I’ll start low and work my way up for parts 2 & 3.
Orbital 8yo Whisky Magazine World blend [btl #1061/1104] 46% WB70.25
MoM: ‘A blended whisky created by Whisky Magazine from parts of the hundreds of samples of malt whiskies, alongside a selected grain whisky sent to them for review each year. The blend was then finished in Pedro Ximénez casks’.
Bottles were given away to ticket holders of this year’s Whiskylive .
- N: They say beggars can’t be choosers, but a beggar I gave a huge measure to after Whiskylive, immediately identified a less than impressive palate but a decent enough nose. I find it a rubbery lightly styled snifter with a sulphury<rubbery spirit-y pong, shelled monkey nut oils and burnt caramel. It’s better than it sounds.
- T: With sulphury rubber bands=distillate tails throughout, we’ve a tempered aniseed/black pepper-heated malt accompanied by heavily browning bananas in clingfilm, B’loonies=tea lights and a drop of peanut oil mixed with banana>sweet chalky cabbage liqueur – a mash-up indeed. Despite the rubberiness there is a relatively reasonable waxy malt centre.
- F: The creamy yet woody-dry vanilla constantly vies for attention against yet more rubbery distillate and quite some buttery>herbal, cocoa, plastic-y=waxiness. As fragile as old skin at the death.
- C: Random blends of this nature [e.g. The Last Drop WB0 or Signatory’s Supreme blended malt WB0] seldom excel, but this is no failure of its ilk given it’s drinkability – in the right circumstances. A hearty cheers to Whisky Magazine.
Scores 74 points
A batch from 2013.
- N: Fruity [wheat/corn-like] cereal bar whisky with a putty=clay-like copper edge, a touch of ‘lemon-fresh’ washing detergent and a hazy pong gathering overhead. The pine needles, pears & pineapples are far lower in the mix compared to even earlier batches.
- T: With quite a youthful zing at 41.4%. we’ve a sour corn-like opening with a dryish fruit-tannic barley-cream waxy-corn/soft bourbon development. Edgy but fairly likeable with water fluffing up the whole presentation. Distillate faithful, the [bourbon] casks add character whilst playing the supportive role.
- F: Short with some sourness, water brings curry aromatic spice notes. Lemon detergent lingers with an underlying sour vegetal lactose decay note.
- C: I’m very font of these early batches. Despite a few wavering batches thereafter I find them competent and characterful.
Scores 83 points
Strathclyde 2001/2014 13yo Ob. Batch ST 13 002 64.4% [50cl] WB85.29
I never buy young grains, but Strathclyde [in sherry] is an exception. I’m not sure in hindsight this is that sherried, but the whirlwind romance of a visit to the Chivas-owned Strathisla distillery found me buying a bottle back in 2016.
- N: Not too raw but pokey & evidently column still/rum-like. This is assured and resinous coconut buttery/oily vanilled spirit, one with promising developing qualities and a good clean pong.
- T: Reminds me somewhat of Cooley’s Greenore 8yo, albeit with much more body. It travels with ease and with a malty, vanilled, coconut buttery chew – but water management is key.
- F: Some bitter-sour accompanies the malty vanilla.
- C: This is a straight-ahead young grain showing solid form, though I can’t say I enjoyed it as a sipper all that much. Ideal for a highball I reckon.
Scores 83 points
Part 2/3 HERE