Archive for the ‘Invergordon’ Category

The Single Cask Invergordon 1988 (27 year old) 45.8%

Cask 8118/ Dist: Feb 1988 Btl: Feb 2016/ Tasted: Jun 2017

A very neutral nose with sweet and fragrant grain spirit notes. Hints of grass, toffee and oak char appear and with time a subtle dried fruit and butter cream note.

The palate opens with some very subtle dried fruit and a touch of vanilla oak. The edgy grainy notes come through on the middle and the oak begins to develop. Medium length with lingering dried fruit and citrus. Pleasant enough but a little too neutral.

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James MacArthur Old Masters Invergordon 1991 (23 year old) 57.9%

Bourbon Cask 77732/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Dec 2014

An elegant and slightly high toned nose with oily vanilla and oily dried fruit. The soft and subtle oak adds hints of coconut, almond and mocha. Wonderfully complex with developing herbal, straw, earth and brown sugar notes.

The palate is soft and vanilla’d with moist, nutty dried fruit and coconut. Beautiful spicy on the middle with hints of praline and coffee. The alcohol gives those spices a real bite, however the soft vanilla and light honey counters. The finish is pure crème brulee with a lightly toasted granulated sugar coating.

A drop of water emphasises the oils, straw, flax and gives the grain a slight perfumed edge. The palate is very coconutty now but in saying that it is more grain focused and crisper. It’s just like a moist bounty bar but without the chocolate topping! And…………. I love bounty bars!

Hunter Laing Sovereign Grain Invergordon 1992 (21 year old) 60.4%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2019/ Dist: Feb 1992 Btl: Nov 2013/ Tasted: Dec 2013

The nose is quite smoky and intensely grainy with a profusion of coffee-grains and herbal spirit notes. There are some hints of earth and vanilla along with a cleansing lemon note.

The palate is lightly oiled with hints of dried fruit and a touch of sweet vanilla. Quite sweet and rum like on the middle with a lovely citrus intensity. Very long with banana, coconut, sweet vanillins and a hazelnut praline finish.

With water the nose displays even more citrus as the oak recedes, but the vanillins have become sweeter. That also allows some gentle, sweet spices to appear along with a touch of agricole-esque herbal notes. The palate has become a lot sweeter, with vanilla ice cream oak. A little light graininess attempts to balance and it finishes very much like it does neat. Very enjoyable but you need to love oak!

Hunter Laing Sovereign Grain Invergordon 1988 (25 year old) 58.1%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2036/ Dist: Aug 1988 Btl: July 2014/ Tasted: Aug 2014

Quite a woody nose with loads of dark chocolate powder and dusty tannins. However there is a lovely degree of aged, dried fruit – prune, sultana and grape with treacle and fragrantly sweet wood smoke. The fruit takes on a Cognac-esque character and a touch of tobacco and leather emerges.

The palate is dusty and woody. Lovely maturity with an almost sherried richness and moist fruitcake notes. Quite dry on the middle due to the combination of alcohol and tannins but intensely spicy. Very long with the dried, spicy fruit pushing through as the alcohol subsides and a sliver of smoke, treacle and tobacco emerges on the finish. Lovely dusty cocoa powder after-taste.

Hunter Laing Sovereign Invergordon 1988 (27 year old) 51.1%

Code: SOV2074/ Dist: Feb 1988 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted Oct 2015

Aromas of brittle toffee and peanut brittle, sour cherries, apricot and edgy dried fruit. Very spicy with pepper, barky spice, loam and moss along with hints of sour dough, treacle and oak. The pepper really tickles the nasal passageway!

The palate is soft and buttery with milk choclate, toffee and hints of pepper, sour dough, sour fruit and grainy, herbal notes. An explosion of pepper on the middle with a slight chilli-like hotness, although some toffee sweetness balances. Long, dried fruit and coconut finish with lingering, subtly sweet vanilla. Definitely entertaining!

