Impromptu SWAG Social

Joining fellow Swaggers online to celebrate the founder’s birthday, these are just some of the drams I enjoyed with fellow Swagger and friend, The Foz.

As is often customary, initial offerings are served blind.

.

Ben Bracken 1995/2019 23yo [W&Y] for Lidl 40% WB0

C: Lovely whisky at a superb price. As impressive at the end of the night as it was at the beginning, this is a reminder for me to keep checking in on Lidl [and Aldi], especially around this time of year.

Scores 87 points

.

Ben Bracken Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky [+2019] Lidl 40% WB79.78[11] Lidl

C: Following on from the vintage 23yo, this ain’t bad either. Sure, it can’t compete with its mature counterpart, but it’s presented well enough, given the price.

Scores 78 points

.

Speyside Distillery 22yo [2018] M&M for The Pot Still single sherry puncheon #942 [127 bts] 62% WB0 [WB]86.40[12] WLP187 WLP274

‘You live and learn’

  • C: Also presented blind, is a whisky I’d given up on a while ago and subsequently donated to the Foz’s living library. I wrote of this, over a year go: ‘One of very few bottles that got worse with age and one of the very few I’ve been unable to finish [Greenore 8, Laphroaig Select],..’ [WLP274]. Having spend some efforts to get shot of it – a trip to Campbeltown Malts Festival, for example – today, it’s delicious! The feint-y spirity fire has subsided, the butyric sherry cask influence has [somehow] flourished and desirable earthy perfume confectionary tones have replaced the paint-stripper punch. What has now emerged, is a very different/unique subtle whisky with finesse. What a difference yet another year has made.

Scores 86 points

.

Daftmill 2009/2020 Ob. bottled for BB&R cask #036/2009 [btl #22/321] 58.6% WB90.67[5]

I believe 8000 entrants applied via ballot, for the chance to buy a bottle from an outturn of just 321 bottles. The Foz got lucky and has split his bottle amongst participating Swaggers.

  • N: Very Glenallachie 15yo-like [WLP85], sherry-syrup/PX-wise. Almost meaty, certainly with a phenolic oily touch, but mainly, this one talks of boozy raisins.
  • T: Very fruity, thankfully not too sweet, but very formidable at strength. Reduced down to 39% abv, we see a similar theme with a different colour palate.
  • F: Not exactly resinous, well sort of.
  • C: Definitely the most cask-driven Daftmill of those that I’ve tried [just 7 plus a few cask samples]. Very pleasant all the same.

Scores 85 points

.

Craigellachie 2006/2016 9yo M&M Carn Mor for The Whisky Shop ’10th Anniversary’ cask #900614 [btl #64/270] 57% WB84.36[16]

The second Morrison & Mackay bottling of the night.

  • N: Dusty floury lemony raisins,….
  • T: As expected, lovely lemony waxy > flour,….
  • F: A gentile hum, concluding with a slight congealed nutty oiliness.
  • C: Very congenial indeed.

Scores 86 points

.

Foursquare Nobiliary 14yo [2019] Ob. Single Blended Rum Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XII 62% tFRP5/5 TLC tRB91

  • N: Now this is awesome, displaying sugar groups you don’t tend to find in whisky. Remarkably, this is a rum that works alongside whisky and bourbon.
  • T: Beautifully presented with a fine delivery, sweet, grassy, never thin,… and reminiscent of Doorly’s 14 [without any madeira mouth gackiness].
  • F: It maintains its form without a great deal of movement.
  • C: At 62% abv, it seems there’s plenty of experimental wiggle room, but in actuality, I found it best at strength. Astonishingly, around just £60 rrp.

Scores a whopping 89 points

.

Lot 40 [+/-2018] Ob. 43% WB81.42[22] [WF]81 [WM]74[5]

The Foz noted – of the Nobiliary – that it falls between rum and bourbon. I duly pour a seldom-visited Lot 40, blind, to test the hypothesis.

  • C: We are surprised how rich, vibrant and layered/interesting this is. Now I’m very tempted to buy a bottle to find out more.

[Provisionally scores around 80 points]

.

Auchroisk 10yo Ob. Flora & Fauna 43% WB81.21[230] WF78 WM80[4]

  • C: This bottle has been open for a number of years. Since I last tried a F&F Auchroisk [back in 2016], I don’t think much more of it now than I did then. In fact, it’s even rougher now than I remembered it, though its resemblance to the previous Ben Bracken and Whisky Broker Speyside Distillery offerings – in style – is noted.

Scores 79 points

.

Speyside Distillery 1996/2019 23yo Whiskybroker cask #919 [541 bts] 54.1% WB85.86[86]

  • C: Fancy that? – two Speyside Distillery whiskies in one session! If there is still such a thing as a regional style, for me, this is an ideal representation of a Speysider, even if the Speyside distillery isn’t particularly deft at demonstrating that style as a general rule. This is the stand-out malt of the night, a class act from a great cask and – for a 23yo single cask single malt – a steal at £50 rrp.

Scores 88 points

.

Bunnahabhain Moine [2019/20] Ob. 46.3% WB83.75[90]

  • C: Straight bourbon-matured soft generic smoky whisky. Arguably, a little dull and lacking overall, but thank goodness for the abv lift. Against the tide of popularity, I find this underwhelming. Perhaps like the Pot Still Speyside Distillery malt, I’ll change my mind about this next year?

Scores 82 points

.

Bunnahabhain 2007/2018 10yo Moine Ob. Feis Ile 2018 [btl #1382/1881] 59.5% WB89.74[117]

I’d forgotten I’d tried this before, and at the distillery itself during Feis Ile 2018 [WLP85].

  • C: Sherried malty slight-tyre bonfires, the vegetal-sweet smokiness fairly integrated. Overall though, it’s the richness that impresses the most. Doesn’t do a great deal – like the standard Moine – but the rich sherry spicy abv-strength keeps things chugging along very nicely indeed.

Scores 87 points

.

.

END

.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s