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

Old Parr Silver Review



“Not Quite Up To Par”

Whisky Review # 811

Country: Scotland
Brand: Old Parr Silver 
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottled By: MacDonald Greenlees Distillers Ltd, Edinburgh (Diageo)
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon Casks and probably a bit of Refill Sherry Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes , to minus six degrees Celsius
Price Range: US$ 20-25 (April 2019)
Buying AdviceP/Q ratio okay for Mixing Whisky. Not good enough for sipping.

Colour:

Full Gold (Artificially Coloured)

Nose

Your typical Bottom-Shelf Blended Scotch Nose. Young, Thin and Sugary Sweet. A few Sour notes as well. Grain Alcohol and Refill-Oak are noticeable. I would think that the whiskies used in this blend mainly matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks. I do believe there's a bit of Refill Sherry Wood involved as well. No real off-notes.

Main Aromas:

Sugared Cereals, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Figs, Nut Shells, Pineapple, Refill Oak and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Apple-Vinegar, Pear, Cloves, Ginger, Tobacco and Leather. Mere hints of Smoke and Rubber.

Tasting at Cragganmore May 2014

Palate:

Young, Thin, Sugary Sweet and slightly Watery. No real off-notes.


Main Flavours:

Sugared Cereals, Toffee, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Red Apple, Nutshells, Orange, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toast/Biscuits, Vanilla, Lemon, Dried Herbs, Honey, Leather and Tobacco.

Finish:

Short and Thin. Sugary Sweet at First but with increasing Bitterness towards the Dry End. I find Sugared Cereals, Sugared Tea, Toffee, Caramel, Honey, Citrus Fruit, Dried Herbs, Grain Alcohol, Pepper, Ginger, Licorice, Tobacco, Wet Green Leaves and vague hints of Cocoa Powder and Apple.

Drinking Advice:

The Old Parr Silver does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 74

Nose: 19 - Taste: 18.5  - Finish: 18 - Overall: 18.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

This blend is named after Thomas Parr, an Englishman said to have died at the age of 152 years and nine months. Thomas was renowned during his lifetime for his wisdom and maturity. He was interred at Westminster Abbey in the year 1635. The Blend was introduced by the Greenlees brothers in 1871. Today, the two main suppliers of Malt whisky for this Blend are owned by Diageo, namely Cragganmore and Glendullan. The packaging is very retro and the bottle is quite old-fashioned as well. South America has always been one of the main markets for Old Parr. In Western Europe this Blend disappeared in the 80's.

The Silver was released in 2013. Legend has it that during a severe Scottish winter, some casks with premium whisky were left outside in the cold and snow by mistake. When they were found later it appeared that the super chilled liquid was very smooth. Inspired by this story the Blenders of Old Parr chill-filtered the Silver to minus 6 degrees Celsius.

The producers claim that the enhanced Chill-Filtration leaves the Silver much smoother than comparable blends. I have to admit that it's not a Harsh blend. It is also quite cheap and therefore you can't expect miracles. The Grain Alcohol rules and the Malt content is hardly noticeable. Old Parr Silver is Light, Young, relatively Mellow and Sugary Sweet. No off-notes. It's not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky but the good P/Q ratio makes it an alternative as a mixing Alcohol. It's also reasonable over Ice.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende .                                                                      April 3, 2019

Glendullan

Black Bottle Review



“Black Isn’t Black  Anymore”

Whisky Review # 809

Country: Scotland
Brand: Black Bottle - 2013 Relaunch
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottled By: Gordon Graham & Comp. Ltd. Glasgow
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon Casks and probably a bit of Refill Sherry & Virgin Oak
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 22-28 (March 2019)
Buying Advice: P/Q ratio: ๐Ÿ‘on the Rocks. It's not a sipping Whisky though ๐Ÿ˜’

Colour:

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Bitter-Sweet and quite Thin and Light. The Grain Alcohol rules and it represents at least 70% of this Blend. Only a touch of Peat and Smoke. There aren't any real off-notes but this smells like thirteen Blends in a dozen.

