Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Alberta Rye Dark Batch

Alberta Rye Dark Batch

Official bottling
Single rye - Alberta
Amber, tinge of purple
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, toffee, cinnamon, lohan fruit, charcoal, cotton candy. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, cool, loosens. 
Tasting: Sweet. Red grapes, lohan fruit, charcoal, prunes, black tea, hints of cotton candy. 
Finish: Medium. Vanilla, red grapes, black tea, leather, prunes. 

Comments: 

OK, Canadian whiskey is weird. This is rye spirit distilled at Alberta Distillers in Calgary, but it's adulterated with some bourbon and a little sherry. But it's still 91% single rye, honest. It's fruity and dark, with a cooked, slightly charred note that I interpret as the herbal lohan fruit soup I used to get as a child. Nice stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.




George Dickel No 8

George Dickel No 8

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Tennessee
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, cinnamon, brown paper, sugar cane, coconut, hints of lemon. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, slippery, slightly chewy. 
Tasting: Bitter sweet. Bananas, peanuts, cinnamon, toffee, sugar cane, walnut skins. 
Finish: Medium. Walnut skins, peanuts, bananas, lemon peel. 

Comments: 

Hmm. An unusual bourbon (ok, sorry, Tennessee whiskey), it's got a burnt sugar taste that reminds me very much of rum. It's got heaps of bitter notes as well, along with the normal bananas and toffee. I quite enjoyed this.

Verdict:

I like this.



Inchgower 20 yo 1995/2015

Inchgower 20 yo 1995/2015

Extra Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Speyside
Green gold
51.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Ink, gooseberries, leather, quinces, lemon zest, hints of iron filings. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, tingly, astringent. 
Tasting:  Bitter sour. Gooseberries, iron filings, green apples, rice crispies, leather, hints of sandalwood. 
Finish: Medium. Ink, lemon zest, quinces, walnut skins. 

Comments: 

An unusual Speyside whisky. It's light, but it's tart and cereally, with bitter fragrant, even metallic notes. Well aged, it's very complex, and worth taking plenty of time over when drinking a dram. Good stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.



Glendalough Double Barrel

Glendalough Double Barrel

Glendalough
Single grain - unknown
White wine
42% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, raisins, dried cranberries, sea salt, malted grains, hints of bananas. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, watery, slippery. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Bananas, brown paper, dried cranberries, dried apples, dark chocolate. 
Finish: Short. Malted grains, bananas, sea salt, dried apples. 

Comments: 

A sourced grain whiskey from Glendalough (and I'm really looking forward to what they can produce, if the quality of their sourced spirit is any guide). This one has been matured in both oloroso and bourbon casks, and is about 4 years old apparently. It's fruity and light, plenty of savoury and bitter notes. Delicious.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Glentauchers 19 yo 1996/2016

Glentauchers 19 yo 1996/2016

Strictly Limited, Carn Mor
Single malt - Speyside
Pale gold
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Pineapples, apples, vanilla, peaches, white grapes, hints of cream. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, slightly astringent. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Coffee, cream, milk chocolate, apples, vanilla, hints of pineapples. 
Finish: Medium. Milk chocolate, white grapes, cream, apples. 

Comments: 

Wow, this is luscious! A refreshing and light whisky that also tastes its age, with heaps of fruity complexity, darkening into chocolate and slightly bitter fragrant coffee on the tongue. Excellent finish too. This is my first 'Tauchers in 7 years.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Limeburners Single Malt Whisky (Cask M97))

Limeburners Single Malt Whisky (Cask M97)

Official bottling
Single malt - Western Australia
Rose
61% ABV
Dram

Nose: Honey, red grapes, cough syrup, brown paper, hints of crispy bacon. With water, rhubarb and custard, leather, more honey. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, turns sticky, chewy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Red grapes, chocolate, raisins, prunes, honey, cough syrup, hints of baked oats. With water, saltier, more red grapes, more honey, leather. 
Finish: Long. Baked oats, chocolate, raisins, hints of coffee. 

