Inverleven 1990 (Gordon and MacPhail) (70cl, 40.0%)

Lowland, whisky

Sadly a distillery which has reached the end of it’s life, the stills of Inverleven fell into complete silence in 1991. Inverleven was founded by Hiram Walker and Sons in the late 1930’s at the Dumbarton complex.

The site in Dumbarton is owned by George Ballatine and Son and plays host to continuous stills. This allows the production of both malt and grain whisky. The complex produces the whisky for the Ballantines blended products. Inverleven draws its water from Loch Lomond, and sits by the River Clyde.

A 1990 vintage Inverleven, bottled by stalwart independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail.


I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes. This whisky is very light gold in colour, akin to new jewelry.

The nose is initially soft with hints of grain, and citrus up front. As the nose builds more sweetness and a light spice from the grain becomes more prominent. Towards the end of the aroma toffee and more notes of cereal round of a very laid back Lowland nose.

The taste is quite soft, laid back and maybe not as much body as hoped. There are is again a malt sweetness, followed by fudge and toffee. Citrus and a slight peppery note come through followed by vanilla and a twist of orange at the end.

The finish is soft and maybe slightly short, this whisky is pleasant and quietly complex. As an introduction to Lowland whisky this, if you find is a great first step.



Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka (40.0%)

Other Spirits, Vodka

My very first vodka review! This is a spirit which to be fair deserves a far greater reputation that it enjoys and I’m really excited to try this fantastic re-imagination of this under-appreciated drink!

The brain child of Dorset based dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow is the world’s first pure milk vodka, made from nothing but pure whole milk from his 250 strong dairy herd.

The vodka is made by milk which is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to produce award winning cheese, while the whey is fermented into a beer using a special yeast. This beer is then distilled, triple filtered and finished before hand bottling.


I poured this vodka in to a glencairn glass and left it to develop in the glass for ten minutes. As usual for the review of a clear spirit I haven’t added any water or other mixers as I want to judge this spirit raw.

The nose is quite soft with light notes of citrus and soft spice coming forward. There sweeter notes of vanilla coming through along with fresh mint in the very background.

The taste is an burst of spirit sweetness, followed by a rush of cinnamon and candied mint. This is followed by a soft citrus and a huge wash of creamy vanilla. Just superb and very nicely rounded flavour which keeps developing long after drinking. Tangs of a bright almost herb like dill sweetness linger long after drinking.

The finish is warm and clean with a lingering creamy sensation on the tongue.

This is the first vodka I have tried in a rather long time and has completely switched me on to this fantastic spirit!

Black Cow is available directly from their website HERE!!

Go buy some you will not be disappointed!