Friday 18 November 2016

Gordon & MacPhail Shop Tasting: Elgin

Hey everyone,

Still in Scotland (June 2016) for an interview and decided to pop into Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin. Incredible selection. 1000 bottles, many of them really old and expensive.
Great selection to try too, basically anything bottled by them or open was fair game and they were very open about staying as long as I liked. Which I took full advantage of!

So 2 Clynelish's I started with. Clynelish is the younger brother of the deceased Brora distillery that many a money has been spent on. It's always got this lovely waxy thing going on...

Clynelish 1996 G&M Connoisseurs Choice 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Amazing honey and wax combo, apple, some spice, aromatic highland style.
Taste: Spicy, pepper, oak, going creamy, apple, wax, some ash.
Finish: Long length. Spicy, ash.
Notes: Bottled 2014

Clynelish 2000 G&M Connoisseurs Choice 46%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Fresh. Nutty sherry, almond, wax, honey, raisin.
Taste: Great arrival. Sweet, honey, wax, heather, raisin, fig, a little herbal, a little ash, oak. Good balance.
Finish: Medium length. Creamy oak.
Notes: Bottled 2015 from a Sherry butt and Sherry Hogshead.

Next up was a few Benromach's. The distillery is actually owned by Gordon & MacPhail and they really seem to know what they are doing.
Benromach Organic 2015 43%

Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Aromatic fruit, red apple, mango, lemon, banana, malt.
Taste: Very fruity, red apple, mango, banana, yeast, malt, oak.
Finish: Medium length. Creamy with some oak and ash.
Notes: Distilled 2008, bottled 2015. Taste lots older than that though.

Benromach Hermitage 45%
Colour: Dark
Body: Medium
Nose: Meaty red wine, red apple, ash, cherry, dark chocolate.
Taste: Intense, meaty, very fruity, cherry, blackberry, spicy ginger.
Finish: Medium/long length. Softens but keeps going with soft fruit and some oak.
Notes: A lovely wine-y whisky.

Then a Bruichladdich from the G&M Cask Strength collection. Some older Bruichladdich's always seem to get younger as they age. I know, I know, it doesn't really make sense.
Bruichladdich 1991 G&M Cask Strength 54.9%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lemon, older Bruichladdich that's noses young, zest, sherbet, malt.
Water: Creamy, vanilla, honey.
Taste: Intense, ash, malt, creamy, vanilla, oak
Water: Intense, sherbet, sharp sour lemon, some peach, barley sugar.
Finish: Long length. Creamy oak and peach.
Notes: Bottled 2012

Ah, the next one is a bit embarassing... I bought the Commitee Release Dark Cove because everyone was complaining about the website crashing on Facebook but I could get on fine. So I bought one. But then, I turned to the dark side. I thought, well it's probably going to be very similar to Uigadail, I'll sell this one and buy a SMWS Sherry Ardbeg. And the plan worked, I sold it for double the price and bought a 33.132. But I became something horrible at the same time: A Flipper. I flipped my Dark Cove and now it comes back to haunt me...

Ardbeg Dark Cove 46.5%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Lovely Sherry and fresh zesty lime, lemon, musty wool, blood orange
Taste: Intense, creamy medicinal, cough sweets, lime juice, lime pith, lemon, creamy oak, orange. Great balance.
Finish: Long length. Creamy, medicinal, earthy peat.
Notes: It's Ardbeg, of course it's great. Maybe I should have kept my Commitee Release, I'll have to open my 33.132 before I decide if it was worth it.

After that I had an Ardmore. G&M do a great series based on old labels from those distilleries. In my opinion they look great too. Ardmore is a peated Highlander.

Ardmore 1996 Sherry G&M Distillery Labels 43%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Sherry, cherry, sweet syrup, honey, golden syrup, banana.
Taste: Intense, sherry strewed fruit, raisin and fig, then pepper and dry smoke kicks up.
Finish: Medium length. Creamy smoke and ash.
Notes: Bottled 2013.

And a last Aberfeldy to finish. Aberfeldy is an interesting distillery I think, there's always a tiny hint of smoke. I can't find a photo I can use of this one so I'll provide the link here.

Aberfeldy 1995 G&M Cask Strength 55.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Aromatic highlander, spicy and nutty, apple, subdued.
Water: More. Fresh, fruity, heather, honey.
Taste: Intense, juicy and spicy, red apple,
Water: Soft, beautiful fruit, lemon, building spice and sherry, stewed fruit, raisin, fig.
Finish: Long length. Fruit, red apple, oak, ash, complex.
Notes: Bottled 2014, 18yo refill sherry

Wow. After all that, I decided to buy the Benrinnes 23 1985, released in 2009, which wasn't too outrageously priced and is pretty legendary on r/Scotch, probably the highest rated bottle.
Also got a few miniatures I've been curious about, which are coing up next.

Reviews #148-155

Score Average: 74.5
Best Score: 91
Worst Score: 44
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

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