The Whisky Exchange “Glen Moray – Elgin’s Hidden Gem” – Scotch Whisky News


Glen Moray – Elgin’s hidden gem

With around 100 active whisky distilleries in Scotland, it’s inevitable that some get overlooked. One underrated distillery is Glen Moray. The distillery’s range is prominent in supermarkets, but has managed to stay under the radar of the average whisky drinker. I admit that I have been equally guilty, and have only tried Glen Moray on a handful of occasions at whisky shows. So, to rectify that, on a recent trip to Speyside, booking a distillery visit was my top priority.

Glen Moray has had just a handful of owners in its 117 years of operation – founded in 1897 on the site of the West Brewery, it was purchased by Macdonald Muir (later to become Glenmorangie plc) in 1920, remaining in the same ownership until 2008 when French spirits group La Martiniquaise took the reins.

The distillery has shown its innovative nature over the past decade. Glenmorangie gained the plaudits for its range of whiskies finished in different types of wood, but not many know that Glen Moray was the spirit used for the trials a decade or so ago. Glen Moray’s Chardonnay-cask-aged expression is still available (although originally released as a No Age Statement, it’s now their 10 Year Old offering). Some of these casks are still kept in the warehouses, having been joined by casks filled after the distillery was taken over by La Martiniquaise in 2008, and include a seven-year-old rum cask and a four-year-old fully matured port cask.

Glen Moray Casks

Experimental wood ageing at Glen Moray – some left over from its Glenmorangie days

The cask experimentation is continuing – last year, the distillery filled 95% of production into bourbon casks, but with the increase in costs – Iain Allan (who showed me round) says bourbon barrels are rapidly approaching half the cost of a sherry butt (gone are the days when they were a tenth of the price). Experiments have recently begun with brandy casks being filled with spirit.

More innovation can be seen in the production area; four new washbacks were installed in 2012, with one of the older ones decommissioned and converted into a heated water well. The wash passes through this after fermentation, thus increasing its temperature and reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the stills – lowering costs and improving efficiency.

The distillery has more freedom than it did under Glenmorangie ownership and the team are experimenting with how to get the best out of the entire production process, not just with cask ageing. The distillery’s output is primarily unpeated, with peated spirit produced just one month a year – partly to be used for an upcoming peated release, currently available as a 2 year old in the distillery shop, and also to be used in the company’s Label 5 range of blended whiskies.

With the demand for Scotch growing, Glen Moray is increasing production. Having produced 2.2 million litres of spirit in 2012 and 3m in 2013, they are aiming for 9m in 2015. To achieve this, the building which used to house the on-site maltings (dormant since the late 1970s) has been demolished. In its place, a new production building (which will house an 11-ton mash tun, 12 new stills and around 10 washbacks) is being constructed. This is effectively building a new distillery on site, as it will be larger than the current Glen Moray, which only has six stills and nine washbacks.

Glen Moray's six stills

Glen Moray’s six stills

We were delighted that Glen Moray were among the first exhibitors to be announced as returning to October’s TWE Whisky Show. If you are attending, I’d recommend visiting the stand and seeing Iain and Emma (who also run the distillery’s visitor centre), especially if you’ve never tried Glen Moray before.

I couldn’t leave without trying a few whiskies from the range:

Glen Moray Classic

Glen Moray Classic. 40%.

Aged for an average of seven years entirely in ex-bourbon casks, of which a high percentage are first fill, this is the distillery’s entry-level offering.

Nose: Rather closed, with just the malted sweetness coming through.
Palate: Light, grassy and sweet with notes of green apple and lemon.
Finish: Medium-length and slightly drying, with the lemon notes remaining through to the end.
Comment: It’s not a whisky to set the world alight, but that’s not what it’s meant to do. An easy-to-drink, entry-level single malt that’s a bargain at just a little over £20.

Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask

Glen Moray 10 Year Old, Chardonnay Cask. 40%.

Unusually for a Scotch single malt, this has been aged full-term in white-wine casks. This is a whisky that has always intrigued me, so let’s see if it was worth the wait.

