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27 Feb 2007

Glendullan 1966 Platinum, 34 YO, Douglas Laing, 46.8%, D:1966, B:2003, 217 bottles Price:

Colour: Straw-gold

Nose: Very sweet and extremely fruity, on juicy apricots, peach and melon, with some vanilla and a discreet touch of peat. Diluted it gets more on hand-made toffees, with some light floral, but the apricot core is still very present.

Taste: Start a bit oaky, them on light peat-smoke mixed with apricots, tangerine and orange peel. The creamy-buttery texture is beautiful. Slight iodine touch. Diluted it is a bit more smoky, but also dryer. The finish is clean, on peat smoke, with candied apricots and peach. Quite long finish.

General Impression: A delicious, extremely fruity Glendullan. It shows quite some similarities with some old grain whiskies or some old lightly peated Bowmore and was produced on the small stills. In 1971-72, the still house was modified and fitted with new bigger stills of a different shape. Of note, some information on the label are obviously wrong, since the whisky matured for 37 years, but it is apparently only 34 years.

Rating: 18/20

23 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich 30 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2006, Price:

Colour: Old gold- amber

Nose: Quite fruity: kiwi, banana, pear, floral (summer flowers). Unexpected lightness and freshness of the aromas. Diluted, it gets more floral and on pear drops.

Taste: Sirupy, on candied fruits (banana and papaya), toffee, faint chocolate aromas and some smoke (tobacco). Quite unbalanced flavour profile. The finish is of medium length, syrupy, thick, on sherry, chocolate and sherry.

General Impression: It is a nice whisky, but with a quite odd aromas profile to my taste.

Rating: 12/20

21 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve, 18 YO, OB, 43%, B:2006 Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Buttery, with floral notes (lavender), cooked apples and orange-citric notes.

Taste: Some sherry influence and dryness, some spice, peat smoke and juicy malt. Creamy-oily texture. The finish is short, on roasted almonds, malt and some smoke.

General Impression: The sherry adds a nice complexity to this nice and pleasant whisky, but I find it relatively thin. Would need a 46% to allow the whisky to show its potential.

Rating: 11/20

19 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich Caoran, 12 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2006 Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Very fragrant and floral flavours, toffee, rye bread and dry peat.

Taste: Starts on dry and green malt, rye bread, peat and salt. It is very peaty, with lavender-floral notes. The finish on dry peated bread and gentiana, with a medium-length finish.

General Impression: Starts on a quite pleasant nose. On the palate, the floral aromas are fighting against the peat and creating an unbalance. Quite special and different from the other peaty whiskies.

Rating: 08/20

17 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich Toasted Limited Edition, 12 YO, OB, 40%, B:2006 Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Oaky, strong vanilla flavours, nice and light floral notes (lavender), on coconuts and exotic fruits. Nice and different from the Special Reserve and less caramel influence.

Taste: Oaky, sweet, juicy and very round, vanilla and charcoal. Very floral, on fresh grass and green malt. With a touch of dry smoke. The finish is short, malty and juicy, on toffee and smoke.

General Impression: I quite enjoyed this whisky, different from the Special Reserve. This whisky has matured exclusively in first-fill bourbon and would deserve a higher strength (43-46%) to show the benefits of the maturation.

Rating: 10/20

14 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich Special Reserve, 12 YO, OB, 40%, B:2006 Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: slightly bitter, spirity, on toffee, with floral notes (drying grass and hay) and bananas. At nosing, I got the impression that a lot of caramel was added.

Taste: Quite sweet and juicy malt, lots of caramel, slightly bitter, with vanilla and some smoke. The finish is short, malty and sweet, on roasted nuts, with toffee and smoke.

General Impression: The caramel flavour is very powerful. Has a lot of caramel been added or is it a natural characteristic of the whisky?

Rating: 08/20

11 Feb 2007

Bomwore Legend, OB, 40%, B: 2006 Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Immediately on soft peat, smoke, sea weed and sea spray, with some toffee. Clean and simple. Seems quite young (7-8 YO?).

