Showing posts with label Anam Na H-Alba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anam Na H-Alba. Show all posts

A Splendid Speyside Surprise Review

“She’s a Mystery To Me” 

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside  
Brand: A Splendid Speyside Surprise (The Soul of Scotland Series)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 17 Years
ABV: 48.5 %
Sample provided by Thomas from Germany. Many Thanks!

Colour: Golden

Nose: Alternate Fruity and Floral tones. Be sure to give this Malt some time to breathe. I find Malt, Butterscotch, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Honey, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruits, Heather, Grandma's Fragrant Soap, Sherry, a hint of Sulphur, light Vanilla, Canned Pineapple in Syrup, Dusty Road, Wood, light Cinnamon, light Clove, Nuts and Espresso. It's all pretty Delicate despite the quite strong Alcohol that's still around. A bit Musty as well.

Palate: Here the Sherry is much more present. I find Nuts and Raisins, Honey, Toffee, Orange, Canned Peaches in Syrup, Brown Sugar, slightly Bitter Oak, Musty Dried Herbs, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Pepper and Licorice.

Finish: Middle Long and Bitter Sweet with slightly Bitter Orange, Berries, Bitter Oak, Toffee, Hazelnuts, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Mint and Licorice. Quite Dry in the end.

The Splendid Speyside Surprise does not improve with added Water. It gets very Sweet and Malty. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 84.5 

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

River Spey (Photo Credit: Rene Ramon)

General Remarks: The Splendid Speyside Surprise was distilled in 1995. It matured in an Ex-Bourbon Cask and was bottled in 2012 for Anam Na H-Alba, the Independent Whisky bottler from Oberhausen in GermanyThis Single Malt Single Cask Whisky is Uncoloured and Non Chill-Filtered. It was sold at roughly 75 US Dollars per bottle. I'm not sure it's still around! 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: A nice but not perfect Speysider. Quite Fruity, Floral, Delicate and a bit Musty on the Nose. More Robust on the Palate with Sherry and lots of Herbs, Spices and Oak. Personally I believe this rather delicate Spirit has overstayed its time in the Cask a bit. Perhaps 15 Years would have been quite sufficient. It's not easy to identify the Distillery that produced this Spirit. If pressed, I would say that the Sherry and the Earthy, Dusty Feeling would point in the direction of Aberlour or Glenfarclas. But my guess is as good as yours. If you have any info on the matter, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Jan van den Ende                                                         December 15, 2014

South Islay Jewel 5 Years Review

"A Jewel That Needs To Be Tamed"  

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: South Islay Jewel (Anam Na H-Alba " The Soul of Scotland Series") 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 5 Years
ABV: 59 %
Sample Provided By Thomas from Germany. Many Thanks!

Colour: Pale Gold/White Wine

Nose: New Spirit, Apples and Pears, Cold Smoke, Wet Earth, Ashes, Tar, light Rubber, light Leather, Charred Oak, Salted Raw Meat, Fish and Shell Fish, Burnt Toast, Light Iodine, Sweet Toffee and a bit of Citrus. Good interplay between the Cask and Spirit during the 5 Years. The Alcohol is very strong and it's quite difficult to Nose around it. It's your typical young Islay Malt. You either like it or you don't!

Palate: Sharp, Young, Dirty and Edgy with Sweet Peat, Cold Smoke, Wet Earth, Soot, Tar, Brine, Herbal Tea, Burnt Toast, Medicinal Tones, Vanilla, Lemon,  Aniseed, Pepper and Salt.

Finish: Middle-Long and Strong thanks to the high ABV. I find Charred Oak, Tar, Ashes, Wet Clay, Leather, Cold Smoke, Menthol Cigarettes, Grapefruit Juice, Cold Black Coffee, Herbal Tea, Vanilla and Fish marinated in Salt, Pepper and Mint. It's quite Dry in the end.

With a teaspoon of water this young Jewel settles down a bit without losing too much of its original characteristics. On the Nose, the Peat and Smoke become slightly more Civilised and you'll find more Salt and Brine. On the Palate it's almost like tasting a peated New Spirit. Quite Sweet really. The Finish is way shorter with Water. Still, on account of the high ABV, I recommend to add a bit of Water. 

Rating: 85.5

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

General Remarks: Today's Single Cask Mystery Malt from Southern Islay was distilled in 2007 and bottled in March 20-13 at Cask Strength by Independent Whisky bottler Anam Na H-Alba from the town of Oberhausen in Germany. It matured in a Fresh Bourbon Hogshead, is Uncoloured and Not Chill-Filtered. It sells at around 70 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: In a Blind Tasting I might have easily identified the Nose of this Jewel as a peated Kilchoman. The Peat and Smoke are quite similar to the Loch Gorm I tasted the other day. But on the Palate the Sea Elements would wash away that theory quickly. It's probably a young Ardbeg but I wouldn't put all my money on it as I sense some traces of Lagavulin as well. In any case it's a very young Islay that is almost too strong and fiery to taste neat. It does not happen a lot but in this case I recommend to add some water. I won't drink this every day but The South Islay Jewel is a good effort by Anam Na H-Alba. It beats Smokehead in my opinion!

Jan van den Ende                                                            August 24, 2014

Is this the Jewel's Home?