Connoisseurs Choice Rosebank

Con­nois­seurs Choice Rosebank

A bit of infor­ma­tion about this Whisky and the Distillery.

Rose­bank was a Low­land dis­tillery located near Falkirk on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal. It was owned by DCL (fore­run­ner of Dia­geo) but closed in 1993. I have heard that when Dia­geo released their ‘Clas­sic Malts’ range Rose­bank was con­sid­ered to be the best exam­ple of a Low­land whisky, but Glenk­inchie was more likely to attract tourists so that got the nod and Rose­bank was moth­balled. Appar­ently there’s some bits and pieces left at the site, but cop­per thieves stole the stills a year or so back and there is a Beefeater restau­rant where the ware­hous­ing used to be.
Rose­bank, as is com­mon with some other Low­land dis­til­leries (Auchen­toshan, maybe oth­ers) used triple dis­til­la­tion to make their spirit, which should sup­pos­edly pro­duce a light and clean dram.

This Rose­bank is from Gor­don and MacPhail’s ‘Con­nois­seurs Choice’ range. Hunt­ing round on the inter­net, many retail­ers had it listed but as ‘Out of Stock’. I did find a bot­tle avail­able for £59. This Rose­bank was dis­tilled in 1991 and bot­tled in 2008. It was matured in a mix­ture of refill sherry and bour­bon casks and is bot­tled at 43%.

NOSE (neat) Obvi­ously sharp and cit­ric. Some hints of pen­cil shav­ings and ace­tone.
(with water) The cit­rus is less evi­dent, per­haps a lit­tle grassy now. Still get­ting the ace­tone smell.

MOUTH (neat) Light in the mouth, a lit­tle spicy but doesn’t seem too com­plex.
(with water) Sweeter now, really easy to drink. Just … pleas­ant, it’s bring­ing a smile to my face.

FINISH (neat) Pretty short, but a lit­tle oaky chewi­ness is nice enough.
(with water) Fizzy sweets, Refresh­ers maybe?

OVERALL This doesn’t seem to be the most com­plex of drams, but it is approach­able and with a dash of water might be able to pass muster with those ‘ooh no I don’t like whisky’ types. Shame the place is shut, because this is a very nice dram, espe­cially on a sum­mers evening.

MY RATING 7/10

Haven’t updated for a while — I tend not to drink too much whisky dur­ing the sum­mer, but I’ll make an effort to change that :-)

G&M Exclusive Mortlach - Whisky Shop Dufftown

G&M Exclu­sive Mort­lach — Whisky Shop Dufftown

A bit of infor­ma­tion about this Whisky and the Distillery.

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This Mort­lach is from the Whisky Shop Dufftown and if you fancy a bot­tle then it is avail­able on their web­site for £45. It is from a Sin­gle Refill Sherry Cask and has been bot­tled at Cask Strength (59.1%).

NOSE (neat) Burnt Christ­mas Cake with a hint of var­nish then a bit of cigar smoke. Slightly grassy.
(with water) Now more minty and herbal. The smoke is more like last nights cig­a­rette smoke now.

MOUTH (neat) Very ‘big’ in the mouth, an alco­hol burn slowly builds up but isn’t over­pow­er­ing. This seems to have been a very active cask. Dark fruits (dates?) mostly dom­i­nate for me before oak takes over.
(with water) Quite sweet once watered, still a lot of oaky astrin­gency going on but it fights enter­tain­ingly with the fruitiness.

FINISH (neat) Long and rich, some­how like smok­ing a men­thol cig­a­rette on a really hot day after eat­ing some dark bel­gian choco­late.
(with water) Oak wins out in the end but there’s both a rich fruiti­ness and a herbal qual­ity lurk­ing in there.

OVERALL So, mag­nif­i­cent or iffy? I’m going to choose ‘iffy’ but with the pro­viso that the whisky doesn’t really end up suf­fer­ing too much for it. This whisky seems a lit­tle unbal­anced and I can’t hon­estly tell if it would be bet­ter if bot­tled a bit younger or a bit older. There’s cer­tainly a lot going on here flavour-wise but the flavours almost crash into each other rather than meld together. Still, I think that Sin­gle Cask whiskies are always worth a punt exactly because you can get a whisky that can be quite dif­fer­ent from the Offi­cial Bot­tlings (OBs).

MY RATING 7.5/10

We’re all done now.

Obvi­ously I need to make a bit of space inside the cab­i­nets for more — so I’d best start doing some more tast­ings soon.

