Reviews from Chris Goodrum at Gauntleys of Nottingham

Below are some tasting notes taken from Gauntleys recent newsletter – May 2010:

NC2 Imperial 11 year old 46%

A floral and aromatic nose of orange blossom, white liquorice, some herbal honey, slightly gristy barley. Lovely freshness that over time become slightly botanical. The palate is slightly oily and botanical with a lovely depth of sweet, juicy apricot, hints of straw, herbal honey and sweet porridge oats. It becomes a real honey fest on the middle, developing hints of white chocolate/ liquorice. Good crisp length with the alcohol and a salty nuance balancing the honey sweetness.  

Glen Moray 1973 (36 year old) 53.1%
Bourbon Cask 7037

Very dark in colour with a terrific bouquet of Armagnac-esque dried fruit – raisins, prunes, almonds and sultanas. Luscious, mature almost tropical fruit follow with the candy sweet American oak sitting in the background. Quiet robust and earthy for a Morey, and very complex, developing light treacle and a slight herbal-leafiness. Lovely!

The palate is fairly light with sugar coated, honeyed dried fruit and that Armagnac-esqur rancio. It even has a touch of the foxy Baco 22a about it and a touch of roasted green nuts and building salt (almost Manzanilla like). A short, piquant burst of alcohol is followed by the old wood notes of roasted coffee, liquorice, hickory and dried spices. The honey returns once more with an herbal inflection and exits with a dried, nutty fruit finale. A lovely old dram that definitely doesn’t need water because, well, just take my word for it!

Caperdonich 1972 (37 year old) 56.5%
Bourbon Cask 7414

A gargantuan, enveloping nose of liquorice infused herbal honey. A more Cognac-esque dried fruit rancio with dried orange fruit rind, sultanas and dried apricot. Mountainous polished mature oak entwines with the gorgeous sweet honey laden spices, sawdust, demarara sugar and earthy notes. It’s definitely a venerably beasty and I imagine that in its youth it was quiet a hot one as there is a slight touch of acetone and oily boiled sweets note, but it’s holding up quiet magnificently.

The palate is old and pretty woody to begin with. It’s like picking wood splinters out of your teeth. However it’s by no means over the hill. The herbal-heathery honey and Cognac dried fruits fight back before the intense alcohol clears the way for some light boiled sweet, mature rose petals and yet more dried fruit. Finally finishing with demerara sugar, liquorice and light engine oil.

A drop of water brings forward the oak with oily marzipan notes. On the palate it does the opposite, dampening the assertive wood and alcohol, allowing the pure demerara sugar sprinkled dried fruit more leeway. Either way it’s entertaining and enjoyable.

Glen Scotia 1991 (19 year old) 57.6%
Bourbon Cask 71375

The nose opens with a waft of soft brine and soft botanical marc-like notes. As it gets into its stride the wonderful complexity of this dram becomes apparent, each time you put your nose into the glass a new aroma pop’s up – smoked meat, light peat smoke, bog myrtle, oat cakes, juicy orange fruit, honey, hints of parma violets and perfumed lavender water(?). The oak adds old toffee and hickory.

The palate begins like the nose with a soft briny quality followed by waxy, honeyed fruit and light peat smoke. It moves into parma violet and soft botanical marc-like territory before an intense but brief hit of coal smoke clears the middle before the botanicals and herbal notes return. All the time the oak sits behind giving the malt a wonderful structure. Good length which leaves a salty, oat cake finish and the old wood notes on the after taste.

A drop of water emphasizes the waxy fruit on the nose and the old polished wood. On the palate it becomes lighter, less complex and a lot sweeter, with the violets and lavender water becoming more noticeable and the old wood notes gripping the finish. A lovely old Campbeltown malt, that is best drunk neat.


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