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Invergordon 24-year-old – Whisky Broker

Bought: Whisky Broker, 4th February 2016

Ratings:
C+ – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

Since I was putting in an order with the Whisky Broker I thought I’d treat myself to a few cheap miniatures including this single grain my Invergordon. It seems strange that it’s taken me so long to get an example from this distillery but I never felt there was any rush. Owned by Whyte & Mackay, Invergordon began life in the early 1960s and currently produces about 40 million litres of spirit each year. Unlike so many closed single grain distilleries there’s no shortage of Invergordon.

It’s early days for getting reviews of this single grain but one member on Whiskybase rates it C+ (whatever that means) and says of the taste “initially malty, honeyed and quite raw but developing on more sugary/sour-sweet & buttery vanilla cream and cocao nibs. It then thickens towards an enveloping mouth-feel before turning quite sour. There’s grainy modern oak here and it’s done well to tame the spirit. Malty-sour into the finish.” They summarise with “one of the better Invergordons I’ve had, as most round this age [or less] tend to have been spirit led and arguably bottled prematurely in my opinion. Highlights include the nose [after time & water] and the mouth-feel on development – but the overall result is a struggle with all that sourness” and add “a full bottle I think would be a real struggle.”

I’m glad the reviewer feels this is one of the better Invergordons they’ve had because it will be a first for me when I have time to drink it.

Invergordon 24yo 5cl

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Talisker 25-year-old 1979/2004

Bought: Best of Whisky (Holland), 1st May 2015

Ratings:
94/100 – Whisky Bible 2006
91/100 – Whiskybase (average from 120 member votes)

Every collection will have its stars, and for me this Talisker 25yo is one of mine. Bottled in 2004, I was quite surprised to find it being sold as ‘new’ in 2015, 11 years later. But, who knows where it’s been. A lot of the whisky shops buy bottles from auction and sell them for a profit through their online stores. As a ‘limited’ edition of 21,000, it probably sold out within a year or two of its initial release. I doubt my source got it directly from Talisker this year.

I had to go back to the Whisky Bible 2006 to find Jim Murray’s review of this Talisker 25yo. According to him, only the 2006 release of the 25yo is better, which he scores 95/100. But 94/100 still classifies this dram as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live.” In his review he finds the nose rather unconvincing but says of the taste “sweet malt with more than a hint of exotic fruit, and then the most wonderful multiplying of smoke towards the middle, starting off as a suggestion and ending as a statement; oak also arrives in the first nanosecond but is controlled and adds structure.” The finish scores a perfect 25/25 with “fizzing, buzzing spices on a bed of Old Jamaica fruit chocolate. Soft oils help ensure this is the most faultless of finales.” He concludes with “Magical and enchanting”.

91/100 on Whiskybase from 119 member votes is one of the highest marks I’ve seen on that site for one of the bottles in my collection. The 2006 edition Jim Murray thinks is better scores half a point less with 90.5/100 from 123 member votes on Whiskybase, so it’s too close to say which is best.

I have a price list from a bar in Aberdeen called ‘The Grill’ and they are selling a measure of the Talisker 2009 25yo for £22.50. This scores 88.5/100 in the Whisky Bible 2015. Not quite as prestigious as the 2004 edition, but at a price that makes me want to go pee-pee! Saying that, The Whisky Exchange are selling my 2004 bottle right now for £350, so you’d expect a measure to be quite expensive.

Talisker 2004 25yo 70cl