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August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:46 pm

Willie JJ wrote:Another one from a Mikeymad parcel to start the night:

Tamdhu 1963 Cadenhead's 21yo 46%

Nose: Honeyed barley sugars, fruit salad with malted milk and a dusting of chaff. Love hearts.
Palate: Sherbet lemons and porridge. Very light and refreshing. Barley sugar again.
Finish: Sherbet and space dust. Incredibly mouth-watering with lots of lemon juice lingering for ages.
Comment: It's finished :cry:


Ah, that was a joyous whisky. Glad you liked it.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:11 pm

SMWS 2.35 (Glenlivet) 1976-2001 61%

Colour: burnt umber
Nose: Treacle and seville oranges. Cointreau soaked raisins and fruitcake. Burnt toast and marmalade. A spot of water removes the charcoal and freshens the fruit.
Palate: A big mouthful of oloroso sherry and dark oxford cut marmalade. Water turns the marmalade into raspberry jam.
Finish: Astonishing interplay between bitter oranges and sweet sherbet. Water lengthens it until you think your mouth will never stop watering.
Comment: One of those fantastic casks that the Society used to get. I haven't found anything this good on the list for years.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:34 pm

Ganga wrote:Ah, that was a joyous whisky. Glad you liked it.

Absolutely first rate stuff. I guess at the time that it was bottled the brokers and bottlers were able to pick from the best of a vast range of casks. The casks that are available from brokers right now are really not good. Thank goodness I have stocks.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:05 am

OK gents, I'm late into the fray here. But hopefully, I can make up for lost time. :wink:
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:06 am

Rare Malts Selection Mortlach 22 Year Old, Distilled 1972 (65.3%ABV)
Undiluted: Sweet coconut pie and toffee on the nose. Baked apples, too. Syrupy malt sweetness and heat on the palate. Drier oak notes then infiltrate. Becomes buttery as the fireplace flames subside. With a drop of water: Much the same fragrance, but now with Highland grasses and floral nuances also apparent. The oak induced maturity comes to the fore a little more. Beautifully balanced on the palate. Spicy, even a tad peppery, and yet still that pervasive malt sweetness prevails, just. There's evidently a savvy combination of first-fill and second-fill oak, both European and American, at work here, for no single wood aspect takes prominence over the whisky itself. One to relish, for sure.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:06 am

Rare Malts Selection Brora 21 Year Old, Distilled 1977 (56.9%ABV)
Undiluted: Quite restrained on the nose as the alcohol somewhat masks lurking scents of seaside wharves and diesel fumes. Explosively dry palate entry that rasps the tongue with sensations of coal embers, paraffin and, strangely enough, floral extracts. With a drop of water: There's that semi-sweet waxy tone one looks for that's evocative of a weird mixture of Highland fields in the spring and factories. Demure notions of honey soften the edginess. Oh what a taste! It's as though the spirit were operating on so many different levels in rapid fire succession. From one moment to the next, it's light and delicate, then deep and brooding. Lots of that uniquely Brora smokiness to shoot things into the stratosphere, followed by wave after wave of dune vegetation and pear fruit. Even the pears arrive slightly smoked, though. Brilliant whisky.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:07 am

Clan Denny North British 30 Year Old Single Cask Grain, Distilled 1979 (54.2%ABV, from a refill butt)
Undiluted: A rather plump aroma. Certainly vanilla cream and corn syrup heavy, but also with a very faint whiff of urban exhaust in the background. Intriguing, to say the least. Nice bittersweet hit in the mouth at the outset, with the high alcohol heat playing off the sweet grain. Spicy. Orange zest. Roasted Brazil nuts. With a drop of water: The fragrance opens up beautifully as tropical fruits, flowers (buttercups!) and nut oils all emerge. Round and soothing on the palate, with a ½-and-½ oily-buttery texture providing a backdrop for flavours of ginger, cardamom, coconut meat, citrus and simple syrup. A touch of mint alongside Jalapeños at the finish, perhaps. Pretty frisky for its age.
Last edited by The Third Dram on Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:08 am

Schenley 15 Year Old Order of Merit, Placed in charred oak casks in October 1952 and Bottled in October 1967 (no alcohol level stated, though one could reasonably assume it's bottled at 40%ABV)
As it poured: Essence of orange and peaches on the nose along with scents of honey and oak. Very composed. Seemingly delicate on the palate to start, then gradually broadening into a tapestry of ripe orchard fruits dribbled with honey. The oak is soft yet lingering, and weaves its filaments between the grains without in any way obscuring the subtle progression of flavours. I'm not sure anyone makes whisky like this anymore. And I'm not entirely sure that there are enough people out there these days to appreciate what a whisky such as this has to offer. Perhaps John K. Hall at Forty Creek is closest on the road to achieving a similar compromise between character, charisma and nuance in his whiskies. Goodness knows, his Confederation Oak Reserve, though in a more intense vein, comes close.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:09 am