Nose: Sweet, with notes of orange and a hint of butteriness in the background.
Palate: Sweet marmalade and butter (in keeping with the nose). The fruit intensity, sweetness and alcohol are very well integrated.
Finish: Medium to long, rich and fruity, with plenty of that marmalade that is a recurrent theme throughout.
Comment: Whiskies aged full-term in wine casks are pretty rare and those aged in white-wine casks even more so. The butteriness comes from these casks, and while it is an unusual trait in whisky, integrates well with the rest of the flavours. At just a smidgen over £25, it’s another excellent-value whisky.

Glen Moray 2 Year Old Peated

Glen Moray 2 Year Old Peated. 60.6%.
Not yet legally whisky, this will be added to the core range in the next year or so (when it reaches the legal minimum of three years old). We managed to find some stock of this in the past and it flew off the shelves, so I was eager to give it a go.

Nose: A whack of peat – iodine more than TCP.
Palate: Warming, with the youthful peat balanced by sweetness and orange notes.
Finish: The fruitiness slowly dissipating to leave warming iodine notes.
Comment: Rather rough around the edges, but it is very young, so this can be overlooked. A real insight into what the distillery is capable of producing in terms of peated whisky, and shows excellent potential.

Glen Moray is a distillery I’ll be keeping an even closer eye on in the future, with some interesting releases planned – watch this space!

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BenRiach 1993 (cask #7977 for TWA)

A BenRiach 1993, finished in virgin American oak. It was selected by The Whisky Agency – sister cask #7976 had been bottled last year.


BenRiach 1993 cask #7977 virgin oak TWABenRiach 1993 cask #7977 virgin oak TWABenRiach 20 yo 1993 (52,3%, OB for The Whisky Agency 2014, cask #7977, Virgin American oak finish, 308 btl.)

Nose: intensely oak-infused, but in a very nice way. Dried coconut, waxed leather, mint syrup and vanilla. Traces of grain whisky, traces of rum, traces of American whiskey too. Apricots and bananas. Quite a lot of sawdust and oak polish. Hints of hay and spices. It’s not your classic Scotch, but it’s really enticing. Mouth: thick, sweet and oily, with lots of vanilla and pencil shavings. Actually this could have been made in America. Coconut cream and barley sugars. Mango and green banana. Some biscuity notes. Ginger and pepper. Finish: long, spicy and sweet. Almost a whisky liqueur.

I think BenRiach is one of the only distilleries that really master the art of virgin oak maturation / finishing, in a way that doesn’t hurt the character of the spirit and results in interesting new profiles. At some points surprisingly close to an actual bourbon. Around € 120.

Score: 87/100

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From Edinburgh to Belfast – and beyond – A Whiskey Soujourn – Whiskey News

AA bittles

From Edinburgh to Belfast – and beyond – a whiskey soujourn.

Paul McLean takes his own personal tour, a travel log;  After dropping our guests off in Edinburgh at their hotel – almost on the Royal Mile – the coach was to head back to Belfast. The previous night I had made plans and bookings to accompany the coach, for a few well -earned days away. “Having booked the coach from McCombs in Belfast, with a friend driving, Mark Burgess (he does our Irish tours also) I thought it a grand idea to have a few days away” says Paul. So, from Edinburgh, Mark and myself headed west to CairnRyan near Stranraer via Kilmarnock, Ayr and Girvan.  Just over 3 hours later we were at the ferry, as Mark parked up at the coach lines, I headed into the office, me met up on the ferry – another two hours! Arriving in Belfast docks, we then headed into the city, as Mark dropped me off at my hotel, he still had a couple of hours work cleaning the coach before home.

Flopping on ma bed, time to consider plans; a quick drink at the Crown pub; with period gas lighting and cosy snugs. The exterior is decorated in polychromatic tiles. This includes a mosaic of a Crown on the floor of the entrance. A Republican pub, you need walk over the crown as you enter!  The snugs feature original gun metal plates for striking matches and an antique bell system for calling staff. Extra privacy was then afforded by the pub’s etched and stained glass windows, fairies, pineapples, fleurs-de-lis and clowns. A good place for a dram – Jamesons Gold Reserve, wood and pot still with a touch of sherry, honey combines in the mush to create a spicy character. The long finish really caps it off with a pleasantly peppery conclusion. A good start. I dondered next door to Robinsons; Fibber Magees to be sure, here I partook in a Kilbeggan. Fibber Magees is a traditional Irish Bar in the corner of Blackstaff Square, is the city’s hidden gem; the genuine article; a good old spit and sawdust bar, packed to the rafters with little bits of history and steeped in Irish tradition.  My dram, Kilbeggan is named after St Bécán, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland who founded a monastery in the area in the 6th century. This dram is smooth and malty. The nose is smooth and gentle with nut oils and barley, cereals and a little peat. I do like these drams, here presented on the bar in its new bottle.  A couple more wee Irish gems, then – time for bed.

