In the spirit of good news/bad news, I shall start with the bad news. Here goes with the rogues!
I have had this before. There were ups & downs, but it still deserved a super 88 points in my book. The cap with its seal [on this miniature] was twistable right the way round. Let’s find out whether the juice has been effected.
- N: Starts and stays with a sweet-sour milky leathery pong, moving on to a milky>malty, oaky & fruity soup with little clarity. Becomes far fruitier an hour later with sooty cream but that strange plastic/emulsion/artichoke Irish creamy pong resides.
- T: Some clear OBE/evaporation issues here but after a shaky start it consolidates with more sweet>sour milk after a dense oaky-fruity, typical G&M-profile arrival. After a while longer the milk becomes more malty but there’s no getting away from the tainted chemical-creamy pong. Shame.
- F: More milkiness leaning towards sour Mini Milk for sure. Short dusty-clean finish with a hint of spent sparkler over shampoo.
- C: Unfair sample, not scored. Shame because there’s some cracking malt here.
I never normally pay much attention to Macallan at auction but I was surprised to see this 60’s miniature going at a relatively reasonable price. Had others spotted a rat? I was a little suspicious, not only because of the lack of bids. It was something about the unusually dark label. I decided to take a punt anyway which is what often happens in the dying minutes of an auction when I start rummaging through the stragglers.
- N: Slow to emerge from its 34+/- years incarcerated in glass, nearly twice as long as cask. A very potent nose, modern potent, CS potent. First up come mineral burnt toffee notes with a raw, woody, rich fruity linseed oiliness, distant fusty candy and peanuts. Smells like a blend of mixed cask types, possibly even bourbon matured spirit with a sherry finish. Not a great deal here. Blind, I’d guess around 12yo.
- T: Yikes, a huge arrival – [abv] prickly, youthful, modern style, cask strength? I smell & taste a rat. This is no 1960’s anything!
- F: Short and finishing with bitter toffee and a touch of fresh cream vanilla.
- C: Tasty malt but definitely not a 43% 1965 Macallan. More the ilk of a current Aberlour A’bunadh or Glenfarclas 105. This is the second certain fake I’ve had. Scores 86 points for the competent whisky it is, the name of which we shall never know. As for the faker[s], investigations have begun!
- N: The level of this miniature was half full so it’s looking ominous from the start, but it’s not always a disaster. I notice too that the inside of the lid has gone mouldy and developed a green/brown fungal stain and damp smell. As a result, it smells like wet rot.
- T: Tastes like damp wood that has been masticated. It’s gone, totally gone.
- C: Shame, because this is lovely whisky when intact. Let’s hope for something drinkable next.
Macphail’s 8yo GM Pure malt 40% [5cl] [WB]79
- N: Not that many miniatures suffer from excessive evaporation, and those that do can be surprisingly intact. This one is touch-and-go but may just pull through. Smells of an old caramel-ed blend with half a Werther’s toffee, a metallic hue [OBE me reckons], creamy barley, hints of creamy smoky buttermilk and a suggestion of washing detergent. It’s all rather faint though reviving steadily.
- T: Quite some OBE with a punchy [Malt Martin], edgy attack. Initially there’s a bath water/barley flour paste/dunnage-y mild funk that leads on to firm bitter oak & caramel, fruity<grainy polished chesterfields, some lingering pipe tobacco and aromatic peppery liquorice. Heaps of OBE stays throughout.
- F: More on the same lines followed by a wave of creamy/bees-wax/Caramac and a subsequently matched mouthfeel. A touch soapy now before a bitter>sweet dry oaky caramel & black tea finish.
- C: Flawed yet admirable in part. I’d be pleased to try a better sample.
Scores 79 points
- N: I’ll be brief. Firm/strong even punchy nose with a grassy honeyed sweet profile. An exotic hose pipe, hoover bags, honeyed fruit sweets and sweet runny porridge reflect the spectrum of aromas. A relatively straight forward nose, though with the addition of the odd old-skool quirk.
- T: Peppery, a little fizzy, woody-sugary and spirity in equal measure. A pokey/bumpy ride.
- F: Now an ashy runny honeyed malt with underlying bitter oak. Fair length. Light and clean green grapes on the finish.
- C: It’s alright, just not hugely enjoyable.
Scores 82 points
Due to my indecisiveness, I asked the bartender for a dram, blind.
- N: Similar honeyed nose to the Glenfiddich 21yo WB [coming up], though more bready/porridge-y and a tad more youthful. Less fruits but swizzles more honey.
- T: Honeyed porridge and a dry aspirin tinge [which thankfully is only a minor distraction].
- F: Similar finish to the Glenfiddich on honeyed cocoa barley.
- C: In the same ball park as the Glenfiddich and some Glenmorangie too. This Dalwhinnie has a better consistency and preferred mouthfeel but a far more basic nose and palate. Though I’m no great fan, it is however the best batch of Dalwhinnie 15 I’ve had to date.
Scores 85 points
That was a little painful, but with those rogues out the way, next up will be all the riches!
Part 2 HERE