Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Amrut Fusion

Amrut Fusion

Official bottling 
Single malt - Bangalore
Amber
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, peat, peanuts, cardamom, chillies, sea salt, blackcurrant, lemons.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, airy.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Leather, grilled pork, cardamom, sea salt, blackcurrant, peaches, lemons.
Finish: Medium. Chillies, blackcurrant, leather, peaches, lemons.

Comments:

Mellow gentle peat, so gentle it devolves into leathery notes. There's an element of tart lemon, overlaid with tangy chillies, and something medicinal on that - the blackcurrant. Very nice whisky, with good peat levels. Yum.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Glenugie 31 yo 1966/1998

Glenugie 31 yo 1966/1998

Silent Stills, Signatory
Single malt - Eastern Highlands
Green gold
53.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Green apples, vanilla, cotton candy, leather, lemons, hints of hazelnuts.
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, smooth, airy.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Green apples, cotton candy, hazelnuts, lemons, plums, honey, hints of leather. 
Finish: Short. Cotton candy, green apples, honey, hazelnuts.

Comments:

Oof! This is the priciest dram I've ever had. Was it worth it? Hmm, not sure. It was definitely tasty whisky, loads of tangy green apple sourness, with nice hits of honey and hazelnuts. Very good whisky, in fact. But I conclude that this was expensive because it was rare, not because it was good. That's always slightly disappointing.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Friday, 18 July 2014

Benromach Organic

Benromach Organic

Official bottling 
Single malt - Speyside
Amber red
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chocolate, red grapes, peanuts, orange peel, melon, hints of banana. With water, malted grains, more melon, blackberries.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, airy.
Tasting: Sweet. Custard, vanilla, chocolate, peanuts, melon, red grapes, hints of orange peel. With water, melon, orange juice, blackberries.
Finish: Medium. Red grapes, melon, peanuts, orange peel. With water, more peanuts.

Comments:

Sweet and rich, although light enough to drink in summer. I normally wouldn't add water to a whisky of this strength, as I like mine a little stronger. But I was glad I did, as it opened up with nice fruity, berry notes and heaps of the peanutty notes that I associate with Benromach.

Verdict:

I like this.



Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rare Ayrshire 36 yo 1975/2012 Cask #3419

Rare Ayrshire 36 yo 1975/2012 Cask #3419

Cask Strength, Signatory 
Single malt - Lowlands
Golden 
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, malted grains, orange zest, leather, coconut oil, rhubarb and custard sweets, hints of bubblegum.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, turns slippery in the mouth.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Orange zest, raisins, rhubarb and custard sweets, lychees, coconut oil, hints of bubblegum.
Finish: Long. Leather, orange zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, coconut oil, bubblegum.

Comments:

This is Ladyburn! Light and playful, despite its age. There are heaps of tangy, sweet sour notes, very Rosebank-y, except that there's little or no lemon. Lots of other fragrances, something very like coconut oil, and something much lighter and sweeter, like the bubblegum I used to chew when I was a kid. Very nice. Why is it that the great whiskies come from closed distilleries?

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lark Single Cask (#202)

Lark Single Cask (#202)

Official bottling 
Single malt - Tasmania
Dark amber
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Malted grains, oolong tea, chinese sour plums, dried apricots, strawberries, hints of dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, oily, thickens, blobby.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Oolong tea, malted grains, Chinese sour plums, strawberries, red grapes, dark chocolate.
Finish: Long. Oolong tea, Chinese sour plums, red grapes, hints of seaweed.

Comments:

Matured in a quarter cask made from a port pipe. This is oily, heavy whisky, incredibly flavourful. It's one of those where I think one's cultural background matters - I describe those tangy sweet-salty notes as dried Chinese sour plums, and maybe oolong tea. Someone else might say Moroccan salted lemons. It just drives home the fact that tasting notes are personal.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Brora 30 yo 2010 9th Release

Brora 30 yo 2010 9th Release

Official bottling 
Single malt - North Highlands
Amber
54.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, dried cherries, vanilla, chocolate, lemon zest, salt, peat.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, slippery on the tongue.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Raisins, dried cherries, lemon zest, salted caramel, hints of peat.
Finish: Long. Salted caramel, lemon zest, dried cherries, hints of peat.

