Longmorn-Glenlivet 18 Years Old 1994 – Authentic Collection ~ 56.1% (Wm Cadenhead)

Longmorn_Glenlivet_Cadenhead_s_Authentic_Collection_18

Longmorn-Glenlivet 18 Years Old 1994 – Authentic Collection

56.1% ABV

Score: 85/100

Longmorn_Glenlivet_Cadenhead_s_Authentic_Collection_18

What they say:

Bottled: July 2013; 264 bottles; Strength 56.1% ABV

Longmorn-Glenlivet Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection 18 Years
Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands / Speyside
Whisk(e)y-type: Scotch Single Malt
Distillery: Longmorn-Glenlivet
Bottler: Cadenhead
Age: 18 Years
Distilled: 1994
Bottled: July 2013
Cask: Bourbon Hogshead
Alcohol: 56,1% ABV
Nose: Malty and grassy with lime cordial. Marshmallows and icing sugar.
Palate: White chocolate, lime pickle, tangerines, dried bananas and faint  notes of figs.
Finish: Lemon bonbons, vanilla pods, and more white chocolate.
Complete bottle number: 264

What I say:

Dram #1 from Water of Life Society (WoLS) meeting 7/03/2014 – Taketsuru’s Journey

Colour:

Very pale gold

Nose:

Sweet and floral, new paint, cremola foam, fizzy cola bottles

Taste:

Warming and creamy, ginger fizz, coconut water, slightly soapy, rose and lemon Turkish delight, vodka and oak wood

Finish:

Spirity and vaporous, drying woody with hints of green coconut flesh and hints of spearmint

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley ~ 50% (Bruichladdich Distillery)

bruichladdich-port-charlotte-scottish-barley

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley

50% ABV, £44.95 for 70cl available at Royal Mile Whiskies (here)

Score: 88/100

bruichladdich-port-charlotte-scottish-barley

What they say:

Pronounced “brook-laddie,” Bruichladdich sits close to Port Charlotte on Islay. Apart from a break in the 1920’s and 1930’s whisky has been produced steadily until 1983 when production ceased briefly. In 1985, the future looked bleak when the distillery’s owners, Invergordon, were taken over by Whyte and Mackay who chose to focus efforts on their flagship single malts, Dalmore and Isle of Jura at the expense of Bruichladdich. Thankfully the distillery’s future is brighter since its purchase by the whisky independent Murray McDavid in December 2000. Jim McEwan and his team have breathed life back into the place, with Islay’s first bottling hall also now installed. The whisky produced by Bruichladdich was traditionally one of the least peaty of the Islay malts, although ironically it is rated as the islanders’ favourite. In the future we will see different whiskies from these stills: the traditional unpeated, the 40ppm Port Charlotte, the monstrous 82ppm Octomore, a triple- and even quadruple-distilled spirit, an organic spirit…the list goes on.
Apart from bottling on the island using Islay water, the Laddie team are also active finishers of whisky, choosing to transfer spirit into casks that have been freshly empited of various wines and fortified wines. They term this Additional Cask Enhancement.

Nose: Opening with assertive waves of peat smoke and Atlantic squall, the olfactory system is on high alert in anticipation of some major sensory excitement. A swell of aromatics flood the senses with notes of iodine, salty canvas, crushed sea shells, charred oak staves, black pepper, paprika and leather tobacco pouches. The second wave brings vanilla, figs and soft plump dates, marinated pear, freshly milled malt, dark sweet toffee and cracked walnuts. It’s smoky. It’s smouldering. It’s sensuous. Just close your eyes and inhale long and deep. This is aromatic awesomeness.
Palate: Wow! Waves of the sweetest, smoothest, warmest smokiest spirit that you have ever experienced flood onto the palate like the atlantic surf on Saligo Bay. It is potent, focused and the flavours explode brilliantly onto the palate. Full of depth and complexity, the smokey sweetness of the barley contrasts beautifully with the marine freshness of the spirit and the richness of toffee and vanilla. The complexity is enhanced further with a citrus twist and then mellow oak tempers the fire. Once the taste buds adjust to what is happening, they rejoice in the company and pleasure of this young Celt.
Finish: It’s long and heart-warming, arousing feelings of pride and passion. It brings courage and strength, honesty and faith to your very soul.

