Whisky Review – Glendronach 1995 19 year old Single Malts of Scotland. @whiskyexchange @glendronach

Glendronach 1995 19 year old Single Malts of Scotland

55.4% ABV

Cask #4028

Non chill filtered

No added colouring


£110.00 from The Whisky Exchange

I have just read with great interest that the Benriach family (Benriach, Glendronach & Glenglassaugh) of distilleries have been bought by Brown-Forman Corp (owners of Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve among others). Glendronach is one of my favourite distilleries. I hope nothing changes. 

On with the show. 

Nose. 

First pour and a sweet pastry bakery is blowing its wares in your face! Almond frangipane, dark dried fruit filled strudel, black cherry compote coated Black Forest gateau. Juicy blackberry jam. This is crazy complex concentrated luxury cake goodness. Wow, that is good, I feel inebriated from the nose itself, and I can’t help but sniff this long and deep! Taking my nose away for a while and letting it have a chance to breath! It’s settled down a little and alongside all of the above we now have some more honey crusted notes, brown sugar, some light almond nuttiness within the honey. But the big fruit aromas are the winners and it’s fantastic. I haven’t had a single cask Glendronach for a little while and it’s all coming back why I love the hell out of it. 

Palate. 

Big, big, juicy, dark fruit brimming arrival, lots of rum and raisin, cherries plump and ripe, fruitcake galore, sherry rich plums, chocolate melted over it all. FANTastic! That was the first sip. Must try to concentrate and not just get overwhelmed by it all. Ok, arrival as above, big, loads of fruit and loveliness. Development goes into dark forest gateau territories, lots of fruit again, chocolate again, but more about the juicy cherry sauce and ripe cherry, with chocolate, and a touch of bitter coffee.

Finish. 

After the massive palate on this the finish weakens things a little. It’s medium length, lots of dusty cocoa and a bit of coffee, OK, mocha, with a touch of light fruit, and a little effervescence cola type thing going on, the aftermath of a cola cube sweet maybe. It’s only a slight let down because that palate is so big and scrumptious, but I can sip again!

Adding water. 

A few drops added and time to settle. The nose is more chocolatey, more rum, more honey, now honeycomb. It’s like a boozey crunchie bar. Lush. The palate is thick with chocolate and fruit and yum and ahhhh, and yes! If it was a 9 without water it’s an 11 with! The finish……is 5 times better diluted, the fruit lasts and is thick with jamminess for a now LONG length finish, lots of fruit, chocolate, sweet coffee. Delicious is an understatement. This needs a drop of water to go from superb to out-frickin-standing. 

Conclusion. 

This is a bloody lovely single cask Glendronach. If you like your sherry monsters, look no further, this is it in droves! Bold flavours, massive experience, big big smile ridden stuff. Love it. 

Many thanks to Speciality Drinks for the review sample

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Whisky Review – Linkwood 1991 24 year old Single Malts of Scotland. @whiskyexchange

Linkwood 1991 24 year old Single Malts of Scotland

53.8% ABV

Cask #586497

Non chill filtered

No added colouring


£99.95 from The Whisky Exchange

  

Nose. 

On first pour there is dusty warehouse, strong spices (ginger and cardamon), some toffee and chocolate. A little time to sit and more chocolate and gentle fruitiness comes forward, some lemon and lime citrus, a touch of fresh mint invoking thoughts of classy mojitos. The sweeter elements become thicker and caramelised. Touches of marmalade come through later. 

Palate. 

Sweet and sour citrus arrival, oranges, lemons and lime. Quickly becoming sweeter and toffee infused. Waves of white chocolate, caramel, gentle ginger, fruit juices. Very chewy with a nice coating mouthfeel. Zingy in nature, the whisky has a lot of complexity, variation and life in it, certainly not overrun by any oak influence. 

Finish. 

Warming, full of sweet honey, and spicy ginger. A long length finish, with some zingy citrus and reduced Apple and lime juices. Spices are the last to fade, ginger amongst silky chocolate. 

Adding water. 

After a few drops have been added and sat for a while, the nose has become more fruit led, slightly sweeter, like a coating of powdered sugar has been added, giving some sweet shop presence. The palate reflects this, with some fruity boiled sweets taking the lead, spices toned down, better integration and balance. The finish is warmer, gentler and the spices and honey are beautifully tasty. This dram benefits well with a drop of water or two. 

Conclusion. 

A beautiful Linkwood, which when watered, has a great balance and gives a severely tasty experience. Sweet and fruity all round and would make a great summer dram to drink as the warm day turns to night. 

