Manchester Whisky Club

Manchester Whisky ClubI’ve been a bit lax lately in posting up the last few Manchester Whisky Club meetings, but after finding a spare evening, I’ve decided to consolidate the missing drams into one, all found with tasting notes below –

March saw the theme of Photo Finish, a look at the prospect of different cask finish and maturation styles within whisky.

Deanston Virgin Oak – 46.3%

Light on the nose with a slight spice, fresh corn and plenty of wood elements. A developing spice on the palate, quite mouth-watering that produces a smooth, long finish that has a slight cherry and pepper finish.

EdradourCadenhead’s Royal Lochnagar 17yr Rum Cask Matured – 57.4%

Light with green apples flesh pineapple and plenty of dry pot still elements on the nose. A nice developing warmth on the palate, rather potent with a lingering dry spice on the tongue and finish.

BenRiach 16yr – 46%

Sauterne finish. Soft, sweet aromas of dried fruits on the nose, with bold hits of sultanas and pine coming through. A dry palate with a slow spice lingering. Fresh nuts and pine counteract for a short finish.

Tomintoul 12yr Portwood – 46%

Smooth with plenty of creamy port nose with a dry finish. Very smooth on the palate with a slight kick of port dividing the experience. Short.

Edradour 11yr ‘Straight From the Cask’ Chateauneuf Du Pape Finish – 58.5%

Soft plums on the nose with red apple with a stewed sweetness coming through. Short, rich grape and plums with a dry finish on the palate. Simple yet fantastic.

Both the Tomintoul and Edradour were stand out highlights for the Photo Finish session.

WilletAfter unfortunately missing out on April and May’s meetings, June rolled around with a The United States of Dramerica evening.

Tincup – 42%

A sweet, aromatic aroma on the nose, with a good blend of vanilla and rye. Sweet yet a sharp dose of vanilla on the palate, causing it to linger slightly. It creates a dry, spice finish. Incredible.

Willett Single Pot Still Reserve – 47%

Very smooth on the nose with a slight dry aroma of raisin and brown sugar. Plenty of rich pepper on the palate, producing a long, fresh hit of dark chocolate on a dry, wood based finish.

Noah’s Mill – 57.1%

Soft, light notes of raisins and vanilla on the nose, leading to a sharp hit of herb mixed with plenty of wood notes on the palate. Slightly burnt with the lips enjoying a tingle sensation on the finish.

Corsair Ryemageddon – 46%

A rich nose of chocolate malt with plenty of sweetness coming through. The cocoa carries onto the palate, producing a rich, mellow and well-balanced dram. A long, soft and slightly dry finish with hints of vanilla.

Balcones Brimstone – 53.1%

A hickory smoke aroma dominates the nose, reminding me of rich ribs. The richness carries onto the palate, developing quickly into a mouth-watering, savoury experience. Short though, with whispers of the hickory smoke on occasion.

The Balcones stood out as unique on the flavour palate, with the Corsair Ryemageddon and Tincup worthy of praise too.

Sullivans CoveJuly saw a line up of whiskies from across the commonwealth in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games.

Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask – 40%

Velvet aroma of chocolate and rich Cognac on the nose, with vanilla, slight spice and a warming toffee flavour producing a short finish.

Milford 15yr – 43%

A very dry nose of banana and burnt sugar. Light pear and gingerbread notes on the palate with a dry oat finish.

Pike Creek – 40%

Plenty of pear, blackberry and cranberry flavours mixing well on the nose, with a slight spice coming through near the finish. Lots of dry grain on the palate, but a smoothness of vanilla and honey bring a velvet, yet short finish with plenty of oak whispers.

Glengoyne 15yr – 43%

Plenty of heather and cream with pushes of black berry near the finish. Rather thick on the palate, with toffee, honey and nut flavours mixing in an oily mouth-feel. Lingering on the finish.

Amrut Kadhambam – 50%

Fresh spice on the nose with aromas of aniseed and cinnamon present. A good mix on the palate including raisins, orange, dark chocolate, plum and slight spice. Flavoursome finish with a long effect with plenty of oak.

It’s Scotland and Canada that are winners for me, with the Glengoyne and Pike Creek respectively.

Travel Retail Lineup
Travel Retail Lineup

Just before the summer holidays began, we held a Travel Retail evening, looking at exclusive bottlings only available airside!

Old Pulteney Noss Head – 46%

Very light with citrus elements creating a smooth, creamy and rich finish on the nose. Slight cherry bakewell aroma coming through too. Rich coconut milk flavours on the palate with a smooth, long finish and a slight kick of citrus to boot.

