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MYSTERIOUS WAITROSE 23 YEAR OLD

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MYSTERIOUS WAITROSE 23 YEAR OLD

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:06 pm

A couple of years ago, I bought a Waitrose (supermarket) own-label whisky. It was labelled up as a 21year old Speyside single malt, distilled in 1981. What struck me as unusual was that it has been wholly matured (not just finished) in port pipes. In his "Whisky Bible", Jim Murray rated this 21 year old 89/100.

Waitrose is now selling this self-same 1981 Speyside single malt as as a 23 year old. And the price is currently a daft £19.29.

I'm really intrigued as to where this malt, which was bottled by Wm Maxwell, was distilled.

I know that Glenfarclas recently released (to the German market) a 1981 23 year old expression matured in port pipes. Some co-incidence.

Anyone know of any other Speyside distiller who was filling directly into port pipes in the early 1980s
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:52 pm

Daft indeed! And a quick perusal of the "Unspecified Single Malts" section of Murray's Bible is a bit of an eye-opener to anyone who, like me, assumes that supermarket own-label bottlings are inferior product. Are there Waitroses in Scotland? Do you suppose any of this will be left by the time I arrive in October? Murray: "I can see droves of European malt whisky lovers taking special flights just to get hold of this one...." No kidding!

Edit: Apparently Yorkshire is as far north as they get.
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Postby MGillespie » Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:25 am

If you find some in October, please grab a couple for me!!!

Mark
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:19 am

I've seen various distilleries being mentioned as the origin of this port-matured Speyside, but nothing with anything more than hearsay. One thing is clear, though, the bottle of 21 y.o. I bought some time ago was one of the best port-whiskies I've ever had! And the port certainly didn't drown out the whisky as you might have expected after 21 years; beautiful balance. I haven't tried the 23 y.o., but if it's as good as the 21 y.o., get it!

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:24 am

And it's currently on offer, from the normal whopping £21.50 RRP down to £19.29. And still it's not selling in my local store.

Most people go one shelf down to the £10-£15 blends, or one shelf above to the £20-£30 'branded' single malts.

I'll try the 23 year old tonight and report back.


On an aside, I've heard that the Majestic Islay Single Malt is also very good !
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Postby bamber » Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:49 pm

Just bought a bottle. Will sample it tonight and tomorrow and post notes.
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Postby bamber » Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:54 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Daft indeed! And a quick perusal of the "Unspecified Single Malts" section of Murray's Bible is a bit of an eye-opener to anyone who, like me, assumes that supermarket own-label bottlings are inferior product. (snip)


He's not wrong either. I've had 5 or 6 of the supermarket single malts and they are all very tasty. This is the first Waitrose malt I've bought and if it's anything like as good as their food I am in for a treat.

I noticed they have a single grain whisky on sale fairly cheap. Has anyone tried it ?
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:06 pm

Dunnes Stores do a very cheap Irish blend that Jim Murray rates 93. I have tasted it and it's quite nice.

I'll have to track someone down who'll get me one of these Waitrose's.


Can anyone let me know about the colour, strength etc?
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Postby bamber » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:35 pm

Aidan,

It's 40 % and has the pinkish edge one would normally associate, with a port finish.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:36 pm

Thanks Bamber - I look forward to hearing what it tastes like.
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Postby bamber » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:24 pm

One dram's tasting notes:

N: Honey, smoke, wine notes, peppery spice
T: Hot, dry red chilli, port notes much more prominent. Honeyed sweetness and port notes offset oaky dryness well. Speyside character is retained throughout.
F: Hot and drying.

Comment: This whisky is dry and hot but never overly bitter. I like it, but will not be rushing out to buy up all of Waitrose's stock. As for the distillery Glenfarclas is a definite possibility.

Score: 78
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Postby bamber » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:46 am

Had another taste of this last night - big dram after curry and it was better second time around. Less hot and more fruity malt. Very enjoyable. I had just had a vindaloo though :)
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Postby bamber » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:20 pm

Sorry to keep harping on about this one but a few days open and I'm really enjoying it. I overstated the hotness. Tried it with a couple of Glenfarclae this pm. Nice combination.

New score 83
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