Showing posts with label Single Cask. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Single Cask. Show all posts

Laphroaig 1997 (Sansibar)

”Money Money Money”

Whisky Review # 890

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Laphroaig 1997-2016 - Limited Edition
Bottled By: Sansibar, Germany - 241 Bottles
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 53.4% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 300-350 (September 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎I like it but it's really expensive.
Buying Advice: 😋 Not the best matured Islay I've tasted but very nice anyway!


Chardonnay (Natural Color)


Well-Matured Islay Malt. This Laphroaig still possesses most of the maritime notes of a young Islay but it presents them in a more warm and mellow way. The Nose is mainly Sweet but there are some lightly Bitter and Sour notes for balance. It's not sensational but certainly pleasant.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Campfire Smoke, Maritime Peat, Burnt Rubber, Cigar Ashes, Iodine, Hospital, Bacon and Pork on the BBQ, Lemon, Grapefruit, Red Apple, Damp Dunnage Warehouse, Salted Nuts and Menthol.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Biscuits, Wet Grass, Freshly printed Newspaper, Tar, Soot, Leather, Tobacco, Dark Chocolate, Dried Apricot, Herbal Tea, Pepper and Ginger.


I really like fully matured Islay Whisky and while this Laphroaig isn't the best I have tasted so far it is certainly pleasant enough. It's probably a tad too Sweet to be a real winner but I love the coating mouth-feeling that matured peated Islay Malts offer. Only the price prevents me from sipping a dram of this type of Whisky every single day. But you should certainly enjoy one if you have the chance to go to Islay. I've been lucky enough to visit Islay in 2014 and 2017 and I can only recommend it with all of my heart.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Campfire Smoke,  Maritime Peat, Cigar Ashes, Iodine, Red Apple, Lemon, Grapefruit, Menthol, Pepper, Licorice, Herbal Tea and Damp Wood.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Dried Apricot, Straw and Grass, Bacon on the BBQ, Salted Nuts, Tobacco, Leather, Aniseed, Cinnamon and Ginger.


Middle-Long/Long. Sweet with a few Bitter and Sour notes for balance. Medium-Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Butter, Vanilla, Dried Apricot, Campfire Smoke, Maritime Peat, Cigar Ashes, Soot, Rubber, Tar, Charcoal, Bacon on the BBQ, Leather, Iodine, Dusty Oak, Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange-Flavored Bitter Chocolate, Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol, Licorice, Aniseed and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Laphroaig.

Rating: 87.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


Laphroaig is located a few miles outside Port Ellen on the island of Islay and was founded in 1815 by Alexander & Donald Johnston. It was bought by Beam Suntory in 2014. Since, the distillery has launched a number of NAS Whiskies that received mixed critics. I find this a pity as I used to consider Laphroaig one of my favorite distilleries. The 10, the discontinued 18 and the old 15 Years are some of my all time favorites. I also love to visit the place and the people. I really hope Laphroaig is not steering too much towards mainstream Whisky but at the moment it kinda looks that way.

Sansibar Whisky is a German Indie bottler founded by Jens Drewitz and others who taste and hand-select almost all casks they buy at the distilleries.

Fully-Matured Islay Whisky is probably my favorite type of Whisky. There's no other Whisky that gives me this complete feeling of well-being on the Palate. And while this Laphroaig is a little too Sweet for me I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting session. It can't be cheap of course but US$ 300 or more is a really steep price. Do as I did and try to get a sample somewhere. It's worth the investment!


Jan van den Ende                                                               September 21, 2020

Aberfeldy 1999/2017 Cask # 5 Review

“Merry Christmas”

Whisky Review # 789

Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1999 - Bottled 17-05-2017 - Limited Edition
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky Cask # 5 - Bottle # 225 of 609
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.5 % (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Oloroso Sherry Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 250-600 (December 2018). Will be very hard to find.
Buying Advice: 😊Good Sherry Bomb.  👎Remaining bottles are too expensive


Mahogany/Brown (Natural Colour)


The ABV is quite substantial so be sure to give this Aberfeldy enough time in the glass. This Single Malt looks and smells like Christmas. A true Sherry-Bomb with lots of Dark Fruit, Spices and Leather. Quite Sweet and a little Dusty. Compact and Mature. Significant Cask influence.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salty Caramel, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Raisins, Resin, Peach, Nectarine, Orange, Bitter Chocolate, Polished Leather Upholstery, Straw, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Rum, Dark Honey, slightly Sour Berries, Lemon, Marzipan, Dark Cherries, Tobacco, Pepper, Licorice, Dried Herbs and Menthol.


Sherry, Sherry and Sherry! On the Palate, this Aberfeldy is Bitter-Sweet & Dry. The Oak is quite present.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Dusty Oak, Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Resin, Polished Leather Upholstery, Tobacco, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Christmas Cake, Slivovitz, Lemon, Dark Cherries, Nectarines, Herbal Tea, Strong Espresso, Pepper and Nutmeg.


Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. The Bitterness increases towards the Dry end. Cask # 5 certainly left its mark on the Aberfeldy Spirit. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins and Plums, Orange, Marzipan, Almonds, Dusty Track, Oak, Dried Herbs, Ginger, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Tobacco and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

A few drops of Water help to calm down the Alcohol. Palate & Finish become slightly more Herbal but in this case my advice is to add a few drops.

