Black Bull 40 Batch 2 is the editors choice in the latest issue of Whisky Magazine! 12/05/2100
Black Bull 40 batch 2 continues to garner high praise with this latest accolade from the Worlds premier whisky publication. Scoring an impressive 9.2 (Martine) and 9.5 (Rob) in issue 95 (May/June), Black Bull 40 batch 2 is described as "...A belter, everything is well balanced and sings together" and "...A pure beauty - the age without the wrinkles". We couldn't agree more!
Black Bull 40 batch 2 has been on the shelves for less than a week and is already receiving rave reviews, including 90 points from Serge at Whisky Fun who described it as "...one of the freshest old blends i've tasted..". Over at Caskstrength.net the praise was similarly high, calling BB40 "simple, yet so so precise and...perfect." Check out the full reviews below. 02/02/2011
From Whisky Fun:
Starts on a wheelbarrow of both fresh and tinned fruits, with the old grainâ€™s pineapples and coconut on top of it. Overripe apples and pears, melons, juicy peaches, hints of bananasâ€¦ Second stage: more herbal notes as often, a little camphor, verbena, pine sapâ€¦more
The mouthfeel on this whisky is so oily, so palate coating, you'd swear it was washed with syrup. When you can find your tongue again, you're in for a huge treat. Java coffee, ripe bananas, condensed milk, wonderfully sweetened malted milk biscuits, aromatic virginia tobacco notes and cherry drops. unctuous, but very precise indeed... more
Our US exclusive NC2 Glenlivet receives 92 points in this month's Malt Advocate magazine! 7th October 2010
NC2 Glenlivet 1987 22yo, 46% alc/vol
Whisky distilled at Glenlivet might be easy to find througout the world, but this is a good thing. Take this one from Duncan Taylor - it's delicious! It's elegantly complex, with a troptical accent (coconut, pineapple), strawberries with whipped cream and caramel dipped apple. The sweetness is never heavy or cloying and it's balanced by lovely dried spice throughout (vanilla, ginger, soft mint, nutmeg), and especially towards the finish. Nicely done!
Read more of Malt Advocate's reviews here
A new review of our NC2 Bunnahabhain 1997 46% in Malt Advocate magazine. 27th Sept 2010
More mature peated Bunnahabhain Islay whiskies are emerging (like this one). Indeed, tarry, peat ash notes are evident throughout this one (especially on the finish!), along with nutty toffee, nougat, smoked olive, glazed ginger and candied lime. Pretty even keeled, not as medicinal and aggressive as its cousins on the southern end of the island. The smoke and layered sweet notes balance nicely. If you're looking to ease your way into smoky Islay whiskies, this would be a good start.
85 points awarded
Read more of Malt Advocate's reviews here
Our NC2 Glen Scotia reviewed in this month's Malt Advocate magazine! 22nd Sept 2010
NC2 Glen Scotia 18yo 1981, 46% alc/vol
Glen Scotia has always been the bridesmaid to Springbank. This is justifiable, given the production and the availability of quality bottlings have been so sporadic over the last decade or so. I like this one. It really shows the simple, coastal pleasantness of this Campbeltown distillery. Ripe malty notes are accompanied by brine, cut hay, banana cream pie and honeyed vanilla. Lingering salty, malty finish. With all the sherried and wine finished Springbanks recently on the market (not that there's anything wrong with that), here's a nice, no-frills, Campbeltown whisky.
87 points awarded.
Read more of Malt Advocate's reviews here
Black Bull 40 awarded 92 points in this month's Malt Advocate magazine! 20th Sept 2010
Black Bull 40yo Blended Scotch Whisky, 40.2% alc vol
A whopping 90% malt and 10% grain whisky. Soft, with the oak remarkably restrained for its age. Soothingly sweet, with toffee apple, vanilla-spiked sponge cake, nougat, butterscotch, sultana and cut grass. A dash of cinnamon and coconut throughout, with teasing, gentle polished oak on the finish. Deftly balanced and oh, so drinkable.