What I say:

Bottled under the Port Charlotte label from Bruichladdich Distillery, this is a heavily peated version to 40ppm

Colour:

Rose gold

Nose:

Malted barley and treacle toffee followed by seaweed and peat smoke

Palate:

Meaty maple-smoked bacon and peaty but also sweet with vanilla and toffee

Finish:

Medium length and somewhat cleansing and refreshing.

Finlaggan Islay Malt ~ 40% (Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

Finlaggan Islay Malt

Finlaggan Islay Malt

40% ABV, £23.95 for 70cl at RMW

Score: 82/100

Finlaggan Islay Malt

What they say:

Finlaggan is very much the SECRET Islay, as the name of the distillery from which it comes is a closely guarded secret and known to only a select few. Only those who have sampled Islay malts over a long period and who are familiar with the subtle differences of nose and taste, could begin to guess at the pedigree of this true son of Islay.
The Island of Islay lies in the stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean just off the West coast of Scotland. Many centuries ago,the
Lord of the Isles ruled Scotland from the stronghold of Finlaggan Castle on Islay, but today it is malt whisky that legends are made of.
There are eight malt distilleries on Islay, all are excellent but with
many different flavours.

Colour: Very pale straw with lemony-yellow highlights.

Nose: Full & pungent with an earthy smokiness & fresh hints of ozone.

Flavour : Dry, smoky & fresh, clean & big-bodied.

Finish : Long & smooth with a smoky-burnt oakiness & a very slight edge of richness.

What I say:

This young Islay malt bottled by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company is widely believed to be from Lagavulin Distillery.

Colour:

Gold

Nose:

Sweet peaty and malty

Taste:

Young and feisty malt with sherry fruits

Finish:

Medium with sweet Icing sugar and peat.

Benrinnes 18 Years Old 1997 – Provenance ~ 46% (Douglas Laing & Co Ltd)

Benrinnes18YO1997

Benrinnes 18 Years Old 1997 – Provenance

46% ABV, £54.95 for 70cl

Score: 87/100

Benrinnes18YO1997

What they say:

A single cask bottling of Benrinnes by highly regarded independent bottlers Douglas Laing.

“Opens spicy and sweetly gristed on the nose, then runs to a cookie dough and toffee character. The palate is richly spiced carrying a butterscotch and soft leather quality. The finish is medium long, still spicy and sweet carrying late fresh pipe tobacco.”

Benrinnes is one of the few distilleries still using worm tubs to cool the spirit vapours – a process which is said to contribute to the rich, savoury nature of the whisky.

What I say:

Benrinnes is a whisky that is traditionally incorporated into many different blends. This independent bottling from Douglas Laing is an excellent example of a very unusual single malt. Bottled for Winter 2013.

Colour:

Full Gold

Nose:

Toffee, delicate cinnamon and vanilla

Taste:

Waxy, cinnamon and cinder toffee, honeycomb, fudge and pineapple cubes

Finish:

Long with deep sugary oak wood.

Imperial 18 Years Old 1995 – Unchillfiltered ~ 46% (Signatory)

Imperial18YO1995

Imperial 18 Years Old 1995 – Unchillfiltered

46% ABV, £41.95 for 70cl available from RMW

Score: 85/100

Imperial18YO1995

What they say:

A bit about the bottler
Signatory Vintage are an independent bottler founded in 1988 by Andrew and Brian Symington. The name ‘Signatory’ was derived from the initial intention to find a person of suitable standing to sign the labels for bottles drawn from a single cask. The first cask bottled was a 1968 Glenlivet which quickly sold through long before any suitable signee could be found.

Signatory currently bottle at three strengths: 43%, 46% Unchillfiltered (UCF) and Cask Strength.

To add proof of authenticity to their cask strength bottlings, Signatory always include the cask numbers, date of distillation, date of bottling and number of bottles produced.

