Whisky tasting notes & scoresEarlier entriesLater entries

Entry #340 - 01/07/2008;  The Summer of Tough Love  (I decided to get serious about the DD section.)
Entry #341 - 30/08/2008;  Summertime - and the Living is Easy  (Well, not that easy for me, actually...)
Entry #342 - 01/09/2008;  Competition Time  (A new novelty on MMadness: a competition with prizes)
Entry #343 - 17/09/2008;  Taking Names & Kissing Asses  (It's time to be on our best behaviour again.)
Summer 2008 Dram Diary - By the end of Summer there were around 2550 malts on my Track Record.
 

Entry #340 - The Summer of Tough Love...

The Summer of Tough LoveJuly 1, 2008 - After a reasonably fruitful Spring I started the
summer of 2008 at full dramming speed. The first weekend of
summer kicked off with a 'Midsummer Night's Dram' session in
the woods with some old friends (both of the human and the
spirit variety) on Friday. The dramming went on until 4:00 AM so
I traveled to Zeist in a slightly dazed state the next morning for
the annual 'Wigman Super Tasting' where I met up with some
of the maniacs (Serge, Olivier and Michel) and a few dozen other
whisky lovers. I was suffering from a relatively bad nose day, so
I stopped making notes after less than a dozen drams.
 
By that time we were only halfway through the whisky menu of
the evening. I don't get as frustrated as I used to when I'm not
able to make notes on the whiskies I'm enjoying, but some of
the drams served in Zeist were especially exquisite...
Here are the whiskies I've managed to score;

91 - Benriach 1976/2005 (57.6%, OB for Craigellachie Hotel)
90 - Benrinnes 1975/2006 'Flying Big Ben' (46%, G&M for Juuls)
86 - Glen Elgin 1975/2007 (46%, Berry Bros, C#5167-5170)
88 - Glen Elgin 1976/2006 (45.1%, Jack Wieber's Cross Hill)
92 - Highland Park 1982/1992 (57.9%, SMWS, 4.12)
85 - Lagavulin 1993/2008 (52.9%, OB for Feis Isle 2008, C#1403)
89 - Linkwood 15yo 1979/1994 (58.4%, Cadenheads Authentic)
88 - Millburn 26yo 1974/2001 (57.7%, Cadenhead's, Bourbon )
87 - Strathisla 1964/2004 (40%, G&M)
90 - Tomatin 32yo (49.4%, Whiskykanzler 'The Collection', 2008)

Can you tell the session was a little overwhelming? ;-)
The Wigman Super Tasting itself started to wind down around 3:00 AM, but the aftertasting at the hotel lasted until after 5:00 AM. You can imagine that my alcohol-ravaged brain and body were not in the best of shapes when the maniacs arrived in The Hague around noon on Sunday. Michel, Serge and Olivier bravely pushed on at the 'Whisky In The Church' event, but I called it a day after half an hour or so to catch up on some sleep.
After all, I still had a heavy summer ahead of me...

Why? Well, I want to wrap up as much of the Distillery Data section as I can, before we have to start the preparations for the Malt Maniacs Awards 2008. That means that I'll take it easy with this Liquid Log again for a few months while I direct my efforts elsewhere. I've just refreshed the Hot List and the Hit List in the mAlmanac and will keep our esteemed readers updated on current affairs in the whisky world (like the announced closure of the Springbank distillery) through the Mixed Messages Mailinglist and Malt Maniacs & Friends on Facebook.

Here's a list of the profiles that I've managed to wrap up so far. (I've added fresh distillery profiles to the list below as soon as they were finished. By the time I had finished 50 profiles I resumed my regular 'logging'.) 

