Monday, 23 March 2015

Longrow Peated

Longrow Peated

Official bottling
Single malt - Campbeltown
Pale green
46% ABV
Sampler

Nose: Peat, honey, pears, lemon zest, green tea, hints of maple syrup.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, turns slightly oily, egg white consistency.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Leather, peat, lemons, honey, pears, ginseng, hints of chillies.
Finish: Medium. Ginseng, honey, peat, lemons, hints of maple syrup.

Comments:

I was a fool in years gone by. Being slightly anal about categorisation, I tended to shy away from Longrow and Hazelburn, for no other reason than they weren't Springbank (although they were really) and they messed up my nice tidy way of organising my tasting notes. So I missed the original Longrow CV. Not to worry - JA Mitchell reissued a similar whisky under new livery. This one is pretty good - nice mouthfeel, fragrant, fruity nose, bitter peaty taste and sweet-tart finish. I enjoyed this very much.

Verdict:

I like this.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Wasmund's Single Malt

Wasmund's Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Virginia
Amber
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, varnished oak, cherries, peanut shells, soy sauce, apples, hints of peat.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky, static, slightly chewy.
Tasting: Bitter salty. Leather, varnished oak, peanut shells, peanuts, apples, hints of peat.
Finish: Medium. Astringent, lemons, peanut shells, varnished oak.

Comments:

Made using malt that was dried using apple and cherry wood. I'm not sure it made any difference. The aroma is... odd. There's peat, varnish on old hardwood, peanut shells, lots of savoury estery notes but not much that is sweet. Maybe some apples, but it's hard to find underneath all that. Then on the tongue, there's much more of the same, maybe even more nutty and savoury. That all disappears in a tart finish. Can't say it's the greatest malt in the world, it probably needs longer than 3 1/2 years in a barrel.

Verdict:

Not bad.


FEW Rye Whiskey

FEW Rye Whiskey

Official bottling
Single rye - Illinois
Amber
46.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Apples, pears, cream, brown paper, rose, hints of plums.
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, turns slightly watery, smooth.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Pears, cream, cinnamon, rose, plum, hints of brown paper.
Finish: Long. Roses, pears, plums, brown paper.

Comments:

Deceptively simple, this whisky is fruity and floral, displaying little of the spicy rye. Maybe there's just more corn in this one's mash bill. I really enjoyed it however, the fruit and the floral note (there's really just one I think) complement each other marvellously well. There's something to be said for small craft distilleries that believe in their product.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Templeton Rye Whiskey

Templeton Rye Whiskey

Official bottling
Single rye - Iowa
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, plums, strawberry jam, bananas, cardamom, hints of allspice.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, lightens, turns watery, slightly fizzy.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Brown paper, bananas, white pepper, strawberry jam, plums, hints of pears.
Finish: Medium. Brown paper, allspice, ginger, plums.

Comments:

OK, not made in Iowa at all, sourced at MGP in Indiana, and aged (blended?) in Iowa. There was a court case. But Templeton Rye, so good it's Al Capone's favourite, stands up on its own merits. The rye is slightly muted (which is why I think it's been blended) with some lovely fruity jammy notes cutting the spice. It's also quite complex, and a very nice dram indeed.

Thanks to Kevin at the BE for a splash in a glass.

Verdict:

I like this.


FEW White Dog

FEW White Dog

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Illinois
Colourless
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Corn, sour cream, magic marker, soor plooms, hints of lemons.
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, fizzy, astringent.
Tasting: Bitter sour. Lemons, corn, sour cream, malted grains, magic marker.
Finish: Short. Lemons, malted grains, corn, burnt plastic.

Comments:

This is unaged whisky, what Americans call 'white dog'. It's basically spirit straight off the still, watered and bottled. Maybe they shouldn't have watered this. It's not quite strong enough to be complex and interesting, and not quite weak enough to have shrugged off that scent of burnt plastic. Nevertheless, it's tart and slightly milky, and there's a lot of corn and barley in it. Interesting experiment, but I feel whisky really needs to be aged.

Thanks to Kevin at the BE for a splash in a glass.

Verdict:

I like this.


Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt

Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Texas
Amber
53% ABV
Dram

Nose: Pears, magic marker, honey, apples, peat, cinnamon, hints of ink, hints of rust.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, turns syrupy, sticky
Tasting: Sweet. Cream, vanilla, cookie dough, honey, cinnamon, hints of apples.
Finish: Medium. Peat, honey, vanilla, apples, pears.

