Single malt whisky - tasting notes

Bladnoch, Acorn and Douglais Laing have bottled casks of Teaninich 1982 in the last few months, which is great as we don’t see Teaninch on the market very often. Today we’re trying a release by Liquid Sun.

 

Teaninich 1982 (Liquid Sun)Teaninich 28 yo 1982 (50,5%, Liquid Sun 2011, bourbon hogshead, 114 btl.)

Nose: elegant and medium fruity (apples, quinces, white grape juice) with plenty of oak polish and linseed oil. Some gristy notes as well. Hay and wet leaves. Mint, soft pepper. Nice balance of fruits and a Highlands austerity. Mouth: gentle start, but full of flavour, again rather gristy with hints of sawdust. After that it grows sweeter and fruitier, with honey, sweet barley and warming oak spices. Cloves and white pepper. Finish: spicy dryness from the oak, with hints of vanilla and tea.

A fairly neutral Teaninch, with pleasant Highlands elements, soft fruits and a perfect dose of oak influence. A nice bottling if you want to get acquainted with this low profile distillery. Around € 120.

Score: 85/100


Holiday season

20 Aug 2011 | * News

EpidaurosOther whisky blogs have already introduced a slower summer regime, now I’m leaving on holidays as well.

Of course a whole series of reviews is scheduled already, but I won’t be able to react on comments.

Here are some of the upcoming reviews:

  • KIlchoman 100% Islay
  • Dalmore 1996 (Master of Malt)
  • Glenfiddich 1973 (cask #28563)
  • Teaninich 1982 (Liquid Sun)
  • Springbank 1969 (cask #266)
  • Port Ellen 1983 (cask #674)
  • Karuizawa 1977 (cask #4592)

Ardbeg distilled in 1975 is usually quite stunning. But not always…

 

Ardbeg 1975 (Signatory 2464-67)Ardbeg 18 yo 1975 (43%, Signatory Vintage 1993, cask #2464-67)

Nose: gentle start with mellow peat and a softly honeyed sweetness. Then it takes off in two different directions. There’s a medicinal / maritime side, quite nice, with seaweed, antiseptics and menthol. The other side is lemony but also a little fragrant and flowery. Overall very good but maybe not stellar like other 1970’s Ardbeg. Mouth: a bit too soft. Lemony and oily. Smoke, some earthy peat. Picks up strength but also less impressive notes, a mix of bitter oranges and soap. Bugger. Not as bad as Bowmore 1980’s kind of soap, but not what we were expecting either. Finish: rather long and warm, but by now I can’t focus on anything else but the soapiness.

One of the least impressive Ardbegs I’ve ever had. The nose saves it from a 70’ish score.

Score: 81/100


Tasting really old malts asks for a specific set of descriptors. I don’t feel very confident with whisky distilled before +/- 1965, but it never hurts to gain some experience. The fact that these ancient malts are difficult to describe is exactly what makes them interesting.

This Glenlivet was distilled in 1954 and imported by Baretto, their exclusive Italian importer at that time.

 

Glenlivet 15yo 1954 BarettoGlenlivet 15 yo 1954
(45,7%, OB for Baretto Import Milano)

Nose: dried fruits with honey and quite some vanilla. Smoked apricot? Bread crust. Candle wax. Whiffs of coal. Caramel and milk chocolate (hints of Milky Way). Nuts. Rather great, excellent example of old style, “hand-made” malts. Mouth: not too thick. Toffee and almonds. Hints of peat in the distance? Praline and nougat. Waxy and slightly smoky. Camomile tea. Develops a few savoury notes as well. Finish: still quite sweet, with dried fruits and a soft bitterness. Cocoa.

A very enjoyable and classy Glenlivet. It’s a bit soft on the palate (not uncommon for such old malts) but that’s about the only downside. Certainly high quality. Auction value around € 400-500? Many thanks, Dominiek!

Score: 89/100


The time has come. Every autumn, Diageo, owner of 28 Scottish single malt whisky distilleries, unveils a small and highly desirable collection of limited edition single malt Scotch whiskies. Here are this year’s Special Releases.

 

Diageo Special Releases 2011

  • Brora 32 yo 1978 (54,7% – € 350 – 1404 btl.)
  • Caol Ila unpeated 12 yo 1999 (€ 60 – 6000 btl.)
  • Glenury Royal 40 yo 1970 (€ 650 – 1404 btl.)
  • Knockando 25 yo 1985 (46% – € 160 – 4500 btl.)
  • Lagavulin 12 yo (57,5% – € 70)
  • Port Dundas 20 yo 1990 (57,4% – € 130 – 1920 btl.)
  • Port Ellen 32 yo 11th Release (53,9% – € 350 – 2988 btl.)
  • Rosebank 21 yo (53,3% – € 180 – 5604 btl.)

