Wagging Finger ‘Gileanne’ 3, 2019-2022, 60.1% – BYOB-C

The very first ever release of Wagging Finger Whisky! The Dutch distillery, run in Deventer by Erik Molenaar has been around for a few years and started out by making gin. A couple of years ago whisky was added to the repertoire and now, through a Belgian bottler, the first release is there!

Apart from there being a bottler, the bottling has a name too, and it belongs to a series, and a labelling.

So, fully qualified and quantified, it would be something like ‘Gileanne, Pin Up Queen, L’Intouchable, BYOB-C, Wagging Finger’. I don’t really know where to stop… But, apart from it having as many names as The Lord of the Rings has endings, in the end it’s the whisky that counts.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
It’s quite light on the nose, with some (maybe not very surprising) gin like qualities. There’s quite a juniper note, and some fresh orange too. After a bit more air the young spirit starts showing, but in a ‘still maturing’ kind of way. Dry barley, a small note of white pepper, an even smaller note of oak. There’s a whiff of iron too.

Sip:
With a bit of warm-up (read: other whisky) the over 60%-ABV isn’t too much to handle. It does show a white pepper bite, and a some dry oak shavings. That crisp gin note is here too, with juniper and some aniseed. The bite keeps building for quite a long time.

Swallow:
The finish is slightly more sweet than I expected. There are sudden hints of vanilla and a note of mocha a few seconds after that. The gin note has completely disappeared.

It doesn’t seem like this whisky is trying to come across as more mature than it is, which is quite different to most new Scottish distilleries. It’s a very drinkable dram, if you’ve done a bit of warm-up. What I find very surprising is the inconsistency between the palate and the finish and I don’t really know what to make of that.

The fact that it tastes young means, I presume but won’t know until we’re a decade further along, is that there’s quite some room for aging and settling down. I sometimes doubt that with a lot of these ‘three year olds that taste like ten year olds’.

All in all, to me this whisky is a lot more impressive than I imagined. Of course, it’s very young and shows it’s (lack of) age, but I am very glad I got my hands on a bottle. I think Erik Molenaar is very much on the right track. He seems to be doing his own thing, instead of trying to make yet another generic imitation of Scottish single malt. Kudos!

I very much hope he’s kept enough casks to properly age them without having to bottle everything for private owners and have nothing left to keep it until it’s ten years old!

86/100

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Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 008, 2020, 59.2%

The fact that this is labeled as batch ‘008’ sounds rather presumptuous, if you ask me. I don’t think there’s a whisky company that doesn’t consider rebranding their entire line every six to eight years. So, from that perspective, it’s quite something that they’ve made it to eight.

But, away with the cynical banter, onto what is actually happening here. Glengoyne is a rather interesting distillery. Beautifully located just outside of Glasgow in the ‘valley of wild geese’. Interestingly they sit right on top of the ‘highland line’. A few hundred years ago this was the division drawn to separate several tax regions in Scotland.

The north started paying per gallon of still capacity and the south for whisky produced. The Highland whisky producers also had to use local barley and were not allowed to export their whisky south of this highland line. This was the case in 1784. However, in 1823 most of these rules were abolished and the Highland producers got a huge tax cut, mostly aimed at legalizing distilling there. Before 1823 Highland Whisky producers weren’t overly inclined to have licenses for distilling because of expenses and trouble selling their product.

Over the years the exact location of the highland line has shifted a couple of times, but currently it sits right in front of Glengoyne Distillery.

The result of this is that the whisky is made in the highlands of Scotland, but it is matured in the lowlands, just across the street.

Image from Whiskybase

This version of Glengoyne’s cask strength whisky was matured in sherry casks and a bourbon barrel, and was released in 2020. It’s still pretty widely available, but that’s not too rare since it’s not a single cask or anything.

Sniff:
The typical creamy sherry notes of Glengoyne. A bit trifle-y with lots of dried fruits, dates, figs, golden syrup and toffee. Milky caramel and a whiff of vanilla. Quite pastry like, but surprisingly gentle for a whisky at almost 60% ABV.

Sip:
The palate continues being rather smooth and gentle, but it’s a bit more dry than the nose and the ABV made me expect. Younger whisky at a higher ABV tends to be on the sweet side. Oak, chili, dried fruits again. Dates, plums, figs. Nutty bread with almonds and hazelnut.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit more sharp and does bite a bit. More pepper, but black pepper instead of chili. More oak, less fruit, caramel and toffee. A hint of butterscotch.

