Saturday, 7 February 2009


.....magnificent bruiser of a speysider, and the Malt that beefs-up Diageo's Blends including the over-rated Johnnie Walker Blue Label, where it's wasted.
This whisky in good casks can't go wrong..........
...... but in poor casks it does though, beware!
Bold, heavy-malt, blistering-barley, rich vanilla, scented/fruity/nuts.
Mortlach (17 y.o. cask signatory) 94/100


..... elegant speysider providing for Chivas Regal and generally well regarded although not readily available from the Indi's.
Fragrant, complex, flowery, vanilla and an aromatic finish.
Interesting, this distillery had two Lomond Stills back in the mists of time, producing a sweet, smooth Malt called MOSSTOWIE.
Very rare now.
Mosstowie 28 y.o. (cadenhead) 90/100


.... CLOSED 1985
..... a colourful and charismatic north highlander, this Malt was a main-stay of the old Haig Blended whisky.
Well rounded flavour with a spicey sharpness.ncreasingly hard to get, and standards vary amongst the Indi's.
Millurn 29 y.o. (cadenhead) 84/100


... honest jobbing speysider providing Malt-fill for the Diageo range.
Typically, Diageo don't make much of this as a 'craft' presentation single Malt with it's brief appearance confined to the Flora & fauna and the R.M.S. offerings, however, the Indi's have it, and they are generally good.
Grapey, barley-rich, muscovado-spiced fennel, fading soft.
One fly-in-the-ointment.........
This Malt spawned the runt that is Loch Dhu Black Whisky.

MACDUFF 91/100

...... respectable medium speysider providing for Dewar's Blends.
This is not generally well known, and is rather shy of the Malt market.
It has an alter-ego called GLEN DEVERON which pops up with regularity at auctions, but the unrestrained magnificence that can be Macduff can only be found in the dusty corners of the Indi bottlers.
Full bodied, peated, crisp/lush singed fruit cake, liquorice and roasted nuts.
Macduff 36 y.o. (D Taylor Ltd) 93/100


........ the 'Emperor 'of Malts and from speyside.
No other living Malt enjoys, or plunders, the reputation that Macallan has.
Wacky prices at auction and an absolute 'must' if you want to impress the client, however, a recent 18 y.o. I bought was disappointingly thin and insubstantial, due, probably to the batch being over-stretched to keep up with supply. So buyer's beware, .... the emperor's clothes e.t.c.
Macallans can be good with a signature of sherry/butterscotch spice/herbal/wood complex rounded off with a bold dab of peat.
Older Macallan's are quite Armagnac in nature.
Macallan 18 y.o. 78/100
P.S. the bottle pictured is for dabbing behind your ears.

LONGROW 87/100

... peated springbank from Campbeltown.
When it's good,
it's very, very good
........ but when it's tarted up with sweet Hungarian wines like Tokaji,
it's seriously disappointing.
............. Flat-cask ahoy!
Earthy, peaty, mossy, creamy, herbal and seashore,
...... when it is allowed to sparkle.

Longrow 10 y.o. 91/100 (Tokaji fin: 79/100)