Rare single malts from closed distilleries
| 23 Apr 2013 |
Caperdonich 1972, bottled 2010 (Duncan Taylor, 51.4%):
The nose is quite oaky (oak shavings) with a dull, earthy note but also nice, fresh notes of vanilla, citrus and mint.
The palate is light, subtle and balanced with vanilla and lovely fruity notes of peach and apricot. Develops oak. Oaky,
peppery finish with a note of mint that lingers to the end. Verdict: tentative nose but lovely palate and nice finish.
Lochside 1981, 30 y.o. (Cadenhead, 54.9%):
Huge nose with oak shavings (and lots of it). It's almost vulgar but also has nice notes of citrus and fudge.
After that nose the palate is surprisingly nice: smooth, sweet and fruity with notes of orange and honey. It's still oaky but
to a lesser degree. Very nice, in fact. The finish is oaky but with nice notes of cream, mint and wild berries.
All in all uneven but actually quite nice. (The oaky character makes me suspect a new oak finish.)
Inverleven 1977, 34 y.o. (Signatory, 48.7%):
Fragrant, fruity nose with notes of apple, pear and melon, also vanilla and oak shavings. Amazingly fresh for a 34 y.o.
Fresh, sweet, fruity palate with notes of mint and citrus. Drying, develops oak. The finish is oaky (but not overly so)
and spicy with a note of gingerbread. Very nice. All in all balanced and more-ish. Very fresh for its age.
Glenlochy 1980 cask 2827, 25 y.o. (Signatory, 55.3%):
Malt, honey and orange on the nose. Rather oaky with oak shavings, also a bit sour. Not entirely balanced.
The palate is at first sweet and zesty with citrus and honey, then malty and oaky with a note of mint. Light and
rather nice. Lovely finish with oak and a refreshing citrus note. In the end spicy with notes of gingerbread and mint.
All in all quite nice and more-ish but a little splintered.
Glenlochy 1980 cask 3021, 31 y.o. (Signatory 53.1%):
The nose is quiet at first and takes a while to open up but turns out to be rather wonderful with vanilla and tropical
fruits, also oak and malt. Light, sweet and smooth palate with vanilla and citrus. Develops oak and a note of mint.
Balanced and very nice. Oaky finish with notes of malt and butter but it's mostly oaky and a bit dull (disappointing
after the lovely nose and palate).
Convalmore 1969, bottled 1997 (Connoiseurs Choice, 40%):
Lovely sherried nose with notes of dried fruits, marzipan, honey, oak and coconut. The palate is mild, sweet and subtle
with heather honey, mint and a note of gingerbread. Oaky, peppery finish with a note of gingerbread. Fairly dry.
Ends with a note of cardboard. A little disappointing. Verdict: The nose shows signs of greatness but the palate and
finish don't quite deliver on the promise.
Banff 1974, bottled 1996 (Connoiseurs Choice, 40%):
The nose is quite oaky with notes of caramelized sugar, vanilla and coconut, also a little peat. It's "dark", earthy
and a little dull. The palate is rich with a heavy oak character but the oak is beautifully offset by light, fresh notes of
vanilla, mint and citrus. Lovely! The finish has oak, gingerbread and a note of mint. All in all uneven yet very nice.
Banff 1975, 36 y.o. (Malts of Scotland, 43.8%):
Fragrant nose with vanilla, almonds, coconut, apricot and orange. Also notes of cocoa and chocolate ice cream.
Wonderful! Reminds me of 1960s Springbank. The palate is rich, fruity and yummy, also oaky and fairly spicy.
Milder, sweeter and even nicer with a drop of water. Oak, vanilla and mint on the finish (but mostly oak). Slightly
dull and a little disappointing after the nose and palate. (Water kills the nose, so first enjoy the nose undiluted,
then add water before tasting. Or use two glasses.)
(Some of these were samples I received from Lukas and Bernhard. Thanks!)
A vertical tasting of Old Pulteney
| 15 Apr 2013 |
Old Pulteney 12 y.o. (40%):
Fragrant, yummy nose with tropical fruits, honey and malt. The palate is fresh, fruity, malty and fairly sweet.
Mild and nice (but not as nice as the nose). On the finish the fruits fade and are replaced by malt and oak,
also a little spicy heat. All in all entertaining, drinkable and easy-going. A great session malt. (Good value, too)
Old Pulteney 17 y.o. (46%):
Quiet yet rather nice nose with oak, gingerbread. Oak, gingerbread and dried fruits on the palate,
also notes of mint and citrus. Mild despite the 46% (but improves with a drop of water). Oaky, peppery
finish. All in all complex, subtle and balanced. Very nice!