Signatory Vintage’s aim is to offer as wide a range of whiskies as possible, some of which are not even bottled by the proprietary distillery. This allows malt enthusiast to sample the huge variety of subtle differences which occur between casks.

In 2002 Signatory Vintage expanded their business operations by acquiring the Edradour distillery in Pitlochry from Pernod Ricard. For what is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, Signatory manage to produce a huge variety of Edradour bottlings, including a vast selection of Straight From The Cask finishes, as well as a heavily peated Ballechin.

What I say:

Bottled in February 2014 at 18 Years Old, the old Imperial Distillery is now demolished but the owners Chivas Brothers aim to build a new replacement soon.

Colour:

Amber gold

Nose:

Vanilla

Taste:

Fruity vanilla and coconut cream, mild and delicate

Finish:

Short

 

Aberfeldy 26 Years Old 1988 Cask 1087 ~ Cask Strength (Single cask sample)

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Aberfeldy 26 Years Old 1988 Cask 1087

~ 55%ABV, sampled straight from the cask

Score: 93/100

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What they say:

Distilled in 1988, this had slumbered in the warehouse at Aberfeldy for around 25 years before it was opened up for direct sampling during warehouse tours. We were guessing a cask strength of around mid 50%’s ABV and as we sampled it mid-2014 we added a year to make this 26 years old.

P1070470

What I say:

During an experimental Whisky Geek Tour at Aberfeldy on 10th May 2014 we were shown around the distillery by the eminent whisky geek/tour guide George. During this extended tour we were given detailed information on the operation of Aberfeldy distillery and a lot of the science and technical expertise behind the whisky produced there. The tour culminated in a wee nosing and tasting session in the warehouse during which we observed some of the pot ale, spent lees and differing cuts of the Aberfeldy new make as well as seriously investigating this beauty of a dram, after having some fun trying to get the bung out!

Colour:

Straw gold

Nose:

Fruity peach, apple and melon, cereal barley malt, heather honey, beeswax, slightly floral perfume, pine nuts, almond oil, vanilla sponge cake, marzipan/frangipane

Taste:

Smooth, sweet, madeira cake, apricots, almonds and marzipan, coconut butter, butterscotch, crème toffees, malted milk biscuits, fruity tangerine and nectarine

Finish:

Long, zesty and a little drying with sweet golden syrup

Overall:

Possibly one of the best drams we have tasted. There is a lot to be said about the ambiance and tasting of whisky in a traditional dunnage warehouse straight from the cask. Presumably this is how a lot of master blenders sample their stock and so I feel this really is the most accurate way of ascertaining the true character of the whisky. That said on a high of whisky geekery and information overload, this whisky was a well-received conclusion to our tour and was always going to go down well. Having conversed with others who have also had the chance to sample this cask it appears pretty unanimous that this is a superlative whisky from Aberfeldy.

3.225 Galleon attacked by pirates ~ 57.2% (SMWS)

3.225 SMWS

3.225 Galleon attacked by pirates ~ 57.2% (SMWS)

57.2% ABV, £60 for 70cl

Score: 92/100

SMWS

What they say:

The nose, with its delicate smoke, charred wood, tarry rope, sea-spray, cigars , coffee, fruits, spices and a hint of gunpowder, had all the elements of a scene where pirates attack an opulent, cargo-laden galleon at sea. Adding water brought the spices nearer – aniseed, Victory V’s and cinnamon Danish pastries – also dark chocolate-coated raisins and oranges. The palate had lots of rich, dark, tasty, almost visceral stuff – Van Nelle rolling tobacco, dunnage warehouses, fruit cake, toffee, ginger, earthy peat, coal-tar soap, charcoal, green chilli and coffee with After Eight mints – interesting, flavour-full stuff from the capital town of Islay.

Drinking tip: To enjoy with some maritime swashbuckling film or book.

Wild Game Match: Guinea fowl. The lightest touch of peat smoke pairs beautifully with with the elegant and delicaye flavours of guinea fowl.

