The year is drawing on, I know a lot of wallets will be looking forward to the end of the 175th anniversary year at Cadenhead’s but I’ve just realised how much we’ll miss it when it’s ended!
Quite a lot of this still in stock.
Nose - Sweet, great wood, classy. Chalk and cherry whistlepops, with deodorant and a posh hotel (new carpet, flowers). The sweetness is evocative; ice cream and sweetshop, lots of vanilla and an insistent creaminess like rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. A really beautiful nose. Practically Christmassy with water, holly leaves and royal icing.
Body - More sweetshop, quite hard wood behind all that cream with lots of numbing and mineral notes up the sinuses. Chipped marble and caramel, with a little charred chilli. Slightly more ordinary with water.
Finish - Medium, lots of sweet oils - orange oil, foxes glacier fruits. Cut branches with water.
This is a cracking whisky, lots of interest and drinkability - sweet and fruity on the nose, not too austere but classy in the delivery and a good long term drinker. Highly recommended, particularly for the nose which wouldn't be out of place on a much more expensive whisky.
Nose - Ripe and dusty, weirdly this reminds me heavily of those weird soda stream concentrates from the 80s. Generally fruity (somewhere between strawberry and orange), deeply sweet and slightly acrylic on exhale. Waxy woods. Really mature.
Body – Sweet, almost peated in its depth with charred wood, clotted cream and something almost rotten (moss, meat, blue cheese). Cigar tobacco on the tongue.
Finish - Medium with dried fruit and more cheese. Lots of cigar at the end.
Just phenomenal this, such maturity at 21. A warning though that I took these notes from probably the smallest sample I've ever tasted, probably 2-3ml, so no chance to try it with water. But I am heavily tempted to buy one even on that basis.
Nose - Sweet, floral, delicately perfumed, very light on the funk and oils, still very white. Marshmallows, slightly medicinal (somewhere between Sudocrem and Germolene) and foam Haribos. There's something like new carpet in here too.
Body - Extremely delicate again, gentle sweetness, more marshmallow and candy cigarettes.
Finish - Long with a savoury edge, like a sweet brie on oatcake. The woods slowly fade in at the end.
An extraordinarily subtle and delicate whisky, that should undoubtedly be drunk in large quantities in a dark room. One for periods of deep contemplation!
Nose - New paint, old curtains and wax, echoes of peat. There's a fetid quality that reminds me of the dunnage at Campbeltown, but there's also fresh red apple and a flinty quality. And behind all that, a beer festival in a windy warehouse (malt, hops, cold air and distant hot dogs). Fruitier with water, more sweetshop.
Body - Fruity at first, then a big belt of tannins and astringent wood, tobacco and some rotten apple. Jelly sweets then matchsticks. More paint with water.
Finish - Long and fizzing, slightly dirty. Great tannins at the end though.
Striking fruit, but slightly troubled in the delivery.
Refill claret since 2008 – a 9 year finish!
Nose - Fence, plaster of paris and Special K. Restrained sweetness but a really savoury maltiness; cherry pie with caramelised brown sugar. There's a real maturity to the nose here though; balanced, elegant. Even better with water, perhaps a little coffee, toffee and a touch more fruit.
Body - Malty again, very cereal led, feels like a 70s 10 year old Bruichladdich or something, waxy and chalky and full of angular malt. Restrained sweetness and lots of salt. Chalkier and dustier with water.
Finish - Long and full of oils, the fruit is held under by the oils. Important, salty casks. Quite a lot of bitterness but it's in keeping with this robust but honest old Scotch. Longer and dustier with water.
An absolutely fantastic whisky, so much poise - perfect balance. The star of the show.
Nose - Wax and slightly sour fruit at first, sweetening with time. Hot tub (sauna wood and a little swimming pool chlorine), and an unforgiving orchard fruit, I'm going with quince. There's a real sweetness under here though.
Body - Oddly savoury, curry leaves and turmeric, asophetida and wet wood. Where's the sweetness gone? Coffee grounds and then an amazing underlying cask. This comes out more with water (more Hershey's chocolate than curry), it's still quite challenging though.
Finish - Black pepper and cigarette paper glue, my mouth is properly numbed by this. Wetter and thinner with water.
Hide and seek with an excellent cask and fruit, some challenging but complex flavours in the development. Really interesting (particularly so on the nose) but a little weird for my palate.
Belize dark rum cask since September 2015 (2 years)
Nose - Just on the point between sweetshop, wood, fruit and wax, a finish of this precision on the nose gives me very high hopes for the delivery. The sweetshop is warm, wet Haribo (found down the seats in the back of my car), the fruit green apple on a hot summer day. It is a truly lovely thing.
Body - Dusty and alien like an old Islay or an 18-21 year old Springbank or Longrow. Chalky and oily, perfect balance but really quite charred. Was this previously in a Springbank ex-rum cask? It's picked up a lot of Campbeltown either way. Even better with water - Marlboros and white foam sweets.
Finish - Long and oily, liquorice root and allsorts at the end. Very numbing, significantly peated. Quite bitter at the end though.
Either the rum is playing tricks with me or something else has had a trip through this cask at some point. This didn't have the weird funk I was hoping for but that peated finish is very well judged.
Body - Dry and a touch overwooded - chewed liquorice root with hazelnuts and chalky bonbons.
Finish - Long and very drying, with wet wood, buttercream icing and twisted orange zest. Leatherette at the end and a lingering sweet woodiness.
Not as majestic as I was expecting unfortunately, I think this was picked a little too late.
Bonus dram from the excellent creations range…
Nose - As the name says, with wooden splints, strawberry jelly and new swimming hats (it's not specific to the hat, it's that kind of silicone covering though). I'd say it's fruitier than the name suggests though with good warm cask notes. There's something very right about this nose.
Body - Definitely creamy, again the wood is the standout note here with vanilla behind it. A touch of orange too.
Finish - Slightly hot with flat pack furniture and chewed orange peel. Lots of tannins at the end.
That late citrus feel to it is the making of this whisky. It's really crushable - a very well put together blend.