TOMOH: Politics


Though I need to leave early, I stupidly arrive at the abode of ‘the old man’ a little late – and look at this flight, damn! Maybe as a result of my time restriction I think my conciseness skills improved, but you be the judge.

Flight complete


Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky [2017] Ob. 43% WB80.50[2] WF75 tOMoH7


I had this before, and whilst it’s never going to change the world I get it’s modest appeal.

  • N: Banana & fudge rum-like nose with generic peach candle/synthetic syrup-y gelateria.
  • T: Spirity, rum ‘n’ raisin icecream flavouring. Drier, less spirity with water.
  • F: Spirity still, finishing with dryish toasted [almost creme brûlée] vanilla.
  • C: Archetypal campfire grain? Nose worked best for me today. Scores two points less than i had it last year.

Scores 78 points


Inchgower 1990/2011 20yo Angus Dundee for the Whisky castle Cask Collection #15 cask #6987 [264 bts] 46% WB88[2] tOMoH9

Version 3

Big fan of Inchgower!

  • N: Fresher, less toffee-d/fudge-y than many other mature Inchgower’s i’ve encountered. Very soft lightly-sweet citrus, peach skin, some creaminess, newspapers. More fruits over time with a sweetness that dips in & out.
  • T: Big refill action, and improved with water. A soft sharp ensues with light-sweet fruit pear-apple-citrus.
  • F: Fruity>waxy-ish>dryish finish with clean, soft vanilla.
  • C: Ahh, when a cask allow the spirit to shine.

Scores 89 points


Spirit of Freedom 30yo [2014] J. & A. Mitchell [2014 bts] 46% WB89[121] WN90 tOMoH8 

Spirit of Freedom.jpg

This was around £75 when it came out in 2014, now going at auction for around three times that [Aug ’17].

  • N: Hmm, this is likeable. Mineral caramel,.. or toffee [cant decide], some soot,……
  • T: This has Springbank written all over it, though acting here merely as an independent bottler & blender. They present a thick yet easy malt, creamy>fresh.
  • F: Butter biscuits, sweet heather.
  • C: Seriously fun blend. A more in-depth review will follow later in the year.

Scores 88 points


Two sister casks up next

Craigellachie 1989/2012 22yo SMWS 44.53 ‘Lip-smacking, chewy & chunky’ [279 bts] 51.5% WBtOMoH8

Craigallechie pair.jpg

  • N: The sweaty ol’ man is back [like that Bowmore 1968 blog], with fusty cumin carrots>chestnuts, cardamom and cardboard-ish notes – not in a bad way. It needs more time but too bad.
  • T: Beautiful arrival that woes me every sip with its oily, thin jam-laced, conveyor belt-like arrival – savoury-oily>sweet. Rumbles on a little.
  • F: Doesn’t do more but it hummed awhile. Dryish vanilla concludes.
  • C: Aside from the curiously sweaty nose, the arrival knocks me out every time. A whisky I could imagine drinking a case of.

Scores 87 points


Craigellachie 1989/2013 23yo SMWS 44.56 ‘Sweet & sour creative tension’ [300 bts] 51.8% WB88.33[20] tOMoH8

  • N: Lighter, more faded than the 44.53 but with dreamy melted ice-cream opulently topped with cream,… and, fish pie?
  • T: Oily chestnut, macadamias. Firmly hums,…. milky-creamy again.
  • F: Drying, straw-ish~heather-ish vanilla, pea pods,.. The finish goes on and on,… and with more fish – kipper! And to think, i’ve not eaten fish for a few months.
  • C: The slightly better whisky of the two but i’m certain a fair number of my Desert Island whiskies will have a similar arrival to 44.53 – that’s oily-jammy. What a fab pair.

Scores 88 points


Another pair, of sorts:

Cameronbridge 1979/2005 25yo DT Rare Auld cask #3523 [194 bts] 59.9% WB85.25[6] WM84[1] tOMoH8

Cameronbridge DT.jpg

  • N: Weighted vanilla fruits with sweet lime pieces and a gutsy spirity character.
  • T: Cuts in boldly, and with good varnish action.
  • F: Well controlled woody sourish vanilla.
  • C: A challenging/precocious grain.

Scores 83 points


Cameronbridge 1984/2017 33yo Cadenhead single bourbon cask [186 bts] 48.7% WB88[1] tOMoH7

Cameronbridge Cadenhead.jpg

  • N: Much thicker than the DT with U-uh over PVA [PS]. Softer, subtle, more relaxed/easy than the more brutish DT.
  • T: Thicker, softer and more caramelized than the DT,..
  • F: Most controlled, no messing. Joyous finish.
  • C: Job’s a good’un. Two different Cameronbridge for very different occasions.

Scores 87 points


Balblair 1975 22yo First Cask #7285 [btl #36] 46% WB82.25[4] tOMoH9


  • N: Aah, vintage bourbon cask magic from a great decade for Balblair. Fusty/oily, sweet apple & pineapple crumble – bourbon refill yes yes! Develops more oily-phenolic, mineral,…
  • T: Soft fruity almost fluffy start. Only a touch sharp but forever gentle and easy with its bourbon cask honey-juice. With water, vanilla to nuttiness & choc ice – so nutty Feast bar then with dried fig/rolls,…. soft dunnage-dry with a slight peppery fresh-heat.
  • F: …….more dry choc ice, almost sweaty cardboard, super dry raisins to apricots, a little more fig and dry dunnage. Surprisingly smokey on the finish, old style with a dry woody nut huskiness.
  • What a series First Cask turned out to be. A case of this please.

Scores 90 points


Mortlach 1996/2007 10yo SMWS 76.55 ‘Grapefruit & geraniums’ 60.3% WBWM90[1] tOMoH7

  • N: Floral-fruity, clean, oily abv-robust foundation.
  • T: Waxy, gingery mouthfeel, but it works neat. A touch soapy with a little water. More water and it’s just right. With time it becomes more enormous and precocious. Develops on tropical fruity acetone. My notes also read ‘love in a cage’ – autocorrect up to it’s pesky tricks again?
  • F: More gingery heat, sweetish grapefruits. A decent clean/modern finish, concluding with the usual [rounded] suspects.
  • C: Good example of a ‘non-typical’ Mortlach.

Scores 84 points


Aberlour 1989/2013 23yo Cadenhead Small batch [522 bts] 54.9% WB86.58[47] WF88 tOMoH8


  • N: Squidgy earthy-mineral-sherried old skool action with enormous breadth. Sweet TTW, pineapple cubes,.. Heaps here, wonderful combinations, brown sugar,…
  • T: So much here and i’m rushed [the clock is ticking, work is looming]. Concentrated, orangey, earthy-maltiness with muscovado on arrival. Waxy pancake also.
  • F: Mocha, runny caramel,… big hum.
  • C: Super tasty and,..

89 excellent points.


Bowmore 1989/2003 14yo SMWS 3.79 ‘In your face, out of doors’ [440 bts] 53.3% WBtOMoH8

Bowmore SMWS.jpg

  • N: Hummus, tahini, soft curry spices,..
  • T: An unusual profile of earthy-fruity, valerian, raspberry leaves, raspberry seeds,… Hold in mouth for some more unusual stuff, all with a full-on abv heat.
  • F: The smoke creeps up on you [scorched sticks].
  • C: Not one to rush, but alas.

Scores 89 points


Gutted to have missed the Millburn’s. I pour everyone a very old Cognac and then leave for the West End, on a bike – oh the glamour!

4 thoughts on “TOMOH: Politics

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