The Whisky Tasting Club

May 2015: Connoisseurs Choice

Our members only may tasting is five of Gordon and MacPhail’s connoisseurs choice range. Below is Pat’s background info and notes, along with some accompanying comments and scores from Tony.

The 1960s was a boom time for whisky. Many new distilleries appeared, among them Tomintoul, Tormore and Clynelish, to help slake an increasing consumer thirst for whisky.  It was also the decade when consumers were able to finally lay their hands on single malts from distilleries whose output had hitherto been used only as constituents of blends.

In 1960, George Urquhart, owner of Gordon & MacPhail, started the independent bottlers’ range known as Connoisseurs Choice.  Rather than simply buy casks of maturing whisky as and when they became available on the open market or were deemed surplus to requirements by blenders, it sent selected casks to distilleries to have them filled with their new-make spirit, bottling them only when it felt the whisky was ready.

In many cases Independent Bottlings are limited edition, single cask editions that can never be repeated.  In others, such as the Connoisseurs Choice range, they are larger batch malts that are the result of marrying together numerous casks.  The important thing is that Gordon and MacPhail can determine when is the best time to bottle its malts, rather than wait for good quality malts to appear on the market and compete with the dozens of other Independent Bottlers to get the good ones. Slightly confusingly, the Connoisseurs Choice tends to express the age of each whisky as a vintage (i.e. the year it was distilled), but also provides the year of bottling.  Vaguely sensible, you might think.  But, because there are no exact dates, it is difficult to know whether, say, a whisky distilled in 1975 and bottled in 2005 is twenty nine or thirty years old.

Does it matter?  Some people might think so.  However, they are now being more specific so that an exact age is possible to determine in some of their expressions (not these, though). Independent bottlings can be a bit hit and miss.  Buy one from a reputable bottler and the chances are you will have acquired anything between a decent and stellar dram, but there is always the chance you will purchased something near undrinkable.  I’ve certainly never tasted anything bad from Gordon and MacPhail but there is no doubt that independent bottlings can be risky, particularly from some closed distilleries near the end of their days where the quality of the casks may not have been uppermost in the minds of the management.

Dom’s view on Independent bottlings is that they are akin to hearing your favourite band, unplugged; it’s definitely them but not as you usually know them. We have selected five expressions.  From Speyside: Balmenach and Glenlossie; from the Highlands: Aberfeldy; from the Islands: Arran, and from Islay: Caol Ila.  Gordon and MacPhail’s range changes constantly so there is always something of interest to any scotch drinker in its catalogues. All of these are bottled at 46% (hurrah!).

Balmenach 2004

balmenach2004Balmenach (Speyside) is one of the more invisible distilleries, even by Speyside’s standards.  In the process of researching the distillery for a book, I rang up InverHouse, its parent company, to ask about it.  The response was something along the lines of “Balmenach??? Oh I don’t have anything to say about that distillery”.  What a pity that a distillery that can produce some excellent malts should be so ignored and taken for granted. This particular expression was matured in refill sherry butts and bottled in 2013, making it somewhere between 8 and 9 years old.

Pat says: Nose: Cream soda.  Faint oak.  Aniseed.  Overripe fruit.

Palate: Pretty damn spicy but with heaps more aniseed and a creamy, vanilla and oaky finish.  

Tony says: I’ve never had a Balmenach before. The nose is not great, too spirity. This whisky is a little harsh at first, it comes in with a spirit hit. This fades, and more flavours emerge, especially vanilla, and becomes quite oaky at the end. Definitely fills the mouth. Apparently this is in a refill sherry butt, but I think it may have been refilled a few times, as I detect little sherry influence. I’m going to leave it for 10 mins and come back … hmm, both better and worse after 15 mins. Not so harsh at the beginning, but flatter in the middle and the end. This is an ok whisky, but only gets 80/100 from me

Glenlossie 1998

glenlossie1998The older neighbour of Mannochmore, Glenlossie is a component of the Haig blend.  Two years ago, in answer to the increasing thirst for scotch, Glenlossie increased its production to 7 days a week and three million litres of spirit per year.  Despite this increase, the “Flora and Fauna” bottling is one of only two official releases, the other being one of Diageo’s Manager’s Choice series.  This expression was bottled in 2014, making it somewhere between 15 and 16 years old.

Pat says:  

Nose: Fruity and tangy with a very faint Parma violets tinge and a definite orange and lemon theme.