3 done now

Two Whisky Cabinets

And then there were two

Even­tu­ally they’ll all be done. I actu­ally think four will be enough, but that means the fifth can be for glass­ware and my lam­bic beer collection.

Baby's First Whisky Cabinet

Designed by Sven for Mackmyra?

Team WhiskyAd­dict put this IKEA cab­i­net together last night.

Only another 4 to go.

Brora 30, 2010 Release

Brora 30 Year Old. 2010 Release.

A bit of infor­ma­tion about this Whisky and the Distillery.

Brora is a closed dis­tillery located in the far North East of Scot­land unsur­pris­ingly near the vil­lage of Brora. It was closed in 1968 when a state of the art dis­tillery (Clynel­ish) was opened across the road as a replace­ment. How­ever, due to var­i­ous prob­lems get­ting enough peaty whisky from Islay, the Brora dis­tillery was almost imme­di­ately re-opened and tasked with mak­ing heavy ‘Islay-style’ spirit for the John­nie Walker blends. The dis­tillery finally closed in 1983, although The Malt Whisky Year­book says that all of the kit is pretty much still (ha ha) in place. If any­one read­ing this has way too much money and doesn’t know what to do with it — please make Dia­geo an offer they can’t refuse to buy the place and some of the remain­ing stock then re-open it and give me a job there. Cheers.

For the past few years, Dia­geo have done an annual release of 30 year old Brora in fairly lim­ited num­bers. This 2010 edi­tion is of 3,000 bot­tles. You can grab a bot­tle of this if you are feel­ing rich at just under £300 if you so desire.

NOSE (neat) Clean green apples, a touch of melon. Under­cur­rent of peat and per­haps a bit ‘nutty’. Slightly prickly at 54.3%
(with water) More obvi­ously peaty & coastal now but the fruiti­ness is still there.

MOUTH (neat) Very thick and oily. Hos­pi­tals and anti­sep­tic tinged with vanilla then becom­ing slightly grassy/herbal.
(with water) Fruity, oaky, remain­ing very ‘big’ and oily. Still a lot of peat here and per­haps a touch of some­thing sharp.

FINISH (neat) Nearly as long as the Mahab­harata. Warm­ing and sweet. A mix­ture of peat and tan­ger­ine in a 1950s Hos­pi­tal Ward.
(with water) Oak notes a lit­tle more evi­dent now and more dry­ing. Still a riot of flavours.

OVERALL A lovely, com­plex dram that is per­fectly drink­able out of the bot­tle, but can also take a hell of a lot of water and still keep pro­vid­ing rich and oily flavours. I’ve only tried a small hand­ful of exam­ples of Brora, it is after all eye-wateringly expen­sive — but this is a won­der­ful aged whisky that is a real joy to drink.

MY RATING 9.5/10

A friend of mine turned up yes­ter­day with a bot­tle of Bal­blair 1990 (cheers, Gor­don!). It was very nice. I rec­i­p­ro­cated by open­ing a bot­tle of Brora 30 which I will post tast­ing notes of in the next cou­ple of days.

A good time was had by all.

Sig­na­tory Bowmore

This Bow­more is from the Sig­na­tory Un-Chillfiltered range. A cou­ple of Hog­gies gave up 709 bot­tles at 46% abv. It was dis­tilled in June of 1990, bot­tled in Feb­ru­ary 2010 so is a 19 year old. I bought this from the shop at Edradour Dis­tillery (Edradour being owned by the same peo­ple that own Sig­na­tory), from mem­ory it was around £35-£40.

NOSE (neat) Extremely sweet, Refresh­ers sweets is my first thought. Some vanilla and a hint of dessert wine.
(with water) Less of the sweet­ness, now a damp bon­fire smell is apparent.

MOUTH (neat) A mil­lisec­ond of icing sugar fol­lowed rapidly by a whack of peat that drifts away into hos­pi­tal gauze and iodine. Quite oily.
(with water) A bit of a strange mish­mash now, the water has inte­grated the sweet­ness and the peat but some­how it seems a lit­tle flat.

FINISH (neat) The taste of a beach­side bon­fire stays around for a good while.
(with water) A sug­ary sweet­ness, very lit­tle smoke now. A hint of some­thing herbal, fen­nel perhaps?

OVERALL I’m not quite sure exactly what to make of this par­tic­u­lar Bow­more. It’s plenty good enough but I feel that it promises more but doesn’t quite achieve (sounds like one of my school reports). I’d keep this away from water as apart from releas­ing some peat into the nose, adding water seemed to spoil it a little.

MY RATING 7/10