The Whisky Trail: Jazz series

The Whisky Trail is a new range from Elixir Distillers. There are two series launched at the same time, one is called the Jazz series, the other Retro label, each which four whiskies.

While both include interesting whiskies, we’ll start with the (pricier) Jazz editions.



Invergordon 1974 - Whisky Trail JazzInvergordon 44 yo 1974 (47,6%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Whisky Trail Jazz series #2’ 2019, hogshead #0038, 168 btl.)

Nose: ripe bananas with vanilla sugar, plenty of grated coconut and hints of sour varnish, lime and candied orange that prevents it from being too sweet. Subtle hints of paint (fades away) and mint.

Mouth: quite rummy now, with tropical fruits (pineapple, banana, lime), moving towards dried fruits. Peanuts and walnuts. Some pepper and nutmeg. Slight hints of pine wood and fragrant honey.

Finish: long, with cinnamon and pepper, alongside the bananas and pineapple.

A vibrant grain whisky that carries age well. No harshness whatsoever and interesting bourbonny / rummy notes.

Score: 89/100



Blended Scotch 1980 - Whisky Trail JazzBlended Scotch 38 yo 1980 (46,7%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Whisky Trail Jazz series #4’ 2019, sherry butt #0035, 445 btl.)

Nose: nicely rounded and full of sherry goodness. Tobacco leaves, red berries, raisins and orange liqueurs. Dried apricots. Wild honey and toffee. Hints of eucalyptus, soft spice and old tea. Nice hints of cognac as well.

Mouth: the wood influence comes out more, with a slightly tropical tartness (pink grapefruit) alongside cinnamon and star anise. Almonds and walnuts. Also raisins and oranges, mint and touches of leather.

Finish: quite long, taking the minty notes further, with fruit tea and berry jam in the background.

With its echoes of old Macallan, balanced oak and nice fruits, it sits among the best of these ‘blended malts’ of late. Just excellent, highly recommended. Update: now on sale seperately.

Score: 91/100



Mortlach 1993 - Whisky Trail JazzMortlach 26 yo 1993 (56,2%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Whisky Trail Jazz series #1’ 2019, hogshead #0085, 190 btl.)

Nose: fruity starts on stewed apples, peaches and gosseberries. Sweet and sour. Honeyed notes. Some sunflower oils and very light earthy tobacco notes in the background. Ginger. Strawberries and mint? Beeswax too. Great ensemble.

Mouth: a surprisingly rich, slightly exotic fruitiness and a waxy, almost glazed texture. Mango and pineapple, sweet almonds and honey. Hints of orange syrup. Pepper and herbal notes, fruit tea and a little gingerbread.

Finish: long, with oak spice and menthol as well as these luscious fruits.

Quite remarkable, this fruitiness with Mortlach’s muscled character. Great selection again and another highlight in this series.

Score: 91/100



Clynelish 2010 - Whisky Trail JazzClynelish 9 yo 2010 (58,6%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Whisky Trail Jazz series #2’ 2019, bourbon barrel #700041, 245 btl.)

Nose: waxy and creamy, showing candy apples and pineapple cubes, as well as stewed stone fruits. Light hints of marshmallows or bubblegum and floral touches. Scented candles. Honey glaze and almonds.

Mouth: stewed fruits again, heather honey and vanilla. Very candied, with lots of fruit jelly. Hints of paraffin and almond syrup. Butter cake. Just a light trace of fruit spirit and nutty oak.

Finish: long, creamy, full of citrus and creamy vanilla.

Great aromas, with both classic Clynelish markers and some nice twists. Just as excellent as its sister cask in the SMOS range which sold out in no-time.

Score: 90/100



Well, that’s one outstanding collection with high scores across the board! You can only buy the whole series as one set from The Whisky Exchange, but I’ve been told they will also be available separately from partner retailers around Europe.