About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Monday, 15 February 2016


In continuation of Gordon & Macphail's 'The wood makes the whisky'-campaign, we once again find ourselves heading back to yesteryear, this time to 1974.

Also I always take extra care when tasting old whiskies like this as:
  1. Old whiskies like this can be quite fragile and can easily fall apart, especially if (too much) water is added...
  2. Time and oxidation in the glass and/or the bottle if not sealed properly
  3. I cherish every chance I get to try old whiskies like this...
    With the way prices are going, it looks like that old whisky like this will be only for a select few in the future (read: people with money to spend on old whiskies

That, of course, warrants a whole other discussion, one covered elsewhere, both on here and in multiple online Fora and Facebook groups, so not getting into that any further during this post 

I often get a bit nostalgic when trying old whiskies like this,as they were made before computers took over most of the production and when making whisky were still very much 'hands on' ... add to that a great visit to Glenlivet Distillery during Spirit of Speyside 2013, a good tasting and ending the whole tour with quite a bit of 1977 sherry cask matured Glenlivet straight from the cask... Now what's not to love about that :-)

Let's get down to business before the nostalgia takes over and see what the wood have made of this whisky...

Old casks mixed with new ones at Glenlivet, May 4th 2013 © The Malt Desk

Smith's Glenlivet 1974/2011 43%, refill American oak & refill sherry casks

Colour is amber

Picture by G&M
Oh, you got to love this nose - lots of things going on...
Polished cedar wood, fresh mint, floral notes and overripe fruit. With time, what I can only describe as dried herbs peeks through. There's also a darker note in there - maybe dark roast coffee beans or dark chocolate...

I could nose this all evening :-)

Start off slightly spicy with peppery oak, then a rush of fruit - oranges/apricot style, but getting a bit thin mid-palate which surprises me a the delivery promised so much more... It does come back on the finish with some hints of vanilla, a little anise and some 'Grand Marnier' liquor.

This nose on this one is stunning, but the palate doesn't quite follow through, I'm afraid... still, its very, very good but I did expect just a little bit more from this one...


Official sample provided by Gordon & Macphail

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