Friday, 8 December 2017

Teeling Small Batch 09/15

Teeling Small Batch 09/15

Teeling
Blended malt
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Toasted coconut, honey, photocopy paper, milk chocolate, hints of coffee. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, slippery, oily, thick. 
Tasting:  Bitter. Fresh baked bread, toasted coconut, honey, coffee, vanilla. 
Finish: Short. Honey, coffee, fresh baked bread, hints of raisins. 

Comments: 

Matured in rum casks. It's got wonderful toasty notes, something like dry-toasted coconut in a frying pan, on the nose. Once in the tongue, this morphs into fresh baked bread, while all the time producing a great hit of honey and coffee. Very nice whisky.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Ardmore Legacy

Ardmore Legacy

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Pale green
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Apples, dried pears, peat, raisins, hints of cardamom. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, loosens, watery. 
Tasting:  Salty bitter. Apples, raisins, salt caramel, smoked ham, hints of cardamom. 
Finish: Medium. Sea salt, smoked ham, peat, dried pears. 

Comments: 

Made from 20% peated malt and 80% unpeated malt. It's a bit odd, there's some subtle complexity here, and very pleasant hints of cardamom, but it's covered with a great whopping layer of peat, and you have to work quite hard to get to the fruity gentle notes. A strange combination, and frankly, I could have done without the peat.

Verdict:

Not bad.



Glendronach 8yo Hielan

Glendronach 8yo Hielan

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

Nose: Raisins, coffee, red grapes, orange peel, hints of vanilla. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thick, syrupy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Dark chocolate, red grapes, vanilla, custard, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Medium. Custard, raisins, dried blueberries, coffee. 

Comments: 

This is a younger version of the Glendronach sherry bombs, pitched at entry level. It's decent, with good complex combinations of bitterness wreathed through with fragrant threads of vanilla and grape. It's exactly what you'd guess a younger version of, say, the Allardice or Parliament would taste like.

Verdict:

I like this.



Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Longmorn 28yo 1984/2013 (Cask 3213)

Longmorn 28yo 1984/2013 (Cask 3213)

Rare Select, Montgomerie's
Single malt - Speyside
Silvery sunshine
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, vanilla, cola nuts, apples, hints of peppermint, hints of jackfruit. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, slippery, mouth coating. 
Tasting: Sweet. Apples, raisins, jackfruit, milk, hints of brown paper. 
Finish: Long. Cream, jackfruit, peppermint, brass polish. 

Comments: 

This whisky apparently spent 28 years in a sherry cask, yet never deepened in colour beyond a silvery early dawn sunshine yellow. It tastes sherries though, plenty of fruit, even tropical fruit, yet overlaid with a strong peppermint note that lasts and lasts. Delicious.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Teeling Single Malt (2014)

Teeling Single Malt (2014)

Teeling Reserves, Teeling
Single malt - Unknown
Sunshine yellow
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, brass polish, lemon juice. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, loose, watery. 
Tasting: Sweet sour. Milk, lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, cream, vanilla. 
Finish: Long. Cream, lemon zest, apples. 

Comments: 

This is probably Cooley spirit, but I can't tell from a quick Google. It's fruity and complex like Cooley though, and is a good stand-in until the Teeling distillery malt is old enough. It's bold and brassy, almost Rosebank-ey, and rather refreshing.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 1 December 2017

Glenturret 28yo 1986/2015

Glenturret 28yo 1986/2015

Cask Strength, Signatory
Single malt - Central Highlands
Dark gold
51.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Hay, chocolate, smoked ham, lemons, sour cream, hints of sea salt. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, loosens, turns watery. 
Tasting:  Sour. Lemon zest, limes, sour cream, stewed apples, hay, hints of sea salt. 
Finish: Short. Lemon zest, stewed apples, orange peel, sea salt, limes. 

Comments: 

Aged Glenturret from cask 296. It's nicely tart with some sweet fruity notes. There's a not-unpleasant thread of sour cream that runs through the whisky, along with some bracing sea air. Complicated but tasty.

Verdict:

I like this.



Imperial 20yo 1995/2016

Imperial 20 yo 1995/2016

Vintage, bottled for the Whisky Exchange, Signatory
Single malt - Speyside
Green gold
50.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: malted grains, milk, fresh cut grass, blackberry jam, plums. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, slippery, tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Fresh cut grass, orange peel, plums, milk, hints of lemon zest. 
Finish: Short. Orange peel, cream, pomelo, malted grains. 

