More of the monthly outturns at Cadenheads for the 175th anniversary, this time a concerted effort to actually have any stock available and not have it all sell out immediately! It’s actually worked, with lots of this still available.
These bottles all have the 175th anniversary packaging,with a tartan box and copper swing tag – this packaging will only be used this year so handy for dating bottles in the future.
Picks for me that have sold out – the Pulteney and the Dufftown (of course). Still in stock the Glen Moray and an absolutely epic red wine cask Glendullan.
294 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Clean, fresh, a little salty with a slightly sour note (flat cloudy cider perhaps) but there's a lovely green apple cask note here too. Chalky bonbons, cold red wine and strawberry laces. And a touch of acetone. This is a lovely, clean nose, like a deep breath in the mountains somewhere cold when you're used to living in suburbia. Creamier - more fruit and more chocolate - with water, it really opens up.
Body - Clean, but with posh milk chocolate, salted caramels and ripe, cut pears. A really creamy delivery with a zesty, almost tequila-y top note punching you in the sinuses. Fruitier with water, like Amarula.
Finish - Long - toffee and nut chocolates (snickers bar maybe), Ovaltine and perhaps black jacks. A lovely, woodsey, slightly bitter complexity with water. Something slightly formic at the end, like eating ants.
Quite a special whisky this one, this would be good for an in-depth whisky tasting. Delicious, complex and well balanced.
288 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Body - Sweet and mineral again, a really bracing but tasty delivery with licked metal and full of apple pie. Toppy and slightly sour (cooking apples) but that fizzing richness backs it up. Much sweeter with water, even brighter, a much more robust whisky.
Finish - Short and sweet, boiled sweets and bio oil. Longer with water, gunpowder and cardboard behind the apple pie.
A great, young, zesty drammer ideal for hiking or hot summer days.
234 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Meatier and sweeter that the Glen Spey (initially) with toast, stewed apples, cut mango and a little bit of Nesquik. Perhaps a touch of fountain pen ink if you approach it gingerly… much better with water, good cask wax, a little pineapple and milk chocolate.
Body - A rich, milky delivery, more of that cardboard though and an astringent note like apple pips. Creamier with water.
Finish - Medium, zesty (fizzing at the side of the tongue) but a little ordinary. Chocolate milk with water.
Tasty and very drinkable but a little ordinary. A great nose promises more than the whisky delivers, although that is improved with water.
216 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Night and day to the Glengoyne, this is much more mature and full on the nose. Ripe apple, raisin, foam bananas, orange zest, floor polish and double cream. Orange juice and old red wine with water. Really promising…
Body - Waxy and oddly fruited, like chewing on plastic book covering. A really creamy sweetness behind this (like whipped cream and passion fruit). A touch of tobacco on second sip. More chocolate and paper with water, very distinct Sichuan peppercorns.
Finish - Quite long but the fruit falls away quite quickly, leaving wood bitterness, lemon peel and a little wax.
A cracking whisky, that tropical, citrus fruit with the very mature nose and the numbing peppercorns makes it extremely drinkable, although the whole thing doesn't quite blow me away - I think the delivery lacks the richness to make this really come together.
270 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Body - Chalk, light wax and retronasal sulphur. Menthol cigarettes and perhaps a little mint aero bar. More mint toffee with water.
Finish - Quite short, cappuccino with chocolate powder, then Pacers (a long gone minty chew sweet) and walnut oil. Even stronger Pacers with water.
Quite an unsatisfactory whisky, to be honest. Nothing "wrong" with it per se, but I don't find it that interesting.
156 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Overripe apples, slightly funky and mucky (thank goodness), with peaches and petrol and a balancing sweet acidity. But warm and waxy too. Ripe pears and chocolate with water. This could go anywhere next…
Body - Creamy, rich and lots of citrus zest, with cigarette tobacco, cocoa powder and coconut macarons.
Finish - Medium, very creamy and chocolatey. Grapefruit zest at the end with a touch of charred meat.
A rich but rather elegant whisky, with a good balance of fruit and oils across the nose and delivery
246 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Orange wax and vanilla sponge open this one, maybe it's beeswax and orange curd actually. There's a rich, Christmassy feel to this, candied peel and custard, pine needles. Chocolate cover marzipan with water, and an even better cask musk.
Body - Big, bright and rich, a complex cask influence of (I assume) refill bourbon over a long maturation. Gentle cigar tobacco and royal icing. Extremely tasty, hard to stop sipping, even better with water…
Finish - Long and full of orange oils, persistent tannins. Tea bags at the end, in fact.
I'm struggling to remember a Glen Moray I didn't like. This one is no exception.
234 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Body - Lightly peated, lots of toffee and a chewed tea bag, and biltong, oddly. There's a fruit, or a jam here - tempted to say marmalade (and it has that fruity warmth) but perhaps apricot? Really delicious. More tannins with water, more biltong, even more delicious.
Finish - Café latte, black pepper steak, lots of varnished wood at the end, cigarillos.
Delicious and considered, but not too challenging. A great drinker.
Dufftown 1978, 38 years old, 44.6% A⊕+
180 bottles, bourbon hogshead. Predictably, this one has sold out.
Nose - Classy and considered; toffee, deep wax, ancient, alien fruit (but not in your face) and Grand Marnier against school hall polish and crushed grass/dandelion stalks. Even more wax and fruit with water.
Body - Big, creamy and important, a fantastic cask here well forgotten at the back of that warehouse! Hot chocolate, dandelion flowers, mango and a touch of blue goat's cheese. Again, every better with a drop of water - it's brighter and more intense, more ripe, fresh fruit skin than baked fruit.
Finish - Very long, slightly spicy and very rich. Well balanced tropical, deep wood at the end with fruit toffee. More tannins with water.
This is a deeply delicious "big old whisky" and was worth every penny to those that picked one up (and it was freely available on the website earlier in the week). I highly recommend you open your bottle of it.
252 bottles, bourbon hogshead, then in Chateau Laffite wine cask since 2009. Amazingly this is still in stock at time of writing (I might pick up another).
Nose - Rich but slightly harder than expected (although I should have had it before the 38 year old Dufftown), red cherries and red wine stew, cherry wood chunks and "berry" fruit tea. Tempted to bung in pipe tobacco but maybe that's down to the cherry association. More wood, more cleaning products with water.
Body - Wow - that is a serious red wine finish; rich, nutty, obviously bags of red cherries, chocolate and a really gripping… just one second. The fruit here is enormous, like Ribena (or maybe Vimto), but with stewed tea and tobacco. A little sulphur with water. Seriously delicious.
Finish - Really long and really delicious, these red wine casks are really doing it for me recently. Cloves, neat orange squash and incense oil at the end but the whole thing is just balanced and delicious throughout. Flashes of sulphur help too.
Another absolute blockbuster red wine cask finish. Highly recommended.
Bowmore 2002, 14 years old, 53.7% A-
276 bottles, bourbon hogshead
Nose - Lemon biscuits, sand, it's a bit hard to land back in lemons after the last two but there's also charred driftwood, pastry and fried rosemary. Grapier with water, a touch of plastic and chocolate hundreds and thousands with water.
Body - A gentle, complete delivery, introduced with peat and chocolate and ending with white wine and toffee. More herbal with water.
Finish - Long with tobacco, iron filings and black pepper crisps.
Classic young Bowmore, which I'm quite tired of now - I've had too many. Tasty stuff, but unremarkable.