Invergordon 21yo (Douglas Laing – Old Particular)
Douglas Laing & Co (not to be confused with Hunter Laing) have a history steeped in whisky, having been independently bottling whiskies since 1948. With their history and enviable stock of old and rare casks, the Old Particular series of whiskies displays their premium collection of hand-selected casks – only exceeded by their Xtra Old Particular series (aka “XOP”). This single grain scotch whisky features in the Old Particular range of limited releases (only 204 bottles available from that single cask). This whisky has been selected from the Invergordon distillery and showcases a 21 year old single grain that has been matured in bourbon refill casks, delivered up at a punchy 52.8%
M: Vanilla hits the nose straight away. Toffee sweetness. Toasty cereals. A little cigar smoke at the back and a decent boozy burn.
M: The vanilla flavour from the nose just increases and intensifies. The cereal notes in there kinda remind me of baking. Put the two together: Belgian waffles!!
M: The booze only really appears on the finish and it intensifies and tingles on the way down. It’s a pretty long finish and that vanilla flavour just lingers throughout.
M: For something with such a high ABV, the booze only really shows up at the end and let’s the vanilla from the barrel do a lot of the talking upfront. A little toasty flavour that, along with the vanilla, reminds me of Belgian waffles and that flavour comes back well after having finished the dram and the boozy burn having eventually subsided. This was a Dram Team miniature and their tasting notes also referenced waffles as well as creme brûlée, which I totally get now, after the event – and that’s one of my favourite puddings! The flavours here are definitely all about the desserts, and it’s age and booze content give it a decent body – though if this was a blind tasting, I’d have never guessed that it was 21 years old. The 50+ percentage left a bit of a sting on the way down and a lower percentage might have made for one of the smoothest drams ever.
Categories: Tasting Notes
Tags: 21 Years Old, Douglas Laing, Douglas Laing & Co, Invergordon, Old Particular, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single Grain, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Whisky, whisky
Originally established as a tobacconists in 1894, Robert Graham has a longstanding reputation within the cigar world. Since a buyout and expansion in 2002 however, the brand has ventured into the scotch whisky world (so often paired with cigars) and started releasing their own independent bottlings just a year later. This particular expression sits within their top-end Treasurer’s Selection range of independent releases (all sitting within the 20-30 year old bracket) and is a cask strength bottling of an Invergordon single grain whisky. The light, golden liquid was distilled in 1984 (what a year!) and bottled in 2015, making it a nice round 30 years old. The sample found it’s way to WU courtesy of The Dram Team.
Big grain nose. A strong, freshly-cut pine smell upfront. Pretty sharp flavours. Christmassy spices emerge after the booze eventually subsides.
BIG booze burn. Brandy butter body. A little nutty tang at the back there. Some dark fruits in there too.
Booze. Booze. And more booze. It’s a deep burn.
It’s pretty crazy to think that there is still this kind of percentage left in the whisky after 30 years of maturation in the barrel. All three notes above contain the word ‘booze’ because the alcohol content truly dominates this whisky. The flavours themselves are pretty soft in comparison, with an almond / butter flavour lingering after the lengthy boozy sting. The 10ml sample gave me enough to appreciate the whisky but just not enough to thoroughly explore it. Given that this was not my first whisky of the night, I did start to glance at buying one online to find out more. Surprisingly, for a 30 year old whisky, this bottle actually has a fairly low price tag for a 30 year old whisky – £121 (at the time of writing) – though I am judging that when comparing it to its malt scotch contemporaries (where you usually look at 3-5 times that figure). Presumably the difference in price is more to do with it being the less popular single grain style of whisky. That said, it still costs enough to put me out of the race at this time. What it has done though, has tempted me to try more grain whiskies. Though next time, probably with a drop or 20 of water as this dram was a full-on cask-strength beast. I wonder if S has any of that 30yo Carsebridge left…?
Categories: Invergordon, Tasting Notes
Tags: 30 Years Old, 30yo, Invergordon, Robert Graham, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single Grain, Single Grain Whisky, Treasurers Selection, whisky
Glen Moray 30yo
September 2017 marked the 120th anniversary of Glen Moray distillery having been first opened and having constantly crafted the water of life. Loyal followers of the distillery on twitter have been using the hashtag #glenmoray120 to tag their celebration of the occasion. Having recently reviewed their regularly available Elgin Heritage 12 and 15 year old expressions, I was delighted that September’s Dram Team delivery contained a new and limited expression from Glen Moray. The mini miniature contained a dram of a 30 year old independent bottling by Murray McDavid under their “Mission Gold” range. There’s limited information available on the whisky itself but as a Murray McDavid release, it has been hand selected from a vintage cask and aged up to the ripe old age of 30.
M: Creamy. Really creamy. A real vanilla bomb. Very little boozy prickle in the nostrils. Really rounded honey and cream. Some gentle sweet fruits there too like papaya.
M: Vanilla custard. Just like Portuguese tarts. Sweet oak in there too, which intensifies on the way down too.
M: The alcohol only shows itself on the finish as it warms on the way down. Suddenly that 49% is really prominent and leaves a peppery kick.
M: Having tried a few of Glen Moray’s NAS cask finish series releases, I’ve enjoyed their light body and varying flavours and that was what I came to expect of Glen Moray. Delicate and woody. The recent comparison of the 12yo and 15yo however, evidenced a stark difference in flavours and body as a result of a few extra years, so the prospect of 30 years in barrel made me think that this dram would basically taste like chewing a stave. Instead it seems that 30 years have infused nothing but pure vanilla sweetness with a finish that is just sooooo smooth, and at just under 50% ABV, this dram is dangerously easy to drink. At £225 RRP for a bottle though… a small sample is all I’ll be able to enjoy at this stage…
Categories: Tasting Notes
Tags: Glen Moray, malt, Mission Gold, Murray McDavid, scotch, Scotch Whisky, Single, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky, Speyside, whisky