Springbank 18 Years Review


“A Dirty Mind is a Joy Forever”

Whisky Review # 660

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Springbank
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 18 Years (Bottled 2016)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: A Mix of Sherry - and Bourbon casks  
Chill Filtration: No   
Price Range: US Dollars 150-180 (November 2017)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Not cheap of course but it has this "something"!

Colour: Deep Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose: Dirty and Musty are the first impressions that spring to my mind. There's some Sulphur there while I also get notes of Gasoline, Plastic and Cow Manure. An interesting start of procedures! It's quite Light for an 18 Year old actually. Be sure to give it sufficient time in the glass before Nosing. I also find Malted Grain, slightly Burnt Toast, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Toasted Nuts, Hay, Dirt Track, light Peat/Smoke, Heather-Honey, Cocoa Powder, Toasted Oak, Mineral notes, X-mas Cake, Sushi, Orange, Blueberries, Dried Banana Chips, Pineapple, Pepper, Cinnamon, Mint and interesting hints of Tobacco and Leather. The Alcohol is noticeable. I had expected more cask influence to be honest. I must assume that large numbers of Refill casks have been used. But there's this Dirty, Dusty authentic feel to this Single Malt that I like. It's not as fresh and lively as the 10 Years but it's thoroughly interesting.    

Palate: The best part of this Springbank in my opinion. I really like this almost old-fashioned feel. It's Dirty, Dusty, Musty, Bitter-Sweet and slightly Sour with Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Dirt Track, Wax, Salted Nuts, light Peat/Smoke, Cocoa Powder, Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Raisins, Strawberry Jam, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, light Licorice, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol, Ashes, Leather and Tobacco. A hint of Sulphur. A bit of Melon after a while.         

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Spicy and Herbal. A few Sour notes as well. The Dirty Peat/Smoke is more noticeable by now. I find Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Toasted Oak, Bitter Chocolate, Orange, Blueberries, Dirt Track, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, light Licorice, Dried Herbs, Menthol, Aniseed and hints of Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Tobacco, Leather, Diesel and Ashes. The Alcohol is still there as well.   

Drinking Advice:
I added a few drops of Water and you do get rid of most of the Alcohol. But it's not the same Whisky anymore and Plastic and Rubber notes come to the front. Better sip it neat and hate it or love it!    

Rating: 87 

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 22.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

๐Ÿฃ   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The Springbank distillery was founded in 1828 in Campbeltown and is owned by the Mitchell family since 1837. In the past, Campbeltown was home to over 30 distilleries but only Springbank and Glen Scotia have survived. The Springbank distillery produces three whiskies. The lightly peated Springbank that is distilled two and a half times, the heavily peated Longrow that is distilled twice and the unpeated Hazelburn that is distilled three times. Springbank is a very traditional  distillery and the whole Whisky making process is done at their premises. That includes malting 100% of the Barley. Because of this, Springbank became a sort of cult distillery with many loyal fans. Prices increased accordingly during the last 10 years. We visited the distillery in May this year and absolutely loved it! It's like going back in time. I can fully recommend a visit!

The 18 Years was first launched in 2008 but a new edition and format was introduced in 2010. Since then, the 18 Years has become an annual limited edition. The 2016 expression I'm tasting today consists of "only" 7200 bottles.

Visit May 2017

๐Ÿท  The Spirit 

Springbank operates 1 Wash still and a pair of Spirit stills. Their Lyne arms are slightly pointing downwards and produce a medium-bodied, Sweet, Spicy and Oily spirit. The water is sourced from the Crosshills Loch.

Visit May 2017

๐ŸŒฒ  The Wood:

The 18 Years matured in a mix of 80% Ex-Sherry casks and 20% Ex-Bourbon casks. Mostly Refill casks I would say.

Drinking Experience: Good and Interesting.

Conclusion: This is not for everyone! Beginning Whisky drinkers might not fancy Gasoline, Rubber, Plastic and Cow Manure. This is certainly not an easy-going Single Malt. Dirty, Dusty and Musty. But also Authentic, Old-Fashioned and full of Character. It's not at all Balanced and the Alcohol is a bit annoying from time to time. But there's something irresistible to this Springbank 18 Years that tells my brain to have another dram! Unfortunately I only have a relatively small sample. The 10 Years is still my favourite day-to-day Springbank but I will certainly try to get me a bottle of the 18 years to be able to enjoy this bag of Oil, Dirt and Manure from time to time. Good Stuff! 

Jan van den Ende                                                              November 20, 2017

Visit May 2017

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2018 Review


“The Perfect Guide to the World of Whisky”

Hi Everybody and Welcome at Best Shot Whisky Reviews!

As you all know the purpose of Best Shot Whisky Reviews is to give my personal opinion on Whiskies from all over the world. As I would like to maintain my independent position I'm not engaged in any commercial activity. But, as I have done over the last 3 years, I would like to make an exception to be able to share with you the new edition of The Malt Whisky Yearbook by Ingvar Ronde that has been released every year since 2005. As always, the Year Book is packed with highly interesting stories, this time amongst others about the Secrets of the Stillmakers, the Guardians of the Whisky Galaxy, the Rise of English Whisky, Building, Running and Branding a new distillery, Scotch Whisky and the Law, Sweet and Dry Whisky Aromas/Flavours, and others. The writers include good old Charles MacLean, Gavin Smith, Dominic Roskrow, Ian Wisniewski, Neil Ridley, Johnny McCormick and Stefan Van Eycken.

Other features include sections devoted to The Formation of the Big Producers, Independent Bottlers, 150 of the world's best Whisky Shops and a summary of the latest Whisky Year. But the most important part of the book remains the detailed description of Scottish - and Japanese Distilleries and slightly shorter presentations on Malt Whisky Distilleries from the rest of the world. All in all 501 distilleries are presented. And there's still much more such as Whisky Statistics, favourite Whisky Web Sites, Distilleries per Owner, Closed Distilleries, Maps and so on.

