Rare Whisky Release
New whisky release comes out on January 16 at 39th and Cambie in Vancouver and the Fort street liquor store in Victoria. All in Coopers Choice packaging!
Coopers Choice, private bottling
Glenesk 30 yr old, 54.2%
Nose: very rubbery and huge notes of Maggi (herbal extract for making soup). Chicken stock. Dried peas. Muesli. Hay. Ferns? Very organic. A bit of sulphur as well. Water brings out hints of wet cardboard and other moist things. Mouth: pungent and very herbal. Lots of pine resin. Big pepper. Bitter orange peel. Espresso. Dark tea. Hints of salty butter. A few drops of water add chocolaty sherry notes, but not enough to really sparkle through. Finish: spicy, mashy and grassy.
Invergordon 30 yr old, 52%
Colour: light gold. Nose: seemingly rounded, smooth, with some vanilla (that’ll do, S.), brioche, toasted oak, white chocolate, café latte and only then, a little varnish and bubblegum. A little sawdust too, but since you’re wondering, no or little pencil shavings. Typical nice grain, but not sure ‘nice’ is such good a word here. Mouth: it’s not quite vodka-caramel, and indeed you could think of some slightly stuffy cheesecake. It’s just that it’s also pretty sugary, with a feeling of cane syrup I’m not too fond of. It’s me, it’s not the whisky. Finish: good length, sweet, caramely, chocolaty. ‘Cheesecaky’ indeed but that would not be the much lighter Mitteleuropa cheesecake expected.
Port Charlotte 7 year old
Nose: Very summery, fresh cut hay, very soft smoke from the farms and fresh herbs and oak. With water more fruity and floral notes, like peach cream, chamomile and lime oil. Its quite spirity, but in this case that is not a bad thing.
Palate: It comes in quite soft, but the flavors build up quickly and it becomes more powerful. I get sweet grain, roasted cashew, bitter grapefruit, herbal oil, seasalt and chamomile first before the peat really starts kicking in. The peaty flavors are complex, farmy, a little bit salty and again very herbal. The oakiness is light but fresh so also some white mashed fruit gets through. At 50% its not rough at all, just very powerful with bright flavors
Finish: Huge green hot chili peat smoke at first and then some bitter oak, grains, more smoke and coals and it leaves you with the herbs again. Its not a very long finish but it has different goods to show.
Allt-A-Bhainne 22 yr old, 46%
Colour: pale straw. Nose: rather rough but also very natural, feinty, spirity, mashy and flinty, which make for a rather enjoyable mix if you like whiskies ‘close to nature’ (oh well…) Nice grassiness, notes of matchbox, coal oven, beech wood smoke, getting then a little minty… A nice, very honest malt on the nose. Mouth: sweet but firm, grassy and fruity at the same time (apples and pears), developing mostly on vanilla, caramel, fudge, nougat… It’s not a complicated whisky but it’s really flawless, despite the fact that it’s probably got less character on the palate than on the nose. Medium long finish on salted caramel… Really ‘nice’, a good surprise.
Mcduff 7 year old . 46%
The nose is farily creamy and quite fruity, but it also has an edge of burnt caramel,
Then I get some pineapple, peach and a hint of lemon rinds and nuts. Rum raisins all the way in the back.
It is creamy and bittersweet on the palate, Pepper, ginger, camphor
Finish- smooth and long.
FETTERCAIRN 7 YR OLD , 46%
Golden straw in the glass with long legs. The nose delivers vanilla, oak, grass, vegetation, honey and pears. Rich and smooth, creamy yet big. Spiced oak, green apples, grassy, honey and green grape skin
The finish is drying, spiced and slightly bitter.
HIGHLAND PARK 20 YR MADERIA FINISH, 46%
Matured 18 years in a bourbon barrel and finished for 2 years in Maderia.
Appearance: Clear, golden amber with a slight green tinge.
Aroma: Sooty seaweed with a touch of linseed oil and appealing lightly smoked sappy wood, chocolate profiterole and faint orange zest aromas.
Taste: Generous, slightly sweet, smoky, buttery palate – invigorated by a spray of sweet orange oils and rich dark chocolate.
Aftertaste: Delicately smoked cedar, cigar box finish with hints of hazelnut.
AUCHROISK 20 YR OLD SPEYSIDE, 46%
Nose: No or very little nose prickle; immediately deeper and richer than you might expect. Starts as creamy, nutty, vanilla toffee, crème brûlée perhaps, with syrup sponge in the background. Then fresher traces of fruit cake mix, or a bunch of sweet, ripe dessert grapes (each suggesting a little European oak) and apple dumpling, eventually becoming an entire fruiterer’s shop. Adding a good splash of water delivers a sweet and fruity nose; light, but with some depth. There’s a clear Speyside focus, with tinned fruit and an underlying rich, Christmas pudding-like maltiness.
Body: Medium oily. Creamier with water.
Palate: Warming at cask strength. Rich and nutty yet also dusty. Then, in turn: toffee, caramel, tangy fresh fruits; biscuit, short pastry, fig rolls. With water the mouth-feel is more soft and creamy and the taste is sweet throughout, suggesting hints of plum pudding and brandy sauce.
Finish: Short. Dark, earthy chocolate and hints of tropical fruit. Later oak-dry on the palate. With water, some sweet cider-apple tartness and even more seductive, creamy.
BUNNAHABHAIN 24 YR OLD , 46%
The whisky has an aroma of espresso beans, milk chocolate and charcoal that give way to notes of peat, caramel apples, and spicy tobacco. The finish is elegant and full, with hints of citrus and ripe pears. Hard to find and worthy of a fine collection.
Littlemill 30 yr old, 54%
Nose shows yellow plum, old woods, treacle. Palate shows marshmallows under a thick slice of sherry cake, slivered almonds, and true (liquor-soaked) fruitcake. The finish is initially clean and dry, moving to spices and warmth. From the appearance of the spirit, it looks like this malt spent the whole 30 years in a sherry cask, but I am almost certain it spent its whole life in bourbon. This is a charming bottling, and I highly recommend it. This distillery has been closed for 28 years.