Yesterday was for the general impression of the Whisky Fair, today will be about some of the whiskies we had there. We made sure to taste a mix of new and old releases, since it’s all nice to taste something from way before you were ever put on this planet, but I also go to festivals to decide which bottles I want. Of course, as any whisky enthousiast, I usually don’t buy those since “I already know them”.
A Glen Moray, with a big typo on the label. Tried it to stay with the few old Glen Morays I know and this one fits right in. Not overly complex but it offers a good mix of flavours and will surely entertain you for all it’s 70cl. Fruity, with some wood and spices, and ‘old’ scent and flavour too. Nice and complex finish.
Glenturret (also by Malts of Scotland), from the Famous Grouse, is one that isn’t easily available from indies, but it seems to be picking up. This was a weird one. Somewhat more one dimensional than the Glen Moray, more like a lemon drop with quite some acidity. Really interesting, since that definetly was a flavour I’ve never tasted before!
I’m not sure what it is with Adelphi, but I’ve gotten a more hit-and-miss feeling with these guys the last year. There still are some absolutely terrific bottlings but there is also stuff like this Clynelish 16, which just doesn’t do it for me. Way too sharp and hot, and with water it felt drowned right away. Bummer.
From Adelphi we also tried a Mortlach which was a bit better. Still not up there with Kintra’s Mortlach we tried in Alkmaar, though.
Whisky Doris is usually not available in The Netherlands, so I thought this to be the perfect opportunity to try some. I’m still trying to find an Inchgower as good as the one I tried in Alkmaar, but this one isn’t it. All flavours were there, but there was something in it that didn’t appeal to me. Some off note I couldn’t pinpoint.
An old Bunnahabhain which also didn’t fulfill my expectations. I’ve tried some from about a decade before this one that were absolutely terrific, but I’ve still got a 22 year old version from Dun Bheagan in my mind that this one couldn’t overcome either. I really start feeling like a snob now.
A little lighter than expected, but very good. The thick leathery body of Ben Nevis by The Unicorn was definetly present and this was a highly enjoyable dram!
I’ve tried this Rosebank from the sixties before in Alkmaar, and I still think it is an absolute stunner. Only 40% ABV it still knew how to overcome the beasts we just tried, but you do need a moment to relax with it, to let it truly shine. All flavours are there apart from smoke and the meaty palate you sometimes find in sherried whiskies. Floral, fruity, spicy, some wood, everything. Very, very good.
We just had to try an old Springbank by Murray McDavid and while this one ticked all the boxes; salty, grainy, not too heavy, some spices, some vanilla. It just wasn’t it. Although it’s a 30 year old from 14 years ago, it was boring. Bummer 2.
The “Book of Kells” Longmorns are something of legend. When we saw this 5 minutes after coming in, we knew we had to come back for it. While we might have tasted it a bit too late in the afternoon, it was packed with flavours. The intense woodiness you find in old present-day Longmorns is remarkable, but the fruity and Christmas cake spices are terrific.
This one directly made it to my wishlist. The Glen Keith by Silver Seal was the first whisky from this bottler I ever tried, and while they are really expensive, I can understand it a bit when trying instant classics like this. The spiciness was incredible, maybe the most intense I’ve tried in a Scotch, with a powerful background of fruit and wood. Absolutely stunning.
We, of course, tried some of the Whisky Fair‘s own bottlings and we started with the concurrent Imperial 1995. A very fruit and full powered dram, current with last year’s fruity hype. Lots of lemon and other citrus fruit and quite summery.
After that it was a head to head with the Glenfarclases (or “A Speyside Distillery”) with a 37 from this year and from last year, if I’m correct. The slightly older one had the same heavily sherried palate as the newer version, but the older one was more pronounced on all fronts. More fruity, more spicy, more wood, more Christmas cake, better.
(the newer version)
Just before leaving Bram let us try a sip from a Bladnoch 1956 or 1965 (don’t remember which) which was possibly the strongest Bladnoch I’ve ever tried. Maybe it wasn’t the highest in alcohol but it sure tasted high in ABV. The floralness was there, but at this point I think I was getting a bit spoilt.