Tuesday arrived, bright and cheerful, sun from 05.30 through my window (on the 8th floor). All the usual morning stuff, some breakfast, then picked up by a McCombs driver (Stephen) for a day trip, courtesy of Rodney (owner), was looking forward to this – having done it before with the tourist board.  Watching the coach fill up with tourists – I was still working y’know, we then headed north to Carrickfergus castle; a stop here at this old castle before north again to Larne and Carnlough and my favourite, Cushendall. Cushendall village is the meeting point of three glens: Glenann, Glenballylemon and Glencorp, a perfect place to walk along the beach, donder around the glens, sit by the river or explore stone-aged monuments and its more recent historical, sword-producing, past. Views of Scotland add the final touch why I love this place. Och well, onwards north – ah, the stop I have been waiting for, it’s been hot sitting here on the crew seat with the strong sun hitting me like a plank through the window! Bushmills.

AA bush3

When Diageo took over Bushmills distillery from Pernod Ricard in 2005, sales volumes had been flat for over 10 years. The new owners set a goal to reach 1 million cases by the end of 2012 and set about investing (to the tune of around €45 million) in the distillery itself as well as the brand. Diageo increased the production rate to five days a week and since 2008, they have implemented a seven-day week. This tripled production in just 2.5 years. Bushmills uses two kinds of malt, one unpeated and one slightly peated. The distillery uses triple distillation, something they’ve done since the 1930s. The range of single malts consists of a 10 year old, a 16 year old with a finish in port pipes for 6-9 months and a 21 year old finished in Madeira casks for two years. There is also a 12 year old Distillery Reserve which is sold exclusively at the distillery (as you imagined, I have one). Black Bush (my dram of choice in my local pub – Christies) and Bushmills Original are the two main blended whiskeys in the range. To celebrate the 400th anniversary, a Bushmills 1608 Anniversary Edition was launched (yup, have one also, well – maybe two inches remain in the bottle). The malt whiskey part was distilled using a proportion of crystal malt (malted barley which has been dried at a high temperature whilst the grains are still moist, thus partly converting the grain’s starch into sugars and caramelising them). This special ingredient gives the blend distinct toffee/chocolatey notes. The grain whiskey used for Bushmills blended whiskeys is, in fact, bought from Midleton distillery in Cork which is owned by arch-rival Pernod Ricard. I found Niall, an old pal, chatted asked for freebies (didnee get any, Diageo), enjoyed steak and Guinness pie in the food hall, had 3 drams fae the bar, all courtesy of my minder for the day Stephen.  It was nice to be back, last time here we had a VIP tasting of 8 drams, our Canadian friends and Mark know all about that wee episode, say nae more.  Then up to the Giants Causeway. Baking hot, we were frying eggs on the coach roof!  It was here we had a chat with other McCombs drivers; Derek and Pat, 3 coaches here today, also Sean of Irish railtours. All good things come to an end – a return by the fast route to Belfast, around 7pm, headed to the pub for a long beer, Harp ice cold lager was called for. At 8pm a couple of cousins arrived from the Republic – hugs, hell’s and drams followed! A return to Fibbers. Caught up with family matters and stayed away from trouble – no remarks please Mark, Liz, Sean, or anyone come to think of it. Hit ma bed 11pm knackered. 

Wednesday; cousins in tow we hit what I think the best whiskey pub in the city; Bittles Bar is located close to Victoria Square. Red-bricked and ‘flat-iron’ in shape Bittles is a traditional Victorian Bar. Founded in 1868 the bar was originally called the Shakespeare reflecting is theatrical clientele. It offers one of Belfast’s widest selections of local and international draught and bottle beers and ciders and is famed for its extensive whiskey (and whisky) collection. I sampled a few, chatting to John about his collection of whiskey – some rare old drams here, he offered me a lovely dram, then said “£100 a dram” I reluctantly turned it doon. But did try a good few, met a few locals, had far to long sitting there, by the time we departed, Sean had disappeared, I was heavy with the Irish gold, Pat was slumpin, so we sat down outside Whites bar for a while – founded 1630, we all felt as if we were at the opening night, grim stuff. Sean turned up as we ordered a round, he does that.  It was 3pm and bed called me loudly!  We left Whites and had a doze in the park benches at City Hall, no a good sight, we did think the Guards would move us, we were fine. By 4.30 we were almost alive again and found some food, when I say food, dinnae mean Macdonalds by the way. Bellies full – mine is too big – we headed to The Duke of York; Traditional Belfast bar crammed with original mirrors and memorabilia. Cold beer, great Guinness and the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in Ireland. We know, we tried some!  Ended up in ma bed! Family gone home.

