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Mortlach 18yo Single Malt 1990 Butt04422 56.8% Wilson & Morgan Heavily sherried Spanish wood, matabele ant, inky, richly spiced, stewed dark fruits with dark toffee and molasses in the depths. Cloyingly sherry-rich on the palate. This first-fill sherry cask way too dominant for my liking leaving a metallic sulphury finish. Water sweetens, with pepper spice but there is no escaping how over-sherried this dram is. 75 Mortlach 11yo Single malt 1993 Bourbon & Port Casks 46% Murray McDavid Honey sweet vanilla, jasmine and a feint sweet sherry note bubbling under a layer of clean sweetened malted barley…visions of dripping, thick golden honey. Dense oily texture on the tongue with the vanillas initially prevalent but then dominated by the chilli mid-palate and bitter European oak on the finish. 78 A stunning nose but the palate disappoints. However a touch of water turns the honey to butterscotch and creme brulee and rescues the palate by tempering the dry and bitter mid-palate and finish. 82

Mortlach 18yo Single Malt 1990 Sherry Butt04421 46% Bottled 2009 Coopers Choice Sweet oloroso, stewed raisins, sultanas and prunes with toffee coming to the fore. Medium texture on the tongue but everything on the nose dramatically reflected on the palate. Explosive dark fruit flavours with a sweet chilli finish becoming vinous and lingering at the end. 88 P.s. Steve and Eve both rated this dram in the 80’s. Jim Murray in his inestimable wisdom rated this 57 and said this:”Grimly sulphured for all the big grape breast-beating.” That is not an opinion that is irresponsible journalism… Mortlach 16yo Single Malt 1991 56.4% Berry’s Own Selection Heavily sherried with honeyed dried dark fruits, musty, dank, inky, treacle, molasses. The palate is intensely rich and dark fruit sweet with a soft and dry finish leaving gorgeous sherried Spanish oak that lingers….forever. A dash of water opens this dram exotically with mocha and iced coffee. 90 P.s. Jim Murray rated this one 66 and had this to say:”A classic example of the old United Distillers wine-treated casks. I need say no more.” I also need to say no more…. Mortlach 27yo Single Malt 1975 56.8% Signatory Matabele ant, inkwell, musty, mouldy sherried oak. Rich raisin and sultana stew. Barley sprinkled with ginger and allspice then dark toffee develops. Woah! The fizz on the palate sexes up the mouthfeel of sweet oloroso sherry, burnt brown sugar and eventually dark chilli chocolate on the finish. Water brings out a sweeter richness of caramelised brown sugar and coconut, then turns the oloroso into PX on the tongue. Chocolate chilli and menthol still evident on the long lingering finish. Simply stunning. 91
Bowmore Tempest 10yo Single Malt Bottled 2009 Batch 1 First Fill Bourbon 55.3% Lemon vanilla sauce coating a layer cake of lightly peated malted barley, caramel then a picture emerges of a sunny spring day on Loch Indaal and a soft breeze of fresh lemon and salty air with a passing reek of peat smoke. Mild in texture, the vanilla is only noticeable for a second before the powerful mid-palate of tarry seaweed takes over, then the bottom of the salt shaker fell out, with a lemon pepper finish. 87 Bowmore Tempest 10yo Single Malt Bottled 2010 Batch 2 First Fill Bourbon 56% A little murky at first, then surprisingly a hint of Bowmore’s trademark horse sweat emerges mingling with the peated barley and a touch of citrus. The smoke more evident on this batch. With time the dram clears and fresh tobacco dominates with a soft orange caramel in the background. The palate is velvety vanilla, then a punch of tar and chilli pepper with the peat and and salted seaweed lingering through the finish as more salt is released. 86

New bottlings just arrived in the bar are:

Bowmore Tempest 10yo Batch2 56%

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2%

Port Charlotte PC7 Sin An Doigh Ileach 61% We also have a brand new selection of the following to taste:

Bruichladdich X4+3 3yo 63.5%

Port Charlotte An Turas Mor 46%

Octomore 5yo Edition 03.152 59%

Octomore Orpheus 5yo Edition 02.2 61%

What makes a great bar? There are only a few questions in life that prompt so much debate and frankly this is one of them. Whether it is in a hotel, restaurant or a traditional bar, what gives it that buzz, ambience and pulling power? Four years ago Whisky Magazine launched its quest to honour the greatest bars in the world. The original scheme evolved into our awards programme for bars, hotels and restaurants.These awards honour the very best venues in the world, and developed out of the Great Whisky Bars of the World series. This comprises an accreditation system to recognise excellence in whisky. With three levels, Gold, Silver and Bronze, we recognise any establishment, no matter how big or small, that celebrates whisky. Any premises that applied were accredited under the programme and received their certificate dependent on their range and quality of whisky.There are really four tangible areas that make a great whisky bar: glassware; range of whiskies; the venue and the staff. Outside of these areas we get into the subjective realms of feel and ambience. You may feel comfortable in a traditional whisky bar, in say a rural setting, but the next drinker may feel at home in the slick low-lit hotel bars of the big cities. So while these are clearly important factors for the purposes of the accreditation programme we had to stick with less subjective matters.With glassware we sought venues that offered their whiskies in more than just a tumbler. It was up to the venue what glassware they used but it had to reflect the premium nature of the liquid. To be considered in the accreditation scheme the venue had to carry a range of whiskies; including at least 10 malt whiskies, three blended Scotch whiskies, one bourbon and one Irish whiskey or be an unusual selection overall the selection had to be well balanced.The venue must also be proactive in the promotion of whisky. It is no use keeping the spirit light under a bushel, the venue has to shout about whisky and encourage new drinkers.One of the most important considerations is the barman. This is the frontline, the first contact with you, whether a beginner or aficionado. The staff must respond with knowledge to the question which whisky would you recommend; they must display evidence of having been trained in the knowledge of whisky.So this guide is a listing of all the bars in the world we have found so far, and we have flagged up the ones that have been included in our accreditation scheme. The Gold and Silver winners are listed separately at the front, then included, and highlighted in the main listings, ordered alphabetically by country and then by city. There has never been a better time to get out there and explore some amazing places to drink.So if we have missed out your favourite bar, or you run a bar that is not included, please let us know and we’ll make sure to include you.

