Ah yes, the mysterious realms of tea spooning to
protect the original distillery and their brand as such. I’ve touched on
this before when reviewing the excellent if covert 20 year old Secret Speyside whisky released by Lady of the Glen. All very undercover
and curious yet the whisky itself remains delightful and that’s what
matters. I did not trouble Gregor who runs and owns Lady of the Glen for
any insider details regarding its origins or threaten to throw him off
the Forth Road Bridge for not doing so. Sometimes it’s more fun to let
mysteries remain exactly so.
sample was kindly provided by Berry Bro. & Rudd and is the third
review of their current batch of releases. The journey to date has been
very interesting by taking us to overlooked distilleries such as
Allt-a-Bhainne and Glentauchers and next up is this 1996 Westport. This
is a perfect example of tea spooning or by adding a drop of whisky from
another distillery it cannot be sold as coming from X and infringing
their hard earned trademark or branding. Rather than being a single malt
instead it has to be sold as a blended malt whisky as it does not come
exclusively from one distillery. It’s a moot point in reality as you can
easily search for the origins of Westport and other tea spooning
‘distilleries’ online. Even the official description places the origins
as being somewhere near Tain an area I know particularly well. Teaninich
and Dalmore are nearer Alness and Balblair is nearer Edderton although
in all cases arguably the nearest major town is Tain.
answer of course of Glenmorangie which has experienced a French style
boutique makeover in recent years with the sixteen men of Tain relegated
to a backdrop and the tartan traditions glossed over for a new
generation. It’s not an image for me although its proving very
successful in the United States that continues to be a growing market
for Glenmorangie. Earlier this year as part of an exclusive event hosted
by none other than Charlie Maclean himself at the Whisky Solstice I
tasted a stonking Glenmorangie. Devoid of cask interference and
colouring (yes they still like to use a drop of E150) this 9 year old
bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (125.68, a tale of two
ladies) was an example of a naked traditional Glenmorangie whisky that
delivered at cask strength and 9 years of age. This Westport is slightly
older but I have high expectations so let’s get on with the review.
Distillery: Westport (Glenmorangie)
Bottled: 2014 (18 years old)
Strength: 56.7% vol
Additional: cask number 2503, natural colour, no chill filtration
Price: £88.55 available here
Colour: a faint golden brown residue
Nose: vanilla, freshly cleaned cotton sheets, Jacobs cream crackers then raspberries and strawberries. White pepper and lemon loaf cake endure.
Taste: this does benefit from water. Punch with more white pepper and then the lemon reappears before giving way to tiramisu with creamy mascarpone cheese, a sprinkling of chocolate and a gentle lashing of coffee.
This tastes like a young whisky and not an 18 year old release, but its already demonstrating some punch and complexity. An interesting and welcome opportunity to try something new.
Labels: 1996, berry bros, glenmorangie, review, westport, whisky