Old & Rare: Hunter Laing’s are private bottlers of some of Scotland’s finest and rarest whisky. While they bottle various casks from distilleries across Scotland, the Old & Rare expressions, are considered their top-tier bottlings. It is said that each sip of whisky from the Old & Rare range must be savoured but done so with a little sorrow, due to the fact that such a taste cannot be exactly replicated again. This rare Mortlach is one of only 120 bottles drawn from a sherry butt and bottled at a cask strength. It was distilled in September 1992 and bottled in November 2014.
On the nose: is an intense sweet flavour of pear drops, strawberry sherbet, butterscotch and a lovely note of lemon cheesecake. This is nicely followed by marzipan, liquorice, toasted oats, vanilla and an unexpected smoky aroma. Rounding off the nose is dried fruits, currants and nutmeg, giving you an overall note of Christmas cake. On the palate: you’ll experience more of the dried fruit notes than the sweet notes of the strawberry sherbet. Spicy notes of black pepper and smoke are more predominant, followed by a more subdued note of pear drops, lemon zest, butterscotch and liquorice. The finish: is long, dry, spicy, with lingering oak and smoke.
The verdict: This Mortlach 22-year-old expression from Hunter Laing’s is very rich in flavour with some of the most delightful notes on the nose. However, when it comes to the palate, it’s much harder to appreciate without a drop of water, which in my opinion really does balance this dram out. While it is still palatable at cask strength, it definitely doesn’t taste as good without water.
Info: ABV 56.8% in a 70cl bottle
Rare & Fine: Every now and then a watch brand is raised from its ashes. H. Moser & Cie was a victim of the quartz crisis that rocked the Swiss watchmaking industry but in 2005 H. Moser & Cie returned to Schaffhausen, where a new manufactory was built. However, the one thing that has been most noted was the slogan used to interpret their timepieces “Very Rare.” Others may view this as an overshot of confidence but that very slogan couldn’t be more true.
When introduced in 2013 the H.Moser & Cie Endeavour Dual Time raised eyebrows, in a very good way. The Endeavour Dual Time is classical in design, with simplicity at its core. The dial is a clean and uncluttered affair. You’ll see the dial is rather sparse but it displays everything you’ll need to know. At 6 o’clock is the running seconds sub dial, with a neat little day/night indicator at 12 and the party piece of the Endeavour sits under the hour hand. This Dual Time function is activated using the crown to skip the hour-hand forward or backwards depending on your destination or location.
The case measures 40.8mm in diameter and is offered in both rose-gold and platinum, fixed to the wrist by a hand-stitched alligator leather strap. The Endeavour Dual Time is equipped with H. Moser’s first ever automatic winding calibre HMC 346, which is a rather large 34mm movement. The rotating weight bears H. Moser & Cie’s, however, its size does allow for a 72-hour power reserve. Nonetheless, the movement is meticulously finished with attention to detail, befitting Moser’s slogan.
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