Jameson Select Reserve – 43%

Produced using a small batch of grain collected once a week per year from a field that is never touched thereafter. Around 10 years matured. Slightly sharp nose at the beginning but softens out with a wisp of smoke. Sweet offering on the palate with very smooth texture of toffee and lingering smoke.

Balblair 2004 – 46%

Bourbon matured. Light nose with no distinctive aromas coming through. Slight malt honey on the odd occasion. Dry orange with light, sweet hints available. A short and very dry finish.

Old Pulteney Duncansby Head – 46%

Light sherry notes on the nose with plenty of shortbread blending well. Lots of sherry characteristics on the palate too, with rich vanilla creating a toasty finish.

Balblair 1991 – 43%

Bold and fresh notes of honey and butter, with subtle cherry finding its way through. Soft green fruits on the palate creating a very dry, almost ash driven finish.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 – 50%

Bold citrus aromas on the nose with an oily butter note that follows to the palate. Rather thin and sharp, creating a dry spice in time for a big barley finish.

Highland Park Svein – 40%

Soft citrus on the nose with notes of green apple coming through. A light sweetness begins the palate, with hints of cherry and smoke before a strong finish.

Highland Park Harald – 40%

Sharp hit of citrus on the nose before malt and biscuit notes come through. Soft with a thick treacle palate creating long finish with an eventual citrus dicing at the end.

Bruichladdich is the best of a diverse bunch. Some surprising drams though, and confirms to myself at least that some brands will put anything out in travel retail, losing that ‘specialness’ so-to-speak.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Old Pulteney Tasting Notes

Old Pulteney

I do love trying something different. Over the years I’ve come across many a gem, whether it’s in the spirits, beer or wine world. Some stick in your head, some your forget about and wonder why when they re-appear. Old Pulteney does just that to me. I’ve had this brand many a time, but never owned a bottle, and never think about it when talking whisky, despite being a name you have all probably heard of.

Well i think it’s a bout time we give the brand a proper chance.

Old Pulteney was founded back in 1826 by a gentleman named James Henderson at the height of the town of Wick’s celebrated herring boom, located at the most northerly on the British mainland, the home of Sir William Pulteney back in 1810. In those days, road link weren’t as common, so they relied on the sea to transport their barrels of silver (herring) and gold (whisky). Another unique point to the whisky brand comes in the shape of its still. Instead of the usual ‘swans neck’ that you see in most distilleries, legend has it that Old Pulteney, when they were installing it, found it was too tall for the still house, so the manager simply decided to cut the top off! In recognition of this, the Old Pulteney bottle incorporates a bulbous neck to reflect the shape of the stills.

1920 saw the distillery bought by James Watson & Co, but only three years later saw Buchanan-Dewar take over and become a part of the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1925. During times of trouble in the industry, the distillery closed in 1930 for the next 21 years when a solicitor named Robert Cumming acquired the company. Between 1955 and 1995, the distillery went under the ownership of James & George Stodart Ltd (1955), Allied Breweries (1961), Inverhouse Distillers (1995) and International Beverages Holdings (2001), with the distillery also getting a face-lift in 1958.

So although it has changed hands a couple of times, has the quality of the whisky suffered? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Old PulteneyOld Pulteney 12yr – 40%

Matured in ex-bourbon casks. Rather dry on the nose with aromas of fruit and vanilla slowly making an appearance. Again quite dry on the palate, with hints of salt and smoke initially and becomes rather bitter at the end.

Old Pulteney 17yr – 46%

Matured in Spanish Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. Sweet nose of white fruit and butter with a scent of wood on the nose. Rounded hits of vanilla on the palate with the white fruit more delicate on the long finish.

Old Pulteney 21yr – 46%

A good hit of pear and apple on the nose with a little spice following nicely. Sweet on the palate with flavours of vanilla and honey making its presence. Dry finish.

And part of the Old Pulteney ‘Lighthouse’ Series – 

Old Pulteney Noss Head – 46%

Matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Light lemons and oranges on the nose, Sweet on the palate with a good dose of spice that develops into a warm finish of orange and coconut.

Old Pulteney Duncansby Head – 46%

Matured in ex-bourbon casks and Spanish ex-sherry casks. Sweet honey and a hint of chocolate orange on the nose. Smooth and soft on the palate, with the sherry oak coming through before being displaced by the orange and chocolate flavours. Lingers.

Old Pulteney Pentland Skerries – 46%

Matured in Spanish ex-sherry butts. Lots of fresh raisin and chocolate on the nose which carries on to the palate, adding flavours of sherry and subtle spice to the mix to draw out a long finish.

Some great expressions, and rather hard to choose between for which could be my favourite. There’s a 30yr, an Old Pulteney Liqueur and WK217 to try yet, so you never know, this could be the first time where I could be enjoying them all in my collection. Care to help me find out for yourself?

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.