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

Arran 21 Years


 “Such a Shame”


Whisky Review # 1010

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Highlands - Islands - Arran
Brand: Arran
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Sherry Butts
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 150-200 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Way too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž The older versions are said to be better but this recent bottling does not convince me at all.

Colour:

Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Nose is Light, almost Shy, and a little Dusty and Musty as well. Probably 2nd and maybe 3rd Re-Fill casks in the mix. Disappointing for a 21 Year old Single Malt. There's a lot of Fruit to be found though but the Aromas are rather subdued and you'll have to dig them out. Mostly Sweet & Sour with a few Bitter and Salty notes.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Dusty Oak, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples, Apricot, Figs and Raisins, Lemon Peel, Seville Orange, Cinnamon and Mint.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Yogurt with bits of Melon, Pear and Banana, Mixed Nuts, Grass and Straw, Marzipan, Dunnage Warehouse, Fresh Herbs, Grapefruit Juice, Coconut Milk, Caffe Latte, Aniseed, Nutmeg, Wet Stones and a hint of Tobacco.  


Palate:

Quite Light for a 21 Year old Single Malt. Quite Fruity again but with this constant Musty and Dusty undertones. These can't have been the best casks around if you ask me. The Palate is mostly Sweet and Sour but a few Bitter and Salty notes pop up as well.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Pineapples,  Apples & Apricots, Seville Orange, Grass & Straw, Fresh Herbs, Musty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Milk Chocolate, Almonds, Nectarine, Grapefruit & Lemon Juice, Pear drops, Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon, Cloves, Iron & Tobacco.     
Finish:

Middle-Long and Light. Sweet at the start but with increasing Bitter & Sour notes towards the Dry end. Quite Fruity again but with a rather Musty undertone. I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Honey, Milk Chocolate, Seville Orange, slightly Sour Lemon & Grapefruit Juice, Cherry-Flavored Cough pastilles, Sour Wine, Dried Fruit like Plums, Raisins and Apricots, Pear Drops, Forest Floor, Mushrooms, Wet Paper, Cigar Ashes, Iron, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Coriander and Mint.   


Drinking Advice
:


Added Water does not improve this Arran.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good

Conclusion:

The Arran Distillery was founded by Harold Currie in 1993 and started production in 1995. Business is going so well that the owners (Isle of Arran Distillers) opened a second distillery (Lagg) on the Southern part of Arran in 2019 that takes care of the peated expressions. The Arran core range now consists of the 10,18 and 25 Years as well as the NAS Whiskies Robert Burns, Sherry Cask The Bodega, Barrel Reserve,  The Bothy and the peated Machrie Moor. We visited this distillery in May 2017 and absolutely loved it. Great tour, very friendly people, a nice shop and a good lunch restaurant. I can fully recommend a visit!

Our visit to the distillery in 2017 was a great event that I will never forget but I can't say the same about this 21 Years unfortunately. It's quite Fruity but it's Musty and Dusty all along the way leading me to believe that the cask management has been rather indifferent. It is said that earlier versions are quite good but this recent edition, while not really bad, is quite disappointing. It's quite expensive as well and although that seems unavoidable at this age I'm really glad I bought a sample first. I would advise you to do the same!

Cheers! Jan. ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                      January 26, 2024

Dalmore The Trio


 “Dust in the Wind”


Whisky Review # 1004

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Dalmore The Trio
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks with finish in a mix of First-Fill Ex-Bourbons casks, Aged (10Y) Tawny Port pipes and 30-year old Matusalem Sherry casks. 
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 75-85 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ A bit too expensive if you ask me despite nice presentation 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Better stay with the regular 12 Years or 15 Years

Colour:

Chestnut with shades of Orange (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

The Port pipes and Sherry casks are quite present. There is Sulphur around so make sure to give this Dalmore some time in the glass before Nosing. The Nose is driven by Dark Berries, Orange and Dried Fruit. It presents Sweet and Sour notes but does smell a bit Musty & Dusty. Not too bad though!

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Prunes and Figs, (Dark) Red Berries and Cherries, Seville Orange, Dried Herbs, Cinnamon and Mint.  

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Straw, Mixed Nuts, Plum Jam, Cranberry Juice, slightly Sour Red Wine, Wet Leaves and Paper, Brown Sugar, Nutmeg and Polished Oak.   



Palate:

Too Thin & a little Hot. A mix of Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes that are in line with the Nose. Quite Dry.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grain, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Figs and Plums, Seville-Orange, Dark Berries and Cherries, Espresso, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Menthol, Polished Oak and Leather. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Honey, Straw, Lemon, Grapefruit, Nuts, Bitter Chocolate, Licorice, Wet Leaves, Cardamom and Ginger. 

