So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

St. Magdalene 30 yo 1982/2013 Douglas Laing Old & Rare vs St. Magdalene 25 yo 1982/2008 Blackadder butt # 2180

Out of action following a very busy season, followed by a severe nose killing flu. Back now, and looking for a challenge, so St. Magdalene it is. I know some friends are bewildered when I say I quite enjoy this whisky, because it’s generally not a very likeable whisky at all. In fact it can be downright difficult, can I say it’s cantankerously charming? Note that this was a double distilled Lowlander till its closure in 1983. Sadly I can’t find a picture of her stills online. It would be very interesting to have a look given her whisky has always been interesting, whichever way you put it.

St. Magdalene 30 yo, 1982/2013 refill butt Douglas Laing Old & Rare 58.5%

Thanks Antoine!

 Nose: These later St. Magdalene seem to very high toned compared to some from the 70s. It’s a thin mix of diesel, clear medicinal oils, grass clippings, old dank camphor packets. Also work shed musty-ness, damp wood, dirty old tools, and something I have found in other ’82 St. Magdalenes that suggests this one is going to bite, I want to say battery acid but it’s more like how you smell unripe pineapple and imagine the bromelain bite. Also the merest hint of stewed jam gives the butt away. Not an easy nose – not very giving, you need to work it.

 Palate: The jammy sweetness makes a first show, but it’s swept away by the grass and bark, oxalic acid, rusty drums, singer oil, toolbox, damp and decaying wood. It does bite. Very high toned and incision-tool sharp rather than being big and mellow. Feels acidic and gives the impression of a tannic dryness. Again not an easy whisky.

 Finish: Medium, sharp and acidic, still biting. Grass and old tools linger.



St. Magdalene 25 yo, 1982/2008 Blackadder butt # 2180 61.8%

 Nose: Very similar with the same ‘acid’, but this one is much more expressive. Less tool shed, more vegetal – this one has more of some cooked vegetable mash, stripped bark showing the white live wood. Very dry grass and other pruned leaves plus dried sap and other herbal scents. Also very high toned and somewhat phenolic though not as sharp.

 Palate: Quite massive and it’s not just the strength. Huge bite, almost angry. White hot, volcanic peppers. Then raw greens and a host of herbal nuances like the nose. Some diesel and mineral oils. Quite some minerals too actually. Not an easy whisky again, I can imagine some people hating this, but I quite enjoyed it – neat too.

 Finish: Long, grassy, sooty, mineralled, the bite lingers too.

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2017 by in Linlithgow, St. Magdalene and tagged , .
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