92 points awarded.
Black Bull 12yo Blended Scotch Whisky, 50% alc vol
Quite rich and chewy, with nutty toffee, vanilla fudge, nougat, chocolate cake, orchard fruit and black cherry all on a solid malty foundation. This isn't one of those elegant, lighter flavoured blends with a high grain whisky content. The focus here is on fullness of flavour. A blend for the malt whisky drinker (but should appeal to the more open minded blend drinker too)
89 points awarded.
Read more of Malt Advocates reviews at their website, www.maltadvocate.com
Rare Auld Glen Moray and our 40yr old Octave-invigorated Glenrothes commended in this month's Whisky Magazine, 17th Sept 2010
Glen Moray Rare Auld 35yo, 52.7%, Speyside
Dave: Nose - A substantial mix of pressed hedgerow fruits, cooked nettles, scented woods and some whisky rancio.
Palate - Needs water to reveal some real complexity. Gentle fruity touches- raspberry jam skimmings, ice cream, butterscotch and a pleasing bitterness. Elegant and old.
Finish - Minty. Comments - An exemplary old gently matured whisky.
Score - 8.8
Dominic: Nose - Soft, rounded and fruity, with orange and mandarin.
Palate - A lovely full mouth feel but still gentle and exquisite. Like a fruit cordial but with enough earthy, spicy notes to give it some depth.
Finish - The mixed spices and fruit combine pleasantly for a medium finish.
Comments - This distillery has always been capable of greatness. Maybe this will kick start a comeback under the new(ish) owners.
Score - 8.2
Check out Whisky Magazine's website and tasting database here
Glenrothes Octave Range 40yr old, 45.8%, Speyside.
Dave: Nose - Huge cake mix like aromas, caramel, shortbread, demerara sugar and a hint of eucalyptus. Certainly not shy. Best neat and as it develops there's citrus, spiced apple juice, celery and parsnip chips. Rouded and quite hefty.
Palate - Dense and slightly fungal, chestnut mushrooms and leaf mould.
Finish - A hefty charmer- John Betjeman or Robert Crumb would appreciate the build of this.
Comments - Give it time. Balanced, complex and recommended.
Score - 9
Dominic: Nose - What a curiosity. Lots of fruit jelly notes, polished oak, traces of smoke, chicory coffee, and toffee.
Palate - Altogether bolder, bigger and spicier than the nose, a mouth coating malt with white pepper and tangy fruit.
Finish - Quite long, marmalady and peppery. Different, too.
Comments - A stylish combination of two distinctive Glenrothes styles: red berries and zesty grapefruit.
Score - 9
Check out Whisky Magazine's website and tasting database here
Our 1970 Caperdonichs go down a treat with Serge at Whiskyfun.com, 15th Sept 2010
These 1970 Caperdonich are rather less well known than the excellent 1972s, maybe because Duncan Taylor have fewer of them?
Caperdonich 38 yo 1970/2009 (42.3%, Duncan Taylor, Rare Auld, cask #4376, 158 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: we're close to a fruitbomb at first nosing, the oak being quick to kick in but in a gentlemanly manner. Develops very classically after a few seconds, with the expected honey, mirabelle jam, quinces, beeswax, yellow flowers and just a little cinnamon and ginger plus vanilla and mint. Archetypical, as they say. Mouth: perfect attack, superbly fruity, fresh, hugely complex right from the start, with all things around bees and their products, many dried and stewed fruits and a wide asortment of secondary notes such as tobacco, lime, pina colada, longans, mead... All perfect. Finish: medium long, clean, easy, honeyed. White pepper, mint and cinnamon in the aftertaste, as almost always with these oldies. Comments: ha-ha, the 1972s have serious competition! But warning, this is very drinkable. SGP:641 - 91 points.