Well, cask is king, as some tend to say. There is a lot of wood influence, although this is the typical style of Glengoyne and not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a rather predictable whisky, and the slight inconsistency between the palate and the finish is a bit strange.

However, it still is exactly what you expect a Glengoyne whisky to be, and for people liking the style it should be a fun bottle to go through. Personally, I prefer a bit less sweetness on the palate.

85/100

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Jura ‘Two-One-Two’ 13, 2006-2019, American White Oak Barrels, 47.5%

It’s not often that I try whisky from the Isle of Jura (distillery). From the early onset of my whisky fanaticism I’ve not held much love for Jura. In some cases I figured I had to get over that and tried some, but most times it’s been a disappointment.

Of course, some are really good, but those have not much to do with what the distillery currently puts out. I guess there are two (this and this) that I enjoyed, and the rest were only so-so. Interestingly, it’s one of those distilleries of which I tend to like the independent bottlings far more than the official ones. That seems to be a thing with Whyte & Mackay’s single malts…

Image from Whiskybase

So, when this one showed up in last year’s Autumn Tasting by De Whiskykoning I was interested to try it. Nothing beats proving yourself wrong every now and then. Let’s get in!

Sniff:
Rather light on the nose but with the typical rubber bands that is a common scent in Jura whiskies. Rubbery and feinty, so to say. Earthy, slightly mossy and with hint of hay and card board.

Sip:
The palate is dusty and earthy with some oak and white pepper. Rubber bands again and old moss, cardboard and hay. Quite Jura-y, all in all.

Swallow:
The finish is rather long but doesn’t really offer anything new.

Well, there’s two distinct things to say about this one, I think. The first thing is that is by no means a very bad whisky and does the typical Jura things with rubber bands and lots of weird funkiness. The other thing is that because it doesn’t do anything you don’t see coming a mile away.

So, if you don’t generally like Jura (raises hand) this is one to avoid. If you like an interesting whisky that keeps you occupied (it’s still about a hundred bucks, after all) this is one to avoid as well.

80/100

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Ardmore 1999-2018, 43% – Gordon & MacPhail

Interestingly, among the whisky geeks I know, these distillery labels by Gordon & MacPhail are not very popular. Being bottled at 43% doesn’t help, because it’s not cask strength. It’s not even 46%, which sits above the threshold for whisky going cloudy unless filtered.

It’s quite a shame, since I’ve had quite some very good whiskies from this series, with an older Glenburgie coming to mind, and now this Ardmore. Of course, it helps that I tend to like Ardmore anyway, especially when there’s not too much done to it. So, preferably no weird cask usage, or being matured in Islay casks or something strange like that.

So fairly straight forward Ardmore, with a decent age to it. At a somewhat lower ABV than I usually drink. Should be good, right?

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
It starts with some Bowmore-like smokiness. Some ammonia and lemon, smoke. After a few seconds there’s heather honey, some oak and the brown crust of a pound cake. Dried apple and brown sugar too.

Sip:
The palate is very dry, which isn’t too uncommon with Ardmore, and smoky whisky in general. Lots of oak, lemon and smoke. Heather and honey, pine resin, pine cones. There’s a slight bitter edge to it, with that cake crust again, as well as brown sugar and some tobacco leaves.

Swallow:
The finish continues with the tobacco note and the smoke that goes with it. Heather and brown sugar, but without the honey sweetness. That slight bitter edge is present here too.

My father-in-law would instantly know this is a whisky I would like. It’s dry, slightly smoky, with lots of herbaceous notes. I find this stuff absolutely gorgeous. It’s a bit in the middle between Bowmore and Highland Park, in regard to flavor. Two of my favorite whiskies out there, and also why I love Ardmore in general.

Lovely and complex, with more than enough happening to keep me occupied. I tried this one months ago, and immediately ordered a bottle. Of course, with being very busy and me wanting to pick it up in person, it is still at the shop in Den Bosch (yes, Whiskykoning of course). I bought this to bottle-share it, but after re-reading the tasting notes I just might keep it all for myself!

89/100 (in doubt if it should be 90)

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7 Springbank Local Barleys

When on holiday in France, several weeks ago, I was having a quiet afternoon. It was about 35 degrees (C, obviously), the kids and my wife were at the camping’s swimming pool. I decided it was a good time to sit back under a tree for shade, and have myself some whiskies.

I decided it was a good time to have all seven of the current series of Springbank Local Barley. Seven whiskies, on a hut summery afternoon. As you do…

Most of them have already been reviewed before on this blog, but I decided to do a little re-review without checking previous notes and ratings. Just to see whether or not they hold up. Expectations were high, very high. Let’s see how this went.

