Malts Aged 10-14 years

There’s no deeper underlying theme here. I’ve simply herded a bundle of single malts under a functional headline, most of which were enjoyed at the fabulous Cut Your Wolf Loose in Brighton. Having said that, it’s the whiskies between 10 and 14 years that tend to offer the best BFYB. Discuss.

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You’ll also notice that I’ve begun my interpretation of the 10-point scoring system/scale as recently advocated/adopted by dramface.com and utilised by many others for years [eg. malt-review, and tOMoH – now in his 11th year]. For now, I shall be giving my 100-point score and my new 10 point score in addition – still in its/my transitionary adjustment phase and therefore displayed in brackets.

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We begin proceedings with a recommendation from Swagger Phil. I’m always up for Ben Nevis, my #1 go-to distillery for some time now.

Ben Nevis 1996/2006 10yo Chorlton [234 bts] 46% WB88[4]

  • N: Joyous honeyed, Tominoul-esque floury > chocolate < malt beer style with a subtle fabric plaster peatiness,.. and repeat. Joyous stuff!
  • T&F: A congenial Nevis that has something for everyone. For me, it’s a sweet creamy-malt liquid food arrival with a floury-dry honeyed [gentle fizzy] sustain.
  • C: To say this hits the sweet spot is an understatement. Great start, and for just £6 a pour, this remains a [not-so] well-kept secret.

Scores 88 points [8/10]

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Talking of Tomintoul,…

Tomintoul 2010/2021 10yo The Old Friends PX cask #301/2010 [301 bts] 54% WB86.33[11]

  • N: Very PX-ey, not in a rubbery or sickly sweet way but with a sherry-over-ice cream nuttiness. Delicious.
  • T: Contemporary~managed and delicious I tells ya. Here, we’ve a situation where a dominant cask can still allow for the distillery character to show through. There’s Tomintoul’s flouriness coupled with colourful bone dry-ish sweet sherry, a combo that works a treat in this example. Again, there’s no rubbery gackiness.
  • F: Ticks over to the finish with a solid delivery throughout.
  • C: A loveable sweet youthful 13yo. Thumbs up.

Scores 87 points [7/10]

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From one dominant [and excellent] sherry cask malt to another.

Glentauchers 2009/2021 12yo CYWL 64.5%

  • N: Densely packed all-sherry nose, but from a quality cask that beholds plenty to be unearthed.
  • T: Powerful sweet and creamy, notes come & go in a neat procession.
  • F: A sticky sweetness, but well within acceptable limits. Resins also, to a minimum.
  • C: Though not quite my thing, this is a great example of a clean PX-driven single malt.

Scores 86 points [7/10]

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Linkwood 2006/2020 14yo AWWC Infrequent Flyers Release #31 cask #6144 [208 bts] 54% WB87.18[19]

  • C: One might expect the results of a dogged spirit with 14 years of maturation in virgin oak under its belt, to be something akin to Scottish bourbon. It is not! Offering a delicious [word of the day] nose and arrival, much like the Kilchoman [up next], this one reminds me of why I love Linkwood [when it’s firing].

Scores 87 points [7/10]

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It’s time to enter the Phenolic Zone!


Kilchoman 2007/2018 11yo Ob./Private Bottling for Friends of Kilchoman cask #12/2007 [btl #9/96] 57.4% WB0

No bottle photo, so instead, here’s a picture of Kilchoman’s fairly recent kiln & malt floor expansion that was completed in 2018.

  • C: During discussions over distilleries of the now ‘established new-wave’ – Arran, St George’s, Wolfburn,.. – this Kilchoman miraculously appears for our consideration. Classy nose, arrival and form, an ex-bourbon cask’s oily sweetness over bonfire smoke brings on some head nodding. This is right up there with some of the best Kilchoman’s I’ve tried.

[Provisionally scores 88 points ~ 8/10]

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Glen Scotia 2009/2019 10yo Ob. for The Whisky Shop cask #784 [228 bts] 57.8% WB88[3]

  • N: [Bruichladdich-esque] crisp [yet] unctuous barley oily nose with textural complexity. Add to that, cocoa into pears, melon, apples – summer fruits basically. Fabulous!
  • T: Barley faithful once again with an idiosyncratic greasy briny quality. Perhaps a little samey – Bruichladdich-like in that respect and in the barley faithfulness – but then again, ‘one man’s ceiling,…..’
  • F: From the greasy brine to a pepperiness, then back to the fruity barley gingery pepperiness,… slightly drying.
  • C: This is SWAG’s ‘in-house’ bottle – a free dram available to any member who purchases another dram at CYWL – courtesy of the man himself. Thankyou Wayne, it’s a fab one.

