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Motor oil (not that far from the 1999 but not as bold). Comments: maybe no pure magic here in my opinion but as I wrote, it’s still some great Laphroaig. Improves a bit after that (or you get used to it, as you like), with more grapefruit and lemon as well as notes of seashells and raw peated barley. Just like when you wash your hands, water took the soap off – well, almost. Comments: at times purely loveable, at times a tad more… Global quality is similar in my view, and this one swims very very well. Maybe hints of bubblegum as well instead of the kirschy notes. With water: it went into another direction than the OB, more on roses and sandalwood, patchouli, mint-flavoured tea and a rather obvious rubber (new bands) that’s far from being unpleasant. Globally fresh and clean, with more sweetness than earlier batches in my opinion. Mouth: exactly the same kind of development as on the nose. Frankly, I don’t know whether some kind of peated Glenmorangie has been distilled in recent years, but many Scottish distilleries have been doing that so why not? Much more assertive, and rather less ‘Glenmorangie’ than the whole core range from the 10 to the 25 via the finishes. Mouth: better ‘mingled’ than on the nose but the malt and the sherry create some kind of ‘grassy rubber’ (leaves and fruit stems, teas…) Finish: medium long. ) I’d have loved to be able to try the initial vatting before it got filled into new oak. It’s roughly eight times the price of the Ambassador’s Cask #5 when the latter was still available. It’s globally fresh and very clean but not too simple. Also quite some pepper in the background, the cask must have been quite active. Nose: interesting and globally quite complex already, more on honey and various sweet and spicy notes. With water: more leather grease, wax, a little metal polish… Perfect balance between the fruits, the resinous notes and the sweet spices. The fruitiness comes out later, with some grapefruit and lemon but it remains a tad feinty and kind of metallic. Mouth: better balanced and more ‘Lochside’, with some grapefruits and lemons.
Comments: imagine you were 60 years old and could choose a cask in a warehouse, and imagine you would find a great 30 year old Macallan.
Would you dump it in a rum cask (and then sell it for 250€ a bottle)?
Nose: probably the most vegetal and earthy within the lot, also the sweetest even if it’s far from being sweet whisky. With water: gets unexpectedly dirty, animal and slightly sulphury (hard boiled eggs). Mouth (neat): it’s the strongest but quite curiously, it’s also the easiest. Comments: this big baby almost stood up to the new OB. Sometimes with quite a bit of fluffy storytelling (we found some hidden casks in warehouse #77 or our legendary master distiller decided to experiment with ex-cucumber casks or we teamed up with a famous winery in Outer-Mongolia or we decided to recreate a secret 1885 recipe that we found in the exciseman’s drawer and so on…) And frankly, some other excellent blogs do it so much better that we ever could anyway, such as the great Whisky Intelligence, already 2,000 posts, triple wow! It comes from Balblair, who just announced that they partnered with a Scottish jazz singer named Niki King to launch a new concept called the ‘Balblair Lounge Events’ that will match tasting Balblair malts with jazz performances in various cities over the world. ) I'm afraid the answer is 'no thanks' - I don't think anybody ever tasted Manzoni's merda d'artista either... I checked my nose using some ‘reference malts’ and it seems that we’re back to normal, just in time for the brand new Glenmorangie Finealta that just arrived. Behind all that we have the same zestiness as in the 1974, with some lemon marmalade and a little passion fruit.
