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HomeWhiskeyJust a few assorted pairs

Just a few assorted pairs


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Hello, that is one in every of our (virtually) day by day tastings. Santé!



October 23, 2021



Angus’s Nook
From our correspondent and
expert taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Just a few assorted pairs
It has been some time since I did combine and match pairings, it is all the time a enjoyable approach to attempt whiskies, so let’s return to that method for this weekend. Little bit of a blended bag right here although…


Benriach 10yo 'Curiositas' (40%, OB, L code L12.10.06)

Benriach 10 yo ‘Curiositas’ (40%, OB, L code L12.10.06)
I am no nice skilled in Benriach L codes, however I suppose that might recommend it was bottled in 2006. Color: pale gold. Nostril: a sort of smooth, gently rustic and farmy peat profile. Some mild carbolic acidity, hay lofts and a few yeasty and barely primary bready notes. Easy, simple sufficient and doubtless a tad boring. Mouth: falls aside a bit right here on arrival, I discover it a bit bitter and with an impression of salty, overly soggy porridge. A somewhat muted and flat smokiness, malt syrup, cardboard and plasticine. Not nice actually. End: brief, barely mustardy, a contact of pepper, extra damp grains, soot and cardboard. Feedback: underwhelming. I would say the nice folks at Benriach have points vastly superior bottlings since these somewhat unlikely and disappointing batches.
SGP: 453 – 72 factors.



Benriach 11 yo 1994/2005 Heavily Peated (59.7%, Signatory Cask Strength Collection, cask #05/355/1 port pipe finish, 863 bottles)

Benriach 11 yo 1994/2005 Closely Peated (59.7%, Signatory Classic Cask Power Assortment, cask #05/355/1 port pipe end, 863 bottles)
Color: rose gold. Nostril: farmyard-ish and somewhat sharp at first nosing. This impression of acidic peat, smoked sea salt, over-cured meats and issues like smoky grist and tarred hessian. The port affect is not instantly in your reality however there may be this explicit feeling of sharpness and stress which is kind of explicit to finishes like this in my guide. With water: totally on coal smoke, scorched earth, bandages, bonfire embers and extra industrial stuff like roof pitch freshly surfaced roads. There is a delicate dirtiness which can come from the port but it surely wraps up fairly properly with all this meaty peaty splatter. Closely peated certainly! Mouth: scorching, highly effective, very sharp, spicy, prickling with scorching alcohols, acidic wash, tar, boiler smoke, dried kelp, chilli sauce and ultimately some extra umami notes of miso and black olive. It is good however robust. With water: that is higher now, nonetheless a complete peat stack in right here however general it is simpler and with a extra luxurious, quilted smokiness. Charred herbs, bonfire smoke, fir cones, natural cough medicines and a few very salty and umami notes like soy sauce and pickling brine. End: lengthy, peaty, somewhat meaty, tarry, floor pink peppercorns, scorching smoked paprika and a few hints of leather-based and bouillon inventory. Feedback: It might be fascinating to attempt the unique pre-finished whisky. One thing of a beast and little question lots of enjoyable for peat fanatics. I feel the end right here labored fairly properly in which you could see it peeping out right here and there but it surely’s by no means too jarring or lopsided. In all probability not possible towards such a hefty distillate.
SGP: 477 – 85 factors.



Blair Athol 14 yo (46%, North Star 'The Wee Star', PX finish)

Blair Athol 14 yo (46%, North Star ‘The Wee Star’, PX end)
Color: gold. Nostril: what I get pleasure from right away is the impression that the ending has been carried out with a somewhat mild contact. I discover numerous ‘Blair Atholy’ qualities rising like malt extract, digestive biscuits, fruit loaf, honeydew melon, new leather-based and heather ales. Feels completely wealthy, malty and strong. Mouth: as soon as once more, there is no nice feeling of lopsidedness. Reasonably a reasonably elegant natural profile with winter spices, camphor and touches of rapeseed oil, putty and varied dried fruits and nuts. Sturdy is the phrase that involves thoughts once more. I discover it very simple and with a lean ‘no fats’ facet which may be very interesting. End: good size, flippantly nutty, mentholated, extra dried darkish fruits and a few milk chocolate. Feedback: I defy anybody to not get pleasure from this humble wee Blair Athol. A wee star certainly.
SGP: 561 – 86 factors.



