Aberlour 25 years old malt whisky

This 'Little Black Book' is one of the oldest pages on the Malt Madness website. Since that fateful night in 1991 I have
sampled almost three thousand different single malt whiskies. A lot of my sampling sessions occurred before I started
making notes, but by the end of 1995 I launched the Malt Madness website and my 'recreational' drinking behaviour had
evolved into something much more serious and 'maniacal'. One day, on my way to my liquorist, I passed by a little book
store in the centre of Amsterdam. I already own a book (I own several, in fact), so I had never entered this particular
store before. But this time I spotted a tiny stack of tiny little black books with blank pages - just perfect for keeping
notes on my alcoholic adventures! So, I entered the store and invested in a few dozen little black books...

So, since January 1997 I've been keeping track of all malt whiskies I sampled in my 'Little Black Books'. Both the
'real' ones and this virtual version contain tasting notes on the all single malts I've 'seriously' sampled between
1997 and 2003. Until January 2002 serious sampling meant finishing an entire 'big' bottle (70cl or more) of the
whisky. After examining more than 300 bottles of single malt Scotch whisky this way, I felt confident enough to
start sampling & scoring whiskies 'by the dram'. However, this is only true on good nose days. I suffer from
chronic sinusitis, so I'm ' nasally handicapped' a lot of the time - I only have 3 or 4 good nose days per month.


ABERFELDY  (Midlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Aberfeldy 9yo 1991/2000 (43%, Ultimate, distilled 11/4/1991, oak cask #2713, bottled 8/5/2000, bottle #111, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Very soft start. Becomes bigger and more spicy after a minute. Incense? Coffee? A little oily. Some citrus. Relatively restrained.
Taste: Soft, smooth and warm at first. Rather sweet. Pink bubblegum in the extremely dry finish?
Aberfeldy 12yo (40%, OB, Dewar's, bottled +/- 2001, LEO 1 352 12:38, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Spicy & herbal. Prickly. Then sweet & sour, becoming fruitier. Then more organics. Leather & smoke. Japanese crackers?
Taste: Harsh and rough at the start. Hint of salt liquorice. Orange lemonade in the finish? Not as endearing as the nose.
Aberfeldy 1978/1996 (59.3%, Scott's Selection, Oak casks, French market, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Powerful. Lots of fruit. Fruit cake? Slightly dusty. More sour/vegetable notes after time. Organic notes growing stronger.
Taste: Soft start, then a big, fruity burn. Chewy. Sherry accents. Sweet when sampled by the drop. Overwhelming with bigger sips.

ABERLOUR  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Aberlour NAS '100 Proof' (57.1%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 85 points
Nose: Big, sweet and sherried. Woody. Cookies? Peaty (???) after five minutes. Strong fruits and molasses.
Taste: Liquorice (root) and wood. Very sweet with strong fruity notes. A bit like distilled Spanish sangria. Great!
Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' No Batch # (59.6%, OB, bottled +/- 1999, code L320 150 116 15:40, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Very fruity. Sherry. Sweet and slightly dusty. Turkish delight. Smoke. Raisins. Flowers? Oriental spices?
Taste: Very sherried & sweet. Pink bubblegum. Deep fruits and oak. Liquorice. Stone fruits (peaches or apricots).
Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' Batch #6 (59.6%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, code L320 448 354 12:01, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Cinnamon. More fruity than sherried. Dried apples. A little malty and nutty. Smoked almonds? Distinctly 'gamy' (?).
Taste: Sherry-sweet burn. Burnt toffee and caramel. Marzipan? Smooth. Wood and late fruits in the center. Just enough smoke.
Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' Batch #7 (59.6%, OB, bottled +/- 2001, code L302 064 036 09:49, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Lots of sherry. Maltier and nuttier after a while. Smoke and fruits. Organic notes and a hint of marzipan. Amazing..
Taste: Very sweet at C/S. Sweet and smoky at +/- 45%, with a cool afterburn. Marzipan and sherry in the finish.
Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' Batch #8 (60.2%, OB, bottled +/- 2002, code L302 323 182 11:34, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Sweet start. The sherry takes a while but becomes dominating. Next stop: organics. Lemon drops? Soap? Shortbread? Water has little effect.
Taste: Very sherried start, but surprisingly drinkable at C/S. Sweet, fruity centre, slowly evolving into a long fruity and woody finish. Slightly 'winey'.
Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' Batch #9 (60.0%, OB, bottled +/- 2003, code LK3N0934 058 12:46, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: A little nuttier and not as extremely sherried Batch #8. Toffee! Furniture polish. Fruitier notes after a minute. Nice - very well-balanced.
Taste: Sherried for a second, then sweet and fruity like lemon drops. Long woody finish. After a dash of water the fruit became more prominent.
Aberlour NAS 'Antique' (40%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Cookies and fudge. Spicy too. Smokier after a few minutes. Sherried, but not as much as the current 10yo. Chloride?
Taste: Malty, fruity and a little dry. Not as fruity as the 15yo. The finish was quite bitter, not unlike beer. Hop? 
Aberlour 10yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 1994, code L32006 021 10:55, Cooymans, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Quite a nose-full. A 'scream' of sherry, followed by a wonderful spicy sweetness. A little water works wonders.
Taste: A bit too much sherry for me. Smooth, but grows dry quickly; a real afterburner. Too much water ruins the balance!
Aberlour 10yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 1997, no code, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Big and very sherried at first, followed by a spicy sweetness. More sherry with a few drops of water.
Taste: Starts smooth, becoming dry very quickly. Way too sherried for me. Seems to withstand oxidation very well.
Aberlour 10yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 2001, code L320 643 346 15:30, PR Larios, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Malty. A little sherried. Fruity. Orange zest? Citrus and some toffeeish notes. Spicy. Hint of mint or menthol?
Taste: Thin start. Sweet and smooth. Malty with a hint of apple pie. Some tobacco in the finish? Some freshness.
Aberlour 11yo 1989/2001 (43% Aberdeen Distillers, Distilled 10/1989, Bottled 09/2001, Oak Hogshead #11039) - 80 points
Nose: Pleasant enough, but it lacks the trademark sherry character you can find in most OB's.
Taste: Quite rough with a surprising hint of peat. How did that get in there?
Aberlour 12yo Double Cask Matured (43%, OB, bottled +/- 2002, code L302 1135 30414:30, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Smooth. Sherry. Fruit sweets. Grows sweeter and spicier. 'Boerenjongens'. Maybe a hint of smoke.
Taste:  Rhum? Coffee? Fruits. Some smoke. Liquorice. Stays rough. Woody and winey towards the finish.
Aberlour 15yo Sherry Wood Finish (40%, OB, code L320 443 250 10:16, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Sweet and spicy., subtle and a little sour. Fruity & flowery elements - a bit like rose water. Something nutty.
Taste: Starts surprisingly soft and smooth. A buttery toffee sweetness. Extremely fruity as well - distilled fruit-juice.

ALLT A' BHAINNE  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Allt-A-Bhainne 1989/1999 (50%, John Milroy Millennium Selection, matured in oak casks, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Oily and smoky. Sweetish. Eucalyptus. Tea? Rich; opens up even more after a minute. Fresher over time.
Taste: Malty. Slightly oily as well. Sweetish at 50%. Seems much 'thinner' when diluted, but still sweet.
Allt-A-Bhainne 12yo (43%, James McArthur Fine Malt Selection, bottled +/- 1995, 75cl) - 70 points
Nose: Strange! A bit chemical with a first impression of eucalyptus. Flowery? Lightly sweet. A memory of peat.
Taste: Soft start. Sweet and malty. Not a lot of character. The finish is soft and short, almost watery.

AN CNOC  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


ARDBEG  (Islay) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Ardbeg NAS 'Uigeadail' (54.2%, OB, Bottled 2003) -  89 points
Nose: Deep and brooding. Organics and swampy aroma's. Not very peaty. A hint of sweetness, but not as fruity as the 17yo. Needs a few minutes.
Taste: At C/S there's plenty of peat. Af a short 'delay' it becomes very salty and smoke. A sour undercurrent as well, which slowly takes over.
Ardbeg 8yo 1991/1999
(43%, Signatory Vintage, matured in oak casks #617-620, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: The start was 'oily' and 'veggie'. Salty overtones, sour undertones. Iodine. Briny. Smoke. Chloride. Hazelnuts?
Taste: Soft start. It only reveals it's Ardbegness after a few seconds. Peat. Iodine. A surprising sweetness. Bitterish finish.
Ardbeg 8yo 1992/2000 (43%, Signatory Vintage, matured in oak casks #414-415, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Clean, dry and slightly peaty. Leather and salt. Powerful. The bourbon cask influence is obvious.
Taste: Smooth start. Sweet & peaty. Speculaas? More peat and smoke after a while. Dry, slightly bitter finish.
Ardbeg 9yo 1991/2000 (46%, Murray McDavid, matured in Bourbon cask, MM2999, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Dusty. Dry. Light fruits. Menthol? Mint? Slightly oily. Sweaty socks. Organics. Salt. Horse stable. Leather. Bandages?
Taste: Sourish and smooth start. Big dry burn. Slightly gritty. More salt and sweet after a while. Some peat. A dry, salty finish.
Ardbeg 9yo 1990/2000 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance Autumn Distillation, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Dry. Sweet and fruity. Water melon? Dough? Sherry. Spicy. Wet dog? Bacon. Leather, salt and organics.
Taste: Sweetish (honey) start, weak center, sourish in the finish. Dry and salty - other than that it doesn't impress.
Ardbeg 9yo 1990/2000 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 372 bottles, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Soft start. Restrained. Sourish and slightly dusty. Citrus. Water melon. Fruity, but briny as well. Spices and smoke.
Taste: Dry. Deceptively soft start, followed by a sweet burn. Malty with a peppery prickle. Very nice, but no peat monster.
Ardbeg 10yo 'TEN' (46%, OB, bottled +/- 1999, Non Chill-filtered, code L0 039 4ML 08:52, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Starts off rather light and sweet, followed by smoke and brine. Salt & ammoniac. More iodine than peat.
Taste: Well balanced. Nice and sweet at first, with a long salty Ardbeg bang in the middle and a satisfying finish.
Ardbeg 11yo 1991/2002 (62.2%, Cadenhead's Bond Reserve, Bourbon Hogshead, 306 bottles, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Extremely powerful and briny with lots of organics. Chloride? Burnt rubber. Sweeter with time, with water softer fruity elements emerge. Honey?
Taste: At c/s it's dry and incredibly hot. It almost burnt a hole in my stomach. With water it becomes frendlier on the palate. Lasting, woody finish.
Ardbeg 17yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 1997, code L7 338 4ML 11:40, 70cl) - 92 points
Nose: Great! Hints of oak and salt. Brine. Some peat, balanced with some sourness and a Speysidish sweetness.
Taste: Starts off quite soft, but after the trademark "delay" it fully reveals its Islay character. Peppery, bitter finish.
Ardbeg 17yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, code L9 303 4ML 03:13, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Soft start. After some breathing a broad, Speysidish sweetness. Sweet & sour. Almonds? Some oil or vegetables?
Taste: Starts out soft, but a wonderful gentle burn soon starts warming your mouth. Islay centre; bitter finish. 
Ardbeg 1978/1997 'Limited Edition' (43%, OB, no code, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Starts soft and polished for such an old Ardbeg. Relatively round and sweet. Lots of complexity and some peat.
Taste: Peaty, but encapsulated within a smothering layer of sweetness. A hint of smoke and sherry. Lots of wood in the finish.
Ardbeg 1974/1995 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, code IE/CDA, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Peaty with sherried overtones. Chloride. Definitely an Islay malt, but not as overwhelming as some other Ardbegs.
Taste: Characteristic delay in taste-development. Very peaty at first. Malty. Smoky. Some salt. Long finish - woody & bitter.
Ardbeg 1975/1998 (43%, OB, no code, sample, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Peat and salt. The peat vanished quite quickly and abruptly, leaving an unexpected 'Highlandish' sweetness.
Taste: Wonderful with the traditional Ardbeg delay. A soft, sweet layer around a peaty heart. The faintest hint of fruits.
Ardbeg 1975/2000 (43%, OB, no code, sample, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Heavy, brooding fruitiness with a smoky undercurrent. Sherried. Iodine and bandages. Powerful. Mint? Menthol?
Taste: Woody, sherried start. Dry. Then some iodine and smoke appear, growing stronger. Tannins. Rotting wood?
Ardbeg 24yo 1975/2000 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 713 bottles, 70cl) - 92 points
Nose: Yeast? A little grainy. Light fruits and some smoke. Then peat, leather, salt, brine, rubber and horse stable aroma's.
Taste: Combination of sweet and peat. Salty center with hints of liquorice. Iodine. Mellow peat, smoke and a long dry finish.
Ardbeg 25yo 'Lord of the Isles' (46%, OB, bottled in 2001, first bottle in Holland, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Very rich, presenting a broad spectrum of fragrances. Good stuff! Much more iodine than other Ardbegs I've tried.
Taste: Very smoky! With a few drops of water it opens up. Sherry and liquorice. Slightly short on substance.
Ardbeg 1976/2002 'Feis Ile' (53.1%, OB, Bottled for the 2002 Islay Whisky Festival) - 94 points
Nose: Wow! A blast of sherry. Ripe fruits and polished wood. Dried apples. Peat. Organics. Stock Cubes. Bandages and other medicinal elements.
Taste: Smooth start, remarkably sweet. Then the bitter, malty peat kicks in. Smoky. Dry. Perfectly drinkable at c/s. Drier & sweeter with water.
Ardbeg 1974 'Provenance' (55.6%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001) - 93 points
Nose: Light and fruity. Not very peaty at first. A pinch of salt? Developing organics. Sweet spices - like 'speculaas'. Vanilla? Dust. Quite complex.
Taste: Sweet, fruity start. Lemon drops. Grows smokier and woodier. With water it remained sweet and fruity. A fabulous palate - but no peat. Dry.
Ardbeg 27yo 1973/2000 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 240 bottles, 70cl) - 93 points
Nose: Peat, peat, peat. Cow stable. Salt. Chloride. Some faint early fruits. Vegetables? Galvanised rubber - like new tires.
Taste: Salt and liquorice, turning hot and bone dry quickly. Peat. Serrano ham. Smoke. Lemon fruit sweets! Dry. Amazing long finish.

ARDMORE  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Ardmore 11yo 1990/2001 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Unchillfiltered, Bourbon casks #6360/61, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: Quite restrained. A little spicy, with hints of ripe pears. Balanced. Soft honey and toffee notes. Pleasant.
Taste: Malty. A hint of peat after a while? Smooth. Sweetish in the start, but not in the finish.
Ardmore 11yo 1990/2001 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Unchillfiltered, Bourbon cask #6367, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Lemon, apple, pear & other fruits. Light. Something nutty. Very nice. Organics after a while. Too 'veggy' for me.
Taste: Sweetish and slightly gritty. Vegetables. Not as pleasant as the nose.
Ardmore 11yo 1992/2003 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Unknown cask number, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Spicy with some chloride. Hint of peat after a while. Well balanced, but not very pronounced.
Taste: Malty. Liquorice with a pinch of salt. Dry finish, slightly bitter. A little bit 'MOTR', but very elegant.
Ardmore 12yo 1986/1999 '100th Anniversary' (40%, OB) - 78 points
Nose: Sweet. Marzipan? Polished. Nice and fruity. Peanut butter. Spices and strange organics after a minute.
Taste: Starts off quite flat. Peat? A little gritty. Then a whiff of smoke. Grows hotter, drier and woodier towards the finish.
Ardmore 1981/1995 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, code IE/AEF, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Nice! Deep sherry with something I can't identify. A hint of oranges and soap perfume. Something 'sparkly'.
Taste: Very nice. Smooth and sweet like whipped cream. A decent malty burn, followed by a relatively short, dry finish.

ARRAN  (Islands - Arran) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Arran NAS (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Sherry casks, Code L9:243:S10 99:13185 11:00, 70cl) - 61 points
Nose: Oily and creamy. Grain? A little sweet. A pinch of salt. A little smoke and some nuttyness later on. Quite interesting.
Taste: Watery. Smooth with a malty burn, followed by a toffee sweetness. Spoilt by a dry and bitter finish. Tea?
Arran NAS (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, Sherry casks, Code L9:298:S10 99/15031 14:08, 70cl) - 63 points
Nose: Grainy. Oily. Memories of Mull. Something rotten. Its youth is very obvious - a little too obvious for my tastes.
Taste: A little sharp on the tongue. Some sweetish notes. Faintly smoky. Hints of lemon and malt? Light, dry finish.
Arran NAS 'Non-Chillfiltered' (46%, OB, X1059/X1060, L3183BB 1240, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Nutty. Sweet and malty at first - light and very pleasant. Oatmeal? Quite accessible. then it grows oilier and grainier. The complexity vanishes.
Taste: Starts off rather weak, uneven and bitter. Sweet centre, not altogether unpleasant. Unfortunately, the finish is dry and very bitter. Bad wood?

AUCHENTOSHAN  (Lowlands) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Auchentoshan NAS 'Select' (40%, OB, code F391, 5cl) - 64 points
Nose: Surprisingly nutty - just on the right side of oily. Fruity and a little flowery. Tea? Soft maltiness. Clean.
Taste: Smooth and slightly oily. The center grows dry quickly. Gritty. Fairly short finish. Very clean but it lacks cohesion.
Auchentoshan NAS 'Three Wood'
(43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, code F690 / F691 / L316/245H, 70cl) - 82 points 
Nose: Sweet. Sherry. Hint of smoke. Caramel? Wood and fruits. Tobacco! Whiff of peppermint. Sweet fruit cake. Organics. Salted peanuts. Spices.
Taste: Smooth start. Sherry. Sweet, sour and smoky as well. Mint? Fruits. Wood. Liquorice root. Fried fish? Smoke and tannins in the dry, long finish.
Auchentoshan 10yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 1993, code 5 010496 700815, 70cl) - 68 points
Nose: Very light, oily bouquet. Almost grainy. A bit sharp and - dare I say - unimaginative.
Taste: Surprisingly supple; very smooth. It lacked development, though. Perhaps as a result of the triple-distillation?
Auchentoshan 10yo (40%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, code 100/0000275/18, 70cl) - 58 points
Nose: Phew. Seems very oily. Overcooked vegetables. Cannabis? Salted peanuts? Fish? Noticeable improvement and better 'integration' over time.
Taste: Very smooth. Watery. Oil. Cod liver and eucalyptus. Chemical sweetness. Faint liquorice? Gritty in the finish - chalky like rhubarb.

AUCHROISK  (SINGLETON)  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Singleton of Auchroisk 10yo (43%, OB, bottled +/- 2000, code 3672 / LLNL00800236, 100cl) - 75 points
Nose: Mega-fruity at first. Spicy. More spirity after a minute. Malty with a hint of sherry. Furniture wax. None of the aniseed I found in the 1981.
Taste: Very alcoholic. Quite sharp. Hint of fruit. Little depth; flat. Sour, unbalanced finish. Very average. Mediocre cask(s)?
Auchroisk 11yo 1989/2001 Port Finish (43%, Chieftain's, Casks #90191/90192, code L1208BB 3 12 09, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Oooh, that's nice... Lots of fruit and a little peat. Some smoke. Sweet, overwhelming aroma. Deep woody notes. Great finishing job!
Taste: Sadly, it doesn't match the great nose. Watery fruits. Dry, winey center with intruiging fruity episodes. Very woody finish.
Singleton of Auchroisk 1981 (43%, OB, bottled +/- 1997, code 2999, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Just enough sherry. liquorice and aniseed. Very characteristic. Remarkable, it reminded me a bit of "Pernod" pastis liqueur. 
Taste: A slow start, but when you give it time it unfolds beatifully and reaches deep into your throat. A very nice autumn-malt.

AULTMORE  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Aultmore 1989/1999 (50%, John Milroy Golden Strength, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Softly sweet - a little restrained. Fresh, herbal, grassy. A dash of pepper after a while. More honey after some time & water.
Taste: Piny. Woody, with a malty undercurrent. Some eucalyptus? Sweet burn in the centre, which softens with some time and water.
Aultmore 11yo 1985/1997 (43%, Signatory Vintage, bottle #468 of 484 from oak butt #2904, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: Grainy start. Plenty of citrus. Spicy. A bit herbal. Rotting hay. Spirity at times. Pinch of salt. The lack of sherry wood is obvious.
Taste: Smooth and a bit peppery as well. Bittersweet. Sherried; a little oily. Gingerbread? Malty finish, becoming very dry and woody.
Aultmore 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled early 1990's) - 69 points
Nose: Alcoholic and fresh. Herbal. Light and sweet. Faint smoke? More fruity and flowery elements with water. Something sherried as well.
Taste: Light. Smooth and a little sweet. Malty. A little floral and perfumy. Decent burn. Lasting, dry finish. Pleasant but not remarkable.


BALBLAIR  (Northern Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Balblair NAS 'Elements' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, code L0335BB 3 09:52, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Heather honey. Fruity and malty. Raspberries! Hint of salt and peat. Toffee & spices. Some smoke, liquorice root. Strawberries? A little oily.
Taste: Not as entertaining as the nose. Apples & pears. Sweetish. Clean with a hint of smoke & peat. A tad too bitter in the finish; slightly metallic.
Balblair 10yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1992, code IG/CIB, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Furniture polish? Intruiging fruity notes. Lots of character, but it drops off quickly.
Taste: Soft, smooth and sweet. Toffeeish. Slightly bitter. Dark chocolate in the finish. Not a lot of individuality, but very nice.
Balblair 16yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Amazing development - very distinctive. A little pepper. Clove. Nutmeg? Furniture wax. Hint of soap. Spicy. Fresh and old fruit.
Taste: Flat start - malty, then bitter. Sweeter and nuttier later on. Someting fishy. Smoke. Pinch of salt. Tannine without the grapes. Ultra-dry wood.

BALMENACH  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Balmenach 10yo (43.0%, Scottish Wildlife, Bottled +/- 1998, code L 1204, 70cl) - 67 points 
Nose: Not much at first. Spirity. Apples? Citrus? Soap? A little nutty. Relatively restrained, although it does open up after five minutes.
Taste: Sweet start. Coffee? Bitter chocolate. Ciderish, almost Irish. The sweetness disappears. Bourbon dry. Slightly unpleasant in the finish.
Balmenach 11yo 1990/2001 (43%, Chieftain's, Casks 5414-5417, 1800 bottles, bottled Sept. 1990, dist. December 2001, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Restrained. Polished and quite fruity. Chloride. Dusty. Pleasant but superficial. Organics. Some sherry casks in this vatting?
Taste: Smooth start. Opens up quite nicely into a fruity center. Pleasant mouth feel. Sweeter with time. A tad woody in the finish. Dry.

