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Jean Boyer: Best Casks of Scotland


1995, 43%

See distillery description: Auchentoshan

A typical Lowlands whisky nose, with the traditional discretion and the usual hints of cut grass, hay and ripe fruits (pear, peach), the whole expressing a great fresness. In the palate, everything just confirms the first nose. This is a whisky with a great freshness, keeping however lots of character. The finish is pleasant and lingering, and nice malty notes mix discreetly with the flavours described above, and after a while, some mentholated notes appear, before developing on slightly spicy ones.


2001, 43°

See the distillery description: Benrinnes

The nose seems to be rather typical for a Benrinnes, with difficult to describe smells, meat and undergrowth hings. In the palate, the taste is first quite discrete, and the mouth followes perfectly the nose. Same impressions, same difficulties to describe them. The taste is even special as the nose was. The finish is cast in the same mould, with the same obsessing notes than in the palate or at the first nosing. This is definitely not my favourite.

Blair Athol

1991, 43%

See distillery description: Blair Athol

Rather clear nose with very nice fruity notes, green apple, and spices, pepper. This nose announces a very interesting complexity and an excellent whisky. The mouth seems slightly behind the quality of the nose, but remains very pleasant. A mix of slightly woody notes with some prune hints, the whole being marked by a great smootness. The palate is relatively complex, while the finish is first warm, but seems to disappear after a short while. There is however a kind of bitterness which seems to remain longer. A pity, as the nose and the mouth were excellent.

Caol Ila

2000, 40°

See distillery description : Caol Ila

The nose is quite a traditional Caol Ila nose, smoke and dry peat, some iodine and discrete fruity hints. In the palate, the whisky seems first to be too weak, but it is remarkably complex, with nice contrasts between slightly acid notes and some more baically peated ones. After a while, no regrets anymore, because it is so rich in surprises and contrasts. The finish simply prolongs the mouth, long and warm, with a slight acid domination, while the mouth was more marked by the peat. This is a very nice Caol Ila bottling.

1979, 46°

The nose reveals both peaty and spicy (pepper) notes. Both dominants are perfectly balanced and make a very coherent whole. Some stealthy fruit hints appear as well. The mouth is first peaty, dry peat developing on more smoothness. A nice complexity with tastes developing from peat to fruit (apple, banana?) through nice and refined woody notes. Very nice balance between bitterness and freshness. A lingering long finish, very pleasant.

1995, 58.2°

A very well balanced nose, wheree peat and a great fruity freshness are the dominant hints. Some tinglings due to the percentage of alcohol are present without hindering. Oily peat. Very nice nose. In the palate, this oily character of the peat is also dominant, giving the whisky a remarkable balance, without any aggressivity to this special Caol Ila. The mouth is not really complex, but so balanced... developing on tones between peat and moke or chocolate. A lingering warm finish where all the chocolate memories from the mouth remain. An excellent Caol Ila.


1997, 46%

See distillery description: Caperdonich

The nose is very fresh but some smoky hints and discrete salty, even maritim touches are present as well. In the palate, a very nice surprise. Some spices, some fruits, and just enough malt to make this rather modest whisky a very nice aperitve. A nice and lingering finish, with a touch of bitterness, contrasting with the fruity hints remain for a few minutes.


1997, 43°

See distillery description: Caperdonich

The nose is marked by spices and citrus fruit. Very complex, it also detects nice floral notes, a touch of wax and of pepper. In the palate, a mix of citrus fruits and pepper, a very nice presence, however less complex than the nose was, but excellent. No farm notes like Clynelish uses to have. The finish is rather fresh and not too long. Some acid notes at the end.


2003, 43°

See distillery description: Glendullan

Quite a floral nose, slightly pungeant, wit peppery hints. A very expressive and encouraging nose. In the palate, a furtive apple spirit impression, developing quickly on very perfumed floral notes, before coming back to the fruit again. Rather complex, this whisky is very good, even if hotheadedness of youth is very present. A bit aggressive at the end of the palate, due probably to the youth of the spirit, and a quite simple finish leave a memory of a good whisky, even if it presents a lack at maturity. But if all the very young whisky could be like this one...


1995 43°

See distillery description Glengoyne
The nose is rather clean, with discrete notes of was on a background of slightly fruity malt. An impressive freshness with some vegetal hints. In the palate, a very nice complexity, where the first taste is a subtle mix of sweetness with a touch of acidity, but develops quickly in the direction of malt, slowly developing itsefl to moka or Belgian chocolate. Anyway, quite an unusual palate, really interesting.The finish is lingering and warming with a slight touch of bitterness after a while. An excellent whisky.


1990, 46°

See distillery descriptione Glenlivet

The nose is clearly fruity, somewhere between pear an melon. Very smooth, without any failing, but without any surprise neither. In the palate, the same fruity impression, very pleasant but without outstanding nuances in first instance. Afer a while, some slightly acid hints come and cheer the general impression up. The mouth is prolongs the nose in the same shapes... A rather short finish, without any surprise neither.

Glen Ord

1998, 43°

See distillery description: Glen Ord
An exceptional nose, both peppery and very fresh. Very expressive and very promising. The mouth is not in the same tone. The taste is much smoother than expected after the nosing. It developes on nutty/malty tastes, on a great smoothness and a kind of bitterness. However, the palette seems too limited. The finish is lingering and pleasantly marked by slightly bitter notes. A good whisky, but the mouth did not confirm the qualities of the nose


1988 46°

See distillery description: Laphroaig

Despite its young age, the nose of this Laphroaig already has all the distillery characteristics: clear medicinal smells on a peat smoke and burned tar background. In the mouth, the first impression is dry peat, but it quickly developes on warmer nuances, but still in the smoky and peaty pitches. I'd prefered some more character ou more nuances, just like in some other independent bottlings of this distillery, but the whole is very pleasant. The finish is lingering and pleasant, perfectly in line with the palate impressions. I guess I'd prefered this whisky in cask strength version, but this is the case with so many whiskies....