Blair Athol 14 yo (51.1%, North Star, 14 months Mezcal Finish, 72 bottles)

Blair Athol 14 yo (51.1%, North Star, 14 months Mezcal End, 72 bottles)
Ah Mezcal finishes, I am positive everyone knows and love these previous tales of the crofters and early whisky makers re-racking their whiskies into all these Mezcal casks which have historically littered the glens and villages of the highlands. Fortunately the SWA have seen match to recognise the historic use of Tequila and Mezcal casks in keeping with their very own laws – they could have been accused of hypocrisy in any other case! Color: pale gold. Nostril: a bit of tight at first, however I do get some impressions of salinity oddly sufficient. Additionally inexperienced herbs and wee touches of soot and mineral oil. Nonetheless feels ‘highland’ in fashion however it’s kind of closed. With water: chalky, white flowers, pebbles, sunflower seeds. Gentle, taut cereal construction and extra of those mild mineral oil notes. Mouth: nonetheless somewhat shy and light-weight with numerous greenery comparable to grass, olive oil and crushed nettles. Cereals, lemon peel and varied notes of clay and ointment. Feels virtually austere in some respects. I am unsure I detect any Mezcal, however it’s extra tight and medicinal for positive. With water: soda bread, canvass, sack material, lamp oil, white miso and even one thing like tofu. Humorous stuff! End: medium, drying, extra cereals, faint medicinal notes, clay, plasticine, camphor and crushed aspirin. Feedback: At instances it turns into harking back to these previous, hyper austere Cadenhead AC bottlings. I am unsure what to make of this, in some methods it is a wonderful drop, however is it malt whisky? Please ship your lengthy, discursive solutions on a Tuk-Tuk to North Star Spirits. A tough one to attain, price making an attempt ought to it cross your path I might say.
SGP: 452 – 84 factors.



Inchgower 13 yo 2008/2021 (55.8%, Lady Of The Glen, cask #800479, hogshead + refill PX sherry finish, 268 bottles)

Inchgower 13 yo 2008/2021 (55.8%, Girl Of The Glen, cask #800479, hogshead + refill PX sherry end, 268 bottles)
Color: pale gold. Nostril: somewhat sooty and with a stodgy cakeyness which I discover fairly good. Gingernut biscuits, golden syrup, candy breakfast cereals and a wee scatter of sultanas. This lighter contact from the sherry has labored fairly properly I feel. With water: fairly classical and straight. On honeys, breads, new world beers and a bit of earthy turmeric tea. Mouth: somewhat surprisingly vegetal, olive oil cake, muesli, asparagus, honey roast parsnip, sunflower seeds, pumpkinseed oil, hessian and a few malt loaf. Fairly a giant profile. With water: extra elegant now, on olive oil, honey on sourdough toast, these sweetish breakfast cereals once more and nonetheless a glimmer of a extra vegetal, earthy element. End: medium, a bit of plasticine, muesli, golden fashion, cinnamon grahams breakfast cereal. Feedback: aren’t LOTG getting fairly good and intelligent with their finishings?
SGP: 551 – 85 factors.