BALVENIE  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Balvenie 10yo 'Founders Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Wonderful bouquet. Honey! Minty? Somewhat dry with a hint of old raisins. I wonder how that got in there.
Taste: Sweet and smooth; gently flows through your mouth. A very nice malt, but not quite as noble as it's older brothers.
Balvenie 10yo 'Founders Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Reminds me of the Abba song 'Honey, Honey'. Soft fruitiness - sultana's. Something faintly nutty? Pleasant.
Taste: Creamy and quite sweet. It's mighty likeable, but underneath its polished surface it seems a bit shallow.
Balvenie 10yo 'Founders Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Creamy and sweetish. Spices. Christmas cookies? A narrow spectrum. Rich. Hint of peat? It opens up with time.
Taste: Flat, Gritty start. A little thin. Definitely some brine in the centre. Tongue-coating. Bittersweet burn. Sweetish, warm finish.
Balvenie 12yo 'Doublewood' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: More sherry in than the 10yo Honey and old fruit?  Wonderful complexity, especially after adding some water.
Taste: Sherry. Nutty sweetness. Dark chocolate, Peppermint? Complex with great development. Amazing balance.
Balvenie 12yo 'Doublewood' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 100cl) - 85 points
Nose: Sweet and nutty start. Some sherry. A little alcoholic. Fruitier and woodier with time. Seems more restrained than I remember.
Taste: Fruity sweetness mixed with minty freshness. Intruiging sherry. Very sweet, but different kinds of sweetness appearing one after another.
Balvenie 12yo 'Doublewood' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Aaaah.... Sherry and organics. Marzipan. Furniture polish. Wood. Fruit sweets.  Something spicy around the corner. Never a dull moment.
Taste: Woody start. Sweet, full-bodied centre. Malty. Sherried. Spicy finish. I love this stuff.
Balvenie 1989 'PortWood' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Wow! Rich and balanced. Fairly similar to the Doublewood, but not as expressive. Marzipan. Lemon? Very nice, but I can't find the port.
Taste: Smooth and sweet start. Solid, fruity centre. Coffee? Not very complex. The finish grows slightly winey and woody - maybe that's the port?
Balvenie 15yo 1980/1996 'Single Barrel' (50,4%, OB, Cask #15986, Bottle #152, In cask 17/11/80, Bottled 28/11/96, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Very soft, considering its strength (50.4%). Needs some water. Honeyish and woody; oilier than the Doublewood.
Taste: Almost fruity at first, then a honeyish sweetness. A peppery "Allegro" followed by a neverending "Adagio". Best experienced neat.
Balvenie 15yo 1983/1999 'Single Barrel' (50,4%, OB, Cask #1318, In cask 27/4/83, Bottled 5/10/99, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Grainy. Veggy. Flat. Takes some time to open up. More spices after a while. A little musty. It reminds me a bit of the old 'Morangie 10yo.
Taste: Smooth start. Softly sweet. Hot. Spicy finish. Rougher and more powerful with time. Not challenging but very pleasant.
Balvenie 15yo 1985/2002 'Single Barrel' (50.4%, OB, Cask #286, Bottle #177, In cask 1/2/85, Bottled 12/2/02, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Honey sweet. Spicy. Surprisingly light and fruity. Tangerines?  Organics as well. Smoked ham? Raw string beans? Lavender?
Taste: Sweet and fruity - like fruit cake. Full bodied centre. Good mouth feel. Pleasant prickle. Long woody finish, maybe a tad too woody for me.
Balvenie 17yo 'Islay Cask' (43%, OB, serie of 94 casks, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Soft and sweet. Honey. Toffee. Something doesn't fit. It seems a bit restrained. The Islay part doesn't show itself for a few minutes.
Taste: Rough. Unbalanced. Little depth. Very dry, especially in the finish. I see no justification to pay 100 Euro's for a bottle.
Balvenie 21yo 'Port Wood' (40%, OB, Bottled 1997, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Oemph! Very rich; smells almost like a C/S at 40%. Pipe tobacco and incense? Sweet, but less honeyed than the younger bottlings.
Taste: Round and full palate. Couldn't really detect the port here, though. Very woody. Make sure to empty the bottle quickly after opening.
Balvenie 25yo 1974/2000 Single Barrel (46.9%, OB, Cask #15208, distilled 12/11/1974, bottled 28/11/2000, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Wonderful perspective - very subtle. Sweet with late fruits and chocolate. Balanced without supressing any of the individual elements.
Taste: Very soft and accessible. Extremely fruity - maybe a tad too much so for my tastes. Long finish.

BANFF  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Banff 18yo 1980 (43%, Chieftain's Choice, 70cl) - 75 points 
Nose: Rum. Alcoholic and restrained at the same time. A hint of oil. Some sweeter, fruity notes after a minute. More development over time.
Taste: Sweetish start, with a suggestion of smoke in the background. The sweetness vanishes after a few minutes. Dragging, dry, bitter finish.

BEN NEVIS  (Western Highlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Ben Nevis 8yo 1990/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 14/12/1990, Bottled 2/3/1999, Sherry butt #1376, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Slightly oily. Hint of sherry. Furniture polish? Vaguely intruiging. A little more smoke later on, opens up with some water.
Taste: Unbalanced. Not sweet enough at first. Slightly oily. Bitter chocolate. Dull, dry & smoky finish. No soul. Breaks up when water is added.
Ben Nevis 8yo 1990/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 14/12/1990, Bottled 21/7/1999, Sherry butt #1379, 70cl) - 66 points
Nose: Grainy and a little grassy. Spirity. Faint wax? Some salt. A hint of smoke. No sweetness at all. A simple and plain character.
Taste: Soft & sweetish at first. Maltier after a minute with a bitter finish. A little oily, a little smoky, but ultimately uninspired.
Ben Nevis 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Furniture polish. A little fruity. Gooseberries? Some pepper and spices. Very rich. Hint of oil. Nutty, not unlike 'Frangelico' liqueur.
Taste: Toffeeish. A bit malty. Sweetish with a little smoke. Slightly dusty. Strong dark chocolate. Orange peel in the dry finish. Touch of eucalyptus?
Ben Nevis 15yo 1977/1993 (60.9%, Cadenhead's, D12/77, B10/93, 5cl) - 87 points
Nose: Aaah... Lovely. Round and sweet with just enough fruits. Melon? Then organics emerge. Whiffs of chloride and dust. Developing organics.
Taste: Smooth and drinkable at c/s. It becomes chewy with a few drops of water. It feels a bit 'tickly'. Dry and slightly 'winey'. Flat, bitter finish.

BENRIACH  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Benriach 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: Somewhat grainy and slightly oily. Very soft, but it grows more interesting as you go along. Nutty, flowery sweetness.
Taste: Rather soft with a powerful afterglow. A real summer-malt in one of the plainest bottles I've seen.
Benriach 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 70 points
Nose: Flat and oily. Faint sweetness. It grows creamier and nuttier over time but remains rather shallow.
Taste: Very restrained at first. Then it becomes sweeter, growing a little sour and bitter in the centre.  Short finish.
Benriach 12yo 1986/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 19/05/1986, Bottled June 1998, Casks #4804 & 4805, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Peculiar. A lot of development. Sweeter with time. Grainier and more chloride with a splash of water.
Taste: Malty. Sweetish wint a hint of pine. Plywood? Sticky. Toffee smotthness after adding some water. Bitterish finish.

BENRINNES  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Benrinnes 12yo 1989/2002 (43%, Coopers Choice) - 79 points
Nose: Starts strong and becomes even more powerful after a minute. More smoke.
Taste: Sherry and smoke. Woody. Deep flavours, but a bit 'muddy'. Liquorice feeling.
Benrinnes 1985/1999 (43%, Mac Kullick's Choice, Cask #1213, Unchillfiltered) - 73 points
Nose: Grainy and 'veggy' over a soft sweet underground. Soft pepper? Maggi? Sweetish with a hint of dust. Fresher with time.
Taste: Hot. Gritty with a hint of coffee in the centre. Too thin. Astringent, dry finish.
Benrinnes 15yo
(43%, Flora & Fauna bottling, Bottled +/- 1998, code LLNL00492621, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Sweet. Sherry and smoke. Old fruits. Stock cubes? Grows very rich and complex. Exquisite! Powerful too. Amazing!
Taste: Bittersweet. Sherry dryness with smooth episodes. Oaky and smoky. Orange. Long, dry finish with sherry moving back and forth.
Benrinnes 1978/1995 'Centenary Reserve' (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, code IE/ABC, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Fruity with a whiff of peat. Quite fresh. Soft sweetness. Oilier after a while. Interesting development but little volume.
Taste: Soft start, with a wonderful toffee sweetness emerging. Sadly, it vanishes again just as quickly. Fresh burn. Flashes of liquorice. Bitter finish.

BENROMACH  (Speyside)  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Benromach 12yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Big with a lot of development. Fresh and flowery at first, then sweeter and more malt.
Taste: Overwhelming soft sweetness with a long afterburn. Woody and slightly sherried finish. Just a bit too woody and bitter for my taste.
Benromach 18yo (40%, OB / Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl, Sampled at Distillery) - 80 points
Nose: Polished. Malt & citrus. Tangerine. Sherry. Spicy. Nothing wrong with this...
Taste: Malty and slightly bitter. A very fine malt but it could do with a little more personality.
Benromach 18yo (40%, OB / Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 2003, Code J9/3JG, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Soft maltiness with late fruits and organics in the background. Honey? Water melon? Sweeter with more citrus after a while. Hint of oil.
Palate: Starts of rather weak, but then a solid sweet and fruity centre livens things up. Smoke? Doesn't respond well to oxygen, though.
Benromach 19yo 1978/1998 (63.8%, UDRM, code, LLXL00000009, Bottle #2036, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Spirity. Rhum. Hard to pin down anything specific, although it takes a distinct fruitier direction after a few minutes..
Taste: Undiluted, it's rather sweet at first. The resemblance to rhum pops up here as well. Some pine in the center. Then more citrus.
Benromach 1973/2001 (40%, OB / Gordon & MacPhail, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Very subtle. Creamy but a little prickly as well. Light with accents of oil and pine. Hint of peat? A bit 'Lowlandish'.
Taste: Sweet and malty. but a tad thin. Big enough burn, though - it feels very powerful. Dry. Bitter finish.

BLADNOCH  (Lowlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Bladnoch 1992/2002 (58.5%, James MacArtur's Old Master's, Cask #717, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Fresh and fruity with lots of lemon. Clean. Fresh. Dry and spicy at first. Hey, is that a faint hint of peat? Nutty - hazelnuts? Christmas bread?
Taste: Light, sweet and fruity at cask strength. Spicy and peppery. It also showed some oilier elements. Pine? Faint liquorice. Hint of smoke.
Bladnoch 10yo (43%, Flora & Fauna, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Rich and sweet. Fruity, becoming slightly oilier later on. Very pleasant; an excellent summertime malt.
Taste: Smooth - not as sharp as many other young Lowlanders I've tried. Slightly oily. Faint lemon skins?
Bladnoch 11yo 1988/2000 (43%, Sigantory Vintage, Cask #42003) - 77 points
Nose: Grainy and a little lemony - becoming fruitier and nuttier with time. Not very powerful. Sweetish. An ever changing parade of subtle accents.
Taste: Fruity and nutty start, evolving into an oily centre. Citrus overtones. Quite nice, but the palate becomes grittier and ends in a dry, flat finish.
Bladnoch 1987/1999 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, code C2095, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Peculiar. Grows very oily for a while. Coffee beans? Organic. Fruity. Some citrus. Wonderful development - whiffs of peat, honey and heather.
Taste: Very oily. Smooth, creamy start. Honey sweetness and menthol freshness. Interesting development over time. Fruity. Gingerbread. Pine?
Bladnoch 1988/2001 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Hmm... Fresh and smooth. Malt. Light with fruity overtones. Intriguing. Soft, early fruits. Strawberries? Apples - Granny Smith? Weak organics.
Taste: Not so nice at first. Menthol? Growing sweeter with time. Wet wood. A powerful peppery prickle in the centre that lasts very long. Dry finish.
Bladnoch 14yo 1989/2003 (53.6%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bottled July 2003, Bourbon Barrel) - 84 points
Nose: Yoghurt! Milky and malty. Grows much sweeter after time. We nicknamed this 'The Dairy Malt'. Very interesting.
Taste: Soapy and quite bitter at first. Drops off after 5 minutes, but makes a great comeback, becoming very chewy. Great body..
Bladnoch 16yo 1980/1997 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 30/6/1980, Bottled 1/1997, Cask #98/591/40, Bottle #219, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Wowie, what a nose! Lemons! Then smoky with some sweetness, then sour again, becoming oily after a while. Very rich and complex!
Taste: Soft and sweet (sweet lemons?), a bit malty with a long afterburn. Drier finish; Very warming. The 'I cannot believe it's a Lowland' Lowland.

BLAIR ATHOL  (Midlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Blair Athol 11yo 1989/2000 (58.1%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bourbon Hogshead, 324 bottles, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Transparant and dry. Hint of peat? Not as powerful as I expected. Explosion of character with 5 drops of water, but 10 more drops kill it.
Taste: Easily drinkable at 58.1%. Very pleasant complexity. A fruity sweetness that remains entertaining for a long time.
Blair Athol 12yo (43%, Flora & Fauna, Bottled +/- 1996, code LLIA0001274, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Very flavoury, with a growing sweetness. Needs a minute. Smoky. Ginger? Red wine? Sweet and sour? Excellent and elusive.
Taste: Sweet and fruity. A soft start develops into a prolonged explosion. Hold the water, though... This malt is best drank straight.
Blair Athol 13yo 1989/2002 (58.8%, Cadenhead's Authentic Coll., Bourbon hogshead, 240 bottles, Bottled June 2002, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Sweet and spicy at first. Honey sweetness. Very pleasant, but not a lot of depth. Light organics. Androgynous.
Taste: Straight, it's sweetish with a faint coffee sensation. Greasy finish - like oatmeal? Easily drinkable at C/S. Pleasant mouth feel.

BOWMORE  (Islay) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Bowmore NAS 'Surf' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 100cl) - 76 points
Nose: Oilier than the 12yo - but just as elusive. A bit spicy, after a few minutes of breathing and warming up the Islay became more obvious.
Taste: unmistakably Islay. Rather salty, though not as sherried as the 12. Less complexity and some more bitterness.
Bowmore NAS 'Legend'
(43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Islay peat and smoke, but not at 'Kildalton' levels. Much more like the 'Surf' or a young Bruichladdich than like the sherried 12yo.
Taste: Islay, but also some sweetness. Rather 'simple'. Salty, not as much sherry as the 12. Just a little TOO young?
Bowmore NAS 'Darkest' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 55 points
Nose: Very smoky - overpowering. Iodine. Burnt caramel. Sherry. Grows very sweet and complex after a while. Caramel candy. Cough syrup.
Taste: A lot of heavy smoke and tar, not balanced by any other tastes. Buysman burnt caramel. One dimensional. Very woody and sherried.
Bowmore NAS 'Cask Strength' (56%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 78 points
Nose: Smoke, peat and sherry - it's a Bowmore allright... Sweeter notes as well. Hint of chloride and some salt. Water doesn't help much.
Taste: Undiluted, it starts surprisingly sweet. Then the big burn begins. Smoke. Salty and dry with some powerful (toffee?) sweet episodes.
Bowmore 6yo 1989/1996 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 3/4/89, Bottled 1/96, Cask #2870, Bottle #185 of 442, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Quite sweet, but a little oily as well. Butter? Even more sweetness in the nose after some breathing. Very complex aroma for it's age.
Taste: Disappointing, and certainly not up to the "Bowmore" standards. Rough and bitter; Unbalanced.
Bowmore 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Seems almost "shy" about it's Islay heritage at first. Sherry, spicy saltiness. Light smokiness. Very characteristic boquet.
Taste: Very sherried, perhaps even a bit too much for an Islay. Very nice complexity, though. This malt is very elusive.
Bowmore 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: The first impression seems quite fruity. Sherried and woody. A little smoky and spicy.
Taste: Wood and sherry - something very individualistic. Trademark Bowmore. A little gritty, though.  
Bowmore 15yo 'Mariner' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Fruity, nutty and a little musty. Feinty. Not very well integrated. A wide palette of fragrances, but it feels a little 'chemical'.
Taste: Sweet & extremely sherried. Soft and slightly fruity. Not very Islayish at first, but then the peat and salt emerge. Lots of wood.
Bowmore 16yo 1985/2001 (50%, Silver Seal, Sherry wood, Bottled September 2001, Bottle #331 of 480, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Surprisingly light at first. Clean with faint Islay notes. After a while some subtle sherry notes emerge.
Taste: Some smoke. A big burn, thanks to the 50%. It's pleasant enough, but for me it lacks personality and character.
Bowmore 17yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, no code, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Not as honest about its Islay heritage as younger versions. Smoke. Quite light and clean. Some menthol after a while.
Taste: Ah - there's the Islay peaty burn! The taste is much like that of the 12yo - but more refined and balanced.
Bowmore 17yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, code B181B / L445 222L 11:45, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Sherry and smoke. More organic than the 15yo. After a while fruitier notes emerge. Wet wood. Hint of mint? Spices. Mint?
Taste: No sweetness at first. Hint of liquorice? Smoke. Dry and a little bitter. Floral perfume. The same sourish, winey dissonant in the finish.
Bowmore 21yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Slightly oily, very 'oriental' and spicy. Heavy, unique sourness. Maggi? Soy sauce? Fabulous. Not a lot of Islay character, though.
Taste: Much woodier and more sherried than the younger OB's. A bit too much maybe, for my tastes. Oh, but that wonderful nose....
Bowmore 1965 'Full Strength' (50%, OB, Bottled 1980's, Italy) - 95 points
Nose: Fabulous sherry. Dark fruity notes. Sellery. Clay. Great wood. Subtle smoky notes, like a garden bonfire. Something metallic. Stock cubes.
Taste: Smooth, fruity start followed by sweet liquorice. Good wood. Dry Burn. Strong fruity centre. Long smoky finish. Fabulous mouth feel at 50%.
Bowmore 32yo 1968/2000 (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Starts soft, but quickly becomes very aromatic. Fruity; water melons and cider. A little soap perfume after a while.
Taste: Soft start, followed by a powerful explosion. A little peat and lots of wood. Closer in character to the present Bowmore OB's than the nose.

(ROYAL)  BRACKLA  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Brackla 6yo 1994/2000 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Distilled winter 1994, Bottled winter 2000, code L6058, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Phew! Oily and grainy. Clean. Hint of peat? Nice enough, but not a lot of character.
Taste: Flat and mostly devoid of character. Hint of peat in the finish.
Royal Brackla 16yo 1984/2001 (43%, Coopers Choice, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Polished. Fruity and nutty. Melon. Sweetish. Very pleasant, but a little nondescript. Fruity elements grow stronger over time.
Taste: Not very strong in the start. Coffee in the centre? Hint of sherry. After some breathing, the burn seems to grow stronger. Long finish.
Royal Brackla 20yo 1978/1998 (59.8%, UDRM, LLXL00000006, Bottle #3887, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: A lot. Fruity & flowery. Hint of lemon zest. Beer? Some oil. The dentist? The (undiluted) aroma has amazing width and complexity.
Taste: Very hot and sweet at cask strength. A little water brought more sweetness - nutty, honeyed and slightly toffeeish. Very long, dry finish.

BRAEVAL / BRAES OF GLENLIVET  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Braes of Glenlivet 8yo 1987/1995 (62.7%, Cadenhead's, D06/87, B07/95, 5cl) - 87 points
Nose: Ah! Smooth and complex with whiffs of gooseberry. Organics. Polished. Very intriguing with plenty of old sherry and tobacco. Subtle sweetness.
Taste: Aahh... Sweet and powerful at cask strength, with sherry and smoke. Hint of peat? Something oily and sandy on the palate.
Braes of Glenlivet 12yo 1989/2001
(62.1%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bourbon hogshead, 294 bottles, Btl. July 2001) - 88 points
Nose: Rich and expressive. Lots of power. Horse sweat. Organics. Oriental spices. Smoked ham. Liquorice. Fruit sweets. Faint citrus? Cinnamon. 
Taste: Fruity and a little smoky at C/S. Sweet. Quite hot in the centre. Great structure. Diluted to +/- 50% it appeared more woody.
Braes of Glenlivet 15yo (43%, Kirsch Import, 95/723, Bottle #328 of 690) - 79 points
Nose: Faintly sherried, becoming stronger. Cookies? Nice. Rounder and sweeter with time, but it keeps a relatively low profile.
Taste: Harsh start. A little dusty, but then it brightens up. Liquorice root? Sherry. Decent burn; quite dry. Sandy. Remains a little bitter in the finish.
Braes of Glenlivet 16yo 1979/1995 (60.4%, Signatory Vintage, USA Bottling) - 89 points
Nose: Wow! Gobsmacking blast of sherry. Lots of wood. Organics and dust. Late fruits. Furniture wax? Tobacco. Coffee beans.
Taste: Dry sherry at first, sweetening out into a big fruity center. Wood. Very dry. Tobacco? Pleasant woodiness - a tad much for me.
Braes of Glenlivet 17yo 1979/1997 (58.1%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry cask #6082, Bottle #308 of 370) - 88 points
Nose: A deep and powerful sherry symphony. Starts out with lots of autumn forest notes. Amazing complexity. Oriental notes.
Taste: Very sherried burn, with a peppermint counterpoint. Good wood. Marzipan in the finish. With water, the finish became woody and dry.
Braes of Glenlivet 1977/2000 Madeira (43%, Montgomerie, Distilled 19/10/1977, Cask #100763, Bottle #057) - 85 points
Nose: Very rich! Fruity. Sweet with candied lemon peel and turkish delight.
Taste: Toffee & coffee. A little gritty on the palate. Oaky and winey dry in the finish.

BRORA  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Brora 1982/1999 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice) - 78 points
Nose: A little grainy. Mellow. Dusty. Not very expressive - restrained compared to other Brora's I've tried.
Taste: Peaty, but not as powerful as other Brora's. But it makes a comeback after a few minutes with a hot, peppery finish.
Brora 19yo 1982/2001 (50%, Silver Seal) - 90 points
Nose: Powerful sherry and fruity overtones. Turkish delight. Fruit cake. Smoke and peat in the background? Spices and organics.
Taste: Ooh! This seems like an overproof malt to me. Marzipan! Chewy. Whiffs of fruit as well. Yoghurt? A hint of coffee. Dry finish.
Brora 19yo 1982/2001 (46%, Chieftain's, Casks #1198 & 1192, 1332 bottles) - 82 points
Nose: Wow! Very sherried. Sweet and fruity, but no peat. Classic style. Wet dead oak. Vanilla and the skin of sour pears. A hint of smoke.
Taste: Dry with a liquorice tingle. Smoky bite after a few seconds. Tannin? Very, very woody - too much for my tastes. Cigar mouth.
Brora 20yo 1981/2001 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Oak cask #575, distilled 31/3/81, bottled 5/4/01) - 78 points
Nose: Stone Dry. A little fruity. strong and dry iodine impressions.  Sweet undercurrent. Coastal. Not a lot of volume. Soap?
Taste: Soft dry start, opening up into fruits first, then peat. Bourbony. A big, long afterburn. Hops in the finish. Medicinal. Iodine.
Brora 20yo 1975/1996 (60.75%, UD Rare Malts) - 88 points
Nose: Some peat right from the start - growing stronger. Wet dog. Not unlike vegetable stock at first, more like ox tail soup later on. Farmy notes.
Taste: Salt & sweet. Wonderful balance. Perfectly drinkable at cask strength.
Brora 24yo 1977/2001 (56.1%, UDRM, Bottled October 2001, Bottle #1599) - 87 points
Nose: Fruity & peaty - an unusual combination. Smoke and resin. Dry Lapsang Souchon tea.
Taste: Dry and peaty start with a pinch of salt. Liquorice. Leather. No sherry notes. An 'I can't believe it's a Highlander' Highlander.
Brora 28yo 1971/1999 (50%, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, 283 bottles) - 88 points
Nose: It shows many of my favourite elements; salt, leather and a hint of seaweed. Sushi? No smoke, though.
Taste: Clean and clear; brine and bourbon with fruits in the background. Pleasant dryness. The taste opens up into different elements over time.
Brora 29yo 1972/2002 (59.5%, Douglas Laing Platinum Edition, Second batch, 240 bottles) - 93 points
Nose: Soft peat. Wet dog. Tar, Salt. The peat grows stronger over time. Horse stable. Ammoniac. Soda? Some faint fruity and sour notes too.
Taste: Salt and peat, pure and clean. Sorry, no further notes on this fabulous malt.