Thursday. My final day here, knowing a few things, I grabbed a taxi to Crumlin Road, took a tour of the gaol, a grim place to be held in, but my reason for the visit; a new distillery will be opening here – possibly 2015. Plans to make whiskey in old Crumlin Road gaol is hoped whiskey-making will boost tourist in Belfast It is hoped whiskey-making will boost tourism in Belfast. Peter Lavery has announced plans to turn part of the former Crumlin Road Prison in north Belfast into a distillery. The £5m investment will see the A wing of the listed building turned into a boutique distillery that will use his existing brands of whiskey. There will also be a visitors’ centre, tasting room, bar, restaurant and shop. It is claimed the project could create 60 jobs. Up to five of those jobs will be in the distillery. Mr Lavery is the chief executive of the Belfast Distillery Company which is behind such brands as Titanic and Danny Boy whiskey.

AA dram chums intel

Danny Boy Blend is a premium dark golden brown Irish whiskey blend of 20% malt and 80% finest grain, produced by the Cooley Distillery, double-distilled with a four-year minimum and matured in American oak casks that infuse a toasty and vanilla aroma for an exceptionally smooth finish. Danny Boy offers whiskey drinkers notes of soft raisins and Irish caramel with a peppery spice overtone. Six to eight year old malt and a high proportion of eight year old grain are used to produce the premium Irish whiskey. Double Distillation and matured in American Oak barrels. 15% 4 year Malt, 5% 8 year old Malt, 45% 8 year old Grain, 20% 5 year old grain, 15% 4 year old grain. A superb and complex blend that features the very best single malt and clean grain from the famous Cooley Distillery. The age profile explains the depth of character in the whiskey which enabled it to win a silver medal at the prestigious International Spirits Competition in 2010. Unusually aged the Danny boy Brand is a premium blend and has both a exceptional Smooth taste and luxury finish on the pallet. Vanilla and toasty wood flavours are very evident on the nose and these give way to soft sweet fruits and toffees as primary tastes. Smooth and lingering aftertaste has a hint of spice. Paul’s note; A shocking item here, Cooley when bought by Beam, decided to NOT sell any whiskey to anyone, leaving Danny Boy really in the lurch, along with many others including Slane Castle, however some of these are now (like to two mentioned) building their own distilleries.  I have Danny Boy at home, sitting alongside Slane and Michael Collins drams.

Back in the city, having seen enough of the Union flags everywhere, dropped into Fibbers again, before heading to the airport. Ah … flybe, get your act together, never flying with them again, over charging, hidden charges, late flights, no thanks! Liz met me at Edinburgh airport for my ride home. Another wee whiskey trip done!

(Paul Liz run MCLEANSCOTLAND Whisky Tours and can be contacted here )


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Glen Garioch 21 yo 1973

In late 1980’s there were a couple of famous Glen Garioch 21 Year Old releases distilled in 1965 (white label with grey / golden / black letters according to the strength). By 1990 they were replaced by a 21yo with a black label.

We’re trying a rare 1973 vintage bottled in 1995 for the US market.



Glen Garioch 21 years 1973Glen Garioch 21 years 1973Glen Garioch 21 yo 1973 (43%, OB for Duggans Distillers NY 1995, 75 cl.)

Nose: flinty and mineral, but elegant at the same time. Waxed papers and linseed oil. Some peat, grapefruit and lemon zest. Leafy notes. Could be mistaken for a Clynelish or Brora. Mineral, with a camphory sharpness, but overall not too austere. Mouth: surprisingly sweet, mixed with peat and liquorice roots. Peppercorns and mint. Hints of eucalyptus and sweetened herbal tea. Some resin-like bitterness and leathery notes. Finish: long, slightly sharp, with some smoke and sweet liquorice.