Comments: 

A great chance to try something from the closed Imperial distillery. This one is sweet-savoury, slightly one dimensional on first taste, but deepens into multi-layered citrus notes, grass and creamy milk. Good stuff, and there's not much of this left.

Verdict:

I like this.



Nikka Yoichi Single Malt

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Hokkaido 
Golden
45% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chocolate, raisins, bitter gourd, coffee, hints of sandalwood. 
Mouthfeel: light body, loose, turns watery, airy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Chocolate, custard, coffee, raisins, hints of fried eggs, hints of bitter gourd . 
Finish: Short. Malted grains, sandalwood, coffee, hints of fried eggs. 

Comments: 

My first taste of the new Japanese single malts since they ran out of the aged stock. It's different, more robust and bitter than the previous iterations of Yoichi, with a pleasing egginess, almost rubberiness, alongside fragrant bitter notes.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 24 November 2017

Lg7

Lg7

Elements of Islay, Specialty Drinks Ltd
Single malt - Islay
Golden
56.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Figs, honey, dates, apples, hints of ham. With water, char siu, soy sauce, hints of dried apples. 
Mouthfeel: Medium, turns watery, loose, airy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Chillies, ham, figs, driftwood smoke, peat, hints of dates. With water, char siu, soy sauce, brown paper, hints of dried apples.
Finish: Long. Dates, apples, smoke, hints of ham. 

Comments: 

Lovely meaty notes, wreathed through with a little peat and a moderate amount of smoke. Gentle for an Islay, this whisky has a complex flavour profile. Very savoury nose, yet floral and sweet on the tongue, then deepens into a smoky syrupy sweet finish.

Verdict:

I like this.



Kilkerran 12 yo 

Kilkerran 12 yo 

Official bottling
Single malt - Campbeltown
Golden
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Malted grains, driftwood smoke, raisins, honey. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, static, tingly, slightly astringent . 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Honey, raisins, driftwood smoke, lemon zest, hints of fish sauce. 
Finish: Medium. Malted grains, honey, apples, hints of walnuts. 

Comments: 

Glengyle's latest Kilkerran. I tasted a number of the Works in Progress expressions, and I do think that the finished work didn't quite fulfil their promise. Don't get me wrong, this is still good whisky, slightly smoky and sweet, but in the end, it turned out, well, a bit Springbank-ey, perhaps a bit lighter. It's a decent enough dram, and a good start.

Verdict:

I like this.




St Magdalene 18 yo 1981/1999

St Magdalene 18 yo 1981/1999

Connoisseur's Choice, Gordon & Macphail
Single malt - Lowlands
Green gold
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Fresh cut grass, honey, dates, orange peel, hints of apples. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, watery, loose, airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Honey, orange juice, lemon zest, hay, hints of rhubarb and custard sweets. 
Finish: Short. Malted grains, honey, orange juice, lemon zest. 

Comments: 

The evening's blessings continue! Again, felt very lucky to have the change to try this increasingly rare malt. This one didn't quite live up to its hype though, although it was still very decent. Freshly herbal, and nicely scented with fruit, even after a long period of bottle aging, even longer than it spent in the cask.

Verdict:

I like this.




Glen Ord 23 yo 1974/1997 Rare Malts 

Glen Ord 23 yo 1974/1997 Rare Malts 

Rare Malts, Diageo
Single malt - North Highlands
Pale gold
60.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Honey, photocopy paper, papaya, vanilla, hints of strawberries. With water, mangoes, strawberry jam, hints of palm sugar. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, loose, evaporates. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Papaya, preserved guava, honey, strawberries, fresh cut grass, hints of brown paper. With water, mangoes, palm sugar, burnt caramel.
Finish: Long. Papaya, fresh cut grass, guava, vanilla. 

Comments: 

Wow! Felt truly blessed to be able to obtain a wee dram of this amazing whisky. It was complex and sweet, redolent with tropical fruits. It was even better with water, with the fruity notes deepening into jammy notes, and scarily drinkable even though I daren't add too much.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Glenallachie 2009 cask #900031

Glenallachie 2009 cask #900031

Samaroli
Single malt - Speyside
Silvery
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Pear drops, elderflower, vanilla, malted grains, hints of peanuts. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, thickens, slightly astringent. 
Tasting:  Sour. Vanilla, pears, custard, peanuts, hints of white peaches. 
Finish: Short. Custard, orange peel, sponge cake, hints of elderflower. 

