Monday, July 10, 2023

Old Particular K&L Picks 2022, Quick Pours, Quick Notes.

1 Oz samples from a bottle split done by a friend. All these are from K&L Wines, bottled by Old Particular in 2022. Due to how palate and moods work there may be some minor variance to the scores.

Auchroisk – 12 years — 60.3% — Score: B — Classic refill ex-bourbon, orange rind, roasted walnuts, baking spices and hot peppers. Concentrated and somewhat drying to my current palate.
Bunnahabhain – 14 years — 54.2% — Score: B — Sweet & salty, buttery, and peated. The peat makes it hard to compare to the OB releases, but if you wished 2021 Bunna 12 CS had peat… you got it. Solid Bunna CS ex-bourbon + peat is a good summary.
Glengoyne – 15 years — 56% — Score: A- — Honeyed blossoms. Perfume. Bubble gum. Cream Soda. Balanced by spice. Very nice indeed!
Arran – 9 years — 60.5% — Score: A — Vanilla & toasted coconut chocolate candies dusted with baking spice. Complex, tropical, funky and delicious. Absolutely nuts!
Orkney’s Finest (Highland Park) — 14 years — 51.7% — Score: B+ — Sweet, buttery, tropical and citrusy, not overly spicy yet balanced well, very lightly peated, ex-bourbon ‘Park. Better than some from the distillery i’ve had, worse than others. Highland Park does deliver flavor, cannot fault it for this.
Blair Athol — 13 years — 55.5% — Score: B — Perfumed, slightly sulfuric, sweetly tropical, covered in baking spices. Sawdust and drying oak. Somewhat tannic in the aftertaste.
Cameronbridge Grain — 30 years — 51.5% — Score: B- — Sweetly tropical with baking spice, basically a coconut butter cookie dusted with cloves/nutmeg/cinnamon combo. Zero aftertaste is expected but the drop off is so sudden it messes with the experience.
Invergordon Grain — 26 years — 56% — Score: A- — Sweet and leathery, feels slightly smoky but isn’t. A flavor bomb. Tropical vanilla fighting with toasted wood. Aftertaste that lingers. Almost bourbon-like, but without corn or too much wood notes. Takes a few drops of water to cut that bitter edge off for the better. This is a fantastic single grain.
Blair Athol — 25 years — 56.8% — Score: B — Orange oil assault on the nose in a good way. The palate is spicy fruity refill sherry but not much of a malt character that shows. Starts sweet and then gets drowned by wood tannins on secondaries and aftertaste. Enjoyable for cask fiends. I feel this was bottled about 5 years too late. Takes water like a champ and does improve somewhat after taking off the edge. Still, I expected better.
Caol Ila — 8 years — 55.8% — Score: B+ — Smoky peat, sea salt, ex-bourbon vanilla sweetness. Nowhere to hide. Punchy and generously peated. A good, fun, young Caol Ila.
Caol Ila — 11 years — 55.8% — Score: B+ — Very buttery, salty, sweet and peaty in somewhat more familiar balance here. Strong and flavorful. A fun one. The peat is more toasted here rather than fresh and salty in the 8 year old above.
Ardmore — 25 years — 53.3% — Score: A — Sweet dried apricots on the nose. Salty, sweet, fruity incredibly complex light smoke on the palate. Woody, gently spiced and drying on the aftertaste. A very unique, yet fantastic thing for sure.
Laphroaig — 10 years — 53.4% — Score: B (D+ for me specifically) — Oily, salty, sweet, heavily peated; this reminds me very much of 10 year old Cask Proof bottling, though this is pure refill bourbon. Some love this oily lubricant note, old engine parts profile. I am not a fan.
Laphroaig – 22 years — 48.5% — Score: B+ — Very complex peat, lemon curd, cream (vanilla) soda, light texture. Aftertaste lingers forever with gentle smoke and even gentler sweet spices. This is like the best tropical mixed drink with some smoke in it. It’s the ‘favorite campground you come to every year’. It’s great in its straightforwardness. It takes the label of ‘good’ and pushes it to the extreme without becoming ‘amazing’.

Hey! How did this one get here from 2016?!
Laphroaig – 16 years — 53.2% — Score: A- — Distilled in 2000, this is one bottle I regret not reviewing. I finally got a sample from friend Ken by accident. This cannot be more different from the 10 above, and still be Laphroaig. Sweet fruits, gentle but very present peat, light and non-clinging texture that delivers flavors galore. This is a great pour. Off the typical OB profile for the distillery. None of the old lubricate notes that are present in young bottlings. Think over-smoked gouda that’s still light on the texture or punchier Peat Monster which has Caol Ila… so this particular one leans into that direction. More please!

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