Jan 19th 2022 - Tasting notes

Connas Stunnas' Whisky Exchange Exclusives Jan 2022

I’ve been disappointed by some of The Whisky Exchange Exclusives in the past. In that, I’ve been disappointed to miss them. Some of their releases have been outstanding (a ’06 Pulteney springs to mind instantly), and now they are back with four offerings from Signatory, in the form of a Ballechin, Linkwood, Caol Ila and the now closed Caperdonich.


Let’s see if they can live up to their own high standards!


Linkwood 1997

WEX2022LINKSIG


24 Year Old


Speyside


56.6%


£199


Colour


Gold


Nose


Medium pronunciation with custard creams baking spices, melon and a touch of white chocolate at the back.


Palate


Tongue coating flavour and pleasant warmth from cinnamon with a touch of white pepper holding the show together. Occasional tropical hints of melon and passion fruit with a dusting of candied tangerine peel increase points of interest.


Finish


Medium to long with a focus on those baking spices initially and fading with memories of the tropical fruit.


Caperdonich 2000

WEX2022CAPSIG


21 Year Old


Speyside


56.9%


£299


Colour


Deep Gold


Nose


Pronunciation is medium, vanilla custard with a healthy spoon of gooey milk chocolate fondant centre. Cereal and raisin bars drizzled in honey are followed with a roasted malt note.


Palate


Mouth coating with single cream feel, flavour covers the entire palate. Surprisingly zesty for an instant with orange peel, then a transition through chocolate limes to spice land. A cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla crust coat a charred pineapple balance nicely with juicy orange and a twist of grapefruit.


Finish


A medium length descending from those spices through the citrus juice and back to cereal and vanilla notes.


Ballechin 2003

WEX2022BALLSIG


18 Year Old


Highlands


51.3%


£175


Colour


Gold


Nose


Well pronounced with coal smoke and charred lemon peel and the slightest touch of fresh pastry.


Palate


Thick and mouth coating, lemon sherbet and coalsmoke once more. Honey and candied mint leaf reflect a dentist chair as opposed to TCP in hospital with light baking spices playing a supporting role.


Finish


Medium finish with smoke clinging to the centre of the palate while mint and lemon linger on the sides of the tongue.


Caol Ila 2010

WEX2022CAOLISIG


11 Year Old


Islay


58.2%


£120


Colour


Amber


Nose


Slightly astringent at first, but give it a minute. Medium pronounced with peat smoke on a fresh spring breeze gently clinging the coast. Iced buns with dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks which have been dipped recently, in pomegranate juice.


Palate


Mouth coating with a nice oily feel. The hum of peat smoke battles with fresh citrus and darker “Christmas cake” inflections from sweet spices, raisins currents and sultanas. A touch of orange syrup binds.


Finish


Medium length, with lemon enveloped in sticky orange caramel dusted with dry baking spices.


Overview


Another solid performance from the team at Park Royal, folks!


“Critical Connas” would possibly the place the Ballechin in the “Blunt Instrument” file. And maybe the Caol Ila was "lacking in subtlety", however they have enough expressiveness and balance to be considered worthy.


And given their past record, maybe I had my heart set on finding an “outstanding” dram head and shoulders above the rest to set my senses alight with olfactory delight. But hey, maybe I’m just getting a bit snobby! Regardless, as we all know by now...


It’s not up to me, its up to you! Go and try some!


And I’ll see you next time!


Connas

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