Thursday, 7 December 2017

Cadenhead’s end of 2017 Small Batch

One last batch before the end of the 175th anniversary, some great ones here.  The Dufftown is a real smasher.

Thank you Cadenhead’s for an absolutely epic year of whiskies.  It’s been very expensive but you’ve set me up for life!

Strathclyde 28 years old, 46% A

Strathclyde 28 46 V -750x1000Nose - Gentle, creamy, a little caramel and good dusty, charred wood with a solid fruit backbone. It's a cross between hand soap and mature cask, very feminine and perfumed, with flashes of wax and char.

Body - Soft lemon sherbet and a fresh bouquet of flowers, extremely easy drinking with orange squash and cut oranges.

Finish - A very long and gentle delivery, just the most polite hints of grain character and wood. A little white wine and sherbet at the end.

This is the easiest drinking whisky I've tasted for a while, this would be a perfect poolside dram, late summer easy drinking. Well recommended.

Dufftown 10 years old, 56.8% A⊕

Dufftown 10 56.8 -750x1000Nose - Waxy, mineral, slightly butyric, apples on the turn, a little hot and sweaty. The wax pulls it together but it is quite… savoury. The fruit deepens and sweetens with time, water further accentuates the wax.

Body - Big, rich, with a real complexity and maturity way beyond 10, that funky note is a little like the cheesy elements you get in really old whisky. Oaked chardonnay, but slightly hot (verging on the ammonia in blue cheese). Water softens the ammonia, and brings a more complex cask, slightly charred and plenty of lacquer.

Finish - Long and peppery, with lots of oil and deep fruit - blackberry and baked apple. Waxed furniture and pear drops at the very end.

A really complex, interesting and delicious whisky at such a tender age! Very impressive.

Glenburgie 13 years old, 54.7% B+

Glenburgie 13 54.7-750x1000Nose - Musky and a lot more restrained than the Dufftown, this has the middle knocked out and is a lot more elegant, with cut grass, washing up liquid, snapped crayon and a little cigar wrapper. Whistle pops with water.

Body - Simple compared to the fireworks of the Dufftown, with clean apple, candy cigarettes and a touch of chewed liquorice root. More fruit and wood spills with water.

Finish - Medium long with Werther's originals and aging chilli flakes. Very peppery at the end.

Quite ordinary after the Dufftown and following on the heels from the rest of the year's Glenburgies, although a decent drinker.

Mannochmore 20 years old, 52.7% A+'

M_More 29 52.7 -750x1000Nose - Fresh with furniture polish and bright cask, but also oranges beginning to mould and old cut oak. Fungicidal cream, in a good way. The fruit is complex and intriguing, but it gives way to cream if you push on it too hard.

Body - Sweet, balancing wood, a touch of Sangria/mulled wine with walnuts in toffee. Another one with real age on it, but real structure too.

Finish - Quite a bit of chilli heat, almost peppered biltong. There's lacquered wood behind that, dusty oranges and charred wood.

A really robust, important whisky, bordering on blustering. I'm scoring this lower than the Dufftown as it's just less fun to drink, but it's a really good taster.

Strathmill 24 years old, 50.3% A-

Strathmill 24 50.3 -750x1000Nose - Very waxy, green apple sweets and baked apples, with lots of nougat in rice paper and just a little parkin.

Body - Extremely drinkable, a gentle introduction of tobacco and baked apples, something slightly fetid (bong water?), it seems to build structure the more you sip it though. More cigarette paper than cigarette with water (liquorice papers?).

Finish - Rollies with warm white wine and Haribo – reminds me of university. A thoroughly sweet backbone carries this whisky well to the end.

Complex and a little challenging, this is very interesting but I think I'm more in the mood for fun whisky.

Glen Grant 24 years old, 45.9% A+

Glen Grant 24 45.9 -750x1000Nose - Acrylic paint, clumped and quite thick, with a really deep, lacquered wood behind it and lots of apricot jelly sweets. The fruit here is absolutely delicious.

Body - Clean and fruity but it has a rather ordinary cereal leading edge at first. This then develops into something like marmalade, but it's less robust than that.

Finish - Medium short with ripe fruit and slow developing charred wood and pepper.

This is an accomplished, gentle whisky with good character. I've drunk a lot of good, old indie Glen Grant in the last few years and I'm not usually blown away, and delicious though this is, it's no exception.

