Imperial 18 1995 Gordon & MacPhail

Imperial 18 1995 Gordon & MacPhail 2.jpg

I did an Advent Calendar made up of samples I had acquired over time, chosen by my wife, amongst all of the samples in my whisky shelf.

We’re onto Advent Day #3, and I’m still alive. Let me tell you, ensuring you’re kept up on reviews, trying very hard to keep up with everything, and then also having a dram a night can burn you out quick. Add in trying to learn a new job and keeping up with your social life and I’m burnt out.

That’s why I’m writing about Advent Calendars in the month of Not-December.

What mystery do we have today? Let’s see, shall we?

Imperial 18 1995 Gordon & MacPhail 1.jpg

Price: No longer available

Region: Speyside

Distilled: June 14th, 1995

Bottled: August 2013

Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Cask

Cask Number: 4887

Abv: 45%

Colour: 5Y 9/8

Nose: Earth/mushroom, brown sugar, peach

Initial hit of earth. Immediately think to a sherry cask given the brown sugar. Beyond some stone fruit, I can’t pick out the distillery.

Very much a strong sherry influence that’s taken over and then been dialled down by water added to lower the Abv.

Taste: Peach, cinnamon, orange, cocoa, pineapple

More stone fruit. Well that narrows it down to mainland Scotland. Or doesn’t, I’m not your father.

Nice mixture of orange, cinnamon, and the stone fruit. It’s nice to have the malt keep up with the cask at this time. More earth going on here, which seems out of place and adds to the bitterness rather than balance things.

Finish: Caramel, peach juice, cocoa, cinnamon

Finish is pretty simple. It’s not going to turn you around on it, continuing a lot of the things the taste did (less tropical though). There’s a strong caramel character to try and change it all up, but it’s too little, too late.

Conclusion: Fruit and earth, alright but nothing to write home about. Also, I don’t think I like Imperial now. Yes, I found out it was Imperial later, and no, I couldn’t figure out the flavour, but overall I wasn’t the biggest fan of this. In looking at other reviews I’m very much in the minority on that, so fuck me I guess?

This comes across as something that had a great sherry cask with very little of the spirit directing where it goes. If you like that, then this is a great dram for just that. And while I do enjoy a sherry bomb, this isn’t that. It’s more like a sherry sparkler, not overly strong and easier to sip on.

There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re not using my tongue.


Guess: Sherry cask, Speyside, 40-43%, Macallan 10 Sherry?

Actually: Imperial 18 1995 Gordon & MacPhail

This was picked specifically by La Maison du Whisky, and I can see why. I can see a lot of sherry whisky fans really, really enjoying this. As it stands I guess I prefer those types of sherried whiskies to be stronger.

Also looking back at past Imperial reviews, I don’t think I like Imperial. Oh well, more for you Imperial fans out there.

Scotch review #1061, Speyside review #292, Whisky Network review #1652


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