Clynelish 18 years Old Particular 48.4%

Old Particular is a series of bottlings from the independent bottler Douglas Laing. The spirit in this Clynelish cask, a refill hogshead, was distilled in April 1997 and bottled in May 2015. The cask provided 216 bottles, and at least some are available at Vinmonopolet. It has the reference DL10770.

Clynelish 18 years Old Particular

Nose: Fruits and berries, gooseberry bush, green apples. With water the fruit intensifies.

Palate: Black pepper, a lot of sweetness, cask as well, somewhat musty oak, cinnamon.

Comments: Not a text-book Clynelish, but it’s complex and certainly very nice.

Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.

Glenallachie 20 years Cadenhead Small Batch 59.1%

Glenallachie 20 years Cadenhead Small Batch bottle

Nose: Lemongrass, malt and oak. With quite a lot of water it turns towards citrus and grass.

Palate: Overoaked, oaky bitterness. With a lot of water: Much better. Malt, candy floss, hazel nuts, still quite a lot of oak.

Comments: Undrinkable at full strength. Better with water, but it never quite redeems itself in my eyes.

Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.

Scapa Skiren 40%

Scapa Skiren was launched last year as an addition to the Scapa standard lineup. As with all Scapas the spirit was distilled in Scapa’s Lomond still, the only one still in operation in Scotland. The whisky is issued without an age statement and has matured in first-fill american oak.

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Nose: Apples and pears, dry malt loft. Its youth is apparent the moment you add water.

Palate: Malt, yellow apples, apple peel, some bitterness on the finish.

Comments: A pleasant surprise; a simple, but nice, session dram.

Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.

Blair Athol 1991 22 years Berry’s 46%

Bottled in 2014, cask reference 7279.

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Nose: Quite a bit of citrus and orange peel, bitter vanilla. More towards baked apples with water and hints of liquorice.

Palate: Malt and liquorice (or “sisselrot”, common polypody, or rather the edible root of it which has a vegetal liquoricy taste).

Comments: Something of a surprise, not a typical Blair Athol at all, but very nice, even so.

Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.

Old Pulteney 1989 25 years 54.1%

Distilled 15 November 1989, bottled at the distillery by Leif Olav 23 May 2015, cask number 4148.

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Nose: Fruity. Candied oranges, passionfruit, dried apricot, vanilla and oaky perfumes. With water it gets a faintly perfumed smokiness, incense, perhaps?

Palate: Chocolate confectionery. Dark chocolate with a pssion fruit filling, brittle and i touch of salt. Engine oil shows up when water is added, as does old, dry oak. The finish is long and consists of oak, dark chocolate and dark cherries.

Comments: Very nice indeed. Classic Old Pulteney in many respects, and age has weathered it nicely without letting the oak take over. I’ve only got a sample, unfortunately, I’d really like a bottle – or five – of this one.

Glenmorangie Finealta 46%

Supposedly based on a “recipe” from 1903, the Finealta is “lightly peated” and matured in American and oloroso sherry oak. I purchased it at a reasonable price on the ferry between Larvik and Hirtshals as a travel dram on my way to Billund last November.

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Nose: Dry wood, some ashes, fruit; apples and apricots, and fruit trees. The fruit is emphasised with water, approaching dried fruits rather than fresh, and some vanilla makes its appearance.

Palate: Vanilla and heat, dried fruits, black pepper or some other spice. Water brings out oven roasted or grilled fruits, definitely a little scorched. Otherwise much of the same.

Comments: I quite like this. Not a world of complexity and oomph, but a rather nice sipping whisky. It worked well as a travel dram, which needs to be easy drinking and a nice thing to share with others (people who may be newbies in the whisky world), it fullfills those criteria perfectly. I’d happily purchase it again if the price is right.

Myken Young Malt Hungarian Oak 47 %

This spirit has matured for five months in a 10 litre cask of Hungarian oak.

Nose: A fair amount of congeners, vanilla, a little cinnamon and apricots. It turns more towards the vegetal with water, I still find cinnamon, but also some black pepper.

Palate: Rice pudding with cinnamon and sugar. Congeners as well. Rougher with water, but the cinnamon still dominates.

Comments: Seems very young, but then it is. The cinnamon is from the oak, I suppose. It’s a bit over the top, really. Less congeners on the nose would have been better, as it is, I rather like it, but not so much that I regret it being unavailable to purchase.

Mackmyra Preludium: 03 52.2%

This edition of Preludium is from Mackmyra’s smoked newmake variety that has matured in ex sherry casks.

Nose: Malt, slight smokey character and liquorice. Water brings out fruit, both fresh tropical and something dried, possibly apricots. A somewhat sharp, young off-note is also present.

Palate: Liquorice and a slight smokiness, but also a somewhat woolly, murky “chemical” feel. With water the liquorice is still present, but also raisins and some congeners.

Comments: This is probably the best Preludium I’ve tasted, though that is not neccessarily saying much as my impression of the series as a whole is not very good (though I AM a fan of much of what Mackmyra has released in later years). Smoke and sherry does a lot to conceal any off-notes, so that even though this also has a “young and unfinished” feel, it’s far from undrinkable.

Springbank 12 years 43%

In a ceramic jug, from the 1990ies.

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Nose: Raisins, milk chocolate, caramellised something, fried butter and a little eucalyptus. Water brings out the sherry and some congeners, a hint of cellar, possibly some mould.

Palate: Burnt sugar and oak cask. With water the wood tastes rawer, there are a fair few congeners, but also toffee and sherry notes.

Comments: Somewhat strange on the nose, but not at all unpleasant. The congeners are a pluss, they help make the dram more interesting. I prefer the roughness of this to the elegance of the 17 year old. It’s ovbiously worth keeping a look out for these old bottlings.