Friday, 31 July 2015

Rosebank 21 yo 1990/2011

Rosebank 21 yo 1990/2011

Official bottling
Single malt - Lowlands
Pale green gold
53.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemons, rhubarb and custard sweets, fresh cut grass, toast, hints of sage. With water, more tart, vanilla, lemon zest, hints of roses. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, tingly, turns syrupy. 
Tasting:  Sour . Lemons, rhubarb and custard sweets, hay, hints of toast, hints of sage. With water, more sour, fresh cut grass, hints of roses, lemon zest. 
Finish: Medium. Lemons, olive oil, hay, hints of toast. 

Comments: 

One of the last drops of Rosebank left, surely (at least within my price range). This one is surprisingly heavy, while retaining that tart rhubarb-and-custard sweet character that I so associate with the distillery. On the tongue it's quite vegetal, and with water, even more so. Underpinning all of this is a slight toastiness. Very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Friday, 24 July 2015

SMWS 50.65 (Bladnoch 25 yo 1990/2015)

SMWS 50.65 (Bladnoch 25 yo 1990/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single malt - Lowlands
Silvery yellow
52.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Pineapples, orange juice, strawberries, peaches, vanilla, lemon zest, hints of papayas. With water, sweeter, yoghurt, more vanilla, hints of mint. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, volatile, slightly gritty. 
Tasting:  Sour . Peaches, lemon juice, pineapples, limes, vanilla, hints of mangoes. With water, yoghurt, vanilla, green tea. 
Finish: Short. Green tea, lemon juice, vanilla, limes. 

Comments: 

Tutti frutti whisky, full of esters. It's good stuff, like drinking a cocktail in a dram. Very tart. With water, it loosens up, becomes sweeter and much more gentle. I can never really pin down what Bladnoch tastes like, it's quite a varied whisky. This one is another different experience.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 21 July 2015

New Zealand Doublewood 10 yo

New Zealand Doublewood 10 yo

Official bottling
Single blend - Otago
Dark amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Sugar cane, figs, red grapes, condensed milk, vanilla, oak. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, cool, loose, turns watery. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Orange peel, red grapes, condensed milk, prunes, sugar cane, hints of coconut candy. 
Finish: Medium. Condensed milk, prunes, sugar cane, coconut candy, hints of bananas. 

Comments: 

New Zealand is remote enough such that the grain whisky in the blend needs to come from the same distillery! This one has been aged in new American oak casks then a French red wine cask. It may have been overdiluted, as it is pretty watery on the tongue. The depth of flavour is quite reasonably though, and very sweet. Lots of sugar cane and condensed milk, along with the jammy fruit notes one would expect.

Verdict:

I like this.



New Zealand 19 yo 1993/2013

New Zealand 19 yo 1993/2013

Official bottling
Single malt - Otago
Golden
55.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, malted grains, cola nuts, plums, blackcurrants, hints of prunes. With water, sweeter, orange peel, prunes, honey. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, tingly, slightly sticky. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Leather, blackcurrants, prunes, soy sauce, white grapes, hints of chillies. With water, sweeter, honey, prunes, hints of lavender. 
Finish: Long. Chillies, leather, white grapes, vanilla, hints of ginseng. 

Comments: 

Malt from the now defunct Willowbank distillery in Dunedin, New Zealand. It's fragrant, slightly salty neat, but with water transforms into honeyed, jammy nectar. It's quite a transformation. Very good whisky indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Monday, 20 July 2015

Kornog 5vet Deiz Ha Bloaz

Kornog 5vet Deiz Ha Bloaz

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Pale green
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, orange peel, lemon zest, strawberries, prunes. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, oily, tingly. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Prunes, plums, strawberries, marmalade, peat, smoke. 
Finish: Short. Peat, marmalade, plums, hints of soy sauce. 