Palate: The orange and lemon theme returns with a vengeance.  Light and crisp with aniseed and an increasing hit of oak but with a creamier finish.  Amazing what refill sherry casks can produce!!

Tony Says: I don’t think I’ve ever tasted Glenlossie or indeed Haig blend, although we have had several Dimples, which I believe is related, and the Haig club, but that is a whole different story. According to Pat this is another refill sherry cask, but I would have guessed it was a bourbon cask. This is quaffable. a light nose and a smooth dram, creamy and well balanced. Tasty, but fairly anonymous. 82/100.

Aberfeldy 1999

aberfeldy1999Aberfeldy is in the Eastern Highlands and was almost unknown until it was bought by Bacardi in 1998.  The majority of the production goes into blends, and Aberfeldy forms the heart of the Dewar’s range of blended whisky.  The distillery also hosts the “Dewar’s World of Whisky” visitor centre.  This expression, bottled in 2014, was matured in refill sherry hogsheads, making it somewhere between 14 and 15 years old.

Pat says:

Nose: A lot going on here, with milk chocolate, pears and nectarines plus an underlying hint of crystallised ginger and orange and grapefruit peel.

Palate: Pungent and aromatic with jellied fruit sweets and a merest hint of oak and something smoky lurking underneath.


Tony Says: This is much more to my liking, Aberfeldy is a solid highlander, and I generally prefer highland to speyside. Nose is creamy and a bit herbal, worth repeated sniffing. Taste is definitely highland, slight smoke, slight sweetness, touch of heather. Decent dram. 84/100.

 Arran 2006

arran2006Opened in 1995, The Arran distillery is situated just south of the village of Lochranza, on the Northern tip of the island.  Although it has recently released an 18 year old expression, its whisky came of age long ago with a constant stream of superb malts in a variety of guises.  Not as peaty (in its usual form) as you’d expect your average Island whisky to be, Arran’s whisky would be equally at home in the Northern Highlands with its slightly saline and fruity nature. Unbelievably, given the colour of this expression, this was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and was bottled in 2015, making it somewhere between 8 and 9 years old

Pat says:

Nose: An incredibly light nose with hints of cream, pepper and tropical fruits.

Palate: Peppery at first, then the softest and juiciest of fruits kick in (juicy fruit chewing gum, anyone?) with a touch of oak, lemon and lime and a soft, icing sugar finish.

Tony says I always associate two things with arran: fire and cream. It gives that alcohol burn (but in a good way) that is always tempered by a creamy smoothness. For me, Arran is very distinctive, and I love it for that. In the fire/cream balance, this is more cream. There is a hint of fire there, and it lingers on the finish, but smoothness is the order of the day, which is a little surprising given its age. 85/100

 Caol Ila 2003

caolila2003 Although the biggest distillery in terms of output on Islay, Caol Ila is also the ugliest distillery on the island.  No matter, though, because it produces superb phenolic, smoky whiskies and is the smoky heart of the Johnnie Walker blends (hence its huge output).  Although it is best-known as a peaty big hitter, it also produces vast quantities of unpeated malt, which deserves a try if you ever get the opportunity.  This expression is somewhere between its peated and unpeated form.  It was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and was bottled in 2015, making it somewhere between 11 and 12 years old, but very, very different from the official 12 year old peated expression.

Pat says:

Nose: The peat is distant but intermingled with the salt, marzipan, nuts, apples, tropical fruit and buttercream.

Palate: Again, the peat plays a distant role.  It starts off virtually unnoticed but becomes as clear as a bell (if subdued), as does the oak, with a banoffee and baked apple and cinnamon accompaniment.

Tony says:

I love this nose, it smells like drinking whisky too early in the morning at the Islay festival. I see pat’s point a bit, there are notes of the caol ila unpeated, some background banana flavours, but I’m getting shit loads of peat off this myself, and the longer its in the glass the more I get.


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Duthies Tasting

Our club member tasting for April if from the Duthies range from the Springbank owned Cadenhead stable.

Established in 1842 by William Cadenhead and George Duncan in Aberdeen, Cadenhead’s are Scotlands’s oldest independent bottler and purveyor of whisky, rum and gin. William Cadenhead is in fact more famous as a poet than a vintner, although his poetry has a distinctly alcoholic flavour. His nephew, Robert Duthie, took over in 1904 and seems to have been the reason why Cadenheads has developed into one of the most successful Independent Bottler in the business.

