GlenDronach 1993 (cask #55 vs. #445)

Here are the two 1993 casks from Batch 16 of the GlenDronach single cask releases .

As you know GlenDronach is nowadays merely mentioning sherry butt on most of the labels, whereas this used to be specified as Oloroso or Pedro Ximénez. This can mean two things: either they don’t know (which would be surprising as they have mentioned it for other casks filled on the exact same date) or there was some re-racking involved (not uncommon at The GlenDronach). Or they simply don’t want to tell us, which would be sad.

We’ll start with cask #445 filled in februari...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glendronach/glendronach-1993-cask-55-cask-445/

Tomatin Wood / Tomatin Fire

Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal. These five elements are at the core of whisky making and they make up the Tomatin Five Virtues series launched in 2017. All NAS releases at 46%.

Tomatin Wood is drawn from a combination of 70% French oak, 20% American oak and 10% Hungarian oak, representative of the many varieties of the 177.000 casks they hold in their 14 warehouses. The spirit was distilled between 1999 and 2006.

Tomatin Fire was matured in heavily charred casks, stimulating new, fresh vanilla flavours. The casks were filled in 2005.



imageTomatin Wood (46%, OB ‘Five Virtues’...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/tomatin/tomatin-wood-tomatin-fire/

Caperdonich 1995 (Master of Malt)

The last time I reviewed a Caperdonich was back in 2013… Not that I didn’t get to try any, but somehow recent releases were always disappointing if (like me) you ‘grew up’ with Caperdonich 1972. And you know, prices for lost distillery bottlings are rising through the roof these days.

Here’s a new Caperdonich 1995 , a single cask bottling for Master of Malt .



imageCaperdonich 22 yo 1995 (59,2%, Master of Malt 2018, bourbon cask)

Nose: starts on flinty notes and lots of pipe tobacco, sunflower oil and fresh barley. Walnuts and hazelnuts. After a while there...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/caperdonich/caperdonich-1995-master-of-malt/

Longmorn 1961 Twins (Gordon MacPhail)


Stuart and Richard Urquhart, the managers of Gordon & MacPhail , are identical twins. That makes it extra special that today they are launching ‘Twin’ Longmorn 1961 whiskies, the oldest Longmorn single malts ever released. A great opportunity to taste a piece of Scotland’s liquid history.

Both are first-fill sherry hogsheads filled 2nd Februrary 1961 and bottled exactly the same day in 2018 at cask strength: European oak cask #508 bottled at 45% ABV and American oak cask #512 bottled at 40.8% ABV. Sold as a pair, with only 97 sets of decanters available.

Each set will be priced £...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/longmorn/longmorn-1961-gordon-macphail-twins-508-512/

New: The Whisky Show bottlings // Karuizawa for LMdW // Tomatin 30 Years


Speyside Malt 1973 / Irish Malt 1989

The Whisky Exchange have just released two *very* interesting bottles:

Both are Whisky Agency bottlings exclusive to TWE. We’ve seen very similar releases before, all excellent (check this or this ), so we have high hopes. Expect a review next week.




The Whisky Show 2018 – show bottlings

In its tenth edition, The Whisky Show celebrates the Future of Whisky theme with three limited editions:

  • Ben Nevis 21 Years (47.5%,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/whisky-show-karuizawa-lmdw-tomatin-30-years/

GlenAllachie 1990 (cask #2517)

After The GlenAllachie was taken over by Billy Walker’s team they presented a series of 50th Anniversary bottlings , single casks released in 50 cl bottles. They were quite old (distilled 1978 – 1991) so we’re trying one of the younger casks: GlenAllachie 1990 cask #2517 , a sherry butt. It is considered to have been a ‘prequel’ series with more single cask following soon.



imageGlenAllachie 27 yo 1990 (54,6%, OB ‘50th Anniversary’ 2018, sherry butt #2517, 50cl, 144 btl.)