BRUICHLADDICH  (Islay) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Lochindaal 10yo (43%, Bastard bottling of Bruichladdich under previous ownership, 70cl) - 68 points
Nose: Not a lot. Faintly sherried. Toffee? Some smoke. Then soft fruity notes appear. Apple? Something metallic. Sweat? Rotting wood?
Taste: Flat. Bitter start, growing sweeter. Metallic. Dark chocolate. Smoke? Sour, unbalanced finish. Winey and way too short. Bitter burn in the tail.
Bruichladdich 10yo
(40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995 under previous owenership, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Smoky, yet subtle aroma. Tingly with some oiliness. Did I imagine that touch of seaweed?
Taste: Rather soft and a little salty. Not really my cup of tea. Very light - the lightest Islay I ever tasted actually.
Bruichladdich 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001 under new owenership, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Light, soft and sweet. Some banana? Almost flowery. More 'volume' than the old 10yo, but it fades away over time.
Taste: Clean and smooth, but not a lot of depth. Still, it's an improvement over the previous expression of the 10yo.
Bruichladdich 11yo 1986/1998 (46%, Murray McDavid, Cask Reference MM 2083) - 78 points
Nose: Clean. Fresh with something oily and a pinch of salt. Dry. A morning walk along the beach after an oilspill. No peat. Grows fruitier.
Taste: Salty on the surface with a sweetish undercurrent. Turns sour. Woody. Bitter. Dry. Peppery prickle. More power than the OB's from the 90's.
Bruichladdich 1989/2002 (58.5%, OB, Bottled under new owenership especially for the 2002 Paris Whisky Festival) - 56 points
Nose: Soft and a bit sweet. Hints of chloride. Then it grows drier and more serious. Creamy with some smoke. Old, cold coffee.
Taste: Ooph! Smoky, woody burn. It's quite harsh and fragmented. Beer? Sour and dry with hints of soap. Flat and bitter..
Bruichladdich 15yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998 under previous owenership, 33cl) - 77 points
Nose: Restrained. Sweetish notes. Soap? A little oily. No depth. Not unlike a young Caol Ila. Where's the Islay power I'm looking for?
Taste: Malty start, then some salt and smoke - just a little bit. It has a salty bite to it, but it's nothing like the big Islay malts.
Bruichladdich 15yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999 under previous owenership, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Restrained. Slightly sweet and oily. Opens up slightly after a few minutes and bashfully shows some faint Islay characteristics.
Taste: Smooth. Very sweet start. Sour and malty in the middle. No peat whatsoever!?! Pinch of salt in the dryish finish.
Bruichladdich 15yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001 under new owenership, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: More sherried than the new 10yo. Slightly dry. Spicy. Some salt. Cookie-dough sweetness. Growing complexity. Needs some time, though.
Taste: Smooth, but with a peaty twang in the background. The taste follows the beat of the nose, but plays a different melody.
Bruichladdich 17yo 'XVII' (46%, OB, Bottled 2002 under new owenership, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Quite floral? That's odd. It's also maltier and grainier than other Islays. Aniseed? Toffee? Fruits as well. Lightly salted.
Taste: Malty and sweeter than I expected at first. Again something flowery. Wood. A little smoky but not heavy on the peat.
Bruichladdich 1983/2001 'Ceramic' (46%, OB, 600 Ceramic jugs for a German customer, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Spirity, fruity start. Gentle, becoming spicier over time. Then it picks up with a pinch of peat and some smoke, growing stronger and stronger.
Taste: Smooth. Toffee-sweet start, evolving into a herbal, bitter center. 'Beerenburger'? Big burn. The dry finish has a disturbing fruity off-note.
Bruichladdich 1984/2002 'Legacy' (46%, OB, First official vintage bottling under new owenership, 70cl) - 82 points 
Nose: Quite sherried - but transparant at the same time. Fruity and nutty. Grass? Creamy. It seems almost like a Campbeltown malt.
Taste: Smoke and wood. Fruity episodes as well. Hints of smoke and salt. I could find no peat, though.
Bruichladdich 20yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001 under new owenership, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Starts out as the peatiest of the 3 'new' Laddies, but softens up after 10 minutes. Amazing development but it wheezed out after 30 minutes.
Taste: Clean, Islay character. The peatiest Bruichladdich I've tried so far.

BUNNAHABHAIN  (Islay) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Bunnahabhain 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 50cl) - 81 points
Nose: Smooth and a little bit sherried. Quite gentle for an islay malt. It's not as peaty and smoky as Lagavulin - more like Bowmore.
Taste: Well, yes, you can taste the peat. But it's not as powerful as Lagavulin or Laphroaig. More like Bowmore.
Bunnahabhain 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Soft. Obvious sherry in the start - almost fruity. Alcoholic; a bit like rum. Pinch of salt. Hint of oil after a while. Peat & sweet toffee notes.
Taste: Very sherried. Salty, but not much power. Sour notes. Malty and a little sweet in the centre. Dry finish with some smoke.
Bunnahabhain 12yo 1989/2001 Sherry Finish (43%, Chieftain's, Cask #9039, 967 bottles, Sherry Finish, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Wow! A sherried punch. Fruity and sweet. Marzipan. Banana? Dried apples. Whiffs of smoke and soap. Oriental spices. Very faint peat.
Taste: No sweetness. Oh, wait - there it is... Needs a few minutes to find the right balance. Gingerbread. Marzipan again. Slightly dry in the finish.
Bunnahab(h)ain 20yo 1979/1999 (56.7%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #3184) - 68 points
Nose: Quite sweet. Toffee. Organics. Some sherry. Tobacco? Hardly any Islay character. Some fruits too. Not what you'd expect from an Islay malt.
Taste: Sweet, smooth start. Malty, bitter centre. Feels softer than the high proof suggests. After a few minutes the palate turns nasty and bitter.
Bunnahabhain 20yo 1980 (54.8%, Prestonfield, Cask #9063) - 83 points
Nose: Wood. Smoke. Extremely sour like raw rhubarb. Vinegar? Organics. Old sherry and dust in the background. Unique, but no real Islay power.
Taste: Soft start, growing fruity towards the centre. Tannin dryness. It has a great candy fruitiness that slowly fizzles out into a dry, beer-like finish.
Bunnahabhain 24yo 1979/2003 (45.7% Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bottled July 2003, Bourbon Hogshead) - 87 points
Nose: Salmiak, liquorice and aniseed. Lemon and a hint of oil as well. Nothing too extreme, but very nicely composed.
Taste: The palate was fruity and a little bit dusty. It felt weaker than its 45.7%. Very pleasant.
Bunnahabhain 25yo 1964/1990 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 30/11/1964, Bottled 2/90) - 87 points
Nose: Not unlike the sour mash and washbacks we sniffed during our distillery visits. Yoghurt and passion fruit. Wonderful organics. Delicious.
Taste: Bloody great - that all my notes say on this one. With my score of 87 points I thought it was highly recommendable.
Bunnahabhain 34yo 1968/2002 'Auld Acquaintance' (43.8%, OB, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Fruit and sherry. Organics. Spices. Sweaty socks - but in a nice way... Carnival candy. Black berries. Smoke. Eucalyptus? Amazing complexity.
Taste: Woody start. Fruity centre. Dry finish, still woody. Nice, but nothing very spectacular. Quite bitter. It seems a tad watery.


CAOL ILA  (Islay) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Caol Ila NAS Cask Strength (55%, OB) - 81 points
Nose: More fruity than peaty at first, growing more coastal. Then more sherry notes emerge. Grainier after some breathing. Chloride? Mint?.
Taste: Relatively soft start, growing smokier and hotter. Very dry. Short finish. With some water the finish became more winey.
Caol Ila 9yo 1992/2002 (43%, Coopers Choice) - 82 points
Nose: Plenty of salt and some peat too. Smoke. Chalk? Maybe a hint of chloride? A serious, transparent malt. There's a sweet undercurrent as well.
Taste: Salt and sweet and then peat - lots of it. Great mouth feel. Wonderful! It's great for a 9yo but the finish lacks depth. Too bitter.
Caol Ila 10yo 1988/1999 (43%, Hart Brothers, Distilled December 1988) - 84 points
Nose: Organics - but not much salt or peat at first. A hint of pepper? Smoke, peat and sweet liquorice after a minute. Leather? Lapsang Souchong?
Taste: Soft at first, then smoke, peat, salt and stock cubes. Liquorice. Then a fabulous toffee sweetness emerges. Some fruits as well. Dry finish.
Caol Ila 1989/1999
(43%, Mackillop's Choice, Distilled October 1989, Bottled May 1999, Cask #1804, Bottle #071, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Starts fruity and a little dusty. Quickly opens up, becoming peatier. Wet dog??? Very complex for such a young malt.
Taste: Bitter start, followed by a very peaty dryness. Smoke joins the peat. Sweeter with time, although the peaty center remains the anchor.
Caol Ila 10yo 1989/1999 (46%, Dun Eideann, Casks #1577-1581) - 74 points
Nose:  Dull and dusty. Raw and briny start, growing fruitier with time. Lacks depth. It picks up after a few minutes, showing off more organics.
Taste: Rather weak. Dusty. Sticky. Fruity. Winey finish that grows hotter with time. The first Caol Ila I ever tried that scored below average.
Caol Ila 11yo 1984/1995 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 15/2/84, Bottled 4/95, Cask nr. 916; Bottle nr. 76 of 415, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Lively aroma with some smokiness. An oily whiff of the sea. Particularly light smell; Pepper, Peat, gentle sea-character.
Taste: Complex taste-development ends in a warm punch. Not really as peaty as I expected. A soft Islay malt.
Caol Ila 11yo 1989/2001 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Unchillfiltered, Re-fill Sherry Butt #5377) - 83 points
Nose: Spicy. Salty. Dusty. Horse stable. Chalk? Little detail. Dry. Melon? Hint of chloride. Relatively soft and sweet.
Taste: More sherry than peat at first. Smooth force. Little depth. Sweetish.
Caol Ila 11yo 1990/2001 Rum Finish (43%, Chieftain's, Casks #90201/90205, 1540 bottles) - 81 points
Nose: Starts deceptively light and fruity, then the coastal organics hit hard. Slightly medicinal. However, it loses some steam within a few minutes.
Taste: Smooth start, growing drier. Then a peaty undercurrent appears. It has a sweet side as well. Nice, but it lacks substance and refinement.
Caol Ila 11yo 1991/2002 Port Finish (46%, Signatory Vintage Unchillfiltered, Cask #02/472, 1132 bottles) - 82 points
Nose: Quite restrained at first - dry as well. It opens up a bit after a minute. Soft organics and spices. It grows more coastal with time.
Taste: Ah, that's nice. Powerful burn, you can really taste the port influence. Salty centre, long dry finish. A little 'winey', but plenty of body.
Caol Ila 12yo 1989/2001 (46%, Signatory Vintage, Unchillfiltered, Bourbon Barrels #774 & 775) - 85 points
Nose: Clean. Salt and sweet. Spicy. Peppers? Interesting development over time. This would go pretty good with oysters.
Taste: Smooth start, then peat, smoke and salt are unleashed. Hey, I even found some pepper. Dry finish. Burn baby, burn!
Caol Ila 12yo 1990/2002 Rum Finish (43%, Chieftain's) - 79 points
Nose: Ammoniac, iodine and brine - but slightly restrained. Where's the rum influence?
Taste: Dry start with iodine develops into a smooth center. Bitter finish. Can't find the rum.
Caol Ila 12yo 1990/2002 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Winter Distillation, Winter bottling) - 73 points
Nose: Creamy, oily start. That's odd - seems like a Tobermory or Isle of Jura at first. Strangely salty and meaty - like Pizza Hut's pepperoni pizza.
Taste: Dry and gritty. Not much definition and depth. Didn't leave a real impression. A disappointment compared to many other Caol Ila's.
Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002) - 80 points
Nose: Coastal clear. Salty and briny, but not especially peaty. Something grassy?
Taste: Dry, salty and a little peaty. A solid young Islay malt, maybe just a tad flat.
Caol Ila 1981/1995 (40%, Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Relatively 'thin' for an Islay malt. Peaty with a hint of sherry. Raw beans? Leather? Tobacco? Sweeter and oilier after a while.
Taste: Surprisingly smooth and sweet over a peaty base. A long, dry finish without a lot of development. Turns to gin (juniper) with water.
Caol Ila 15yo (43%, Flora & Fauna) - 79 points
Nose: Quite peaty, but little else at first. Grain dust? More organics emerge over time.
Taste: Surprisingly smooth start. Plenty of peat in the centre but rather flat. Liquorice?
Caol Ila 20yo 1974/1995 C/S (55.7%, Signatory Vintage, Dist. 27/12/74, Bott. 5/95, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Sweet and sour at first, but after a minute the Islay hits you. Some oily and nutty tones. Still, some fresh and sour notes too.
Taste: Islay power and a lot of development. Drinkable at 55,7%, but slightly better dilluted - it sweetens the palate but does little for the nose.
Caol Ila 21yo 1975/1997 C/S (61,3%, UDRM, Bottled April 1997, Bottle #0519 & #1437, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Wow! - Smoke first, then peat, quickly followed by sweeter fragrances. Very rich and complex. A malt with a lot of different faces. Versatile.
Taste: Very sweet. A lot of power, just about drinkable at cask strength. With water: Drier and saltier, but it keeps on burning - burning....
Caol Ila 23yo 1978/2002 (61.7%, UDRM) - 81 points
Nose: A little uni-dimensional, it seems. Ammoniac and horse stable aroma's. Coastal, but quite restrained.
Taste: Sweetish with salty episodes. Hard to find any distinguishing marks in this one.
Caol Ila 26yo 1974/2001 (50% - Douglas Laing OMC bottling - Dist. 12/1974 - Bott. 4/2001 - 294 bottles - Caol Ila Distillery) - 84 points
Nose: Sweet with peat in the background. Fruity notes. Slightly oily. Smoke, chloride and peat grow stronger with time. Sophisticated.
Taste: No sweetness at first. Peppery burn. Nice development! Barley? A little peat. Malty and quite bitter in the finish. Not as good as the nose.

CAPERDONICH  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Caperdonich 1980/1998 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Light, fruity and smooth. Early fruits (Apple?). Needs some time. Evolving into older fruits. A faint hint of peat and smoke.
Taste: Quite rough on the tongue at first, but then the wood softens up. The finish develops into a sweety/salty burn that seems to go on forever.

CARDHU  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Cardhu 12yo (40%, OB, Single malt, Bottled +/- 1994, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: A little sharp and grainy, but it has some nice chemical banana-candy sweetness. The nose developed quite nicely and slowly.
Taste: Overpowering bitterness is about all there is to tell. If it had tasted as good as it smelled it would have received at least 3 more points.
Cardhu 12yo (40%, OB, Single malt, Bottled +/- 1997, 50cl) - 72 points
Nose: Some sweetness. Entertaining. Banana's - not the real-life banana's, mind you!  I'm talking about the chemical yellow candy things.
Taste: Disappointed after the subtle nose; Some sweet tones, but also burning and bitter. The stuff clings to your mouth.

CLYNELISH  (Northern Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Clynelish 8yo 1990/1998 (43%, Ultimate, Bourbon cask #3208, Bottle #144, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Big; quite strong for such a young malt. Very spicy. Some salt. Mighty pleasant. Apples. More oily later on. Bread after a while.
Taste: Smooth. Sweet and spicy. Some salt & pepper. Liquorice. Fruit sweets. Some smoke? It ends in a dry, 'bourbony' finish.
Clynelish 10yo 1989/1999 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC) - 74 points
Nose: Young and brash. Spirity. Grainy. Hint of rum? Oil? Something dusty. Bread? After a splash of water it reveals some smoke. Hint of brine?
Taste: Hot burn. Dry. Not a lot of depth. Coffee. Sweeter with time. Winey, woody finish. It became much grittier after some water.
Clynelish 10yo 1989/2000 (43.0%, Hedges & Butler, Cask #5895, Bottle #068) - 72 points
Nose: Mellow. Oatmeal and hot milk. Yeast? Some flowery notes too - violets? Faint hints of smoke and horse stable. Nuttier and sweeter with time.
Taste: Flat and bitter with a rough mouth feel. Dry finish. Simple and utterly uninteresting. Maybe the cask was tired or treated badly?
Clynelish 11yo 1989/2000 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Distilled Summer 1989, Bottled Autumn 2000) - 55 points
Nose: Very oily with a hint of smoke - nothing else. It improves a little after some breathing, but the overall impression is fleeting.
Taste: Smooth, weak start. Fragmented. Bitter and gritty in the centre. Fizzles out.
Clynelish 11yo 1990/2001 (45%, Blackadder, Oak Puncheon #3953) - 61 points
Nose: Sweet spices. Dusty & musty. Well balanced but not expressive at first.
Taste: Fairly bitter start. Bitter, woody centre as well. Flat. Hot. Beer? Dry finish.
Clynelish 11yo 1989/2001 (56.7%, Sigantory Vintage, South-African sherry butt #3233) - 80 points
Nose: Sherry - but not as we know it. A mixture of sherry and bourbon characteristics. Becomes very rich and sweet with a few drops of water,
Taste: A big burn. Bittersweet. Chewy. Oaky. Fruity? Something really special, but it may not be for everyone.
Clynelish 14yo (43%, Flora & Fauna, Bottled +/- 2000) - 76 points
Nose: Malty and grainy at the same time. Some coastal traits under a sherry coating. The F&F styleoverwhelms the distillery character.
Taste: Gritty and dry at first. Woody elements don't mix very well with the rest.
Clynelish 14yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003) - 80 points
Nose: Malty and creamy. Sherry and organics. Developing sweetness. Spices. Smoke. Opens up a little with time, but doesn't choose sides.
Taste: Dry and hot start, mellowing out into a sour centre. Some liquorice. A bit flat. The taste just slowly fades away in a winey, bitter finish.
Clynelish 14yo 1989/2003 (50%, DL OMC, cask 3850, 312 bottles, 6 months rum finish) - 68 points
Nose: This is a peculiar one. Smells mostly alcoholic. Faintly coastal. With some time and a few drops of water it became a little malty.
Taste: Weak, smooth start but it picks up a bit. Dry and quite woody. Bourbon cask? It's a decent whisky but it simply lacks character.
Clynelish 18yo 1983 (46%, Benivor - W. Milroy) - 80 points
Nose: Polished. Light. Slightly coastal but not very powerful. Some light fruity elements, developing into a more organic complexity. Quite nice.
Taste: Smooth at first. Then a slow sweet burn develops, growing drier. Chloride? Prickles like a soft drink. Water brings out dry, coastal elements.

COLEBURN  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Coleburn 14yo 1983/1997 (43% - Signatory Vintage bottling - Dist. 30/4/83 - Bott. 7/97. Coleburn Distillery) - 66 points
Nose: Not a lot of depth. Faint hints of sweets, but not much else. Breaks up very fast; it's there one minute and the next it's gone..
Taste: Warm, sweet and oily. Medium finish with some liquorice. Not very interesting for it's nose and taste - but from a closed distillery.

CONVALMORE  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Convalmore 15yo 1983 (43%, Chieftain's Choice, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Full and balanced. Sweet. Quite fruity in the start. Chemical coconut. Develops into slightly sherried complexity with malty undertones.
Taste: Soft start quickly grows into a fruity sweetness. Sherry. Toffee. Very smooth, but drier and a little 'winey' in the finish. Just good enough.
Convalmore 16yo 1981/1997 (43%, Ultimate, Oak casks #89/604/107, Bottle #89, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Transparant. Citrus and apple. Subtle sweetness beneath the citrussy surface. Unfortunately, it became very 'fishy' after fifteen minutes.
Taste: Dusty start. Very sherried and winey in the center, with strong fruity episodes. Woody, slightly bitter finish.
Convalmore-Glenlivet 26yo 1977/2003 (46%, Candenhead's, Sherry) - 85 points
Nose: Sweet and creamy in the front of the nose. Something grainy. Paint thinner. Hint of smoke. Developing spices and organics. Nice!
Taste: Subtle fruits, growing more prominent. Gooseberries? Orange skins? Cointreau? An interesting profile, but it's not as good as the nose.

CRAGGANMORE  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Cragganmore 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Amazing complex bouquet. Hard to describe. Hint of fruit sweets. Strange combination of light and heavy.
Taste: Nice development. Fresh at first with a clean but very long finish. Not as complex as it's promising aroma, though...
Cragganmore 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Light, round and sweet - sweeter than I remembered Cragganmore to be. Just as complex, though.
Taste: Clean and transparant. Like a clossbreed of Glenmorangie 10 and Bruichladdich 10. Dry twang in the finish.
Cragganmore 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, L15T00687045, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Smooth and a bit spicy. Then it grows maltier. Spices & organics grow stronger.  Faintly fruity and flowery. Malty. Very light liquorice?
Palate: Weak, watery start. Dry and pretty flat. Fairly bitter. Oy, that's too bad...
Cragganmore 12yo 1990/2002 (46%, MMcD, MM 1416, Bourbon, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Grassy and flowery - like a mountain meadow. Spicy prickle. Hint of honey? It starts off smooth and friendly but becomes grainier and oilier.
Palate: Rough start. Flat centre. Hot, woody finish. Beer? Hint of eucalyptus? Too dry, too bad.
Cragganmore-Glenlivet 14yo 1989/2003 (46%, Cadenhead's, Sherry) - 81 points
Nose:  Smooth. Honey. Heather? Fairly subtle sherry influence. Cookies? Toffee? Not very expressive at first, but it opens up. Faint organics
Palate: Watery, fragmented start. Slightly sweet. Hot and a little soapy. Burning.
Cragganmore 1988/2002 Distillers Edition (40%, OB, CggD-6553, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Sherried and very fruity. Apples? Ginger? Strawberries? A faint hint of peat after five minutes? Beer-like prickle in the back. Good balance.
Palate: Watery and woody. Fruitier towards the centre. Astringent, oaky finish.
Cragganmore 1976/1993 (53.8%, Gordon & MacPhail) - 85 points
Nose: Very spicy. Toffee. Something flowery - nectar? Sherry and organics. Peppers? The spicy black beans used in the Kantonese dish 'Tau Sie Kai'.
Taste: Toffee sweetness. Big burn, but drinkable at c/s. Pleasant bittersweet mouth feel. Responds well to water, becoming sweeter and smoother.

CRAIGELLACHIE  (Speyside) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Craigellachie 1983/1994 (43%, Vintage Choice, 70cl) - 65 points
Nose: Peculiar aroma. Very light at first. Sweetish, with a little smoke and oil. Fruitier after a while the oil becomes more pronounced.
Taste: Quite flat. Sweetish start with a hint of peat and smoke. Lacks complexity. Unpleasant bitterness evolves into a dry finish.


DAILUAINE (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Dailuaine 16yo (43%, Flora & Fauna, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Sherry. A hint of smoke. Grassy after a while. Flattens out after a few minutes. A lot of complexity and development.
Taste: Sherry sweetness. Woody. A bit malty. Fruitier over time. Smoke. A big burn. Great development! Oak and sherry in the finish.
Dailuaine 1971/1992 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice) - 72 points
Nose: Starts off with a very strong leather smell. Quite nice actually, but after a minute it drops off, becoming very restrained..
Taste: A strong leathery start. The finish is dry and slightly woody. Water doesn't help. The wood of this cask must have been very tired.
Dailuaine 22yo 1973 (61.8%, UDRM, LLXJ00000176) - 85 points
Nose: Sweet and slightly dusty. Spicy some fruits. Light organics. Hint of vegetables. Cake. Rum. Faint smoke. Hint of peat?
Taste: Sweet and fruity at cask strength. Smooth start. Apple? Good body. Cake? Becomes hotter and flatter with water, it seems. Gritty and bitter.
Dailuaine 1974/2001 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, code IH/CJI, 5cl) - 84 points
Nose: Very rich, but subtle as well. Polished oak. Tea. Toffee. Fruit cake and rhum. Candy store. Earthy with organics. Some smoke? 
Taste: Fruity and woody with a hint of liquorice. It suggests a power beyond its 40%. Slightly nutty. An excellent palate for a malt this age.