The two men had seemingly different philosophies. Whereas Williams Cadenhead bottled single cask, cask strength whiskies without any chill filtering, Duthie saw the value in marrying casks, which could enhance the character of the individual casks. So, how does that relate to the whiskies you’re about to drink?

Well, the answer is it’s all a bit hazy and it’s nothing to do with being non-chill filtered (a little joke there for the whisky nerds). It appears that these expressions are not from single casks, as the limited number of bottles would suggest. Instead, it appears – in keeping with Duthie’s philosophy – that these are multi-cask whiskies, the youngest of which will be the age stated, for that is what the law requires. It is almost unheard of that a bottler will tell you the ages of the individual casks that went in to making a given single malt (which is still is, by the way, as all the whiskies will have come from a single distillery). The job of the blender is to make each batch of, say, a Laphroaig 10, taste the same as the previous ones and, such is the individuality of every cask, that they will have to use a variety of different ages each time a new batch is made. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what casks go into it so long as it tastes good.

These Duthies expressions, however, are limited and, like their single cask counterparts are only going to be around for a short period of time, so you need to buy the ones you really like quickly. They offer a range of four regions: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay and Lowland, although it seems that within Highland they also include Speyside (which it is officially part of).

Cadenhead’s is like stepping back in time in that everything seems to be done in an old fashioned manual way, and this isn’t a criticism. The company survived through both world wars, but ran into a rocky period. After some hard times and a fire sale of a huge stock base in 1972 the company was taken over by J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd, the owners of Springbank distillery. They have nurtured and expanded the brand, and there are now Cadenhead shops in London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Köln in Germany in addition to their shop and central office in Campbeltown. They run tastings out of their shops and they are well worth a visit. Cadenhead’s offer a huge range of independent bottlings at reasonable prices in these days of massive whisky price inflation. We have chosen 5 of their Duthies range to give you a chance to try them out.

Aultmore 13 Year OldAultmore 13

One of only 336 bottles, there is no indication what sort of cask was used but it seems fairly likely to have been refill bourbon or sherry cask. A much more earthy beast than the recently released 12 year old.

Official Notes by Cadenhead:
Nose: Like a Scottish hillside on a summer day. Very lively notes of dew-soaked grass, heather and just a hint of oak.
Palate: A very flavoursome whisky. Initially peppery with hints of cumin and basil, opens out to release creamy vanilla and a pleasant malty flavour. More oak and malt as the spices return to provide a long-lasting finish.

Pat says:
Nose: Aromatic and fruity but with a slightly earthy undertow. Ginger and Banana with an oaky note.
Palate: Peppery, oaky and buttery at first, then smooth and fruity with, again, an earthiness.

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St George’s English Whisky Company Royal Baby Bottling (50% abv)

To celebrate the birth of Prince George, St George’s released a limited number of bottles of this. Unfortunately, they have already sold out. Hopefully Kate and Wills got hold of at least one bottle.

Nose: Rich and fruity but not grotesquely heavy. Belgian chocolate ice cream. Salt. Butterscotch. There is obviously a sizeable sherry element here, but, no obvious signs of sulphur taint. Slightly perfumy and aromatic.

Taste: Rich, fruity and nutty with the now signature St. George’s kick of spice. I am immediately reminded (and forgive me if I sound a twat and a pseud here) of the Jura 21 year old 200th anniversary bottling with the lovely rounded and soft fruitcakey note, albeit with a load more spice. I loved that bottling, too. The finish is highly-spiced but with a soft and mellow undertow, if such a paradox is possible.

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St George’s English Whisky Company Chapter 13

The English Whisky Company has just released their chapter 13, a lightly-peated malt matured in Sassicaia casks (Sassicaia is a Bordeaux style red wine). Obviously not the slightest bit superstitious, St George’s has embraced the negative connotations with the number 13 by;

Pricing it at £66.60

Releasing it at 49% abv (4 + 9 = 13)
Releasing it on Friday 13th

I can’t think of another whisky which combines peat with Sauterne casks, ‘though BenRiach may have released something of this nature (I lose track). As usual, St George’s has surpassed itself. I was lucky enough to be the first person outside the distillery to taste this with my friend Karla Leal when we visited the distillery with a load of French Summer school students in August. ‘What do you think of this?’, asked David Fitt. ‘Wow, where can I buy a bottle?’, I replied. Reader, I bought one.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark chocolatey smoke and spice. Tinned lychees. Green apples and cream. Black licorice. Oranges in jelly.

