After a Balblair 27 yo from 1974, I was interested in more special bottlings of these malts. A hunt via eBay then led me to this C&S Dram Senior Balblair 21 yo. Cheap at the time of purchase, now hardly available or only at a premium. Nose This particular Belblair welcomes the nose with a very special aroma. It contains intense, partly sour notes of red fruits, orange and strong sherry.
At 5 years old, Ardbeg Wee Beastie is younger than our good classic Ardbeg TEN. Thus, it is to be expected that he is stronger and wilder than his big brother, the name suggests it. And so it is, though not to the strong degree that the age difference would lead one to expect. Nose Initially, intense pepper and sea salt can be perceived. This is then joined by sweet notes of pine resin and the lovely smoke of an open campfire.
The Glenfiddich 21 yo Gran Reserva is certainly not the first malt I have come across from this distillery. More commonly known is the 12-year-old, an affordable and good entry-level whisky. But I have had the opportunity to enjoy a 21-year-old from the house before. This was the Havana Reserve and it was really very good. But it was not allowed to be imported into the USA with that name. Today it is only available as a collector’s item.
One of the always very good distilleries is Talisker on the Isle of Skye. They produce malts with and without an age statement. The Talisker 18 yo has a mature age, which welcomes the gourmet with a beautiful golden colour and a strong 45.8 %. Nose A wonderful aroma welcomes the connoisseur, it cannot deny its origin with sea salt and seaweed. But there are also sweet berries and a light caramel.
The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve is marketed as No Age without any indication of age. However, there is information from the distillery that it is matured for 14 years in bourbon casks before it is finished for 2 to 3 years in Portuguese port wine casks. This makes it at least 16 years old. Nose The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve pleases, as is to be expected with its finish, with fruity and strong notes.
There are some of the relative cheap Islay whiskies which are in most collections. Like the Laphroaig 10 yo or the Ardbeg TEN. Another interesting one of them, completely without smoke, is the Bunnahabhain 12 yo. Nose The nose of the Bunnahabhain is strong difference from typical Islay whiskies. It’s a fresh and round fragrance, sweet with a hint of sultanas. and cereals. There are also nuts and very little smoke in the background.
Glenfiddich is one of the great and well-known distilleries of Speyside, for many especially the twelve-year-old found in many shops. But the distillery offers many more variants. One is the Glenfiddich 15 yo Unique Solera Reserve, a fine drop from the house. Nose The Glenfiddich pleases with a wonderful soft note. Leading the way is a delicious honey, rounded off very lightly by a little banana. Vanilla scents form the background.
In addition to the standard malt, Laphroaig also offers special bottlings from time to time. The Laphroaig 10 yo Sherry Oak Finish with 48% is such a speciality. After American bourbon casks, it still matures in sherry casks and here still specifically an Oloroso sherry finish. Nose A nice intense aroma hits the nose right off the bat. It contains salt and iodine, but also turpentine. Dark chocolate and wet wood finish.
The The Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 yo with its 47.8% is a special drop. It is not available in every store, I ordered it in France. This was easy for me, even without a previous tasting, as none of my Balvenies have ever disappointed me so far. So also this time. Nose The nose of this malt immediately greets with wonderful notes. There are fruits such as cranberries and beautiful orange.
A few weeks have passed since the last entry. Which doesn’t mean that I haven’t had any malts. The corresponding tasting notes will follow in the coming days. The first one today is the Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 yo. Nose A pleasant soft and very mild nose with sweet notes of berries and honey. There is also some white chocolate and the mild aroma of caramel. The contrast is provided by light oak notes and the spiciness of ginger.