Glenfiddich 30yo Single Malt 40%
Rich rumtopf, stewed dark fruits, honeycomb with a sprinkling of sweet spice and after a minimum of 30 years in oak, the barley is still so evident…a stunning nose! Then apple crumble with raisins drizzled with honey develops, Christmas pudding and orange toffee emerge a little later.
I had to restrain myself from tasting this dram too soon, waiting for it to develop as much as possible, as this nose is so moreish.
However, the palate had initially a touch of vanilla, a mid-palate of Seville marmalade, then a peppery, slightly dry and vinous finish….so disappointing!
I would rate the nose a 95 but the palate only a 77, giving an overall 86.
Macallan 30yo Single Malt 43%
Mellow old oak and spicy Oloroso sherry.
The palate has honey, garden mint and stewed raisins with a distinct anise finish.
Not too complex but gorgeously balanced. Exquisite. 91
Famous Grouse 30yo Blended Malt (Blue Label) 43%
Matabele ant predominates, with sweetened stewed prunes and PX soaked sherry trifle and a touch of floor polish. This dram is luscious, rich rumtopf, pineapple and a touch of smoke.
The palate is rich, oily and tongue coating, molasses, prunes, salty with an Oloroso sherry finish.
Water releases a battalion of matabele ants, rich spice and the pineapple now swamps the stewed prunes.
An outstanding blended malt. 92
Famous Grouse 30yo Blended Malt (Purple Label) 43%
Imagine cut pieces of pineapple and prunes dipped into a flaming PX fondue. The matabele ants have left this nest, leaving a more subdued, sherried, tropical fruit combo….a master blender’s dream concoction, an exquisite balance of sweet fruits, sherry, old smoked oak and creme brulee.
The palate is a sublime mix of syrupy sweet tropical fruits, salt and a rich lingering Oloroso and woody smoke finish…a Caribbean sundae?
Arguably the greatest blended malt ever. 94
Highland Park 30yo Single malt 48.1%
Burnt sugar, tobacco, toasted barley, a rich cauldron of dark fruits that have been spiced and stewed in a vat of Oloroso sherry, barley sugar.
Slowly, eventually the peat smoke emerges, giving the dram a more meaty character with toffee overtones and blackcurrant fruit gums.
An oily, full bodied palate, this is a 30yo at its very best, reflecting the nose and thereby creating a beautifully crafted, elegantly balanced whisky.
Initially Oloroso sweet, then the burnt sugars, peppery spice, molasses, a touch of treacle and sweet peat that lingers and just goes on lingering….awesome…a masterpiece! 95