The regular St. Magdalene/Linlithgow whisky:
Colour: Light amber
Nose: Fresh and clean scent with fruity, grass and sweet spots.
Taste: Soft, sweet and spicy with hints of malt and sweet vanilla that turns into, some bottlings have a hint of smokeness.
Aftertaste: It`s medium, warm and soft with a pleasent freshness.
St.Magdalene RareMalt 19yo 1979/1998 63.8%
The nose is sweet and malty. I get wood, caramel, oranges, woodsmoke, but also a lot of alcohol. Let me add a splash of water. Now the true, complex nature surfaces. Some horse hide, believe it or not! Again mostly oranges and caramel, but also hay and vanilla and some more smoke. Marzipan? Yep, this is quite excellent.
Without water, it simply scorches the tongue, although it does so in a fruity way. Even some smoke. Peat? Loads of oranges and caramel again. But it is much more complex than that, if you add some water. Then the fruit is joined by a lot of spices (mostly vanilla and nutmeg) and nuts, lime and blood oranges. They hay enhances, as do the nuts. Almonds. Oily. Brilliant.
In the long, dry finish, the oak speaks once more.
Wow, what a whisky! One that definitely needs water, but keeps you enthralled for minutes on end. If you want to get your hands on a bottle today, you will need to cough up over 600 EUR.
St. Magdalene Cadenhead 32 yo 1982/2014 58.1%,
Well spotted, this is the brand new one! Older and stronger, that’s the spirit!
Nose: I wouldn’t say it is very disappointing that this baby’s so close to the stunning 30 yo. Except that it’s a little closed… So… With water: incredible, this is even ‘higher’ than the 30. I guess you could keep these casks for one hundred years and the whisky would still be fresh and lively. I’d say this one’s a little more medicinal this time, always very mineral, and with subtle touches of fresh nuts and herbs. It is exactly my preferred style of whisky. There.
Mouth (neat): makes you wanna sing a nice song. When sharpness is the greatest asset, there’s more lemon juice than in the biggest lemon. But indeed it is strong… With water: fab. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade (they’re pretty busy these days, aren’t they).
Finish: long, sharp, clean and superbly leafy and lemony. Comments: do you know that story about that Lowlander that used to be one of the best Highlanders? And I loved the medicinal side in this. What a whisky! SGP:272 - 93 points.
My oh my, another wonderful strike!
St.Magdalene G&M Connoisseurs Choice Brown label 18yo 1964 40%
Nose: unique. A wonderful combination of cherries, blueberries and raisins with milk chocolate and coffee. Quite some butter. A little metal. Dried flowers. Dusty wardrobes and old leather bound books. Ashes. Herbs. A distinct aroma of juicy apricots. Not the typical Lowlands shyness, I would say. This is intense and extremely interwoven. Mouth: not too powerful but full of flavour: velvety fruits – soft cherry and apricot again, but less noticeable than on the nose. Some vanilla and oak. Tobacco. Tea with lemon. Then growing drier, a little resinous and softly herbal (laurel and cloves). More earthy as well, with hay and liquorice root. Finish: not too long, on dry ashes with a salty edge and pine resin.
This St Magdalene 1964 is nothing like a modern Lowlands malt. In fact it’s unlike any modern malt.
The slight dryness of the finish prevents a higher score, but this is still a legendary dram.
Linlithgow OB 30yo 1973/2004 59.6%
Glass: Glencairn - Colour: Rich yellow gold - Nose: Delightful, yes it's light with some hints of wood and vanilla alongside gentle furniture polish. It soon develops a wonderfully floral creaminess too. - Palate: A very creamy mouth-feel which exudes exotic fruits and vanilla. - Finish: Long, very long with a slight pepperiness and quite delightfully repetitive too. Overall Impression: Did I say delightful? Did I say I love it? Did I say it's a true "Great"? Well, it is all of these.