Ingvar Ronde

Hundreds of books have been written on the fascinating Spirit called Whisky. Many of them relate to specific subjects while many others give more (global) overviews. I own several of them and I think many of you do too. And for sure I consult these books every once in a while. But there's only one book that stays next to my computer all the time and that's the Malt Whisky Yearbook. Why? Because it's one of the few Whisky books that manages to provide both newbies and connoisseurs alike with all the required information in a clear, pleasant and precise way!

On top of that, the Book is not at all expensive and is sold in Whisky Shops, Distillery Visitor Centres and at the editor's website:

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2018

I wish you lots of fun with the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2018!

Cheers!

Jan

J&B 15 Years (1980's) Review


“Old and Wise”

Whisky Review # 659

A Bit of History.

On December 23, 2011, I reviewed the J&B 15 Years that was bottled around 2010. Here are the Tasting Notes I wrote back then: 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: First impressions are Peat and Malt with some Sherry lurking in the back. After a while we get Tobacco, White Pepper, Black Tea and Old Leather. There are more wafts of young Grain alcohol than I would expect from a 15 Year old Blend. There is evidence of coastal – or Islay distilleries in this blend but I find it hard to describe them. It’s like smelling a salty sea breeze but maybe I’m getting a bit too poetic here. But definitively salty! It’s certainly less sweet than I expected given the presence of the Speyside Malts. There are certainly some interesting aspects to the nose but you need patience to get through the wafts of Alcohol that keep distracting you from time to time. I will deduct half a point for that.

Taste: The delivery is a bit watery. A somewhat remarkable combination of sugary Candy and Peat, spiced up with White Pepper and Cinnamon. It’s hard to detect the malt whiskies here. Not at all elegant. No need to add water as the delivery is already on the thin side.

Finish: Disappointing. Short and dry with salted Nuts and White Pepper. That’s too little for a 15 Year Blend.

Rating: 80,5 

Nose: 21,5 – Taste: 20 – Finish: 19 – Overall: 20

Conclusion: Really disappointing. The nose is interesting although without a clear purpose or vision. The wafts of Alcohol should not be that present after 15 years! Taste-wise there's too much sweet Candy and the finish is not worth mentioning. It’s drinkable of course but in Brazil you pay around US$ 100 for this blend! For about half that price you can get yourselves a great blend like Johnnie Walker Black!

Very recently I received a 5 CL miniature bottle of the 15 Years from my parents in law. They already had it in their possession for quite some time and their educated guess is that they most likely bought it in the early 1980's. Although the miniature was unopened, I observed that around 1/3 of the Whisky/Water combination had evaporated over time. I'm really curious to find out if the Blend is still drinkable and, if so, how it compares to the 15 years that was bottled around 2010. Let's go!
=================================================

Glen Spey Distillery

Country: Scotland
Brand: J&B Reserve
Type: Blended Whisky
Bottled: 1980's
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: My guess would be mostly American White Oak Casks with probably some Ex-Sherry casks in the mix as well. 
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: Around US$ 125 on the Internet (November 2017)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Neutral
It's rather expensive but it gives you the opportunity to detect the differences between older Blends and their more recent versions. 

Colour: Golden (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Light but not unpleasant. My guess would be that mostly refill Bourbon casks were used for maturation. Probably a small part of Ex-Sherry casks went in the mix as well. The Grain Alcohol is there but not in an aggressive way. I find Toasted Cereals, Sweet Barley, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Salted Nuts, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Raisins and Banana, Orange, Lemon, Apple, Vanilla, Marzipan, Fresh Mint, Cinnamon, Refill Wood and hints of Peat, Tobacco, Leather and Ginger. The main difference with the current 40% version is the lack of Aggressive Grain Alcohol. It's also less Peaty, more balanced and with more depth. Better casks most likely.   

Palate: Slightly Thin Delivery. An ABV of 46% would have been perfect for this Blend. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, slightly Bitter Oranges, Lemon, Apple, Salted Nuts, Mixed Fruit, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint and a hint of Peat.  

Finish: Candy Sweet but not in a cloying way. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable now but it just stays within limits. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Sweet Malt, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Salted Nuts, Pepper, Ginger, Orange,  Apple, Menthol, Refill Oak and a faint hint of Peat. Both on the Palate and in the Finish this 1980's version of the J&B 15 Years shows more character and balance than the current expression at 40%. Better casks were used back than or at least so it seems.

Auchroisk Distillery

Drinking Advice:
Due to the small size of the sample, I only tasted this J&B 15 Years neat.

Rating: 83.5  

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21


General Remarks:

J&B was originally called Johnson & Justerini and was founded as a wine/spirit broker in 1749 in London. In 1831 the company was bought by Alfred Brooks and was renamed Justerini & Brooks. Currently it's the second best selling Blend in the world, only behind Johnnie Walker. The original 15 Years was launched in the 1980's and bottled at 43%. It has been discontinued in the meantime and has been replaced by the current 40% expression. The 15 years is made of over 40 Grain and Malt Whiskies. A good portion of the Malt hails from Knockando, Auchroisk and Glen Spey.  

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: The J&B 15 Years bottled in the early 1980's is a gentle and light Blend with a Speyside character and a faint touch of Islay. It's not aggressive at any point and Grain Alcohol, Refill Wood and Sugar do not pass the limit. When compared to its today's brother it presents more character and balance thanks to a better Wood Management. The Islay content is certainly lower in the older version resulting in a better balance.  It is still a little Thin though and it would certainly benefit if bottled at 46%. As a whole though the "old" version easily beats its younger brother on all accounts. 

