The Quivering Messiah (fudjo) wrote in singlemalt,
The Quivering Messiah

Notes from Gordon and MacPhail tasting at Federal Wine & Spirits in Boston

This past Wednesday, I attended a tasting of Gordon and MacPhail whiskies at Federal Wine & Spirits in downtown Boston. G&M purchased and re-opened the Benromach distillery, and they had a few of those for tasting, as well as a few others from their independent bottling lines:

Benromach 10-year (48%, bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, 12ppm phenol)
Nose: light, cerealy, spicy, touch sweet
Palate: touch peaty, bbq smoky, iodiney, light, cerealy, spicy, touch sweet
Rather nice, with a little of everything.

Benromach Madeira (45%, madeira finished, 12ppm phenol)
Nose: rich, caramel, dried fruit (peach/apricot), faint citrus
Palate: touch smoky, melony/peachy, smooth and sweet, faint caramel
Not as strongly melony/peachy as the Glenmorangie Madeira, but very well-balanced and quite rich and tasty. I like this one a lot more than the Balvenie Madeira, and its price point ($70 vs. $115) is much better, too. I picked one up for a tasting I'll be running in February.

Benromach 21-year (first + refill sherry casks)
Nose: raisiny, earthy (chocolate?), brandy, buttery
Palate: light + smooth, kinda thin, faint smoke, touch of wine, touch of butterscotch
Alas, it doesn't live up to the excellent nose. $115-130 ain't bad for a 21-year, but I'd go with the Glenfarclas 21 instead, or the following Millburn 27...

Milburn 27-year 1976 (Connoisseur's Choice, 46%)
Nose: light, sweet, woody, cerealy, mellow, lightly lemony
Palate: light but rich, peachy, nicely sweet, slightly oily, nicely mouth-coating
Finish: sweet, cerealy, woody
An excellent one at $125-140.

Rosebank 17 (not sure which Gordon & MacPhail brand, non-chill-filtered, 55.3%)
Nose: light, closed, sweet, chemical (ester?), hay
Palate: light but oily, hay, cut grass, faint smoke, still that chemical note
adding water...
Nose: nice haze, light, lemon, sweet, hay, faint chemical
Palate: light, lemon, sweet, hay/grass
I'd been looking to try a Rosebank for quite some time, and while this one has a lot of the classic Lowland characteristics I like, that estery chemical note is rather jarring.

Macallan 37-year (Speymalt, 53.3%)
Nose: burnt sugar, rich, woody, brandy/aramagnac, nutty, faintly spicy
Palate: very woody but sweetly so, burnt sugar, melony (like a madeira finish), touch bitter
adding water...
Nose: hay, wood, spice
Palate: sweet + bitter, wood, melon, hay, spice
Finish: bitter, burnt sugar, melon
Very, very nice one, with unexpected flavor and aroma notes. Price tag of $400-500 is very unfortunate.

Caol Ila 25 (Connoisseur's Choice, 46%)
Nose: sweet, lightly smoky, wet paper/cardboard, cerealy, faint leather, faint brine, quite nice
Palate: light, smooth, sweet + smoke, lightly lemony, earthy, peaty, touch leather
Rather nice, though the price point of $180-220 seems too high.
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