Caperdonich 38 yo 1970/2009 (45.9%, Duncan Taylor, Rare Auld, cask #4377, 205 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: this is going to be short: less fruits and honey, more nutmeg, eucalyptus and vanilla than in its sister cask. Still very nice on the nose but suffers from the comparison with its fruitier twin... Until it starts to become a little rounder and herbal at the same time. Hints of dill and celery and then a little ginger, as if it was re-racked in newer oak - which I doubt would have happened. Mouth: we aren't too far from #4376 but this is rather less luxurious and 'wide'. A little more on plums and on oaky spices, cinnamon, nutmeg... But there a very nice citrusy notes in the background. Finish: a tad longer that cask #4376 but also a little narrower. Quite some pollen. Comments: all good and even almost perfect, it's just that #4376 was in its way. SGP:541- 89 points.
Caperdonich 38 yo 1970/2009 (46.8%, Duncan Taylor, Rare Auld, cask #4381, 153 bottles) Colour: gold. Nose: hold on, this is funny, this one's even grassier and less fruity than cask #4377. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful whisky, it's just that you can't beat an old fruitbomb that aged to perfection. After a few minutes: more quinces and orange marmalade as well as a little soot and something pleasantly metallic. Citron jelly. Globally fruitier. Mouth: it's now really wunderbar, rich, punchy, fruity, honeyed, spicy... Old liqueurs, various honeys, lemon marmamalde, herbs, thyme, mint, liquorice... Even hints of 'mojito' - yes. Finish: long, punchy, fruity, citrusy, with just the right amount of spices. Comments: right, maybe it was a tad more austere than the others at very first sniffs but it just would stop improving after that. Frankly, this is perfect whisky at almost 40 years of age. As I may have suggested before, buy one, pour it into a shiny crystal decanter (you can find some nice ones for EUR 10 each in any flea markets but watch lead) and there you go, you have your prestige bottling (and just saved a few Ks). SGP:541 - 92 points
Remember to visit whiskyfun.com for more tastings and reviews!
A new addition to the 'family', review of Black Bull 40
whiskyforeveryone.blogspot.com, 2 Feb 2010
This is a very pleasant whisky and offers exceptionally good value for money, when you consider the age of the whiskies involved. It is remarkably fresh for a whisky of this age and maintains its intensity despite the relatively low ABV alcoholic strength. A lovely dram. more>
Blind tasting of Black Bull 40yo, Batch 1 receives 91 points!
Whiskyfun.com, 30 Jan 2010
Colour: pale gold.
Nose: yeah! Starts on a lot of honey and other ‘beehivy’ notes, with many rich yet fresh fruity notes that are soon to turn up. Ripe apples, pineapples and bananas, then more caramel crème and nougat, then superb notes of liquorice and aniseed, and finally these slightly resinous notes that scream ‘old casks’. Those can sometimes be over the top but this time they really add depth and complexity to the whisky. Superb nose (where I might detect quite some old Glen Grant and/or Caperdonich and/or Glenlivet and/or Glenrothes and/or…).
Mouth: a wee oaky blast at very first sips (cinnamon, nutmeg) but then it just won’t stop unfolding, shooting flavours like arrows, one after the other. Dried oranges, coconuts, bananas, spearmint, liquorice, cloves, butter pears, marshmallows, lemon balm… It’s endless, both ‘old’ and juvenile in style, which I believe is a perfect combo.
Finish: maybe not the longest ever but the coconut stands out, as well as some banana skin and roasted bread. No drying tannins whatsoever.
Comments: fresh, mature, complex and entrancing to follow. more...
Caol Ila 26yo 1982/2009 (55.9%, Duncan Taylor, C # 2741)
Bert's Whisky Dagboek (Belgium), 19 April 2009
Nose: very fine peat nose, very mature Caol Ila, citrus, peppery, good: 23.
Mouth: light creamy and powerful, beautiful floral peat, beautiful evolution and drink very pleasant way: 23.