Main Aromas:

Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Dusty Refill Oak, Floral Perfume, Grass, Herbal Tea, Sultanas, Cooked Pear, Nutshells, Lemon, Pepper and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toast and Margarine, Vanilla, Heather, faint Smoke and Ashes, Banana Bread, Ginger, Cloves, Tobacco and Licorice. A little Rubber perhaps.


Palate:

Light, Thin, a little Edgy and a little Sour but mainly Bitter-Sweet.


Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Sugared Cereals, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Grass/Straw, slightly Burnt Toast, Dairy, Cocoa Powder, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Ginger and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Floral Perfume, Sour Apple, Artificially Flavoured Candies, Refill Oak, Heather, faint Smoke, Dusty Track, Plum Jam, Nut Shells and Cloves.


Finish:

Short and Bitter-Sweet with Grain Alcohol, Cereals, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Refill Oak, Nut Shells, Sultanas, Heather, light Smoke & Ashes, Herbal Tea, Hospital, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice, Cocoa and a light Metallic off note.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that's not such a bad idea. It becomes less Harsh that way. Don't overdo it though as you will quickly kill this Blend.

Rating: 71

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Light but Good

Conclusion:

Black Bottle was first released in 1879 by the brothers Charles, David & Gordon Graham in Aberdeen. The Blend immediately called attention as it was bottled in black glass imported from Germany. Package/Design/Bottle and the formula of the Blend have changed many times over the years. In a recent past the Black Bottle was said to contain Malt of all the Islay distilleries. It was quite a peaty affair at the time and Black Bottle had many fans although it was actually packed in a bottle made with green glass. In 2013 the new owners Burn Stewart and distiller Ian MacMillan decided to try and go back to a formula close to the one used in 1879. That meant less Smoke and more Fruitiness and balance. The Black Bottle was also restored. The Malt contents of this blend are not known but you can safely assume it contains Malt Whisky from the distilleries owned by Burn Stewart i.e. Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory (Ledaig).

I never tasted the old peaty Black Bottle so I can't make a comparison. But I'm sure the new formula won't please the old fans. The Peat & Smoke are almost gone and it has become a regular bottom-shelf blend like so many others. No real off-notes but no real pleasures as well. This is not good enough as a sipping Whisky. Since I bought a full bottle at the Travel Retail Shop I also tried it on the rocks and I must admit that that works pretty well. It's Light for sure but pleasantly enough. If you're looking for a nice sipping Whisky you should stay away but if you're looking for a cheap Drinking Whisky on the Rocks this is a good alternative!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   March 26, 2019

Johnnie Walker White Walker Review

Image result for johnnie walker white walker

“Back To Black”

Whisky Review # 796

Country:Scotland
Region: Includes Single Malt from Speyside and the Highlands
Brand: Johnnie Walker White Walker - Limited Edition - Games of Thrones
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 41.7 %
Maturation: I would think mainly 2nd/3rd Refill Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes (1.5 C)
Price Range: US$ 35-45 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘for the idea! ๐Ÿ‘Žfor the P/Q ratio. 

Colour:

Light Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Young and Light, almost Thin. The Grain Alcohol is more than present. It likely presents around 70% of this Blend. I get a bit of the Barley Juice known from Cardhu. But there's not much going on. It's quite Sweet with lots of Caramel, Toffee and the likes. The Nose is saved by a bit of Fruit. It does not smell so harsh as the Red Label though!

Main Aromas:

Caramel, Toffee, Toast and Margarine, Grain Alcohol, Boiled Sweets, Banana, Green Apple, Lemon and Gingerbread.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Bounty Bars, Orange, Apricot Flavoured Yogurt, White Wine, Refill Oak, Gooseberries, Varnish and Mint.

Cardhu
Palate:

Young, Sweet, Thin and a bit Harsh. The Grain Alcohol rules big time. There are no real Off-Notes but this does not qualify as a sipping Whisky. It simply lacks Flavour!

Main Flavours:

Caramel, Toffee, Grain Alcohol, Green Apples, Pears, Lemon, Grass, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Golden Syrup, Sweet Barley, Refill Oak, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Candied Almonds, Dried Herbs and Mint.

