Old vs New Japanese Blends

Once upon a time, an excise officer lived in Mumbai, India. Bucking convention, he married outside of his community and country to a lovely elegant lady from Japan. They enjoyed the good things in life and were happy to generously share with their friends too – including an enthusiasm for Japanese whiskies. It was through this connect a couple of bottles made their way into a South Mumbai home many years ago. And while most were consumed, some were not… and a precious few were passed on from father to son as part of a dusty yet diverse collection.

These gifts from the 1970s / 80s inspired an evening honouring the “old” and comparing them with the “new” – a fitting way to bring in 2020. Just to put this into perspective, some 40 – 50 years ago, hardly anyone in India even knew Japan made whisky. To then imagine the Japanese whisky craze that captured attention decades later? Unthinkable! Instead this was the era where Johnnie Walker Black reigned supreme – just exploring anything beyond “Black” was being a bit daring and adventuresome!

So what did we try? Two pairs of Japanese blends…

  • Suntory “Excellence” 43% compared with Suntory Old 43%
  • Nikka’s rare Super old 40% from the 70s/80s vs 2019

Now, truth be told, we had no idea how these sealed bottles had fared. Had the decades been kind? Or would we be hugely disappointed? And what made us most curious – how did the “old” style compare with the “new” equivalent?

As we could not predict what we would find when the bottles were opened, back up blends were acquired as well – a Mars Iwai and Hibiki Harmony. Just in case.

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Chorlton Single Casks – Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5%

Last in the remarkable trio from Chorlton Whisky was a whisky distilled at Glenturret. Like the Miltonduff and Orkney, we sampled it blind before the reveal of all three together.

Here is what we discovered…

Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5% 158 bottles

  • Colour – Light straw
  • Nose – Mmmm… maple glazed bacon, Life Buoy soap, chip shop oil, blue cheese, curdled milk, beach ground nuts in sand and salt, boiled peanuts… then started shifting and it revealed light perfume, lemons in brine, the lactic aroma more pronounced, green olives, pizza tomato sauce, umami, light soy, cinnamon, fried chaklis, like being next to a meat shop
  • Palate – Delicious sweet peat, butter then sweet spice… really quite amazing
  • Finish – What a finish! It simply did not stop

We couldn’t help it… after such interesting aromas and fabulous palate, we were greedy to see how it faired with water.

The verdict?

It did rather well with water. It enhanced the peat, bringing it out more on the nose, definitely on the palate and certainly following through on the finish. Comments like “Yum, yum, yum!” could be heard! Even those who initially resisted adding water succumbed and went “Fab!”

We then began to speculate about the peat. We found it hard to pin down. It wasn’t a typical Islay… we struggled to identify it. Some wondered if it could be from Campbeltown? With smoke more than peat. However the briney quality had us puzzled.

Like the others sampled blind, we set it aside for some time. When we returned the “Yum!” very much remained – the interplay is fabulous between the sweet, peat, cinnamon bitterness, an oily head, and bacon barbecue.

What a treat and what a surprise to be introduced to a peated Glenturret.

The Chaps over at Master of Malt have this to say:

A wonderfully Ruadh Maor single malt, which is the name Glenturret used for its peated whisky. Distilled in 2010, it was aged for eight years in a hogshead from Caol Ila, which yielded 158 bottles which were bottled in 2019 at 62.5% ABV by Chorlton Whisky. A very unique peated dram, this, with an equally unique label!

  • Nose: Powerful, earthy, oily and smoky, with roasted potatoes, paprika, very salted caramel and just a hint of honey.
  • Palate: Great big savoury flavours of barbecued meats, charred herbs, fresh coffee and a somewhat honeyed mouthfeel, with a drop of orange oil.
  • Finish: Toffee apple and a slight waxy note.

Alas, this Glenturret single cask is sold out – just like the others. When it was available, it could be purchased for the exceedingly reasonable amount of €62.25.

We also enjoyed these other Chorlton Single Cask whiskies:

As for other Glenturret experiences, I’m still at early stages having tried only two so far, neither of which had peat:

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Chorlton Single Casks – Orkney 9 year 63.1%

After such a brilliant start with the Chorlton Miltonduff, we were primed for something interesting. Our host then poured us this Orkney dram, which we sampled completely blind before the reveal.

