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Friday, 29 November 2019

Glencadam 1982 [Road to #1000, Review #981]

Hi everyone,

I don’t know a huge amount about Glencadam at all, I don’t mind admitting that. But luckily, the internet is full of knowledge about random distilleries that I know nothing about and I can be like a sponge when it comes to stuff like this.
Something I didn’t realise is that the distillery was closed for 3 years, between 2000 and 2003 until it was bought by its current owner; Angus Dundee.
They seem to have realised that people want single cask, cask strength bottlings only recently and have now started doing a line of them, as well as special editions matured in port and sherry casks.
The one I have here is from a range of vintage casks that are in more square looking bottles.

Glencadam 1982 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Straight away it’s weird, pool chlorine, slightly rancid cherry and parma violets, cardboard dust (like you grinded them up), parma ham left out too long, some strawberry.
Taste: Very soft, floral, chewy sweetness coming in, parma violets, red apple, some leather and chocolate, then weird into the finish. Some spirit-y-ness mid-palate too.
Finish: Long length. Very strange with this parma voilet, odd mouthfeel and off cherry/ham note.
From a Single Sherry cask, bottled at 30yo. What an oddball, never expected 80's Bowmore from Glencadam and also it can't pull it off as Bowmore sometimes can. I am normally a fan of older whisky but something went wrong with this particular cask I think. Yeah, weird.
67/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #823
Whisky Network Review #981

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Benrinnes 1979 Adelphi [Road to #1000, Review #980]

Hi everyone,

The first time you step into Jack Rose in Washington DC, you feel like you just might have died and gone to heaven.
The whisky collection is stupid good, prices reasonable and great atmosphere and food.
I had a long look through their menu and chose something I thought was underpriced, an old Benrinnes from Adelphi.
Always liked the Adelphi labels and bottles for whatever reason and although they can be quite expensive compared to other indies, the quality is usually very high.

Benrinnes 1979 Adelphi 64.6%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Sharp wood and lemon, gristy malt and savoury notes of white sausage or smoked ham, a slight saltiness, green apple. Quite a natural style Benrinnes but with the meatiness I love.
Taste: Fizzy lemon and sharp wood, soft abv, malt building with sherbet, lemon meringue pie, creamy. The high alcohol isn't overwhelming at all, feels quite zingy and fresh.
Finish: Long. Lemon and green apple ending in chocolate and malt. Great finish.
Bottled a while back at 17yo. Interesting that while the abv is high, I didn’t feel like this needed water to open up, just time.
80/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #822
Whisky Network Review #980

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Convalmore 1984 G&M [Road to #1000, Review #979]

Hi everyone,

Continuing on the road to 1000, we have my first Convalmore.
You know, that closed distillery that there’s barely anything from these days. I don’t know if companies are just sitting on stocks or whether there genuinely is nothing left of it.
There’s been a few in the Diageo Special Releases from various ages and vintages but they are seriously expensive and I haven’t been able to try any until this one I tasted earlier in the year.
This one is from just one year before they closed in 1985 and is brought to us by the wonderful folks at Gordon & MacPhail.

Convalmore 1984 Gordon & MacPhail 52.2%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Floral, dry wood, a green note like a herbal green bell pepper, some lemon and vanilla, slight soap maybe, geranium and rose petal, almost sugary green apple like an apple crumble, turmeric spice.
Taste: Floral from the off with then chewy Parma violets, oily oak, soft and quite light for cask strength but good mouthfeel, some vanilla in there too, kinda creamy going more to the dry side as it goes on.
Finish: Medium/long. Creamy milk chocolate, oily oak and some black pepper. Nice finish
From a refill sherry Hogshead, 1984-2007 @ 22yo. Must have been very refill because there’s no Sherry notes to this whatsoever. Kinda surprised with how floral this was as well, probably would have guessed it as a Lowlander blind but has some notes in common with Mortlach from Bourbon barrels.
Another one off the list of distilleries I haven’t tried!
81/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #822
Whisky Network Review #979

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Laphroaig 15 (Old Bottling) [Road to #1000, Review #978]

Hi everyone,

This is a much talked about and hyped old and discontinued bottling from Laphroaig, that seemed to have stopped being released some time in 2009.
It was then re-released in 2015 as an anniversary bottling, which I have reviewed but didn’t like a huge amount.
I’ve been hunting this for a while, I think because when I first got into whisky and was watching Ralfy, he mentioned in one of his videos that Laphraoig does well with age and that the 15 was a great expression.

