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Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

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

Six random Speyside single malts

 21 Nov 2011  

Six Speysiders I selected for a re­cent tast­ing:

Benriach Horizons 12 y.o. 50%:
Nice creamy nose with honey and dried fruits from the sherry wood, also notes of sponge cake, apricot and orange marmalade. Light, sweet palate with a fresh fruitiness (orange) and a note of custard. Clean and fresh but slightly thin. Drying and de­velops oak. Nice spicy, oaky finish. All in all nicely bal­anced and more-ish. (85 p)

Auchroisk 1990 21 y.o. 50% (Douglas Laing DL7045):
The nose is buttery with notes of custard, lemon and wild berries. Un­for­tu­nately also a strange sour note and a hint of tequila. The palate is cleaner and much nicer - it's sweet, smooth and chewy. Also oaky and spicy with a note of pepper­mint. Drying, de­velops a note of cardboard. Nice finish with oak, honey and citrus. All in all in­ter­est­ing but uneven and very dis­ap­point­ing for an Auchroisk. (82 p)

Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 y.o. 54.2% (bottled Nov. 2009):
Very nice, fresh nose with notes of vanilla, orange, apricot and oak. Creamy, chewy palate with vanilla, oak and apricot marmalade. De­velops a note of mint that lingers into the finish. Oaky, fruity finish. Very similar to the original 48% bottling. (87 p)

Dailuaine 1983 27 y.o. 50% (Douglas Laing DL5809):
The nose is floral, fruity, oaky and sur­pris­ingly smoky. Nice! The palate is at first light, sweet and fruity with notes of citrus and mint, then it's drying and suddenly quite smoky. As the smoke slowly fades it de­velops floral notes, pepper­mint and oak. Very nice. The finish is quite oaky and spicy. Warming with a lingering smoky note. All in all it's temperamental yet charming with a unique, fascinating development. The finish is a bit too hot and oaky, however (perhaps it's a little too old). (88 p)

Ardmore 25 y.o. 51.4%:
Restrained, rather nice nose with wood smoke, wood shavings and citrus. It's also herbal and slightly medicinal (but less so than a south shore Islay). Sweet, fruity, malty palate (orange marmalade on toast). Balanced, medium-bodied. Drying, de­velops oak and a little heat, also smoke. Very nice finish: smoky, oaky and warming. All in all bal­anced and restrained. Classy! (89 p)

Strathisla 25 y.o. 43% (Gordon & MacPhail):
Very nice, complex nose with oak, gin­ger­bread, honey and a hint of linseed oil. It's a little harsh neat but a little water takes care of that. Water also brings out notes of citrus and pepper­mint. Rich palate with notes of dried fruits and gin­ger­bread. Quite oaky and spicy, also dry and rather hot. Water turns the heat down and brings out sweetness, honey and orange marmalade. Very nice! The finish is hot, spicy and dry with oak, gin­ger­bread and pepper­mint. With water it's sweeter, milder, less spicy and oaky (and very similar to the 40% bottling from a few years ago). (89 p)

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