Hunter Laing Sovereign Grain Invergordon 1984 (30 year old) 59.6%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2054/ Dist: Oct 1984 Btl: Mar 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2015

The aromas are a little reticent and earthy with lightly oiled raisinated fruit, vanilla and a touch of shortbread.

The palate begins a little sweet-ish and oak dominated with fudge, caramel and a light nuttiness. Hints of dried fruit and gain spice do appear eventually. Lovely length with the sweetness lingering along with a touch of milk chocolate, praline and coconut.

Hunter Liang Sovereign Invergordon 1977 (40 year old) 47.8%

Bourbon Finished?/ Code: SOV2103/ Dist: Jan 1977 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

Dense, rich and woody aromas with an almost sherried raisin and dried prune note. (possibly an ex-Sherry butt finished in an ex Bourbon cask?) Beautifully dusty oak with hints of walnut, treacle, wood smoke, coconut and honey glazed fruit. The American oak develops a lovely violety note with time and an almost seet barley note appears as well.

The palate is dense and almost malty with dried prune, apricot and raisin. Gentle vanilla and coconut notes come through along with a touch of spice. Stunning depth and complexity with the spices beginning to bitter but are held in check by the treacle and tar. Long, juicy finish with an avalanche of dried fruit, treacle and drying tannins.

Hunter Laing Sovereign Grain Invergordon 1964 (48 year old) 43.7%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2001/ Dist: Nov 1964 Btl: July 2013/ Tasted: Aug 2013

Whoa! Densely packed, emphatic aromas of sweet, smoky oak go head-to-head with the herbal grains. A serious clash of the titans! Some beautiful brown sugar coated dried tangerine, raisin, sultana and date abet. Quite malty and treacly but those fresh grain notes balance superbly. Stunningly deep with a little roasted java coffee and crumbly spices emerging with time.

The palate is dense and chewy with plenty of treacle, honey, liquorice and dried fruit. Very rum-like with a distinct molasses sweetness. Again the fresh graininess and citrus quality balances superbly as the myriad of spices gets going. Exceptionally long with the sugars returning along with a touch of pure coffee bean, vanilla and the ever present dried fruit. Absolutely gorgeous!

Hunter Laing Sovereign Grain Invergordon 1966 (50 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2087/ Dist: Mar 1966 Btl: May 2016/ Tasted: June 2016

A dark and almost malty nose with beefy/ meaty overtones. Hints of molasses, hazelnuts, pecan, sweet vanilla and buttered toast follow. A touch of nippy, freshening grain appears with time. Seriously mature but vibrant with developing lightly roasted coffee bean and dark toffee.

The palate displays more grainy dried fruit with hints of butter, hazelnuts and molasses. Hints of dark chocolaty tannins, spice and citrus follow. Lively, pulsating, grainy middle with the gorgeously smooth but bitter spices coming through. Long, unctuous and exceptionally juicy with the oak becoming very buttery and the dried fruit returning. Finally finishing with the dark chocolate and molasses notes. A sheer delight!

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Invergordon 1965 (38 year old) 51.6%

Cask No 15537/ Dist: 1965 Btl 2003/ Tasted: Mar 2007

A lovely perfumed nose of violets and winter flowers, delicate yet pronounced. Followed by an intensity of vanilla dusted sweet citrus fruits, a complex melange of spicy red wine infused fruits and a whiff of toasty oak to finish – simply sensational!

The palate is medium-sweet, with a cognacesque quality to it. Full of dried citrus fruit and grain. This opens into an intense wine infused creamy middle with a slight suggestion of spice and ends with the floralness that the nose evokes. Delicate, interesting and very long. 

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Invergordon 1965 (41 year old) 50.1%

Cask 15516/ Dist: 1965 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: May 2006

Big, juicy aromas of distinctive Bourbon-esque character. No surprise there is a huge array of dried fruit, sultanas, figs, candied citrus fruit, honey and a lovely menthol top note. In fact this is a lot more herbal than previous bottlings.