Comments:

Last chance to try one of the world's great whiskies. The briny citrusy notes that I associate with Brora are all over this, overlaid with delicious chocolate and more than a little peat. Yum yum.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Abhainn Dearg Limited Edition 3 yo 2011

Abhainn Dearg Limited Edition 3 yo 2011

Official bottling 
Single malt - Islands (Lewis)
Dandelion
46% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Cola nuts, raisins, salt caramel, sandalwood, vanilla, hints of cardamom.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, thin, smooth.
Tasting: Sour. Cola nuts, raisins, vanilla, sandalwood, cream, hints of butter, hints of cardamom.
Finish: Long. Vanilla, sandalwood, butter, raisins, cream.

Comments:

The very first whisky from the new Abhainn Dearg distillery on the isle of Lewis. Delicately spiced with hints of cardamom and sandalwood (north Indian food anyone?), and a strong buttery, slightly salty finish, almost ghee-like. This is very promising whisky indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Burks Distillery

Burks Distillery
3350 Burks Spring Road
Loretto
Marion County
Kentucky

Kentucky, USA - Active

Flavour profile

Burks distillery is where the iconic Maker's Mark bourbon is made. Alternate expressions are hard to find. Legend has it that the recipe of Maker's Mark, the mash bill, was not developed by actually malting and distilling the whiskey, but instead by baking a loaf of bread using the mash bill's proportions and sampling the results. Maker's Mark contains red winter wheat, corn and barley.

It is an atypical bourbon, although there are a lot of sweet, estery notes in the whiskey. There is less of that musty, papery tang, and more interesting flavours abound. Fruit, chocolate and honey abound, and I detect a lot of bananas and strawberries (although bourbon always tastes somewhat of banana anyway). There aren't a whole lot of expressions here - only three, and two might be expected to be fairly similar - so the variation is small. Nevertheless, it is deliciously sweet and fragrant, and quite satisfying. The widely available red wax expression is probably meant to be a cocktail ingredient, but stands up fairly well on its own.




All the Burks whiskies I have tasted so far are here.

Maker's 46 - good
Maker's Mark Select Black Wax - very good
Maker's Mark (original red wax) - good

Distillery history

Burks Distillery was founded in 1805 by, yes, you guessed it - Charles Burks. Charles died a couple of decades later, but the distillery continued to operate under the guidance of his family. George R Burks, a descendant of Charles, rebuilt and expanded the distillery in 1878.

Like the vast majority of American distilleries under Prohibition, this distillery was silent from 1920. The Burks family sold the distillery and the surrounding land to an Ernest Bickett in 1920. It is not known (at least not by me) when the distillery became active again, but T. William Samuels Jr (otherwise known as Bill) bought the distillery in 1954.

Bill created (or had access to the recipe for) Maker's Mark, and sold the first bottle in 1958. Sales have gone from strength to strength since.

Potted distillery facts

Water source: Water from Bourbon Lake, on the distillery property 
Washbacks: Four, cypress, unknown capacity 
Wash stills: One
Spirit stills: One
Spirit still Lyne arm: nothing unusual
Production per year: up to 12,000,000 litres a year

Friday, 11 July 2014

SMWS 29.151 (Laphroaig 24 yo 1989/2014)

SMWS 29.151 (Laphroaig 24 yo 1989/2014)

2014, SMWS
Single malt - Islay
Red gold
50.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoked ham, cotton candy, driftwood smoke, dried apricots, hints of seaweed.
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, evaporates in the mouth.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Smoked ham, driftwood smoke, seaweed, caramel, dried apricots, hints of hazelnuts.
Finish: Long. Hazelnuts, seaweed, driftwood smoke, cotton candy.

Comments:

A heavily sherried Laphroaig! Dry and meaty, yet some flavours give the impression of sweetness. The smoke is alluring. I enjoyed this very much, and it was bottled at my perfect drinking strength. Delicious dram.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



SMWS 7.101 (Longmorn 10 yo 2003/2014)

SMWS 7.101 (Longmorn 10 yo 2003/2014)

2014, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Pale gold
60.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: White chocolate, vanilla, white pepper, lemons, hints of pineapples.
Mouthfeel: Light body, hot, tingly, loose.
Tasting: Sweet. Chilli peppers, white pepper, vanilla, white chocolate, pineapples, lemons, key lime pie.
Finish: Medium. White pepper, vanilla, pineapples, key lime pie.

Comments:

Spicy, and very fruity, and quite hard to drink due to the strength. Surprisingly doesn't take water well, the heavy complexity so apparent at the higher strength somehow evaporates even with a tiny dribble of water. Needs more aging perhaps?

Verdict:

Not bad.



 

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