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Received samples

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Speyside Distillery

Speyside

12 years, 40%

Speyside 12 ans
See distillery description: Speyside

The nose is rather marked by malted barley with some vanilla on the background and some undergrowth notes and some animal touches.
The first impression in the palate is a kind of weakness, which is quickly replaced by a great sweetess and some slightly bitter touches, not really woody, but more nutty.
The finish is not too long, and some bitterness is still present.
The quality of this whisky would probably be improved by some additional degrees of alcohol. This would have influenced the general impression favorably, even if this whisky is already quite nice.

79/100

Drumguish 40%

Drumguish
See distillery description: Speyside

Drumguish is a single malt produced by the Speyside distillery. No age statement.

The nose is rather marked by cereal and a slight nutty smell. A touch of peat and a spicy impression.
In the palate, the whisky is quite light, relatively flat and without complexity.
Clear nutty or woody hints characterize the finish, but the general impression is an impression something is missing somewhere to make it really a good whisky.
70/100

Speyside distillery: Private Cellar

Auchroisk

1989-2004, 43%

Auchroisk Private Cellar
See the distillery description: Auchroisk
An interesting nose, with a malty smell, sltightly smoky with some fruity hints and a kind of undergrowth smell.
The palate is fresher and more "colourful" than the nose was. A citrus freshness (oranges) mixed with malted barley gives this whisky quite a nice complexity. The taste is sometimes dominated by chocolate sweetness of malt, sometimes by the fresh acidity of citrus fruit.
However, I had the impression that the dilution made this whisky lose some of its character.
The finish is rather long, with some nice but discrete nutty hints.
This is a good whisky, complex and very interesting, but surely not the very best one of the Private Cellar collection.

79/100

Balmenach

1979-2004, 43%

Balmenach, Private Collection
See the distillery description: Balmenach

The nose is rather fresh, with a mix of heady floral frangrances, hay and citrus fruit (orange). This is at least the general impression left by the nosing, but is is not possible to find all this odours seperately...
The palate is very pleasant, with a clear presence of slightly bitter citrus fragrances, a hint of walnut, chocolate praline and anyway an very nice complexity.
A rather sweet finish, but still with this slightly bitter and chocolate hints.
A very nice bottle.
.
84/100

Dufftown

1985-2004, 43%

Dufftown: private cellar
See the distillery description: Dufftown
The nose is first remarkably discrete, not to say completely absent... After a while, some nice smells of bakers yeast appear, like the fragrances in the kitchen of grandmothers, while leaving the dough to rise. This smell mixes with some fresh mentholated hints and even fresh cut grass ones.
In the palate, this whisky is quite simple at the beginning, but after a few seconds, it developes on a mix of malty notes and some more acid touches, but one would have a more robust whisky. Some additional degrees of alcohol would be welcome. A kind of watery impression in the mouth spoils the first nosing impressions.
The finish seems to be the exact extension of the mouth.

79/100

Fettercairn

1989-2004, 43%

Fettercairn Private Collection
See the distillery description: Fettercairn
The nose is nicely fresh, and even a little bit "from the farm" , with its hay and stable smells mixed to those of wet paper... A touch of pepper and smoke on the background.
The palate is quite complex, however one would have prefered this malt with a lesser diultion. Spices and malt, pepper and some nut, or even some wood, the whole being perfectly balanced.
The finish is long and warm, peppery with nice nuances of nut and a surprising impression of alcohol, as the mouth seemed to be too diluted. A very nice bottling from a little known distillery.

84/100

Highland Park

1985-2004, 43%

Highland Park, Private Cellar
See the distillery description Highland Park

The nose matches the standards of a Highland Park: a mix of heather, hay and honey. A touch of green apple as well, followed by some malted hint at the end.
In the palate, some sweetness first, quickly overruled by a kind of woody taste, extremely complex, going through all the nuances between the honeyed walnut and the peppery tangerine...
A very nice and lingering finish, still marked by that kind of bitterness, but really delicious. An excellent surprise, probablement one of the best Highland Parks I ever tasted.

88/100

Mannochmore

1978-2004, 43%

Mannochmore Private Cellar
See the distillery description : Mannochmore

The nose is nicely woody, but without the wood covering all the flavours. A nice complexity, with some sherry hints and even some chocolate. Maybe also some kind of wet paper smell.
In the palate, the taste confirms the first nosing, but remains difficult to define. Malted barley, sherry, wood, some kind of "metallic" taste. Some acidity too.
A nice finish; with the same kind of hints than in the mouth keeping coming back.
Not easy to classify...

