Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hakushu Distiller's Reserve

Hakushu Distiller's Reserve

Official bottling 
Single malt - West Honshu
Gold, tinge of green
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cucumber, mint, leather, lemon zest, pomeloes, hints of grass.
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, turns to water.
Tasting: Sour salty. Mint, cucumber, grapefruit, orange peel, leather, grass, hints of lemon.
Finish: Short. Salted plums, lemon zest, cucumber, grapefruit.

Comments:

Apparently blended from whiskies not less than 8 years old. So, very young, but quite flavourful nevertheless. It tastes... green? Like a mojito, but with savoury leatheriness and plummy, sweet-salty notes. Very good.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Karuizawa 1990/2012 Cask #679

Karuizawa 1990/2012 Cask #679

Official bottling 
Single malt - West Honshu
Dark amber
56.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, blackcurrants, vanilla, dried cherries, leather, cloves, hints of sandalwood. With water, less spicy, more malted grains, hints of oats.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens in the mouth, slightly astringent.
Tasting: Sweet. Raisins, chocolate, cloves, blackcurrants, vanilla, leather, hints of sandalwood. With water, saltier, leather, hints of smoke.
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, blackcurrants, leather, hints of sandalwood.

Comments:

Not your usual Karuizawa. Instead of full-on, winey, vinous red grapes, this whisky has a savoury, slightly leathery (rancio?) undertone throughout. With water, it opens up, becoming saltier and even slightly smoky. Tricksy, but a real treat.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Auchroisk 16 yo 1989/2006

Auchroisk 16 yo 1989/2006

Authentic Collection, WM Cadenhead
Single malt - Speyside
Beeswax
58.8% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Bananas, cream, custard, vanilla, leather, mint, hints of prunes. With water, sweeter, cookie dough, raisins, grilled pork, more leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, tingly.
Tasting: Salty. Bananas, lemon zest, prunes, apples, leather, vanilla, hints of cream, hints of bubblegum. With water, raisins, grilled pork, more leather.
Finish: Long. Leather, peanuts, lemon zest, prunes. With water, more lemony, fresh, hints of pine.

Comments:

Fruity and strong, almost bites the tongue when drunk neat. Opens up a great deal with a dribble of water, meatier and saltier, almost like good pork with a sweet sauce on top. Apparently, this whisky was aged in first fill sherry casks, although judging by the colour I'd have thought it would have been refill. Very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Friday, 22 August 2014

SMWS G7.2 (Girvan 27 yo 1984/2011)

SMWS G7.2 (Girvan 27 yo 1984/2011)

2011, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Brass
60.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemons, raisins, cream, honey, fresh bread, popcorn, hints of salt caramel. With water, fresher, pears, marshmallows.
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, evaporates quickly.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Lemons, raisins, honey, salt caramel, popcorn, vanilla, hints of cherries, hints of sandalwood. With water, saltier, peanuts, vanilla, more sandalwood.
Finish: Long. Salt caramel, lemon zest, honey, vanilla.

Comments:

Incredibly fragrant neat, and a little hard to drink. Upon adding a little water, it opens up a bit, but remains confusing. The diluted nose is sweet, airy flavours of pears, marshmallows and cream, but in the mouth, it is salty and nutty and covered in sandalwood. Interesting grain.

Verdict:

I like this.



SMWS 71.38 (Glenburgie 27 yo 1985/2012)

SMWS 71.38 (Glenburgie 27 yo 1985/2012)

2012, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Bright yellow
57% ABV
Dram

Nose: Apples, peaches, raisins, oranges, clementine peel, hints of lemons, hints of leather. With water, sweeter, pears, magic marker, hints of sour cream.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, expands in the mouth.
Tasting: Sour. Apples, peaches, oranges, clementine peel, hints of bananas, hints of lemons. With water, sweeter, pears, sour cream, hints of Cheddar cheese.
Finish: Medium. Leather, lemons, oranges, peaches.