Soft and juicy on the palate, maybe not as full bodied as previous bottling, but it is still delightful. Very complex with and quiet sweet with the juicy Bourbon-esque fruits balanced by a subtle grainy-ness. And not forgetting the riot of herbalists! The length is divine with a touch of salinity in the finish. 

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Invergordon 1965 (41 year old) 50.1%

Cask 15516/ Dist: 1965 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: July 2007

A very expressive and rich nose of liquid toffee, dried fruits, corn, spice and lashings of vanilla dusted or icing sugar coated citrus fruits. A touch floral with a late banana note. Distinctly Bourbon-esque! Soft and fruity on the palate opening with the Bourbon-like corn, followed by dried fruit, vanilla, violets and sweet spices. Very long with a touch of stunning tropical fruit. 

Water brings out a coffee/ vanilla note on the nose and softens the palate turning it into a real mouthful of rich, soft Bourbon-esque fruits. So soft and smooth!!! 

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Invergordon 1965 (41 year old) 50.2%

Bourbon Cask 15517/ Dist 1965 Btl: 2006/ Tasted:  Sept 2007

Simply stunning aromas of grainy Bourbon-esque soft citrus fruit. Incredible depth and complexity, multi-dimensional with herbs, violets and grassy notes. Absolutely luxurious, harmonious with a touch of gin like botanicals. A drop of water softens it and maybe removes some of the character.

The palate displays an amazing depth of delicate yet rich dried fruits again very Bourbon like. Again a good complexity with quiet a bit of coating wood tannins. Water softens. 

Medium length with the alcohol dominating. A bit disappointing to say the least. In conclusion – Absolutely stunning nose, yet in the mouth it doesn’t quiet live up to the complexity of the nose and the finish is a bit disappointing. Maybe I’m just splitting hairs it is 41 years old after all! 

Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Invergordon 1965 (43 year old) 51.6%

Bourbon Cask 15536/ Dist: 1965 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Oct 2009

Deep and not so overtly oaky on the nose. Retrained and earthy with what appears to be a touch of manurey-peat! The oak attempts to assert itself but it whispers rather than growls (well as far as grain whiskies go it does!) Beautifully grainy with some crumbly spices and hints of liquorice, charred oak and violets. Lovely bitter/ sweet balance.

The palate is soft, subtle (as far as gain whiskies go!), quite earthy with hickory, coffee, and like the nose, the oak is quiet restrained. It opens into a rich, spicy middle, with some lovely soft, embellished grains and some seriously conspicuous violet notes. Still the oak is impeccably behaved and adds a lovely bitter liquorice, cocoa and pure 90% dark chocolate notes. This is a very crisp Invergordon which could easily pass for a rye whisky. Stunning!!

Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular Invergordon 1966 (50 year old) 49.7%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: XOP0061/ DL11182

Dist: Mar 1966 Btl: June 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

OMG! This nose is stunning! Moist Armagnac-esque prunes and  raisins, all liberally dusted in sugar. Hints of cigar and wood smoke pear amid the luscious vanillins and Bourbony oak. Grainy, bitter chocolate, cinnamon and delicious golden syrup notes follow. This nose is a wonderful blend of maturity and vibrancy.

The palate opens with delightful golden syrup coated fig, prune, walnuts, dried apricot, banana and soft spice. A little bitter chocolate tannins and nippy grain notes follow, but the syrup balances and coats the mouth. Some lovely dusty oak and baked fruit comes through on the middle. Long with sumptuously sweet oak and sweet spices mingling with bitter chocolate. Wow! Superbly balanced and vibrant with a touch of tannin but lingering toasty oak and dried fruit. Magnificent!

 


Douglas Laing Old Particular Invergordon 1997 (18 year old) 48.4%

Refill Barrel/ Code: OLD0319/ Dist: May 1997 Btl: June 2016

Tasted: July 2016

Young and tart on the nose with sweet white fruit and tight, charred oak. Hints of cereal and lemon with time. Really crisp and fresh.