Taste: Sweet juicy malt, soft peat and smoke, citrus. A nicely balanced  and clean malt whisky, with some honey flavours and some sherry influence. The finish is short, on peat, smoke and tobacco, with maritime influence. Slightly dry with citrus notes and toffee-bitterness.

General Impression: A clean and rather simple whisky, but a soft and very nice introduction to the Islay whiskies.

Rating: 10/20

09 Feb 2007

The Glenfiddich Solera is a mix (vat) of Glenfiddich whiskies matured in different casks: Ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and new oak, which are married for some times in a very large vat, called the solera vat. The first tasting note is from the whisky coming from the sherry casks prior vatting and the second one is the tasting note from the Solera vat before bottling.

Glenfiddich Sherry cask strength for Solera, OB, SFTC, 2006 Price: N/A

Colour: Old gold- amber

Nose: Sherry, plumps, oak, leather, orange peel and chocolate. Nicely round and smooth.

Diluted, very much on toffee, old leather and furnitures.

Taste: Bold, slightly syrupy, bitter and clean, on plums, chocolate, toffee and some orange. Flavours are less intense than the nose would suggest. The finish is thick, syrupy, on leather, soft peat and liquorice. Medium length.

General Impression: A very good nose, but a bit thin on the palate. Quite thick finish.

Rating: 13/20

Glenfiddich Solera Cask Strength, 15 YO, OB, 2006, Price: N/A

Colour: Gold

Nose: Restraint, spirity with a light floral and fragrant perfume. Needs time to open and to develop on more floral notes, orange and tangerine. Diluted, it gets rounder, more malty and more chocolate-like. Some peat and candied fruits. Very nice.

Taste: Oaky, bitter, salty, but rich and complex, with a mix of fragrant rose flowers, honey, sweet fruits, tangerine and orange. Hint of tobacco smoke. Intense. Diluted, it is smokier and rounder. The finish starts on old tobacco leaves, cream fudge, chocolate and tangerine, with rubber at the end. Medium-long finish.

General Impression: Very different from the Special, more complex, more rich and smoother. It is only a pity that Glenfiddich has not yet released a cask strength version of their Solera.

Rating: 15/20

07 Feb 2007

Glenfiddich Solera, 15 YO, OB, 40%, B:2006, Price:

Colour: Gold

Nose: Round, smooth and fruity, on tangerine, orange, caramel, biscuits and with a hint of peat.

Taste: Spicy, salty, with caramel, smoke, floral notes and chocolate. Don’t add any water or it gets quite bitter. The finish is short, on raisins, soft peat, chocolate and caramel. Light citric influence.

General Impression: The nose is really nice, but the flavours on the palate are weaker than the nose would suggest. A nice and round Glenfiddich.

Rating: 13/20

04 Feb 2007

Balvenie 1974, 28 YO, Cadenhead, 55.3%, cask 17710 Price:

Colour: Pale yellow-straw

Nose: Nice round oakiness (bourbon), vanilla, toffee and floral notes, with some light grape influence. Earthy. Nice and complex. Diluted, it gets thinner, more earthy and grassy, with a zest of lemon.

Taste: Soapy and thin. Diluted, some light smoky notes. The finish is short and thin.

General Impression: Started with a great nose before falling completely apart. Thin and very fragile.

Rating: 09/20

31 Jan 2007

Breath of Islay (Lagavulin), 13 YO, Adelphi, 56.3%, B: 2006, Price:

Colour: Straw- pale gold

Nose: Very smoky, peat reek, quite clean and young, sea spray.

Taste: Very peaty and smoky, clean, with tobacco notes, some spiciness, sea influence and diesel. A long peaty and smoky finish.

General Impression: A quite one-dimensional Lagavulin, extremely peaty with a very long finish, sharing some similarities with some quite young cask strength Caol Ila.

Rating: 14/20

27 Jan 2007

Glendronach 15 YO, OB, 40%, B: 2003 Price:

Colour: Old gold-amber

Nose: Deep “velvet” and round sherry nose, with leather, fudge and grapes.

