Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Glencadam 15 yo (OB 2013)

Glencadam 15 yo (OB 2013)

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Highlands
Straw 
46% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Vanilla, lemon juice, cough mixture, hibiscus, dried cherries, hints of chillies.
Mouthfeel: Light body, tingly, slippery, turns water.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Vanilla, dried cherries, apricots, orange peel, hibiscus, hints of leather.
Finish: Short. Vanilla, apricots, lemon juice, hints of smoked ham.

Comments:

Hmm. Very different from its pre-2008 cousin, in almost all respects. The colour and mouthfeel are different, and this is very much lighter whisky. It is less savoury, less chewy, instead being light, sweet, and ever so floral. I associate that note with hibiscus water. Nice.

Verdict:

I like this.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Mackmyra Brukswhisky

Mackmyra Brukswhisky

Official bottling 
Single malt - Gastrikland
Pale straw 
41.4% ABV 
Dram

Nose: Cola nuts, vanilla, bananas, cookie dough, lemon zest, hints of juniper.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, slippery, static.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Vanilla, lemon zest, cookie dough, malted grains, limes, hints of leather.
Finish: Medium. Ginseng, cookie dough, limes, vanilla.

Comments:

Light, pale, with the merest hint of juniper, and a robust bitter finish. This whisky is taglined 'The Swedish Whisky', but I reckon it tastes more of the Lowlands. It's fruity and light, and you'd never know it was Swedish unless you read the label. Nice.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Penderyn Sherrywood

Penderyn Sherrywood

Official bottling 
Single malt - South Wales
Dark gold
46% ABV 
Sampler

Nose: Chocolate, plums, chillies, old leather, orange peel, salt caramel, vanilla, red grapes.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, turns syrupy, mouth coating.
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, raisins, old leather, chocolate, salt caramel, vanilla, orange peel, hints of chillies.
Finish: Short. Red grapes, salt caramel, orange peel, old leather, hints of chillies.

Comments:

Young, light whisky, heavily sherried. Good, complex, interesting nose, although the sherry influence is slightly overpowering on the tongue. There's a lot in here, nice notes of orange peel, floral chillies without the spiciness, savoury old leather. Pretty good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.



Sunday, 7 September 2014

Inchmurrin 12 yo

Inchmurrin 12 yo

Official bottling 
Single malt - South Highlands
Amber gold
40% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Salt caramel, orange peel, honey, pears, lemons, orange blossom, hints of leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Orange peel, orange blossom, lemons, salt caramel, peanuts, hints of leather, hints of peat.
Finish: Medium. Peanuts, salt caramel, lemon zest, hints of ginseng.

Comments:

Lightly peated whisky made at Loch Lomond's famous Lomond stills. This is very floral and sweet, with a tart edge. The peat adds a little salt and savoury note. Nutty in the finish, very enjoyable. Easy sipping whisky.

Verdict:

I like this.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chichibu 3 yo 2009/2012 Floor Malted

Chichibu 3 yo 2009/2012 Floor Malted

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Honshu
Pale yellow
50.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Milk chocolate, coffee, mint, milk, plums, rhubarb compote, hints of seaweed. With water, smoked ham, hints of cedar wood.
Mouthfeel: Light body, turns watery, slippery, airy.
Tasting: Bitter salty. Milk chocolate, coffee, seaweed, plums, rhubarb compote, apples, hints of brown paper. With water, slightly sweeter, saltier, more coffee, smoked ham.
Finish: Medium. Coffee, milk chocolate, seaweed, apples.

Comments:

Needs a bit of water to open up, but possesses a depth of flavour that belies its young age. Fruity, slightly salty, yet no hint of peat or leather. A very interesting, unusual whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Hanyu 2000/2012 Whisky Talk

Hanyu 2000/2012 Whisky Talk

Official bottling 
Single malt - East Honshu
Golden
60.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cola nuts, vanilla, malted grains, plums, dark chocolate, hints of hay. With water, hay, mint, more chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, static, mouth coating.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Dark chocolate, hay, plums, malted grains, coffee, milk, hints of cola nuts. With water, hay, mint, hints of salt caramel.
Finish: Medium. Coffee, milk, dark chocolate, hay.

