October grains

[Cameronbridge] Cameron Brig ‘Specially selected Choice Old’ 40% WB76[1] WFx WM78[1]

  • N: Vanilla-pear tart moving to ginger cake [with a pinch of turmeric], cacao-chocolate, dried coconut flakes, apple pieces and caramel. Eventually it boils down to molasses and marmite=[Oxo] stock cubes before showing signs of vegetal peat.
  • cameron-brigT: Quite bitter [is that the caramel kicking in straight away?], and metallic. its rough certainly but i’m inclined to stay.  A little water helps it along, bringing with it the makings of a caramel-creamy-waxy mouthfeel. We move into the later stages with zingy metallic chocolate.
  • F: Certainly not a finish to inspire a cocktail, milk of magnesia and gin & tonic complete the picture.
  • C: One of the most enjoyable ethanol-rough [grain] whiskies i’ve drunk. A lot of that has to do with the entertaining nose. Let’s try something more modern, and to Africa.

                 Scores 75 points


Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky [2015/16] Ob. 43% WB81.23[42] WF75 WM75[1] ralfy90

Sometimes referred to as a five year old [whiskybase!], it’s technically a NAS grain with a maturation length of between 4-5 years. Bain’s website states: ‘We first mature it [Bain’s single grain] in first-fill bourbon casks for a period of three years, we then transfer it to a second set of first-fill bourbon casks for a further 18 to 30 months’.

  • bainsN: After the rough old-styled yet likaeble Cameron Brig, we are back to clean & modern, young, vanillin territory. The nose centres around sour, vanilla-coconut ice-cream, toffee, creme brulee [mainly the eggy/vanilla body], and a generous slice of Victoria sponge – so thats plenty of C8H8O3 being thrown out/extracted from the casks. Water brings out more of the wood itself and a little spice. Carbs wise, there’s something savoury in-between ready salted crisps and biscuits – [Carr’s] table water & [McVitie’s] digestives
     Innocuous delivery, but pleasing nevertheless – everything is just so, which is another way of saying flawless. The spirit talks of soft, sour cream before moving towards sweeter, vanilla single-cream.
  • F: Those bourbon casks have lots to say, both the oak itself and the sweet bourbon extract.
  • C: This is decent, young, modern grain whisky, no messing. I reckon it could give the Greenore 8yo a run for it’s money. Let’s see.

Scores 80 points


Greenore 8yo Small Batch 40% WB81.31[31] WF70[’07] WM73[8] ralfy89

I really enjoyed a sample of this a few years back which prompted me to buy a bottle. i previously noted this young grain as ‘one that will make you smile’.

N: With its light peach & pineapple tones, it reminds me initially of the Mackmyra Bruks i’ve been enjoying [batch Aug ’15], but as the bottle settles it’s the sweet and soft-textural cereal notes that appeal with luscious layers of truly splendiferous, savoury-sweet vanilla cream. Pleasing, simple, the smiles are back.greenore-8

T: It starts a tad sour but just about maintains a sweet<>sour composure. Water reveals a decent [rum-like] barley spirit in active [1st fill?], bourbon casks that simply haven’t had the time to impart any complexity. Balance is good as both spirit and cask temper each other, but i soon become weary of the raw mix. Fibrous into the finish.

F: Very little, of course. Moderately spirity and dry with a return to vanilla, albeit less splendiferously as greener notes survive along with the bourbon oak.

C: Overall then, a simple yet well crafted young grain with an ideal breakfast nose, but after that the smiles swung to struggles. So much so, I donated the bottle to last years NYE festivities for finishing, but it even survived the revellers and returned home!

Scores 75 points

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