Master Malt March 26th 2015

We had a full house for last night’s Master Malts tasting at KWM. Those present were treated to a tour de force of fine Scotch whiskies ranging from 24 to 39 years of age. Six single malts, and a very curious and rare blend rounded out the lineup which included a couple of heavy hitters. When the dust settled, the results were surprising.

We run our whisky tastings blind whenever we can to remove the taint of bias. It is hard not to be influenced by age, price and brand so we like to remove those elements from the equation. All things being equal, we want our guests to pick their favourite whisky because it was their favourite whisky in the lineup. And price didn’t have much of an influence on this occasion, with the least expensive whisky in the lineup trumping the rest.

Our lineup last evening:

  1. Old Pulteney 35 Year42.5% – Bourbon & Sherry Casks - “Nose: honey, beeswax and clotted cream with salty caramel and clean smoke; melons, citrus and smooth leather with some dried fruits and spice; Palate: very honeyed, more beeswax and clotted cream with clean smoke and a prominent saltiness; there is more orange and a bit of melon with smooth leather, drying tobacco and dark spice; Finish: long, coating and spicy with more leather, tobacco and cream.” – $999.99 – More bottles due this Spring!
  2. Glenglassaugh 1972 39 Year KWM Cask42.6% – Sherry Cask - “Nose: heavenly; molten brown sugar, candied fruits, toffee cake, Demerara rum and candied orange; hints of melons, coffee and chocolate too; Palate: sweet, sugary and spicy with more Demerara rum, molten brown sugar and an assortment of festive spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and fennel; there are elements of chocolate covered coffee beans, candied orange and treacle sauce too; Finish: exceptionally smooth, rich, spicy and sweet with soft fading oak, lingering spices and more Demerara rum; melons and tropical fruits come out with a flourish of Dolce Leche at the end.” – $699.99 – Only 7 bottles left!
  3. Samaroli Blended Malt 33 Year - 43% – Blended Malt - ”Nose: canned string cheese, peanut butter and dulce lece; honey with very bright orange, lemon juice and powdered sugar on French crepes; Palate: vanilla cream, Demerara sugar, crisp spices: ginger and cinnamon, more lemon juice and French crepes with maple cream cookies; Finish: long, toasty, coating and spicy with creamy vanilla.” – $364.99
  4. Adelphi Bladnoch 1989 24 Year - 59.3% – Bourbon Barrel - ”Nose: intensely floral, citic and toasty with pineapple and citric sugars; long, toasty and dusty with milk chocolate and white fruits; Palate: big, floral and toasty, more crisp citrus and pineapple; lots of honey and barley sugars with some licorice and white fruits; Finish: long, oily and coating with dark spices and light fruits.” – $169.99
  5. OMC Fettercairn 33 Year - 50% – Refill Hogshead - ”Nose: sweet and sour at the same time, unctuous and unami; creamy and floral with tropical fruits and melon; hard candies and powdered sugar; Palate: very creamy, floral and minty with melon and tropical fruits; the unami and unctuous notes are still there with lots of white chocolate some crisp spice; Finish: long, floral and coating fading tropical fruits and spice; Comment: this is unusual, but very interesting and layered.” – $214.99 – Only 6 bottles left!
  6. OMC Glenallachie 38 Year - 50% – Sherry Butt - ”Nose: old and antiquey, like an old library filled with dusty leather bound books; dried and dark fruits with treacle sauce and stick toffee pudding; Palate: dark fruits and spices, more antique notes with dusty old leather bound books, and tobacco; melons, mangoes and other tropical fruits underneath dark chocolate and licorice; Finish: long, sherried. elegant and smooth; Comments: this is a classic older sherried whisky.” – $235.99
  7. Caol Ila 30 Year - 55.1% – American & European Oak - Nose: honeyed with some hay, lots of salty maritime flourishes, gentle earthy peat and tangerines and dried apricots; ashy; Palate: salt hits first, then some ashy smoke, the fruits are close behind, followed by a surge of honey with some earthy peat bringing up the rear; more dried apricots; Finish: long, oily and coating with fading honey and lingering salty smoke – $819.99

The Top 3

  1. Adelphi Bladnoch 1989 24 Year
  2. Caol Ila 30 Year
  3. OMC Glenallachie 38 Year

My Top 3 – Let’s just say I bucked the trend!

  1. Glenglassaugh 1972 39 Year KWM Cask -
  2. Old Pulteney 35 Year -
  3. OMC Fettercairn 33 Year -
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