Straight to the jugular, and text only, as I am camera-less. It is a bit of a rush, and we are drinking off plastic cups, which do not do the noses any justice. We? OB, DW, MP, TE, Cavalier and the rest of these events' usual suspects.
Knockdhu 10yo 2006/2017 (56.5%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 3 x Bourbon Hogsheads, 718b): when is the latest time an independent bottler released a Knockdhu? Hmmm? Exactly. I am almost more excited by this one than by the old expressions to come. Nose: green and acidic. Mouth: gentle, with honeysuckle and green grapes. Finish: subtle vanilla and lovely fruit. Great starter. 7/10
Macduff 10yo 2006/2017 (46%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 2 x Bourbon Hogsheads, 720b): nose: fruity indeed, it has mostly peach. Mouth: coating, peachy, apricot-y. Finish: more fruit, then an earthy kick, then chocolate. 7/10
Strathmill 24yo 1992/2016 (46.9%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 1 x Bourbon Barrel, 204b): nose: warm apricot compote. Mouth: soft, silky, satin-like, with just a drop of lemon juice. Finish: vanilla and lots of hazelnut. Decent, if not the most interesting. The question is: why release a single cask under the Small Batch range when you have a Single Cask range? 6/10
Dailuaine 21yo 1996/2017 (46%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 2 x Bourbon Hogsheads, 618b): nose: walnut shells, perhaps? Those bloody cups! Mouth: coating, rather nutty, with an oily rag in the back. Mouth: salted, roasted peanuts, herbs. 6/10
Fettercairn 28yo 1988/2017 (55.4%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 3x Bourbon Hogsheads, 750b): nose: chocolate and herbs, ample and chocolate-y. Mouth: herbaceous chocolate. Interesting. Finish: long and tickling, with white pepper and aromatics. The nose is nice. The rest, not my style, so much. 6/10
Blair Athol 28yo 1988/2017 (53.6%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 2 x Bourbon Hogsheads, 306b): nose: dead leaves, dried mushrooms, plaster bands. Mouth: thick, with a growing heat -- ginger and spices. Finish: woody, now, with old staves, soaked in wine. Some find it sweet. 6/10
Glentauchers 26yo 1990/2017 (52.6%, Cadenhead Small Batch, 3 x Bourbon Barrels, 420b): nose: coconut cream, vanilla. Mouth: syrupy, with berries compote. Finish: yogurt, custard. Decent, not very interesting. 6/10
Mortlach 30yo 1987/2017 (48.2%, Cadenhead Single Cask, Bourbon Hogshead, 138b): nose: indistinct. Cork? Mouth: custard-y wine? Not much comes out. Finish: acidic, with unripe green grapes. I really do not care for this one. 4/10
Light Creamy Vanilla 18yo 1998/2017 (44.6%, Cadenhead Creations, B#3): nose: biscuit, vanilla, then dunnage warehouse. Mouth: furniture wax. Finish: walnut stain, mahogany. Nice blend again. Well done, Cad! 7/10
Glen Keith 43yo 1973/2017 (43.2%, Cadenhead Single Cask, Bourbon Hogshead, 156b): no need to call or write, this is sold out already. Nose: the cups, again, do not help, since they do not let any scent come out. Dust? Earth? Mouth: chamomile infusion, jasmine. This is floral and gentle, if a bit tea-like. Finish: vanilla, flowers, comforting tea. Love this. 8/10
Caol Ila 33yo 1983/2017 (50.2%, Cadenhead Single Cask, Bourbon Hogshead, 196b): sold out too, though no doubt we will see most of the bottles at auction next month; that seems to be the recurrent pattern, sadly. Nose: seashore perfumes and nut shells. Mouth: mellow and delicately salty, the sea influence grows bolder. Finish: long and sea-influenced again, with hot sand and sea food. There does not seem to be a bad cask of those early-eighties Caol Ila, even if this particular one is not my personal favourite. 7/10
Others have a few more drops of a few more things.
It was brief and rushed, but it is always a pleasure to try the outturn and chat with well-known (and less-well-known) faces.