Single malt whisky - tasting notes

After the peated Kornog Taouarc’h Kentan and Kornog Taouarc’h Eilvet , let’s try the non-peated expression from the artisan distillery Glann Ar Mor in Bretagne, France. Contrary to the peated version, which uses malt from Scotland, this version uses French malt.

Taol Esa (which means “the try-out”) was first released in 2008, but I’ve tried the 2009 release. All of the Glann Ar Mor releases are limited and unfortunately hard to find.

 

Glann Ar Mor Taol Esa 09 Glann Ar Mor ‘Taol Esa’ – 1ãn Gwech (46%, OB 2009, second release December 09)

Nose: malty and very fruity, albeit a candied and slightly artificial kind of fruitiness (due to the young age I guess). Full of tinned pineapple, citrus, fragrant peaches and orange blossom. Guimauves. A lot of vanilla as well and hints of cinnamon and mint. Marzipan to round off, and a faint waxiness. Reminds me of the Our Angel bottling (Irish whiskey) Mouth: quite a sweet start again (banana, peach, apple) although it’s a little more spicy now (soft ginger, more cinnamon). Almonds. A little too grainy for my taste. Growing grassier towards the end. Finish: quite long, less sweet. Waxy and slightly resinous finale.

A curious young whisky which combines profiles of certain Irish whiskey and some young Clynelish. Promising. Difficult to find.

Score: 82/100


This Glenglassaugh was distilled on the 5th of June 1967 and bottled on the same day in 1998. It was bottled by Signatory Vintage in the Silent Stills series. These bottles were nicely packaged with part of the barrel wood inside the box, as well as a miniature sampler.

As far as I know, there have been 5 batches of Silent Stills (1997 – 2001) and one batch for the USA. It’s a wonderful overview of distilleries that are sadly gone and the whole range is highly collectable. Note that Glenglassaugh was silent since 1986 but it has been revived in 2008.

This is another dram that I brought home from the great Lindores festival in Oostende. I had to fill samples because I had a cold and couldn’t taste anything at that moment.



Glenglassaugh 1967 #2893Glenglassaugh 31 yo 1967 (55,8%, Signatory Silent Stills 1998, cask #2893, 217 btl.)

Nose: an old, subtle nose. It balances between delicate fruity notes (citrus, gooseberries, tangerine), some hay and a faint minty / medicinal side. Some lemon balm. The fruitiness gets bigger with some hand warmth and mixes with a lovely dustiness – nice! Mouth: drier than expected, very much on grains and wood now, without many additional flavours that stand out. A bit of citrus zest. Faint vanilla. Getting grassier and slightly bitter / herbal over time. A tad waxy as well. Finish: citrus, grassy notes and a salty / coastal edge.

A delicate old Glenglassaugh. It owes the high score mostly to the wonderful nose.

Score: 90/100


Chwisgi interview

05 Nov 2010 | * News

Jens from Chwisgi invited me for a little interview.

Chwisgi is a social website for whisky lovers. It’s a place to read, review and discuss whisky, with regular articles such as this interview series.


This Tomatin was one of the suggestions James made at the Lindores Whisky Fest. Old Tomatin can be great, so I decided to go for it.

Signatory Vintage seems to have bottled this in the regular dumpy bottles but also in a posh crystal decanter.

 

Tomatin 1966 / 1992 SVTomatin 26 yo 1966 (43%, Signatory Vintage 1992, cask #14362 / 14363, 1200 btl.)

Nose: fruity (peach, oranges) with a minty and leathery character. Hints of pollen and flowers. A little cardamom. Subtle Turkish delight. Not spectacular and maybe a little underpowered, but flawless. Mouth: sweet and fruity again. Grapefruit. Vanilla cake. Nutmeg. Getting drier over time and maybe slightly tannic. Finish: tannic and slightly bitterish. Medium long.

An enjoyable Tomatin with a slightly subdued fruitiness and a bitter tang.

Score: 87/100


This Ardbeg 1993 seems to be the first Ardbeg bottled by Duncan Taylor (let me know if you know another one).


Ardbeg 1993 Duncan Taylor 1724 Ardbeg 15 yo 1993 (58,9%, Duncan Taylor 2009, cask #1724, 292 btl.)

Nose: nice combo of heavy smoke notes and floral elements. Soot and coal with a few farmy notes (stronger when you add water). Heavy peat. Brunt heather. A few marine notes (brine, tarry rope). Rough like most official Ardbegs lately and a little mono-dimensional. Mouth: oily, very very peaty, dry and ashy. Sea brine and lemon. Rather grassy as well. An independent Supernova, so it seems. A little sweeter in the aftertaste, especially when you add water. Finish: long, peaty, fading on salty liquorice.

Intense Ardbeg. Recommended for those who liked the Supernova and are looking for a single cask variation on the theme. Don’t expect major complexity though. Around € 95 at the time. Now sold out.

Score: 85/100


Nikka Taketsuru is a vatted malt / blended malt whisky (it says “Pure Malt” on the label). It was elected best blended malt in the World Whisky Awards 2010 (for the third time in four years).


Nikka Taketsuru 21y Nikka Taketsuru 21 yo (43%, OB)

Nose: rich pastry sweetness with a lot of apple / cinnamon notes. Quite some vanilla and oak (a little bourbonny in that respect and similar to wheat whiskey). White chocolate. Developing on floral notes. Mouth: totally not the expected sweetness, it starts on sour orange peel and quite a few tangy, salty notes. Then some liquorice and ginger mingled with plain wood. Gracious but slightly surprising after the nose. Finish: medium length, again some dry oak with minty notes.

A blended / vatted Nikka with an impressive nose and firm oak – a little too firm for me – on the palate.

Score: 83/100


The John Walker

30 Oct 2010 | * News

The John Walker - Johnnie Walker blue labelTo mark the start of a new decade, the House of Walker celebrates the life of its founder with the launch of The John Walker, a special version of the Blue label blend.

It contains malt and grain whiskies from 9 casks, with the intention to recreate the authentic flavours of a 19th Century blend in John Walker’s original style. The whisky has been taken from a range of distilleries, some of which are now closed.

A Baccarat crystal decanter and a 24 carat Gold plated neck underscore the exclusivity. Retail price: £ 2000. Sold by Harrods.


Long vacation

28 Oct 2010 | * News

Halong BayDuring most of the month November, I’ll be travelling through Indochina.

Although I’ve prepared quite some reviews, it means the WhiskyNotes service will be running at a lower pace.

Stay tuned for some Caol Ila, Nikka, Glenrothes, Jura, Ardbeg, Highland Park and lots of others…


Categories

Calendar

December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Coming up

  • Caol Ila 30 Year Old (2014)
  • Elements of Islay Cl7
  • Benromach 5 Year Old
  • Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 258ppm

1679 notes by Ruben

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