Archive for the ‘Inchgower’ Category

Edition Spirits Inchgower 1997 (20 year old) 56.1%

Bourbon/ Code: EDI0283/ Dist: Jan 1997 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

A powerfully citric and vibrant nose with balancing castor sugar and barley. With time the oak becomes pleasantly sawdusty and the barley increasingly fragrant. Multi-layered and very impressive.

The palate displays more oak (toffee/ cream) to begin with hints of wood shavings, apricot and honey. The citrus arrives on the middle along with the minerality. The finish is darker than expected with sub-Armagnac-esque fruit, a touch of dark wood spice, liquorice and brown sugar to balance the citrus and bitter oak. Again very impressive.


Gleann Mor ‘A Rare Find’ Inchgower 2008 (8 year old) 60.2%

Refill Bourbon/ Dist: 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: June 2017

A lovely, voluptuously oaked nose, but not overblown. There are plenty of big oak vanillins, but the barley and lithe, crisp white fruit balances. With time hints of grass and liquorice root.

The palate is soft and oaky to begin with but the barley, white fruit and hints of pepper come through. The oak becomes slightly creamy and toffee’d but it doesn’t dominate. The alcohol is so well integrated it’s barely noticeable and the finish is long with lingering barley and sweet oak.

Gleann Mor ‘A Rare Find’ Inchgower 2003 (14 year old) 55%

Refill Bourbon/ Dist: 2003 Btl:2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

A pleasantly fruity and estery nose of pineapple, pear, apricot and melon. Hints of gristy and lightly herbal barley along with a touch of hyacinth.

The palate displays more dusty/ straw-like barley and less of the estery fruit. However, it is quite fruity with apricot and pineapple notes. The gorgeously creamy and mature-ish American oak comes through on the middle and although the finish is a little masked it does have a good, mouth-watering citrus and mineral finish.

Water makes the nose crisper and more citric (tangerine). Less estery and a little oilier. On the palate it emphasises the creamy ok and granulated sugar sweetness. In fact it’s a real sweetie now! A little drying on the finish with a subtle tangerine finish,

Gordon & MacPhails Connoisseurs Choice Inchgower 1993 (17 year old) 46%

Refill American Hogshead/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: Dec 2015

The nose is thin, spirity and cardboardy with hints of lanolin and oak. Not exactly pristinely clean!

The palate is very much like the nose. Thin, hot, earthy and cardboardy with hints of creamy oak buried beneath the murk!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (18 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2314/ Dist: Jan 1995 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Light, nutty Oloroso/ Manzanilla cross aromas with sweet spice, liquorice, molasses and sultanas. Pleasantly complex with hints of tea leaves, black olives, light smoke, a touch of orange rind and toasted almonds. With time the aromas become increasingly oily with a touch of lanolin.

The palate is soft and nutty with more of an Oloroso sweetness. There are plenty of molasses, dark honey, raisins, dates and walnuts to get your teeth into and the dark spices build pleasantly on the middle. Good creamy-ish mouth-feel and a long, spicy dried fruit finish with the treacle really coating the mouth, but the alcohol balances leaving a lingering nuttiness. Seems a lot older than 18!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (18 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2314(?)/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Oct 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2014

Very herbal and botanical aromas with lightly fragrant barley, toffee, cream and herbal spices. With time some old sherried wood notes appear along with hints of chocolate.

The palate opens with some stewed fruit, heavily toasted toffee, malt and nuts. The creamy toffee builds along with hints of dried fruit and sherry spices. Very long and a little dry with some wonderfully dusty spice.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (19 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2473/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Apr 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

Sweet, lightly treacly aromas of herbal Oloroso along with sweet coffee, hickory, stewed sour apple and cinnamon.

