SWAG: What’s In Your Cupboard #2

SWAG logoAnother virtual meetup for the Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group, this is part 2 of a 3-part ‘What’s In Your Cupboard’ series. Part 1 is HERE

First up is my offering, a 1970s blended Scotch created by Macdonald Greenlees Ltd. ‘Greenlees was merged with the firm of Alexander & Macdonald at the end of the 19th century and became known as Macdonald, Greenlees and Williams (Distillers) Ltd, known simply as Macdonald Greenlees when it became a subdivision of the DCL [Distillers Company Ltd] in 1925‘ [SW].


Macdonald Greenlees means Glendullan [#1]. This President blend could well have some 1960s Cragganmore in the mix also, in keeping with Macdonald Greenlees’ Old Parr blend, originated by the Greenlees brothers in 1909. SW again: ‘Old Parr has always been a deluxe aged blend, starting with a 12-year-old which claimed to have 52% of the entire Colombian Scotch whisky market in 2010‘.


President Special Reserve 12yo [1970’s] Ob. De Luxe 43% [75cl] WB84[6] SW WLP184

President Special Reserve

  • N: Wha? This has changed aplenty since I opened and hit the bottle before decanting the rest a few years ago. Tonight it smells of,…. tequila > mezcal, gin & genever. Let’s give it time. Descriptor highlights include orris, sherry, and shoe polish with soot emerging from the shoe polish later on. Then there’s bitter herbal shortbread and asafoetida! Despite the genever references, I still detect some aged spirit in here much older than 12.
  • T: A bitter oaky sooty arrival [now with only a slight sharpness compared to when the bottle was first opening] with an [only slightly faded/consolidated] old skool sherried herbal [and some caramel colourant] chew. Though there’s plenty of OBE and the travel is brief, this has plenty to impart even after an hour in the glass.
  • F: A soft/light dry heathery finish with a cinnamon < peppery conclusion. I’ve a sense that if this had been bottled at a higher abv, it could have turned more tincture/liqueur-like by now.
  • C: This got weirder yet more curious/interesting since I first opened this bottle in 2016. Really worth hunting down if the price is right. Another world.

Scores 86 points


[Cooley] Tyrconnell 16yo [2019] Ob. 46% WB86.45[31]

16yo Irish whiskey finished in oloroso sherry and moscatel wine casks? Go on then!

[Cooley] Tyrconnell 16yo [2019] Ob. 46%

  • N: This youthful/vibrant juice could be bourbon if it weren’t for the lactose tropical fruitiness equalled by firm [apple] orchard fruits and a light cereal [Shreddies] huskiness. Probably Irish then.
  • T: Immersive/large/big-bodied, fresh-soft-sharp fruity and peppery on the palate with more tropical-light and apple fruitiness. Now even more certain this is Irish whiskey, there’s no putty! A very pleasing dry-sweet chew ensues. Given the [cask finishing] vibrancy, I guessed this at around 10-12 years of age.
  • F: Fruity spicy oak. Once I’m told about the moscatel finish, In hindsight it’s obvious – my last brush with moscatel finishing being most recently at a Pisco Disco [WLP].
  • C: Less intense on tropical-ness and even less on putty, this is a refreshingly light yet vibrant Irish whiskey that starts nice and gets better from there.

Scores 86 points


Buffalo Trace 9yo [2017] Ob. Single barrel for the Bramble 40% RMW

Buffalo Trace 9yo [2017] Ob. ‘Select’ For the Bramble 40%

  • N: Sweet, yet in no way sickly, there’s plenty of buttercream icing and enough coconut to conjure a desire for a pink & white coconut ice slice and a small bite into a macaroon.
  • T: Soft loveable bourbon that is decidedly perfumed from the off. In the middle stages, I think of 10yo Whistle Pig and 12yo Elijah Craig, so that’s the kind of age bracket I’m at.
  • F: Really soft, relaxed fresh, moving into notes of lime cubes, light cough mixture=sweets, and a lecithin fattiness.
  • C: Everyone likes this. There is some consensus that a] we’d want for a slightly higher abv count and b] that it’s simply [Ben] “too easy to smash”.

Scores 84 points


[Glengyle] Kilkerran 12yo [2020] Ob. 46% WB86.20[47] [WF]90 WR91 [ralfy90]


  • N: My brain knows this, but can the ‘me’, get past ‘myself’ to the ‘I’? I snipe a guess that it’s Springbank. as this has J. & A. Mitchell written all over it. I can’t think of too many distilleries that present barley spirit with so many organic layers, so naturally.
  • T: Again, this has the hallmarks of Springbank all over it, reminding me most of ‘caged’ Cadenhead bottlings.
  • F: I could write a shopping list of descriptors, but as this Glengyle distillery bottling is revealed, I’ve nothing further to add from previous detailed reviews [WLP190 WLP289].
  • C: Still, a great whisky at a great price. We discuss Glengyle in the respect that without its reopening – making it Campbeltown’s third distillery and maintaining Campbeltown as a region – Springbank and Glen Scotia would have been re-classified into the lowlands.

Scores 90 points


Edradour 2009/2019 10yo SV/Ob. sherry butt #350 [btl #764] 46% WB88.75[4]

Edradour 2009:2019 10yo Ob.:SV sherry butt #350 [btl #764] 46%

  • N: Like the Kilkerran, I feel I know this too, a fudgy sweet, meaty/earthy/clay plastic-y heavily [if low tannic] fusty Californian raisin, plum Nocino & brown sugar-sherried malt. After a brief glimpse of the bottle from Kenny [on our screens via Zoom], we are convinced it is Glengyle’s celebrated 8yo at 57.1% [WLP] – but it’s not! Intriguing.
  • T: Here, we’ve more meaty savoury fudge and plump-raisin sherry action which supports this is Glengyle’s Kilkerran 8yo, but there’s no sulphur to this big yet friendly malt. I go for another sniper guess – Edradour – and after a clue about this being an independent bottling and an official bottling, I know I’m there. If not, my next guess would have been a popular SMWS Tullibardine called ‘Temptation to the Dark Side’ [WLP2].
  • F: Sweet industrial waxy mouthfeel into the finish with a deep-down savoury freshness after a long chew. Ridiculously delicious and immersive, I could have this as a nightcap dram over and over and over.
  • C: I find this as good if not better than the Kilkerran 8. Maybe it’s not as complex/involved, yet perhaps it’s the [bottling strength] reduction down to 46% that has brought consolidation and an impression [at the very least] of better balance. This goes straight onto my whisky wishlist.

Scores 87 points



With thanks to everyone at SWAG





Sussex downs

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