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Monday, October 18, 2021

Westport 24 year old 1996 Thompson Brothers, cask 2502

I don't take the whole teaspooned-whisky thing seriously. For instance, Westport is Glenmorangie. I don't care what other distillery's teaspoon of single was added to the cask, its influence (and quantity) is infinitesimal compared to the wine in the casks of Glenmorangie's official releases. The indie bottlers have my sympathies for this enforced goofy antiquated charade.

Since I've tried all the official Glenmos I would ever care to try, and have settled on the 18yo and 25yo as my favorites, it's time for me to review a few independently bottled single casks of the Northern Highlands distillery. So I have trio of IBs for this week, and I'll go in reverse — oldest to youngest — starting with today's bottling from the Thompson Bros of Dornoch.

Distillery: Glenmorangie
Ownership: LVMH
Region: Northern Highlands
Bottler: Thompson Brothers
Age: 24 years (1996 - 2020)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Cask #: 2502
Outturn: 193 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 50.9%
(from a bottle split)


Tree bark, metal, vanilla, grass and apricots appear first in the quirky nose. It gradually picks up notes of cheap plastic toys and burnt coconut. There's something very "grain whisky" about this. Maybe it's the coconut? Well, a lot more coconut shows up once the whisky is reduced to 43%abv, like Coconut City (a.k.a. Invergordon). A slight nectarine note appears as well, which is good news.

The palate is much different and, in my opinion, much better. The woody and grain whisky notes have been replaced by a strong maltiness and tangy citrus (oranges and lemons), along with fresh cilantro and serrano chiles. Plantains sit in the background. At 43%abv, it's still malty and a bit grassy, with floral and bitter citrus notes arriving later.

It finishes sweeter than the palate, with rooty bitterness and lemons around the edges. At 43%abv, it finishes with malt and bitter citrus.


The Whiskybase community is over the moon about this whisky, but I am not. Though the nose was unusual, it wasn't on the positive side of unusual. As I'd mentioned, it was like some scrambled Invergordon of indeterminate age. But the palate was pretty darn good and moderately complex. The vast gulf between the styles and qualities of the nose and palate makes this a difficult whisky to sort out. But I'll err on the side of flavor because whisky is for drinkin'.

Availability - Probably sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 82

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