The palate shows more lightly toffee’d charred oak. Straightforward with a touch of sweet, dried fruit. Good length with a continuation of the dried fruit and a lovely, spicy bite in the finish

Douglas Laing Old Particular Invergordon 1994 (21 year old) 50.7%

Refill Barrel/ Code: OLD0272/ Dist: Oct 1994 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Crisp and high toned aromas. Lightly smoky with subtle dried fruit and very restrained oak. A touch of almost tart grapefruit appears along with a subtle baked fruit note.

The palate shows more dried fruit, although it is still relatively subtle. Quite citric and herbal with some lovely tongue tingling grainy spices. Very fresh and long with a little sweet oak appearing but the fresh citric notes hold.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Invergordon 1994 (21 year old) 52.8%

Refill Bourbon Barrel/ Code: OLD0295/ DL11091

Dist: Oct 1994 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Quite aromatic and herbal on the nose with edgy dried fruit. Very subtly oaked, but it adds coconut and hazelnut notes. The grain is vibrant and focused and slightly floral with time.

The palate is oiler and richer with a good density of dried fruit and an almost malty richness beneath. Lightly spiced dried fruit follows with a touch of dark honey. The fresher grain notes develop on the middle and finish, leading to a crisp, citric finish with the grain powering through. The subtle honey and oak sits beneath and stops the finish being overly austere.


Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Invergordon 1993 (21 year old) 51.1%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0124/ Dist: Jun 1993 Btl: Sept 2014/ Tasted: Oct 2014

A lovely nose of aromatic dried fruit, baked fruit, dusty spice and a touch of pastry. Hmm, Invergordon pie anyone!?! Very lightly oaked with just a smidgen of vanilla and some late soft smoke.

The palate opens with the baked fruit, lightly caramelised fruit and honey. Quite sweet with a touch of toffee, citrus and soft spice. There’s a gorgeous hit of sweet spices on the middle along with a little coconut. Good length with hints of white chocolate and drying tannins. Lightly smoked after-taste. Very enjoyable!

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Invergordon 1965 (46 year old) 44.2%

Bourbon/Code: DEN0089/ Dist: Dec 1965 Btl: Dec 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2013

The nose is quite lightly oaked and quite elegant which allows the rye like spices to show. Hints of cinnamon and some pure, buttery, almond oak bolster the nose along with some lightly raisinated fruit. Beautifully balanced and not too sweet, however there is a light sugared dusting. With time it becomes distinctly American as the rye like notes impose themselves.

The palate is sweet and gentle. A little on the straightforward side with hints of brown sugar, light oak and a refreshing citrus spirit note. Quite a smoky/ coal dust finish with a touch of bitter chocolate tannins. Pleasant but I have tasted more complex bottlings.

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Invergordon 1966 (45 year old) 47.1%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0071/ Dist: Mar 1966 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

Now this is worth its price tag! A very subtle and grainy nose. Lightly smoked and ever so slightly fishy with toasted caramel, nuts and perfumed fruity spirit notes – citrus, apple, pear and some light honey. The oak is very subservient (which is quite unique in my experience of tasting old Invergordon’s) and sits beneath the wonderfully edgy, grainy spirit. Late notes of vanilla infused pineapple and banana appear. Extremely complex and a nose that you just have to take your time with and contemplate.

The palate is reality sweet with a serious fruitiness – pineapple, pear and apricot all seeped in wonderfully mature honey. The grain nips beautifully and the mouth waters uncontrollably. The oak is very restrained and it allows the spirit to conjure up some warming dried raisiny fruitcake, accented with hints of chocolate and coffee. The balance and complexity is sublime, the wood and oak is in perfect synchronicity. This is absolutely mind-blowingly good. It’s a real honour to be able to taste spirit like this!

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Invergordon 1966 (43 year old) 47.5%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0080/ Dist: Mar 1966 Btl: Dec 2011/ Tasted: Dec 2011

A massive, slightly perfumed nose opening with some glorious dried fruit and grilled nuts. The oak is rather subdued (by Invergordon standards) but adds some fresh creamy vanilla. Seriously spicy and slightly earthy, but the grain has a beautifully balancing freshness. With time it develops an almost gristy sweetness. Elegant and very, very good.

