New Whiskies

Batch 28

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New whisky tasting notes

Taking the stand Dave Broom’s tasting notes of this week’s new releases are a peaty expression of Angel’s Nectar, an impressive 12-year-old blend from Cadenheads, two more additions to Gordon & Macphail’s ‘Wood Makes The Whisky’ collection, plus two Douglas Laing grains. 

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Angel’s Nectar Rich Peat Edition

    Score 8.1/10
    Scoring explained >
    Angel’s Nectar Rich Peat Edition
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Blended malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Gold. Sweet and smoky, mixing peat and woodsmoke. There’s good richness which is balanced by soft sweet elements. A little more airy with water. 

    Palate

    Gentle to start with an unctuous, tongue-coating texture that moves between bread and butter pudding, and light cocoa. The smoke now resembles a burning moor along with heather blossom, and a slight earthiness. It never loses its chewiness or sweet core.

    Finish

    Hazelnut and a slight pepperiness to the smoke. 

    Conclusion

    A vatting of peaty Highland malts which delivers excellently. Very well balanced. Recommended. 

    Right place, right time

    Low light through the trees, the hillside smouldering with the prospect of a warm fire. 

    Blended Scotch 12 Years Old (William Cadenhead)

    Score 8.3/10
    Scoring explained >
    Blended Scotch 12 Years Old (William Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Blended Scotch whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Mahogany colour. Big, deep, sweet and mature (this is 12 years old?) with resinous notes and a balanced almond element that adds in light gingerbread, malt loaf, date loaf and fig rolls. Deep and while sweet, clearly has structure.

    Palate

    An intriguing, perfumed, parma violet start. Calmer than the nose suggests, even with the prickle of peppercorns before walnut develops. Balanced and rich. Water helps to cohere things. Feisty but layered.

    Finish

    Long, with rich, dark fruits. 

    Conclusion

    A late afternoon dram after a hellish day. Actually, I’d have it any day. A new house dram for me. Highly recommended.

    Right place, right time

    Walking down the cake aisle in an old-fashioned grocer.  

    Glenrothes 8 Years Old, ‘MacPhails Collection’ (Gordon & MacPhail)

    Score 7.9/10
    Scoring explained >
    Glenrothes 8 Years Old, ‘MacPhails Collection’ (Gordon & MacPhail)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Light gold. Very mashy – moving between warm porridge oats (and there is an oaty element), creamy oak, and then light nuttiness. In time, and with water, it becomes more like cake mix that’s had a few sultanas dotted in. As ever with ‘Rothes it needs time when a more honeyed richness emerges. 

    Palate

    If the nose is all about malt then the palate has more fruits and spices. The nuttiness adds crunch, while ripe melon, cooked apple and golden syrup coats the mid palate. Water adds a fresh note - the only indication of its youthfulness.

    Finish

    Fondant icing.

    Conclusion

    Another from the Wood Makes The Whisky series, or maybe everything is this series, I’m confused to be honest. What’s clear is that the wood has made this whisky. A really lovely young Rothes.

    Right place, right time

    Goldilocks is happy, but Daddy Bear won’t like the fact she’s stolen his secret porridge gravy.  

    North British, 24 Years Old (Douglas Laing)

    Score 6.8/10
    Scoring explained >
    North British, 24 Years Old (Douglas Laing)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    49.4%
    Production type
    Single grain whisky
    Region
    Lowland
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    Straw coloured. What at first appears to be a smoky note (unusual in a grain whisky) reveals itself to be vestigial sulphur from the distillate – that whiff of cordite that’s a North British signature though unusual in one so old. Ripe fruits, slightly sweet.

    Palate

    Shows decent style and due to the low level of wood influence has retained a fresh acidity. Focused start that then moves into white chocolate. Controlled. Water rather diminishes it.

    Finish

    Light, clean, slightly sharp. 

    Conclusion

    A fresh clean grain which will be of interest to completists. 

    Right place, right time

     The Milky Bar Kid in the OK Corral.

    Port Dundas, 27 Years Old (Douglas Laing)

    Score 8.1/10
    Scoring explained >
    Port Dundas, 27 Years Old (Douglas Laing)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    54.8%
    Production type
    Single grain whisky
    Region
    Lowland
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Light gold. Some heat, but there’s solid Port Dundas character here from the off. In time, there’s sugary breakfast cereal cut with light citrus, but it needs water to open up fully into cream, trifle, mandarins, and that weighty undertow.

    Palate

    If the nose is a little closed, the palate is the opposite. It reminds me of Smarties – red and orange ones to be specific – a hint of fresh fennel then Jaffa Cakes. Ripe and fat. Water makes it more honeyed, but there’s sufficient dry structure to balance.

    Finish

    Lime and length.

    Conclusion

    A lovely Port Dundas, on the palate especially. 

    Right place, right time

    Breakfast with Tony the Tiger. It’s g-r-r-r-r-eat! 

    Speymalt from Macallan, 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail)

    Score 6.5/10
    Scoring explained >
    Speymalt from Macallan, 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Fresh, with clear distillery character from the off – that mix of oily weight which softens to cereal and dry grass. A touch of smoke – though it could be lingering distillate sulphur – before some sweet lemon cake. This scented element continues with dilution. Polished brass retronasally.

    Palate

    Light to medium bodied and gentle. You kind of expect more drive and weight from the nose but this is remarkably discreet. The singed element again anchors it to the distillery.

    Finish

    Short and clean. 

    Conclusion

    It’s light, it’s clean, it’s balanced and well made, and it’s clearly Macallan. It is not, however, amazingly exciting. 

    Right place, right time

    A mid-table clash at the end of the season with nothing to play for. 

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