Thursday, 22 February 2018

Linlithgow 1974 Silver Seal Review

Hi everyone,

A very special whisky here as the last whisky I tried as part of my shenanigans at festivals last year. (spoiler alert) It’s also the completion of my 90 club list on my blog.
So St. Magdalene distillery in the village of Linlithgow is one of those hyped lowland distilleries, probably on par with Rosebank. Some releases were under St. Magdalene, some Linlithgow. The stuff was the same. Triple distilled and worm tub condensed, same as Rosebank as far as I can tell.
That makes for a completely unique style that isn’t made at all anymore, since both are now closed (St. Magdalene is now flats). Official bottlings are scarce, along with any other bottlings making this stuff pretty hard to find too. But I spotted some at a stall in Inter. Whisky Frankfurt and it happened to be: 1. Not too expensive and 2. That golden age/strength that seems to generate 90’s scores.
 
Linlithgow 1974 Silver Seal 50%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lovely and perfumed nose, malty, floral complexity, fizzy lemon sweets, classy old school oak, oily and waxy, old Balvenie-esque class, honey.
Taste: Great arrival, very soft then builds and builds, amazing development, lemon, zesty, slightly fizzy, wax, old oak and chocolate, malty, beeswax, clean laundry, petals and unexpected medicinal clean bandages!
Finish: Long length. Quite soft here but whispers of flavour continue and continue. Malt in particular and soft chocolate.
Over 27 years old, bottled in 2001. Best Lowland I've tried so far. By a very long way. So subtle and yet so classy. Quite a unique one, especially in the mid-palate with those clean bandages. Really didn’t expect that. Great stuff would be an understatement.
90/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #563
Whisky Network Review #667

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Excalibur Over 5 Years (70's Blend) Review

Hi everyone,

Something very different here. A rare 70’s blended Scotch called Excalibur. Looking at the label showed me that this blend comes from Charles H Julian Ltd., which seems to have been the name of a famous whisky blender who set up his own blend in the 70’s.
This was the guy behind creating such whiskies as Cutty Sark, J&B Rare and Chivas Regal 12 according to scotchwhisky.com.
This just happened to be something one of our importers brought along to Inter. Whisky Frankfurt and then I happened to ask if I could try some…
 
Excalibur 5 40%
Colour: Probable E150a
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: More like a malt, red apple, waxy and oily, floral, lemon peel. Not a lot going on but what is there is nice.
Taste: Lacking power but malt forward and builds earthy and chocolate-y notes, oak, ginger, covers the mouth, a little lemon peel.
Finish: Medium length. Coffee and chocolate, malt, some ginger.
75cl 40 degrees. This was an import for Italy back in the 70's. A much higher percentage of malt than modern day blends I think.
69/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #562
Whisky Network Review #666

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Stork Club Single ex-Bordeaux Cask Review (German Whisky)

Hi everyone,

German whisky. German. No I’ve never tried a German whisky. Well, until I was in Frankfurt and was on a stand with a new German whisky called Stork Club. Then it just felt rude not to try something of theirs.
They are doing a single malt and a single rye whisky but this one caught my eye instead. Partly because it had the exact number of days it had been maturing on the label, and partly because it had been maturing all those days in a Bordeaux red wine cask.
 
Stork Club Ex-Bordeaux Single Cask 55.9%
Colour: Redish
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Red gummy bears and slightly burnt rubber, floral oak, rose water, vanilla, chilli sauce. A slightly weird combination if you ask me but it kind of works.
Taste: Spicy arrival, chilli sauce, coriander, curry sauce, ginger, some green apple and orange, a little rubber into the finish. Quite an interesting but spicy taste.
Finish: Medium length. More spice and a little rubber. Not so balanced here and a little off.
Local barley single malt whisky matured in a red wine cask for 1207 days. Not bad, finish is a bit weird. German whisky!
64/100

Thanks for reading!

German Whisky Review #1
Whisky Network Review #665

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Clynelish 1984 Silver Seal Review

Hi everyone,

I’ve always wanted to try some older Clynelish because its normally raved about in whisky circles and rumours suggest that the further you go back, the closer to Brora you get.
Part of the unique character of Clynelish is the waxiness you get from it, that doesn’t quite come across the same in any other whisky. I had thought that this was due to the spirit safe never being cleaned, but a little research seems to suggest it is actually the feints tank that does not have oils removed from it that other distilleries normally would during their silent season.
What does that actually do? I have no idea really. But perhaps by taking quite a wide cut, more into the feints, they can capture some of those oils that then come through as that waxiness when matured?
 