Comments:

This whisky has been 'yard-aged'. I don't know what that means, but I bet it was a bourbon cask. In any case, it's really quite decent, albeit fairly young by the tastes of it. Quite estery, with loads of magic marker and apples and pears on the nose, turning really gentle to vanilla and cookies on the nose. Good fruit, good spice. Not one of Balcones' barnstormers, but a nice whisky to relax to.

Verdict:

I like this.


Monday, 9 March 2015

Karuizawa 28 yo 1983/2012 Noh Sherry Cask #7576

Karuizawa 28 yo 1983/2012 Noh Sherry Cask #7576

Official bottling
Single malt - West Honshu
Dark amber
57.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cucumber, leather, raspberries, pears, dried apples, red grapes, magic marker, hints of roast pork. With water, honey, more dried apples, hints of cream, hints of elderflower.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, loosens, turns watery, slightly astringent.
Tasting: Sweet. Ink, leather, raspberries, pears, red grapes, magic marker, honey, hints of roast pork. With water, sweeter, dried apples, calvados, hints of golden syrup.
Finish: Long. Chillies, leather, dried apples, honey.

Comments:

Sweet, but also fresh and astringent. Sherried Karuizawa has become something of a cliche, I feel, and it's always nice to find something that doesn't hew to that stereotype. Not that there's much left to find. This whisky is complex, slightly savoury, and opens up beautifully with water. What it opens up to is a world of apples and apple brandy. Delicious.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Karuizawa 28 yo 1984/2012 Cask #4021

Karuizawa 28 yo 1984/2012 Cask #4021

Official bottling
Single grain - West Honshu
Dark rose
64.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, dried apricots, dried strawberries, peaches, peanuts, candied oranges, hints of smoke. With water, candied ginger, candied ginseng, hints of peat.
Mouthfeel: Light body, expands, airy, slightly fizzy.
Tasting: Bitter salty. Peanuts, leather, dried apricots, candied oranges, green peas, hints of honey. With water, more bitter, slightly sweet, candied ginger, cola nuts, red grapes.
Finish: Medium. Leather, leaf mulch, peaches, photocopy paper, honey.

Comments:

This whisky needs time. It's a sherry cask, but doesn't really taste sherried. Instead, it's peaty, earthy and savoury, with lots of dried fruit warring with light sweetness, peanuts and leather. Left on its own, with just a smidgen of water, it opens up into spicy, nutty territory with just a hint of sherry. Unusual, but very good.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Kawasaki 31 yo 1982/2011 for WhiskyLive Tokyo

Kawasaki 31 yo 1982/2011 for WhiskyLive Tokyo

Official bottling
Single grain - East Honshu
Dark red wine
65.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, mint, eucalyptus, brown paper, plums, magic marker. With water, butter, blueberries, strawberries.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, expands, sticky.
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, plums, blueberries, sugar cane juice, hints of leather, hints of pear drops. With water, slightly bitter, butter, maple syrup, rum, vanilla.
Finish: Long. Eucalyptus, mint, sugar cane juice, plums.

Comments:

The angels left a lot of this, and I can't for the life of me imagine why. This is one of the best grain whiskies, if not the best grain whisky I've ever tasted. It is sweet and heavy on the tongue, with plenty of fruit and a fresh note of mint cutting through. With water it turns buttery and syrupy, with a finish that lasted for at least 18 hours. I could still taste it the next morning. After breakfast.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Friday, 6 March 2015

SMWS G8.4 (Cambus 25 yo 1989/2014)

SMWS G8.4 (Cambus 25 yo 1989/2014)

2015, SMWS
Single grain - Lowlands
Pale gold
59.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, blueberries, honey, lemon juice, pear drops, hints of cream. With water, tart, more lemon juice, quince.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slick, slightly watery around the edges, thickens.
Tasting: Sweet sour. Vanilla, cream, peaches, papaya, blueberries, hints of pineapples. With water, pear drops, lemon juice, more sour.
Finish: Long. Pineapples, blueberries, honey, lemon zest.

Comments:

Not your usual grain whisky. This is not so much sweet as teetering on the edge between sour and sweet. A little water tips it over. Lots of fruit (as you'd expect from grain whisky), and quite complex and strong. Good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.


