Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Glenmorangie Tusail

Glenmorangie Tusail

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Straw
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Dates, orange blossom, candy floss, lemon zest, brass polish, hints of photocopy paper. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slightly watery around the edges, static. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Orange blossom, lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, honey, straw, hints of cream. 
Finish: Long. Orange blossom, dates, almonds, hints of lemon zest. 

Comments: 

Another No Age Statement whisky... they are coming thick and fast. This one is unusual, tart and brassy, yet fragrant and floral. Reminds me of nothing so much as a good Rosebank! Well, if you can't get that increasingly rare Lowlands dram, this is what it tastes like. Honestly, if you hadn't shown me the bottle, I'd have bet money that this was Falkirk's finest.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.

Michter's Bourbon US*1 Small Batch

Michter's Bourbon US*1 Small Batch

Michter's, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers
Single bourbon - unknown
Red
45.7% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, coconuts, honey, strawberries, ink, hints of brown paper. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, mouth coating, tingly. 
Tasting: Sweet. Coconuts, honey, orange peel, bananas, toast, brown paper. 
Finish: Long. Strawberries, toast, honey, orange peel, hints of dates. 

Comments: 

Sourced spirit from an unknown distillery, aged in new charred oak barrels by a famous old brand. This is unusual bourbon; not too bananary, yet fruity and coconutty. On the tongue, a very delicious, interesting toasty note. Sweet in the finish, almost cloyingly so. Rather enjoyable, especially after a good dinner.

Verdict:

I like this.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch One

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch One

Official bottling
Single malt - Lowlands
Amber gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, nutmeg, malted grains, cola nuts, prunes, vanilla, hints of jasmine tea. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, chewy, syrupy. 
Tasting: Sweet salty. Prunes, jasmine tea, dates, candied ginger, vanilla, honey, hints of leather. 
Finish: Medium. Leather, nutmeg, jasmine tea, orange peel, hints of grilled meat. 

Comments: 

No Age Statement whisky. I must admit I miss the easy availability of aged whisky, but sometimes NAS is good too. This one is sweet salty, heavy on the tongue, not like the previous Auchentoshans I've had. That alone makes it worth drinking from my perspective. It's spicy, loaded with notes of dried fruit, covering (what is, for me) the typical Auchentoshan character of honey, vanilla and orange peel. The latter only really pops out at the finish.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Thursday, 23 April 2015

Stagg Jr 8-9yo

Stagg Jr 8-9yo

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber red
67.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, honey, vanilla, brown paper, caramel, plums, hints of roses. With water, sweeter, strawberries, roses, more plums. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, astringent, tingly, warm. 
Tasting: Sweet. Brown paper, caramel, butterscotch, black pepper, plums, hints of honey. With water, less spicy, more brown paper, bananas, strawberries. 
Finish: Long. Cream, honey, butterscotch, black pepper. 

Comments: 

Stagg Jr, son of George T. Stagg, one of the top 3 bourbons I've ever had. And it's strong too! Neat, it's hard to drink, but wonderfully sweet and fruity. Spicy as well, though that's probably just the alcohol. With water it opens up nicely, becoming even sweeter with delicious estery fruit notes. Good, good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Roughstock Montana Sweet Corn Spirit

Roughstock Montana Sweet Corn Spirit

Official bottling
Single corn - Montana
Colourless
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, sweet corn, grilled meat, buttermilk. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, astringent, slightly fizzy. 
Tasting: Sour. Sweet corn, sour cream, buttermilk, orange peel. 
Finish: Short. Buttermilk, sour cream, hints of orange peel. 

Comments: 

Oof. Corn white dog. This is obviously not that complex, it's still redolent of sweet corn. But there's good stuff beneath that - sour cream, some buttermilk, even savoury grilled meat (bacon?) notes on the nose. This needs some aging!

Verdict:

Not bad.

Jim Beam Green Label

Jim Beam Green Label

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Orange amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, cream. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, turns watery, slightly fizzy. 
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Bananas, cinnamon, honey, photocopy paper, ink, burnt sugar. 
Finish: Short. Ink, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg. 

Comments: 

Really bold, quite simple bourbon, surprisingly not very bananary. I don't mean simple negatively; it's just not that complex, the flavour notes are strong and obvious. There's an underlying bitter current here, burnt sugar, ink, photocopy paper, slightly chemical notes. Still, rather tasty.

Verdict:

I like this.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Littlemill 21 yo 1991/2013

Littlemill 21 yo 1991/2013

Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask
Single malt - Lowlands
Dark amber
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, vanilla, tobacco leaf, honey, dried apples, hints of kiwifruit. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, airy. 
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, strawberries, kiwifruit, cream, sugarcane, hints of vanilla. 
Finish: Medium. Honey, kiwifruit, dried apples, oolong tea. 

Comments: 

Sherry matured Littlemill (apparently a refill hogshead, but there must have been a lot left). It's chockfull of the usual red grapes and tobacco leaf, but there's an airy honeyed quality, and the oak is very apparent. Good stuff, really appley on the tongue. My first Littlemill in a while, I didn't think I'd be drinking any more, to be honest.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Redbreast 12 yo

Redbreast 12 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Southern Ireland
Amber, tinge of red
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oranges, watermelons, bananas, brown paper, black tea, hints of pomeloes. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, turns syrupy, thickens, slightly oily. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Oranges, black tea, vanilla, bananas, peaches, hints of pomeloes. 
Finish: Short. Black tea, peaches, vanilla, dried apples. 

Comments: 

Pot still Irish whiskey, newly released (well, new since my last major foray into Irish whiskey, years ago - shame on me). It's fruity, light and floral, with a slight astringency that I interpret as black tea. Great finish, slightly bitter, fruity - exactly like a Turkish apple tea perhaps?