Finish: long, with some honey and oranges emerging. All right, some distinguished readers (one of them, actually, but a very distinguished one) asked me whether I would taste and publish tasting notes for this new 'Gilpin Family Whisky' (the wording 'designer's whisky' may have been coined for this! This one is a vatting of refill butts and hogsheads that’s been further ‘married’ for around two years in new Spanish oak hogsheads. Mouth (neat): this is funny, it now resembles the nose of the 1974 as it starts with some rather grassy and balsamic notes such as pine resin (cough medicine), bee propolis, coriander, balm, even a little capsicum, juniper berries…
As for yeast and barley, I guess they can’t be the same as 1903’s but never mind, it’s the end result that counts. And much less fruity and vanilled notes than in other versions. Mouth: rich, creamy, rather more ‘Glenmo’ now but there are many many spices starting with various peppers (no I won’t list them all just for the sake of sounding smarter), a little mustard and ginger, then coffee beans. Rum Nation is an independent bottler, owned by the people who are also behind the excellent whisky bottlers Wilson & Morgan. Rather compact, with notes of honey, orange cake and sugar cane as well as a little vanilla. Nose: completely different from the 8, much more aromatic and extremely unusual with these notes of diesel oil, honeydew, pine liqueur, thyme and liquorice liqueur. Mouth: oily, very thick, just as resinous as on the nose. Very nice, let’s hope the palate won’t be too sweet. Finish: medium long, clean, half grassy, half sweet. Nose: rather less expressive than the Hors d’Âge at very first nosing but gets then very nicely nutty and resinous, also with more oak, vanilla, toasted bread and coffee… Maybe tiny-wee touches of garlic, that’s interesting! Comments: clean fruity ‘modern’ spirit, not the most complex ever but perfectly made. Quite some oak as well, slightly green tannins, more tea… The aftertaste is very nice though, on bitter oranges and pepper. Now, lovers of ultra-grassy (and limey) whiskies will probably love this. Punchy and very citrusy, with litres of lemonade and even gin (gin-fizz), tonic water, artichoke liqueur (I think Cynar is one) and other very grassy items.
Nose: this one suffers a bit from comparison with its two predecessors, it lacks a bit of the others’ perfect zestiness, although it’s closer to the Nectar than to the other TWA. Now, it’s still quite perfect, it’s just that the other two are terrific in my opinion. Mouth (neat): I like it better than on the nose when neat, but it’s really brutal at such high strength. With water: works, it brings out unexpected resinous notes – and big ones at that. Some toasted vanilla/oak, notes of cider, apple juice, roasted malt, a little caramel, cappuccino, candy sugar (quite a lot)… Or maybe has some Glenmorangie been matured or finished in some ex-Ardbeg cask? More punch and depth in my opinion and more secondary and tertiary notes. I get humus, marzipan, a little camphor, leather, soy sauce, dried mushrooms, ginger, white pepper… Barbados and Martinique are neighbouring islands but while Barbados makes rum from sugar cane molasses, Martinique often distils cane juice (rhum agricole). Nose: I had feared this baby would be too heavy and sluggish but that isn’t the case at all. Nose: bizarrely, this one is a little sweeter than the Barbados (while rhum agricole is usually grassier). ), caramel-coated nuts, toasted brioche, dried bananas, pineapples… With water: interestingly, gets much more resinous and flinty. With water: excellent ‘young’ fruitiness with a good dose of pepper and a little thyme. Also more beeswax, a faint flintiness, a little mint and various garden fruits. Goes on with a continuous duet between the fruits (peaches and other garden fruits) and the spices and pine resin. More grass after that, apple peelings, walnuts, green tea, a little paprika… One can feel that there may be some fruits below the surface but they don’t quite make it to your nostrils. With water: not really, it’s still very grassy and leafy, even after fifteen minutes.
I insist, this is very good spirit but it’s simply not pure Scotch whisky anymore in my opinion. Overripe apples and liquorice, something slightly metallic in the background.
Some other bottlings in this 60th Anniversary series were of a much higher standard in my opinion.
I’m afraid that’s impossible as odours count very much when tasting anything.
The tongue is only able to ‘understand’ a few basic flavours (sweet, salty, bitter and sour – right, and umami) while all the more complex flavours are actually detected by the olfactory bulb via retro-olfaction and hence need some ‘breathing’. Try this: put an easily recognizable fruit juice such as mango or pineapple into an opaque glass.
Firmly pinch a (ex-) good friend’s nose and ask him to taste the juice, he shouldn’t be able to recognize it. Finish: medium, sweet, a little cinnamon in the aftertaste.