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Carn Mor Vintage Collection Macduff 1991

Carn Mor Vintage Collection: Macduff 1991 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 21 year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Honeyed gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Heather fields. Brick dust. Water emphasises the heather.

Body: Vanilla. Smooth. Brick dust. Orange crème notes. Notable alcohol despite the smooth feel. Water adds honey, more sweet orange and sour berries.

Finish: Sour cranberries. Honey. Brick dust. Alcohol numbing. Water emphasise honey and smoothens.

Conclusion: Well, this is whisky. That is a statement that however should not be mistaken for the similar “This is Whisky!” – I am not indicating an exemplar, merely that there is not much I can say about this beyond its base whiskyness. Just thought I should clear up that potential confusion.

It has the base heather, honey and such that you can imagine as a default whisky kind of thing, but not much else. Actually, I tell a lie, it does have something else.

Brick dust.

The whole thing, despite being smooth of texture, tastes slightly gritty, like breathing in around the dust of a broken up brick. This is a twenty plus year aged single malt, yet for the gritty base character I could probably mistake it for a relatively cheap blend. Ok, that was overly harsh, it doesn’t have that cheap alcohol kick, and the texture is very much telling of the age but flavour wise it doesn’t bring much to the table.

This teams up with Tamdhu for aged expressions that fail to beat the standard expression of another distillery.

It is a bit of a duff one.

I am so sorry, so very sorry for that pun. But not sorry enough that I didn’t type it out. And post it.

Sorry.

Background: Bottled 2012. Macduff is also called the Glen Deveron for official bottling, which this is not. Glen Deveron is the better name in my opinion. Anyway this was picked up from Independent Spirit, I grabbed it as I have not tried anything from this distillery yet. Drunk while listening to more of Iron Maiden’s new album, it is definitely growing on me, but seems to work more as a album that any particular single.

Carn Mor Vintage Collection Longmorn 1996

Carn Mor Vintage Collection: Longmorn 1996 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 13 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Light grain to bracken.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Notable alcohol. Soft lemon. Husked grain. Water turns to corn fields.

Body: Lemon sponge. Notable alcohol. Golden syrup cake. Slick feel. Menthol and peppermint. Oaked. Lime. Water makes more gentle, sweet and smooth. Light strawberry comes out with more water along with a shredded wheat character.

Finish: Dry, yet golden syrup flavoured. Oak. Crackers. More oaked with water and black liquorice bits.

Conclusion: I’m never quite sure if that has actually fully opened up. I’m still adding water to taste as I write. Still, I have had a fair chunk of it, and it has already progressed so I think I have a fair handle on it.

Top and tail this whisky never really clicks. The aroma is slightly closed, too burning without water, too muted once water is added. Tail and into the finish it too oaken, which weighs over all the other elements.

So, erm, yeah, a bad start for this one then. The middle does have a bit of play though. While it is hard to tell neat, there is a soothing soft lemon sponge character. Water helps, giving the soft sponge and soft fruit room to roam. Even with water it feels a tad rough around the edges, but the base core suggest a softer, more pleasant, whisky that it so much wants to be.

I can’t really recommend it based on that though – there is a good soft whisky in here somewhere, but the harsh edges makes me think it would have been better in something a bit more booming to age it.

Background: Bottled in 2009 from a hogshead cask, this proved a good chance to do some notes for Longmorn whisky, which I have tried before but never got around to doing notes for. Its a nice 20cl in size, small enough to not be a too huge commitment, but large enough to get a feel for the whisky. One of 1377 bottles, I grabbed this from Independent Spirit. Drunk whilst listening to Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Against Me! for a pumped up background music set.

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