Showing posts with label Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts

Craigellachie 17 Years

 

“Hot Legs”

Whisky Review # 983

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Craigellachie
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherried Wood
Finish: 50% in First-Fill Bourbon casks and 50% in First-Fill Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 90-110 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay if you can score it at around 80 US Dollars
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Plain & too much Alcohol Burn for my liking but that's just me!

Colour: Light Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please give this Craigellachie some time in the glass before Nosing. It opens up a bit slowly and the initial wafts of Alcohol are quite strong. As always avoid sticking your nose in the middle of your glass. The Nose is not very complicated and the Sherry cask influence is clear. As a result, Malt and loads of Dried - (Dark) Red Fruits lead the way. Some are Sweet and some slightly Sour. There's a bit of Sulphur in the air but it doesn't really bother me. All in all not bad but a bit plain.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Bread Dough, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Apricots, Figs and Plums, Dark Red Fruit (Berries, Cherries), Slightly Sour Citrus (Orange, Mandarin, Lemon), Bounty Bars, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Mint & Cinnamon.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Wax, Green Apple, Pear, Mango, Marzipan, Nougat, Pepper, Green Herbs and hints of Meadow Flowers, Licorice, Metal coins and Glue.


Palate:

This is my first Craigellachie Distillery bottling. I had a few Indie bottles in the past but none of them were very convincing. And this official 17 years won't make me a huge fan of Craigellachie Single Malt as well. But it's strong and powerful and as such quite suitable for Blended Whisky. On the Palate the 17 years is quite a Power House with lots of Malt and Alcohol. You would expect a much higher ABV in a blind tasting. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty notes and I identify the same main drivers as on the Nose. The Sulphur is more noticeable now  but it's not too bad.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dough, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Dark Berries and Cherries, Bitter Orange, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Butter, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Toast, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Toasted Pineapple, Gooseberry, Nuts, Herbal Tea, Dark Chocolate, Dairy, Raw Meat, Cloves, Ginger and Licorice. A hint of Leather.

Finish:

Middle-Long and a bit Hot. Sweet at First but with developing Sour and Salty notes and increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The Sulphur is a bit more noticeable now but stays within limits. I basically find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Wax, Dough, Honey, Dusty Charred Oak, Orange-flavored Bitter Chocolate, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dark Berries, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Toasted Pineapple, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Mint, Nuts, Strong Espresso and hints of Artificial Sweetener, Raw Meat, Milk and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little water and that kills most of the unwanted Alcohol Heat. On the Nose it does become Malt Juice much like Cardhu. Palate & Finish improve with the Water however so my advise is to add a little bit.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


Conclusion:

The Craigellachie Distillery was founded around 1890/91 and is located between Craigellachie and Aberlour in Banffshire. Since 1998 it's owned by John Dewar & Sons, part of Bacardi. The core range includes the 13, 17, 23  and 33 Years. Most of the production disappears in the Dewar's Blends. The annual production currently amounts to 4.1 million litres. During our trip to Scotland in May 2014 we passed the Distillery. Unfortunately it's not open to the public.

As said above, this was my first tasting of a Single Malt that is part of the recent core range of this Distillery. I think they are on the right track with respect to their Single Malt profile but they are not quite there yet. The Spirit is quite Powerful so it needs very precise cask- and spirit safe management to extract the best of it. This 17 Years is way too Hot and Nervous for its age in my opinion. It's not really bad but I would not buy a full bottle for the time being. 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        March 23, 2023

Longrow 21 Years


“Dirty Dancing with Muddy Waters”


Whisky Review # 981

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Longrow
Distilled at: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled in  2019 - 3600 Bottles - Limited Edition
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Sherry Casks (60%) and Ex-Bourbon Casks (40%)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 450-600 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Very Expensive. Should have been bottled at Cask Strength
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ Delicious Dirty Campbeltown for those rare occasions!