The palate is silky smoothness personified! Liquid mature honey with mandarin, grilled nuts, alcohol soaked dried fruit and the sweetest spices imaginable coat the mouth. Gently oaked, with the grain imparting just the tenderest of nips and again like the nose it has a distinct perfumed edge. The oak returns on the finish, leaving a beautifully creamy mouth-feel. Absolutely gorgeous!

A.D Rattray Invergordon 1991 (24 year old) 59.9%

Bourbon Cask 39033/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

The nose is quite fresh and grainy with underlying chocolate coated dried fruit, smoke and herbs. Hints of praline and more fragrant cigar smoke emerge along with an almost peaty/ medicinal note, which is quite unusual. With time some burnt coffee grains appear.

The palate begins with some tight, herbal tannins and alcohol soaked dried fruit. Hints of buttered rum toffee, chocolate coated raisin and buckets of bitter chocolaty spices follow. Very long and smoky with some sultana and citrus coming through on the finish. Slightly oily and smoky after-taste with lingering toffee’d oak. Wonderful intensity!

A drop of water makes the nose oilier and subtler, emphasising the toasted nuts and perfumed citrus. The palate is a little sweeter now with the emphasis on the oily dried fruit. It’s also taken the edge of the bittering spices and it has become smokier. The dried fruit still lingers and a little herbal graininess can now be discerned.

Dewar Rattray Invergordon 1964 (40 year old) 52.1%

Bourbon Cask 57633/ Dist: Aug 1964 Btl: June 2005/ Tasted: Dec 2005

Wow, wow and again wow! It has been awhile since I was truly blown away by a whisky, but this one does. Oily, lusciously fruity almost Bourbon whisky like. Is this really 40? The aromas are so extraordinary and complex they are quite difficult to pin down, but here goes (deep breath!) – sweet corn, very creamy apricot, new oak-ish aromas, it reminds me of a heavily oaked desert wine, hugely spicy with natural caramel and coconut. This was an incredibly cask.

On the palate it is med-dry, crisp, mature, again quite Bourbon like with cereal, corn, lovely soft, mature dried fruit, a touch rum like on the middle, tangy yet soft alcohol, lashings of oily orange, apricot, late harvested oaked fruit. A simply superb length, luscious, sweet and lasting. I think I can still taste those spices.

A.D Rattray Invergordon 1972 (43 year old) 48.9%

Bourbon Cask 39/ Dist: 1972 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

A lovely nose of oily, rummy dried fruit and subtle oak. Hints of lemon, vanilla, marzipan follow. The oak is restrained and doesn’t overwhelm the spirit. With time a touch of burnt wood.

Crisp and fresh (for its age) with lightly oiled dried fruit, coffee, toffee and creamy oak. A little gritty dark chocolate comes through on the middle. Very vibrant with some smoke and gritty tannins, but the soft, sweet-ish dried fruit balances. Very long with lingering coconut, dry spice and slightly bitter oak notes. Lovely complexity.

Dewar Rattray Ivergordon 1966 (46 year old) 51.9%

Bourbon cask 5/ Dist: 1966 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A seriously dense nose with plenty of coffee oak and slightly salted butter. Actually it’s melted butter! Or is it melted fudge? Either way it’s fair to say that it’s quite oaked, but the nippy grains fight back hard aided by some lovely raisinated fruit. But it’s the stunning clarity of the mature oak which catches the eye, or the nose as the case maybe! It’s so soft and succulent. A classically oaked Invergordon, but with the oak turned up to 11!

Like the nose the oak starts a rollin’ from the word go. Gently buttery moving into fudge with a suggestion of corn meal. Now the grainy spices come through on the middle, trailing some lovely sugars and lightly raisinated fruit. Briefly the complexity of those dried fruits shines before the toffee/ vanilla fudge returns with a very lightly roasted coffee bean note. Yes it’s hugely oaked, but then old grain is and the myriad of oak flavours is absolutely breath taking.