Orkney 9 year 63.1%

  • Colour – Light straw
  • Nose – Wow! Began with acetone, medicine capsule, industrial metal – particularly copper, burnt ghee, then started to shift into caramel, suddenly heavy dry fruits, nuts – imagine a box of figs and nuts! Then curd – like those yoghurt covered raisins, shifting further into grape skin, a wine tannins, back to minerals, wet slab for sharpening a knife… all of this before even the 1st sip! Then a smoked honey ham, like a Chinese honey pork dish from Mumbai’s Golden Dragon
  • Palate – Superb! A lovely balance, silky, sweet, smooth, spice with a gentle smoke… a bit of wood char, salty caramel… a lovely honey sweet with a touch of salt yet no medicinal element
  • Finish – Lovely, long and continued to hold

The aromas kept evolving – particularly after the 1st sip.

And what about adding water? Yes please! We found it brought out the spice and honey even more. A dash of dry roasted cinnamon and other sweet spices. In some ways the peat was quite deceptive – hardly their on the 1st sip even with water and then quite pronounced in subsequent sips.

We concluded that water really helps open this whisky up beautifully. And yet we equally enjoyed it without water… one of those remarkable whiskies that is terrific both with and without, simply showed off different dimensions.

All  we could be certain is there was high quality wood, a classic approach with an ex-bourbon showing no signs of sherry or experimental wood finishes. Truth be told, it was mighty good to simply enjoy a traditional dram.

We set it aside to sample the 3rd whisky in our trio – each explored blind with only our speculation for company!

And then returned to this one… And found it a bit sour, salty on the nose, the peat clear and warming on the palate, a distinct personality with a nice chewy quality. Imagine a coconut lozenge… Delicious!

The Chaps over at Master of Malt have this to say:

9 year old single cask single malt from the isle of Orkney, drawn from a bourbon hogshead and independently bottled by Chorlton Whisky. With a very small number of whisky distilleries in Orkey, you might be able to figure out which one this whisky is from when tasting it. 191 bottles were produced.

  • Nose: Coffee bean, sea air and a touch of cookie dough.
  • Palate: A bit gristy, but with plenty of vanilla and salted caramel to back it up.
  • Finish: Lingering smoke and olive oil.

Alas with less than 200 bottles, it flew off the shelves at Master of Malt at the reasonable price of €62.49 – now completely sold out.

We also enjoyed these other Chorlton Single Cask whiskies:

  • Miltonduff 9 year 58.3%
  • Glenturret Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5%

And what about other Orkney (aka Highland Park) drams?

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Chorlton Single Casks – Miltonduff 9 year 58.3%

Better known for its part in Ballentine’s blend, Miltonduff Distillery in Speyside is starting to be found more readily as a single malt. Which is a rather fine thing as past experiences with a 10 year and 21 year were most positive.

This particularly one was sampled blind in November 2019 as part of a very special evening exploring Chorlton bottlings.

Miltonduff 9 year 58.3%, 137 bottles

  • Colour – Light straw
  • Nose – Greeted us with varnish then shifted quickly into a rich heavy cream, stewed fruit like apricot and apples, tart strawberries, one found key lime pie, then light floral, hint of lavender, an organic sweet not saccharine, lactic, bread pudding, baked custard, cinnamon, banana cream pie, settling into a nice harmonious aroma which held…
  • Palate – Initially reminded of a thick heavy cough syrup, it warmed the ‘cockles’, fig stew, rum raisins rolling around the tongue, a nice spice from behind comes in waves, bitter at the end, with such staying power, lots of toffee, shifting increasingly into a fresh green herbal quality
  • Finish – Initially a white pepper finish but sip after sip it shifted more into licorice, basil

Despite the powerful flavours, it had a medium to thin body – no complaints just a comment.

A few of us decided to try adding a bit of water to see how it

  • Nose – Oh my! Peppers, zesty, cinnamon spice, lemon or sweet lime, scented, sweet eraser, fruity and floral
  • Palate – Nicely tangy, the perfume also was pronounced on the palate – almost like sipping a perfumed nectar, lots of character and clearly from a good cask
  • Finish – The finish was delightfully extended

On the revisit, we found Brittania biscuits or Parle-G, so much coconut, condensed milk like chewing into a Bounty bar, sandalwood, ice cream, tangerine. Yum!

The Chaps over at Master of Malt have this to say:

This 9-year-old single malt Scotch from Miltonduff was aged in a first-fill bourbon barrel and bottled by Chorlton Whisky at natural cask strength of 58.3%, with no chill-filtering or added colouring. There was a total outturn of 137 bottles.

