Bruichladdich 25 yo 1958 Cadenhead, Macallan 15 yo 1946 Securo, Macallan 1962, Springbank 1965 Moon Import The Birds #367, Glenfiddich 29 yo 1956 Intertrade, Clynelish 1974 Modern Masters, Caol Ila 21 yo 1968 for Intertrade, Glen moray 25 yo 1959 Samaroli, Glen Grant 21 yo 1972 Whyte & Whyte, Talisker 1979 Whyte & Whyte
Sample night! So short notes only.
Bruichladdich 25 yo 1958 / 1984 Cadenhead
Peated yes, but not hugely so. The sort of phenols that’s been transmuted to a secondary level. Dried leaves and grass, black ash, medicine shop ginseng, gentian root, flecks of white clay. Followed by white fruit, dried grapefruit peel, salt flakes. Nuanced but expressive. 89 pts
Macallan 15 yo 1946 Securo cap 80 proof/45.85%
Amazing. A basket of expected dry sherry aromatics. Also a current of peat coming through under the sherry: Rooty, thick phenols like graphite, soot, compost, gasoline fumes and good rubber. Perfect balance and complement to the thick purple richness of the sherry. Tar, soy sauce, ever evolving. Simply a great duet. 92 pts
Macallan 1962 80 proof/45.85%
Sans peat now, but still in big sherry territories though this one tends to be more tannic and drying with loads of old wood and varnish. Walnut skins, burnt wood, very extractive. Still there’s lots of unsweetened cocoa, black licorice, chinese rhubarb, stock cubes, celeriac and fernet. 89 pts
Springbank 1965 Moon Import The Birds #367 46%
A very ripe sort of sherry this time with ripe plums and bursting fruit, almost ferment-y. Engine oil and bits of dirt plus clean rubber and flinty earth. Sweet spices. Hints of over-ripeness are always apparent but this whisky tends to dryness very quickly and shows over after too soon. 88 pts
Glenfiddich 29 yo 1956 Intertrade 50.6%
Best Glenfiddich to date, though no easy whisky. Plasticine, wall plaster, mineral paste. Some sort of deconstructed pear and cream mousse? Cold cream. many vegetable oils and non medical ointments. Cold blackened clay ovens. Guaic wood? Thick and concentrated. Not easy but completely coherent. Magnificent. 92 pts
Clynelish 1974 Modern Masters Dalriada 55.6%
Not entirely convincing. Sap, green juice and white clay. Lots of minerals yes, and ashen hues permeate the nose. White wine. Washed canvas sheets lead to detergent and pine air freshener. Unfortunately a touch of florals. 85 pts
Caol Ila 21 yo 1968 / 1985 Gordon & Macphail for Intertrade 58.5%
Avalanche of phenols – Coal, tar, cold embers, thick ash. High ester rum. Burnt petrol. Hints of moldy fruit. Muddy roots. Boggy wood, sodden damp and mushroom-y. Dirty rubber and tar, burnt tyres, a big fat Caol Ila though not really coastal. 89 pts. Unfortunately loses in a head to head with the very rare 1968 58.6%, which takes precision and power to another level.
Glen Moray 25 yo 1959 / 1984 Samaroli 46%
A rich sherry with soy sauce and thick purples. Woody, tannic, a dunnage funk aspect too, plum and raspberry tarts, cardamom, gula melaka and dried wood. Heavy! With a drying bite on the tongue. Burnt wood too a touch ashy. 88 pts not my preferred style, but a sherryhead’s dream maybe.
Glen Grant 21 yo 1972 Whyte & Whyte #158 43%
A lighter more refreshing style of sherry, sinuous and elegant. Oily, and rather fresh. Dried acorns and leaves. Good potpourri. Touches of forest floor and clean resins. 87 pts
Talisker 1979 Whyte & Whyte 43%
Quite an identifiably modern Talisker, with more than a passing similarity to Caol Ila. Maritime with sea spray, cold air, a particular sort of tangy but pungent freshly pulled seaweed, or rootsap mixed with fresh salt and white pepper. Sharp like a modern Talisker too. Fairly simple. 87 pts