The intensity of this old-style Glen Garioch 21yo is quite stunning considering the modest 43%. We’ve had even more complex 1970’s example but this is still pretty great. Around € 300 in auctions. Thanks Carsten.

Score: 91/100

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Bunnahabhain 1990 (Archives)

Bunnahabhain is without doubt the most widely available Islay distillery among independent bottlers these days. They seem to take advantage of the current shortage and popularity of Islay malt.

This is a heavily sherried Bunnahabhain 1990, like we’ve seen a couple of times recently.


Bunnahabhain 1990 ArchivesBunnahabhain 1990 ArchivesBunnahabhain 23 yo 1990
(47,9%, Archives ‘Fishes of Samoa’ 2014, sherry butt #52, 201 btl.)

Nose: full-bodied nose, with juicy fruits and lots of sweet Oloroso sherry. Black cherries, rum raisins, blackberries… Sweet but also quite spicy, with pepper and hints of curry. Nice tobacco too. Touches of balsamic. Also the typical flinty and (subtle) gunpowder note that’s often found in heavily sherried Bunna. Mouth: full of raisins, figs and dark chocolate. Starts sweet and fruity – quickly turns towards spices. Think cloves and nutmeg. Walnuts. Slightly tannic in the end. Finish: medium length, with liquorice, coffee and cinnamon powder.

The nose is sweet, intense and entertaining. On the palate the dry side is a little on the heavy side, which makes this release end a little lower than I initially expected. Around € 105, available from Whiskybase.

Score: 86/100

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Arran 1997 for Limburg Whisky Fair

Among the many bottlings for The Whisky Fair 2014, there were no less than three Arrans: this Arran 1997 (sherry cask), a bourbon cask Arran 2001 and a peated Arran 2005.


Arran 1997 for Limburg Whisky FairArran 1997 for Limburg Whisky FairArran 16 yo 1997 ‘Private Cask’
(50,1%, OB for Limburg Whisky Fair 2014, sherry hogshead #518, 246 btl.)

Nose: a kind of light, elegant sherry that leaves room for the original spirit. Some oranges, peaches, rhubarb and leather. Fruit stems. Hints of thyme honey and orange blossom. More and more flowers actually. Mouth: again a mix of round fruitiness (tangerines, cherries, berries), with some orange marmalade, lemon zest and a hint of bitterish oak around the corner. Pleasant flinty notes and cardamom. Parts of this remind me of fruit eau-de-vie. Quite different and pretty naked when compared to heavily sherried Arran from the same period. Finish: long, citrusy, with some pepper and a pinch of salt.

Nice, clean Arran, showing a naked, fruity spirit and just echoes of sherry notes. A kind of Arran that’s slightly different from the others. Around € 80. Available from eSpirits.

Score: 86/100

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Arran 1997 for Limburg Whisky Fair

Among the many bottlings for The Whisky Fair 2014, there were no less than three Arrans: this Arran 1997 (sherry cask), a bourbon cask Arran 2001 and a peated Arran 2005.


Arran 1997 for Limburg Whisky FairArran 1997 for Limburg Whisky FairArran 16 yo 1997 ‘Private Cask’
(50,1%, OB for Limburg Whisky Fair 2014, sherry hogshead #518, 246 btl.)

Nose: a kind of light, elegant sherry that leaves room for the original spirit. Some oranges, peaches, rhubarb and leather. Fruit stems. Hints of thyme honey and orange blossom. More and more flowers actually. Mouth: again a mix of round fruitiness (tangerines, cherries, berries), with some orange marmalade, lemon zest and a hint of bitterish oak around the corner. Pleasant flinty notes and cardamom. Parts of this remind me of fruit eau-de-vie. Quite different and pretty naked when compared to heavily sherried Arran from the same period. Finish: long, citrusy, with some pepper and a pinch of salt.

Nice, clean Arran, showing a naked, fruity spirit and just echoes of sherry notes. A kind of Arran that’s slightly different from the others. Around € 80. Available from eSpirits.

Score: 86/100

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“Tomatin Decades, A Master’s Masterwork” at Federal Boston – Scotch Whisky News


Tomatin Decades 

A Master’s Masterwork 

Tomatin is one of the highest ,at over a thousand feet, and larger, 5 million liters capacity, distilleries in the Scotch Highlands 

After working his way up its ranks, Douglas Campbell became its Master Distiller before assuming his emeritus role as its ambassador traveling the world promoting the brand.