  • Nose: Banoffee pie with custard and lemon peel, with a slight floral undertone.
  • Palate: Creamy and rich, the palate has plenty of salted caramel, toasted barley and green apple. A touch of waxy grapefruit arrives with time.
  • Finish: A jammy red berry note remains.

We also enjoyed these other Chorlton whiskies:

  • Orkney 9 year 63.1% (aka Highland Park)
  • Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5% (aka Glenturret)

And earlier Miltonduff tasting experiences?

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Chorlton Single Casks – Miltonduff, Orkney, Ruadh Maor

One of the best things about being in a whisky tasting group is when a member discovers and shares something truly special. The evening with a trio of whiskies from independent bottler Chorlton was one such occasion.

We sampled each blind and it was clear from the first whiff of the first dram this was no ordinary tasting.

Chorlton Single Casks

  • Miltonduff 9 year 58.3% – Creamy desert with fruits, breakfast cereals… in short delicious!
  • Orkney 9 year 63.1% – Copper, minerals, salted caramel and smoke, all beautifully balanced
  • Glenturret Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5% – Seasoned meats and fried snacks…. a chameleon quality that evolved differently in each glass

We were struck by the quality of each –  “pedigree” whiskies which held well not just with our initial tasting but when we revisited too. Each had a distinct personality, and while entirely different characters, there was a clear common thread. Solid drams, no sherry influence or other finishes, just premium picks at incredibly reasonable prices.

With the reveal, we were struck by the gorgeous labels and astounded by our host sharing he paid a mere GBP 50 a bottle?! Could this even be possible in a time of ever increasing costs with mixed quality?

It was a special evening for more than just the whisky – it was held at Savor‘s tasting room with a meal designed to complement our whisky wanderings. A very memorable night!

Curious to know more?

My tasting notes are coming soon but you must check out WhiskyFlu’s post about how he discovered Chorlton, David’s approach to bottling quality drams for a reasonable price, tasting notes from our evening.

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Whisky Lady’s Top 10 Events

Welcome to a little nostalgia for a few exceptional evenings gone by… a light tripping through a malty memory lane… with a focus on events that expanded understanding, industry connects and some pretty great malts too!


2011

Let’s start by re-winding the clock to the year our original Mumbai tasting group formed. It was February, our inaugural evening was hosted at BlueFrog’s private alcove above the recording studio. We were

#1Glenfarclas Mumbai Special 12 year, 105, 21 and 40 year

Later that year we were invited to attend a tasting led by the family own distillery’s George S Grant – a remarkable evening that closed with the Glenfarclas 40 year!

It cemented an appreciation for not only for the whisky but the stories that go with its making – without a doubt it was the stand-out experience of the year!


2012 – 2013

As a tasting group, we began to find our grove with monthly sessions and it became clear who would remain as regular members. We shifted from random contributions to themes hosted in homes as increasing effort and creativity went into sourcing something interesting to share with other members.

This was also the period I went from occassionally jotting down impressions to regularly crafting tasting notes which I posted on my other blog Everyday Asia.

#2Jameson Original, 12, Gold Reserve, 18 yearGreen Spot + Redbreast

As for memorable event? I will always have a soft spot for the Jameson lads (and hopefully lasses to come too!) who make their way as brand ambassadors to India. In large part this is due to the convivial evening held at one of our members homes in 2013 where they shared insights into the Irish whisky industry, tall tales and good dram or two, augmented by a few more we added to round out the evening.

Jameson lads with their set-up


2014-15

This was a stand-out year for more than one reason! It would be impossible to limit to a single event. When I look back, I realise this was the pivotal year that opened the most doors to industry insights and introductions. By late 2014, it was clear I was ‘hooked’ on exploring and sharing such experiences, with the birth of this blog the outcome!

#3 – Amrut with Jim Murray (compliments Amrut)

Beyond our regular tasting sessions, I experienced the massive “show” that is a Jim Murray event – in this case sponsored by Amrut. It was memorable but not necessarily for the right reasons!

#4 – Glenmorangie (with Bill Lumsden)

In complete contrast, I was invited to attend an event in Delhi and interview Bill Lumsden for Man’s World. The event? Glenmorangie’s celebration of their prestige line with Glenmorangie’s 18 year, 25 year and Signet expressions. Each was perfectly paired and a true class act.

Glenmorangie evening at The Oberoi, Delhi

#5 – Balblair 03Old Pulteney 12 yearSpeyburn 10 year

This was followed a few months later by a master class with Stuart Harvey. Again – full of stories, insights, good company and a most enjoyable dram or two, three with a bonus!

Old Pulteney 12 year (Inver House)

#6 – Whisky Ladies with Karen Walker – Caorunn ginBalblair 03Old Pulteney 12 yearSpeyburn 10 yearAnCnoc 12 + 22 year

Then an evening with Karen Walker, when she was Global Marketing Head for Invers House for the newly formed Whisky Ladies of Mumbai.

Some of Whisky Ladies of Mumbai

#7 – Mumbai Malt Maniacs Rare Malts – Auchentoshan 40% (1980s)Port Ellen 26 year 1982 50%Lagavulin 16 year 43% (1980s)

Each experience added a layer and being introduced to India’s Malt Maniac Krishna Nakula was and remains a true gift. His 20th anniversary celebration of Malt Maniacs in Mumbai with Rare Malts from the 1980s was an eye opener to a different ‘style’. Krishna’s knowledge and passion is immense, his ability to discern such nuances and details from a few good whiffs and just a sip is astounding!

1980s whiskies


2016

By 2016, I was part of 3 tasting groups who regularly ‘fed’ my habit! We had several stand-out evenings and I was consistently impressed with the growing quality and variety of themes. I was also invited to ‘crash’ a private whisky tasting in my home town Winnipeg’s “The Cabinet”.

Some are surprised it took so long, but 2016 was the 1st time I went on a distillery tour. Clearly I’ve not taken a ‘typical’ path as it wasn’t Scotland… nope! Instead it was Gimli, Manitoba, Canada at Crowne Royal’s plant.

#8 – Whisky Live Survival Guide Collector’s Room –BenromachBruichladdichKavalanNikkaOld PulteneyPort AskaigTeelingRum + Whisky Masterclass with Luca Gargano + Dave Broom

As for a remarkable event? Without a doubt it was my 1st Whisky Live Singapore experience. I loved everything about it – from the Collector’s Room to masterclasses to engaged conversations with industry experts on the tasting floor. None of the subsequent WhiskyLive’s lived up to this one.


2017

The year started with a trip to Goa, India with a Michael personally giving a tour of Paul John distillery, showing plans for their visitor centre, insights into upcoming expressions, etc.

Mid-year on our way back from our wedding in Canada, a whisky club member arranged a special evening in London with Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of The Whisky Exchange. Following our dinner, he took us to their office, giving a tour of his personal collection in their board room, the rare malts section, warehouse and private bar where he ‘started us’ with something simple – a mere 30+ year Caol Ila! What Sukhinder and his brother have done for the world of whisky is unmatched.

My friend wondered why I never wrote about this experience or took copious photos like I do during our normal tastings together. My response? It was like entering a “whisky temple” and I wanted nothing to distract from fully being there in the moment of that exceptional experience. It was a year later before the Cask Strength Trio selected by Sukhinder that day for the Whisky Ladies was opened.

There were also several events (Glenmorangie Bacalta Launch, DISCUS American bourbon, rye and cocktails, Whisky Live Singapore), however what really stood out was 2 days, 3 tasting experiences featuring 15 whiskies from 3 to 60 years!

All were held with Krishna Nakula and Keshav Prakash and each experience added a richness to a whisky appreciation repertoire, making this my #9 Expert Event:


2018 – 2019

The next two years were full of so many tasting experiences – introductions to new independent bottlers like North Star and Chorlton, whiskies from new distilleries, another trip to Paul John’s Distillery – this time with the Whisky Ladies.

I have watched with immense pride as our original tasting club members Keshav and Anjan Prakash translated their passions into professions – leading to the creation of The Vault Fine Spirits – a beacon of quality, imbued with their generous spirits.

#10 – The 1st Vault Biennale

Their inaugural spirits festival “The Vault Biennale” brought remarkable spirits and spirit makers to Mumbai in a two day event anchored by spirited stories that personalized and contextualized the passion applied to bringing unique, quality expressions to the world. It was a truly special experience and I hope it will be back next year!

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Whisky Lady’s Top 5 Popular Posts (that may surprise you!)

As part of reflecting back on the last five years and 1,000 whisky posts, I’m amused by the top 5 whisky posts… that may perplex for their popularity.

The all time favourite Whisky Lady post are… drum roll please…


#1 Party Whisky – Amrut’s MaQintosh

Yup… for a whisky that I’ve purchased only once and had a few times at parties.

However it definately falls into the “populist” category of accessible, affordable Indian blends.