Date Distilled: 25 September 1997

Colour: Deep cinnamon

Age: 16 years

Flavour : Peated

Cask Type: Refill ex-sherry butt

Whisky Region: Islay

Game Match: Elegant guinea fowl

3.225 SMWS

What I say:

A 16 year old sherried single cask Bowmore at the SMWS I think is exactly where and how I rediscovered my lost love for this distillery – though sampling their 18 year old at the Distillery tasting bar certainly tickled my tastebuds a little I recall. Tipped as the barman’s favourite after I ordered it at SMWS Queen Street, this was the perfect post-prandial dram after trying out their delicious game tapas selection. Yum yum!

Colour:

Copper gold

Nose:

Gunpowder, cordite, gun oil, slightly peaty, cigar boxes and rolled tobacco leaf, fruity oloroso sherry, figs and tannic leather

Taste:

Warming, musty rich red fruits, quince jam or membrillo, prunes and figs, oaky wood, nutty chocolate, like a musty polished walnut wood gun cabinet with freshly serviced rifles

Finish:

Long, slightly earthy peat and sherry leather

Would I buy it again:

Absolutely, this is a reminiscing dram if ever there was one. Years in the cadets has impressed the unique smell of British Army gun oil and cordite into the olfactory region of my brain. Normally I pick this out of Lagavulin easily but I was surprised to find this here in Bowmore. Of late Bowmore’s in-house expressions have been a bit lemon-scented and weak, but this single sherry cask is full blood and guts Bowmore in all its glory, hallelujah!

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Chapter 14 ~ 46% (The English Whisky Co.)

Chapter14-TEC

Chapter 14

46% ABV, £44.95 for 70cl

Score: 84/100

Chapter14-TEC

What they say:

Classic Single Malt Whisky – Chapter 14

Chapter 14

46% ABV

New Release – November 2013

1st run – Limited Edition

Chapter 14 is our classic single malt whisky, aged in bourbon casks for a minimum of 5 years.  This is nearly double the age of the eternally popular Chapters 6 & 11.

As normal, we haven’t coloured or chill filtered our whisky for your maximum enjoyment.

Also available in Cask Strength, decanter bottle.

Ch14 46%
Nose:
Warm vanilla Danish pastry. Fruity with lychees and rum soaked raisins. Demerara sugar and mandarin oranges.

Taste:
Very fruity, bananas and light fruits. Hints of crème brulee. Almost like a light brandy. Warm alcohols and a long dry finish.

What I say:

Another first for me, again from the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash where I bumped into my good friend Erik the Whisky Kiwi who was pimping out not only bloody good New Zealand Whisky (as usual) but also some of the latest offerings from The English Whisky Co. who have been distilling at St. Georges Distillery in Norfolk since 2006 and for a long time (until ~2013) were the only whisky distillery in England.

Colour:

White wine/champagne gold

Nose:

Vanilla custard, sweet icing sugar and vanilla essence, light flaky/puff pasty, white wine poached pears, apples poached in brandy, hints of old acetone/nail polish remover

Taste:

Light and oily/buttery, hints of spice – cinnamon? but softens quickly into mellow fruity custard, apples and vanilla, creamy, pain au raisin or raisin brioche, some muscovado sugary oak wood and pears in brandy.

Finish:

Medium, drying with a sweet oak wood aftertaste

Overall:

Refreshing, possibly a good summery whisky – this kept taking me into white wine territory (or terroir?) with sweet oaky and drying elements. Underneath however is a strong backbone of cereal malt and bourbon wood influence giving it those unmistakable whisky stamps. Rather impressive stuff, those English boys giving the Scots a run for their money in my opinion!

