A few months back I already wrote review for one of the new bottles of independent bottler The Whisky Blues. Now I’m back with the rest of his latest releases.
In these times there is enough choice of whisky, there have never been so many independent bottlers and some whisky brands are therefore abundant. Think of all those so-called secret Orkneys that we saw in recent years (luckily this year a little less), Clynelish is on the rise again, but Caol Ila is perhaps the most common with the indie bottler. I do get it though because nothing is as reliable as good old Caol Ila (or young in many cases).
But the Whisky Blues seems to have a different approach because so far his releases are not the most obvious choices. I mean, not everyone bottles an Invergordon as their first release, right? That same applies to his latest releases, which were an Irish single malt from 1990, another Invergordon (1972), a secret Highland distilled in 1987 (rumours has it that this is a Glenmorangie), but the name that stood out the most was an old Rhosdhu from 1990. Yup, and just when you think you know all the whisky brands, you get this…. 😉
So for those unfamiliar with Old Rhosdhu (including myself), this was a single malt once produced by Loch Lomond. So besides Loch Lomond, Inchmurrin, Inchmoan, Croftengea and Inchfad (if I forget any names, let me know!), we can add Old Rhosdhu to the never-ending list of Loch Lomond.
However, not much is known about this brand, but the production of this whisky started just after the opening of the distillery in 1967 and stopped in 2000. Occasionally there is a release from an independent bottler, but to indicate how little, there are only 42 releases known in Whiskybase. So you can imagine I’m very curious about this Old Rhosdhu, but let’s not forget those other two releases of The Whisky Blues, because those can be very interesting too.
First up, the 46 year old Invergordon which is bottled at a strength of 49.3% ABV.
Invergordon 1972 review:
Nose: bananas. Overripe pineapple and a hint of coconut. A glue note in the background. Nail polish remover. Bananas. Which is followed by cinnamon and toffee. Honey too and vanilla custard.
Taste: honey, and quite a lot. Then nail polish remover again. Some vanilla. Coconut. And it’s rather woody at some point. Cinnamon, cloves. Caramel candies and chocolate.
Finish: mid-long with a bit of a bitter edge, coffee. But also caramelized pineapple.
I personally liked the first Invergordon release better. The sweeter notes in combination with the wood isn’t really something for me. But the nose is really nice. All in all not bad, but it’s just not my kind of whisky.
This Old Rhosdhu has matured in a hogshead for 28 years and is bottled at 49.1
Old Rhosdhu 1990 review:
Nose: quite spirit-driven for a 28 year old. It’s quite malty. Lemons. Unripe pears. But it’s a bit restrained. Later also caramel and some vanilla custard. Water helps and makes it a lot fresher: More towards the lemons, fresh green apples.
Taste: vanilla and caramel again. Unripe pears here as well. Some tropical fruits, like peach and bananas. Chalk. Minerals. And it’s slightly peppery. With water: more chalk. Creme brulee and creamier.
Finish: mid-long and malty again.
An interesting one, but it’s not very pronounced, especially in the nose. Water helps to open up, although maybe it works better on the nose as the taste is already quite tasty on itself.
This Secret Highland has matured in a hogshead for 31 years and is bottled at 50.4% ABV.
Secret Highland 1987 review:
Nose: ohh that is lovely. A flowery honey. Oranges. But also cloves. A pinch of crushed black pepper. Earl Grey tea Toffee and maple syrup. Then mint. A hint of lemon. Somewhat oaky. And then it goes towards leather.
Taste: Ha, it’s like putting a spoon of honey in your mouth. A nice thick mouthfeel with a lovely acacia honey note to start with. Sweet raisins. Tinned apricots. Milk chocolate and a hint of brown sugar.
Finish: a long finish with mostly mint. Slightly oaky here.
This is very delicious! It has everything you need. from lovely flavours, a long finish and a great complexity to it. A lovely thick mouthfeel too. Just a stunning dram, no more no less. I’m very curious about what this is, could it really be Glenmorangie?
Samples provided by The Whisky Blues.