Colour: Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Lovely "Dirty" Campbeltown with a mix that includes Burnt Matches, Mud, Petrol and Sulphur. The Sulphur is okay though unless you are allergic to that stuff. Restraint Smoke and Peat that comes as a bit of a surprise. The Sherry cask influence is very clear. The Alcohol is sufficiently integrated. Mostly Sweet but with sufficient Sour, Salty and Funky notes to keep it interesting. Not your average Mainstream Malt of course but I like it despite the fact that it's a little on the Thin side.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Straw, Sour Berries like Strawberries and Red Currants, Citrus Peel (Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin), Wet Dirty Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Charred Oak, Dunnage Warehouse, Wet Rocks, Dark Chocolate, Burnt Matches, Leather, Pepper, Cinnamon ,Cloves and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Toffee, Resin, Tropical Fruit Mix (Banana, Mango, Nectarine), Bounty Bars, Dusty Old Books and Furniture, Mix of Dried Fruits and Nuts (Apricot, Raisin, Almond, Plum), Smoked Meat/Fish sprinkled with Herbs and Olive Oil, Forrest Floor, Nougat, Tobacco, Soot, Licorice, Aniseed, Petrol and traces of Varnish, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Wood Polish and Munster Cheese.


Palate:

The Sweet/Sour/Salty/Dirty/Muddy Mix very nicely coats your mouth and throat. It's quite satisfying. Peat and Smoke are certainly more present now. The Alcohol is nicely integrated but a slightly higher ABV would have been even better. Everything that Springbank produces has this Oily old-fashioned feeling to it and I'm a big fan!

Main Flavours: 

Toasted Malt, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Berries (Strawberry, Raspberry), Citrus Peel (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit), Earthy & Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Brine, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Hospital, Charred Oak, Dunnage, Smoked Bacon, Leather, Farm, Warm Banana sprinkled with Nutmeg & Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves and Dried Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Wax, Resin, Mix of Nuts, Dried Fruit and Dark Chocolate flakes, Old Books, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Aniseed, Licorice, Espresso/Black Tea & traces of Wall-Paper Starch, Slivovitz, PVC Pipes and Dyon Mustard.
  
     

Finish:

Middle-Long. Dirty but in a nice way. It's like licking a Petrol Pump! Mainly Sweet but with Sour, Salty and Funky notes for company. A light Bitterness towards the Medium Dry/Dry end. Smoke & Peat are more noticeable at this point. The Sulphur is there but okay. I find Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dirty Earthy Peat, Factory Smoke, Hospital, Soot, Ashes, Tar,  Brine, Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruits, Citrus Peel (Orange, Grapefruit), Grilled Pineapple, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso/Black Tea, Smoked Bacon, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mint , Licorice and traces of Slivovitz, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Petrol and Wall-Paper Starch.  

Drinking Advice:

This Longrow does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 8.5 (********1/2)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8.5 - Finish: 8.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Very Nice


Conclusion:

The Longrow peated Single Malt is produced at the Springbank Distillery. In 1973, Springbank started a project that would try to produce a peated Islay type of whisky on the Scottish mainland. The name of the project was Longrow, named after the old Longrow distillery that was located close to Springbank. In 1990 the first peated Longrow appeared on the market. The Longrow Malts are dried for 48 hours over peat smoke. Longrow represents around 10% of the total Springbank production that currently amounts to 280.000 litres.

This is not your everyday " to go to" Whisky. It's probably a little too Dirty for that. But it somehow tastes like Old School Whisky and I really like to enjoy this type of Single Malt from time to time. It's very expensive and at this price level it should have been bottled on or near Cask Strength. It would have helped the Nose that's a bit on the Thin side. Still, I love Whisky like this because there's so much to discover. If you have the opportunity, go for it. I can safely recommend it if you like the Aroma/Flavour profile and are tired of today's Mainstream stuff.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 9, 2023

Port Charlotte 10 Years


”I Like Your Style”


Whisky Review # 976

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Port Charlotte
Distilled at: Bruichladdich 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Mostly Ex-Bourbon casks plus around 25% French Wine casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 50-65  (February 2023)
P/Q ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Good
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like peated young Whisky, it's a no-brainer!

