Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

The 10th annual "Whisky Ship" in Zürich

 7 Dec 2008  

The 10th annual "Whisky Ship" took place in Zürich late November over four days. This year the whisky fair seemed a bit smaller than in previous years. There were certainly plenty of whiskies to try (so many whiskies, so little time!) but one aspect of the fair was definitely smaller this year: there were only two master classes. I hope we'll see more next year!

I couldn't attend the Bowmore master class but the BenRiach one, with master blender Billy Walker, was brilliant! He was in very good mood and he gave an in­ter­est­ing and enthusiastic lecture. My favourites from the tast­ing were the new 1976 vintage, the "Authenticus" and the latest bottling of the 16 y.o.

In short, I'd say my favourites from this year's Whisky Ship are: Benriach 16 (best value), Benriach 1976 (best malt) and Carsebridge 1979 (best overall - yes, a grain!)

Here are my tast­ing notes for the best of the 30 or so whiskies I tried on the "ship":

Aberfeldy 21 y.o.:
Nice, fruity nose. Sweet, fruity, a little spicy palate with just the right amount of oak. Very nicely bal­anced. (89 p)

Chieftain's Auld Alliance (Islay) 1990 16 y.o.:
Rather peaty nose, also fruity with winey notes. Very nice palate: rich and fruity but at the same time dry and clean. (89 p)

Balblair 1997 (bottled 2007):
Quite fruity, quite nice nose with vanilla and a note of oak. Sweet, fruity palate, drying and de­velops spices. Nice, spicy finish. A solid well-crafted dram! (86 p)

Balblair 1989 (bottled 2007):
Rather nice nose with notes of tropical fruits and oak. Mild palate with dried fruits and a note of cinnamon (some refill sherry wood in there, I think). Nice, spicy finish. (86 p)

Ballechin Madeira Wood:
Smoky nose with an unusual kind of smoke. Thick, musty, peaty palate, also sweet. Fairly nice but kind of divided. (83 p)

Benriach 16 y.o.:
Quite fruity palate with a note of pears, a little young but very nice. Sweet, fruity, very nice palate. (87-88 p)

Benriach "Authenticus" 21 y.o.:
Rather nice nose with peat and wood smoke. Peaty, fairly light palate, also spicy with a note of smoked ham. Very nice finish with a note of pepper­mint. (88 p)

Benriach 1976 32 y.o. (cask 2014, 50.3%):
Delicious, fragrant nose with apricots, peach and a slightly chemical note (like an old Armagnac). Fresh, fruity, very nice palate, also spicy. (90-91 p)

Benromach 21 y.o.:
Very nice nose with light fruity notes. The palate is fairly rich and quite spicy with nice fruity notes. All in all rather nice but too spicy. (87 p)

Bruichladdich Bourbon Wood 16 y.o.:
Weak yet nice and fruity nose with vanilla. Nice palate with notes of vanilla and fresh oak shavings. Fairly mild for 46%, i.e. best without water. (84 p) I had expected more from this one...

Edradour Sassicaia Finish 10 y.o.:
Fruity, flowery nose. Rich, fruity, quite nice palate with wine notes, also fairly dry with a spicy finish. (85 p)

Carsebridge 1979 29 y.o. (Jack Wieber, 54.6%):
(A single grain whisky.) Fragrant nose with vanilla, orange and apricot. Very nice, sweet, rum-like palate with very nice notes of fruits and vanilla. It's clean and quite light but also a little fiery. Beautifully bal­anced! (91 p)

Old Pulteney 15 y.o. (limited edition, 54.9%):
Very nice palate - sweet and fruity, also a little spicy with a hint of peat (88-89 p)

—   o   —

More articles:

Three new Swedish single malt whiskies
A review of Swedish single malts Box "Pioneer", Hven "Merak" and Smögen "Primör".

Five single malts from Cadenhead's
A review of Ardmore 1997, Balblair 1990, Glen Moray 1992, Strathisla 1987 and Strathmill 1995.

World whisky
A review of single malts from the Czech Republic, England, Germany, India, Sweden and Taiwain.

Six Irish whiskeys
A review of Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Tullamore Dew 12, Redbreast 12, Powers John's Lane and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy.

Index of all articles