REVIEW: Carn Mor – “Celebration of the Cask” 1990

let’s begin

As one half of Whisky Corner, it’s great to have the opportunity to guest write some tasting notes, so here they are, sit back and enjoy.

Tasting Notes

This Carn Mor is a Single Cask Bruichladdich. Drawn from cask 2688, which is a Hogshead and is one of only 272 bottles and bottled at 48.6% ABV. Distilled 01/06/1990 and bottled 11/06/2012 making this a lovely 22yo.

I was lucky enough to be gifted the remains of this bottle and there’s not much left now

So enough talking, time to review.



First on the nose is a deep toffee sweetness, almost as soon as it’s there it evolves and lemon after lemon appear bringing with it bitter pith and the sour waxiness of the peel. Vanilla comes through strong and powerful. Wrapping you up in a soft vanilla blanket of vanilla sugar and freshly whipped double cream with fresh vanilla seeds. There’s a wonderful buttery softness that starts to come through. Its pancakes and Victoria sponge evocative of spending the afternoon baking with granny.

A hint of maple syrup and bacon announce themselves, before banana flambé and juicy plump raisins with just a touch of pineapple and plenty of fresh mint make themselves known. There’s just a hint of warm leather and right at the back, a touch of sea spray. This brings refreshing salt, a rich mineral, iodine note and a touch of fennel. Given some time in the glass the banana notes become more present, which is hardly surprising given the age, the mint stays with it though, along with the lemon kick, this almost fizzes on the nose and has a real sherbet quality.


This is one smooth dram, the toffee sweetness from the nose is first on the palate followed quickly by the bananas that are so typical of this age. It’s like taking a big mouthful of rich banoffee pie. Mouth coating and chewy, it really does feel like you could cut a slice of it. As the sweetness starts to fade, you start to get more of the sea then you could pick up on the palate. There’s a gentle amount of brine and kelp, thick hemp fishing nets, and followed up with a little smoked haddock. The lemon is next along bringing with it a little chilli heat. Peppercorns and green olives add a salted, delicate fruit note and lime wraps everything up in a tangy bow.


Starts off mellow and sweet before evolving to something rawer, and hotter. The flavours are well rounded and you can pick up every one. The fruit is first to bow out, followed by the influence of the sea, at the tail end brings a zesty lemon and lime kick with a chilli hit.

Overall thoughts:

A fantastic independent Bruichladdich, aged to perfection with so much going on. Laid down during the mothballed period, this has certainly benefited from the extra time sleeping. Well worth picking up if you can still get your hands on it. The fruit notes coupled with the nod to the sea work perfectly together, and just as you think it could benefit from a lift the spice and heat kicks in. Fantastic.

Kirsty Clarke (@Kirstyclarke29)

Personally I don’t tend to score whisky for many reasons, one of which being that I don’t take into account colour (it has so little bearing on the actual whisky itself in my opinion). I think this is a great independent bottling and well worth the money if you can find it.

Tags: BruichladdichCarn Mor
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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