Just two days ago it happened to me one of the strangest things I have done lately. I was doing with Steve Rush and other whisky chaps the #abbeywhisky Tweet tasting and then I tasted the #4 sample and definitively I knew I needed it. I bought the bottle on the very middle of the tasting ( Sorry Steve, I had to! ). Had I tasted it before I would have included on the Top 10 Whiskies to enjoy this Christmas.
I haven’t tasted any other Glendronach Oloroso single cask, but this one was fantastic. Oh, well, and we tasted other stuff… but really the Glendronach eclipsed everything else… and £89.95 a bottle isn’t much to think about it nowadays.
So the whiskies…
Caperdonich 17 years old The Rare Cask
This is really almost a gift a good Caperdonich bottled at cask strength. Not all hope is lose, the stills of Caperdonich will see new spirit raising through them but not in Scotland anymore… the guys behind The Belgian Owl bought the stills and had them installed in their place.
“Lovely whisky. I like it even more than the last time I tasted it”
This limited edition release was distilled in 1995 and left to rest for 17 years before being bottled in 2012 with only 96 bottles filled.
This dram has a gold-like color.
Nose (91): more than average. honey, spices, wood, cinnamon, candies, pine, citrus.
Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, vanilla, citrus, spices, wood, liquorice.
Finish (91): longer than average. honey, fruits, spices.So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caperdonich 17 Year Old / The Rare Casks with 91 points over 100.
Bunnahabhain 23 years old The Rare Cask
I love Islay whiskies, but Bunnahabhain has so little to do with the rest of Islay distilleries… this Single cask is a nice cask strength whisky with a cool salty and vanilla honeyed aromas. There was people that said that they smelt peat, but I don’t.
“Nice Bunnahabhain with a small hint of smoke and lots of pepper and spices... it is almost a Talisker”
Casks from Islay have been like gold dust of late but we’ve managed to get our hands on a lovely smooth, peated Bunnahabhain from the magical Isle.
Distilled in 1989, this special malt was aged in a refill bourbon barrel for 23 years before being bottled at natural cask strength of 44% vol. As with the 1st release only 96 bottles have been filled and made available for this limited edition release.
This dram has a white wine-like color.
Nose (89): more than average. honey, vanilla, salt, citrus, floral.
Palate (89): powerful, oily. honey, wood, salt, pepper, apples, toffee, smoke.
Finish (89): longer than average. honey, wood, earth.So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain 23 years old The Rare Casks with 89 points over 100.
Ben Nevis 16 years old The Rare Cask
The third whisky of the night is a Ben Nevis and I really had a bad memory of the Ben Nevis single malt… but the color was so good…
“I am not Jim Murray but there is sulphur in this whisky and for me it really spoil the fun. It could have been a fantastic whisky”
This dram has a tawny-like color.
Nose (91): more than average. nuts, honey, spices, leather, citrus, raisins. Quite lovely sherry nose
Palate (89): powerful, oily. nuts, sulphur, honey, fruits, wood, cocoa, leather, raisins, citrus.
Finish (89): longer than average. honey, sulohur, wood.So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Ben Nevis 16 years old The Rare Casks with 90 points over 100.
I don’t mind sulphur on my whisky, I love some Karuizawa that tastes like sucking fireworks… but on this dram it doesn’t play good. It is a pity because it was very promising.
Mystery Dram: Glendronach 20 years old Oloroso Cask Bottled for Abbey Whisky
And our last dram was this. Quite dark, intense. We tasted it blind and I would swear that this whisky was crazy old… it reminded me of the Glenfarclas 40yo but a bit more powerful.
“Simply fantastic! Lovely! Must have! I need this! *gollum* *gollum* My precious...”
This dram has a old oak-like color.
Nose (92): more than average. honey, wood, spices, candies, cinnamon, fruits, citrus.
Palate (93): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, wood, spices, cinnamon, leather, candies, fireworks.
Finish (92): longer than average. honey, wood, spices.So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Glendronach 1993 20 years old Single Cask with 92 points over 100.
I just can say I ordered the Glendronach right after I knew what I was drinking. The Caperdonich was too pretty nice but really the 4th won them all.
A huge thanks to Mike Sharples of Abbey Whisky and Steve from The Whisky Wire for this great tasting.