content during its 20+ years spent in the bottle.
Rating: 17/20 FP:E4

01 Nov 12

Bunnahabhain 1973, 38 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 41.2%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Fruity, grassy, rich, slightly smoky, bold, with some cooked fruits from the orchards and some tangerine. Most pleasant.
Taste: Rich, very fruity, juicy, with a hint of salt, on mango, tangerine, orange, some light peat smoke and some cooked apples. The finish is medium, rich, juicy and fruity, with some peat smoke
Impression: A very good, satisfying and rich fruity whisky.
Rating: 16/20 FP:D2

Bunnahabhain 1990, 20 YO, Master of Malts, 54.1%. B: 2011, 626 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Yeasty, slightly meaty, sulphury and vegetal. A sherry monster with strong yeasty-sulphury influence.
Taste: Rich, juicy, very fruity, on orange, tangerine, brambleberries, treacle, dates, some sulphur and vegetamine. The finish is long, sticky, syrupy, on sulphur, vegetamine, corn syrup, tangerine, brambleberries and orange maramalde.
Impression: A sherry monster, with too much suplhury-vegetamine flavours to my liking. For the sherry freaks.
Rating: 08/20 FP: J1

31 Oct 12

Bunnahabhain Heavy Peat, 13 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 46%, B:2012. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Very peaty, farmy, young, slightly dry, on seaweeds, sea brine and hemp rope.
Taste: Sweet and salty, very peaty, maritime, on seaweeds, hemp rope, tar, some vanilla and a few drops of fruits from the orchards. Diluted, it is more on toffee and horse stables. The finish is medium, peaty, young, rather sweet and juicy, peaty, on freshly pressed pears and green apples, with some farmy notes and hemp rope.
Impression: A heavily peaty tasting rather young with a pleasant sweetness. A pleasant easy drinking peated whisky.
Rating: 11/20 FP: A7

Bunnahabhain 2001 Le Puits à Whisky, 10 YO, Jean Boyer, 43%. B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Slightly peaty, round, with some sea brine, other light maritime influence and toffee.
Taste: Round, mellow, peaty, maritime, salty, on toffee, fudge, some chocolate, tar, and honey. The finish is medium, maritime, slightly floral and fragrant, with some fudge, tar, honey and light grassy notes.
Impression: A mellow and medium peated whisky, slightly weak but easy drinking. A soft introduction to peated whiskies.
Rating: 13/20 FP: A4

30 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Bunnahabhain Toiteach, OB, 46%, B:2012. Price:
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: Very peaty and tarry, slightly ashy, on hemp rope and slight maritime notes. Clean and rather on the young side.
Taste: Sweet,  slightly young, meaty to very meaty, heavily peated, very tarry, slightly ashy and salty, with some hemp rope. The finish is very long, rather sweet, very peaty, ashy and tarry, with some maritime flavours.
Impression: A rather clean whisky, but very peaty, without any excessive dryness that will appeal to many peat freaks. I have the impression that it is slightly more complex and older than the first release.
Rating: 12/20 FP:A9

29 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Bunnahabhain 40 YO, OB, 41.5%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Very smooth, rich, complex, very sweet, juicy, with light salty and maritime smoke, a light peaty smokiness, on banana, orange, tangerine and some exotic fruits. Complex and delicious.
Taste: Extremely fruity, slightly citric (pink grapefruit) and salty, with lots of exotic fruits (papaya, mango, passion fruit, banana, water melon) and a slight smoky note. Smooth, juicy, mellow with a subtle and elegant mouthfeel. The finish is long, mellow, smooth, slightly salty, with some tobacco quid and a lot of exotic fruit and some citric notes of pink grapefruit.
Impression: An excellent Bunnhahahbhain complemented by delicious sweet notes of exotic fruits, with almost no woodiness. With a slightly higher intensity of the flavours (i.e., slightly thin) , it would have scored even higher. This whisky is very expensive (£2000+), but if money is not really an issue for you, then you should delighted by the precious and high quality single malt.
Rating: 17/20 FP:E2

Bunnahabhain 12 YO, OB, 46.8%, B : 2012. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smooth, slightly smoky and maritime, with slight salty notes, tobacco quid, light flower and toffee notes.
Taste: Smooth, slightly salty and maritime, with strong notes of toffee and cream fudge, some vanilla, tangerine, orange, Swiss milk chocolate, some banana and other light flavours of tropical fruits. The finish is medium, slightly salty, bitter and rubbery, on tobacco leaves, some seaweeds and toffee.
Impression: A well made whisky, with well noticeable flavours of toffee suggesting the use of a fair proportion of sherry cask. The extra strength compared to the previous releases gives some extra depth to the whisky and the aromas are suggesting the use of an increased use of first fill casks.
Rating: 12/20 FP:D2

