Friday, 27 November 2009

SMWS 120.4 (Hakushu 18 yo 1990/2009)

SMWS 120.4 (Hakushu 18 yo 1990/2009)

2009, SMWS
Single malt - West Honshu
Dark amber
59.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peanuts, raisins, sherry, roast chicken, roast pork, cedar, hints of leather. With water, meatier, saltier.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, oily, astringent, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet. Cedar, peanuts, raisins, roast chicken, roast pork, plums, red wine. With water, meaty, takes on some element of raw, bloody beef.
Finish: Medium. Raisins, roast pork, plums.

Comments:


Sweet, sherried, and very meaty. There's a robustness to this whisky, something that brings to mind barbecue and ripping into dripping chunks of seared meat. Water accentuates this, removing the strong sandalwood, incense-y element, and bringing out something irony and bloody. Unusual, and very enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Compass Box Hedonism Maximus

Compass Box Hedonism Maximus

Vatted grain, Compass Box

Vatted grain - Invergordon, Cameronbridge
Amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, orange peel, bananas, peaches, butter, lemons.
Mouthfeel: Light body, ethereal, watery.
Tasting: Sweet. Bananas, butter, orange peel, peaches, hints of cream, hints of lemons.
Finish: Short. Bananas, peaches, orange peel, vanilla.

Comments:


A special Hedonism, another vatted grain whisky, this time a combination of Cameronbridge and Invergordon. I think this one is clearly more fruity (and more bourbony) than the "normal" Hedonism. Still light, soft and round, perhaps a little too much so.

Verdict:

I like this.

Compass Box Lady Luck

Compass Box Lady Luck

Vatted malt, Compass Box
Vatted malt - Caol Ila Imperial
Pale orange gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Tobacco, leather, soy sauce, raisins, pears, butter, smoke.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose, ethereal.
Tasting: Bitter salty. Melted butter, leather, soy sauce, pears, butterscotch, smoke, hints of peat.
Finish: Pears, butter, smoke, leather.

Comments:


A limited bottling, named Lady Luck after the providential way in which it was discovered. 2 old Caol Ilas (1980, 1984) vatted with a 1995 Imperial. It's smoky, buttery, sweet and salty, yet light, loose and ethereal. Or more precisely, unreal - I didn't think whisky this light could pack such a flavourful impact.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Compass Box Peat Monster Reserve

Compass Box Peat Monster Reserve

Vatted malt, Compass Box
Vatted malt - Caol Ila, Laphroaig, Ardmore
Pale green
48.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, leather, tobacco leaf, chocolate, soy sauce. With water, chocolate, raisins.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, smooth, volatile.
Tasting: Salty sweet. Smoke, peat, leather, walnuts, chocolate, soy sauce. With water, saltier, hints of coffee.
Finish: Long. White wines, smoke, peat, walnut skins.

Comments:


Deliciously like Ardbeg. They sell this in massive bottles greater than 1 litre - I can see why. Excellent peaty whisky, with the Ardmore tempering a big wodge of smoke and peat.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Compass Box Flaming Heart

Compass Box Flaming Heart

Vatted malt, Compass Box

Vatted malt - Caol Ila, Clynelish, Linkwood
Pale copper
48.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, soy sauce, tobacco leaf, raisins, vanilla, smoke.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loose, watery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Vanilla, tobacco, raisins, smoke, peat, soy sauce.
Finish: Long. Walnut skins, peat, vanilla, tobacco.

Comments:


Big and bold. This is the second edition of Flaming Heart, a vatting of Caol Ila, Clynelish and Linkwood. Talk about a spectrum of hard to soft whiskies! The flavours are very distinct, and don't detract from each other, and it's perfectly possible to discern all three components. Yet the whole works very well.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Compass Box Spice Tree (reissue)

Compass Box Spice Tree (reissue)

Vatted malt, Compass Box
Vatted malt - mostly Clynelish

Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Butter, orange peel, chillies, cloves, cinnamon, plums, hints of coconut.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loose, slightly astringent.
Tasting: Sweet. Chillies, orange peel, plums, cloves, cinnamon.
Finish: Long. Chillies, orange peel, cinnamon.

Comments:


In John Glaser's own words, this is "mostly Clynelish". It's the new, legal Spice Tree, matured in barrels with toasted French oak heads. Extremely innovative! It tastes different of course, with the spicy fragrance present in the old Spice Tree tempered by slightly bitter cinnamon bark. Still tasty, but I think I liked the older one best.

