Today was interview day in Speyside (End of June 2016). Bit nerve wracking but it did mean no distillery visits today.
After the interview I did crack open 2 miniatures I bought yesterday at Gordon & MacPhail.
Sheep Dip Blended Malt 40%
Colour: Probably E150a
Nose: Malt, young lemon, honey, wool, biscuit, red apple, wet rock, old barn.
Taste: Soft, sweet arrival, malt, young lemon, sour green apple, some red apple, some chocolate showing up and going into the finish.
Finish: Short length. Dark chocolate and red apple.
Notes: 16 malts. Wanted to try it as its in 101 Whiskies. Nice but pretty average I found.
Glendronach 21 parliament 48%
Nose: Incredible. Old mahogany, old Jag, walnut, old Oloroso barrel, dunnage, raisin, dried fig, plum, homemade plum jam. Fresh red apple hiding underneath, cocktail cherries, brown sugar, golden syrup, natural vanilla pod.
Water: Softer with more natural sweetness. Molasses, caramelised red apple, baked apple, cinnamon, black tea. After a min it's more bitter with more tea.
Taste: Intense, super sweet, and very decedent. Old sherry, PX sherry, raisin, fig, plum, old wood, big spicy component grows bigger- Ginger, cinnamon, star anise. Tannins and stewed tea into the finish.
Water: Softer. Lovely natural fruit, caramelised red apple, baked apple, cinnamon, raisin syrup, carrot cake. More dry into the finish with more oak. Loses something though.
Finish: Medium/Long length. The blackest tea, Chinese tea, old Oloroso barrel.
Notes: Great malt, the nose undiluted is so so good. Reminds me I still love Sherry monsters. Been chasing the peat bomb so long I almost forgot!! These go for a very fair price (£90) and is a definite buy.
So then maybe I happened to find a whisky bar in Elgin...
Benrinnes 15 43%
Nose: Full and fat. Sherry, cherry, cherry brandy, chocolate mousse, orange liqueur, match head.
Taste: Full, wonderful Sherry, meaty and fat, cherry, cherry brandy, hot ash, building spice, tannins, something burnt, blown out match, good sulphur, chocolate mousse, great wood spice.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Lovely creamy chocolate and cherry combo. Lingering spice
Notes: Love this style, figured I should try this after I bought the 23yo.
Colour: Light for a blend!
Nose: Different. Lemony and herbal, soft polite grain, malt, biscuit, Agave, Tequila/Mezcal-esque.
Taste: Soft, easy. Lemon, polite grain, malt, biscuit then a little herbal. Almost Tequila/Agave herbal.
Finish: Medium length. Herbal and interesting. Agave.
And then the big one! This next one was amazingly underpriced, they had Balvenie 15 Single Barrel at the same price.
Benromach 1980 Gordon & MacPhail (Bottled 2004) 58.1%
Colour: Gold (Clouded with any water)
Nose: Old school. Old wood, oak, tannins, old homemade paper, old books, dried flowers, dried lemon, dried lime, old women's perfume. Alcohol. Very aromatic and just beautiful.
Water: Intense crisp pear, green apple, lemon and lime. Much more floral and perfumed after a minute. Just washed linen, lavender, buttercup, heather, aniseed.
Taste: Soft arrival, dried lemon, old paper, book, building intense juicy fruit, lemon mainly, melon and intense pear, women's perfume. Really intense. Then more creamy.
Water: Soft, beautiful juicy crisp fruit. Crisp pear, green apple, fresh lemon. Creamy into the finish. Balance is pretty amazing.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Super creamy, pear and a little oak.
Notes: Old Benromach! Pre Gordon & MacPhail and their refurb. They replaced the stills with smaller ones, so this would be from the bigger old stills.
Hopefully I'll be stopping at some more distilleries tomorrow, so more to come!
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 91
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good