Have I Got News Four You: Boutique-y

One of the joys of being in a whisky club is being able to acquire tasting packs like this, organised by/through the Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group. Let’s crack on!

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Dumbarton 32yo TBWC Batch #2 [251 bts] 47.8% [375ml] WB86[2]

  • N: From modest experience, I find Dumbarton a refined yet elemental grain whisky, one that seems to work well in either bourbon or sherry wood. This one seems to be a bourbon affair though there could have been a brief sherried finish. Notes-wise, we’ve the usual suspects: craft glue, sweet bakery goods, a little varnish,…
  • T: Again, rather refined yet elemental, we’ve a simple-enough shortbread-y [bitterish-sour] spirit over a decent cask.
  • F: Short if not a total liftoff, there’s a lingering boozy [not-malty] graininess.
  • C: Another decent parcel from this now lost grain distillery. They won’t be around forever. Select carefully whilst you can.

Scores 84 points (P.S. Note the bottle size!)

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TBWC Blended Malt #6 24yo Ob. Batch #2 [794 bts] 48.8% [375ml] WB0

  • N: Raisins, raisin bread, Danish pastries, fluffy dough, cream buns, custard, fluffy pancakes/muffins, all that stuff. Malty too, a touch chocolately/carob-y – never saccharin.
  • T: Rather more pokey than the coaxing/alluring nose would have you believe. Malty and chocolatey once again, I get repeating Glenfarclas 105 vibes, though the strength here is more than 12% short of that 60abv mark. It crumples with water, however.
  • F: Active cask[s] equally matched by the spirit, it’s malty and raisiny to the last, sherry cask influence ever present [with bourbon underlying?].
  • C: Best not labour over TBWC’s [fabulous] early batches. A decent contemporary oldie, this one.

Scores 85 points

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Arran 22yo TBWC Batch #9 [292 bts] 48.4% [375ml] WB88[2]

  • N: Around the same abv as the previous two, I find this to be another sherry-derived raisiny baked goods/biscuity number sprinkled with Hundreds & Thousands. Another malty one with a lemon citrus & farmy hint, hay,… Arran-esque for sure.
  • T: A focused/sharp/crisp almost salty sensation into a woody splintered dry citrus-sharpness [with water too],…towards a herbaceous moment leading to minty [spearmint] boozy chocolate on the turn.
  • F: Remains boozy and slick – sherry/bourbon.
  • C: For Arran fans, this should be an easy enough purchasing decision.

Scores 86 points

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Glen Moray 28yo TBWC Batch #5 [227 bts] 47.5% [375ml] WB87[1]

  • N: Abv-wise, we remain in a similar ballpark throughout the entire flight. Clearly sherried [to some extent?], though this time with some dunnage=y [pink wafer biscuit-y] bung cloth which isn’t untypical of Moray, certainly at this age. On the flip side, let’s mention a sweet confectionary sweets-sweetness too, and something of a distant Bakewell tart [the best umami-sweet cake out there]. Do I get some phenols too? Must be the char which unlocks the library, the old leather-bound books, the Chesterfields,…
  • T: Again, bourbon and sherry cask influences I’m guessing, there’s somewhat of a sweet-sour loggerhead as the oakiness digs a heel in. It’s lovely old oakiness having said that – in flavour – that embraces the turn, even if the release itself is rather brief.
  • F: Spirity [tasty, and never tempered] oaky aged/matured juice with more of that bung cloth note and hay, rolling tobacco, green olives,…
  • C: A mildly demanding whisky yet the most interesting and rewarding of the night.

Scores 86 points

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There we go then, decent middle-ground fare presented in [US] half bottles that are becoming more & more prevalent. It’s a case of less for more, right across the board!

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