It may be a silly goal wanting to try whisky from every single distillery in Scotland, but now that I’m close to achieving it, I’d like to ask for your help and tick the last names.
I’m not talking about the really new ones like Daftmill or Wolfburn (their time will come), nor about the ones that are really lost, like Maltmill. The ones I’m missing are very rare malts but not absolutely unfindable. If you have a bottle and you want to share a small sample, send me an e-mail please. I’m sure I can send you something interesting in return.
Very few casks of Teaninich hit the market as a single malt, most of it is blended into Johnnie Walker. We’ll compare this Teaninich 1973 by Malts of Scotland head-to-head with a sister cask that has just been bottled by The Whisky Agency (review coming up on Monday).
Teaninich 39 yo 1973
(41,8%, Malts of Scotland 2012, bourbon hogshead, MoS 13011, 198 btl.)
Nose: needs some airing, but folds open in a fruity way with a tropical twist. Banana, apple, kiwi, mango and sour berries. Nice sweet & sour balance. Also floral notes, with a faint potpourri edge. Hints of honey and spearmint. Toasted oak as well as pine forest in the background. Mouth: not a big attack but very juicy, with sweet and sour elements again. Banana, kiwi, peach and oranges. Mint and menthol give it a sort of freshly cooling effect. The oak has been turned up a notch, with a slight bitterness. Orange marmalade. Stops developing rather quickly. Finish: not too long, with citrus, oak and a discreet minty, metallic note.
Good stuff, no doubt. Whisky from the 1970′s is getting rare and expensive so it’s nice to see these kind of interesting releases. Around € 200.
This Miltonduff 1982 is part of the Faces series by The Whisky Agency. Every label features artwork with… well… faces. Other drams in this batch: Teaninich 1973, Bowmore 1996 and Littlemill 1988.
Miltonduff 30 yo 1982
(50,1%, The Whisky Agency ‘Faces’ 2013, refill bourbon hogshead, 269 btl.)
Nose: nice fruits, but slightly shy. Grapefruits and unripe peaches. Crystallized oranges. Fresh and slightly tart. Some grainy notes. Vanilla in the background. Becoming more floral and fragrant after a while, coming close to women’s powder at times. Mouth: quite malty, with hints of white bread crust and beer. The same kind of garden fruits. Lots of (cider) apple, now also lemon. Overall fresh but quite neutral. Slightly more spicy oak and hints of tobacco towards the end. Finish: fruity, with hints of herbs and cocoa now.
A nicely vibrant dram with surprisingly little ‘oldness’ to be found, but somehow I don’t like this one as much as I remember the Miltonduff 1980 releases from a while ago. Around € 150.
Trying the latest Whisky Agency releases is always a joy and whenever the festival in Limburg takes place, you know there’s going to be a new batch of releases. There’s a new ‘Faces’ series and in the Perfect Dram range we have a Tomintoul 1968, Laphroaig 2000, Bowmore 1997 and this Glencadam 1973.
Glencadam 39 yo 1973
(44,1%, The Whisky Agency ‘Perfect Dram’ 2013, bourbon hogshead, 221 btl.)
Nose: a very ripe fruitiness. Yellow plum jam, blueberry jam, tangerine, banana and apricots. Also a creamy note of coconut butter and vanilla. Honey. Warm leather. Some mature oak with gentle hints of resin. Warm and seductive. Mouth: still fruity, but it’s a slightly thinner fruitiness than the nose suggested. Mostly apricot and plum. Hints of chamomile tea. Then the spices come about: mint, nutmeg and light pepper. There’s also a sourish “green” note in the background that I find interesting but difficult to describe. Maybe lemongrass or Kaffir. Finish: quite long, malty and slightly oaky. Hints of fruit tea.
A very beautiful nose on this Glencadam. An enjoyable palate as well, even though the oak is more noticeable. Around € 230.
White & Mackay 19 years old is a ‘double marriage’ blend: it was blended and then married together in Matusalem sherry casks. Its components are aged between 19 and 21 years.