Colour:

Light Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and Light. The Peat (40 ppm) is noticeable but softer than competitors like Ardbeg 10 and Laphroaig 10. In a blind Tasting you might easily consider it to be a peated Highlander. It's Sweet but not overly so and you will also find some Bitter, Sour and Salty notes. There's quite a lot of Fruit around thanks to the Wine casks and there a slightly Dirty feel to this Nose as well. All in all not bad and certainly interesting. The Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Earthy Peat, Farmyard, Straw, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Soot, (Shell) Fish and Ham on the BBQ and sprinkled with Lemon and Fresh Herbs, especially Coriander & Oregano, Cocktail of Fresh Fruit like Apples, Pears, Bananas, Strawberries & Orange Juice, Dusty Wood, Leather, Aniseed and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Tar, Iodine, Hospital, Raisins, Toasted Pineapple, Sugared Tea, Wet Rocks and Sand, Milk, Metal, Sulphur, Rubber, Olive Oil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Pepper, Curry and Licorice.


Palate:

Quite Oily for a 10-Year old. The same savory mix of Sweet, Bitter, Salty and Sour notes. It's a bit Dirty and slightly off in places but that's part of the character of this Young Islay Malt. The Alcohol is not overwhelming despite the high ABV. Quite Dry.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Soot, Farm-Yard, Straw, (Shell) Fish and Bacon on the BBQ, sprinkled with Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Dusty Oak, Bitter Orange, Grapefruit, Dusty Oak, Leather, Pepper, Licorice, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Bitter Almonds, Tar, Iodine, Hospital, Red Berries, Overripe Banana, Toasted Pineapple, Wet Stones and Sand, Metal, Rubber, Tobacco, Cloves, Curry & a mix of Milk and Baby Vomit.


Finish:

Middle-Long with lingering Ashes and Metal. A mix of Sweet, Bitter, Salty and Sour notes. Very Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Barley, Burnt Caramel, Toffee and Vanilla, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Soot, Tar, (Shell) Fish and Bacon on the BBQ & sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Nuts, Grapefruit, Apple, Overripe Banana, Wet Stones, Dusty Oak, Dark Cocolate, Espresso, Leather, Pepper, Cinnamon, Mint, Aniseed, Ginger, Menthol, Iron, Licorice and a light Off-note that reminds me of Milk and Baby Vomit. Not enough to scare me off though!

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water & that makes the Palate quite Succulent and Tasty. The Nose becomes a little Malty but it's certainly okay to play with a little Water in this case.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.3 - Taste: 7.8 - Finish: 7.6 - Overall: 8

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system as of today. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
:


Good

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its long history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich & the heavily peated Port Charlotte & Octomore. The basic core range includes the Classic Laddie, Port Charlotte 10 Years and Octomore 10 Years. The annual production amounts to around 1.3 million litres of which 50% is currently peated.

A pleasant surprise with a good P/Q ratio. It has some flaws & off-notes but these are not off-putting and kind of contribute to the character of this Port Charlotte. If you like Young, Peated Islay Malt you can't go wrong with this 10 Year old.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                      February 2, 2023

GlenAllachie 10 Years Port Wood Finish



”Once in a Lifetime”


Whisky Review # 975

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: GlenAllachie Port Wood Finish (Wood Finish Series)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: 8 Years in Ex-Bourbon Casks and 2 Years in Ruby Port Oak Pipes
Sample received from Jan in The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-65 (January 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž There are better Red Wine Finished Malts around.

Colour:

Amber with shades of Red and Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and relatively Light. The influence of the Port pipes is not overwhelming at all. It's Sweet with a few Sour notes for balance. Lots of (Dark) Red Berries. The Alcohol is noticeable but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Heather-Honey, (Dark) Red Berries like Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries & Cranberries, Milk-Chocolate, Coconut, Dusty Oak, Marzipan, Cinnamon, Mint and Caffe Latte.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apples, Grass and Straw, Cherry-Flavored Cough Pastilles, Slivovitz, Dusty Warehouse, Slightly Sour Red Wine, Forest Floor, Banana and hints of Polished Leather Upholstery.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour notes as well. Quite Dry. The Alcohol is noticeable and a slightly lower ABV would be better in this case. No need to bottle a 10 Year old Single Malt at 48%.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Caramel, Heather-Honey, (Dark) Red Fruits such as Raspberries, and Blackberries, Dried Banana, Bitter Almonds, Slightly Sour Red Wine, Milk-Chocolate, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Butterscotch, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apples, Cherry-Flavored Cough Pastilles, Slivovitz, Wet Stones, Ginger, Aniseed, Lemon & hints of Leather, Espresso and Tobacco.