Aberfeldy - a malt whisky distillery in the 'Midlands' region of Scotland, not far from Edradour & Blair Athol.
Aberlour - located in the heart of Speyside and founded in 1879 by the entrepreneur James Fleming.
Ailsa Bay - a new 'project' that's almost guaranteed to succeed, thanks to the backing of WM Grant & Sons.
Allt A' Bhainne - the distillery was closed when Pernod Ricard bought it in 2002, but was re-opened again.
Ardbeg - these days Ardbeg is one of the jewels in the crown of the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy).
Ardmore - this distillery at the edge of the Grampian mountains was founded by Adam Teacher.
Arran - the distillery is located on the island with the same name, due East of Islay and Campbeltown.
Auchentoshan - for many years this was one of the few remaining Lowlands distilleries in Scotland.
Auchroisk - the Auchroisk single malt whiskies were sold under the name 'Singleton' in the 1990's.
Aultmore - this low profile distillery makes more whisky than, say, Laphroaig or Highland Park.
Balblair - the distillery was founded in 1790, making it one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland.
Balmenach - it's one of the 'Inver House' distilleries that are controlled by owners in South East Asia.
Balvenie - the more 'upmarket' brand of WM Grant & Sons, owners of Glenfiddich, Kininvie and Ailsa Bay.
Banff - a relatively obscure silent distillery with a solid reputation amongst many connoisseurs.
Ben Nevis - it's actually one of the very few distilleries that was able to produce a 'single blend' whisky.
Benriach - the distillery made a 'false start' in 1898, but since a few years they're in top form.
Benrinnes - within the wide portfolio of Diageo Benrinnes is one of the relatively 'low key' distilleries.
Benromach - independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail bought the distillery in 1992 and re-opened it in 1996.
Ben Wyvis - this is quite probably the most obscure distillery on my list of distilleries, closed in the 1970's.
Bladnoch - production-wise, this is one of Scotland's smallest distilleries (with Edradour and Kilchoman).
Blair Athol - the very first Scotch whisky distillery I ever visited, near the lovely town of Pitlochry.
Bowmore - the distillery fell out of favor in the late 1990's due to 'FWP', but they're back on track.
Braeval / Braes of Glenlivet - after being mothballed in 2002, the distillery re-opened on July 11, 2008.
Brora - very few silent distilleries still have such a strong 'fan base' two decades after they were closed.
Bruichladdich - clever marketing gave this Islay distillery a flying re-start in the early noughties.
Bunnahabhain - this Islay distillery is an exception to the rule that all Islay distilleries make peat monsters.
Caol Ila - Diageo promoted this erstwhile 'bulk' brand to the 'Classic Malts' range a few years ago.
Clynelish - the distillery was built as a replacement for Brora, but they operated together for many years.
Cragganmore - one of the first malt whiskies many people get to try because it's a 'Classic Malt'.
Dailuaine - in 1889 Dailuaine was the very first distillery to be fitted with the typical 'pagoda' type roof.
Dalmore - this distillery used to be in my personal Top 10 in the 1990's because of the affordable 12yo.
Deanston - over the years the whisky from this fairly obscure Midlands distillery has grown on me.
Edradour - perhaps not Scotland's smallest distillery anymore, but definitely in the Top Three.
Glenallachie - it is one of the youngest distilleries in Scotland, owned by Chivas Brothers / Pernod Ricard.
Glencadam - one of just two remaining distilleries in the Eastern Highlands between Aberdeen & Dundee.
Glendronach - the distillery may be taken over by the owners of Benriach shortly, but it's not final yet.
Glenfarclas - Aberlour and Glenfarclas picked up the sherry crown that Macallan dropped in 2004.
Glenfiddich - it has taken a while, but Scotland's largest distillery now has its own profile as well.
Glengoyne - this distillery worked its way into my Top 10 under the guidance of Ian MacLeod Distillers.
Glen Grant - a profile on the third largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland was long overdue.
Glenlivet - the first legal distillery in the Glenlivet area managed to claim exclusive rights to the name.
Glenmorangie - arguably the distillery that invented 'finishing', Glenmorangie isn't as innovative anymore.
Glenrothes - I've always had a soft spot for Glenrothes; obe of the first whisky distilleries I visited.
Highland Park - Scotland's Northernmost distillery, located on the Orkney islands.
Isle of Jura - this distillery (located near Islay) only grew on me after they added more peat.
Laphroaig - quite possibly the most famous distillery on Islay, popular amongst disciples of peat.
Loch Lomond - the recent SWA proposals would 'outlaw' many of Loch Lomond's whiskies.
Macallan - few people realise that Macallan is currently Scotland's #2 distillery, right after Glenfiddich.
MacDuff - after marketing their whisky as 'Glen Deveron' in the 1990's they went back to 'MacDuff'.
Oban - as one of the six 'Classic Malts' this was one malt that most novices got to sample in the 1990's.
Royal Brackla - in 1835 William IV granted Brackla the right to use the phrase 'Royal' in their name.
Springbank - the distillery will be closed down for a while due to 'excess stocks' and high fuel prices.
Talisker - the only distillery on the island of Skye used triple distillation (a 'Lowlands' technique) in the past.
Tomatin - in 2002 eleven of the original stills at Tomatin were removed, but they're still in the Top 10.
Tullibardine - I'm not Tullibarine's biggest fan, but finishing has rescued some of their casks.

My next 'proper' log entry will (probably) focus on Springbank - but I want to finish at least half of all distillery profiles before I pick up the regular reports in this log again. The Dram Diary at the bottom of this page should keep you informed about my dramming adventures this summer. I expect to pick up this log again at the end of the summer - and I hope to have wrapped up at least two dozen fresh distillery profiles by then.

I realise that some of you may feel a little disappointed because you won't get your regular doses of malt madness spoon-fed to you through this page for a few months, but for now I'll have to direct you to the other sites in our parallel whisky universe; Malt Maniacs, WhiskyFun and the Malt Maniacs & Friends group.
Besides, through the Liquid Links page you can find hundreds of other whisky websites.

So, don't feel sad - the temporary closure of this liquid log is for your own good...

Sweet drams,

Johannes
 

Entry #341 - Summertime - And The Living Is Easy...

Ian Rankin - Exit MusicAugust 30, 2008 - Do you remember that old jazz chestnut 'Summertime'?
Dozens of excellent singers (and thousands of mediocre ones) made the line
"Summertime, and the living is easy" sound so believable...

Well, so far my own living hasn't been exceptionally easy this summer ;-)
I've been slaving away behind the keyboard trying to make some progress with
the Distillery Data section - but it has been worth it. I've now finished over fifty
distillery profiles; I've covered all 'A' and 'B' distilleries and finshed almost half of
the remaining profiles. If I'm not mistaken, there are 'only' 38 active distilleries
and 27 silent distilleries left to finish. So, I'm almost past the halfway point...
I guess it's time to resume my regular (or rather irregular) 'logging' again.

This is sort of a pre-entry before the next entry, where I'll announce a novelty
for Malt Madness: a competition where you can win stuff! In this case the stuff
you can win is a set of books by Scotch detective writer Ian Rankin; the creator
of the world famous character 'Inspector Rebus' from Edinburgh. I'll get back to
that in my next entry; here are some comments I want to get off my chest first.

First, a movie tip. If you've been following this log for a few years you'll know I'm a film freak.
I do enjoy most films I watch, but there are few I get really enthusiastic about. The latest movie that tickled my fancy was 'In Bruges' (2008) by director Martin McDonagh. The film has great performances from Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. It's an intriguing mix of 'Tarrantinoesque' banter and magic realism (oh, and dwarves!). Check it out at the Internet Movie Database and give it a try if you enjoy the movies of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie as well as the more esoteric stuff like 'Pan's Labyrinth'.

Oh, and speaking of movies and 'magic realism'...
I recently re-watched Terry Gilliam's masterpiece 'Brazil' from 1985 (less dwarves than 'Time Bandits' ;-) and I suddenly noticed the many similarities in themes and story with Herman Hesse's 'Der Steppenwolf' from 1927. They both are favourites of mine, but until recently I never saw the many links... I know books and movies aren't the topic of the site, but who knows: if you share my fine taste in whisky you mights also share my fine taste in literature and cinematography.... Probably NOT my fine taste in fashion, but that's just as well I suppose...

So: back to all things 'whisky'. First of all, we've just received confirmation that Glendronach distillery has just been sold to Benriach's Billy Walker & Friends. As far as I'm concerned that's good news; with Benriach they have proven that they are able to turn a fairly generic malt whisky into a strong brand with a wide range of good expressions. With Glendronach they potentially have even more to work with, although Allied's wood management over the past decade may have limited their options. Anyway - more on that in an upcoming article on Malt Maniacs by Bert Bruyneel. I'll wrap up this entry with a few tasting notes for some bottlings I sampled recently; one SMWS bottling of Glenturret and two expressions from Glentauchers.

Glentauchers 13yo 1990 (59.2%, James MacArthur)
Nose: Sorrel? Lots of farmy notes in the start, growing nuttier and sweeter. Surprisingly complex.
Hint of 'bad breath' and some metallic overtones. Spices too. 'Menthos' sweets. Very interesting.
It keeps developing too, even before I added water. In fact, I think water didn't improve the whisky
Taste: Phew.... Quite harsh - even considering it's bottled at almost 60% ABV. No sweetness whatsoever.
That's too bad. I would have expected much more finesse after the beautiful nose. Aspirin bitter finish.
Sometimes it's a trade-off, and in this case it's a whisky best for nosing, not so much for drinking.
Score: 74 points - but in this case the taste pulled it decisively from the upper 80's.
The nose is exquisite, but the finish is too bitter to score above average.

Glentauchers 16yo 1990/2007 (46%, Duncan Taylor NC2)
Nose: Starts off fairly sharp and prickly. Hint of aceton? A very 'clean' malt.
Some vanilla sweetness and spices emerge , but it remains very subdued.
Taste: Very little sweetness and it drops off in the centre. Weak, woody finish.
The finish lacks the sweetness you usually get from a (fresh) sherry cask.
Score: 74 points - another one for the 'bourbon wood' crowd.

Glenturret 16yo 1988/2005 (50.1%, SMWS, 16.28, 'Violets and Vanilla Fudge')
Nose: Well, I get the vanilla... Can't quite get the violets, although it does have something perfumy.
Here it doesn't offend me though, like in old batches of the Bowmore Darkest - and I actually prefer it over oil.
Without it it might have been a fairly soul-less malt; now at least it has an identity. Not the 'house style' though.
Taste: A little sharper than I expected at 50%. Well, at least at first - then the oily staits smooth it over.
You can taste it has matured some extra years - but it must have been a fairly average cask. Plywood.
Score: 76 points - not bad (certainly for a Glenturret), but I expected a little more from the SMWS.

Well, that was nothing to get especially excited about - although all are good whiskies.
Fortunately, the Malt Maniacs Awards are just around the corner - as well as autumn; the time I can take the peat monsters out of the closet again. But first: another COMPETITION where you can win free stuff!
And USEFUL stuff too - not like baseball caps or T-shirts that turn you into a walking billboard ;-)
More on that in the next entry...

Sweet drams,

Johannes
 

Entry #342 - Malt Madness Competition #1

Malt Madness Competition!September 1, 2008 - While we are getting ready
for our own annual competition on Malt Maniacs (the
Malt Maniacs Awards - edition 2008), now YOU can
join in the competitive spirit as well! To celebrate the
launch of Ian Rankin's next book about the exploits
of malt whisky loving Inspector Rebus ('Exit Music'),
I was given the opportunity to hand out some of Ian
Rankin's books as I saw fit. Cool! I guess I could have
organised a simple 'giveaway' where chance decided
who would receive a very nice 'care package' with a
handful of books by Ian Rankin - but I felt that there
had to be some kind of accomplishment involved.
 