Comments: 

Upon pouring this into a glass, it instantly turned cloudy. I normally don't write about a whisky's legs, but these were wide and thick, despite the low ABV. It was estery and delicious too, even slightly nutty around the edges. Impressively eggy on the tongue, like quaffing custard.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Thursday, 26 October 2017

White Oak Akashi Meisei

White Oak Akashi Meisei

Official bottling
Single blend - West Honshu
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chocolate, coffee, malted grains, honey, hints of red grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, mouth coating, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Coffee, red grapes, vanilla, blueberries, hints of candied orange . 
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, coffee, candied oranges, vanilla. 

Comments: 

Another offering from the Eigashima distillery, replacing an earlier expression that may (or may not) have had some non-grain spirit in it. This is all grain. It's decent, savoury and fruit-perfumed, nice mouthfeel too. There's a teensy hint of chinotto in the finish too.

Verdict:

I like this.




Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Balcones True Blue 100 Proof 

Balcones True Blue 100 Proof 

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Texas
Dark amber
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate chips, sandalwood, hints of cloves. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, loose, airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Chocolate chips, raisins, cloves, vanilla, cream, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Medium. Coffee, raisins, cloves, hints of cinnamon. 

Comments: 

Robust, aggressive and forward, this whiskey is sweet yet laden with spicy notes. It starts to turn bitter on the tongue, then fades to spicy yet again. It's brilliant, and hits flavour profiles from Japan, Scotland and even India. But no - it's American!

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Glencadam 21 yo 

Glencadam 21 yo 

Official bottling
Single malt - East Highlands
Sunshine yellow
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Oranges, vanilla, white grapes, cream, hints of chamomile. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, airy, fuzzy, loose. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Vanilla, lemon zest, orange juice, cream, white chocolate. 
Finish: Short. White grapes, chamomile, vanilla, hints of green tea. 

Comments: 

Gentle and fruity, tastes young despite its decent age. Sweet, turns slightly more robust and creamy after holding it in the mouth for a while. Then it fades away to a fruity, herbal, slightly tannic finish. This is one whisky where I feel adding water would definitely destroy the complexity.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Willett's Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel

Willett's Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel

Official bottling
Single bourbon - Kentucky
Amber
47% ABV
Dram

Nose: Bananas, raisins, peanuts, candy floss, white pepper, hints of caramel. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, syrupy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Caramel, brown paper, bananas, candy floss, golden syrup, hints of white pepper. 
Finish: Short. Caramel, brown paper, treacle, hints of chocolate. 

Comments: 

Wow, this is nice! Not only is this bourbon chock-full of the usual bananary notes, it's got some characteristics of a well sherried whisky - raisins, candy floss and even some slightly spicy white pepper. Very nice offering from the somewhat fictional Willett distillery.

Verdict:

I like this.



Monday, 27 February 2017

Craigellachie 8 yo 2006/2015

Craigellachie 8 yo 2006/2015

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

Nose: Brass polish, raisins, white grapes, apples, chocolate, hints of coffee . 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, slippery, astringent, tingly . 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Raisins, white grapes, coffee, apples, walnuts, hints of driftwood. 
Finish: Long. Coffee, olive oil, driftwood, apples. 

Comments: 

Oof. Nice and complex, many flavours warring with each other. Quite tannic, with the bitter notes jarring slightly with the sweet estery fruit. Maybe it's meant to be this way, balance is not always good. I approve.

Verdict:

I like this.




Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Millstone 12 yo Sherry Cask Matured

Millstone 12 yo Sherry Cask Matured

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

Nose: Red wine, sandalwood, raisins, leather, black tea, hints of peaches. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Black tea, leather, pomeloes, raisins, chocolate, hints of sandalwood. 
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, raisins, sandalwood, hints of coffee. 

Comments: 

Nicely sherried whisky. It's chocolatey, leathery, and more than a little fruity. Quite fragrant, slightly Japanese in character. It isn't, of course, it's Dutch, but the sherry cask influence is generous and flavourful without being overwhelming. Very nice.

Verdict:

I like this.



Saturday, 18 February 2017

Lost Distilleries Blend Batch #7

Lost Distilleries Blend Batch #7

That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Master of Malt
Blended malt
Gold, tinge of copper
49.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Brass polish, lemon juice, hay, soy sauce, hints of leather, hints of cinnamon. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens slightly, chewy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Salty sweet. Leather, lemon juice, raisins, pears, black tea, hints of soy sauce. 
Finish: Long. Black tea, raisins, pears, hints of cinnamon. 