This article care of The Macallan Great Whisky Bars Of The World 2011 – a supplement to

A huge thank you to all who supported this year’s Dullstroom Winter Festival in general and the whisky bar specifically!! It was busy madness on an industrial scale…looking forward to a similar successful celebration this time next year… Secreted amongst our collection is a miniature (50ml) of a Gordon & Macphail blended malt from the Mortlach distillery bottled during the early 1970’s. Almost all the production from Mortlach goes into the Johnnie Walker range, so single or blended malts, proprietary or independents are a rarity. The Mortlachs we have had the privilege of tasting have been generally phenomenal expressions so a decision was made to open this little offering….. Mortlach Pure Highland Malt 40% Gordon & Macphail Miniature The pale amber colour in the bottle belies this dram’s exotically dark and mysterious nature in the glass. Aged oloroso sherry in deep dark orange amber, liquorice, cloves, seville orange rind dipped in dark choclate laced with Carribean rum. Exotic, luxurious, rich, sweet and spicy with a whiff of old, dank Spanish oak. Astonishing nose! Softly coating the tongue, oloroso sweet, then the powerhouse of sherry, oak and seville marmalade, finishing with a briny mix of stewed rum and raisin. Outstanding whisky…just wish there was more 🙁 92

Littlemill 19yo 58.1% Cadenhead’s Single Malt

Dark rich toffee, brandy snaps, honeyed and spiced stewed dark fruits and cranberry/blueberry liqueur. Exquisite full-bodied mouthfeel, seductively smooth with rich rumtopf and that honeyed spiced dark fruit chugging in the engine room. This dram opens dramatically with fruit gums and blackcurrant with Rowntree’s blackcurrant pastilles now dominating the palate, the finish long, fruit-laden and salty. Mindbogglingly great! 94 Dalmore 17yo 1992 Sauterne Hogshead 59.1% Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Cask Strength Single Malt Cola, late harvest, liquorice allsorts, rich stewed dark fruits, toffee’n vanilla with a grapey bottom note. This dram has a massive mouthfeel of succulent, smooth, sweet pressed grapes, raisins and currants with a sweet chilli finish and that grapey note appears that just lingers forever…… Soooooo delicious. 93 This was a silver award winner at the 2009 Independent Bottlers’ Challenge Highland 13-18Years Old. Tomatin 16yo 1994 Sherry Cask 53.6% Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Cask Strength Single Malt Oloroso sherry immediately assails the nostrils, then delicious dark toffee, stewed prunes with the European oak and barley creaking in the depths. A sublime combination of oloroso and pedro ximenez sherries on the palate, soft and ohhhh soooo sexy with raisins completing this gorgeous, rich, sweet sherry concoction with a dash of anise…moreish beyond belief! One of the few truly addictive whiskies….92 Bruichladdich 19yo 1991 Bourbon Hogshead 56.9% Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Cask Strength Single Malt Woah! Lemon icing sugar layered onto lemon barley. The palate is all liquid vanilla and icing, then lemon sherbet and loads of salt on the finish. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of this style of whisky, like Springbank and Old Pulteney, that are so intensely sweet initially then finish with a bucket-load of salt. Water pumps up the barley on the nose and sweetens the vanilla icing on the palate, tempering the salt. A gorgeous maritime dram. 88 Balblair 19yo 1990 Bourbon Barrel 55.7% Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Cask Strength Single Malt Vanilla and cereal, cider and spice on the nose. The sweet vanillas are immediately evident on the tongue, then some spicy, peppery notes mid-palate finishing with strong American oak and a lingering apple sweetness. A dash of water boosts the sweetness on every level. A very pleasant dessert wine style dram. 85 Hazelburn 7yo 2001 Small Oak Casks 49.4% Cadenhead’s Bond Reserve Single Malt Vanilla, orange blossom and malted barley are prevalent with a faint, youthful off note way down. Despite the age and abv this dram is oily and so velvety smooth on the palate with plenty vanilla, a mid-palate of spicy pepper and a finish of toasted oak with the slight young rubbery note lingering. 82 Interestingly this whisky one a gold award at the 2009 Independent Bottlers’ Challenge Campbeltown 12 Years and Under. Royal Lochnagar 12yo 1996 Recharged Butt 58.5% Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection Cask Strength Single Malt Vanilla soaked barley developing to honeycomb and despite the abv there are distinctive notes of clean cut grass and sweet spring flowers. Intensely vanilla sweet on the tip of the tongue, then the cask strength ambushes the back of the palate, leaving traces of molten honey and malted barley. Water brings out more of the floral note with white talc but bitters the mid-palate and finish losing the soft cereals and honey. Leave water out of this one! 80