Waterford Distillery New Make 2016 70.82%

Barley from Tom Fennelly

Tasted: May 2017

The nose is lightly oiled and quite barley sweet and cereally with subtle earthy notes and a developing creaminess.

The palate shows some lovely, subtly sweet barley and gentle oils. Lightly biscuity note on the middle and a fresh finish and sweet-ish barley after-taste.

A drop of water brings out a touch of wool fat on the nose but also an almost violety/ floral note and subtle estery notes. The palate is very soft with fresh barley and a slight citric and earthy note. Lovely soft mouth feel with lingering light earthiness.

Waterford Distillery New Make 2016 72.39%

Barley from David Walsh-Kemmis

Tasted: May 2017

The nose is deeper, earthier and more pungent with a real soil/loamy character. Subtly cereally with a developing barley sweetness.

The palate is oilier and earthier with a very gritty texture. The spirit displays more ‘whisky-like’ fruit notes, even at this early stage. Earthy and lightly biscuity with a faintly fusel finish.

Water makes the nose very malty and biscuity with hints of tobacco, waxy spice and sub-whisky notes. The palate is very oily and pungent with lanolin and a raw loam/ earth character. Almost spicy, grippy, drying finish.

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Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Glenlossie 1997 (19 year old) 54.2%

Bourbon Hogshead 6749/ Dist: Nov 1997 Btl: Apr 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

Pleasantly mature and straw-like aromas with fragrant barley, malt and wood spices. Hints of darker toffee appear along with uber soft but chunky vanilla. The oak does become a little dominating and dusty but a touch of citrus injects some freshness.

The palate opens with the creamy oak and zesty citrus. There’s a real battle going on between the oak and the spirit, but the citrus, aided by the alcohol eventually holds the high ground. Hints of straw, toffee, white fruits and minerals. The finish is very limey and austere, which implies it’ll need a drop of water.

Diluted the nose becomes wonderfully perfumed with orange and tangerine notes. The oak is relegated to the background. The palate displays more barley and straw. Like the nose the oak influence is subtler and the orange and tangerine notes appear. Superb, juicy finish with a touch of malt and dark spices in the finish now.

Hunter Liang Sovereign Vatted Grain 1964 (52 year old) 47.9%

Bourbon/ Code: SOV2105/ Dist: Dec 1964 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

Dense and treacly aromas with violety oak and raisinated fruit. Hints of wood smoke, spice and sawdust follow along with a gentle, herbal rye-like note. Stunning depth and maturity, but it still retains a wonderful freshness. With time the oak char is noticeable as is some peppery oak spice.

The palate is dense, rich and treacly with hints of walnut, raisin, sultana, sweet orange peel and slightly violety and dusty American oak. Some subtle coffee’d tannins come through on the middle and just like the nose suggests it has a wonderful balance of maturity and freshness. Lovely grainy finish with lingering treacle.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Glen Keith 1996 (20 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2633/ Dist: Aug 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

Initially the nose is quite heavy on the toffee/ caramel oak, although a touch of hard barley, pine, honey and grainy dried fruit comes through.

The palate mirrors the nose with the toffee’d oak, although the caramel notes have a burnt edge and the barley is very much of the industrial persuasion. Straightforward and continuing in an oaky manor. Short, grainy finish.

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Tullibardine 1993 (24 year old) 52%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Mar 1993 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

An earthy and edgy nose with heather, malt extract and toasted toffee. Meaty and beefy, but balanced with late hints of sweet vanilla, straw, green apple and lime.

The palate is oily and biscuity with malt, dark honey and roasted coffee bean. Quite tannic on the middle but the maltiness balances. Mouth-watering almost tartly citric finish with a superb intensity and lingering green fruit, pepper, rose petal marc, malt and drying spices. It’s an impressive old ‘tulli.

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Arran 1996 (20 year old) 50.3%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

The nose is quite dark and malty with gritty, earthy, coffee’d tannins. Polished but rugged with a subtle tropical fruit and honey background. With time hints of lime, mature barley and vanilla. Give it some time in the glass and it opens up rather well.

The palate is earthy and malty with again a rugged but polished character. Like the nose the fruit is very subtle which comes through on the middle along with a touch of milky and gritty oak. Edgy, mouth-watering finish with a lovely complexity of citrus, creamy barley, vanilla, apple blossom, hyacinth, white licourice and the returning malt. Wonderful progression and an excellent finish.

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Benrinnes 1997 (19 year old) 51.5%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Aug 1997 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

The nose is quite mature and sawdusty with vanilla, white chocolate, sweet honey and sweet spice. The sweetness becomes quite dominating and candied, which turns into a sort of raspberry mousse note with rose petals and voluptuously creamy oak. Late herbal, onion skin notes. Very unusual.

The palate is full and honeyed with plenty of sweet oak and again that raspberry mousse-like character. The alcohol stops it becoming too sweet, but it’s pretty confected. Long with a touch of bitter chocolate spice, liquorice, pepper and finally the returning sweet oak. It’s like ‘toshan on steroids!

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Macduff 2007 (9 year old) 55.5%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Nov 2007 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

Quite a full nose with herbal, grin-like dried fruit. In fact it feels more like a grain whisky than a malt whisky. Tart Granny Smiths apple and gooseberry follow with a touch of nettles and fragrant pollen. To say it’s an austere nose is a bit of an understatement!

The palate opens with the tart green fruit, but overall the palate is fruitier with apricot, tangerine and some subtle toffee’d oak. The middle is still quite tight and subtly spiced. Grainy, peppery, sharp finish with a feinty industrial barley note.

Dilution brings out some aniseed and white liquorice on the nose, but it’s pretty subtle now. The palate is softer and less tart (thankfully!) and shows more oak and pulped white fruit and pepper. For a Macduff it’s fairly pleasant.

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Glenburgie 2008 (9 year old) 57.8%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Mar 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

The nose is a little tight and neutral to begin with and almost like a grain spirit, with dried fruit and grass, joined by a touch of barley. With time hints of honeysuckle and earth appear along with some herbal rye-like notes.

There’s a touch more toffee’d oak on the palate long with barley and grass. Subtle, but sharp citrus on the middle. A little short with lingering ok and the dried, grainy fruit returning.

A drop of water freshens and brings out some white liquorice and sweeter barley. The palate is still pretty oaky but the spirit is heavier and oilier, but the citrus notes have disappeared. Still short with the oak following through.

Edition Spirits Tasting Notes

Posted: August 25, 2017 in Rum, Trinidad

Edition Spirits Kill Devil Trinidad Rum 1998 (18 year old) 63.2%

Caroni Distillery

Code: RUM0085/ Dist: Dec 1998 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: July 2017

An intense and smoky nose with dried plum, raisin, toasted corn and herbal rye-like notes. I would imagine those corn and rye-like notes are coming from the oak as there is no shortage of fresh Bourbon oak character. With time it becomes quite woody with sweet tannins and vanilla.

The palate is dense, smoky and oaky with like the nose, plenty of corny Bourbon notes. Hints of macerated orange, treacle, liquorice and buckets of spice follow. Lovely Cognac-esque dried fruit rancio on the middle (as the oak settles), which linger through the finish. Stunning complexity and progression with a smoky after-taste.

A drop of water doesn’t make much difference to the nose. On the palate it possibly emphasises the herbal rye-like notes l and brings out a touch of sweet coffee. Still very impressive though.