Verdict:

I like this.

Compass Box Spice Tree (original)

Compass Box Spice Tree (original)

Vatted malt, Compass Box

Vatted malt - Teaninich, Dailuaine, Clynelish, Longmorn
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Butter, butterscotch, oak, toast, cloves, orange peel.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, loosens, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Chillies, cloves, butterscotch, oak, orange peel, hints of honeydew melon.
Finish: Long. Orange peel, lemons, butter, honeydew melon.

Comments:


This is the famous illegal Spice Tree - illegal because it was matured in oak barrels containing inner staves made of French oak, imparting an interesting spicy, clovey flavour. I feel really privileged to be able to try this. It's a vatting of fruity, light malts, infused with that great spicy, fragrant flavour.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Compass Box Asyla "Mariage"

Compass Box Asyla "Mariage"

Blended malt, Compass Box
Blended malt
Light gold
43.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Butter, vanilla, lemons, orange peel, plums.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, watery, slightly astringent.
Tasting: Sweet. Lemons, toast, orange peel, plums, vanilla Medium Honey, oranges, lemons, vanilla.
Finish: Medium. Honey, oranges, lemons, vanilla.

Comments:


A special edition of Asyla, bottled for La Maison du Whisky, one of the great whisky shops around. This is 50% Cameronbridge and 50% malt - Linkwood, Glen Elgin and Longmorn. This was more robust than other Compass Box whiskies, with soft fruit and vanilla. The malt is very restrained and unobstrusive.

Verdict:

I like this.

Compass Box Magic Cask

Compass Box Magic Cask

Vatted malt, Compass Box
Vatted malt - Linkwood, Clynelish
Amber rose
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Coconut, molasses, butter, strawberries, raisins, cherries. With water, sweeter, more strawberries.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, astringent.
Tasting: Sweet. Oranges, molasses, strawberries, raisins, cherries, red wine. With water, more red wine, quite tannic.
Finish: Long. Oranges, strawberries, raisins, cherries.

Comments:


A special bottling for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. It's a mixture of 16 yo Linkwood aged for an additional year in a Madeira cask, and 14 yo Clynelish. Very winey and fruity, nice slippery thick body. Water opens it up, makes it taste sweeter, and more like the Madeira it contains.

Verdict:

I like this.

Compass Box Eleuthera

Compass Box Eleuthera

Vatted malt, Compass Box

Vatted malt - Caol Ila, Clynelish
Pale green gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Wet stones, peat, soy sauce, leather, pears, lemons, hints of smoke.
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, volatile, watery.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Peat, soy sauce, leather, pears, raisins, hints of smoke.
Finish: Medium. Smoke, peat, walnut skins, raisins.

Comments:


This is the 1st release of Eleuthera. It's a mixture of 20% Caol Ila and 80% Clynelish, and it's beautiful. There is a flinty, minerally hard heart, overlaid by the great Caol Ila flavours of soy sauce, peat and smoke, and then layered over with lots of lemony fruit. Lovely whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Compass Box Hedonism

Compass Box Hedonism

Vatted grain, Compass Box

Vatted grain - Carsebridge, Cambus
Light amber
43% ABV
Dram


Nose: Butter, vanilla, bananas, soy sauce, leather, peaches.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, loose, watery.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Butter, vanilla, bananas, coconut, leather, peaches, pears, hints of lemons.
Finish: Long. Tangy, vanilla, peach.

Comments:


This is the first release of Hedonism. It's vatted grain whisky - a mix of Carsebridge and Cambus. It's got the smooth, light, elusive softness that I associate with grain whisky, but also a great depth of flavour. It's almost bourbony, with lots of sweet fruit. Tasted at a Compass Box retrospective tasting.

Verdict:

I like this.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

SMWS 121.22 (Arran 11 yo 1996/2008)

SMWS 121.22 (Arran 11 yo 1996/2008)

2008, SMWS
Single malt - Islands
Dark amber
58% ABV
Dram

Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, raisins, smoke, redcurrants, leather, molasses, hints of rum, hints of palm sugar.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, hot, tingly, slippery.
Tasting: Sweet. Redcurrants, raisins, molasses, palm sugar, chillies, smoke, butterscotch.
Finish: Long. Chillies, leather, caramel, redcurrants.