Finish:

Medium-Long with Sweet and Sour notes and a slight Bitterness towards the Dry end. It's on the Thin side though. I find Toasted Grain, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Straw, Dried Herbs, Dried Fruit like Sultanas & Prunes, Dark Berries & Cherries, Seville-Orange, slightly Sour Red Wine, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Mixed Nuts, Wet Leaves, Dusty Road, Polished Oak, Licorice, Menthol, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cardamom & Ginger. Slightly Hot after a while.   


Drinking Advice:

The Trio does not improve with added Water although it takes away a bit of the Heat. Since I got a full bottle as a gift I also tried it on the Rocks and that was quite okay. 

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good 

Conclusion:

The Dalmore distillery is located close to Alness and was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson. It is owned by Whyte & Mackay Ltd, part of Emperador Inc. During the last 15 years or so, Master Blender Richard Patterson did a lot to reposition Dalmore as a worldwide Single Malt. The distillery currently produces around 4 million litres but is increasing the capacity to 9 million litres. Everything should be ready by August this year. The core range exists of the 12, 12 Sherry Cask Select, 15, 18, 21, 25, King Alexander III, Cigar Malt Reserve and Port Wood Reserve. The current Travel Retail range introduced in 2019 includes The Trio, The Quartet and The Quintet.

Why is it that I'm having a hard time in connecting with some distilleries. Jura is one of them and Dalmore is an other. Dalmore certainly presents their products in a nice and distinctive way. But usually I find the whisky dull and dusty. Dust in the Wind is a perfect song to describe my feelings about The Trio. It's not really bad but it's forgotten within minutes after you have finished your dram. There are a few obvious flaws to mention as well. Too much added Caramel and an ABV of 40% that does not do justice to any Whisky and leaves this Trio with a very Thin profile. As written above the distillery is expanding and will become one of the 10 largest distilleries in Scotland. I do hope that quantity is not the only way forward for Dalmore though. In the meantime I will continue my quest to find a Dalmore that really satisfies me!

Cheers! Jan. ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                     January 9, 2024


Wolfburn Latitude


 “Mr. Peatyful”


Whisky Review # 1002

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Wolfburn Latitude
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: (First-Fill) Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 60-90 (December 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜‘ A little expensive for what it offers.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not bad but if you like the profile go for young Islay Malt.

Colour: Pale White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Light, a little Thin and relatively Young. There's a bit of Varnish and Nail Remover in the air. It's lightly peated with a cold bonfire in the background. Through it all some Sweet Yellow Fruit and Musty Farm notes can we found. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Dough, Yeast, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, A mixture of Burnt Straw, Compost & Cow Manure, Ashes, Green Apple, Pear, Dusty Oak and Mustard.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Lemon Biscuits, Smoked Ham, Bell Pepper, Mixed Dried Fruit and Nuts, Slivovitz, Leather, Herbs and Pepper.


Palate:

Young, Medium-Dry, slightly Hot and a little Thin. A mix of Sweet, Sour and slightly Bitter notes. More Grass and less Manure on the Palate.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Dough, Yeast, Green Apple, Pear, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Grass, Burnt Heather, Charred Oak, Leather, Pepper, Ginger and Menthol.
    
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Ashes, Lemon, Grapefruit, Gooseberries, Dusty Road, Milk Chocolate, Tobacco, Nut Shells, Grilled Bacon and Pineapple, Tutti-Frutti Toothpaste and Plastic.


Finish
:


Short/Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet & a little Hot. Some Sour Fruit developing towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Caramel, Honey, Yeast, Earthy Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Green Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Dusty Oak, Nuts, Smoked Ham, Leather, Tobacco, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol, Licorice and Tutti-Frutti toothpaste. Hints of Plastic, Metal and Nut Shells.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water diminishes the Heat but you're basically left with a peated German Obstler (Fruit Brandy) or Slivovitz.

Rating: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 6.5 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay but quite Young and Rough.

Conclusion:

Wolfburn is a young distillery. It was founded in 2013 on the outskirts of Thurso, very close to the ruins of the old Wolfburn distillery that was founded in 1821 but closed down at the end of the 19th century. Wolfburn is owned by Aurora Brewing Ltd and has a current production capacity of 135.000 litres. The core range includes the 10 Year old, Northland, Aurora, Morven and Langskip. We visited the distillery in May 2019 and enjoyed it. Certainly worth a visit! The Latitude I'm reviewing today was launched at first for the Travel Retail market. In the meantime it's available on the Internet as well.