Scores 87 points

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[Laphroaig] On a Saw Mill 2011/2021 10yo Blended Malt CYWL Ex-vino de Color Butt cask #323 [302 bts] 54.7% WB83.20[7]

Vino de Color is defined by winegeeks as ‘Unfermented grape juice made from Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel that is boiled down to between 1/3 and 1/5 its original volume and added to Sherry to darken its appearance‘. Over to scotchwhisky.com who say ‘Paxarette is made by adding the vino de color to a blend of oloroso, Pedro Ximénez and wine must‘.

I’ve tried this – the first official release from CYWL – a few times already, but this is the first time I’ve been able to fully concentrate on it [courtesy of a SWAG bottle share].

  • N: A most agreeable and commendable peated malt, the elements inter-layered and complementary to one another. With plenty on offer, we’ve a wide spectrum of flavours from a Mediterranean herb garden, [rhubarb] fruits from an English orchard, and tropical offerings such as lychee > cooked pineapple > > durian ?! On to a quasi-Brazilian~Australian BBQ, we’ve confectionary delights, initially from Rowntree’s, and then to an Indian bazaar,… and what of China’s culinary menu? A wide gamut, a treasure-trove, but without losing our heads too much, it remains a [somewhat] objective experience.
  • T: Acute salty and spicy arrival that drops down the gears rapidly thereafter unless sustained with water – in mouth – but not too much. There you’ll find a chewy reflective/introspective [savoury] sweet spot where you can nut out the detail. At its heart, it’s a close-knit oily herbal caramel-y peated malt, somewhat reminiscent of [‘Original’] Laphroaig of yesteryear.
  • F: Differing layers of smoke and [minty] cocoa~chocolate [Maltesers] to the finish, further interlaced with more of those chewy intricacies. Gentle [fabric plaster] TCP notes conclude, notes that only seem to appear these days with a high abv [those that have been spared aggressive filtration?]
  • C: A strong first release from CYWL. I’m glad I gave it the time & space [and water management] it deserved. The nose earns lots of credits upfront. What follows is simply charming.

Scores 88 points [8/10]

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[Bruichladdich] Lochindaal 2007/2021 13yo Bramble Whisky Company Chateau Climens Sauternes cask [292 bts] 56.9% WB89.80[12] WF90

  • N: With a sticky/thick peat-sweet n sour textural/weighty complexity – one that’s to my liking – we find ourselves at the funkier end of the Bruichladdich warehouse. The sauternes has much to impart, make no bones about it – and all to its credit – but Bruichladdich’s unflappable malt base is ever-intact. Sparing you my complete shopping list, I’ll offer up nasal observations around deep-fried kiwi & lambs lettuce seasoned with chopped mint & dill, all served with a combo of mango juice and hollandaise sauce and encompassed by a weather-worn hard-crust salty outer shell, a citrusy drop of bergamot/burned orange/lime/grapefruit mixed with sweaty roadside fauna,… It’s the kind of nose that makes me want more sauternes in life,.. oh, and more bonfires!
  • T: A very different prospect to the Laphroaig. Like ‘The Fonz’, it arrives ‘on set’, assured/relaxed/fully present – ‘down’ – shows itself in, makes itself comfortable,.. a quick comb of the coif. Settling in some more – arms on the back of the sofa now – there’s a salty green herbal plastic-y sour sugar-candy [sugar mice] side to this one that jars against the [relatively] sweeter Laphroaig, both malts offering different takes on TCP. Taking a break and cleansing my palate some, we are back on track with a heady mix of herbal-honeyed sauternes and thick runny chocolate against the salty, fennel/tarragon-minty-mezcal~medicinal bitter-ish [Balcones] Brimstone. More than once, I get a suggestion of Parma Violet.
  • F: Whereas the Laphroaig settled into a more steady and familiar groove, this one goes deeper in, down & dirty. This is one you’ll be tasting on your palate for the rest of the night unless you’ve saved some of the Laphroaig that is!
  • C: This one offers quite the ride, eh Fonz? Yes, I struggled with the plastic-y note, but that could be circumstances at the time so ‘benefit of the doubt’ was given. With thanks to Swagger Chris for a super bottle share!

Scores 89 points [8/10]

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END

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3 thoughts on “Malts Aged 10-14 years

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