Rapid fire tasting notes (vol. 5)

Rapid fire tasting notes (vol. 5)

Rapid fire whisky notes is our way of working through our backlog of samples (see volume 4). Simple assessments with concise tasting notes from a wide range of distilleries: The Balvenie, Ben Nevis, Edradour and Linkwood but also much younger names like Milk & Honey, Dalmunach and Strathearn.


Burnside 28 yo 1994 (48,2%, HNWS / The Spirits Hunter 2022, hogshead #5137, 236 btl.)

N: yellow plums, apples and tangerines. Floral honey, mild peppery oak and hints of varnish. M: fruit soda. More apples, honey, lemon peels, with green banana and green oak spice. Some vanilla custard and suble wax. F: medium, on creamy malt and yellow fruits. 〉〉〉 Simple and pleasant. Mildly fruity. We’ll try a few more Burnsides in the near future.


Ben Nevis 24 yo 1998 (46,6%, The Maltman 2023, refill hogshead #694, 235 btl.)

N: nice tangerines and mirabelles, with chalky notes, sunflower oil, kaffir leaf, pine nuts and hints of mud. M: typical fruits (slightly tropical) but with a dirty edge. A lot of waxy notes, petrol, chalk, orange zest, grassy notes and green gooseberries. F: medium, grassy with lemons, wax and hints of barley sugar 〉〉〉 Though not as great as the 1995-1996s, still a great waxy profile with a dirty touch. Score: 87/100


Miltonduff 11 yo 2012 (48,5%, Decadent Drinks ‘Equinox & Solstice’ Winter 2023, first-fill sherry hogshead)

N: sour red berries, soaked raisins and clafoutis. Hints of a pickled red cabbage salad too. Also an oaky note, with moist tobacco, plums and hints of very young Oloroso wine. M: plenty of nuts, red apples and sour berries, still this young and winey Oloroso note and leathery notes. F: medium length, with oak spice and berries. 〉〉〉 Another good option in the E&S range. Available from Decadent Drinks or Master of Malt for instance. Score: 86/100


Edradour 10 yo 2011 (60,4%, OB for Whisky Picnic Bar 2021, first fill Marsala hogshead #83, 400 btl.)

N: increasingly high on creamy vanilla and oranges. Some winey notes and buttery apple crumble. Water is obligatory, brings out more apples and jammy fruits. M: slightly synthetic fruits like green banana, sweet plums and orange. More butter pastry, vanilla and tannins. Apple sweetness and chilli. Water doesn’t work, it only highlights the spicy notes. F: long and really peppery, alongside vanilla, cardamom and apples. 〉〉〉 Not sure what to make of this (full-time) Marsala maturation. Definitely interesting, but also struggling with alcohol and tannins. Score: 83/100


Tullibardine 2005 (52,9%, Liquid Art 2023, 125 btl.)

N: really bright and aromatic, with a sweet and sour fruitiness. Green apple, kiwi, banana and nectarine. Hints of dough, subtle mint and lime blossom. M: nicely oily, with a waxy start, light herbal touches and menthol, as well as orange, peach, pomelo and vanilla. F: quite long, more citrus fruits. 〉〉〉 Great choice, rather expensive though. Check Care for Craft for instance. Score: 88/100


Milk & Honey 2019 (65,5%, Liquid Art 2023, ex-rye cask #1354, 108 btl.)

N: almost Irish, very fruity, showing pineapple, lemons, vanilla and stem ginger. Apricot jam and orange flowers. Subtle spiced bread and anise in the background. M: sweet and rather tropical. More mango, pink grapefruit, apricots. Ginger, nutmeg and mint. Vanilla and lots of wood spice. Gingerbread. F: long, sweet and fruity, with honey and green pepper. 〉〉〉 A nicely fruity M&H. Complexity is fairly low, and water is necessary here. A good youngster though. Score: 86/100


A Speyside Distillery 13 yo 2009 (56,1%, Watt Whisky 2023, hogshead, 348 btl.)

N: a rather meaty, almost sulphurous spirit. Yellow apple, vanilla, grainy bread and herbal notes. Also greasy touches, mud and leafy notes. M: pastry sweetness, sunflower oil and butter, along with vanilla, juniper, walnuts, ginger and roasted malt. F: medium, still chunky, with clove, sweet malt and grassy oak. 〉〉〉 The meatiness is typical for the distillery. A correct whisky, weighty but not extremely exciting. Available as a set from Care for Craft. Score: 83/100


Dalmunach 6 yo 2016 (57,1%, Watt Whisky 2023, Amontillado sherry butt, 456 btl.)

N: honey and caramelized almond, some milky / buttery notes, nougat, porridge and new rubber, tobacco, peaches and raisins. M: berry sweetness, cherries, nutmeg, caramelized hazelnuts and plenty of walnuts, liquorice, cinnamon and raisins F: medium, some cocoa, cinnamon, caraway seeds and pecans 〉〉〉 Again not a classic profile, but more entertaining than the secret Mortlach. Still available from The Whisky Exchange. Score: 87/100


Linkwood 30 yo 1992 (48,1%, The Whisky Blues 2023, barrel #5290, 255 btl.)

N: banana candy, sweet pear and melons. Then honey and vanilla, along with dandelions and buttercups. M: fresh apples and pears, with peaches, more honey, vanilla and ginger. Maltiness and green wood takes over after a while. Green tea with a bittersweet edge. F: long and drying, on grapefruit, resinous notes, herbs and green tea. 〉〉〉 Nice Linkwood from high quality bourbon wood. Seemingly younger than it is. Score: 87/100


Fettercairn 12 yo 2008 (52,9%, Whisky-Fässle 2021, barrel)

N: sweet and fresh, very bourbonny, with vanilla, greengages, apples, hints of plasticine, light floral touches and mint M: bright fruity notes like pear and apple. Floral honey, vanilla custard, touches of mustard and mild oak spice F: medium, slightly greener, with lemon zest and latte 〉〉〉 Vibrant and balanced, a nice expression of Fettercairn. Still available from Whisky-Maniac or deinWhisky for instance. Score: 86/100


Strathearn 7 yo 2015 (54,8%, Thompson Bros ‘Spirited Angels’ 2022, peated, cask #50)

N: a nice style, full of earthy notes and a mix of olive brine and banana that reminds us of rum. Then wool, vanilla cake, ginger, wet newspaper and chai spice. Velvety smoke. M: very spicy (pepper, ginger), with hints of bitter herbs, green tea, burnt heather and clove oil. Rye spice, juniper, active wood. F: medium length, still spicy and bitter. Grapefruit peel, ginger and cold ashes 〉〉〉 Interesting and entertaining. A really nice nose, but the palate is quite demanding. Score: 81/100