1992, 43%

See distillery description: Linkwood
The nose is first rather discrete, but after a while, it begins to reveal amazing but quite pleasant notes of marzipan and plasticine. In the palate, a malty sweetness contrasts with some slightly acid hints and a touch of bitterness. Just enough to keep this whisky from monotony, but not enough to make it a complex malt. The finish remains sweet, still on the malt and the whole is quite a pleasant apéritif.


1991, 43%

See distillery description: Macallan

The nose is clearly marked by sherry, but other smells are present as well. A quite pleasant smell of wet wood and a hint of smoke on the background. In the palate, the first impression is as rather dry whisky, and some acid touches complete the palate impressions, before a nice development to something more oily and more roud. Sherry is present too. The finish is relatively acid and woody, while the mouth was surprisingly enough not bitter at all. A good Macallan, even for those who are not great fans of this distillery.

1991, 56,4°

A sherry smell, even a bit agressive one, pungent and slightly acid nose. Very fresh and interesting. Less complex than in its 46% version. In the palate, first impression is dry wood, bitter. The alcohol is a bit too present, together with a touch of acidity. The mouth is rather "linear", and the finish is more pleasant, lingering and warm, with hints of cocoa and a memory of sherry.

Port Ellen

1983, 46°

See distillery description : Port Ellen

A nice nose, marked by discrete peat and floral hints. Some slightly medicinal touches appear after a while. A bit of acidity and some spices complete the impression. The mouth is first both slightly bitter and acid before developing on mort woody fragrances, where the bitterness remains. One could have expected more complexity, as the nose was really promising. The finish is interesting, as the woody bitterness slowly developes on chocolate notes, while the acid notes diseappear progressively.

1983, 55°

The nose is surprisingly fresh and marked more by flowers than by peat, even if the latter is present, but discretely. Light sea hints, an impression of salt with spices on the background. The first mouth is dry, slightly acid and pungent. After a while, bitterness seems to dominate. A kind of bitterness, quite different from the woody bitterness which is so usual in whiskies from that age. Then the dryness seems to make room to a very pleasant impression of well balanced whisky. The finish is more bitter, rather long and quite nice. Hazelnut and just a touch of smoke.
NB: this whisky is from the same cask as the 46% version. Dilution does not appear to change the impression left by this whisky, even if I prefer the cask strength version.

Royal Lochnagar

1993, 43°

See distillery description: Royal Lochnagar
A clear nose, floral with some slight bee wax hints. The palate is first discretely acid with a touch of bitterness. Complex in the mouth, this whisky is rather difficult to describe accurately, but there are for sure some fruits, like green apple, mango and unripe wallnuts on the background. The finish is long, essentially dominated by the bitter hints which were clearly more discrete in the mouth. All by all, this bottle is a very pleasant one.


1996, 46°

See distillery description: Springbank
A very clear nose, with spicy, peppery and mentholated notes giving this whisky an interesting freshness. Codonut, which is typical of Springbank, is present as well. The palate is very pleasant, spiced just like the nose was, and is rather complex and wel balanced. The finsih is not too long, but very pleasantly varied, from coconut to slightly acid hints, and a touch of alcohol despite its 46%. A very nice example of an independent Springbank.


One shot 1992, 46%

See distillery description Talisker

The nose is quite maritime, pleasantly salted with some smoke on the background. Floral notes too and some stealthy hints of ripe fruit even some saop. Some burned rubber as well. The nose is extremely complex. The palate is immediately pleasant, salty and smoky, without any aggressivity, but complex too, presenting alternately salty and bitter notes. Some nutty taste. A very nice finish, lingering and relatively fresh, with some bitterness. Very nice surprise.

The nose is very present and pleasant. A quite bewitching nose. Smells of peat and chocolate with touches of bee wax. A bit of smoke, some earth, wet hay. But also flowers. A very complex nose indeed. Extremely appealing. First impression in the palate is some dry peat, but it developes quickly on chocolate notes, moka. Nice presence in the palate. The mouth is even nice as the nose was. The finish is very pleasant too, with the same chocolate notes than on the tongue. It is lingering and warm. Really an excellent bottle.

One shot, 58.8°

The nose is rather clear, but paradoxicaly less exuberant than the same whisky diluted at 46%. However, quite similar notes of peat, of wax, earth and smoke are detected here too. But the whole seems less complex, and present even quite a medicinal character. The mouth is magnificent. Very complex, with oily peat notes mixed to light citrus hints, and then moka and chocolate, just like in the diluted version. The palate seems superior to the other version, but the nose offers less surprises. The finish is really great too. Clear, round and warm, lingering and marked by chocolate hints. A great moment of happiness.


1997, 43°

See distillery description: Teaninich

The nose is fresh, with both cut grass and a hint of pepper, with a touch of wax. Some citrus hints as well. In the palate, the first impression is pleasantly bitter, find wood hints, but not close to what the nose annouced. Some vanilla with a hint of smoke on the background. The mouth is surprisingly sweet, while the nose announced spices. Nice contrast. The finish is rather long, slightly bitter, perfectly in the mood of the mouth. A very nice surprise.