Showing posts with label Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts

Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series)


“The Price of Love”


Whisky Review # 1016

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1996-2016 - Exceptional Cask Series - Distilled: 12-03-1996
Bottled For: La Maison du Whisky (Anniversary Edition)
Type: Single Malt Double Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 11-10-2016
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 1st Cask # 02075 -11 Years - 2nd Cask # 4 French Red Wine Finish (Chateau Neuf du Pape) 9 Years - 198 bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 350-425 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ It is quite expensive. 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like Red Wine Finished Whisky you should try this one!

Color:

Chestnut with shades of Orange, Red and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Aberfeldy sufficient time in the glass. The Alcohol is quite strong so avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Red Wine cask left a powerful mark and it's hard to tell what type of cask was used during the first 11 years. The Dried Fruit notes suggest a Sherry cask but on the other hand it's not that Sweet so I go for a Bourbon cask. If you have any info on this please let me know! The Nose is a mix of Sweet and Sour notes with a bit of Salt in the background. Lots of Dark Red - and Dried Fruits. Quite nice!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dark Red Berries and Sour Cherries, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Plums, Raisins), Orange, Mulled Red Wine, Straw, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon and Ginger. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Honey, Peach, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Road, Cake with Cream, Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Marzipan, Pepper, Mint and light Licorice.   
 

Palate:

Potent delivery thanks to the strong ABV. The influence of the Red Wine cask is strong but certainly not unpleasant. The Palate basically follows the Nose but is a little more Edgy. Wood and Spices come to the front. Sweet and Sour are the main drivers but there's this subtle Saltiness that I really like. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Peach, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Resin, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso, Dusty Track, Nuts, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.     


Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Dry in the end. Mainly Sweet but with a developing Bitterness that never gets over the top though. A nice salty note somewhere in the back. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. The Red Wine note like Red Haribo Sweets remain in your mouth for a while. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Honey, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Raisins & Plums), Peach, Dusty Track, Dusty Oak, Marzipan, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit such as Berries and Cherries, Salted Almonds, Tobacco, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. This is nice on the Palate but I find Nose and Finish less intensive and interesting. The Menthol and Mint in the Finish become quite overpowering as well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John & Tommy Dewar. They needed a Single Malt for their blended Whisky Dewar's White Label. Since 1998 it is owned by the Bacardi Group. A beautiful visitor centre was finally opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.4 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 & 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the visitor centre in May 2017.

I'm not always a huge fan of Red Wine finished Whisky but this is a good one. The Wine influence is strong but quite tasty. A word of praise for the cask management here. Excellent! The Finish could have been a little Longer and the Haribo after taste is a little artificial. But other than that this is a well-made Whisky. Not for everyday of course and not only because of the price. This is something to enjoy after a nice dinner and/or accompanied by a quality Cuban cigar. If you love Red Wine finished Whisky you should really give this Aberfeldy a try!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                             April 4, 2024

Caperdonich 2000 (Signatory Vintage)


“ Woodn’t It Be Nice if…”


Whisky Review # 1015

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Caperdonich - Closed Distillery - Distilled 06-07-2000
Matured and Bottled By: Signatory Vintage - Cask Strength Collection
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 22-02-2021
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Hogshead - Cask # 29483 - 274 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 320-360 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Quite expensive, even considering its age.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ Authentic Whisky that is hard to find these days.

Color:

Rich Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Caperdonich enough time in the glass to open up and please don't nose in the middle of the glass as the Alcohol is quite strong. The Bourbon notes are clear and so is the cask influence as is to be expected with a Malt of 20 Years. The Nose is Fruity with Sweet, Sour, Green and Mineral notes. It's quite good although not overwhelming and I suspect that Water will make it even better.

Tip: Pour a little Whisky over the palm of your hand and rub it to be able to really enjoy the Aroma of the Butter Biscuits. I always do this by the way as part of the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Honey, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Wax, Seville Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Banana-flavored Yogurt, Almond Milk, Wet Rocks, Dried Flowers & Herbs, Nougat, Dusty Track, Leather, Cloves, Ginger, Aniseed, Mint, Cardamom & a distant note of Plastic.
 