DALLAS DHU  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Dallas Dhu 10yo (40% - Gordon & MacPhail bottling) - 79 points
Nose: Smoke & citrus. Sweet and (especially) sour apples! Some sherry. Rich. Lovely chocolate & rum sweetness. Rhubarb? Distinctive.
Taste: Apples. Soft & smooth at first, sweeter with more sherry & malt later on. Toffee and choccolate? Menthol? Long afterburn. Dry finish.

DALMORE  (Northern Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Dalmore 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Overwhelming bouquet, very round & sweet. Smooth. Fruity with a hint of sherry that grows stronger over time.
Taste: Disappoints just a bit after the "nostril symphony". A very quick taste-development; Peppery bitterness followed by a long burn.
Dalmore 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Sweet and malty; 'traditional' nose. Smooth and fruity. Hint of smoke. Very accessible.
Taste: Very fruity. Malty. Sweet. Slightly gritty towards the finish. Pleasant, but nothing to get very excited about.
Dalmore 21yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Polished, round and sweet - but not very powerful. Malty, but a tad more sherried and refined than the 12yo.
Taste: Malty and just a tad bitter. The finish didn't last very long. All in all it's a bit underwhelming - too much breathing, perhaps?

DALWHINNIE  (Speyside) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Dalwhinnie 15yo Centenary Edition (43%, OB, Bottled 1998, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Fresh, and a little chemical. Grassy and slightly oily. Dried apples and peanuts? A pinch of peat, but it doesn't seem to "fit" right.
Taste: Very soft and smooth, a bit malty with a very nice afterburn. Not very distinctive, I'm afraid - at least not to me.
Dalwhinnie 1981 DE Double Matured (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, code D.SD.312, Oloroso casks, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: A lot stronger than the standard 15, with much more (Oloroso) sherry. Hay and a hint of liquorice root. A pinch of peat as well.
Taste: A watery start. Slightly sherried. Becomes very toffee-like, then bitter. Long, oaky finish. Definitely more powerful than the standard 15.

DEANSTON  (Midlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Deanston 12yo (40% - OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 57 points
Nose: A little sweet and oily, with a hint of chloride. Quite pleasant at first, but the bouquet vanishes quickly.
Taste: A bit disappointing. A little nutty (hazelnuts/almonds) after a while. Clean, with a malty finish, becoming very bitter with water.
Deanston 17yo (40%, OB, 7156 97/0331 L16 15:53, 70cl) - 68 points
Nose: Strong & sweet at first, malty & spirity later on. Veggy whiffs. Intruiging suggestion of fruit.
Taste: Not very sweet. A bit of mint and menthol. More pine and resin after I added some water. Falls apart. Unpleasant bitter twang in the finish.

DUFFTOWN  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Dufftown 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 100cl) - 76 points
Nose: Sweet, oily aroma. Some pepper and a whiff of syrup. Entertaining, although nothing really stands out. Pleasant.
Taste: Soft and round, leaving a long glow on the tongue. But it lacks development. Less complex than the promising aroma.
Dufftown 12yo 1997  (43% - Chieftain's Choice bottling - Dufftown Distillery) - 73 points
NoseNose: Slightly oily notes. Whiffs of grain. Easy on the nose. After a few minutes: Sweet and nutty. German sweet bread?
Taste: Nice, but less complex and sweet than the nose. A little gritty. Slightly bitter in the finish. Some pepper? A little dry.
Dufftown 15yo (43% - Flora & Fauna bottling - Dufftown Distillery) - 77 points
Nose: A rich, smoky bouquet. Just a tad of oilyness; less than the 10yo old distillery bottling, though. A pleasant, malty sweetness.
Taste: Smooth of body, but with an afterburn. Sweet at first, then dry. Better than the 'standard' 10yo - but not much.


EDRADOUR  (Midlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Edradour 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Tall & ugly bottle, Campbell, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Soft and malty. Nothing offensive in the nose, but nothing to fall in love with either.
Taste: Malty and smooth. It reminded me a bit of the Dufftown 10yo OB. A tad below average.
Edradour 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, Short & pretty bottle, Pernod Ricard, 70cl) - 40 points
Nose: Unbalanced start. Sour vomit notes. Soap. Sherried. Farmy, organic notes. Woody. Sweet. Dusty. Very sour and smoky after 10 minutes.
Taste: Ough! Very strange start. Molasses & Mint. Eucalyptus? Malty. Slightly oily. Chemical. Bitter. Rotting wood. Old vomit. Stomach acid.
Edradour 10yo 'Distillery Edition' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, Pernod Ricard, 70cl) - 35 points
Nose: An interesting mixture of fruit, wood and sherry. Very rich. Smoke. Something oriental as well. Hint of soap perfume. Intriguing.
Taste: Phew! Awful! Pure soap. Flat. Metallic. Ashes. Sour and dry in the finish. There's just something there that drives me up the wall.


FETTERCAIRN  (Eastern Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Old Fettercairn 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1990, 75cl) - 74 points
Nose: Soft start, quite restrained at first. A little oily. After a while, it opens up into a multitude of fragrances. Sweeter after 10 minutes.
Taste: Soft and nutty. Lightly salted start evolves into a big sweet burn. Some apple sourness as well. Sweetish, perfumy finish.
Old Fettercairn 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 72 points
Nose: Very oily & nutty. Almonds. Dried apples, peat and some smoke. Hint of peat. Salted nuts? Organics. Soy sauce? Leather?
Taste:  Smooth with a gentle, toffeeish sweetness. Some sherry. Unique character. Sticky in the mouth. Dry & sweet finish.
Fettercairn 25yo 1970/1996 (57%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #4709, bottle #114 of 202) - 76 points
Nose: Grainy and quite harsh at first. Over time it grew bolder and sweeter. Slightly oily. Something fishy in the background. Milk powder?
Taste: Flat and numbing at cask strenght. With some water more woody elements emerged. Dry finish.


GLEN ALBYN  (Northern Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glen Albyn 10yo (40%, Noord's Wijnhandel, Possibly a 'fake', 70cl) - 60 points
Nose: Very light. Flat, grainy and slightly oily. Grassy, then it becomes a little nuttier. Superficial, although it gets some coastal traits after a while.
Taste: Sweet start, growing dustier and grittier. Slightly oily. Flat. Dry and grainy. Mwaah...
Glen Albyn 22yo 1977/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #1952, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Sweet, flowery and spicy at first. Then grainier and organic elements. Soft and fruity - distinct apple notes. Then coastal traits take over.
Taste: Dry. Light start, growing maltier. Liquorice. Quite gritty. Interesting development, but it lacks depth and substance. Woody finish. Tired cask?

GLENALLACHIE  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glenallachie 8yo 1991/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Dist. 5/3/1991, Bott. 10/3/1999, Sherry butt #1340, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Soft. A little nondescript at first. Hints of oil & sour fruit. Sweet coffee? Dried apples. Nuttier and maltier after a minute.
Taste: Very smooth, put powerful as well. Honeyish sweetness. Big burn. Long, dry finish. A very decent all-round malt..
Glenallachie 11yo 1985/1997 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 10/85, Bottled 6/97, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Nice! Complex but vague. Citrussy overones at first; pepper later. Menthol after that - very intruiging.
Taste: Very smooth and slightly oily. Menthol or eucalyptus in the finish. Interesting, but not the most enjoyable malt I've ever tasted.

GLENBURGIE  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glenburgie 8yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 62 points
Nose: Oily start, with some fragrant fruit; more oily after a while. After more breathing a faint malty nuttiness. Pretty flat, no complexity.
Taste: A bit malty and very dry. Not very much else there. There seems to be a greasy layer around the taste.
Glenburgie 8yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1999, 5cl) - 76 points
Nose: Sweet and creamy at first, with surprising smoke, organics and peat after a while. Pears? Garlic? A very funny whisky.
Taste: Flat start, but it rounds out quite nicely in the center with malty and nutty notes. Some smoke as well. Rather unique, actually!

GLENCADAM  (Eastern Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glencadam 1987/1997 (40%, Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: Quite powerful, but little depth at first. Hint of fruits. Raisins? Soap? Paint thinner. Chloride? Eucalyptus? Dash of pepper? A little dusty.
Taste: Sweet and smooth at. Marsipan? The sweetness wears off after a minute. Aniseed? Shifts between menthol freshness and malty warmth.
Glencadam 16yo 1985/2001 (43%, Chieftain's, D April 1985, B June 2001, Casks #2689/2691,  1170 bottles, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Refined and smooth. Sweet and malty. Coconut. Liquorice all sorts. Spicy. Organics. Hint of oil. Faint, old fruits. Cookies? Camphor?
Taste: Soft and smooth start. Heather honey. Menthol? Woody and a little sour. Tannins in the dry finish. Modest and not very pronounced.

GLEN DEVERON / MACDUFF  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glen Deveron 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 68 points
Nose: Sharp. Clean. Apple cider? Fresh maltiness. Quite dull, but lighter and more pleasant than I expected. Needs a few minutes of breathing.
Taste: Weak. Malty. Sweetish center. Not very pronounced. Occasional hint of vomit? Light fruitiness. Bitter and slightly dry in the short finish.
Glen Deveron 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1996, 70cl) - 63 points
Nose: Lemons - something you're supposed to find in Lowland whiskies. A bit malty, but not too much. Some sweetness.
Taste: Falls somewhat behind. Pleasant, but it's a short pleasure. Dry. Not a malt I would recommend to anyone.
MacDuff 11yo 1990/2002 (43%, Coopers Choice, Oak casks, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Fresh. Grainy with a hint of green lemons. Unimaginitive. Green apples? Sparkly and stale at the same time. Intriguing, but not my style.
Taste: Flat start, becoming smoother, stronger and sweeter. Apples? Other fruits too. Gingerbread! Strange, beerish burn in the finish - hop?

GLENDRONACH  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glendronach 9yo 1987/1997 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 5/97, Bottled 4/97, Sherry cask #62, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: Soft start, a bit oily, grows into a very sherried attack. Deep sherry, not much else. Maybe a hint of mocca. Unbalanced.
Taste: Sherried & sharp at first, but smoothing out after a few seconds. The long finish showed warm/sweet and dry/bitter episodes.
Glendronach 12yo 'Original' (43%, OB, Bottled 1990's) - 78 points
Nose: Malty. Hardly any sherry and it's easy on the fruits as well. Grassy. Nicely composed, but I miss the expressiveness of the other versions.
Taste: Smooth and lightly sherried. Woody. Subtle fruity elements as well. Tangerine? A good malt - just not quite sweet enough for me.
Glendronach 12yo 'Traditional' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Wow! Lots of sherry, but not as sweet as the 15yo Tobacco? Intruiging. Rotting hay and incense over a sherry/malty surface.
Taste: Strange 'unsweet' start, but then it sweetens up. Fruity. Sweet liquorice. After a few minutes more wood (oak?) and some pepper.
Glendronach 15yo 100% Sherry Casks (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 85 points
Nose: Stunningly rich! Very sherried. Big, sweet & woody.  A hint of smoke. Oriental spices. Reminded me of Macallan OB's.
Taste:  Very woody. Liquorice. Toffee and caramel. Liquorice in the finish as well, developing into very dry oak.
Glendronach 20yo 1970/1990 (56%, Signatory Vintage Selection, Casks #513-518, Distilled 2/70, Bottled 7/90, 5cl) - 91 points
Nose: Very rich with sherry, organics, furniture wax, leather, prunes, plums, gravy, bouillon, cow stable, Shezuan sweet & sour sauce. Rock salt. .
Taste: Not quite as overwhelming as the nose, but after a relatively flat start it opened up into a long sherried centre. Woody finish.

GLENDULLAN  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glendullan 8yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1996, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Spunky. Slightly oily with sharp undertones. A bit fruity? A light honeyish sweetness. This malt is very elusive.
Taste: A lot of development; long enough. Quite good for a 8yo old, but at the end of the day it doesn't stand out.
Glendullan 23yo 1972 (62.43%, UDRM, LLXJ00000160) - 83 points
Nose: Sweet. Cow stable. Growing more complex, but nothing stands out. Them some playful spices and organics appeared in the nose. Sorrel?
Taste: Ultra-sweet start. Then it grows dry, hot and herbal. Feels a bit like oatmeal. Nice. More sherried and fruitier towards the finish.

GLEN ELGIN  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glen Elgin NAS (43%, OB, White Horse Distillers, Bottled +/- 1995, 75cl) - 70 points
Nose: Some lemon and lime. A hint of honey and some heather; at times even something that reminds me of green pepper / cream sauce.
Palate: A first exciting wave of warmth dissipates rather quickly. A gentle finish, more dry after some breathing.
Glen Elgin 12yo (43%, Flora & Fauna) - 73 points
Nose: Malty and sweetish. Some paint thinner in the start. Quite pleasant, but MOTR.
Taste: Pleasant sweetness, but little depth or development. Oily and soapy episodes.
Glen Elgin 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002) - 61 points
Nose: Not a lot of character - malty and quite fruity. Opens up a little after 10 minutes.
Taste: Smooth but very restrained. If you like your malts neutral, this is your thing.

GLENFARCLAS  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)

Glenfarclas NAS 'Heritage' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Malty and sherried. A little smoke, some oil and a hint of garlic. Marzipan? Amazing complexity! Something like sand / stone..
Taste: Starts soft and sweetish. Cherry liqueur bonbons. Apple. Some lingering liquorice on the tongue. Marzipan. Hint of apple. Woody in the finish.
Glenfarclas NAS '105' (60%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: A very 'loud' and powerful bouquet, but a bit crude. Glue. Red cabbage and toffee? A hint of peppermint after dilution.
Taste: Just too overpowering at 60%. Not a lot of complexity there. Even after heavy dilution it's too strong and overwhelming.
Glenfarclas NAS '105' (60%, OB, Batch LB 350BB 3 11:29, Bottled +/- 2000) - 82 points
Nose: Very fruity. Marzipan. Fudge. Sweet and mellow. Quite smooth. More sherry and organics later. Then it takes a soapier, perfumy route.
Taste: Candy sweetness. A bit too overwhelming at c/s. Fruit and sherry. Diluted to 50% it became smoother in the centre and woodier in the finish.
Glenfarclas 8yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001 for Gall & Gall, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose:  Sherried and malty. Spirity with some 'farmy' notes. A little oily? Rhum? After a while it opens up, growing bigger and rounder.
Taste: Soft and a little sweet; it takes a while to develop. A little wood in the finish. Slightly below average.
Glenfarclas 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Very hard to define. There is sherry, but there is more. Overwhelming bouquet. Some malty smokiness.
Taste: Starts off quite dry, but develops very nicely into a deep, long lasting sweetness.
Glenfarclas 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Sweet, sherried and malty. Big and round with hints of coffee and mocca. Rich. Light (citrus?) fruity notes. Candy kane?
Taste: Malty and sherried. Woody. Powerful and smooth at the same time. Marshmellows? Smoke. Beautifully balanced with a long finish.
Glenfarclas 15yo (46%, OB, Batch L 3034M0455 1 13 50, Italian bottling) - 80 points
Nose: Fruity and sherried. Strong organics. Dust. Smoke. Drops off quickly. Fruit sweets. Some water unlocks some lighter fruity notes for a moment.
Taste: Woody, bitter start. Not a lot of depth. Sweeter centre. Some fruits. Lacks cohesion. Winey finish. Water doesn't have a lot of effect.
Glenfarclas 1983/2001 Family Reserve Edition #4 (46%, OB, Sherry Cask, Bottle #1596 of 2400) - 89 points
Nose: Malty and spicy. Some sherry. Strong emerging organics. Stock cubes. Dust. Old fruits. A forgotten glass of white wine the next morning.
Taste: Nice & simple start. Sherried and very woody at first. Dry and fruity centre. Hot. Faintly medicinal. Smoke. Complex.
Glenfarclas 21yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Ooh! Opens with a flash of rhum-like power. Lots of 'special effects' around a heart of sherry. Slightly oily and smoky.
Taste: Sherried. Slightly spirity at first. Lots of wood. Very long, very dry finish. A little disappointing, to tell you the truth.
Glenfarclas 22yo 'Millennium Malt' (43%, OB, Bottled 2000, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Extremely rich and complex; sherry, cookies, smoke, fruit cake, oriental spices and bouillon. It's complex, balanced and well integrated.
Taste: The palate has a solid sherried undercurrent without being overpowering. Quite hot in the back of your throat.
Glenfarclas 25yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: More sherried and a little smoother than the 21yo with hints of furniture polish. A very good malt whisky
Taste: Lots of 'oomph' with its distinctive combination of orange skins and rock salt. A well-deserved score of 85 points .
Glenfarclas 30yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Extremely rich. Even more sherried than the 25yo, but it still fits well within the overall profile. Highly recommendable.
Taste: Rich, smooth and balanced. Lovable. That being said, I have to say that the younger expressions offer more bang for your buck.
Glenfarclas 33yo 1970/2003 (46%, OB, Sherry cask #2022, Bottled for LMW) - 89 points
Nose: Creamy, malty and mellow. Hint of smoke. Fruit and wood. Water melon? Like a bag of mixed fruit sweets. Gummy bears? Stock cubes?
Palate: Sweet start, growing woody and fruity quickly. Hotter and hotter. Long fruity finish.

GLENFIDDICH  (Speyside) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenfiddich NAS 'Over 8 Years' (43%, OB, Bottled 1980's, 75cl) - 69 points
Nose: Wow! Much more organics and spices than the current version. A brooding and sinister character. Not nearly as sweet and flowery as the 12yo.
Taste: Ooph... smoother than the new 12yo at first, but the centre is rough and slightly bitter. With time a soapy element emerges.
Glenfiddich NAS 'Special Old Reserve'
(43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 60 points
Nose: Balanced, sweet aroma with "grainy" undertones. Quite fresh and fruity. I wonder what's so "special" about this.
Taste: Sweet, malty and dry. Vanished way too soon. Perhaps they should have kept it "reserved" a bit longer?
Glenfiddich 12yo 'Special Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 62 points
Nose: Cider. Some chemical sweetness. Quite restrained. A bit dusty. It reminded me a little of some grain whiskies I've tried.
Taste: Thin and watery at first, becoming maltier after a few seconds. Apple/cider as well. Some sweetness. Hint of smoke in the dry finish.
Glenfiddich 12yo 'Special Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Creamy and nutty. Delicate sweetness. Peanut butter? Faintest hint of peat in the back? Light. Caramac? It opens up a bit with time.
Taste: Flat with a soft nuttiness. Cider? A little oily as well. Gritty. Fragmented. Quite dry.
Glenfiddich 12yo 'Caoran Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003) - 63 points
Nose: Grainy and a bit sweeter than the 12yo I tried. Prickly. There was a very faint hint of peat, but it didn't seem to fit very well with the rest.
Taste: Prickly and a little bit flat. Grainy. Doesn't have a lot of body or character. No peat.
Glenfiddich 15yo 'Solera Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Restrained at first. Opens up after a while, becoming sweeter. After fifteen minutes a strong sweet/sour impression - like Babi Pangang.
Taste: Smooth and sweet, then peppery and spicy. Salt. Warming. Becomes sticky towards the end. Some wood in the finish.
Glenfiddich 15yo 'Solera Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Soft fruitiness. Chloride. A little sweeter with time. Faint organics? More sherry and spices with time. Pineapple? Something nutty as well.
Taste: Flat and dull. Woody. Dry. Is this a single malt? Nothing remarkable, even on 2nd tasting.
Glenfiddich 15yo 'Cask Strength' (51%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Nondescript start, but it quickly picks up. A lot of volume Slightly nutty. Smooth, sweet and ever so slightly oily. Yes, some peat!,
Taste: Mostly malty at c/s. Long bitterness & smoke in the finish. With a little water the bitterness starts earlier and is much stronger.
Glenfiddich 18yo 'Ancient Reserve' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Fruit with a growing sherry sweetness. Really opens up after a minute. I wasn't impressed at first but it grows more complex with time.
Taste: Sweetish. A little dry. Not as complex as the nose. It loses some points here.
Glenfiddich 21yo 'Havana Reserve' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Restrained at first. Dusty. Clay? Schmink? All kinds of strange organics. Playful. Cookies, rum and marzipan in the back of the nose.
Taste: Ooomph... Clay and water at first. Sweetens out in the chewy centre. Not very complex, but it feels very good in your mouth. Bitterish finish.

GLEN GARIOCH  (Eastern Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Garioch NAS (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 72 points
Nose: Very oily at first. Malty, with the alcohol clearly on the foreground. Opens up after a few minutes, but never becomes fruity like the 15yo.
Taste: Malty. The alcohol is very obvious in the taste as well. Slightly gritty. Not sweet enough for my tastes, and bitter in the finish to boot.
Glen Garioch 12yo 'National Trust' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 5cl) - 75 points
Nose: Lots of fruit and a hint of spirit or grain. Sour pears. Chloride. Not very complex.
Taste: A weak start grows stronger towards the end. Sweetish. Flat and fruity. Youngish.
Glen Garioch 15yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 77 points
Nose: Very complex and aromatic. Sweet and sour. Smoky, chemical at times. A lot of development; turkish delight, fruit sweets and rhum.
Taste: Interesting. Perfumy. liquorice. Prunes after a while. Dusty? Dry finish. The taste of this bottle suffers after 6 months in the open bottle.
Glen Garioch 16yo 1986 (54.4%, OB, Sherry Butt #3065) - 60 points
Nose: Soap and smoke at first - like the Bowmore Darkest. Carnival candy. Very interesting and complex, but I fear what the palate might be like.
Taste: Waaah, just as I feared, The same lethal combination of smoke and soap perfume I find so utterly disturbing in the Bowmore Darkest.

GLENGLASSAUGH  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenglassaugh 1986/1998 (40%, MacPhail's Collection, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: White wine? String beans? Chicory? Soft malt. Developing organics. Dust. Sweeter & sherried with time. Rum filled chocolate? Shoe polish?
Taste: Soft & smooth start. Malty. Sweeter and fruitier after a minute. Menthol? Develops into a flat and bitter centre. Woody, winey and bitter.
Glenglassaugh 1973
(40%, Family Silver, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Distinguished. Sherried, fruity and a little sweet. Slightly herbal. Spicy. Butter? A whiff of smoke. Lemon drops!
Taste: Ooof... Sherry and smoke. Soft an sweet. The finish lingers on and on and on. It reminded me a bit of the Glendronach 15yo.

GLENGOYNE  (Western Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glengoyne 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Slightly oily. Cider. Quite nice, actually, but restrained. A little malty. Not as fruity as the 12yo old version.
Taste: Apple freshness. Very little sweetness at first. Grassy. Very soft - almost watery. Cake (?)  Bitter in the finish.
Glengoyne 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: What a fruity nose! Some chloride, some dust. Malt & sherry. Dried apples, then some ripe bananas, and then green apples.
Taste: Somewhat "dusty" at first; malty with a dry finish. Mocca? Lacks balance, but quite nice nonetheless.
Glengoyne 16yo Scottish Oak Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Spicy, dusty and slightly oily. Picks up some (citrus?) fruit along the way. Polished. A little bland. Nutty. The oily component grows stronger..
Taste: Whoof... Starts sweetish and woody. Malty. Tannins. Some soap in the (dry) finish? I found the finish sourish and rather overbearing.
Glengoyne 21yo (43%, OB, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Malty. Sweetish. Faint hint of string beans? Yeast? Then some very faint fruity notes emerge. Furniture polish? Organics? Too subtle for me?
Taste: Velvety smooth. Bittersweet. Malty. Fresher and sweeter in the centre. Balanced. Fruitier (raisins) and a tad sour and bitter towards the finish.

