Rapid fire whisky notes (vol. 2)

Rapid fire whisky notes (vol. 2)

The second volume of our rapid fire whisky notes (see volume 1). We’ve accumulated 10 tasting notes over the past few weeks, from all over Scotland. Simple assessments with concise tasting notes.


Highland Park 19 yo 2003 (51,8%, Maltbarn ‘The 26 #5’ 2022, bourbon cask, 48 btl.)

N: crystal clean, rather bright, with lime, lamp oil, fabrics, waxy notes, green tea and a whiff of vanilla. M: perhaps a little sweeter than expected, but also brilliantly chalky, briney and mineral. Green notes, honey, lemon zest and grapefruit. F: long, lemony, with a gentle bitterness. 〉〉〉 Excellent, distillate-forward modern Highland Park. Pretty intense but every sharp corner is rounded off. Gone.


Auchentoshan 24 yo 1998 (52,6%, Thompson Brothers 2022, two refill barrels, 321 btl.)

N: slightly spirity at first, then polished oak, yellow plums, vanilla cake and custard. Hints of icing sugar. M: fruitier now, on oranges and peaches, later also tropical pineapple, with a syrupy touch. Lemon candy and ginger lemonade. F: long, still gingery, with lemon and a hint of chilli. 〉〉〉 A nice dram, mature and really drinkable. Still available from deinWhisky.de for instance. Score: 87/100


Clynelish 10 yo 2011 (59,1%, The Whisky Exchange, bourbon barrel #800293, 205 btl.)

N: quite fruity on ripe pears, peaches, marshmallows and lemons. Later chalk and lemons. Not particularly waxy though. M: more pears, lemons and peaches, with honey, some oak and mineral oils. F: medium, quit warming with lemon and white pepper. 〉〉〉 Reasonable Clynelish, not a highflyer but a nicely fruity take on this profile. Score: 86/100


Nc’Nean AON 4 yo 2018 (57,1%, OB for Kirsch Import 2022, STR red wine cask #18-294, 309 btl.)

N: well dosed wine, with spices and sweetness. Plums and red berries, some fresh oak shavings and pepper, herbs, milk chocolate and red apples. M: a lot of herbal notes, or rather tannins. Pepper, juniper, rosemary and roasted nuts, mixed with the vague fruitiness of a rosé wine. F: rather short, mostly spicy. 〉〉〉 A fairly nice nose but way too assertive on the palate. This used to retail for around € 90 and now a dozen of German shops ask € 200-275. I say blacklist these retailers next time. Score: 80/100


Williamson 12 yo 2010 (56,1%, The Whisky Firm 2022, sherry butt #143, 150 btl.)

N: nice ashy notes, medicin, hints of caramel and old leather. Capers and seaweed smoke. M: a nice brown sugar sweetness but also deep sooty notes, lovely chocolate, warm smoke, toffee, smoked fish and iodine. F: long, dark and smoky, with hints of chocolate coated nuts and spice. 〉〉〉 Beautiful teaspooned Laphroaig. Not the most complex ever but the depth and smokiness makes this a perfect wintery dram. Score: 89/100


Croftengea 14 yo 2007 (54,9%, Oxhead Classic Casks 2021, refill hogshead #52, 259 btl.)

N: slightly dirty start, on caramel, porridge and a weird acetic edge. Rubber boots, gravel and leafy notes with vague peaches in the background. M: these fruits got cleaner and nicer now. Flashes of bright peaches and mirabelles. Overtaken by nutty notes, smoke and wet cardboard though. F: quite long, ashy, peppery. 〉〉〉 Oh, Croftengea. Always ups and downs. I’m not convinced of this one. Score: 82/100


Supersonic – Mach 3 – 2013 (55%, North Star Spirits 2021, sherry butts, 777 btl.)

N: caramel and raisins with dark berries, quite sweet. Then Snickers and umami spice. Hints of wood polish. M: still sweet and caramelly. Sugar coated nuts, milk chocolate and raisins. Just a slight dirty edge. Figs and herbal notes. F: medium, with Christmas spice, coffee and sweet grains. 〉〉〉 The kind of bloated sherry profile that reminds me of Glenrothes, but I’m sure there’s more inside this blended malt. One left at TyndrumWhisky. Score: 84/100


Glen Moray 14 yo 2007 (52,4%, Dramcatcher 2022, bourbon barrel #6211, 54 btl.)

N: green apples with chalky touches, gentle vanilla pastry and floral honey. Very fresh and bright. M: more bright fruits. Apples and pears, light peach. Pleasant acidity to balance the sweetness. Then greener, grassy notes, gummi bears and hints of minerals. Subtle marshmallow sweetness. F: medium, very clean, still balancing mineral notes and fruits with a tinge of pepper. 〉〉〉 A natural beauty, perfect for springtime. Still available from Dramcatcher. Score: 87/100


Ardmore 12 yo 2009 (51,4%, Dramcatcher 2022, hogshead #2624, 30 btl.)

N: rather vegetal smoke. Hints of hay, vanilla, lemon peels and grassy oak. Mashed turnips and some plaster. M: fairly milk peat, with smoked apples and lemons. Then some herbal notes and vanilla. Tobacco leaves. Lacking a bit of oomph in the middle. F: medium length, on smoky notes, herbs and citrus. 〉〉〉 Not entirely my style, especially on the nose. Lacking some definition further down as well. Score: 82/100


Bunnahabhain ‘Staoisha’ 8 yo 2013 (59,1%, The Whisky Blues 2022, first fill barrel #838, 246 btl.)

N: mild coastal notes, with dried ashes and smoked apples. Then wet wool and lemons. Floral notes, hints of tea. Just a hint of toffee sweetness. Perfectly simplistic. M: great balance of sweetness and vanilla with kippers, oysters and lemon juice. Hints of almonds, apples and chalky notes. F: long, with a hint of smoke, chocolate and brine. 〉〉〉 Staoisha at its best, really. Overall pretty perfect. Score: 89/100