Friday, 5 February 2016

SMWS 71.41 (Glenburgie 17 yo 1998/2016)

SMWS 71.41 (Glenburgie 17 yo 1998/2016)

2016, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Mahogany
57.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chestnut puree, figs, toffee, black tea, coffee, hints of chocolate. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, mouth coating. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Black tea, coffee, chestnut puree, oak, chocolate, hints of meringue. 
Finish: Long. Black tea, meringue, coffee, hints of vanilla. 

Comments: 

Ex sherry gorda. Chewy and eggy, with loads of meringue on the tongue. It's sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Plenty of tannic notes and something very much like creme de marron. Good stuff, very good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



SMWS B4.1 (FEW 3 yo 2012/2016)

SMWS B4.1 (FEW 3 yo 2012/2016)

2016, SMWS
Single bourbon - Illinois
English breakfast tea
62.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Dried mangoes, red grapes, black peppers, blackcurrants, cola nuts, liquorice. With water, strawberries, bubble gum, pears. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, sticky, tingly, thickens. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Blackcurrants, dried mangoes, chillies, cola nuts, dandelion and burdock. With water, less spicy, pears, bubble gum, bananas, brown paper. 
Finish: Medium. Dandelion and burdock, dried mango, ginseng, hints of bananas. 

Comments: 

Whew! Cask strength bourbon is really something, and you do need to dilute it a little. But clearly when you make bourbon 40%, it loses something. This little whisky shows why. It's intensely fruity and spicy, and doesn't show any of the usual banana notes until some water goes in.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Kavalan Solist Bourbon Cask B091002018A

Kavalan Solist Bourbon Cask B091002018A

Official bottling
Single malt - North Taiwan
Light amber
57.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Roses, strawberries, raspberries, honey, vanilla, hints of apples. With water, oranges, lemons, more honey. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, thickens slightly. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Fresh baked bread, apples, vanilla, blackcurrants, honey, hints of red grapes. With water, vanilla, toast, cookie dough, fresh baked bread, white grapes. 
Finish: Medium. Black tea, red grapes, apples, vanilla, hints of cinnamon. 

Comments: 

I may have erred. I bought a bottle of the Solist Sherry Cask recently, but maybe I should have bought a bottle of this instead. It's disarmingly good, with lots of fruit and floral fragrance. With water, it turns sweeter, opening up, and the red grapes turns to white grapes, maybe even a little tannic. Excellent whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Invergordon 27 yo 1988/2015

Invergordon 27 yo 1988/2015

Number 48, Maltbarn
Single grain - North Highlands
Brass
51.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, bananas, toast, strawberries, marshmallows, hints of honey. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slippery, airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Toast, strawberries, bananas, black tea, honey, hints of orange peel. 
Finish: Medium. Black tea, fresh cut grass, marshmallows, vanilla. 

Comments: 

Not as sweet as most grains, I think this one has mellowed in the cask. Good grain whisky, and beats any number of single malts for complexity. There's even a alluring toasty note. There's really no substitute for cask aging, and it's a shame that age now equals expensive.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Kininvie 17 yo Batch 1

Kininvie 17 yo Batch 1

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
42.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, orange juice, pears, lemon zest, green tea. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Lemon zest, limes, orange juice, green tea, vanilla, sea salt. 
Finish: Short. Green tea, lemon zest, vanilla, sea salt. 

Comments: 

My first Kininvie! I've been waiting for this one for a long time, ever since I first tasted Monkey Shoulder. It doesn't disappoint. Very Balvenie like, but tannic and ever so slightly salty, this whisky is citrusy and fragrant. Delicious stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Monday, 1 February 2016

Bowmore 23 yo 1989 Port Matured

Bowmore 23 yo 1989 Port Matured

Official bottling
Single malt - Islay
Amber, tinge of red
50.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemons, leather, peat, red grapes, mint, honey. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, static, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Toast, lemons, vanilla, peat, honey, hints of red grapes. 
Finish: Short. Cookie dough, leather, peat, toast. 

Comments: 

This is floral, even delicate, not something you could normally write about an Islay whisky. The port maturing has not added very many winey flavours, instead the whisky is smooth, aromatic and gentle. Scarily drinkable. I could quaff a mug!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 20 January 2016

St George's Distillery Chapter 7

St George's Distillery Chapter 7

Official bottling
Single malt - East Anglia
Buttercups
46% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Leather, lemon juice, ink, black tea, grapefruit, sea salt. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, tingly, slippery. 
Tasting:  Sour bitter. Cream, vanilla, lemon juice, grapefruit, leather, hints of black tea. 
Finish: Medium. Black tea, grapefruit, leather, sea salt. 

Comments: 

Apparently, this is sherry cask and unpeated. But no, there's heaps of leather, and it doesn't taste very sweet at all. In fact, it's rather tart and just a teensy weensy bit salty. Bitter too, like eating grapefruit pith. Still, very decent dram.

Verdict:

I like this.



Sunday, 17 January 2016

Hudson Baby Bourbon

Hudson Baby Bourbon

Official bottling
Single bourbon - New York
Amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Brown paper, black tea, red grapes, leather, hints of roast pork. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, syrupy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Black tea, honey, leather, tobacco leaf, brown paper, bananas, hints of roast pork. 
Finish: Short. Honey, bananas, apples, hints of chocolate. 

Comments: 

New York bourbon! This is pretty good, and quite complex despite its youth. This reminded me of aged Yamazaki in fact, with that delicious sweet meaty note. Very tasty stuff, and cleverly named as well.

Verdict:

I like this.



Thursday, 14 January 2016

SMWS 85.33 (Glen Elgin 9 yo 2006/2016)

SMWS 85.33 (Glen Elgin 9 yo 2006/2016)

2016, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Very pale gold
60.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Magic marker, pears, sawdust, apples, cranberries, hints of cherries. With water, grassy, more sawdust, beeswax. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose. 
Tasting:  Sour . Lemons, grapefruit, sawdust, cranberries, hints of ginger. With water, less sour, raspberries, vanilla, cinnamon, hints of butter. 
Finish: Long. Lemons, grapefruit, dessicated coconut, apples. 

Comments: 

It was promising on the nose at the beginning, with a lot of fruit. But then the woody notes took over, masking a lot of the other flavours. I had to work hard to get anywhere underneath that sheath of wood. There's other notes as well, but in the end it was just too hard work.

Verdict:

Not bad.



SMWS 58.18 (Strathisla 10 yo 2005/2016)

SMWS 58.18 (Strathisla 10 yo 2005/2016)

2016, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
White wine
60.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Grass, chamomile, white grapes, marmalade, hints of pears. With water, honey, barley sugar, vanilla. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, tingly, slightly gritty. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Green tea, chamomile, vanilla, white grapes, pink peppercorns, hints of ginger. With water, sweeter, less pungent, honey, dark chocolate. 
Finish: Medium. Dark chocolate, vanilla, pink peppercorns, ginger. 

Comments: 

Very young whisky, but fruity and grapey on the nose. Slight pungency on the tongue, and in the finish, at least when neat. Once water is added it opens up quite a bit, becoming sweeter and more delicate. I'm not really blown away.

Verdict:

Not bad.



 

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