Taste: More mouth-puckering spice but with a soft and rounded sweetness with a fruitbowl quality to it (nectarines??). A pronounced dry smokiness and a superb coconutty vanilla finish to it.

Verdict? A cracker. I could drink this until the cows come home. (note: I woke up several hours later with my living room full of Fresians.)


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Pat on Auchentoshan (again)

Auchentoshan have just released their virgin oak matured single malt. Just to clarify, this is solely matured in virgin oak, not merely finished in it. Now this, coming from the distillery with one of the most subtle taste profiles in Scotland, is rather an oddity. There is no idea of age but the virgin oak would suggest a malt of less than 10 years before it is overpowered by the wood.
At a personal level, I have mixed feelings about Auchentoshan. The 12 I can take or leave and the Three Wood I’m coming round to. As one writer put it: ‘Where is the Auchentoshan-ness in all this?’ He has a point. Why take an essentially brilliant but light and floral spirit and then drench it in Sherry so that it loses all trace of its original character? The Auchentoshans I love are those bourbon matured malts where the distillery character still remains. So why would you want to obliterate the delicate and banana-ry Auchentoshan with a virgin oak cask? The answer is…errr, well I’m not entirely sure. To hell with conjecture, let’s give it a try.
Nose: At first, it smells a little European to me (i.e. quite sappy and young), but this soon passes. The spice from the virgin oak seems to have been held in check and is replaced by a sherberty note with lemon meringue pie and vanilla. Some green fruits in evidence and a hint of banana. Overall, a nice fresh and zesty nose reminiscent of a Speysider and not the nose burning I was expecting.
Taste: Jeeeeezus!! I think I might have bitten a chunk out of a new cask, such are the splinters now lodged in my lips and tongue after my first sip. But, when I have removed the last splinter with tweezers (and let me tell you, this might take a while), there is another hit of sherbert, more citrus fruits and vanilla ice cream with a nutty almond element and a refreshing spicy finish. But here’s the funny thing, the spice really works with this and doesn’t, after the initial explosion and when one’s lips have recovered their feeling, actually overpower the distillery character too badly.

Overall, I really like this but I maybe the virgin oak is a little too fierce. I suspect it would have been better with a limited time in virgin oak rather than solely matured in it.

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Auchentoshan have unveiled three “exceptional expressions for the discerning whisky drinker”, the 1966, 1979 and the 2012 Valinch.

Rather than simply pass news of this intelligence on to you, we thought it would be a lot more professional if we put their “exceptional” claims to the test and tried the samples ourselves. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t able to part with a sample of the 1966 expression (Bah!) but were very happy to send samples of the 1979 and the Valinch.

Here’s what we (Pat and Tony) thought of them:

Valinch 2012 (57.2% abv)

The valinch is named after the weird metal pipette thingy that is used to draw whisky from the cask. In fact, this is the cask strength version of the Auchentoshan Classic that you can find in many self-respecting supermarkets for a snip. Never having tried that, and not being particular a fan of the 12 or the Three Wood, I had no idea what to expect. Well, actually, that’s not strictly, true; I have tasted some bourbon matured Auchentoshans over the past few years and they were stunning. Proper Lowland whiskies. This one, happily, is matured in first-fill North American ex-bourbon casks, so this looked promising.

Nose: Without water, quite closed but definite toffee, banana custard (an Auchentoshan signature taste, as far as I can work out) and crème brulee. With water it becomes more aggressive with chili spice complimenting the creamy apple elements. In fact, this was like a beefed-up Irish single malt.

Taste: With water, the Irish comparisons continue with apple skins, very light citrus (orange mainly) and sherbet.

Overall, a nice summery dram that didn’t move the earth but was a very pleasant way to spend 10 minutes or so. Auchentoshan, in other words. OK, so let’s move onto the 1979, which, by the look of it, has seen rather a lot of a sherry butt.

Auchentoshan 1979 (50.5%abv)

Only 1000 bottles of this expression were released, and the asking price is somewhere in the region of £350 per bottle. Ouch! Rather than being double matured, this was exclusively matured in an Oloroso sherry cask for the duration. The question is was it a sulphur bomb or a fruit cake extravaganza.

Nose: Bloody gorgeous! Obviously an untainted and high quality sherry butt. Meadow flowers (violets), minty, bitter coffee, sultanas, dates and caramel chocolate.

Taste: At first, clean and heavy sherry, then an explosion of red fruits, strawberry jam, spice, bitter chocolate and chili.

