Macduff 2003 / Orkney 2007 / Glen Keith 1994 / Glen Keith 1995 (Claxton’s)

Independent bottler Claxton’s recently unveiled its latest batch of single cask bottlings. Here are the first four, there are three more to come. Check my recent news post for full details.



Macduff 2003 - Claxton'sMacduff 14 yo 2003 (55,9%, Claxton’s 2018, sherry butt #1834-900822, 652 btl.)

Nose: sweet oranges and tart lemon pie, as well as hints of kiwi and peach jam. Quite summery. A slight musty note behind it, maybe moist tobacco leaves. Hints of golden raisins and floral honey. A fairly fruity nose, with little sherry, youngish but pleasant.

Mouth: sweet and a bit fizzy. Sweet oranges and fruit jams again, with some zesty grapefruit. Peppercorns and chilli. The zesty, slightly bitter and racy side grows stronger. Also an unexpected roasted note. Takes water well, but it never becomes classic.

Finish: not too long, with some heat, zesty notes and herbal notes.

Not sure about this one. It took off nicely, with a sweet and sour fruitiness that I really like. On the palate it is fairly limited, with the heat and bitterness taking over. Mixed bag. Around € 95.

Score: 79/100



Orkney 2007 - Claxton'sOrkney 10 yo 2007
(63%, Claxton’s 2018, hogshead #1836-008, 330 btl.)

Nose: a mineral side (flints) and fresh pine needles up front. Green apples. Then some smoky hints but also sweet vanilla. Porridge. Rhubarb and hints of eucalyptus. Chiselled, not too wide. Better with a generous amount of water, bringing out some grilled pineapple and green banana aromas.

Mouth: sharp attack, with lots of mineral notes, herbs and chalk. Smoked lemons, loads of citrus zests. Obviously punchy with simply too much alcohol. Water helps. Pepper, roasted nuts and some bitterness. Even more water makes it fruitier again, mainly bananas.

Finish: medium long, mineral, chalky and dry.

A slightly aggressive, mineral and spirity Highland Park. The high ABV requires you to play around with water and even then it stays a bit on the narrow side. Around € 60, on its way to stores.

Score: 82/100



Glen Keith 1994 - Claxton'sGlen Keith 23 yo 1994 (51%, bourbon barrel #1837-157671, 146 btl.)

Nose: some punchy fruits up front. Banana ice cream, plums and lime, mixed with hints of bubblegum / marshmallow. Hints of papaya even. Green but also dusty, oaky notes. Hints of verbena and quite a lot of vanilla. Almond oil too.

Mouth: same rather typical bourbonny fruits, mainly banana and orange candy, marshmallows, apples, melons. The green oak is back again, with grassy hints, candied ginger and mint. Vanilla cake. Citrus zest. Liquorice.

Finish: quite long, on malty sweetness, marzipan, fruits and spices.

This kind of Glen Keith has been available from indie bottlers for the last five years or so, and I’ve always found them very enjoyable. Very bourbonny, very fruity, very good. Around € 160.

Score: 87/100



Glen Keith 1995 - Claxton'sGlen Keith 22 yo 1995
(49,2%, refill hogshead #1833-171290, 311 btl.)

Nose: not all that different from the 1994 barrel. There’s pineapple sweets, bananas and a similar grassy oakiness (though slightly less green and more ‘polished’). Maybe not as much of the bubblegum either, with more nutty notes (almonds, honeyed pecans).

Mouth: indeed, the green notes are less prominent here and there are more dried fruits (apricots, raisins). Also a hint of mocha and milk chocolate.

Finish: quite long, with roasted nuts, chocolate and light herbs.

On the same level as the 1994 barrel, except here we get some added roundness and less of the green oak. My favourite in this session. Around € 115.

Score: 88/100