Comments: 

Super duper sherried whisky. Slight meaty note on the nose, but chock full of red grapes and raisins. Rather like a good Pedro Ximenez sherry (obviously, since it's a sherry cask). Good cereally notes on the finish as well.

Verdict:

I like this.



Monday, 12 December 2016

Glen Deveron 10 yo

Glen Deveron 10 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Coffee, chocolate, marzipan, honey, orange peel. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, turns watery, slightly astringent, loosens. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Chocolate, honey, marzipan, orange peel, raisins, hints of cream. 
Finish: Short. Coffee, dark chocolate, marzipan, raisins. 

Comments: 

My second ever Macduff, it's not a whisky that's easily available outside travel retail, and I don't drink in bottles really. It's chocolatey and almondy, sweet and luscious. There's a slightly bitter note in the finish, as there often is with many good whiskies. Excellent stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey

Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Montana
Amber
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, raisins, cooked rice, buttermilk, hints of sweet corn. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, slightly tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Cooked rice, bananas, roasted sweet corn, cream, hints of lemon zest. 
Finish: Short. Cream, coffee, buttermilk, rice crispies. 

Comments: 

The white dog from this distillery was more than decent. Let's see what the whiskey tastes like... it's got the same cereally, slightly starchy notes that remind me of cooked rice, and a nice tangy buttermilk note. But there's no mistaking it - it's really good bourbon.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Monday, 5 December 2016

Blended Whisky 1 Batch 2

Blended Whisky 1 Batch 2

That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Master of Malt
Blend
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, orange juice, iron filings, chocolate, honey, malted grains. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, syrupy, slightly astringent. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Honey, raisins, golden syrup, orange peel, blackcurrant cordial. 
Finish: Medium. Blackcurrant cordial, iron filings, honey, raisins. 

Comments: 

Wow, this is a good blend! Sweet honey and raisins, cut through with a slightly bitter metallic finish. That's not unpleasant though, it shakes things up and makes things interesting.

Verdict:

I like this very much.



Friday, 2 December 2016

Allt-a-Bhainne 18 yo 1996/2014

Allt-a-Bhainne 18 yo 1996/2014

Old Malt Cask, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Speyside
Gold, tinge of silver
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, malted grains, leather, sea salt, hints of crispy bacon. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, loose, a little airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Leather, apples, orange peel, lemon zest, cream, hints of raisins. 
Finish: Medium. Cream, vanilla, raisins, orange peel. 

Comments: 

Cask ref 10825. Not your usual Speyside. The delicate sweet flavours are not so obvious here, instead there's savoury leather, plenty of creamy, milky notes, and ever-present lemon zest. It's great though, the higher strength creates all this complexity, and it's really drinkable, almost scarily so.

Verdict:

I like this.

Glenlivet Cipher

Glenlivet Cipher

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Copper
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cookie dough, vanilla, apples, white grapes, honey, hints of caramel. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, astringent, thickens slightly, tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Apples, chestnuts, cookie dough, honey, chocolate, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Short. Coffee, dark chocolate, chestnuts, black tea. 

Comments: 

A Cipher, so secret they don't tell you anything about it. Well, it's appley to the extreme, with plenty of chocolate and vanilla. A calvados barrel perhaps? Stranger things have happened.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Linkwood 21 yo 1995/2016

Linkwood 21 yo 1995/2016

Extra Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
51.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, vanilla, roses, dried apples, hints of white grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slippery, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Vanilla, roses, sea salt, coffee, hints of chocolate. 
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, orange peel, coffee, dried apples. 

Comments: 

Cask ref DL11357. Delicately floral and fragrant on the nose, but turns much more robust and savoury on the tongue. Orange peel and white grapes turn to chocolate spiked with sea salt, and a chocolatey, slightly bitter finish. The roses are a constant though.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



West Cork Single Malt Whiskey 10 yo

West Cork Single Malt Whiskey 10 yo

West Cork Distillers
Single malt - Unknown
Golden
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, blackcurrants, honey, dried apricots, cola nuts. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, slightly astringent, tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Blackcurrants, honey, prunes, peanuts, chocolate, hints of pears. 
Finish: Short. Honey, dried apples, prunes, walnuts. 

