Friday, 3 July 2015

Benriach Heart of Speyside

Benriach Heart of Speyside

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Dark gold
40% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Orange peel, vanilla, peanuts, heather honey, hints of cinnamon, hints of sugarcane. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Vanilla, cookie dough, orange peel, heather honey, pomeloes, hints of cinnamon. 
Finish: Short. Heather honey, pomeloes, orange peel, raisins. 

Comments: 

No age statement bottling from Benriach's current owners. This isn't too bad actually, in fact it's easy drinking and quite delicious. Sweet, delicate fruit, good mouth feel, loads of honey and spice. Very pleasant indeed. Perfect Friday night dram.

Verdict:

I like this.



Saturday, 27 June 2015

Mackmyra Special 08 Handplockat

Mackmyra Special 08 Handplockat

Official bottling
Single malt - Gastrikland
Gold, tinge of copper
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, orange peel, fresh cut grass, lemon thyme, camphor, hints of black tea. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slippery, tingly. 
Tasting: Bitter sour. Orange peel, peaches, vanilla, camphor, fresh cut grass, juniper berry, hints of cinnamon. 
Finish: Long. Baking bread, vanilla, juniper berry, orange peel, hints of peaches, hints of lemon thyme. 

Comments: 

Matured in a Sauternes cask, as the label says. This one is floral and herbal on the nose, but once it gets on the tongue, it turns to fruit and fruit peel, with a slight bitter floral note that I identify as juniper berry. That stays with the whisky all the way to the finish. It's an unusual whisky, this one, I'm still tasting a very faint hint of peach and lemon thyme after 20 minutes.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Monday, 22 June 2015

Nikka Taketsuru 21 yo

Nikka Taketsuru 21 yo

Official bottling
Blended malt
Amber
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cookie dough, baking bread, apples, orange peel, hints of red grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, airy, slightly fizzy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Baking bread, rancio, apples, red grapes, vanilla, hints of peat. 
Finish: Medium. Baking bread, red grapes, raisins, vanilla. 

Comments: 

This is what Nikka is putting its aged casks towards, rather than issuing aged Yoichi or Miyagikyo single malt. It's not bad really, I don't know if it's better than the 17 yo. There's a lot of very nice red grapes, coupled with a hit of alluring rancio so pungent it's almost cheddar cheese. That evaporates quickly though, to be followed by yeasty baking bread and more of those heavenly red grapes.

Verdict:

I like this.

Nikka Coffey Grain

Nikka Coffey Grain

Official bottling
Single grain - East Honshu
Light gold
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Pears, magic marker, papayas, salt caramel, butterscotch, hints of bananas. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Pears, raisins, bananas, vanilla, papayas, salt caramel, hints of lemon zest. 
Finish: Medium. Pears, raisins, bananas, lemon zest, hints of brown paper. 

Comments: 

Fragrant and salty, quite unlike other grain whiskies. Apparently this is mostly corn. Nice magic marker notes, and of course the requisite banana. Steaming heaps of papaya, tempered by slightly savoury salted caramel. Nice whisky, this. It's quite unassuming, and a brilliant decent-value daily drinking dram.

Verdict:

I like this.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Bunnahabhain 18 yo

Bunnahabhain 18 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Islay
Amber red
46.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, prunes, caramel, red grapes, hints of burnt plastic, hint of woodsmoke. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, loosens slightly, watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Raisins, red grapes, prunes, blueberries, cloves, toast, hints of woodsmoke. 
Finish: Long. Woodsmoke, malted grains, cloves, blueberries, prunes. 

Comments: 

Sherried Islay is always a treat. This one is no exception. Great heaving notes of spice (cloves, mainly) with sulphury burnt plastic edging sweeter sherried notes on the nose. Lots of woodsmoke on the tongue and in the finish - not just any generic smoke, but clearly identifiable as burning driftwood. Very good!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Blanton's Single Barrel (Barrel 184)

Blanton's Single Barrel (Barrel 184)

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber
46.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, cream, vanilla, brown paper, dried leaves. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, turns watery, slightly fizzy, airy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Bananas, butterscotch, cream, vanilla, sea salt, dried leaves, hints of earth. 
Finish: Long. Honeydew melon, bananas, vanilla, butterscotch. 

Comments: 

Barrel 184, warehouse H, rick 50, bottled 7 July 2014. Quite specific, the batch! This one is earthy, autumnal, with good sweet bourbony flavours underpinned by salty, musty notes. It's not unpleasant, and the contrast is appealing. One of the more complex bourbons - I enjoyed it very much for just this reason.

Verdict:

I like this.






Teaninich 10 yo Flora & Fauna

Teaninich 10 yo Flora & Fauna

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Straw
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, raisins, cola nuts, sarsaparilla, prunes, hints of applesauce. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, syrupy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Lemon zest, prunes, applesauce, white grapes, hints of sarsaparilla. 
Finish: Long. Coconut cream, applesauce, sarsaparilla, lemon zest. 

Comments: 

A rather jammy, fragrant cola, like a really good alcoholic root beer. I really like this one a lot, it's satisfying on so many levels - good complexity, pleasant mouthfeel, excellent variety of flavours. Excellent whisky, great price as well!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Friday, 12 June 2015

Linkwood 15 yo

Linkwood 15 yo

Gordon & Macphail
Single malt - Speyside
Amber gold
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, cream, red grapes, raspberries, apples, hints of smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, turns watery, airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Toast, vanilla, red grapes, raisins, raspberries, apples, hints of cinnamon . 
Finish: Short. Red grapes, raspberries, apples, hints of raisins. 

Comments: 

Hmm. Lots of estery fruit, slightly tart. A good deal of sherry in this one - not sure if it's the whisky or the wood. Slightly smoky on the nose, this becomes (buttered?) toast on the tongue. My grand conclusion is that I need to drink more Linkwood.

Verdict:

I like this.




Glenlossie 10 yo Flora & Fauna

Glenlossie 10 yo Flora & Fauna

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange juice, raisins, cream, white grapes, pears, hints of white chocolate. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, loose, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Malt biscuits, white grapes, white chocolate, pears, milk, hints of vanilla. 
Finish: Medium. Peanuts, white grapes, milk, hints of pears. 

Comments: 

A nice gentle Speysider, fruity and a little rich. Tastes like Glenlivet in some ways, but it's also clearly not Glenlivet. It's chocolatey, slightly malty, with notes of white grapes that also remind me of Penderyn. It's a chameleon, this one.

Verdict:

I like this.




Haig Club

Haig Club

Official bottling
Single grain - Lowlands
Pale bronze
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Baking bread, orange peel, apples, bananas, hints of lemon juice. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, oily, mouth coating. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Vanilla, orange peel, baking bread, apples, raisins, hints of yeast . 
Finish: Short. Vanilla, orange peel, apples, toast, malted grains. 

Comments: 

Single grain whisky from Cameronbridge. Marketing fronted by David Beckham, intended to make grain whisky look cool. Actually, it's not half bad. It manages to avoid the sweet fruity estery mode favoured by most grains, and instead features baking bread, yeasty, and - yes - grainy flavours. Good apples too, with faint notes of bananas on the nose, just to remind me it's a grain whisky. And for some reason, I really, really like the colour.

Verdict:

I like this.



 

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