The palate is quite sweet and herbal with biting wood spice, treacle, baked fruit and dried fruit. Very herbal on the middle with a good, if a little dry finish and lingering dried fruit and herbs.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (20 year old) 50%

Sherry/ Code: OMC2549/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: April 2016/ Tasted: June 2016

Quite deep and honeyed for a ‘gower with hints of straw, barley husks, sweet herbal sherry and coffee. The aromas display a good freshness and it is certainly not showing its age.

The palate opens with the dry, barley husks, straw and earthy fruit, followed by a touch of malt, coffee and again subtle sherry notes. It darkens on the middle as the malt kicks in along with notes of treacle and liquorice. Long and chewy, remaining malty with a fresh, citric and mineral finish. Very pleasant.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (21 year old) 50%

Refill Sherry Butt?/ Code: OMC2716/ Dist: Oct 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

The nose is a little hard with some fragrant barley and loads of gooseberry. Hints of sour fruit, vanilla and granulated sugar follow.

The palate is subtly mature with a prominent gooseberry character. Hints of barley and creamy oak on the middle with a long granulated sugar and sour fruit finish. It must have been aged in a very well used ex-Sherry butt as there’s practically no sherry influence at all.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Quarter Cask Finished

Code: HEP0111/ Dist: Jan 2008 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Aromas of deep honey, coffee and sub rye-like herbs. Youthful barley follows with hints of baked apple and gooseberry. Given it was quarter cask finished I would have expected more oak.

Soft and straightforward on the palate, but it displays a good depth of barley, light honey, toffee and subtle baked fruit. Quite spicy on the middle. Long with the spices lingering and the herbal rye-like notes returning. Could this have been finished in ex-sherry quarters?

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008(?) (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 2008(?) Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0110/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Deep and honeyed aromas with fragrant oak, barley, herbs and freshening zingy citrus. Lovely!

The palate shows more toffee’d oak, so it isn’t quite as fresh as the nose but it’s pleasantly honeyed and fragrantly oaked with the barley coming through on the middle. Good length with a slightly oiled and bitter spiced finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: Jan 2008 Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0109/ Tasted: Nov 2015

The nose is deep and honeyed but not quite as fragrant as HEP0110. Still some beautiful, sub-tropical melon, apricot and citrus appear and it becomes very fresh as the citrus kicks in. With time slightly herbal and earthy.

Slightly oily on the palate with some buttery oak. Fleshy but not as tropical as the nose with hints of apricot and barley. Good, mouth-watering finish as the citrus arrives. Lingering notes of liquorice, coffee, malt, herbs and spice.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008? (7 year old) 46%

Sherry Finished/ Code: HEP0179/ Dist: 2008? Btl: Aug 2016?/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Quite balsamic and a little spirity on the nose with some sweet barley, white fruit, herbs and cider apple.

The palate is earthy and coffee’d with again some balsamic notes. It’s not the cleanest of palates with a rather hot and spirity finish

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Wine Finished/ Code: HEP0161/ Dist: Feb 2008 Btl: Mar 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

A nose of oily barley and chunky Bourbon oak. Quite toasty and vanilla’d with hints of rye-like herbs (the finishing cask?) Hints of earth and citrus follow but the aromas are predominantly oak dominated.

The palate shows plenty of creamy, vanilla oak with hints of barley and apricot but the oak is dominating. Slightly herbal middle with the oak begging to bitter. Medium length with some lingering spicy wood notes lingering and a herbal after-taste.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Oloroso Sherry Butt Finished/ Code: HEP0202/ Dist: May 2008 Btl: 2017(?)/ Tasted: July 2017

The nose opens with slightly perfumed white fruits, crisp apple, honey, apricot and barley. There’s a faintly, almost red wine note but not a huge amount of sherry, in fact with time the waxy vanilla notes appear.

The palate is drier and a little tannic but the honey offsets. Fills out well on the middle as the apricot, mat, coffee and almost grain-like dried fruit arrives. Good depth and a lovely, soft, succulent, malty, slightly winey, dried fruit finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (9 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0251/ Dist: Jan 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is youthful, a little spirity and slightly peppery with nascent honey, barley and sweet oak.