Jan van den Ende                                                             November 15, 2017

Knockando Distillery

Tomintoul 33 Years Review


“Shy Guy”

Whisky Review # 658

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Tomintoul (Special Reserve)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 33 Years 
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Most likely a mix of Bourbon and Sherry Casks     
Chill Filtration: Yes   
Price Range: US$ 180-220 (November 2017). Higher prices in some places. 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not really bad but too expensive for what it offers. 

Colour: Golden with hints of Orange (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Quite Light for a Whisky of this age. Clear Bourbon cask influences but there is some Sherry in the mix as well. Mostly refill casks I would think based on Colour and Aroma. On the Nose I detect Sweet, Sour, Green and Yeasty elements. I find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Toffee, Treacle, Heather Honey, Grass, Straw, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Sultanas and Figs, slightly Sour Apples and White Grapes, Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Gooseberries, Nuts, Wood Shavings, Cinnamon, Ginger, Aniseed, light Menthol and traces of Dairy, Cooked Vegetables and/or Potatoes and Bourbon. The Alcohol is reasonably well integrated. There is enough to discover if you take the time but somehow the add-up of all the components is not quite convincing. "Shy Boy" by Diana King is a song that comes to my mind.   

Palate: By nature the Tomintoul 33 is rather Soft on the Palate but the Alcohol and the Wood provide some Sharp, Edgy elements as well. I find Malted Barley, Sugared Cereals, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Nuts and Dried Fruit, Banana, Mandarin, Orange, Grapefruit, Oak, Stone Fruit, Straw, Grass, Vanilla, Resin, Sugared Tea, Cinnamon, Mint, Pepper, Aniseed and traces of Espresso and Bitter Chocolate. On the Palate this Tomintoul is mostly Bitter-Sweet with some Sour, Herbal and Spicy notes.      

Finish: Middle-Long and mostly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour, Herbal and Spicy notes. A little Sharp and Tannic. I find Malted Barley, Sugared Cereals, Treacle, Hazelnut/Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Toffee, Heather Honey, Nuts and Nutshells, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Hay, Alcohol and a hint of Espresso or Strong Tea.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Nose becomes more Floral but also really Thin. I get some notes of Fresh Peach as well. The Palate becomes Floral as well and almost reminds me of a Perfume. You do get rid of the harshness by adding a few drops of Water. This is not an easy call. Just experiment and add a drop or two at a time. 

Rating: 84.5    

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21


General Remarks:

๐Ÿฃ   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The Tomintoul distillery was founded in 1965 and was bought in 2000 by the current owners Angus Dundee Distillers who also acquired Glencadam in 2003. It is located in Ballindaloch (Banffshire), one of the highest distillery locations in Scotland. The core range currently consists a/o of the NAS Tlath, the 10, 14, 16, 21 and 25 years old as well as some peated Malts like the Old Ballantruan and the Peaty Tang. The Tomintoul Malt is used in blends like Dundee and Parker's.

The 33 Years was launched in August 2009 to replace the 27 Years that had been released in 2004. Recently, the 33 years has been discontinued as well.

Picture Credit: Whisky.com
๐Ÿท  The Spirit:

The Distillery operates two pairs of Stills with Lyne arms that point slightly upwards. They produce a light, Fruity and Floral Spirit. The Water is sourced from the Ballantruan Spring.

Picture Credit: Whisky-News.com

๐ŸŒฒ  The Wood:

Unfortunately I do not have any exact information with respect to the casks that contained the 33 Year old Tomintoul during maturation. Based on the Aroma -  and Flavour profile I would assume that we are looking at a combination of refill Ex- Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks. 

Drinking Experience: Okay/Good. I expected more of a 33 Year old Malt.

Conclusion:

I have tasted quite a few Tomintouls in the meantime and it's fair to say it does not rank among my favourite distilleries. The 33 Years is no exception to the rule although it's not a bad Single Malt. But I can almost feel the tiredness of the Refill casks after 33 long Years. A little added Water helps to clear the air but almost transfers the Whisky in a Floral Perfume. I'm not sure that's what Master-Distiller Robert Fleming had in mind when creating this Single Malt. If you have the spare cash and like the Aroma/Flavour profile by all means give the 33 Years a chance. Although personally I would strongly advise you to try a miniature first before deciding on buying a full bottle. Because prices are quite high, even more so of course after the decision to discontinue the 33 Years.   

Jan van den Ende                                                                November 8, 2017

Picture Credit: Peter Moore

Booker's the Barrel Review


“Great Balls of Fire”

Whisky Review # 657

Country: USA
Brand: Booker's Bourbon Batch # 2015-02 The Barrel (True Barrel Series)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Age: 6-8 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 63.7%
Maturation: New Charred American White Oak Barrels 
Filtration: No  
Price Range: Around US$ 75 (October 2017)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Hotter than Hell! I dare you to try it! Good Stuff! 

Colour: Deep Amber with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose: Sweet and Pleasant despite the high ABV. At first I get the familiar combination of Glue, Acetone, Vanilla, Orange, Caramel and Banana. It might not be everybody's cup of Tea but I find it rather addictive. A sort of Guilty Pleasure if you know what I mean! After a while In also find Fresh Peach, Corn Syrup, Milky Way Bar, Dusty Road, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, a mix of Dried Fruits and Nuts, Floral tones, Menthol, Charred Oak and hints of Leather, Aniseed and Tobacco. From time to time I pick up some Dark Red Fruit Aromas as well but it's hard to pinpoint them.      

Palate: Wow! This is not for the Faint of Heart! Extremely strong delivery thanks to the high ABV. I'm usually not a fan of adding Water but in this case it's almost mandatory. My eyes started crying a bit. Not from sadness though as I quite like the Palate of this Booker's. It roughly follows the Nose with Vanilla, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit and Nuts, Banana, Cherry, Acetone, Glue, Orange, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Menthol, Aniseed, Herbs, Salted Peanuts and hints of Leather, Resin and Tobacco.