Dewar Rattray Invergordon 1988 (25 year old) 52.8%

Bourbon Cask 8093/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Jan 2014

The nose is crisp and oily with buckets of oily, Guyana-like dried fruit, herbal, grainy spices and sweet oak. For an Invergordon it’s relatively light on the oak, but it has a lovely fragrant character. With time it becomes lightly creamy with a sort of clarified butter note. It’s not all about the oak though as there is some lovely sweetly but earthily spiced apricot and sultana coming through. With time it becomes quite herbal.

The palate is soft and sweetly oaked. Slightly creamy with gerbil ingrained dried fruit and grainy spice. The spirit itself is a little neutral, so the overall impression is of a mature oak aged vodka but those buzzy spices are beguiling. The oils build and counteract bringing hints of coffee and treacle. On the middle the dried fruit really begins to kick in. Wonderfully soft with a touch of coal smoke and sweet maple wood smoke in the finish. Actually it’s pretty smoky now with a bbq honey glazed ham-like after-taste! Ooooh that’s good!

Bladnoch Forum Invergordon 1971 (35 year old) 49.5%

Bourbon Cask 66663/ Dist: 1971 Btl 2007/ Tasted: Nov 2007

Intense and quite crisp for an Invergorgdon. The nose opens with a lovely depth of Bourbon-esque flambéed toffee coated banana, liberally sprinkled with decadent cinnamon spices. Superbly balanced by its hard, grainy edge and dunnage floor notes. 

A magical palate – soft, smooth, oily toffee, honey and plenty of natural caramel spices. The intense oak is kept in check by the alcohol and some very pleasant leafy spices emerge on the middle. Lovely finish with a hint of rum like dried fruit. 

Water brings out a coffee cream note on the nose with the graininess more prevalent on the palate. The alcohol intensity is knocked back, brining forward the spice along with that coffee cream note. With time some violet notes also appaear. 

Bladnoch Forum Invergordon 1972 (36 year old) 48.9%

Cask 85110/ Dist: Oct 1972 Btl: Apr 2009/ Tasted June 2009

Sumptuous, silky, creamy aromas of pure toffee-oak, beeswax, mature honey, brittle caramel, nuts, peanut oil, all dripping in luscious vanillins and divine spices and a violet top note. Exceptionally clean Bourbon cask with even hints of the light charring evident. The grain just about pokes its head through the oak.

This whisky glides over the palate. Soft and silky, opening with the rich, nutty, toffee-oak and mature honey, but balanced by the arrival of the crisp, sharp grains. Lovely intensity and creaminess. Excellent length. A drop of water bring out a coffee note on the nose, whilst on the palate it allows the grassy, citrus, nettle/leaves/grass/Sauvignon-esque character of the spirit to show. 

Ok, this may not appeal to everyone in the way that overt sherry cask whisky don’t often appeal, but if you love, sublime, clean, bourbon oaked whiskies then this is your man!

Bladnoch Forum Invergordon 1988 (24 year old) 56.2%

Bourbon cask 18591/ Dist: Feb 1988 Btl: May 2012/ Tasted: May 2012

A big, fat, ‘in yer face’ nose full of intense coffee-oak and spicy grain. No shrinking violet this! The alcohol and grain subdue the oak to certain extent but it still adds hints of almond kernel, toasted wood, clove and peppercorn. 

The palate is quite dry and tannic, but the oak does have a lovely creamy sheen to it. Big spicy grains infused with coffee and clotted cream. The alcohol is intense and mouth-watering on the middle, but once it passes those spicy grains are let loose, marauding across the tongue like Genghis Khan on a jolly! – That’s a serious hit! 

A drop of water has no impact upon the intensity of the aromas, whereas on the palate the grain retreats a little bringing the creamy oak forward. A bit sweeter now as well with more of the coffee-cream but still there’s enough grain to balance. I love this!