A selection from the August outturn, taken in a haphazard order. Lets begin!
Aberlour 2006 10yo SMWS 54.50 ‘Expensive perfume on a fruity tart’ [197 bts] 60.4% WB0
- C: Good young raisins-y whisky.
Scores 83 points
Balmenach 2007/2017 10yo SMWS 48.91 ’Sweet, juice & perfumed’ [145 bts] 60% WB0
- N: An ‘interesting’ fragranced pong which settles, barley-firm [Mannochmore-esque].
- T: Varnished, with a waxy-soft-bitter undertone.
- F: Waxy-banana-sweet, soft pong.
- C: Not my style but a good dram nevertheless.
Scores 84 points
Benrinnes 1997 19yo SMWS 36.133 ‘An Irresistible Experience’ [171 bts] 55.2% WB0
- N: Another solid [Mannochmore-esque], oily-creamy barley spirit with figs, olives and lemonade-y vanilla-cream biscuits.
- T: Oozing block of olive-y sweet malt with a deep sour-cream core. Slow mover to a slightly sweeter barley malt.
- F: Olive lemonade – ha, i just noticed SMWS noted olive oil, so im not losing the plot just yet. Overall, a woody sour-lemon Speysider.
- C: Solidly matured barley spirit, by the end a bit duller than sparkling first impressions.
Scores 85 points
Bunnahabhain 2006/2017 10yo SMWS 10.118 ‘Enthralling pink & peat intensity’ [257 bts] 60.6% WB0
- N: The 1st-fill Port Barrique finish gives this whisky the colour of Zinfandel with amber, or a rusty, dusky salmon sunset [Ashley]. Noses of fruity peat and is so big, creamy and brash, im not sure whether anything else has a chance to shine.
- T: The two lead stars monopolise the screen time.
- F: Fruit<smoke.
- C: Remember Benriach Heredotus? This works, but i wouldn’t want a bottle.
Scores 81 points
Dailuaine 2004 12yo SMWS 41.94 ‘A small glass of Happiness’ [281 bts] 57.3% WB0
- N: Decent new-skool/Benromach-esque guzzler on sweet charred cream & varnished citrus candy.
- T: That heavily toasted virgin hoggie finish has made a very firm, varnished mark alongside an oily body with a solid peppery presence.
- F: Good char & vanilla varnished combo.
- C: A solid time-tested recipe, but the finish is overpowering.
Scores 83 points
Glendronach 2006/2017 10yo SMWS 96.11 ‘Frisky fun’ [210 bts] 57.6% WB0
- N: Vanilla, strawberry-flavoured candy-cigarettes,.. and plenty more bourbon traits.
- T: Nice mouthfeel.
- F: Sugary cream, a bit saccharin, plank-y wood, milky tea.
- C: Basic, tasty, sweet, easy. As good as they are, its refreshing to try a straight bourbon Glendronach without those huge sherry casks from the officials dominating.
Scores 82 points
Glen Grant 2003 13yo SMWS 9.125 ’Strolling in Paradise’ [220 bts] 60.9% WB0
- N: Honey and rosewater at first leading to fragranced hessian=popcorn and a strong floral fragrance>sweet-shop. Really very delightful. A little pineapple [Foz]. Water/time doesnt change the profile, yet it mellows like one would on a still & warm sunny day.
- T: Works neat but wants a few drops. Impeccable arrival and subsequent travel. Oozes its oily dry-creamy savoury-sweetness into the finish.
- F: And theres much more besides.
- C: In short, a fabulous GG that works equally as well as an easy & enjoyable daily dram or a sipper for a more contemplative mood.
Scores 87 points
Laphroaig 1999 17yo SMWS 29.223 ‘Relax, refresh, rejuvenate’ [228 bts] 58.3% WB0
- N: Yes indeed, smokey leathery olives, orange juice,.. heaps here.
- T: Barley/straw & gentle olive-y soft smokey oils, thoroughly integrated into the oak.
- F: Oak-y, sooty & tarry then gradually ashy. Hints at Daiquiri with its sour lemony /limey touches.
- C: Easily the best of the day.
Scores 89 points
Highland Park 2006 11yo SMWS 4.233 ‘Asian-style barbecue [300 bts] 64.2% WB0
- N: Creamy sour-sweet.
- T: Strong neutral, coppery<savoury=sour barley.
- F: Oily sour creamy mouthfeel and kind of dry, though that dryness could be coming from the previous Laphroaig.
- C: Good, classic, straight ahead.
Scores 84 points
Tullibardine 2007/2017 9yo SMWS 28.34 ‘Alluring & Amusing’ [191 bts] 60.8% WB0
- N: Pepper [sour-ish citrus] lemon sole – hold the fish, add whisky [brilliance from the Foz].
- T: Lemon barley.
- F: Stays true with a fairly sustained consistent fade.
- C: Very clean & ultra-neutral example of Tullibardine/any distillery and a perfect/flawless paragon of barley spirit aged in clean/neutral casks.
Scores 80 points