For several reasons I could only taste some drams in Biberach quickly on the go. Nevertheless I am going to share my strictly personal opinions about them with you – and add some other ones close to these bottlings. No pictures, just the whisky talking…
1) Ledaig 1998 for Malts of Scotland, 13 y.o. around 59% – exact dates coming soon (no label exists yet)
A wonderful drinking whisky in the peated genre – only few people wouldn’t put this on Islay in a blind tasting. This expression is significantly older and more mature than the recent Berry Bros. & Rudd releases of Ledaig, but surprisingly also a bit less complex. However, it still is a buy for me at a fair price – but hurry, these are quite limited- This is the second half of a Sherry Butt 800025, 256 btl. released by MoS in 2010.
2) Maggie Miller’s new Port Ellen for the Scotch Single Malt Circle, 1982, 28 y.o., Cask 2860, 63,6%
This is a classic Port Ellen but nothing expressive or magical to it. Straight and honest bottling here, but not a must-have.
3) Bunnahabhain 1991 SSMC, 18 y.o. Sherry Cask 5447, 312 bottles, 54%
This SSMC bottling is a real stunner and worth more than the PE in my eyes – drink more Bunnahabhain, guys, there are beauties out there. This is wonderfully sherried and perfectly aged. People drank this big sweetie quickly at my stand.
And if you like your Ex-Sherry Bottlings even more complex and ‚old-time‘ get Maggie’s bang for a buck:
4) SSMC Glenlossie 1984, 25 y.o. , Sherry Cask 2534, 60%
L_O_V_E I_T ! It is as good as e.g. old Glenfarclas bottlings around the age of 30 and reminds me of classic mature Speyside Whisky from way back…the ones we hunt for at auctions. No offnote here, this is a classic! Don’t miss out on it! A big recommendation and this article’s second-highest score!
5) Bunnahabhain 1997 – 2010 Octave (Duncan Taylor) for Malts and More, Sherry, 51,2%
This is a peated version that many people liked: big Sherry meets peat and Bunnahabhain’s style adds to the combo. More on primary notes but punchy and well-priced – another ‚easy-to-sip peater‘ like the Ledaig MoS. Mention our name to our friend Thomas Mansen for a little discount on this one.
6) Glenglassaugh 1978 for Villa Konthor, 32 y.o., 46,2%
This I could try at the Whisky Agency stand, it was bottled for Villa Konthor (which we inaugurated in its basement with a memorable Slowdrink.de-Event!). A well-made Glenglassaugh, but not as magic as others from that time, rather fruit-driven with malty and woody sidekicks. But this is nit-picking: undoubtledly great whisky.
7) Glen Grant 1972 MoS, 38 y.o., Sherry Hogshead Nr. 8235, 148 btl., 48,2%
Despite a different cask type, it resembles the style of the 1969 Lonach from my tasting (see article about Biberach tasting), which was also 38 y.o. – this one is a bit more fragile and not as strong on the mid-palate, but the complexity is just as great. Mature whisky of a fine distillery.
8) Laphroaig 1996 – 2010, ‚Rolf’s No. 2‘, 14 y.o., matured in Bourbon Cask, finished in ex-Springbank Sherry Bloodtub, 66 btl., 58%
Last but not least, my favourite find of the day: this Laphroaig has been finished in an Ex-Spingbank Sherry Bloodtub which Rolf had bottled before as his ‚No. 1‘ (89/100). It has all the elements of a powerful Laphroaig plus another dimension given by the Sherry, perfectly integrated and without the blue-cheese that often goes with it in sherried Laphroaigs. Great balance, secondary and tertiary aromas have developed, rendering a wonderful maturity – therefore it is high quality stuff and dangerously drinkable! It somehow is bigger than other Laffis from that time. Mmmmmh. I could convince Rolf to sell me bottle 6/66 😉