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Comments: imagine you were 60 years old and could choose a cask in a warehouse, and imagine you would find a great 30 year old Macallan.
Would you dump it in a rum cask (and then sell it for 250€ a bottle)?
Gets finally frankly balsamic (more pine resin, also turpentine, camphor, thuja wood…) Mouth: starts spicy and fairly tannic but with enough dried fruits and other honeyed bits to back it up.
Then more tar, peat and liquorice, a tad heavier but never ‘too much’.
With water: not any more complex but superbly balanced Laphroaig. Comments: it’s not a complex whisky or a whisky that develops much, quite the opposite, but it’s so perfectly ‘chiselled’ right from the start that it’s well worth 90 in my book. More ‘excessive’ than the 1998 in a certain way but of similar quality. I got quite a few remarks about the ‘buying signal for closed distilleries’ that I seem to have issued the other day (really??? Comments: I never thought I’d say this about a Lochside but I feel this one is really a love it or hate it expression, or maybe it suffers from the comparison with the fantastic fruitiness of the 1965 (please see below).
Nose: more cask influence in this one, a little more vanilla but also more damp earth and antiseptic, flints (tons of wet rocks) and lime. Mouth (neat): same as the 1998 now, but it’s true that it’s hard to pick out nuances at such high strength. May I add that I’d love to see a picture of the old recipe? Finish: long, all on bitter herbs and spices (quite some aniseed in the aftertaste). Finish: long, citrusy and quite bitter, with some green tannins.
), some friends even asked for a list of worthy names. Okay, I think I’ll go for a ‘conservatory’ score (remember, only one guy’s opinion!
I insist, this is very good spirit but it’s simply not pure Scotch whisky anymore in my opinion. Overripe apples and liquorice, something slightly metallic in the background.
Some other bottlings in this 60th Anniversary series were of a much higher standard in my opinion.
As for yeast and barley, I guess they can’t be the same as 1903’s but never mind, it’s the end result that counts. And much less fruity and vanilled notes than in other versions. Mouth: rich, creamy, rather more ‘Glenmo’ now but there are many many spices starting with various peppers (no I won’t list them all just for the sake of sounding smarter), a little mustard and ginger, then coffee beans. Rum Nation is an independent bottler, owned by the people who are also behind the excellent whisky bottlers Wilson & Morgan. Rather compact, with notes of honey, orange cake and sugar cane as well as a little vanilla. Nose: completely different from the 8, much more aromatic and extremely unusual with these notes of diesel oil, honeydew, pine liqueur, thyme and liquorice liqueur. Mouth: oily, very thick, just as resinous as on the nose. Very nice, let’s hope the palate won’t be too sweet. Finish: medium long, clean, half grassy, half sweet. Nose: rather less expressive than the Hors d’Âge at very first nosing but gets then very nicely nutty and resinous, also with more oak, vanilla, toasted bread and coffee… Maybe tiny-wee touches of garlic, that’s interesting! Comments: clean fruity ‘modern’ spirit, not the most complex ever but perfectly made. Quite some oak as well, slightly green tannins, more tea… The aftertaste is very nice though, on bitter oranges and pepper. Now, lovers of ultra-grassy (and limey) whiskies will probably love this. Punchy and very citrusy, with litres of lemonade and even gin (gin-fizz), tonic water, artichoke liqueur (I think Cynar is one) and other very grassy items.
Nose: this one suffers a bit from comparison with its two predecessors, it lacks a bit of the others’ perfect zestiness, although it’s closer to the Nectar than to the other TWA. Now, it’s still quite perfect, it’s just that the other two are terrific in my opinion. Mouth (neat): I like it better than on the nose when neat, but it’s really brutal at such high strength. With water: works, it brings out unexpected resinous notes – and big ones at that. Some toasted vanilla/oak, notes of cider, apple juice, roasted malt, a little caramel, cappuccino, candy sugar (quite a lot)… Or maybe has some Glenmorangie been matured or finished in some ex-Ardbeg cask? More punch and depth in my opinion and more secondary and tertiary notes. I get humus, marzipan, a little camphor, leather, soy sauce, dried mushrooms, ginger, white pepper… Barbados and Martinique are neighbouring islands but while Barbados makes rum from sugar cane molasses, Martinique often distils cane juice (rhum agricole). Nose: I had feared this baby would be too heavy and sluggish but that isn’t the case at all. Nose: bizarrely, this one is a little sweeter than the Barbados (while rhum agricole is usually grassier). ), caramel-coated nuts, toasted brioche, dried bananas, pineapples… With water: interestingly, gets much more resinous and flinty. With water: excellent ‘young’ fruitiness with a good dose of pepper and a little thyme. Also more beeswax, a faint flintiness, a little mint and various garden fruits. Goes on with a continuous duet between the fruits (peaches and other garden fruits) and the spices and pine resin. More grass after that, apple peelings, walnuts, green tea, a little paprika… One can feel that there may be some fruits below the surface but they don’t quite make it to your nostrils. With water: not really, it’s still very grassy and leafy, even after fifteen minutes.
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Quite some pepper too, a little curry and finally quite some cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Finish: long for its strength, with more liquorice and quite some mint in the aftertaste, as often with these oldies.