White & Mackay 19 yo ‘Old Luxury’ (40%, OB 2013)
Nose: medium rich, showing malt, buttery toffee and baked apple. Honey and soft spices. Chocolate. All this covered in an elegant sherry blanket. Easy to like, but rather shy, I would have liked it to be more expressive in showing the aromas. Mouth: fairly dry and peppery for a blend. Chocolate and malt again. Some caramel and brown sugar. Just a tiny grain / alcohol bite. Evolves towards bitterish and oaky notes. Finish: long, mostly on oak, chocolate, clove and liquorice.
A decent blend. The sherry finish hides most of the grains so what’s left is a malty, very chocolaty dram with most of its edges rounded off. And a lot of its power taken away. Around € 80.
Distilled in 1982, this Brora 1982 was bottled in 2001 by Silver Seal. This makes it the youngest Brora I could try so far.
Brora 19 yo 1982
(50%, Silver Seal 2001, sherry cask, First bottling, 240 btl.)
Nose: a fruity nose, Clynelish-style rather than Brora. Lemon, peach, even a subtle coconut / banana note. Some pink grapefruit. A generous amount of coastal notes as well (sea air, oyster), getting the upper hand over time. Waxed paper. Quite rounded, it doesn’t have the austerity of most 1981 Broras. Mouth: really fruity again. Grapefruit, lemon, hints of pineapple. Almonds and soft pepper. Candied ginger. Hay. Balanced sharper mineral notes and a pinch of salt towards the end. Maybe a faint hint of smoke as well. Finish: long, half fruity, half coastal.
Less peat and more fruits, which obviously means more Clynelish than Brora. But still rather excellent whisky, hesitating between sharper and rounder notes. Around € 350, but not easy to find.
Here’s part two of the weekly Twitter tasting that is held around Canadian whisky. This week our host Davin De Kergommeaux talked about the era of Hiram Walker, J.P. Wiser and Alberta Distillers before moving to the tasting sample. Remember you can join in on our discussions (although without the book at hand it may not be totally clear to follow), still two Sundays to go from 21:00 – 22:00 Western-European time.
Alberta Premium Dark Horse (a brand owned by Beam Inc.) is a mix of 12-year-old rye whisky and 6-year-old small pot rye, with an 8% dollop of well-aged corn whisky added to flesh out the body. The whisky is aged in heavily charred American white oak barrels, and is bottled at 45% alc/vol. It’s a recent whisky, presented in 2012.
Alberta Premium Dark Horse (45%, OB)
Nose: overall much sweeter and way more rounded than last week’s Lot No.40, a tad more bourbonny. Vanilla and caramel. Cinnamon. Cedar bark. Also a clear bicycle tube / plastic-like aroma. Some leafy / floral hints. Wet limestone. Hints of dusty rye. Mouth: very sweet again, creamy, with a maple / corn sweetness, candied oranges and a ginger / nutmeg spice mix. Some liquorice and herbal notes. Dried figs. A bit of a cough syrup profile, but the sweetness balances this out. Soft mint towards the finish. Finish: medium long, with a lingering prune sweetness, mint and pine wood.
As Davin said at the end of the tasting: “The beauty of rye in a master’s hands is many different profiles”. Well said. Contrary to Lot No. 40’s harsh profile, this is a nicely balanced rye, with all of the positive rye elements in there, and the possible downsides masked by an overwhelming sweetness. I was unable to find it in common European stores, but it’s around $30 in Canada. Excellent price vs. quality.
Nose: very pure, with minerals and maritime notes rather than in-your-face peat. Add some lemon candy, sweet apple and ashes rather than actual smoke. A bit of pepper and hints of graphite. Clean and very solid. Mouth: quite powerful and there’s a nice zing to it of citrus (both zesty and sweet). The zesty notes become briney, the sweetness develops into pears and almond paste. Definitely more peat than on the nose. Grows more herbal and bitter over time. Finish: long, clean and peaty. Briney and slightly grassy.
It’s almost superfluous to review these Bowmores from the 1990s. This one is good quality, like almost every other cask from this period. Around € 75.