Showing posts with label Blended Malt Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blended Malt Whisky Review. Show all posts

Adelphi The Winter Queen II

”Sherry Oh Baby” 

Whisky Review # 929

Country: Scotland/The Netherlands

Region: Mix of Islay, Speyside, Highlands and The Netherlands
Brand: Adelphi The Winter Queen II
Bottled By/For: Adelphi (AD) - Fusion Whisky Series in 2018 - 400 Bottles
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age: 19 Years* (See Text Below)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 54.5% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Mix of First-Fill and Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 315-360  (September 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐It can't be cheap but it is quite expensive!
Buying Advice: 👍Well-made. A treat for Sherry-Bomb lovers!

Colour: Dark Amber (Natural Color)


Quite Sweet with loads of Dark Sherry notes. The Bourbon casks are still noticeable as well though. Dark Red Fruits, Bitter Chocolate and Molasses lead the way. Nice touches of Old Wood. Quite Dry actually. The Alcohol is well-integrated.

Main Aromas:

Toasted and Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Molasses/Syrup, Dark Red Fruit such as Blueberries, Blackberries and (Maraschino) Cherries, Sweet Apple, Dark Chocolate, Nutella, Roasted Coffee/Dark Espresso, Polished Old Wooden Floor, Dunnage Ware-House and Violets.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Marzipan, Dried Fruit such as Sultanas, Raisins, Coconuts & Apricots, Fortified Red Wine, Nectarine, Toasted Pineapple, Wet Forrest Floor, Dried Herbs, Salty Bacon, Leather, Mint, Wax and a faraway hint of Smoke. 


Full, Mature and Oily. Quite Dry. Mainly Sweet but with a few Bitter, Sour and Salty notes for balance. The Dark Red Fruits are now joined by Spices and Wood.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted and Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Molasses/Syrup, Dark Red Fruit like Blueberries, Blackberries and (Maraschino) Cherries, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins and Apricots, Dark Chocolate, Polished Old Wooden Floor, Pepper, Cloves, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Honey, Seville-Orange, Roasted Coffee, Forrest Floor, Musty Dunnage Warehouse, Salted Smoked Bacon, Violets and hints of Munster Cheese and Cold Smoke.


Quite Sweet, Long & Dry. A few light Bitter, Salty & Sour notes offer a little balance. This is Sherry country though! I find Sweet Malted and Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Molasses, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Honey, Sultanas, Seville-Orange, Dark Berries & Cherries, Dark Chocolate, Roasted Coffee/Strong Espresso, Polished Old Wood, Cigar Ashes and Box, Menthol, Licorice, Cloves, Nutmeg and Pepper.

Drinking Advice:

You can add a little Water but you don't have to. The Alcohol is well-integrated and carries and develops the main Aromas and Flavors.

Rating: 88

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


This is the second Winter Queen release. The first one, released in March 2018 was a 9 year old Blend of Scottish and Dutch Single Malts. The Winter Queen II that I'm reviewing today contains much older whisky.

*Its stated age is only 19 years old as the Dutch Zuidam distillery could not contribute with older Malts. The Winterqueen II contains parts of 2 refill ex-Bourbon casks distilled at Teaninich in 1983, part of a 20 Year old Bowmore that matured in a refill Ex-Sherry bud, part of a Sherry-But matured Mortlach distilled in 1993, part of a 19 year old Zuidam that matured in a First-Fill Ex-PX Sherry hogshead and part of a refill Ex-Sherry Butt that contained a blend of matured Highland Malts.

The name of today's Blend refers to Elizabeth Stuart, the oldest daughter of the Scottish king James VI. She was born in 1596 in Fife, Scotland but spent a great part of her life in The Hague in The Netherlands, hence the blend of Scottish and Dutch malts.

The Winterqueen is a well-made and consistent Blended Malt from Nose to Finish. It's quite Sherry driven although the Ex-Bourbon casks prevent it from going over the top. If you're not into Sherried Whisky you should not touch this queen but if you're a Sherry-Bomb adept you're in for a royal treat. Personally I would have added a bit more of Bowmore as it would have enhanced the Smoky touch. But in general this cooperation between Scotland and Baarle Nassau worked out pretty well!


Jan van den Ende                                                                    September 8, 2021

Chivas Regal Ultis

”(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People” 

Whisky Review # 917

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Chivas Regal Ultis
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: A Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Spanish Oak Sherried Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range : US$ 130-160 (June 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive for what it offers. 
Buying Advice: 😑 The Blend is Okay but Thin. Regrettably Forgettable.


Amber with shades of Orange (Artificially Colored)


The first thing I have to notice is the rather hesitant delivery of the Ultis. I simply can't imagine that Chivas goes through all this care and love for this luxury Blend and then bottle it at 40%. It doesn't make sense from a quality point of view. It's still not bad mind you but the statement could have been so much stronger. It's quite Sweet with Malt, (Dried) Fruit, Caramel & Spices leading the way. The Sherry influence is noticeable but not too strong. Good Balance between the two types of Oak used for the maturation.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Sweet Apples, Red Berries, Orange, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Tobacco and Leather.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Bounty Candy Bars, Charred Oak, Grass and Straw, Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruits, Marzipan, Nectarines, Mandarin, Forest Floor, Dusty Track, Cardamom and Nutmeg.

