Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Cadenhead's Authentic Collection Summer 2018

As expected, the Ardbeg and Kilkerran are excellent.  As remembered, the English Whisky peated is too.  Surprise hits are the Glen Moray and Cameronbridge.

Ord 2008, 10 years old, 58.3% A+

264 bottles

ORD%2010-750x1000Nose - Waxy and quite creamy, with cracked boiled sweets and ripe peach, plum and a little parkin on exhale. This is one of those "young in great wood" noses. Zestier, twisted citrus peel with water. It's fruity and sweet but with a lovely structure.

Body - Sweet, spikey with balanced richness. Slightly burnt toast with dark marmalade. Bitter with water, unbalances the intensity of the sweet fruit.

Finish - Medium to short, hot on the lips and fizzing on the tip of the tongue. Boiled sweets and woodsy at the end.

A lovely drinking, Spring into Summer whisky.

Linkwood 2006, 11 years old, 59.3% A-

294 bottles

LINKWOOD%2011%2059_3-750x1000Nose - As fresh and fruity as the Ord but more grown up, there's leather jacket and midget gems, rose petals and a little spearmint. Oddly masculine for all that, though.

Body - Very ripe and fruity, very sweet. Some unsettling new-make notes on top of that, acetone and liquorice, but it is very drinkable nonetheless.

Finish - Short-ish, although the liquorice lingers. Quite an afterglow of boiled sweets, hard malt, liquorice and some tar though.

An initially exciting whisky with flaws that build up over time.

Cameronbridge 1984, 34 years old, 50.3% A⊕'

180 bottles

CAMERONBRIDGE%2034-750x1000Nose - Beautifully sweet and ripe, full of fruit (orange, plum), petrichor and deep cask wax. Old, varnished woods, buttercream and cigar tobacco.

Body - Gentle and beautiful, apple pie (crusted brown sugar and French brown pastry), tobacco leaf and gentle rum notes.

Finish - The grain comes through in the finish, it's medium length with apple juice, blonde wood and caramelised sugar.

A world class nose and delicious drinking, this is a fantastic grain.

Glenrothes 2001, 16 years old, 52.6% A⊕

210 bottles

GLENROTHES%2016%2052_6-750x1000Nose - Deep and fruity, fruit salad chews with black jacks after. Ripe orange, warm toffee, and that appley note that yesterday's acrylic varnish has. Extremely reassuring.

Body - Rich fruit toffee, but still very gentle with coffee chocolates late in the delivery. Somewhat dusty and almost medicinal in the middle though, not as luxurious as the 20-somethings we've been spoiled by.

Finish - Long, sweet and oily, not quite clarty though. Those Éclair chocolate/toffee sweets at the end.

I'm such a fan of this distillery. Rich, rewarding, effortlessly fruity and sweet but not unbalanced.

Bladnoch 1992, 26 years old, 49.3% A⊕

246 bottles

BLADNOCH%2026%2049_3%20-750x1000Nose - Bright but breezy, it's always laundry with Bladnoch! It approaches you very sweet but pulls it at the last minute, it's kind of dry and fresh, not quite mineral, sort of nutty. Elegant on the nose, good waxes, leather and toffee… and apple pips, but we'll see in the delivery.

Body - Rich with a real backbone to it, numbing wood oils and a deep sweetness, but gentle and dry, balanced out by touches of Morello cherry jam.

Finish - Long with the wood oils, liquorice imps and a touch of calvados.

They're either elegant and special, or a bit boring, and this is a good one. A contemplating, tasting whisky rather than a glugger though.

Cognac Grosperrin, 32 years old, 52.8% A⊕+

384 bottles

COGNAC%2032-750x1000Nose - Dry, with dusty raisins, linseed oil, oil caraway seeds and dried orange slices. There's a deep sweetness underneath that but the dryness is practically medicinal. Satchel territory.

Body - Incredibly rich, tart tatin and intense, tar levels of wood extraction (not overdone though). That tart tatin, caramelised fruit and crumble thing is brilliant.

Finish - Burnt, brown apple slices, charred pork crackling and liquorice imps. It's extremely deep, full of apples, raspberry, farmyard hay and oak.

To be this dry on the nose, then intensely fruity and wooded on the delivery - brilliant. This is a massive spirit and a far cry from the ultra-balanced blended cognacs I have been getting into.

