Friday, 22 May 2015

SMWS 93.63 (Glen Scotia 15 yo 1999/2015)

SMWS 93.63 (Glen Scotia 15 yo 1999/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single malt - Campbeltown
Amber
56.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red wine, maple syrup, grilled meat, pancakes, bacon, chocolate. With water, papaya, honey, hints of leather. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, turns airy, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Maple syrup, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, wet stones. With water, toast, leather, apples, cashew nuts. 
Finish: Long. Bacon, vanilla, maple syrup, chocolate. With water, toast, caramel. 

Comments: 

This whisky starts off sweet and meaty, with a double dose of chewy bacon and chocolate. It's like having pancakes for breakfast, with a hint of wet stones on a hot day. But once water is added it changes completely. It develops into a smoky, peaty, sweet fruity monster, laden with apples and caramel. A bit of a chameleon, this one.

Verdict:

I like this.


SMWS 128.5 (Penderyn 9 yo 2008/2015)

SMWS 128.5 (Penderyn 9 yo 2008/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single malt - South Wales
Pale green gold
60.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: White grapes, blueberries, blue raspberries, cherries, blackcurrant cordial, hints of cinnamon. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, oily, slippery. 
Tasting: Sweet. Olive oil, blueberries, white grapes, blackcurrants, toast, hints of vanilla. 
Finish: Long. White grapes, honey, blueberries, muscat grapes. 

Comments: 

No, this was not a sherry cask, instead I believe it was a bourbon casked whisky. It's the character of Penderyn that produces that fruity, sweet white grape top note. Very drinkable, slight bitter spiciness on the tongue that makes it interesting and prevents it from being a parade of fruity notes. I like this whisky very much indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



SMWS G7.8 (Girvan 30 yo 1984/2015)

SMWS G7.8 (Girvan 30 yo 1984/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Copper
59.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, red peppercorns, hints of pine needles. With water, sweeter, slightly smoky, hints of cherries. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, turns syrupy, mouth coating. 
Tasting: Sweet sour Lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, grated coconuts, toast, red peppercorns, hints of marmalade. With water, sweeter, maraschino cherries, pears. 
Finish: Long. Vanilla, white grapes, grated coconut, hints of marmalade. 

Comments: 

Mmm... aged whisky, there's nothing like it. 30 years in the cask peeled away the usual vanilla notes in grain whisky, replacing it with zesty, fruity, fresh flavours, even some floral spiciness in the form of red peppercorns. On the tongue it was jammy and toasty. This was a bargain. Good job people don't like grain whisky in general, more for me!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Ardbeg Auriverdes

Ardbeg Auriverdes

Official bottling
Single malt - Islay
Golden
49.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Honey, applesauce, stewed pears, smoke, molasses, hints of red grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, watery around the edges, slightly fizzy. 
Tasting: Bitter sweet Ginseng, apples, smoke, honey, brown paper, hints of pomegranates. 
Finish: Long. Ginseng, stewed pears, applesauce, honey, smoke. 

Comments: 

Whisky tasting note number 700! And it's a... well, not classic, but a famous one. Issued to commemorate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (Auriverdes, gold and green, geddit?), it's overpriced of course. But it's really quite tasty, with lots of fruit and sweet honeyed smoke, and a hard, bitter edge underneath. Easy drinking Ardbeg!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Balblair 2002 (10 yo 2002/2013)

Balblair 2002 (10 yo 2002/2013)

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Very pale gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, orange peel, honey, cranberries, hints of pears. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, chewy, sticky. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Cookie dough, vanilla, orange peel, pears, hints of cranberries. 
Finish: Short. Cookie dough, vanilla, orange peel, stewed apples. 

Comments: 

With the advent of lots of no-age-statement whiskies, it's always nice to find a distillery that makes aged whisky, sells it, and doesn't attempt to replace it when it runs out. This was a recent one of Balblair's excellent range of entry level malts, and it is characteristic of the distillery's fruity, oaky highland make. It wouldn't shoot the lights out, but it's really nice, comforting, tasty whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Mortlach 18 yo

Mortlach 18 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Red gold
43.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red wine, walnuts, malted grains, raisins, vanilla, hints of smoked ham. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, fairly static, sticky. 
Tasting: Sweet. Raisins, red wine, orange peel, honeycomb, walnuts, hints of olive oil. 
Finish: Long. Red wine, malted grains, orange peel, mint. 

Comments: 

I'm told Mortlach is meant to have a meaty, slightly savoury character, but I think in all honesty this is the first time I've tasted it. Here it's laced through with lots of fruit and wine, to the point where any hints of meat are almost an afterthought on its nose. Make no mistake though, it's a very nice whisky indeed.

Verdict:

I like this.




Thursday, 7 May 2015

Tyrconnell Single Malt

Tyrconnell Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Central Ireland
Straw
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, raisins, photocopy paper, mint, butter, hints of sugar cane. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, watery, airy. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Cream, raisins, butter, white grapes, hints of sugar cane. 
Finish: Short. Raisins, butterscotch, sugar cane, caramel. 

Comments: 

Hmm. Not really very complex. I now remember why I failed to bother with Irish whiskey for so many years - the flavours are faint, slightly one dimensional, and frankly not really that interesting. Still, there's some good, if slightly fuzzy notes. Drinkable.

Verdict:

Not bad.


Bushmills 1608 400th Anniversary

Bushmills 1608 400th Anniversary

Official bottling
Single blend - Northern Ireland
Amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Toffee, butterscotch, honey, maraschino cherries, red grapes, cucumber. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, oily, static. 
Tasting: Sweet. Toffee, maraschino cherries, red grapes, honey, orange peel, ginger. 
Finish: Long. Honey, coffee, cucumber, orange peel 

Comments: 

Blended whisky from Bushmills - all from Bushmills, grain included - made from regular malt, grain and crystal malt. The crystal is meant to give it some chocolatey notes. I must say that it's not much in evidence. Instead it's fresh tasting, with huge notes of honey and maraschino cherries, with a biting coffee note in the finish. Very nice, very drinkable, almost quaffable.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Teerenpeli 8 yo

Teerenpeli 8 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Southern Finland
Buttercups
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, lemon juice, brass polish, white grapes, coconuts, hints of cinnamon. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting: Sour. Orange peel, lemon zest, cream, cream, malted grains, hints of cinnamon. 
Finish: Medium. Cream, lemon zest, peanuts, malted grains. 

Comments: 

Finnish whisky from the depths of my sample library! This is fruity and floral, wonderfully light and refreshing. Nice mouthfeel - slippery, slightly oily, almost quaffable. On the tongue it's still fruity, but evolves into cream and malted grains, definitely bourbon casked. Good stuff, nice to see that the Finns can make whisky too!

Verdict:

I like this.


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Glenmorangie Tusail

Glenmorangie Tusail

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Straw
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Dates, orange blossom, candy floss, lemon zest, brass polish, hints of photocopy paper. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slightly watery around the edges, static. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Orange blossom, lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, honey, straw, hints of cream. 
Finish: Long. Orange blossom, dates, almonds, hints of lemon zest. 

Comments: 

Another No Age Statement whisky... they are coming thick and fast. This one is unusual, tart and brassy, yet fragrant and floral. Reminds me of nothing so much as a good Rosebank! Well, if you can't get that increasingly rare Lowlands dram, this is what it tastes like. Honestly, if you hadn't shown me the bottle, I'd have bet money that this was Falkirk's finest.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

 

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