It’s a lot of money and it’s a moot point whether I’d pay £350 for a bottle but if you like whisky matured in great sherry butts, then this must be a contender.

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Glengoyne have launched an extend range of bottlings, and were kind enough to send us some samples. We split them between me (Tony) and Pat. Pat drew the curtains, cleansed his palate, meditated for an hour or so, then allowed the whisky to interact with his nose and taste buds in strange and interesting ways. I took mine to the footy  and sneakily drank them with my brotherr in an Eric Morecambe style (*cough* Arsenal).

Glengoyne 15

Pat Says: Nose: Spiced apple, toffee, cachou sweets, candied lemon peel, nutmeg and Christmas pudding.

Taste: Light and buttery at first, then vanilla shortbread, coconut and wood spice, followed by a mouth-coating spice at the finish.

Although feels quite rich, this is more of an autumnal whisky.  Rich and yet light
enough for numerous refills.  Like it!!

Tony Says: After we went one nil up against Fulham we cracked this open to celebrate. We thought it drinkable but fairly anonymous. After the second goal we happily finished it. This costs about £48

Glengoyne 18

Pat Says: Nose: Voluptuous and fruity.  Red apple and ripe grape, poached pears and spiced fruit compote with a butterscotch base and, bizarrely a hint of fresh green peppers.

Taste: Perhaps a bit of a disappointment, given the nose.  Light, vanilla, macaroons, apples and almonds with a slightly vegetal quality.  Quite
drying at the end.

Don’t get me wrong, this is nice but is perhaps a little one-dimensional on the palate. Like it, but not as much as the 15.

Tony says: The bitter taste in my mouth was down to Fulhams equaliser, not this whisky. This struck us as more complex and interesting than the 15, a bit nutty and mouth filling. Dont listen to Pat, my brother and I liked it more than the 15. Mind you, it costs £75.


Glengoyne Cask Strength

Pat Says:

Nose (without water): Quite vegetal and closed.  Lardy cake and lemon buttercream and ginger.

Nose (with water): Really opens out.  Sultana, walnut, wood polish, citrus peel,
tangerines, bitter dark chocolate.

Taste: Lighter than you think. Date and walnut cake. Creamy, smooth and silky.
Spicy, but not overpowering.

This is what the 18 should have been.

Tony Says: 2-0 up, 3-2 down, the only solace I have is that I still have a cask strength whisky in my pocket. Initial joy was tempered by an overriding anticlimax when the finish failed at the last and stunned disappointment was all we could feel. But enough of the football, the whisky was really nice. This costs about £45


Pat says: All in all, a lovely trio of whiskies, and would go for the Cask Strength, 15 and 18 in that order.  Three Autumnal crackers.

Tony says: what he says. I actually really like the standard 10, so might not stump up for the 15 or 18. I would definitely consider upgrading from the 10 to the cask strength though.


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Whisky Opus

Dominic Roskrow and Gavin Smith’s ‘The Whisky Opus’ (with the help of Davin de Kergommeaux and Jürgen Deibel) is a book that looks firmly to the future. And what a future. Whisky is currently at the height of its popularity with distilleries opening at a rapid rate on every continent except Antarctica.

This isn’t, however, an exhaustive account of the world’s distilleries – that would need a book twice the size – but it gives a great account of how whisky is changing in a world that can’t get enough of the stuff. It details both the established regions (e.g. Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Japan, the US) and those that are rightly starting to gain recognition in the whisky world, such as India, Switzerland, France and Australia (which gets its own 14-page section).

Whilst eschewing the usual pages’ worth to what whisky is and how is it made – although these are covered in just enough detail for the newbies – The Whisky Opus instead seeks to answer some of the pertinent contemporary questions about, for instance, where whisky is going, its challenges, how should it be drunk, what makes it unique and why oak barrels are so important. And, rather than relying on the authors to make these judgements, it asks a range of senior figures from the whisky industry, such as distillers, brand directors, and others whose job it is to predict and slake an increasing world thirst for the stuff. Anybody who’s ever used Dorling Kindersley’s reference books will surely rate them as just about the cleanest and most beautifully thought out and presented reference books on the planet. The Whisky Opus continues in that vein.

