Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Duncan Taylor Invergordon 1965 Cask 15532 52.7%

I love old grain whiskies so was delighted to get a chance to try this ancient (43yo) Invergordon. Plus I have been writing to much rubbish on here and not trying enough whiskies!

Nose: Big rich and oily, lots of caramel and buttery notes. Big vanilla and a touch of spice. A rather moreish nose. Some dried bananas emerge along with brown sugar.

Taste: Equally big in the mouth, but also very rounded and chewy, wow this really is chewy, some creamy notes and some floral type notes. Freshly butter toast with lashings of golden syrup on it. There is some a sweeter manufactured taste like Irn Bru bars (A Scottish Treat to rot your teeth but so good!)*

Finish: There could be a touch of salt in the finish (or maybe I am mad!) warm leather and a little bit of nutmeg.

Comment: Wow wow wow this is stunning one of the best whiskies I have tasted in a long time. Doesn't taste 52.7%. Not just a great grain whisky but a great whisky overall.

Score 95/100

Price Check

This is a fairly new bottling as this is the only place I could find it on the net.

* Whilst looking for a picture of Irn Bru bars I discovered they have now been rebranded as Wham Brew Bars - this is surely an attempt to stamp down on Scottish Identity - I think a facebook group may need to be started in protest!

Macallan Cutting Back Whisky Production

I heard from one of the stillmen at Macallan that they are cutting back production at the distillery and that they will now be dropping back to only working 5 days a week. Kind of makes you wonder why they spent so much money opening up the second still house again?

Worrying times as the whisky loch is growing again!

Happy Animals in Trinidad

I saw an article in the Trinidad Express that four men had been caught trying to smuggle in nearly $2.5 million dollars worth of whisky into the country disguised as animal feed. What they really should have described it as was Sheep Dip! legend has it that it worked for the farmers of Oldbury used to claim they were buying when putting there expenses through! (Although I think this story has been removed from the new packaging). Mind you probably a bit easier to sneak through and a little more justifiable than £60K for a second house!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Visitor centres getting good returns!

It was a report in the paper the other day that 1,236,329 people visited a distillery in 2008 spending a total of £25 million pounds so that is £20.22 per visitor not a bad return really - how much can shortbread cost! All in all I would like to say though that when you think about how many people spend a fortune a distilleries it makes you think how many people spend nothing! Sorry had a few drinks this evening bizarly no whisky though just red wine and port! oh well they need the empty cask for some form of wood finish!

What I am trying to say here is that some people spend an absolute fortune on whisky and this was brought home to me when I was on the Edinburgh whisky blog ( A new blog to me but bloody good make sure you check it out!) when they were speaking about buying a Springbank 1919 for £50,000 a bottle.

Even more bizarre is that I have tried this whisky (twice) the first time it was amazing (actually both times it was) but the first time was really something special to try something so rare and so old was unbelievable. I actually thought that it tasted like a very old cognac and was something very special indeed. It was a little woody but not over the top. A good dram but would I have paid £15,000 a bottle that was what it was worth when I tried it i don't think so but if you can get to try it and not re-mortgage your house I would say that you really should.

The second time I tried it the bottle was corked and the whisky was actually revolting - I don't want to sound like a W-anchor by saying that but actually it was and at least 6 other people agreed with me. Ca you imagine if you had paid £50,000 for a bottle of whisky and it tasted crap! (If only to have so much money to be disappointed!) Anyway I type to much! To those of you who buy the Springbank 1919 either from Springbank or from the world whisky index I wish you luck and hope you get my first experience and not my second!

Having said that if you have the money why not! And it could turn into a tidy investment for you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Royal Lochnagar 12yo 40%

This is from the new packaging of the Royal Lochnagar 12yo but I don't think that they changed the whisky. Lets have a try!

Nose: Sweet and malty with some stewed fruit notes. A touch grassy, lemongrass, almonds and some white chocolate.

Taste: Light, very drying cereal notes - like a barley loft with some moulding lemons in the corner.

Finish: The finish is a little off, not sure what but just a little bit bitter and very drying with not much else going on. Maybe a faint faint hint of peat smoke but blink and you've missed it.

Comment: If this was a report card it would say something like "must try harder" or "not making the most of its potential!" Ok but should be so much better.

Score: 78/100

Price checker:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scapa 16yo 40%

Scapa is the unsung hero of Orkney always over shadowed by her more well known neighbour Highland Park, but just like with women perhaps its the quiet timid ones that you need to watch out for rather than those that are always striving to be in the limelight. (Christ I wrote this drivel before I even had a dram!)