I did some pondering and the first thing I came up
with was a photo competition - a lot of the pictures
in the Distillery Data section are out of date, and I've
only visited about a quarter of the distilleries on the
list myself. So, this would be a nice way to kill two
birds with one stone, so to speak....

But then I thought of all the people that hadn't been to Scotland yet - or didn't bring their camera.
To allow every reader of MM to have a shot at winning one of those 'care packages', I decided to offer 5 of them in a photo competition and 5 more in a writing competition . Details about both parts of the competition are provided below; in both cases the deadline of the competition is at the start of autumn; September 21.
So, that's three weeks from now - the winners will be announced on October 1.
Here are the rules & regulations for both parts of the competition;

Photo Competition

In this case the objective is clear and simple - submit up to three pictures of (details) of a malt whisky distillery in Scotland. It doesn't have to be a particularly recent picture, but needless to say you have to be the person that shot the picture. The idea is to give the best pictures a second life as illustrations in the DD section of Malt Madness. Needless to say, the name of the 'artist' will be included. You can send a maximum of three pictures to the e-mail address competition@maltmadness.com until September 21, 23:59 GMT. The maximum file size for each picture (preferably jpg) is 200 Kilobytes. The great thing about this part of the competition is that you can finally take advantage of those hundreds of pictures you shot in Scotland in the past; the hardest task is probably choosing which pictures to submit. What is that, you say? You've never been to Scotland, so you couldn't take any pictures? Ah, in that case you're heartily invited to join the...

Writing Competition

Most of the articles in our Malt Maniacs E-zine have been written by the certified malt maniacs, but over the years we've received quite some reports from 'foreign correspondents' as well. This is your chance to add your name to that honourable list - and win a stack of Ian Rankin's books to boot. The topic is completely up to you - well, as long as it's related to whisky, of course... Just write an article between 750 and 1500 words about whisky (a report on a particularly memorable tasting session, musings on a particular brand, distillery or bottler, a short biography on one of the legends from the whisky world, commentary on recent events - whatever you desire), and send the article (MS Word or plain text, no illustrations) to competition@maltmadness.com before the end of the competition on September 21, 23:59 GMT.

On October 1, 2008 the 10 winners (both photographers and writers) will be published on this page.
Of course they'll receive a personal announcement as well - followed by the prize package containing the latest Inspector Rebus novel Exit Music, along with some of his previous work; The Naming of the Dead, A Question of Blood, Resurrection Men and (my favourite title for a detective novel) Fleshmarket Alley. If you're a slow reader like myself that should get you through the winter ;-)  Whether you submit pictures or an article, in both cases you retain the copyright - you just allow us to use it for Malt Madness or Malt Maniacs. You can submit only 3 pictures and/or 1 article - but if you like to think that you're as multi-talented as I am there's no reason you can't play it smart and double your chances by participating in both parts of the competition.

So, I imagine you'll want to start writing (or browsing through old photo albums) as quickly as possible.
I won't keep you any longer - but don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Sweet drams,

Johannes
 

Entry #343 - Taking Names & Kissing Asses...

Malt Madness Competition!September 17, 2008 - While the readers of MM/MM could entertain themselves with the photo and
writing competition (see the previous entry) some of the maniacs have been very busy with 'taking
names and kissing asses' for the annual Malt Maniacs Awards competition. Most of the participants
that joined in the past are on board again - with the exception of Douglas Laing - and we've also
managed to attract a few new participants, including David Stirk's Exclusive Malts, independent
bottler Hart Brothers and the Lark distillery from Tasmania, Australia.
 
Over the years the competition has grown more international, first when the Irish came on board
and later with contributions from the USA and Japan. Tasmania is the most 'exotic' location where
they sent out parcels for our little 'grass roots' competition, though. And unless aliens from outer
space start submitting bottles next year that's as exotic as it's going to get, I'm afraid. Tasmania
is literally on the other end of the world - at least measured from the 'nerve center' of the annual
whisky competition here in Europe. So, it proves to be an interesting competition.

