Bottle polishing: Three 3’s, part 2/3

With a lowly start in part 1, we step up a notch in part 2.


Glendronach 2006 11yo SMWS 96.14 ‘Engaging encounter’ [132 bts] 57.1% WB85.90[12] PS3.5/5 Blog87

After falling for this at the SMWS in Greville Street in February [blog87], I really had to have a bottle.

Glendronach 96.14.JPG

  • N: Youthful yet suitably matured, mildly smoked and flawless barley spirit. That’s an ideal start isn’t it? Besides the spirity onion/vinegar, there are also nutty, salad-y, paint and oily/briny qualities to enjoy. Perfect simplicity and really, flawless for its class.
  • T: Rocket fuel deliciousness. Only in context of some other malts do I pick up the now fairly obvious though subtle peated maltings. Also, a little road tar, those [racist, yep] ‘skin coloured’ fabric plasters, generic tasting Chinese wheat/peanut snacks [that shops such as Holland & Barrett love to premiumize], peanut butter, peanut>crisps and nutty/woody vanilla satay – the whole presentation coming with a warming aniseed heat. Later reflections speak of a chalky & lively/bit-ey fruit citrus spirit with a salivating sharpness. The grapefruit citrus barley is ever present though it creams up with water.
  • F: Really neat youthful form with plenty of varied ‘notch’ stages throughout that include a peppery & herbal sour cream freshness with caramel and more grapefruit. Hard yet thin icing sugar with water. Further down the bottle I found a resinous wine/PX fresh dryness [water is key], with a sharp clean, metallic barley-cream conclusion.
  • C: It’s young but not necessarily lacking, even in context of tonight’s tasting treats that included Banff 1964, Tamdhu 1960, Glen Grant’s 1972 & 1953 [blog], as well as a 1984 Yamazaki & 1983 Karuizawa [report to follow]. This is a lovely young Dronach that I can’t fault, and why would I? This one floated my boat.

Scores 86 points


[Glenmorangie] Westport 1997/2015 17yo Carn Mor [621 bts] 46% WB86[3]

Westport Glenmorangie carn mor.JPG

  • N: Initial impressions are of familiar youthful summer fruits juxtaposed by a baking soda freshness. It’s recognisably Glenmorangie, Balvenie<Glenfiddich also with a sharp/crisp apple>lemon/orange fruitiness set against a nicely oaked, yeasty/icing sugar>barley fluffiness. Distillery recognisable juice for sure. Also, imagine a creamy/farmy [Philadelphia] yoghurt/mousse – best imagined I’m sure.
  • T: Tannic & sharp lemon/apple, soil/detergent-y<oily=briny spirit with a particular taste of takeaway food cartoon cardboard into the finish. Water & time brings more roundedness you’d expect from the officials. Later there’s a citric, apple-y waxy yet spongey malt with a fresh oakiness, a developing waxy-hummus-puttiness and a little dried coconut flesh nuttiness. For Morangie fans, this is well worth taking a look at, given its more committed richness/vibrancy over the more tempered officials.
  • F: Continues with form, the salted lemon/lime caramel not lost on me at all. If it was a little fruitier I’d start wondering whether it was Irish. Waxy, citrus [Californian pink grapefruit, always a touch tart despite their advertised sweetness]<orange<bergamot=lemon>>detergent] – the detergent turning putrid. Decent length overall with plenty of creamy vanilla and sweet barley throughout.
  • C: Given the gentile character of Glenmorangie, it’s hard to imagine a single cask trumping an official, given the flexibility at the distiller’s disposal – yet this is a really decent example of one. I enjoyed the whole bottle.

Scores 86 points


Bowmore 1999/2014 15yo MoS bourbon cask #800215 [266 bts] 55.2% WB89.10[12] WF85


  • N: Initially cardboard-dry with slightly smokey dried hay and an egg yoke yeastiness. Weeks later I picked out notes of a lit sparkler, beeswax, linseed oil, nougat, coconut butter, cashew butter, hose pipes, hide protector, celeriac, strawberry candy, honeyed & smoked barley kernels and a little chicken meatiness. That should cover it, for now. Frankly the nose isn’t magical though highly competent, chatty and informative.
  • T: A sweet cereal/putty-to-dry vegetal/meaty/creamy number, conservatively salty & peaty with mild yet moorish malty>marzipan. It soon moves to hot rocket salad followed by caramel>caramac>chocolate. It all ticks over nicely. Solid session dram.
  • F: Decent length unravel before a clean light barley & witch hazel finish with sugar icing at the death.
  • C: A liberal/lightly smoky, vegetal/creamy-dry talkative and gluggable Bowmore.

Bowmore 17 SMOS.JPG


It was Hasse who put me onto this one after TWE Show’s last appearance at Vinopolis. He along with friends bought a few bottles of this along with others and invited me back for a session. Had I not lost them in a drunken haze, I think I may have died that night. I do hope you’re well Mr Peters, I haven’t seen you for a while.

  • N: Unusual push-me pull-me combinations include rum-infused smoked ham, hot dog onions, fried eggs, unleavened onion bread, grated veg [carrots & courgettes], indian spiced ghee=curdled milk/cream pretzels, Nice biscuits, hot chocolate, salted boiled sweets sunk into bottled water [there’s a story],….
  • T: A zingy toasted malt with a commendable strength. Briny yet drying edgy-savoury/sweet, salty, creamy/milky & murky vegetal-sweet ‘stuff’ with a distant, almost synthetic quality. With a long travel, it turns later towards thin milky caramel and rice paper/icing sugar on the turn. It’s not easily pinned down though tasty it remains.
  • F: Now the smoke really begins to seep in, accompanied by sweet vegetal/toasty/light salty & milky caramel. It finishes on smoky cocoa nibs, chocolate icecream and kiln-dried malted barley with a luscious & lingering, dry & salty grated veg conclusion.
  • C: Engaging and, entertaining. A one-off.

Scores 88 points


Find the final part HERE




Bottle polishing all sorts

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