GLEN GRANT  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Grant  NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 65 points
Nose: Fresh, spirity and slightly oily. Unoffensive. Very light sweetness. After a while some pepper emerged.
Taste: Clean, oily and rather simple. soft and sweet. Some pepper. Dry finish.
Glen Grant  NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, Batch LK50860, 70cl) - 66 points
Nose: Flat and spirity. Soft citrus and flowery notes. Something salty? A light nectar sweetness with a whiff of pepper. Sweet dough. Beer.
Taste: Sparkly. Superficial sweet & sour start. Fruits. Smooth. Sourish finish with bitter ovetones, like a Belgian abbey beer - Chimay or Duvel.
Glen Grant  10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Malty and sweet, a little peat and some sourness. Notably improves after a little breathing. More nutty sweetness.
Taste: Sherry sweetness. Nice, but unremarkable. Soft start, long burning finish with little development.
Glen Grant 10yo (40%, OB, vatted malt) - 69 points
Nose: Starts out quite citrussy, but becomes oilier and nuttier with time. Nothing really stands out.
Taste: Malty and MOTR. Soft and sweetish. A very decent whisky, but lacking in character.

GLEN KEITH  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Keith 1983 (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Restrained; slightly sweet and oily at first. After a few minutes of breathing: wood, ginger and whiffs of citrus.
Taste: Very nice, and more exuberant with time. A simple, sweet start grows more malty after a while and ends in a in a dry and bitter finish.
Glen Keith 10yo (40%, OB, sample) - 70 points
Nose: Quite grainy. Oily. Sweetish with something citrussy in the background. Ginger? Something woody; raw pine rather than polished oak.
Taste: Fairly weak. Sweet and toffeeish at first. Malty. Some fruits. Flat in the centre. Maybe this is one of those malts that needs a higher proof.

GLENKINCHIE  (Lowlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenkinchie 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 75cl) - 66 points
Nose: Soft and friendly, some sweetness. Rather complex, but too much water ruins this whisky.
Taste: Interesting development, but all-in-all a bit bland. It's essence drifts away somewhat dry. Definitely not my type of whisky.
Glenkinchie 1986 DE  'Double Matured' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Code G/273-7-D, Amontillado casks, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: A lot of sherry added to the 'standard' character. After a while, the sherry moves to the background and hints of honey and melon emerge.
Taste: 'Dusty'. Sherry, but very soft. More astringent and woody in the finish than the standard bottling. The wood becomes more obvious over time.
Glenkinchie 1989/2002 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, G 276-7-D) - 72 points
Nose: Rubber. Industrial oil. Dust. Bicycle repair shop. Smokier and grainier with time. Peculiar. A second nosing produced some sweet sherry.
Taste: Weird. Dry. Big burn. Grainy. Gritty. Bourbony. Sweeter later on. Hot, winey finish.
Glenkinchie 21yo 1978/1999 Cask Strength (60.8%, Signatory Vintage, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Needs a minute. Smoky and spicy. Oranges? Tangerines? Greasier and more aromatic later on. Seems a bit oily at times. Dazzling.
Taste neat: A bit sweet and grassy; good start but dropping off rather quickly. With water the taste got sweeter at first, with more chloride later on.

GLENLIVET  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenlivet 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1990, 50cl) - 71 points
Nose: This malt has always given me a funny feeling. I like it and it's superior to most blends, but I'd like some more character.
Taste: Sweet. Malty. Same problem as with the nose, I'm afraid. This is good stuff but it might as well be a blend.
Glenlivet 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 35cl) - 73 points
Nose: Malty and nutty. Honey? It is a good malt - there's an undeniable quality there. Nevertheless, it has never really 'done it for me'.
Taste: Light. Smooth. Clean. Sweet. Honey? Yeah, this goes down nice and easy. A very accessible single malt.
Glenlivet 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Feisty compared to the 21yo OB. Very nutty after a few minutes, and oily later on. Not a lot of development.
Taste: Smooth and sweet at first, becoming grittier and fruitier with time. Honey? Toffee?
Glenlivet 12yo French Oak Finish (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: More volume than the standard 12yo. Nutty and a little sherried. Whiffs of soap perfume. Water melon. It has legs, but not much depth.
Taste: A flat start, a sweet center and a short, toffeeish finish. The finish is woody and slightly smoky, but ends on an unpleasant bitter note.
Glenlivet 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Light label, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Starts off soft, but quickly becomes very fruity and a little flowery. Quite a spectrum, but more 'broad' than 'deep'. A hint of dust later on.
Taste: Spirity and malty at the same time. Bitter finish. Not enough depth or complexity to make it into the 80's, I'm afraid.
Glenlivet 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, Dark label, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Polished. Tangerines and fruit sweets. Fruitier with time. Peppery prickle. Faint organics. Pleasant, but not very 'profound' for a 18yo malt.
Taste: Malty, turning slightly astringent towards the center. Not a lot of power. Slightly gritty on the palate - not as smooth as other 'Livets I've tried.
Glenlivet 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Gentle, malty with a whiff of citrus. Other fruits as well. Sweet. Accessible. Grows more complex with time. Organics in the background.
Taste: Smooth, but it lacks substance. Hint of sherry in the sweet centre. Grows hot. Fairly gritty finish with a slightly bitter twang at the end.
Glenlivet 1983/2003 French Oak Finish (46%, OB, Cellar Collection, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Slightly oily, growing sweeter. Malty. Hint of smoke. Not very expressive at first. Maltier and more balanced after some breathing.
Taste: Fairly soft start, growing more powerful. A bit bitter. Very dry, woody finish.
Glenlivet 21yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: A lot more nose than the 12yo, with much more sherry. Some toffee tones. Very full and complex. Lots of development and staying power.
Taste: Xstarts off very woody, but mellows out after a few seconds. Very deep, sweet sherry. Very, very nice!
Glenlivet 26yo 1976/2002 (59.7%, Signatory Vintage for La Maison du Whisky, Cask #4309, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Aaah... Big, smooth and sherried. Polished oak. Wonderful! Spices and organics. Smoke? Macallanish. Old rotting fruit.
Taste: Sweet, fruity and powerful. Clean and smooth. Hot. Pinch of salt? With some water the smoke comes to the front. Pleasant dry fruitiness.
Glenlivet 28yo 1968/1998 (49.1%, Signatory Vintage, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Light and fruity at first. Water melon? Then more complex aroma's emerge. Organics. Ah, that's nice. Dry. Soy sauce. Excellent!.
Taste: Sweet start, growing hot and dry quickly. Alcoholic. Nice, but not as spectacular as the nose.

GLENLOCHY  (Western Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenlochy 1977/1994 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Not a lot, actually. Coffee? A hint of smoke. It's hard to find anything in the nose - might as well have been a blend.
Taste: Very soft. Sweetish, wit just a little smoke. This whisky just lacks the character it should have after 16 years in a cask.

GLENLOSSIE  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenlossie 10yo 1989/2000 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Dist. Autumn 1989, Bott. Spring 2000, 70cl) - 68 points
Nose: Soft, grainy start. Heather and lemon grass (?) after a minute. Slightly oily. More spicy after some breathing. Water doesn't help.
Taste: Soft and faintly sweet at first, eveolving into a warm maltiness. Smooth and clean. Bourbon drought in the short finish. A little bland.

GLEN MHOR  (Northern Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Mhor 12yo (40%, G&M, bottled early 1990's, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Rich and malty. Fruitier after a minute. Spices? A distant hint of rancid butter? A very decent malt, but not quite 'pronounced' enough for me.
Taste: Smooth and a little bittler in the start. Malty, sweeter center. Long, hot finish. Once again not a lot of individuality, but nothing wrong here.
Glen Mhor 20yo 1977/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage) - 71 points
Nose: Starts off rather strange and sweet - not your typical Speysider. Smoky, too. And of course the liquorice.
Taste: Assorted sweets and liquorice. Menthol. There was also something 'fishy' (literally) about the taste. Earns extra points for versatility...
Glen Mhor 22yo 1979/2001 (61%, UDRM, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Very spicy. Deep, dry sherry elements. Banana. Great complexity. Some liquorice. Sherry. With a dash of water it became smoother.
Taste: Very hot and powerful at C/S. Sour and woody. Not really drinkable. Becomes very gritty with some water, but sweetens out after a minute.

GLENMORANGIE  (Northern Highlands) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenmorangie NAS Madeira Wood Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Unique and pretty amazing. It's round and full; a little nutty and oily with some smoke and citrus.
Taste: Fruity start, developing into a "summer fruit" sweetness. Ends peppery & tannine dry - in a pleasant way...
Glenmorangie NAS Madeira Wood Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 83 points
Nose: Iodine and spiritus/ethanol at first. Sweet liquorice. Then it becomes very rich, developing into a heavy fruitiness. Old, sweet fruits.
Taste: Seems very sherried at first, but with madeira wine characteristics. Very smooth, almost like butter. A bit too 'winey' for my taste, though.
Glenmorangie NAS Port Wood Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: A truly remarkable sweetness; reminiscent of Cognac and Tawny Port. Grapes. Very easy on the tongue, with a definite woody port character.
Taste: Much bolder and "rounder" than the 10yo old. This has an almost Cognac-like quality; after adding water it grows more spicy and toffee-ish.
Glenmorangie NAS Port Wood Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Very complex! Subtle, yet expressive. Sherryish and fruity. Great! Dried apples. Coffee beans? Strong perfumy episodes. Smokier over time.
Taste: Hmmm... Seems much 'flatter' than my previous bottle. Fruity sweetness. Fresh episodes; eucalyptus in the finish. Nothing very special.
Glenmorangie NAS Sherry Wood Finish (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, White label, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Relatively flat, with the sherry masking the trademark 'Morangie complexity. Unbalanced - the aroma elements didn't mix too well.
Taste: Too sherried; lacks cohesion. The other two wood finishes show that a poly-wood treatment can work beautifully, but this experiment failed.
Glenmorangie NAS 'Traditional 100 Proof' (57.2%, OB, Cardboard Box, 100cl) - 79 points
Nose: Creamy and sweetish with a pinch of salt in the background. Light and transparent.
Taste: Starts off quite hot and sparkly. Lighter, malty and a little sweet in the centre.
Glenmorangie 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Spicy and peppery, yet delicate boquet. Sweet and sour? Surprisingly subtle.  Seaweed and Bourbon? Oh - boy, what a multi-layered malt!
Taste: The soft pepper slowly develops into a creamy, tingling warmth. A truly remarkable whisky.
Glenmorangie 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 65 points
Nose: Very strange start. Sweet and sour. Chemical fruits. Banana? Lemon drops. Fruits drift in and out of focus. Hint of oil as well. Whiff of soap.
Taste: Weak start. Fragmented and dry. Very little character. Maybe a hint of fruits. Something nutty. Sweetish. Quite dry and flat in the finish.
Glenmorangie 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Sweetish. Soft & spicy. A little grainy. Pinch of salt. Rhubarb? Oily & nutty. Hop. Faint fruits. Heather honey. Chloride. Maybe some liquorice.
Taste: Sweetish start. Sour & bitter - like Rhubarb? Hops in the finish - beer-like. Bourbony. The palate is flat and superficial. Wood. Fresh oak?
Glenmorangie 10yo 'Cellar 13' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Fragrant. Smooth clover honey/vanilla sweetness. Some citrus notes. Pepper and apples. Some woody rum characteristics?
Taste: Smooth and sweet. Fresh, with a menthol coolness and a generous dash of pepper. Salt and melons in the long, woody finish.
Glenmorangie 10yo 100 Proof (57.2%, OB, Duty Free, Bottled 1990's) - 82 points
Nose: Sweet and mellow at first. Spicier with time. Reminded me a bit of the 'Cellar 13'. Not overly complex. More organics with water. Brine?
Taste: Quite a burn. Slightly flat at first, but it develops nicely into a big apple pie sweetness. Dry and woody towards the finish.
Glenmorangie 18yo 'Maltman's Special Reserve' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Ceramic crock #4465, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Sherry & mint. Sweet tangerines. Honeyish. A little smoke. More creamy and nutty after a while. A soft layer around the different fragrances.
Taste: Smooth, minty start, then sweeter. Then some pepper emerges, softened by honey sweetness. Nutty. Touch of mint? Mocca? A bit malty.

GLEN MORAY  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glen Moray NAS 'Chardonnay' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 71 points
Nose: A champagne-like prickle. A little malty. Soft citrus after adding a lot of water. A hint of peat, a hint of oil.
Taste: Malty with a winey twang - that must be the Chardonnay! Sourish and a little bitter. The wine is obviously there, especially in the finish.
Glen Moray 12yo 'Classic' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Fresh and round aroma. Sweets? The bouquet triggered an overpowering flashback of heather in August.
Taste: fresh and spicy, but unfortunately it disappeared too soon. Quite dry. A very nice autumn-malt, and at a very nice price, too.
Glen Moray 12yo 'Classic' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 76 points
Nose: Heather with a dash of sherry. Some smoke; a little peat later on. Sweet. Grassy? Some very faint citrus notes after 10 minutes.
Taste: A warm glow; very malty. Rather smooth and creamy. Very pleasant, but a little too dry in the finish.
Glen Moray 12yo 'Chenin Blanc' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Faintly oily with a few woody notes. Soft sweetness. Peppery. Some salt after a while. More 'winey' after a few minutes.
Taste: Round, smooth and sweet at first. Then bitter and sour. Very dry finish; oaky and gritty. It makes you thirsty and go for a quick refill.
Glen Moray 16yo 'Chenin Blanc' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Sweet. Very fragrant but I I couldn't tie names to the aroma'. Like a September meadow against the 'August heather' character of the 12.
Taste: Oak! Extremely woody. Toffee. Spicy. Very dry. Different from the 12 but not notably better - in fact, I prefer the 12yo myself

GLEN ORD  (Northern Highlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glen Ord 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: The extremely soft smell doesn't quite prepare you for what lies ahead. Very pleasurable, though. Easy and accessible.
Taste: Mild; very nice, despite the rather bitter undercurrent. It gets stronger and stronger and gently fills your entire mouth.
Glen Ord 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Malty with some subtle hints of sherry in the background. Maybe a whiff of smoke?
Taste: Starts out sweet and malty with some pleasant fruity elements. Slowly grows nore bitter.
Glen Ord 23yo 1974/1989 (60.8%, UDRM, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Alcoholic. Woody. Resin? Then some fruits appear. Pepper and other spices. Sweet liquorice - like in liquorice all sorts. Creamy with water.
Taste: Undiluted, it seems rough and a little gritty. With water: quite sweet with a lovely mouth feel. Toffee with a hint of smoke.

GLENROTHES  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Glenrothes 8yo MacPhail's Collection (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Big, fruity and sherried. Wonderful sweetness. Very pleasant. Slightly alcoholic, not unlike rhum. Whiffs of spices and liquorice.
Taste: No sweetness at first. Very woody. Surprisingly powerful. It reminded me a bit of the Macallan 10. Short, gritty finish.
Glenrothes 1984/1995 (43%, OB) - 75 points
Nose: Sherry and fruits. Something nutty and 'veggy' as well. Currants? Cherry? Hmmm... It's around 11 years old, but it feels a bit younger.
Taste: Malty with a touch of sherry. Bittersweet. Pleasant but slightly rough around the edges.
Glenrothes 1989/2000 (43%, OB, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Sweet and malty - everything you'd expect from a good single malt. Maybe a hint of oil. Soft organics? It didn't respond very well to water.
Taste: Sweet and malty. It also showed something that reminded me of beer.
Glenrothes 1985/1997 (43%, OB, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Deep, sweet aroma. Faint hints of currants and pipe tobacco. Old fruit. After some breathing a little oilyness and something 'veggy'.
Taste: A bit harder to pin down. A very delicate sweetness; the body is very smooth.  This malt just "feels" very good; unless you add water.
Glenrothes 1987/2000 (43%, OB) - 78 points
Nose: Softly sherried, fruity and a little nutty. Faint spices and maybe even some smoke. A lot fruitier with time. Something coastal and 'fishy' too..
Taste: Smooth. Not as sweet as you'd expect at first. Malty and ever so slightly dry. Alcoholic. Very bitter in the finish - menthol? Not very complex.
Glenrothes 1979/2002 (43%, OB, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Very rich. Sherry, but a hint of pine as well. A little oily, just like the '89.
Taste: Many different layers of wood - the multiplex malt. A tad too bitter for me.
Glenrothes 1973/2000 (43%, OB, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Ah... This is very nice indeed - sherry, wood, spices and furniture wax. Quite complex but very subtle as well; you really have to work at it.
Taste: Malty. Bittersweet and woody - but not too much. A bit softer than the young-uns.

GLEN SCOTIA  (Campbeltown) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Scotia 9yo 1991/2000 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #211, 70cl) - 66 points
Nose: Soft and  grainy. Hints of oil and paint thinner. Pine? Air freshener or shampoo? Ginger? Smells more like a grain whisky than a malt whisky.
Taste: Thin and deconstructed. Something faintly medicinal. Eucalyptus? Utterly forgettable.
Glen Scotia 9yo 1991/2001
(43%, Signatory Vintage, Bourbon casks 222/223, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Soft, oily/grassy start, then a strong odeur of paint thinner, intertwined with strong ginger notes and some sweetness. Slightly medicinal.
Taste: Bourbonish and a little sparkly. Eucalyptus. Some peat. Salt in the finish. Band aids?
Glen Scotia 12yo 'Full Proof' (54%, OB, Bottled late 1980's) - 75 points
Nose: Light fruits. Starts promising. Faint organics struggling with a nutty undercurrent. Sweet & spicy. Lemon? Chloride? Hint of peat and smoke?
Taste: Smooth start, quickly growing drier. Flat and a tad woody. Gritty finish. Tired. No significant improvement with some water. Little personality.
Glen Scotia 14yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Heavy, unique oiliness with lots of other nuances. A lot of salt and some wood. Sweeter with time. Very, very complex. Good stuff!
Taste: A soft start, but a long afterburn with more and more malt and salt. A lot of inidentifiable elements in there; but very nice.
Glen Scotia 14yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: Malty. Then some sherry and furniture polish. Ah, now the fruits appear. Nectarines. Apricot. This is developing quite nicely. Eucalyptus.
Taste: A weak, unstable start is followed by a decent burn. Something fruity. Not a lot of sweetness. Not nearly as appetising as my previous bottle.

GLEN SPEY  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glen Spey 21yo (55.4%, James Mc Arthur 'Fine Malt Selection', Bottled +/- 1992, 75cl) - 61 points
Nose: Absolutely nothing at first! After a minute, it became slightly grainy. Something like peanuts appeared, but the nose remained very watery.
Taste: Easily drinkable at cask strength. The proof is hardly detectable. Sweetish, but no character to speak of. Dilution brought no improvement.

GLENTAUCHERS  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glentauchers 1979/1998 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Quite soft. Citrussy. Chemical fruity sweetness. A little oilier after a minute. A little nutty. Hint of peat in the background. Desinfectant?
Taste: Bitter at the start, malty in the middle and quite dry in the finish. Nice development, long finish. Something 'fishy' (?) after 10 minutes.

GLENTURRET  (Midlands) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenturret 12yo (40%, OB, 70cl) - 69 points
Nose: Crisp, slightly oily. Light sweetness. Somewhat like the Tormore 12 at first. Not very impressive - nosewise.
Taste: Malty and a little oily. Watery at first, but it lights up your mouth long after it's swallowed. Long afterglow, but not really my type of malt.
Glenturret 12yo 1990/2002 Sherry Finish (43%, Chieftain's, Distilled 7/1990, Bottled 12/2002, Casks 9076-9077) - 70 points
Nose: Wow - this is an odd one. I can't say I liked this sample that I tried at the Den Haag Whiskyfestival 2003, but it's very interesting.
Taste: The primary impression was 'veggy'. Below average, but I found it much more interesting than the 12yo OB.
Glenturret 19yo 1978/1998 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 30/3/78, Bottled 3/98, Cask #359; Bottle #216, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Lemons & grape juice. A hint of liquorice. A little oily and grainy. The bouquet develops into a faint sweetness over time.
Taste: A short, dry start is followed by one change after another. Juniper? Very complex; way better than the official 12yo Very dry finish.

GLENUGIE  (Eastern Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenugie 16yo 1980/1997 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 23/5/80, Bottled 6/2/97, 70cl) - 63 points
Nose: Very restrained; I could hardly smell anything at all. 'Farmy' is the first thing that comes to mind. A little woody - more pine than oak.
Taste: Not good. Smoky and medicinal with a complete lack of sweetness. No sign of any proper sherry influence.

GLENURY (ROYAL)  (Eastern Highlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenury 20yo 1980/2001 (50%, Silver Seal, Distilled November 1985, Bottled July 2001, bottle #225 of 620, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Sherried, but not the way I like it. It shows the 'CC' effect - generous use of sherry masking other fragrances rather than enhancing them.
Taste: Not very remarkable either - a malty, sherried whisky in the 'classic' style. It reminded me a little of the Millburn 1971 (40%, G&M CC).


HIGHLAND PARK  (Islands - Orkney) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Highland Park 6yo 1988/1995 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 12/1988, Bottled 6/1995, Cask #1210; Bottle #120 of 480) - 75 points
Nose: Surprisingly light; just a little smoke. Sangria? The fresh bouquet clearly distinguishes it from the 12-year OB.
Taste: Wild; slowly drifts away. Not as sweet as the 12yo OB. This IB doesn't give away its Island character, especially compared to the OB's.
Highland Park 8yo (40%, G&M, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Dry and medicinal with some fruits.  Briny but no obvious peat. More organics after ten minutes.
Taste: Not much power at first. Onion and coffee? Seems quite youthful. The burn starts after you've swallowed it. Very dry with a pinch of salt.
Highland Park 11yo 1988/1999 (61.5%, MacKillop's Choice, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Wow! Smoke, sherry and fruit - like Bowmore profile at first. Organics. Some peat! Toffee. Oriental spices. Raisins. Mint? Ammoniac?
Taste: Undiluted, it starts out very fruity. Sherried, becoming drier and woodier. Sour. Big Burn. After dilution some toffee notes emerged. Smoke?
Highland Park 12yo 1988/2001 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 19/5/1988, Bottled 29/1/2001, Sherry butt #10452; Bottle #492) - 81 points
Nose: Surprisingly light. Fruity start with some smoke and some oil. Salt and pepper? Faint hint of peat. Smoked sausage.
Taste: Starts quite soft (melons?), but grows much stronger quickly. A deep toffee/chocolate sweetness develops into a long salty finish.
Highland Park 12yo 1989/2001 (43% Aberdeen Distillers, Distilled 03/1989, Bottled 09/2001, Oak Butt #3011) - 84 points
Nose: It resembles the 12yo OB in the organics department, but it seems much fruitier than the OB.
Taste: It's velvety smooth, but the downside is that it lacks some of the power of the 12yo OB.
Highland Park 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1992, 50cl) - 85 points
Nose: Overwhelming, fruity sweetness. Sherry. Sweets and coffee beans? A hint of peat. More smoky sea-character than younger IB's.
Taste: Sweet, malty and smoky. It just kept on playing around my tongue and palate. This malt quickly grows on you.
Highland Park 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 70cl) - 86 points
Nose: Malty, sweet and sherried. Chocolate and coffee beans. Smoky episodes as well. Beautiful balance.
Taste: Perfectly balanced sweetness, somewhat dry. A pinch of salt and a little peat. Some smoke. long finish.
Highland Park 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 100cl) - 85 points
Nose: Sherry first, deepening into woodier and smokier notes after a few seconds. Soft start, growing more complex and powerful over time.
Taste: Smooth and sweet. Toffee / Honey. More smoky after a while. Deep finish, sweet and dry at the same time.
Highland Park 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Very fruity. Nutty, sweetening out in the middle. Light. Something perfumy. Spicy prickle. Hint of peat? Organics. Malty with a hint of beer.
Taste: Flat and thin start. Hotter centre. Alcoholic and not as sweet as its predecessor. Faintly bitter. Dry. Short finish. Quite disappointing, actually.
Highland Park 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Very nice! Cinnamon? Honey sweetness. Sherry. Heather. Faint smoke & peat. Hard to define, but stays true to the distillery style.
Taste: Big burn. Salt & Sweet. Cinnamon again. Then fruitier notes. Woody - oak and pine. Wonderful balance. Good, dryish finish.
Highland Park 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, Canadian bottling) - 86 points
Nose: Deep smoky sweetness with a dash of sherry. Organics in the background. Very rich. Spicier and fruitier elements grow stronger. Tea leaves?
Taste: Dry and sherried. The centre grows very bitter. Quite spicy; more 'coastal' than I remembered. A tad fragmented. Hot, long, fruity finish.
Highland Park 19yo 1984/2003 (50%, DL OMC, cask DL REF 406, 636 bottles, sherry) - 88 points
Nose: Wow!!! Salt liquorice! If it would have had any peat this could be an Islay malt. Heavy organics. Something fruity as well. Really beautiful!
Taste: Heavy and smoky start. Medicinal overtones. Sweet. Dry. Wood. Simply fabulous - but very different from the official 'house style'.
Highland Park 22yo 1977/2000 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #96/7009) - 78 points
Nose: Light and transparent - like the colour suggests. Sweet and fruity. Veggy and grassy. Hay, both dry hay in summer and rotting hay in winter.
Taste: The palate starts off sweet, growing hotter. Woody, but a tas shallow as well. Liquorice. Not a bad malt, but nowhere near the OB's.