Finish: Middle-Long but quite Powerful. The Alcohol is really strong. Quite Tannic as well. Mainly Sweet but with a few Bitter - and Sour notes as well. I find Vanilla, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Acetone, Glue, Milky Way Bars, Sweet Corn, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol, Orange and Grapefruit Juice. Hints of Leather, Dried Herbs and Tobacco. Dry in the end. 

Drinking Advice:
I advise you to add a little Water in this case. You won't change the general Aroma and Flavour profile and it makes it easier to enjoy this Booker's.

Rating: 86 

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

Booker's Bourbon is part of Jim Beam's Small Batch collection and is named after Booker Noe, the former Master Distiller. It was first released to the general public in 1992. Each barrel selected for Booker's is aged in the centre of the rack houses where temperature and humidity are ideal. Booker's is Unfiltered and bottled at Cask Strength.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: This is what good Bourbon is all about. When you take a small sip you can easily imagine those old black and white Cowboy movies where the hero would enter a saloon and demand a shot! When I'm perfectly honest I would have preferred a slightly lower ABV of around 55% as the heat nearly gets out of control at almost 64%. I normally drink my Whisky or Bourbon neat but in this case I advise you to add a little Water. Other than that I really liked this Booker's. If you're not into Bourbon at all this is certainly not the way to start your voyage. But if you are a seasoned Glue and Acetone addict you will love this Booker's. It's Hot, it's Strong, it kicks like a wild mule and it gives no quarter. It's not at all complex but it's well-made and there's an authentic feel to it that I love. It's not cheap but it's well worth the ride. Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Rawhide! 

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 24, 2017

Lord Elcho 15 Years Review


“Thin Nobility”

Whisky Review # 656

Country: Scotland
Brand: Lord Elcho
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: A mix of Refill Bourbon- and Ex-Sherry casks.
Chill Filtration: Yes  
Price Range: US$ 60-80 (October 2017)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜Neutral. Not bad but a little Thin and quite expensive!

Colour: Golden Amber with a shade of Orange (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Light and almost understated for a 15 Year old. The Grain Alcohol is there but not in an aggressive way. Bourbon and Sherry cask influence is noticeable. I find Toasted Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Coconut Milk, Apple-Pie with Cream and Vanilla Sauce, Caffe Latte, Citrus Peel, Salted Peanut, Heather-Honey, Cinnamon, Clove, Allspice, Ginger, Floral Perfume, Pineapple and very faint hints of Licorice and Factory Smoke. The Nose is Light but not bad although the Grain Alcohol and the Refill Wood spoil the party ever so slightly.

Palate: Light. Slightly Thin and almost Watery delivery. I find some Toasted Cereals, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Apple-Pastry, Banana, Straw, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Raisins, Sugared Almonds, Sugared Tea, Heather-Honey, Dried Herbs, Citrus Peel, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, light Aniseed, light Pineapple, Milk Chocolate, Refill Wood and Cocoa Powder.  

Finish: On the short side. Bitter-Sweet, a bit Thin, quite Spicy and a little Hot. Quite Dry and Peppery in the end. I find Toasted Cereals, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Milk Chocolate, Heather-Honey, Mandarin Juice, Lemon Peel, Cinnamon, light Aniseed, Pepper, Straw, Refill Wood and Vanilla-Flavoured Pipe Tobacco.     

Drinking Advice:
Due to the small size of the sample, I only tasted this Lord Elcho neat.

Rating: 80.5 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20


General Remarks:

Lord Elcho 15 Years Blended Scotch Whisky was released in 2012 by Wemyss Malts, the Fife-based blender/bottler, founded in 2005 by William Wemyss. This family has traditional ties to the Whisky industry. Lord Elcho was the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss. He was born in 1721 and sided with Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising. After the defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Lord Elcho was stripped of lands and title and exiled to France. The Wemyss family recently constructed the Kingsbarns Lowland distillery. Wemyss released a NAS version of the Lord Elcho Blend in 2014. The 15 Years consists of Grain Whiskies (60%) and Malt Whiskies (40%). The exact recipe is not known but it might change from year to year to guarantee consistency.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay. Palate and Finish on the Thin side.

Conclusion: The Lord Elcho 15 Years is not a bad blend and the Nose gives us sparkles of understated quality. But Palate and Finish are quite Thin and the majority of Aromas and Flavours are mere impressions. I would have expected more depth and volume of 15 Year Old Whiskies. As usual, the low ABV, Chill-Filtration and loads of indifferent casks are the probable villains. Despite its flaws, Lord Elcho 15 Years is still better than most average Blends. It is of course also much more expensive. It's up to you to decide whether you want to spend an average 70 US Dollars on this nice looking Bottle and packaging. Personally, I don't!   

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 20, 2017

Complete Ranking Of Reviewed Whiskies October 20, 2017



Points System: 

- From 92,5 - 100 Points : The Absolute Top - A Must Buy!
- From 88 - 92  Points     : Great Whisky - Buy it if you can!
- From 80 - 87.5 Points   : Good Whisky - You won't waste your money!
- From 70 - 79.5  Points  : Indifferent Stuff  - Mostly Okay for Mixing or on the Rocks
- Below 70 Points            : Hey Teacher, Leave That Stuff Alone!