Palate:

Strong and Bold arrival. The cask influence becomes more clear & Wood and Wood Spices become quite evident. It's quite Waxy and Buttery as well. I'm curious to see what a little added Water will do. This Caperdonich is a solid & somewhat old-fashioned Whisky that mainly presents Sweet and Sour notes on the Palate.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Wax, Green Apple, Seville Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Grass & Straw, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Banana, Pear, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Licorice, Cough Syrup, Wet Rocks and Sand, Cocoa Powder, Nougat, Aniseed and a hint of Peppery Olive Oil.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes with a hint of Sea Salt. The cask influence is clear and Wood & Wood Spice come to the stage. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla Sauce, Wax, Grass, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Banana, Nougat, Wet Rocks and Sand, Leather, Tobacco, Mint, Aniseed, Menthol, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves, Dried Herbs, Licorice, Green Apple, Dusty Oak, Tyres and Varnish.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to suppress the Alcohol of course. I thought added Water would improve this Caperdonich but that's not the case. You really "steal" the Spirit of this Speyside Malt this way. Better drink it neat despite the very high ABV.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

Caperdonich was located in Rothes, Speyside and was originally known as Glen Grant # 2. It was built in 1898 by J. & J. Grant the founders of Glen Grant. It closed in 1902 and only opened again in 1965 when it was bought by Glenlivet & renamed Caperdonich. It was sold to Seagram in 1977 and then to Pernot Ricard in 2001. One year later it closed again before finally being demolished in 2010. It was widely used in the Chivas Regal Blends.

I really enjoyed tasting this Caperdonich. There's an authentic feel to this Malt. To be honest I believe it could or maybe should have been bottled a few years earlier as the Wood and Wood spices become quite dominant on the Palate and in the Finish. But other than that it's a solid and mature Bourbon cask Whisky that you hardly find anymore in today's Mainstream Malt Madness. It is quite expensive but if you have the cash go for it.
    
Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       March 21, 2024

Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail)


“Islay Elle L’A”


Whisky Review # 1014

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 2005 - Distilled 14-03-2005
Matured By: Gordon & MacPhail, Scotland - Reserve Series
Exclusively Bottled by GM for: Van Wees, The Netherlands on 02-06-2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel - Cask # 302014 - 318 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 60 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ A young but pleasant Bourbon cask matured Islay Malt

Color:

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Alcohol is noticeable so make sure to avoid nosing in the middle of your glass. The Nose shows a Young Malt but is quite pleasant with Soft Peat and Smoke in the lead. It's a nice combination of Sweet, Sour, Salty and Meaty notes.

Main Aromas:

Barley, Slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Grass, Seville-Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dried Herbs, Fish and Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Iodine, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Wet Pebbles & Sand, Brine, Dusty Track, Ripe Banana, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco and Licorice.


Palate:

A relatively Young and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter-Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. A bit Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Orange, Pepper and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Floral Soap, Dusty Track, Green Apple, Dirty Road, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Licorice. A hint of White Chocolate.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A slightly Hot and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. Dry towards the end. Its Youth is more noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Brine, Iodine, Dusty Earth, Tar, Fish/Shellfish/Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Herbs & Lemon, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Nuts, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Aniseed, Mint/Menthol, Licorice and Orange Liqueur.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and while it is less Hot this way, you also kind of remove the Spirit of this Single Malt ๐Ÿ˜œ. I prefer it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is  8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 and is located close to Port Askaig on Islay. It was bought by DCL in 1927 and through some mergers finally became part of Diageo. The distillery was rebuilt in 1974 and only one old Warehouse reminds us of former days. Traditionally, Caol Ila is an important component of Blends like Johnnie Walker, Bell's and White Horse. But during the last 15 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. Caol Ila is really beautifully located alongside the strait between the islands of Islay and Jura. The Core range includes the 12, 18 and 25 Years, the Distiller's Edition as well as the NAS Moch. We thoroughly enjoyed both our visits to the distillery in 2014 and 2017 respectively despite the fact that you're not allowed to take pictures. Caol Ila is certainly one of my favorite distilleries and Single Malts.

I like most Islay malts and, especially, Caol Ila and this 10 Year old is no exception to the rule. It's a young Single Malt of course and I would have preferred it to stay in the cask for a few more years. But it's pleasant enough as it is. The soft notes of Peat and Smoke are quite nice and the refill cask does a good job in maintaining the Fruity character of the Spirit without adding overly Bitter and/or Tannic notes. If you like Young Islay malts you can't go wrong with this Caol Ila.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                      March 14, 2024

Ben Nevis 2010 (The Duchess)


“The Beauty and the Yeast”


Whisky Review # 1012

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Western Highlands
Brand:Ben Nevis - Distilled: October 28, 2010
Matured and Bottled by: The Duchess (TDu) on November 30, 2020 
Series: Game & Wildlife Series - Shelduck Label
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 1800020 - Bottles: 317
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.6% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Ex Bourbon Cask with Shiraz Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 100 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜• Borderline acceptable
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Interesting - But better try a sample first

