Whisky Tasting Review

This page covers the whiskies we've done at past tastings and highlights the ones Andy thought were good and the best sellers. We aren't saying the others weren't any good, it is just that these suited Andy's palate.

Burns Night 2 - 26th January 2008

Braes of Glenlivet 1975 � Gordon & MacPhail
Bruichladdich 20 � 3rd Edition
Bunnahabhain 18
MacPhails 30� Gordon & MacPhail
Dalmore 28 � Blackadder Raw Cask
Caol Ila � Massala Finish � Gordon & MacPhail
Bowmore Dawn

A second night to celebrate Burns birthday with 3 other hardy souls (fools??) doing the second night same as me.
The Braes is interesting from a relatively young distillery, soft but not exciting. Bruichladdich 20 � 3rd edition � does it need to be ACE�d (no) but still an excellent dram despite this. The Bunny 18 is top draw stuff, rich with sherry tones a dram to warm a winter night with if there ever was one. MacPhails 30 � I thought the 40 was brilliant, the 25 as good as it gets but guess what the 30 beats them both, I am in awe. Blackadder Raw Cask is always good, the Dalmore didn�t disappoint with good warmth and length plus the little bits of cask in there add something. The Caol Ila was good, G&M proving it doesn�t have to be over sweet and has the coal hit in the middle. Finally the Bowmore Dawn a final dram that is great and now sadly unavailable a fond farewell to a classy Bowmore with the peat and fruit hints.
Behind the bar � Bruichladdich Moine Mhor 3D Peat Proposal 2nd Edition � very drinkable and complementing the final two peaty ones we�d already had but again I only got one � something tells me the people who come to the tasting love good whisky which shows I can state the obvious as we do have great people coming!

Burns Night - 25th January 2008

Whisky Galore Atlantic Gold
Bruichladdich 15 � 2nd Edition
Highland Park 15
Miltonduff 1968 � Gordon & MacPhail
MacPhails 40 � Gordon & MacPhail
Port Charlotte PC6
Kilchoman � New Make Spirit

Hopefully Burns would have been appreciative of the whiskies we used to toast his birthday.
The whisky galore was a lovely blend with lots of flavour and a little bit of history in it, a % of the whiskies used in the blend were recovered from the SS Politician. The Laddie 15 is a lovely gently dram but I now realise I have been spoiled having the 1st edition with its 15% sherry cask and no ACEing so the 2nd edition doesn�t stack up to that but it is still good. I just wish Jim would stop ACEing, The Laddie is good enough on it�s own. HP15 � better than the 12 & the 18, great balance of honey and heather and a lovely peat finish. Miltonduff 1968 � fantastic nose, lovely heavy sherry and balanced palate with that mint hint at the end, I would have liked to have left this a while to really open up to see what else it gave but I loved it still. MacPhails 40 FANTASTIC, a whisky to challenge and work at, not for a session but one to linger over on a cold night with a roaring fire and very special friends. Now onto the Peaty stuff. PC6, six year old whisky at 61.6%, loved it, some didn�t but that is ok each to their own but I did, if you have one to collect buy another to drink! Finally the new make spirit from kilchoman and the one that divided everyone �10 or 10 seemed to be the scores, for me this is fabulous new make, rich, oily, peaty and fantastic barley present worth the trip to Islay to try it.
As I said last time what to put behind the bar next � Longrow won and it is still good, very soft after the peat monsters we�d tasted but lovely and drinkable, sold out before I got there after clearing up (note to self � buy one earlier and save so I get some)

November 2007

Balblair 1989
Glen Garioch 15
Stronachie 12 - Dewar Ratry
Glenfarclas 15
Clynelish 1991 - Murray McDavid
Benromach - Peat Smoke
Springbank 100 proof - 10yr old
Lagavulin 1991 - Distillers Edition

A great evening for me with some really good mid priced malts. The Benromach Peat Smoke is a great find, loads of barley flavours, smoke and length but balanced - amazing for such a young whisky - well done G&M! Springbank never fail to deliver and this is no exception, brine, hint of smoke length, maybe even a little vanilla & honey then a hit of the 57%. Lagavulin Distillers edition is a classic in the right sense of the word rather than a marketing ploy and Glenfarclas 15 brought the Christmas spirit with raising and plum puddings in a glass. Stronachie is different and needs time to breath in the glass - pour it and leave, let the air open it up and it is a nice soft enjoyable dram.

We also placed a MacPhails Collection Bunnahabhain 1991 behind the bar for people to purchase - it must be good because I only got one before it sold out (thanks Andy/Phil for the dram)- and I have to say it is still a lovely whisky!
This does however present me with the problem of what to put there next as the last two have been toppers - think it might have to be Longrow - spoil everyone!

October 2007 - Murray McDavid

Littlemill 1991
Dufftown 1997
Auchroisk 1992
Cragganmore 1993
St Magdalene 1982 - Mission Series
Bowmore 1995
Bruichladdich Infinity - Second Edition

The St Magdalene was fantastic and the only bottle that sold any from the tasting, a true classic and excellent expression bottled by Murray McDavid. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the rest, the additional cask enhancements (ACE) failed for all that had it with the wine either overpowering or clashing nastily. A very disappointing tasting from my point of view only saved by the excellent St Magdalene. I know Murray McDavid have defended the approach they have to ACEing whisky but 22 people were less than impressed by them.

This is a real shame for me because in my view Bruichladdich is still one of the great malts and a truly great distillery with brilliant, generous, kind and friendly people working there so I want Murray McDavid to succeed to keep the laddie going.