Many thanks to Speciality Drinks for the review sample

Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 @bruichladdich

Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01
57.8% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Colouring
£67.99 from Travel Retail
PCH_CC_01_2007
Nose.
Intense smoking seaside shacks, with a farmyard encrusted wheelbarrow full of wet seaweed smouldering away! Fruit is present int he form of scalded and burnt black skinned mango, dried fruits, some sultana all overcooked and crispy, in a very very excellent way. The fruitcake is burnt and I bloody love it! With a little more time we get more burnt things, a touch of baby back ribs complete with BBQ glaze, farm notes rise as do the seaside notes.  Another whisky that evolves in the glass very successfully and needs time to enjoy to the max.  A big dram and time is all you need.
Palate.
Intensely sweet arrival, the rum casks being very evident, a blast (but not too hot) of alcohol heat quickly subsides and then the fun begins.  Wave after wave of mossy, earthy peat smoke, BBQ, Charred fruit and burnt end kebabs on a beach.  The mouthfeel, again oily, rich and coating. Some pepper and chilli spices coat the fruit and meat, a touch of salted caramel, and even hints of cocoa.
Finish.
The charred fruit, accompanied by oak, seaside air, more meat and associated sauces last a small eternity (thats a long length finish), so slowly levelling out, into a heartwarming glow of a chest hug.  Bloody lovely stuff.
Adding Water.
A few drops added and a little waiting time. The nose has got a lot sweeter, and burnt treacle toffee rich. The palate, with the toned down alcohol has a lovely additional depth of sweetness, with the meatiness, still present, but lessened, and that gives a lot more maritime, brown sugar encrusted joy around the whole development.  The finish is super long, sweet, smoky, meaty, caramelised, bloody, bloody, bloody lovely.  This is fantastic, flavoursome, fricking beautiful whisky.  Love it.
Conclusion.
I love it….Thats it, its bloody gorgeous stuff, everything PC is about, and I want it…I guess the I need to save for more than the trip when it comes to the next airport visit!!!
Thanks to Bruichladdich and World Duty Free for the invitation to the Tweet Tasting. 

Bruichladdich – Laddie Eight @bruichladdich

Bruichladdich – Laddie Eight
50% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Colouring
£44.99 from Travel Retail
BRU_TheLaddieEight_8Y0_700_0
Nose.
On the first sniff we have an abundance of creamy maltiness. The malting room itself. With a light smoky whiff in the air. Stewed Apples and pears, with a touch of soft exotic fruits, yellow cantaloupe. Bird’s custard powder, vanilla heavy. Maritime notes, sea air back up the nasal experience. A little time in the glass and more oak char becomes evident, and the seaside notes increase. A little more time and more citrus and lemon fill the nose, this is an evolving nose, that demands some time to allow to breath and give its fullness. More sweet shop confectionary sugar as time goes by, with a hint of farmyard (in a very good way). My my, this is busy busy busy.
Palate.
The arrival is sweet, then tart with the lemon juice hitting the palate and some heat from the alcohol, once subsided we get waves of toffee, syrup, honey enriched softer, sweeter lemons (lockets without the menthol), sweet creamy vanilla custard. Malty biscuit. The mouthfeel is sublime and coating, lovely natural oils as with all Bruichladdich’s expressions. An intense moreish sippability which has had me going back time and again.
Finish.
The sweet custard and honey sticks around for a medium/long duration, slowly drying out with some of the oak cask char from the nose finalising the experience.
Adding Water.
A few drops added and time set aside. The nose is now bursting with fruit, lemon intense, sweet, juicy and uncompromising. The honey has become more floral.  The palate now has seamless arrival and delivery with the alcohol heat tonned down, allowing for more sweetness, fruit intensity, with the delicious creaminess only becoming more so. Mouthfeel is still thick, and you can slosh this around in the mouth forever.  The finish is creamy, touch of charred oak, longer, fruitier and all round delicious.
Conclusion.
A beautiful Bruichladdich. 8 years old but feeling older in the experience.  Its a shame this isn’t a more readily available expression, but its one I will be seeking out next time Im airport bound, which fortunately isn’t far away.
Thanks to Bruichladdich and World Duty Free for the invitation to the Tweet Tasting. 

Whisky Review – Clynelish 1995 19 year old Single Malts of Scotland. @whiskyexchange

Clynelish 1995 19 year old Single Malts of Scotland

57.8% ABV

Cask #932013

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£99.95 from The Whisky Exchange

  

Nose. 

On first sniff from a fresh pour there is a lot of buttery lemon shortbread with just a touch of bonfire smoke. With a few minutes sat the smoke remains present and extra creamy fudge comes forward, cracked black pepper and some raw ginger. Gentle floral rounds things off. Very nicely sniffable, perfume qualities. It should be a perfume!

Palate. 

A lovely citrus lemon arrival, with a backing of creamy vanilla fudge, after the nip from the high ABV, it changes back to front with the creamy vanilla thickness coming forward, waxy fruit coming midpalate developing into apples and pears with custard, and the citrus fading into the back ground. You can keep this one on the tongue for ages, it develops slowly and changes frequently. Delicious. 

