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

Ballantine's Bourbon Finish


”I’m Glad I Reached the Finish”


Whisky Review # 905

Country: Scotland
Brand: Ballantine's Bourbon Finish
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS (Probably 3-5 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon casks. Finish: Married in Ex-Bourbon casks.
Chill Filtration: Yes
Average Price: US$ 20-25 (March 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Okay
Buying Advice: 😑 Mixing/On the Rocks okay. Not good enough for sipping.

Colour:

Golden Honey (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Thin, Young, Soft and Sweet. The Grain Alcohol is quite present. The Bourbon casks make themselves known with lots of Caramel, Toffee and Vanilla. A bit of Fruit and Nuts and that's about it. Not too much going on here. No Off-Notes.

Main Aromas:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Vanilla, Caramel, Gras/Straw, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Sultanas, Nuts, Orange, Sweet Apple, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Butterscotch, Bounty Bars, German Butter Biscuits, Lemon, Nectarine, Wood Chips and Smoke from an extremely distant fire.


Palate:

Young, Soft, Watery Thin and Sugary Sweet. The Grain Alcohol rules despite all the innovative Finish efforts. Flavorwise, it basically follows the Nose.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Vanilla, Toffee, Caramel, Straw, Dried Fruit and Nuts, Sweet Apple, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Heather-Honey, Butterscotch, Bitter Orange, Caffe Latte, Dried Herbs, Wood Chips, Lemon, Licorice, Mint and the afore mentioned Smoke.

Finish:

Short and Thin. Sugary Sweet at first but with a light Bitterness popping up towards the end. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Vanilla, Toffee, Caramel, Butterscotch, Grain Alcohol, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Straw, Candied Orange Peel, Caffe Latte, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Wood Chips, Licorice, Dried Herbs and this far away Smoke.

Drinking Advice:

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

Rating: 77 

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 18.5 - Overall: 19 

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

Ballantine's Blended Whisky was created in 1910 by the family of the same name. The main Single malt components are Miltonduff and Glenburgie but it is said that the Blend contains upto 50 different whiskies including four Grain Whiskies. Bourbon Finish was introduced over here in December 2020. In other parts of the world a 7 Year-old Whisky was released under the same name. The whiskies for this Blend mature separately before being married and finished for an unknown period of time in Ex-Bourbon casks. This procedure is quite new in the Blended Whisky segment. 

I like innovative initiatives and I must congratulate Ballantine's on this novelty that's quite common in Single Malt maturation but not so for Blends. Having said that I must also notice that the effect of the, probably short, finish is limited. It takes away a bit of the harshness that I find in Ballantine's Finest. The makers like to think of this expression as a bridge between Whisky and Bourbon fans. That goes a little too far in my opinion. This Ballantine's remains a Refill cask matured Blend that is okay for mixing and over Ice but not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky. It's a Party drink in that sense. And Ballantine's will be fine with that as they are obviously reaching out to a young public with this Bourbon Finish.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 1, 2021

Compass Box Transistor




”Who Let the BrewDogs Out”


Whisky Review # 902

Country: Scotland
Brand: Compass Box Transistor - BrewDog's Boilermaker Series
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of 1st Fill American Oak Barrels and French (Vosges) Oak Casks
Chill Filtration: No - Only a light 5 Micron Filtration
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many thanks!
Average Price: US$ 60 (February 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😑 Slightly expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😴Boring. It's said to pair well with the BrewDog Punk IPA though!

Colour:

Chardonnay (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please give Transistor a little time in the glass before Nosing in order to get rid of some serious initial waves of Grain Alcohol. There's not too much going on in this department I'm afraid. The Aromas are comparable to your slightly above average Blended Scotch. It's a bit less harsh suggesting a higher percentage of Malt Whisky. The Nose is Sweet and Creamy with Fruity, Cereal and Floral notes. No off-notes but nothing of particular interest as well. Reasonable Cask Management.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grain, Buttered Toast, German Butter Biscuits, Orange, Lemon, Fresh Herbs, Bounty Bars, Oak, Dried Figs, Cinnamon and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Butterscotch, Yeast, Apricot-filled Pastry, Apple, Green Grapes, Raisins, Grapefruit, Wet Stones, Pepper and Nutmeg. A distant hint of some Campfire Smoke.


Palate:

Young, Thin, Dry, Bitter-Sweet, Fruity & Creamy. The Grain Alcohol remains ever present and overpowers the Malt Whisky. It's not bad but you don't have to wake me up for it.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Buttered Toast, Bounty Bars, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Oak, Fresh (Mint) and Dried (Coriander) Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Honey, Caramel, Butterscotch, Candied Apple, Dried Fruit like Raisin & Figs, Lemon, Wet Stones, Marzipan, Smoke, Iron and Roasted Nuts.

