Your search returned 24 results.

97 points

Black Bowmore 42 year old 1964 vintage, 40.5%

What impresses me most is how this whisky evolves; it's incredibly complex. On the nose and palate, this is a thick, viscous, whisky with notes of sticky toffee, earthy oak, fig cake, roasted nuts, fallen fruit, pancake batter, black cherry, ripe peach, dark chocolate-covered espresso bean, polished leather, tobacco, a hint of wild game, and lingering, leafy damp kiln smoke. Flavors continue on the palate long after swallowing. This is what we all hope for (and dream of) in an older whisky!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

95 points

Brora, 30 year old, 55.7%

Astonishingly fresh and clean for 30 years in oak, and with incredible depth. Slight oily texture. Appetizing brine, with honeyed vanilla, mustard seed, green olive, Seville orange, and lemon zest. Underlying smoke, damp peat, and seaweed. Put simply, Brora at its finest.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

94 points

Eagle Rare 17 year old, 45%

While labeled as a 17 year old, it’s actually 19, distilled way back in 1988. Each year’s release of this whiskey just seems to get better and better. Some of the earlier vintages turned slightly oaky and dry for balance (the 10 year old Single Barrel Eagle Rare whiskeys did too a while back), but Buffalo Trace just keeps on improving the line. Tight, well-balanced notes of molasses, vanilla, candied fruit, and sweet corn, peppered with crisp mint, cinnamon, and polished leather. Eagle Rare 17 is evolving into a whiskey of classic proportion.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

94 points

Willett Rye, Barrel #2, 23 year old, 68.5%

Incredibly soft and mellow for a rye whiskey, with no signs of excessive oak. This whiskey is obviously of the same pedigree as the Willett Rye 22 year old bottling reviewed here a year ago. It’s another impressive whiskey. Light toffee, nougat, and rummy notes are accentuated by crisp mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Earl Grey tea. Pristine on the palate, with lingering cinnamon warmth on the finish. A polished whiskey, with surprising subtlety and finesse. At 137 proof, it’s like getting a third of a bottle free!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

93 points

Highland Park 21 year old, 47.5%

The good news: This is one of the best Highland Park whiskies I have ever tasted. The bad news: it’s the new release for Travel Retail (formerly Duty Free). It’s lush, well-balanced, and very complex. Well-defined notes of toffee, candied fruit, and roasted nuts are accentuated by background honey, chocolate mousse, and smoke. Here’s the icing on the cake: it’s bottled at 47.5%, which really allows the flavors to shine. If you’re going overseas, consider tracking down a bottle.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

93 points

The Glenrothes, 1975 vintage, 43%

A polished, very elegant expression with subtle complexity throughout. Notes of squeaky-clean fruit (tangerine, peach, nectarine, kiwi) in light syrup. Vibrant spice (cinnamon, white pepper, anise), creamy vanilla, and almond evolve on the palate, leading to a gentle finish. Surprisingly lively for a whisky more than 30 years old. When I think of great Glenrothes vintages, I go back to the 1972 vintage for comparison. Both are comparable in quality, with the 1972 vintage showing darker sugars, more weight, and more roasted nuts.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

93 points

George T. Stagg, 72.4%

No age statement, but this whiskey was distilled in 1992. At 144.8 proof, this is almost two whiskeys for the price of one. In true Stagg form, this whiskey is dangerously drinkable -- even at higher strength (although you will still need to add copious quantities of water to this supercharged whiskey). Its dominant character is chewy toffee sweetness with maple syrup, vanilla fudge, and nougat. Additional notes of berried fruit, tea, spearmint, and suggestions of tobacco. Very soothing. An incredible value, considering its strength.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

91 points

Lagavulin Distillers' Edition 1991 Vintage, 43%

More polished and sophisticated than the comparably sweet and lush Lagavulin 21 year old also reviewed here. The pedro ximinez cask finish certainly gives as much as it takes away when compared to the benchmark 16 year old. An array of complex ripe fruit, interwoven with notes of pot still rum, toffee, tar, seaweed, and brine on the finish. It seems logical to marry this big, smoky Islay whisky with an equally big, sweet, fruity sherry. In this case, the marriage works wonderfully.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

90 points

Willett Single Barrel Estate Reserve, Barrel # A-4614, 47%

Bottled in a glass pot still decanter. Soft and elegant on the nose and palate, and very well balanced. An incredibly drinkable whiskey. There’s no age statement on the bottle, but it was bottled at just the right time, based on its great balance of flavors. Notes of vanilla, coconut, and crème brulee provide a base for emerging notes of cedar wood shavings, cinnamon, soft mint, and a hint of fennel. A very graceful bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

89 points

Talisker 30 year old, 50.7%

A graceful Talisker. Soft toffee and caramel with balanced, gentle fruit. Hints of boat dock wood, damp peat, and fish nets. Warming spice notes (anise, pepper, and salt) provide intrigue and linger on through a warming, spicy finish. Well rounded, with enough depth on the palate to make up for the lack of punch in younger expressions.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

89 points

Lagavulin 21 year old, 56.5%

A thick, sweet, weighty Lagavulin -- the kind you eat with a fork. Interwoven caramel and molasses laced with thumping waxed fruit, dates, burnt walnuts, and peat kiln embers that linger long on the palate. A mouthful!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