Verdict:

I like this.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Mackmyra Special 07 Framtidstro

Mackmyra Special 07 Framtidstro

Official bottling
Single malt - Gastrikland
White wine
45.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, brass polish, lemon zest, brown paper, bananas, white grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, tingly. 
Tasting: Sour. Vanilla, bananas, lemon zest, hay, buttercups, hints of orange blossom. 
Finish: Medium. Chillies, lemon zest, bananas, vanilla. 

Comments: 

A Mackmyra special release, finished in cloudberry wine casks for a Swedish twist to good barley distillate. Hmm. Odd, slightly bourbony (i.e. lots of bananas and brown paper) but not sweet at all. Quite tart, and even grassy and floral on the tongue. This is good stuff, tingly and even chilli hot in the finish. I'd say the experiment worked, cloudberry wine is good with whisky...

Verdict:

I like this.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Yellow Spot 12 yo

Yellow Spot 12 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Southern Ireland
Green gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oranges, lemons, brass polish, bananas, honey, hints of brown paper. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, turns watery, tingly. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Bananas, brown papers, oranges, honey, hints of cinnamon. 
Finish: Long. Bananas, honey, prunes, hints of dried apricots. 

Comments: 

First Irish dram in a while! This is light and smooth, yet sweet, almost bourbon like in its oaky, bananary flavours. Yet there's a lot of fruity complexity underlying that, and some spicy fragrant notes too. This could be a Rosebank... but its not. Midleton, take a bow.

Verdict:

I like this.




Chichibu Chibidaru 3yo 2009/2013

Chichibu Chibidaru  3yo 2009/2013

Official bottling
Single malt - East Honshu
Orange gold
53.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange blossom, vanilla, Chinese sour plums, lemon zest, jasmine, hints of roses. With water, slightly sweeter, yoghurt drink, more Chinese sour plums, hints of sour cream. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, turns airy, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting: Sour salty. Orange blossom, Chinese sour plums, chrysanthemums, apricot jam, hints of tamarind. With water, slightly sweeter, more apricot jam, hints of oolong tea. 
Finish: Long. Roses, tamarind, chrysanthemums, apricot jam. 

Comments: 

Wonderfully fresh, floral and fragrant. This malt is salty, sour and sweet all at the same time, like those mouth-puckering preserved sour plums one gets in Chinese supermarkets. With water, I was hit by waves of Calpico yoghurt drink (again, perhaps suggestibility at work), and also oolong tea. Also quite jammy in places.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Nikka Coffey Malt

Nikka Coffey Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - East Honshu
Dark gold
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Apples, pears, honey, caramel, new rubber, hints of dried pineapples. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, fizzy, slightly astringent. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Cola nuts, apples, dried pineapples, honey, tobacco leaf, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Short. Coffee, apples, dark chocolate, cola nuts. 

Comments: 

Nikka's coffey stills were initially located at Nishinomiya Distillery, and moved to Miyagikyo around 1999. This bottling was released in 2014, and I believe it's all distilled on the grounds of Miyagikyo. Coffey by name, coffee by nature - I couldn't believe my tastebuds. I first thought it was suggestibility, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't. This is deliciously sweet sour, ever so slightly astringent and bitter, suggesting those wonderful chocolatey, coffee notes.


Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Pittyvaich 1989 20 yo

Pittyvaich 1989 20 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Pale gold
57.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Burnt sugar, caramel, butterscotch, milk chocolate, white grapes, hints of sandalwood. With water, vanilla, cream, strawberries, hints of roses.
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, mouth coating, slightly oily.
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Burnt sugar, brown paper, butterscotch, cream, white grapes, hints of vanilla. With water, sweeter, strawberries, cherries, honey, hints of condensed milk.
Finish: Short. White grapes, milk chocolate, peaches, vanilla. With water, honey, candied oranges, cherries.

Comments:

Rarest of the rare, an official Pittyvaich! This one is well worth waiting for, light and airy, like a Lowlands whisky, with huge fruit and burnt sugar notes. With water (and it needs water) and time, it opens up, becoming sweeter and fruitier, with even huger notes of strawberries and something like cherries. Very good, and I think this is really worthwhile at its current price.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


Kornog Taouarc'h Trived 10 BC

Kornog Taouarc'h Trived 10 BC

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Straw
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, grapefruit, olive oil, orange juice, pears, hints of lemon zest.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, syrupy, slippery .
Tasting: Bitter salty. Pear, smoke, grapefruit, olive oil, lemon zest, sea salt, hints of peanuts.
Finish: Long. Peat, ginseng, pears, hints of sea salt.

Comments:

Doesn't matter where a whisky comes from (the French can make good whisky, for sure), all that matters is how it tastes. This one is really quite peaty, with swathes of smoke and bitter peat overlaying some salty, slightly fruity, tart spirit. It's good stuff, but might have benefited from aging a little more. I think it's between 5 and 10 years old, closer to 5. Nice salty tang though, great touch.

Verdict:

I like this.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Kavalan Single Malt

Kavalan Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - North Taiwan
Deep amber
40% ABV
Bottle

Nose: Pears, honey, leather, lemons, eucalyptus, hints of mint, hints of golden syrup.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, turns syrupy.
Tasting: Sweet. Pears, brown paper, honey, eucalyptus, vanilla, nutmeg, hints of cream.
Finish: Long. Fresh baked bread, cream, brown paper, hints of oolong tea.

Comments:

My birthday whisky! This is delicious despite its age, and I think one can really tell it's quite young. There's a brightness to the flavours, which I don't really find in older whiskies. Despite its youth, it's surprisingly complex, with notes of pears and honey predominating, like a good Glenfiddich, but with other interesting flavours as well - eucalyptus and mint especially. Very good, and very good value.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.


 

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