27 Oct 12

Glenlivet 1992 Cask Strength Edition, 16 YO, OB, 58.4%, B: 2008, cask GL16 009. Price:
Colour: Gold-old gold.
Nose: Rich, oaky, spicy, floral, with a slight smokiness, some rather sweet fruity notes. Rather complex.
Taste: Rich, very intense, slightly fruity, floral, oaky, with lots of spices, some smoke and lots of spring and summer flowers, including geranium and marshmallows. Complex. The finish is medium to long, oaky, fragrant, with some bitter floral notes, on vanilla, toffee and some ginger. Diluted, it becomes very floral and more bitter.
Impression: A very nice rich and complex Glenlivet procuring a lot of pleasure. A most pleasant whisky.
Rating: 16/20 FP:B2

Glenlivet 1968, Dun Eideann, 50.2%, B: 1996, cask 1576, 252 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Fragrant, floral, round, on vanilla and some sandalwood. Rather smooth.
Taste: Smoky, slightly peaty, rich, complex, slightly fruity, on vanilla, banana and some other yellow fruits. Some grassy notes are developing over time as well as notes of bold peat and quince. The finish is long, smoky, complex, slightly peaty, floral, on humus, old bonfire smoke, banana, mushrooms and some flint stone.
Impression: The nose was rather smooth and close, but then it really opens up on the palate, delivering very complex, rich and smoky flavours that I enjoyed very much. These old Glenlivet were peatier and heavier than the current production. A nice treat.
Rating: 17/20  FP:A3

26 Oct 12

Glenlivet 1970 Rare Auld, 37 YO, Duncan Taylor, 53.6%, B: 2008, cask 2020, 199 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Malty, quite floral (pollen), smooth, on peat smoke and light tropical fruit flavours.
Taste: Very smooth and floral (camomile and late spring flowers), grassy, on peat smoke, with a discreet spiciness. Diluted, the flavours are more intense and citric, on toffee, mango and guava. The finish is rather short, extremely smooth, grassy and floral.
General Impression: A suprising Glenlivet, flowing down your throat like syrup, in spite of its 50+ abv. Very smooth and dangerously drinkable.
Rating: 16/20

Glenlivet 1965, Gordon & McPhail, 40%, B: 2006. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Very sweet and grassy, with some notes of old bold peat, on tangerine, spring flowers, honey drops, and some smoke. Quite harmonious.
Taste: Grassy, fresh, lemony, on lemon grass, pollen, honey and with some bold peat. Quite different from the nose: lighter and the grassy/floral notes are more dominant. The finish is medium, floral, on bitter toffee, smoke, bold peat and with some apricots.
Impression: The nose is very nice, but the whisky is quite thin in the mouth and rather simple. Might have been better if bottled at more than 40%.
Rating: 14/20

25 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glenlivet Minmore for The Whisky Exchange, 18 YO, OB, 57.9%, B: 2012, cask 22378. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Smooth to very smooth, on banana, heather, honey vanilla, some treacle and nice sweet exotic fruits.
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, slightly spicy, waxy, oaky, on vanilla, some honey, cream, banana and a light delicate peat smoke. Complex. Diluted, it becomes slightly bitter and with additional aromatic flavours. The finish is medium to long, spicy (ginger), aromatic, oaky, on vanilla, banana and some smoke.
Impression: A very nice, waxy, intense and smooth Glenlivet. One of the best Glenlivet that I have tasted so far. Very pleasant.
Rating: 17/20 FP:A2

Glenlivet 1973, 38 YO, Berry Bros and Rudd,47.6%, B: 2012, cask 10822. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Smooth, round, grassy, smoky, intense, on honey, some aromatic herbs and with some sweet round fruity notes.
Taste: Smooth, slightly spicy (ginger), grassy, with a light smoky notes, some honey, wood wax. Lively. Diluted, it becomes slightly spicier. The finish is medium, rich, slightly smoky, with a pleasant slightly syrupy structure, some nice oaky notes, as well as light woodland and aromatic flavours.
Impression: A pleasant lively and intense Glenlivet delivering a very pleasant impression on the palate.
Rating: 16/20 FP:B3

