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  • Writer's pictureKris

Drams with Ken, 16th July (Glenfiddich/Balvenie/Glenfarclas/Macallan/STAGG/Caol Ila/Laphroaig etc..)

A trip to Ken's castle is always like Kris the Cinderella meets the prince.

Cinderella sips every dram with gratefulness. And, I did give Prince Ken my honest feedback.

The lineups:

**Rating solely based on the taste and my 100% subjective experience**

1) Glenfiddich 30 YO Cask Selection #00053, 43%

Oloroso Sherry & Bourbon Cask

Nose: White grapes, white sugar, pear and green apple. Dried grapes and light floral notes in the nose as well. Rather 'thin and light' or 'light and elegant' if you want to phrase it in a nicer way.

Mouth: Light/elegant, barley, thin sherry influence. Bland and soft. Ok, expecting more. Gets a bit bitter.

Finish: I have to say I honestly felt there is no finishing in it; if have, then it is the bitterness.

Nice scale: 75/100

Drink once can already.

2) Glenfarclas 30 YO 43%

Sherry Cask

Nose: White grape, light brown sugar, dried fruit. Towards brandy style already.

Mouth: Woody, creamy and oak spice comes in. You find some of the nutty notes as well.

Finish: Soapy and tea.

Nice scale: 75/100

Drink once can already.

3) Balvenie 25 Single Barrel#180, 47.8%

Oak Cask

Nose: Dusty, sweet fruit, pear and brown sugar. Bit zesty as well, a little sharp on the nose but not disturbing.

Mouth: Nose is sweeter, woody and oaky. Light rum vibes with some tea characteristics.

Finish: Creamy

Nice scale: 75/100

Drink once can already.

So far, all three high-age Speyside are similar, leaning towards cognac & brandy.

4) The Glenlivet XXV 43% Batch 0419B

1st fill Oloroso sherry Cask

Nose: Fresh fruits, brown sugar, white grape and dusty.

Mouth: Round, smooth, soft. Sweet fruits with light oak spice. Creamy and hints of vanilla to it as well.

Finish: Sweetness and bitterness.

So far I think Glenlivet XXV does stand out among the first four, it offers me a more solid experience.

Nice scale: 78/100

Drink once can already.

5) John Walker Baccarat 308 Batch 017 40%

9 distilleries and married INTO a 100-year-old cask-nice, someone wore socks and didn't bother to wash.

Nose: Rubbery and plastic, brown sugar and car tyres. Dusty.

Mouth: Light, bland, creamy, vanilla fudge. Light and fruity. Round and soft. It is smooth and easy but too simple; it comes and go.

Finish: Creamy.

Nothing inspires me.

Nice scale: 75/100

Drink once can already.

Macallan 30 YO 2019, 43%

6) Macallan 30 YO 2019, 43%

Seasoned Sherry Cask

Nose: Orange peels, brown sugar & nutmeg. Fresh and some spice.

Mouth: Sweet, smooth, berries and light spice.

Finish: Too fast. Light bitter.

Maybe I'm just a picky drinker; this doesn't live up to the expectation

Nice scale: 76/100

Drink once can already.

7) Glenfarclas 25, Cask strength Batch NO.1 52.2% Japan Exclusive

Sherry Cask

Nose: Dry dates with brown sugar, fresh and dusty sunflower seeds & nuts.

Mouth: Round, oak spice, sweet berries. Nutty notes are present as well.

Finish: Dried grapes, berries and nutty.

Nice scale: 82/100

Better than Glenfarclas 30 In my opinion.

8) Glenfiddich 22 YO Rare sherry cask finish 44.3%

Palo Cortado Sherry

Hmmm, brown sugar on the nose. Light berries and sweet vanilla dried fruits in the mouth. More flavour than the 30YO but still the flavour profile is a straight line.

Nice scale: 77/100

Drink once can already.

The end of my Speyside journey.

STAGG Batch 12 66.15%

9) STAGG Batch 12 66.15%

New Charred White Oak Barrel

Nose: Strong and bold, solid on the nose. It is not sharp and harsh. Brown sugar and milky chocolate, fresh orange peels and thick dark plums.

Mouth: Cough syrup, plum, sweet and fresh. Perfume notes as well.

Finish: Cough syrup and numbness remain.

Nice scale: 86/100

Quite an experience! Felt pretty solid from the nose to finish.

Laphroaig 1996 17YO Cask #8519 50.70%

10) Laphroaig 1996 17YO Cask #8519 50.70%


Nose: Iodine, lemon elements-more towards a lemon pill type of notes, sweet, ashy peat. Getting medical.

Mouth: Smooth and sweet. Easy to drink, peppery notes linger in the mouth. Sandy peat and smoky.

Finish: Sandy peat stays a bit longer.

It appears in a King Geroge V decanter, which got me confused and thinking since when JW adds Laphroaig into their blend.

Nice scale: 85/100

Caol Ila 2012 8YO #9  58.9%

11) Caol Ila 2012 8YO #9 58.9%

First Fill Sherry Butt finish

This is a complex young baby.

Nose: It doesn't come in as a typical Caol Ila. Sherried notes are obvious, wet damp woods. Some peat is behind the strong presence of sherry. Hints of lemon as well. Complex.

Mouth: Sweet honey wet peat, creamy in the mouth. Peppery and tobacco. Offers a level of depth in the mouth as well.

Finish: Spice and ashy peat.

Nice scale:88/100

Sometimes, it is the younger whiskies that offer you the experience. A feel drams and we can start thinking why humans exist, getting philosophical. Must try!

Port Ellen 1979 XOP 40YO 49.6%

12) Port Ellen 1979 XOP 40YO 49.6%

Refill Butt

Nose: Jack fruits, veggies/herbs, a bit of the dirty crude oil and plastic on the nose for me. Peach and brown sugar.

Mouth: Sweet, honey, round and smooth. Vanilla fudge and lemon in the mouth.

Finish: Salty, smokey and oily.

A rather standard high-age, wouldn't go wrong, Islay whisky in the modern day.

Nice scale:87/100

Nanyang Islay Single Malt 1990 30YO, 51.30%

13) Nanyang Islay Single Malt 1990 30YO, 51.30%

Similar to the Laphroaig 1996 17YO Cask #8519 50.70%. A stronger presence of brown sugar and then goes back to the sweet peat.

Nice scale: 84/100

Douglas Laing Laphroaig 1999 21YO XOP, 56.6%

14) Douglas Laing Laphroaig 1999 21YO XOP, 56.6%

Refill Butt

Same same but different. The nose can feel more presence of citrus, ashy peat and sweetness. More honey peat notes in the mouth, and the rest quite the same.

Nice scale: 86/100

15) Glen Scotia 2016 5YO 56.2%

First Fill Oloroso Hogshead

Nose: Gummy bear, sweet, brown sugar. Nutty and sherried influence can be felt.

Mouth:Fruity, nutty, sweet gummy bear and oak spice.

Finish: Salty, sweet and oak spice

Nice scale: 82/100

Prince Ken really spoiled Kris Cinderella with these tasty treats!

All rates are solely based on taste (subjective).


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