I'll share some more news about the MM Awards in an upcoming entry; this log entry focuses on Japan.
Here are my notes on five Japanese malt whiskies; one vatted malt (which did surprisingly well) and four single malts from the land of the rising sun. The single malts are all single cask releases, so relatively hard to acquire. The 'pure malt' that kicked off this session is more widely available, though.

Karuizawa 12yo Pure Malt Whisky (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008, Vatted malt, Japan)
Nose: Round, sweet and fruity with a faint whiff of smoke in the background. Distant meaty notes.
Hint of gunpowder. Subtle development over time. No sherry monster, but it's there. Marzipan?
Over time lighter fruits and some spices take over. Very enjoyable. The nose alone would score +/- 85.
Taste: Soft and smooth start, with a very solid centre. Sweet. The smoke dominates the fruit here.
Smooth centre. It's 'smoky' rather than 'peaty', though - more sweet than salty. Fairly smoky finish too.
hey, now I get a hint of liquorice on the palate - nice. This one definitely improves with breathing.
Score: 83 points - and that's just because the finish was slightly thin and underwhelming.
This score is for a freshly opened bottle - it might go up after re-tastings.

Karuizawa 19yo 1988/2007 (58.3%, The Whisky Fair, Refill Sherry)
Nose: Paint thinner and clay. Dusty. A tad rubbery for a few seconds, growing fruitier.
Settled down after a minute, so I added some water. Nuttier and veggier, but still fairly sharp.
More organics after circa 10 minutes - putting the 'nasal' score somewhere around 80 points.
Taste: A little nondescript at cask strength initially, with lots of liquorice in the centre. Pinch of salt.
After adding some eater the finish became very dry and woody. Too much for me, I'm afraid.
Score: 78 points - the nose is fairly interesting, but the finish pulls it out of the 80's for me.

Karuizawa 19yo 1988/2007 (60.6%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry Wood)
Nose: Big, fruity and sweet. After a few seconds more organics emerge. Lovely!
Hint of sulphur after a minute. Softens up with some water. More and more organics over time.
This one really improves with breathing. Early summer fruits emerge - and the sulphur remains.
After circa 20 minutes some unexpected peat emerged. Whiff of rubber as well, and Celery.
Taste: Sweet and fruity in de start, quickly growing smokier. Great mouth feel, especially with water.
Some liquorice as well. An intriguing hint of peat in the finish. Excellent stuff!
Score: 88 points - I had it at 87 points for a long time; the continued development gave it an extra push.

Yamazaki 15yo 1993/2008 (62%, OB, Puncheon #3Q70048, D. May 1993, Btl. June 2008, 492 Bts.)
Nose: Light and fruity start. Raspberries. Vaguely coastal in the background. A lovely 'spring' whisky.
After tasting the malt I got much more machine oil, rubber and peat. Hint of chloride? Vague organics.
The perfumy and floral elements become more pronounced with some water. Rubber remains in the back.
Taste: Whoah! Completely different from what I would have expected based on my first nose impression.
Surprisingly peaty. Not the 'organic' kind though; this has overtones of diesel oil. Grows much perfumier.
After five minutes - and before I added water - it reminded me of a Bowmore that was bottled +/- 2000.
It grew even more perfumy with some water - not unlike drinking rose water. Smoky, leathery finish.
Score: 81 points - even though I don't usually like perfumy malt whiskies, this is interesting stuff.
It certainly represents one extreme in the wide spectrum of single malts - but it's hard to rate.
Likely to divide people quite strongly and my score really is an average of me flipping between 77 and 85.