Finish. 

Fruit, ginger, waxy lemons stick around for a medium length finish, with creamy fudge coming back towards the end with a touch of drying oakiness. Lip smacking and moreish. 

Adding water. 

Only a few drops added. The nose has become a lot more fudge centric! Added floral notes are prominent with the spices raking a small back step. The palate, without so much of an alcohol nip has buckets more flavour and continuous form arrival through development, lots of fruit now, more jammy and autumnal. The fudge notes go side by side but slightly less intense. The finish is waxy, fruity, spicy, gently intense, beautiful stuff. A touch of water brings this whisky out of its shell. 

Conclusion. 

This is an absolutely gorgeous Clynelish, has a bit of everything the distillery is famous for, and is thoroughly enjoyable. It has a lovely autumnal feel to it. This is a bottle to grab now while it’s available and save to savour in the autumn months. 

Many thanks to Speciality Drinks for the review sample

Whisky Review – Tobermory 1994 21 year old Single Malts of Scotland. @whiskyexchange

Tobermory 1994 21 year old Single Malts of Scotland

55.4% ABV

Cask #660881

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£89.95 from The Whisky Exchange

  

Nose. 

On first encounter with the vapour we have light, biscuit rich malt, some honey and gentle gingerbread spices. Some time in the glass and stewed orchard fruits come forward, bubbling and reducing into thick jams. Apple tart with a caramelised brown sugar and cinnamon crust. Danish pastries warm from the bakery. A deliciously sweet, decadent nose. 

Palate. 

Gentle and thick arrival, mouthfeel and delicious fruity spices are the first thing to encompass the senses. Stewed fruits, Apple, pear, orchard berries, thick and jammy. The ginger led spices are soft, yet has a great presence, the balance is awesome. Lots of honey backs this up, adds to the fruit and spices, beautifully integrated. Immensely sippable, moreish at full strength, this is a great pick of a cask. 

Finish. 

Long length, warming, delicately soothing. Spices lead the finish alongside the honey and fruit, gently and slowly fading, always remaining sweet and jam filled. Lovely lovely lovely. 

Adding water. 

Drops added and sat. (Though I didn’t want to its glorious without water). The nose gets a little younger, fruits become crispier and rejuvenated, gingerbread and malt taking the leads. The palate has also taken a younger, zingy turn, immensely fruity, juicy, with the sweetness of honey and spice influence stepping back. The finish is still warming, spicy and sweet honey rich. Personally I prefer this dram without water. 

Conclusion. 

This is a stunning whisky, beautifully balanced, thick with honey, fruit, sugar and spice, tasty all round. I love it, it really ticks all my boxes. Easy to spend hours over and easy to chill out with. This is an all rounder of a whisky, but be careful with water. 

Many thanks to Speciality Drinks for the review sample

Whisky Review – Benriach Cask Strength batch 1. @TheBenRiach

Benriach Cask Strength batch 1

57.2% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£51.95 from Master of Malt

  

Benriach’s sister company Glendronach have been releasing a cask strength for quite a while (currently on batch 5) and that one always brings a smile to my face. I’m hoping that the Benriach cask strength will do the same. Let’s pour and savour. 

Nose. 

On first pour there is a noticeable smoky element like burnt wood. A waxy nature, candles melting, and a background of cooked apples and honey. Quite a pungent and complex nose on first sniff. Further investigations and we get some waxy orange peel, buttery vanilla and a touch of hay. It is a thirst inducing nose for sure. 

Palate. 

Quickly sweet and then tarty citrus arrival. A lovely mouth coating texture. A touch of alcohol nip followed by waves of thick honey, vanilla infused apples, candied orange peel and sour lemon. With some waxiness amongst the juices of the fruit. Some sweet ginger and pepper cover the spicy element. A varying intensity of honey accompanies this experience throughout. 

Finish. 

Sweet honey and some nuttiness hands around for a medium-long length finish, with some additional warming spices and oak char in the finale. 

Adding water. 

A splash added. Hints get a lot fruitier and more interesting on the nose, there is an added dunnage quality, dusty warehouses, the vanillas are more intense as is the honey. The char is toned down. The waxiness is amped up as is the fruit, far more ripe and juicy. With a touch of added coconut milk. Lush. The palate has lost some of the tartiness and become softer, creamier, more integrated. The fruit, honey and vanilla go hand in hand and are very luscious. The finish fades slightly quicker, but is creamier as well and less drying. Water is essential. Exquisite. 

Conclusion. 

Bravo! A beautiful Benriach! Really shows off the distillery’s character, lots of honey rich fruits and incredibly thick and flavoursome. It’s a no brainer of a buy. This will provide so much joy for a great value price.

Many thanks to Benriach for the review sample