The palate opens with subtle, but sweet barley, apricot and a touch of toffee. Fuller and a less spirity with a long, lightly spiced finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Inchgower 2008 (9 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0252/ Dist: Jan 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A subtly mentholated and herbal nose with hints of cereal and honey.

There’s a bit more toffee’d oak on the palate with hints of cereal and citrus. Good length, if a little hot with lingering oak.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Inchgower 2000 (14 year old) 48.4%

Sherry/ Code: OLD0138/ Dist: Aug 2000 Btl: Oct 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2014

Dense, oily and lightly herbal with a touch of refill sherry dried fruit along with a lightly perfumed almost rye-like note. That’s the upside. The downside is that the sherry isn’t totally blemish free.

Quite herbal and earthy with the cask blemish more noticeable. Musty and lightly industrial with a bitter finish.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Inchgower 1998 (18 year old) 48.4%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OLD0499/ Dist: Sept 1998 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Dense and malty on the nose with dark, baked fruit and more malt than you can shake a stick at! The sherry is quite herbal but not overly pronounced and there is an almost rye-like character to those herbal notes.

The palate is very malty and biscuity with hints of baked fruit, milk chocolate and subtle, sweet spices. Like the nose it isn’t overly sherried and the malt is ever present. Slightly honeyed and citric finish with lingering baked fruit.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Inchgower 1995 (20 year old) 51.5%

Sherry/ Code: OLD0231/ Dist: May 1995 Btl: Aug 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

The aromas are quite oily and mature. Fragrant honey, baked fruit, spice and toffee appear along with hints of oxidised dried apricot fruit, sultana and a developing perfumed floral note. In saying that feels quite mature it also has a lovely vibrancy with late hints of barley, coffee and earth.

A generous toffee and barley led palate with mature, baked fruit, earth and grain-like dried fruit notes. Some lovely, gentle, sweet spices come through on the middle. Quite a dry finish with the combination of alcohol and citrus making it a little mouth-watering. Lingering notes of dried fruit, straw and a lovely coffee’d after-taste.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Inchgower 1989 (25 year old) 51.5%

Bourbon/ Code: OLD0230/ Dist: Oct 1989 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

A nose of subtle, grainy dried fruit and hints of boiled sweets. Quite high toned and showing triple distilled straw-like aromas. Lovely, slightly toffee’d and grainy oak (almost French in character). Gently spiced with building sweet vanilla and barley. Pleasantly vibrant now.

The palate shows the boiled sweets, high toned barley and straw of the nose. Very soft and malt with some gentle oak and darker spices emerging on the middle. Showing more maturity now with a touch of baked fruit and dark honey. Long, mineral and crisp with hints of white fruit and a slightly bittering finish. All in all rather well balanced.


Douglas Laing Provenance Inchgower 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead?/ Code: PRV1218/ Dist: Mar 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

Aromas of hard barley, grass and green fruit. A little perfumed note lightens.

Soft and again slightly industrial with toffee’d oak, grass, citrus and barley. Medium length with a slightly hot and barley’d finish.

Douglas Laing Provenance Inchgower 2008 (9 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1331/ DL12028

Dist: Feb 2008 Btl: Aug 2017/ Tasted: Sept 2017

A subtle nose of slightly hard barley with hints of apple, vanilla and a developing ascetic note.

The palate is light, fresh and subtly citric. The palate is rounder and has more going on, partially due to the oak showing. Hints of barley and white liquorice appear and the finish is slightly grassy. Far more interesting than the nose.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1995 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2195/ Dist Dec 1995 Btl Oct 2012/ Tasted Oct 2012

Quite a mature nose of dusty spice and subtle sherry with hints of linseed and wood polish.

