TWE Old & Rare: Day 2, Part 1

Day two! I’m ready, focused and incredibly, not at all bleary eyed.

Black & White [1950’s] Buchanan’s Choice Old Scotch Whisky no abv WB0black & white

  • N: A savoury nose on red wine and beef bourguignon.
  • T: it’s unusual. fuzzy, sweet, weird.
  • F: Finishes more conventionally. Most pleasing at the death.
  • C: An odd one but again, interesting,… start to the day.

Scores 81 points.

Convalmore [Glenlivet] 1962/1993 30yo Cadenhead 46.5% WBOMoH9/10

convalmore glenlivet.jpg

  • N: Fruit pastilles & polos, a sweet-medicinal dunnage and raspberry leaves.
  • T: Strong yet forgiving, developing in a bitter-sweet direction.
  • F: Stays true now, lovely balance. There’s a small role for the peat and some fruit tea tannin-sweetness with aniseed~cinnamon coming in strong at the end.
  • C: I like this a lot.

Scores 87 points

Glen Ord 1962/1989 26yo R W Duthie 56.2% WB94[10]

Glen ord 1962.jpg

Given that the oldest Ord i’ve tried is a 1990 vintage, this is some leap back in time and stylistic/production changes. It’s also currently [2017], the oldest Ord listed on Whiskybase, with nine other bottlings sharing the same vintage year. Cadenhead bottled eight of the ten.

  • N: Toffee thick with apple flapjack, a pinch or two of clove spice and some sweet cool=fresh notes (soft menthol chews).
  • T: Fabulous fruit-oils run alongside a malt complex laced with smoke. Optimal oak.
  • F: Long heathery finish.
  • C: What a cracker. I’ll be back with a more detailed review in due course.

Scores 91 points

Logan’s Extra Age Superb Old Highland Whisky [1930’s] White Horse Distiller’s abv unreadable

Logan's.jpg

The experts are certain there’s Lagavulin in here with that mythical/magical possibility of some Malt Mill too.

  • N: Full toffee & caramel nose, a little grass, a little smoke and some lovely [cask] vanilla – a word I’ve seldom used this weekend, and another striking difference between then & now.
  • T: An old-sweet-complex from both oak & grain, sweet hay, smoke whiffs and olives [black & green combined]. There’s a slightly tangy sour-cream note with water.
  • F: A Sonny Rollins finish – which means, a good length cadenza with everything blowing at full power.
  • C: The best, straight forward yet large/full blend I’ve had this weekend.

Scores 87 points.

[Ladyburn] Rare Ayrshire 1975/2015 40yo SV cask #3421 [166 bts] 47.1% WB0 WF89 OMoH9/10

This is my first unadulterated Ladyburn. My only other contact with Ladyburn has been in the form of William Grant’s ‘Ghosted Reserve’ WB which is a malt blend of Ladyburn & Inverleven.

Ladyburn 1975.jpg

  • N: Fruit complex on stewed & floral fruits & flowers. Water brings out a light meaty note and the humidity of gym bags [strange i know!], and rhubarb crumble – a few days in the fridge.
  • T: Starts out with a sugary-grey-honey-paste-mash before shifting a gear as the oak kicks in. Thereon in, there’s lots of cask action and I’m not complaining. Water consolidates the mash & oak with a unity that’s very solid and satisfying. Becomes a deep yet conversely freshening & contemplative dram.
  • F: Long finish on waxy acetone and apple skin. Deep notes endure with cask tannins on best behaviour. Fresh aniseed at the death.
  • C: My first and hopefully not last, yet possibly the best Ladyburn i may get to try. Did i just quote Barry White?

Scores 89 points easily.

Cameronbridge 1984/2016 32yo P&S Dornoch [45 bts] 56.7% WB0

Cameronbridge label.jpg

Only my fourth Cameronbridge ever before three more turned up within a few weeks of each other, including another later on at the show.

  • N: A fruitier nose than most grains display with notes on sherbet, lemonade & orange soda combined, lemon ice lollies, bees wax, honey comb and confectionary lime.
  • T: Fruit corn, or wheat? – with a creamy thick mouthfeel and lots of chew throughout. Very nice indeed. It swims very well and stays true during it’s development with stalwart power throughout – no doubt helped by the high abv.
  • F: Not a great deal to add here. There’s a touch of sour to the mix but ultimately the finish is mainly echoes of that fine journey on the palate.
  • C: Lovely grain, solid stuff – would be ideal for the outdoors. And what a fun label, an ode to Lando Calrissian who loved Cameronbridge.