Finish
:


Middle-Long & Bitter-Sweet. Dry towards the end. The Alcohol remains noticeable. A few Metallic, Mineral and Rubbery off-notes. I also find Toasted Barley, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Bitter Almonds, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Dusty Oak, Slivovitz, Red Berries (Raspberry, Strawberry), Wet Paper, Milk-Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Peppermint and hints of Leather and Dark Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

On account of the size of the sample I only tasted this Glenallachie neat.

Rating: 6.5
 (******1/2)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 6.5 - Finish: 6 - Overall: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system as of today. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat:

Okay

Conclusion:

The Glenallachie Distillery is quite new and was founded only in 1967. It is located on a hill above Aberlour, close to Ben Rinnes. It closed from 1987 to 1989 when it was purchased by Pernod Ricard who in turn sold it to The GlenAllachie Distillers Company in 2017. Most of the Spirit disappeared in Blends like Clan Campbell, House of Lords, White Heather & Chivas Regal until 2018. At that time a core range was launched by the new owners that currently includes the 10 Years CS, the 12,  15, 18, 21 CS and 30 CS.

I'm not a huge fan of (Fortified) Red Wine finished Single Malts but there are a few exceptions like this Longrow. The GlenAllachie 10 Y is a young Single Malt that received a Face-Lift with a 2 Year Port Finish and a (too) high ABV.  The result is a slightly unbalanced and nervous Single Malt that presents a few (artificial) off-notes, mainly in the Finish. The Nose is okay but the rest leaves a lot to be desired. One dram was enough for the rest of my life!  

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                    January 12, 2023

Aberfeldy 16 Years


”Thin Line Between Love and Hate”


Whisky Review # 972

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 16 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Unknown. My guess: Re-Fill Bourbon casks and some Sherried Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes 
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (December 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Thin, boring Single Malt that reminds me of Blended Scotch

Colour:

Old Gold (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Thin. It reminds me of Blended Whisky and Re-Fill casks. Sugary Sweet with some Fruity & Floral notes as well as lots of Caramel and Cake. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, Buttered Toast, Artificially-Flavored Candies (Melon, Nectarine, Green Apple), Orange-Flavored Cake, Straw, Caffe Latte, Nuts, Dusty Wood, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Floral Perfume, Lemon, Wet Leaves, Varnish, Herbal Tea, Raisins, Pepper, Licorice and Cloves. Traces of Tobacco and Leather.


Palate:

Very Thin delivery. A 16-Year old Single Malt deserves an ABV of around 46%. It is very Sweet and the first thing that comes to mind is Cotton Candy. After a while some Bitter and Sour notes develop as well. I can't get rid of this Blended Whisky feeling. Needless to say I'm not impressed.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Cotton Candy, Caramel, Caffe Latte, Artificially Flavored Candies (Melon, Green Apple, Mandarin), Grass and Straw, Dusty Oak, Dusty Track, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Biscuits, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Apricot Jam, Sugared Almonds, Herbal Tea, Chocolate, Aniseed, Licorice and Cloves.


Finish:

Short/Middle Long, Thin and slightly Dusty. Sugary Sweet with some Bitter and Sour notes for balance. Medium-Dry/Dry towards the end. I find richly Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Cotton-Candy, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Sugared Almonds, Grass & Straw, Green Apple, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dusty Track, Dusty Wood, Caffe Latte, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol and Boiled Melon & Mandarin-flavored Candies. A hint of Chocolate.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Aberfeldy 16 Years.

Rating: 81.5  
- Stars on a 1-10 scale: 6.5 (******1/2)

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

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. Please feel free to comment! And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience
:


Borderline acceptable for a Single Malt

Conclusion:

The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John & Tommy Dewar. They 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 finally opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.4 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 and 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the visitor centre in May 2017.

