Tonight’s theme entitled “Independently Happy” gave us the chance to try five Indie bottlings. Were we collectively happy? Read on…
GLENGOYNE 7 YO KEITH BATCH 4, 24YO – Bottled by Douglas Laing at 46%. £37 a bottle.
A highland single malt with a very light straw colour, had obviously been nowhere near a sherry cask. Aromas of lemon, grass, vanilla and a slightly acrid alcohol showing its youthfulness. Very light to taste with honey and citrus fruits followed by alcohol burn and finishing with a bitter lemon aftertaste. Addition of water, mellowed the alcohol burn, but also took away a lot of the character.
GLENLOSSIE 16YO – Bottled by Gordon & Macphail at 46%. £58 per bottle
Glenlossie is a Speyside distillery just south of Elgin. Single Malt, finished in a sherry cask giving the typical dark fruit, raisins & fig aromas – although not heavily sherried, so maybe a refill cask. A creamy fudge taste with dark fruits, finishing with sweetness and a lingering spiciness. Adding a few drops of water, made the finish very drying and a little unpleasant for some.
LINKWOOD 17YO – Bottled by Signatory at 46%. £50 a bottle
Linkwood is another Speysider and also very close to Elgin. This was highly anticipated by the author, as two previous official distillery releases had been very impressive. Quite floral to smell with some woodiness and a little mustiness, but not unpleasant. Some felt that the nose was disappointingly weak. In the mouth, a very different experience, with loads of character, very fresh with honey, light fruits, spiciness and slight salt. A medium length finish with notes of spice and wood.
BENRINNES 17YO – Bottled by Gordon & Macphail at 46%. £51 a bottle.
Another one bottled at 46% - is there a sub-theme going on here? Yet another single malt Speysider and again not too far from Elgin. Finished in a sherry cask, this had dark fruits, and caramel on the nose and, in the background, a little mustiness; some even detected a slightly sulphurous note. Full bodied to taste, with plenty of sherry flavours, vanilla and oak leading into a sweet, spicy finish with tobacco there as well.
CORRIEMHOR CIGAR RESERVE, NAS – Bottled by Fox Fitzgerald at 46%. £47 a bottle
There is very little information about this whisky, no age statement and no distillery information. It has been matured in a mix of sherry cask and bourbon wood and the blurb says it compliments a good Cuban cigar. We’ll have to take their word for that. The sherry is very evident in the nose and the taste with dark fruit, oranges, Christmas pudding and sweetness both in smell and flavour. There may even have been a hint of smoke in there. Finish was spicy with a lingering sweetness - straying very close to bourbon territory.
How did they fare? Very close for the top three with just 6 points in it.
1st Place – Corriemhor Cigar Reserve, just one point ahead of
2nd – Linkwood 17YO
3rd – Benrinnes 17YO
4th – Glenlossie 16YO
Wooden Spoon – Glengoyne 7YO