Highland Park 1992 (Brachadair for Crann)

Belgian whisky club Crann selected this Highland Park 1992 as their club bottling in 2018.

Remarkably it was already bottled back in 2005 . Quick research shows that some bottles were taken out in september 2005 at the same strength for Mac Malt in Germany and the biggest part at 46% ABV in the High Spirits’ Collection. Strangely enough, these bottlings claim it was a sherry butt , and this label mentions a bourbon cask . Who is trying to fool us?



imageHighland Park 13 yo 1992 (62,9%, Brachadair for Crann 2005, cask #20355, 83 btl.)

Nose: quite...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/highland-park/highland-park-1992-brachadair-crann/

Blended Malt 2001 (Liquid Treasures)

The latest series from Liquid Treasures has a Snakes theme. Among their bottlings we find this Blended Malt 2001. One of these malt bases that include Glenrothes, Tamdhu and a few others, perhaps?



imageBlended Malt 17 yo 2001 (46,3%, Liquid Treasures ‘Snakes’ 2018, sherry butt, 396 btl.)

Nose: butterscotch and raisins, cinnamon cake, a little praline. Also oranges and a little tobacco. Brioche, hints of pepper and just a hint of roasted chestnut. Very light balsamic touches. Nice sherry style. Mouth: solid whisky, definitely. Oranges and raisins again, with a light marzipan sweetness, figs and roasted nuts. Cinnamon,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/undisclosed/blended-malt-2001-liquid-treasures/

Teeling 1991 (TWE Exclusive)


We’ve had a lot of these undisclosed 1991 Irish single malts in the past few years. Of course this comes with a Teeling badge, but we all know it comes from another Irish distillery – John Teeling founded the Cooley distillery in 1987 and managed it until they sold it to Beam in 2011. Back then they also possessed large stocks from other producers including Midleton. Most of these 1991 casks are said to be Bushmills production.

Anyway I’ve tried over a dozen different 1991 casks and there are many more on Whiskybase, but I can only think of one...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/irish-whiskey/teeling-27-years-1991-twe-exclusive/

Glen Keith 1993 // Glentauchers 1991 // Scapa 1998 (Connoisseurs Choice)

After a small birthday intermezzo, let’s resume our regular service…

Three recent Connoisseurs Choice releases from Gordon & MacPhail this time. A Glen Keith 1993 and Glentauchers 1991 in the regular bottles, plus a Scapa 1988 in the dumpy bottle as it is over 30 years of age.



imageGlen Keith 24 yo 1993 (49,3%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, refill bourbon barrel #111152, 205 btl.)

Nose: fresh and fairly light, with crisp orchard fruits (pears, peaches) as well as some lime-flavoured yoghurt and unripe banana. Grassy hints, majbe chamomile. Fresh oak shavings as well. Pleasant. Mouth: citrusy...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glentauchers/glen-keith-1993-glentauchers-1991-scapa-1998-connoisseurs-choice/

New: Teeling 29 Years // Glenlivet Enigma // Benromach 1978 // Kavalan Bordeaux


Teeling 29 Years Vintage Reserve

Coming up: a new Teeling Vintage Reserve 29 Years , finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks and bottled at 46% ABV. We can assume this is from the 1989 stocks and it looks like this is a 100-bottle limited edition for the US.




The Glenlivet Enigma

The third undisclosed ‘mystery’ malt from The Glenlivet is called Enigma . Like Glenlivet Cipher and Glenlivet Code , this has no age statement, no vintage or any details whatsoever. You’re challenged to decode the taste and specs of the liquid in an online tasting game. It...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/teeling-29-glenlivet-enigma-benromach-1978-kavalan-bordeaux/

Caol Ila 1968 G M // Macallan 1954 Rinaldi // Port Ellen 12 Years (James MacArthur)


That’s right, 10 years already since I started WhiskyNotes .

It all started with a Balvenie 30 Year Old – and the idea now is to top everything we’ve had before.



We’ll start with a very recent bottling by Gordon & MacPhail of the oldest Caol Ila ever released, from the legendary 1968 vintage.


imageCaol Ila 50 yo 1968 (52,5%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Private Collection’ 2018, refill sherry hogshead, 190 btl.)

Nose: a very luscious and rather honeyed fruity side. Yellow raisins, cantaloupe, fruit tea. Light buttery notes (vanilla cake) before it moves towards linoleum, camphor and...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/port-ellen/caol-ila-1968-macallan-1954-rinaldi-port-ellen-12yo-james-mcarthur/

Clynelish 1972 (Private Stock)

The Private Stock series from The Whisky Agency must be one of the greatest series of whisky bottled in the past 25 years or so. Thirty whiskies or so, all aces (with no exceptions) and most of them very limited – often just 60 or 80 bottles.

This Clynelish 1972 is the second highest rated Private Stock bottling on Whiskybase, after the excellent Caperdonich 1972.



imageClynelish 38 yo 1972 (45,8%, The Whisky Agency ‘Private Stock’ 2010, sherry hogshead, 134 btl.)

Nose: the round, waxy profile with plenty of fruits. That means honeydew, stewed banana, tangerines and lime with...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/clynelish/clynelish-1972-whisky-agency-private-stock/

Glen Grant 1950 (Gordon MacPhail)


This Glen Grant 1950 was bottled in 2007, but it was recently brought to our attention as it was re-bundled as part of the Glen Grant Collection , a stunning £ 10,000 Gordon & MacPhail ensemble with seven Glen Grant from every vintage between 1950 and 1955. Only 75 cases were available, but there were rumours about sequel editions.



imageGlen Grant 57 yo 1950 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail 2007, refill sherry casks #853 + #2734, 688 btl.)

Nose: the kind of very oily, resinous whisky with lots of beehive notes (waxed furniture, pollen). Subtle berry notes, apples, sour...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glen-grant/glen-grant-1950-gordon-macphail/

Brora 1977 24yo (Rare Malts)

A classic: Brora 24 Years in Diageo’s Rare Malts series.



imageBrora 24 yo 1977 (56,1%, Rare Malts 2001, +/- 6000 btl.)

Nose: not as bold as I expected, and more in the Clynelish ballpark. Fairly dry, malty start, then moving towards coastal notes and slightly sweet, earthy peat. Not really farmy. Hints of grassy pepper and shoe polish, waxy notes, moss, sharper floral herbs, majbe chamomile, mint and a whiff of vanilla. Some apples and clementine in the background. Complex. Mouth: Clynelish fruits again (round apples, waxy orange peel, citrus sherbet) with this fatty texture and clear hint...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/brora/brora-1977-24-years-rare-malts/

Springbank 1995 (WhiskyNerds)

When I recently wrote that Springbank is not always successful in selecting good sherry casks , I got a slightly worried message from one of the WhiskyNerds in Holland who had just sent me a sample of… a sherried Springbank. Of course we trust their selection skills when it comes to this distillery, so no need to worry.

It is a Springbank 1995 matured in a fresh sherry hogshead.



imageSpringbank 23 yo 1995 (48%, WhiskyNerds 2018, fresh sherry hogshead #63, 243 btl.)

Nose: yay. Starts on a beautiful mixture of minty old wood, a slightly sour tobacco note...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/springbank/springbank-1995-whiskynerds/

New: Highland Park Søren Solkær // A’Bunadh Alba // Craigellachie Private Stock


Highland Park Søren Solkær

Søren Solkær is a Danish photographer who did a photography session at the Highland Park distillery in 2017. Now they’re celebrating this partnership and his 26th working anniversary with the release of a Highland Park 26 Year Old .

It is said to be rich, sweet and spicy revealing complex layers of flavour throughnotes of cloves, cardamom and raisins, overlaid with light, heathery peat smoke. At least some sherry cask influence, I suppose? Could be really nice at this age.




Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba

Aberlour is working on a 100% bourbon oak version of its...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/highland-park-soren-solkaer-abunadh-alba-craigellachie-private-stock/

Laphroaig 2011 ‘Obsession’ (Whisky Tempel)

Obsession is part of a trio bottled over the coming years by the German shops Japanwhiskys and Whisky Tempel. The first expression is a young Laphroaig 2011 .

It is hard to appreciate in pictures, but the translucent label features some intriguing artwork by the Canadian photographer Alex Maxim.



imageLaphroaig 6 yo 2011 (52,4%, Japanwhiskys & Whisky Tempel ‘Obsession’ 2018, bourbon cask, 168 btl.)

Nose: young, with raw peat, some rubbery notes (new bike tyres), mezcal, olive brine and coal smoke. Burnt grassy notes. Hints of stewed pears in the background. Mouth: medicinal notes (plenty of iodine and...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/laphroaig/laphroaig-2011-obsession-whisky-tempel/

Unicorn 30 Years (CWS China)

I didn’t realize there were unicorns in Speyside until I saw this recent bottling for Chief Whisky Society in China. A 30 year-old single sherry cask from an undisclosed distillery.



imageUnicorn 30 yo 1988 (53,6%, CWS China ‘Myths & Legends’ 2018, first-fill Oloroso sherry butt #22, 630 btl.)

Nose: full of tobacco leaves, walnuts and leather. Hints of espresso and black tea, a little mulch and orange zests. Wet wood. Faint hints of pears and old rose petals, as well as some rancio notes. Beautiful, it has this old-style mushroomy side but also an elegant fruity edge. Reminds...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/undisclosed/unicorn-30-years-cws-china/

Octomore 09.1 / 09.2 / 09.3 Dialogos



This is the latest batch of Octomore bottlings. Three five-year-olds, distilled in 2012 and heavily peated of course. A fourth 09.4 (10 Years Old) will be added in januari 2019.

