other day I got this tiny little box with a batch
of tiny little vials of various scotch whiskeys. My initial
thought was that's pretty tight. However, after looking at
the labels I realized that if they had sent me entire bottles
of these spirits the total would have come to over $600.00!
I really wish they had opted to do that! Well my wish was
granted, sort of, I later received 18 more vials so I could
complete my taste tests.
a country about the size of South Carolina, Scotland sure
does have a lot of distilleries. Hundreds have come and gone
and around a hundred remain going strong.
Imports, founded in 1993 imports and internationally markets
premium distilled spirits. They import the small batch Classic
Cask brand as well as The McGibbon's Provenance brand and
The McGibbon's Provenance and dozens of other fine scotch
whiskies are the product of Douglas McGibbon & Co., a
family owned company formed in 1949. They have built an extensive
portfolio of young and old Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.
get started with the McGibbon's Provenance Glenlivet 1997,
single malt, 15 year old Scotch. Glenlivet has been around
forever and it is the go to scotch of some of my friends.
They make an excellent product so I am anxious to see what
this 15 year old child of theirs is like. The color is a pale
golden yellow hinting that it might not be as over the top
as much darker brown whiskeys. The nose is delicate and not
oaky or smoky at all. As a matter of fact it is surprisingly
crisp and clean with hints of citrus and honeysuckle. After
it sits a bit the smokiness just barely appears. On the palate
the taste finally awakens to present more of a true scotch
profile and yet it's a delicate scotch profile. It becomes
a bit smoky and has a hint of oak with vanilla and grass in
the background. It is smooth and subtle yet flavorful but
not overpowering. The finish is short and sweet and smooth
leaving a faint smokey taste with a touch of pepper that makes
it very interesting. This scotch is so understated that I
wouldn't even think of adding ice. I'll bet that even people
who profess to hate scotch would appreciate this Glenlivet.
to the McGibbon's Provenance Inchgower 1999, single malt,
12 year old Scotch. Again the color is a pale golden yellow.
The nose however is leather forward and sharp and to the point.
The aroma is thicker and has more body than the Glenlivet
and yet there are slight high notes of raisins and fresh figs.
The palate is complex and slightly smoky but not necessarily
oaky since I believe this batch was laid to rest in sherry
casks which gives it a hint of sweetness. I pick up a taste
of pear and apple in the background. It is flavorful and medium
bodied but not overpowering and pleasantly complex. The finish
is medium in length and slightly sweet and smokey with a touch
of spice and leaves me wanting more. On the rocks this scotch
settles down into a very refined and delicate drink accenting
the scotch and smokey flavor yet retaining traces of the sweetness
and fruit in the background. Either way; straight up or on
the rocks this is a good sipper.
cow, I haven't tried this much booze in one sitting since
we tried 18 cognacs one night. Actually that evening is still
one of my most memorable memories which I just really can't
share with anyone other than my father confessor.
any rate, the next one up is the McGibbon's Provenance Glenrothes1997,
single malt, 14 year old Scotch. The color is also a pale
golden yellow. The nose is gentle, slightly sweet, and a bit
acidic with no hint of scotch or smoke or alcohol at all!
After it has sat in the snifter for a bit it finally reveals
the slightest hint of scotch character with no smoke and no
oak, it is very clean. The first sip finally shows the first
hint of smokiness and scotch taste yet it is quite laid back.
It is soft and fruity and citrusy but in a much muted manner.
The finish is also smooth and slightly peppery leaving a residue
of tasty flavor behind and it is medium in length. On the
rocks it begins to behave and the smokey scotch flavor comes
forward and the rest balances and becomes uniform and it transforms
into a great sipping scotch.
so if my crass assumptions are anywhere near correct this
last one should be quite interesting, it is the Classic Cask
40 year old rare blended scotch. Holey moley I don't even
have children that old, let's dive into this. The color is
a translucent amber and if it were a solid it would make one
hell of a pretty necklace. Straight from the bottle I get
a hint of the oak and smoke I expected but it is very laid
back with a tiny bit of citrus in the background.
the snifter it opens up and those two aromas combine perfectly
into a blend where neither one dominates and they are harmonious.
There are also hints of caramel and leather and licorice and
chocolate and raspberries. This is a wonderful nose; I could
spend as much time, if not more, just inhaling this scotch
as drinking it. On the first sip all those things I just mentioned
combine perfectly. It's like a symphony orchestra of flavor
where every taste plays perfectly with the other. The smokey
scotch taste which usually dominates in most scotches plays
much nicer with all the other flavors here but is definitely
still the major player. Whatever you do don't put this on
the rocks, this is just way too nice to dilute.
McGibbon's Provenance Inchgower 1999 is around $55.00 per
750ml bottle and the McGibbon's Provenance Glenrothes 1997
is around $80.00 per 750ml bottle.
Provenance Glenlivet 1997 around $40.00 to $50.00 per 750ml
Cask 40 year old scotch whiskey between $350.00 and $400.00
per 750ml bottle.
they're all pretty darn good yet in totally different ways.
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