Comments: 

A sourced single malt from the new(ish) West Cork Distillers, who hopefully will bottle their own spirit very soon. This flagship starter is fruity, jammy and sweet, with delicate honey notes that envelope everything. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

An Cnoc Rascan

An Cnoc Rascan

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Very, very pale silver
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Marmite, peaches, leather, walnuts, maple syrup, sea salt, hints of smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slightly watery around the edges, slippery. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Peaches, maple syrup, marmite, peat, applewood smoke, hints of lemon juice. 
Finish: Short. Peaches, applewood smoke, mint, leather. 

Comments: 

Peated Speyside with an unusual colour. Again, nice leathery, nutty, slightly bitter notes. Plenty of fruit and sweetness, this time maple syrup plays a big role. Salty though, with savoury yeasty flavours of marmite.

Verdict:

I like this.



Ailsa Bay Single Malt

Ailsa Bay Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Lowlands
Copper gold
48.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, lemon juice, pears, sea salt, honeydew melons, peanuts. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, syrupy, slightly chewy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Leather, pears, honeydew melons, peat, smoked ham, hints of woodsmoke. 
Finish: Medium. Leather, pears, lemon juice, hints of raisins. 

Comments: 

A peated Lowland whisky, and one from the new Ailsa Bay distillery, no less. Delicate and floral, there's plenty of fruit in this. The peat introduces more robust notes of leather, and infuses the whisky with a meatiness that's really unusual.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Saturday, 19 November 2016

Armorik Maitre de Chai 2008 (6 yo 2008/2015)

Armorik Maitre de Chai 2008 (6 yo 2008/2015)

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Amber rose
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, walnuts, orange peel, smoked ham, plums, hints of sea salt . 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, tingly, slightly astringent. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Sea salt, driftwood smoke, raisins, plums, peanuts, hints of leather. 
Finish: Long. Peanuts, sea salt, plums, driftwood smoke. 

Comments: 

Hmm... salty! Fruity, meaty, but above all salty. Plenty of smoke and peat too, with a glorious chewy meatiness that makes the mouth water. Good whisky, this.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

Official bottling
Single millet - Illinois
Dark gold
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoked ham, cherries, orange peel, fresh baked bread, pears, hints of smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, slippery. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Cherries, iron filings, leather, fresh baked bread, hints of smoke. 
Finish: Medium. Fresh baked bread, malted grains, vanilla, pears. 

Comments: 

A millet whiskey! Thanks to Eddy and Patrick for letting me sample this. Meaty, metallic, but plenty of fruit and cereal. Unusually soft and rounded (is this what millet whisky is like?). Highly enjoyable, tasty and gentle.

Verdict:

I like this.



Balblair 1990 (23 yo 1990/2014)

Balblair 1990 (23 yo 1990/2014)

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Dark amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Malted grains, liquorice, rice, leather, vanilla, hints of honey. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, chewy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Bitter. Liquorice, rice, leather, honey, soursop, pears. 
Finish: Long. Rice, leather, pears, liquorice. 

Comments: 

Very cereally, even slightly starchy. Good strong aniseedy notes, wreathed through with touches of honey and fruit. The two years of finishing in oloroso sherry casks didn't tame this much. It's very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Säntis Edition Sigel

Säntis Edition Sigel

Official bottling
Single malt - Appenzell
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, raisins, orange peel, malted grains, cardamom, hints of smoked ham. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, static, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Malted grains, orange peel, cardamom, liquorice, smoked ham, hints of plums. 
Finish: Medium. Smoked ham, plums, liquorice, hints of Swiss cheese. 

Comments: 

Last of the trio of Säntis I have access to. Quite aniseedy and sweet, but there are savoury hints that remind me of its sisters. Savoury cheese notes on the finish too. These Swiss whiskies are unusual, but I enjoyed them.

Verdict:

I like this.




