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Whisky Tasting Session 2012-05: Blind fun!

By Miguel in Tasting , News , Featured , The Macallan , Bunnahabhain , Aberlour , Macduff

I have joined Jean-Marie Putz of whisky-distilleries.info and twenty other whisky zealots in the fifth blind tasting session of this year.

wts-tasting-sessions-2012-05

The principle is that whisky producers supply whisky they select themselves, according to their marketing goals. The sent whisky bottles are sampled and sent to about 20 tasters who write their impressions about every whisky. Their impressions and their quotation are published in Whisky distilleries blog.

The Whisky Tasting sessions are a flight of six whiskies tasted blind. Usually bottles are from independent bottlers that are really strong sellers in central Europe.

The samples arrived a few weeks ago in a supercool box. Each samples was 2.5cl and bottled in a small flask. Work has been been delaying me on tasting the six samples but finally this Thursday I had a few spare hours to taste them.

wts-tasting-sessions-2012-05-1

Usually I try to short the samples as explained in the how to taste whisky article, but this time I just decided to enjoy and go ahead. Mainly because if I sort the samples I will lack of time to taste them properly.

Sample Nº 1

“Unpromising nose but then a really delicious taste. Maybe Redbreast?”

89
Macduff 1980 Malts of Scotland
Impressive whisky from Macduff distillery bottled by Malts of Scotland from the 1980 vintage.

This single cask malt has been matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled at cask strength at a whopping 54,1% abv.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. floral, honey, spices, vanilla, citrus. Very irish style.

Palate (90): powerful. floral, honey, spices, citrus, vanilla, peaches, wood.

Finish (90): longer than average. floral, spices, citrus, honey.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macduff 1980 Malts of Scotland with 89 points over 100.

Sample Nº 2

“Nicely floral... maybe a highlander? finished in sherry cask?”

88
Aberlour 17 years Anam Na H-Alba
A 17 years old cask strength single malt whisky from Aberlour distillery.
Bottled by Anam Na H-Alba at an incredible 60,6% abv.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, vanilla, citrus, toffee. Powerful toffee aroma. Like a Cadbury box

Palate (89): . honey, floral, spices, citrus, wood, chocolate.

Finish (88): average. toffee, spices, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Aberlour 17 years Anam Na H-Alba with 88 points over 100.

Sample Nº 3

“Very nice sherried whisky. I think I have already tasted this one...”

89
Macallan 1989 Whiskies of Scotland
A single malt whisky distilled in the Macallan distillery.

This whisky has been bottled at 47.1% abv from the 1989 vintage by Whiskies of Scotland

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. toffee, floral, vanilla, peaches. Very closed nose but really nice.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, wood, vanilla, citrus, spices, cinnamon, tobacco. I am sure I have tasted this one before... umm... no clue right now.

Finish (89): average. honey, tobacco, vanilla, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macallan 1989 Whiskies of Scotland with 89 points over 100.

Sample Nº 4

“Superb nose! I am almost sure this one is An Cnoc single malt”

90
Blended Malt batch 116 Dailuaine 1999 & Linkwood 1998
This vatted whisky, or blended malt whisky as the Scotch Whisky Association prefers, is the result of blending together a Dailuaine 1999 with a Linkwood 1998.

Bottled by Jean Boyer - Le Puits à Whisky at 43%. This bottled belongs to batch 116.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. toffee, vanilla, citrus. An Cnoc! It must be an Cnoc! Delicious!

Palate (90): smooth, oily. honey, vanilla, floral, citrus, wood, spices, anise, cinnamon.

Finish (89): longer than average. toffee, vanilla, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Blended Malt batch 116 Dailuaine 1999 & Linkwood 1998 with 90 points over 100.

Sample Nº 5

“Superb stuff! Peat and sherry marvel!”

91
Bunnahabhain 20 years old Wilson & Morgan
An awesome Bunnahabhain 20 years old bottled by Wilson & Morgan.

This incredible Islay single malt whisky has been bottled at cask strength at a very interesting 48.5 abv. A real crack whisky.

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, sulphur, peat, citrus, nuts. Old sherried japanese single malt style whisky.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. honey, peat, wood, citrus, spices, cinnmon. Very nice.

Finish (91): longer than average. peat, honey, spices, maritime.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain 20 years old Wilson & Morgan with 91 points over 100.

Sample Nº 6

“Another sherry crack with a lovely nose”

90
Macallan 1990 Fino Sherry Hogshead Malts of Scotland
An interesting Macallan single malt whisky from 1990 vintage matured fully in a Fino sherry hogshead.

This whisky has been bottled by Malts of Scotland at 51.5% abv.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, citrus, spices, cinnamon, candies, smoke. Old whisky here...

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, spices, pepper, floral, citrus, nuts.

Finish (89): longer than average. honey, spices, nuts.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macallan 1990 Fino Sherry Hogshead Malts of Scotland with 90 points over 100.

In conclusion

It has been a very nice tasting, really fun. And I have tasted two Macallans! Tasting the first one I was really really sure that I have already tasted it. Also really impressed by a very nice Bunnahabhain with its incredible peat and sherry style.

My favorite has been the Bunnahabhain whisky, very similar in style to the impressive bottling of The Whisky Barrel for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.



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