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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Banff 1974, G&M – CC, 40%

Review #599
This is a 1974 vintage miniature from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Connoisseurs Choice” series, probably bottled in the nineties. Sweet and fruity in the smell. Plums and baked apples. Some oak, vanilla and nuts as well.

Very sweet in the taste. Burned caramel, vanilla and some dried fruits in the end. Actually, the dried fruits are staying all the way, and is the dominant part in the finish with some sugary sweetness. Prunes and sweet raisins perhaps. Some oak and spices is present as well all the way.

It starts a bit slow, on the verge to boring, in the smell, but the taste and finish is very flavourful. It is not often I drink 40% whiskies and don´t miss a bit higher ABV! Shows that quality casks are essential in making quality whisky! I will give this 85/100 (21/22/21/21).

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dallas Dhu 1971, G&M – CC, 40%

Review #598
This is a 1971 vintage miniature from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Connoisseurs Choice” series, probably bottled in the nineties. Burned caramel, oak and raisins in the smell. Some sugary sweetness and baked apples in the end.

Quite surprised! It is very rich in flavours in the taste! Even with a great alcohol burn. I would never have guessed this to be 40%! Again, the burned caramel is the first I notice in the taste. Some plums and oak spices. The finish is sweet and long, with the oak and oak spices treating your palate.

The sweetness, oak and dried fruits is complementing each other very well. It is quite good, but somehow, it doesn’t take me all the way to the stars… I will give this 83/100 (20/22/21/20).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mosstowie 1975/1993, G&M – CC, 40%

Review #597
This is a 1975 vintage miniature from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Connoisseurs Choice” series. Oak and strawberry jam in the smell. Toffee and spices. Vanilla and sweet raisins. Some fruity sweetness as well. Yes, a lot of things going on here.

A light alcohol burn at first. Loads of oak and oak spices in the taste. Overripe plums and burned caramel. The oak is also dominating in the finish. Which is warm and long by the way.

Lovely stuff with great influence from the casks. Very flavorful considering the low ABV. I miss a bit of complexity and the oak is a bit too dominant to score a very high rating. I will give this 86/100 (21/22/22/21).

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Balmenach 1970, G&M – CC, 40%

Review #596
This is a 1970 vintage miniature from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Connoisseurs Choice” series, probably bottled in the mid-eighties. Very sweet on the nose. Malted barley and some hay. After a minute in the glass, some white fruits and vanilla is coming through. Quite a lot of vanilla actually.

Oak spices and just a dash of dried fruits in the taste. A little alcohol – in the good way, and great for a whisky at 40 ABV. The finish is long and very sweet. Caramel, vanilla and oak.

This is not spectacular, but just good quality from start to finish. The oak does a tremendous job, and the massive sweetness is mixing in just beautifully. Don´t be afraid of picking up some of these old samples on auction! I will give this 86/100 (21/22/22/21).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ardbeg Galileo (1999), 49%

Review #595
This is the Ardbeg release from 2012. It is from casks from 1999, some of them are ex Marsala. It is celebrating the experiment where some Ardbeg was sent into space to watch maturation in zero gravity. Sweet creamy vanilla in the smell. It is like the sweetness and fruity notes subdues the peat. Orange peel and light honey.

Aaaand here comes the peat. Not excessively though. Sweet fruits like peaches and dried apricots in the taste. The sweetness sits in the mouth for a long time in the finish, and mixes beautifully with the peat. Some honey and hints of white fruits.

If you like your Ardbeg sweet, then this is the dram for you! The heavy Ardbeg characteristic is, not gone, but very subdued, due to the sweet Marsala casks. A different, but wonderful Ardbeg! I will give this 90/100 (22/23/23/22).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ardbeg Ardbog, 52,1%

Review #594
This is the 2013 Ardbeg Day release. It is matured in a mix of Bourbon and Manzanilla Sherry casks. Some peat, a little rubber and marzipan in the smell. Some dried fruits and dry oak is present as well.

Sweet dried fruits and alcohol in the taste. Sweet raisins and prunes. Some saltiness and vanilla mixes as well, and carries on to the finish where some oak and oak spices comes forward. Again, alongside the dried fruits.

A steady Ardbeg that, once again, shows that Ardbeg and Sherry casks goes great hand in hand. The high ABV gives it a notch up the latter, and puts the flavours in full focus. Will I come back? Oh yes! I will give this 88/100 (22/22/22/22).

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ardbeg Auriverdes, 49,9%

Review #593
This is the 2014 Ardbeg Day release. Auri means Gold and Verdes means Green, and it symbolises the golden liquid in the green bottles, and of course the World Cup 2014 that was held in Brazil. Peat, light ashes and smoked meat in the smell. Dried fruits like dates and prunes in the background, but very subdued. Some sweet marzipan in the end.

Caramel sweetness mixes with the peat in the taste. Ashes comes more forward. The BBQ is lit! Some light citrusy notes appears as well. Some dark burned brown sugar mixes with the peat in the finish. The citrusy notes are still there, but very subdued.

Yet another Ardbeg that just “does the job”. If you like your Ardbegs, then this is no exception. Sweet, yet rich on other flavours, and the peat is a bit salty with an ashy touch, as it should be. I will give this 88/100 (22/22/22/22).

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ardbeg Dark Cove, 46,5%

Review #592
This is the 2016 Ardbeg Day release. It is matured in ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks. “The Darkest Ardbeg Ever” some say – well, lets see. Dry dried fruits and peat in the smell. Dates and raisins. The sweetness is not very dominant and mainly comes from the dried fruits.

More sweetness in the taste. The peat sneaks up on you, and some ashes mixes with the dried fruits and plums. The sweetness carries on to the finish and the dried fruits becomes very dominant. Hints of spices as well. Delicious stuff!

A nice sherried Ardbeg. Not quite like Uigeadail and to claim it “The Darkest Ardbeg Ever” is might a bit much. It is however, a nice supplement to the many other Ardbeg expressions. Definitely a dram I will come back to. I will give this 89/100 (22/23/22/22).