I had the great pleasure of attending a Dewar Rattray Masterclass at the 2007 Victoria Whisky Festival. Here is the list of whiskies that were sampled: Stronachie 12 yo, 43% abv; Balblair 15 yo, 62.9% abv, CS, unchillfiltered; Auchentoshan 15 yo, 59% abv; Teaninich 30 yo, 60.8% abv; Inchgower 25 yo, 55.3% abv, Oloroso Sherry Cask
The 30 yo Teaninich was my favourite. There are better tasting notes out there, but this is what I wrote in the masterclass before I put my pen down and just enjoyed what was in front of me.
Stronachie 12 yo, 43% abv
Nose: fruit, hard candy
Palate: apple, cinnamon, lively, light peat
Finish: long, enjoyable finish
Balblair 15 yo, 62.9% abv
Nose: cocoa, smokey
Palate: creamy, bitter chocolate, vanilla
Finish: mouth-filling, rich
The Stronachie is really very good (as Wendy said).
I also tasted some of their Bowmore's wich I really liked. I really can recommend them. The best so far isn't bottled yet, it was a cask sample Bowmore 1983, that I tasted after Whisky Live Eindhoven last april.
I'll translate some of my tasting notes as published on the last issue of the WhiskyEtc. magazine (dutch):
Stronachie 43%(actually a 12yo Benrinnes, wich should be similar to the tatse of an old bottle from the long closed Stronachie distillery)
I can't be as enthousiastic as the other two posting here. With 70 points I rated it higher than the other 3 people on the tastingpanel though (65, 65, 59). It's got a kind of filthy nose, taste is malty, dampy, lacks character and a thin body.
Then from the Dewar Rattray Cask Collection:
Linkwood 10yo 57,7%
Fresh nose, limes; spicy taste, peppers, blood oranges, full-bodied, spices in balances with the fruity notes. Finish is medium-long, mouthfilling a bit salty.
77 points (panel: 79, 78, 72)
Glen Garioch 16yo 52,5%:
Perfumed on the nose, tigerbalm, a musty horsestable; tasting dark, leather and tobacco; long pleasant finish, tobacco again and spicy!
87 points (panel: 90, 75, 77)
Glenlivet 17yo 60,0%
Lime tree blossom (Untill now I didn't know that lindeboom in Dutch is lime tree in English, always thought lime tree had to do with the fruit lime???), grassy; very prickly taste, some covered wood-notes, shows a lot of character. Sweet and balanced finish.
85 points (panel 83, 81, 85)
Tobermory 11yo 59,9%
Not a distinctive nose, almond, marzipan; taste: fresh pears with a sour note, has a nice bite; finish brings in the spiciness.
80 points (panel 70, 71, 75)
As you can see, in the tasting the Glenlivet and the Glen Garioch came out best. They cost around 90 and 80 Euro. I hope this is helpfull.
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