Another Raw Cask. This 13 year old Bowmore was drawn from a hogshead(#20064) that gave 308 bottles in total.
Distilled: March 2001, bottled: July 2014.
On the nose: Sweet with hints of lemon sorbet. Slightly maritime. Peatsmoke is very much present, but it’s in no way overpowering. Dry grass, hemp ropes and some salt. Licorice and soot after a while. Water brings out cloves, pepper, charred wood, raspberry sweets and subtle vanilla notes.
On the palate: Smoke and rotten wood. Slightly metallic and quite bitter initially. Juicier with water added. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel. The finish has salt smoke and dry, hot spices. Sorta has a herbal and vegetal feel to it. More charred wood with water.
A very decent Bowmore, but with a bit too much of the charred/woody/bitter notes. Other than that it’s quite delicious. I’m still fascinated by the sediments floating around in the bottle..
A 15 year old Arran from Carn Mor now, drawn from two hogsheads with an outturn of 568 bottles.
Distilled: 1997, bottled: 2014.
On the nose: Crisp! Sweet grass, citrus, unripe green apples, green twigs, malt and hairspray. More vanilla and hay with time. Water brings out some lime, but it also seems to drown it a bit.
On the palate: Sweet and sugary. Green apples and green grapes. With water added I’m finding sweet mint.. similar to chewing gum. The finish is crisp and refreshing with hints of sweet gooseberries and sweet lemon. Water brings out a few tingly spices in the finish and makes it more herbal.
A super green and sugary Arran. Quite ‘textbooky’ bourbon matured malt whisky.
(Thanks to Kenneth for the sample!)
Time for a young malt. This Aultmore is a vatting of “two dark sherry casks”, and has been bottled as a commemorative bottling to celebrate Douglas Laing’s 1000th bottling. By the look of it I’m guessing we’re talking about 1st fill sherry..
On the nose: Sweet, thick and creamy. Buttery toffee, vanilla, warm sherry, maple syrup, wood sap and brown sugar. More prunes and charred wood with water. Still very rich and thick stuff.
On the palate: Sweet and spicy with prominent, sweet and thick sherry notes coming through. Tastes much older than a 5 year old.. Hints of wood varnish and wood sap. Even some walnuts with water added. The finish has brown sugar, vague spices, oak and dark vanilla notes. Not too long. Hints of dark chocolate with water added.
Wonderful stuff. These casks has done a frikkin’ amazing job.
(Thanks to Kenneth for the sample!)
Glen Mhor is yet another scottish distillery that did not survive the early 1980’s. This particular 30 yo(or 31 yo?) bottling was done by Gordon and Macphail.
On the palate: Refreshing and light stuff. Freshly cut grass, wood sap, damp earth, moss, citrus, paper glue, fructose and sweet, sugary wood. Water brings out a vague hint of pepper.
On the palate: A bit thin. Green Apples and oak. Still quite ligth, refreshing and simplistic. The finish offers a good balance between the fresh woody notes and the malty sweetness. Slightly dry and dusty.
Thin and bland stuff. Water didn’t do much for it either. Decent, but extremely boring whisky.
(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)
From the 2014 spring release.
Cask: #43, bottle no. 391/565
Distilled: 19.01.1998, bottled: 10.02.2014.
On the palate: Fresh, floral and lightly spiced with hints of freshly ground pepper. It’s not screaming sherry, to say the least. It’s just there lurking in the background.. Hints of malt and tropical fruits also. Pineapple in particular, and not the canned stuff. More sherry with time. Dried figs and grapefruit. Water brings out citrus oil, wood varmish and unlit cigars.
On the palate: Thick and malty with rich spices. Toffee and oak. Pears and fruity sorbet with water added. The finish has spicy oak and sweet malt. Quite long. Dries the palate after a while with a bitter nuttyness. Crisper and greener with water.
This can’t be first fill stuff. It’s lovely though, just not what I expected. All the green and floral stuff is usally something I find in bourbon cask matured whiskies.
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Another blend. This is actually the best selling whisky in Scotland, so I’m guessing it should be fairly decent stuff!?
On the nose: Thin grain whisky and smoke. Sawdust and old, wet shoes. Not very pleasant. Less grainy with water, more sawdust.
On the palate: Grain, rubber and smoke. Very thin mouthfeel.. A hint of honey can also be found. Water brings out a bit more sweetness. Finish: nonexistent.
This is probably the best way to serve it (and remember to be generous with the coke).
Matured exclusively in olorose and PX sherry casks.
On the nose: Loads of spices. It almost reminds me of rye whiskey. Dark chocolate, marzipan, nuts and toffee. Water brings out wood varnish, glue, cinnamon, cardamom, orange peel and bitter maple syrup. Rather complex stuff.
On the palate: Sherry, syrup, cherries and burnt sugar. Very nutty stuff. Even more so with water. Sweeter also. The finish has nuts and burnt sugar as well, with more spicyness coming through at the end. Water is bringing out notes of creamy toffee(homemade style).
Delicious stuff and very impressing for a standard 12 year old. I guess this is a good example of what a slightly higher ABV, no additives and non-chill filtering can do for a young whisky.
Onto Highland Park’s latest NAS release now. Rumour has it that it’s about 12 years old and has been matured in a higher percentage of sherry casks than the standard 12 year old.
On the nose: Salt beachsand, smoke, honey, sherry and grass. Hints of burnt rubber and caramel popcorn as well. Very exciting stuff! Water brings out salt pistachios, toffee and milk chocolate. Sweeter smoke.
On the palate: Peat smoke, charred wood, salt and tannins from the sherry cask. More salt and honey with water. The finish has sweet ash, grass and smoke. Vanilla, hazelnuts and milk chocolate with water.
Very recognizable HP – only more. It’s like the 12 year old on steroids. More smoke and more sherry. Truly beautiful stuff. It seemed to drown easily though, so my advice would be to drink it neat.
Yet another one from Diageo’s Rare Malts range. This is a 23 year old Glendullan, distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1998.
On the nose: Honey, vanilla and cantaloupe/piel de sapo melon(loads of it). Quite easy to sniff this, despite the high ABV. Sweet and well rounded. Water brings out grapefruit and wood. Dry, charred driftwood.
On the palate: Light spices and oak. Orange sweetness and wood bark. Quite fruity. Water makes it greener with hints of sweet spearmint and herbs. Even some rocket salad.. The finish is sweet with hints of tingly oak spices. Malty, lingering and soft. Hints of pinewood and burnt sugar with water.
Brilliant whisky. I especially love the melons on the nose and the spearmint on the palate. Balanced, well rounded and “smooooth” stuff!
(Thanks to Ivar for the sample!)