Showing posts with label 8 Years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 8 Years. Show all posts

Ben Nevis 2013 (Signatory Vintage)

“Dirty Work”

Whisky Review # 1027

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Western Highlands
Brand: Ben Nevis - Distilled: 17-10-2013
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 19-11-2021
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Casks # 426 & 430 - Bottle: # 441
Age: 8 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Hogsheads
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 40-45 (July 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😑 Okay I suppose but not worth buying
Buying Advice: 😡 Unpleasant is such a nice British understatement!


Pale White Wine (Natural Color)


Young, Light, Raw, Funky and, frankly, not very pleasant. New Make Spirit mixed with Metal parts. Rotting Fruit/Vegetables. It's been a while since I nosed anything like this. Please give it enough time in the glass to be able to spot some slightly more conventional Aromas as well. The Alcohol is not integrated at all.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Margarine, Grass, Green Apple, Sour Berries & Yellow Prunes, Pear, Lubricant, Plastic, Cabbage, Dirty Smoke and Soot, Nuts and Nutshells, Overripe Banana, Musty Oak, Cheese, Licorice, Milk Chocolate and Aniseed.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Nectarine, Orange, Rubber, Rusty Metal, Chalk, Dirty Earth, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Leather, Tobacco, Pepper and Ginger.


Young, Thin, Harsh, Unfinished. The Raw Alcohol is King here. The label states that this is a Ben Nevis but if it would have stated "Cheap Blend" I would have believed it as well. I can't understand that Signatory Vintage would see fit to bottle this Single Malt at this point in time.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Grass, Dirty Smoke and Ashes, Grass, Sour Green Apple, Grapefruit, Mirabelle Plums and Berries, Nut-Shells, Musty Oak, Licorice, Aniseed and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Wax, Pear, Nectarine, Unripe Banana, Citrus Peel, Metal, Wet Stones, Wax and Chalk, Milk Chocolate, Fish Oil, Stale Black Coffee, Cinnamon and Ginger.


On the Short Side and quite Thin. Some Sweet notes initially but with increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The harsh Alcohol is very present at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, slightly Sour Apples, Mirabelle Plums, Grapefruit & Berries, light Factory Smoke, Dirty Earth, Nut Shells, Fish Oil, Yeast, Musty Oak, Licorice, Grass, Metal, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Ben Nevis neat.

Rating: 5.5 (*****1/2)

Nose: 5.5 - Taste: 5.5 - Finish: 5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Unpleasant

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

I have reviewed a few Signatory Vintage expressions in the last few months and I was not overly enthusiastic about them. But this the worst of them all by far. This Ben Nevis is Too Young, Thin and Harsh and presents various funky off-notes. It should not have been bottled this way. I like Ben Nevis as they are usually not as mainstream as many other distilleries today. But this SV expression should be left alone. Maybe it's a good idea to bury the remaining bottles deep below Mount Ben Nevis and open them in 50 years or so. Who knows!

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                          July 11,2024

Glenglassaugh 2011


”Half a Boy and Half a Man”

Whisky Review # 909

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: Glenglassaugh 2011 - Bottled at Distillery on May 27, 2019
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Distilled on November 20, 2011
Age: Around 7.5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 58.6% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Marsala Hogshead - Cask # 1374
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-90 (0,5 ltr) - April 2021
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Borderline okay for such a Young Whisky.
Buying Advice:😐Good Nose but Palate and Finish are Young and Unsettled.


Deep Amber, almost Brown (Natural Color)


Sweet, Herbal, Spicy. This is Christmas in a glass. Despite the high ABV, the Alcohol is nicely integrated. In general it feels like this Single Malt had much more cask time than its roughly 8 Years. The Marsala cask really left its mark but in this case that seems to work well.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Toasted Barley, German Butter Biscuits. Molasses, Brown Sugar, Marzipan, Slightly Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Sweet Red Wine, Cooked Apples spiced with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Dried Herbs, Oak, Candied Orange, Ginger and Cocoa.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Wax, Dough, Caramel, Vanilla, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Plum-Jam, Peach-Flavored Yogurt, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Grass and Straw, Leather, Tobacco, Pepper, Cloves and Mint.
Filling the Bottle!