The series is called Dialogos , as Bruichladdich wants us to start a dialogue about terroir, wood influence, barley and so on. In any case we can only applaud the degree of transparency: every tiny detail about these whiskies are available on the website.



Octomore 09.1 is five years old, 156 ppm, made from Scottish grown Concerto barley and matured full-term in American bourbon casks, mainly Jim...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/bruichladdich/octomore-09-1-09-2-09-3-dialogos/

Bowmore 2002 (Master of Malt)

This is a single cask Bowmore 2002 recently bottled by the folks at Master of Malt . Matured in a plain bourbon barrel.



imageBowmore 15 yo 2002 (54%, Master of Malt 2018, bourbon barrel)

Nose: one of these very mezcal-ly modern Bowmores. Chiselled, with plenty of brine, limestone and a little petrol. Really nice. Some almonds, grapefruits, lemon peel, a little menthol and hessian. Ashes on a beach, but it’s more ‘industrial’ than peaty, if that makes sense. Mouth: close to the raw materials, showing a great combination of pink grapefruits and smoke, including the slightly tropical fruity...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/bowmore/bowmore-2002-master-of-malt/

Inverleven 1985 (G M Private Collection)

There’s rare and there’s rare. After around 3000 tasting notes I only tried one (other) Inverleven , a Lowlands distillery that was founded by Hiram Walker in 1938 and became part of the Dumbarton complex, where they produced different types of whisky for the Ballantine’s blend. Malt production ceased in 1991, some of the stills went to Port Charlotte and are now at Waterford in Ireland. Inverleven never had any official bottlings.

This Inverleven 1985 was just released by Gordon & MacPhail as one of the first relaunched Private Collection bottlings.



imageInverleven 33 yo 1985 (57,4%, Gordon &...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/inverleven/inverleven-1985-private-collection-gordon-macphail/

New: GlenAllachie single casks // Glen Moray Fired Oak // Bladnoch 17 Years


GlenAllachie single casks

Not really a surprise: The GlenAllachie is getting the same treatment as GlenDronach and BenRiach with a series of single casks . Ranging from 10 to 29 years (2008-1989 vintages), they were matured in plain bourbon barrels, sherry butts, Port pipes and virgin oak.

There are two series, one for the UK and one for Europe. Prices are between € 80 and € 350.




Glen Moray Fired Oak

After the initial maturation in bourbon barrels, Glen Moray Fired Oak was finished in heavily charred virgin oak casks, bringing it closer to the character of bourbon...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/glenallachie-single-casks-glen-moray-fired-oak-bladnoch-17yo/

Black Friday 2018 (The Whisky Exchange)


Last year The Whisky Exchange released a Black Friday whisky, an undisclosed 16yo Speysider which sold out in less than 20 minutes, even at 6 AM in the morning.

This year they’re repeating this tradition with another undisclosed whisky from Orkney . I’m not saying it is Highland Park but there aren’t many options available, right? We can be sure it’s 18 years old and gently smoky.

Slightly older, mildly smoky, cask strength and roughly the same price, interesting.



imageOrkney Islands 18 yo ‘Black Friday‘ (54,6%, Elixir Distillers 2018, 1400 btl.)

Nose: sweet heather notes and fresh sea...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/highland-park/black-friday-2018-whisky-exchange/

Glenrothes 1974 (Gordon MacPhail)

Gordon & MacPhail recently launched its redesigned Private Collection series. It features some of the rarest whiskies in their portfolio which come in a ridged bottle and a veneered wooden presentation box.

The first releases include an Inverleven 1985 as well as this 43 year-old Glenrothes 1974 from a sherry cask.



imageGlenrothes 43 yo 1974 (49,5%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Private Collection’ 2018, refill sherry puncheon #18440, 276 btl.)

Nose: complex and refined. Tobacco leaves, some metal polish, old Pu-Erh tea and chestnuts. Soaked sultanas and honied fruitcake. Herbal notes, orange peel and red berries. This has rather nice...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/glenrothes/glenrothes-1974-gordon-macphail/

Compass Box Flaming Heart (2018)

The latest release of Compass Box Flaming Heart was presented alongside The Story of the Spaniard and started to show up in stores recently. I loved the 5th edition which was released for Compass Box’s 15th anniversary, so we have high hopes for this 2018 edition.

The recipe behind this blended malt is a Highland malt blend (mainly Clynelish ) from heavily toasted oak barrels combined with peated Caol Ila , as well as some Deanston and others. It includes whisky from 7 to 30 years of age . For the 2018 edition they have reintroduced a subtle sherry cask...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/blends/compass-box-flaming-heart-2018/


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