Springbank 16, 1999-2016, Prisma Barley from Low Machriemore Farm, 54.3%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Coastal and oily, with barley, oak, salinity, hessian and typical Springbank funkiness.

Sip:
Gentle with a whiff of smoke, coastal salinity, barley, straw, olive oil.

Swallow:
A rich and smooth finish, with some apple, pear, white pepper. A whiff of smoke, hessian and SB funk.

Balance, and awesomeness. It really does hold up after the initial hype. Great, great whisky.

91/100


Springbank 11, 2006-2017, Bere Barley from Aros Farm, 53.1%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
More bright, and much more lemony. Still quite Springbank, with a bit more peaty scents upfront. Vanilla, with oak and aome barley.

Sip:
Some white pepper for a bit of heat, more oak than on the nose. Also vanilla and barley, some apple too.

Swallow:
The finish is quite a bit younger tasting than the 16, logically. It’s very noticeable, though. A but more harsh, but still very Springbank.

A very solid whisky, but there’s more focus on vanilla. Lovely lemon notes. All in all, very good stuff.

88/100


Springbank 10, 2007-2017, Belgravia Barley from West Backs Farm, 57.3%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
More dark and dried fruits, plum paste and date milkshake. Slightly nutty too, and apricot jam.

Sip:
Sweet, with quite some pastry notes on top of fruit and vanilla. A whiff of smoke, straw, barley and oak too.

Swallow:
A bit of bitterness like plum stones, date stones and such. Straw, plums, dates, vanilla and pastry cream. A ‘pain aux raisins’

Lots of interesting flavors going on, with a good backbone of classic Springbank notes.

89/100


Springbank 9, 2009-2018, Optic Barley from High Cattadale Farm, 57.7%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Back to the slightly more austere bourbon focused ones with this one. Rather different than before with more minerals, apple and iron. It brings out a different kind of coastal note.

Sip:
Some vanilla, but not a lot. The same with white pepper. Oak, barley, some mineral notes like slate, basalt, iron too. Again, quite austere.

Swallow:
The finish is more mellow, and a bit on the short side. Similar to the palate, but slightly less focused on the austerity.

Very coastal with lots of austerity. A very tight whisky, but also a little less complex because of it.

87/100


Springbank 10, 2009-2019, Optic Barley from High Cattadale Farm, 56.2%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Strangely, the port casks bring a bitbof unexpected weight, even though there’s only 3% of them in the mix. Dried fruits and old, soaked wood. Dried red fruits, on top of the earlier sherry and bourbon lead notes.

Sip:
A lot darker, more woody, and quite different. Old, wet wood, mulch. Some dried lemon and orange, pastry cream, baked plums. Quite gentle, all of it

Swallow:
The finish is very gentle and quite rich. Fruit, dried tropical stuff and fresh berries. Cake, oak.

A minor addition of port casks to the mix makes for a rather different whisky. It does add quite some fruity notes, in a very typical way for port casks.

89/100


Springbank 10, 2010-2020, Belgravia Barley from Glencraigs Farm, 55.6%

Image from Whiskybase

Ah, the dark one!

Sniff:
This is very different, and definitely a sherried Springer. Leather and furniture polish, lots of feinty notes, all in a good way. Dried plums and dates and figs. Very rich indeed with a treacly note too.

Sip:
A lot drier than expected with ground chilli peppers, oak, some sandalwood and cedar, even. Dried fruits, some slightly waxy notes.

Swallow:
The finish mellows quickly, but stays warming and intense. Dried fruits, some matches, wax, pepers and different woods.

Glorious! This whisky was ridiculously hyped, a while ago. But it does hold up! I am very glad I was able to get a bottle of this. It’s definitely a sherry cask, but it’s not a straight forward whisky. Various wood notes, peppers and fruits keep this very interesting!

91/100


Springbank 10, 2011-2021, Belgravia Barley from Glencraigs Farm, 51.6%

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
A very quintessential springbank, with all the typical notes of barley, straw, salinity, oak and a touch of smoke. Like the regular 10 year old on steroids.

Sip:
The palate is slightly sweet before the peppery heat kicks in. All the notes from the nose come by, with added white and black pepper, and a waxy note. Very straight forward, but very good because of it.

Swallow:
The finish has a bit of an afterburner, but is, again, highly consistent.