2011 marked his fiftieth year at Tomatin. To celebrate, he chose some of his favorites of the best casks from each decade he served, going back as far as 1967.

From them he blended this limited edition malt. It is a whiskey born of art and emotion, a Master Distiller’s summation of his brilliant career.

A wonderful single malt of depth and intricacy, it will bring pleasure to those fortunate enough to own a bottle.

It comes in a nice presentation box and very nice as a gift. A whisky of this age and origin should cost hundreds of dollars, but we offer it for much less. 

But there are only 8 bottles of this special once in a carrer malt. 

Tomatin Decades 

Nose: A lovely sweet maltiness gives way to juicy, fruity aromas of fresh peach, apple and pear with gentile hints of  dried apricot, and raisins. Delicate flowery notes sit on top of rich pine and robust oak wood. The hint of distant smoldering fire wafts in the background. 

Palate: The taste buds are tantalized by intense flavors of tropical, rich Christmas cake, aniseed, cinnamon and creamy fudge. 

Finish: Mellow and memorable, like the man himself.  

$137 – Special Sale $119  

Len Rothenberg 

Federal Wine Spirits
Phone: (617) 367-8605

Federal Wine  Spirits

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TOP PICKS at K&L California – Whisky News



  • Glengoyne 21-year-old Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($119.99)
    The Glen Goyne 21 year is one of the biggest deals in the world of Scotch. A splendid distillery in the lower highlands, producing whisky of this age from Oloroso Sherry Casks, would normally sell their 21 year for atleast $170…and they usually do! But we have a crazy deal with the distributor to get the price way way down. We’ll have this price until current stocks run out so get it while the gettin’ is good. (David Othenin-Girard, KL Spirits Buyer)
  • Rhetoric 20 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey 750ml (ships as 1.5L) ($99.99)
    Another 20 year old release from Diageo’s Orphan Barrel series that showcases ultra-mature Bourbon from Bernheim Distillery. Whereas the Barterhouse 20 year began with a soft and rounded profile, showcasing the extra oak from two decades of aging, the Rhetoric is far more balanced with less initial sweetness and more peppery spice. The tobacco and herbaceous notes carry through to the finish, which is decidedly longer and more intense than what the Barterhouse offers. Considering both stocks originate from the same distillery, it’s interesting to taste how Diageo has chosen to blend together the remaining barrels. Fans of the richer, more supple style of Bourbon might lean towards the Barterhouse, but those in search of what’s ultimately underneath the sweetness will prefer the Rhetoric without question. The baking spices on the nose are more alluring, and the complexity of flavor far more interesting. (NOTE: Due to the width of the Rhetoric bottl e all shipping orders will be charged as 1.5L bottles)

KL Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


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Bunnahabhain 2003 (SV for The Bonding Dram)

Some time ago, Belgian importers and shopkeepers went on a joint trip to the Signatory warehouses, which is why there’s a whole list of Signatory releases for Belgian companies at the moment.

This Bunnahabhain 2003 was split amongst five shops: The Bonding Dram, Dims Dram, Comptoirs des Vins, Maison Baelen and Maison Demiautte.


Bunnahabhain 2003 (SV for The Bonding Dram)Bunnahabhain 2003 (SV for The Bonding Dram)Bunnahabhain 11 yo 2003
(58,8%, Signatory Vintage for The Bonding Dram and others 2014, sherry butt #1152, 627 btl.)

Nose: not your classic sherry influence, in the sense that there’s more toffee, brown sugar and buttery toast than the usual dried fruits. Maple syrup. It shows a nice hint of dusty warehouses as well, even faint farmy touches. Gingerbread. Roasted chestnuts and lovely hints of honeycomb. Mouth: strong, initially there’s a similar caramel sweetness but this gradually makes place for mineral notes and spices. Walnuts, orange peel and some salt. More toast. Then the spices, including nutmeg, clove and especially juniper. A peppery heat as well. Finish: medium long, leathery and spicy, slightly grassy, but always with an underlying chocolate sweetness.

I like this one for being different and balancing Bunnahabhains typical coastalness to a dark sweetness and spicy side. Even better with a drop of water. Around € 75, available from The Bonding Dram of course.

Score: 87/100

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