89 points

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection (distilled at Old Pulteney) 1994 vintage (Cask #06/125), 45%

Finished in sauternes wood. I really love how the appetizing notes of Pulteney marry with the sweet notes of the sauternes wine cask. Light-medium in body, but good viscosity. Fresh brine throughout, with honey-drenched melon fruit, pineapple in syrup, citrus, and a hint of cotton candy and lightly toasted marshmallow. A delicious marriage of two high-caliber drinks categories.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

89 points

Thomas H. Handy, 67.4%

A six-plus year old, barrel-strength rye whiskey. Young rye whiskeys show the true personality of the rye grain, and this is an excellent example. Bold spice notes of fresh mint, fiery cinnamon, and resinous clove. Sweeter notes of candied fruit, brandy, caramel, honey-tinged vanilla, and a suggestion of marzipan add balance. If you like your whiskeys young, bold, and unforgiving, this one’s for you.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

88 points

Glenrothes, 1985 vintage, 43%

Richer, thicker, and more lush than the 1975 vintage reviewed here. Fallen orchard fruit, sticky toffee pudding, and nuts, with underlying suggestions of date cake. Emerging dried spice and oak resin towards the finish. A good contrast to the 1975 vintage.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

87 points

William Larue Weller, 58.95%

There’s no age statement, but this wheated bourbon is about 10 years old. This is the softest and gentlest of the Antique Collection. Notes of molasses, black raspberry jam, ripe blueberry, teaberry, soft fig, and cinnamon. Gently spicy, clean finish. Could this whiskey be too easy to drink?

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

87 points

Rittenhouse Rye, 23 year old, Barrel #8, 50%

The follow up to the 21 year old expression reviewed a year or two ago. I prefer the 21 year old (which I scored a 92) over this 23 year old. While a dynamic, entertaining rye whiskey of massive structure (toffee, maple syrup, pancake batter, and Play Doh leading to leather, tobacco, oak resin, mint, and cinnamon), its age starts to show towards the finish, becoming dry and a bit ornery.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

85 points

Murray McDavid (distilled at Highland Park) 1989 vintage 17 year old, 46%

Aged initially in a refill sherry cask, and then in port casks. Layers of lush fruit (red raspberry, strawberry, currant, rhubarb, and ripe peach) with underlying toffee and pot still rum adding body and texture. Peat and brine peek through intermittently, particularly on the finish. The whisky is heavy on the fruit, but it is clean and not cloying. A very soothing whisky.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

85 points

Oban, Distiller's Edition, 1992 vintage, 43%

Richer, thicker, and more lush than the 1975 vintage reviewed here. Fallen orchard fruit, sticky toffee pudding, and nuts, with underlying suggestions of date cake. Emerging dried spice and oak resin towards the finish. A good contrast to the 1975 vintage.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

85 points

Lonach (distilled at Carsebridge), 1063 vintage, 43 year old, 43%

A rare bottling indeed, from this now defunct grain distillery. Very tropical, with a macaroon and vanilla cream foundation. Complementary notes of marshmallow, crème brulee, honey, and pineapple. Surprisingly vibrant for a 43 year old whisky and, while expressing sweeter notes, not at all cloying (the grain whisky aspects actually help here). Soothing and distinctive. Great price, too!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

84 points

Murray McDavid 9 year old 1997 vintage (distilled at Macallan), 46%

An interesting application of Macallan, aged originally in a bourbon cask and then in Ridge Zinfandel barrels. Quite sweet and full-flavored, with ripe, jammy fruit, beach plum, subtle (yet deep) toffee, and grape skin, all laced with honey. Dynamic, fun, and carefree.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

83 points

Bruichladdich 12 year old (2nd Edition), 46%

A replacement to the original 10 year old, which is now off the market. A clean, straightforward dram with a lightness and freshness which is very inviting. Notes of vanilla cream, light caramel, tropical fruit (coconut, pineapple), clementine, pear, and a hint of currant. Appetizing, subtly briny finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

83 points

Bruichladdich 12 year old, 46%

Finished in a rum cask. Gold with a greenish tinge. Notes of ripe barley, demerara sugar, toasted marshmallow, and sultana, with underlying vanilla and subtle brine emerging on the finish. A pleasant, easy-going Laddie. (Bottled for Bayway World of Liquor)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

82 points

Benromach Peat Smoke, 46%

Invigorating and youthful, with a raw edge to it. Challenging notes of creosote, charred oak, and earthy peat fire dominate, with underlying ripe barley, honey, and caramel apple. Aggressive, but not over the top.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

74 points

The Macallan 55 year old Lalique Decanter, 40.1%

Deep, thick nose, with sappy oak, dried citrus, old leather, spearmint, and background leafy smoke. Nicely viscous on the palate, with similar notes as the aroma. But mid-palate the age gets the best of this whisky. The flavors flatten out and the wood dominates through the finish as the leather notes linger. It’s a rare treat to taste a whisky this old. If you like Lalique (and have the money), then this new bottling is worth some consideration, because there are certainly moments of intrigue and pleasure on the nose and beginning of the palate. But I have tasted several other 50-plus year old Macallans, and I can say with certainty that the 50 year old Millennium bottling and the 1946 vintage release were better and can probably still be found for a significantly lower price (Only 420 bottles available worldwide.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)


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