Ardbeg  Uigeadail
92.5
Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 1990
90.5
BenRiach 16 Years
90
Chivas Regal Royal Salute 21 Years
90
Tomatin
1965
89.5
Laphroaig 13 Years
89
Caol Ila "1990"
89
Georg T. Stagg 2012

89
Talisker 18 Years
89
Caol Ila
1995
89
Laphroaig
15
89
Longrow 11 Years Red Cabernet S.
88.5
Ardbeg Supernova 2010

88.5
Bowmore
1996
88.5
GlenDronach 11 Years
88.5
Yamazaki 18 Years
88.5
Tormore 1984

88.5
BenRomach 10 Years
88.5
Bowmore 17 Years
88.5
Longmorn 1996 (17 Years)
88.5
Ardbeg  10 Years
88
Bowmore 12 Years Enigma
88
Talisker 10 Years
88
Aberlour A"Bunadh Batch 37
88
Lagavulin 16 Years
88
Caol Ila "1982"
88
Royal Brackla
1976
88
Lochside
1967
88
Highland Park 18 Years
88
Amrut Peated Raw Cask
88
Laphroaig 18 Years
88
Strathmill
1974
88
Bunnahabhain
1968
88
Arran 18 Limited Ed.
88
Glen Elgin
1997
88
Glenfarclas 2002-2011 (9 Years)
88
Springbank
37
88
Lagavulin
8
88
Bowmore 18 Years
87.5
Santis Malt Cask 1130
87.5
Tomatin "1976"
87.5
Glen Garioch 1991 Batch 38

87.5
Mortlach
1990
87.5
Bushmills
21
87.5
Octomore 2007

87.5
Nikka Taketsuru 17

87.5
J. Walker Swing
87
Glenfarclas 12 Years
87
Kavalan Conductor

87
Jefferson's Presidential Select 18 Years

87
Mortlach
1991
87
Glen Grant
1975
87
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
87
The Lost Blend

87
Westport
1997
87
Bowmore
12
87
GlenDronach Revival 15
87
Amrut Intermediate Sherry

87
Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength
87
Bunnahabhain
18
87
Yamazaki 12 Years
86.5
J. Walker Green
86.5
Dailuaine 1983

86.5
Cragganmore
2000
86.5
BenNevis
1990
86.5
Bruichladdich  22 Years
86.5
Aultmore
1991
86.5
Jack Daniels Silver Select
86.5
Maker's Mark "46"
86.5
Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof
86.5
Talisker 57 Degrees North
86.5
Cooley 13 Years
86.5
The Balvenie Double Wood 17 Years
86.5
Bunnahabhain Toiteach

86.5
Ledaig 
1972
86.5
Bunnahabhain 1987

86.5
Ardbeg Ardbog
86.5
Bunnahabhain
1991
86.5
Glenmorangie Tusail
86.5
Talisker DE 2015 (TDS-5RD)
86.5
Caol Ila
25
86.5
Highland Park 1986 (24 Years)
86.5
Blair Athol
1990
86.5
Longmorn 1996 (17 Years)
86.5
Wild Turkey 101 Proof
86
Redbreast 12 Years
86
Mortlach 15 Years
86
GlenDronach 12 Years
86
Laphroaig 15 Years
86
Laphroaig
1995
86
Mortlach
2000
86
GlenDronach 16 Years
86
Arran Devil's Punch Bowl
86
Caol Ila
2007
86
Glenfarclas 25 Years
86
Yellow Spot 12 Years
86
Glenlivet 16 Nadurra
86
Ardbeg 
1998
86
Mortlach 
1994
86
Hibiki 12 Years
86
First Cask
1990
86
Benromach Peat Smoke 2004
86
Glenmorangie Astar
86
Imperial

86
Big Peat 50% LE
86
Clynelish 1997 Cask 6942
86
Clynelish 1997 (15 Y)
86
W.L. Weller
12
86
Glengoyne
21
86
Springbank 10 Years
85.5
Glenmorangie Original 10 Years

85.5
Laphroaig 10 Years
85.5
J. Walker Gold
85.5
J. Walker Blue
85.5
Macallan Select Oak
85.5
Scapa 16 Years
85.5
Glenfarclas 105 CS
85.5
Linkwood 12 Years
85.5
Caperdonich "1972"
85.5
The Dalmore 15 Years
85.5
Santis Malt Edition Dreifaltigkeit
85.5
Dailuaine "2000"
85.5
Highland Park 15 Years

85.5
Willett Straight Rye

85.5
Royal Lochnagar 2002

85.5
Kavalan Solist Fino
85.5
Eagle Rare 17 Years
85.5
Glen Keith
1991
85.5
Macallan Sienna
85.5
Poit Dhubh 21 Years
85.5
South Islay Jewel 5

85.5
The Spice Tree

85.5
Glen Moray
1991
85.5
Blair Athol
1989
85.5
Glendronach
1995
85.5
anCnoc Cutter
85.5
Ardbeg Day 2012
85.5
Royal Lochnagar 2009 Selected Reserve

85.5
Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1997
85.5
Old Pulteney
21
85.5
GlenDronach 18 Years Allardice
85
Glengoyne 10 Years
85
Dalmore 12 Years
85
Ballantine's 17 Years

85
Balvenie DW 12 Years
85
Jim Beam Black
85
Glenmorangie Nectar d' Or 12 Years

85
Arran 14 Years
85
Yoichi 10 Years
85
Bakery Hill Peated CS
85
BenRiach "2000"
85
The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5
85
Balvenie  Single Barrel 15
85
Braeval
1998
85
Bowmore Tempest 10 Small Batch #4
85
Arran 2004 Orkney Bere
85
Glentauchers 6 Year
85
Tomintoul
1969
85
BenRiach 16 Sauternes
85
Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2013
85
Bruichladdich Peat
85
Millstone 12 Sherry Cask
85
Ben Nevis
1996
85
Flaming Heart 4th Edition
85
Blair Athol
1989
85
Port Askaig
15
85
Tamdhu
1984
85
Bowmore
2001
85
Glengoyne
18
85
Linkwood
1995
85
Ledaig
2005
85
The Dalmore
18
85
Longrow Peated

