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Sulphured/Sulfured whiskies

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@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound started a discussion

I was wondering if maybe we should start a thread that could be an easy reference point for sulphured/sulfured whiskies we’ve encountered, keeping in mind that some are more frequent offenders than others. The ones I’ve encountered are:

  • Glen Garioch 1999
  • Highland Park 12 Year Viking whatever
  • Macallan 12 Double Cask (not all batches)

5 years ago

11 replies

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound I will join in. It is very important to remember that sulphur issues with a given whisky are batch specific. Some batches or individual casks can be horrible and other batches or casks with the same label may be perfectly fine. Some whiskies with which I have encountered serious sulphur problems:

1) Macallan 12 Double Cask

2) Macallan Edition # 1

3) Highland Park Dark Origins, two separate batches, one obviously flawed, the other completely undrinkable, for me, anyway.

4) Glen Moray Port Cask Finish

5) Glenmorangie Lasanta, releases from 2010 to 2014. I had one more recent batch which was perfectly fine.

6) Auchentoshan Three Wood

7) Chieftain's Glenburgie 13 yo

8) Glendronach 15 yo Revival; yes, the ones I've tasted were not clean from sulphur. I explected a lot from this whisky and it was one of my biggest disappointments. The Glendronach Cask Strength I have tasted remains a great favourite of mine.

9) Forty Creek Barrel Select, purchased in 2011

10) Joseph A. Magnus Bourbon (wine-finished); first batch I tasted was sulphur ruined; second batch was not noticeably contaminated by sulphur and was quite good. I wouldn't risk $ 100 because of the first batch.

11) Tomatin 15 yo Tempranillo; I really loved this one when first opened, but after it took a lot of air the sulphur became obvious.

12) Glenmorangie Companta, same comment as with the Tomatin 15 Tempranillo. The Auchentoshan Three Wood was also very good at first, then showed sulphur later.

13) Ardbeg Ardbog; there too the sulphur becomes much more obvious with air time

14) Ardbeg Galileo, Same comment as for Ardbog

Because I have become very sensitive to tasting and smelling sulphur over the last 10 years, I have very little trust in wine cask matured products unless I have the opportunity to taste the batch for sale before I buy.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@Victor, can you tell us more about that Chieftain's Glenburgie 13 yo?

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@MadSingleMalt, sure, here is the review I did:

connosr.com/ian-macleod-chieftains-glenbur…

This was another case in which I liked the whisky a lot until longer term air exposure brought out sulphur notes which I had not noticed when the bottle was first opened. I found it to be a treat to drink at first. Now it is a little tough for me to enjoy it.

...and the link gives a review which provides in the comments a link of yours.

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Thanks, @Victor.

Is anyone else's head spinning with all these links & jumps? :)

I was wondering whether that was the same Glenburgie. I tried to find it with the browse-by-brand feature, but no dice. So thanks very much for the link.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@NamBeist
NamBeist replied

Thanks for sharing your information about sulphur and whisky . I have tasted a dram with sulphur once. I have forgotten the name of the distillery. I swore I would avoid sulphur in the future. It's the worst way to ruin whisky in my humble opinion. I am very sorry that I have nothing new to add to this thread. Did anyone mention the word repulsion?

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

A fun and interesting thing happened today. I responded to an acquaintance's Twitter comment about Highland Park, I mentioned that my last bottle of HP 12 Viking whatever was sulphured and that the company had not responded to my email regarding this situation. I guess the open, public forum of Twitter is important enough that I received a direct message from a Highland Park representative. She was very kind and polite, asking me for my email address and told me she'd look into it. Awhile later, she messaged that she couldn't find any emails from me and that it must have been lost in cyberspace, which is possible. Of course, it's also possible that they ignored it and they're following up now because I've "gone public" with my complaint. Take-away lesson for me: Social Media is a powerful tool. Or maybe I'm the tool. Who knows? laughing

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

The latest response from HP is that they’ve “never heard of sulphur in any of their whiskies before”. Hmmmm, should I point the nice woman to some Connosr reviews of HP Dark Origins? I’m sure “sulphur” is mentioned quite often....Maybe it’s best to leave it alone.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Yeah, but you're a powerful tool! :)

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@MadSingleMalt you might even say a Power Tool.

@OdysseusUnbound Highland Park just went down in my esteem a few notches for that disingenuous response. HP may not read our reviews, but they read Jim Murray's reviews. It has to be CERTAIN that Highland Park has noted sulphur mentioned by name in their products in his Whisky Bibles, to include (in the 2015 edition) Dark Origins, Harald, 21 yo, and one IB. .

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Victor I don't know about being a power tool. I'd consider myself more of a Monkey Wrench or a Bastard File. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

I experienced something similar to HP's denial on a Facebook whisky group, where I was told that anyone who got sulphur from Dark Origins and HP 12 was "imagining things". HA !!! I wish. I have refused to buy a bottle of DO because the sulphur has been widely reported. My HP 12 may indeed have been a one-off, but there's no reason I'd imagine sulphur, as though I want it to be there! I don't know what else could cause the rotten eggs & onion note other than sulphur.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

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