7 November 2016

06/11/2016 Clearing the shelf #10

Glen Esk 30yo 1984/2015 (51%, The Vintage Malt Whisky Cooper's Choice, Refill Butt, C#3884, 300b): nose: crepe dough, baked Bramley apples, as well as wet cardboard and hot custard. The whole makes room for a whiff of ashes, burnt paper, stone-dry orange peels -- the citrus becomes fresher and fresher, lemon and satsumas. Mouth: juice squeezed out of old oranges (the kind that have sat on the kitchen counter for weeks). Gentle white pepper, wet cardboard again, bay leaves and a delicate mustard-y touch. Finish: long, bold, citrus-y and cardboard-y. It has more of that old-orange taste, acidic, but tamed and dry, more cardboard and mustard-y yogurt. Brilliant, old Highlander. 9/10 (thanks LM for the sample)

Red Baron of Speyside 40yo 1971/2012 (51.7%, Glen Fahrn Airline, Bourbon Cask, 139b): this is a Glenfarclas in disguise. Nose: wow! Where to start? tins of paint, linseed oil, sesame oil, nail varnish, a farmyard touch too -- this is wide, big and motherflipping complex. Crayons, scented rubber (fancy eraser)... Actually, it also has rubber gloves, straight out of the packaging, an old leather coat, old furniture and even a bit of smoke. Mouth: syrupy and coating, it has prunes, raisins, dried figs, old furniture, polished dashboard. At the same time, the texture is creamy -- nut liqueur? Yogurt? It gives me an impression of an old gentlemen's club, where the room is covered in paneling and lots have been smoked (pipe, cigar) and drunk (sherry, cognac and scotch). Finish: creamy again, with elderberry syrup, coconut cream, all sorts of furniture-related flavours, including a minute wood bitterness. Also remnants of a mechanic's workshop (really!?) This is easily the best Glenfarclas I have ever had. 9/10 (thanks CD for the sample)

Springbank 19yo 1997/2016 (58.8%, Cadenhead Warehouse Tasting, Recharred Sherry Butt, C#606): nose: strong red tobacco, dark liqueur, even oxtail broth. Wood stain, turpentine, plasticine, then lots of fortified wine (sauce grand-veneur), a smokey shebeen, and finally, wax. Mouth: strong and stripping, turpentine style. It has more wood stain, nail varnish, thick and heavy, and notes of caramelised pastry. Last but not least, black peppercorns appear. Finish: a huge sherry influence, though it never smothers the Springbankness. Raisins, prunes, figs, leather, nut liqueur, hazelnut oil. This is really heavy on the stomach; I could not drink litres of it. Dark-grape sorbet with a dash of Armagnac (le trou normand) and red sweets. Huge. Even though this is not my favourite profile, I am impressed. 8/10 (thanks CD for the sample)

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