New Whiskies

Batch 81

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New whisky tasting notes Batch 81

This week, Dave Broom starts with a 26-year-old Clynelish that’s eager to please, before gorging on hot fruit pies with Glenmorangie’s latest Private Edition release, Bacalta. A 28-year-old Highland Park draws sore flashbacks for Broom as a long-suffering Partick Thistle fan, ameliorated only by the arrival of Murray McDavid and an 18-year-old Loch Lomond, causing Broom’s mind to wander along the bonnie, bonnie banks thinking about marsupials. A 19-year-old Loch Lomond-Inchmurrin from Cadenhead adds a drop of ‘fun’ into this week’s notes, before McDavid brings the tasting to an end with a recommended 48-year-old Tomintoul.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Clynelish 26 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Clynelish 26 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    45.3%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Fragrant & Floral
    Nose

    Immediate soft fruits: quince skin, medlar, sweet potato, sharp red fruits and a glossy, sticky boiled sweet air. In time, you’ll pick out some light scented candle. Water diminishes this slightly, but does add a creamy undertow. Really lovely.

    Palate

    Lighter than you’d expect and there’s a lavender soapy element (it wasn’t the glass) that obscures much of the action. There is, however, a mineral freshness and surprising acidity on the end. Water stirs in some fresh pear and while the scented element is there, it’s slightly waxier.

    Finish

    Gentle and bright.

    Conclusion

    Clynelish can be a shy dram on the nose. Here, though, it’s eager to please. It’s just a shame about the palate.

    Right place, right time

    Fumbling in his pocket, he found an old sweetie covered in oose. ‘Needs must,’ he thought and popped it in his mouth.

    Glenmorangie Bacalta

    Glenmorangie Bacalta
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Integrated, rich aroma with good complexity. Fruity too: black cherries in syrup, heavy red fruits that head towards chocolate (there’s a touch of cigar in there as well), then cooked blueberry and maple syrup, hot raspberry tarts and fruit pies, topped with Demerara sugar and oozing syrups. Water both adds acidity and shows heftier wood.

    Palate

    Smooth and very sweet to start, with those juices the first to emerge, then some crisp oak comes through – that structure saves it from becoming a mere fruit bomb. Black fruits retained alongside some oxidised elements, which provide some nuttiness and an appealing bitter twang.

    Finish

    Very long, juicy and ripe.

    Conclusion

    The key here is balance – ensuring those dense fruits don’t dominate, or that the wood takes over. A real success.

    Right place, right time

    It’s filthy, but you know you love it.

    Highland Park 28 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Highland Park 28 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    49.6%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islands
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Light smoke to start, but it’s being exhaled in a really elegant fashion; turfy with scents of wild flowers, wild thyme, heavy lily, pollen and then subtle, slow fruits, such as blackcurrants (it’s spent nine years in a Port cask). Light, but elegant.

    Palate

    Very fine structure with HP’s mid-palate softness and some light orange. Chewy tannins. It’s lovely, but just needs a little more weight to elevate it to greatness. Water adds apple sauce, nutmeg and pepper.

    Finish

    Gentle smoke. 

    Conclusion

    A lovely, gentle nose which promises much in the build-up, and just stumbles on the final delivery. A bit like Partick Thistle. 

    Right place, right time

    Woozy after the nap, he staggered towards the cliff edge.

    Loch Lomond 18 Years Old (Murray McDavid)

    Loch Lomond 18 Years Old (Murray McDavid)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single grain whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    A slightly glossy note – it actually smells a bit like UHU glue to start with (not that I mind that) – but after this the more volatile elements fly off, leaving a very intriguing grape seed oil aroma that has some resin underneath. One of those ugly beauties. Give it time and you’ll find peach jelly cubes, and then a powerful scent of rosewater. Drier and slightly metallic (cold steel), then rummy notes of lime zest and starch.

    Palate

    It starts thick and it tastes rummy. It is rum, isn’t it? Banana and soft tropical fruits, coconut and sweet spices. Yes, it’s a rum and a good one at that. Ripe, quite fat, with that slight aluminium note seen on the nose, but the length is good.

    Finish

    Slightly spicy.

    Conclusion

    A cunning ploy this – get whisky lovers and rum heads at the same time. Lovely stuff. 

    Right place, right time

    Captain Jack Sparrow heads to Inchconnachan in search of the wild wallabies. 

    Loch Lomond Inchmurrin 19 Years Old (Cadenhead)

    Loch Lomond Inchmurrin 19 Years Old (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    49.5%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Malty & Dry
    Nose

    A mix of estery, pear drop/acetone, with some dry cereal in the back. It’s a bowl of muesli with dried pineapple, then there’s some char before we return to the muesli as someone tips in just-opened boxes of Sun-Maid raisins. It continues to dry and becomes more mash-like – especially with water.

    Palate

    Lifted, aromatic start. Fairly floral, with needling heat and those sour apple notes coming through. Initially, the cereal is picked up retronasally, but then it seems to switch to the tongue, giving a heavier feel as it moves to the back palate.

    Finish

    Light crunchiness. 

    Conclusion

    Sound and a lot of fun.

    Right place, right time

    Trapped in the window seat, his neighbour began lecturing him on the benefits of veganism.

    Tomintoul 48 Years Old (Murray McDavid)

    Tomintoul 48 Years Old (Murray McDavid)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    40.1%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Heady, with peaches and apricots galore, heather honey, some lemon and star fruit, but there’s also this savoury note that you can only get with a long time in a relaxed cask. No water should be added.

    Palate

    The low alcohol (40.1%? That was lucky) means you don’t get the full impact and expansiveness which the nose promises. Instead, you notice the dry underpinning which gives the structure. The length is there, though, as are the fruits, but it’s just slightly hollow compared to the nose. 

    Finish

    Lightly fruited.

    Conclusion

    A distillery that – as numerous old bottlings show – matures magnificently and deserves greater recognition. This is worth checking out.

    Right place, right time

    Eating grilled gammon steak and pineapple rings for Sunday lunch. 

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