Both the Alcohol and the relative Youth of this Glenglassaugh become more visible. It's more Rough and Unsettled than the soft Nose would want you to believe. Mostly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour notes as well.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Butter, slighty Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Marzipan, Candied Orange, Red Wine, Dark Chocolate, Dried Herbs, Mint, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and Licorice.
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Wax, Resin, Grapefruit, Lemon, Plum Jam, Peach/Apricot- flavored Yogurt, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Middle-Long. Mainly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour notes for necessary balance. Quite Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is much more noticeable now and the Marsala cask can't hide the Youth of this spirit anymore. The Finish is a bit Unsettled and Edgy. I find Toasted Barley, Burnt Caramel, Molasses, Toffee, Vanilla, Honey, Oak, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Resin, Dried Herbs, Orange Peel, Grapefruit, Stewed Apple, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Red Wine & Red Fruit, Tobacco, Leather, Licorice, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and while that doesn't significantly change the Aroma and Flavor profile, it does calm down this Single Malt. You can try it out both ways but in this case a few drops can't hurt!

Rating: 85

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat:



The Glenglassaugh Distillery is located in Portsoy, Banffshire and was founded in 1875 by James Moir and his two nephews William and Alexander Morrison. In 1892 the distillery was sold to Highland Distillers and it remained in their possession until 2008. It was closed three times in its history, most recently between 1986 and 2008. In the year 2008 it was revived by the Dutch Scaent Group. Finally, in 2013, Glenglassaugh was bought by The BenRiach Distillery Company that also operates BenRiach and GlenDronach. The core range consists of the Revival, Evolution and Torfa. The distillery produces around 800.000 litres annually. On May 27, 2019 we visited the distillery and did a very nice private tour. At the end of the visit I bottled a 0,5 litre bottle directly from the cask. It was distilled in November 2011 and did mature in a Marsala Hogshead. Just writing this brings back happy memories and a smile to my face. The location of the distillery is just breath-taking close to the bay and I highly recommend a visit.

Marsala is a fortified Italian wine made close to the city of Marsala on the island of Sicily. It's a protected brand name.

This Glenglassaugh is not a bad Single Malt and the Marsala cask works well here. The Nose is quite good and doesn't give its Youth away. But Palate and Finish do and clearly show that this Glenglassaugh needed more cask time. So it's Half a Boy and Half a Man as Nick Lowe once sang. I think that 10 years in good Ex-Bourbon casks and a two year Finish in a Marsala cask would  have really done the trick. As it is, it's okay and Sherry-Bomb lovers might cherish this one too. Personally, I really loved the whole Glenglassaugh experience but I would not buy another bottle of this specific Single Malt.


Jan van den Ende                                                                            April 7, 2021

Amrut Greedy Angels Batch # 2 Review

“One Greedy Angel Does Not Make an Indian Summer”

Whisky Review # 845

Country: India
Region: Bangalore
Brand: Amrut Greedy Angels Batch # 02 - Chairman's Reserve
Type: Indian Single Malt Whisky
Age: 8 Years - Bottled in June 2017
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: Around US$ 270 (December 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎Way too expensive for what it offers.
Buying Advice: 😐 Lots of people seem to love it. I think it's okay!

Colour: Copper with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)


Be sure to give this Amrut enough time in the glass before Nosing. The Alcohol is slightly Sharp at first. It smells quite mature for an 8 Year old but there's a little edge there as well. Did this Amrut perhaps mature in refill casks? Judging by the colour this seems hardly unlikely unless the casks were heavily charred. In any case this edgy note diminishes with time so be patient here! On the Nose this Amrut is mainly Sweet and Fruity with a few Dusty, Meaty & Tart notes that provide balance. The influence of the peated Barley is very limited.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Butter Kekse (German Butter Biscuits), Yeast, Mixed Dried Fruit (Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Plums), Tropical Fruitcake prepared with Mango, Banana, Pineapple and Papaya, Dusty Charred Oak, Orange and Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Straw, Mandarin, Pancakes with Golden Syrup, Lemon, Meat on the BBQ, Wet Paper, Tobacco, Gooseberries,  Ginger and Varnish.


Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry. The Alcohol is quite present and not fully integrated. The Oak is much more noticeable as well. There's certainly a lot going on but to me it feels like an orchestra without a conductor.

Main Flavours:

Toasted and Malted Barley, Brown Sugar, Yeast, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Apricots and Plums), Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Dusty Charred Oak, Fresh Ginger, 
Tropical Fruitcake prepared with Papaya, Mango, Pineapple & Banana, Nutmeg and Cardamom.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Buttered Toast, Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Butterscotch, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate, Orange, Grapefruit, Tobacco and Pepper.


Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and a little on the Hot side. Quite Dry in the end. The Oak influence is quite significant by now. It doesn't really invite me to have another sip. I find Malted and Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dusty Charred Oak, Forrest Floor, Charred Pineapple, Banana, Apple, Mango, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate, Tobacco, Pepper, Cardamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It does not really change the general profile but it's much more comfortable this way. I would advise you to add a few drops in this case.

Rating: 84

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good


The Amrut distillery is located in Kumbalgodu, just outside Bangalore. It started producing Whisky in the Mid-80's but the first Amrut Single Malt was released in 2004. The Greedy Angels I'm reviewing today was launched in 2013. At that time it was the oldest Amrut Malt. In the meantime 10 & 12 year expressions of Greedy Angels have been released as well. These are remarkable ages given the fact that the annual evaporation in India is huge (12%) on account of the hot & humid climate. Greedy Angels can't be cheap therefore. Greedy Angels B. 2 is made with unpeated Indian Malt and a little peated Scotch Barley.

I wanted to love this Amrut as many people whom I know were enthusiastic about this Indian Single Malt. It's not bad for sure but I can't really get into this Greedy Angels and I'm not sure why. For one the ABV seems to high for this Spirit. Adding Water helps here but does not solve my main problems with this Amrut. Even with added Water there remains a funny kind of Sharpness that I usually find with blended Scotch, matured in lack luster refill Wood. That can't be the case here but I am truly puzzled what causes this. The second and more important issue is the fact that, while there are lots of Aroma and Flavour impressions, they do not seem to form a cohesive collective. It's a bit messy in my opinion. As a result of the high Angel's Share this Indian Single Malt is quite expensive. Considering the above you won't see me buy a full bottle!


Jan van den Ende                                                              December 10, 2019

Related image

Ledaig 2005 (Chester Whisky & Liqueur) Review

“Mull Meets Islay”

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland - Island - Mull 
Brand: Ledaig 2005 
Type: Single Malt
Age: 8 Years
ABV: 52.7%
Chill-Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 546

Colour: Very Pale White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: Young, Fruity & quite Peaty. There's still a New Make Spirit feel to this Ledaig and it smells very similar to young Islay whisky from the Southern part of the island. I find Toasted Cereals, Tarmac, Soot, Cold Smoke, Rubber, Wet Clay, Salt, slightly Burnt Toast, Black Olives, Wet Stone, Dried Herbs, Lemon, Grapefruit Juice, light Licorice, light Aniseed, Sour Apples and a touch of Vanilla. The main Aromas are Peat, Toasted Cereals, Soot, Sour Fruit and Salt. It goes without saying that the Alcohol is quite noticeable. It's still a relatively Young Spirit and thus the Nose is not very complex. Still, it's not unpleasant. 

Taste: Fruity and surprisingly Creamy for a Whisky of this age. The Alcohol is quite present of course. I find Wet Clay, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Cold Smoke, Brine, Salted Fish, Grass, Toasted Barley, Lemon, Grapefruit Juice, Pear, slightly Sour Apples, Pepper, Soy Sauce and Ginger. It's a little Soapy from time to time. 

Finish: Quite Long with Wet Clay, Cold Smoke, Soot, Brine, Ashes, Salted Fish, Dried Herbs, Grass, Sweet Barley, Pepper, Ginger, Lemon, Grapefruit Juice, Pear, slightly Sour Apples and Vodka.

I added a few drops of Water and on the Nose Wet Clay and Salted Fish move to the front. On the Palate the Fruit is enhanced and the New Make Spirit feel is quite present. The Finish gets more Pepper and Licorice but also becomes a little Bitter. I prefer it neat but you can carefully experiment with a few drops.  