Image result for johnnie walker white walker

Finish:

Short and Sugary Sweet with a few Bitter and Sour notes as well. The Alcohol slightly kicks at you towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Gooseberries, Grass, Green Apples, Lemon, Boiled Sweets, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Refill Wood, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water but the White Walker starts to resemble a cheap Flavoured Vodka. I also tried it directly from the Freezer. It becomes Thicker that way but Flavours and Aromas, if any, become even harder to detect. The best way is to drink it is over Ice with a little added JW Black for Flavour.

Rating: 79

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay

Drinking Experience direct from the Freezer: Below Average

Conclusion:

It seems utterly obvious but you still have to give some credit to the marketing people employed by Diageo. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series of all times and making the link to Johnnie Walker was an excellent idea. As usual, Packaging and Presentation are first class and the fact that this Blend contains some Clynelish, Diageo's most Northern Scottish mainland distillery is a nice touch. The packaging even states that this Blend is produced North of the Wall. As so often with JW though, the quality of the Whisky does not stand up to the Marketing and the Price. The White Walker is dominated by harsh Grain Whisky. It is saved on the Nose by a little Fruit but Palate and Finish are only slightly better than JW Red. Therefore the P/Q ratio sucks. I have reviewed lots of JW Blends in the meantime but in the end I always follow up the advice of the late great Amy Winehouse and go "Back to Black".

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 January 22, 2019
Image result for clynelish distillery

Glen Calder Review - The Naked Grouse Review, Rock Oyster Review - Big Peat Christmas Edition 2013 Review - Big Peat 25 Years Review


“Blended Scotch Whisky 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 I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as most of the 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 Blended Whisky like today or with specific bottlers, countries, regions or distilleries. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate more 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. In today's special I will review a mixed bag of 5 Blended Scotch Whiskies. Enjoy!
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Image result for Glen Calder Blended whisky

Whisky Review # 707

Country: Scotland
Region: Glenlivet District/Mainly Speyside
Brand: Glen Calder
Bottled by: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky - Mix of Grain & Malt Whiskies
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Information not available. Probably mostly Refill Bourbon casks.    
Chill Filtration: Yes         
Price Range: US$ 30-35 (April 2018) 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ At US$ 30 it's an okay Blend. Don't expect miracles though!

Colour:

Dark Gold (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light but without the Aggressive Grain Note that I dislike in most Bottom Shelf Blends. The same goes for the Alcohol. It's there of course but it doesn't really spoil the Nosing party. The Nose is Sweet with Fruity, Grassy and Cereal notes.

Main Aromas:

Soft Grain, Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Toast with a Butter/Margarine mix, Toffee, Vanilla, Orange, Straw/Grass, Apple and Green Coffee Beans.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Brown Sugar, Caramel, Yeast, Nuts and Nutshells, Heather-Honey, Dusty Earth, Fresh Herbs, Cinnamon, Oak, Lemon, Grapefruit Juice, Cocoa Powder and a few Green notes that I can't put my fingers on.

Palate:

Relatively Weak delivery. Light, Dry and Sweet. The Alcohol and Refill Oak are more noticeable by now.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Toffee, Caramel, Resin, Apple, Cinnamon, Refill Oak, Pepper, Cloves and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Plum Jam, Caffe Latte, Dusty Earth, Heather-Honey, Cocoa Powder, Caffe Latte  and Menthol.

Finish:

Light, Short, Sweet and a little Harsh. A couple of slightly Bitter notes towards the Dry end. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, light Spices like Pepper and Nutmeg, Nutshells, Refill Oak, Licorice and hints of Caffe Latte, Menthol, Licorice, Dusty Earth, Apple, Milk Chocolate and Soy Sauce.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose gets very Weak. I do pick up a light Peach note on the Palate but all in all you better sip this Glen Calder neat.

Rating: 79

Nose: 21 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5

Drinking Experience:

Okay 

Conclusion:

The Glen Calder is one of the older Blends in the Gordon & MacPhail portfolio. I even saw a 40 Year Old on the Internet. Apparently it was initially released on the Italian market only but nowadays it is available in most European countries and also in the USA. There is isn't a lot of information available for this Blend with respect to contents and maturation. I think it most likely matured in Refill Bourbon casks. It's a mixture of Grain and Malt Whiskies and most likely those Malt Whiskies are from Speyside. At around US$ 30 the Glen Calder is not a bad option if you're looking for a Blended Whisky. It's quite Light and Sugary Sweet but also less aggressive and more friendly than a lot of its peers. Don't expect miracles though. It is what it is!

