Four Single Malts with personalised labels (The Whisky Exchange)


The Whisky Exchange already had a personalisation service where they can engrave some text on existing bottlings. Now they’re taking it a step further, introducing four single cask releases that you can give a personal label.

Choose one of nine beautiful label designs (with nice metallic coatings), pick a quote and choose a dedication. It will definitely make a great gift, let’s have a look at the whiskies they have on offer.

Bottles with personalised labels will be available all year round, but obviously distilleries, casks, ages etc. will vary.



imageGlen Elgin 12 yo (49,6%, The Whisky Exchange...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/caol-ila/four-single-malts-with-personalised-labels-the-whisky-exchange/

New: GlenDronach Kingsman 1989 Port Wood // Springbank 1994 XOP Black


GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989

It might be related to the upcoming sequel for the Kingsman movie, but GlenDronach is about to release the GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989 , a 29 years old expression. It is bottled at 50.1% ABV and the label now specifically mentions Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks.




GlenDronach Port Wood

Already available is the GlenDronach Port Wood , which is matured in sherry casks, followed by a second maturation in Port pipes from the Douro valley in Portugal. Contrary to previous Port expressions this doesn’t come with an age statement. It is bottled at 46%...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/glendronach-kingsman-1989-port-wood-douglas-laing-xop-black/

Kilchoman 2012 Madeira (Holy Dram)

This Kilchoman was bottled for Holy Dram in Israel (I tried their Inchmoan 2004 a couple of months ago). It is a 50 ppm spirit distilled in april 2012 and finished in a Madeira cask .



imageKilchoman 6 yo 2012 (56,3%, OB for Holy Dram 2019, Madeira finish, cask #180, 258 btl.)

Nose: fruity sweetness, in a sweet-and-sour way. Stewed apricots, plums, raisins and red berries. Hints of lacquered meat in the background, as well as earthy notes, big peppery peat and a slightly medicinal, mentholated freshness. Mouth: lots of fruits again, mainly berries, stewed plums and blood...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/kilchoman/kilchoman-2012-madeira-finish-holy-dram/

Mortlach 20 Year Old


We already reviewed the Mortlach 12 Years (good) and Mortlach 16 Years (excellent). The only one missing from the 2018 core range relaunch is the Mortlach 20 Years , matured exclusively in American oak ex-Sherry casks , with a percentage of refill wood.

It is nicknamed Cowie’s Blue Seal which refers to one of the original bottlings of Mortlach, launched in 1909 and available until the 1970s.



imageMortlach 20 yo (43,4%, OB 2018, 4484 btl.)

Nose: a nicely bright fruitiness up front, think juicy apricots, pineapple and hints of lychee. Hints of a carpenter’s workshop, oiliness and waxed...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/mortlach/mortlach-20-years/

Inchgower 1989 (Whisky Agency)

Inchgower is sometimes said to be the Manzanilla of Speyside . Here’s one to prove its light, often slightly quirky reputation: Inchgower 1989 bottled by The Whisky Agency .



imageInchgower 29 yo 1989 (51,3%, The Whisky Agency 2019, ex-bourbon hogshead)

Nose: quite naked. We find tart candy and grassy notes, some distant bourbonny oak. Hints of oil paint and clay or putty. Lemon and grapefruit, green tea and lemongrass. Quite elegant, but not a sexy profile. Mouth: much sweeter than expected. Dextrose, sweet lemon juice and apples, then also sweet oak and light floral notes. Really unusual. Becoming...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/inchgower/inchgower-1989-whisky-agency/

Glen Keith Distillery Edition

An official bottling of Glen Keith – the only one in recent years, I believe, unless you count the Chivas Brothers bottlings as officials. As you know the distillery was mothballed in 1999 until they reopened in 2013.

It’s called Glen Keith Distillery Edition which is a very nondescript name for a bottling that’s widely available outside of the distillery. Much like the mention ‘distilled by master craftsmen’.



imageGlen Keith Distillery Edition (40%, OB +/- 2018)

Nose: very accessible, but very attractive as well. A mix of vanilla cake with sweet orchard fruits (apricots, juicy pears, grapes) and...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glen-keith/glen-keith-distillery-edition/

Glenlivet 1961 (G M dark sherry)


This is post number 3000 on WhiskyNotes. I’m also doing news posts but on the other hand head-to-head reviews as well, so I guess it’s actually the ‘approximately 3000th’ whisky I’m reviewing.

So, a Glenlivet 1961 bottled 30 years ago, one of these ‘licensed bottlings’ by Gordon & MacPhail . The Italian tax label indicated it has to be bottled before 1991, most sources claim it is late 1980s. One of the well-known sherry bombs from yesteryear.



imageGlenlivet 1961 (57%, Gordon & MacPhail late 1980s, George & J.G. Smith’s, Sestante import, dark sherry)

Nose: big, old, fat sherry....