Finish:

Middle-Long & Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes as well. Quite Dry towards the end. The Grain Alcohol remains noticeable. A bit Thin despite the acceptable ABV. I find Toasted Grain, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bounty Bars, Marzipan, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Menthol, Dried Herbs, Oak, Candied Apples and light Smoke.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample I only tasted the Transistor neat.

Rating: 82

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. On the Thin side.

Conclusion:

John Glaser is one of the Whisky Makers at Compass Box, a Blending company in the UK. John's grandfather Jack from Chicago had the habit of drinking a cold Beer together with a Whisk(e)y of choice. This combo became known as a Boilermaker. Based on this, John, together with his colleague James Saxon and Steven Kersley, the Head of Distillation at Beer-Brewery BrewDog created a Blended Whisky that goes perfectly with the BrewDog Punk IPA. They called it the Transistor as the whisky amplifies the beer. I couldn't find the beer unfortunately but I can imagine that the Sweetness of the Whisky combines well with the bitter hops of the IPA. I hear that the combination works well so by all means give it a chance if you have the opportunity. Today I will concentrate on the Whisky as such, a blend of Grain Whisky from Cameronbridge and Single Malts from Linkwood, Teaninich, Dailuaine and Clynelish. Transistor is only for sale in the UK.

This Whisky was specifically made to pair the BrewDog Punk IPA and unfortunately I was not able to taste them together. On a stand-alone basis however, the Transistor is a reasonable Blended Scotch Whisky without off-notes but also unexciting. Boring to be honest. And it's a little too expensive for a boring Whisky. If you are in a pairing mood 😬by all means go for it. But Transistor is not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky on its own.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     February 8, 2021

Chivas Regal 18 Mizunara Oak Finish


”The Sweet Escape”


Whisky Review # 888

Country: Scotland
Brand: Chivas Regal Mizunara Oak Finish - Ultimate Cask Collection
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherried Wood
Finish: First Fill Japanese Mizunara Oak casks
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many thanks!
Price Range : US$ 160-230 (September 2020 - 1 Liter)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😔 Quite expensive. At around US$ 130 it's a good deal.  
Buying Advice: 😄 Very Nice Blend. It's Sweet but quite Good.

Colour:

Mahogany (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

You immediately notice the Mizunara Wood when nosing this Chivas. It reminds me of Polished Sandal wood. I sometimes get Coconut as well but this time that's not really the case. It's a very nice smell actually but it's rather diluted here by the neutral Grain Alcohol. The Nose is Sweet with (Dried) Fruit, Vanilla and Spices. It's not really powerful despite the respectable ABV. I had expected more to be honest.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Toasted Grains, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Apricot-Filled Puff-Pastry, Grain Alcohol, Rum-Tea, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Figs, very ripe Banana, Nectarine, Mizunara Wood, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Sweet Gelatin, Toffee, Milk Chocolate, Sweet Apples & Pears, Bread Dough, Grass and Straw, Lemon, Dark Red Fruit, Herbs, Pepper and Cardamom. At times I got some Aniseed and Tobacco as well.

Strathisla, the Rainy Home of Chivas

Palate:

Quite pleasant. The Mizunara Wood gives this extra bit of character and it does not overpower the other flavors, probably thanks to the high ABV. It's difficult not to like this one unless you are allergic to Sweetness. Because it is Sweet!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, Rum-Tea, Dried Fruit like Apricot and Raisins, Banana Ice-Cream, Nectarine, Orange, Mizunara Wood, Grain Alcohol, Dark Red Berries, Assorted Nuts, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Heather-Honey, Toffee, Grass and Straw, Sweet Apples and Pears, Milk Chocolate, Lemon, Pepper, Nutmeg and Aniseed.

Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Sweet. Medium-Dry towards the end. The Grain Alcohol is quite present at this time but it's still a pretty decent Finish for a Blended Scotch Whisky. You do need to accept the Sweetness however. The Sherry Wood is quite noticeable. I find Sweet Barley, Resin, Sugared Honey Nuts, Toasted Grains, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Sweet Apples and Pears, Banana Ice-Cream, Nectarine, Orange, Lemon, Perfumed Soap, Mizunara Wood, Peanuts, Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Aniseed.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Chivas Regal.

Rating: 85.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Sweet but Good

Conclusion:

This Chivas Mizunara is part of the Ultimate Cask Collection and was released in  2018. This interesting series had started in 2015 with the First Fill American Oak Finish, followed in 2017 by the First Fill French Oak Finish. It was initially released for the Travel Retail market.