Clynelish 1984 Silver Seal 57.3%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Light, ethereal, honeyed and complex, nettle, fresh mint, wax, a journal of pressed flowers complete with homemade paper, candle wax. Lovely nose, really fresh and summer-y.
Taste: Soft, amazing balanced arrival, then spices and juicy fruit along with complex honey and florals, white pepper, vanilla pod and lily. Beeswax and oils, candle wax, softer into the finish.
Finish: Long length. Drier but oily with some wax, old school oak.
Over 18 years old, bottled in 2003. A lot of Scotch mist with water! But it does unbalance the whisky though. Quite dry mid-palate but lovely old Clynelish. Better, in fact, than the 38yo Brora from 2016 IMO.
87/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #561
Whisky Network Review #664

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Blair Athol 1991 Carn Mor Review

Hi everyone,

I’ve always enjoyed the stuff I’ve tried from Blair Athol, although that’s really only independent bottlings because the only official is the flora & fauna (which I’m not such a big fan of) and the recent special releases which was a ridiculous price.
Luckily there are plenty of indies and I do recommend you seek them out. They tend to be at an ok price because Blair Athol isn’t that well known but the distillery character seems to be quite complex and malty.
This one in particular I tried recently at Inter. Whisky Frankfurt and is the oldest Blair Athol I’ve tried so far.
 
Blair Athol 1991 Carn Mor 52.7%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Medicinal, malty, fruity, dry, oaky, cherry lip gloss, orange peel, herbal, fresh mint, oats and porridge, green leaf, lemon peel, green banana. Complex nose with lots going on and some pretty unique combos going on.
Taste: Soft and intense, loads of malt, vanilla, juicy pear, soft oak, sour grape, orange, orange peel, fresh mint, paprika, some green banana.
Finish: Long length. Malty, soft chocolate and some heather. Not so complex as the rest here but nice.
26 years old, from 1991 to 2017. Quite complex and unusual, I’m not sure if that’s the spirit talking or the cask but I like it. The price on this Carn Mor is a bit higher though compared to others like Signatory.
79/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #560
Whisky Network Review #663

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Aberfeldy 21 Review

Hi everyone,

Just a quick review of another whisky from Ian Buxton’s 101’s today. I’ve been trying to get my hands on this for a while but my motivation to actually buy a bottle was very low with this being such a low abv.
So I waited. Like a praying mantis or a tunnel spider. And when I saw it, I pounced like a Jaguar or a man wanting to try a new whisky.
 
Aberfeldy 21 40%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Heather and lots of honey, biscuit, vanilla, oak and red apple. Nice nose but not nearly as complex as I would have hoped from 21 years.
Taste: Soft, honey, heather, spice, dry, oak, ginger, some soft black pepper, lacks power, golden raisin, red apple. Shame the abv is low, as I suspected, it died a little inside when being watered down.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Ginger spice, oak, heather, spicy red apple.
Well, a tiny bit better than what Glenfiddich are doing with their 21’s (ice wine casks included), but I know, KNOW, this could be so much better with a bit more abv behind it.
76/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #559
Whisky Network Review #662

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Talisker 20 (1982-2003) Review

Hi everyone,

Talisker has always been a favourite of mine. It was the second bottle of single malt I bought and my first experience of peat. I’ve been a fan ever since and it pains me that I don’t currently have a bottle.
One of my Talisker goals has always been to try something at cask strength. Something I’ve somehow managed to somewhat fail at. Not just because I can’t be bothered with 57 degrees, but also because there isn’t a lot of it apart from old releases like this next one.
And before you start getting crazy jealous, no this isn’t the Sherry cask release from 2001 that gets collectors wet and heaps of money poured on top of it. No, this is the much less hyped refill version from 2003.
 
Talisker 20 (1982) Refill 58.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Intense, classic red apple, black pepper and smoke, burnt thyme, some alcohol poking through.
Water: Opens up with more herbal notes, more fruit and less smoke.
Taste: Intense, peaty, mineral, sea salt, sea spray and wet rocks, red apple, black pepper, then quite soft.
Water: More balance, more red apple and black pepper. More Talisker-esque, oily with lemon citrus.
Finish: Long length. Softer, red apple, dry refill oak. Water makes it more oily, more lemon, tobacco and oily chocolate.
Swims well, almost the more water the better. Gets better and better with time and water, so give this one time! A little disappointing though, I was expecting bigger things from this and it didn’t really deliver. Much prefer the 30yo 2011 release myself.
85/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #558
Whisky Network Review #661

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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