New Whiskies

Batch 50

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  • Aberlour 25 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Score 4.9/10
    Scoring explained >
    Aberlour 25 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    51.4%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Gosh, this is green. It’s reminiscent of Tequila with its delicate agave notes, which are intertwined with aromas of pineapple leaves, cedar wood and floral tones.

    Palate

    Thick, creamy and punchy, it’s rich with tropical fruit – guava, mango and passion fruit yoghurt, with a fair dose of spiciness in the form of cinnamon sticks. Some soapiness develops toward the back palate. 

    Finish

    Soapy and short, although the addition of water goes some way to resolve the issue.

    Conclusion

    An enticing nose with a – mostly – rich and fruity palate. Hey, two outta three ain’t bad. 

    Right place, right time

    Shopping for Christmas presents in The Body Shop.

    Benriach 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)

    Score 5.7/10
    Scoring explained >
    Benriach 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    By no means intense, there’s a whiff of malt dust and an attempt at some under ripe orchard fruit – green apples and nectarines. With time there’s a gentle hint of Mr. Whippy ice cream and tropical fruit.

    Palate

    As intense as the nose, this is an aperitif dram. From the off there is peaches and cream, while water reveals dried citrus peel and a touch of sultanas and spice.

    Finish

    Dry and woody. Spicy with water.

    Conclusion

    Benriach’s signature fruitiness is tamed into a dram that would make a killer Highball with a lemon twist.

    Right place, right time

    Licking fruit splits in the garden shed.

    Benromach 1974, 41 Years Old

    Score 9.2/10
    Scoring explained >
    Benromach 1974, 41 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    49.1%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Deep and intense – it’s rich with dark chocolate, toffees, liquorice, blackcurrants, caramelised banana, molasses, a touch of smoke and a faint waft of delicate jasmine. 

    Palate

    Here’s where Benromach’s age develops into a chewy texture and meaty flavour. On the mid-palate there’s tobacco, salted caramels, blackcurrant menthols and pepper. Water reveals dried fruit and wood flavours.

    Finish

    Rich and long, with a touch of sulphur (the good kind) toward the end.

    Conclusion

    Benromach shows off its ability to age well with style.

    Right place, right time

    Discovering late Aunt Mildred’s old leather writing desk, and realising the drawers are full of blackcurrant liquorice, salted caramels and cigarillos.

    Cù Bòcan 1988, 28 Years Old

    Score 7.8/10
    Scoring explained >
    Cù Bòcan 1988, 28 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    51.5%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    It’s soft, and needs time in the glass to coax it to life. Then, sweet cereal, candied orange, light fruitcake and the caramelised crust of a bread and butter pudding.

    Palate

    Soft, thick but spicy. Notes of candied mango and pineapple, lemongrass, vanilla sponge and fruitcake rush forward ahead of black treacle and soft smoke from a log fire. It’s bizarrely floral toward the back palate.

    Finish

    Dry, smoky and floral.

    Conclusion

    Not too fruity, the peated refill Sherry cask used to mature this iteration of Cù Bòcan lends a subtle earthiness that roots the whisky.

    Right place, right time

    Planting geraniums in a summer garden, a log fire burning a few houses away.

    Tomatin 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)

    Score 7.3/10
    Scoring explained >
    Tomatin 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    All the aromas you’d expect from a refill Bourbon barrel – vanilla, wood spice and sultanas – while orange zest provides the fruitiness of Tomatin’s distillery character. 

    Palate

    Soft and creamy, it’s jam-packed with vanilla-forward treats like custard creams, toasted brioche and bread and butter pudding, laced with dried orange and lemon peel. Water helps release more of its vibrant and zesty fruitiness.

    Finish

    Caramelised glazed doughnuts, it’s delicious but, sadly, short.

    Conclusion

    Perfect for ex-Bourbon cask lovers.

    Right place, right time

    A vanilla-fest that’s as smooth as ice

    Tormore 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)

    Score 7.9/10
    Scoring explained >
    Tormore 1997, 17 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail, Wood Makes the Whisky)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Intensely fruity – stewed apples and pears with sultanas, cooked bananas studded with milk chocolate buttons and allspice.

    Palate

    Indulgently viscous, it coats the tongue with smooth milk chocolate, Maltesers, crystallised ginger, dried pineapple and Demerara sugar.

    Finish

    Not the longest, though rich with bitter cocoa.

    Conclusion

    A rarely seen bottling.

    Right place, right time

    Sipped from a hip flask snuck into the cinema – in the back row with a bag of choccies, of course.

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