Tasting notes: 5x Connoisseurs Choice – Gordon & MacPhail

Connoisseurs Choice

So here we are with a bunch of the latest release of the Connoisseurs Choice range from Gordon & MacPhail. This is the last outturn of this year and now that I look back I can safely say that I have tasted some nice single malts from this range, with the highlight for me this Glen Elgin 1997.  That was just excellent!

A bit different than you are used to, I have now put five tasting notes in an article. It seemed more convenient to me in this way. I left one out of this, because I thought it deserved a place of its own. But more about this in a later review.

Anyway, let’s go to the tasting notes. Because I have 5 samples here in front of me and I am very curious!

So the first one is a 27 year old Glentauchers that has matured in a first fill sherry butt and is bottled at 56.8% ABV.

Glentauchers 1991 tasting notes:

Nose: Quite heavy on the pineapple juice and oranges at first. Then a hint of maplesyrup. A bit of grapefruit in the background. Somewhat leathery,  followed by a sour note of cranberries. Later also a hint of red fruit. And the oranges are coming back again.

Taste: Maple syrup is what I get at first. This is followed by leather and a hint of tobacco. Some nice dark chocolate here as well. Oranges and a handful of sweet raisins. It feels like the cask is taking over here.

Finish: The finish is mid-long and quite sweet. Than the raisins again and oranges.

This is not bad at all. If you like a light sherried whisky then this might be something for you. Interesting to see that sometimes the cask takes over and sometimes you still get that real Glentauchers spirit. Quite enjoyable.

Score: 85

This 24 year old Glen Keith has matured in a refill bourbon cask and is bottled at 49.3% ABV.

Glen Keith 1993 tasting notes:

Nose: A hint of nailpolish? Followed by vanilla, and some fresh citrus. It’s very light. A bit grassy too. A slight hint of mandarins. And a pinch of white sugar. Green bananas too.

Taste: This is also quite light but also a bit creamy. Bananas at first, which is followed by vanilla and butterscotch. Then a hint of floral honey. And some grapefruit in the background, but a sweet one. 🙂

Finish: The finish is long with again that floral honey mixed with some vanilla. A pinch of black pepper too.

It’s very green and light this Glen Keith, but I like it. There’s enough to find in the nose. A little less in the taste, but who cares. As it is just all very well integrated. A lovely one! And dangerously drinkable too.

Score: 87

This 15 year old Glenlivet has matured in a first fill bourbon cask and is bottled at 58.4% ABV.

Glenlivet 2002 tasting notes:

Nose: Pineapple. But it is not very outspoken at the moment. A bit of ginger. Some vanilla and it’s salty too. Somewhat floral. And there’s a hint of pears. With water: Less salty. And it revelas more of the floral notes and pears.

Taste: Yup this one is quite salty and has lots of vanilla. The alcohol is quite overpowering here and I think it could use a bit of water. Yes, that’s better. It’s less on the alcohol. But I still don’t get a lot more than vanilla though. Pears. Less salty too. And there is some caramel now.

Finish: Mid-long. With plenty of vanilla. Pears.

This is not my style of whisky. I’m not a big fan of Glenlivet and this is has all the typical Glenlivet flavours. The vanilla flavour overpowers and I don’t get a lot more. Water helps though as it reveals a bit more flavours and it’s also less rough then. The nose is fine, but the taste and finish aren’t on that same level.

Score: 82

This 23 year old Tormore has matured in a first fill sherry butt and is bottled at 60.1% ABV.

Tormore 1995 tasting notes:

Nose: Fresh blueberries and blackberries. It’s quite nice. Then oranges and a hint of lemons. Honey. And there is also some cookie dough here. Baked apples with cinnamon. With water: Red berries and a bit of tobacco.

Taste: Strangely enough I get a whiff of cardboard first, but this dissapears rather quickly. It’s a little malty and less fruity than the nose suggests. some lovely dark chocolate. The baked appels with cinnamon are here to find as well. Water brings out more of the chocolate and red berries. Also a hint of tobacco here.

Finish: The finis is long and there is that hint of cardboard again. Weird. With water: chocolate and red fruits.

It’s better with water I think. Then it really opens up. And it reveals the fruits. Nevertheless it’s a fin whisky. Not very complex, but very enjoyable.

Score: 85.

This 29 year old Highland Park has matured in a refill sherry butt and is bottled at 57% ABV.

Highland Park 1989 tasting notes:

Nose: This is quite creamy, but it’s quite restrained. Apples. Something of red fruit in the background.  With water: now it opens up. Tobacco and mandarins. A hint of honey and rope.

Taste: A hint of tobacco. Honey too. Some lovely chocolate notes. A bit peppery. With water: It becomes creamier. The tobacco is gone now. Somewhat nutty, macadamia. Mandarins.

Finish: The finish is mid-long with honey and macadamia. Later mandarins.

It’s nice but don’t expect it to be very complex. It needs water to open up.

Score: 84

Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for the samples!

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