Laphroaig 15 (Old Bottling) 43%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Tropical and fruity with an undertone of smoke. Mango, pineapple cinnamon combo. There’s a fullness and fatness to the nose that is just wonderful. Fresh, smoke but the smoke very much still intact and in balance.
Taste: So soft and delicate, smoke and seaweed, lemon citrus, so oily and awesome. The mouthfeel here is incredibly good, again good balance of smoke and some tropical fruit.
Finish: Long length. Balanced with oak and smoke and salt.
Balance is the key word here. The main complaint I had with the 15yo 200th Anniversary was that it seemed neutered of the smoke and therefore came across quite weak and thin. This still has that characteristic laphroaig flavour but with the tropical fruit you get from older Laphroaig’s. I actually prefer this to the 25yo 2015 version I tried as it has more of a mouthfeel, don’t like it as much as the 21 FOL though.
Note the Royal Warrant at the top of the label, which I can’t really find many photos of. Not really sure which version/year this bottling comes from but 750ml bottle.
87/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #821
Whisky Network Review #978

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Probably Speyside's Finest Distillery XOP 1986 [Road to #1000, Review #977]

Hi everyone,

Here we have something of a mystery… ‘Probably Speyside’s Finest Distillery’ is a bottling that the Laings have been doing for a while, having various different versions and barrels that they have bottled.
I like the addition of ‘Probably.’ It makes the whole thing sound quite playful.
Anyway, if we look at distilleries that this could be from we have Glenfarclas or Macallan, both of which won’t want their brand names used. From these, I think its probably Glenfarclas but who knows…
If you buy barrels, you might realise that Glenfarclas barrels seem to float around quite a bit but most of them are Bourbon or Hogsheads. But you aren’t allowed to use the name so people use names like Blairfindy or just classify it by the region but make it sound fancy. Cadenhead’s are the only ones who are allowed to use the Glenfarclas name but are only allowed to release two barrels a year.
I tried this a first time, the again the next day so have a set of both notes:

Probably Speyside's Finest Distillery XOP 1986 46.4%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Woody and grassy, a little closed, malty, maybe a tad flat, cocoa powder.
Retry: Much better, fresher, more sherry and raisin, more grassy too, dried grass.
Taste: Soft arrival, woody, flat oak then chocolate and malt, some nice orange then grippy tannins.
Retry: Soft and sweet arrival, raisin, orange and sherry, then drier with oak and dried grass then more sweetness again, orange and red apple.
Finish: Long length. Great finish, lots of orange and red apple.
Retry: Long length. Fairly plain here now, oak, some ginger.
From a Butt, released in 2017 at 30yo. Tried the first day and thought I hadn't given it a fair chance. Probably Glenfarclas and not exactly the best cask of the stuff. The second day was an improvement but there's still a lot of fairly plain oak and dryness that is dragging it down.
72/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #820
Whisky Network Review #977

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Highland Park 1995 Carn Mor Sherry [Road to #1000, Review #976]

Hi everyone,

We continue towards 1000 reviews with a great Highland park from a Sherry cask. I’m not certain why HP does so well with Sherry but perhaps it’s because of the heavier style of the spirit combined with light peat smoke, similar to Springbank. Also, we must remember that the stablemalts include Glenrothes and Macallan which also do well in Sherry.
Anyway, this is a release from Carn Mor and would have been quite expensive on release but then, this is better than the last batch of the 30yo OB I tried so there’s that.

Highland Park 1995 Carn Mor 54%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Real fuckin' good! A proper good Sherry cask, clove, cinnamon, no end to the dried fruit- raisin, prune, date, walnut, thick plum sauce on crispy duck! Really rich, a dram to lose yourself in! Singed heather, unami soy sauce, roasted goose leg but sweeter moments of chocolate orange and Kirsch.
Taste: Soft and sweet, building Sherry, dry and sweet, smoke and layers of sweet dried fruit, raisin and prune, sweet orange and singed heather, leather, tobacco and dark chocolate. Wonderfully balanced.
Finish: Long length. Sweet and mouth watering. More orange, dry oak, then chocolate and some heather, malt. Lovely.
Bottled 2018 at 22yo but could easily be 25 or more. Very complex and well timed release. Stunning.
87/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #819
Whisky Network Review #976