85
Mortlach  1995 (17 Years)
85
Tomatin
18
85
Hibiki 17 Years
84.5
Sheep Dip

84.5
BenRiach 12 Years
84.5
J. Walker Black Centenary LE
84.5
Buchanan's 18 Years
84.5
Dufftown "1997" 
84.5
Born on Islay

84.5
Glenmorangie Lasanta

84.5
Whyte & Mackay 30 Years

84.5
Bruichladdich The Laddie 10 Years
84.5
Glenfiddich 15 Years Solera
84.5
Cragganmore "1991"
84.5
Glen Keith "1992"
84.5
Highland Park Loki
84.5
Glen Grant 1993

84.5
BenRiach
1991
84.5
Talisker Storm
84.5
Glenglassaugh Evolution

84.5
Caol Ila
2000
84.5
Laphroaig
2006
84.5
Kilchoman
2008
84.5
BenRiach Solstice 17
84.5
Cragganmore
1989
84.5
Glengoyne 15 Years
84.5
Splendid Speyside Surprise

84.5
Edradour  Ballechin # 7
84.5
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
84.5
Tamnavulin

84.5
Bulleit Frontier 90
84.5
Glen Grant
16
84.5
Glen Scotia "Old" 12 
84.5
Bruichladdich 1991

84.5
Bowmore The Darkest 15 Years
84.5
The Balvenie 21 Portwood
84.5
Glenfarclas 10 Years
84
Highland Park 12 (1998)

84
Macallan 10 Years Sherry Oak
84
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

84
Green Spot

84
Whyte & Mackay 19 Years

84
Knob Creek SB 9 Years
84
Noah's Mill 15 Years
84
Buffalo Trace

84
Glenfarclas 15 Years
84
Highland Park 12

84
Glenrothes "1988"
84
Arran 10 Years
84
Bunnahabhain 1997

84
Templeton Rye Small Batch

84
Highland Park Einar

84
Kilchoman Machir Bay

84
Glenlivet 15 French Oak
84
Bowmore
1990
84
Knappogue 12 Years
84
Aberlour
1994
84
Balvenie  Caribbean Cask 14
84
Allt-A-Bhainne
1991
84
Dumbarton 
1986
84
Campbeltown Loch

84
The Six Isles

84
BenRomach 2008 Organic
84
Balblair
10
84
Glenburgie 10 Years
84
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve
84
Big Peat

84
Scallywagg Cask Strength
84
Clynelish
1995
84
Old Pulteney 8 Years
84
The Peat's Beast CS

84
BenRiach 15 PX Finish
84
Bunnahabhain 12 Years (New)

84
Antiquary
21
84
Dalmore  Cromartie
84
Blanton's Single Barrel

83.5
Tyrconnell Amb. Choice 1992
83.5
Tullibardine "228"
83.5
Knockdhu 1998

83.5
MacLeod's Highland

83.5
Jura Prophecy
83.5
Clynelish
1995
83.5
The Silver Grouse 12 Years

83.5
Angel's Envy Port Finish

83.5
Dailuaine
1997
83.5
MacDonald's  Glencoe 8
83.5
Millstone 100 Rye
83.5
Caol Ila 12 Years
83.5
Glenrothes
1995
83.5
Bladnoch
1990
83.5
Aberfeldy
1994
83.5
Redbreast 15 Years
83.5
Talisker Skye
83.5
Miltonduff
1987
83.5
Grand Old Parr 12 Years

83.5
Laphroaig Lore
83.5
Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition
83.5
Ben Nevis 10 Years
83
BenRomach Traditional
83
Tomintoul 10 Years
83
Dalwhinnie 15 Years
83
Poit Dhubh 12 Years
83
Clynelish "1988 ED"
83
Bowmore
2000
83
Inchgower
1982
83
Bruichladdich  Waves
83
Black Bull 12 Years
83
Millstone 5 Years Peated
83
J. Walker Platinum
83
Ardmore Traditional Cask
83
Smokehead

83
Strathisla 12 Years
83
Cardhu 12 Years
83
Chivas Regal The Century of Malts
83
Kavalan Solist Bourbon
83
Speyside Cooperage 10 Years

83
Elements of Islay BN4

83
Glenkinchie 1999 DE
83
Highland Park 10 Years
83
Bunnahabhain
1989
83
BenRiach Curiositas 10 Years
83
Glen Grant 1995 The Maltman
83
BenRiach Septendecim
83
Kilchoman Sanaig
83
Nikka From The Barrel

83
BenRiach 12 Sherry Wood
83
Springbank
15
83
Yamazaki Puncheon 2013
83
Braeval
1994
83
Glenmorangie The Tayne
83
Eagle Rare 10 Years
83
Corriemhor Cigar Reserve
83
Glenfiddich 18 (Old)
83
Ardbeg Auriverdes
83
J. Walker Green Label 2017
83
Dewar’s
18
83
The Circus

83
Bowmore 2000 (12 Years)
83
Jameson 12 Years
82.5
Highland Park 16 (1994)

82.5
Jim Beam Devil's Cut
82.5
Santis Malt Edition Alpstein
82.5
Linkwood 15 Years
82.5
Glenlivet 12 Years French Oak
82.5
Tomintoul 12 Years Oloroso Finish
82.5
Bushmills Black Bush
82.5
Oban 14 Years
82.5
Longmorn "1992"
82.5
Bruichladdich Links