Inchgower 13 yo 2007/2020 (56%, Watt Whisky, bourbon hogshead, 297 bottles)

Inchgower 13 yo 2007/2020 (56%, Watt Whisky, bourbon hogshead, 297 bottles)
Color: pale white wine. Nostril: I’ve all the time thought Inchgower was an underrated / unnoticed distillate and I can see why Kate and Mark would choose such a cask. An instantly very recent and pure profile, however one which additionally incorporates fairly a little bit of character with chalk, white flowers, very mild waxy threads, cereals and even wee yellow fruits as properly – tiny ripe yellow plums to be exact. I feel the phrase is ‘charming’. With water: an virtually crystalline and brittle maltiness, sharp cereal tones, lemon peel. This direct and slim distillate fashion feels extraordinarily ‘Diageo’ – which I imply in a great way, it is a fashion they’ve perfected I might say. Mouth: properly sharp, chiselled and fairly singular. In some methods it is virtually like a completely un-peated Caol Ila (not just like the precise ‘un-peated’ Caol Ilas that are often somewhat peaty). Certainly, you do get a sense of fine blanco Tequila as properly with these wee inexperienced and vegetal touches. Some mineral oil, new leather-based, soot and soda bread. With water: wee glimmers of aniseed, fennel, peppery watercress and chlorophyl. End: good size, some white chocolate and cocoa rising out of nowhere, in any other case nonetheless on pure and white issues like chalk, pebbles, flowers and freshly starched linens. Feedback: I might say a wonderful instance of fine fashionable and unvarnished whisky from refill wooden. A wise choose I feel.
SGP: 461 – 86 factors.



Talisker 'Skye' (45.8%, OB, L6292CM000)

Talisker ‘Skye’ (45.8%, OB, L6292CM000)
I consider this ought to be a 2016 rotation. Color: gold. Nostril: a bit flat, a bit easy, one thing barely gingery, caramel shortbread, pepper, a touch of bitter wooden, maybe a couple of lemon cough drops. Feels a bit disjointed and meandering with out route. Mouth: sooty and barely bitter smokiness, extra gingery heat, general there’s this impression of unnatural sweetness which can come from a heavy handed dose of caramel – or simply overly bombastic oak. Simplistic and a tad empty and disjointed is the general impression to date. End: medium, candy ginger ale, digestive biscuits, damp hessian, darkish grains and low cost beers. Feedback: I really feel inclined to guage these kinds of bottlings somewhat harshly. When you possibly can subject one thing as constantly very good as Talisker 10 – to not point out these glorious Particular Launch 8 12 months olds – after which alongside it comes this, it smacks of laziness and an absence of care or curiosity. What is the level in proudly owning what’s inarguably one of many best distilleries on Planet Earth for those who subject stuff like this? I would not say newer batches have been an enchancment both. Now, I am conscious of the arguments that bottlings comparable to this are ‘not for the likes of me’, however I might nonetheless argue there is no excuse for poor high quality the place Talisker is worried.
SGP: 564 – 76 factors.



Talisker 12 yo (43%, OB, 94cl for duty free, 1970s)

Talisker 12 yo (43%, OB, 94cl for responsibility free, Seventies)
A somewhat cool and uncommon previous giant format bottle I opened to share with folks after the Whisky Present in London firstly of this month. Pleasingly, it was loved inside an inch of its life. Color: gold. Nostril: I’ve all the time discovered these previous 12s way more variable than the 8 12 months olds, nevertheless I am happy to say that is fairly full of soppy waxes, ripe tropical fruits, seawater, actually elegant peppery peat smoke and properly mild camphory and sheep wool vibes. Lovely, previous fashion Talisker! Mouth: good arrival, very oily and good weight within the mouth. This sense of smoked olive oil with seawater, pink grapefruit, thick phenolics, pepper, mineral oil and a somewhat gravelly minerality. Additionally fairly waxy and barely mentholated. There is a tiny metallic glimmer of OBE, but it surely’s very minimal. End: good size, crystallised unique fruits, brittle peat smoke, pepper, smoked sea salt, dried seaweed, camphor and hessian. Feedback: there is definitely a little bit of batch variation in these previous 12s, however once they’re on kind they’re indubitably terrific!
SGP: 665 – 91 factors.









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