The palate is quite lively with a lovely touch of mature orange fruit, dusty spice, tobacco and leather. Plenty of old wood comes through on the middle along with a subtle sherry sweetness. Slightly tart and tannic on the finish with a touch of chilli hotness and dried leaves.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Inchgower 1982 (30 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2171/ Dist: Jun 1982 Btl: Aug 2012/ Tasted: Aug 2012

A venerable and complex nose. An interesting melange of kerosene, sweet apricot, pure barley sugar, barley husks with a touch of castor sugar and a lovely citrus lift. Add in some wood spices and rounded oak vanillins and you have a lovely nose. With time the oak does start to dominate but it has a gorgeous vanilla sweetness. Some may say it’s a bit over oaked but I think that the citrus notes just about balance it.

Lightly oiled and quite fudgy with plenty of cedar wood and a touch of sappy green oak along with some tobacco and leafy characteristics. Very malty on the middle and with the vanilla oils building it really starts to stick to the mouth! It continues to unwind with a light herbal honey, rose oil, spice and a light coffee note. Amazingly complex with a dry, spicy finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Inchgower 2008 (7 year old) 46%

sample received at 59.75%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV1144/ Dist Mar 2008 Btl: June 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

An intense, peppery and barley’d nose with hints of herbs and manure. A little feinty/ rubbery note develops along with a touch of white liquorice.

The palate is young and intense with hints of barley, white fruit and spice. Pretty simple and slightly feinty on the middle. Short and peppery.

With water the nose is a little sweeter with a subtle lemonade-like character and thankfully not as feinty now! The palate also displays a little more sweetness and is longer with lingering white fruit and white liquorice.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Inchgower 1999 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0736/ Dist Apr 1999 Btl: Oct 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

Good grief! The nose reeks of Bovril! Seriously malty and spicy with hints of amontillado sherry cask. I have to say that the spirit doesn’t feel quite integrated with the cask and has a noticeable botanical youthfulness to it.

Quite dry, leading off with the Bovril-esque character. Again quite malty (obviously!) with plenty of spices and sweetly toffee’d-sherried dried fruit on the middle. Better integration on the palate and a good length with a pure spice flecked muscovado sugar finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Inchgower 1999 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0762/ Dist Apr 1999 Btl: Jan 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2012

Soft, oily and slightly industrial. There are vague hints of well used sherry cask, burnt toffee, nuts and murky, earthy notes. The palate is sweeter and gristier but still slightly industrial, however it moves in a pulpy, spicy, tequila-esque manner. In fact it has a distinct agave flavour. Good length but it’s still rather hard work.

SignatoryCask Strength Collection Inchgower 1980 (26 year old) 53.4%

Sherry Cask 14144/ Dist: 1980 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Sept 2007

A raw vegetal sherry cask. Must be first fill. Quiet complex but it is all cask. Water makes it extremely vegetal. The palate is full of vegetal sherry along with sugar coated orange fruit. Very dry. Water again makes it extremely vegetal. The finish is dry and vegetal! (surprise!) Lots of wood along with Demerara sugar and spice. Water gives it a Cuban coffee note. In conclusion – Old, vegetal sherry – enough said!

Hart Brothers Inchgower 1976 (26 year old) 49.9%

Dist: Aug 1976 Btl:Sept 2002/ Tasted: July 2005

A dense, heavy, pungent, oily nose. Rich and fruity with a slight smokiness, a sweet toffee edge and minty floral overtones. Lovely complexity. Smooth, rich and fruity with toffee coated fruits, a touch of cream and a delightful smokiness drifting onto the tongue. Great length with a soft, fruity finish, a tangy dryness  a and smidge of salt.

Duncan Taylor Peerless Collection Inchgower 1968 (36 year old) 46.3%

Bourbon Cask 5575/ Dist: 1968 Btl: Apr 2005/ Tasted: March 2006

Wow, great nose. Mature with light malt and alcohol laced orange marmalade (I can see Jim Murray having this on toast for breakfast!). It takes awhile to really get going, but it is worth the wait.

