Monday, 27 October 2014

Lady of the Glen– A Speyside and Ben Nevis

Lady of the Glen, an independent bottler I’m very pleased to have my eye on!  Two new whiskies this time.

Lady of the Glen, Speyside whisky, 20 year old, 52.3% A⊕

This is from a mystery distillery in Speyside.  October 17 1994, refill bourbon cask 1171, 262 bottles.

20141027_201423Nose - At first, waxy wood and sweetly structured, then immediately some sour pear and grassy, herbal notes.  A little spirit sulphur, then more old wood and later (and in the empty glass) some citrus toffee.  Quite restrained but elegant and intriguing with quite a young spirit character backed by older, sexier fruit.

Body - Spicy, toffee, more sulphur - but balanced. A little hot immediately.  With water, the fruit and sulphur develop in intensity but still in lockstep.  

Finish - Good sweet/wood balance with lingering sulphur and wood.  

What’s not good about it - Lacks a little integration, the sourness is a quiet duff note.

What’s good about it - Love the nose, lots to discover.  Quietly challenging and quite elegant.  I could go for a bottle of this.

I would have called this for a Bruichladdich tasted blind, it’s got that lovely copper sulphur coming through and the same kind of wood and toffee thing in the nose.  Yes I know Bruichladdich isn’t in Speyside.  Quite a serious whisky with lots going on, quite challenging yet restrained.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this was from a recently opened bottle and I think it might benefit from a little time to open up.  I’ll report back...

Lady of the Glen, Ben Nevis 16 year old, 52.8% A⊕+

December 3 1998, sherry hogshead number 1407, 273 bottles.

20141027_201443Nose - I may (may) have just found the first Ben Nevis I love.  

Intensity.  Perfect, but intense sulphur, hot toffee and immense truffle.  Like truffle honey on roquefort.  Quite deranged but rather wonderful.  With water, the sulphur drops away and the truffle blends in and speaks of age way beyond 16.  Deep sugared wood and bubble gum.  Crikey - don’t let me down now...

Body - Hallelujah!  Balanced honey, truffle, wood spice and sweet sulphur.  Opens up further with water, loads of balance, structure integration and beautiful toffee.  

Finish - Long, bitter wood balancing intense toffee and spice.  Almost tropical with water.  This cannot be 16 years old.

What’s not good about it - uncompromising and intense.

What’s good about it - uncompromising, intense, exciting, balanced, complex and old beyond it’s years.  Instant buy.

Thanks to LotG for the samples!

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