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Glen Scotia 1989 Manager's Tour Sample [Road to #1000, Review #975]

Hi everyone,

Welcome. I while back I realised that I had hit #1000 whiskies that I had tasted and written notes on and decided to keep some in reserve for an epic build up of insane, rare and crazy whiskies that I had tasted. 26 whiskies in fact.
1972 Brora cask sample, Hibiki 30, Yamazaki 25, Cadenhead’s Sherry cask Talisker, Longmorn 1964, Scotia 1969 and two 1968 whiskies, some bourbons, Karuizawa, my first Convalmore. You’ve got it all to look forward to.
To kick things off I’ve got an almost 30yo Glen Scotia from the most expensive tour you can do there, the Manager’s Tour. (Yep, we’re starting with that)
Many thanks go to the ever amazing Ibon for the sample.

Glen Scotia 1989 Cask Sample 53.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Fruity and very interesting, orange chewing gum, banana, cold dunnage, dried leaves, leather, some lime, wonderful balance though. I don’t normally like chewing gum as a note in whisky as it can be quite artificial but it works here.
Taste: Soft and oily, soot, dunnage wood then more fruity with banana, some pineapple, a little cream soda. Pretty fresh for 30yo without too much oak at all. I expected it to be much darker.
Finish: Medium length. Very soft, oils again, not a massive amount of complexity here.
Cask sample from the managers tour at Glen Scotia, refill American oak cask 316. I was probably expecting too much from this. I thought 30yo Campbeltown and the red mist of OMGITMUSTBEAMAZING descended. The taste is a little flat with the quite simple finish. Still it should be said that this is great whisky.
82/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #818
Whisky Network Review #975

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Glenturret 11 Gordon & MacPhail Sherry Cask (Blind Review)

Hi everyone,

I think this is the last whisky from my evening with the Toronto Whisky Society. I have a feeling this was nearer when I stopped taking notes but I was handed a dark looking whisky and asked what I thought that it was. (I can’t remember who brought this I’m afraid!)
So this one is a blind review, except that I recognised the tube as being a Gordon & MacPhail… so almost literally anything then!

Glenturret 11 Gordon & MacPhail 46%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Pure grape juice, prune, fig and cinnamon, an oily shortbread note, plenty of cherry. Super Sherried.
Taste: A little thin to start but builds in complexity, sweet raisin, leather, old school style Sherry, chocolate, pure raisin juice. Taste is a little tired.
Finish: Medium length. Bitter, tannins, oak. Dark chocolate. Oaky at the end but a little tired too.
Guess: 30yo Glenrothes at 40% from a Sherry cask?
But nope, young Glenturret! Some kind of exclusive. This was nice with the dark and juicy Sherry notes but felt a little thin and tired. Old before its time I guess.
79/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #817
Whisky Network Review #974

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Amrut Spectrum Batch 1 Review

Hi everyone,

One more from the generous people that are the Toronto Whisky Society, in particular u/devoz.
Now I know you’re probably thinking: ‘How many whiskies did they taste that night?’ The answer is a lot, but I stopped making notes because I realised that they weren’t coherent anymore.
Anyway, this is one that I’ve trying to get my hands on for ages because of a load of good reviews. It’s an Amrut matured in Frankenstein barrels that have staves from different types of wood and held different things before, all shoved together. There have been some different batches but this was the first.

Amrut Spectrum Batch 1 50%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Dark and grainy, Trinidad rum, dark spiced rum, stewed fruit, raisin and fig, prune, rich spices, cinnamon banana bread, lots of complexity here, quite corn whiskey-like actually which I often find with some of the Indian single malts.
Taste: Rich and sweet, rum notes appear again- banana and oily rags like a Caroni, raisin and fig, very dark aged Trinidad rum, chewy mouthfeel, black liquorice.
Finish: Medium length. Sweet and spicy, more liquorice. Quite soft here, the power fades out quite quickly.
Hmmmm, really expected to love this but its not really my thing. Kinda reminds me of the Kavalan Vinho Barrique in that respect. Big, big whisky, very dark flavour but doesn't reach the balance that I like.
79/100

Thanks for reading!

Indian Review #14
Whisky Network Review #973

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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 the Global 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 I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.