Linkwood 24 years old, 52.9% A+

Linkwood 24 50.9 -750x1000Nose - Big and rich, this has mint toffee, liquorice imps, buttercream, old candle wax and yesterday's charred wood chunks. Apple chews and spent coffee grounds with water.

Body - Gentle with coffee, ants, Hershey's chocolate and chewed pencils. Mouth filling fruits and chocolates filled with soft toffee with water.

Finish - Seville oranges, fence panels. Big tannins at the end, and Mexican hot chocolate, maybe coffee with water. Numbing wood oils at the very end.

Tasty but slightly too blustering and unstructured for me.

Bunnahabhain 27 years old, 42.6% A⊕

Bunn 27 42.6-750x1000Nose - Thick, intense, medicinal and white, with chalk, mint bonbons, white gloss paint, lilies and a slightly swiney crackling and pork note.

Body - Soft and alien, gentle peat and dusty wood, pizza dough and clay. It's a slightly unreal delivery; chalk and carbon in charge, lots of gentle, sweet, toffeed fruit backing it up.

Finish - Very gentle, quite short with a touch of coffee and chocolate sponge, hazelnut icing. No water of course, this is on the cusp of aging out.

Meaty, quite weird and very old, this is one of those haunting whiskies that more rightly deserves to be seen off out of a large tumbler by a roaring fire.

Glenlossie 42 years old, 44.2% A⊕

[Sold out]

glenlossieNose - Deep, polite but intense. Toffee apples smashed onto whisky soaked staves, a really bright (if understated) old cask lacquer, and hazelnut membranes. Pork, sandalwood joss sticks and smouldering smoker pellets with water.

Body - Extremely gentle… but it's biscuity, funky and slightly charred, with smashed coconut, caught coconut biscuits, mature cheddar and fruit and nut chocolate. All wood with water, some rice vinegar and cider ice lollies.

Finish - Short at first but it builds, with raisins, flashes of sulphur, charred dried apricots and red currant glaze. Overpowering wood tannins at the end, as is to be expected.

Big, old stuff. Moments away from oblivion.

Glengoyne 21 year old, 52.9% A⊕

Chateau Laffite cask since 2009

Glengoyne 21 52.9 -750x1000Nose - Slightly sharp and nutty, this is older, sharding gloss paint. Underneath there's toasted hazelnuts and chocolate chips. There's a vinegar to this though, a refill wine feel. After sipping, there's more of an orange juice and peel thing behind the nuttiness.

Body - Sweet and sour, with pickled walnuts, fried parsley and a really lovely rich, savoury mouthfeel. Again, on second sip the oranges come out, and it's practically Asian in its fruitiness.

Finish - Long, surprisingly fresh. The wine cask has had an unexpectedly delicious and sweet effect on this whisky. Reminds me of a hot, warmly spiced samosa on a winter high street.

Phenomenally drinkable, I had high hopes here but the massive sweetshop, orangey sweetness under the wine cask surpassed them.

Pulteney 11 years old, 55.8% A-

Pulteney 11 55.8 -450x600Nose - Distinctly salty, with courgette flowers pulled apart and that lovely, sweet, cereal led coastal quality that makes OP so moreish. Raw apple jelly cubes, bandages and more jelly sweets.

Body - Immediately delicious, this has fractured caramel (toffee apple), alka seltzer and apple pie. It's full of baked goods and laundry, and a whole bag of granulated sugar.

Finish - Long and fizzing, plenty of sugar. Palate bending amounts of sugar actually, although it's tolerable due to the nose and the desire to go back there.

The nose was fantastic here but the delivery just overpowered me. I wanted to like this more than I did.

Cadenhead's Creations, Light Fruity Smoky, Vatted Malt, 20 years old, 45.2% A⊕'

[Sold out]

vattedNose - Light, fruity, dusty… erm, smoky! There's that chalky, dry Longrow in here, reminds me of the 21 year old from the festival a couple of years ago. Coffee granules and old rolling tobacco.

Body - Dusty and very old Longrow, with chalk, cocoa powder and lots of minerality. There's a hint of tropicality behind this, ripe mango slices.

Finish - Medium with banana milkshake powder and mild chilli powder. Powdered egg at the end.

Light, fruity, dusty more like. This is a beguiling whisky. I know it wasn't massively popular at the London tasting but I'm a big fan. There's a huge chunk of Campbeltown in this one.

Happy Christmas Smile

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