Update 1: prices have been added. Thanks Jack!
Update 2: official information now added.

 

This means no Talisker but instead a couple of interesting distilleries that we don’t see too often, like Knockando, Rosebank and the Lowlands grain distillery Port Dundas. The first ever grain Special release, right?

Bottlings are due in December. In the meantime they will refresh the Distiller’s Editions of Talisker, Glenkinchie, Royal Lochnagar, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, Coal Ila, Clynelish and Lagavulin.

Related:
Diageo Special Releases 2014
Diageo Special Releases 2013


Almost a year since we’ve reviewed a product of The Whisky Exchange, but now they seem to have a couple of new things in the pipeline. First there was a sherried Springbank 1999 and now the new Port Askaig 19yo and this Rosebank 1991 in the revamped Single Malts of Scotland series.

Don’t forget they’re hosting The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in October. I’m sure they’ll surprise us with more interesting releases by then.

 

Rosebank 1991 - Single Malts of ScotlandRosebank 19 yo 1991 (46%, Single Malts of Scotland 2011 cask #311, 285 btl.)

Nose: nicely light and fragrant. Both fresh fruits (apple, citrus) and fruity side notes (lemon scented candles). Elegant with a minty freshness. Tiny mineral hints with overtones of dried flowers and grass. Mouth: a similar light-footed freshness here, with sweet barley, vanilla and apple juice. Evolves on lemon zest, mild notes of grass and pine wood. Liquorice. A soft bitterness in the background. Finish: medium long, with citrus zest, some vanilla sweetness and soft spices from the oak.

Although it doesn’t seem 20 years old, this Rosebank strikes a good balance between a gentle softness, medium complexity and interesting grassy notes. Available from TWE for just under € 90, expect it to show up in other shops as well.

Score: 87/100


With all the lovely 1970’s Longmorn, it’s easy to loose sight of the younger production. Last year we’ve had a similar Longmorn 1996 from Daily Dram.

 

Longmorn 1996 A.D. RattrayLongmorn 14 yo 1996 (46%, A.D. Rattray 2011, bourbon cask #97630, 304 btl.)

Nose: lots of sweet, candied notes (wine gums, crystallized fruits) as well as fresh fruits (peaches, apples and nice strawberries). Very summery. Some waxy / oily notes as well. Hay. Hints of vanilla and mint. Mouth: very sweet with an oily texture again. Big almond notes and sweet oak. Apricots on syrup. Vanilla custard. Heavy honey. Hints of caramel. Relatively few spices to be found (some cinnamon) or other flavours to balance the major sweetness. Finish: medium long, less sweet now and slightly more resinous with uncommon (but really nice) hints of carambola fruits.

An enjoyable Longmorn with a big fruity sweetness and nice oily elements. Bring it on when the summer returns (damn, that might take a while). Around € 45.

Score: 86/100


You’ve probably heard of the Cask in a van concept: fill your own bottle straight from a GlenDronach cask that’s touring shops all over Belgium. This year, the third edition brought us an 8 years old Pedro Ximénez cask. It was actually a PX finish, not a full maturation.

 

GlenDronach 2002 - Cask in a vanGlenDronach 8 yo 2002 (55%, OB for Cask in a Van III 2011, PX sherry butt #2009, 660 btl.)

Nose: sweet with lots of moscovado sugar and caramel. Flambéed bananas. Angelica fruit cake. Sweet nuts and honey. Punchy pepper and a few herbs in the background, as well as toasted oak. Mouth: sweet and spicy start (pepper again, but also softer vanilla). Then a burst of forest fruits and praline as well as some winey flavours (hints of chocolates filled with balsamic ganache). Then some liquorice, dark chocolate and a few earthy notes. Finish: rather long, on sweet mocha and milk chocolate with a slightly hot afterglow.

A young GlenDronach that shows typical sherry influences but also a youthful nervousness. Good value for money. Around € 55. Still a few bottles available.

Score: 86/100


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Coming up

  • Langatun Old Bear 2009 peated
  • Miltonduff 2005 (DT #837112)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Liquid Art)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Whisky Mercenary)
  • Clynelish 1997 (Maltbarn)
  • Laphroaig An Cuan Mor
  • Fettercairn 1990 (Liquid Library)
  • Yamazaki 12 Year Old
  • Tomatin 1997 (Liquid Library)

1733 notes by Ruben

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