On of the younger ones and the one lowest in ABV, and because it is so close to regular Springbank it is awesome. As in, this is exactly what you want a Springbank whisky to do, and it does it so very well.

90/100


As far as tastings go, I think this is a hard one to top this year. Of course, it would have been more fun to share this with someone, before people start the whole ‘whisky is more fun when shared’ schtick. They’re not wrong, but having a quiet afternoon, nice weather and awesome booze. And, maybe most importantly, some peace and quiet is hard to top…

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A Speyside Distillery 16, 2006-2022, Sherry finish, 52.1% – Thompson Brothers

With the Thompson Brothers opening up a bottle shop in Dornoch, I am really hoping things pan out and I am able to visit the place at the end of October. A small trip to that part of Scotland is in the works. Quality beers and a bottle of whisky sounds like a good idea. Then again, when does it not?!

Anyway, with a recent batch of Thompson Brothers bottlings arriving in The Netherlands, some shares were done by me and Rowald, and I got a sample of this one. Supposedly, this is a Glen Elgin, but it doesn’t say on the label.

The whisky matured in a refill hogshead, with 2 years in a sherry cask after that.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
It’s very fruity, but in a very strange way. Dried lime, papaya and prickly pears. On a bed of straw, because it still is (supposedly) Glen Elgin. After a while it gets a bit of a whiff of a funky note of soil and wet laundry.

Sip:
The palate is pretty strong, and sharper than I expected with 16 years of aging. Dried lime, some chemical version of lime as well. Like some cleaning product. It’s surprisingly heavy, for a dram that has a lime forward flavor profile like this.

Swallow:
The finish goes back to the artificial lemon flavor, but it less heavy than the nose was. It’s not entirely unlike washing up liquid. With straw, some barley and a whiff of oak.

There’s a note in there that I cannot pinpoint, nor do I like it. It’s a strange combination of lime and heavier, feinty things. It makes me think of dirty dishwashing water. And that’s not something I enjoy drinking all that much. The fruity notes in the beginning were nice though.

With me just having a sample, I figured I might need to sit down with this a second time. Luckily, the sample was 6cl and I could go for seconds a week or so later. Unfortunately, the whisky didn’t improve. On the contrary.

A lot of the fruity notes had diminished and the strange acidity had become more prominent. I didn’t like this one at all.

76/100

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Milk & Honey 3, 2019-2022, Bourbon Barrel 1247, 66.8% – Archives

Hot on the heels of the Maltstock bottling, Archives released a Milk & Honey as well. Not from a mix of casks, but from a single bourbon barrel. What’s not to like? Well, the rocket fuel ABV, maybe?

While I didn’t shy away from high ABVs a couple of years ago, I tend to prefer lower cask strengths nowadays. With my prefered ABV being somewhere in the high fourties (let’s say 48 to 50%), this is a lot more. A lot more than anything I have in my collection, I think.

Of course, high ABVs like this aren’t too rare in the high end bourbon section, with Buffalo Trace’s George T. Stagg regularly crossing the 70% line. Interestingly, this indicated once again that very dry climates make the alcohol percentage go up instead of down with the angel’s share taking more water, in comparison to the much wetter climate in Scotland.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, a review of this bottling that came out only two days ago!

Sniff:
This might not be a good choice to have as a first whisky of the day. The nose bites. It’s super sharp and I really need time to warm up… There’s a lot of wood influenced sweetness, not unlike the Maltstock bottling. Some roasted bell peppers, pork marinade, grilled mango. Lots of chipotle peppers too.

Sip:
The palate is expectedly hot too, with roasted bell peppers, chipotle and sawdust. A second sip is slightly more welcoming, but still dry and hot. Dried spices, smoked paprika (in heat, not in smokiness). Oak, pineapple skin, grilled pineapple and dried mango. Some ginger too.

Swallow:
The finish is surprisingly gentle, but only compared to the heat on the first sip. It’s still dry as hell, but the heat is quite diminished. A long finished with the spiciness lingering longest. There’s some fruitiness here too, similar to the palate.

While it has some similarities to the Maltstock bottling, there is less sweetness going on due to not having any rum casks in the mix. Also, the flavor profile is not all over the place due to the total randomness of casks being used. While that might sound like less complexity, it does make for a tasting experience in which it is slightly easier to indicate flavors and aromas. All in all, a very solid dram from the Israeli distillers, even though the heat is slightly challenging.

87/100

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Secret Orkney 16, 2006-2022, Bourbon Hogshead, 48.2% – Wu Dram Clan

I am very bad at reading things in time. Or reviewing things in time, but that’s another discussion.

