Whiskylive 2017: TBWC

Without doubt the best stand at the Whiskylive show [London 2017], and most of the shows up & down the country these past few years. I spent a number of hours in awe at what was on offer.

Glenmorangie 15

[Glenmorangie] 15yo [2017] ‘Secret Distillery’ #2 Batch 2 TBWC [Btl #047/124] 51% WB0 WN84

  • N: Rubbery boing.
  • T: Sherry-driven fruits and a little pinky-red something – wine, port?
  • F: Sherry sweet and airy fresh.
  • C: A very agreeable ‘all-sherry plus one’ Glenmorangie to kick-start my Whiskylive 2017.

Scores 83 points

Let’s notch the age up by 3

Mortlach 16yo

Mortlach 18yo [2017] TBWC Batch 3 [Btl#300/] 48.9% WB89[2]

  • N: Sweet>vegetal but with no ‘meat’.
  • T: Same as on the nose, we have a rather conventional, rather soft & straight-laced Mortlach.
  • F: Ashy and [bourbon] sweet.
  • C: An easy Mortlach, much like a Boisdale’s Clynelish i’m easily consuming currently WB.

Scores 85 points

Let’s notch the age up by 3 more

Springbank 21yo [2017] TBWC Batch 3 [Btl#252/] 48.2% WB90[7]

Springbank 21yo

  • N: It’s [port] cask driven, very tincture sweet and very oaky.
  • T: I’ve an anticipation for something that never quite materialises. All the same, i’ve no actual grumbles [it’s good], only an underwhelming feeling born from greater expectations.
  • F: The port gives more tincture [and then] medicinal sweetness.
  • C: There was an immediate buzz around this bottle from the start of the [Whiskylive 2017] show, and i’m pleased for those who were more than happy to shell out around £200 for it.

Scores 86 points

We can go four higher still:

Glenlossie 25yo

Glenlossie 25yo [2016] TBWC Batch 2 [btl#6/43] 51.1% WB0

  • N: Lovely refill, probably it’s first. Time in the glass allows the depth of this oldie to settle in and the syrup & treacle to emerge.
  • T: Tropical bourbon notes, sweet soft resins and butterscotch honey comb.
  • F: This keeps on giving.
  • C: Needs time to settle for best results, and good results they are too.

Scores 87 points

And four more,…. amazing!

Macallan 29yo [2016] TBWC Batch 6 [Btl#135/293] 43.5% WB90[2]

Macallan 29yo

  • N: Incorporated sherried deliciousness with sweet digestive biscuit & fruit notes and a soft=vibrant balance overall.
  • T: Yummy aged sherry malt displaying no body thinness, oak bitterness nor sharpness that can be found from modern Macallan. This is all sherry but not at all [pre-fill] cask dominated and incredibly, after 29 years it’s neither overly sherried nor overly oaked. Moorish juice.
  • F: Now firmly an old sherry style malt with sweet foosty-fresh notes, hazelnut Feast bars and soft salty toffee finish.
  • C: A fine modern=old [proper old], balanced Macallan. If cost, supply and reality weren’t issues, this would be an irresistible daily drinker. It’s cleverly priced at £600.

Scores 88 points

It’s been a sensational first hour. I’ve been eyeing them up for a while now – it’s time for whiskey!

Irish 14

TBWC Single Malt Irish Whiskey 14yo [2017] [357 bts] 48.6% WB0

  • N: Big sherry nose with a little sulphur.
  • T: More sulphur with subtler notes lurking beneath.
  • F: A soft sherry & burned char finish.
  • C: Interestingly different [i.e. Irish], and a little troubled deep down, but it’s good all the same. Likely to be Bushmills.

Scores 82 points

TBWC Single Malt Irish Whiskey 24yo [2017] [264 bts] 46.8% WB88[3]

Irish 24yo

The label references Father Ted’s ‘A Song for Europe’ episode – Google: ‘My lovely horse sax solo’. I was unaware the song had such a cult following – there are live band covers.

