Last week a sort-of surprise package arrived from Elgin containing two wee samples of Glenrothes and Macallan. Both quite young at eight and nine years old.
I was quite lucky there was anything in the package at all, since the envelope had opened and the only thing keeping the booze inside was the glue strip used for closing the envelope in the first place.
Anyway, I still haven’t reviewed any of the previous batch from Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘The Wood makes the Whisky’ campaign. Well, except that awesome 1954 Glen Grant that is. The other samples are queued. The unfortunate thing is that my queue is so messy and out of reach it’s a bit of a hassle to find the samples. Maybe this weekend 😉
Glenrothes 8yo, MacPhail’s Collection, 43%
Lots of spirit at first. Green, mossy tree bark. Freshly cut oak. A bit of burnt sugar, but without the richness of caramel.
The palate is sharp and young, with some raw alcohol too. Spirit, that greenness and plane tree bark. Wet bushes. There is some sweetness but it’s only showing up late. Some vanilla and oak.
The finish is soft and again, recognizably young. Green, sweet with fresh oak.
I’ve never been a big fan of Glenrothes, especially not their official bottling. While this is not an official bottling, I don’t find it very appealing. It’s right at the point between maturation and being too young that the spirit has lost some of its prominence and the oak hasn’t had time enough to truly work things out.
Macallan 2006, Speymalt, 43%
Some light sherry vinegar and pickled walnuts. I’ve had this Macallan profile before in a much older whisky. Light sherry without much wood influence. Maybe a tired cask? The spirit, which is still noticeable is quite rich and sweet.
The palate is slightly bitter with nutty sherry, but also some sweet and sour flavors. There is fruit, but it’s thick and heavy. Dry, with a hint of oak shavings.
The oak is more prominent here, as are the walnuts. Rich, young and sweet. Fruity with a hint of vinegar.
This is a far more interesting whisky. The spirit is powerful enough to make itself known, while also leaving room for the beginnings of oak to show. Also, what helps is that Macallan’s spirit is fairly awesome. Big and rich, so to say.
I’m not sure whether or not I’m a huge fan of the pickled walnuts idea, but it’s surely interesting to taste something that actually tastes like pickled walnuts. Why would anyone pickle walnuts?
Anyway, and interesting dram, and since it’s Gordon & MacPhail and their Speymalt, it’s fairly affordable at € 40.
Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for sending the samples!