Taste: Dry sherry with peat smoke and toffee. The whisky is slightly bitter. The finish is dry, bitter and medium-long, on peat smoke, fudge, chocolate and liquorice root.

General Impression: A nice sherried whisky, where the direct coal fired still gave some nice fudge aromas to the whisky. The Glendronach 15YO was the last official bottling of 100% sherried matured Glendronach.

Rating: 13/20

24Jan 2007

Tamdhu, NAS, OB, 40%, B: 2006, Price:

Colour: Gold

Nose: Nice clean malt, floral, fresh and with some grape notes.

Taste: Very clean, juicy malt, lemon and some peat. Chewy. The finish is of medium length, round, clean, malty, smoky and peaty. The finish is more smoky and peaty than the taste would suggest.

General impression: A very nice juicy and malty malt.

Rating: 13/20

22Jan 2007

Balvenie 1974, OB, 48% , B: 2004, 180 bottles. Price:

Colour: Pale yellow-straw.

Nose: Spirity, round, with vanilla and some grapes. Diluted, the flavours of a barley field sunbathed can be smelled, with a strong “bourbony” and vanilla influence.

Taste: Winey, bourbony (vanilla), bananas, with a charming sweet maltiness and smoke. Diluted, it gets bitter and thinner. The finish is clean, round, short and smoky.

General Impression: A good old Balvenie, with a lot of character but getting a bit tired.

Rating: 14/20

19 Jan 2007

Isle of Jura 1984, 19 YO, 42%, B:2004, Price:

Colour: Old gold-amber

Nose: Varnish, ginger bread, with some unpleasant off-note flavours.

Taste: Cardboard, sherry, malt (cereals) with the same off-notes as in the nose. The finish is medium-long, smoky, with toffee and sweet-dry. The off-notes are also present in the finish.

General impression: This Isle of Jura is barely drinkable because of these sulphury off-notes. The sherry finish was not able to rescue it.

Rating: 06/20

17 Jan 2007

Balvenie vintage cask 1973, 31 YO, OB, 49.7%, cask 9214, 213 b. Price:

Colour: Pale yellow-straw

Nose: Quite oaky, malty, slightly nutty. The nose is floral (light and fragrant flowers). Diluted, it gets smoother, with grape and flavours of barley bathed in the summer sun and with pear drops notes. Rich and complex.

Taste: Winey, malty, lots of grapes, orange peel, toffee and bourbon. Smoky with a slight hint of peat. Rich and complex. The finish is clean, bold, round and malty, with a long smoky finish.

General Impression: A nice old Balvenie, with a complex and rich body. Suprisingly full bodied for a Balvenie of such an age.

Rating: 16/20

13 Jan 2007

Longrow Tasting Room, 8 YO, OB, 55.1%, B: June 06 Price:

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Oak, tar and diesel flavours. Rough and quite spirity, with some pear notes and peat-dried toast. Diluted, some flavours of vanilla are released and the smoky flavours get more pleasant. Needs time to open.

Taste: Oily, very bitter and simple. The whisky is young and spirity. Strong aromas of dry peat and lighter notes of pear and burned toasts. Diluted, it is fruitier and more mellow. The finish is of medium length, it is clean and peaty.

General impression: A young and peaty Longrow. Quite fierce and would need some additional years of maturation as it shows the character of the news of the new make. The Tasting Room range is sold exclusively at the Tasting Room at the Springbank Distillery.

Rating: 07/20

11 Jan 2007

Aberlour 10, OB, 40%, B: 2005 Price:

Colour: Gold

Nose: Very round and floral (mint and summer flowers), cereals (malty), honey and some slight toffee notes. Very smooth.

Taste: Very malty, sweet and oily, with toffee, honey, lemon and marzipan. The taste is also smoky and with aromas of freshly cut grass. The finish is dry, short with honey and toffee aromas.

General Impression: A good malty whisky with plenty of smoothness.