  • N: You’d never know it was 24yo first off, initially giving away it’s fruity distillate with plenty of copper.
  • T: Very tasty Irish with a touch of sherry? – but probably more/all bourbon in the main.
  • F: The age of this malt shows much later on, rather a lot in the form of terrific tannins that meld with the grain. Finishes on a sweet putty chew and deep [sherried, again?]-mash tannins.
  • C: It’s a single malt whiskey which narrows the unknown distillery down to either Cooley or Midleton if i’ve understood things correctly WP.

Scores 87 points

Oh amazing, there’s an ‘extra’ one:

Irish Cooley 17

Cooley 17yo TBWC Batch #1 [Btl #206/390] 48.5% WB90[1]

  • N: Fruity and tropical.
  • T: Fruity malt.
  • F: Deep, dark finish
  • C: As good as the 24yo.

Scores 87 points

Let’s keep travelling, this time to the Netherlands:

Millstone 6yoMillstone 6yo [2016] TBWC Batch 1 [btl#563/637] 48.9% WB88.50[2]

  • N: Wine gums, confectionary fruits and bakers fruits with an interesting sherry complex that requires some attention.
  • T: Lovely arrival, fabulous glugger.
  • F: Finally the oloroso takes possession, but what a cask.
  • C: Good leading cask and that nose is fun as.

Scores 85 points

Day 2:

St George RyeSt. George Spirits 2yo [2017] Rye TBWC Batch 1 [400 bts] 55% WB0

  • N: I must be having an extreme palate trauma as this smells exactly like King’s Ginger Liqueur link – literally that. Then again, one of the chaps at MoM [Sam] got Chilli con carne,… so, it’s a fun one.
  • T: A savoury-sweet medicinal Balcones with cherry cough sweets & root beer, more ginger and lemon,…. huge notes thereof.
  • F: A little vanilla joins the medicinal black cherry & redcurrant cough sweets with a touch of heathery soil.
  • C: It’s a bit nuts. Could cause quite a stir thrown into the right tasting session.

Scores 80 points

As final pour is announced and clearing up begins in earnest, WhiskyWings and i receive two farewell gifts to share.

Bunna & Carsebridge

Carsebridge 52yoCarsebridge 1964/2017 52yo TBWC Batch 2 [63/285 bts] 41.7% WB0

  • C: Lovely sweet & neat grain with improved form over batch 1 WB.

Scores 88 points

Bunnahabhain 33yo [2016] TBWC Batch 3 [158 bts] 47.9% WB89[1]Bunnahabhain 33yo

  • N: This is as joyous as the Whiskyman’s Birthday Bunna WB, with [dry and fresh] soft fruits galore. It’s a talker with a constantly changing profile.
  • T: Bitter-sweet citrus,.. yes & more yeses! It’s bitter-sweet citrus all the way – divine!
  • F: The sweeter malt side takes time to solidify with more chat from the bitter-sweet grapefruit that talks & talks.
  • C: Bunna at its best, scores £200 – haha, i mean:

Scores 90 points

JG gives me the best of send-off’s. Quite unexpectedly and right at the very end of the show came a surprise whisky that was wholly pleasing to my entire being.

Port Ellen 33yo [2017] TBWC batch 6 [250 bts] 47.5% WB93[1]

Port Ellen 33yo

  • N: Sweet & soft lemons, oysters, old leather and mineral peat – that’s Port Ellen right there. Easy chat and lovely integration of flavours, nothing short of old style brilliance.
  • T: As the nose had indicated, it’s archetypal Port Ellen. Ok, there’s some congestion mid palate but boy it’s delicious.
  • F: Heathery bourbon, lemon sweet, some soot, mildew oak and mildly saline driftwood. There’s enough time to take a pic with WhiskyWings before the oaky grapefruit note arrives minutes later. So good.
  • C: Recipe-wise, nothing is over done, such is that old style. Easily the best whisky of the show, though the Bunna was up there.

Scores 91, maybe even 92 points.


Much love and gratitude to Dave and James for your energy, kindness and generosity.


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