Color:

Golden with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and quite Yeasty. The Alcohol is prominent. Sour rather than sweet. Clear note of freshly cut Grass. The Wine-Finish is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit Musty and Dirty as well. The Nose is certainly interesting. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Assorted Breads/Pastries, Sour Cherries, Strawberry-flavored Yogurt, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Metal, Chalk, Pepper, Damp Cellars and Tobacco.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Red Wine, Unripe Apples, Bananas and Pears, Slivovitz, Charred Oak, Soot, Dusty Track, Coconut, Leather, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Palate:

The Palate is a Hot mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. It remains Yeasty as well. I really think this needs some Water! It remains different though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough and Bread, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Sour Red Wine and Red Berries, Dried Herbs, Charred Oak, Soot, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Varnish, Green Apple, Dirty Track, Ginger-Nut Biscuits, Cinnamon, Cloves & a little Plastic. 


Finish:

Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet-Sour & a bit Hot. Quite Tannic as well. The Alcohol remains very present and the influence of the Red Wine cask is more noticeable at this point. I find Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Bread, Sour Cherries and Red Berries, Green Apple, Bounty Bars, Tutti Frutti, Menthol, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves, Floral Soap, Citrus, Dried Herbs, Licorice & Varnish. A little Dry towards the end.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water & that helps calm down the strong Alcohol. Don't overdo it though! On the Nose you get some additional Floral notes and the Palate certainly brings back memories of Campbeltown. In this case I would advise to add a bit of Water. 

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Interesting 
 
Conclusion:

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

This Dutch impression of Ben Nevis is certainly intriguing. It kept my attention right to the end as it significantly differs from the modern mainstream malts. I do feel though that the ABV is way too high here. It distracts from the Whisky rather than enhancing its profile. This is not your everyday dram as it's extremely Yeasty and I would advise you to buy a sample first before spending a hundred bucks on a full bottle. But it's dirty and interesting and that's a plus in today's whisky world.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 1, 2024

Glenrothes 13 Years (Adelphi)


“Dirty Water”


Whisky Review # 1011

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenrothes - Distilled: 2007
Matured and Bottled by: Adelphi (AD) in 2021
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 10236 - Bottles: 604
Age: 13 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 59.8% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Re-fill Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-120  (February 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž  If you want it dirty go for Springbank and/or Ledaig instead

Color:

Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Glenrothes enough time in the glass before Nosing in order to avoid the initial notes of Alcohol and some Sulphur and Varnish. The Nose is a bit Dirty as well suggesting this was not the best cask around. The Nose is a mix of Sweet, Fruity & Sour notes. Lots of (mostly) Dried Fruits & Nuts but they are slightly hampered by this cloud of Dust. Most people, including me, will consider the ABV on the high side. In my opinion relatively Young Malts such as this Glenrothes do not necessarily require to be bottled at Cask Strength. 

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Plums, Apples & Raisins, Candied Citrus, slightly Sour Dark Cherries & Red Berries,  Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Dusty Road, Nutmeg, Licorice, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Cloves. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, Straw, Grapefruit Juice, Melon, Caffe Latte, Tobacco, Leather, Dusty Oak casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Ginger, Cardamom, Pepper and Kerosine. A hint of Burnt Rubber.    


Palate:

The delivery is quite strong of course on account of the high ABV. I don't say this a lot but this Glenrothes definitely requires some added Water. The Palate follows the Nose but Bitter notes are added at this point. Dirt and Dust still rule! There's a bit of Sulphur but it stays within limits.  

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples & Raisins, Milk Chocolate, Candied Citrus, Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Straw, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cloves and Menthol. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Treacle, Sour Cherries & Red Berries, Grapefruit Juice, Dusty Track, Tobacco, Leather, Varnish, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cardamom.


Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Dry. A Dusty mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. As was to be expected the Alcohol is quite present. We certainly need to add Water later on. I find Malted Barley, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples and Raisins, Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Candied Citrus, Sour Cherries & Grapefruit, Tea, Strong Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Straw, Dusty Road, Dusty Oak, Forest Floor, Wet Rocks and Sand, Metal, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves and Menthol. Licorice after a while.  

Drinking Advice:

I added quite a bit of Water and that chases the Alcohol away of course which in this case is a good thing. You do get lots of Nutty Breakfast Cereals on the Nose now. It's less Fruity this way. Palate and Finish are easier now but also more Spicy with lots of Menthol. This is hard to call. I suggest you try it both ways.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. 
 
