Loose ends: TWE show 2016

Jumping back in time again, I’ll be in the present soon enough. Here are some of my tasting notes from last year’s TWE show 2016. More a reference list, this post.

Armorik 2002/2015 13yo ‘Millesime’ Ob. cask #3260 [btl #592/739] 55.5% WB86.33[26]

  • N: Some cream [from the cask] and a little TTW with dried lime pieces.
  • T: It reaches quite deep into dank wood with bourbon & sherry cask notes combined.
  • F: Chocolate and plastic notes like clingfilm & candle wax.
  • C: Good, deep stuff – and after that good ole’ Talisker too WB.

Scores 86 points

Armorik 2012/2016 4yo ‘Dervenn’ Ob. [1500 bts] 46% WB82.80[7]

  • N: Smell that distillate and those fruity easters alongside notes of copper and milk.
  • T: Fruits first then lots of copper. Any wood?
  • F: More on fruits
  • C: It tastes more like well tempered spirit than whisky. Very good result however for a 4yo, though Kavalan are the masters at producing stella 4yo’s.

Scores 83 points

Armorik 2008/2015 ‘Maitre de Chai’ cask #3322 &332 [1700 bts] 46% WB84.54[15] WF84

  • N: Malty-ish, malt-oysters, a little plimsole and putty.
  • T: Straight up, savoury-sweet-meaty-barley with a light, waxy mouthfeel
  • F: …. [no notes]
  • C: Competent.

Scores 84 points

Talisker 12yo [1970’s] ‘The Golden Spirit go the isle of Skye’ Ob. [Distillers Agency] 43 g.l [75 cls] WB90.58[21] WF89 WM88[2]

Talisker 12.jpg

  • N: Potent, thickish nose with a wide profile. Notes of old sherry with caramel-coffee-peas – that’s a combined note.
  • T: More old sherry and aged peat – all a bit flat but also equally a bit good.
  • F: Thinnish, oily-sherry with oysters, ginger sugar,… all consolidated ‘just so’. This one has probably aged in the bottle also.
  • C: Unfortunately rather a flat example, but a very good ole’ young one at any rate.

Scores 87 points

George T Stagg 2001/2016 15yo Ob. [9150 bts] 72.05% [750ml] WB88.33[5]

  • N: The oak speaks loudly. Theres an ‘olde vibe’ overall with a sweet liquidised fruit-tincture quality and a spread of shoe polish.
  • T: Equally sweet=herbal with lots of cask input. Goes almost sour into the finish.
  • F: Almost bitter-sour now, but the tincture quality remains sweet & oaky finishing with [an illusion of] dunnage.
  • C: Doesn’t like water and incredibly, doesn’t seem to need it. Whilst the Thomas H Handy’s have fallen from the bourbon top spot in the last few years, the Stagg remains very much on top [on par with the Pappy’s]. Talking of which, let’s follow up with the latest Handy now.

Scores 91 points

Thomas H Handy [2016] 6.5yo 63.1% WB88[2]

  • N: Corny with fruits, sherried fruits.
  • T: This is like a big oloroso monster meets Balcones Blue Corn WB.
  • F: So much corn, oily corn.
  • C: Not long ago, the Handy carried extraordinary complexity. This year it’s dominated by corn, still with big notes but lacking the complexity of those heady days – 2011 being a great example WB. Still a great rye whiskey but truly over priced, and yet the buyers keep buying.

Scores 85 points

E H Taylor barrel proof 127.2 proof/63.6% WB0

  • N: Sticking with Buffalo Trace, here we have a sherry-like>corn whiskey with aromatic spicy bourbon notes
  • T: Oily corn tincture and a little garage oiliness.
  • F: corn,…….
  • C: yeah yeah, and yet – Yeah!

Scores 87 points

Rosebank 1992/2014 21yo ‘Special Rose release’ [4530 bts] 55.3% WB90.37[29] WF88 WM88[1]Rosebank 1992

  • N: Dense, creamy and floral. ‘Nice’
  • T: One of those generally good ‘whisky’ whiskies if a little brash
  • F: All good but fades fast.
  • C: Good standard malt, but one that may be rather innocuous if it wasn’t a Rosebank.

Scores 85 points

Auchroisk 10yo Ob. Flora & Fauna 43% WB81.64[115] WF78 WM80[4]

  • N: Possesses a lovely lightness with notes of stewed apples
  • T: Tannic, sharp but it’s ok. Simple sherry notes remain with water.
  • F: Tannic sherry, quite bitter.
  • C: There are many shared characteristics between this and many of the other various distillery outputs in the F&F range. Good to try if not to buy it.

