A brand new dark sherry Laphroaig from the SMWS vaults, bottled for Feis Ile 2019. Quite an interesting bottling if you ask me, with two different sherry casks (american & european oak) being used for maturation.
Ground coffeebeans, espresso, lots of antique oak, lovely old leather notes, furniture polish, mahogany, humidor, old books, funky whiffs of cannabis smoke, a touch of flintstone, salty seaspray, tar, herbal peat, wet earth, moss, mushrooms, plum sauce, venison, game, beef stock and cooling menthol. Distant notes of bonfire and seashore. Very nice and seductive. Love this nose. Let’s see what the palate brings.
Very thick and resinous arrival on dark seasalt chocolate, coffee liquor and espresso. Blackberries, dark cherries, raisins soaked in PX. Cigar smoke. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. Gets very meaty, with Hoisin sauce and grilled beef. Tangy and salty seaweed notes and hints of herbal peat in the long finish give away the islay heritage of this oakmonster.
A lovely dark sherry bomber with faint hints of the sea. If you sometimes enjoy get beaten over the head with a sherried baseball bat, you’re good to go. I am one of those masochists, it seems. /92
The Maltman Secret Speyside 16y. sherry cask 1632 bottled for Austria / 54.8 % Vol.
Another one in the already infamous (most likely Mac***n) Secret Speyside bottling series. The previous 14y. and 16y. expressions were both absolute stunners, if you enjoy sipping well matured dark sherry bombs. This new one however never really hit the online shops because the 311 bottles were largely sold to regular customers of austrian whisky shops and the remainder went to the german Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky Community. Let’s see if this one can live up to my expectations.
Full on dried tobacco, a bag of raisins and roasted nuts, black cherries, menthol cigarettes, air dried italian ham rubbed in spices like oregano, thyme and fennel. Lemon verbena. Leather, meaty rancio. Mature, rich and enticing nose. It’s one. This smells almost like a recent official Mac18 but in cask strength, so obviously way more intense and full bodied. A Mac dialed to eleven.
Orangeskin, sweet cherries, dry tobacco, Latte macchiato, brown sugar, nutty oloroso, leather, grilled steak, roasted nuts, slightly astringent. This is perfectly balanced between dark, fruity aromas and more meaty and salty umami touches. Very complex. You can take a few sips and still discover something new.
And the next stunner by the Maltman. This one is not as sherry-supercharged as its 14y. and 16y. precursors, therefore more complex and accessible. After 16 years in oak, you still get some of this lovely floral and slightly rough destillery character that matches perfectly with a good sherrycask. You just can’t beat time and a good cask in my opinion. Open your bottle and enjoy this juice. Life is too short anyway 🙂 Danke Bowi! /90
Glengoyne 20y. for whisky.de first fill european oak sherry cask / 47.8 % Vol.
This bottling sold out in around 20 minutes from what I have heard. Only 234 bottles were available, and only for regular customers of germanys biggest whisky online shop. The secondary market prices are bordering 400€ already. Ridiculous hype or justified?
Black cherries, cherry coke, cola cubes, the finest artisanal bramble liquer, blackberrys, figs, dates, drops of anisseed and menthol. Wild honey, fatty beeswax, rancio. old leather bound books in a dusty library. Herbal tea. With time, dirty petroleum notes rise up. A little high estery jamaican rum maybe? This nose leaves me speechless, to be honest. No alcoholic burn whatsoever. This is so alive and clean, yet mature and well rounded.
Salty, tangy arrival with truckloads of bramble liquer. Pine essence, black cherries, fizzy cola cubes. Balsamico. Overbrewed black coffee, salted chocolate, very very nice indeed. Oily and coating mouthfeel. The bottling strength was perfectly chosen in my opinion. Leave the water for later. This one is perfect as it is. The finish is pleasantly bitter with european oak, rancio, hints of wet earth and rotten wood.
Wow, what a dram. A stellar cask. This is certainly one of the few bottles that deserves its reputation. The nose alone is worth looking out for a bottle or a sample. Congrats to the lucky few who snatched up a bottle. One of the finest sherry matured whiskys of the last few years. This is something else. Thx Konsti for the sample. /95
Balblair 2000 14y. Cask 1343 / 1st Fill Sherry Cask bottled for The Whisky Exchange / 53.0 % Vol.
This 2014 single cask Balblair bottled for TWE already has quite the cult following in the whiskysphere. I was lucky to snatch up a bottle of this for a very nice price recently It is as dark as motor oil. Is this still whisky or just sherry with a higher ABV? Let’s find out.
Much more meaty than the Glengoyne. Chicken broth, bone marrow. Cooked figs, plum sauce, raisins, maple syrup, PX sherry, wet tobacco. Oak and roasted coffeebeans. With time, slightly bourbony.
Sweet cream sherry, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, chocolate chips, plumjam, salty chicken broth, soysauce. Chewing on a european oak stave. Astringent coffeebeans and amaretto. Mouthcoating, thick and rich.
This is also a winner. Goes to show that not all dark sherry bottlings taste the same. This is a very different animal compared to the Glengoyne which was cleaner and more on the fruity side, An oak and sherry monster of the highest order. On or two more years in cask, and you would have had pure oak juice. /91
Glen Grant 30y. SMWS cask 9.159 „Pedro packs a punch“ / 50.5 % Vol.