Friday, 4 November 2016

Säntis Edition Dreifaltigkeit

Säntis Edition Dreifaltigkeit

Official bottling
Single malt - Appenzell
Dark amber
52% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoke, bratwurst, Swiss cheese, tyre rubber, fennel, Milanese salami. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, slightly watery, slippery. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Swiss cheese, smoke, bratwurst, black pepper, driftwood, hints of ham. 
Finish: Short. Applewood, driftwood, black pepper, bratwurst. 

Comments: 

Another Säntis, this one peated and smoky. It's spicy and very meaty, and wreathed in a tangy sheath that reminds me of nutty Swiss cheese. It's very unusual, and I can't say I've ever had any whisky this savoury before. Unusual malt, and I have to drink more before I decide whether I like it or not.

Verdict:

Not bad.




Säntis Edition Himmelberg

Säntis Edition Himmelberg

Official bottling
Single malt - Appenzell
Golden
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Muesli, apples, malted grains, yoghurt, hints of raisins. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, chewy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Sour salty . Apples, raisins, yoghurt, dried pears, rolled oats. 
Finish: Medium. Rolled oats, raisins, red grapes, yoghurt. 

Comments: 

Swiss malt, who'd have thought? But it's unusual and individual, having been matured in both beer and wine casks. Lots of fruit, but also grain - that's the beer coming through - and it reminds me of nothing so much as muesli with apple grated in. Pleasantly tangy.

Verdict:

I like this.




Pogues Irish Whiskey

Pogues Irish Whiskey

Blend
Blend
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Brown paper, honey, orange peel, raisins, hints of bananas. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, loosens slightly, syrupy, slightly chewy. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Peanuts, honey, orange peel, olive oil, hints of lemon thyme. 
Finish: Short. Olive oil, lemon thyme, peanuts, hints of ginseng. 

Comments: 

A remarkable blend bottled for the Pogues, them of Rum, Sodomy and the Lash fame. It's honeyed, fruity and nutty, with a savoury tang on the tongue. Great mouthfeel too, heavy and unctuous. This is very, very drinkable indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Kilchoman Quarter Cask 4 yo 2010/2015 # 582/2010

Kilchoman Quarter Cask 4 yo 2010/2015 # 582/2010

Official bottling
Single malt - Islay
Silver gold
59.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoke, peat, dates, pears, mint, hints of pistachio nuts. With water, leather, fish sauce, peaches. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, airy, slightly watery. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Peat, smoke, dates, caramel, mint, palm sugar, hints of peaches. With water, sweet salty, fish sauce, leather, more peaches. 
Finish: Long. Mint, pistachio nuts, peaches, hints of lavender. 

Comments: 

Like all Kilchomans I've had, this whisky is extraordinarily complex for its young age. Dates and peaches vie with smoke and peat. Upon dilution, familiar sweet salty umami notes come to the fore, plenty of smoky fish sauce in here. Delicious.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Saturday, 15 October 2016

Three Ships 10 yo

Three Ships 10 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Western Cape
Buttercups
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, peat, plums, black tea, leather, hints of apples. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, loose, thickens slightly. 
Tasting:  Salty sweet. Raisins, leather, apples, plums, caramel, hints of sea salt. 
Finish: Medium. Leather, black tea, vanilla, salt caramel. 

Comments: 

My first South African malt. Surprisingly salty, even somewhat peaty. Do they have peat bogs in South Africa? It's a good whisky, nice fruity notes wreathed in with all that sea salt and leather. Very enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mortlach Rare Old

Mortlach Rare Old

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Dark gold
43.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemon zest, brass polish, ginger, eucalyptus, vanilla, cookie dough. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, slippery, slightly oily, chewy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sour. White grapes, lemon zest, candied ginger, cookie dough, hints of cotton sheets. 
Finish: Medium. Candied ginger, ginseng, white grapes, hints of green tea. 

Comments: 

A new official bottling from Mortlach. I'm sorry to see the classic Flora and Fauna bottling go, but this one is a reasonable replacement. It's not a sherry bomb as the older Mortlachs are, but instead carries a load of spicy tart notes, with interesting astringent hints on the tongue.