I knew this bottle was coming out due to the Wu Dram Clan making some noise about it on Social Media. Of course, I immediately decided I’d keep an eye on Passie voor Whisky’s website, since they’re the go-to dealer for bottles from the Clan.

What I should have done is read the whole announcement post and actually see that this would be available only to people who subscribe to their newsletter. Also, it was a very strange way of finding out I hadn’t subscribed to said newsletter.

So, apart from getting a sample in for reviewing, my window of actually getting my hands on a bottle had passed before I even realized what I had to do to buy one. A shame, as you’ll soon read.


To people frequenting this blog, or those who know me personally, it may not be a surprise that I am quite partial to Highland Park. Unfortunately, their official bottlings of high enough quality are out of my league, but those Secret Orkneys are quite rampant nowadays.

Of course, the whisky community has decided that all Secret Orkneys are Highland Park, since Scapa is hardly available in its regular form, let alone as indie bottlings.

Image from Whiskybase

Let’s dive in!

Sniff:
There’s a thick and sweet smokyness to it, like smoked honey. Heather and some oak too. There’s a sea shell salinity to it as well. It’s very Highland Park-y, but everything is amped up to 11. Very intense, but without the boozy heat.

Sip:
White pepper and sawdust at first. It mellows a bit to show hay, heather, honey. There’s smoke, but not a lot. The same goes for salinity. Wood, a minor note of tar.

Swallow:
The finish shows similar note to the palate, but is different in regard to balance. More white oak, more hay. Similar for heather and salinity.

It’s very hard not to compare this to the recent Whisky Nerds bottling (which IS still available), even though they are quite different. The ‘Nerds one, while still being very Highland Park-y, was a bit more cask driven, and showed more notes of fruit.

This one is more ‘terroir’ driven, with the whisky showing more of what is the situation on Orkney. Heather, coastal salinity, some smoke. Things like that.

I regret not getting a bottle even more after tasting it, since this is as gorgeous as the Whisky Nerds bottling. Very different, but equally good.

90/100

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Milk & Honey 3, 60.7% – OB for Maltstock 2022

So, no further info in the title, because it would have gotten too long:

  • 18 bottles in total
  • 30.6% ex-Rum cask
  • 45.6% Peated STR cask
  • 11.3% ex-Bourbon cask
  • 12.5% other casks

Also, the vintages are either 2018 (the rum and bourbon casks) and 2019 (the STR casks), so it is technically 3 years old. And, in case you aren’t familiar with Milk & Honey Distillery: It is a distillery from Tel Aviv, Israel. So being three years old isn’t as ‘young’ as it would have been in Scotland.


Maltstock is nearly upon ‘us’. Not me, since the postponing of last year’s Dutch Whisky Festival made me already have a whisky festival in September, and with other things my calendar was pretty clogged anyway. Fingers crossed for next year.

The dates of Maltstock got pushed back a little bit, to the end of the month instead of the second weekend in September. The venue that has been the venue for years decided, correctly, that housing Ukranian refugees is more important than having 200 whisky nerds over that get way too hammered.

But, there is at least a festival bottling, and Teun was kind enough to give me a sample when I met him last Friday!

Sniff:
It’s very spicy, with lots of roasty notes. Some black pepper, very dark toast. There’s some caramel sweetness and bitterness behind the roasty notes. There’s a paprika and marinade note going on too, barbecue style.

Sip:
The palate is surprisingly fruity, and rather sharp. It has a massive peppery bite, which isn’t too surprising with 60% ABV. There are berries, and some plums. There’s that ‘wet rub’ style of sweetness too, paprika, molasses, ketchup. Very interesting, and very unique.

Swallow:
The finish shows the youth of the whisky a bit more than the palate did. It’s a bit short, with less pronounced flavors. The mix of casks makes for many flavors, but not many outspoken ones.

A pretty solid dram, which I honestly didn’t really expect. Not entirely sure why.

The combination of casks is interesting, but does make things a little bit all over the place towards the end. The marinade like notes are very interesting. I can imagine this working rather well at the Maltstock barbecue 😉

86/100


Bonus review:

Milk & Honey new make spirit, 50%

I got a sizeable sample of this when I met some of the guys from Milk & Honey and a few of their friends at Maltstock a couple of years ago. I wrote tasting notes ages ago too, but was waiting for a better moment to post the review. You know, when you can also compare it to a matured whisky instead of just a random spirit.