HILLSIDE / GLENESK  (Eastern Highlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Glenesk 1984/1997 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 58 points
Nose: A little spirity. Paint thinner. String beans? Rotting hay? Vinegar? Some lighter fracrances over a muddy layer of sediment.
Taste: Warm and malty. Sweet in the middle, gritty in the tail. Hint of pine and resin. Better than the nose, but alltogether unremarkable.
Hillside 25yo 1971/1997 (62,0%, UDRM, Bottled Sept. 1997, Bottle #1512, 70cl) - 66 points
Nose: Very strange. Pine? Resin? Triplex? Not very impressive. It improves a little later on, with the smell of cookies and a hint of fruit.
Taste: Very light, almost drinkable at 62%. The primary impression I get at cask strength is menthol. Diluted, pine and resin emerge.


IMPERIAL  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Imperial 1979/1995 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Rich and oily. A heavy sweetness with more peat after some breathing.
Taste: Malty and sherried at first, sweeter after a while. A lot of development, but it loses some points in the finish.
Imperial 18yo 1982 (43%, Chieftain's Choice) - 73 points
Nose: Not a lot. Alcoholic and slightly grainy. A little oily as well. Flowery sweetness. Dust? Rotting hay? String beans? Organics grow more powerful.
Taste: Minty freshness. Creamy and malty - quite powerful at first, actually. Peanuts? Slightly winey in the finish. Not nearly as refined as the nose.

INCHGOWER  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Inchgower 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 100cl) - 78 points
Nose: Needs a minute. Quite sherried. Complex. Sherry accompanied by sweetness, chocolate and lots of other interesting fragrances.
Taste: Quite soft and very sweet. Malty, with some cherry flavour. Complex. Dry; well balanced. A good MOTR malt.
Inchgower 19yo 1977/1997 (43%, Signatory Vintage, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Salty. Almost grainy at first. Timid start, but blossoms after a few minutes. Grows more complex with some water. Nuts, pepper, soy sauce.
Taste: Dry, a little sweet and almost malty. Chocolate. Quite a burn. This malt seems a bit 'timid' - not very expressive.

INVERLEVEN  (Lowlands) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Inverleven 1984 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Very soft, some grassy sweetness. Light, with some sherry. Becomes oilier after a while, and lasts for quite a while.
Taste: Very warm; becomes extremely oily after a few seconds, especially in 'mouth feel'. A long, sweet finish ends on a dry note.
Inverleven 1989/2003 (45%, G&M, Bulky bottle, bottled for LMdW) - 87 points
Nose: Wow! Fruity and mellow. Liquorice. Coebergh. Opens up further with time. Fruity like heart candy or bubblegum. Soap perfume. Tobacco.
Taste: Salt liquorice in the start - very obvious. Pine? Very fruity and sherried as well. Not as stupendous as the nose, but quite good enough.
Inverleven 21yo 1966/1988 (46%, Cadenhead, Distilled May 1966, Bottled February 1988, 70cl) - 64 points
Nose: Watery and a little 'farmy' at first. Pine and cedar notes. Some salt; a hint of malt, smoke and toffee.
Taste: A bitter disappointment. Short but numbing, with a bitter burn on the tongue. Completely oxidised.

(ISLE OF) JURA  (Islands - Jura) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Isle of Jura 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, Code PB07 94/472 08:36 L4125, 100cl) - 59 points
Nose: Round and oily with just a hint of the sea. One dimensional. A bit depressing. Not like any of the other "Island" whiskies I ever tasted.
Taste: Unremarkable; hardly woke up my taste-buds. It seemed very greasy to me - a bit like rancid butter. Aftertaste somewhat astringent.


KINCLAITH  (Lowlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Kinclaith 20yo (46%, Cadenhead's bottling, Bottled +/- 1992, 75cl) - 57 points
Nose: Buh. Flat and grainy. Maybe a faint whiff of smoke. Not at all what I expected from a malt at this age and strength.
Taste: Flat as well; spirity and very dry. No obvious character.  It might have been a blend or grain whisky just as well. What a waste...

KNOCKANDO  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Knockando 1986/1998 (43%, OB) - 75 points
Nose: Malty, sherried and fruity. Fairly MOTR, a typical Speysider. Not as complex as the 1982/1996.
Taste: Malty and quite pleasant - but once again no match for the 82/96 OB. Improves with time.
Knockando 1982/1996
(43%, OB, Code 5344 5085, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Big and deep; seems to change from minute to minute. Complex, the hint of pepper was a nice surprise.
Taste: Soft and creamy at first, followed by a slow explosion. A balanced warmth and a wonderful sweetness. Molasses and nuts.

KNOCKDHU / AN CNOC  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

An Cnoc 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Gentle, oily aroma. Simple but pleasant. Mild, but with and "aftertingle" in the ceiling of my nose. Nothing challenging.
Taste: Complex and "bolder" than I expected. Some creamy bitterness in it's afterglow. No "big" malt, but nice and easy on the tongue.
Knockdhu 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 72 points
Nose: Nose: Pleasant. Soft and sweetish, smooth and fruity. Hint of smoke and spiritus later. Nuttier after 30 minutes of breathing.
Taste: Creamy. Soft and sweet. A little malty with a memory of vanilla icecream. Marzipan? Dull and relatively short finish; gritty and bitter.


LAGAVULIN  (Islay) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Lagavulin 12yo Special Release (58%, OB, Bottled 2002, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Ah, peat and smoke. Spicy & fruity start. Ginger and lavender in the background? With water I got ammoniac, peppermint and sweet fruits.
Taste: Undiluted, it started sweet before turning salty, hot and dry. Serrano ham. With some water it became fruitier in the start. Big, salty burn.
Lagavulin 14yo 1984/1999 (46%, Murray McDavid) - 89 points
Nose: Restrained start. More peaty later on, with a hint of smoke and some salt. A whiff of pickles? Becomes smokier and smokier over time.
Taste: Wow! Lagavulin peaty power and an overwhelming sweetness. The sweetness dissipates after a few minutes, leaving only dry and salty peat.
Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1990, no back label, 75cl) - 96 points
Nose: Is this whisky??? Leather, smoke and peat. Something strangely fruity as well.
Taste: Peat and smoke. Simply wonderful. Cognac with balls! A real challenge.
Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 100cl) - 95 points
Nose: Overwhelming. Smoke. Heavy, peaty aroma, typically Islay. Very characteristic.
Taste: Peaty; extremely round and full. Iodine, pleasantly dry, salty. A real tonsil-teaser...
Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 100cl) - 94 points
Nose: Wowie! Oh, boy - this is the good stuff. Lots of spunk. Peat and smoke and memories of the hospital - but especially peat.
Taste: Peaty power. Smoke, salt, maybe even some iodine and pepper. Still, it's surprisingly smooth. Refined and rough at the same time.
Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 95 points
Nose: Iodine and ammoniac - obviously Islay. There are subtle differences with other bottlings, but it's still my number one.
Taste: Wild and rugged. Smoky, salty and peaty. But there's something subtle going on in the fruity area as well. Wood? Amazing complexity.
Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 92 points
Nose: Well balanced. Peaty power with a subtle sherry influence - beautifully integrated in the overwhelming nasal spectrum.
Taste: Mostly smoke at first, then peat and salt and maybe even a hint of something medicinal. A big burn with a long, smoky finish.
Lagavulin 16yo 'Port Ellen' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Peaty with some peculiar sour notes.. Slightly 'farmy'. It needs some time to reach it's zenith; previous bottlings had more stamina as well.
Taste: Peat and especially smoke are the defining elements at first, although it seems slightly more 'watery' in the start than previous bottlings.
Lagavulin 16yo 'Port Ellen' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Leather - like my old school bag. Whiff of citrus? Other fruits as well. Smoke. Ashes? Something fishy? It hardly seems like an Islay malt.
Taste: Smooth start with a slowly developing burn. Smoky and dry. Flat. Sweet like syrup after 5 minutes. Liquorice. Sour finish. No complexity.
Lagavulin 1979 DE Double Matured (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 91 points
Nose: Very round and complex. A lot of smoke and a little peat; a lot sweeter than the 16 from the start. Almost 'Macallanish' sherry in the nose.
Taste: Smooth. Warm, salt and sweet with a dry finish. Smoked eel? Very balanced but just a tad too sherried for my taste. Still packs a punch.
Lagavulin 23yo 1979/2002 (46%, Murray McDavid 'Mission' II) - 82 points
Nose: Creamy start. Gentle organics. Some fruits. Nothing like the power of the OB. Restrained. With a splash of water I got more sweeter notes.
Taste: Rough start, growing peatier. Bitter centre. Woody. Plenty of power at 46%. The start feels a bit rough and it's definitely too bitter for me.

LAPHROAIG  (Islay) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Laphroaig 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, Code L61421 / L44041, 100cl) - 87 points
Nose: Overwhelming! Extremely extreme. Very medicinal smell. Iodine. Responds very well to water. Every drop seems to change the aroma.
Taste: Mighty dry and salty; more "Islay" than Islay itself. This malt is certainly not for everybody, but I fell in love with at the first sip.
Laphroaig 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code L01887 / L00718 / L43009, 100cl) - 86 points
Nose: Lots of Iodine with some sourness. Salt and brine. Hardly any peat. Very subtle! (When you look beyond the initial blast in your face...)
Taste: Iodine and brine at first. Then an unsuspected malty sweetness emerges - I didn't find that in earlier batches. Batch variation alert!
Laphroaig 10yo 'Original Cask Strength' (57.3%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Code L01200 / L01201, 100cl) - 94 points
Nose: Very fruity! Iodine in the background, growing stronger. Smoke and tar. Liquorice. Wonderful complexity. Phroaig power with a fruity bonus.
Taste: Iodine! Peppery. Smoky smoothness. Lots of peat in the finish. Sweeter and more complex after adding water, but still very powerful.
Laphroaig 13yo 1988/2001 (46%, Murray McDavid, MM2108, Bourbon Cask, Distilled July 1988, Bottled December 2001) - 87 points
Nose: Clean. Peat. Liquorice & lemon drops. Developing organics. Liquorice. Fabulous! It opens up with time showing lots of complexity and depth.
Taste: Peaty and surprisingly sweet and fruity. It's not nearly as good as the nose though - especially the finish. Still highly recommendable.
Laphroaig 14yo 1989/2003 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Cask Reference 971, 300 Bottles) - 84 points
Nose: Surprisingly subtle. It reminded me of both the 15yo OMC 'Laudable' and the 13yo MurMac 'MM2108'.
Taste: Dry and smoky with a wonderful mouth feel. I tasted just one sample; might have gone up if I had a big bottle.
Laphroaig 15yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Code L00994 / L00995, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: More peat and less iodine than the 10yo. Ammonia? Salt and sweet. More balanced. One of the longest lasting noses I've encountered.
Taste: Great stuff! Salt AND sweet. liquorice. A lot rounder and sweeter than the 10 with a sherry finish. Mighty complex and entertaining.
Laphroaig 15yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Code L00994 / L01241, French bottle, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Sherry and a whiff of smoke. Then it powers up. Toffee? Organics, but the sherry masks most of the peat. No trace of iodine this time.
Taste: A small adventure on your palate. Sardines? Feels natural. Hint of lemon? Fruit and sherry followed by a peaty punch and a long salty finish.
Laphroaig 15yo 1985 'Laudable' (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Distilled 2/1985, Bottled 10/2000, 318 bottles) - 91 points
Nose: Is this a Laphroaig? Hardly any iodine at first. Yeast? Sour cream? Musty? After a few minutes, the iodine becomes more obvious. Briny.
Taste: Rather sweet in the start, growing into a peaty burn. Smooth & gritty.  Iodine. Salt and smoke. Brine. Very powerful after a few minutes.
Laphroaig 16yo 1983/1999 (52.5%, MacKillop's Choice, Cask #1849, Distilled 04/1983, Bottled 05/1999, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Strong toffee. Chloride? Some fruits. No peat. Alcoholic. Rum cake. A deep sweetness. Then organics appear, growing stronger. Leather?
Taste: Soft, sweetish start. Seems weaker than 52.5% at first. Hint of lemon? Dry. Hot. Woody. Dusty? The finish is a little too 'winey' for me.

LEDAIG  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


LINKWOOD  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Linkwood 11yo 1989/2000 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 30/05/1989, Bottled 07/06/2000, Sherry cask #3201, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: A lot. Expressive. Flowery and fruity. Sweet. Toffee. Hint of oil. Sherried. Nuttier with time. Well-balanced. Wonderful development.
Taste: Smooth, sweetish start. Mellow. Woody center. Hint of smoke. Some interesting sour notes. A little gritty; relatively short finish.
Linkwood 12yo 1984/1996 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 9/10/84, Bottled 14/11/96, Sherry butt #4031, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: A lot. A very rich & balanced bouquet with a fair amount of sherry and wood. Flowery. Oak. Menthol? Smoke and pipe tobacco.
Taste: Sweet! Surprisingly supple and appealing. Some liquorice. Some chloride. Touch of menthol. A hint of peat in the sherried, woody finish.
Linkwood 12yo 1989/2002 (43%, Coopers Choice, Code V5729/V5730, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Soft, sweet and a little malty. Citrussy notes with a pinch of peat. The fruits become stronger after a minute. The 'volume' ebbs and flows.
Taste: Just like the nose at first - soft, sweet and malty. A smooth center develops into a long finish with a pinch of salt. Some freshness as well.
Linkwood 13yo 1988/2002 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry Butt #2998) - 83 points
Nose: Sherry and honey. Wood. Soap and oil.  Smoke? Heavier and spicier, then fruit & citrus. Soy sauce. Toffee? Caramel popcorn? Dentist?
Taste: Powerful. Hot. Lots of sherry and wood. Fruity sweetness. Great structure. Liquorice and salmiak, growing stronger. Ultra-dry, woody finish.
Linkwood 13yo 1989/2003 Rum Finish (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Cask #7298, 294 Bottles) - 76 points
Nose: Starts off fairly subdued - dusty and something that reminded me of beer. More organics and complexity over time.
Taste: Starts off very lively, but drops off after a minute, becoming too bitter for my tastes.
Linkwood 15yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 2000, 35cl) - 82 points
Nose: Starts soft and flowery. Melons. Young cherries. Some sherry. Hint of smoke and maybe even some peat. Earth and organics.
Taste: Starts deceptively soft. Quickly opens up into a warm, smooth burn. Very woody. Sweet and malty. A little peat. Peppermint? Soap?

LITTLEMILL  (Lowlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Littlemill 8yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code L4/170/85 1?4?, 70cl) - 62 points
Nose: Very oily at first, but it becomes sweeter and slightly smoky, with faint hints of peaches and melons under a blanket of oil.
Taste: Surprisingly sweet and malty for a Lowlander. Short, grainy finish. It has its moments, but they are few and far apart.
Littlemill 14yo 1989/2003 (61.9%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bottled July 2003, Bourbon Hogshead, 294 bottles) - 83 points
Nose: Very sweet. Polished. Malty. Very rich. Coffee. Creamy. Peanuts. Very likeable.
Taste: No sweetness in the start, but with time the sweetness grows and grows. lemon drops.

LOCH LOMOND  (Western Highlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Loch Lomond NAS 'Pure Malt' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 51 points
Nose: Oily and malty. More flavours than the Inchmurrin bottling. Not much complexity and 'depth'. Becomes extremely oily later on.
Taste: Herbal. Soft and a bit sweet. Menthol? Bitterness. No 'challenge'. Are the rumours about this being a vatted malt true?
Old Rhosdhu 5yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 44 points
Nose: Sickeningly slick. Castor-oil. Sweat and cheap aftershave. Hints of coffee. Rancid butter. Avoidable.
Taste: Very oily as well. Perfumy. Just too smooth - it's gone before you know it. The less said the better.
Inchmurrin 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 66 points
Nose: Malty, oily... Some smoke. Vegetables? Barbeque spices? Not very interesting at first, but becomes more powerful after a while.
Taste: Disappointing start. Soft first, bitter later on. More complex after a while. Eucalyptus! Peaches? Notable improvement over time.

LOCHNAGAR  (Eastern Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Royal Lochnagar 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Oily, but not unpleasantly so. Liquorice. Paint feints. Faint sherry and fruit. More fruit and some smoke & peat later.
Taste: Dry and smoky start. Faint fresh fruit. Soft liquorice. Long, sweet, malty finish. Dry; hint of smoke. Not much depth, but pleasant.

LOCHSIDE  (Eastern Highlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Lochside 10yo 'MacNab' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1991,  - Distillery bottling 75cl) - 65 points
Nose: Oily. A little sweet. Raisins. Slightly grassy. A little smoky. A hint of smoked nuts after a while. Not unpleasant.
Taste: Very malty start. Warm, but not sweet at first. One-dimensional. Sweeter after a while. Bitter; dry and gritty finish.
Lochside 1991/2003 (43%, G&M CC, JC/FG) - 82 points
Nose: Oily start with hints of citrus. The sparkly sweetness of early fruits. Paint thinner. Maltier & more organics with time. Complex. Dusty. Spices.
Taste: Weak, gritty start. Grows more powerful quickly into a dusty, fruity explosion. Dry. Powdered milk. It remains rough and gritty on the palate.

LONGMORN  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Longmorn 8yo 1989/1997 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 14/4/89, Bottled 30/6/97, Cask #6052, 70cl) - 69 points
Nose: Not a lot of nose, really. Grassy and 'bourbon' clean. Malty, with some sweetness. Short on character, I'm afraid.
Taste: Surprisingly strong; but it lacks complexity and development. The finish is pleasant and sweet, but a bit flat.
Longmorn Glenlivet 12yo (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose:  Rich and fruity, oily and spicy. After some time and some water the fruit grows stronger. Hint of smoke. A puzzling nose.
Taste: Malty. Toffee sweetness, clinging to tongue and palate. Balanced and slightly fruity. Dry, 'puffy' finish with a pinch of salt.
Longmorn 13yo 1990/2003 (46%, MMcD, MM 30085, Bourbon) - 71 points
Nose: Grainy and a bit oily - and it's getting worse... Strangely fruity. A little bourbony. With time some spices and organics emerge.
Palate: Weak start. Turpentine? Rough. Cloying. It feels just like a bourbon - a cool heat. Sweet. This would do great in the summetime, I suspect.
Longmorn 15yo (45%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, Code LE30244 / 2LMF901 / 2LMB801, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Wonderful complexity. Very round and pleasant. Oily and Nutty; oiliness more pronounced after adding water.
Taste: Woody with a hint of bitterness; grows smoother after some breathing. The afterglow (long, nutty and dry) got a bit "stingy" in the end.
Longmorn 15yo (45%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code LJ30744 / 2LMF601 / 2LMB801, 100cl) - 81 points
Nose: Malty, nutty and oily. Some sherry influence as well, but it seems more spirity than an earlier batch. Some citrus and other fruits.
Taste: A big burn with lots of development. A deep, satisfying sweetness. Well-balanced.
Longmorn-Glenlivet 1971/1999 (57.8%, Scott's Selection, Sherry casks) - 92 points
Nose: Fruits and sherry - great sherry. Salt. Liquorice. Spices. Laurel? Tobacco. Smoke. Butter. Fabulous. Heavy wood. A real sherry monster.
Taste: Full. Heavily sherried. A tad woody - wet oak. Some tannins in then finish. Not as great as the nose, but that always seems to be a trade-off.
Longmorn 32yo 1968/2000 (62.3%, MacKillop's Choice, Cask #5266, Bottle #26, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Complex. Sweetish. Furniture polish and smoke, becoming fruitier. Grainier after a while. Whiff of menthol? Mint? Pine? Cattle feed?
Taste: Dry and fruity at C/S. Sweet. A bit dusty. Wonderful development. Sweeter with a few drops of water. Menthol freshness in the finish. Resin?
Longmorn Glenlivet 1963/1996 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Code IF/HB, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: A wonderful bouquet. Very diverse, complex and full of contrasts. Some grass, some raisins, some 'Mac' sweetness and slightly oily..
Taste: Light and surprisingly clean; Very nice on the tongue, but little more. Not as complex and overwhelming as the nose, I'm afraid.