I'm actually pleasantly surprised by this Blend, especially considering the well-balanced Palate/Finish. I find the Nose to be a bit underwhelming though. But in general this exciting maturation in a mix of Ex-Bourbon casks & Sherried Wood followed by the Mizunara Cask Finish works really well. It's quite expensive but if you can spare the cash you won't be disappointed. Sweet but Good stuff!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                    September 7, 2020

Mizunara Tree (Picture Credit: The Tozan Tales)

Johnnie Walker 18 Years Review


“Who’s Johnnie”

Whisky Review # 879

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Probably a Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and some Sherried Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Ratio : US$ 55-75 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😀Okay if you can get it at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: 😑It's okay but Black and Green have a better P/Q ratio.

Colour:

Rich Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

It's a pity that even the higher-end JW Blends are bottled at 40%. The 18 Years at least requires 43% and probably a bit more. As it is the initial feeling on the Nose is a bit Weak and Thin. It's not bad but just too Light. The Grain Alcohol is notable of course but in a Softer way. The Nose is basically Sweet with Fruits, Cereals and Caramel in the lead.

Main Aromas:

Soft Cereals, lightly Salted Caramel, Butterscotch, Apple-Strudel, Apricot-filled Puff Pastry, Citrus Peel (Orange, Lemon, Mandarin), Oak, Ginger, Cinnamon and Floral notes.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Toast, Heather-Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Toasted Pineapple, Herbal Tea, Mint, Maraschino Cherries, Banana Yogurt. In the distant background a little Smoke, Earth, Ashes and Varnish.

Glen Elgin

Palate:

A bit on the Thin side again due to the low ABV. The Palate is quite Clean without any off-notes. The Grain Alcohol is more noticeable here than on the Nose. The Palate is Sweet with a very light Bitter touch for balance. Soft Spices enter as well.

Main Flavours:

Soft Cereals, Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Wax, Apple-Strudel, Apricot/Peach filled Puff Pastry, Citrus Peel (Orange, Mandarin), Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Salted Butter, Plum Jam, Salted Almonds/Peanuts, Herbal Tea, Mint, Dusty Earth, Smoke and Orange-Flavoured Dark Chocolate.

Finish:

Middle-Long and (almost Sugary) Sweet. There's more Spice in the Finish and the Grain Alcohol is more noticeable here. I find Toasted Cereals, Sweet Barley, Salty Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Heather-Honey, Floral notes, Citrus Peel, Nuts, Fruit Cake, Charred Oak, Pepper, Orange-Flavoured Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint and hints of Smoke, Dusty Earth and Varnish. Medium-Dry.

Auchroisk
Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and on the Nose the Malt advances with a clear nod to the Cardhu Distillery. The Grain Alcohol & Pepper become more evident in the Finish. I prefer it Neat but you can certainly play with a few drops here.

Rating: 84

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experienceon the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

The Pursuit of the Ultimate 18 Year Old Blend is the full name of this 18 year old Blend of up to 18 different Grain/Malt Whiskies prepared by Jim Beveridge, Master Blender at Diageo. The basis is Speyside with Malts like Cardhu, Glen Elgin and Auchroisk. It is enhanced by Highland Malts like Blair Athol & a bit of Smoky Island Malt, probably Talisker. This 18 year old is in the fact the revived Platinum that received new packaging, name and bottle. It's possible of course that minor changes have been made in the blend depending on the availability of certain Single Malts.

The 18 Years is indeed quite similar to the Platinum. This Blend is okay but suffers from the low ABV and the, IMO, slightly too high Speyside (Cardhu) component. It would be much better at 43-45% with a higher percentage of Highland & Island (Talisker). As it is, it's okay if you can get it at around US$ 50. Above that, the Green and even the Black and Double-Black are the better JW options.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                         June 15, 2020

Cardhu

Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire Review



“Baby Dragon”

Whisky Review # 862

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire (Limited Edition)
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40.8%
Maturation: Probably Refill Bourbon Casks with some Sherry Wood & Virgin Oak
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 32-38 (March 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: Just Okay. It's a nice bottle for your GoT collection though!
Buying Advice: 👍 It's a little Thin but the Bottle will convince you. Just once!

Colour: Light Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light, Young, a little Musty and Sweet. The Dragon probably just flew over Caol Ila a few times and picked up a bit of the Smoky Air around the distillery. Cause there's only a thin veil of Cold Campfire Smoke around. A little (Dried) Fruit, some Citrus and a few Nuts and Spices and that's about it. The Grain Alcohol is noticeable but it's not too sharp.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grains, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Mixed Dried Fruit and Nuts, Dusty Earth and Cold Smoke, Orange and Lemon Peel, Leather, Dried Herbs, Milk Chocolate and Pepper.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Malted and Toasted Barley, Refill Oak, Cooked Apples, Plastic, Perfume, Cinnamon, Cloves, Aniseed and BBQ.

