Archive for the ‘Islay’ Category

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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Unpublished notes on assorted Port Ellens:

PE3 (Bottled by The Whisky Exchange in their Elements of Islay line)

First come faint wisps of smokey bacon underneath a heady ozone, making for an ethereal boozy quality to the nose. Digging into it delivers salt and oils, maple cream, chesnuts, sesame oil, meyer lemon. I’m afraid to add water to this, it’s too light and ethereal. I’ll wait it out: Wintergreen, toasted sunflower seeds, finally some light sherry notes (grape kool-aid) now plastic, light caramel, green olives, smokeless peat moss.


McGibbon’s Provenance Port Ellen 23 YO 46%

Closed nose, just smokey/ashey with rubber, and harsh chemicals. Opens with water and time to reveal big lychee, honey, oranges, thyme, mint, salt, butter, a bit of talc, chamomile and corn. Not… particularly good, though the lychee note is quite nice.

Scott’s Port Ellen 1976-1998 22 YO 57%

no heat at this proof, just smooth butterscotch custard, with vanilla and orange marmelade. Just hints of charcoal, charred meat, and a dash of worcestershire. Some bitter oak arises, bringing lovely chili’s. Water brings out Bing cherries, gooseberries, mint, seaweed, and seabreeze. Sour oak comes to the fore now with oysters. More water brings red sandstone, and autumn leaves, and a touch of strawberry icing sugar before it’s carried away on a wave of peat reek. Finishes on an odd note of yeasty, cheddary notes.

Port Ellen 7th Release: 28 YO 53.8%

Lovely birch, mint, wintergreen, sasparilla, all holding a high, heady note with some meyer lemon aroma rising above all that. Bass notes include tar, salt, a gritty mocha note, mud, subtle black raspberries, raspberry eau de vie, black peppercorns, some under-ripe peaches, and light floral notes.

Provenance Port Ellen 24 YO

Good smoke presence up front with those unmistakable creamy, salty, vanilla notes that identify the distillery. Big notes of spent grains, some spearmint, peat moss, hot coals, eucalyptus, ash, smoked oranges, a little telicherry peppercorn, and some nice white pork.

Port Ellen 1983 bottled by The Whisky Exchange in London for The Whisky Show 2011

Big & Dirty, charred burnt camp-firey peat. Quite astonishing for a Port Ellen. Note quite complimentary sherry is very big as well but winey, caramelly and poorly integrated.

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Nicoise olives, olive oil, peat, smoldering wet coals, sourwood honey and toffee, vanilla, coffee, damp earth, charred beef and teriyaki sauce, very subtle white peach and cantaloupe melon, some charred corn tortilla with black beans.  (alright, maybe at this point I was just hungry). Point is, this stuff is outstanding. Briney, oily, earthy, complex, and yummy.

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Casked by my sensei into Madeira casks for a final five days of ACEing.

Aloe, cinchona, gentian and other medicinal herbs, no doubt from the Madeira, but amazing in their presence after a mere five day ACE. Molten brown sugar comes and goes. Shows some melons, dried oranges, coffee and cherry pie (Cherry compote, butter, flaky pastry). Develops chili oil, licorice rout, echinacea, green cardamom and wintergreen on the palate, finishing on lingering vanilla extract.

I know I’ve already said it twice, and in capital letters no less, but this whisky is an ACE.

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Cumin, sesame, golden brown marshmallows. quite some mint, subtle lemons, sweet ppeat moss, and demerera sugar. With a vegitality bordering on onions.

I’m not sure I can even explain this one. Either my palate was off (certainly possible) or this is just an odd bird. This is part of a series of at least three 16 Y.O. vintage dated Bowmores, I’ve had the Bourbon cask one which I believe was the 1989 and it was quite good. This bottle was quite near the end, maybe oxygen got the better of it.

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Honey soaked figs, beautiful balance of smoke, oil, wood plank, sherry influence, and malt.Starts on maple sweetness and whole barley, developing nutmeg and eventually lemon and dill mixed in subtly with the oak spice. Moves onto banana and cinnamon with fresh sea air, nice and salty with molasses notes now, going further into a Dalmore-esque chocolate tangerine note, but with a little bacon adding some umami character to the background. Gaining now hickory smoke, dates, and black tea, with sliced mango showing on the nose now, and evolving further on brown sugar, vanilla, and grass.

Simply superb. Really and truly a spectacular damn malt.

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