Finish: warm, complex, strong finish ... to Timbuktu: 23.
Comments: one of my best Caol Ila's: 23.
Highland Park 21 yo 1987/2008 (50.4%, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld, cask #1529)
Whiskyfun.com - 14 November 2008
A brand new bottling!
Nose: I had feared this one would have a hard time after the wonderful 1991 but greatest of news, it’s quite as superb. There’s less candy and coffee and more white fresh fruits (simply apples) but almost all the rest is there. Smoke, peat, tangerines, sea air, camphor, ‘resinous’ honey… Gets finally a tad farmier and rougher, with more wet hay, whiffs of farmyard… And quite some fresh mint as well. Great nose anyway, a little less ‘easy’ than the 1991.
Mouth: we’re closer to the 1991, just even bigger, thanks to the higher ABV. Wild, peaty, extremely smoky and peppery, with layers of candied lemons and oranges, ‘resinous honey’ again, waxes, smoked fish, salt… Wow, it’s almost a brute! (flog me baby!)
Finish: very long, all on orange zests and pepper now.
Comments: lots happening in this HP that has its eye on Skye or even Islay. A big dram, in the same league as the 1991 as far as quality is concerned. Highly recommended, especially since the quality of indie HPs can be very, say ‘uncertain’. SGP:475 – 91 points.
whiskyfun.com - 06 October 2008
Glenrothes 39 yo 1969/2008 (45.5%, Duncan Taylor, Rare Auld, cask #12890, 183 bottles) Cask #12885 bottled in 2006, was quite superb so this must be nice as well.
Nose: it is somewhat similar to the 1978 as far as the general profile is concerned, only much more expressive and, to tell you the truth, exuberant. Loads of heather honey, prunes, bananas flambéed, raspberry jam, spices (mulled wine again) and oranges plus hints of wood smoke that sort of keep it ‘straight’. More huge notes of very ripe bananas and no obvious oakiness whatsoever. Very, very demonstrative and very, very appealing.
Mouth: exceptional attack, vibrant, uber-fruity yet perfectly structured thanks to a beautiful oakiness. The bananas are back with flying colours – I mean aromas – and so are the oranges. Also coconuts, then more oranges and more bananas, then nutmeg and white pepper, then a little mint and a little liquorice, then various strong honeys… Even more pepper after that, which gives this malt a wonderful strawberry jam/pepper signature.
Finish: a little more oak at this stage but at 39 years of age, that’s more than normal. Superb pepper and fruits again. Very, very long finish.
Comments: one of these IB’s that are OB killers. Indeed, the official 1978 doesn’t quite stand comparison with this 1969 but it’s true that it’s quite younger. Now, the latter is more than two times less expensive (+/- 150 Euros). Frankly, we don’t like to talk about prices too much but sometimes we just can’t avoid mentioning striking differences… SGP:751 - 92 points.
Tasting Dallas Dhu
whiskyfun.com - 15 September 2008
Dallas Dhu 27yo 1981/2008 (55.1%, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld, cask #389 - from a shery cask)
Nose: probably a tad less complex and refined that the 1970 at first nosing but the overall profile is still great. More chocolate and coffee at first nosing, and then much more fresh fruits (big lemony notes). Fruit salad, almost fizzy and very pleasantly so.
With water: gets even cleaner and zestier, all on lemons and grapefruits, with hints of coal smoke. Very beautiful, if you ask me, and stunningly fresh at 27yo.
Mouth (neat): big, very fresh and quite lemony again at first sips, but it gets then very spicy and very oaky, in a most excellent way (a lot of oak isn’t always a problem!) So we have the expected cloves, a lot of cardamom, notes of lemon balm, lime, ginger… Very, very zesty dram. Even hints of tequila (of which we have vivid memories as we tried three of them a few days ago.) Most interesting!
With water: zing! Clean, fresh, lemony, with also notes of green apples plus various mild spices from the wood.