September 2007 - Cask Strength

As we get it (Highland) 8 yr old
Rosebank 1990 Gordon & MacPhail
Glen Keith 12yr old - Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)
Aberlour A'bunadh
Glenlossie 27 yr old - SMWS
Springbank 1997 - Batch No. 1
Caol Ila 1995 Gordon & MacPhail

We had an added bonus of a Laphroaig 10yr cask strength to try thanks to Diane who opened the raffle prize she won so 8 whiskies were tasted in all. The best seller was the Springbank 1997 and I have to add that this was my favourite too. The G&M Caol Ila was a fantastic expression from this distillery (better than the distillery bottling)and the G&M Rosebank is very nice and a far bigger dram than is normal from the lowlander that is so good. The Glenlossie was a lovely dram so thanks to Big Phil for bringing this and the Glen Keith and presenting on the night too.
We also placed a bottle of the Glenturret 1990 MacPhails Collection behind the bar and this was very well received however it has now sold out and the next expression is the 1997 - I expect this to be as good and will be trying it soon (will let you all know).

July 2007

Caperdonich 1980 Gordon & MacPhail
Teaninich 1991 Gordon & MacPhail
Glenesk 1984 Gordon & MacPhail
Glen Elgin 1968 Gordon & MacPhail
Mortlach 1970 Gordon & MacPhail Rare
Macphails Gold 106 Gordon & MacPhail
Ardbeg Almost There 54.1%

The MacPhails Gold & Ardbeg win the best sellers award with special mention to the Glen Elgin & Glenesk. For me it was the Glen Elgin that surprised as I always expect great things from Mortlach & Ardbeg (neither failed to live up to this) but the Glen Elgin was sublime.

April 2007 - Blind Tasting

Tullibardine 1994 Gordon & MacPhail
Glenmorangie Artisan Cask
Glengoyne 15yr Scottish Oak
Edradour 1996 Signatory Unchillfiltered
Springbank 15
Benriach 10yr - Peated
Connemara - Peated

The Artisan Cask is Glenmorangie how it can be (truly excellent, moreish and gluggable). Springbank never fail to deliver and the two peaty ones went down very well.

March 2007 - Speyside with Guest Presenter John Eastham (G&M)

Imperial 1991 Gordon & MacPhail
Aultmore 1989 Gordon & MacPhail
Dailuaine 1993 Gordon & MacPhail
Dallas Dhu 1982 Gordon & MacPhail
Speyburn 1974 Gordon & MacPhail
Miltonduff 1993 Cask Strength Gordon & Macphail
Speymalt from Macallan 1973 Gordon & Macphail

Speymalt from Macallan 1973 was the outright top dog at this event, Macallan at this age is just fantastic. The Miltonduff was the top seller and for me the Imperial was a lovely surprise a great start to the evening, light but with flavour.

January 2007 - Burns Night Special (as it always is)

Glenturret 1990 Gordon & MacPhail
Bunnahabhain 1990 Gordon & MacPhail
Craigellachie 1989 Gordon & Macphail
Glen Grant 1962 Gordon & Macphail
Highland Park 30yrs Gordon & Macphail
Bruichladdich Waves
Ardbeg 1990 - Airigh Nam Beist

All top marks for all these - excellent expressions from each of these distilleries. The Glen Grant was like a Christmas cake in a bottle, the Beist brought the citrus hint back into Ardbeg, the Glenturret was honey heaven, The Bunny has sublime subtlety with a hint of the sea, the Waves a peating of a great young dram, HP giving us everything it can and more and last but by no means least the Craigellachie for just being so complex and making you think.

November 2006

Hazelburn 8yr
Linkwood 15yr Gordon & MacPhail
Longmorn 25yr Gordon &MacPhail
Dalmore Cigar Malt
Clynelish 1995 Cask Strength Gordon & MacPhail
Talisker 18yr
Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Longmorn was loved by most who attended (25 seems an excellent age for G&M Speysiders), the Talisker has refinement and class and the gentle signs of age, and the G&M Cask strength Clynelish packed a great punch. The quarter cask for me is the best distillery bottling of Laphroaig under �200.

October 2006

Rosebank 1990 Gordon & MacPhail
Isle of Arran
Macallan 1990 Murray McDavid
Isle of Jura 21yr
Macphails 25yr Gordon & MacPhail
Glen Scotia 1990 Gordon & MacPhail
Ardbeg Still Young

Clear winners on this tasting were the Rosebank (shame on Diagio closing this down), Ardbeg Still Young - a mugging by peat (but in the nicest possible way) and the MacPhails 25 the best secret (?) bottling of a classic distillery and the heart of true Speyside.

September 2006

Auchentoshan 1992 Murray McDavid
Bruichladdich WMD II - Yellow Submarine
Smiths Glenlivet 1974 Gordon & MacPhail
Ben Nevis 1999 Murray McDavid
Highland Park 1989 Murray McDavid
Springbank 1992 Murray McDavid
Bowmore 1996 Murray McDavid

Best sellers - Bruichladdich WMDII (far too easy to drink) an absolute belter of a whisky for me and the Smiths Glenlivet 1974 was silky smooth perfection. The Bowmore was good too, showing that peat and wine do mix (Syrah cask enhancement by Mr James McEwan).

July 2006

Bladnoch 1991 Gordon & MacPhail
Monnachmore 1984 Gordon & MacPhail
Glenglassaugh 1986 Gordon & MacPhail
Glenfiddich 18yr
Benromach 25yr Gordon & MacPhail
Longrow 1993
Caol Ila 1993 Cask Strength Gordon & MacPhail

The Benromach shone out as the best for me a true classic, the Bladnoch is one of the finest aperitif whiskies there is and Longrow always deliver. The surprise was the Glenglassaugh - loads of character and bags of flavour.