It has a really crappy photo – which may be contributing to its popularity as it seems a ‘wine shop’ in India has co-opted the image!

On my next trip back to India I may buy a bottle just to take better pictures and bring it back to Germany for the novelty factor.

20150111_Maqintosh

MaQintosh (WhiskyLady.co)


#2 Glen Deveron 20 year 

Another whisky you won’t see my running out to buy anytime soon! Why does it stand out? I suspect it is the combination of being 20 years, available at most duty free for a cheaper price and our completely panning it a few years ago when we tasted it side-by-side a 3 year old Japanese whisky.

Glen Deveron 20


#3 Irish Eyes – Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Redbreast

I suspect this rides on the back of increasing interest in Irish whiskies… and for some reason it “peaked” in popularity in 2018!

Green Spot


#4 The Quandary of the KinInvie 17 – Batch 1

No tasting notes, just putting out to the blogosphere my quandary – to open a bottle purchased in 2014…

Thanks to Ronald Ding of Whiskyrific, I did get a chance to try a sample! And concluded it probably wasn’t worth hanging on to… Fast forward a few years and it seems I have company in that final conclusion as the popularity of this whisky waned and auction prices are flat. I probably paid more at Singapore duty free than you could get it today in the UK.

I haven’t yet opened the KinInvie only as had planned a session with the Whisky Ladies to deconstruct a popular vatted malt – Monkey Shoulder. At the time, Monkey Shoulder was a vatted malt bringing together Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie. Unfortunately the recipe has now changed and all my old Monkey Shoulder bottles were long since consumed in past parties.

Hence the KinInvie still lies waiting for the right opportunity to open!

20150111_Kininvie17yr

Kininvie 17 year (WhiskyLady.co)


#5 Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu ‘The Floor Malted’ 3 year 50.5%

Remember #2 where a 20 year old was outclassed by a mere 3 year old toddler? This was the young upstart. No surprise it seems to be more the ‘battle’ between young and old than the reviews themselves that stand out.

20141016_Chichibu The Floor Malted

Chichibu (WhiskyLady.co)

As these are “All time” popular posts since starting this blog in October 2014… They pretty much all have crappy photos. And if the lense is shifted to look at only in the last year, except for the MaQintosh, different posts sparked attention.

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Whisky Lady’s Top 10 most memorable malts (you won’t find anywhere)

As I browsed through the thousand odd whiskies sampled over the last few years, some simply stood out as exceptional. Unfortunately you can’t find them easily – except perhaps if you are very lucky via a private collection or auction!

So at the risk of evoking much envy and frustration, I bring to you my Top 10 Most Memorable Malts! In alphabetical order as I simply couldn’t rank them…

Balblair 38 year (1966/2004) 44%

From the Highlands, one of the most memorable whiskies for two reasons: it brought together our Bombay Malt & Cigar group and it was an absolutely perfect balance of sherry elements softened by maturity into a deep, complex, exquisite dram. And come on, when are next going to stumble across a 38 year old Balblair?

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Bruchladdich 15 year “Royal Wedding H.R.H. Prince Charles” (1965/1980) 52%

The marriage of Charles and Di may not have lasted, however this exceptional dram did. Elegant spice, with light peat… it reminded me of an operatic aria – with achingly beautiful high notes from the 1st soprano, joined by rich contralto harmonies and then tenor counter point. What can I say? I grew up with a mother who sang opera!

I tasted it at Whisky Live 2016 where they shared to always check ceramic bottles weight – as they are prone to lose their precious cargo.

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Cambus Single Grain 24 year (1991/2015) Cask 55891 51.9% (Signatory Vintage) 

While technically not a malt, this grain simply had to find join this list as it remains my all time grain favourite for its floral, tempting, subtly complex nose with butterscotch ice cream, great mouthfeel with depth of character – overall simply delicious!

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Glendronach 42 year 1971 Cask 1246 (Master of Malt)

Glendronach 39 – 42 year 1972/2011, 1971/2011/2012/2013 

This was actually four small samples carefully collected by India’s own Malt Maniac Krishna Nakula. Each was singularly decadent and indulgent, no luxury spared….  Imagine a lush velvet boudoir, deep leather chair with a crackling fire, your every whim fulfilled… and when your hand reaches out for a sip of something rich, robust yet refined… one of these fills your glass!

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Photo: The Whisky Barrel

Glen Grant 64 year (24 Nov 1949/6 Jun 2014) First Fill Sherry Cask 2200 + 3185 40% (Gordon and MacPhail)

Let me start off by saying – no that is NOT a typo! This whisky really was laid down in 1949 and aged for a remarkable 64 years. Just let that sink in for a moment.