A.H. Hirsch 16 Year Old Reserve, Distilled in the Spring of 1974 at the Michter's Distillery in Pennsylvania (45.8%ABV)
(This is a subsequent Preiss Importers release with the maroon and gold foil capsule. Would that I had access to the original wax-coated release!)
As it poured: All things sweet on the nose... Toffee, caramelized apples, honey and maple syrup, but with strands of oak and char also apparent. Nice weight on the palate. Dense and yet simultaneously with a 'dancing' quality about it. The oak is now more to the fore. Sultana biscuits and apples lead toward orange zest and baking spices. With the merest drop of water: A more honeyed fragrance as golden raisins spring forth from the glass and the charred oak takes a step or two back. In the mouth, that finely delineated balance between lushness and litheness remains. At the end, though, the oak impacts a little harder. This is a classic American. But, that said, it's not at the very top of my ladder. And it's that extra iota of oaky dryness that swings the pendulum for me.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:14 am

Time to get back to some more contemporary stuff now. :thumbsup:
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:07 pm

Cadenhead's 18yo Mannochmore 1977 60.9%

Nose: Tangerins and nectarines, porridge and potato scone. Much nicer than I've made it sound.
Palate: Initially that harshness you occasionally get with Mannochmore, but then it just turns into a festival of fruit sherbets.
Finish: Fizzy bitter/sweet with plenty of length.
Comment: I'm pretty sure that a spot of water would change this dramatically but I'm enjoying it so I won't bother with the water. Nice malt.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby pkt77242 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:50 am

The Third Dram wrote:Rare Malts Selection Brora 21 Year Old, Distilled 1977 (56.9%ABV)
Undiluted: Quite restrained on the nose as the alcohol somewhat masks lurking scents of seaside wharves and diesel fumes. Explosively dry palate entry that rasps the tongue with sensations of coal embers, paraffin and, strangely enough, floral extracts. With a drop of water: There's that semi-sweet waxy tone one looks for that's evocative of a weird mixture of Highland fields in the spring and factories. Demure notions of honey soften the edginess. Oh what a taste! It's as though the spirit were operating on so many different levels in rapid fire succession. From one moment to the next, it's light and delicate, then deep and brooding. Lots of that uniquely Brora smokiness to shoot things into the stratosphere, followed by wave after wave of dune vegetation and pear fruit. Even the pears arrive slightly smoked, though. Brilliant whisky.


Now that sounds like an amazing whisky. :smoke:
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby pkt77242 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:51 am

Doug are the tasting notes in the order in which you tasted them? If so was it hard to taste the lower abv whiskies after the higher ones?
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:23 am

Yes, that's the order I tasted them in, Sean. And no, the relative alcohol levels weren't a factor at all. I did take a one or two minute break between the Scotches and the North American whiskies though, and also cleansed my palate with water right along.

The Brora is a great whisky. :thumbsup:
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:00 pm

North British 1963 45yo Signatory 55.8%

Nose: Vanilla and coconut in abundance with a splodge of toffee.
Palate: Incredibly and almost overwhelmingly sweet. Artificial sweetener sweet. Plenty of coconut too. Like coconut syrup.
Finish: The sugar dries on the palate and burns with its intensity.
Comment: The sweetest whisky I've ever tried. Definitely one for dessert.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Willie JJ wrote:North British 1963 45yo Signatory 55.8%

Nose: Vanilla and coconut in abundance with a splodge of toffee.
Palate: Incredibly and almost overwhelmingly sweet. Artificial sweetener sweet. Plenty of coconut too. Like coconut syrup.
Finish: The sugar dries on the palate and burns with its intensity.
Comment: The sweetest whisky I've ever tried. Definitely one for dessert.

I had a Sig North British 1964 that was about 30 yo. Huge vanilla notes and plenty of ethanol.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Fscott » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:52 pm

Too poor for pre 80s, too hot to drink whisky in summer where I am. (I could post my '71 Macallan for the third time, but...) What's going on for September? I would love to get back into the game.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:03 pm

We ran this into September, but there seems to be no reason not to do something later in the month. Did you have something in mind?
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Might as well start again :)

Glenlivet Scott's Selection 1977-2006, 50.8%

Nose: Porridge with pineapple chunks in it. Grassy and fresh. Apricot and mango. Clean and pleasant.
Palate: Mouthful of fruit gums, with crunchy brown sugar. Very sweet and delicous.
Finish: Lovely sweet/spice interplay that lasts for ever.
Comment: Yum, yum, yum.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:40 pm

I got this a few years ago so it must have been distilled in the 70s

Strathisla G&M 30yo 40%

Nose: Cherry cake, carrot and orange cake, boiled fruit sweets, milk chocolate and candlewax. Nice nose.
Palate: Orange arrival with a barley sugar background. Very gentle. Perhaps a little too gentle. It makes you wish for a higher strength.
Finish: Ah it's all happening here. Spices and tannins dancing around in subtle interplay with little bursts of sweetness to stop it becoming bitter. Somebody threw in a drop of orange oil too. Not strong but overlaying beautifully with the spices.
Comment: I often grumble about these G&M bottles being diluted to 40%, but really the tame middle of this is an irrelevance when the start and finish are considered. I bought two of these for £39 each. I should have cleared the shelf and certainly would now.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:47 pm

Fscott wrote:Too poor for pre 80s, too hot to drink whisky in summer where I am. (I could post my '71 Macallan for the third time, but...) What's going on for September? I would love to get back into the game.

