Rating System <= 2.25 Terrible 2.5 - 2.75 - Poor 3 - 3.25 - Ok. Nothing special. 3.5 - 4 - Good. Above average. 4.25 - Great. Top 15%. 4.5 - Excellent. Top 5%. 4.75 - Amazing. Top 1%.
Midleton Very Rare 2017
Blended — IrelandTastedA pretty flawless whiskey... although that doesn't come with a dose of excitement. I'd like to try this at 46% and luckily for me I have samples from that abv to cask strength buried in my cupboard so stay tuned for those reviews. Creme brulee, butterscotch and more...very very drinkable but I think I'd get bored of this if i had a bottle...and there is the price...
Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2019 Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedMan this whiskey has come a long way from when I first tried it and it was rough and ready. I was wondering what age would do to its profile and now I know. With the bottle cracked open, no time to breathe or water it's a 4.25..no doubt time and oxygen will improve further but I'll placehold that score for now. Burnt ashy maritime vanilla on the nose. All that transitions to the palate. It almost tastes like the smell of old ashtrays we used to have in bars or drinking something after just inhaling a mild cigarette...in a good way :-). Very well balanced. Ok 20 mins later with water..man this is good. It turns creamy almost. Ok 4.5 it is.
The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedQuick hit review number 4. Nice drop, nothing outstanding. Seemed younger than the age statements but well balanced and lovely aftertaste. Reasonably priced at $65 USD.
The Glenrothes 18 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNo. 3 on the GR tasting range. Fully sherry hit kicks in with this. Nice sherried drop but for $125USD you can do better e.g. Glendronach 18, Glengoyne 21, Bunnahabhain 18 etc etc. Still good to see GR OBs now no longer suck!
The Glenrothes 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNo. 2 on the GR tasting range. Similar to the 10 with no lemon notes plus hint of sherry coming in. Solid but unremarkable.
The Glenrothes 10 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedI popped into my local bottle store for a beer and before I knew it O was tasting the new GR range. In summary it's better than their earlier official OBs but that wasn't hard as they were terrible! This I think I liked the most maybe because it's rare that on a school holiday day looking after the kids i get to imbibe in the morning. The kids got a bag of potatoe crisps each and headed back to the car to eat them whilst i made my way through the GR range. Nice simple well priced $40USD drop. Vanilla, lemon etc.
Dallas Dhu 33 yr 1980 Gordon & Macphail
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedRugby changing room urinals was my first thought. Those minty smelling things they put in the urinals to make them smell nice. Peppermint, green apple are the strong characteristics with this one. Waxy grass clippings others have noted which I get. I'm not usually a mint person but this strikes the right notes although I couldn't drink loads of this. All in all the ghost drams were a good experience but personally I think there are better examples out there from G&M e.g. St. Magdalene 1975 I had a couple of years ago. Given in 3 samples I just tasted 100 years and $2500USD (on a bottle basis) of drams I personally think you are better off buying loads of modern day classics or even older single cask versions of current day distilleries e.g. Glendronach, Benriach.
Brora 1982 33 Year Rare Old (Gordon & Macphail)
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedI tasted the Brora vs Port Ellen Johnnie Walker Editions head to head last time and the Port Ellen definitely took it. It just had more character more funkiness which I liked. This time round the G&M Editions the Brora came out on top. The character of the PE was still there but it seemed very faded. The Brora however has more substance. Sweet creamy vanilla and a fair bit more (Cascode has it more than covered off!). The casking has been done better on this one. That said however again it didn't blow me away. Very nice dram but not in my top 20% type thing. Nice to have another piece of unblended history. Now onto the Dallas Dhu to finish the ghost trifecta!
Port Ellen 35 yr 1980 Gordon & Macphail
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedI used to frequent a whiskey bar in another city when I was down there for work. I asked if they had any Port Ellen or Brora and he said he stopped buying it as the stuff that was vaguely affordable i.e. sub $700USD a bottle wasn't that great, didn't last and he pulled the last bottle off the shelf after 2 weeks open as he just in good conscience couldn't sell it. A couple of years later I got my hands on a sample of a $1000usd+ bottle for a reasonable $50USD and yeah nice dram but to be honest I preferred what Johnnie Walker did in their Blue Label blend. However it's nice sitting in the sun drinking a piece of history and it is a lovely dram just not mindblowing. Sweet vanilla, fennel, cooked cabbage and petrol, very light and well balanced and nicer than the taste descriptors make it sound. You are definitely drinking it and judging it on what it's a memory of rather than for the taste experience. RIP Port Ellen I await your rebirth. Hmm I see I'm up to the number of the beast in tastes.. not sure if that's an unlucky thing or not so I better keep tasting!
The Grove Distillery Cream Sherry Cask Whiskey
Single Malt — AustraliaTastedYup 1 day exactly in the 50 litre barrel. Apparently if you leave it more than 4 hours more it's overdone. Now that screams cheap crap to me but trying it (admittedly after 2 vineyard and 1 brewery tasting in Margaret River) I was very impressed. You really get the cream sherry coming through and a nice base spirit to accompany it which goes to show not all good things take time. And yes I bought another bottle. Post this large session I woke up the next day and realised I had far to much alcohol to bring back through customs. 8 bottles of spirits 25 samples and 10 bottles of wine. We drank as much as wine as we could at the in-laws in Melbourne a week later and gave 2 bottles of spirits as presents, cancelled 1 bottle of duty free and still had to leave 1 bottle behind... next time I'll have to staple a note to my forehead... don't let me buy any more bottles I'm over limit! Update: Having opened the bottle in the cold light of day it smells and tastes more like what it is....a 1 day aged cream whiskey. The smell is a bit like baby sick (although not that bad) and the taste more one dimensional. Note to self if you are to drunk judgement is impaired!