Bought: Cadenhead, 5th December 2017
88.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2018
87.85/100 – Whiskybase (average from 89 member votes)
In 2015 I contacted Springbank distillery about paying £50 to become a life member of their ‘Springbank Society’. I’d get a badge, t-shirt and an opportunity to buy two special bottles per year, exclusive to society members. In the end I didn’t join because the online forum for Springbank members disappeared and the distillery was having a website meltdown. They make great whisky but my confidence in their Internet ability was in tatters. Since then I can’t say I’ve seen a ‘society only’ bottle of Springbank appear at auction so I’ve no idea if they got produced.
The basic Springbank 10yo and the cask strength 12yo are so good it’s taken me 5 years on my whisky journey before getting the 15yo. Clearly I didn’t need any ‘special releases’ for society members because the standard releases are more than enough for me. I decided to get the 15yo because several people on whisky forums said it was their favourite dram and I hadn’t bought a Springbank for a while. With a score of nearly 88/100 on Whiskybase this is clearly a fantastic 15yo. Comments include “very tasty” and “a big whisky with big flavours”. Other remarks online include “top of the line if you like sherry matured” and “refined and full of Campbeltown character”. What more can you ask for?
Jim Murray’s score of 88.5/100 in his Whisky Bible dates back to 2012 so you can take that with a pinch of salt. A review on Whiskybase says this latest version (tasted in 2018) is better than a previous version they tried a few years ago so perhaps Mr Murray would score it in the 90s now.
Tasting notes from Master of Malt:
Nose: Fragrant with a certain richness. Notes of fruit salad and a hint of caramel, pineapple, guava and passion fruit lurk. There are notes of dried leather and old ropes. A hint of toffee sweetness and some granary toast.
Palate: Quite full and rich. There are notes of creamy fruit salad and more exotic fruit notes. There is palpable mastication from the oaked tannins with a hint of spice.
Finish: Fairly long with a gentle warmth.
Here’s Horst & Benedikt Luening of Whisky.com with their thoughts about the Springbank 15yo on YouTube (May 2017):
Bought: Cadenhead, 5th December 2017
84.78/100 – Whiskybase (average from 11 member votes)
When you look at Old Pulteney (OP) in Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible 2018’ you realise how rare it is to see independent bottlings from this illustrious distillery. In fact Mr Murray only mentions Cadenhead and Gordon & MacPhail. Of these only the two bottles by Cadenhead are cask strength. The distillery itself rarely releases a whisky that hasn’t been diluted down. But if you’re a fan of a particular distillery it doesn’t take long before you want to try the raw liquid straight from the barrel. And as a fan of OP, this 11yo by Cadenhead gives me my change to do just that. It’s Old Pulteney au naturale.
My OP 11yo is made from a combination of two hogshead casks distilled in 2006 and bottled at 55.8% in 2017. It comes from ex-bourbon barrels, which is the standard wood used by the distillery. 570 bottles were produced. Although Jim Murray doesn’t review this particular dram he scores a similar Cadenhead 2006 11yo a very respectable 87/100. This was also an ex-bourbon hogshead but only one barrel was used to produce 294 bottles. It scores 82.39/100 on Whiskybase from 25 votes. My 11yo scores a fantastic 84.78/100 from 11 votes so far, which suggests a marginally better dram.
Cadenhead release cask strength Old Pulteney quite regularly so if it’s something you’re interested in then keep an eye on their website. My 11yo was bottled in 2017 but Cadenhead have already bottled two OP 12yo cask strengths in 2018 (one of which is still available on their website for £54.30 from a run of only 282 bottles, so cask strength AND single cask).
Tasting notes by Cadenhead:
Nose: Toffee popcorn, cereals, barley sugar, developing rich notes with this coastal dram. The nose is great now into the palate!
Palate: The palate is driving in some incredible richness with some fresh ground black pepper, haggis crisps, cardamon pod. We also find a sweet note after this dram is left to open in the glass.
Finish: The finish is really good with a hint of red liquorice, banana loaf and marshmallow, the finish coats the palate with a lingering sweetness before the spicy mid note on the palate comes back in for a few moments.
Posted in Old Pulteney
Tagged 11yo, 2006, 55.8%, 70cl, Cadenhead, Cadenhead Shop, Cask Strength, Highland, Highlands, Old Pulteney, Single Malt, Small Batch
Bought: Cadenhead Online Shop, 6th April 2016
90.07/100 – Whiskybase (from 16 member votes)
88/100 – Whiskyfun
91/100 – Whiskynotes
As my whisky collection draws to a close I’m looking to tick off the remaining items on my wishlist. I haven’t bought directly from Cadenhead before but I’ve been admiring the look of their ‘small batch’ range for years. I also don’t have a single malt over 40yo. I have single grain and malted spirit but not a single malt, until now. With only 630 bottles of this Glenlivet it makes a good investment but over 90/100 on Whiskybase tells me it’s a fantastic drinking dram too.
I was wondering why Cadenhead saw fit to add ‘Minmore’ to the title of this whisky, given that’s the location of the Glenlivet distillery. Then I realised it’s because of the age of this whisky, which dates back to a time when lots of other distilleries put ‘Glenlivet’ in their names. Cadenhead are just making it absolutely clear that this single malt is from the Glenlivet, not another from the same glen.
Here are the tasting notes from Cadenhead:
Nose: Soft and juicy. Peaches, passion fruit, soft lime notes and also kiwi and watermelon. A great age whisky delivering a truly amazing nose.
Palate: More juicy fruits. For such a delicate whisky this feels very thick and rich. Olive oil, hints of Sauvignon blanc and lots of syrupy fruits coats the whole palate.
Finish: Dried citrus fruits with some soft woodiness. Creaminess grows but mingles with lots of thick tropical fruits.