Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Cadenheads Small Batch March 2019

Playing catch up.
And the good people who took over open live writer really need to update it, I can't handle this 1998 web experience much longer!

Glen Elgin-Glenlivet 1995 23 Years Old 50.6% A⊕

Nose - Dusty, icing sugar, marzipan and fruit cake - very clear with the sultanas and mixed spice.  Beautifully creamy and lightly medicinal.
Body - Gentle, complete, medicinal again with a little char.  Ripe mango flesh and apple pips.
Finish - Long, with fruit fool and charred oak at the end.

A perfectly luxurious but very gentle drammer, dusty and woodsy, confident but soft.
Glentauchers-Glenlivet 2007 11 Years Old 2007 57.9% A⊕

Nose - Felted, fecund, slightly musky actually.  Some pritt stick, carpet underlay and peach sweets.  Sponge cake and vanilla buttercream.  Just a little bit of lit sparklers.
Body - Talc, anti-fungal cream (in a good way), vanilla yoghurt.  The fruit is compelling - it’s like apple chews, ripe green apple flesh and from-concentrate orange juice.
Finish - Medium, lightly peppered.

Predictable excellence from Glentauchers again, this time a robust but balanced and very “returnable” young whisky.  Recommended.
Aultmore-Glenlivet 2006 12 Years Old 57.4% A+
Nose - More plasticky again, almost rum like at first but this fades.  Baked plum tart, dusty chocolate and something more refreshing, like breakfast apple juice.
Body - Soft, creamy, freshly fruited (fruit polos, apple flesh again). 
Finish - Medium, rhubarb fool and a little muesli. A little fresh set plaster, barley sugar.

An understated whisky but fresh and fruity, and not hard in any way.  A lovely whisky for a windy hillside.
Dailuaine-Glenlivet 2008 10 Years Old 59.8% A-

Nose - Cloudy apple juice with cut peach, urinal cake (in a good way!), peach stone and travel sweets.
Body - Classic young bourbon cask, some cigarette tobacco and a light funk.
Finish - A sourer, more bitter tone develops, with lemon peel and pips, and cough candy.

Complex and interesting sweet shop notes but falters in the delivery.
Royal Brackla 2006 12 Years Old 57.7% A+’

Nose - Refreshers, vanilla buttercream with cut raspberries and wood polish. 
Body - Soft but deep and dank, with sawdust, old varnish and numbing-sour wood oils.
Finish - Long and numbing on the tip of the tongue, with soft liquorice and wet wood.

A fantastic delivery on this one, much better than I was hoping for - that sour, slightly dirty wood oil and a long, tannic, liquorice delivery works very well.
Craigellachie - Glenlivet 2007 11 Years Old 54% A

Nose - Men’s perfume, leather jacket and dusty packet of sweets.  A touch of clove chocolate in here too, with something like foundation or lipstick.
Body - Soft and creamy, dusty chocolate and coffee granita behind it, slightly sour on the tip of the tongue.
Finish - Medium, very soft still and gently oiled across the whole palate.  Dusty chocolate again at the end, almost cocoa powder.  Some bitterness, grapefruit peel, at the very end.

This got more intriguing as it went on, but it’s a little wonky in the delivery.
Strathmill 1991 27 Years Old 51.2% A+

Nose - Weird, musky fruit, strawberry gel on crème patisserie, deodorant, sweat and lip gloss.
Body - Very deep, tropical spice and black varnish.  Something hospital in here, like the taste of iodine and black pepper.
Finish -  Short and peppery, very tannic and black, like stewed tea bags.

I was expecting more from a Strathmill of this age, nevertheless this is dark, complex and compelling.  The nose is particularly good, and on-expectation for the age.
Speyside distillery 1991 27 Years Old 48.6% A

Nose - Nutty; whole nut chocolate bar with salted caramel and blackberries.
Body - Mouthfilling black fruits, light pepper with a juicy, slightly sour, almost hopped character.
Finish - Bracingly bitter with dank fruits.  Toffee and tannins at the end.

Quite big despite the nutty start.  If a little forgettable.
Benrinnes 1995 23 Years Old 51.1% A⊕

Nose - Saving the fruit bomb for last, this promises good things with sour, intense but lightly tropical fruit, and that classic oily, dank but ripe old Scotch character that has me buying nearly every bottle Cadenhead’s release from this distillery.
Body - Soft, deep fruit, intensely tropical cask with toffee covered nuts, star fruit and dried cranberries.
Finish - Medium long with Cadburys eclairs and mango with cracked black pepper.

These casks rarely let me down, this is another cracker.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection April 2019

Attack of the high quality young bourbon casks.  All good, then brilliance from the Bladnoch, wine and sherry Glenrothes.
I'm still abandoned by my blog post tooling, which makes it very hard to update this site.

Glenrothes 1994, 24 years old, 47%: Fresh sherry since June 2015 A⊕

Nose - Sweet tobacco, fruit and nut bar, black cherry and black polished furniture. Slightly sour cherry compote, very waxed, slightly burnt.
Body - Deeply sweet with more waxed wood and leather, black forest gateaux and blackcurrant travel sweets.
Finish - Short but balanced, with a peppery, fencey wood at the end.

An extremely well judged sherry bomb, a great combination of deep, sweetshoppy sweetness and the chocolate, leather and waxy character. The sherry character reminds me of that really sherried old particular Clynelish - very moreish.