Verdict:

I like this.



Sunday, 9 October 2016

Bakery Hill Classic Malt

Bakery Hill Classic Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Victoria
Gold, tinge of rose
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, lemon zest, brass polish, green apples, hints of iron filings. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, oily, sticky. 
Tasting:  Bitter. Raisins, green apples, iron filings, oak, vanilla, hints of ginseng. 
Finish: Short. Toast, sea salt, lemon zest, raisins. 

Comments: 

A malt from Victoria! Quite bitter, even tart on the nose. Very fragrant, not the in-your-face bitterness that you get from peated barley. Slightly metallic flavours, but not unpleasant. Interesting whisky, I'll be trying to get more from this distillery.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 7 October 2016

Jack Ryan Beggar's Bush 12 yo

Jack Ryan Beggar's Bush 12 yo

Jack Ryan, for the Beggar's Bush pub
Single malt - Central Ireland
Pale amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, maraschino cherries, caramel, vanilla, honey, hints of red grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, airy, slightly slippery. 
Tasting:  Salty sweet. Raisins, vanilla, damsons, brown paper, honey, salt caramel. 
Finish: Short. Honey, ginger, vanilla, hints of black pepper. 

Comments: 

A special release to commemorate a famous pub in Dublin owned by the Ryan family. Very nicely sherried, typical Irish light whisky. Great heaping notes of fruit and caramel, very jammy. Spicy notes at the end.

Verdict:

I like this.



Sunday, 2 October 2016

Teerenpeli Distiller's Choice Karhi

Teerenpeli Distiller's Choice Karhi

Official bottling
Single malt - Southern Finland
Copper gold
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, raisins, roast pork, cola nuts, plums, hints of salt caramel. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, thickens slightly, mouth coating. 
Tasting:  Salty sweet. Raisins, peat, damson jam, peppermint, black tea, hints of salt caramel. 
Finish: Long. White grapes, peppermint, damson jam, black tea. 

Comments: 

More Teerenpeli, Nordic whisky is really developing. This one is 5-7 years old, aged in Madeira casks. It's fruity, salty, great minty notes on the tongue. The minty notes develop into a wonderful jammy finish.

Verdict:

I like this.



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Glen Albyn 27 yo 1964/1992

Glen Albyn 27 yo 1964/1992

Authentic Collection, WM Cadenhead
Single malt - North Highlands
Weak tea
51.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, lemon zest, peat, wet stones, honey, hints of black tea. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, turns syrupy, chewy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Orange peel, wet stones, honey, coffee, vanilla, hints of pears. 
Finish: Medium. Pears, coffee, vanilla, wet stones, hints of roast pork. 

Comments: 

A very rare chance to sample more Glen Albyn. I have to say I paid a pretty price for this, but it won't ever get cheaper. Meaty and peaty, minerally as well. But lots of sweet fruity notes too. Excellent bittersweet minerally finish.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Lark Distiller's Selection (Sherry Matured Cask 449)

Lark Distiller's Selection (Sherry Matured Cask 449)

Official bottling
Single malt - Tasmania
Amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, cotton candy, plums, walnuts, hints of cherries, hints of ginseng. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, static, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Red grapes, plums, walnuts, vanilla, black tea, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Medium. Black tea, toast, vanilla, cotton candy. 

Comments: 

Sweet and lush, just like all the Larks I've ever tasted. Slight bitter notes in the background, ginseng, coffee, really quite toasty and adds to the lushness. Sweet sugary cotton candy notes wreathed throughout.

Verdict:

I like this.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Paul John Bold

Paul John Bold

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

Nose: Red grapes, roast pork, charred orange peel, hints of green tea, hints of peat. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, watery, airy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Red grapes, charred orange peel, roast pork, raspberry jam, hints of red wine. 
Finish: Medium. Red wine, ripe damsons, roast pork, hints of green tea. 