Yamazaki 18yo 1990/2008 (61%, OB, 2nd Fill Spanish Oak Sherry Butt #0N70646, 504 Bts.)
Nose: Whoahhhh! Now that's sherry character... Coffee. Chocolate. Polished wood. Leather. Smoke.
Strong but subtle. Some faint spices in the background, but the wood remains dominant. Softens up.
Breaks open with water; needs a few minutes to settle down. More coffee and mocca. Roasted nuts.
Lovely development over time; this malt needs at least 45 minutes. No perfumy notes in the nose.
Taste: Surprisingly soft start at more than 60%, followed by a fruity centre and a long woody finish.
After adding water I got much more perfume on the palate, but it doesn't dominate as in the 15yo.
After it has adjusted to the water, the lovely tannins in the finish really blossom. Excellent mouth feel.
Score: 84 points - but it would have easily coasted towards 90 points it the perfume hadn't popped up.
If you don't mind perfumy notes and/or were a fan of the Bowmore style ca. 2000, this will rock your world.

Well, if this session proved anything it is that the Japanese are now definitely on par with the Scots.
Interesting for me was the fact that both (Suntory) Yamazaki's showed distinct floral / perfumy notes; a trait I don't usually enjoy in my whiskies - but that's very personal. Interestingly enough, Bowmore (also owned by Suntory) also had a period when their spirit showed a distinct perfumy trait. This trait entered the system shortly after Bowmore was acquired by Suntory, so it's possible they made some changes to the production regime (Dave Broom believes it could have something to do with the cut off points). Could it be that Japanese palates are fonder of perfumy notes than European and/or American ones?

Sweet drams,

Johannes
 

Summer 2007 Dram DiaryLiquid Log OverviewLater Liquid Log entriesEarlier Liquid Log entries