Conclusion:

The Glenrothes distillery is located in Rothes (Morayshire) & was founded by James Stuart & Company in 1878. Between 1963 and 1989 the number of Stills increased from 4 to 10. The reason was that Blenders highly appreciated the Glenrothes Spirit and used it in great quantities for Blends like the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group since 1999. The current production amounts to around 4.2 million litres. Because of the high Blender's demand, the first Single Malt was only launched in 1994. Their bottles are quite interesting and different. They actually look like hand grenades! The core range includes the 18, 25 and 42 years. The 10 and 12 Y as well as the Whisky Maker's Cut have been discontinued. It's quite obvious that Glenrothes is concentrating on the very high-end markets. A good example is a 40 Year old release specifically for the Chinese market. There are plans to completely upgrade the distillery in the coming 5 years.

This Glenrothes is not really bad and it's quite coherent from Nose to Finish. It's got a few flaws though and they are important. The first one is the really high ABV. That forces you to add Water and the Water significantly changes the character of this Malt. From Fruit to Nuts in a...Nutshell! My second issue is the cask that leaves the Spirit with a veil of Dust and Dirt. That's not always a problem as I tasted many good Malts from say Springbank and Ledaig. But in this case it unsettles the Malt in a big way. This Glenrothes is expensive as well so if you like your Dirty Malt I would advise you to look elsewhere.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   February 9, 2024

Speyside 1991 (Carn Mor)

(Picture Credit: Whisky Shop Dufftown)


”Wood I Lie To You”


Whisky Review # 974

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyside - Distilled 11-11-1991
Bottled by: Morrison & MacKay on 20/02/2017 - 533 Bottles
Series: Carn Mor (Celebration of the Cask)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask #: 940
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 62.5%
Maturation: Re-Fill European Oak Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-200 (January 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay. A 25 Year-old Whisky can't be cheap of course
Buying Advice:๐Ÿ˜ Well-made but way too Woodie for me

Colour:

Old Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Alcohol is very strong and the cask influence is obvious. So please Nose along the rim of the glass to find the other Aromas. You will find lots of Dried Fruits and Spices. Christmas is in the Air! It's Sweet but not annoyingly so. A few Tart & Sour notes provide balance. There's a hint of Smoked Meat in the background. It's not overly complicated but it's got character!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Caramel, Butter Biscuits, Sweet Sherry, Cooked Apples and Pears, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Nectarine, Pineapple and Mango, Red Berries, Nuts, X-mas Cake, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Apple-Treacle, Resin, Heather-Honey, Slivovitz, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Lemon, Red Grapefruit), Smoked Meat on the BBQ, Varnish, Dusty Earth, Straw, Dried Herbs & Chocolate.

Picture Credit: Whisky.com

Palate:

Bitter-Sweet and Sour. The Alcohol is very strong. Sweet Sherry, Wood and Spices lead the way.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Caramel, X-Mas Pudding, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Pineapple & Apple, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon), Oloroso Sherry, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Earth, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Wax, Apple-Treacle, Gooseberry, Nuts, Ginger, Licorice and Varnish.

Finish
:


Medium-Long. A mix of Bitter-Sweet & Sour notes. Quite Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is quite present and the dram almost screams for a little Water to ease the pain! I find lots of Dusty Wood, Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger and Sweet Oloroso Sherry as well as Malted Barley, Butterscotch, Apple Treacle, Cooked Pears and Apples, Heather-Honey, Mixed Dried Fruits and Nuts, Citrus such as Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit, White Chocolate, Strong Espresso, Charred Meat, Caramel, Vanilla and Mint.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to calm down the heat on the Nose and some juicy additional Peach develops. But on the Palate and in the Finish the heat increases quite a lot unexpectedly. My advice is to drink it neat (despite the high ABV) to better enjoy the Flavors.

Rating:
 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.8 - Finish: 7.3  - Overall: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system as of today. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realise pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat:

Good but too Woody for my taste.

Conclusion:

The Speyside Distillery Project started in 1962 when George Christie bought some land near Drumguish. Production however only started in 1990. Today it is owned by Harvey's of Edinburgh. Speyside is actually a very small distillery with an annual output of around 850.000 litres.

This Speyside Malt certainly shows character but it's too much driven by Wood and Spices that control all the other Aromas & Flavors, even the Sweet Oloroso Sherry. And added Water increases the problem! I enjoyed the Tasting experience but I'm glad I only had a sample. A full bottle would be too much. If you like the profile I would still urge you to look for a sample first. You know me long enough to know I wood not dare to lie to you ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         January 5, 2023

Picture Credit: Whisky.com