Included are selected tasting notes for some standard and more esoteric expressions, giving a taste of the kinds of whiskies currently available from each documented distillery. No doubt some will gripe about the omissions (quite a few of the smaller or more blend-oriented Scottish distilleries only get a sixth of a page each). But, in fact, such brevity allow the authors to go into more depth on, frankly, far more fascinating subjects than minor or closed Scottish distilleries. In their place are documented newer distilleries that only the hardcore whisky enthusiast will ever have heard of, such as the Roseisle, Bosch, Langatun, Belgrove and Tuthilltown distilleries. With his own ‘World Whisky Review’, there is simply no-one better to document this new whisky world than Dom, who has been promoting and fighting the corner of the smaller distillers for some time, culminating in his setting up of the Craft Distillers Association.

This is a perfect coffee table book that you can dip in and out of at will. And, as you’d expect, there are some great whisky tales here too. If you are interested in whisky, where it is at the moment and where it is going, then you need to buy it. Currently on sale from amazon for £22.66


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Bowmore Small Batch

this new Bowmore expression is in the same entry level market as Bowmore Legend (and may replace it), with a RRP of £32.99. Like Legend, it has no age statement, and is a combination of first and second fill bourbon casks. It is a limited volume release, we imagine in the way A’bunah is, although its not clear if they will number the release.

Nose: Very light at first, then sweet and sour. Tropical fruits with a distant sour smoke (this is a good thing, before you start to wonder), interspersed with a hint of lemon tea

Taste: A thin layer of creaminess as the smoke again keeps its distance, allowing the salt and lemon to flourish. The smoke, however, returns late on in peppery form, finishing with a squeeze of lime juice.

Overall, this is a lovely summery Bowmore which is light and coastal and yet peppery and lightly-peated. For those that find the standard expressions too peated, this is definitely one to try. Created from a selection of first-fill and second-fill bourbon casks, the Small Batch Reserve is Bowmore’s lightest and most delicate expression to date and is incredibly competitively priced at £32.99 from May 2012.

This is a supermarket only whisky, which gives you an insight into the arcane and bizarre way of whisky wholesaling. Morrison-Bowmore sell via a company called Cellar Trends, who require a minimum order of 20 cases. We met with Cellar Trends and they were really helpful, but we are a bit small time to deal with them. However, this new expression is not sold by Cellar Trends, it is presumably sold direct to supermarket chains. Apparently, even the largest online retailers such as Whisky Exchange cannot get hold of it directly. This sort of direct sales relationship is not unusual (think Travel Retail or the Whisky Shop OB exclusive bottlings) and I guess there is logic to it: the retailer is likely to promote your brand more and the price the retailer pays is not generally known. However, it confuses the hell out of small players like us! One day we will be big enough to deal direct … maybe :)



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St. George’s Distillery Diamond Jubilee

St. George’s Distillery Diamond Jubilee Decanter 46%

This latest limited release from St. George’s distillery is an intriguing combination of whisky matured from a variety of casks, including port casks and lightly peated whisky from sherry casks.

Tony’s notes:

Nose: takes a while to overcome a young maltiness on the nose, but after 5 mins in the glass a light fruitiness dominates. Some depth, hinting at smokiness.
Taste: young and malty at first, then a rounded full mouth fruitiness pops in and out. Some wood then kicks in and lingers.
Finish: a pleasant bitterness persists.
Overall: This is a tasty dram and fairly complex for such a young whisky. More going on here than with some of the previous chapters, and a step forward. Personally, I think the peaty English whiskies are premier league, but the unpeated ones still have a way to go. This expression shows they can merge their stock creatively to produce something interesting. It not only shows their shows their skill at making whisky, but also at creating expressions.

Pat notes:

Nose: Buttery and rich. Rich tea biscuit, wood spice, golden syrup & peaches.

Taste: Immediately sour plums, then spicy and malty. Spiced cherries and apples and custard with a finish tending towards bitterness.

WTC member Phi Blake’s Notes phil bought our first tasting pack and has been with us the whole way.  

At first in the glass its quite savoury, with balsamic vinegar and malt. Left a while the sherry comes through more and sweetens up (candyfloss or marshmallow) the malt is still there and comes through more.

Feels a lot stronger than 46% in the mouth. Lots of spice and nice sweetness, almost sherbet like and slight peat, in the style of a Connemara peated.

Finish has lots more more spice and light pepper and then metallic lemon rind at the end.



Its no secret we are big fans of St. George’s, we do a tasting pack of their whisky and we gave them the top award at a blind tasting when judging the World Whisky Masters. However, its not our Norfolk bias that leads us to say that this expression is distiller David Fitt stretching his wings and the result is, in our opinion, an excellent whisky. You can buy it for around £60



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