Rating: 88

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience:



The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John and Tommy Dewar. The needed a Single Malt for their blended Whisky Dewar's White Label. Since 1998 it is owned by the Bacardi Group. A beautiful visitor centre was opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.5 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 and 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the beautiful visitor centre in May 2017. That's where I bought the 17 Years I'm reviewing today.

This is by far the best Aberfeldy I have tasted until now. Sherry Bomb fans will love this one and I will certainly serve this Single Malt with Strong Coffee and Rich Dark Chocolate at the end of this year's Christmas Dinner. At the same time I feel that the Spirit stayed a few years too long in the very active Cask # 5. The Wood influence is a bit overwhelming at times. But it's a quality Whisky without any doubt and it's certainly worth the 100 Pounds or so I paid for it at the distillery. There won't be many bottles left though and I've seen crazy prices of over US$ 500 on the internet. That's way too much for this Aberfeldy. Limited Editions like this should be bought at the distillery as soon as they are available.

Dear Whisky friends, I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy and Malty Christmas. May the Spirit be with you all!


Jan van den Ende                                                             December 23, 2018

Wemyss Malts Fruit and Nut Fudge 1989 Review


Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: Wemyss Malts Fruit and Nut Fudge 1989
Specially Selected By: Wemyss Vintage Malt Ltd. 
Procured from: Cigars and Spirits
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 19/20 Years
ABV: 46% 
Chill-Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 587
Buying Advice: 😞  Negative. Very plain for a mature Single Malt.

Colour: Golden Sunlight (Natural Colour)

Nose: My first impression is that there's not too much going on here. I would have expected much more depth and complexity given the age of this Malt.  The Alcohol is certainly noticeable and I also get something that reminds me of Varnish. This Malt certainly needs some time in the glass to open up. After some time I find Toasted Cereals, Butter Biscuits, light Floral tones, Dried Herbs, Oak, light Heather, light Lemon, light Caramel, light Resin, Refined Sugar and Bread Dough. No idea why this is called Fruit and Nut Fudge. With some imagination I think I get some slightly bitter Almonds and perhaps a tiny bit of Dried Apricot. But that's all. After half an hour or so I get some Vanilla and Cinnamon from the cask as well as some unripe Nectarine. I'm quite disappointed with this Malt. It actually smells more like an indifferent Blended Whisky than a mature Single Cask malt.

Palate: Better - and a little more interesting than expected after the boring Nose. It's slightly Creamy, Bitter-Sweet, Herbal, Spicy and Hot. Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. I find Toasted Cereals, Toast, Charred Oak, Brown Sugar, light Vanilla, Toffee, light Citrus, Nectarine, Nut Shells, Dried Herbs, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol and a hint of Dairy or perhaps White Chocolate.  

Finish: Middle-Long, slightly Creamy, Hot, Herbal and Spicy. Sweet at first but Dry and a little Bitter towards the end. I find Toasted Cereals, Toasted Oak, Toffee, light Vanilla, Nut Shells, Dried Herbs, Herbal Tea, Nectarine, Dusty Road, Varnish, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger and Menthol.

I added a little Water and the Alcohol and Varnish retreat on the Nose. Some faint Floral and Fruity notes appear. On the Palate and in the Finish the Malt becomes less Hot & Spicy but also quite Thin. A bit of extra Mint-Toffee perhaps. I suggest you carefully add a few drops at a time to find the ABV level that best suits you. 

Rating: 78.5

Nose: 18.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 19.5

General Remarks:

The Wemyss Family has been involved in the Single Malt business ever since the turn of the 19th century when John Haig built his first distillery on Wemyss land.
Their range of Single Cask Whiskies was conceived with the aim of making them more accessible and understandable. That's why the Wemyss Malts are named after the Aromas and Flavours rather than simply mentioning the Distillery name. A Wemyss tasting panel, lead by Isabella Wemyss and Charlie MacLean have the pleasant task of identifying the casks that will be used for the Blended Malt - or Single Cask range.

The Wemyss Malts Fruit and Nuts Fudge 1989 matured in Ex-Bourbon casks and was bottled in 2009/2010. The spirit was distilled in 1989 at the Aberfeldy distillery, located in Aberfeldy (Pertshire) in the Southern Highlands. It won't be easy to find at this moment but I saw it on the Internet at around 75 US Dollars (January 2017). Aberfeldy is owned by John Dewar & Sons Ltd, part of the Bacardi Group. Most of the output is used in Dewar's White Label and the 12Y -, 18Y - and Signature Blends. The core Single Malt range consists since 2014 of the 12, 16 and 21 Years old as well as an 18 Years old exclusively for the Travel Retail Shops.  

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average.

Conclusion: I was very curious as I only tasted one other Aberfeldy before. (Aberfeldy 1994 Old Malt Cask). Unfortunately I was very disappointed with this Wemyss Expression. The Nose of this Aberfeldy is very plain and to be honest resembles more an average Blended Scotch. On the Palate and in the Finish it's better but never really convinces. Too much Spices, Herbs, Menthol and Alcohol and too little Fruit and Nut Fudge. I really can't understand why it's called this way! It will be very difficult to find this expression nowadays but I would advise against buying a full bottle anyway if you should find it. Better try out a sample first like I did. If they are still around that is. I procured mine via Cigars & Spirits.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   January 9, 2017

Aberfeldy Distillery

"Nuts" was the famous negative response of the American General Anthony McAuliffe in Bastoge (Belgium) in December 1944 when the Germans suggested him to surrender the surrounded city during the Battle of the Bulge.