New Whiskies

Batch 49

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Batch 49: Balvenie Tun 1509, Glen Moray Sherry Cask, Highland Park, Dailuaine and Jura.

This week’s new whisky tasting notes include the latest release from Balvenie’s Tun 1509, an ‘exceptional’ blended malt from Sutcliffe & Son, a Sherried Glen Moray, a tropical Dailuaine, a funky Highland Park, and a Jura that’s reminiscent of a breakfast cereal favourite.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 3

    Score 8.1/10
    Scoring explained >
    Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 3
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    52.2%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    This is where the skill of the blender reveals itself. Some 31 casks have been married together by Balvenie malt master David Stewart, who has used their synergistic complexities to create a nose with a story. Honeycomb, tobacco leaf, leather, sultanas, warm baking spices, fig rolls and sherbet confection. With time comes vanilla ice cream over warm stewed apples.

    Palate

    Thick and rich, but prickly. Rich dark fruits, caramelised pineapple and anise-spiced sticky toffee pudding studded with crystallised ginger and chilli. Randomly, hot buttered brown toast. Water brings out a slight rubbery note but also reveals Balvenie’s signature honeyed character.

    Finish

    Round but spicy.

    Conclusion

    Another solid expression from Tun 1509, but could do with a slight reduction in strength to dampen the heat.

    Right place, right time

    Smoking cigars and munching on chilli crackers next to the dessert buffet.

    Dailuaine-Glenlivet 11 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Score 8.3/10
    Scoring explained >
    Dailuaine-Glenlivet 11 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Robust and prickly, promising a hefty and classically Dailuaine palate to come. There’s toasted cereal and wet draff, which with time develops into a chocolate-covered Tracker bars and juicy dried papaya.

    Palate

    It delivers all that the nose promises: cooked fruit – peaches, raisins and Bramley apples, tropical muesli, with some spice toward the mid-palate all carried by a soft undercurrent of delicate smoke. 

    Finish

    A flurry of caramelised pineapple, papaya and coconut.

    Conclusion

    A classic Dailuaine, just as good as the official 16-year-old Flora & Fauna bottling.

    Right place, right time

    A pit stop during an afternoon trek through a tropical rainforest.

    The Exceptional Malt 2nd Edition (Sutcliffe & Son)

    Score 7.3/10
    Scoring explained >
    The Exceptional Malt 2nd Edition (Sutcliffe & Son)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Blended malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Surprisingly earthy, an initial blast of juicy shitake mushrooms giving way to rich fruits (Morello cherries), set honey, vanilla and sandalwood.

    Palate

    Full bodied, rich with dried fruits, homemade fruitcake (crisp around the edges), baked apples from the mid-palate spiked with cardamom and anise. 

    Finish

    Long and slightly dry.

    Conclusion

    A delightfully rich and satisfying blend of malts from Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glenfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Speyside and Macallan, plus the Westport blended malt (Glenmorangie and Glen Moray), all married together and finished in first-fill oloroso Sherry butts.  

    Right place, right time

    Walking the Speyside Way after a light rain in autumn.

    Glen Moray Sherry Cask Finish

    Score 5/10
    Scoring explained >
    Glen Moray Sherry Cask Finish
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    40%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    It’s delicate, as the youthful age would suggest, but mighty complex. Rose water, Turkish delight with a dense coating of powdery icing sugar, blackcurrant flavouring – the kind found in a Twinings herbal tea, dried lemon peel and sugared winter spices.

    Palate

    Pokey for its strength. It mellows slightly into red fruits, liquorice and reveals a hint of Glen Moray’s signature orchard fruit character but that spiciness dominates. 

    Finish

    Short.

    Conclusion

    The nose is soft and inviting but unfortunately the palate is just… boring. That’s not to mean Glen Moray’s Sherry finish is a write off. If you can’t sip it, mix it.

    Right place, right time

    Used as a base for a hard iced tea – cold brew some tea (strawberry, blackcurrant or raspberry herbal tea plus an Earl Grey bag) in the fridge overnight. Pour into a jug over ice, add a good slug of whisky and a few slices of lemon and stir. Perfect for sharing at a summer BBQ.

    Highland Park 26 Years Old (Adelphi)

    Score 7/10
    Scoring explained >
    Highland Park 26 Years Old (Adelphi)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    47.2%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islands
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Funky, in the butyric sense. It’s a slab of Wensleydale with apricots. Get past the cheese and you’ll be rewarded with fresh, zingy tropical fruit, all pineapples and lime zest, earthed by vanilla cream. 

    Palate

    A thick, creamy texture but prickly. The weight washes a torrent of fruit across the palate with pineapple and mango at the fore, helped on their way by a drying, oaky quality. Water loosens the thickness, dampens the spice and reveals sweet red apples.

    Finish

    Fruity, fruity, fruity.

    Conclusion

    It’s a tropical fruit bowl of a dram, weighty and rich. 

    Right place, right time

    Gorging on pineapples on a desert island made of cheese.

    Jura 30 Years Old Single Cask (Cadenhead)

    Score 6.6/10
    Scoring explained >
    Jura 30 Years Old Single Cask (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    42.5%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islands
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Immediately there’s a rush of honey, hazelnuts and cereal – it’s a bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Then gradually Jura’s distillery character emerges in the guise of freshly unwrapped sherbet lemons, orange zest and pear drops.

    Palate

    Thick with wood and spice through and through. It begins with dried, bitter citrus peel and banana leaf that rapidly transcends into dry liquorice, anise and black pepper. Water releases a sulphurous edge. 

    Finish

    Rich and round, fruity and then tannic – Assam tea and molasses – which lingers, drying the mouth. 

    Conclusion

    Bitter and woody. 

    Right place, right time

    Taking five in a sauna in the centre of an Indian tea plantation.

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