Comments:


Sweet, smoky and spicy. Loaded with fruit and sweet things, including the caramelly sweetness that one only finds in palm sugar. Excellent whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

SMWS 46.12 (Glenlossie 27 yo 1978/2006)

SMWS 46.12 (Glenlossie 27 yo 1978/2006)

2006, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Amber orange
55.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, coconut, pine, mint, marzipan, hints of leather.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slipper, astringent, thickens.
Tasting: Sour. Lemons, orange peel, coconut, pine, mint, hints of mayonnaise, hints of leather.
Finish: Medium. Butter, pine, coconut, orange peel.

Comments:


Tart, leathery, smells a little like a new car. Not very meaty, although the tag line promised roast pork! Reminds me more of cake and sweet desserty things...

Verdict:

I like this.

SMWS 38.18 (Caperdonich 12 yo 1994/2007)

SMWS 38.18 (Caperdonich 12 yo 1994/2007)

2007, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
White wine
59.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, butter, green apples, black pepper, lemons, hints of smoke.
Mouthfeel: Light body, tingly, volatile, warm.
Tasting: Sour salty. Vanilla, raisins, green apples, black pepper, lemons, smoke, hints of pineapples.
Finish: Short. Lemons, black pepper, pineapples, chillies.

Comments:


Tart, yet smoky. Light and refreshing Caperdonich, a touch less fruity than the other ones I've had. Don't add water - it brings out a rather harsh element of coconut.

Verdict:

I like this.

Friday, 13 November 2009

SMWS 91.19 (Dufftown 20 yo 1985/2005)

SMWS 91.19 (Dufftown 20 yo 1985/2005)

2005, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Pale yellow
56.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Figs, white grapes, butter, vanilla, marzipan, rubber, hints of peat.
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, warm.
Tasting: Bitter. Figs, white grapes, butter, vanilla, sponge cake, rubber, new plastic, peat, hints of cedar.
Finish: Short. Vanilla, new plastic, white grapes.

Comments:


Fruity, almondy and fresh on the nose. It started out quite promising. However, there were harsh overtones of rubber and new plastic (the unpleasant sort - like visiting a chemical factory) on the tongue. A little disappointing.

Verdict:

Not bad.

SMWS 72.19 (Miltonduff 20 yo 1988/2008)

SMWS 72.19 (Miltonduff 20 yo 1988/2008)

2008, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
57.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, lemons, butter, brown paper, vanilla, egg yolk, hints of smoke.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, warm, tingly.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Raisins, lemons, butter, egg yolk, vanilla, tarry rope, hints of smoke, hints of peat.
Finish: Medium. Soot, smoke, tar, walnut skins.

Comments:


The nose betrays little sign of what is to come - a milky, sweet, smoky, peaty rush of flavours that overwhelms the palate. Very big surprise on the tongue. I wasn't prepared for this, but it was delicious.

Verdict:

I like this.

SMWS 38.15 (Caperdonich 28 yo 1976/2005)

SMWS 38.15 (Caperdonich 28 yo 1976/2005)

2005, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Pale copper
51.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemon zest, lemon sweets, grass, smoke, pineapple, guava, hints of green apple.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, smooth, loosens.
Tasting: Sour bitter. Lemon sweets, figs, pineapples, green apples, smoke, hints of hazelnuts.
Finish: Long. Walnut skins, pineapples, smoke.

Comments:


A plethora of smoky fruits, among them curiosities such as pineapples and green apples. An amazing, fruity, smoky dram. Great pleasure to drink.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Glendronach 12 yo Original

Glendronach 12 yo Original

Official bottling

Single malt - Speyside
Amber
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, honey, brown sugar, molasses, plums, oak, hints of peaches.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, cool, slippery, wet.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Raisins, honey, molasses, butter, vanilla, oak, plums, cherries, hints of truffle.
Finish: Medium. Walnuts, raisins, cherries, oak.

Comments:


Musty, fruity and dense. This is new-style Glendronach, a reboot of the old flagship bottling. Very oaky, like a slightly dry, less rounded Merlot, with lots of sweet and buttery overtones. Slight bitterness in the finish. Pretty good.

Verdict:

I like this.

Friday, 6 November 2009

SMWS 46.19 (Glenlossie 16 yo 1992/2009)

SMWS 46.19 (Glenlossie 16 yo 1992/2009)

2009, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Pale yellow
52.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, peanuts, condensed milk, butter, white wine, lemon zest.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, tingly, volatile.
Tasting: Sour. Lemons, lemon zest, vanilla, white wine, peanuts, hints of white grapes, hints of bananas.
Finish: Medium. Lemons, banana, white grapes, white wine.