Comments:

Fruity and spicy, this whisky is wound through with something fermented and sour. It's not unpleasant though, rather, it's leathery, and even slightly cheesy. I don't get loads of cheese as per the regulation tasting notes, instead it's quite gentle, even creamy.

Verdict:

I like this.



Thursday, 21 August 2014

Glendronach 21 yo Parliament

Glendronach 21 yo Parliament

Official bottling 
Single malt - Speyside
Amber gold
48% ABV 
Sampler

Nose: Raisins, chocolate, honey, oranges, lemon zest, dried apricots, brown sugar.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, mouth coating, chewy.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Raisins, oranges, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, cookie dough, hints of burnt sugar.
Finish: Long. Oranges, chocolate, cookie dough, vanilla, hints of burnt sugar.

Comments:

Sweet and strong, with something burnt, or at least cooked, at the very edge. Muffins? Fruit cake? Cotton candy passed through a candle flame? Sweet sherried Speyside, this is delicious. You don't need smoke or peat for good whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Octomore 5 yo 05.1

Octomore 5 yo 05.1

Official bottling 
Single malt - Islay
Gold, tinge of pink
59.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoke, peat, plums, honeydew melon, lemon zest, hints of car exhaust. With water, limes, lemons, more honeydew.
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, mouth coating.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Peat, smoke, honeydew melon, lemon zest, vanilla, hints of car exhaust. With water, sweeter, way more lemons, limes honeydew.
Finish: Medium. Lemon zest, chillies, plums, honeydew melons. With water, fresher, slightly sweet, lemons.

Comments:

OK, I know there are peat freaks who will love this, but seriously, too much peat is too much of a good thing in my opinion. It's hard to get to the bottom of this whisky. I suppose it's a testament as to how good it is that I can taste anything at all behind that wall of smoke and peat. Still, it's complex and alluring, and very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this.

Kornog Taouarc'h Kentan 13 BC

Kornog Taouarc'h Kentan 13 BC

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, orange juice, salt caramel, grapefruits, black pepper, hints of vanilla.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, turns watery.
Tasting: Bitter. Peat, smoke, orange juice, salt caramel, grapefruit, vanilla, bitter gourd.
Finish: Short. Peat, black pepper, bitter gourd, grapefruit.

Comments:

Whisky... from France! Well, Bretons are Celtic too. Anyway, this is a salty, tart, smoky, peaty concoction, with lots of fragrant bitterness. Bitterness is a flavour too, not something to be avoided. This whisky is well layered and very enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this.



Saturday, 16 August 2014

Glenfarclas 105

Glenfarclas 105

Official bottling 
Single malt - Speyside
Amber gold
60% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Bananas, raisins, sherry, strawberry jam, pears, maraschino cherries, hints of allspice. With water, cloves, ginseng, orange peel.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, static, mouth coating.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Raisins, sherry, pears, maraschino cherries, allspice, hints of cloves. With water, more bitter, orange peel, cookie dough, vanilla.
Finish: Medium. Chillies, strawberry jam, orange peel, hints of cloves.

Comments:

This is the quintessential Glenfarclas. I checked back on previous Glenfarclas tasting notes and just about every descriptor I wrote down in those is present here. It's also amazingly good value for cask strength whisky. Beautiful legs too, although it doesn't feel too thick in the mouth.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Knockando 25 yo 1985/2011

Knockando 25 yo 1985/2011

Official bottling 
Single malt - Speyside
Dark red
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, red wine, raisins, plums, black pepper, dried cranberries.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, static.
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, raisins, plums, apricots, black pepper, dried cranberries, hints of cucumber.
Finish: Short. Honey, cucumber, raisins, plums, red grapes.

Comments:

Matured in first fill sherry casks, and it shows. Grapes, fresh and dried and vinous, spiced up with black pepper and perhaps a hint of cucumber. Reminds me - somehow - of a good vermouth, fruity botanical flavours in a gentle red wine sleeve.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

 

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