Sunday 1st April
Not as good as day as yesterday , getting on to dreich would best describe it , but sunday is a day of rest and we always take it easy after the long day of yesterday . So a lie in , brunch , a quick drive over to Bowmore , a natter to John Maclellan , getting the Fire ready for tonight and now…… trying a few samples of whisky kind friends have sent me over the past few weeks !
First up the newest 1990 Bunnahabhain Cask from Berry Bros and Rudd courtesy of Rob , where are all these 1990 sherry casks coming from ? This one is Cask 18 and is 53.1% abv , light mahogany in colour , incredibly rich fruit cake on the nose along with the Bunnahabhain sweetness , definite Christmas cake special . The palate continues on from the nose , a very luxurious , oily dram , a very good sherried Bunnahabhain . There is just a slight hint of “meatiness” on the finish but nothing to spoil the overall enjoyment . A big thumbs up from the delightful Melanies direction as well……
Carrying on the Bunnahabhain sherried theme , the next one comes courtesy of CJ from the Whisky Base shop , a 10yo bottled by The Whisky Agency at 46% from Cask 909 . Dried fruits , cake mix and the Bunnahabhain sweetness (Edinburgh Rock) come through on the nose and palate only this time with youth in it’s favour the Bunnahabhain traits have an easier time over the sherry . A nicely balanced Bunnahabhain with the spirit and sherry in good harmony .
Now a slight diversion away from Islay , A 2000 highland Park from the Whisky Base Archives selection , bottled at 50.9% from an ex-bourbon Hoggie it’s very pale in colour , light Chardonnay wine , light and creamy at first on the nose , then banana and fruit salad . The palate is sweet , creamy , nettles (?) , peppery and a little spirity . The finish is spicy but also a little immature , i suspect this wasn’t a very active cask and could have done with either leaving alone for a while or reracking , not you usually Highland Park that’s for sure .
Now on to possibly my favourite non-Islay distillery , Longmorn , this one is a 1988 23yo from Refill Sherry Hogshead #14379 in the First Cask range , abv 52.6% . The initial nose is leather , furniture polish then an astonishing amount of fruit ! Also toffee and very dry sherry . The palate is again dry sherry , dark chocolate , cherry liqueur and creamy coffee . A very good and very different Longmorn to the Independent one’s i’ve been used to , i can now see where the famous old SMWS ones came from with this one .
Next up it’s back to the Archives range for a 1975 36yo Glen Grant , bottled at 46.6% from Hoggie #5476 . An incredibly fruity dram both on the nose and palate , the nose also has an artificial cream tang to it . The palate also has an added spiciness to it with a twist of pepper . A really nice , old Glen Grant .
The Penultimate dram , a 2004 7yo Archive Ledaig at 61.9% from Hogshead #900009 , another light dram , chardonnay wine in colour . A quite light nose , green peat / mossy , very vegetal with a waft of smoke . The palate is very young tasting , medicinal , lemony but just about drinkable . This definitely could have done it a few more years and it isn’t a patch on the young Ledaig BBR released a couple of years ago .
Lastly it’s back to Islay for a 1998 13yo Laphroaig Archive bottling from Bourbon Hoggie #700228 . Pale gold in colour , the nose is medicinal but quite fresh with lemon . The palate isn’t too powerful (it’s abv is 54.2%) , quite lemony with the medicinalness , not a bad Laphroaig but i’ve had better .