Lovely mature, oily mouth feel, restrained sweetness of old natural honey, lots of malt and a touch of spice. Great intensity with a mouth watering finish with the mature fruit flavours shooting off everywhere. Very long with Cognac-esque (or old Grain) dried fruit notes in the finish. A big wow factor.

Dewar Rattray Inchgower 1980 (25 year old) 53.2%

Sherry Cask  14101/ Dist: Dec 1980 Btl: May 2006/ Tasted: June 2006

An earthy, old floor polish nose with mature treacle and a distinct vegetal/ gun smoke/ sulphur taint. Actually the vegetal note starts to resemble decomposing autumnal vegetation, and to be frank I’m not really enjoying this. Yes it has some pleasant cinnamon and sweet orange moments, but damn the sulphur!

It seems like this has just spent too much time in the cask and the palate is somewhat hollow. The vegetal old treacle notes are present as is a touch of rubber. The finish is all about the dusty wood and dried fruit rancio. Water only emphasizes the sulphur!

Dewar Rattray Inchgower 1982 (30 year old) 56.3%

Bourbon cask 6964/ Dist: 1982 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A deep malty and meaty nose of old polished wood, spice, leather and light treacle. It verily reeks of maturity! Did I mention how deep the aromas are? No? Well they are stunningly deep and complex! Lightly oxidised fruit mingles with some surprisingly youthful citrus and slightly perfumed vanillins, which are all liberally dusted with castor sugar. Give it some time and a lightly salted Manzanilla-esque note emerges. Good grief this is changing before my eyes! It started deep and brooding but now it has become lithe and perfumed. What an unbelievable transformation. 

The palate starts just like the nose did – malty and meaty with plenty of sultanas, raisins and cherries along with some beautifully gentle spices and old grass/ reed notes. A short burst of piquant alcohol clears the palate and then it’s on with some perfumed violet, honeysuckle, angelica and a plethora of all things floral! Wonderfully balanced with the sugars and vanillins dovetailing beautifully. It fades rather pleasantly too as the light clotted cream oak vanillins drift in. Talk about a malt of two halves Saint!!

Dewar Rattray Inchgower 1974 (34 year old) 61.3%

Hogshead – Cask 7877/ Dist: Sept 1974 Btl: Nov 2008/ Tasted: Nov 2008

I really don’t know quiet where to start with this as it really came out of left field and I really wasn’t expecting this – One word – Stunning!

It’s damn big, monolithic in fact. I’m sure this is rum. It certainly has all those glorious stewed and dried fruit – apricots, sultanas and figs aromas firing off in all directions. Great fun! There’s even a sugar cane note along with a sight earthiness. Amazingly complex with a coconut/ vanilla touch. The palate pretty much follows the nose. Full of dried fruits, mature honey, ginger and crumbly spices hammering the tastebuds. Delicately oily, wonderfully balanced. Even the relatively high alcohol plays a supporting role. A drop of water mellows the nose and homogenises a bit, however on the palate it brings out an earthy, leathery, tobacco note and the length is amazing and leaves a lovely sweet raisiny/ sultanary coating.

Dewar Rattray Inchgower 1974 (36 year old) 56.4%

Bourbon Cask 1624/ Dist: 1974 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Nov 2010

The edgy brittle barley and minerality of this dram keeps the gorgeously mature honey in its place. With time the herbal element begins to show and evolve as does hints of damp earth/ loam, green cardamom, wet honeysuckle and coffee bean. A really interesting and exemplary nose.

Like the nose it is edgy and brittle to begin with before the herbal laced honey wades in. Juicy and mature with plenty of mouth watering alcohol, but the herbalness returns and the gorgeous honey is flecked with hints of white liquorice and wood spice. As the honey peters out the gorgeous old oak keeps the flavours rocking!

With water I swear the honey has become thicker and deeper – Stunning! The palate is glorious, the alcohol nip has obviously been reduced but it releases plenty of spicy white fruit, herbs and liquorice root. Ok, the honey does expire quite quickly now but the void is filled with a veritable bucketful of spices.