I sampled it blind and found it was a mystery – Delicate and unique. Surprisingly tangy yet sweet too. Complex yet not heavy. Clearly old yet had fresh elements also. A kaleidoscope of contradictions… that somehow worked together in weird and wonderful ways.

I kept aside just a few drops to revisit and was rewarded with an exceptional bouquet of fruits, flowers then pine. The last drop drained, returned an hour later to the empty glass to discover the most glorious perfume! Simply wafting out from the glass. Beautiful.

To then find out how truly remarkable and historic it was – wow!

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Glenturret 30 year (1987/2018) Hogshead Cask #371 55.3% (LMdW Artist #8)

At Whisky Live Singapore 2018, this particular La Maison du Whisky Artist #8 series stood out for its balance and beauty with bounteous orchard fruits and zesty fruits. I found it utterly delightful and it completely hit my whisky “happy place.”

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Ichiro’s Houou-uhi (Phoenix) 46.5%

What can be more mythical than a Phoenix rising from the ashes of not one but two closed Japanese distilleries? At least I believe it is a blend of Hanyu Distillery (12 & 20 year) and single grain whiskies from Kawasaki (30, 32 and 35 year)… It had a nuanced complexity bringing together seaweed, jasmin, cognac, pepper spices in a distinctly ‘Asian’ avatar with a refined finish. Exceptional. Even the final drop stored for nearly 4 years retained unique qualities.

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Image from Scotch Whisky Auction

Karuizawa 39 year (1973/2013) Cask No 1607 67.7%

Karuizawa is a closed Japanese distillery much coveted for its rarity. Limited remaining stock is held either with Number One Drinks (like the one I tried) or The Whisky Exchange. I personally found it hard to put into words something that just wraps you up in so many layers of richness… It was a bit overwhelming to sample such a mature, complex and yet still eminently enjoyable dram. Age and rarity doesn’t necessarily mean quality, but in this case it did!

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Laphroaig 16 year (1987) Silver Seal 16 year 46% vs Laphroaig 21 year (2008) 53.4%, bottle 18 of 750 (Heathrow T5)

I simply couldn’t decide between these two Laphroaig – each is special for different reasons… The 16 year from 1987 was memorable for its delightfully floral quality, subtle, silky, sweet herbs and honey relaxing into a light smoky peat. And the T5 21 year shone with its elegance, mellow smoothness, soft spices balancing perfectly with peat, a gorgeous harmony between all its different elements. For me, both are a very different league of Laphroaig than you typically find.

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Lochside 1981 51.2% Gordon and Macphail

As whisky flight experiences, what my companion and I shared at The Auld Alliance in Singapore remains unmatched. And this Lochside from a closed distillery was a complete show stopper with a singular finish. When asked a year later my ultimate dream dram – without hesitation I said “Lochside 1981”. Unbelievably, one of our whisky club members tracked down another Lochside 1981 46% – which was also remarkable!

While I doubt I will have another Lochside experience anytime soon, there was a tempting open collection in Swan Song, Singapore available for tasting and years ago I had the privilege of being astounded by the incredible array Sukhinder Singh (aka The Whisky Exchange) has collected. Somehow it is comforting to know that out there in the world such whiskies exist.

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So there you have it – a short list of a few memorable malts from a lengthening list of whisky explorations!

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Celebrating 1000 Whisky Lady posts!

When I started exploring the world of whiskies, I had no idea where that journey would lead. I certainly never could have anticipated that my scribbles would result in 1,000 posts over 5 years!

Firmly anchored by life in Mumbai while traversing the globe for work and play, my observations on various whiskies were made richer by being shared experiences with much laughter, learning and naturally libations!

Starting with one, then two, then three regular whisky tasting groups, it has been a brilliant adventure. These regular gatherings where each member sources something to explore together were augmented by Masterclasses, an event or two, kind samples shared, even “mini” tastings!

However change is the only constant and my journey took a different trajectory to Germany late 2019 for work. While India remains ‘home’ and our tasting groups remain strong, I’m now a visitor when possible rather than regular participant. Where things will go from here will evolve.

For now, I’d like to raise a toast to thank all those part of this journey – whether it be sharing a dram or connecting to the whisky fabric by reading these malty missives – this milestone of 1,000 posts would not have happened without you!

And bear with me as I indulge in a little look back with some highlights of the last few years together!

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