New Whiskies

Batch 53

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Batch 53 Scotch whisky tasting notes

Our chief engineer Dave Broom has been getting to grips with no fewer than three Old Perth bottlings from Morrison & MacKay this week, plus a 24-year-old Dailuaine, a 19-year-old Glendullan and a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain bottled by Wemyss Malts.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Bunnahabhain 1997, Lemon Buttered Kippers (Wemyss Malts)

    Score 7.7/10
    Scoring explained >
    Bunnahabhain 1997, Lemon Buttered Kippers (Wemyss Malts)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Very light smoke with some blood orange elements – a candidate for a Blood and Sand, perhaps? Then comes hazelnut shells roasting next to a tamped-down peat fire. Some light minerality and subtle weight. Things become more oxidised with water, slighty nutty and creamy with a puff of woodsmoke.

    Palate

    Considerably more salinity than the nose suggests, bringing to mind damp crab creels and steamed hake in a cream sauce. A touch of burnt cereal dries things, but it is the general softness which is key here, as it provides excellent balance to the malt and smoke.

    Finish

    A little hard to start, then smoky.

    Conclusion

    Balanced and harmonious. Well worth a look.  

    Right place, right time

    A glass of white Burgundy on a yacht. 

    Dailuaine 24 Years Old 1992, (Morrison & MacKay)

    Score 8.5/10
    Scoring explained >
    Dailuaine 24 Years Old 1992, (Morrison & MacKay)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    53.7%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    A scented vetiver/chypre/oakmoss/dry grass aroma, with added spruce and larch, behind which is sweet pear and hand cream. Lovely and also enigmatic, because the aromatics aren’t conventional. It seems to narrow in time and become more focused, with just sufficient softness from the cask.

    Palate

    Good feel, with all of the aromatics seen on the nose coming through in a gentle, leisurely fashion along with quite zippy acidity. A pretty cool customer that adds in ice-cold Muscat grapes and pear eaux-de-vies. It manages to be both vaporous and also clinging. Water ups the aromatics and brings out a tiny touch of smoke.

    Finish

    Delicate and soft.

    Conclusion

    Hugely and pleasingly aromatic, and showing a quite different facet of Dailuaine. Recommended.

    Right place, right time

    The sillage left by a mysterious woman on a Parisian side street – a hint of danger lingers, along with a drift of smoke from her cigarette.

    Glendullan 19 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Score 7.8/10
    Scoring explained >
    Glendullan 19 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    53.4%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    Very fat and creamy with a fair whack of big cask influence: Caramac bars and Werther’s Original, then pear and that slightly hazy blue fruit that’s typical of the distillery. Water introduces pie crust, cherry pie and rhubarb tart dusted with Demerara sugar. 

    Palate

    This has a good, mature feel and even though the nose remains relatively light, there’s a hint of oiliness as the fruits begin their slow decay. A slight grassiness also now develops. Initially water seems to coat the tongue in the oils, but soon things perk up into a greener and more grassy world. 

    Finish

    Lightly powdery. 

    Conclusion

    An excellent lunchtime dram. Have it with water on the side. 

    Right place, right time

    Waiting patiently in the garden for the fruit pies to cool on the windowsill. 

    Old Perth Original (Number 4 Edition, Morrison & MacKay)

    Score 7.5/10
    Scoring explained >
    Old Perth Original (Number 4 Edition, Morrison & MacKay)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Blended malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    A slightly weird nose that has this funky, oxidised, nutty element, plus some turnips, pepper and chicken stock. All of this lifts off in time, but there’s a meaty weight to this akin to browning lamb, then biscuit tin and baked fruits. Old style.

    Palate

    More controlled, although the meaty/spicy thing continues, giving things a touch of warm Scotch pie (which is no bad thing in my book). There is also an ester-like and lightly floral element adding lift. It remains thick on the tongue when diluted, with extra Brazil nut and fruit.

    Finish

    Long and rich. 

    Conclusion

    I like the feel and the delivery. It has real, old-fashioned boldness.

    Right place, right time

    A liquid Burns Supper.

    Old Perth Peaty (Number 2 Edition, Morrison & MacKay)

    Score 7.7/10
    Scoring explained >
    Old Perth Peaty (Number 2 Edition, Morrison & MacKay)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Blended malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Has what is now the standard vatted peaty dram aroma – assertive and, indeed, smoky. There is also a cooling pan-drop/peppermint element alongside grapefruit skin, sweet seaweed and a chalky element. Oyster fresh. Water brings out pine sap.

    Palate

    The sweetness in the centre is cleverly handled and adds a softening element to what would otherwise be a fairly flinty dram (too often the problem when you dial up the smoke). A touch of just-fired gun, fir tree and then a peat fire on the beach.

    Finish

    Wild sorrel and sashimi.

    Conclusion

    A balanced and vibrant vatted malt. Have it as a Highball. 

    Right place, right time

    Clay pigeon shooting at the Gearach. The scent of the ocean mingling with the forest. 

    Old Perth Sherry Cask (Morrison & MacKay)

    Score 8.2/10
    Scoring explained >
    Old Perth Sherry Cask (Morrison & MacKay)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Blended malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    This manages to be both slightly sweet and nutty at the same time, with some dried rose petal and Turkish Delight. It has an intriguing and complex mix between this aromatic part, concentrated fruits, slight dustiness, Kola Kubes and Brandy de Jerez notes. Water accentuates the resinous elements.

    Palate

    While there are light, almost biscuity tannins, things remain concentrated with smears of oil paint, varnish, then a mix of dried fruits and incense. The addition of water softens the tannins and brings out more of a nutty element, but does lessen the impact. Personally, I’d go neat.

    Finish

    Long, with sweet dried fruits.

    Conclusion

    Complex and balanced – and at a fantastic price. You can also buy direct.

    Right place, right time

    That whiff of oil paint brought this marvellous tune by Found to mind. Thanks, Zigs!

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