SMWS 55.24 (Royal Brackla 20 yo 1994/2015)

SMWS 55.24 (Royal Brackla 20 yo 1994/2015)

2015, SMWS
Single malt - Speyside
Brass
52.7% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, freshly baked bread, cherries, marzipan, honey, hints of white grapes. With water, peaches, strawberries, hints of papaya.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, syrupy, thickens, slightly oily.
Tasting: Sweet salty. Vanilla, honey, cherries, shortcrust pastry, peaches, hints of toast. With water, slightly bitter, toast, white grapes, strawberries.
Finish: Short. Honey, marzipan, brown butter, peaches.

Comments:

Run of the mill. Or it would be, but for some interesting flavour notes. First of all, there's cherry. Then there's something buttery, toasty and slightly burnt, especially once a little water is added. It lifts this whisky above the average.

Verdict:

I like this.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lost Distilleries Blend Batch #6

Lost Distilleries Blend Batch #6

Official bottling
Blend
Straw
49.3% ABV
Dram

Nose: Green apples, vanilla, lemon juice, carbolic acid, brass polish, hints of ink.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slick, expands, turns watery.
Tasting: Sour.Lemon juice, brass polish, unripe pineapples, ink, rhubarb, hints of vanilla.
Finish: Long. Vanilla, malted grains, ink, hints of green apples.

Comments:

This has been blended from malt from Mosstowie, Port Ellen, Glenisla, Imperial, Caperdonich, Glen Mhor, Brora, and grain from Port Dundas. It's the first time I've tried some of these! It's a very nice blend indeed, reminds me of a good Rosebank (odd, since there's no Rosebank in here). It's a little too robust and slightly too chemical to be Rosebank though. Delicious stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Miyagikyo No Age Statement

Miyagikyo No Age Statement

Official bottling
Single malt - West Honshu
Dark gold
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Green apples, caramel, milk, lemon zest, cinnamon, hints of sandalwood.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, turns syrupy, slightly oily.
Tasting: Sour. Lemon zest, green apples, grated coconut, orange juice, white grapes, hints of sandalwood.
Finish: Medium. White grapes, green apples, cinnamon.

Comments:

Young Miyagikyo seems to hold fruity intense aromas. This is quite complex for its age, and also has a very engaging mouth feel. It's spicy as well, in the aromatic sense, laden with cinnamon and (dare I say it, Yamazaki-esque) sandalwood. This is really good whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012

Hakushu Sherry Cask 2012

Official bottling
Single malt - West Honshu
Mahogany
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Butterscotch, caramel, red grapes, milk, kiwi fruit, hints of strawberry jam.
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, airy, slightly watery around the edges.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Brown paper, kiwi fruit, strawberry jam, lohanguo, blueberries, hints of red grapes.
Finish: Medium. Brown paper, caramel, red grapes, blueberries.

Comments:

A predecessor to that famous Yamazaki Sherry Cask, and if I may say so, much better. This is jammy and sweet, laden with fruit, but with a very pleasant herbal note that I couldn't place at first. Then it hit me. Lohanguo (Siraitia grosvenorii in Latin, no English common name), a fruit which my mother used to boil up into sweet refreshing herbal tea! Delicious, and brings back so many memories too.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Ichiro's Malt The Joker Colour Label

Ichiro's Malt The Joker Colour Label

Official bottling
Single malt - East Honshu
Amber, tinge of red
57.7% ABV
Dram

Nose: Prunes, dates, pink pepper, orange peel, cola nuts, dried apricots. With water, orange zest, orange juice, strawberries.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, chewy, mouth coating.
Tasting: Sweet. Dates, prunes, pine, dried apricots, hints of butterscotch, hints of lemon thyme. With water, sweeter, red grapes, orange zest, strawberries.
Finish: Long. Cola nuts, dates, prunes, dried apricots. With water, red grapes, hints of leather.

Comments:

A vatting of 6 Hanyu vintages (ranging from 1985-2000) from 7 types of cask. It's a legendary bottling, if only because it sold out so fast. I'm lucky to be able to taste this. It's awesome! Fruity and spicy, excellent mouthfeel neat, really drinkable. With a touch of water, it opens up beautifully, lots of dried fruit, sweeter, fragrant, some old leather at the finish. I'm still tasting this hours later.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


 

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