LovingWhisky - Independent tasting notes on whisky and other distilled spirits by Ansgar Speller

Gordon & MacPhail - Connoisseurs Choice - Glenallachie - 1999/2015

From Gordon & MacPhail in the #WoodMTW campaign a sample was send over from their Connoisseurs Choice range. Distilled at the Glenallachie distillery in 1999, matured in a refill bourbon barrel and bottled on 23/01/2015 at 46%.

On the nose I find soft and fruity tones with honeycomb, powdered sugar, vanilla creme, malt, raspberry, honey, blossom, fruitcake, coconut shavings, fruitcake and lemon.

The palate is much the same as the nose at first and feels quite balanced. Rich fruit cake, dried apricots, sultana, liquorish wood and oranges. Then a thick almost green herbal layer follows of rosemary, thyme and laurel between all the vanilla cake sweetness.

A medium length finish with some dryness like red apple skin. Scoring it an 7,5/10, an interesting dram for sure, need to taste more of this distillery but for a first meeting it was not unpleasant... Thanks for sharing it Gordon & MacPhail!

Gordon & MacPhail - MacPhail's Collection - Glenturret - 2002/2015

You might have seen some notes coming by from samples send over in the #WoodMTW campaign from Gordon & MacPhail, a great array of different kind of whiskies that they have available. Have a look at the website where they tell you more about this campaign. This time I will have a closer look at a whisky from the MacPhail's Collection from the Glenturret distillery, distilled in 2002, matured in first fill Sherry puncheons and bottled on the 21st of December 2015 at 43%. 

Young and fresh nose at first with notes of creamy lemon cheesecake, vanilla, candied mix of citrus fruits, kiwi fruit and some fresh grapefruit juice. But also an other side to it with a good syrupy feeling of tobacco, dried fruits, honey, raisins, oranges, peanuts and nougat. Somehow this is mixing quite good with the temperatures around 30 degrees we are having at the moment where I normally prefer some fresh G&T with good amount of ice.

From the palate I am getting these same kind of notes. Fresh but also syrupy sweet like maple syrup, creme brulee and tarte tatin all together in one byte. But another layer with spices is added to the mix with red pepper, black pepper, kurkuma, coriander and a hint of cumin seeds. I find the nose a bit more pleasant must say then the palate at this moment, it is dense and packed together, so I decided to add some water to it. 

With just a few drops the nose becomes more fruitier then before but also releases some tannin's that I picked up on the undiluted medium length finish before. The palate, when diluted a bit, is more open for sure and I can detect more fruit, honey and fudge sweetness in here. But still the tannin's remain on the finish combining in a total feeling lingering towards Christmas Cake. Scoring me a 7,5 out of 10. Lovely to be able to taste some from the Glenturret distillery. Thanks for sending it over Gordon & MacPhail! 

Wemyss Malts - Bunnahabhain 1990/2016 - East Neuk Dunes

This just released expression from Wemyss Malts is bottled exclusively for the Kingsbarns Distillery. It is called East Neuk Dunes, referring to the coastline just outside of the distillery in Fife.

Distilled in 1990 at the Bunnahabhain Distillery, matured in a hogshead, producing 267 bottles of single cask whisky at 46% in 2016 at the age of 25.

The nose carriers notes of soft salty vanilla sweetness, soft spices, gooseberries, seashells and fudge. Red apples, candied apples, hint of fruit blossom and lemon.

On the palate there is a load of thick fruit sweetness, almost a maple syrup feeling on a stack of pancakes. Tarte tatin, spices, mocha, creme brulee, red fruits and ripe red apples. A soft medium length finish with hints of powdered sugar, ginger cookies, almonds, marzipan and tum tums. Scoring me an good 7,5 out of 10.

Grant's - Ale Cask

This Grant's expression was in a Twitter tasting recently, and it was a though one for me to get some proper notes on being not a fan of beer and the hop bitterness. Bottled at 40% and finished in casks that previously contained ale.

The notes I got of the nose started with the smell of well... ehm... hop. That was too easy? Yeah... Ok. Hop bitters, malty and a sulphur metallic feeling. Notes of elder flower, earthy, fermenting apples and a sharp citrus notes.

On the palate I find notes of vanilla and loads of caramel and oak. Dry crumbly red apples, mocha, dry spices, kurkuma, banana, pear, cherries and black current. A short finish with a heavy layer of caramel and oak ending in dry earl grey tea mouth feel. Scoring an 6 out of 10 for me.

Coming back to this one more then a week after the tasting and letting it breath for quite some time it seems to become a bit more mellow to me. The nose shows me less hop and more malt. It has become sweeter and fruitier, the metallic and sulphur almost having faded away it looks like. The palate is to me much like the last time I wrote down my notes on it. Some more powdered sugar, lemon and candied ginger notes come to the front now. The heavy caramel and oak layer I got before on the finish has been replaced by a fudge, sticky sweet, malty, fruity medium length finish. A dram I feel does not hit all the spots for me, and very sweet, but surprisingly more pleasant to me then before. Funny how this works. Raising my score a bit to 6,5/10

Grant's - Sherry cask finish

In the recent Grant's Twitter tasting was the expression bottled at 40% that has been finished Oloroso sherry casks for a couple of months. My notes that I wrote down during the tasting...

The nose has loads of wood and earthy notes I find. Bit of metallic in the back with some nuts, propolis, marmalade and a hint of oranges. Just a faint influence I can find on this nose of the sherry finish...

Palate is much like the nose and shows again the bitterness I found also in some of their other expressions in this tasting, but this one has some more sweet fruity notes to it that cover it up a bit more. After a bit I am getting unripe berries, red berries, black current and soft vanilla. 

The finish is short and has a feeling of vanilla, some wood, citrus marmalade and elder flower. The marmalade bitterness is strong in this one and makes me not like it very much, scoring it an 5 out of 10 at the tasting. Tasting it again a bit later, and letting it breath for quite a time before nosing and tasting I am getting some more citrus notes on the nose but further much of the same as before. The palate is more creamy and less is found of the bitter notes. More the expected sweet Sherry influence on the palate for sure with vanilla pudding, summer fruits, oranges and sultanas. Short but sweet finish still just as before, scoring me now a 6,5 out of 10, it feels a bit more balanced but not enough sadly...