Tag Archives: Carn Mor

Glen Garioch 2011 Carn Mor Strictly Limited 5-year-old

Bought: Aberdeen Whisky Shop, 27th March 2017

Ratings:
80/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

I do love the Aberdeen Whisky Shop. It’s a nice wee shop in my home town with great staff but….OMG, the website! It’s been sitting there with one page saying, “online shop coming soon” since about 2013. But this is a perfect example of how crazy the whisky market has gone in recent years. The statement “you must be online to make money” doesn’t apply to whisky. If you have a shop in the centre of Scotland’s third largest city you get enough walk-in trade to make ‘online’ become ‘on hold’ until market forces change. But it is frustrating if you find the Aberdeen Whisky Shop online and you don’t live anywhere near the city. At least they give regular updates about new stock via their Facebook page.

I hadn’t intended on buying this Glen Garioch but I was in the shop, it was there, and the rest is history. Generally I’m not a fan of immature whisky but after visiting Glen Garioch in 2016 I was keen to get more examples from the distillery. Distilled in 2011 and bottles in 2017 this 5-year-old was limited to 665 bottles. It has no added colour, and it’s non-chillfiltered but it’s a shame it isn’t cask strength. I suppose it’s a lot to ask for a mere £36 and 46% is a decent enough potency. Definitely one to be drunk as I don’t see this making much as an investment. The bottles aren’t individually numbered and it comes from 2 bourbon barrels rather than single cask. There’s no box and the label is very basic, which all says, “drink me” rather than “keep me for 10 years then sell me”. The independent bottlers Morrison & Mackay that make this whisky certainly know their marketing.

Tasting notes from Master of Malt:

Nose: Coconut, white oak spice, vanilla-forward barley.
Palate: Freshly cut grass, mint leaf and more sweet coconut notes.
Finish: Soft citrus and toasty oak.

Tamdhu 1989 Carn Mor

Bought: Nickolls & Perks, 22nd January 2016

Ratings:
85/100 – Whiskybase (average from 3 member votes)

This Tamdhu is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2012, it’s from a limited edition of 480, Cask No: 8149. Non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%, so the makings of something very delightful!

Tamdhu is almost the quintessential easy-drinker with a light body and malty sweetness. It’s a key component of blends like J&B, Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse but in 2010 the owners, Edrington’s, deemed the distillery surplus to requirements and closed it down. In 2011 Tamdhu was bought by Ian Macleod Distillers and re-commissioned in 2012. They have a good-looking new website and an online shop where you can buy their sleek-styled bottles of 10yo, Batch Strength and Limited Edition 10yo.

Getting back to my quarter bottle, a score of 85/100 on Whiskybase is fantastic and one voter has kindly left these tasting notes:

Nose: Apple, almond, caramel, apricot, tangerine peel and vanilla. It does have a sharp peppery edge to it.

Taste: Almond, apple, caramel, tangerine, vanilla and a little smoke.

Finish: Almond, red apple and caramel.

Comments: Not as creamy as I know Tamdhu. I would have guessed it to be younger as well.

Tamdhu 1989 Carn Mor 20cl

Glenburgie 1988 Carn Mor

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 13th January 2016

Ratings:
83.67/100 – Whiskybase (average from 5 member votes)

This Glenburgie is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2009, it’s from a limited edition of 1236, Cask No: 9695. Non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%, so the makings of something very pleasant! With a score of nearly 84/100 on Whiskybase from 5 member votes, you’ve got to think this Speyside is a lovely dram.

I’ve currently got 21 of the 24 years that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Unfortunately the 3 years I have left are some of the earliest ones, 1983, 1985 and 1986. Some years had duplicates, which I can only assume was because they ran out and the bottler (‘The Scottish Liqueur Centre’ as it was then) decided to release another expression. Sadly the bottles haven’t been produced for several years and rarely appear at auction. It may be a long time before I complete my set of 24.

Glenburgie 1988 Carn Mor 20cl

Tomatin 1987 Carn Mor

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 13th January 2016

Ratings:
82.75/100 – Whiskybase (average from 6 member votes)

This Tomatin is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1987 and bottled in 2011, it’s from a limited edition of 960, Cask No: 494. Non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%, so the makings of something very delightful! Certainly the 6 members who rate it on Whiskybase think so because nearly 83/100 is a very good score.

Thankfully several Whiskybase voters have left their thoughts about this single malt, which include “not bad as a Sunday afternoon drink but this whisky could better be used for a blend”, “faint summer (berries) and orchard (cooking apples) fruits, alongside cereal notes, mingle with raw spirit and a hint of cardboard. Fiery and unrefined on the palate, even after the addition of water. Medium-length finish, with a bit too much bitterness. If tasted blind I would never have put this as a 20+yo malt!” and “the palate is complex, with notes of white fruit, baking spice, dried herbs, and a lingering sense of weed. Every time I have a dram I am transported to an Amsterdam coffee shop in off hours.” With a summary of “I like it very much”.