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Whisky Review # 708

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands/Speyside
Brand: The Naked Grouse
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: First Fill European Oak Sherry Casks are used in this Blend.
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 35-40 (April 2018).
Buying Advice:๐Ÿ˜€ Excellent P/Q Ratio. If you like Sherried Whisky, go for it!  

Colour:

Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

The Sherry Cask influence is very clear. I pick up a little Sulphur but it stays well within acceptable limits. The Nose is Thick, Sweet and Malty and most of the usual Sherry cask Aromas are also to be found.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricot, Figs and Plums, Caramel, Vanilla, Walnuts, Orange, Peach-Jam, Cherries, Charred Oak, Nutmeg Cinnamon and Milk Chocolate.       

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Polished Leather, Mint, Licorice, Old Books, Smoke, Ashes and Cooked Rhubarb.  


Palate:

The delivery is a little Thin. The ABV is simply too low. On the Palate, the Naked  Grouse is Sweet with a few Sour notes as well. Quite Dry towards the end. I must admit I hardly notice any aggressive Grain components.    

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Figs, Apple and Raisins, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Sour Cherries, X-Mas Cake, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Chocolate, Nuts  and Charred Oak.   

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Raspberry, Resin, Orange, Herbs, Tobacco, Leather, Aniseed, Licorice, Espresso , Tobacco and Ashes. 

Finish:

Middle-Long, Dry and a bit Light. The ABV could have been slightly higher. Quite Sweet and Spicy. I get in the mood for Christmas! I find Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, X-mas Cake, Chocolate, Nuts, Orange, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Oak, Espresso and hints of Tobacco, Leather and Cigar Ashes.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to the Naked Grouse. It's already sufficiently "Naked".

Rating: 85 

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

Drinking Experience:

Good. The ABV is a tad too low. 

Conclusion:

The Naked Grouse I'm tasting today was one of the last creations of Master Blender John Ramsay who recently retired after having worked for the company for 40 years. His successor, Gordon Motion was also involved in the process. The Single Malts Macallan and Highland Park are at the heart of this Blend that might also contain Glenturret and Glenrothes Malt along with the Grain Whisky. It is said that the components for this Blend matured in First Fill Sherry casks. I think that's likely as far as Macallan and Highland Park are concerned. But I find it hard to believe that Grain Whisky matured in Sherry casks as well. A Finish in Sherry casks might be more likely. If anybody has complete knowledge in this matter, please let me know.

Just very recently this Naked Grouse has been replaced by a new version. This new version is a Blended Malt Whisky and is said to contain Single Malt from the Macallan, Highland Park and Glenturret. The components matured in a mix of First-Fill and Refill Bourbon and Sherry casks and were married for six months in First-Fill Oloroso Sherry Butts. Will try go get a sample as soon as possible.

Back to the "old" Blended Naked Grouse. It's not perfect but it offers a lot of Aromas and Flavours for its Price despite the too low ABV. Okay, there's a little Sulphur and a few slightly Sour notes but if you like the general Sherry Flavour profile you can't go wrong with the Naked Grouse. It's a pity it was discontinued but I'm already looking forward picking up a sample of the new vatted/blended All-Malt version. Cheers! 


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Image result for rock oyster blended whisky

Whisky Review # 709

Country: Scotland
Region: Islands (Orkney, Arran, Jura and Islay) 
Brand: Rock Oyster - Small Batch
Bottled By: Douglas Laing
Type: Blended Scotch Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.8%
Maturation: Information not available. Most likely Refill Bourbon Casks.  
Chill Filtration: No          
Price Range: US$ 50-60 (April 2018).
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜’ Too Young for me. Too expensive for what it offers.    