Nose: fairly neutral, on yellow apples, golden raisins and bready notes. Oranges with cloves, subtle nutty notes. Hints...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glenallachie/glenallachie-1990-cask-2517/

Cask Orkney 18 Years

Cask Orkney 18 Years is a new single Maltwhisky released by A.D. Rattray in juni 2018. Distilled on the Isle of Orkney, this should be Highland Park , matured in ex-bourbon casks.



imageCask Orkney 18 yo (46%, A.D. Rattray 2018, bourbon cask)

Nose: nicely aromatic, with baked apples, juicy pears and vanilla, honey, lemon candy and a touch of marzipan. Very fresh. Also hints of chalk and seaweed. Beeswax. Perhaps light jasmine? Mouth: fresh citrus (lemons and oranges), creamy yoghurt, rather summery. Earl Grey. Peaches and toffee. Whiffs of grassy smoke in the background. Subtle coastal hints...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/undisclosed/cask-orkney-18-years/

Caol Ila 1984 (Gordon MacPhail)

imageThis Caol Ila 1984 is one of these 30yo+ single malts that have recently been bottled to ‘enhance’ the Connoisseurs Choice series, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. They come in a bulkier version of the new bottle, presented in a wooden presentation box.

Whereas the old Connoisseurs Choice range (map labels and later) used to be an entry-level range, often at low ABVs, it has now been given a significant push upwards.



imageCaol Ila 33 yo 1984 (52,8%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, refill sherry hogshead, 216 btl.)

Nose: unsurprisingly great. Excellent combo of sweeter...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/caol-ila/caol-ila-1984-connoisseurs-choice/

Edradour 1995 for Whisky L

This Edradour 1995 was a festival bottling for the recent Whisky L! (tenth edition) in Shangai, China. It was finessed in a first-fill Oloroso sherry butt for 13 years.



imageEdradour 22 yo 1995 (54,2%, OB for Whisky L 2018, Oloroso finish, 661 btl.)

Nose: clean, let’s continue. A really nice, tobacco-led profile, with cigar boxes and leather, old Oloroso and hints of redcurrants. Juicy damsons. Polished oak, hints of menthol and aromatic herbs. Crushed peppercorns and brown sugar. Mouth: a similar dry and herbal sherry profile, although there’s now a meaty side to it. Blackberry leaves, bitter oranges,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/edradour/edradour-1995-for-whisky-l/

Glen Scotia Double Cask

First-fill bourbon barrels and then a six-month refill Pedro Ximénez sherry finish , that’s the recipe for Glen Scotia Double Cask . A NAS expression from this distillery, in the lower part of the core range.



imageGlen Scotia Double Cask (46%, OB +/- 2017)

Nose: dusty oak up front, with a charred edge, mixed with peaches and biscuits. Quite modern, with a hint of vanilla, but really not bad. Hints of yellow apples and a touch of salt and copper as well. Mouth: quite punchy, with raisins and grapes, then a slight alcoholic note (grappa), peaches again, even...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glen-scotia/glen-scotia-double-cask/

GlenAllachie 12 Year Old

GlenAllachie 12 Years is the cornerstone of the new GlenAllachie core range, presented two months ago. It is matured in a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, as well as virgin oak.



imageGlenAllachie 12 yo (46%, OB 2018)

Nose: rather more impressive than the GlenAllachie 18 Years . Very fresh, with a bright fruitiness (banana, nectarine and mango) with marzipan and vanilla cake. Light mineral notes, grass and a peppery hint in the background. Honey and a hint of mocha. Great aromas. Mouth: honey and banana again, sweet but with a surprising bitter side (grapefruit, minerals,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glenallachie/glenallachie-12-years/

Clynelish 1989 (Gordon MacPhail)

Another cask strength Connoisseurs Choice bottling from Gordon & MacPhail : Clynelish 1989 . It’s a vintage that we’ve tried several times before from independent bottlers, but it’s nice to see G&M has more of this lying around.



imageClynelish 28 yo 1989 (49,3%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, refill American hogshead, 221 btl.)

Nose: always great to have this round combination of waxiness, ripe gooseberries and mild, warm oak. Later also juicy pears, green mango, candied ginger. Hints of leather and wet rocks. There was a dusty note at first but this disappeared. Good. Mouth: oily, with...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/clynelish/clynelish-1989-connoisseurs-choice/

Glengoyne 30 Year Old

This high-end Glengoyne 30 Years was first released in november 2017 as a limited edition. A batch of 13 casks was selected: one third of first-fill European oak sherry butts and two thirds refill sherry butts. Quite possibly the perfect recipe for old sherry bottlings, if you ask me.

I won’t talk about the packaging too much, but it comes in a wooden box with a rose gold plated cask bung. It will be repeated as a yearly release.



imageGlengoyne 30 yo (46,8%, OB 2017, 6000 btl.)

Nose: truckloads of red plums, figs and juicy cherries. Lovely fruitiness...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glengoyne/glengoyne-30-year-old/

Arran 10 Year Old

Arran Distillers recently picked up two gold medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition for this  Arran 10 Year Old and the top-of-the-range  Arran 18 Year Old . In general we don’t attach much value to all these awards, but it has to be said Arran is often getting praise for its commitment to quality.