LONGROW  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>



MACALLAN  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Macallan NAS '20's Travellers Edition' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 50cl) - 74 points
Nose / Taste: No notes.
Macallan NAS '30's Travellers Edition' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 50cl) - 82 points
Nose / Taste: No notes.
Macallan NAS '40's Travellers Edition' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 50cl) - 72 points
Nose / Taste: No notes.
Macallan NAS '50's Travellers Edition' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 50cl) - 77 points
Nose / Taste: No notes.
Macallan 7yo (40%, OB) - 65 points
Nose: Very rough and sour. No finesse.
Taste: Very bitter from the start.
Macallan 1990 'Speymalt' (40%, G&M, Bottled +/- 1999) - 71 points
Nose: Subdued. Oily and sharp; just a little bit sweet and nutty with some smoke. I would never have identified this as a Macallan in a blind test.
Taste: A little sweetness, but not nearly as deep as the OB's. Oily; a bit nutty after a while. Quite a burn, but with a bitter finish.
Macallan 9yo 1990/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage) - 70 points
Nose: Sparkly with an apple fizz. Sherry, but completely different from the familiar 'Macallan OB' sherry.
Taste: No sweetness. Flat. No wood at all. Loads of sour notes though - I experienced some vomit & stomach acid associations. Bitter 'hoppy' finish.
Macallan 1990/1999 (50%, John Milroy Golden Strength, Millennium Selection) - 79 points
Nose: Malty. Toffee. Not nearly as sherried as the OB's. Spicy - and growing spicier. More dust and chloride with some water.
Taste: Very soft start - hardly seems like 50%. Then it sweetens up. Fruity. Breaks apart. Light woody elements. Dry. Short finish.
Macallan 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997) - 82 points
Nose: Softer than the older versions - it doesn't scream 'Macallan!' so loud. The sherry, fruits and wood are there, just not as pronounced. Citrus?
Taste: Woody. Some sweetness. Chocolate and burnt caramel. Salt? Nutmeg? Licorice from start to finish. Very nice, but not very big or complex.
Macallan 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000) - 74 points
Nose: Much more depth, character and finesse than the new 7yo. Very sweet, sherried and waxy in comparison. Obvious sherry wood.
Taste: Compared to the new 7yo the new 10yo performs reasonably well, but in my mind it's not nearly as good as the 10yo I tried a few years ago.
Macallan 10yo (40%, OB, L0421C, L10 04/06, Bottled +/- 2003, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Sherry & fresh fruits. A little thin. Alcohol. Something creamy. Sweetish. Hint of smoke? Faint spices & organics. Oilier with time.
Taste: Smooth and sweet at first. Medium body. Hot and a little gritty. Some tannins. It grows bitter and woody towards the centre.
Macallan 10yo 100 Proof (57%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 75cl) - 90 points
Nose: A lot - and it opens up further with some water. Deep sherry. Nuts? A bit dry, toffee-ish and very sweet. And you can KEEP adding water!
Taste: Sherry, fruits and wood. Fabulous mouth feel. Great mouth feel, even undiluted. Sweeter after you've added some water.
Macallan 10yo 100 Proof (57%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Very woody with lots of sherry character. Every drop of water reveals more layers. After a while the sherry becomes more pronounced.
Taste: Easy on the tongue, athough the finish isn't as balanced as the 12yo. It's a bit strong to drink neat, but with a few drops of water it's great
Macallan 10yo 'Cask Strength' (58.8%, OB, Europe, 100cl) - 88 points
Nose / Taste: No notes.
Macallan 11yo 1988/2000 Summer Distillation (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, 70cl) - 69 points
Nose: Light, sweetish and oily. Not recognisable as a Macallan.
Taste: Bitter, with oily and malty fragments. Not unlike Isle of Jura.
Macallan 11yo 1990/2002 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Sherry cask, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Oily. Soft sherry. Spicy. Quite a sting, but not bad at all, actually.
Taste: Not as woody as most OB's, but quite bitter. Pretty short finish.
Macallan 12yo 1989/2001 (60.2%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, Bottled October 2001, Sherry Butt) - 87 points
Nose: Lots of sherry, but the profile seems subtler and more balanced than that of the 10yo Cask Strength OB. Spicy.
Taste: Sweet and sherried. Woody. A very good malt, able to take on any of the OB's in the same price range.
Macallan 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 100cl) - 86 points
Nose: Sherry! Flowers tingling in the front of my nose. Somewhat toffee-like and slightly dry. Unique sweetness.
Taste: Very full and rounded taste with an afterburn on the sides of my tongue. Aftertaste with dry sherry. I hate actual sherry, but this is wonderful.
Macallan 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 100cl) - 85 points
Nose: No tasting notes.
Taste: No tasting notes.
Macallan 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, 70cl) - 80 points
Nose: The famous Macallan characteristics took a while to emerge; sherry, burnt wood, sherry, dark chocolate, sherry, toffee...
Taste: This seems to be another Mac in decline.
Macallan 15yo 1984 (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Very fruity with a whiff of smoke. And lots of sherry, obviously - this is a Macallan. Seems a very decent replacement for the 18yo.
Taste: No tasting notes.
Macallan 18yo 1976/1995 (43%, OB, Europe, 70cl) - 91 points
Nose: Sweet - and growing sweeter with time. Oaky with hints of currants. Just enough sherry. More like the 10yo 100 Proof than the 12yo at 43%.
Taste: Round and well balanced. Powerful smoothness. The long aftertaste starts with a somewhat bitter arpeggio and grows into a sweet adagio.
Macallan 18yo 1976/1995 (43%, OB, France, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Sweet and sherried with playful sour fruit notes. Organics and soy sauce. Sulphur.
Taste: The palate was weaker than I expected but grows stronger. Woody and sherried. Sweeter towards the centre.
Macallan 18yo 1982 (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Sherry! This has all the trademark Macallan traits & treats. Late fruits (cherries). Wood and smoke move to the foreground.
Taste: Dry oak and sherry. Less sweetness than earlier bottlings. Wonderful development with lots of fruity sensations. Very dry and woody finish.

MACDUFF  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


MANNOCHMORE  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Loch Dhu 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 20cl) - 14 points
Nose: Awful. Ashy. Way too much smoke. Liquorice and burnt caramel. It really has the smell of ashes! Total and utter crap.
Taste: Double burnt ashes and cough syrup gone bad. The worst thing is that it just won't go away - aftertaste stays around for hours.
Loch Dhu 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 70cl) - 11 points
Nose: Smoke and ashes. Medicinal, a sickening sweetness behind the smoke. I'd choose a JW Red Label over this any day.
Taste: Ashes and sweets. Smoooooke... Physically sickening. 'Aqua Crematoria'. The worst single malt whisky I've tasted in my life.
Mannochmore 22yo 1974/1997 (60.1%%, UDRM, Bottled September 1997, Bottle #0879, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Clean. Spirity with some smoke and peat. Numbs the nose. Sweeter with time, showing soft fruity / flowery notes and more smoke.
Taste: Round and sweet with a growing smokiness. Tar? Salt liquorice? After adding water the pepper in the finish becomes more pronounced.

MILLBURN  (Northern Highlands) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Millburn 1971/1993 (40%, Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: A big aroma that somehow seems to lack 'cohesion'. It changes from oily/menthol/eucalyptus to sherry/sweets/fruits over time.
Taste: Smooth and sweet. A little sherry, a little malt, a little smoke. Maybe a pinch of peat. Like the nose, the palate was a little unbalanced.
Millburn 1974/2000 (40%, Connoisseurs Choice, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Slightly oily at first, then menthol and eucalyptus. Cannabis? Perfumy. Over time, it developed into sweets / fruit cake. Very decent.
Taste: Very smooth, sweet and malty. After a while, the sweetness vanishes to be replaced by perfumy notes and eucalyptus in the finish.

MILTONDUFF  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Miltonduff 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, Code LA339E / LA340A / LA340E, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: A lot of flowery freshness. Light and clean. Not particularly complex, though - slightly underwhelming.
Taste: A very nice palate with a lot more flavour on the tongue. Toffee? A real mouth-warmer, although it doesn't seem powerful at first.
Mosstowie 12yo 1970 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Bottled +/- 1983, Pandora sample) - 78 points
Nose: Opens with a whiff of soft fruits. Overtones of shoe polish. Pine? Lemon. Soap? Malty. Smooth and elegant. Pepper & spices.
Taste: Pine? Sweetish start. Smooth. A quick, toffeeish burn grows into a chocolate bitterness. The sherried finish doesn't last very long. A little dry.
Mosstowie 1979/1999 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, 70cl) - 81 points
Nose: Wow! Very big. Rum and cognac. Sweet and something fruity. Overwhelmingly wonderful, but a little uni-dimensional.
Taste: Powerful. Burnt toffee. Woody & sherried. Great, but (like the nose) a bit one-dimensional.

MORTLACH  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top) 

Mortlach 1984/1995 Centenary Reserve (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Big and round, somewhat 'dusty' bouquet. Light smoke, some sherry, a bit oily now and then. Nice, but not very much there.
Taste: Just a tad too sherryish for me. A very long and dry finish becomes even more powerful after some breathing.
Mortlach 11yo 1991/2002 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance) - 72 points
Nose: Lots of 'real' sherry. Slightly oily. Sulphur. Ammonia. Dies after a few minutes.
Taste: Not as sherried as the nose. Malty. Dry. MOTR. Pleasant but unremarkable.
Mortlach 12yo 1989/2002 Sherry Cask (43%, Coopers Choice, Sherry casks, Code L5 03202 12:02 02/29, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: A bit fruity. Faintly oily in the start, with a distinct hint of peat. Smoke. Opens up with more sherry and fruits. Wonderful organics with time.
Taste: Playful sweet start, quickly becoming smoky. A long, dry burn. Very pleasant, but not nearly as interesting as the nose.
Mortlach 12yo 1990/2002 (46%, MMcD, MM3748, Sherry) - 83 points
Nose: Restrained at first - alcoholic and slightly sour. Something veggy. Hint of oil? More organics over time. Great development. Stock cubes?
Taste: Sweet start with a wonderful fruity centre. A tad too dry and hot in the finish.
Mortlach 21yo (40%, Sestante, Bottled 1999, Italian bottling, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Oilier than the Coopers Choice. Malty and fruity. Dried apples. A little sherried. Toffee and spices. Hint of smoke?  Fruits grows stronger..
Taste: Weak start. Malty, turning bitter. Sweet center. Toffee.  Fruity. Chocolate & orange? Smoke, sherry and a faint hint of liquorice in the finish.
Mortlach 1969/1996 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Flowers! Big, sweet and sherried. Wood and sour notes. Someting 'oriental' as well. Not unlike the Macallan style.
Taste: Dusty, smooth and sweet. Lots of oak and some dark chocolate. Dry, woody finish with a hint of smoke. Nice!

MOSSTOWIE  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->



NORTH PORT / BRECHIN  (Eastern Highlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

North Port - Brechin 1981/1998 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, 70cl) - 60 points
Nose: Is this what they call 'perfumy'? Chemical fruits. Vanilla & Banana. Peanuts? Not much individuality - or power for that matter.
Taste: Smooth and sweetish. Whipped cream. Dryish. Hint of burnt caramel ('Buysman'). Short on character. A bit of a 'desert' malt.
Brechin 26yo 1976/2003 (50%, DL OMC, Cask 3351, 282 bottles, 6 months sherry finish) - 70 points
Nose: Polished, flat and sweetish. Paint thinner. Bourbony. Then more 'veggy' and fruity elements emerge. Melon. Dry. Oatmeal? Faint organics.
Taste: Hot and flat. Dry, boring centre. Tannins in the numbing finish. Tastes like old, tired wood. What a bummer.


OBAN  (Western Highlands) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)   

Oban 14yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1992, Code LLJA0000181, 100cl) - 80 points
Nose: Shellfish? Salty, but restrained. A pinch of peat and some short, sweet bursts. More peat later on. Like a farm on the shore..
Taste: Smooth, soft start develops into a smoky burn. Good mouth feel. Well balanced with sweet and salty episodes. Dry finish.
Oban 14yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code L15M04841553, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: Spicy with a gentle but thoughtful sweetness. Is that sherry? Prunus leaves?. Slightly stingy. Whiff of nutmeg? Salt peanuts?
Taste: Reasonably sweet at first. Some sherry. Rough and harsh. Rubber? The soft salty finish I remember from before seems bitter now.
Oban 1984 DE 'Double Matured' (43%, OB, Montilla Fino Finish, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Sherry & peat. Some smoke. Opens up after a few minutes, becoming very rich. Big and complex; the double maturation worked.
Taste: Smooth start, followed by a nutty/malty burn. Salt. The double maturation didn't leave many marks on the palate.

OLD FETTERCAIRN  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


OLD PULTENEY  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


OLD RHOSDU  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->



PITTYVAICH  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Pittyvaich 18yo 1976/1995 (43%, Sigantory Vintage, Distilled 22/6/1976, Bottled 2/1995, Cask #8633-34, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Spirity. Sparkly. Some citrus. Subtle fragrances every now and then. Maybe a distant echo of smoke. Bourbon aging is very clear in this malt.
Taste: Light. Cool burn. Surprisingly juvenile for a whisky this old. Unique combination of softness and strength. Very long, soft finish.
Pittyvaich 21yo 1976/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry Butt #12241, Bottle #116 of 420) - 88 points
Nose: Very sherried. Old fruits. Wood. Pipe tobacco. Mint? Rubber? Unique. Complex organics. Amazing complexity, worthy of a score in the 90's.
Taste: Rather woody at first, but still smooth. Develops into a subdued rum or coffee heat. With time it becomes just a tad too bitter and shallow.

PORT ELLEN  (Islay) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Port Ellen 18yo 1981/2000 (43%, McGibbons Provenance, Distilled Winter 1981, Bottled Spring 2000, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Peaty and sherried. A bit like a 'butch' Bowmore. Growing peat. Clean - one of the freshest Islays. Hint of chloride. Nutty episodes.
Taste: Peat. Seemed not as sweet as when I opened it. Sherry. Almost cool in the mouth, with peat, smoke and wood in the background.
Port Ellen 19yo 1982/2001 (43%, McGibbons Provenance, Distilled Spring 1982, Bottled Spring 2001, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Lightly peated. Soft and fruity, but it grows more powerful. More smoke and organics. Pinch of salt? Ammoniac? Chloride. Soap? Faint melon?
Taste: Peaty, but sweet as well - didn't find that last time. Liquorice. Great palate! A salty centre evolves into a bitter finish with winey overtones.
Port Ellen 22yo 1978/2000 (60.5%, UDRM, Code L15N03802610, Bottle #2204, 70cl) - 93 points
Nose: Wow! Powerful from the start, becoming bigger and complex. Organic. Salted peanuts. Fresh peat. Farmy ammoniak associations. Rubber?
Taste: Undiluted, it starts very sweet. With five drops of water it becomes more transparant. Wood and a pinch of peat in the long sweet finish.
Port Ellen 22yo 1979/2001 First Annual Release (56.2%, OB, 6000 Bottles) - 87 points
Nose: Peaty and serious. A hint of lemon over a bed of peat. Menthol? Remains peaty and powerful for a long time.
Taste: No tasting notes.
Port Ellen 23yo 1975/1999 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Distilled 8/4/75, Bottled 25/3/99, 70cl) - 83 points
Nose: Islay power with a hint of sweetness. Salt. Grows peatier after a minute, and after that a whole lot of unidentifiable nuances emerge.
Taste: Fits the nose; Islay on top, but with a little sweet undercurrent. Dry and salty. Peppery afterburn ending in a dry finish. Great!
Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2002 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #5151) - 77 points
Nose: Light fruits. Apple. Some faint hints of peat and rubber in the distance. Soft at first, but as times goes by it picks up. Smoked ham. Organics.
Taste: Rather thin. Flat and bitter before the peat emerges. Beer? Tired. Weak.
Port Ellen 23yo 1978/2002 (54.3%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #5344) - 80 points
Nose: Wow! Much more powerful after some breathing. Sweet. Malty. Nutty. Very fruity after a minute, but nothing really coastal. Leather? Dusty.
Taste: Weak, watery start. Bittersweet centre. Coffee? Salty sausages. Woody finish. Seemed much more powerful and sherried on my second try.
Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2003 (46%, Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection, Butt #6769) - 91 points
Nose: Wow! Plenty of heavy sherry! Wonderful complex fruity and woody notes. Cough syrup. Pipe tobacco. Fruit sweets. Soy Sauce. Mint? No peat.
Taste: Smoke and sherry. Cool and dry. Coffee. A little bit 'winey'. Fruity. Woody towards the finish. Not quite as impressive on the palate.
Port Ellen 24yo 1978/2002 2nd Annual Release (54.3, OB, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: Peaty and smoky. Ammoniac and other horse stable aroma's. Austere like an Ardbeg from the early 70's.
Taste: Softly medicinal with a salty burn later on. Lemon and other fruity elements as well. Surprisingly subtle.

PULTENEY  (Northern Highlands) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Old Pulteney 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 100cl) - 79 points
Nose: Quite restrained at first. Malty, with some sherry, some nuts and some oil. Low profile sweetness. A little peat and turpentine.
Taste: Smooth. Spicy and menthol freshness. Develops from a honeyed start, through coffee and pepper in the center to a long salty finish.
Pulteney 12yo 1990/2002 (62.1%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, 234 bottles) - 82 points
Nose: Sweet and creamy. Malty. Organics and spices after a minute. Nutmeg? Hint of peat? Over time it grows spicier with strong organics.
Taste: Smooth and sweet, followed by a big burn. Creamy. Great structure. Hardly feels like a cask strength malt, actually. Remains sweet.


ROSEBANK  (Lowlands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Rosebank 8yo 1983/1992 (43%, OB, Bristol Brandy Company, American Oak Casks, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Soft and fresh; something lemony. Sweeter and heavier after a few minutes. Becomes very fragrant for a Lowlander.
Taste: Not as spectacular. Particulary dry. Clean and a little bit sweet.
Rosebank 10yo 1991/2001 (43%, Chieftain's, Hogsheads #1646-1648, Distilled 05/1991, Bottled 10/2001) - 69 points
Nose: Soft and slightly floral, then a whiff of citrus. Vanilla? Light. A classic Lowlander.
Taste: Soft, smooth start, quickly growing gritty, hot and bitter towards the centre.
Rosebank 11yo 1989/2000 (43%, McGibbon's Provenance, Spring Distillation, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Very soft at first; Sour apples, spiritus and sandstone. Flowery; a hint of peat later on.
Taste: Strangely 'veggy'. Citrus and vanilla later on. Quite dry.
Rosebank 11yo 1989/2001 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 12/4/1998, Bottled 30/01/2001, Cask #789, Bottle #153, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Not a lot at first, growing harsh and feinty. But then it softens up, becoming sweeter, flowery and fresh. Like camomile after rainfall.
Taste: Starts soft and sweet, becoming very dry quickly. Flowery. Bitter Finish. Not nearly as interesting as the nose; it's just not complex enough.
Rosebank 10yo 1992/2002 (46%, Murray McDavid, MM 1413, Bourbon Casks) - 72 points
Nose: Citrus and paint thinner. Orange skins. Sweeter and polished with time. Something coastal and salty in the background too. Hint of smoke?
Taste: Fairly weak start. Definite citrus. Sweet & sour like lemonade in the hot centre. Bone dry and a tad winey in the finish. Not a lot of depth.
Rosebank 11yo 1991/2002 Sherry Finish (43%, Chieftain's, 70cl) - 63 points
Nose: Soft and floral. A little honey - nectar maybe. Sour notes as well. Slightly flat. After a minute harsher, more spirity elements take over.
Taste: Sharp bite. Bitter. Not unlike wodka. No substance. Absolutely forgettable.
Rosebank 14yo 1989/2003 (46%, Whisky Galore) - 70 points
Nose: Grainy. A little oily with dusty chaff in the background. Faint hint of citrus? Organics. This is quite grainy and dusty.
Taste: Weak and oily with a chemical sweetness. Gritty, hot, bitterish finish.
Rosebank 20yo 1979/1999 (60.3%, UDRM, 70cl) - 87 points
Nose: Smels like the attick of a grain warehouse. Menthol and some smoke. Salt. Vanilla. Wash.
Taste: Lemon. Sweet. Orange skin.

ROYAL BRACKLA  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


ROYAL LOCHNAGAR  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->



SAINT MAGDALENE / LINLITHGOW  (Lowlands) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Saint Magdalene 19yo 1979/1998 (63.8%, UDRM, 70cl) - 95 points
Nose: Amazing complexity and harmony. Apricots. Oak. Oriental tones - ketjap & soy sauce. With a little water more liquorice, fruits and smoke.
Taste: Sweet and sherried when drank straight, with a long malty burn developing into a surprisingly peaty finish. Sweet liquorice and toffee.
Saint Magdalene 23yo 1975/1999 (41.5%, Cadenhead's, Cask Strength, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Dry and modest at first. Then more fruity and woody notes emerge. Sweet overtones. Estery. Forest aroma's. Spices, peat and smoke. Ants?
Taste: Very smooth and creamy. Malty with a hint of eucalyptus. Sourish. Dry finish. Not quite sweet enough for my tastes.
Saint Magadalene 24yo 1978/2002 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 504 bottles, 70cl) - 91 points
Nose: Very classy. Good sherry and wood. Fruity sweetness. Tobacco. Gunpowder. Toffee. Mighty complex. Almost like a sherried Speysider.
Taste: Fruity. Woody and sherried - almost like a Macallan? Lovely, lovely, lovely. Smoke? With time (and a dash of water) even a hint of peat?
Saint Magdalene 24yo 1978/2002 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC Advance Sample, Refill Wine Treated, 20cl) - 86 points
Nose: Heavily sherried. Slightly spicy. Woody. Oriental. Mighty pleasant. The spicy elements grow stronger - like a buffet of Indonesian dishes.
Taste: Wow - easily drinkable and very fruity at 50%. Sweet and smooth. Woody elements. Dry. More winey towards the finish.
Saint Magdalene 1965 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, Bottled +/- 1995) - 83 points
Nose: Wow! What a nose! Overwhelming! Very rich, with flowery and perfumy notes. Very complex, but harmonious, with just enough sherry.
Taste: Not nearly as characteristic as the nose. Too bad - this one would have scored in the upper 80's or lower 90's based on the great nose.
Linlithgow 9yo 1982/1992 (62.6%, Cadenhead's) - 81 points
Nose: Powerful and spirity. Then very faint floral and fruity notes. Citrussy. Bittersweet like orange peel or rhubarb. Organics. Hint of peat. Dry.
Taste: Easily drinkable at cask strength. Sweet and sour like lemon drops. Fresh. Big Burn. A little gritty. Slightly uneven. Smoother with some water.
Linlithgow 18yo 1982/2001 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #3002) - 79 points
Nose: Flowery and strangely sour. Soft fruits. Radish? Perfume. Cereals. Soft peat? Subtle organic notes as well. Dry episodes.
Taste: Sweetish with a hint of smoke in the background. Citrus. Big burn in the centre. Malty. Dry finish. Pleasant, but it's the nose that stands out.
Linlithgow 18yo 1982/2000 (61.6%, Scott's Selection) - 82 points
Nose: Sweet, but slightly grainy and oily in the background. Needs a minute to open up. Faint organics. Maybe just a tad fruitier after adding water.
Taste: Hot and sweet at c/s.. A little bit malty. Grittier and fruitier with water. With time it grows drier and even picks up some medicinal traits.
Linlithgow 26yo 1975/2001 (50%, Douglas laing OMC, 5cl) - 84 points
Nose: Ooh, that's nice. Subtle sweet sherry notes. Something floral as well. Some organics after a minute. Pinch of salt? But then it fizzles out.
Taste: Relatively restrained with some surprising peaty elements growing stronger. Powerful. Salt. Very little sweetness. Bitter episodes. Dry finish.

SCAPA  (Islands - Orkney) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Scapa 8yo 1989/1997 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 5/89, Bottled 11/97, Cask #1885, Bottle #440, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Very light bouquet. Restrained, lightly salted. Becomes oilier with some water. Very different from its Orkney sibling Highland Park.
Taste: A salty burn on the tongue; quite feisty and long for a malt this young. Not much taste development, though.
Scapa 1985/1995 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, Code IE/DIC, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Rather thin. Salt and a little smoke. Hint of peat. Dried hay? Chloride? With water it showed some improvement, but it remains restrained.
Taste: Sweet. Chocolate! Vanilla. Some salt and pepper later on. Long finish. The taste is rather impressive for such a young malt.
Scapa 1989/2000 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, sample from Canada) - 69 points
Nose: Deep sweetness with a hint of liquorice in the back of the nose. I quite like it! Something 'veggy' in the background. Faint toffee notes?
Taste: Yuck! Soapy start. Dusty, sweetish centre. Menthol or eucalyptus? Herbal - different from the nose. Rather flat. A tad astringent in the finish.
Scapa 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code LQ0015 / LQ0014, 100cl) - 75 points
Nose: Fruity (like fruit sweets) with a pinch of salt. Citrus and some peat. Soap? Sweeter and slightly more transparent after a few minutes.
Taste: Start rather soft and sweetish, with malt, honey, toffee and vanilla. Much saltier after a while, showing some peat and pepper. Dry finish.
Scapa 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Pandora sample, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Hmmm. Sweet, heavy and fruity. Sherry. Rotting fruit? Dried apples. Something coastal? Nutty. Organics and spices in the background.
Taste: Weaker. Fruity. Sweet and sour. Honeyed sweetness after 15 minutes. Cool and dry center. Hint of pepper. Tannins in the finish.