The Aberfeldy 16 Years might be a place to start if you're looking for your first sip of Whisky. It's Thin, Sweet, Unpeated and totally harmless at 40%. If you're longer into Whisky you better leave this Single Malt alone as it's way too Thin and utterly boring. Many people would consider it to be a Blended Whisky in a blind tasting. The ample use of 3rd or worse Re-Fill casks does not help either and the ABV of 40% kills any good intentions in the first place. I really love this distillery as a location and I urge anyone who goes to Scotland to visit the place. But I can't recommend this 16 Years I'm afraid.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                     December 8, 2022

Glenrothes 18 Years


A 700ml bottle pack shot of The Glenrothes 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

”Bitter-Sweet Symphony”


Whisky Review # 969

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenrothes - Soleo Collection
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: (Partly 1st-Fill) Sherry-Seasoned European Oak casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 90-120 (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Border-Line acceptable
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay at most but too Bitter and Unfinished for my liking

Color:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

There are initial wafts of Varnish, Rubber & perhaps a little Sulphur so I advise you to give this Malt some time in the glass before Nosing. The Nose is quite Fruity with Sweet, Sour, Dried and Fresh varieties. It's a little Dirty and Earthy and the Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Cake with Cream and Strawberries, Butter, Vanilla, Syrup, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Raisins, Plums, Dates and Figs, Sour Cherries, Green Notes, Orange, Lemon, Dunnage Warehouse, Musty Oak, Nougat, Dairy, Cinnamon, Ginger, Caffe Latte and Licorice.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Caramel, Honey-Melon, Blueberry Muffins, Grass & Straw, Dusty Road, Pear, Apple, Banana, Grapefruit, Pine, Pineapple, Varnish, Rubber, Sulphur, Tobacco, Leather, Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves and Charcoal.


Palate:

Sweet at first but with developing Sour and "Dirty" Bitter notes. I feel the casks are to blame. At least the Palate is consistent with the Nose except for the Bitterness. Not as Fruity as on the Nose. Wood and Spices come to the forefront.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots & Plums, Apple, Orange, Pear, Lemon, Banana, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Menthol & Strawberry-flavoured Yogurt.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salty Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Cranberry Juice, Straw, Nougat, Tobacco, Leather, Dusty Track, Green Vegan notes, Cappuccino, Charcoal, Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Sulphur, Varnish and Alcohol.


Finish:

Middle-Long and a little Thin. Sweet and Sour at first with increasing Bitter notes towards the Dry end. I must assume that Re-Fill casks are in the majority here. I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Caramel, Breakfast Cereals, Sour Cherries, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Banana, Pear, Apple, Nougat, Straw, Forest Floor, Dusty Oak, Tin Cans, Rocks, Black Tea, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom and Menthol. The Strawberries return after a while.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that seems to relax this Malt. It gets a little on the Thin side but it takes out some of the "dirty" notes. A little Water goes a long way here but don't overdo it as this Malt drowns easily.

Rating: 82.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7 (*******)

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

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay
 
Conclusion:

The Glenrothes distillery is located in Rothes (Morayshire) & was founded by James Stuart & Company in 1878. Between 1963 and 1989 the number of Stills increased from 4 to 10. The reason was that Blenders highly appreciated the Glenrothes Spirit and used it in great quantities for Blends like the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group since 1999. The current production amounts to around 4.2 million litres. Because of the high Blender's demand, the first Single Malt was only launched in 1994. They are currently trying to conquer the USA market. Their bottles are quite interesting and different. They actually look like hand grenades! The core range includes the 10, 12, 18 and 25 years.

I have tasted various older and more recent Glenrothes Malt over the years. You can find them in the Archive. They all seem to have a few characteristics in common. They are Dusty and Musty and show above average Bitterness. As the Spirit shows enough Fruity notes, I can only conclude that indifferent Cask Management is the villain here. Not too long ago the vast majority of the output of this distillery went straight to the Blenders, a business that is much more quantity-driven. Glenrothes is trying to change this image & present themselves also as a Single Malt Distillery. That's something completely different as Monty Python would say and although they are certainly on their way, they are not completely there yet IMHO.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 10, 2022