82.5
Glen Garioch 1990

82.5
Tullibardine Sovereign
82.5
Four Roses

82.5
Tomatin
1992
82.5
BenRiach Horizons
82.5
Millstone 5 Years
82.5
Aberlour-Glenlivet 12 Years

82.5
Glenfarclas 17 Years
82.5
Bowmore Tempest SB # 2

82.5
Highland Park Harald
82.5
Tobermory  17 Years
82.5
Dunes An Oir  1996 (Caperdonich)
82.5
Wemyss Spice King 12
82.5
GlenDronach Octarine 8
82.5
Tomatin  Legacy
82.5
Glenlossie  10 Flora & Fauna
82.5
Talisker Port Ruighe
82.5
Glengoyne
17
82.5
Oban 1998 Montilla Fino
82.5
Craigellachie
2002
82.5
Hammer Head 23 Years 23 Years
82.5
Glenturret
1997
82.5
Glenfarclas 
21
82.5
Bladnoch
1990
82.5
Clynelish 1997 Cask 6935
82.5
Connemara 2001 Single Cask # 1075
82.5
Glenmorangie Dornoch
82.5
Maker's Mark 90 Proof
82.5
Bladnoch
19
82.5
Stronachie
18
82.5
Auchentoshan Valinch 2011
82.5
Bowmore Vault Edition # 1
82.5
Glen Keith 19 (1992)
82.5
Auchroisk 1990 (22 Years)
82.5
Dalmore King Alexander III
82.5
J. Walker Black
82
Chivas Regal 18 Years
82
Bailie Nicol Jarvie

82
Logan De Luxe 12 Years
82
Grand MacNish

82
Old Pulteney Spectrum WK 217
82
Auchentoshan 18 Years

82
Jack Daniels Single Barrel
82
Santis Malt Edition Marwees
82
Glen Moray 8 Years
82
Johnny Drum 15 Years
82
Glen Scotia
1992
82
Slyrs
2009
82
Nikka

82
Bunnahabhain 1997
1989
82
Hakushu 12 Years
82
Wemyss Peat Chimney
82
Millstone French Oak
82
Deanston
1997
82
Connemara Turf Mor
82
Glen Elgin
1995
82
Ardbeg  Perpetuum
82
Caol Ila

82
Old Pulteney Duncansby Head Lighthouse
82
Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch
82
Old Ballantruan Peated

82
Highland Park
16
82
Finlaggan Eilean Mor
82
The Dalmore Luceo
82
Oban  Little Bay
82
Hazelburn
12
82
Strathmill 21 (1990)
82
Macduff/Deveron 16 Royal Burgh
82
Benrinnes 1995 (17 Years)
82
Glenlivet 12 Years
81.5
Edradour Caledonia 12 Years
81.5
Glenfiddich 12 Years
81.5
Deanston 12 Years
81.5
Santis Malt Edition Germany
81.5
Evan Williams

81.5
Jim Beam Rye
81.5
Macallan 10 Fine Oak
81.5
Russell's Reserve 10 Years

81.5
Glen Ord
1997
81.5
Ledaig 
2005
81.5
Highland Park Svein
81.5
Tobermory  10 Years
81.5
Bruichladdich  Rocks
81.5
Islay Storm

81.5
Millstone 8 Years
81.5
Wemyss The Hive 12
81.5
Penderyn Aur Cymru
81.5
Langs Supreme

81.5
Urquhart Castle

81.5
Timorous Beastie

81.5
Famous Grouse 15

81.5
Hyde 10 Sherry Finish
81.5
Glendullan Liberty
81.5
Glentauchers 2005

81.5
Jack Daniels Sinatra Select
81.5
Bruichladdich  12 First Edition
81.5
BenRiach Birnie Moss
81.5
Mackinlay's Shackleton The Journey

81.5
Crested Ten

81.5
Yamazakura
16
81.5
Glen Deer
30
81.5
Campbeltown Loch 21 

81.5
Knockando
15
81.5
Arran Lochranza Reserve
81.5
Scapa Skiren Batch SK01
81.5
Caperdonich 18 (1994)
81.5
Glenrothes
1998
81.5
Aberlour 10 Years
81
Jim Beam White
81
Grant's 12 Years
81
Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry
81
Tomatin 12 Years
81
The Balvenie Signature 12 Years
81
Clynelish
1997
81
Buchanan's  Master
81
Aberlour 15 Double Cask
81
Tullibardine 15 Years
81
Macallan Amber
81
Glenfiddich Select Cask
81
Slyrs
2011
81
Mackmyra Happy Hunting
81
BenRiach Heart of Speyside
81
Teerenpeli Kaski
81
GlenDronach 8 Years
81
Tomintoul
16
81
Finlaggan The Original Peaty
81
Arran 100° Proof
81
Glenmorangie The Duthac
81
Glen Garioch 1990

81
The Famous Grouse 12 Years

81
Highland Park Dark Origins
81
The Fellowship Malt 10

81
Auchentoshan
1990
81
Jura Diurachs' Own 16
81
Glenmorangie Milsean
81
J&B 15 Years
80.5
Auchentoshan Three Wood

80.5
Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack
80.5
Santis Malt Abhain Dearg Viking
80.5
Dalmore 
1996
80.5
Nikka 12 Years
80.5
Glenkinchie 12 Years
80.5
Finlaggan Secret Islay
80.5
Teaninich Flora & Fauna
80.5
Strathclyde
1988
80.5
Poit Dhubh 8 Years
80.5
Amber Glen Speyside
80.5
Auchentoshan
1998
80.5
Girvan
1989
80.5
Scallywagg Small Batch
80.5
Mackmyra Motorhead
80.5
Ballantine's 12 Years

