Tasting note: Old Pulteney 2001 SMWS 52.21 (15-year-old, "Tropical breezes fill the sails")

Old Pulteney 2001 SMWS 52.21Color: Deep copper

Nose: Makes a sherry-like entrance with a deep sweetness from raisins and caramel. Moments later I get more of the influence from the red wine finish, dark grapes with a very slight sourness. (Water uncovers some earthy notes.)

Taste: Wow, deep sweetness indeed! Lots of toffee with dried fruits again, raisins and dates. There is some creamy dark chocolate, too. Salt caramel on top of that. Wonderful. (The addition of water adds oranges and berries into the mix.)

Finish: Medium. Dark chocolate with walnuts, dried oranges and dry oak.

Comments: Very enjoyable dram from the "Deep, rich & dried fruits" category at SWMS. After 14 years in a bourbon barrel it was transferred to a first-fill ex-red wine hogshead for a one-year finish. The red wine influence is rather shy though. Could easily be mistaken for a sherry whisky to be honest -- not that there's anything wrong with that! Like this one a lot.

Rating: I rated this whisky 88 out of 100.
(Nose 22, Taste 23, Finish 21, Balance 22)

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Tasting note: Laphroaig 15-year-old (bottled ~2006)

Laphroaig 15-year-oldColor: Amber

Nose: Instantly medicinal and oily. Seaweed and gasoline with a touch of smoke... I'm thinking of an industrial port and machines with big diesel engines. Not exactly a flattering imagery, I know. Luckily sweet caramel comes along and saves the day.

Taste: Mild peat, gentle and sweet. Perhaps a little tame. Still medicinal though and a bit rubbery. I also find hints of grapefruit, but I remain unimpressed.

Finish: Long. Medicinal notes with salt and fresh herbs.

Comments: Disappointing on the palate, although nose and finish were certainly okay. In terms of balance, it was too heavy on the medicinal side for my taste. Average. With that in mind, I find the 15yo pricey on the aftermarket now that it has been discontinued.

Rating: I rated this whisky 80 out of 100.
(Nose 21, Taste 19, Finish 20, Balance 20)

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