Comments:

Dark, rich and chocolatey, almost like a good stout. Even the mouthfeel fits. I really enjoyed this, and with water, even more. Can't be many of these Hanyus left in the world, better try them before they go.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Monday, 1 September 2014

Glengoyne distillery

Glengoyne distillery
Dumgoyne, by Killearn
Stirling G63 9LB

South Highlands - Scotland, active

Flavour profile

Well, there it is - chocolate, peanuts and raisins. These flavours dominate Glengoyne whisky to the extent that I often think of chocolate-covered peanuts and raisins, the kind one can get in cinemas, or perhaps at Christmas. Glengoyne doesn't taste cheap at all though - it's sweet, unctuous and flavourful, to the point where I think it's the sort of whisky one indulges in as a luxury. Perhaps, indeed at Christmas.

These sweet, fruity, nutty notes are probably the result of the casks - official Glengoyne bottlings use a lot of sherried whisky, while the two independent bottlings that I've had appear to be aged in port pipes. There is no peat - Glengoyne of course advertises its whisky as completely unpeated. Nevertheless I've detected some odd leather notes in one or two Glengoyne bottlings, so it does exist.

Glengoyne 17 yo was one of the first whiskies I ever tasted, and the distillery's output remains a great introduction into the world of dramming and the related world of single malt whisky. I've often thought about putting together a Glengoyne tasting. Maybe one day...




All the Glengoynes I have tasted so far are here.

SMWS 123.5 - good
SMWS 123.3 - very good
Glengoyne 21 yo - good
Glengoyne 10 yo - good
Glengoyne 17 yo - very good

Distillery history

This distillery sits so southerly that it's practically in the Lowlands. In fact, I believe some of its grounds technically sit across the Highland line. I've decided that it needs a special designation in my categories, so I've simply called this malt 'South Highlands'. The distillery markets itself as the only distillery in Scotland to eschew peat entirely. Flavourwise this is certainly true, and one can taste it, but I'm not really sure.

Glengoyne distillery was founded in 1833 by one George Connell, and was first named Burnfoot of Dumgoyne. The distillery passed through the hands of several private owners till it ended up in the hands of Lang Brothers Ltd by 1876. Lang Brothers Ltd eventually became part of the Edrington Group. The group refurbished the distillery in 1967, adding an additional still. The Edrington Group sold the distillery to Ian Macleod & Co in 2003.

There are 4 single malts in the entry-level range - the 10 yo, the 17 yo, the 21 yo, and a new 15 yo that I haven't tasted yet (but I will!). There are also a host of other special releases, like the Teapot Dram, which are harder to find. There are a few indie bottlings around though.

Potted distillery facts

Water source: Blairgar Burn
Washbacks:
 Six, Oregon pine, 19,000 litres each
Wash stills: 
One, reflux bowl neck, 16,520 litres.
Spirit stills: Two, reflux bowl neck, 5,000 litres
Spirit still Lyne arm: slightly descending
Production per year: 
1,200,000 litres

The Scottish Whisky Distilleries, Misako Udo

Friday, 29 August 2014

Akashi White Oak Blended

Akashi White Oak Blended

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

Nose: White grapes, photocopy paper, steamed rice, cotton sheets, hints of lavender, hints of peach.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Green tea, white grapes, steamed rice, cotton sheets, hints of lavender.
Finish: Short. Green tea, white grapes, peaches, cotton sheets.

Comments:

OK, this is very unusual. In fact, it doesn't even taste like whisky. And there's a good reason for this, because this is a blend of single malt from Eigashima distillery, distilled molasses spirit (isn't this rum?) from the same distillery, and possibly a smidgen of non-Japanese grain whisky. It's not really whisky by the usual definition. It is light, fresh, mild and gentle, with pleasant notes of freshly laundered cotton sheets, green tea, and steamed rice. I really like this.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Kawasaki 33 yo 1976/2009

Kawasaki 33 yo 1976/2009

Ichiro's Choice, Number One Drinks Co
Single grain - East Honshu
Amber, tinge of red
65.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oranges, pears, magic marker, vanilla, lemon zest, honey, red grapes. With water, pears disappear, lots of magic marker, bananas.
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, turns slippery.
Tasting: Sweet sour . Oranges, magic marker, lemon zest, honey, red grapes, dried cranberries, hints of pears. With water, sweeter, lots of magic marker, hints of oats.
Finish: Short. Oranges, lemon zest, pears, dried cranberries.

Comments:

Wow! Like a punch in the mouth, incredibly fruity and spicy. The sherry cask complements the spice of the grain whisky really well. With water, it opens up, tastes slightly chemical, like pear drop sweets. Very, very tasty indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



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.



 

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