CONNOISSEURS CHOICE

In the 1960s George Urquhart, one of the first of four generations of the Urquhart family to shape the future of Gordon & MacPhail, pioneered a range of single malt Scotch whiskies, which he selected, matured, and bottled. In doing so, he effectively invented a category in a market previously focused entirely on blended whiskies.

The ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range broke innovative new ground, giving a platform to many of Scotland’s distilleries, some of which had never before been bottled as a single malt.

These single cask and small batch expressions are genuine one-offs.

Every bottle tells its life story through its label: cask type, bottling date, strength, vintage, and tasting note. Always non-chill-filtered and bottled at natural colour.

Bladnoch 1988 Cask Strength

Nose: Sweet, crisp red apples entwined with fragrant jasmine and rose. Fruit and nut chocolate begins to sweeten to vanilla fondant and zesty lime curd.

Taste: Prominent toasted malt notes transform into fragrant orange blossom with dashes of rosewater. Fruity stewed rhubarb with mouth-warming dried ginger undertones. A gentle chilli heat remains throughout.

Finish: Medium bodied with lingering charred oak and sweet chilli spice.

CSPC #822498

Highland Park 2001 Cask Strength

Nose: Stewed fruits soaked in a lightly spiced sugar syrup. Aromas of juicy clementine paired with clove are complemented by notes of crème brûlée and hazelnut chocolate.

Taste: Fresh cracked black pepper opens into subtle sherry flavours. Salted caramel with velvety chocolate gives way to light fruit cake spiced with ginger and cinnamon.

Finish: Lingering; woody notes with delicate ashy tones.

CSPC #817571

Caol Ila 2005 Cask Strength

Aroma: Distinctive peat smoke aromas layered with sweet cured meats, fine pipe tobacco, and delicate floral notes. A fruity interlude of candied peel and bursts of orange emerge.

Taste: Full-bodied; warming; with nuances of chilli; flavours of chocolate intertwined with cinnamon baked apple, vanilla crème brûlée and soft stewed fruits.

Finish: Lingering bonfire embers and campfire ash evolve into warming white pepper.

CSPC #812080

Caol Ila 2004 Hermitage Wood

Aroma: Complex and fruity: light peat smoke and dry cured meats mix with vanilla pod revealing cranberries, redcurrants and delicate orange blossom. A dried apricot and plum edge develops.

Taste: Creamy, hints of liquorice and warming pepper transform into spicy oak notes. Chocolate, ripe raspberry, and blackcurrant transform with gentle beeswax undertones.

Finish:  Long, forest fruits mature into lingering peat smoke infused with charred oak and bonfire embers.

CSPC #805518

Caol Ila 2004 Wood Finish  

Aroma: Complex and fruity: light peat smoke and dry cured meats mix with vanilla pod revealing cranberries, redcurrants and delicate orange blossom. A dried apricot and plum edge develops.

Taste: Creamy, hints of liquorice and warming pepper transform into spicy oak notes. Chocolate, ripe raspberry, and blackcurrant transform with gentle beeswax undertones. 

Finish: Long, forest fruits mature into lingering peat smoke infused with charred oak and bonfire embers.

CSPC #805518

Balblair 1993 Cask Strength

Aroma: Rich and sherried: juicy plum mixes with clove and cinnamon; brown sugar and fudge mature into red apple sprinkled with cocoa powder and an underlying citrus peel edge. 

Taste: Creamy and smooth, stewed plum, raspberry, and apple combine with cinnamon and orange peel, hints of roasted chestnuts transform into tart cherry and oak. 

Finish: Long and spicy with lingering dark chocolate.

CSPC #805519

Aberfeldy 1993 Cask Strength

Aroma:  Bold yet subtle: Sherry and sweet vanilla combine with dark chocolate. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves develop and open into subtle and delicate floral notes. 

Taste:  Full-bodied and creamy with hints of freshly cracked black pepper. Dark chocolate, and walnut notes are balanced by sweet brown sugar and juicy fruit undertones.

Finish: Sweet, long, and lingering with candied cherry and charred oak highlights.

CSPC #805517

Glen Spey 1995

Aroma: Layered and graceful: ripe banana, pear, and pineapple infused with vanilla and topped by a crème brûlée, jasmine emerges, highlighted by silky chocolate. 

Taste: Mouth-warming chilli followed by mature oak, summer strawberries and raspberries glazed with white chocolate and balanced by a subtle herbal edge. 

Finish: Gentle and soft, pear and ripe banana develop into oak.

CSPC #805520

Pulteney 1998 

Aroma: Intricate and balanced: honey-smoked cured meats with a light salty brine edge transforms into a fresh fruit salad of crisp green apple, juicy peach, nectarine, and cantaloupe.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, sticky apricot jam infused with vanilla pod opens into a refreshing citrus zest. Freshly-picked green apple develops a subtle walnut edge. 

Finish: Delicate with lingering oak, underlying grapefruit, sea salt, and lemon zest remain.

CSPC #805516

Speyburn 1989

Aroma: Fresh and delicate: vanilla weaves into mango, kiwi, and pear, delightful elderflower. Zesty lemon transforms into green moss, and garden herbs. 

Taste: Mouth-warming chilli followed by mature oak opens into plump, mature strawberries and raspberries coated with white chocolate. A subtle herbal undertone adds depth.

Finish:  Gentle and soft, pronounced pear and ripe banana fade into oak.

CSPC #805522

Strathmill 2004

Aroma:  Fresh and vibrant: banana, pineapple, coconut, pear, and green apple combine and transform into delicate floral layers. With time, a creamy butterscotch undertone develops. 

Taste: A gentle mouth-warming pepper heat gently succumbs to deliciously juicy tropical fruits: watermelon, pineapple, and banana with highlights of lively orange zest twists. 

Finish:  Drying cocoa powder and lingering toasted oak balance the fruity sweetness.

CSPC #805521

Press

Balblair 1993 Connoisseurs Choice Scores 96!

 

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