24 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Glenlivet 1972 Cellar Collection, OB, 52.3%, B: 2005. Price:
Colour: Old gold
Nose: Intense, smooth, on aromatic herbs, juicy oaky, vanilla and some sweet rounded fruity notes. Seems slightly mellower than the 1968.
Taste: Mellow to very mellow, smooth, with light spicy and aromatic notes, lots of vanilla, some banana as well as pineapples. The finish is medium, mellow, smooth, slightly spicy, with a nice smokiness, some pineapple, on vanilla and banana.
Impression: A very mellow and smooth expression of Glenlivet. I read somewhere else that this was a lively and fresh whisky, my experience was rather different and I found surprisingly mellow instead, as if it spent slightly too much time in the cask.
Rating: 15/20 FP:B3

Glenlivet 1968 Reserve Vintage, 39 YO, OB, 50.9%, B:2008, cask 762. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Starts on strong notes of dry aromatic herbs from Southern Europe mixed with some tangerine and tropical fruits (mango and guava), as well as some eucalyptus.
Taste: Intense, very aromatic, dry, with some lemon, vanilla, oak extracts, thyme, as well as some fruity notes. The finish is medium, slightly bitter and lemony, on vanilla, thyme, eucalyptus, aromatic herbs as well as some tropical fruits (including banana).
Impression: An atypical Glenlivet, with rather strong aromatic herbs flavours, as well as some peat smoke and tropical fruits. A whisky rather difficult to judge.
Rating:15/20 FP:C3

23 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Auchentoshan 1979, 32 YO, OB, 50.5%, B: 2012, 1000 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Rich, ample, complex, on diverse mild spices (cinnamon) a hint of spearmint, ripe and sweet fruits (tangerine, bloody orange, guava and papaya). Most pleasant.
Taste: Smooth to very smooth, very fruity, on exotic fruits (papaya, mango), some light and delicate peat smoke, orange, cinnamon, wild berries, cardamom and becoming more floral over time (jasmine), with some light wood extracts. The finish is medium to long, slightly tannic and astringent, on exotic fruits, cinnamon, some white pepper, cardamom and light bitter berries.
Impression: The nose starts on superb exotic fruits notes reminding me somewhat of the excellent 1977. On the palate, it becomes spicier and slightly tannic, with some astringency on the finish. Although it is a triple-distilled whisky, I find that Auchentoshan supports well extended maturation. Very good!
Rating: 17/20 FP:F2

22 Oct 12

Undercover N°1 (Lagavulin) 1994  for Bresser and Timmer, 14 YO, Daily Dram, 53.1%, B: 2008, 196 bottles. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Clean, maritime, oaky, on seaweeds, TCP, smoke, peat, and a touch of tar.
Taste: Intense, spicy to very spicy, maritime, peaty, with some liquorice roots, seaweeds, seashells, iodine. The finish is long, peaty, intense, spicy, and slightly bitter, on liquorice and gentian roots, with some iodine, salt and seaweeds.
Impression: A dry and intense version of Lagavulin, with some rather bitter edges.
Rating: 16/20 FP:A7

21 Oct 12

Lagavulin 21 YO Special Release 2012, OB, 52.0%, B: 2012, 2772 bottles.Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Peaty, maritime, slightly mineral, tarry, on cold ashes, some iodine and lots of seaweeds. Very good.
Taste: Mineral, spicy, juicy, tarry, ashy, mineral, on cold ashes, tangerine, orange, some liquorice and pineapple and with light maritime flavours. Diluted, it becomes very sweet and smooth. The finish is long, ashy, tarry, mineral, on old dry peat smoke, tangerine, a zest of orange and some seaweeds. Diluted, it becomes smoother and the finish becomes shorter.
Impression: A very elegant, mineral and tarry version of Lagavulin, with strong notes of cold ashes complemented by freshly pressed tangerine. An excellent version of Lagavulin, more mineral, less rounded and intense than the previous 21 YO version.
Rating: 18/20 FP:E7

Lagavulin 1993 Islay Jazz Festival 2011, 18 YO, OB, 55.4%, B: 2011, cask 355. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose:  Meaty to very meaty, oaky, strongly maritime, on iodine, bandages and lot of smoke.
Taste: Rich, intense, spicy, salty, oaky, peaty, tarry, with some diesel smoke, iodine and liquorice roots. The finish is medium to long, smoky, oaky to very oaky, with some iodine, seaweeds and diesel smoke, as well as on liquorice root and a hint of spearmint. Diluted, it becomes smokier.
Impression: A very smoky expression of Lagavulin, with a profile rather close the last official Lagavulin 12 YO cask strength and the standard 16 YO, with more intensity and rather pronounced oaky notes. A very different whisky from the recent Lagavulin 21 YO. The oaky notes are almost too pronounced to my liking.Price initially for £85, it now selling at over £400.
Rating: 17/20 FP:F8

