Monday, April 11, 2022

Penderyn, Port Dundas, Samuel Gelston’s, Teeling Vintage , Cooley

I’ve reviewed non-scotch whiskeys before… So why stop now….

Penderyn 6, RoCo SP, Cognac Cask 61.9%
Hailing from a Welsh distillery, this is one of 430 bottles selected by ROCO spirits near Sacramento a Penderyn 6 year old malt that’s been in ex-cognac casks and selected for “The 200 club”. Nose is green apple skins, ripe bananas, green grass, some peach notes, some grapefruit peel, pepper and alcohol. Very sweet, bordering on honeyed tea notes, vanilla, white pepper and it’s also quite ‘breathtaking’… as in I couldn’t breathe for a bit after sipping my first sip. Becomes much more palatable after that on the experience, yet still quite warming on the throat due to untamed alcohol. ‘Creamy vanilla custard rum flambe’ is good description of the aftertaste. Overall: Oh I wish this was few years older to give alcohol a chance to calm down. This got amazing flavors but it’s also got untamed fury. Like being beaten up in a brawl by an attractive bodybuilder, great to look at, but it does still hurt. Fantastic young malt but it’s still young and after adding water everything falls apart into grassy raw notes suspended in light sugar syrup. Value: Looks like it was ~$99 which isn’t actually terrible for an uncommon distillery single cask. It’s not much of a value compared to it’s Scottish brethren but in context this gets a pass for the checkbox sake.
Score: C+

Port Dundas 14, Single Grain Scotch, Old Particular SiB, 48.4%
I’ve tried Port Dundas before and the one I’m thinking about was frankly, amazing… This bottle was fantastic: and I’ve also made no secret in the past that young single grain is a mess. So I’m clearly biased. Digging into this: the nose keeps on changing from vanilla rubbing alcohol to… grassy agricole rum, with a side of a screen wipe smell. Sweet vanilla cake that becomes a carnival of szechuan peppers on the palate. Reasonably long, gentle and very sweet aftertaste… Also like a vanilla cake. Overall: This needs another 20 years in a cask and it’d be amazing… As it is, it’s a curiosity but not much more. Don’t do young single grain kids, it’s not worth it. The dissolution of Port Dundas distillery is a shame but if you can get your grabby hands onto some old stock of theirs… It’s probably great . This, on the other hand, is barely passable. “Vodka (vanilla) cereal.” Value: N/A, not going to guess. If this is from auction and shipped to US… real bad. If sold locally… single grain bottles are pretty cheap comparably to their malt brethren. Still, don’t do single grains younger than 25 year old or so.
Score: C-

Samuel Gelston’s 25, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 52.4
A blend of Bushmills casks… This is quite… interesting… from friend Logan. The nose is leathery dry peaches and apricots with more tropical fruits, mangos, papaia etc. That nose is ultra tropical with a tinge of smoke, but really more of a sundried smell. Velvet-smooth palate at the first moment, then intense wood and baking spices kick in. Smoked cinnamon mango on the long aftertaste. This really does tastes somewhat smokey even if it’s not supposed to be smoked or peated, but it’s so well integrated, it’s great! Overall: This starts yum, and finishes little bit on the bitter wood side on the second part of the palate. Perhaps just a tad overaged. I want to spend time in the nose… but palate is sort of a mess somewhat muddling the experience once I sip. Value: Very sold out but I’ve seen this between 300 and 400 and that doesn’t lay well for me. As usual, for that price the value is low, especially with Bushmills stocks.
Score: B+

Teeling (Cooley) Vintage Reserve 23, Irish Single Malt 58.9%
Yet another interesting sample from friend Logan. To be clear there’s no such thing as a Teeling 23 year old single malt as teeling isn’t even 23 years old as of this writing. So this is another Cooley… Dried fruit compote on the nose, dried apricots, prunes, some tropical notes are in the background. There’s probably some sherry cask involves in this considering it’s not a single cask bottling. Definitely getting a little bit of varnish on the nose too. Woody, sweet, more dark dried fruits, licorice on the palate, super interesting and very complex. Long aftertaste with warmth and more licorice notes that finishes almost drying with tannins. It’s like a tasty fruity root beer cocktail. Overall: Real enjoyable, Cooley works great in ex-bourbon, but this blend with some sherry involved and is no slouch. Definitely recommended to at least try since finding these bottles are nigh impossible. This particular one is apparently from Japan market. Value: As with just about anything from Logan, not going to bother guessing… this is not a cheap bottle even when it was released in 2015.
Almost certainly this: https://www.whiskyba … /teeling-23-year-old
Score: A-

Cooley 17 Single Malt, @SFWBSS Pick SiB, 58.07%
Another Cooley, this time a 17 year old from 2003, ex-bourbon cask, picked by local whiskey group and I got a little sample via a bottle split. I’ve written about Cooley before here: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry210914-215238 so no need to reiterate, they’re a legendary Irish distiller that preceded Teeling. Intensely tropical nose, with leche fruits, peaches, mangos mingling together into a light tropical fruit concoction. Delicious and rather sweet palate with more tropical fruit punch flavors going on. Mango-coconut notes are the standouts. More coconut mango on the medium length aftertaste together with some baking spices and ginger notes. Overall: I’m quite enjoying this. It’s super sugary, almost agave syrup or cream-soda like, with tropical flavors and bourbon cask spices. But something in there is missing for me. Perhaps it’s so sweet that it evokes fruit punch and spoils my mental image? Almost too much on the senses out of the bottle… With water… most everything snaps into place. Yes! That was it, just add water! Value: Eeeeeeh. It’s $200 for 700ml… not a fan of that value to be honest… yet I still paid for part of the bottle to try it. If you’re a fan of Cooley malt it’s probably worth it considering current market… but honestly, it’s rather bad value especially if buying blind.
Score: A-

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown