Smoky Goat Review


“ Goats Head Soup”

Whisky Review # 655

Country: Scotland
Brand: Smoky Goat
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: A mix of Refill, Rejuvenated, Re-Charred and First Fill Bourbon casks 
Chill Filtration: Yes 
Price Range: US$ 25-30 (October 2017)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜’ Negative. Too Thin. Worn Out Casks.

Colour: Golden (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Very Light. There's a faint Smoke there but it's so Thin it feels like a cask of Grain Alcohol was placed in a plane that flew over Islay for 10 minutes. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit but you get the picture. I also find slightly Burnt Toast with a little Margarine, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Treacle, Musty Cereals, Nutshells, Dusty Road, Refill Wood, Straw and hints of Apple-Vinegar, Stale Cocoa Powder and bitter Grapefruit Juice.

Palate: Thin, Watery, Hot and Bitter-Sweet with Grain Alcohol, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Nutshells, Toffee, light Dirty Smoke, Pepper, Menthol, Candies with Artificial Pineapple Flavour, Refill Wood and hints of Stale Cocoa Powder, Dairy and Cured Meat. 

Finish: Bitter-Sweet, Light, Hot and Spicy. The Bitterness increases towards the end. I find Grain Alcohol, Refill Wood, Whispers of Smoke, Ashes and Soot, light Cocoa Powder, White Sugar, Pepper, Menthol, Grapefruit Juice and a hint of Cured Meat.   

Drinking Advice:
I added a few drops of Water and it actually helps to diminish the Heat and the Bitterness. It becomes awfully Thin though.The creators advise you to drink this Blend on the Rocks as the Ice should help to release the Smoky Flavours. My sample was too small to try that out.

Rating: 72 

Nose: 18.5 - Taste: 18 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 18


General Remarks:

Smoky Goat is a mix of Scottish Grain Whisky, Highland - and Islay Malt. It was created by Craig Wallace, who is part of Whiskey Union, a creative collective, looking for unconventional Blends and flavour sensations. It's part of the Diageo Group and its products are distributed a/o by Flaviar who describe themselves as " a band of Spirit enthusiasts inspired by culture, rich history and also the art of distillation who forage the world of Spirits for the finest, rarest and most unique expressions out there and pack it all into a 21st century Members Club". Whiskey Union also released Boxing Hares, a mix of Blended Scottish Grain Whiskies and two Hop varieties namely Cascade, used in the production of American craft beers and Hallertau, used in the making of German Pilsner and Huxley, a blend of Scotch, Canadian and American Whisk(e)y. Smoky Goat is named after the wild goats that roam the rugged parts of Scotland. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Conclusion: I've said it before and I will say it again. It is impossible to create a good Whisky without using good Oak. Smoky Goat is a good example. It is probably made with 70/75% 3 year old Grain Whisky that matured in Refill Oak that was used many times before. The remaining 25/30% consists of young Highland Malt from one of Diageo's large Blend-Driven distilleries and a dash of Islay Malt, most likely from Caol Ila. Do I know this for a fact? No, but it simply smells and tastes like that. I do know that the word Whisky was called Uisge-Beatha in Scottish Gaelic. It means Water of Life. This Smoky Goat needs less Water and more Life!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 14, 2017

The likely Islay Component of Smoky Goat 

Bunnahabhain 18 Years Review


“Down On Funky Street”

Whisky Review # 654

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 18 Years 
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: A Mix of Sherry and Bourbon Casks    
Chill Filtration: No   
Price Range: US$ 100-140 (October 2017) 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜œ Positive. Quite a Personality!

Colour: Mahogany/Chestnut with shades of Brown and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose: My first impression is a Musty Aroma that I can't exactly identify. It has elements of Sulphur, Varnish, Wood Polish and Shoe Polish. It's not really an off-note but it's kinda odd and funky. Be sure to give the 18 Years sufficient time in the glass as this Aroma slowly fades over time. I also find Toasted Barley, Butter Kekse (German Butter Biscuits), Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Pizza Dough, Marzipan, Sweet Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates, Apricot and Figs,  Apple-Vinegar, Grapefruit, Blackcurrant Muffins, Leather, Tobacco, Sandalwood, Nuts, Mint, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Wet Rock and Wet Leaves. The Sherry casks have left their marks. The Nose presents some Dirty, Authentic characteristics. This is not your average mainstream stuff. It may not conquer you at the first sniff but it certainly grows on you. The Alcohol is nicely integrated.

On my way to Islay, May 2017

Palate: Good Delivery. The Wood and Wood Spices are more noticeable by now and fight the Sherry cask notes for hegemony. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet, Oily, Woody, Spicy and Herbal. I find Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Figs and Banana, Nougat, Tobacco, Leather, Heather-Honey, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Menthol, Licorice, Espresso, Herbal Tea, Grapefruit Juice, Soy Sauce and Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup. 

Finish: Quite Long, Woody, Spicy and Herbal. Mostly Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes as well. I find Toasted Barley, Heather-Honey, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Dried Fruit and Nuts, Red Apple, Pepper, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Dried Herbs, Menthol, Licorice, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Tobacco, Varnish and Grapefruit. 

Drinking Advice:

This Bunnahabhain accepts a few drops of Water although added Water does not provoke major changes. Just experiment with a few drops at a time. 

Rating: 87   

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5  - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

๐Ÿฃ   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The Bunnahabhain distillery was founded in 1881 and is located on the isle of Islay, close to Port-Askaig. Since 2003 it is owned by Burn Stewart Distilleries, part of the South-African Distell Group Ltd. At the moment the distillery roughly produces 1,5 million liters per year. The core range consists of the 12, 18 and 25 Years as well as 2 peated expressions, the Toiteach and the Ceobanach. We last visited Bunnahabhain in May this year and were not impressed with the Tour, the Shop and the general outlook of the distillery. I'm pleased to report that very recently the owners have announced serious investments in the amount of 11 million Pounds. Improvements will be made both in infrastructure and in the production process. Everything will be ready by 2020 and I certainly would love to visit the distillery by then!

The 18 Years has been part of the core range for a long time. But in 2010, the new owners decided to give this expression a face lift. Gone are the Caramel and the Chill-Filtration and the 18 years is now bottled at 46.3%. It also got new packaging and presentation. Well done Burn Stewart!

Visit May 2017

๐Ÿท  The Spirit:

The distillery possesses two pairs of Stills with Lyne arms that either have a straight forward or slightly upwards angle. The Spirit is usually light bodied with Sweet Fruit and Nuts. The Water is both sourced from the River Margadadale and Loch Staoisha.

Visit May 2017
๐ŸŒฒ  The Wood:

The 18 years matured in a mix of Refill Ex-Bourbon casks (Around 60%) and Refill Ex-Oloroso Sherry butts (Around 40%). Based on the intensity of Aromas and Flavours I assume that the Sherry casks are a mix of active and less active casks. 

Drinking Experience: Good and Interesting

Conclusion:

In places this 18 Years smells and tastes just as Dirty as Bunnahabhain's walls. But in this case it's a compliment. This is a far away cry from today's average Single Malt. It has balls, charisma and personality. It's not a Single Malt that will appeal to everybody and newbies might find it a bit too Funky. But there's a lot to discover in this Bunnahabhain and it's not a Single Malt you're gonna forget after having tasted it. It has its flaws like the Varnish note but overall it shows a kind of messy balance that is quite unique. It can't be cheap of course but if you have the cash and are willing to Strut the Funky Stuff I can fully recommend the Bunnahabhain 18 years. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 9, 2017

Visit May 2017

The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III Review


“ Touch Too Much”

Whisky Review # 653

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: A mixture of 6 different cask types   
Chill Filtration: Yes 
Price Range: US$ 150-200 (October 2017)
Buying Advice:๐Ÿ˜’ Negative. Too Expensive for what it offers! Get the 15!

Colour: Mahogany with shades of Red and Brown (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: There are two very clear Aromas that jump at you right from the start. Orange-Flavoured Chocolate and (Fortified) Red Wine. I also find Sweet Barley, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Toffee, Vanilla, Caramel, Dried Fruit (Apricot, Raisins, Plums, Figs, Banana),  Heather-Honey, Nuts, Buttered Toast, Citrus like Lemon and Mandarin, Raspberries, Nougat and light Spices and Herbs like Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and Mint. Hints of Cassis Liqueur, Caffe Latte and Tobacco. It's not easy to identify the individual Aromas. It's like opening a big jar of Mixed Forrest Fruit Jam. There were actually moments when it felt like I was nosing a Fruit Liqueur rather than a Single Malt Whisky. The low ABV of 40% does not help in this respect either!  It's not bad mind you but a bit over the top.

Visit May 2017

Palate: Thin, Weak Delivery. There should be a law against bottling high-end Single Malts below 46%. I really mean that. As on the Nose, I find a mixed bag of Dried Fruit like Plums and Raisins, an assortment of Red Berries, Sweet Malt, Vanilla, Caramel, Spiced Mulled Wine, Red Grapes, Orange Liqueur, Marzipan, Nougat, Brown Sugar, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mint, Heather-Honey, Oak and hints of Cloves and Tobacco.
        
Finish: Short and Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour elements towards the Dry end.
I find Toasted Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Orange Liqueur, Nuts, Marzipan, Spiced Mulled Wine, Red Wine (Especially Madeira and Port), Raspberries, Herbal Tea, light Licorice, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger. Menthol and hints of Tobacco and Cloves.

Visit May 2017

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water. It's Thin enough as it is.  

Rating: 82.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5


General Remarks:

๐Ÿฃ   The Distillery and Today's Whisky

The Dalmore Distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson. It is located in Alness on the banks of the Cromarty Firth. It is operated by Whyte & Mackay Ltd, owned by Emperador Inc. since 2014. The King Alexander III is part of the core range together with the 12, 15, 18 and 25 Years and the Cigar Malt. At the moment Dalmore produces around 4 million liters of Spirit.

In 1263, Colin Kintail, the leader of the Clan MacKenzie, killed a huge stag which attacked King Alexander III of Scotland. In return the king gifted the 12-pointed Royal Stag emblem to the clan. When descendants of this clan became owners of the distillery in 1867, they decided to put the emblem on each bottle of Dalmore Whisky, a tradition still honoured today. To celebrate the innovative and pioneering values of the Clan, Master Blender/Distiller Richard Paterson created a unique Single Malt in 2008 by marrying 6 differently matured Whiskies.


๐Ÿท  The Spirit

Dalmore is equipped with four pairs of Stills of various size and form with high Reflux characteristics. Together these stills produce a slightly heavy and more complex Whisky. The Water is sourced from the river Alness.

Visit May 2017
๐ŸŒฒ The Wood

The 1263 King Alexander III consists of six differently matured Whiskies. In no particular order they are: Bourbon barrels from Kentucky, Matusalem Oloroso Sherry butts, Port pipes, Madeira casks, Marsala casks and Cabernet-Sauvignon barriques from France. The last 3 are not commonly used for maturing Whisky. The King Alexander III is a NAS Whisky but it is generally assumed that the Youngest Dalmore in the Blend matured for at least 12-15 Years.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: I was really looking forward to try out the 1263 King Alexander III but I must admit I was disappointed with this Dalmore experiment. I believe there's a limit to what you can do with with New Make Spirit with respect to Cask Finish/Maturation. In general I'm not really a big fan of Red Wine Finishing but there are certainly moments where it works. The Longrow 11 Red is a good example of that. But in the case of this Dalmore there's just too much (Fortified) Red Wine influence. As a result of this you get this strange mixture of an Orange Liqueur and a big jar of Mixed Red Forrest Fruit Jam. Not really bad but not my idea of a premium Highland Single Malt. Because it's quite expensive! I'm sorry Richard but this was One Touch Too Much in my opinion.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   October 5, 2017

Visit May 2017

Bowmore 2000 Review, Benrinnes 1995 Review, Longmorn 1996 Cask 72323 Review, Longmorn 1996 Cask 72319 Review, Auchroisk 1990 Review


“The Ultimate Whisky Company Special”

Introduction:

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. I usually buy these in Holland and sometimes in Germany or the UK. Sometimes I receive samples from friends or readers or independent bottlers. In only two cases I received a few samples directly from distilleries. When planning my reviews for the coming months I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as other Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon producing regions all over the world with special attention to the USA, Ireland and Japan. And last but not least the blends. At the request of many readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific bottler like today or with specific regions, countries or distilleries. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't go into details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. Today's special will look at five Single Malts, 4 from Speyside and 1 from Islay, bottled by the Dutch Independent Bottler The Ultimate Whisky Company. Enjoy! 

Van Wees (The Ultimate Whisky Company)

The Ultimate Whisky Company was founded in 1994 when Han and Maurice van Wees started to select their best casks for bottling under "The Ultimate" label. These Single Malt Single Cask Whiskies are not Chill-Filtered and maintain their Natural Colour. All regions of Scotland are represented in the series. Each bottle is numbered and all cask details are mentioned on the label. Currently, the Ultimate series consist of 35 expressions. You can find them on their website The Ultimate Whisky Company. Since 1994 more than 750 Single Malts have been released under The Ultimate Label. In today's Special I will look at five of their older Single Cask releases. They are no longer available in the shop but you might find the odd bottle on the Internet or in auctions. The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the brands of B.V. Groothandel van Wees, located  in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. 
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Whisky Review # 648

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bowmore 2000
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon Barrel (346 Bottles)  
Chill Filtration: No  
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Neutral. Okay but Nothing Special.

Colour: White Wine/Pale Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose: Typical Bourbon-Matured Young Bowmore. Please give this Malt sufficient time in the glass before Nosing. The slightly Dirty Smoke, a little Tar and Coastal Peat are there of course but they remain in the background. The Alcohol is quite present so you need to find your way around it. On the Nose, this Bowmore shows Sweet, Sour, Mineral and Fruity elements. I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Grass, Musty Straw, Lemon, Brine, light Iodine, Leather, Cigar Ashes, Bread Dough, Green Apple, Wet Sand and Stones, Refill Wood or Wood Shavings, light Pepper, Ginger and hints of Gooseberries, Cured Meat and Shellfish.   

Palate: Sweet with a few Sour, Bitter and Herbal notes. I find Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Charred Oak, Straw, Grass, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Dirty Earth, light Iodine, light Tar, light Soot, Brine, Lemon - and Orange Zest, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Ginger, light Licorice, Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder and hints of Leather, Raspberries and Floral Perfume.   

Finish: Middle-Long and Bitter Sweet with increasing Bitterness and a Metallic  note towards the Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Dirty Earth, Straw, Wet Cardboard, light Iodine, light Soot, Brine, Cigar Ashes, Tannins, Grapefruit, Lemon, Pepper, Ginger, Herbs, Heather-Honey, Licorice and hints of Leather and Dark Chocolate.

Rating: 83 

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5 

Conclusion

This Bowmore was distilled on the 31st of May, 2000. It matured for 12 Years in Hogshead # 1437 and was bottled on the 29th of March 2013. The last known sales price was around 50 US Dollars which is okay. I have no idea of the current value of the odd bottle that's still around on the Internet. Personally I would not bother too much in finding this Bowmore expression. It's not bad but there are some flaws, especially in the Finish. Above all, it's utterly forgettable and without any Wow factor.


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Whisky Review # 649

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Benrinnes 1995
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon cask (345 Bottles) 
Chill Filtration: No   
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜€ Interesting but with a few flaws. Okay at US$ 50,-. 

Colour: Light Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose: Sweet, Mature and very Fruity. My first impressions are warm Apple Pie and Pina Colada. I also find Sweet Barley, Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits),  Vanilla, Caramel, Heather-Honey, Hay, Grass, Pear, Banana, Coconut, Pineapple, Citrus, Apricot, Rittersport Strawberry Yogurt Chocolate, Charred Oak, Ginger, Cinnamon and light Pepper. I would score it higher but unfortunately I also get two less favourable notes. The first one is something Musty that I find hard to place. The second one reminds me of cooked Cabbage. I don't know if the cask is to blame or something happened during distillation. A pity anyway. 

Palate: Bitter-Sweet with some Herbal and Sour notes. I find Toasted Cereals, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Molasses, Toffee, Citrus, Strawberry-Flavoured Yogurt, Grappa, Apple, Pear, Banana, Gooseberries, Heather-Honey, Cured Meat, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Menthol, Tobacco, Herbal Tea, Cocoa Powder, Charred Oak and Dusty Road.   

Finish: Middle-Long. Mostly Sweet but also with a light Bitterness that pops up right at the end. The Alcohol is more noticeable by now. I find Malted Cereals, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Charred Oak, Milk Chocolate, Peach-Flavoured Yogurt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Citrus and hints of Aniseed, Menthol, Licorice, Tobacco and Wet Rocks.

Rating: 82   

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20.5  - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 20.5  

Conclusion

This Benrinnes was distilled on the 6th of June 1995. It matured for 17 Years in Hogshead # 5886 and was bottled on the 4th of June 2013. The last known sales price was around 50 US Dollars which is okay. I have no idea of the current value of the odd bottle that's still around on the Internet. Most of the Spirit distilled at Benrinnes is destined for the Johnnie Walker & J&B Blends and I can see why. It's a robust Spirit that can compensate for lighter components. The Flora & Fauna 15 years is basically the only official Distillery Single Malt. So most Single Malts around are launched by Independent Bottlers. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this Benrinnes expression. It's quite Fruity with some not so common Dairy notes. But during the Nosing and Tasting, the Cabbage and the Musty notes kept haunting me on a regular basis. Still it's certainly an interesting Malt to try out and if you can find it at around 50 US Dollars, give it a go.

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Whisky Review # 650

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Longmorn 1996
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 57.5%
Maturation: Sherry Cask (608 Bottles)  
Chill Filtration: No   
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‰Well Made. Quite Woody! Hard to find. Not cheap.

Colour: Copper with Brown and Mahogany notes (Natural Colour)

Nose: The ABV is quite high so be sure to give this Longmorn sufficient time in the glass before Nosing. I get a little Sulphur but in this case it incorporates without any effort in the Aroma profile. The Sherry influence is very clear and there's a real chance you start humming "White Christmas" when nosing this Longmorn. I find Rum Soaked Christmas Cake dotted with Dried Apricot, Raisin, Sultanas, Nuts, Plums and Figs. There's also Malted Barley, Brown Sugar, Toffee, Caramel, Buttered Toast, Blackcurrant Muffins, Orange Peel, Pineapple, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Road, Oak, Resin, light Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger. Hints of Waxed Leather Upholstery, Floral Perfume and Dark Espresso with a splash of Brandy. The Alcohol is reasonably well-integrated.

Palate: Strong delivery thanks to the high ABV. The Alcohol is quite noticeable by now and so are Wood and Wood Spices. Based on the Palate and also on the Finish I feel that this Longmorn overstayed its cask time for a year or two. The Wood, Herbs and Spices take control and the Fruit moves to the background. I find Malted Barley, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, the Christmas cake from the Nose, Orange Peel, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Menthol, Tobacco, Sour Cherries, Waxed Leather, Dark Chocolate, Espresso and Herbal Tea.    

Finish: Bitter-Sweet, Woody, Spicy and Herbal with good Length. Quite Dry in the end. The Alcohol is quite strong. I find Toasted Barley, Toffee, Orange Peel, Vanilla, Chocolate, Walnuts, Espresso, Brandy, slightly Sour Cherries, Heather Honey, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Herbal Tea, Tobacco, Licorice, light Menthol and hints of Waxed Leather.   

Rating: 86.5 

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5  

Conclusion

This Longmorn was distilled on the 1st of May 1996. It matured for 17 Years in Sherry Butt # 72323 and was bottled at Cask Strength on the 11th of October 2013. The last known sales price was around 175 US Dollars. I have no idea of the current value of the odd bottle that's still around on the Internet. If you like medium-heavy Sherried Speysiders, this Longmorn will certainly please you. You must also like Oak and Wood Spices though as they are quite dominant. Not on the Nose mind you but certainly on the Palate and in the Finish. Personally I believe this Longmorn should have been bottled some 2 years earlier. That way the balance between Wood, Fruit and Spices would have been better. It's still a nice after-dinner Malt though. It won't be cheap though but first you must find the odd bottle! Good Luck!

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Whisky Review # 651

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Longmorn 1996
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 57.2%
Maturation: Sherry Butt (600 Bottles)  
Chill Filtration: No   
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‡ Not cheap of course but Excellent Sherried Longmorn.

Colour: Mahogany/Chestnuts (Natural Colour)

Nose: One of the darkest naturally coloured Whiskies I've Nosed and Tasted so far. First thing I notice is the fact that the Alcohol is nicely integrated in this case. Well-Matured is my second observation. This is a great Nose for Sherry Bomb lovers. There is a bit of Christmas Cake here as well as a little Sulphur but they are an integral part of the Aroma profile and do not stand out. What does stand out though is the high quality Dark Chocolate. Simply delicious. I also find Malt, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Figs, Prunes and Plums, Nuts, Black Currants, Orange Peel, Cherries, Banana, Balsamic Vinegar, Rum, Brandy, Oak, Resin, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol, Polished Leather and Espresso. I get lots of Aromas with every sniff but somehow the balance remains intact. I like that. This is impressive. Good cask, great nose!     

Palate: Strong Delivery thanks to the high ABV. In fact the Alcohol is of course more noticeable but not in an unpleasant way. On the Palate this Longmorn is Bitter-Sweet, quite Dry and with some Herbal and Sour notes. I find nice Thick Sherry, Malted Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Figs,  Sultanas, Apricot and Plums, Cherries, Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate, Rum, Brandy, Oak, Tannins, Orange Peel, Tobacco, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dried Herbs, Aniseed, Licorice, Strong Espresso and Polished Leather. Lots of Flavours but always a nice balance between Bitter, Sweet, Sour, Wood, Herbs and Spices.

Finish: Pleasantly Long. Mostly Bitter-Sweet but with a few slightly Sour tones as well. Again good Balance. Quite Dry towards the end. The Sherry remains Thick and Delicious right till the end. The Alcohol is more noticeable by now. I find Malted Barley, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Oak, Tannins, Walnuts, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums and Prunes, Dried Herbs, Rum, Brandy, Milk  and Bitter Chocolate, Orange Peel, Candied Cherries, Pepper, Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Aniseed, Menthol, Tobacco and hints of Espresso and Polished Leather. 

Rating: 88.5

Nose: 23 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 22  

Conclusion

This Longmorn was distilled on the 1st of May 1996. It matured for 17 Years in Sherry Butt # 72319 and was bottled at Cask Strength on the 23rd of July, 2013. The last known sales price was around 230 US Dollars. I have no idea of the current value of the odd bottle that's still around on the Internet. It's worth the money though. This is a Malt for special occasions like Christmas Eve. What I like most about this Longmorn is the balance. There are lots of Aromas and Flavours to be found but they all work together somehow. And while the Alcohol is strong, it just adds to the feeling of near perfection. The cask was of good quality. Perhaps this Longmorn could have been bottled a year earlier but now I'm nitpicking. If you can find a bottle of this Longmorn just buy it if you have the means. You won't regret it.


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Whisky Review # 652

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Auchroisk 1990
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 22 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon cask (334 Bottles)  
Chill Filtration: No    
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not for everybody! Go for it if you like the profile!

Colour: Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose: Make sure to give this Auchroisk enough time in the glass before Nosing. My first impressions are Cooked Cabbage and Plastic/Rubber. That's not a good start! It smells a bit Dirty and there are some Sour notes. The Alcohol is a little rough as well. You really need some patience here. With time these unpleasant notes get less intense. After half an hour or so I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Caramel, Orchard Fruit, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, light Citrus, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Nougat, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Mint, Dried Herbs and Heather-Honey. I was expecting much more Oak to be frank. In a blind tasting I would never have thought this to be a 22 Year old Malt.  Cask  # 3659 was not overly active in my opinion. At the end I pick up Tangerine notes while nosing the edge of the glass. All in all however I'm not very impressed by this Nose.  

PalateBetter than expected after the disappointing Nose. It's still a bit Dirty and there are many Sour notes but there is something original here as well. This is not your average mainstream Speyside Malt. Here I am, Take it or Leave it. That's the feeling I get here. There's certainly more Oak now and I also find Toasted Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Butterscotch, Nougat, Toasted Nuts, Straw, Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Gooseberries, Lemon, Pepper, Clove, Licorice, Menthol and Ginger. 

Finish: Bitter-Sweet, quite Creamy, a little Hot and Spicy. Medium-Dry in the end. The Oak is more noticeable by now. I also find Porridge, Caramel, Almonds, Heather-Honey, Plum Jam, Citrus Peel (Orange and Lemon), Grapefruit Juice, Gooseberries, Menthol, Pepper, Cloves and light Licorice. 

Rating: 82.5

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 20.5 

Conclusion

This Auchroisk was distilled on the 20th of February 1990. It matured for 22 Years in Hogshead # 3659 and was bottled on the 11th of January 2013. The last known sales price was around 120 US Dollars. I have no idea of the current value of the odd bottle that's still around on the Internet. The Nutty and Malty Spirit of this distillery is mostly used in the J&B Blend. The Auchroisk 1990 is not at all your average Speyside. It's bold and dirty and has a mind of its own. I did not like the Nose a lot but Palate and Finish are certainly interesting. Not a Malt for everybody but give it a try if you fancy the Aroma/Flavour profile. It won't be easy to find though!


Drinking Advice:
Due to the fact that I merely had small samples at my disposal, I only Nosed and Tasted these five Single Malts neat.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   October 2, 2017