Weed? Seriously? I can’t say it’s a smell I’m familiar with but it goes to show how different people find different things depending on their experiences. This Tomatin is at least 23 years old so it has had a lot of maturing, even if one reviewer found that hard to believe. It’s clearly got a lot going on and an interesting whisky to try.

Tomatin 1987 Carn Mor 20cl

Glen Grant 1993 Carn Mor

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 9th September 2015

Ratings:
79/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

This is my 18th 20cl of the Carn Mor Vintage Collection, a set of 24 quarter bottles of 24 different whiskies, each covering a separate year of distillation between 1983 and 2006. Unfortunately the 6 I’m missing are all early ones from the 1980s, which are practically impossible to find. Sometimes I stumble across a bottle or two online from Italy or Denmark but they never ship to the UK. I will have to wait patiently and see if any appear in future whisky auctions.

Although 79/100 from a single review on Whiskybase might not sound very promising the reviewer has kindly included their tasting notes and they’re quite complimentary. They say of the taste “barley again (also in the nose), citron-sweet, alcohol, bitter-soft, metal, fish, canned fish, old coins, copper, spruce, resin, polish, wax, soft liqorice, old water, fat, old, metal, peach-very ripe, white peach” and summarises with “nice whisky, but I think the metallic notes seem to come from a rushed distillation. A pity, because the rest of flavours is actually quite nice!”

Glen Grant 1993 Carn Mor 20cl

Macduff 1991 Carn Mor

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 9th September 2015

Ratings:
85.5/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)

I’m always delighted to find a new source for whisky. Morrison & Mackay (M&M) started business in 2014 and are home to the Carn Mor collection (formerly produced by the Scottish Liqueur Company of which the Morrison and Mackay families were stakeholders, I believe). My eyes lit up when I saw they had 20cl bottles from the Carn Mor Vintage Collection, a set of 24 years covered by 24 whiskies (and subsequent replacements when certain years ran out). They’d been released for several years before I started collecting whisky in 2013 so I was a bit late to the party. I got 16 of the 24 before sources ran out. I acquired my last example in June 2014 and thought I’d only find the rest at auction, until now.

Things didn’t start well for me using M&M. I was over-the-moon to discover that the 1998 Miltonduff had been replaced by a Highland Park 20cl (one of my favourite whiskies) so I added 2 bottles to my basket. It took 5 days for someone at M&M to reply to me to say the HP was out of stock. 5 days! And their website shows 4 people working in sales so it’s not like they’re short staffed. They asked if I wanted a replacement or a refund so I asked for a Macduff and a Glen Grant. They were slightly more expensive than the HP but, since they were my 2nd choice, it was only fair that M&M agreed to supply them at a lower price.

85.5/100 on Whiskybase is a good score, albeit from only 2 members. One reviewer says of the taste “malty. Not as fruity as on the nose. Instead more delicate and gentle oakiness developing into more bitterness. Later on cinnamon and ginger. Also nutiness” and summarises with “not as stunning as those 2000 sherry matured Macduff. The nose is light and clean, the palate more heavy and complex.”

Macduff 1991 Carn Mor 20cl

Aberlour 1994 Carn Mor

Bought – Nickolls & Perks, 17th June 2014

Ratings:
83/100 – Whiskybase (average from 3 member votes)

This Aberlour forms part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1994 and bottled in 2012, it’s from a limited edition of 720, Cask No: 4413. Non-chill filtered and no added colour.

Aberlour-1994-Carn-Mor-20cl

Longmorn 1996 Carn Mor

Bought – Nickolls & Perks, 17th June 2014

Ratings:
77/100 – Whiskybase (1 review)

This Longmorn forms part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2009, it’s from a limited edition of 1377, Cask No: 156794. Non-chill filtered and no added colour.

Longmorn 1996 Carn Mor 20cl

Glengoyne 2000 Carn Mor

Bought – Nickolls & Perks, 17th June 2014

Ratings:
80.25/100 – Whiskybase (average from 4 reviewers)

This Glengoyne forms part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2009, it’s from a limited edition of 1433, Cask No: 438. Non-chill filtered and no added colour.

Glengoyne 2000 Carn Mor 20cl

The Unnameable 2001 Carn Mor

Bought – Nickolls & Perks, 17th June 2014

Ratings:
None but listed on Whiskybase here.

This Unnameable forms part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 2001 and bottled in 2011, it’s from a limited edition of 1300, Cask No: 258. Non-chill filtered and no added colour.

The title ‘Unnameable’ is a bit of a joke by the independent bottler because they’ve been sold cask #258 on strict instruction that they’re not allowed to reveal the source distillery when selling on the bottlings. So it’s effectively a mystery malt. Not even the region is known (Speyside, Islay, etc) as it’s simply listed as ‘Scotland’ on Whiskybase for ‘district’.

The Unnameable 2001 Carn Mor 20cl