Posts Tagged With: Single Grain Whisky

Tasting Notes: Invergordon 21 Years Old (Douglas Laing)

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%

Nose

M: Vanilla hits the nose straight away. Toffee sweetness. Toasty cereals. A little cigar smoke at the back and a decent boozy burn.

 

Taste

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!!

 

Finish

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.

 

Verdict

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.

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Tasting Notes: Invergordon 30 Years Old (Robert Graham)

Invergordon 30yo

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.

62.8% ABV

 

Nose

Big grain nose. A strong, freshly-cut pine smell upfront. Pretty sharp flavours. Christmassy spices emerge after the booze eventually subsides.

 

Taste

BIG booze burn. Brandy butter body. A little nutty tang at the back there. Some dark fruits in there too.

 

Finish

Booze. Booze. And more booze. It’s a deep burn.

 

Verdict

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…?

M

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