Rapid fire whisky notes (vol. 3)

Rapid fire whisky notes (vol. 3)

The third volume of our rapid fire whisky notes (see volume 2). Simple assessments with concise tasting notes.


Glen Grant 24 yo 1997 (48,4%, The Taste of Whisky ‘Endangered species’ 2021, refill bourbon hogshead #5106, 215 btl.)

N: pleasant fruitiness. Pears, banana cake, sweet citrus and golden apple. Hints of barley syrup, vanilla, beehive notes, a little papaya too. Really good. M: very creamy and sweet, on vanilla custard, honeysuckle, sweet lemon candy, hints of coconut and apricot jam. F: medium length, still fruity with vanilla, light astringency. 〉〉〉 Lovely nose, full of fruity warmth, and good whisky overall.


Glen Grant 24 yo 1998 (56,1%, The Whisky Blues for The Antelope 2022, hogshead #6439, 239 btl.)

N: quite similar, perhaps a little more apple (syrup) and yellow berries. Rummy sweetness and a little more bourbon oak. M: again very creamy, a lot of honey, apples, bananas, custard, almond cream. Tangy wood and grapefruit syrup comes out in the end. F: longer than the 1997, also more woody. 〉〉〉 Deeper wood flavours means it’s really dialed up to 11. The astringency is borderline. Score: 87/100


Blair Athol 2010 (54,4%, Berry Bros for Kirsch Import 2023, hogshead + Sauternes finish, cask #303318, 298 btl.)

N: yellow apples and quinces, with slightly jammy notes. Vanilla and plain barley. Subtle mint and pepper. M: honey sweetness, more apples and sweet biscuits. There’s a funky winey edge and a bulky texture. F: long, sweet, with mild pepper and candied ginger. 〉〉〉 Not very exciting, not really the Sauternes influence I was expecting either. A slight disappointment. Still widely available in Germany. Score: 80/100


Millstone 5 yo 2017 (54,7%, Whisky Druid 2022, first fill Oloroso sherry cask #170446, 284 btl.)

N: dry Oloroso, tobacco and gentle meaty notes. Toasted wood, herbal notes and coffee. Clean and savoury. M: dark smoke appears, with black pepper, leather and dark fruits underneath. Damp wood, dates, maybe a faint matchstick note. F: quite long, leaving some peppery heat, herbal notes and sweet ashes. 〉〉〉 Rustic but good Millstone again. A sister cask of the Whisky Exchange bottling, really similar, same score. Score: 86/100


Glentauchers 10 yo 2011 (62,6%, Single Malts of Scotland for Kirsch Import 2022, sherry butt #900247, 492 btl.)

N: strong alcohol, later stewed fruits, vanilla pastry, oranges and cinnamon. Strawberries and cream after a while. Don’t expect a classic sherry profile. M: creamy, on peach yoghurt, gummy bears and other mixed fruit candy. Fruit biscuits. Gingerbread. White pepper. Goes in different directions. F: long, sweet, on garden fruits and spices. 〉〉〉 A funny selection, with nice fruity touches but also a lactic side. Still available in Germany and quite cheap. Score: 82/100


Speyside Blended Malt 30 yo 1992 (51,6%, Liquid Treasures + Antelope Macau 2022, refill sherry butt, 520 btl.)

N: ripe golden apples, plums and apricots, with some honey and very light nutty notes. Subtle cocoa too. M: stewed fruits, more honey and nuts. Apples, raisins, mild wood spice and light chocolate. Red berries and plums with ginger. F: quite long, spicier. Hints of chocoalte with a pinch of salt. 〉〉〉 Rumoured to be Macallan and quite good, with elegant sherry tones. Expensive though. Still available from eSpirits. Score: 89/100


Great Northern Irish Whiskey 5 yo (58,2%, Whisky AGE for Whisky Picnic Bar 2022, first-fill bourbon barrels, Batch #1, 120 btl.)

N: fresh wood shavings with citrus fruits and green garden fruits, maybe nectarine, grassy notes, biscuits and mint. M: lemons, apples and peaches, grassy notes, pear eau-de-vie, white pepper, marshmallow. F: shortish and rather spirity. 〉〉〉 Pleasant nose considering the age, but more limited on the palate. Simple pleasures. Score: 84/100


Secret Islay 10 yo 2011 (53,3%, Dramcatcher 2021, Port barrique #3493, 72 btl.)

N: pomegranate and red berries. Then lacquered bacon, dried seaweed, herbal notes and coastal smoke. M: sweet, peppery and smoky. Syrupy berries, wood spice, medicinal notes and aniseed. F: medium long, spicy and peaty, with lingering hints of strawberry. 〉〉〉 Decent Port finishing. Same whisky as the Secret Islay 2011 from Michiel Wigman? Still available from Dramcatcher. Score: 80/100


Staoisha 8 yo 2014 (59,1%, Best Dram 2023, first-fill Amarone barrique finish #10378A, 255 btl.)

N: tobacco sweetness with red fruits. Glazed bacon. Lots of smouldering barbecue smoke and coastal notes underneath. M: fruity sweetness with a firm herbal, bitter edge from the wine. Iodine sharpness, drying herbs and clove. F: long, ashy and herbal. 〉〉〉 The fruits struggle to keep up with the slightly astringent herbs. Not bad but I like them a little cleaner. Score: 85/100


Ardlair 11 yo 2011 (64,9%, van Wees ‘The Ultimate’ 2022, refill butt #900037, 539 btl.)

N: not as smoky as expected. Bready notes (toast), red apples, roasted nuts and savoury sherry. Water adds sourness. M: drinkable at full strength. Still savoury hints of tobacco, chocolate, bramble, baked apple and cinnamon. Sharp herbal notes. F: medium, on liquorice, charred wood and wood spice. 〉〉〉 Raw power and savoury sherry, but not the best Ardmore in my opinion. Score: 83/100