Sniff:
Insanely feinty with lots of oil fumes and engine smells. Shoe polish and somehow, the stuff that the dentist uses for fillings. Way too heavy, in a way that reminds me of all kinds of other ‘try hard’ spirits. It gets a bit more fruity after a while, with canned pineapple, but the gasoline and engine oil scent stays on top.

Sip:
The palate is dry and on point in sharpness. The engine oil and petroleum doesn’t translate too much to the palate, luckily. There’s more fruit, with mango and pineapple, and granny smith apples too.

Swallow:
The petroleum stuff carries on in the finish. I’m not sure if that is it, but it is just a bit too much for me.

Interestingly, the spirit was, to be honest, pretty shit. I am not trying to say the quality was bad, because as we’ve come to know with the matured whiskies, it turns out quite well. However, it obviously isn’t meant as a drink on its own.

But, with some extra years of experience and the massive amount of new whiskies that have flooded the market, I think it generally makes for more interesting older whiskies, if the spirit itself isn’t too smooth. So, again, interesting, but if it was a product for sale, I wouldn’t pick one up and go for the matured version instead.

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Springbank’s output, from Sauternes casks

And no, not just Springbank from Sauternes casks, there’s also the Longrow and Hazelburn. These three bottles were released some five years ago for the Springbank Society. They are all about the same age, with the Hazelburn being a few months older, and from 2018 instead of 2017.

What you would expect is that a distillery, when releasing a tryptich of their products like this, would keep as many parameters the same as they can. So the same ages, same year of bottling, same cask type. But in this case none of these things are similar.

The Longrow and Springbank were drawn from fresh Sauternes hogsheads, while the Hazelburn comes from a refill cask. The Hazelburn was bottled at 10 years old in 2018, while the rest was bottled earlier at 9 years old. Of course, those details are very minor, but if you’re reading my ramblings, I dare assume you’re a nerd like me.

Anyway, tasting notes. Let’s find out how the funky Campbeltown drams hold up in sweet wine casks!


Hazelburn 10, 2007-2018, Refill Sauternes Hogsheads, 55.9% – Springbank Society

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Nutty, with quite some floral hints. Violets, dried lavender, yeast and some hessian. Heather and oak too.

Sip:
Quite sharp with alcohol. Quite dry with oak. Quite floral, straw like too. Comparable to the nose, but slightly more barley. Hazelnuts, brazil nuts.

Swallow:
The finish is, like the nose, very floral, perfumy, FWP even. It makes for a far less interesting drinking experience.

Yeah, this is not that great. It’s quite acidic for what I’m used to from Springbank distillery, although it’s not very uncommon for Hazelburn to get a little sour. The perfumy notes are not the floral notes you hope for from a good Rosebank. They’re more like the laundry detergent notes that people tend to ‘dislike’ in 80s Bowmore (to put it gently).

78/100


Springbank 9, 2007-2017, Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads, 57.1% – Springbank Society

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Some vanilla and fruitiness, with sweet pastry notes. After a while more acidic, fruity notes start coming through. Grapes, and a whiff of red fruits.

Sip:
The palate is fairly generic. Strong, young-ish Springbank with some sharp edges. Passion fruit, unripe mango, hessian, barley and wood.

Swallow:
The finish is very consistent with the palate. Dry, but slightly less sharp.

This is significantly better than the Hazelburn, although I still am not enamoured with the Sauternes casks for this distillery. In short, you spend quite some money on a bottle like this, and the regular 10 year old is a lot more enjoyable.

85/100


Longrow 9, 2007-2017, Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads, 56.3% – Springbank Society

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
The wine is prominent, as is the coastal whisky. Interestingly, the smokiness is very diminished. A slightly acidic fruitiness, eith things like unripe mango and green banana.

Sip:
Sharp, and dry with lots of chili pepper. Some oak, lots of fruity acidity and, again, almost no smoke.

Swallow:
Again, quite acidic, not very long. Not very consistent, with the acidity not really cooperating with the whisky.

This is weird again. There’s some acidity like in the Hazelburn, luckily it’s not as floral. Strangely, but this might also be because the bottle had been open for quite a while, the smokiness had diminished quite a lot. Or, it might not have been as prominent to begin with. It didn’t strike me as a typical Longrow.

84/100


The summary of this can be quite short: I’ll be avoiding Springbank’s output from wine casks like this. Port and Sherry work fine, but the other stuff doesn’t. At least, not in my opinion. I seem to remember a Longrow from a Chardonnay casks that didn’t sit well with me either, and Longrow Red (the non-Port ones, that is) isn’t for me as well.

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