Finish: long, an extension of the palate.
Comments: I wouldn’t say that this is exactly a surprise, but it sure isn’t a ‘regular’ Dallas Dhu, and one may wonder if they didn’t ‘mis-stenciled’ an old cask of Rosebank here. Come on, of course not! SGP:642 – 90 points.
Recent Indie Bunnahabhain
whiskyfun.com - 3 September 2008
Bunnahabhain 38 yo 1970/2008 (40.3%, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld, cask #4073)
Nose: this is one of these uberfruity old Bunnahabhains it seems. Starts very assertively, on a hints of putty mixed with loads of fresh oranges and tangerines, bananas, acacia honey and whiffs of spearmint. Gets then a tad more ‘fudgy’, with also notes of cappuccino and vanilla as well as a little tea (earl grey – obvious notes of bergamots here) and toasted oak. Very fresh considering this one’s age, but not exactly a fruit bomb because there’s more than that. Usually the palates don’t match the noses in these old whiskies but you never know… Let’s see.
Mouth: starts rather similarly (citrus fruits) but – should I say ‘of course’ – the wood is much more obvious, albeit not too drying. Nicely integrated. The other obvious notes are of the resinous kind (pine candies, chlorophyll gum). Not too ripe bananas (tannins).
Finish: surprisingly long, half oaky, half orangey. Orange tea? Comments: very, very good, with a rather stunning nose and a pleasant palate. SGP:640 – 89 points.
Whiskyfun by Malt Maniacs' Serge
11 June, 2008
Inverleven 29 yo 1978/2008 (45.5%, Duncan Taylor, Rarest of the Rare, cask #1878)
It’s now well known that Inverleven’s equipment has been bought by the Bruichladdich team and will be used at the new Port Charlotte.
Nose: as fresh and citrusy as a 30yo malt… can’t get. No traces of excessive woodiness at all, rather a big and complex zestiness: lemon pie, lemon balm, then wet stones and chalk, kiwi juice, then whiffs of raw wool, aniseed, oysters and other seashells, hints of wet dog (hi again, dogs), garden bonfire… An excellent surprise. Superb complexity, yet a perfect ‘compactness’. Let’s only hope the palate will match this beautiful nose.
Mouth: indeed, this is a beautiful old Lowlander, even if it’s just a little less zesty than on the nose here. Lemon with a little salt, lemon crème and, err, lemon pie. Goes on with more spices (Chinese – or star – anise, a little cardamom), a slight toffeeness, and then notes of coconut and dried ginger. Extremely good.
Finish: rather long, a tad drier now, with hints of oak coming through. Comments: Inverleven should never be forgotten when we’re talking about Lowlanders! Top notch and very ‘idiosyncratic’, highly recommended (but beware it’s drinkability.) SGP:642 – 90 points.
Issue 294, 22 May 2008
Dr. Whisky of drwhisky.blogspot.com
Glenrothes 1968, cask 13498,
It is ridiculous that I have not yet had a Glenrothes for the malt mission. I suppose it is a bit nuts to imagine that someone could have almost 300 whiskies and still have negelected a whole distillery. Well it is not my fault, I have visited Ronnie Cox et al at whisky tasting events and tried their old and new vintages, just never in the controlled environment of the malt mission. To be completely honest, this is mainly because I have never received any samples through the post, and its not cuz the owners don't know this whisky blog exists; I have see Berry Brothers and Rudd (or their server, anyways) and the Edrington Group reading Dr. Whisky many times over the past year. Oh well. I try not to solicit and this is getting to that point, so enough. Sorry, I'm writing like an idiot today. Just not feeling it.
Thanks to the nice folks at Duncan Taylor and Co. for sending the sampler of their Glenrothes bottling along. I might as well tell you that between them sending me the drop and me getting around to posting on it over the past few tumultuous months, all bottles have been sold out. Nonethless...