80
Auchentoshan 12 Years

80
Dimple 15 Years
80
Dewar's 12 Years

80
J. Walker Double Black
80
Whyte & Mackay The Thirteen

80
Santis Malt Edition Sigel
80
Woodforde Reserve
80
Canadian Mist

80
Glengoyne 14 Heritage Gold
80
Glencadam 10 Years
80
Macleod's Island

80
Craigellachie
2002
80
Jura 10 Years
80
Dry Fly Washington Wheat

80
Glencadam
1971
80
Johnnie Walker The Gold Route

80
The Ileach Peated

80
Glendalough

80
Glenn Batch # 1

80
Wolfburn Handcrafted
80
Jameson Signature Reserve
80
Rittenhouse Straight Rye 80 Proof
80
Jim Beam Red Stag Cinnamon Spiced
79.5
Rosebank 14 Years
79.5
Locke's 8 Years
79.5
Wild Turkey
81
79.5
St.George's Chapter 9 Peat

79.5
J. Walker Gold Reserve
79.5
Bunnahabhain 1997
2006
79.5
Catto's 12 Years
79.5
Cutty Sark Storm
79.5
Edradour 10 Years
79
Pig's Nose

79
Buchanan's De Luxe 12 Years
79
Grand Old Parr 12 Years

79
Tyrconnell NAS
79
Clontarf

79
Glen Moray 12 Years
79
Bushmills 10 Years
79
Mary Stuart

79
MacDuff "2000"
79
Monkey Shoulder

79
J.Walker Spice Road
79
Black Grouse Alpha Edition
79
Glenfiddich

79
Dalwhinnie Winter's Gold
79
Bunnahabhain Stiuireadair
79
Black Grouse

78.5
Bushmills Original
78.5
Crown Royal Black
78.5
Antiquary 12 Years
78.5
Jura Superstition
78.5
Glenrothes
2000
78.5
Isle of Sky

78.5
Tantallan 10 Years
78.5
Jameson

78.5
Aberfeldy 1989 Fruit & Nut Fudge
78.5
Johnnie Walker Red Rye Finish
78.5
King Edward

78
UD 2005

78
Tobermory
1995
78
Old Pulteney 12 Years
78
Angels Nectar First Edition
78
Arran Machrie Moor Batch 4
78
Glenglassaugh Revival

78
Abhainn Dearg 3 Years

78
Logan Heritage
78
Bowmore Black Rock
78
Jameson Standard
77.5
Something Special

77.5
Crown Royal Fine De Luxe
77.5
Kilbeggan

77.5
Slyrs  Fifty One
77.5
Chivas Regal Brother's Blend
77.5
Jack Daniels Old No. 7
77
Greenore 8 Years
77
John Barr Black
77
Johnnie Walker The Adventurer

77
Santis Malt Edition Santis
76.5
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey
76.5
Haig Supreme
2013
76.5
MacLeod's Islay

76.5
Great King Street Artists Blend

76.5
Meyer's Superieur
76.5
J. Walker Red
76
Famous Grouse

76
Cutty Sark

76
McClelland's Highland
76
Caol Ila 10 Years Medoc Finish
76
Dimple  12 Years
76
Auchentoshan 10 Years

76
Glen Talloch 8 Years
76
Glenrothes Select
76
Wambrechies 12 Madeira Wood
76
Slaintheva 12 Years
76
Islay Mist

76
Haig Supreme
2015
76
Huxley

76
William Lawson's

75.5
Whyte & Mackay Special

75.5
Queen Elizabeth

75.5
Ubique

75.5
Macduff/Deveron
10
75.5
White Horse

75
McClelland's Speyside
75
Hankey Bannister Original

75
MacLeod's Speyside

75
Glen Grant NAS
74.5
J&B Rare
74.5
Connemara Peated
74.5
Jim Beam Red Stag Honey Tea
74.5
MacLeod's Lowland 8 years
74.5
Ballantine' Finest

74.5
Teacher's Clan

74.5
Glen Edwards Pure Malt
74
Snow Grouse NAS
74
Loch Lomond NAS
74
Glenallachie
1993
74
Bushmills Irish Honey
74
Chivas Regal 12 Years
73
Black & White

73
Suntory Kakubin

73
Haig Gold Label
73
Chivas Regal Mizunara 12
73
McClelland's Lowland
72.5
Queen Anne

72.5
Speyburn 10 Years
72.5
Grant's Family Reserve

72
McClelland's Islay
72
Armorik Originale
72
The Talisman

72
Glenandrew 10 Years
72
Roderick Dhu

72
Old Orkney 8 Years
72
MacArthur's Select

72
Smoky Goat

72
Ballantine' Finest

71
Littlemill 12 Years
71
O' Kanagan NAS
71
Amber Glen Classic
71
Old St. Andrews Par 4

70.5
Bell's

70.5
Glen Talloch Rare & Old
70.5
Tullamore Dew

70.5
Catto's Rare Old

70.5
Canadian Club

70.5
Auchroisk 11 Years Medoc Finish
70
Rich & Rare Reserve
70
Black Velvet 8 Years Reserve
70
Clan MacGregor

70
Goldlys 12 PX
70
Sir Edward's Rare Blend

70
Teacher's Highland Cream 2016

70
Label 5 Classic Black
70
Drumguish 5 Years
69.5
Barwick

69.5
Lauder's

69.5
John Barr Red
68.5
Wambrechies 8 Years
68.5
The Speyside 12 Years
68.5
Seagram's Seven Crown 

68
Vat 69

68
Highlander

68
Glenalmond Everyday

68
Dalmore  10 Years Medoc Finish
67
Scottish Leader

66.5
Queen of Scotland Red Label

66
Dewar's White Label

65
Passport

65
Old Keeper

65
Old Ville

65
Inver House Green Plaid
64.5
Glen Rosa

64.5
The Breeders Choice

64
Natu Nobilis

63.5
Teacher's Highland Cream
63
King Edgar

62
Drury's Special Reserve

55
Boxing Hares

55
Old Eight Special Reserve
51