This fairly recent release from the vaults in Leith comes from a 30 years old first fill PX butt. I was happy to receive a bottle of this one as a birthday present from my buddy Marcel. I already tried it before and was intrigued by its complexity and unusual flavour profile.
Vegetal, green and sappy at first nosing. The Glen Grant destillery character is still there. It’s even a bit peaty. Cinnamon, birch wood, green apples, overripe lime, orange skin, menthol, petroleum lamp oil, black olives, black tea, slightly perfumed. Very complex and different from he rest of the bunch. Interesting.. I am wondering what kind of PX was in this butt, as this is not too sweet on the nose, actually.
Aha, there’s the sweetness. Wow, what a treat… Blood oranges, old english wine gums, white grapes, PX, cinnamon, ginger, spicy oakwood, a hint of peatsmoke, astringent balsamico, wet earth, liqourice and rancio. Like the rest of the team tonight, it’s very oily and thick. No alcoholic burn detectable. You can almost taste the 30 years in oak.
This is a very interesting and different bottling. Certainly not your average PX dark sherry bomb. If you are looking for something more challenging, then this will be a perfect choice. Thanks a lot, Marcel! /92
This Cadenhead Blend is from a living cask that is bottled in batches. Batch II contains Glenrothes, Benrinnes and Invergordon. All components are at least 20 years old. The liquid in the bottle is one of the darkest I have ever seen. The solera sherry cask must have been very active to say the least.
Overripe raspberries, dark grapes, black cherries, strawberry bubblegum, creamy vanilla, garden herbs like rosmarin and thyme. A fistful of european oak. Polished mahoganytable. Leatherboots. An armagnac–like earthyness. A hint of musty woodsmoke from the Benrinnes appears in the back. Lovely. I would not have guessed a blend here. No grainy notes so far… Damp, old wine cellar, old books, wet earth. Dunnage warehouse. A sherry bodega in spain. Finally, some nice, buttery cereal notes from the aged grain show up. Toasted bread with salted butter and orange marmalade.
Creamy and velvety arrival with lots of aged oloroso, sweet herbal liquors, Fernet Menta…? Nice development on bitter orangepeel, mint candy, brown sugar, maple syrup, rosmarin, fennel, thyme. English breakfast tea. Buttery shortbread and marzipan. A pinch of salt. In the finish the european oak kicks in with a spicy espresso kick.
Already one of my favourites of 2019. This one just oozes aged dark sherry flavours. Tastes and smells much older. The small grain amount makes for a very nice sipping dram. A hint of smoke adds complexity. Also the strength is perfectly chosen. Makes you want to pour the next dram 😉 Congrats to the blender, a great recipe. Looking forward to batch III. /92
A few days ago, I had the pleasure to taste a very rare Glendronach 42yo. Single PX Sherry Cask with my good buddy Konstantin from „It’s dram o‘clock“ (you can check out his new YouTube channel here). As expected, this session turned out to be a very singular and special experience.
Beautiful! Really, the first word that comes to mind is just „beautiful“. This one needs time…. Huge notes of brown sugar, dried raisins, maple syrup, antique balsamic vinegar, menthol, blackberries and the finest cassis liqueur. Teakwood, furniture polish and damp wine cellar. Delicate fruit acid, meaty rancio and whiffs of cigar tobacco. The richness of this nose is almost overwhelming.
Creamy and velvety arrival. Old cassis liqueur, the most expensive chocolate, walnuts and freshly brewed espresso. Very leathery! A wonderful, creamy and fruity balsamic acidity appears. Stunning complexity and very „alive“ for it’s age! In the finish is where the oak speaks loudest: herbal and pronounced leathery notes, rich espresso and drops of sweet and salty hoisin sauce remain.
A stellar cask! Really, this dark sherry oldtimer is a classic masterpiece. At this age, you might be afraid that the oak would just dominate and kill any complexity, but this one just goes to show that these old sherry casks are some of the best things the scottish whisky industry has to offer. It could need a few more %ABV for one or two extra points, but this is just fantastic as it is. Both Konsti and me agreed that this one is fully worth it’s hefty price tag. If you can get a sample, try it! /92
Well, this bottling and its precursors (you can find my notes here) seem to stir up a lot of drama in certain circles of the whisky world. There were just not enough bottles to satisfy the ever growing demand for these heavily sherried speysiders. Those who managed to be quick and snatched up a few bottles can consider themselves lucky in my opinion, as these oldschool sherrycask flavour profiles are getting less and less obtainable for reasonable money.
Yes! Pure Dark Sherry Galore: blackberries, black cherries, blood oranges..The usual suspects 😉 Red apples, beef stock, drops of soysauce, damp forest floor, rotting autumn leaves, dusty humidor, tobaccopouch, old leather, lots of rancio. Resembles a meaty, musty, old armagnac.
Bold, astringent arrival on blackberries, cassis, creamy balsamico and sour black cherries. The ABV is perfect here. Develops on grilled meat, dark chocolate and dried tobacco leaves. Its even a little salty around the edges. Lovely… The long finish leaves you with a pleasant minty and herbal bitterness.
Where do they still get these glorious paxarettelike casks? Even better than the 14yo because it lacks the wooddriven bitterness of its precursor. This one is more balanced and complex. I really hope there will be more editions of these not so Secret Speysides. Lovers of older Glendronach Single Casks, oldschool Macs and dark sherry bottlings will be very pleased. Give it a few drops of water to open up and you can nose this one for hours. /90