Monday, 19 August 2019

SMWS 36.155, Marmalade in a nutshell

15th August 1997, 185 bottles, refill bourbon

Nose - Fresh, bright and jewelled.  The clean, sweetshoppy fruitiness you'd expect from Benrinnes, with dusty wood adding gravitas and complexity.  I'd go whistlepops rather than marmalade, perhaps a little wham bar. Wood and flower stalks with water.
Body - Wonderfully creamy, balanced boiled sweets and a musky, dulche de leche caramel midrange.  Creamier and woodier with water, almost clotted cream.
Finish - Long, with sesame snaps and black pepper crisps. 

A lovely, fruity but considered drinker and nicely balanced.

Cadenheads summer batch 2


Nose - A fresh, floral but rich, thick and fruity nose.  Immediately compelling, and exactly as expected from Dailuaine.  Waxy and classical, with a little Christmas cake, lovely.
Body - Soft and ripe at first, then a little hot and spiky with flashes of cardboard.
Finish - Long, hot, peppery and with a slightly bitter floral quality, like chewing a flower stalk.

Despite the mention of Christmas cake, this is a good, chewy, floral and waxy drammer for long hot summer evenings.

Nose - Good balance of fruit and off dry this month, light waxes, lots of toffee, a little fresh mint and slightly medicinal.  Even a little fency.  
Body - Rich and creamy, hot chocolate and again, slightly herbal like a Mexican hot chocolate can be (nutty, a touch of cloves)
Finish - Soft and shorter than some of them, vanilla pastry and icing sugar.

Good stuff but not as toe curling as some of its (many) predecessors

Nose - A beautifully waxy, mineral nose, with lanolin and candle wax, fresh cloth and oil paints… perhaps a little lawnmower oil.  Extremely grown up.
Body - Soft but with deep black fruit and even some blackcurrant sorbet.  A little spice at the sides of the mouth.
Finish - Medium with a touch of gunpowder and old wooden box, quite spicy on the lips at the end with a biscuity mouthfeel (what are those tiny Italian biscuits you get with coffee?)

This is a superb drinker, I love the professional but robust delivery on this and waxed nose.  

Nose - Lemon sherbets and lemon curd tarts at first, both the boiled sweet and the clarty pastry.  Satisfyingly rich yet citrusy.  Maybe a little lolly stick.
Body - More of that sweetshop, a little bong water but quite a hollow delivery.  
Finish - Sweeter at the end, charred lolly stick and definitely melted ice lolly.  There’s a slightly harsh burnt citrus and sour malt at the end.  

That harsh, sort of rotten ending nags a bit, however the front of it is very interesting and quite delicious, particularly the nose.

Creations 22, 45% A+
A vatting of Ben Nevis, Blair Athol, and Tomintoul, bottled from a single cask that was vatted together in 2007
Nose - I was hoping for this.  Balanced but tropical, lush and luxurious.  Flashes of forest floor, distillery tours and wooden boxes.  Strawberry laces.
Body - Dusty, ethereal; sawdust, lipstick and fruit polos.
Finish - Medium with insistent sugar and green apple.  Tannins bring the necessary structure at the end and bring you back for more.

Fantastic stuff, and as usual a great advert for blends.  Wasn’t this one one of the long term in a cask together ones?  They work really well.

Creations 45, 43.1% A+
Nose - Deeper still, tropical with gunpowder and plenty of fruit.  Slightly cheesy too, as the best and oldest Scotches are.  Cheddar, leather shoes and star fruit.  Wonderful, and slightly austere in its own way too.
Body - Soft and with that wonderfully weird parma violet, sandalwood and floral quality that the best old Bowmores have.
Finish - Soft, short and elderly, with patchouli joss sticks and cotton.  A little damp wood and liquorice at the end.

What a delicious, soft and gentle, but poised whisky.  You could do serious damage to this in the right circumstances.

Bunnahabhain 5, 58.9% A+
Nose - <insert all previous young peated bunna notes here>.  This is a particularly dirty and meaty one, with burnt crayons and cuttlefish bone.  Really rich and cereally with a lovely burnt character, quite Laphroaigy actually.
Body - Intense burnt seaside, sweet toffee apple and sesame snaps.
Finish - Short but ripe, liquorice root and a little cigarette tar.

A real smasher this, the high sugars against the seaside peat work extremely well - not that this is uncommon for Islay of course, but this particular one is very good with its dirty meats.

Nose - Off sour with green apple on the turn, hay and hot rain.  Glassy.  Boiled sweets with time, a little stewed tea.  Even more honest with water, perhaps a little raspberry jam, but I'm reaching.
Body - Sweet, clean, simple and with a fungicidal cream.  
Finish - Strawberry jelly with single cream poured over, a bit anty.   Short and oily.

Almost pure refill bourbon cask and ethanol.  Unremarkable.

Nose - Night and day compared to the Cameronbridge.  Cheesey in its ancient age, deep and rich with hints of tropical fruit, soft caramel and silly putty.
Body - Delicious and very old; blue cheese on crackers with ripe pear slices.  Palate coating oils, mouth warming spices (chilli and clove).
Finish - Medium, effervescent and a little cardboardy like a whisky on the cusp of being understrength.  

Remarkable.

Nose - Perfumed with complex, if slightly weird, woods galore.  The perfume is marker pen, white wine, lily and emulsion paint.  The wood is plywood, a little balsa and new, varnished, flat pack.  Robust but Summery.  Meaty on the nose with water.
Body - Hard grain, apple and pine.  Balanced sugars, a bit… reminds me of weak orange squash.  Better with water, richer and more complex.
Finish - Zesty and very sweet.  Slightly metallic with water.

A richer grain, with an interesting and challenging nose but not for me.

Nose - Leather sofa and felt, ripe strawberries and their leaves, clean red fruit and a balanced wood.
Body - Balanced; fruit, liquorice root, stewed tea and flying saucer sweets.
Finish - The liquorice root starts to take over, black jacks and burning tannins near the throat.  

Ripe with lots of midrange, a solid drammer.

Littlemill, 28 years old, 50.7% A+
Nose - Considered.  Melon with lemon curd tart and - actually more like the pear and salami danish pastry you can get at that place in Borough market.  A bright, jewelled tropicality starts to develop with time.  Beautiful.
Body - Deep with leather belt, horse, manure (in a good way) and very distinctly, Calpol.  Significant lacquer.  
Finish - Very long, it would be cloyingly sweet if it wasn't so bonkers.  Orange barley squash and more wham bars.  Linseed oil.

Doesn't disappoint, this one's quite mental yet assured and full of fruit and oil.  

Nose - Fruit and nut bar, nutty more than chocolatey though.  Big on the high end women's perfume, really deep and weirdly wooded, like they all seem to be. It is lip smacking stuff though.
Body - Wood oil, that perfume, felt box and tropical squash.  Reminds me of a posh night out in a London restaurant for some reason.  Significantly better with water too, it grows up another decade or so.  
Finish - Long and very thick - mango lassie?  Salty too.  

An absolutely superb old whisky, highly recommended.

Glen Spey 23 years old, 57.5% A+
Nose - Dried raspberries with hard woods and salted almonds.  Something mineral and dusty, like ground artist chalks.  A little lipstick with some old lacquered wood.
Body - Off sweet fruits, the Drumstick chew lolly thing and that hard wood/grain thing from the nose again.
Finish - Long, with plenty of wood tannins and a mini milk?

Delicious and austere.