Rating: 13/20

07 Jan 2007

Port Ellen 1982, 24 YO, Bladnoch bottling, 60.4%, D: 13 Oct 2006 B: Nov 2006, Cask 2461, 644 b. Price:

Colour: Old gold-amber

Nose: Soft peat and round sherry, intense and spicy, with some honey. Diluted 1:1, the nose is still very intense and fragrant, quite floral with toffee and sea shells. At a 1:2 (whisky:water) dilution, pear drops aromas are noticed and the sherry influence is getting more pronounced.

Taste: Juicy malt, soft peat. Very salty and maritime (iodine), spicy (pepper) and smoky. Round with sweet fruits. Diluted, it is even smokier. The finish is long and lingering, on soft peat and hugely smoky, with sherry note (leather), salt liquorice, honey and tobacco leaves flavours. Slightly bitter-dry.

General Impression: Extremely salty, spicy and smoky Port Ellen, with a rather discreet peat influence. Very intense, but not hugely complex. Reminds me of some Talisker-spiciness.

Rating. 16/20

05 Jan 2007

Glen Moray Mountain Oak, 12 YO, OB, 60.5%, D: 1991, B:2003  800 bottles. Price:

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Very sweet (corn) and fruity (oranges, tangerine and bananas). The nose is really excellent. Diluted, it gets more on toffee, more creamy and smoothness.

Taste: Rich, slightly dry, with some nice round oakiness, buttery and flowery (geraniums). Fresh malt and bananas. The finish is medium-long, very sweet and round. Malty, buttery and with strong bananas flavours. Diluted, the finish get quite smoky.

General Impression: A superb Glen Moray with a remarkable fruitiness, lots of oranges and bananas. Delicious. Aged in new US oak and shows some similarities to the Glenmorangie Burr Oak.

Rating: 18/20

29 Dec 2006

Port Ellen OMC, 23 YO, 50%, Douglas laing, D: 1983, B: July 2006, cask 2790. Price:

Colour: Straw-gold.

Nose: The nose is pungent, with a soft peaty and smoky flavour. The amontillado influence is sweet and delicate.

Taste: Oily, very salty (iodine) and very maritime. After a few seconds come the soft peat and even more slowly some smokiness. The finish is medium long, salty, peaty and smoky, with a pleasant amontillado influence.

General impression: The Port Ellen matured in sherry amontillado casks are very uncommon. This Port Ellen could have matured a few years extra, but this whisky is anyway very good. The difference of peatiness with the Port Ellen 1978 Platinum is quite impressive.

Rating: 15/20

22 Dec 2006

Ardbeg OMC 1994, 10 YO, D. Laing, 50%, 363 bottles Price:

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: The nose is quite disappointing, restrained with a lot of iodine and some pear drops. Seems very young. Needs water to release the peat.

Taste:  A lot of maritime flavours, oily and peat smoke and bacon. Rich and nice mouth feel. The finish is long to very long. The finish starts on peat reek before the intense smoked bacon flavours are taking over.

General Impression: Without water, the nose is quite disappointing and the finish too tobacco-like to my taste, but the taste is excellent, showing a rich peaty and maritime aroma.

Rating: 13/20

19 Dec 2006

Ardbeg Still Young, 8 YO, OB, 58.3%, B:2006 Price:

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: On peat reek, kelp and iodine, with a slight touch of smoked bacon.

Taste: Quite sweet, maritime with the peat smoke increasing progressively. Clean but quite subtle. Slightly fruity. The finish is on dry bacon, peat and kelp, with some pipe tobacco.

General Impression:A smooth and peaty young Ardbeg, less rough and subtler than the Very Young.

Rating: 14/20

17 Dec 2006

Ardbeg 1990, 10 YO, Provenance McGibbons, 43%, Price:

Colour: Very pale yellow

Nose: Some peat smoke, grassy notes and maritime influence, but the nose seems very young, with the same sugary sweetness of a new make spirit. Diluted the nose gets very dry.

Taste: Dry peat-smoked bread. Faint and disappointing. It tastes like new make. The finish is short, malty and smoky, but not that much peaty.