20 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Lagavulin 12 YO Special Release 2012, OB, 56.1%, B: 2012. Price:
Colour: Straw
Nose: Clean, oaky, peaty, with some porridge, on seaweeds, some seashells and a lot of wood smoke. Smokier, oakier and less peaty (dry) than last year.
Taste: Dry to very dry, oaky to very oaky, very smoky, peaty, maritime, on seaweeds, camphor. A rather modern version of Lagavulin (i.e., with modern wood selection). The finish is medium to long, oaky to very oaky, smoky, with some spearmint, camphor and light maritime flavours.
Impression: A very smoky expression of Lagavulin with an important influence from bourbon casks.
Rating: 15/20 FP:B7

19 Oct 12

Hanyu  Final Vintage 2000, Ichiro’s Malt, 59.0%, B: 2010,  cask 6093, 349 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Malty, on wood (birch) and peat smoke, bold, smooth, slightly mineral and meaty, with other mineral and smoky notes that you can smell close to old furnace in ore (iron) mines. Very nice. Diluted, notes of treacle are released
Taste: Very smooth, bold, floral, on varnish, sandalwood, some wood and peat smoke, slightly meaty and mineral. with some jasmine. Complex. The finish is long, mellow, on wood and peat smoke, sandal wood and varnish.
Impression: A very well made, bold and complex whisky that you enjoy keeping in your mouth to savour it. Seems smokier than the older expressions of Hanyu
Rating: 17/20 FP:B3

18 Oct 12

Karuizawa 1981, OB, 58.3%, B: 2011, cask 6207. Price:
Colour: Gold- old Gold
Nose: Floral, fragrant, slightly spirity, on exotic wood, oak and some vanilla.
Taste: Slightly spicy and fragrant, floral, on sandal wood, some jasmine, with some sweet fruity notes, tangerine, vanilla and a hint of smoke. The finish is long, smooth, slighty woody, floral, fragrant, slightly spicy, with some sweet fruity notes.
Impression: A version with a comparable profile to the Karuizawa 1984 for TWE, but slightly rougher and more woody.
Rating: 16/20 FP:C2

17 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Karuizawa 1984 for The Whisky Exchange, Number One Drinks, 64.5%, B: 2012, cask 4021. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Smooth, round, floral, fragrant to very fragrant, on sandal wood, some polish, oak and plums.
Taste: Rich, smooth to very smooth, floral, fragrant, with some sweet fruity notes and oaky flavours. The finish is medium, smooth to very smooth, floral, rather sweet and mellow, with some fruity flavours.
Impression: The whisky is deliciously smooth and easy drinkable, with pleasant oaky notes. Most pleasant.
Rating: 17/20 FP:C3

16 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Karuizawa 1982 for The Whisky Exchange, Number One Drinks, 46%, B: 2012, first fill bourbon cask 8497. Price:
Colour: Gold- old gold.
Nose: Smooth to very smooth, floral, fragrant, on sandal wood, plums, white grapes and fruits. Very pleasant.
Taste: Very smooth, mellow, fruity, slightly spicy, oaky, on elderberry flowers, a hint of sandalwood and liquid honey, with a faint smokiness. The finish is long, smooth to very smooth, sweet, fruity, on elderberry flowers and on honey.
Impression: A very pleasant whisky, dangerously smooth, fruity and drinkable, with some liquid honey. Maybe not the most complex one, but the drinkability and the smoothness is impressive.
Rating: 18/20 FP:D2

15 Oct 12

Karuizawa 1983 Noh, 28 YO, Number One Drinks, 57.2%, B: 2012, cask 7576, 571 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Intense, floral, fragrant, on cherry, some fresh rubber, polish and exotic woods. Diluted, it becomes more fragrant and fruitier.
Taste: Smooth, spicy to very spicy, intense, floral, with some fruity notes, a light smokiness and with a nice complexity. The finish is medium to long, smooth to very smooth, floral, slightly fragrant and fruity, with some polish and sandal wood.
Impression: A very good whisky, but some might find is excessively fragrant.
Rating: 16/20 FP:E3