Rating: 85

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

Picture Credit: The Whisky Cask

General Remarks: The Tobermory Distillery is located on the Hebridean Island of Mull. It was formerly named Ledaig and was founded in 1798 by John Sinclair. Nowadays it is owned by the Distell Group that bought Burn Stewart Distillers in 2013. The Distillery produces unpeated Malt under the name Tobermory and peated Malt under the old Distillery name Ledaig. The whisky is mainly used in blends like Black Bottle and Scottish Leader. The Ledaig we are tasting today was distilled in 2005 and matured in an Ex-Bourbon Hogshead. It was bottled at Cask Strength by Independent bottler Chester Whisky & Liqueur Company Ltd, Chester (UK) in 2013. Unfortunately, this company closed its doors in the same year. It costs between 60 and 85 US Dollars but it will be very difficult to find as only 238 bottles went to the market (June 2016).

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: Before I started Nosing I wasn't expecting a lot to be honest. Young peated whiskies tend to be a little Sharp and Monotonous. But I was pleasantly surprised by this Ledaig expression. It's a young Spirit of course and you can't ignore the Alcohol (Vodka) as it's all over the place. But there's something very interesting going on here. It's like the Whisky tells you "This is the way I am mate, take it or leave it". And I must say that it works for me. You should not buy this Ledaig if you're only starting to get familiar with peated Whisky. But if you adore young Ardbeg or Laphroaig you might want to give this a try. It won't be easy to find but you won't regret the effort!  

Jan van den Ende                                                                      June 17, 2016

Millstone 100 Rye Review

“We're Almost There”

Country: The Netherlands
Brand: Millstone 100 Rye
Type: Small Pot Still Rye Whisky 
Age: 8 Years
ABV: 50 %

Colour: Chestnut

Nose: The Alcohol is strong so you'll have to nose your way around it. There is quite a bit going on here. I find Sour Rye-Bread, Chocolate-Milk (Chocomel), Oak in the form of Pencil Shavings, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Varnish, 
Menthol, Grass, Aniseed, Citrus Peel, Mashed Bananas and Peach Preserves. Not many people would recognise this as a Dutch Whisky in a Blind Tasting and for the time being that's a compliment!

Palate: Quite Strong and Spicy Delivery with Rye Bread, Caramel, Vanilla, Mint, Lemon, Ginger, Brown Sugar, Pepper, Cinnamon, New Oak and Varnish.

Finish: Middle Long and Spicy with New Oak, slightly Bitter Almonds, Ginger Ale, Mint, Pepper, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Varnish and Buttered Toast.

I added a bit of Water but that does not improve this Millstone 100 Rye. 

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21 

New Pot Stills at Zuidam Distillery

General Remarks: The Zuidam Distillery was founded in 1974 by Fred van Zuidam and his wife Helene and is currently run by their sons Patrick and Gilbert. It is located in Baarle-Nassau on the Dutch-Belgian border and is the only Distillery in The Netherlands that ferments, distills, ages and bottles at its own premises. Next to Rye Whisky, Zuidam also produces Malt Whisky, Gin, Rum, Genever and Liqueurs. The name Millstone derives from the Windmills that are used by Zuidam to mill the Malted Barley. The sample that I'm tasting today does not mention any specific data but I'm pretty sure it was bottled in 2013. The 100 stands for 100% Rye, maturation of a 100 Months in 100% new American Oak Casks and bottling at 100 Proof. It's not cheap at around 70 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: First of all I would like to congratulate Zuidam on this Rye Whisky as it's one of the very few made outside the USA. And on the Nose it can most certainly compete with its American brothers. On the Palate and in the Finish however I'm not too fond of the Young Oak and Varnish Tones. Perhaps eight years in New American Oak is a bit too much. I wonder what would happen if you would mature this Spirit in a Mix of New - and Refill American Oak. In any case, the Millstone 100 Rye is a good, albeit quite expensive Dutch product. And I'm pretty sure that future Rye expressions will be even better. So I will end with a song that Andy Williams sang a long time ago: "We're Almost There" 

Jan van den Ende                                                          November 5, 2014