Glenlossie 18 Years Old 1995 – Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail)

Glenlossie1995CC

Glenlossie 18 Years Old 1995 – Connoisseurs Choice

46% ABV, £39.95 for 70cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies here

Score: 90/100

Glenlossie18yo1995CC

What they say:

Glenlossie Distillery is sited, not far from Elgin, nestling under the cover of a fir clad hill. Its site enables the waters running from the Mannoch Hills to collect in a reservoir just South of the distillery. The distillery was established by a local publician, John Duff, who had previously been manager at Glendronach Distillery. It was expanded 20 years later and in 1962 extended further with the addition of a further two stills. Although the distillery buildings have retained a traditional feel, the Glenlossie site has been extensively developed. As well as cask warehousing that can hold 38.5 million litres of alcohol and a dark grains plant, in 1971 Mannochmore Distillery was built.

INFORMATION
Region: Speyside. Thomshill, Nr Elgin.

Founded: 1876.

Water Source:  Bardon Burn.

Owner: Diageo.

Status: Operational.

Colour: Dark Gold.
WITHOUT WATER: Nose: Sweet Sherry influences with toffee, apple and pear aromas. Hints of charred oak and beeswax linger. Palate: Cracked black pepper initially with pineapple, grapefruit and dark chocolate flavours. Becomes creamy with a touch of nutmeg.
WITH WATER: Nose: Ripe banana, coconut and orange peel aromas initially. Complimented by charred oak and menthol notes. Palate: Very sweet with orange, strawberry and plum flavours. These combine with hints of salted caramel and hazelnut.
Body: Medium. Finish: Medium in length, with sweet fruit elements. Cask Type(s): 1st Fill Sherry Hogsheads. Whisky Style: Sherried Speyside dram.

IMG_0270

What I say:

This was my pick of the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash 2014. Despite a lot of good and many great whiskies available to taste at this event, this 18 year old sherried Glenlossie really made an impression on me.

Colour:

Golden caramel

Nose:

Sweet honey and golden syrup, fruity apple, pear, strawberry, plum, toffee and caramel, hints of spices/savoury notes, malty barley, polished leather shoes

Taste:

Zingy pepper spice on fruity strawberry and pineapple, banana and coconut, maraschino cherries, orange and grapefruit zest, old suede leather, caramac, nutty pecan and hazelnut, hints of maple syrup, milk chocolate and salted caramel, slightly waxy/oily in mouthfeel

Finish:

Medium, fruity sweet, slightly vaporous with some darker tannins and oaked wood elements linger

Overall:

What a beauty of a dram, this has everything, a  little zingy spice to keep it rolling along and then a beautiful balance of subtly tannic fruit and nutty creamy unmistakably caramac. I could drink this at any occasion, more please!

Caol Ila 17 Years Old 1996 Cask 10123 – Old Malt Cask ~50% (Hunter Laing & Co. Ltd)

CaolIla17yoOMC

Caol Ila 17 Years Old 1996 Cask 10123 – Old Malt Cask ~50% (Hunter Laing & Co. Ltd)

50% ABV, £80 for 70cl

Score: 85/100

CaolIla17yoOMC

What they say:

A 1996 vintage Caol Ila from independent bottlers Hunter Laing as part of their Old Malt Casks series. Aged for 17 years before bottling, this is a classically peaty and earthy Caol Ila.

Nose: Initially sweet, peat, sea salt, iodine, rubber.

Palate: Peat, iodine, sea weed, earthy, leaf.

Finish: Long, dry with peat smoke and oak.

What I say:

From independent bottlers Hunter Laing & Co Ltd., comes this 17 year old Caol Ila, producing 324 bottles as part of their Old Malt Cask range.

Colour:

Pale straw gold

Nose:

Sweet, salty, peaty, menthol, tiger balm and slightly phenolic

Taste:

Peaty smoke, chilli heat, black pepper on pineapple chunks in syrup, earthy and ashen, sea weed, laverbread, liquorice root and liquorice allsorts (slightly sweet)

Finish:

Long, drying, toffee, oak and liquorice peat

Overall:

Nice example of a well-aged Caol Ila. Some interesting flavours going on in this one and the ash-like quality I usually associate with Caol Ila seems well contained under plenty of sweet and fruity flavours. Despite my love for most of the other Islay malts, Caol Ila is growing in my estimation as it is rapidly becoming the most sampled Islay distillery for us. Another great cask choice from the folks at Hunter Laing.

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