Scores 80 points

Teaninich 2008 G&M CC 46% WB77.75[6]

  • N: Just like an Inchgower i currently have open at home – its a light-oaked, raisin-distillate led.
  • T: Same, distillate-led raisins.
  • F: Malty raisins [again like Inchgower], on the finish.
  • C: A sherry style i like. Thanks for the recommendation Alex [master quill].

Scores 84 points

Balblair 1997/2016 18yo G&M [for TWE] cask #1881 52.9% WB86[1]

  • N: Bold malt & oak together provide a platform for notes of putty-raisins & strong, stewed fruits.
  • T: Same,…
  • F: Slightly spirity/winey.
  • C: Its a good malt but with very little Balblair character, such is the cask control. Let’s try another Balblair expression from G&M.

Scores 84 points

Balblair 21yo G&M MacPhail’s Collection 43% WB86.33[3]

Balblair 21yo GM.jpg

  • N: Such is the sherry influence, this Initially smells like the previous G&M Balblair WB, but soon we are in to more Balblair/Highland territory as the fruits on peaches & pears unravel.
  • T: Thats the job! Develops on dark putty-malt, oak & cereals, working together in tandem.
  • F: Lots of porridge, Shreddies and putty at the finish.
  • C: I like this one more than the previous.

Scores 86 points

Box 2nd step #01 4yo Ob. [7880 bts] 51.1% WB83.42[14]

  • N: My first smoke of the day. Rather generic but fine nevertheless. It’s a sugary=dairy cream/sweet peated number with TTW scrub and plenty of BBQ influence.
  • T: Vibrant, clean, modern, sweet and vegetal with a marmite-treacle-char.
  • F: Neutral, true-to-form, clean finish. The peat is merely residual at the death.
  • C: Very decent.

Scores 83 points

Rampur NAS [2016] Ob. 43% WB77[1]

  • N: Rampur’s first presentation sure is a funky/pongy distillate with whiffs of copper, rubber and floral putty.
  • T: Bourbon corn with a buttery/copper mouthfeel. Reminds me style-wise of juice from the establishing Echlinville distillery in Ireland WB.
  • F: A little deodorant soap, yet not in a bad way. The finishing flavours are primitive and forever funky.
  • C: Doesn’t want water. Funny stuff indeed and what a bizarre way to flow on from a very fine Brora LINK.

Scores 78 points

Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve Ob. 43% WB83.32[215]

  • N: It’s young and brimming with pineapples.
  • T: Good fresh, sweet-ish firm chew.
  • F: Waxy mouthfeel
  • C: Well rounded, decent young NAS, but it’s hard not to reflect upon those aged Yamazaki’s that were around not that long ago.

Scores 83 points

Karuizawa 1983/2014 31yo Nepal Earthquake Appeal Ob. cask #3557 [50 bts] 59.1% WB92[23] WF93

Karuizawa 1983 Nepal.jpg

  • N: An incredible blended complexity with bacon Frazzles, more bacon – and loft insulation, such is the dryness.
  • T: Same as the nose, fabulous everythin [even the insulation]. I wouldn’t dare add water to such a small sample.
  • F: Simply amazing. Such a youthfulness with all that provenance and time past. Exquisite ash at the death.
  • C: I don’t find Karuizawa automatically amazing by default [regardless of it’s price and rarity], but this i do find amazing.

Scores 93 points

Glentauchers 1998/2016 17yo G&M CS cask #2410, 2412, 2416 56.8% WB83.43[16]

  • N: A butterscotch-toffee number with some oyster sauce-char.
  • T: Same as the nose, thereabouts. Continues on caramel-butterscotch char.
  • F: More of the same.
  • C: Very Strathclyde-esque. Tasty yet dominant, heavy-toffee charred malt.

Scores 84 points

Starward NAS [2016] 43% [TWE show 2016] WB78.50[4]

  • N: Plums and pear crumble.
  • T: A little buttery butterscotch,….. waxy.
  • F: …., then back to pear crumble.
  • C: A simply crafted fruity malt with a 30/70 sherry/bourbon ratio perhaps?

Scores 81 points

Glen Grant 1954/2012 G&M 40% WB92.33[5] WF91

I meant to try this at the Midlands fest when it was two dream drams. I got lucky today [TWE show] to get it gratis – what an honour!

  • N: Malt tincture, new [shiny] leather and sweet shoe polish – dreamy!
  • T: Yep, this is what i look for, the putty, the porridge and sherry have all merged into one over the years. Every sip is an emotional mouthful of culinary joy.
  • F: Sherry ash [much like the Nepal Karuizawa WB], on the finish although theres more direct sherry influence here. Then there’s the char with a large dab of shoe polish creating a bitter-sherry charred finish. The char is a tad blatant, but its a quibble really.
  • C: Not without it’s flaws but given the parameters, this is the gold right here. Joyous stuff.

Scores 90 points

Until next year!

Me and Nick.jpg

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