Strathisla, the Rainy Home of Chivas


A Balanced mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes. It just lacks the Power. What a pity!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Mixed Nut and Dried Fruits, Sweet Apple, Orange, Peardrops, Charred Oak, Dusty Track, Tobacco, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
Honey, Toffee, Bounty Candy Bars, Nectarine, Mandarin, Papaya Cream, Leather, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mint , Herbal Tea and Licorice.

Tormore Distillery


Short/Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and Medium Dry. The inadequate ABV leaves you with this thin impression and mouthfeel that spoils most of the fun. There's also a certain quantity of indifferent casks in the mix. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Honey, Sugar, Mixed Dried Fruit & Nuts, Orange, Dusty Track, Grass & Straw, Oak Char, Red Grapefruit, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Licorice, Mint, Cacao, Tobacco, Leather and Black Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to the Ultis. It's thin enough as it is.

Rating: 82.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good.


The Ultis is the first ever Blended Malt produced by Chivas. The use of five Single Malts (Allt-A-Bhainne, Braeval, Longmorn, Strathisla and Tormore) honors the fact that Chivas only had five Master-Blenders since the Blend was introduced in 1909, namely Charles Howard, Charles Julian, Allan Baillie, Jimmy Lang and Colin Scott. The name Ultis is a combination from the Latin words Ultimate and Fortis meaning Strength.

I had expected so much more! The Blenders of Chivas had the chance to produce something memorable on this special occasion. Their biggest sin was to bottle this at 40% but I also feel the cask management could have been much better. It's not a bad Blend mind you & relatively well-balanced but you should expect that at this price level. But it's also utterly forgettable & that's exactly something that a special occasion edition should not be. The Master Blenders of Chivas deserve something better and so do we!


Jan van den Ende                                                                             June 2, 2021

Longmorn Distillery

Famous Grouse 15 Years Review

“Blame It On The Casks”

Country: Scotland
Brand: The Famous Grouse
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
ABV: 43%
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Thanks a lot!

Colour: Deep Gold (Artificially Coloured) 

Nose: I would think that the Malts used in this Blend matured in a mix of Re-Fill Ex-Sherry (Oloroso) and Ex-Bourbon Casks. There is some Sulphur around but not enough to disturb me. I find Sweet Barley, Malt, Buttered Toast, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Plum Jam, slightly Sour Apples, Peach, light Honey, Caramel, Refill Oak, Milk Chocolate, light Vanilla, Espresso and a sprinkle of Salt and Cinnamon. I believe that Glenrothes lies at the heart of this Blend. The Macallan is there for sure but it's much harder to detect any significant influence from Highland Park. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. Although not bad, the Nose of this 15 Year old Grouse does not quite convince me.

Taste: The Delivery is a bit Light. I find Malt, Breakfast Cereals, Syrup, slightly Sour Apples, Vanilla, Peach Jam, Caramel, Cocoa Powder, Raisins, Salted Butter, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Alcohol and traces of Salt and Dirt Road.    

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Woody and Spicy with Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Bourbon, Dirty Earth, Dried Fruits, Refill Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Menthol. Hints of Aniseed and Licorice. The Alcohol remains very present.  

The Famous Grouse 15 Years does not improve with added Water. 

Rating: 81.5  

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: The Famous Grouse 15 Years Blended Malt was a limited edition at first, mainly for the Asian Travel Retail market. Today you can buy bottles in other continents as well but the number is dwindling as the Edrington Group discontinued the Famous Grouse Expressions with Age-Statement. It is said to contain Malt Whisky from Glenrothes, Macallan and Highland Park, all distilleries that belong to the Edrington Group. The price varies a lot depending on where you live but it's usually in the range of 50 to 100 US Dollars. (December 2015). It is Chill-Filtered but not at very low temperatures.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good 

Conclusion: I'm not quite convinced by this Famous Grouse Experience. It does not seem to offer a lot in terms of interesting Aromas and Flavours for a 15 Year old Blended Malt. I gather that most of the Casks used weren't very active ones. The Nose is okay and the Sherry influence is there. On the Palate and in the Finish I miss elegance and depth. The Alcohol remains strong throughout the Nosing and Tasting. I can see why this Vatted Blend was discontinued. It's too expensive as an everyday Blend for most people and for a special occasion lots of people would prefer to buy a Single Malt. I kinda liked the Silver Grouse 12 Years limited edition and I expected a more mature version of this expression when I opened my 15 Years Sample. But to be honest, that not quite the case. I blame it on the casks!

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 17, 2015

Macallan in the Scottish Sunshine