Lando Calrissian.jpeg

Scores 86 points

Glen Grant 1972/2006 33yo SMWS 9.39 [255 bts] 51.8% WB90[2]

Glen Grant 1972.jpg

  • N: As that amazing unadulterated colour would suggest, the shoe polish is out on full view with leather-bound books, soy sauce, leeks,….. it’s one of those shopping list noses.
  • T: Dry and less lush than I expected – that’s stopped me in my tracks!
  • F: That mature dry-oaked-sherry leans back into an old armchair and settles like age-old dust.
  • C: It’s a late starter that excels on the last bend. This one needs time, so I’ll bottle it for later.

With a more in-depth review to follow, this provisionally scores 88 points.

Glen Grant 1952/2005 [53yo] G&M 40% WB90.20[7] Bible ’17:96.5

As the man himself Stephen Rankin said, “this is the bees knees”. I had this before and found it to be excellent [88], though creaking at the seams. Let’s see how i receive it today.

glen grant 1952.jpg

  • N: Ah, that’s a deep floral-sweet, nectar-syrup to die for. Wish I knew my flowers more, for labelling and naming purposes.
  • T: Thin yet potent, very potent with a touch of acute sharpness and some soot underneath. The thin mouthfeel actually thickens into the finish – yum yum.
  • F: Hums and purrs with an even more desirability than on the palate.
  • C: Only the body and initial mouthfeel lack conviction for super-stellar marks but this is still excellent, more excellent indeed than last October 2016.

Scores 90 points.

Rosebank 1980/1992 11yo Cadenhead 60.1% WB88.67[3] OMoH9/10

Rosebank 1992.jpg

  • N: I started off with metal and sediment [mineral, shingle & iron fillings], before the apple & light melon fruits begin to emerge. There’s also a burnt treacle note from over-baked flapjack.
  • T: This blend-dense old style malt opens with a delicious and massive abv hit with all the components firing together – a fruity oak tang, thick caramel, dark sweet toasted and burnt qualities along with a complex herbal depth. Then beta carotene, old confectionary and soft wilting cardboard but later on the cleaner malt quality comes through. Lacking the finesse of some other Rosebank’s, it’s an edgy one, rough and ready.
  • F: Chocolate menthol into the finish. The eleven years of oak shows huge commitment with no more cask time required.
  • C: Not that I’m any authority, but i think this is great.

Scores 88 points

Millburn 1979/1992 13yo SMWS 87.2 62.3% WB89.50[2]

Millburn 87.2.jpg

  • N: Only my seventh Millburn following on from the sixth i had had the night before LINK. This is a natural one, light and distillate led with a grassy/yeasty/honeyed sweetness, apples & pears and a sweaty humidity – a [new] note has appeared twice now. Maybe that’s something to do with my immediate environment perhaps?
  • T&F: Light cider, some TTR and fruit tannins,… tales off.
  • C: Nice, light, easy, yet complex also.

Scores 87 points

Hanyu 2000/2014 Ob. [Speciality drinks] cask #921 57.6% WB91.47[17]Hanyu

  • N: Rather light & subtle distillate supported by sympathetic oak. Notes on varied fruits, soy and shoe polish to name but a few.
  • T: Curious and exotic herbal malt.
  • F: Herbal oak, popcorn and flapjack.
  • C: What an excellent & distinctive cask.

Scores 88 points

Bowmore 1993/2011 18yo ‘Masterpieces’ Speciality [195 bts] 61.6% WB91.76[23] WF91 WM85[9]

Bowmore 1993.jpg

  • N: This is immediately fabulous [as the good Bowmore’s tend to be], with a huge alcoholic nasal hit and a large farmy character. Notes are inevitably then on cow pats, muddy cattle yards and rich pastoral grassland with cows everywhere. it’s salty too. Further reading suggests this can be more fruity neat [WF], though I hadn’t added any water at this stage. Maybe oxidisation also subdued the harvest as they never really came to,.. fruition.
  • T: Acute, powerful and impressive stuff – one that hits home. Becomes sugary after the initial roar.
  • F: Light sweet herbal, some mineral farm notes and a light soap.
  • C: Fruits or not, I liked this plenty.

Scores 89 points

Glenlivet 25yo Ob. Jubilee Reserve ‘unblended all malt’ cask #414 75 proof [750ml] WB91.67[3]

Glenlivet 25yo.jpg

  • N: There’s all sorts here. It’s a fruity one with light-white cheese, malt chocolate, a cask mix of sherry [& bourbon maybe?], subtle complex touches of everything mineral, honourable oak and all the production-house constituents on show.
  • T: Fruity and oily with a big malt & sherry-cask complex. Woody>herbal sweet later.
  • F: This has been sat in the bottle since 1977 and is fabulously intact. There are some OBE notes throughout but they don’t distract.
  • C: Great! Thank you Enrico, one of the best of the day so far.

Scores 90 points.

A good time for lunch, me thinks.

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