14 Oct 12

Karuizawa Noh Multivintage for La Maison du Whisky, Number One Drinks, 59.1%, B: 2012. 1500 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber.
Nose: Rich, intense, floral, with loads of leather, some smoke, beeswax, incense, cherries, plums and some jasmine. Very nice!
Taste: Intense, very rich, fragrant, floral, smooth, with heavy sherry notes, on dark fruits and some chocolate. The finish is medium to long, floral, fragrant, on dark fruits, chocolate and beeswax. Diluted, it becomes slightly tannic.
Impression: A most pleasant and complex Karuizawa, with smooth and sweet sherry notes. A vatting of 4 casks (6405, 4973, 8184 & 6437) of 4 vintages (1981, 1982, 1983 & 1984)
Rating: 17/20 FP:G3

13 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Karuizawa Spirit of Asama, 11 YO, Number One Drinks, 48%. B: 2012. Price: N.A.
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Rich, intense, smooth, fruity, with some honey and wood polish. Slightly lighter but much fruitier than the 55% version.
Taste: Smooth, on polished wood, floral, on exotic wood, some exotic fruits as well as some apples, with a light smokiness and jasmine flavours. Thick. The finish is medium, thick, oaky, with some honey and fruity notes, including notes of elderberry flowers.
Impression: The flavour profile does not hide its Japanese origins, but the whisky is surprisingly heavy compared to most currently available Japanese whisky. The Spirit of Asam is part of the Karuizawa legacy and made with a fair portion of the last casks remaining of the distillery. A good and enjoyable dram.
Rating: 14/20 FP:C2

Karuizawa Spirit of Asama, 11 YO, Number One Drinks, 55%. B: 2012. Price: N.A.
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: Rich, tannic, heavy, on leather, vegetal condiments, some plums and dry fruits.
Taste: Rich, intense, spirity, fruity, rather floral, with some vegetal notes, rubber and light notes of plums, exotic wood and wood polish. Water is welcomed and adds smoothness to the whisky. The finish is medium, rather heavy, oaky, with some notes of plums, rubber and sulphur (not the rotten egg ones).
Impression: A version heavier on the sherry than the 48% version, with the notes of rubber and sulphur slightly too heavy for my taste. This is a matter of preference, but I enjoyed the 48% version better.
Rating: 12/20 FP: FP:F2

10 Oct 12

TWE Whisky Show

Port Ellen 12th Annual Release 1979, OB, 52.5%, B:2012, 2964 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Smooth, peaty, mineral and maritime.
Taste: Mellow, smooth, medium peaty and with light maritime notes and some tar. The finish is long, smooth, rather mineral and peaty, with some ashes. Diluted, it becomes creamier.
Impression: Full tasting notes should be provided within the next two weeks. My first impression is a Port Ellen slightly smoother and mellower than the previous version, rather on the mineral side and slightly less peaty.

09 Oct 12

Glenturret 1975, Dun Eideann, 55.2%, B: 1996, cask 748, 165 bottles. Price:
Colour: Pale gold-gold
Nose: On humus, wet woods, forest, bold peat smoke, some menthol and eucalyptus. Rather waxy and heavy.
Taste: Smooth, on humus, eucalyptus, menthol, pine tree sap, some smoke, heather and other woodland flavours, with light mineral note.  The finish is medium and on the same flavours.
Impression: A nice and pleasant Glenturret giving somewhat the impression of eating candies made with pine and fur tree sap.
Rating: 15/20 FP:C3

08 Oct 12

Glenturret 1965 Old Malt Cask, 34 YO, Douglas Laing, 45.3%, B: 2000. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Floral, bitter, on pine tree, eucalyptus and genepi (Alps herb liqueur).
Taste: Bitter, floral, on pine tree, eucalyptus, lavender and genepi. Rather special. The finish is medium to long, bitter, on eucalyptus and pine tree.
Impression: After 34 years spent in a cask, this whisky is surprisingly fresh, with strong pine tree and eucalyptus aromas. A refreshing summer dram.
Rating: 14/20 FP:A2

07 Oct 12

Glenturret 1977, 34 YO, The First Editions, 46.1%, B: 2012. 102 bottles. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber
Nose: At first nosing, some yeast, rubber and vegetal notes are perceived, before being replaces by flavours of tree sap, a hint of eucalyptus as well as some grassy notes
Taste: Vegetal, slightly rubber, waxy, smooth, mellow with some eucalyptus, menthol, tree sap, honey, heather and grassy notes. The finish is medium and on the same notes. Diluted, the notes of tangerine and charismas spices are stronger.
Impression: A pleasant mellow and smooth Glenturret, combining notes of sap tree and light notes of spices and tangerine.
Rating: 15/20 FP:E3