Comments: 

Sherried Paul John! This is fruity, rather sweet whisky, but with a nice hint of charred orange peel. It reminds me of the rather good old-fashioneds that the chaps in the Milroy's of Soho bar do. Very nice indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Armorik Double Maturation

Armorik Double Maturation

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Dark gold
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Sea salt, red grapes, stewed apples, vanilla, black tea, hints of salt caramel. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, slippery. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Stewed apples, sea salt, peat, black tea, vanilla, hints of burning driftwood. 
Finish: Short. Black tea, salt caramel, sea salt, hints of iron filings. 

Comments: 

Matured in sherry casks and fresh oak. Briney and salty, heaped with peat, some hints of smoke, but with a sweet edge. Appley and fresh, slightly tannic. This is what I always imagined Brittany tastes like.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Amrut Kadhambam

Amrut Kadhambam

Official bottling
Single malt - Bangalore
Amber
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, pears, red grapes, chocolate, orange peel, hints of chillies. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, thickens slightly, astringent. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Brown paper, red grapes, chocolate, raisins, hints of raspberry jam. 
Finish: Long. Brown paper, red grapes, raisins, hints of toast. 

Comments: 

Kadhambam means 'mixture' apparently. This is a mixture of peated and unpeated Amrut, but it's fair to say that the sherry influence of the cask has overpowered most of the peat. Besides a hint of toast in the finish, it's all jammy, chocolatey sherry notes. This is good stuff though.

Verdict:

I like this.



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Ma1

Ma1

Elements of Islay, Specialty Drinks
Single malt - Islay
Golden
54.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Malted grains, apricots, cookie dough, vanilla, tangerines, hints of peat. With water, applesauce, pink peppercorns. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, airy, slightly fizzy. 
Tasting:  Sour. Burning leaves, apricots, tangerines, lemon zest, hints of vanilla. With water, pink peppercorns, applesauce, tangerine marmalade. 
Finish: Long. Burning leaves, tangerine marmalade, peat, lemon zest, vanilla. 

Comments: 

Margadale, which Ma stands for, is apparently what we call peated Bunnahabhain. This wasn't too peaty though, gentle hints of burning leaves maybe. That note overlays jammy fruit, with touches of vanilla, and with water, turns slightly peppery and spicy.

Verdict:

I like this.



Ledaig 18 yo 1997/2016

Ledaig 18 yo 1997/2016

Celebration of the Cask, Carn Mor
Single malt - Islands
Light gold
55.6% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, raisins, chocolate, maraschino cherries, ink, panko breadcrumbs. With water, oranges, caramel, cherry jam. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, oily, sticky, syrupy . 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Peat, cherry brandy, ink, chocolate, iron filings. With water, cherry jam, candied oranges. 
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, cherry brandy, ink, hints of coffee. 

Comments: 

Cherry bomb! This tastes like ginja, the Portuguese cherry brandy. There are only a few whiskies that taste like that. I'm lucky to have found this one. It's metallic and inky on the tongue, with floral notes of maraschino. Delicious, turns jammy with water.

Cask #643023.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Friday, 19 August 2016

Teerenpeli 10 yo

Teerenpeli 10 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Southern Finland
Gold, tinge of green
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemon zest, chocolate, grapefruits, cream, malted grains, hints of cotton sheets. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, oily, slightly sticky. 
Tasting:  Salty sour . Chocolate, cotton sheets, grapefruits, white grapes, rolled oats, hints of peanuts. 
Finish: Medium. White grapes, rolled oats, vanilla, lemon zest. 

Comments: 

It's taken me a while to get round to another one of these, from Southern Finland. This is an older expression. It's tart and slightly sticky, complementing those sour notes with a comforting veil of freshly laundered cotton sheets, even a tad cardboardy (but in a good way). Plenty of tart fruits on the tongue and the finish.

Verdict:

I like this.



Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Smögen 3 yo 2011/2015 (Cask 20/2011)

Smögen 3 yo 2011/2015 (Cask 20/2011)

Official bottling
Single malt - Bohuslän
Golden
60.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Peat, smoke, blueberries, toffee, vanilla, hints of orange peel. With water, lemon zest, stewed apples, blueberries.
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, oily, warming. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Orange peel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla fudge, peat, hints of stewed apples. With water, sweeter, chocolate, salt caramel, blueberries. 
Finish: Long. Stewed apples, vanilla, tamarind, hints of lemon zest. 