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glenlivet-2/glenlivet-1961-gordon-macphail-dark-sherry/

Irish Malt 1989 (Liquid Treasures)

Irish single malt , vintage 1989 , rum barrel … distilled in the oldest distillery of the island according to the bottler. That’s right, Bushmills .

Basically we’re dealing with the same batches of whiskey that have been bottled by Teeling, e.g. the 1989 cask #16231 (distillery exclusive) and cask #16230 (for Celtic Whisky Shop) and by other independent bottlers (e.g. cask #16244 for Speciality Drinks).



imageIrish Single Malt 29 yo 1989 (56,5%, Liquid Treasures ‘10th Anniversary’ 2019,  rum barrel, 127 btl.)

Nose: vanilla and spicy oak up front, with big hints of varnish. Then some peaches, bananas...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/irish-whiskey/irish-malt-1989-liquid-treasures/

New: Springbank Local Barley 2019 // Port Askaig 25 Years // Inchgower Private Stock


Springbank Local Barley 2019

Springbank will release a Springbank Local Barley 11 Year Old around november 2019. Made with Optic barley, matured in 75% bourbon casks and 25% sherry casks and bottled at cask strength (to be determined). People at the recent Springbank festival had a sneak preview.

This will be the fifth release. Originally it was announced as a series of five , so it could be the last bottling.




Port Askaig 25 Year Old // Port Askaig 45 Year Old

Elixir Distillers announced a Port Askaig 25 Year Old , a North American exclusive coming later...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/springbank-local-barley-2019-port-askaig-25-45-years-inchgower-private-stock/

Foursquare Hereditas 14 Years (TWE exclusive)


Recently The Whisky Exchange and their buyer Dawn Davies MW presented their own rum classification . Rum is a very versatile drink with lots of different styles and production methods, making it difficult to communicate about rum as a retailer, and difficult to find your preferred style as a consumer.

So here’s a new TWE exclusive bottling: Foursquare Hereditas 14 Year Old produced in Barbados. It is a blend of pot- and column-distilled rum, making it a Single Traditional Blended rum in the new classification. Part of the parcel was matured entirely in bourbon-casks, the rest was given 10 years...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/other-spirits/foursquare-hereditas-14-years-rum-whisky-exchange/

Springbank 1993 (Master of Malt)

New Springbank releases are always followed argus-eyed. Master of Malt has recently bottled a 25 years old Springbank 1993 in their single cask series.



imageSpringbank 25 yo 1993 (51%, Master of Malt 2018, bourbon hogshead)

Nose: a rather round profile with lots of cider apples and baked apples, paraffin and lemon peels. A little greengage jam and marzipan. Some beach pebbles and wet clothes. Plenty of mint. Hints of rhubarb tarts and candied ginger. Heathery notes in the background. Mouth: loads of cider apples with olive brine, zinging citrus zest and smoky malt, a beautiful mix. A little...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/springbank/springbank-1993-master-of-malt/

Ardmore 1998 (The Whisky Agency vs. Mancarella)

Ardmore , the gently peated and sometimes unusual alternative to Islay whisky, often priced more reasonably then the famous Islay counterparts.

Today we’re trying two Ardmore 1998 bottlings, both originating in Germany and with a surprisingly similar ABV. One is bottled by The Whisky Agency , the other by Mancarella .



imageArdmore 20 yo 1998 (51,7%, The Whisky Agency 2018, hogshead)

Nose: porridge, leather, cold bonfire ashes and ink but also lots of fruity notes. Lime, gooseberries, tinned pineapple. Also a hint of old turpentine. Camphor and menthol after a while. Nice style. Mouth: an oily texture, with...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/ardmore/ardmore-1998-whisky-agency-mancarella/

Granville 1996 (Maltbarn)

Granville , you say? Indeed a growing number of distilleries are preventing independent bottlers to put the actual name on the label. All these recent ‘Orkney’ bottlings are a good example and apparently this cannot be disclosed either. However the fact that the old Clynelish distillery was founded by George Granville Levison should give us a clue.

It’s 22 years old bottling by Maltbarn .



imageGranville 22 yo 1996 (51,9%, Maltbarn 2019, sherry cask, 177 btl.)

Nose: nice juicy sherry, and I’m pleased to see that the original grassy and waxy Clynelish character is still loud and clear....