Anyway the 14yo bottling has now been replaced with a 16yo bottled at 40% lets see how it fairs:

Nose: Quite warming and initially stewed apples, a slight musty lemon note, dry compost and a faint coastal note - actually smells a bit stronger than 40%

Taste: Brown bread with salted butter, touch of hessian sack, drying, nutty and quite cereal like. Seems a bit younger than 16yo and bizarrely thin on the mouth yet clawing at the same time.

Finish: Very drying, wet pencils and clawing wood. fairly decent length with saltiness developing - just wish some fruitiness or something would develop.

Comment: Sometimes the shy timid ones are just a little bit dull and boring. I maybe expected a bit much not a bad dram but left me wanting so much more!

Score: 81/100

Price check

Royal Mile Whiskies - £51.95

The Whisky Exchange - £51.99

Single Malts Direct - £48.99

It wasn't until I did the price check on this that I realised just how expensive this is, I think they are taking the piss a little with this when you could get the excellent 14yo Scapa for £39.99 would you pay an extra £12.00 for an extra 2 years I would say no - but maybe I am just being tight!

Heavily Peated Yamazaki 1993

I love Japanese whisky - ok I love all whisky - within reason! So when I got the chance to try this I jumped at the chance. Was just a shame I had already had a few drams before this one!

Cask 3Q70041 62%

Nose: Smoke is like that of a smoked cheese - and also a slight fishy note. The white oak doesnt give much vanilla though.

Taste: The smoke comes through on the taste and it id quite dry and almost a little young tasting. - does not taste like it is 62% abv though.

Finish: Warming and dry lingering dry ash and maybe a touch of lemon.

Comment: Nae a bad dram at all but nothing overly memorable.

Score: 87/100

For a better review head to the best Japanese whisky site there is Nojatta so good he includes reviews of a similar cask by Serge off of Whiskyfun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

15000 visitors but still way behind whisky fun!

As I celebrate my 15000th visitor to my blog - I thank each and every one of you for visiting. I must admit I have not been the most regular poster unlike Serge over at Whiskyfun who on the first of March had his 2 millionth visitor! Keep up the good work Sir! And thankyou once again!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whyte and Mackay and Burn Stewart for Sale

It was revealled in the Sunday times that it is rumoured that Whyte & Mackay and Burn Stewart distillers are both up for sale. Worrying times for all those who work there but who would be likely to purchase these companies. My thinking is that perhaps they would need to break up the groups before anyone in today's market would be willing to buy them. I doubt anyone would take the whole company off of either of them.

Looking at Whyte & Mackay then maybe La Martiniquaise could be interested but having bought Glen Moray (interestingly nothing seems to have changed at Glen Moray since the takeover) they probably have enough bulk malt so maybe they might just be interested in taking Invergordon. This would allow them to scrap their plans for a major grain distillery and potential small malt distillery in Bathgate. As for Burns Stewart obviously Bunnahabhain would be of interest to people but I can't see many people falling over themselves to get Deanston or Tobermory and definitely not at the prices distilleries were going for last year.
The one prediction that I would see as being plausible but not really probable would be that William Grant's could go for Bunnahabhain, It would seem to make sense to add an Islay to their portfolio. I had expected William Grant's to have announced their purchase of Parkmore distillery by now but all seems to have gone quite on that front maybe they are saving their money for elsewhere. Pure speculation but you never know.

Anyway it will be interesting to see what happens!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Brand Development Manager - Glenglassaugh

I saw this job advertised in the Northern Scot - if any one gets this job having seen it on here I am due a bottle!


This is a unique opportunity to join a small dedicated team based in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire. Within the last 12 months we have re-furbished a silent distillery re-commencing production at the end of 2008 after a 22 year gap. We have also launched a series of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies in selected UK outlets and have more exciting projects under development and in the planning stage. This position is for a commercially-orientated Brand Development Manager to join and carve out a career with us. This role is not for an academic marketer but will require someone who is entrepreneurial, creative and results-focused. The role is based at the distillery but there will also be some requirement to travel throughout the year. Knowledge and experience of the drinks industry is preferred but not essential as the most important elements are being commercially astute, having highly effective people skills, being results focused, adaptable, ambitious and energetic and being a team player.If you feel that this is the challenge for you and that you have the attributes that we are looking for then apply on-line enclosing a full CV with salary expectations to: info@glenglassaugh.com marked for the attention of Stuart Nickerson. Closing date for applications is 13th March 2009