Thursday, 16 October 2014

Old St. Andrews Tweet Tasting

A TT of the Old St. Andrews range of blended malt, organised by the Whisky Wire! 

Clubhouse 3yo, 40% B-

clubhouseNose - Initially sour, with a pleasant savoury backbone of wood, light peat and a slightly meaty backnote.  It’s a little odd with the winey sour note initially but that grows on you.  Fudge and nuts, quite chewy on the nose.  All sherry and port casks in here, and it’s a satisfying combo and a lot of nose for £20.

Body - Light, clean, brief peat.  Quite a lot of young spirit, light pear juice, uncomplicated.  Almost a clean new-make.

Finish - None to speak of, vodka like grain.

Enjoyed the nose, infanticide otherwise (apparently all the whiskies in the blend are at least 5 years old, despite being labelled 3 - I guess that’s just in this batch or they’d change the label). Clean and well put together, but I would never buy this - there are more mature standard blends and some single malts in this price bracket that make more sense.

Twilight 10yo, 40% B

old_st_andrews_twilight_0_7_liter_American white oak for at least 10 years.  Bill Murray gives this 94.5 points, and I think that is overstating this whisky by quite a margin.

Nose - Lots is made of the extra age on the whiskies in this blend, rich fruits and some wax.  The same gentle peat influence is present on the nose, well balanced against wood and sweet fruit, rose wine and “coconut ice”.  Deeply sweet and good balance, really liking the nose again for £30.  But still painfully young.

Body - Much more body here, some richness, but a little challenging with sharp and sour notes.  Apple skin, astringent orange pith, lightly numbing like cloves, and a spicy but subtle peat edge.

Finish - Quite long and oily, light peat comes through at the end.

Again, a great nose, and quite winey so I’m surprised at no port in this one.  Rather uneventful on the delivery.

Fireside 12yo, 40% B+

“The slightly smoky one” - slightly peated and at least 12 years in “oak”.

old-st-andrews-fireside-12-yo-blended-malt-scotch-whisky-70cl-40-abv_2_Nose - Great balance, rich and sweet, quite spirity but lots of good wax.  Like a log fire in the next room - good oak smoke but very gentle and clean.  Very sweet with jelly beans, glace cherries and a little cherry lipsalve.  Lovely nose, again.

Body - Slightly richer than Twilight, nutty and toasty, and finally, showing some three dimensionality.  Some white wine sourness and oak.  Something musky in there too.

Finish - Initially weak but then good length, toasty wood, light peat at the start of the finish and some good tropical notes throughout.  Competent and balanced, gentle and lightly peated.

Nightcap 15yo, 40% A

European oak.

old-st-andrews-nightcap-15-year-old-blended-malt-scotch-whisky-scotland-10506100Nose - A clear progression and family line here - the wax turned up a little more, high quality old Tomatin notes in here of tropical fruit and bubblegum.  Mango, pineapple, ripe pear and old oak.  Rum and raisin ice cream and Indian Barfi.  Pink foam shrimps.

Body - Ripe, honeyed, balanced (and quite strong) peat and sulphur, lovely fruit.  Very interesting, quite fatty and a little odd.

Finish - Medium long, good fatty wax - whatever the fatty, waxy, old malt was in this range, it’s strong in this one.  Weirdly at the end I’m left with the finish on a good French paté.  Enjoyable but unexpected!

This is a solid blend - lots made of the top dressing malt and well balanced.  

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