Colour

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, Yeasty, Grassy and Salty. Some Sour, Sweet, Mineral and Peaty notes as well. There is a certain New Make feeling to the Nose. Young Arran, Caol Ila and Jura spring to my mind. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Toast and Margarine, Yeast, Wet Rock and Sand, Grass, Brine, Smoked Fish/Shellfish, Sour Apple, Pear, Lemon, Coastal Peat and Ashes.  

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Iodine, Band-Aid, Tar, Heather-Honey, Dried Herbs, Grappa, Pepper, Licorice, Oak, Pineapple and Cooked Vegetables.     


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, Salty, Grassy, Young, a little Hot, Herbal and slightly Metallic.   

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grass, Green Apple, Pear, Coal, Ashes, Coastal Peat, Tar, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper and Aniseed.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Milk Chocolate, Heather-Honey, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Cocoa Powder, Lemon, Grapefruit, Menthol, Cloves and Nutmeg.     

Finish:

Middle-Long, Hot, Bitter-Sweet, Salty and Herbal. A few Metallic and Medicinal notes towards the end. I find Wet Stone, Coastal Peat, Iodine, Cold Smoke, Licorice, Ashes, Green Apple, Pear, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon, Menthol, (Shell) Fish, Lemon, Grapefruit and Cocoa Powder.         

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and on the Nose I get a waft of Citronella Insect Repellent and some slightly Burnt Cereals. The Palate becomes more friendly as the Alcohol retreats but the Metallic notes in the Finish increase. I would suggest to try out a few drops at the time.

Rating: 80   

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20   

Drinking Experience:

Average. Too Young and Edgy for my taste.

Conclusion:

Rock Oyster was launched in 2015 and is part of Laing's range of Blended Malt Whiskies each honouring a specific Sottish Whisky Region. The others are Big Peat (Islay), Scallywag (Speyside), Timorous Beastie (Highlands) and Epicurean (Lowlands). There are lots of people that love Young, Hot Peated Islay Whisky but in general I'm not one of them. Not enough balance for my taste. And too much of a New Make feeling to it. It lacks proper maturation. Therefore the Rock Oyster does not work for me, more so because of the Metallic off-notes. If you love Young, Medium-Peated Whisky however, by all means give it try. Although it is a tad too expensive for what it offers! I would pay maximum US$ 40 for this.


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Image result for big peat christmas edition 2013

Whisky Review # 710

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay 
Brand: Big Peat - Christmas Edition 2013 (A Real Cracker) 
Bottled by: Douglas Laing
Type: Blended Scotch Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 54.9% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: No Information available. Probably mainly Refill Bourbon casks    
Chill Filtration: No         
Price Range: Around US$ 70 (April 2018) - Discontinued
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Neutral. Nice Whisky. Quite expensive though.   

Colour

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young but less Aggressive than the Rock Oyster above. Dry, Smoky and Grassy. A few Sour, Salty and New Make Spirit notes as well. There is a bit of Fruit but it smells slightly Artificial.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Toast, Cold Smoke, Wet Peat, Iodine, Ashes, Fish and Shellfish on the BBQ, Brine, Soot, Tar, Lemon, Green Apple, Sour Cherries, Pear, Grass and Fresh Espresso.            

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Leather, Floral Soap, Almond-Chocolate, Herbs (Mint), Aniseed, Pepper, Unripe Banana and Tea.  


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, Salty, Grassy, Dry, Young, slightly Medicinal and quite Oily. 

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Cold Smoke, Wet Earth, Iodine, Grass, Tar, Soot, Brine, Ashes, Smoked Fish & Shellfish, Pear drops, Heather-Honey, Charred Oak, Grapefruit, Lemon, Pepper, Espresso, Salted Caramel and Almonds.               

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Rubber, Plastic, Green Apple, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Aniseed, Tobacco, Chocolate and Ginger.           

Finish:

Middle-Long, Young, a little Edgy, Bitter Sweet and quite Dry. I find Salty Toffee, Sweet Barley, Almonds, Milk Chocolate, Cold Smoke, Wet Earth, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Lemon, Fish & Shellfish on the BBQ, Fatty Bacon, Pepper, Aniseed, Licorice, light Plastic, light Oak, light Rubber and Herbal Tea.       