79/100

Millburn

1983 - 2004, 43%

Millburn Pirvate Cellar
See the distillery description Millburn

The nose detects nice peppery and mentholated notes. A nice freshness anyway, but also a range of diversified smells, as after a while some fruit hints (apple) appear.
The mouth is rather dry, with a nice mix of slightly acid (citrus fruit) and fruity (prune) notes on a sltightly smoky malty background. The palate is nicely complex.
The finish is firs quite discrete, and after a while discrete woody touches appear.

84/100

Speyside distillery: Scott's Selection

Bladnoch

1984-2003, 58%

Bladnoch Scotts selection
See the distillery description: Bladnoch.
A really nice perfumed nose, with flower fragrances on a carpet of wet grass and fruity hints on the background. No aggressivity at all, despite a high percentage of alcohol.
In the mouth, some amazing violet taste, very fresh and some acid hints with a touch of liquorice. Great freshness, and this rather refined violet taste recalls the typiciyt of some Bowmores from a certain perios, but with some more subtility/
The finish is lingering and warm, despite the really fresh violet hints which remains for a while. The alcohol percentage is quite present at the finish.

84/100

Macallan

1974-2004, 54.4%

Macallan 1974 Scotts selection
See the distillery description: Macallan
The nose is pleasantly floral. Nice spring flowers, with ripe fruit smells behind. A touch of fine wood and some delicate spices appear as well.
In the mouth, this whisky is simply marvelous. Really complex, with fruity tastes nicely mixed to fine woody notes on a cereal background. A perfect balance between fruity notes and this touch of woody bitterness.
The finish is lingering with the delicate bitterness described above in the background, but also with a very nice warmth remaining for a rather long time in the palate.
A really fine Macallan, an excellent bottle!

88/100

Macallan

1985-2005, 54.4%

Macallan Scott's selection
See the distillery description: Macallan
Quite a special nose, with nice nutty (almond) notes, very pleasant and complex, mixing this slightly woody notes with some touches of soap (Savon de Marseille). A nose which could restore my faith in the distillery, which gives me sometimes the impression that their commercial department is better than their production. Some remote hints of white wine as well. In short, this nose covers a very large range of fragrances.
The mouth does not deny the nose impression, with a huge variety of tastes, going from the sweetness of malted barley to freshness of some kind of acid notes, but not the acidity of citrus fruit. The impression is different, however I'm not really able to describe it precisely.
The finish is lingering and warm, with sweet (chocolate?) hints, mixed with some fresher and acid impressions. A really good bottle.
88/100

North Port - Brechin

1982-2003, 52.5%

North Port Scotts selection
See the distillery description: North Port

A nose with peppery, spicy and fresh notes at the time. Nice fruity hints as well. A very promising nose.
In the palate, the first impression is complexity, between liquorice and hazelnut through exotic fruits (mango) and very sweet citrus fruit touches, and some vanilla on the background. A very nice palette of tastes anyway.
The finish is lingering, with pleasant hints of walnut and vanilla.
This bottle is an excellent surprise, with a very varied palette of tasts and smells.

88/100

Scott's Selection: Single Grain

North of Scotland

1973-2006, 54%

North of Scotland, Scott's Selection
Grain distillery: North of Scotland

A nice fragrance of hazelnut on a peppery background characterizes the nose. In the palate, a great sweetness despite the high percentage of alcohol. Even if the complexity of a single malt is not present, the nutty taste this grain whisky offers is very pleasant, even if the general impression about the taste is a kind of linearity.
The finish is lingering and pleasant, slightly bitter (woody) and dominated by the same sweetness than in the palate. After a while, the woody character (or even better said, the clear nutty taste) dominates clearly.
Quite a nice experience for my first grain whisky.
84/100

North British

1974-1999, 53.1%

North British Scotts Selection
Grain distillery : North British

This grain whisky has a very expressive nose too, kind of mix of pepper and fruits, but not ripe fruits, nor dry ones. It is more like a kind of acid fruits, like not ripe cherries. A pleasant smell.
The mouth is clearly behind the nose. Some monotony in the range of tastes. Chocolate and almond are dominating the palate.
The finish is warm and long, and remains in the mouth tones. No complexity, but a quite pleasant taste.
79/100

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