Bad bottle

I stopped by a local dealer last Saturday and picked up two 1995 Cadenhead
bottlings that both had bad corks.
Edradour 19 yr (1976 - 1995) 53.5%
Brora 13 yr (1982 - 1995) 59.2%
The Edradour cork broke off in the bottle and had to be extracted with a
corkscrew. The malt had a nose of "fresh cut wood and grass" (acurately
reviewed by the enclosed brochure) but the palate was very soapy and perfumy
(the famous FWP that Bowmore was accused of having a couple of years ago).
The bottle is nearly undrinkable.
The cork in the Brora was damp, discolored and soft, even a bit "rotten"
looking but the malt seems OK. The Brora smells of damp wood but is
pleasant enough. The palate is damp wood, peat and some smoke with a touch
of caramel or chocolate sweetness, a pleasant dram with Islay character.
I thought it a bit strange that the bottles had been sitting around for 11
years. Whether these were some old stock that Cadenhead couldn't sell
elsewhere, or just my poor luck, I would be cautious of any whisky that has
been in the bottle that long.
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Oh that sucks.. could easily have been me though. I've had other Edradour with similar characteristics up to the most recent release, not sure what the story there is, sometimes there is an oily perfume note mostly though it is not there. I never gave it a thought until a friend was quite offended. I would have grabbed the Brora with out even hesitating, but a mushy damp cork yeech! Damp wood is not a note that I have ever associated with Brora .. I'll have to have some tonight just to check.
I've long been told that improperly stored scotch can get "corked" much like wine but yours is the first "first hand" account I've come across.
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Uzytkownik "ajames54" napisal:
I've had that too. In two cases at least. One was a Signatory Port Ellen. Forget the exact vintage, expression, etc. I think it was the vintage 1979, but I'm not sure. The other one was Bowmore 30yo Sea Dragon. The cork failure (it was broken, the bottle leaked) resulted in what seemed to be the infamous FWP (which I reported here too), but later turned out to be the case of just that particular bottle. I had another bottle of Bowmore 30yo Sea Dragon soon, and it was yummy.
Cheers, Rajmund
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I sent a similar message to "malt maniac" Johannes. He says he is not aware of any FWP in non-Bowmore bottlings. "Almost all cases of 'FWP' were with bottles from the 'Mossison Bowmore' distilleries; Bowmore, Auchentoshan or Glen Garioch."
Edradour, being the smallest of the distilleries, is said to have a reputation for variable malts. There is also a sense that Cadenhead's seemed to lose their interest in quality control during the 1990's and had some not-so-fine offerings from that period. I hope they are back on track. It is incomprehensible to me that any master blender could bottle this whisky, unless the entire FWP character came from oxidation, which is unlikely.
The cork in the Edradour broke when I twisted the top to remove it. It was not rotten, nor was it leaking. Ullage was normal, maybe very slightly low, but this is an 11 year old bottle since corking. The nose was not offensive, but the taste is what I would describe as "FWP soap". I will perhaps make up some sample bottles and send out to those experts who don't believe my description. This is not a "hint" of heavy perfumed soap, rather it is the entire essence of the flavor. When I describe this as FWP, I do not have a baseline against which to compare the exact aroma. I have only purchased a single bottle of Bowmore Legend which was a nice dram, IMHO. It was a 2005 bottling and is quite sound. Descriptions of FWP from reviews and descriptions I've seen seem to be more a hint of the perfume. There is a hint in the nose, but the taste is totally FWP/soap.
The Brora, on the other hand, now has a sound cork. It is a very nice bottle. The damp earth character sounds less than exciting, but the malt is sound, and opens up nicely with a dash of water, giving some chocolate/caramel overtones. Sniffing the cork gives a bit of a musty odor (damp earth, perhaps from the malt, or is it the other way 'round?). It's a keeper. I'd rate it in the low 80's initially.
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