Whisky Squad: The Christmas Party 2018, Part 1

Pub window view 4.jpeg

Only a few weeks ago, it was beginning to look like Christmas. Whisky Squad’s Christmas party back in 2016 was brilliantly bonkers [blog]. This year saw a more civilised affair with a lot of healthy socialising whilst modestly finishing low-level stocks from tastings gone by. As in previous years, all proceeds went to charity.


[Glenlivet] 1992/2018 25yo Spirit Still [SpSt] ‘Give n Tell’ [btl #95/256] 51.4% WB90.75[6] MR7/10 tWP89

Spirit Still leaves us easy clues as to this one’s distillery of origin. They say ‘GIVE ‘N’ TELL is a Speyside single malt whisky from a distillery located in one of Scotland’s most famous whisky glens. There is nothing illicit about this whisky and pistols at the ready to anyone who says otherwise. By George, this is a great dram. Wordsmiths will divine the origin’. [SS]

Glenlivet 1992 25yo Spirit Still 'Give n Tell’ 51.4%.jpeg

  • N: What a super way to start any tasting, with a quality, well-aged, barley sugar & fruity-sweet sighter.
  • T: If a little prickly, it delivers as I’d hoped – better in fact.
  • F: Long thickening travel with a meaty, waxy dryness and a tempered tail.
  • C: Quintessentially light yet rich juice bottled at an ideal strength. RRP £125 [or £399 from MoM – good luck with that one !!]

Scores 87 points


Talisker 25yo [2013] Ob. [btl #0042/5772] 45.8% WB88.74[48] Dramble89

Talisker 25yo 2014.jpeg

  • N: Deliciously Port Ellen-esque with a salty, savoury-fruity mineral barley heart.
  • T: Displays that Caol Ila-esque barley oiliness, yet with a succulent dryness, smoked sultanas and a nutty huskiness. 
  • F: Witch hazel, garage oils and soot, yet it concludes clean [if a little short], with a balanced barley sugar finish.
  • C: Super Talisker, before the price rose & the widely-perceived quality dropped some.

Scores 88 points


Laphroaig 1996/2016 20yo SMS for TWE Show Masterpieces [516 bts] 50.6% WB91.30[146] WF81 & WF76

The colour is super-dark suggesting it’s a big [syrup-ed?] sherry number – PX mind, regardless of what it says on the label.

Laphroaig 1996 20yo masterpieces.jpeg

  • N: Wonderfully unexpected profile on ginger cake, peat [no TCP], grated onions, gooey biscuit barley,….. A totally integrated [PX] sherry-mixed sweetness, prune juice,…
  • T: So PX [and peat] can work! This one tingles in,…. providing joy, joy, joy,… and some chew,… the layers falling open with ease.
  • F: Finishes very clean after all that. We can forgive the finish given the nose & arrival alone.
  • C: Whiskyfun really didn’t like this one! On this rare occasion, few agree. I’m not normally a fan of PX & peat either, though over two years in an open bottle may have helped this/me no end.

Scores 89 points


Springbank 11yo [2006] Un-Ob. Refill Butt Warehouse #3 Rotation 460 58.1%.jpg

Springbank 11yo [03/10/2006] Un-Ob. Refill Butt Warehouse #3 Rotation 460 58.1%

  • C: A super daily dram.

Scores 88 points


Aberfeldy 28yo [2016] Ob. [btl #ABZB02133] 40% WB88.39[46] Dramble88

Aberfeldy 28yo.jpeg

  • N: Sweet & easy on fruity > dunnage, the fruits & barley abundant and integrated.
  • T: Expecting it to be richer, it arrives thinner than expected [40% !], with a coppery barley thinnish chew. It is again, well integrated with firm bourbon-cask action, though it’ll be a cask mix no doubt.
  • F: Lifts-off clean.
  • C: Strong form throughout, though it tells a common story of nose over palate over finish. At the time, £176 [MoM], but now you’re looking at an alarming £430 from WDF [Jan ’19].

Scores 86 points


Glen Garioch 1999/2013 Ob. Batch #30 Oloroso sherry cask matured 56.3% WB86.51[146]

Glen Garioch 1999:2013.jpeg

  • N: Punchy spirit in a rubbery [bourbon?] cask, with touches of coconut, banana and raisins.
  • T: Subtly rubbery with raisins, it follows up with a tempered/controlled delivery. Is this bourbon or sherry maturation?
  • F: It’s robust, simple and subtly salivating with a charred [sherry] cask finish.
  • C: The label credits oloroso sherry casks, but I reckon there’s underlying bourbon activity, hence my issue with bottlers crediting only the finishing cask type – it makes buying bottles blind seriously problematic.

Scores 84 points



Part 2 is HERE





whisky squad xmas flight

2 thoughts on “Whisky Squad: The Christmas Party 2018, Part 1

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