Dailuaine-Glenlivet 10yo (2008) 60.6%: HHD A+’

Nose - Bright and estery but creamy and full of floral waxes. The character is deeply fruity and sweet, with fruit polos and rhubarb fool. Leatherette or new carpet with water, and a deep, musky wood.
Body - Very zesty, fizzing - then back to earth with sponge cake and buttercream. A touch of white pepper. Creamier with water.
Finish - Quite hot and peppery, black pepper crisps at the end. Cardboard (just a little) with water.

A beautifully bold and well presented young bourbon cask in very good wood. Characterful and delicious drinking.

Teaninich 10yo (2008) 57.2%: HHD A+

Nose - Warm tangerine peel (drying on the radiator), orange icing on cupcakes. A little man musk, and a sweet, metallic character. Very fruity, and all that orange is making me think of Christmas.
Body - Balanced, and bold, softly spoken fruit and fizzers.
Finish - Long, drying, with fruit toffees and sesame snaps.

More grown up than the Dailuaine, and structural, although a little more austere for it.

Deanston 10yo (2008) 56.6%: HHD A-

Nose - Weird progression this - less fruit again but more wax and some varnish and acrylic tones. Something a little salty and seasidey here including the vanilla and the cone.
Body - Sweet at first then oddly burnt, even a little formic. Burnt caramel and warm red wine?
Finish - Medium and quite thin, but lingering peppery notes with soft toffee on the tip of the tongue.

Delicious and characterful if a little hard and musky in the delivery. That pepperyness is a little off putting.

Royal Brackla 10yo (2008) 56.3%: HHD A

Nose - More sweet, waxed, high quality young bourbon cask. Slightly deeper than the others, still with the same high level of wax and some wine again. Cut Florida oranges and the banana penicillin stuff on top.
Body - Soft and fruited, plenty of cardboard here though, although the Deanston is still peppering my palate. The orange is now candied, or dried, with some French cooked pastry.
Finish - Medium, with barley sugar. But retronasally it has bright, ripe orange.

Another cracking young bourbon cask, but others are better.

Glentauchers-Glenlivet 10yo (2009) 59.9%: HHD A+’ 

Nose - As above but with powdered coffee, freshly planed oak and candied peel. Maybe a little coconut. The waxes are there but more blended in, with green apple.
Body - burnt wine again, sweet jammy notes and rhubarb and custard sweets.
Finish - Long with liquorice allsorts, jam tarts and cut, blonde oak. Some blue cheese tones at the end (very welcome).

Up with the Dailuaine but again more robust and grown up. Probably the most accomplished of the young ones so far.

Dufftown-Glenlivet 11yo (2007) 54.5%: HHD A+

Nose - Some lower, deeper perfume in this one - behind all the orange, wax, boiled sweets and wood. Some kind of soil - like under a rock - and a touch of mineral, medicinal cream.
Body - Gentle pepper, more cream, milk tart and a lolly stick.
Finish - Long with ice pops on wood.

An understated but deeply delicious whisky, long on the tip of the tongue and full of oils.

Tormore 30yo (1988) 43.2%: HHD A

Nose - Deep but bright, with felt, lemon grass, blue cheese and emulsion paints. Anise biscuits and lemon icing. There’s a tropical depth in there too (as there should be) but it needs digging.
Body - Immediately fruity then suddenly pulled back to old school perfume, plywood and talcum powder.
Finish - Long and woodsy, with Fairy liquid, rice paper and dolly mixture. Tannic.

Hard work for a 30 year old.

Bladnoch 30yo (1989) 40.8%: Sherry HHD since June 15 A⊕+

Nose - Enormous after the previous lot! Deep and dirty, burnt, almost rotting tropical fruits. Old varnish on old, cut wood. Blustering, dirty old tropical scotch.
Body - Soft fruit with apple pips, liquorice root and baked apples.
Finish - Spicy wood oils, liquorice Rizlas and bidis. Reminds me of university

The nose on this is phenomenal; really old school, the kind of thing you’d get on a special distillery tour or as a dream dram at the whisky show. You can even, just about detect the Bladnoch behind the sherry cask. A very special whisky, and not what I was expecting at all.

Benrinnes 11yo (2007) 58.5%: Brl A+

Nose - I saved this until last, knowing what a fruit bomb Benrinnes can be… and it isn’t! Hard, planed oak, old flaking paint, then some kind of fruit fool - I want to say apple yoghurt although that isn’t really a thing.
Body - That’s more like it, creamy depths, slightly powdery/chalky and some petrichor - I suppose medicinally fruited.
Finish - Long with hop bitterness and phenols.

Despite my expectations this was rather good - more spirity and peppery than fruity but interesting and well structured. And it is a lovely nose after all that.

Fettercairn 10yo (2008) 56.6%: Red Wine - NZ Pinot Noir Cask since October ’17 A+

Nose - Dry chocolate sponge (cupcake matter), charred raisins, blackcurrants and coffee icing. Not overdone, not sweet or over wooded, very considered.
Body - Dry and nutty, no sulphur, maybe a touch of iron filings. Lots of tannins.
Finish - Like chewing a used tea bag, in a good way. Long and tannic with black tea and a strand of tobacco on the tongue.

A textbook Cadenhead’s wine cask. Don’t let us run out!