Comments: 

Oof. This is pretty uncompromising, and to tell you the truth I wasn't looking forward to it. But it's quite good, with notes of orange peel and blueberries wreathed through with smoke. Quite a sour finish though.

Verdict:

I like this.




Saturday, 16 July 2016

Redbreast 15 yo

Redbreast 15 yo

Official landing
Single malt - Southern Ireland
Gold, tinge of green
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chocolate, raisins, lemon zest, brown paper, rhubarb and custard sweets. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, oily. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Orange peel, raisins, brown paper, dark chocolate, lemon zest, apricots. 
Finish: Short. Dark chocolate, raisins, lemon zest, apricots. 

Comments: 

Finishing the Redbreast official bottling trinity! I've had the 12 and the 21, and this is the last one. It's fruity like the others, a bit more chocolatey and raisiny perhaps. Plenty of fruit and chocolate in the finish too.

Verdict:

I like this.



Strathclyde 28 yo 1987/2015

Strathclyde 28 yo 1987/2015

Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single grain - Lowlands
Golden
51.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Salt caramel, chocolate, coffee, orange peel, magic marker, hints of soy sauce. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, oily, volatile. 
Tasting:  Salty sweet. Coffee, magic marker, soy sauce, lemon zest, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Short. Coffee, magic marker, lemon zest, hints of cinnamon. 

Comments: 

Cask no DL 10982. Another aged grain, and like the previous one, it has picked up a lot of savoury, and in this case, slightly bitter notes from the wood. Soy sauce, coffee, even some cinnamony spiciness. Very nice indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Garnheath 41 yo 1974/2015

Garnheath 41 yo 1974/2015

Extra Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single grain - Lowlands
Dark gold
48.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Ink, pear drops, magic marker, vanilla, wood polish, hints of chocolate. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, airy, smooth. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Pear drops, magic marker, brown paper, coffee, apricot jam, hints of fresh baked bread. 
Finish: Short. Chocolate, honey, apricot jam, pear drops. 

Comments: 

Cask no DL 11029. A rare find this, Garnheath! I thought my chance to taste Garnheath had gone for ever. Aged grain is so wonderful, light and estery, yet it's picked up savoury notes from the long aging in the wood. Still plenty of fruity notes though.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Blair Athol 18 yo 1995/2014

Blair Athol 18 yo 1995/2014

Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Central Highlands
Dark gold
48.4% ABV
Dram

Nose: Butterscotch, orange peel, honey, cinnamon, maraschino cherries, hints of beeswax. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, warming, tingly, thickens slightly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Orange peel, candied winter melon, vanilla, whipped cream, hints of beeswax. 
Finish: Medium. Mint, orange peel, maraschino cherries, brown paper. 

Comments: 

Cask no DL 10457. This one is fruity and spicy, candied fruits really. Candied oranges, maraschino cherries, even candied winter melon. And beeswax. A very bold and brassy Highlander. Very nice indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Braes of Glenlivet 25 yo 1989/2014

Braes of Glenlivet 25 yo 1989/2014

Strictly Limited, Carn Mor
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, roast pork, condensed milk, nutmeg, apricots, pears, hints of chillies. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose, airy. 
Tasting:  Sour bitter. Apricots, pears, apple juice, nutmeg, hints of cucumbers. 
Finish: Long. Leather, coffee, apple juice, toast. 

Comments: 

Meaty on the tongue, plenty of fruit. Tart and spicy, eventually fades away to toasty leather and coffee in the finish. It's not the most fantastic whisky in the world, sometimes stuff gets bottled because it's a bit rare and most of the whisky goes into blends.

Verdict:

I like this.



