Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Compass Box Stranger & Stranger

I’m still struggling to post to the platform I chose back in 2004!  But I’m still writing notes.

Compass Box, Stranger and Stranger, 46% A⊕+

Nose - Deep fruit and wax, slightly medicinal with a little bit of clove and antiseptic cream. The fruit is really very old - not totally tropical though, but loads of gravitas. Typically balanced and luxurious with that dusty alien note a little bit of weirdness to match the packaging.
Body - Soft and creamy, tiny licks of liquorice and charred sandalwood, lots of chocolate covered raisins and brazil nuts. Newly cut cedar wood.
Finish - Medium to short, Hershey's chocolate and a little PX sherry.

Dependably excellent, this is another superb bottling from Compass Box. I adore the balanced blend and whatever the wacky wood was that contributed 1%, it really lifts the overall whisky. Really luxurious and very interesting to drink.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Cadenheads January 2019

This has taken a while.  The tool I use to write these posts has stopped working, so I’m a bit stuffed for uploading images.  So I’m just posting this without images for now. 

I need to move to a different platform but I really have better things to do than a big website migration!  Anyway, I hope it’s of use.

Benriach-Glenlivet 10yo (2008) 57.6%: 2 x HHD A+

Nose - Young and orchardy, with new emulsion paint and a fruity, zesty, exciting character. Creamy and perfumed.

Body - Deeply sweet right at the front but then that quickly balances to a much more savoury character, like a pear and chorizo pastry. Some pear drops, actually.

Finish - More sweetshop, some cloudy apple juice. Short and peppery after that with a touch of chilli.

Youthful but balanced by quite an elegantly savoury character and good fruits in the delivery.

Bruichladdich 30yo (1988) 48.9%: HHD A⊕

Nose - Creamy and mineral, with a deep seated but very softly spoken cask; ghostly tropical fruits, cigarette smoke, whistle pops. Something sort of medicinal in the air too, a cross between fungicidal cream and kids toothpaste. Old school and understated.

Body - Charred oak, new balloons, liquorice imps and the sherbet dib-dab-dibber. Candy cigarettes.

Finish - Medium to long and more citrussy fizzing than fruity. Peppery tannins and wax at the end.

Very grown up, very refill bourbon. A classy sipper for the garden.

Benrinnes 18yo (2000) 57.5%: 4 x Brl A⊕

Nose - Bigger and even more old school than the laddie, with a more robust, and more complete character but it's definitely less refined. More cigarettes, more liquorice and a bright tropicality.

Body - Bright, lots of fruit, bitter wood though and something like a lemon curd. Pineapple cubes.

Finish - Very long with creamy fruits and mint bonbons. It reminds me of the syrup around glace cherries.

A big fruit bomb of a whisky, as expected. Very dependable distillery from Cadenhead's.

Bunnahabhain 9yo (2009) 58.9%: 2 x HHD B+

Nose - Lemon cheesecake, cough candy and those French coconut and meringue balls. Warm, baked complexity drives through the zesty youth.

Body - Sweetshoppy, yet a very pulled punch. Fizzing on the lips, cardboard, a little formic.

Finish - Long and intensely sweet on the tip of the tongue, if hollow elsewhere.

A potentially great balance of baked and citrus let down by it being a little bit of an anti-climax.

Cameronbridge 34yo (1984) 52.8%: Brl A⊕+

Nose - Bright, beautiful fruit, with real depth and an almost porky fat to it. Jewelled fruit syrup, complex and varnished woods. Somewhere between lipstick, Pringles and linseed oil.

Body - Fruit polos. Cigarette tobacco. There's a Chinese fruit/sugar/tannin/chilli thing going on here.

Finish - Long with an insistent fruit; gentle and creamy but quite alien.

Utterly delicious, weird and wonderful in that way the best grains sometimes are.

Craigellachie-Glenlivet 9yo (2009) 55.1%: 2 x HHD A⊕

Nose - Super confident this one; waxed paper and drumsticks (sweets), starburst sweets and rhubarb and custards.

Body - A wonderful off dry, burnt fruit delivery - quite unexpected from the nose and much more grown up than I was expecting.

Finish - Short and dusty, like a much older whisky. Oily at the end.

A complicated, burnt and dry-yet-fruity whisky. Challenging and still luxurious.

Glenrothes-Glenlivet 9yo (2009) 65.3%: 3 x HHD A+

Nose - Attack of the young fruity bourbon casks! Even sweeter and brighter than the others, like a jelly sweet in a hot toddler's hand. Cocktail territory.

Body - Oily boiled sweets, like a cherry tune but without the medicinality. Extremely drinkable.

Finish - Medium - the fruit is overblown and almost dirty now, but the peppery tannins make me want more.

Only vague hints at the age on this one, a robust and compelling drammer.

Ord 10yo (2008) 57.7%: 2 x HHD A+

Nose - Waxy, sweet sour, slightly burnt plastic and grapefruit segments. A little musky, cold cut oak. Strawberry laces.

Body - Dry with matchsticks (the wood, not the chocolate), refreshers and orange powder.

Finish - Long and sickly-citrus-sweet, lots of oils and hints of coffee granules.

Another excellent off-dry drammer. I love the hot citrus oils in this, and the nose is very grown up and elegant. Wonderful stuff.

Port Dundas 30yo (1988) 51.3%: HHD A-

Nose - Bright, clean, green apple. Fruit toffee, cold custard and just a little coffee. Something burnt in among the sugar.

Body - A creamy grain, with salted caramel and Horlicks ice cream (try it). Peppery.

Finish - Long and deep, intensely sweet and still a little charred; tart tatin and struck flints.

A big, creamy whisky, obviously grainy but lacking some luxury and integration (given the age).

Tomatin 10yo (2008) 55.5%: 3 x HHD A

Nose - Hard and young, lemon slices and cold apple, praline. Friable pastry, and just a tiny amount of crushed Fizzers. Maybe some ripe pear too.

Body - Much sweeter and cleaner than I was expecting, much fruitier and very delicious.

Finish - Medium, gently fruited with love hearts and lemonade.

A younger presentation but very interesting for it. A sweeping, peppery but sweet and refreshing delivery after the rather clumsy nose.

Tullibardine 25yo (1993) 43.2%: HHD B+

Nose - Fresh and fruity, then marzipan and Milliput. Sandy, clarty and slightly petrolly, this smells like almonds, shortbread and beaches. And flat cola.

Body - Green papaya, cream soda sweets and Mr. Kipling French Fancies.

Finish - Short and more of that fake vanilla cream, and some of yesterday's charred wood.

This is seriously odd, it doesn't really work for me.