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Archive for November, 2011

Color: Real dark, beautiful mahogony

Nose: What a monster! Moist brown sugar. Maple sap and pine pitch. Orange blossom honey and old orange liqueurs. Walnut skins. At last, some stewed prunes arrive with a touch of lemon balm. Elvoves further on big, beautiful dark chocolate, and further on raisins and menthol, some cocoa or shea butter and aloe. Coffee, soft cinnamon, apple butter, and a hint of heather. Wood notes growing now on birch bark and bit of sawdust.

Palate: Demerera rum and coffee, cola, gentian, more chocolate, tons of orange pith, birch syrup, orange liqueur, walnut liqueur, every damn root, herbs, woods and spicy english pipe tobacco and the leather pouch it’s held in. It’s lively, too, almost effervescent.

Worth every penny and worth buying several. Love that rich old extracted sherry-monster.

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I wasn’t in peak condition for doing notes as I was in the process of falling terribly ill, as it appears that drinking and jet-lag evidently is something my body is incapable of handling. Well, here we go:

Benromach 30: Actually good! (I’m not a huge Benromach fan, but I like this a lot) Apricot compote, a thread of smoke, some vanilla, roasted peanuts, a touch of sumac. The sherry is a rather bass note sort without being earthy or too nutty. Raspberries, polished oak, bramble. A bit of plum comes through eventually with some licorice and anise on the finish. Some lemon oil comes late to the party.

G&M Glen Albyn 1975: Very nutty and spicy as hell on the palate. Very strong. Palate is quite bready like cornmeal crused pizza crust (not pizza-y mind you). Toasted corn kernels. Kiwi is suggested and I must say I agree along with a touch of grapefruit and juniper. Very Gin-like actually with very big botanicals. Blackberry seeds develop on the nose.

G&M Strathisla 1963 43% First-fill sherry: Reasonably stick with honey and birch sap, broken branches, some dates, leather, cherry cordial, and chocolates. Gains touches of buttercups and coffee.

G&M Glen Grant 1953 40%: Ahh lovely. Despite feeling hellish this is truly beautiful. Brown sugar, candied orange peel, old rum, virginia tobacco, some char, antique wood, cloves, menthol and some bitter cough syrup.

G&M Glen Livet 1940 70 YO 45.9%: Very unusual, hot nose and funky with earth and mushrooms and beef demi-glass. All such dark notes that have little to do with the fragile, light color of the whisky. Brittle notes of pistachio and almonds, as well as gold rum rise up from the glass. On the palate it’s quite different from the nose. Green notes of eucalyptus leaves, cucumber, pine needles, great icing sugar. The nose develops peach melba, some freshly cut green apples, and orange pulp. The palate is now showing a delicious, mouth-watering bitterness, perfectly in balance and quite fresh. Water shows cherry cordial, some cola, gentian and more apple. A mouthful held is hot and hard at first but develops into syrupy goodness and finishes on hardwoods, walnuts, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Whoah.

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Glenury Royal 12 YO OB 40% Pre-diageo, so… late 80’s bottling maybe?

Light nose on banana, dates, fresh bread, pineapple, dried oranges, patchouli, and cream ale. Alright, the cream ale hits first and was a little off-putting but not bad. Some raspberry, bramble, whole wheat, and more beer, though it’s more akin to a saison now. Quite sime pineapple liqueur, and pears. It’s a shame water kills it.

 

G&M Glenury Royal 1972-2002 40%

Opens pretty intensely on pineapple, honey, tangerines, coconut cream, subtle milk chocolate, some aged rum, yellow cake, teak, some light cherry cordial. Water brings out myriad oils, shea butter, cocoa butter, a little paraffin, mineral oil, almond oil, sunflower seed oil, salt, wet dogs, dried hay, and a touch of fruit punch. This malt has pretty much everything that made 1972 a miraculous year in the highlands. I bought 4 of them.

