After a while, I am back for tasting sessions because my health really improved and my “system” is tuned again. So let’s start out with the new Maltman bottlings, which could convince recently. I hope you enjoy these reviews and find them useful:
Glenrothes 18 y.o. The Maltman, Bourbon Cask, 50,8%
Grilled marshmallow and a lot of Bourbon cask influence right away (white oak, vanilla, fudge) with heather, honeycomb, pineapple, melon, apricot ice cream, pistachio and just a hint of smoke in the nose. The oakiness with bitter elements dominates the taste and is a bit closed at first. Water really opens up this dram and unlocks the complexity and aromas of the nose. Medium length finish on this classic mature Bourbon cask Speysider. 86 points.
Mortlach 22 y.o. The Maltman, Bourbon Cask, 46%
The first reminiscence one gets is thick smoke when a good steak is turned on the grill. This meaty and smoky base is accompanied by Italian herbs (mainly rosemary, sage and thyme, but also bay leaf), peaches, dried fruits, sandal wood, earth, milk, caramel and vanilla. Barrel-fermented Chardonnay might work as a wine comparison. Wow, this tastes as good as it noses, really well-balanced with all aromas dancing on a small pin of a needle. The smoke delivers such a perfect counterpart to the other aromas. A more-ish dram with a long finish. High class. 90 points.
Isle of Arran 16 y.o. The Maltman, Oloroso Sherry Cask, 46%
Dark cake with loads of different cherries, which come from the Oloroso cask. Maraschino, Amarena ice sauce from Italy, morello jam, you name it. A nice spiciness (salt, pepper, curry, Asian aromas), darker bread dough, raisins, summer flowers, and more without anything dominating (aside from the cherries in the first row). It tastes spicy and full of life with tingles. One of my favourite Arrans from a great sherry cask that doesn’t change distillery character too much. Kudos! 89 points.
Cask Sample: Ledaig 7 y.o. The Maltman (Bourbon Cask)
For years now, I have been introducing Ledaig to my friends as a wonderful dram with peaty qualities that doesn’t need to hide from any South Coast Islay whisky. My collection of 1972s can show the capacityin taste, and the 2005 is such a great distillate as well. That’s why we chose to bottle a Ledaig 2005 as our club bottling (soon tho be released, only a matter of weeks). This one, still a cask sample from the same time, makes no difference. Already great, but needs to mature for three more years or so. Love it already (89-91 points)!
P.S.: Between sample sets, there was a Springbank 17 y.o. (dark vatting) which I strongly recommend (90+ points) if you can find it (there are still some around). As it tastes a lot like the old sherried stuff (green thistle release, etc.), it is a real bargain for around 115.- Euro at cask strength.