Friday, January 30, 2009

Lonach Caperdonich 1969 39yo 42.2%

A new Lonach release from Duncan Taylor. I usually am a fan of Caperdonich so lets see how this goes.

Nose: Sweet vanilla, lemons and honey. Sour apple sweeties and a hint of rhubarb rock.

Taste: That sour apple sweet note comes sweeping through. A touch of drying oakiness and a bit of orange rind. Then more grassy and herbal notes.

Finish: Fairly short and quite drying with a touch of aniseed.

Comment: A very good dram but just not quite up there with the best of the Caperdonichs. Mind you I will still drink another of these!

Score: 88/100

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nikka 12yo Single Grain 70th Anniversary

This was part of a collection of four bottlings that came out to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Nikka. It is unusual to try young grain whisky these days as most of the stuff coming out from Independents like Duncan Taylor or Douglas Laing are of far greater age. Duncan Taylor's 1965 Invergordons spring to mind. So it will be interesting to try not only a younger single grain but a Japanese one at that.

Nose: Cracking - lots of butter on digestives with some caramelised onion - very sweet.
Taste: Drying slightly and maizy oily sunflower note.
Finish: Cracking whisky tastes older than it is. Long lingering creamy caramac bars.
Comment: Well matured cracking whisky that defies its younger age, this is up there with some of the best older grains but just a little bit thinner.

Score: 88/100

Friday, January 23, 2009

Balvenie 12yo Doublewood V Balvenie 12yo Signature

A rare head to head tasting for me - taking inspiration from Whiskyfun although unlike Serge who will taste 19 Bowmores at a time I am only doing two Balvenies and 12yo's at that. Anyway here goes!

Balvenie 12yo Doublewood is in Blue Writing and The Signature is in Red Writing

Sig Nose: Dry marzipan, and some dry sherry notes. Quite malty in fact. With time whisky becomes more sherried on the nose.

DW Nose: Still dry and with almonds and the sherry note is more pronounced although there is more of a background creaminess! Plums! And a hint of dark chocolate.

Sig Taste: Initially starts out like it is going to be thick - if only not 40% abv! Again drying and a little woody, touch of marzipan and faint cherries. Reasonably nice just a little thin.

DW Taste: Fuller in the taste - still a little dry and with a touch of hessian sack but strangely in a good way. Also decent amounts of creaminess, reminiscent of ice cream toffee sauce.

Sig Finish: Very short - I thought there was none then a warming hit me in the middle of the throat and subtle oak.

DW Finish: Dry and slightly sherry clawing but fairly short bar the front of the mouth that is puckered dry.

Comment: Both good staple everyday drams but nothing spectacular. If I had to plump for one I would be hard pushed and I would say doublewood edges it on the finish.

Scores: 86 doublewood and 85 signature

BenRiach 1998 Triple Distilled

I know I haven't been here for ages but nevermind I will try harder. I found this interesting bottle of Benriach triple distilled and thought I would give it a try. As far as I am aware this cask was exclusive to Japan.

Cask 78622 and 58.0% !

Nose: Smells a little bit spirity on the nose but it is strong and 8yo. There is a strong sherry note? Christmas cake overloaded with marzipan. With water nose is more marzipan and a bit of raisans and sultanas.

Taste: Again intially young alcohol, but quite a big sherried richness like the sherry is overpowering. Warm balloons covered in toffee sauce - yes I know its a stupid tasting note! Water brings out a note of licking batteries and warm brown sugar.

Finish: pretty short - and a little dry?

Comment: I kind of like this but it seems a bit thin. An experience, yes - but one I want to do again - I dont know. Just tastes a bot young and unbalanced
Score: 79/100