Glen Scotia 6yo 1999/2006 (52.7%, The Whisky Fair, Heavily Peated, Bourbon Barrels #541 & #542, 464 bottles)

How ’bout another Glen Scotia then. One in its youth. This heavily peated Glen Scotia has a mere 6 years under its belt. Yes you read it right, a heavily peated Glen Scotia, move over Longrow? This is a Glen Scotia that was bottled for the 2006 Whisky Fair in Limburg, Germany. Most definitely a festival you shouldn’t miss. I like the label of this Whisky Fair bottling, since it looks similar to other Glen Scotia’s from that time. Lets have some peat then…

Glen Scotia 6yo 1999/2006 (52.7%, The Whisky Fair, Heavily Peated, Bourbon Barrels #541 & #542, 464 bottles)Color: White wine.

Nose: Soft elegant peat alright, but also very grassy. Lots of grass, dry grass, and hay. A confectionary sweetness, like warm icing sugar, but mixed with a little milk chocolate and the grass, peat and sweet ashes. Cocos macaroon with more than a hint of almond. This is already wonderful smelling after the mere 6 years in cask. Although this is from Bourbon barrels, I do encounter some sulfury compounds. Still grassy and some typical vanilla, with lemon freshness. Typical for Bourbon Barrels. Barrels are 20% smaller than (remade) hogsheads, so in theory the spirit ages more quickly, but not twice as quick, since nobody wold argue with you if you claimed this to be 12yo. Quite some active barrels. Nice.

Taste: Sweet barley, yup sweet barley. Diluted lemon curd. Altogether quite lemony. Where the nose was quite complex and didn’t show its age, the taste is much simpler and seems young, but not alcoholic. A sweet and creamy rounded off taste. Some prickly peat but not a lot. I wouldn’t call this heavily peated, at least it doesn’t seem heavily peated. Sweet barley and sweet yellow fruits, but none in particular. I guess dried apricots are the closest. Sweet Earl Grey tea with a hint of honey and a lot of lime. Medium to short finish and the same goes for the aftertaste. Which is about young soft peat added to warm diluted lemon curd.

Even though this tastes quite nice, I’m a bit disappointed that the taste didn’t live up to the promise of the nose. I was quite surprised at first in what the nose achieved in 6 years. Still an experience and a nice surprise. I wonder how this would have turned out with some more age to it.

Points: 84

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Glenfarclas 35yo 1971/2006 (51.4%, The Whisky Fair, Oloroso Sherry Butt, 534 bottles)

Well why not, why not try another Glenfarclas from a bottle without the distillery’s name on the label. This time a Glenfarclas again, but now from 1971, especially bottled for The Whisky Fair in Limburg Germany. For many the mother of all Whisky festivals on the planet. This Glenfarclas is definitely darker in colour than the previous one I reviewed. I’m guessing the 1965 should be from a Fino Sherry Butt, and we know this 1971 is from a new and fresh Oloroso Sherry Butt.

KnipselColor: Copper Brown.

Nose: Wow, perfect dry Sherry nose, with mint and a lot of elegant wood. Lacquered mahogany furniture. You always get this from old dark Sherry casks. Dried meat, bacon and chocolate, lovely. Extremely spicy, licorice and old shelved books. For the die-hards of old dry Sherry, a stunning nose. Exactly what I like. Menthol in the finish, including its cooling effect in the nose.

Taste: Again heavy Sherry. Fruity and the promise there once was more sweetness to this. Like cold tea, drying with a lot of wood influence. Still its so “firm” the woodiness doesn’t deter me. Whiskies like this should have this elegant wood. It’s a distinguished old gentleman. Coal and steam, not a lot of tar, maybe the smallest of hints of tar. The finish is dry, very dry and the wood shows it’s acidity here, but hey, it’s not bitter. Now it does show its lack of sweetness, or roundness if you like. This usually hides this woody acidity. So yes its fabulous but has it’s flaws. If this would have been perfect this would have been an 1971 Longmorn (Scott’s Selection).

Although Fino’s are quite different from Oloroso Sherries (and PX Sherries), both works very well as a cask to age Whisky in. Both have different characters and both will have a large following. In this case I wish I could have tasted this alongside a 1971 Scott’s Selection Longmorn (the dark ones), that should have been a blast. Not having that, I still wish I had a bottle of this Glenfarclas too.

Points: 92

Clynelish 32yo 1974/2006 (58.6%, The Whisky Fair, Bourbon Hogshead, 266 bottles)

After the 1994 Clynelish I reviewed last summer, it took me a lot of months to return to Clynelish. As we all know, Brora 1972 (from the old Clynelish distillery) might be the closest thing to whisky heaven, I know there are more, but bear with me. The distillery built next to the old Clynelish distillery is the current (new) Clynelish distillery, so in fact what we heave here is a whisky made very close to heaven, close in space and close in time. Luckily to keep the legend sort of burning, Clynelish managed to keep up the quality and still makes a pretty decent Whisky. The 1994 reviewed earlier, was above average, now let’s have a look at this 1974 Clynelish.

Clynelish 32yo 1974/2006 (58.6%, The Whisky Fair, Bourbon Hogshead, 266 bottles)Color: Gold

Nose: Slightly farmy, leafy, clean and fruity. Old wax, but more wax off, than wax on. Rather fresh and lively. Dried apricots. Dusty paper, and  powdery. Vanilla. Bold (sour) wood, which is not up front. Naked oak, hence the sourness that sticks to it. It’s not particularly woody, but it ís the wood that keeps it together. Some grounded coffee. Cold cigar tobacco (Havana naturally). Musty clay and late vanilla. It’s not a Banff but I do ‘get’ some mustard here…

Taste: Wow! A nice attack of smoke, cannabis and hops. Creamy sweetness. Like true vanilla ice-cream with an apricot/mango syrup on top. Definitely a nice bite from the wood to accompany it all. The longer I keep it in my mouth the woodier it gets. It’s never too woody though. Quite strong, but it is almost 60% ABV. The finish lacks a bit of sweetness to round it all out. The wood makes it ‘pointier’ and dries out the lips. It does remind me a bit of the 1974 Rare Malts version, which was (also) no punishment to drink, but I liked that one a bit better.

This is one of many bottlings that are dedicated to one of earths finest Whisky festivals, or fairs, of all times. The Whisky Fair in Limburg Am Lahn in Germany that will be held at the end of this month. Of course this is long sold out, but new festival bottlings keep emerging as mushrooms on a wet forest floor, most of them pretty good, to say the least. It’s a very good Clynelish but the last part of the experience keeps it out of the 90 points range.

Points: 89