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Laphroaig 10 YO bottled >/= 1968 OB 91.4 US Proof imported through Baltimore

Wow, what a palate! Smoke, peat is more vivid than I’ve ever tasted. gritty damp soil, salt, graphite, wet slate, tar, sea spray, damp coffee grounds, tons of rocks but also a touch of black raisins and prunes. Nose shows vanilla cookies, french herbs, dried flowers, potpourri, iodine, linseed oil.

 

Laphroaig 10 YO bottled </= 1968 OB 91.4 US proof imported through Baltimore.

note: these are from the same collector both purchased upon their US release, but bottled perhaps a year apart as the bottles are slightly different (only in the sense that one has raised lettering on the glass)

Nose starts on chalk, slate, old woolens, salted butter, teak, wood polish, leather, soft white pepper, light creosote, linseed oil, slightly mentholated, nettle tea, vanilla, salt-water toffee, soft tar, talc, turmeric, freshly plucked wild mint, damp coffee grounds. Water brings out tons of dried flowers, hot red rocks, black pepper, brown butter, sweet cream, those same dried french herbs, and light brown sugar.

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G&M Balblair 1966: Boozy nose with notes of gold rum, grape preserves, papaya, coconut oil, star fruit, vanilla, white oak, and tangerine. Palate starts on white rum and oats, the coconut oil, grain, some macadamia nuts. A retaste of a sample from a fresh bottle yields a more bourbony whisky. Big Caramel and wood, some dried satsuma oranges. Otherwise quite resembling my original notes.

OB Balblair 1965: A great deal of vanilla on this baby with a soft, vegitality (not a real word) underneath. Sweet honey, sticky toffee, white peonies, heather, lavendar and apricots with just a tiny bit of chocolate fudge.

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Bulk Post #4

A Bevy of Bowmores:

A. D. Rattray Bowmore¬† Sherry Cask ’91-’10 53.5%

Cedar, mushrooms, figs, soap, dust, phenols, gasoline, soil, mint, dried apricots, and purple grapes.

 

Hart Brothers Bowmore 1958

Nose: Super light and tropical: mangoes, nectarines, kumquats, syrupy peaches, lychees, starfruit and coconut with just the faintest prickle of smoke. Palate shows honey, mint, that starfruit, lychees, and kumpquats with a bit of grapefruit. Hardly any wood to it, just a gentle brushing of spice: cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger on the finish.

 

Signatory Bowmore 1968 32 YO Cask 1428 46%

Light billowy gray smoke, vanilla cake, cocoa butter, marzapan, linseed oil, then the fruits: banana, lychee cantaloup, honeydew. also some cappuccino. Water brings out more fruit: raspberry, bitter orange, torched orange peel, orange flower water, strawberry, some grapefruit. Also coming out is fennel pollen, peanut brittle, burnt toffee, dried cherries, some peppercorns, bay leaf, loads more strawberries and kirsch.

 

Bowmore 1993 bottled by The Whisky Exchange for The Whisky Show 2011:

killer. huge tropical fruits and big smoke. Amazing.

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Bulk Post #3

Bourbons and Grains:

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection ’09 (I think)

1997 Double Barrel 45%

Big spice: Dill, fennel. Cider Vinegar, sharp oak, spearmint, soft tannins, roots, light butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon, cherry jelly.

1993 Double Barrel 45%

Much more traditional. Massive butterscotch pudding, vanilla, dates and a touch of brine.

Willets Pot Still Reserve:

Harsh nose. Some orange marmalade up front with heavy menthol and big wood. Cherry, vanilla, freshly sawn oak, weak and woody, tannic.

Hedonism 10th Anniversary Invergordon 38 YO Single Cask 46% 120 bottles world-wide:

Barrel char, anise, licorice root, musty oak, honey, caramel, pollen, beeswax, honeycomb, turmeric, gentian, thyme, caranne, peaches, vanilla, pecans, golden virginia tobacco.

SMWS Inchmurin 32 YO 56%

Strawberry, putty, big artificial strawberries like Laffy Taffy. Mouth is hot but yummy. Not overly sweet but a bit – on strawberry jam, strawberry ic ecream, but also a few pretty big grassy notes.

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