About time we review this cornerstone expression…



imageArran 10 yo (46%, OB +/- 2018)

Nose: a very honest, naked dram. There’s a nice pineapple / pear sweetness, creamy malty notes and sugary biscuits. Vanilla custard. Light heathery / herbal touches. Aromatic honey....

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/arran/arran-10-years/

Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Years

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year old has been matured in traditional oak whisky casks for 14 years, before getting ‘finished’ in casks that were seasoned with a proprietary blend of Caribbean rums.

Its predecessor was called Cuban Selection but I suppose that was problematic for US sales.




imageThe Balvenie 14 yo ‘Caribbean Cask’ (43%, OB +/- 2018, rum cask finish)

Nose: sweet, with buttery vanilla cake and yellow apples up front. Some creamy coconut, honey and toffee. Apricots and bananas. Golden raisins soaked in rum. Light leafy oak in the background. Rather fruity but I’m not...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/balvenie/balvenie-caribbean-cask-14-years/

New: Glenrothes Soleo // Cu Bocan 1990 2003 vintages // Cladach


Glenrothes Soleo Collection

A few months ago we already announced the fact that The Glenrothes would ditch the vintage concept in favour of a classic age statement collection. While this is hardly ground-breaking, it’s quite surprising that all expressions are entirely sherry cask matured . Too bad the ABV is still very low.

Five expressions have popped up in stores:

In Spring 2019 they will also launch a Glenrothes 40 Year Old . I hope to look into the...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/glenrothes-soleo-cu-bocan-cladach-benriach-12-sherry/

Mortlach 1987 (Gordon MacPhail)

imageGordon & MacPhail is celebrating the 50th birthday of the Connoisseurs Choice with the release of 37 new bottlings from 23 different distilleries.

For the occasion the Connoisseurs Choice range is ‘enhanced’ with a series of single malts aged 30 years and above, which come in a bulkier version of the new bottle, presented in a wooden presentation box. From seven initial bottlings we’re now trying the Mortlach 1987 , a 31 year-old bottled from a refill sherry hogshead .

If this is refill, then how long was the original whisky inside, two weeks?



imageMortlach 31 yo 1987...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/mortlach/mortlach-1987-connoisseurs-choice/

Highland Park 14 Years Loyalty of the Wolf // Highland Park Viking Pride Travel Edition


This is part two of our review of the new Highland Park travel retail line-up, which focus on important animals of the Viking culture. In the first part I looked at Highland Park Spirit of the Bear and Highland Park Wings of the Eagle


Highland Park Loyalty of the Wolf is a 14 year old matured in American oak sherry casks and bourbon barrels.


imageHighland Park 14 yo ‘Loyalty of the Wolf’ (42,3%, OB 2018, travel retail)

Nose: rather sweet and malty, plenty of cake aromas, vanilla custard and apples. Light ginger and pepper in the background, as...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/highland-park/highland-park-14-years-loyalty-of-the-wolf-highland-park-viking-pride-travel-edition/

Glenlivet 2007 (Italian Car series)

Italian Car Series is a range of whiskies bottled for Jan Vissers who owns the Single Maltwhisky Shop in Zammel, Belgium. He’s an Italian car freak and the labels feature drawings of old Ferrari Formula-1 cars.

I’m a bit scared of the outrageous ABV (67% after 11 years), but here goes…



imageGlenlivet 11 yo 2007 (67%, Signatory Vintage – Italian car series #4 2018, first-fill sherry hogshead #900201, 312 btl.)

Nose: syrupy fruits, lots of blackberries, cherries and raspberry jam. Walnuts, chestnuts, figs, raisins. Lots of cinnamon pastry. A bit of vanilla sugar as well. Some fragrant...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glenlivet-2/glenlivet-2007-italian-car-series-signatory/

Compass Box Great King Street // The Story of the Spaniard


Last week John Glaser was making a small tour in my part of Europe, presenting some of the latest Compass Box releases and explaining the philosophy of the brand.

The event was taking place at the beautiful Bar Burbure in Antwerp, already indicating a focus on cocktails and bartenders, but luckily there was something in there for this slightly geekier whisky blogger as well.

It is very entertaining to hear how he started blending in his London kitchen, how the recipes are now designed by more blending wizards than John alone, where the name Compass Box comes from, how he...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/blends/compass-box-story-of-the-spaniard-great-king-street/


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