General Impression: I don’t know what happened to this Ardbeg, but it looks like the whisky is coming straight out of the stills. Very young, sweet (sugar), and dry. The most disappointing Ardbeg I have tried so far.

Rating: 06/20

15 Dec 2006

Clynelish 1972, 32 YO, The Whisky Exchange, 49.9%, B:2005, 206 bottles.

Colour: Old gold

Nose: Malty, old dried peat, some citrus and a quite strong oakiness/woodiness. Diluted, it gets more fruity, on citrus and pear, toffee and sweet exotic fruits.

Taste: Very malty, with some sweet exotic fruits, smooth, pleasant and very complex. The peat is nicely enveloping all these flavours. Diluted, it gets hot, spicy and dry. The finish is long, on peat, honey and exotic fruits.

General Impression: A very pleasant and balanced old Clynelish. A malt that you enjoy keeping in your mouth.

Rating: 16/20

12 Dec 2006

Ardbeg 1975 ex-Fino, Feis Ile 2006, OB, B:2006, Cask 4717, 165 bottles

Colour: Gold

Nose: Dry old peat, smoke and some delicate fino influence. Very powerful for its age. With a few drops of water, nice toffee flavours are released, with some pineapple and medicinal notes.

Taste: Very malty, some citrus notes and after a few seconds the typical good old and dry peat of the Ardbeg from the 1970s is coming, without being dry on the palate. Aromas of peat reek and seaweeds (kelp). Diluted, it is more fruity and citric, oilier and sweeter. The finish is long, lingering, peaty and smoky, a bit dry and with a subtle fino influence.

General impression: A good straight and clean Ardbeg, not overly complex, but with a subtle fino influence. The bottle was sold for £299, which I found expensive, but the latest Single Cask releases are not less expensive.

Rating: 18/20

10 Dec 2006

Macallan 1967, 35 YO, Hart Brothers, 41,9%, Price:

Colour: Old gold.

Nose: Apple, grapes, tangerine and dried fruits. The nose is smooth and round. Diluted, it gets more on toffee, slightly winey and some notes of rubber.

Taste: Oily, round and creamy, on apple and dried fruits with a sweet and smooth texture, slightly smoky. The body is quite fragile and thin. Diluted, it gets richer, on tangerine and more smoky. The finish is of medium length, smoky and on tobacco. Slightly dry, but smooth and not unpleasant.

General impression: A good old, smooth and sweet sherried Macallan. Unfortunately the age has thinned the flavours.

Rating: 13/20

04 Dec 2006

Benriach Curiositas, 10 YO, OB, B:2006, 40% Price:

Colour: Gold

Nose: Definitely peaty, with pear flavours and some peat-grilled bread. Diluted, it gets even more smoky and peaty, with flavours of hay and pear drops.

Taste: Smooth, very peaty (dry peat), citric with some oakiness. The peat influence is very strong, but still allows the maltiness of the spirit to express itself. The finish is smooth, on dry peat and dark chocolate. The finish is very long and pleasant.

General impression: A very nice and heavily peated Speysider. Can be easily confounded with an Islay. An excellent quality/price ratio.

Rating: 15/20

01 Dec 2006

Arran, 10 YO, OB, 46%,D: 2006, Price:

Colour: Gold-old gold

Nose: Very smooth and round, nice vanilla and bananas flavours, with some smoke, a hint of mint, lots of ripe sunbathed barley, nice floral notes and cinnamon. Rich and showing a nice complexity for its age. With water, more pear drops and more floral flavours.

Taste: Vanilla, smooth and then some sherry sweetness. Lots of cereals (ripe and sweet barley, citrus and some cinnamon). The finish is long, slightly syrupy, very malty with a certain smokiness.

General Impression: The Arran 10YO is a very nice and easy to drink unpeated whisky, with a surprising maturity and complexity for its age. Well balanced.

Rating: 14/20

Copyright © 2006 Patrick Brossard. All Rights Reserved.


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