Ardbeg 1993, 24 years old, 54.6% A⊕+

138 bottles. 138! Across all Cadenhead's shops.

fullsizeoutput_479-750x1000Nose - Sweet, heavenly, dusty, Islay peat! Wood glue and sawdust, cold white wine and Refreshers. Fresh, white and dusty with marshmallows, buttercream icing and Foxes glacier fruits. A freshly opened pack of wound dressing, and an old, brown, hard leather jacket.

Body - Deep but bitter wooded, apple slices cut and browning, very sweet but excitingly wooded.

Finish - Very long, with cigarette tar, apple pips and stalk, polos and chalky bonbons.

This doesn't disappoint. I've found old Ardbeg is sometimes disappointingly light but this ticks all the right boxes (sorry).

Balmenach 2005, 13 years old, 53.5% A+

294 bottles

BALMENACH%20294%20BOTTLES%20-750x1000Nose - Fresh orange juice, very zesty and slightly punch-in-the-nose, but there's a sense of biting into an orange quarter here (pulp and pith and lots of juice). Fruitier but more burnt with water, seriously hot by the pool. It's a tannic and bright, hot Summer whisky.

Body - Sweet but hot and burnt, with cigar tobacco and liquorice Rizlas. Ripe and dark with water, the wood oils still dominate.

Finish - Long with dark toffee (caught) and liquorice imps.

This is an absolutely fantastic whisky; it's challenging and a bit palate crushing in some ways, but it's balanced, interesting and great to drink. It'd be great by the glass or at a tasting, be a bit tiring for a bottle.

Benrinnes 2004, 14 years old, 56.9% B+

294 bottles

BENRINNES%2014%2056_9%20-750x1000Nose - Almost minty fresh, with peach, wax and cold Chardonnay. Lemon peel and orange juice, and a little candied peel. Even more Summery with water, gin and orange juice.

Body - Very sweet but very hot, unexpectedly nutty and a little butyric. Fruity boiled sweets. Comes together much better with water, the fruit is intense.

Finish - Medium long with intense sugar, numbing oils and hard oak.

A typically tropical Benrinnes, but quite hot and spicy and a little too sweet.

Kilkerran 2007, 11 years old, 58.1% A⊕

564 bottles, sherry butt.  The first independent Kilkerran, outside of the warehouse tasting bottles.

KILKERRAN%2011-750x1000Nose - Sweet, sharp and dusty. Sawdust and splintered varnish, coal dust, mint leaves and blackcurrant ice cream. Deep and intensely fruited but with a lovely cakey richness to it.

Body - Blackcurrant chews, Corvonia chesty cough mixture and cherry tunes. Rich wine cask and Campbeltown peat now makes me think of cloves.

Finish - Medium to long, really rich - it's a proper sherry bomb. Cherries at the end with a little rosemary.

Dusty, red and fruity, very rich but balanced. Another reasonably young but intense wine cask from Campbeltown, a cracking drammer.

Glen Moray 1992, 25 years old, 52.5% A⊕+'

204 bottles.

GLENMORAY%2025%2052_5%20-750x1000Nose - Slightly sharp, dried coconut, ozone and bonbons. Some kind of punch with orange slices, mint leaves and pear (?) in it. It's fresh, fruity and lush.

Body - Soft, tropical, but beautifully structured - mineral and lightly wooded into tropical fruit, Refreshers, then sawdust.

Finish - Long with a slight char, burnt sesame seeds and a little hazelnut. That dusty sweetshop note continues right to the end.

Love the Refreshers in this fruity, Summery and beautifully structured whisky. An unexpected highlight of the outturn.

Glenfarclas 1988, 30 years old, 50.9% A⊕+

GLENFARCLAS%2030%2050_9%20-750x1000Nose - Slightly more savoury and meaty than the Glen Moray, although it has sponge cake, vanilla cream and some sherry vinegar. It is rich, deep and very well balanced.

Body - Jewelled, tropical but a little fizzing and tannic. There is something in this whisky I can't place, some food item.

Finish - Very long, good tannins and creamy with warm citrus to the end... woodsy at the very end.

A properly grown up whisky, wears its age very well.

English Whisky Company 2009, peated, 8 years old, 61.9% A+

228 bottles

ENGLISH%208%2061_9%20-750x1000Nose - Confidently peated, like a top quality but young (modern) Laphroaig (last time my notes said Caol Ila!). Good fizzing, flinty and cold.

Body - Ripe, clean and fizzing - cold pear and Refreshers. Lily petals.

Finish - Long and white, with lemon sorbet and candy cigarettes.

As brilliant a young peater as I remember it from the festival, they’ve struck gold with this cask. Well recommended.

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