Rather than having only a graveyard of casks at the distillery, Glenrothes is unique in having a still house that overlooks a cemetery. The distillery was off to a shaky start when the initial investors behind the construction of Glenrothes withdrew (to open a neighbouring distillery and begin a dispute over the water source). The financial difficulties led to the construction of a distillery much smaller than had originally been planned. Joining forces with Bunnahabhain to become Highland Distillers in 1897 and doubling its size in 1898 created a more secure future for the distillery. Today it is one of the largest distilleries in the industry with much of its produce finding its way in to Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark blended whiskies. It was a year after a distillery fire in 1922 that Cutty Sark was created.
TASTING NOTES (Tasted with TF): Raspberry, strawberry-tinged baby power. Smells like a place, i just can't pinpoint where, but it fills me with guilt -associated feelings. A brothel? The ladies room? The apartment of the other woman? Oak, some sour sherry notes, butter and crepes. "Quite fruity, red apple, cheesecake base, do you know what I mean? Biscuity. There's a sort of... you know, Haribo fried eggs." Laughter. Totally, says I. "Green oak, broken twigs, less fruit as it develops." Time in the glass lets out more estery high notes again."I like the old mahogany church pew you get off these oldies."
Soft, then bright, cloves, Brio chinotto, sweet soda fountain syrup, butterscotch. Floral notes and then tons of oaky grip. A sugary (muscovado?) sweetness lingers low among ginger roots and twigs. "Pruny, sort of like old cognac, raisins. Ginger, or gingerbread maybe, baked apple. The oak comes out so much on the finish, it becomes slightly astringent, wood tannins, that sort of almost resiny taste that you get."
SUMMARY: A tasty mouthfull, with an emphasis on full. Less interesting on the nose, "yeah, but we've had it for like twenty minutes. Its still got it on the palate, maybe just a touch too woody. I like it." Tim was surpirsed to learn it was Glenrothes.
Malt Maniacs - New Bottlings
Issue 109, April 15, 2008
Bert Bruyneel, Belgium
Tomatin 42yo 1965/2008 (52.1%, DT, C# 20942, 211 Bts.)
Nose: herbal, a very 'old' nose, needs some time in the air, a bit 'dirty', very special but really pleasant.
Palate: surprisingly punchy, very nice drink, honey, a fruit basket, tropical. A powerful nice old Speyside-finish, really beautiful.
Verdict: 95 points - special, but an absolute winner to me.
Glen Grant 35yo 1972/2007 (53.5%, DT, C# 1641, 121 Bts.)
Nose: leather, orange, vanilla, nice maturity.
Palate: spicy, pretty dry, oak, vanilla, nice old Speyside, some citrus, a nice one. Enjoy a beautiful, full, long and complex finish.
Verdict: 92 points.
Glen Grant 35yo 1972/2008 (53.4%, DT, C# 1643, 104 Bts.)
Nose: oak, vanilla, a little sharpness, nice old Speyside.
Palate: spicy and rather dry, oak, orange, vanilla, more 'Speyside' in the second taste.
Finish opens beautifully with a nice old Speyside development.
Verdict: 91 points.
Caperdonich 37yo 1970/2008 (43.3%, DT 'Lonach')
Nose: waxy, lots of old Speyside, a nice sweetness/honey, slight floral notes, some vanilla.
Palate: starts smooth, gets to spicy, nice mouth feel, herbal, nice sweetness, honey, vanilla. Nice full finish, not to complex but very pleasant.
Verdict: 91 points - my kinda stuff ...
Caperdonich 39yo 1968/2008 (56%, DT, C# 2608, 167 Bts.)
Nose: nice old nose, a pinch of woodiness, dry leather, some vanilla.
Palate: spicy and some cream, slightly alcoholic, vanilla, malty sweet. Enjoy a full crafty old Speyside finish.
Verdict: 90 points - Still very punchy and fresh to be a 39yo whisky.
To view the full review click here.