Old Pulteney 21 y.o. (46%):
Very nice nose with honey, orange marmalade, crème brûlée and oak. Rich palate with oak, honey and orange
marmalade. Quite oaky and fairly dry. Mild for 46% so water is not necessary (but adding a drop makes it sweeter
and less dry). Oaky, dry, peppery finish with a note of gingerbread. Warming. All in all nice but on the oaky side.
Old Pulteney 30 y.o. (40.1%):
Fragrant, fruity nose with vanilla, coconut, custard and a note of oak. Wonderful! Mild, sweet, balanced
palate with notes of vanilla and oak. Very, very nice but actually a little disappointing after the brilliant nose.
Oaky finish with a note of mint.
All my tasting notes on Old Pulteney
Four bottlings of BenRiach single malt
| 7 Apr 2013 |
BenRiach Authenticus 21 y.o. (46%):
The nose is quiet yet nice, with notes of wood smoke, tropical fruits and honey. The palate also has honey,
joined by malt and citrus. Develops oak, spices and a bit of heat. Oaky, smoky finish. All in all it's subtle, complex
and rather nice yet a little disappointing.
BenRiach 1976 cask 6942, bottled 2011 (57.8%):
Very oaky nose with linseed oil and brown sugar, also dried fruits and plum compôte (reminiscent of old Spanish brandies).
Nice and complex but too oaky. The palate is surprisingly mild and surprisingly nice: rich, sweet and sherried with notes
of caramelized sugar, gingerbread and mint. It's at first sweet then drying and develops oak. Dry, oaky finish with
gingerbread and mint. Spicy and warming. Long. All in all it's a powerful winter warmer. Heavy on the oak.
BenRiach Virgin Oak 1996 cask 2788, 15 y.o. (55.6%):
Interesting, fragrant nose with oak shavings, vanilla, apricot, orange (a little like an old bourbon). Nice but perhaps
a little too oaky. The palate is rich, sweet and very nice. Fruity at first, then develops oak and marzipan. Grows quite
spicy. The finish is quite oaky with very nice notes of orange, clove, vanilla and mint. All in all uneven - unconvincing
nose but the palate is nice and the finish wonderful. Best with only a little water.
BenRiach Virgin Oak 1989 cask 5620, 22 y.o. (50.6%):
Big, fragrant nose with lots of oak and brown sugar, also lighter notes of vanilla and mint. Not quite balanced but very
nice. Sweet, fruity palate with marzipan and oak. Develops a note of mint. Big and rich yet balanced. Oaky finish with
notes of cinnamon and gingerbread. Balanced and very nice. Conclusion: The oak is prominent and ever present but
not overbearing (which is astonishing after 22 years in new wood). Very, very nice.
All my tasting notes of BenRiach single malt
Five cheap blended Scotches
| 3 Apr 2013 |
This time I've tasted Scotches in the €9 to €12 range. The cheapest one was the worst but the dearest one was not the best!
The nose is spirity (although not harsh) with mostly grain whisky. Vodka-like but with nice notes of
toffee and honey. The palate is light and clean but bland and a bit spirity. The finish is disappointing
and (thankfully) short. Very little malt whisky in this (it probably contains more colouring than malt).
Black & White:
Quiet yet complex nose with notes of toffee, vanilla, apple, oak, peat and malt. Also slightly earthy.
Light, fairly sweet palate. Develops malt, oak and a little peat. Oaky, peaty finish - unexpectedly powerful
and surprisingly nice. All in all a little rough but has a nice peatiness.
(I expected more from this classic brand, especially since this is the most expensive whisky in the flight)
The nose is quiet, a little spirity and slightly earthy but has a nice note of fudge. The palate is quite light and
mild with notes of custard, citrus, mint and caramel. A little rum-like. The finish is oaky, spicy and a little hot.
All in all surprisingly nice after the dubious nose.
King George IV:
Quiet nose with mostly grain whisky but also a little oak. Mild, sweet palate with notes of custard and
citrus. Quite nice. Develops oak and a note of peat. Oaky, spicy finish, also a little peaty and slightly earthy.
Grows fairly hot. All in all uneven but the palate is not bad.
Nice, quite fruity nose with notes of fudge and crème brûlée, as well as hints of peat and sherry wood.
The palate is light, sweet and mild. Clean and fresh with notes of orange, allspice and a little peat. The
finish is oaky and a little spicy. Warming. All in all mild, complex and quite nice. Much better than 10 years ago.
(Not bad for €11! The highest scoring blend in my QPR ranking)
All my tasting notes of Scotch blended whisky
The same list, but sorted by QPR
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