06 Oct 12

Glen Garioch 1993 Dark Sherry, 18 YO, Exclusive Malts, 53.1%, B: 2012, cask 335, 302 bottles. Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Round, smooth, intense, on fudge, chocolate, spices, orange, some dark fruits (including sultanas) and leather. Sexy.
Taste:  Rich, intense, waxy, floral, slightly vegetal, with lot of dark fruits, orange, tangerine, spices, black tea, cinnamon and cocoa. The finish is medium to long, slightly chewy, mouth coating, mellow, smooth, with a hint of smoke, on cinnamon, other spices, cocoa and some fudge.
Impression: A very nice rich and mellow “dark sherried” Glen Garioch with appetising dark fruits and cocoa flavours. Very enjoyable.
Rating: 16/20 FP:E2

05 Oct 12

Secret Stills 06.1 (Glen Garioch) 1993, 14 YO, Gordon & MacPhail, 45%, B: 2008, first fill sherry butt 779. Price:
Colour: Old gold-amber.
Nose: Smoky, sweet and smooth, very fruity, on tangerine, orange, exotic fruits, pollen, honey and some floral notes.
Taste: Very smooth, sweet, fruity, malty, rubbery, on pineapple, orange and tangerine. The finish is medium, sweet, rubbery and fruity.
Impression: A nice sweet and fruity Glen Garioch, with quite some rubbery notes.
Rating: 14/20 FP:H2

04 Oct 12

Glen Garioch 1990, 21 YO, Archives, 54%, B:2012, cask 252, 267 bottles. Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Floral to very floral, oaky and slightly fragrant, with a touch of smoke
Taste: Oaky, floral to very floral, slightly rough, on Ricola candies and a good dose of vanilla. Waxy and slightly resinuous. The finish is medium, oaky to very oaky, floral, with some violet and a lot of vanilla. Diluted, the finish becomes shorter, more waxy, with a twist of lemon.
Impression: A correct whisky, but it seems like the oak are silenced the whisky flavours. Too much oak for me.
Rating: 11/20 FP:A2

03 Oct 12

Highland Single Malt (Glen Garioch) Slim Cowell’s personal selection IV 1975, 15 YO, McClelland, 56%. Price:
Colour: Old gold- amber.
Nose: Starts on lavender, camomile and other light floral flavours, with some lemon. Rather smooth, peaty and grassy. With time, it gets peatier, smokier, mineral and more expressive.
Taste: Grassy, juicy, waxy, citric, bitter, slightly nutty, on bold peat, ginger, lemon, with some grapefruit and floral notes. The finish is medium to long, waxy, peaty, grassy, slightly citric, with some pear.
Impression: An excellent peaty, complex and intense Glen Garioch, less peaty than the 1973. Another dear missed one. If only Glen Garioch could produce such whiskies again.
Rating: 18/20

02 Oct 12

Glen Garioch 1990, 13 YO, Cadenhead's, 56%, B: 2003. Price:
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Farmy, floral, nutty and on pollen.
Taste: Fresh, oaky, spicy, slightly floral, on honey and heather. The finish is short to medium, lightl, slightly floral, on toffee and pollen.
Impression: A light and correct whisky.
Rating: 11/20 FP:C3

01 Oct 12

Glen Garioch 1965 “light vatting”, 21 YO, OB, 43%,  Price:
Colour: Gold
Nose: Bitter, floral, peaty, with some pollen and fruity notes.
Taste: Spicy (white pepper), slightly salty and bitter, peaty, mineral, quite sweet and with some grapefruit. The finish is long, dry, peaty, slightly bitter, mineral, with light floral notes.
Impression: A very good and peaty Glen Garioch with some attractive mineral notes.
Rating: 16/20 FP:B6

Glen Garioch 1965 “dark vatting”, 21 YO, OB, 43%, Price:
Colour: Amber
Nose: Intense, peaty, on plums, sugar, orange and tangerine. With time, it gains in complexity.
Taste: Peaty, floral, slightly sugary, quite thick, mineral, on citrus, orange, leather, toffee and smoke. The finish is long, quite thick and dry, peaty, floral, and on orange.
Impression: A most pleasant Glen Garioch, with more complexity than the “light vatting” version.
Rating: 18/20 FP:G7

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