Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1997 Palo Cortado Finish

Yesterday we checked out the Bunnahabhain Moine Bordeaux and today we’ll check out the second  special edition coming from Bunnahabhain for 2018 – the Bunnahabhain Palo Cortado Finish.

We don’t see too many Palo Cortado sherry casks used in the whisky industry because it’s pretty rare. This is how the Wikipedia entry on Palo Cortado starts:

Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged under flor to become a fino or amontillado, but inexplicably loses its veil of flor and begins aging oxidatively as an oloroso. The result is a wine with some of the richness of oloroso and some of the crispness of amontillado. Only about 1–2% of the grapes pressed for sherry naturally develop into palo cortado.

This rarity also explains the high price tag on this special edition, £275 is far above the cost for last years special edition (The 14 Year Old PX finish).

This whisky was distilled: 22.11.1997 and bottled 27.04.2018 after it was finished in the Palo Cortado casks for almost 2 years. 1,620 bottles were made and it was bottled at 54.9%.

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1997 Palo Cortado Finish (54.9%, £275)

Nose: Somewhat musty and fungal at first, takes a few minutes to expose its secrets, then the sherry notes shows up, sour sweet dried fruit and it’s getting a bit dirty, oily, fumes, greenery, Almost a Springbank sans peat… A few more minutes and more layers are exposed, nuttiness then sour sweet fruitiness followed by spiciness layer and back to fungus. A brilliant nose experience. Continue reading


Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Cask Matured

Just like in the last few years, we get to see again in 2018 some special releases from Distill distilleries. But this time it’s all coordinated and they were show cased in a dedicated event called ‘The Malt Gallery’ which is to become an annual event.

This year there are six special releases from Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory and the first one to be reviewed is the Bunnahabhain Mòine Bordeaux.

It was distilled on 18.12.2008 and bottled 26.02.2018 (so 9 year old age statement) spending all this time in Bordeaux red wine casks. 4,536 bottles were made, bottled at 58.1% and pretty much all of them were gone from the web shops following the huge success of previous years special releases (Moine Oloroso and Moine Brandy).

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Cask Matured (58.1%, £99.90)

Nose: Right out of the fresh bottle it was very closed and needed some time to open up. Then we get dry smoke accompanied by red berries, cherries and red wine. After breathing for a while there’s smoked meat and sweet glazed BBQ meat with nuttiness to top it all. Continue reading

Tomatin 15 Year Old Moscatel Cask Finish

Tomatin distillery is not resting. Following their virtues series, they released a new limited edition – the Tomatin 15 Year Old Moscatel Cask Finish which .

My friends know that I have some minor affinity to Tomatin whiskies and love most of what they do there, especially if it carries a high age statement age so it sports their old time tropical fruits note and flavors.

But this time it’s “only” a 15 year old that was distilled 6th June 2003, spent its first 10 years (9 years and almost 11 months in fact) in ex-bourbon casks and on 1st May 2013 it was transferred to Moscatel wine barriques (from Portugal) for another five years.

6000 bottles were made, bottled at 46% were made for this edition.

Tomatin 15 Year Old Moscatel Cask Finish (46%, £74.95/€78)

Nose: Soft nose, for a fleeting second I could believe its a Glenmorangie whisky. It’s sweet with lots of stone fruit, citrus, soft white pepper, butterscotch, cake-y. After breathing for a few minutes there’s sweet dessert wine, nuttiness, dried pineapple and banana, then more
nuttiness coupled with more stone fruit sweetness with a a touch of tropical sunshine. Very velvety and soft all along the way. Continue reading

Arran ‘The Bothy’ Quarter Cask (Batch #3)

Almost 3 years I reviewed the first batch of Arran ‘The Bothy’ which is Arran’s offering of a young yet fast matured cask strength whisky to the masses. It’s matured 1st Fill American Oak Ex-Bourbon Barrels before a legnthy finish in small (Quarter size) casks.

This third batch was bottled a year ago in September 2017 at 53.2%. 13,800 bottles were circulated from this batch and some are still available although the majority of the Arran ‘The Bothy’ bottles in the markets are from the 4th batch.

Arran ‘The Bothy’ Quarter Cask Batch #3 (53.2%, £46/€44.95)

Nose: Somewhat muted at first so lets give it a few minutes to open up. Then we have pears, apricot and honey sweetness. Slowly rocks dust note comes up, baked pears, cake dough and vanilla, After a while it gets fruiter and sweeter. Continue reading

GlenAllachie 25 Year Old

After checking out and reviewing the three more affordable expressions from the new GlenAllachie line up, it’s time to conclude our line up coverage with the new 25 Year Old.

Like with the 18 Year Old whisky we have a combo of PX sherry casks and american oak. 6000 bottles were produced and bottled at a bit higher ABV of 48% (comparing to the 46% used for the other three in the line up).

GlenAllachie 25 Year Old (48%, £230/€234.95)

Nose: Fruity, again the limestone note, hints of tropical and guava, caramel, butterscotch. A very fresh nose for a 25 Year Old Whisky. Pears and apricot, honey, gentle cinnamon and oak spice. Wt menthol freshness and slight note of semi dried plums and red berries Continue reading

GlenAllachie 18 Year Old

Continuing with the GlenAllachie line up review and today we’re up to the 18 Year Old. This time only two kind of casks were involved in creating this whisky: PX sherry casks and American Oak casks (which I assume is a code name for ex-Bourbon casks).

Since I liked the 12 Year Old a lot and the 10 Year Old isn’t too shabby, lets see if the trend continue with this older sibling.

GlenAllachie 18 Year Old (46%, £72.50/€89.90)

Nose: Very closed and restrained at first. After a few minutes we get the limestone again, citrus, mellower, gentle white pepper, pears and a touch of apricot, honey and a bit of vanilla, less fruity than the younger siblings. Continue reading

GlenAllachie 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #1

Let’s get it going with the GlenAllachie core line up reviews. Last week we checked out the GlenAllachie 12 Year Old (which I liked a lot) and now it’s time to check it’s close sibling, the 10 Year Old Cask Strength.

The 10 Year Old also uses a mix of Oloroso, PX and Virgin Oak casks. 12,000 bottles were produced, bottled at a 100 proof of 57.1%.

GlenAllachie 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #1 (57.1%, £56.95/49.90)

Nose: Really not far away from the 12 year old. Fruity with pears and apricot, stronger bubble gum, limestone but not as a separate hard barrier but incorporated and ingrained, honey. After a few more minutes more fruits and orchard in springtime. Continue reading