Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 May 2009

St. Magdalene 1970 23y (Rare Malts)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in St. Magdalene

Here’s another St. Magdalene that I’ve tasted alongside the St. Magdalene 1982 26y by Douglas Laing. Did you know the St. Magdalene distillery was built at the site of a former lepers colony?

This Rare Malts release is pretty rare, the 1979/1998 version is a lot more common. If you’re able to spot a bottle, expect to pay around € 300.


St. Magdalene Rare Malts 1970 St. Magdalene 23y 1970 (58,1%, RM 1994)

Nose: powerful and direct. Fruity but… quite some sulphur as well. Too bad really. I decided to let it air for 20 minutes. That helped, but the off-notes didn’t disappear completely. There’s definitely peat on the nose, and some burnt caramel / toffee. Some orange candy, but nothing like the femininity of the 1982 Douglas Laing St. Magdalene OMC. I, fact, this one didn’t appeal much to me. Mouth: powerful and rather grassy (burnt grass even). Slightly nutty (almonds). Oil, marzipan, herbs. Finish: very long and chewy. Herbal notes again, light peat and dry oak.

I find it difficult to evaluate this one. It definitely has some qualities, but I’m missing some finesse. I think “obscure” fits this bottling well. I prefer the Douglas Laing.

Score: 78/100

St. Magdalene 1970 23y (Rare Malts) 2 Ruben Luyten 2009-05-28
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  • John martindale

    I have a bottle – bought it in 95 – pass the (now flats) distillery every time I go to Edinburgh by train. I love malts – drink it/ keep it/ sell it ? Any help with my dilemma? My heart says keep and drink …

  • Ruben

    Tough choice. I think there’s better whisky around, so I would sell and get another one (or two) to drink. Are you familiar with St. Magdalene?



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1929 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.