Bottle Polishing, Random pairs, Part 2

Today’s pair represent a punt and a prize.

Glenlossie 23yo Cadenhead The Manager’s Cask Sample Selections HHD 56% [20cl]

As a punt, I picked this out from Cadenhead’s tiny wee cage in Edinburgh [blog].

Cadenhead's shop
Cadenhead’s, Edinburgh August 2018
  • N: A mature & old-skool, heavily double creamed & vanilla-ed, bourbon-oaky/tannic & malty nose with hints of [gala=cantaloupe] melon and red berries.
  • T: Very woody then spicy. More fruity, waxy & bourbon-y notes emerge before a decidedly woody-waxy bourbon-vanilla-honey maltiness pushes through. Later it’s more a waxy/plastic, bitter raisin malt. 
  • F: Bitter > sweet-oaky waxy finish with a touch of butyric-spicy & blackberry-tannin and a sliver more plastic. However, it’s ever the bitter creamy oaky-bourbon cask[s] that remains the main tour de force. Well-aged/old oaky creamy vanilla is a treat at the death.
  • C: Love it or leave it, it is what it is – over.


Glenlossie 23yo Cadenhead The Manager’s Cask Sample Selections HHD 56% .JPG

  • N: Dense & permeated oaky vanilla-ed molasses oils, dry-grassy toffee biscuit/wafer and ripe melon should cover it.
  • T: Dense, woody, spicy and butyric molasses, moving to an oaky bitter >> sweetish < savoury liquorice middle with more vanilla & firmer waxy glycerine-d melon on the turn. Water tames it somewhat, bringing a more generalised maltiness, though the trade-off is an even firmer bitter liquorice presence.
  • F: Oaky floral turning to bitter black treacle, a further butyric-lactose note and bitter creamy/toffee witch hazel oak to finish.
  • C: I enjoyed the nose and the tail but found the palate a right struggle. It’s clear that this Glenlossie ran well past it’s sell-by-date.

Scores 78 points


Ardbeg 10yo [2018] Ob. 46% WB86.47[2280] WF90 Ralfy’0990 Ralfy’1589 Ralfy’1790

Traditional games proved popular on Ardbeg Day 2018. I won this [the last it turned out], bottle of Ardbeg 10yo by sliding a bung into one of the appropriate circles – left handed! Happy days.

Ardbeg day Ardbeg 10.jpeg

  • N: We start with admiration for the pungent yet tempered, vanilled sweet vegetal peated material aspect. Particulars include stewed courgettes, vanilla sponge & a curious combination of dry gherkins, sweetened swede, carrots > carrot cake >> ginger cake, pickled raisins?, hints of pickled onions, lightly sugared thick yet light smears of miso paste, nori sheets, paper, pineapple husks, dry cucumber and mild rocket,….  all deliciously moorish.
  • T: Salad-like barley juice with a particular dry-peated vegetal development and savoury-vegetal travel all the way through.
  • F: A long long finish directly focused around smokey bitter-vegetal peated barley > sweetcorn cobs and a touch of vanilla [that never encroaches].
  • C: Excellent, and still remarkably affordable.


Ardbeg Corryvreckan 2
[Misc. Ardbeg]
  • N: A fabulously simple yet sublime combination of lime relish, [34’s] grilled limes , vegetal-sweet pickle, iodine-heavy welches > muscles and pickled peas & onions  – vailed with that subtly sweet nutty peatiness.
  • T: Delivers drier than expected, pleasingly ashy-dry in fact, yet when diluted, with more salivating vegetal/seaweed and a curious miso < citrus < sooty seasoning. Serge perfectly describes it as “lapsang souchong with lime, smoked almonds, kippers, plasticine, almond oil, whelks, brine, hessian” [WF]. Is it slightly thin? A touch, but it’s not a big issue.
  • F: Charcoaled lime juice, Polytar shampoo, boot polish and something erm,… subtle, sweet & rootsy. Concludes peated barley-faithful.
  • C: Whilst the interstellar hype for vintage Ardbeg continues, the standard 10yo remains the bastion of standards, availability & reason. No doubt many of the [thousands of] stored bottles will improve further in their glass over the coming years/decades.

Scores 89 points





Bottle polishing all sorts

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