Archive for the ‘Highland’ Category

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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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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A retaste:

I was blind-poured recently on a fresh bottle of a whisky I’d already tasted. The previous one I had tasted had been open for a long time and was near the end of the bottle. Lets see how I did in my notes, and how the changes in conditions changed.

Black Adder Glenury Royal 1973 34 Y.O.94.8 Proof.

Fall 2010 (Nearly empty bottle):
Starts on soggy pancakes, resplendent with butter and maple syrup, developing into caramel. After a full fifteen minutes in the glass it develops juicy and bitter oranges, rosemary, a bit of thyme, lots of heather, anise, very heavily laden with spices and showing much more oak influence now.

Spring 2011 (Fresh bottle):
Maple, oats, patchouli, dried clementine peel, maybe some peat but no smoke, paraffin, meyer lemons, blackberries. (well, at this point I was shown the bottle and went back to my previous notes, where I should have kept going.)

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Scapa is a distillery on the island of Orkney, north of the scottish mainland, right near Highland Park. This whisky was recommended to me by Joe at Federal Wine and Spirits in Boston, MA. He was giving myself and some other customers a taste of an independent bottling of Highland Park that hadn’t been finished in sherry casks, as all distillery bottlings are. I generally consider myself a traditionalist in that I’m not wild about finishing casks. When I tried to purchase said bottle I was told they didn’t have any in stock but that I should try this Gordon and Macphail bottling of Scapa, as given its proximity to Highland Park I might find the two to be similar. I’m very glad I did. It’s unusual though, in that my tasting notes are very different from many other reviews of similar bottles, though I honestly couldn’t find any reviews of this particular bottling. Normally an island distillery of this nature will have notes of salt, seaweed, and other unusual but vaguely marine characteristics.

Consumed: Neat.

I found it to be a wonderful dessert-y scotch, unexpected given its fairly pale golden color. On first whiff you get the island sensation: subtle salt and vegetal aromas but as you really nose the glass those are lost and replaced by rainier cherries, and chocolate up front, gaining characteristics of apricots as the alcohol hits you. To this is then added raisins with the cherries moving to a more brandied scent as well as barley, milk, and almonds; then after sitting in the glass for a while- added are notes of tangerines and honey. The palate follows closely with a heavy emphasis on the complimentary flavors of chocolate, milk, barley, fruit and almonds, with the other notes deep in the background adding complexity.

Note: not my exact bottle, but very close

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