Whisky Review: Bruichladdich 1972 Japan Import System Aged 29 Years

Style: Fruity, Grassy and Spicy

Nose:
Begins with a platter of fruit banquet – Tropical fruits, melons, orchards, forest berries, a bit of everything. Sweet, clean and fragrant. In comes vanilla cream and peanut skins sewing into the spirit. Green grass growing from the back and reaching all the way to the top. Chilli water, elderflower and rose water brush. White pepper, limestone and barley giving a drier tail.

Palate:
Similar to what the nose has suggested. Abundant assorted fruits at the front, but more emphasis on bananas and peaches. Tropical fruits punchbowl simmering gently with agar agar. The sweetness wanes midway and releases more Bourbon cask notes – vanilla milk, honeycomb wax, sawdust, then turning into earthy taros, green grass, crackers, dried berries, five spices, spearmint and white pepper on the same level. Spice burning very slowly, herbal notes to finish.

Finish:
More boiled tropical fruits, earthy notes, malt biscuits, vanilla cream and cranberries lingering till the end.

Thoughts:
A rather complex make with a bright fruity start which then transmute into a contrasting, drier and earthy second-half. Technical and maybe slightly difficult to dissect, but there are indeed plenty of nuances left to be explored. Comparing to this “old-school“ Laddie to the modern ones, it feels the general DNA is surprisingly similar (Melon fruits, grassy, floral, malt), on the other hand, the modern ones seem to be more refined with less loose ends to tidy up, but the flip side might also mean that there are less side-notes/subtleties in the spirit. Pretty nice either way, if you ask me.

[49.3%|Original Bottling |1972 Distilled |2001 Bottled |Cask Strength |Aged 29 Years |242 of 404 Bottles |Non Coloured |Non Chill Filtered |Cask Number: 689]

☆+ [Recommended]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Auchentoshan 1975 Diageo Special Release 2011 Aged 35 Years

Style: Crisp, Dignified and Fruity

Nose:
Begins with fresh honeydew, honeycomb and plenty of vanilla oak shaving. Peppermint flowers accentuate in the middle with a nice waxy texture. Wood ingrains and wintergreen undertone. Spicy, but not aggressive. Slightly mineralic, some potato kind of earthy-starchiness as well. A small splash of lemonade on barley and malt.

Palate:
A beautiful burst of melon sweetness, round, oily and flavourful. Difficult to imagine this is a triple-distilled spirit. Butterscotch and malty core. Tropical fruits and floral fragrance edging towards a lighter overtone, passionfruit lemonade and some orange confectionaries as well. Taros and assorted garden herbs buried underneath. Oak is less outspoken but is still prevalent in the background, wood chips, ginger, barley and dryness forming at the back creating a crisp lager back palate. Vanilla malt tail, quite delicious.

Finish:
Tropical fruits punchbowl, malt, bubblegum and watermint. Light, sweet and crisp.

Thoughts:
Great Auchentoshan is rather hard to come by and I am glad to announce we have such a brilliant gem over here. Personally, I am a bit skeptical on triple-distilled malt as it can be too spirit-y and tertiary flavours/nuances are often decimated. Despite being a 35-year-old there is little sign of tiredness and remains quite energetic, whereas the maturation injects extra layers of complexity and composure. Resulting a crisp and light expression with beautiful depth. This is my perfect summer dram.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]


[46.9%|Original Bottling|1975D|2011B|Bottle Number: 233 of 500|Bourbon casks|Cask Strength|Limited Edition|**]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Sansibar Speyside 1978 Aged 41 Years

Style: Sherried and Dignified

Nose:
Begins with light and elegant but also round and sweet red fruits – mostly in the form of cranberries and pomegranate with a gentle umami touch. A herbal spike unlocks light floral fragrance, mineral notes and some chalkiness. Honey mead liqueur, cornflakes, malt and barley. Followed by oak, white pepper, Pinot Noir, dark chocolate and nutmeg. A good level of sherry influence, but it does not mask the distillate and there is plenty of breathing space around.

Palate:
Sherry entrance, ruby grapes, Strawberry Daiquiri and watermelons, buoyant and refreshing. Oak sets in rather early here, pine trees and timber shed. Herbal liquor spreading across with white pepper sprinkles. Secondary notes of elderflower, assorted berries, cornflakes and acai bowl gradually unfold over time. Vanilla cream blending into strawberry jam, barley with a mineral brush to finish.

Finish:
More gentle sherry influence continues to flow and accumulates towards the end. Sweet but not cloying, more malt, white pepper and oak.

Thoughts:
An elegantly crafted Speyside we have here. Not often you can see a 40-year-old plus whisky that is feather-light without being overwhelmed by the oak or the sherry. Every element gets to play a part in this expression – whether it be the sherry, malt, oak, spice and other side notes are beautifully assembled and balanced. Now I am wondering which distillery this is from, very lovely.

[51.1%| Independent Bottling| 1978D| 2019B| 154 Bottles| Non Coloured| Non Chill Filtered **]

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Esmond