Taking suggestions for each month. October? November? I still like Sherry Xmas for December.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:14 pm

Ganga wrote:
Fscott wrote:Too poor for pre 80s, too hot to drink whisky in summer where I am. (I could post my '71 Macallan for the third time, but...) What's going on for September? I would love to get back into the game.

Taking suggestions for each month. October? November? I still like Sherry Xmas for December.

Why should sherry casks be limited to just one month a year? :D
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:14 pm

Bunnahabhain 1979 Single Malts of Scotland 27yo 46%

Nose: Barley sugar on the beach. The salty ozone is so reminiscent of the Sound of Islay. There is a little gentle smoke, but it makes Highland Park seem like a peat monster. There are some apples and pears lurking there too.
Palate: Salted swedish apple charlotte. Sounds horrible but its actually lovely. the fruit and the cream work really well with the sea salt.
Finish: There is some drying oak on the finish, but it's neither spicy nor hot. Again it's dusted with salt.
Comment: Bunnahabhain is one of the great underappreciated distilleries imo and this is a stunning cask that reaffirms why I spend so much time fooling around with whisky. An amazing experience.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:40 pm

Glen Moray 1977 Cadenhead's 20yo 63%

Nose: Fruity nail varnish. A mixture of the barber's shop and the florist's shop. Polished wood. A walk in a conifer plantation. And in amongst all that there's some lovely clean malt.
Palate: Sugared varnish, sweet and malty. Acidic pear drops.
Finish: Bitingly dry at full strength, but water just makes it oaky and unexciting.
Comment: These flavours are maybe not for everyone, but the nose on this is fascinating and personally I find it a very enjoyable experience.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:05 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
Ganga wrote:
Fscott wrote:Too poor for pre 80s, too hot to drink whisky in summer where I am. (I could post my '71 Macallan for the third time, but...) What's going on for September? I would love to get back into the game.

Taking suggestions for each month. October? November? I still like Sherry Xmas for December.

Why should sherry casks be limited to just one month a year? :D

I didn't say the sherry had to be limited any other time of year. Just required in December. :thumbsup:
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:14 pm

Oh, ok then :D
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:15 pm

Ardbeg 1979-2005 G&M CC 43%

Nose: Lemons in the smokehouse, seashells on the beach and barley sugar in the malt barn. It's so rare to drink old Ardbeg these days that you forget how good it is.
Palate: Fresh lemon flavoured iodine. Salt fish and warm sand. Sweet, salted barley.
Finish: Just so gentle and charming that you forget its Ardbeg.
Comment: Boohoohoohoo! Whenever we see Ardbeg of this age in reasonable quantities again it will be prohibitively expensive I fear.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:47 am

Willie JJ wrote:Ardbeg 1979-2005 G&M CC 43%

Nose: Lemons in the smokehouse, seashells on the beach and barley sugar in the malt barn. It's so rare to drink old Ardbeg these days that you forget how good it is.
Palate: Fresh lemon flavoured iodine. Salt fish and warm sand. Sweet, salted barley.
Finish: Just so gentle and charming that you forget its Ardbeg.
Comment: Boohoohoohoo! Whenever we see Ardbeg of this age in reasonable quantities again it will be prohibitively expensive I fear.


Aye, especially the later 70s distillates. There were a couple of Spirit of Scotland bottles that are marvellously delicate.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Fscott » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:23 pm

I don't know if this would be too limiting, but what about whisky bought at a duty free shop? Not only could this include expressions exclusive to travel retail, but also any bottle purchased at duty free. Don't HP, Macallan, and Laphroaig have several bottles only available at duty free? We could also include a little background on where we were going/coming from.

Yes, OK, the last bottle I bought was at duty free.
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Ganga » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:45 pm

I don't have many duty free whiskies but I don't see why not. How about for November?

Any other suggestions?
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Re: August 2011 Live Tasting - Pre 1980 Distillates

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Tue May 08, 2012 1:57 am

Willie JJ wrote:
Ganga wrote: I've been told the older White Horse blends included Lagavulin.

No doubt about that. Probably until fairly recently I would have thought


I think Lagavulin is still a component. I just acquired a bottle in North Carolina and it says on the back label that Lagavulin is in the blend.
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