Comments:


So tingly it's almost fizzy. Whisky isn't carbonated of course, so this feels (and tastes) very much like flat champagne. The similarities don't end there - despite the cask strength, it feels quite light, very drinkable, and quite dry. Got to be careful with this one.

Verdict:

I like this.

SMWS 35.32 (Glen Moray 34 yo 1975/2009)

SMWS 35.32 (Glen Moray 34 yo 1975/2009)

2009, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Bright amber
55.1% ABV
Dram

Nose: Jasmine, red wine, cinnamon, blackcurrants, raisins, maraschino cherries, hints of butter. With water, vanilla, condensed milk.
Mouthfeel: Light body, tingly, slightly astringent, warms up. With water, loosens.
Tasting: Sweet. Blackcurrants, raisins, maraschino cherries, orange peel, cinnamon, red wine, hints of jasmine. With water, sweeter, vanilla, condensed milk, orange peel.
Finish: Long. Bitter melon, cinnamon, red wine, soot. With water, soot disappears, more raisins, blackcurrants.

Comments:


Old, and rare. Quite a chameleon, especially once water is added. It's strong, sweet and smoky, even sooty, but once water is added the sooty, ashy element melts away to become even more fruit - blackcurrants and raisins predominate. Very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

SMWS 19.42 (Glen Garioch 19 yo 1988/2009)

SMWS 19.42 (Glen Garioch 19 yo 1988/2009)

2009, SMWS
Single malt - East Highlands
Copper
52.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Walnuts, sponge cake, smoke, caramel, vanilla, mint, hints of prunes. With water, raisins, plums, more vanilla.
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, thickens, tingly.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Walnuts, butter, sponge cake, vanilla, mint, prunes, hints of smoke, hints of butterscotch. Changes with water, more prunes, plums, raisins, black tea.
Finish: Short. Smoke, prunes, butterscotch, mint, vanilla.

Comments:


Quite light and ethereal. Tastes quite different, and easier on the palate, once water is added. Very fruity, but the hint of smoke tempers this. More smoky on the finish, and sweeter too. Drinkable.

Verdict:

I like this.

SMWS 119.10 (Yamazaki 19 yo 1989/2009)

SMWS 119.10 (Yamazaki 19 yo 1989/2009)

2009, SMWS

Single malt - West Honshu
Dirty brown
62.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, palm sugar, cocoa, caramel, burnt rubber, rum, orange peel, hints of wood smoke, hints of roast pork.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, astringent, volatile.
Tasting: Sweet. Raisins, burnt rubber, orange peel, dark chocolate, roast pork, caramel, palm sugar.
Finish: Long. Palm sugar, cocoa, wood smoke, burnt rubber.

Comments:


Mmmm. Lovely sherried Yamazaki, tastes old but really isn't. I wonder where this one aged. Anyway, it's sweet with a chemical undercurrent, and a savoury meatiness that's almost textural. Very good indeed, as good as the official 18 yo that won so many awards. I might get a bottle of this.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Millburn 21 yo 1971/1993

Millburn 21 yo 1971/1993

Connoisseur's Choice, Gordon & Macphail
Single malt - Speyside
Orange gold
40% ABV
Sampler


Nose: Lemons, gooseberries, peaches, leather, menthol, oats, hints of peat.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, watery, smooth, loosens.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Peaches, lemons, gooseberries, orange peel, leather, sherry, hints of peat.
Finish: Medium. Gooseberries, peat, lemons, walnuts.

Comments:


A rare find, this. The distillery has been silent since 1985, and this bottling very hard to find. Sweet and unctuous, with a peaty tang that isn't too dense. The fruit is very in-your-face, and the whisky is quite sweet. Lovely. I wish I had more.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Tomatin 12 yo

Tomatin 12 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemons, bananas, flint, wheat, leather, dried cherries.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, warms, slippery.
Tasting: Sour. Lemons, bananas, flint, leather, dried cherries, hints of plums, hints of fermented fruit.
Finish: Medium. Wheat, flint, lemons, bananas.

Comments:


Sour, yet fruity. There's a strong estery whiff of bananas, followed by a sweetish sickly scent of fermented fruit, maybe plums. It smells like what you make before you distil it into eau-de-vie. And it tastes like it too. Strange, but not unpleasant, such whiskies rarely are.

Verdict:

I like this.
 

Get this and more blogger templates free at "Free Blogger Help"