Comments: 

I liked Batch #6, and this one lives up to that standard. Somewhat like a young Rosebank, maybe vatted with a little Yamazaki (what I wouldn't give to try that vatting!), this is really fragrant with savoury umami notes. Great nutty finish too.

Verdict:

I like this.




Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Compass Box Peat Monster

Compass Box Peat Monster

Compass Box
Blended malt
White wine
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Chocolate, lemons, orange peel, peat, smoke, hints of mint. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, turns watery, loose, refreshing. 
Tasting:  Bitter sour. Lemons, oranges, peat, smoke, hazelnuts, hints of raisins. 
Finish: Short. Lemon zest, hazelnuts, smoke, hints of brass polish. 

Comments: 

Worthy successor to the old Peat Monster Reserve. A fair bit more tart, and definitely a lot more nutty, than its predecessor. Good stuff, this.

Verdict:

I like this.



Saturday, 14 January 2017

Girvan 50 yo 1964/2015 (cask 2)

Girvan 50 yo 1964/2015 (cask 2)

Vintage Cask Collection, AD Rattray
Single grain - Lowlands
Gold, tinge of pink
46.8% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, blackcurrant cordial, iron filings, brass polish, honey, vanilla. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens slightly, astringent, hot. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Raisins, white grapes, vanilla, honey, lemon zest, hints of rice krispies . 
Finish: Short. Fresh baked bread, white grapes, blackcurrant cordial, hints of cotton candy. 

Comments: 

Ok, this is a real treat. As I grow older, whiskies older than I am are rarer and rarer. I'm pleased to report that this one is very good indeed. I like the fruity, slightly bitter notes - no bright, brassy estery notes here. It's been very well aged, and there's plenty of cereally notes on the back of the tongue and on the finish.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Michel Couvreur Overaged Malt Whisky

Michel Couvreur Overaged Malt Whisky

Michel Couvreur
Blended malt
Amber
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Black tea, leather, raisins, lemon zest, hints of peaches. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, astringent, thickens, slippery. 
Tasting:  Bitter sour. Black tea, leather, lemon zest, pine needles, coffee, hints of dark chocolate . 
Finish: Long. Black tea, lemon zest, wood polish, coffee, hints of pine needles. 

Comments: 

Nice blend, not too sweet. Pleasantly tannic and astringent, fragrant pine and slightly bitter coffee notes. Good stuff, tastes aged, even though I believe this is about 12 years old or so.

Verdict:

I like this.



Saturday, 7 January 2017

Glen Breton Rare 10 yo

Glen Breton Rare 10 yo

Official bottling
Single malt - Nova Scotia
Silvery sunshine
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Hazelnuts, orange peel, tobacco leaf, maple syrup, hints of brass polish. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, thickens slightly, tingly. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Hazelnuts, sea salt, tobacco leaf, maple syrup, raisins, lemon zest. 
Finish: Medium. Tobacco leaf, maple syrup, leather, orange peel. 

Comments: 

My first whisky from the famous Glenora distillery in Canada. It's different, citrusy without being tart, syrupy without being sweet. There are bitter nutty notes, mixed in with some strangely unpeaty sea salt. Enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 6 January 2017

Dunedin Doublewood 15 yo

Dunedin Doublewood 15 yo

Official bottling
Single blend - Otago
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Mint, raisins, coffee, dark chocolate, dried strawberries, hints of cinnamon. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thick, sticky, oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Raisins, cream, dried strawberries, chocolate, red grapes, sandalwood. 
Finish: Long. Cream, mint, coffee, red grapes. 

Comments: 

Willowbank whisky! Surprisingly salty, with a nice unctuous mouthfeel. Very sweet nevertheless, but also complex and fragrant. Nice minty notes on the nose and the finish. Very enjoyable indeed. Good whisky from a closed distillery.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Millstone 10 yo American Oak

Millstone 10 yo American Oak

Official bottling
Single malt - North Brabant
Copper
43% ABV
Dram

Nose: Lemon zest, rhubarb and custard sweets, brass polish, lemon thyme, hints of sandalwood. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, loosens, slippery, airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Red grapes, lemon zest, vanilla, rhubarb and custard sweets, hints of black tea. 
Finish: Short. Black tea, red grapes, ginseng, lemon thyme. 

Comments: 

Refreshing and lush, this tastes very like a young Rosebank (not that there's a lot of that stuff around these days). It's spicy and grapey, which some stinging on the tongue that's also reminiscent of a rye whiskey. Great stuff.

Verdict:

I like this.



 

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