The Whisky Exchange is a national treasure, and just round the corner from my office. It’s a wonderful place to discover artisanal tequila, small batch bourbons and of course a whole universe of Scotch whiskies.
Last night we attended TWE’s 8th birthday tasting – 6 whiskies that are 8 year olds but were all bottled in the 70s and 80s and so represent a different age of whisky making, when more distilleries made their own floor malts and stills were fired with coal, and there was a lot less consistency and some incredible complexity at only 8 years. All of the whiskies we tasted last night stand up to 25-30 year old whiskies we’re bottling today. What an incredible set of whiskies!
- Glen Scotia 8yo Bot 1980s OB, 40%
- Springbank 8yo Oval Bottle Bot 1970s OB, 43%
- Glendronach 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 45.4%
- Glen Garioch 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 40%
- Aberlour-Glenlivet 8yo Bot 1970s OB, 50%
- Ardbeg 1991 8yo #629-630 Signatory, 43%
Out of all of these rare bottles, the Springbank appears to have been the last bottle in existence, the rest are still available.
Glen Scotia 8yo Bot 1980s OB, 40%, A⊕
Nose – Sweet, PVC glue, honey and pineapple, chardonnay oak, dusty sparklers. Lovely tropical restraint and sultanas.
Body – Creamy, light and fresh, fruit and lovely balance.
Finish – Medium short finish, slightly bitter background with water. Lovely finish, a really delicious whisky.
Springbank 8yo Oval Bottle Bot 1970s OB, 43%, A+
Nose – Children’s library and swimming pool, grappa, perfumed. Very tequila-like. Dusty, apple and fruit.
Body – Peaty tequila, fresh and clean palate, dusty bookcase.
Finish – Toast and prunes at the end. Short finish but extremely clean. Bitterness with water. Very nice but not much very whisky-like!
Glendronach 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 45.4%, A⊕+
Nose – Massive hit of grapefruit, fresh water and plastic book covering. Very fresh, sherried, raisins and finally, celery.
Body – Toffee, caramel, rich malt. Very well balanced and very rich but with real backbone. Amazing.
Finish – Medium finish, bitter celery. Beautiful and interesting, delicious with great balance. What a whisky – apparently this is very like the old style 12yo (90s bottlings).
Glen Garioch 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 40%, A
Nose – Petrol, peat, lighter fluid. Coastal, salty, poised and elegant if a bit of a heavy hitter on the nose.
Body – Oily mouthfeel, bit fishy. Toasted, well balanced, nuts.
Finish – Biscuity, very short finish, nutty ending. Nice but not remarkable.
Aberlour-Glenlivet 8yo Bot 1970s OB, 50%, A⊕+
Nose – Dark sherry monster, raisin and xmas cake. Fresh, sweet honey and dark fruit. Very rich nose with well integrated fresh wood and dark fruit. Wow.
Body – Pudding wine, PX, dark cider body, intense heat, cake.
Finish – Savoury, long and fiery. Long wood and cherry cake. What an incredible whisky. Apparently nothing like modern Aberlours.
Ardbeg 1991 8yo #629-630 Signatory, 43%, A⊕
Nose – Toasted, smoked mackerel. Cider. Beautiful, refreshing and balanced. Very nice.
Body – Cream, sherried body, rich peat and sherry. Great peat integration, its so balanced. Plasticene, fruity and refreshing.
Finish – Short finish, but then comes back with sherry notes and a bitter end.
What a fantastic experience, and an incredible selection. Congratulations TWE!