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/clynelish/granville-1996-maltbarn/

New: Laphroaig 16 Years // Daftmill 2006 // Macallan Estate


Laphroaig 16 Year Old

A re-release perhaps, but the Laphroaig 16 Year Old is coming back. It was already available in travel retail in 2015 , celebrating the 200th anniversary of the distillery, and now it will be a wide-scale release. While the previous 16 was not particularly great, this time it is bottled at 48% ABV this time (well done).




The Macallan Estate

A new limited edition The Macallan Estate will be available from juli 2019. It is made with home-grown barley from the Easter Elchies estate, which is distilled only once a year over seven days,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/laphroaig-16-years-daftmill-2006-macallan-estate/

Campbeltown 1997 (Whisky Sponge)

According to the label this is unblended triple-distilled Campbeltown whisky , which leads us to Hazelburn production at Springbank distillery (around 10% of their total output).

The second Whisky Sponge release after the excellent Glen Moray 1981 .



imageCampbeltown 21 yo 1997 (55%, Whisky Sponge 2019, bourbon barrel, 178 btl.)

Nose: a fresh, citric spirit with traces of Springbank. That means gravelly notes, chalk and a hint of aspirin but also more fruity notes. Lime, grapefruit, evolving towards pineapple and coconut cream. Light floral touches as well. Mouth: same fruity core (this time bananas, peaches, sweet grapefruits and...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/hazelburn/campbeltown-1997-whisky-sponge/

Tobermory (+/- 1980)

I bought a sample of this Tobermory long ago, with the information that it would be a late 1970s bottling . However the history of the distillery was quite irregular at that time – in fact the distillery had been inactive for most parts of its life since the foundation in 1798.

Since 1930 Tobermory was closed and reopened several times and was only operational between 1972-1975 (as Ledaig, partly owned by sherry bodegas Domecq), 1979-1981 (Tobermory), and then again from 1989 (under Burn Stewart). This leaves me a bit puzzled as to when this bottle was released exactly, but...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/tobermory/tobermory-nas-1980s/

Port Ellen 1982 (Signatory 30th Anniversary)

I have one sample left from the Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary series (the first series bottled in the summer of 2018): the Port Ellen 1982 . Nowadays a rare occasion to try an expression from this lost distillery.



imagePort Ellen 35 yo 1982 (55,1%, Signatory Vintage ‘30th Anniversary’ 2018, refill sherry butt #2040, 567 btl.)

Nose: Port Ellen alright. The delicate but meticulously balanced profile that combines wet chalk, shellfish, carbolineum, diesel, Kalamata olives and the best mezcal notes but on the other hand also fruity notes like peaches and yellow plums, honey and lime. Herbal touches. Great...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/port-ellen/port-ellen-1982-signatory-vintage-anniversary/

Glengoyne 19 Years (Boutique-y Whisky)

A rather recent release from That Boutique-y Whisky Company , this Glengoyne 19 Year Old . Matured in sherry wood (nothing else at the distillery) and based on the colour I would that must have been refill casks.



imageGlengoyne 19 yo (50,9%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company 2019, Batch #2, 1009 btl.)

Nose: starts with panettone, golden raisins and nutty notes (walnuts, almonds). Bright fruits in the background. Yellow plums and juicy mirabelles, Rainier cherries, citrus, plenty of honey as well. Hints of apricot pastry. A light bourbonny (leathery) touch as well. Nice. Mouth: more naked now, with malty...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glengoyne/glengoyne-19-years-that-boutiquey-whisky/

Glen Moray 1990 (Whisky Agency for TWE)

The Whisky Exchange has a history of excellent joint bottlings with The Whisky Agency ( this and this are two of my favourites) and now they have a new one.

A Glen Moray 1990 , 28 years of age. No mention of a cask type at all, which is uncommon for this bottler.



imageGlen Moray 28 yo 1990 (51,4%, The Whisky Agency for The Whisky Exchange 2018)

Nose: a waxy and fruity profile that reminds us of the 1970s. Juicy yellow apples, apricots and banana ice cream, nice! Hints of beeswax, lipstick (old Ben Nevis comes to mind)...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glen-moray/glen-moray-1990-whisky-agency-whisky-exchange/

Arran 2006 (for Whisky Shop Zammel)

This Arran 2006 is a 12 years old Private Cask bottling for The Single Maltwhisky Shop in Zammel, Belgium.

It is a sherry hogshead , selected in november 2018 during Lucie Stroesser’s final Arran tasting. She resigned as an Arran ambassador and went back to her homeland France a while ago, but she brought a few cask samples to this tasting.



imageArran 12 yo 2006 (53,6%, OB Private Cask for Whisky Shop Zammel, sherry hogshead #800463, 315 btl.)

Nose: a nice mix of red fruit candy (raspberry, strawberry), rhubarb jam and raisins, as well as a light...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/arran/arran-2006-whisky-shop-zammel/


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