Rare Scotch Tasting w/ John Hansell
Monk's Cafe

Well, as fortune would have it, my schedule changed just in time to sign up for the 2nd tasting of the year. My friends Doug and Bill accompanied me this time to enjoy the evening.
We arrived at Monk's early and sat down to dinner and enjoyed a few beers to prepare ourselves for the whiskies to come.
The theme of this event was tasting products from defunct distilleries. Most of these distilleries met their fates back in the 80's or 90's and were either bought out or just shuttered by their owners.
John first discussed the methods by which these whiskies are still alive. Many wholesalers buy the kegs from the distillery and store them until they feel they are ready for bottling. They usually sell them under their own label with the distillery and the date as part of it. This way, even long defunct distilleries can be seen on the shelves.
Our first scotch was from Lockside closed in '93. It was a 12 yr old distilled in '91 and bottled in '03. It had a grassy, fruity, vanilla warmth at 43% abv.
Next up was a Pittyvaich, a Speyside distillery, distilled in '93 and bottled in '05 by Gordon & McPhail. It was citrusy, oily, w/ banana, vanilla and licorice notes.
North of Scotland was closed by 1980 and this next selection was distilled in '64 and bottled in '05! This old distillery was a grain distiller using column stills. The whiskey was made from a single grain. Scott's Selection has kept this one alive. It had a fruity, caramel and honey flavor.45.5%
Rosebank was another one that closed in '93. Murray McDavid bought this '89 distilled 16 yr old that was unchilled filtered. It has a heathery, grassy and floral aroma and palate. 46%.
Brora was closed in '83 and this must have been one of its last products. Bottled in '04, this 21 yr old is briny and would be great as an aperitif.
Diageo, the beverage giant, bought Glenlossie and built a new one next to it and did away with this one. Duncan and Taylor bought these '83 kegs and bottled them cask strength at 61.2% under their Rarest of the Rose line of whiskies.
Port Ellen closed in '83 but some of their whisky still remains. This Islay product is easily recognized by its smoky, peaty aroma and flavor. This was a 57.2% bottling with a tarry rope note.
This was another great event from Monk's and John. Check out www.maltadvocate.com for a calendar of all of John's events and www.monkscafe.com for all of their happenings.