75 - Amrut NAS (46%, OB, India, Bottled +/- 2008) - surprisingly good for an Indian 'NAS' whisky.
82 - Amrut NAS 'Peated' (62.78%, OB, +/- 2008) - a surprisingly competitive peaty whisky from India.
82 - Ardmore 15yo 1990/2005 (55.8%, G&M, Refill bourbon, C#12285+12287) - harsh & very smoky.
73 - Auchentoshan NAS 'Three Wood' (43%, OB, new bottle, 2008) - very different from the first releases.
81 - Balvenie 12yo 'Signature' (40%, OB, batch #001, 2008) - fits nicely inbetween the 10yo & 12yo.
85 - Ben Nevis 13yo 1990/2004 Portwood Finish (61.6%, OB, Port bodega butt, 800 Bts.)
79 - Ben Nevis 32yo 1972/2004 (47.6%, OB for LMDW, Hogshead, C#600, 116 Bts., D. 02/'72 Btl. 03./'04)
91 - Benriach 1976/2005 (57.6%, OB for Craigellachie Hotel, C#8079, 144 Bts.)
90 - Benrinnes 1975/2006 'Flying Big Ben' (46%, G&M for Juuls, C#3343, 250 Bts.)
81 - Dailuaine 12yo (62.4%, James MacArthur, C#6911, circa 1989)
86 - Dallas Dhu 22yo 1981/2003 (50%, DL OMC, DL REF 730, 408 Bts.)
83 - Dalmore 30yo (42%, OB, +/-2003) - a fine dram, but one could expect more at this age and price.
86 - Glen Elgin 1975/2007 (46%, Berry Bros, C#5167-5170)
88 - Glen Elgin 1976/2006 (45.1%, Jack Wieber's Cross Hill, sherry cask, 224 Bts.)
73 - Glenmorangie 1991/2002 Missouri Oak (55.7%, OB, 1000 Bts.) - Why did the Belgians give it 97 points?
76 - Glenmorangie 12yo (40%, OB, +/-2005, Taiwan) - a sample from Glenmorangie fan Ho-cheng.
78 - Glenmorangie 15yo Sauternes Finish (46%, OB, +/-2004) - another sample that Ho-cheng sent me.
81 - Glenmorangie 18yo (43%, OB, +/-2000) - I'm glad I'm not the only one saving old samples...
74 - Glentauchers 13yo 1990 (59.2%, James MacArthur) - too bitter in the finish to really work for me.
74 - Glentauchers 16yo 1990/2007 (46%, Duncan Taylor NC2)
76 - Glenturret 16yo 1988/2005 (50.1%, SMWS, 16.28, 'Violets and Vanilla Fudge')
92 - Highland Park 1982/1992 (57.9%, SMWS, 4.12) - Olivier brought the 'winner' at the Wigman tasting
83 - Karuizawa 12yo Pure Malt Whisky (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008, Vatted malt, Japan)
78 - Karuizawa 19yo 1988/2007 (58.3%, The Whisky Fair, Refill Sherry) - not enough sherry character.
88 - Karuizawa 19yo 1988/2007 (60.6%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry Wood)
85 - Lagavulin 1993/2008 (52.9%, OB for Feis Isle 2008, C#1403)
89 - Linkwood 15yo 1979/1994 (58.4%, Cadenheads Authentic Collection, 5/1979, 11/1994)
78 - Littlemill 16yo 1991 (53.8%, Exclusive Malts David Stirk, C#166, 251 Bts., 2007)
86 - Loch Lomond (Inchmoan) 29yo 1974/2003 (54.4%, Cadenhead's Chairman Stock, 210 Bts.)
86 - Lochside 19yo 1981/2001 (46%, Murray McDavid, MM9637, Refill sherry)
88 - Millburn 26yo 1974/2001 (57.7%, Cadenhead's, Bourbon hogshead, 276 Bts.)
84 - Springbank 1996 'Spiritus Sulphuris Volatilis' (57.5%, OB, priv, C#118, 306 Bts.)
93 - Springbank 12yo 100 Proof (50%, OB, +/-1995, 'Double Dark', USA)
82 - Springbank 12yo '175th Anniversary' (46%, OB, 12000 Bts.) - this put me in a mildy celebratory mood.
81 - Springbank 12yo 1991/2004 Bourbonwood (58.5%, OB, D. 12/'91 Btl. 02/'04, 5986 Bts.)
83 - Springbank 15yo (46%, OB, +/- 2006) - after a weak start in the early noughties they're back in shape.
89 - Springbank 21yo (46%, OB, 2400 Bts., +/-2005) - Loads of sherry, a hint of rubber & a pinch of peat.
87 - Strathisla 1964/2004 (40%, G&M) - I'm starting to understand its solid reputation among anoraks.
90 - Tomatin 32yo (49.4%, Whiskykanzler 'The Collection', 2008) - fairly limited information on the label.
63 - Tullibardine 10yo (40%, OB, +/-2005) - I'm afraid Tullibardine is still no favourite of mine.
65 - Tullibardine 15yo 1989/2004 (49.8%, Hart Bros, D. 04/'89)
77 - Tullibardine 26yo 1973/2000 (49.6%, Signatory, Sherry, C#2401, 278 Bts.) - good cask selection.
78 - Tullibardine 1973/2004 (49.2%, OB, C#2517, 183 Bts.) - definitely not bad for a Tullibardine.
81 - Yamazaki 15yo 1993/2008 (62%, OB, Puncheon #3Q70048, D. May 1993, Btl. June 2008, 492 Bts.)
84 - Yamazaki 18yo 1990/2008 (61%, OB, 2nd Fill Spanish Oak Sherry Butt #0N70646, 504 Bts.)
 

After the big overhaul of this website in 2006 and 2007 I've switched to a 'seasonal' rhythm for the HTML pages in my Liquid Log. At the end of each season I send my scores to our French malt maniac Serge who adds them to the Malt Maniacs Monitor and Malt Maniacs Matrix - along with the most recent scores of the other maniacs. So, you don't have to take my word for it; the matrix and monitor offer tens of thousands of scores for thousands of different whiskies. The new 'Specials' section on Malt Maniacs (scroll to the bottom of the home page to find it) offers tasting notes for a few dozen recently released single malts. As far as my personal 'Track Record' is concerned; I've stopped updating it after I passed the 2000 malts mark, but the last time I checked malt mileage was +/- 2500 single malt Scotch whiskies seriously sampled & scored...

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