Image result for johnnie walker a song of fire
Palate:

Light, Young, Thin, Bitter-Sweet & a little Hot & Sour. The Grain Alcohol comes to the front and Smoke and Dusty Track are more noticeable as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Toffee, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Salted Nuts, Orange Peel, Cold Smoke, Dusty Road and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toasted Malt, Vanilla, Wax, Honey, Leather, Milk Chocolate, Ashes, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Lemon and Artificially Flavoured Strawberry Yogurt.


Finish:

Short/Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Young, Spicy, Thin and a little Hot. The Grain Alcohol rules by now and images of Peppered Vodka appear. I identify Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Caramel, Toffee, Dried Fruit like Apricots & Salted Nuts, Cold Smoke and Dusty Road, Refill Oak, Leather, Ashes, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Citrus and Artificially Flavoured Strawberry Yogurt.

Drinking Advice:

You can add a few drops of Water but I prefer it Neat or on the Rocks.

Rating: 77

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Just Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Light but Okay

Conclusion:

Diageo and HBO work together in celebrating the enormous success of Game of Thrones. As successors to The White Walker Blend released in 2018 two new Blends saw the light last year. A Song of Fire representing the House Targaryen and A Song of Ice representing House Stark that I reviewed earlier this month.  A Song of Fire comes in a very nice frosted bottle that shows a Dragon, the House Targaryen's house sigil, in a fiery setting with deep Red Colours. At its heart lies Caol Ila, one of Scotland's Islay distilleries. It is bottled at a weird ABV of 40.8%. Quite unusual!

Like A Song of Ice, his hot sister does not provide Whisky heaven. It's too Thin for that and the Aroma/Flavour profile is pretty basic. But it's less Harsh than JW Red and if you buy it at a Travel Retail Shop like I did you get a very nice bottle for US$ 19. It's much more a Collectors Item than anything else but as a one time buy it will serve you well.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     March 2, 2020

Johnnie Walker A Song Of Ice Review


“A Blend On Ice”

Whisky Review # 860

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice (Limited Edition)
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40.2%
Maturation: Unknown. I presume Refill Ex-Bourbon - & some Refill Sherry Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 30-35 (February 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Okay. Nothing special though and a little Thin.
Buying Advice: 👍 You won't throw it in the sink and it's a nice bottle! 

Colour: Golden Sunlight/Light Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light, Young, Floral, a little Thin and Sweet. The Grain Whisky rules but it's a little Softer than the regular JW Red. Not much going on though. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grain, Breakfast Cereals, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Grass, Banana, Green Apple, Coconut, Mint, Cinnamon and Gooseberry.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Toffee, Wax, Orange, Pear, Nectarine, Herbal Tea, Lemon, Varnish and Oak Char.


Palate:

Light, Young, Bitter-Sweet and slightly Sour. Again, it's a little softer and less harsh than the regular JW Red. You can sip this Neat although I prefer it over ice. The Alcohol is present of course.

Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Grass, Oak Char, Banana, Coconut, Green Apple, Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Toast and Margarine, Wax, Pear, Gooseberry, Nectarine, Varnish, Iron, Herbal Tea and Nutmeg.

Finish:

Quite Short, Bitter-Sweet and a little Sour and Musty. I find Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Toffee, Caramel, Oak Char, Artificially Flavoured Candies (Cherry/Pineapple/Green Apple), Honey, Grass, Lemon, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Iron, Pepper, Ginger and Gooseberry.

Drinking Advice:

I prefer it without added Water but you remarkably can add a few drops if you like.

Rating: 77

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19  - Finish: 18.5  - Overall: 19.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Light but Okay

Conclusion:

Diageo and HBO work together in celebrating the enormous success of Game of Thrones. As successors to The White Walker Blend released in 2018 two new Blends saw the light last year. A Song of Fire representing the House Targaryen and A Song of Ice representing House Stark. I will review the first one later this month.  A Song of Ice comes in a nice bottle and shows a Dire Wolf, the House Stark's house sigil, in an icy setting with frosted Blue and Grey Colours inspired by the North of Westeros. At its heart lies Clynelish, one of Scotland's northern distilleries. It is bottled at a weird ABV of 40.2%. Never saw that!

I usually don't care much for Diageo's commercial policy but I do think they did it right this time. For US$ 30 (Or US$ 19 that I paid in the Duty Free) you get a very nice bottle that you will want to keep and a reasonable Blend to go along with it. This is a step up from the regular JW Red. It's not a huge step of course but still! It's easily drinkable over Ice and you can even sip it neat if you like. I don't taste much Clynelish but at this price level I'm not gonna complain. This is not a Blend for the winters that are coming but should be enjoyed on a warm summer day over Ice.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                February 10, 2020

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: 👍on the Rocks. It's not a sipping Whisky though 😒

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