Drinking Advice:

The Big Peat does not improve with added Water  

Rating: 83.5   

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21  

Drinking Experience:

Good.

Conclusion:

Big Peat is a quite popular heavily peated Blend, made with Malt from Caol Ila, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and a touch of the closed Port Ellen that gives it extra Sales Power. A Limited Special Edition is traditionally launched around Christmas Time. I'm tasting the 2013 edition today. Despite the fact that this Big Peat is quite Young, it has sufficient Aromas and Flavours to keep you busy for a while. It works much more balanced and less immature than the Rock Oyster for instance. It's a nice dram to enjoy after a walk from Port Ellen to say Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Although the character is slightly more Caol Ila in my opinion. My main problem is the price. You can buy most entry Islay malts for a lot less. So that's what I would do although you can't deny the slick marketing of the Big Peat series.


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Whisky Review # 711

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Bottled by: Douglas Laing - Limited Edition (3000 Bottles) -Bottled 2017
Brand: Big Peat (The Gold Edition)
Type: Blended Scotch Malt Whisky
Age: 25 Years (Distilled 1992)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.1% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Info not available. Probably Refill Bourbon Casks.    
Chill Filtration: No         
Price Range: US$ 200-250 (April 2018).
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ Simply Delicious. Must buy if you can spare the cash!    

Colour

Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

I really love the smell of fully-matured Islay. Great balance between the peaty elements and the other Aromas. Sweet but in a pleasant way. Nice interplay between Spirit and Wood. The Alcohol is nicely integrated. Not very complex but simply delicious Nose. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Burnt Caramel, Hay, Vanilla, Wet Rock, Wet Sand, Fish and Shellfish on the BBQ, light Smoke, Tar, Ripe Bananas and Nuts.            

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather Honey, Lemon, Mandarin, Pineapple, Aniseed, Pepper, Cinnamon, Brine, Peach, Charred Oak, Brine, Iodine and Cured Ham.
     

Palate:

The delivery is not quite as strong as I expected but adequate nevertheless. A nice balance between Sweet, Salty, Peaty, Fruity and Spicy notes. The Oak is more noticeable by now but in a good way. Quite Dry! I'm pretty sure Caol Ila, Laphroaig and Bunnahabhain are part of the Blend. 

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salty Caramel, Brine, Coastal Peat, light Smoke, Ashes, Smoked Fish, Cured Ham, Pepper, Nutmeg, Apple, Charred Oak, Roasted Nuts, Licorice and Espresso.         

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Soot, Iodine, Seaweed, Pear, Lemon, Orange and ripe Bananas.         

Finish:

Long, Sweet, Fruity, Mineral and Spicy. A light Bitterness towards the very Dry  end. I find Sweet Toasted Barley, Coastal Peat, light Smoke, Ashes, Soot, Salty Caramel, Apple, Pear, Toasted Nuts, Meat on the BBQ, Lemon, Pepper, Cloves, Licorice, Menthol, Aniseed, Dark Chocolate and Strong Espresso.       

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Peat/Smoke retreats even more. It becomes more Fruity but the magical balance is gone. Palate and Finish do not improve with the added Water but you can certainly experiment with a few drops. I prefer to sip it Neat though.


Rating: 90   

Nose: 23 - Taste: 22.5 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22.5   

Drinking Experience:

Very Good

Conclusion:

At the end of 2017, Douglas Laing released the first of a three part Blended Malt Series called The Gold Edition. The Big Peat 25 years is composed of Islay Malts. Most likely Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Bowmore are part of this Blend.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Big Peat 25 Years. It's not overly complicated for a 25 Years but it's perfectly Balanced and simply Delicious. It's a Whisky I could sip all day and you can wake me up at night to have another sip! Well-Matured Islay Whisky is without any doubt one of the great Whiskies on Earth. I love the way the distant Smoke and Peat weave their spell around the other Flavour and Aroma components. Big Peat is a good name for Young Islay Malt but not really  for this Limited Edition. It's so much more than just Peat. It's total Islay Heaven. It's not cheap of course but if you have the cash, go for it. You won't regret it. This Big 25 Years is one of the best Whiskies I've tasted so far!   

Jan van den Ende                                                                    April 1, 2018