Nikka 12 yo

Nikka 12 yo

Nikka
Blend
Dark gold
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Green apples, orange juice, rhubarb and custard sweets, vanilla hints of white chocolate. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose, cool. 
Tasting:  Sour . Lemon zest, orange juice, green apples, condensed milk, hints of vanilla. 
Finish: Medium. White grapes, condensed milk, tamarind, rhubarb and custard sweets. 

Comments: 

So this is what Nikka have been putting their Yoichi and Miyagikyo into. It's tart, slightly sweet, quite fruity and light. It's a shame about the single malts, they were so much better than this. It's not a bad blend, just... too easy drinking.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tamnavulin 23 yo 1993/2016

Tamnavulin 23 yo 1993/2016

Malts of Scotland
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
55.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Green apples, bubble gum, leather, lemon zest, cream, hints of white grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, syrupy, oily. 
Tasting:  Salty sour . Green apples, white grapes, orange peel, cardamom, brown paper, hints of vanilla. 
Finish: Medium. Toast, white grapes, cardamom, hints of leather. 

Comments: 

Cask #16013. One of those slightly odd whiskies that smell sweet but don't taste that sweet. Aromas of bubble gum and white grapes merge into tart green apple and sour grape skins on the tongue. Tantalising glimpses of sweet fruit hover on the edge of the tongue before vanishing into toasty leather notes.

Verdict:

I like this.



Monday, 4 July 2016

Ardbeg Dark Cove

Ardbeg Dark Cove

Official bottling
Single malt - Islay
Amber
46.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, cream, chocolate, cinnamon, peat, smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, sticky, slightly chewy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sour. Cream, malted grains, apples, sawdust, peat, hints of chocolate. 
Finish: Long. Peat, sawdust, apples, chocolate, smoke. 

Comments: 

Ardbeg 2016 official expression. Creamy, milky even, with plenty of apple. It's peaty and smoky of course, with a woody sawdust note, wreathed with a bit of chocolate. All in all, a decent Ardbeg, I quite enjoyed it.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 1 July 2016

Craigellachie 21 yo 1995/2016

Craigellachie 21 yo 1995/2016

Malts of Scotland
Single malt - Speyside
Amber, tinge of green
52.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Fresh cut grass, raisins, malted grains, white grapes, honey. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, loose, watery. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Fresh cut grass, fresh baked bread, white grapes, apples, toast, hints of smoke. 
Finish: Short. White grapes, apples, lemon zest, rhubarb. 

Comments: 

Fresh and fragrant, cut with malted grains and many, many fruity notes. It tastes young, unaged, less fusty than many other aged whiskies. Nevertheless it's attained a complexity commensurate with its true age. Very nice, if a little short on the finish.

Verdict:

I like this.



Charbay Whiskey Release III 6 yo

Charbay Whiskey Release III 6 yo

Official bottling
Single bourbon - California
Mahogany
66.2% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red wine, prunes, raisins, tobacco leaf, hops, apricots. With water, honey, orange peel. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, airy, slippery. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Prunes, red grapes, tobacco leaf, marijuana, dried apricots, hints of sandalwood. With water, sweeter, honey, raisins, sandalwood. 
Finish: Long. Marijuana, red grapes, sandalwood, fresh baked bread. 

Comments: 

This is hopped beer, distilled into whiskey, so maybe not strictly whiskey. But it's great! Fully sherried, plenty of fruit, and the hops makes it taste herbal, slightly bitter, not unlike, er, weed. Call it a memory of a misspent youth. Fantastic stuff.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Lark Single Cask (#115)

Lark Single Cask (#115)

Official bottling
Single malt - Tasmania
Gold, tinge of pink
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemon, pear drops, raisins, iron filings, dried apricots, hints of marmalade. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, syrupy, thick, sticky. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Caramel, pear drops, dried apples, chocolate, raisins, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Long. Raisins, dried apricots, chocolate, hints of malted grains. 

Comments: 

Heavy, jammy and metallic on the nose, but not unpleasant. On the tongue it devolves into something a little more mundane - chocolatey, packed with dried fruit, maybe a bitter tang of coffee. And so it stays. An interesting whisky.

Verdict:

I like this.



 

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