SPEYBURN  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Speyburn 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, L4:160:M7 15:18 / 5752 / 5753, 70cl) - 69 points
Nose: Just a hint of sherry. Some smokiness, combined with sweets. A promising bouquet; perhaps a tad too friendly.
Taste: The palate isn't very complex, but quite nice. Malty with a fresher, bitter finish. A soft sweetness; easy on the tongue.

SPEYSIDE (DRUMGUISH / GLENTROMIE)  (Speyside) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Cú Dhub (40%, OB, Bottled 2003, 70cl) - 50 points
Nose: Smoky. Slightly sherried. Far more subtle than I expected. No complexity, though. The smoke grows stronger, but then it drops dead.
Taste: Sweet start. A little smoky. Buysman - burnt caramel. It becomes extremely dry quickly. No real development over time.
Drumguish NAS
(40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, Johs De Kuyper & Zoon, 70cl) - 40 points
Nose: A bit of a stinker. Quite dry, light and malty smell with sweet undertones. Not much better than your average lower-class blend
Taste: Undistinguished; rather bland (light and dry, touch of peat), evaporates quickly.  One of the worst single malts I ever tasted!
Drumguish NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2001, Koninklijke De Kuyper BV, 70cl) - 44 points
Nose: Restrained - could easily have been mistaken for a blend. Ever so slightly malty. Sweetish. Faint coffee notes.
Taste: Chemical sweetness. Metallic. Fatty. Clogged up. Cool finish. The good thing is that the taste vanishes within fifteen seconds.
Speyside 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003) - 53 points
Nose: Malty and grainy. Some sweetness after a minute. Faint hint of orange skin. Maybe a fain hint of apple afer adding some water.
Taste: Flat and bitter. Quite harsh. No body, complexity and/or development. A big bummer.
Glentromie 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, Code ??10 7 R5 12:35 96, 70cl) - 59 points
Nose: Flat; no depth. Citrus. Sweetish. A bit spirity. Maybe a bit malty. Peanuts. This malt needs some time to break in.
Taste: Ambivalent. Very bitter one time, very sweet (like cake) the next. Sweeter and stickier after some breathing. Dry, long finish.

SPRINGBANK / LONGROW  (Campbeltown) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Springbank NAS 'CV' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Grainy at first. Rich and salty; very tingly in the front of the nose. 'Veggy' after a while - then nutty. All in all not very impressive.
Taste: Sweet, with a powerful afterburn, growing saltier with time. Dry. Nutty finish with lots of salt. Interesting.
Springbank NAS Visitor Bottling 2003 (Unknown ABV, OB) - 79 points
Nose: Sherry, coconut, hazelnuts, organics, spices and vegetables. Seems quite young.
Taste: Sweet and quite sharp. Not quite as creamy and smooth as some other bottlings I've tried.
Springbank 1997/2002 (45%, Signatory Vintage Stills of Scotland, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Very fresh and fruity. Prickly? Alcoholic and oily. Sour apples. Beer? Cider? Vegetables? I imagine this will do well in the summertime.
Taste: Sour, fruity start. Dry burn in the center. Hint of smoke. Pleasant and unassuming. Sweeter and more powerful with time. Honey-coating.
Springbank 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Code 00/164, 70cl) - 77 points
Nose: .Starts spirity and a little oily. Some citrus - more light fruits later on. A barely detectable hint of bonfire smoke, growing stronger.
Taste: Smooth, creamy start. Sweet and malty. Good burn. A little gritty in the finish. A good standard malt, but nothing more.
Springbank 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Code 00/257, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Some citrus in the start, becoming sweeter. Toffee. Hint of oil. Spicy. Complex. Fresh. The fruity components grow stronger over time.
Taste: Very smooth and sweet start, becoming cool in the center. Fruit sweets. Excellent mouth feel; intruiging development over time.
Springbank 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, no batch ref) - 78 points
Nose: Heavy fruitiness. Passion fruit. Organics too. Fabulous - even with that hint of chloride. Remarkably powerful and alcoholic. Dentist?
Taste: Watery start. Hot and fairly gritty. Bittersweet centre. Coffee? Winey finish. Not nearly as smooth on the tongue as earlier batches.
Springbank 11yo 1989/2000 (43%, Ultimate, Oak Cask #104, 70cl) - 76 points
Nose: Spirity. Light fruits. A little dusty. Perfumy. Dry and salty after a few minutes. Barbecue spices. The fruity notes become more dominant.
Taste: Weak. Sweetish start. Dry and gritty. Bourbony. Unbalanced and a little sour in the finish. Liquorice. Pleasant fruitiness comes and goes.
Springbank 12yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 1996, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Ooh! Deep sherry tones and hints of mint. Fruity - lots of heavy late summer fruits. Pear. The bouquet blossoms. Oriental notes. Soy sauce?
Taste: Sherry. Some sweetness over a strong malty burn. A little salt. Maggi? A little wood as well, although that's just a minor element.
Springbank 14yo 1979 (46%, OB, Distilled 12/79, Bottled 1/94) - 78 points
Nose: My first Springbank ever. Rich, yet light, sweet aroma. Somewhat oily. Delicate, but not very expressive.
Taste: Rather salty and dry; took it's time developing around my tongue and kept floating in the back of my mouth.
Springbank 15yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Candy sour-sweetness. Slightly perfumy. Opens up after 5 minutes. Something in the fruity corner I can't describe in the foreground.
Taste: Very similar to the 12yo - more so than the nose. Cookies. Wood. Dry. Cool burn. Minty fresh. Deep sherry. Maybe a little too sherried?
Springbank 15yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, no batch ref) - 82 points
Nose: Aaaah.... Sherry and fruits. Passion fruit again? Good wood. Peppermint? Powerful but polished. A feast for the nose. Faint hint of smoke?
Taste: Very woody with a thin layer of fruits at first. Very hot. Then it sweetens out. Great centre with fruity sweet and sour elements. Great fun.
Springbank 21yo (46%, OB, Code 00/199, Bottled 25/08/2000, 70cl) - 90 points
Nose: Sherry & oak. Amazing complexity. More sherried than younger versions. Sweetens up after a while, becoming fruitier. Lots of development.
Taste: Oak again, mixed with salt liquorice. Not as complex as the nose. Very little sweetness. Salt becomes more pronounced with time.
Longrow 10yo 1993 (46%, OB, Vatting of sherry & bourbon casks) - 83 points
Nose: Softly peated - more balls than your average Springbank. Intriguing organics, but it might have benefited from a few more years in the cask.
Taste: Rougher than most Springers, but not a peat monster by any stretch of the imagination. Quite subtle.
Longrow 13yo 1989/2002 Sherry Wood (53,2%, OB) - 83 points
Nose: A woody, fruity base enlivened by coastal and earthy elements. More powerful, peppery and medicinal with time. Not unlike an 'Islay Light'.
Taste: Straight up, it's dry and slightly peaty. Hint of vanilla? Rather short finish, very dry and woody. Tastes more like a bourbon wood malt to me.

STRATHISLA  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Strathisla 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, Code 2SIF920 / 2SIB922 / LJ30484, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Soft and dry - a bit nutty and oily. Later some faint hints of sherry. Some chloride notes and more unidentifiable elements.
Taste: Not my style, but interesting with lots of development. Gooseberry, chocolate, coffee, toffee and vanilla. Sweeter, fruitier and dry later on.

STRATHMILL  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Strathmill 10yo (43%, Scottish Wildlife, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Strange! Some sweetness, some smoke? Nutty? 'Farmy'. Really opens up after 15 minutes; sweeter with more citrus tones.
Taste: Dull start, a bit malty. Rather flat and superficial. A little sweeter over time. Oily. Orange skin. Apples and menthol in the dry finish.
Strathmill 11yo 1988/2000 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, D10/88, B6/00, 420bt.) - 63 points
Nose: Soft start, growing sweetish and malty with 'veggy' overtones. Something nutty? Grainy. Play-Do. It grows a little more 'coastal' over time.
Taste: Gritty and dry start. It sweetens up for just a few seconds before growing dry again. Hot. Coffee beans? Maybe some menthol freshness.
Strathmill 12yo (43%, Flora & Fauna) - 70 points
Nose: Rather nondescript. Nutty and oily. Faint hints of lemon, molasses and smoke.
Taste: Smooth, sweet and malty at first, then menthol and eucalyptus screw it up.


TALISKER  (Islands - Skye) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Talisker 8yo 1988/1996 (45%, Milroy, 70cl) - 82 points
Nose: Oily aroma's and the dusty, grainy aroma I assoiciate with the attick of a grain warehouse. Fruits later on; peach and water melon mostly.
Taste: Much more in the traditional Talisker vein; dry and peppery with a big, long burn. Dry finish.
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 1992, Code LLIA0000640, No back label, 70cl) - 91 points
Nose: Very full, robust smokiness. Peat and an overwhelming salty sea-bouquet. Extremely complex for a malt so relatively young.
Taste: Virtually explodes on your tongue and the smoky pepper keeps hanging around in the back of your throat long after your last guzzle.
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 100cl) - 92 points
Nose: Smoked fish with a dash of salt and pepper. Complex fruitier elements in the background. No obvious peat, though.
Taste: Peppery and smoky. Great mouth feel and a fabulous finish - I really like the extra 'oomph' and body you get at 45.8%.
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, Code L15N01183495) - 90 points
Nose: Wow! Smoke and organics, lifted by a subtle sherry influence in the back. Swampy. Some subtle spices below the surface. Hint of mint?
Taste: Surprisingly fruity start, growing hot, peppery and smoky towards the centre. Drier and more 'winey' towards the finish.
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, Code L15N01768790, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose: Restrained, growing stronger after a minute. A lot of subtle fragrances around a strong, smoky centre. Stock cubes? Citrus.
Taste: Sweet start, followed by smoke, salt and pepper. The familiar explosion on the tongue. Dry, peppery finish.
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2003, Code L15T01047290, 70cl) - 88 points
Nose:  Peaty with a hint of citrus. Pepper? Liquorice? Clay? Something dry and medicinal - more like Laphroaig? Oh boy, this is just great!!!
Taste: Hot, peppery start. Develops into a full, sweet centre before growing very dry. Not nearly as overwhelming as the nose, though.
Talisker 1986 DE Double Matured (45.8%, OB, TD-S:5AM, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 89 points
Nose: Lots of great sherry. Autumn in the woods. Groovy stuff. Very rich and polished, but the peppery prickle is smothered by sherry and wood.
Taste: Very woody start, opening up into marmelade fruitiness. Quite sweet. The wood doesn't mix very well with the salt and pepper. Smoky finish.
Talisker 1989 DE Double Matured (45.8%, OB, TD-S: 5DP, Bottled 2002, 70cl) - 85 points
Nose: Complex. Wood, sherry and coffee. Lighter and spicier than the 1986. Some peat in the background. Subtle fruits on the surface.
Taste: Ouch - this is a tad disappointing. Dry. Minty fresh. Peppery prickle. Woody finish. The nose can compete with the '86, but the palate can't.
Talisker 14yo 1979/1993 (64.3%, Cadenhead's, D07/79, B10/93, 5cl) - 91 points
Nose: This is a beauty. Smoke and organics. Turkish peppers and fruits. Then it picks up some distinct medicinal elements. Serrano Ham. Spices.
Taste: Definitely some peat on the palate. Salt and smoke as well. Dry. Serious. Simply fabulous.
Talisker 19yo 1980/2000 'Tactical' (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, ) - 91 points
Nose: Much fruitier than I would have expected. Salt. Some peat in the background. Marzipan. Lovely - and growing lovelier by the minute.
Taste: Not as much depth and character as the nose. A powerful centre with peat and salt. Salt in the finish as well. Very dry.
Talisker 20yo 1981/2002 Sherry Casks (62.0%, OB, 9000 Bottles) - 93 points
Nose: Coffee. Tia Maria? Ah, now it opens up into rich sherry and fruits. Fabulous! Complex organics. Hint of peat in the background. Good wood.
Taste: Sweet and smoky. Great wood. Long finish. I hardly noticed the high proof. Resembles an old Macallan.
Talisker 20yo 1982/2003 (58.8%, OB, Bourbon, 12000 Bottles) - 80 points
Nose: Sweet and smooth. Very faint organics in the background, slowly moving to the front. A little metallic. Peat? Quite pleasant, but not complex.
Palate: Sweet and smooth with a peppery prickle in the dry centre. Malty. Grows hotter. Chewy. Something fruity; water melon? Peaty and very salty.

TAMDHU  (Speyside) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tamdhu NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl) - 72 points
Nose: Mild, with an unique kind of sweetness. Some peat when the lighter aroma's drifted away. Very pleasant, sweet and malty.
Taste: Supple, and with enough dryness in the aftertaste to make you go for an instant refill. A soft malt without pretentions.
Tamdhu-Glenlivet 10yo (58.9%, Cadenhead's, 18.75cl) - 78 points
Nose: Honey sweetness. Slightly oily. Lemon. Dried apples. Cinnamon! A bit like apple pie. More spices and organics with water. Something fishy?
Taste: Dry, short and flat at C/S. Woody. Beer-like bitterness in the grainy finish. Smoother with hints of cinnamon and liquorice with water.
Tamdhu 12yo 1984/1996 (43%, Ultimate, Distilled 27/1/84, Bottled 3/96, 70cl) - 74 points
Nose: Flowery, slightly oily and a little bit grainy - but not unpleasantly so. Mild. Plenty of character, though...
Taste: Smooth and malty. Sweetish, but with a bitter undercurrent.

TAMNAVULIN  (Speyside) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tamnavulin 10yo (40% - Distillery bottling - Tamnavulin Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd.) - 71 points
Nose: Something very different. Oily & grassy.  Wonderful lightness. Undemanding.
Taste: A fresh sweetness with a nice long finish. Some bitterness. Not really my "type" of whisky, but a nice spring-malt.
Tamnavulin 12yo (40%, OB Ltd.) - 72 points
Nose: Oily. Chemical. Vegetables - raw cabbage? Quite restrained. Seems a little 'grainy'. Not nearly as good as the 10yo
Taste: Slightly off, like rotten fruit. Hint of pepper? Grappa? Lack of sweetness. A little 'chemical'. Slight bitterness in the finish.
Tamnavulin 12yo (40%, OB) - 58 points
Nose: Veggy. Oily. Light. Spirity. Something more floral after a while. Faint early fruits. The oily elements grow stronger with time. 
Taste: Smooth and quite flat. Dusty, veggy and bitter in the start. Coffee? The centre and finish are very oily - like cod oil. Nasty finish.

TEANINICH  (Speyside) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Teaninich 1982/1998 (40%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Hmmm... Spicy. Wet Prunus leafs? Some fruity notes as well. Toffee sweetness after a while. Whiffs of ammoniac and paint thinner.
Taste: Flat and a little grainy. Pine and sawdust. The sweetness I detected when I opened the bottle was gone. Unpleasantly bitter in the finish.

TOBERMORY / LEDAIG  (Islands - Mull) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tobermory NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 55 points
Nose: Very restrained. Flat. A bit oily with a very faint hint of peat. Notably sweeter with time, with distant impressions of mint and candy.
Taste: Greasy. Sweet and malty, with some distant peat. Toffee? Lacks balance and complexity. Sweet and bitter take turns in the dull finish.
Tobermory 10yo (40%, OB, Code L16 03/0082 3063 14:16, 70cl) - 54 points
Nose: Oily. Not very expressive at first. Hint of pine? Eucalyptus? Maggi?
Taste: Oily as well. Hot and gritty in the centre. Just not my type of malt.
Ledaig NAS 'Peated' (42%, OB, Bottled 2000, 70cl) - 78 points
Nose: Light and flowery. Sweetish. Dry and fruity. Faint oiliness. Hints of smoke, salt and maybe even some peat in the background.
Taste: Not very powerful in the start. Drier and more serious after a few seconds. Big burn after a few seconds. The finish lasts very long.
Ledaig NAS 'Peated' Sherry Finish (42%, OB, Bottled 2000, Sherry finish, 70cl) - 70 points
Nose: Quite restrained at first. Slightly grainy. Sherry notes? A little oil, but not as much as the Tobermory. Increasing sweetness.
Taste: Soft start, becoming sweeter. liquorice? Not as good as the nose. A hint of peat after a while, growing stronger with time.
Ledaig 5yo 1993/1998 (43%, Ultimate, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Wow! Clean. Spirity. Fruit, salt and even some peat. Spicy with lots of spunk. Smoke, citrus and a little oil. Cattle feed. Dusty. Fruit and peat.
Taste: Soft start, but it picks up after a few seconds. Good sweet burn. Toffee. It grows sour and woody quickly, losing a few points. Bitter finish.
Ledaig 7yo 'Peated' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002 ) - 77 points
Nose: Soft and a little oily. Some peat (not much). Herbal. Chloride. Spirity. The peat drifted away to the background. Tangerines. Orange skins?
Taste: Quite a bite, followed by a salty, peaty burn. Sulphur? Some organics. Very dry, although it grows fruitier and sourish over time. Bitter finish.
Ledaig 20yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1997) - 79 points
Nose: Fruit and sherry. Peat. Chloroform? Some grainy notes as well. Alcoholic. Farmy notes. Mighty interesting with lots of development.
Taste: Soft peat. No sweetness at first. The peat grows stronger while smoke and sweeter tones emerge as well. Dry, peaty finish.

TOMATIN  (Speyside) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tomatin 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1996, 70cl) - 75 points
Nose: Great. Complex, sometimes even perfume-like. Fresh and spicy, with just a whiff of smoke. Peanuts? Fruit sweets?
Taste: Sweet, dry and warm. It lacks some character, compared to the aroma. This is a very surprising malt with a joyfull personality.
Tomatin 21yo (43%, Culinara, Bottling date & other specifics unknown) - 84 points
Nose: Very complex. Grapefruit. Citrus. Sweetness as well. Cattle feed? A little oily.
Taste: Fairly weak and bitter at first. Opens up into coffee complexity. Grew on me.

TOMINTOUL  (Speyside) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tomintoul 10yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1999, 70cl) - 73 points
Nose: Subtle. Sweet and malty. A little oily with a hint of citrus. Becomes bigger and fruitier quickly. Slightly spirity. Soy sauce?
Taste: Sweet. Malty. Barley? A little bitter in the finish. Seems less complex than than the 12.
Tomintoul 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1994, 100cl) - 76 points
Nose: Nutty! Versatile and interesting. Multi-layered. Sour one moment, spirity with chloride later. Sweeter, more perfume and citrus later.
Taste: Nutty as well; sweet and simple. Gooseberries? Turns malty. Nice, but no real finish. Very hard to pin down
Tomintoul 14yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000, 33cl) - 69 points
Nose: Clean sherryish start; more sherried than younger versions. After a while, it opens up to smoke and faint citrus notes.
Taste: Slightly sparkly start, followed by a slightly sweetish centre. Strange. Malty. Dry, almost peppery burn. A lot of bitterness in the finish.
Tomintoul 16yo (40%, OB, purchased at The Whisky Castle in Scotland, 70cl) - 79 points
Nose: Malty. Spicy. Rotting hay. Beer? Nutty and grassy. Citrus fruits? Dried apples. Butter. Rhubarb? String beans? Nutmeg? Whiff of smoke?
Taste: Malty, turning into a long bitter centre. Not quite as individualistic as the nose. The finish has some sour woody notes.
Tomintoul-Glenlivet 30yo 1966/1996 (52.7%, Signatory Vintage, Cask # 709, bottle number 60 of 249, 70cl) - 84 points
Nose: A bit grainy in the start - it somehow reminded me of bourbon. I got dust, milk powder, pine, menthol, camphor and even olives.
Taste: Surprisingly sweet and powerful. Hot, not burning. Turkish delight. Very pleasant.

TORMORE  (Speyside) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tormore 12yo (43%, OB, Impressionistic Label, Bottled +/- 1997, 70cl) - 67 points
Nose: Nutty oiliness. Quite grassy, light and clean. Some smoke. This malt changed a lot over the 6 months it took me to empty the bottle.
Taste: Bittersweet; turns saltier and heavier when dilluted. Best finished quickly.
Tormore 12yo (40%, OB, Blue Label, Bottled +/- 2003) - 69 points
Nose: Sweet and malty. Tea leaves and spices. Not as oily as its predecessor at first, but unfortunately the oil emerges after a minute.
Taste: Sweet for the first few seconds, then it falls apart and becomes nutty and oily. Towards the end it evolves into a bitter burn.
Tormore 14yo 1989/2003 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry Butt #909/67, Distilled 2/3/89, Bottled 4/9/03) - 75 points
Nose: Soft fruitiness. Spicy prickly. Nuts? Not very oily. A mellow sweetness. It lacks complexity, but I like it better than the OB's I've tried.
Taste: Hey, where did the sweetness go? Bitter start. Mellows out in the centre. Smooth. A short, dry finish with a suggestion of fruits and wood.

TULLIBARDINE  (Midlands) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  (jump to top)    

Tullibardine 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1996, 70cl) - 64 points
Nose: Ooh. Very oily. Olive oil and vegetables. Hint of salt and smoke - growing stronger. Sweeter with time. Nutty.
Taste: Weak and watery. Creamy. Sweeter over time. Oily. Gritty and peppery later on. Dry and a little astringent in the finish.
Tullibardine 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998, 70cl) - 61 points
Nose: Quite soft; a bit like cod-oil. Overcooked vegetables and some smoke. Not very impressive, it reminded me of Isle of Jura. Almost 'Irish'.
Taste: Starts off with a mild and distinctive sweetness, but ends very astringent with a tannine-like dryness.

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  Copyright Johannes van den Heuvel


500 seriously sampled single malt Scotch whiskies

My Track Record offers an A-Z overview of the 2000+ single malts I've sampled. Well, at least the ones I've tried between the beginning of 1995 and the end of 2006. I 'officially' started my quest to find 'the perfect single malt' in 1997, but I had actually discovered single malt whisky years before, in 1991. Although my malt madness grew more serious over the years I didn't start taking notes until 1995. Soon after I started writing in my Liquid Log in 1997 I started to regret my laziness, though. As my condition grew more serious, my research did so as well. Because I hadn't collected any data before 1997, all that was left of my experiences after six years of dramming were some wonderful but vague memories and a pile of empty bottles. So even though I had a lot of fun, my recreational dramming didn't serve the progress of mankind or anything. To make sure all future tasting experiences during my mission would serve a higher purpose I decided I should document them properly. The tasting notes for the first 500 were documented in this Little Black Book. Then it evolved into my Track Record and over 1500 more whiskies were added. Then 'The Big Crunch' occurred in 2006 and I had to start a complete overhaul of the website. That's still underway when I write this, but after I'm finished fresh notes will be added to the Distillery Data section.

When I passed the 500 malts mark on November 11, 2003 I decided that publishing my whisky tasting notes
in triplicate (in my Liquid Log, the Distillery Profiles and this little black book) wasn't the most effective way of
keeping records. That's why you'll have to consult my Track Record (or the Liquid Log section of Malt Madness,
liquid log entry 150 and beyond) for tasting notes & scores for single malt Scotch whiskies that I sampled and
scored after November 11, 2003. This Little Black Book only covers Scotch single malt whiskies; all 'other'
drinks (Irish whiskey, bourbon & rye whiskey, cognac, port, etc.) are covered in the Deviant Drams section.
Please note that the tasting notes in this Little Black Book are usually NOT MY FULL NOTES - I had to edit
them down to fit everything on one page. The full notes can be found in my log & the Distillery Data section.

Back to the Malt Madness homepageFeel free to send me your comments...Canvas Dreams
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