Comments: 

This distillery shuts next month, August 2015, due to EU denomination of origin laws that will require a change to production methods. What an absolute shame. This whisky was bottled to celebrate the distillery's 5th anniversary, it won't see it's 16th. The whisky is fragrant and fruity, but wreathed in smoke and peat. There's a savoury edge. Pretty good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.



Edradour 6 yo 2003/2010 Burgundy Cask Matured

Edradour 6 yo 2003/2010 Burgundy Cask Matured

Official bottling
Single malt - Central Highlands
Amber red
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, black tea, dark chocolate, mint, cherries, hints of strawberries. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, sticky, thick, rolls on the tongue. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Red grapes, dark chocolate, cherry liqueur, mint, vanilla, cookie dough, strawberries. 
Finish: Long. Red grapes, black tea, leather, mint. 

Comments: 

Batch One, apparently. A lot of the Edradour special cask releases have been pilloried for using wood to mask less than good spirit, but I'm pleased to report that this one is alright. Cherry liqueur notes vie with dark chocolate and red grapes in this, a good sherry (er, burgundy) bomb. The minty character of Edradour is not much in evidence though, it's a gentle whisky that gets lost in so much wood flavouring.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 10 July 2015

Pappy Van Winkle 23 yo Family Reserve

Pappy Van Winkle 23 yo Family Reserve

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Mahogany
47.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Magic marker, ink, raisins, bananas, peaches, hints of cream. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, mouth coating, oily, syrupy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Raisins, peaches, cream, red grapes, magic marker, hints of brown paper. 
Finish: Long. Brown paper, photocopy paper, magic marker, red grapes, hints of peaches. 

Comments: 

Tastes delightfully Southern Gothic. There's the usual bananas, but this is overlaid with peaches and red grapes, even some bitter, chemical notes on the nose. This is NOT your usual bourbon. It's incredibly complex and sweet, and so fruity. Very, very good stuff, there's a reason why it's so hard to get.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey

Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey

Official bottling
Single rye - Wild Turkey
Amber, tinge of green
41% ABV
Dram

Nose: Magic marker, new plastic, cardamom, cinnamon, hints of pears, hints of corn syrup. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, turns hot, tingly, static. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Chillies, magic marker, pears, new plastic, cardamom, hints of ginseng. 
Finish: Long. Chillies, melon, new plastic, hints of roses. 

Comments: 

Oddly plasticky, strange chemical notes mixed in with cardamom and pears. It's a bit sickly sweet as well, especially on the nose. In the mouth, hmm, a bit of a different story. A little bit bitter, still loads of pears and plenty of cardamom, but in the finish the plastic comes rushing back. This is ok, but there are better ryes.

Verdict:

Not bad.



John B. Stetson Bourbon 4 yo

John B. Stetson Bourbon 4 yo

John B. Stetson, private label
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber red
42% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, brown paper, strawberries, watermelon, hints of roses. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, loose, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Bananas, vanilla, watermelon, corn syrup, butterscotch, hints of straw. 
Finish: Short. Black tea, bananas, corn syrup, vanilla. 

Comments: 

Wonderfully full-flavoured and sweet bourbon. There is enough complexity here to rival some malts, and all at an impressively young 4 years. This whisky is bottled by the people who make Stetson hats (yes, a fashion house), and there's no information on where it comes from. Can't say I like the trend. Nevertheless it's excellent bourbon, and if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say Four Roses.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Benriach 25 yo

Benriach 25 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Dark gold
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cola nuts, raisins, cream, strawberries, hints of orange blossom. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, turns watery, airy, loose. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Raisins, cream, orange peel, toast, black tea, hints of peat. 
Finish: Medium. Black tea, cream, orange peel, hints of peat. 

Comments: 

A newish Benriach from the distillery's newish owners. This stuff doesn't taste too old, with nice notes of fruit, flowers and just a hint of peaty harshness. Good easy drinking whisky, so soft and creamy it's almost dessert.

Verdict:

I like this.



 

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