I'm really curious to taste the Wolfburn 10 years as it probably will show what some maturation can do to the Fruity Wolfburn spirit. Because Maturation is exactly what this Latitude lacks. It's not bad and the spirit is indeed quite Fruity. But without the proper maturation it reminds me more of a peated Obstler than anything else. I think that this Distillery is on the right track and in time will produce very nice Malt Whisky. But if you like this Aroma/Flavour profile you're better off with a young Islay Malt for the time being.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   December 14, 2023

Speyburn 18 Years


“Cheap Thrills”


Whisky Review # 1001

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyburn
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Anniversary Edition - 9000 Bottles 
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: A mix of American - and Spanish Oak (Bourbon + Sherry)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 75 -100 (December 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Good Price/Quality ratio
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ A good alternative if you like Oloroso driven Single Malts

Colour: Dark Amber with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Speyburn enough time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up rather slowly. There's a bit of Sulphur around as well but it stays within acceptable limits. The Oloroso casks are quite noticeable as Toffee, Dried Fruit, Nuts and Spices lead the way. It's mostly Sweet and a little Dusty. The Alcohol is noticeable as well. It's a rather typical Medium-Dry Oloroso nose without too many surprises. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Toffee/Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates, Figs & Plums, Wax, Nougat, Milk and White Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit, Charred Oak, Espresso, Cloves, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.    

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Marzipan, Tropical Fruit-flavored Candies, Orange, Lemon, Candied Apple, Red Grapes, Nectarine and Peach, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Grass, Dusty Road, Curry and Mint.   


Palate:

The profile follows the Nose but the Alcohol is even more noticeable. It's basically a Bitter-Sweet palate but Sour and Salty notes can be found as well. Quite Dry and a little Dusty. Like the Nose it's not bad but a bit predictable. 

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Molasses, Dark Red Fruit, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots, Plums, Figs and Dates, Nuts, Charred Oak, Orange and Lemon, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Menthol    

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Red Grapes, Gooseberry & Grapefruit, Nectarine, Wet Paper, Grass, Licorice, Coconut Meat, Ginger, Cinnamon and Cardamom.   

Finish
:


Middle-Long and mostly Sweet. A few Bitter and Salty notes towards the Dry end. The Alcohol remains a factor to be considered. I find Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Honey, Dark Chocolate, Nuts, Espresso, Dark Red Fruit, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Apricots, Plums, Dates), Charred Oak, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Curry, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to control the Alcohol. You will also get Peach-Flavored Yogurt on the Nose. In general the Fruitiness improves in this department. The Palate also benefits from a little Water but don't overdo it. The Finish becomes a little Thin and Watery with tons of Menthol. But a few drops really improve this Speyburn.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The Speyburn Distillery is located in Rothes and was founded in 1897 by the Hopkin Family. Today it is owned by Inver House Distillers, part of Thai Beverage PLC. The distillery is quite popular in the USA, mostly because of the low price I suppose. Next to the Bradan Orach, the core range includes a 10, 15 and 18 Years old. Most of the production goes into Blends like Inver House. This year the distillery opened to the public.

The Speyburn 18 Years was bottled on August 21, 2021 to commemorate the 18th Anniversary of Bobby Anderson as Distillery Manager.

This Speyburn offers good value for money if you like Oloroso driven Single Malts. It does not present major flaws but it is quite predictable. I enjoyed my sample but I'm glad I don't have to finish a full bottle. But if you like Glenfarclas, GlenDronach and/or Glengoyne you should give this Speyburn a chance! 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     December 7, 2023

GlenDronach 1993 Master Vintage


Dear Whisky Friends,

Today is a very special moment for me and Best Shot Whisky Reviews. After some time in Europe with our family there I'm back in Brazil and ready to write Review # 1000. I never thought I would reach this number when I started back in November of 2011. I thought it would be nice to look back at Review # 1 where I reviewed the Johnnie Walker Red Label. I've learned a lot about Nosing and Tasting Whisky since then! Here it is: 

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Review # 1

Country: Scotland
Brand: Johnnie Walker Red Label
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age:   Around 8 Years
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Light Amber

Nose: Grain, a light Malty Sweetness, a bit of Peat and Islay Smoke (Caol Ila) and lots of young Grain Alcohol.

Taste: Rough, Some Smoke, Burns a bit on the tongue. Very faint Vanilla.

Finish: Sharp, Hot and Spicy (Pepper). Your mouth becomes very dry after a short while.

Rating: 76 

Nose: 20 – Taste: 19 – Finish: 18 – Overall: 19

General Remarks: Whilst a little Water eases the burning sensation, it kills the blend completely.

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good

Conclusion:  Hard to explain why this is the world’s most popular blended whisky. It shows what good marketing can do. Save a bit more and go for the Black Label. What a difference! As for Red, preferably on the rocks or for mixing.

Jan van den Ende                                                                    November 7, 2011

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But that was then and this now! For Whisky Review # 1000 I have selected a very special Whisky that I tasted for the first time at the distillery back in 2017. It was probably the best Distillery Visit and Tasting Session out of all those we experienced during our Whisky trips in 2014, 2017 and 2019! I'm really looking forward to have a look at this 25 Year old GlenDronach!

I would like to thank all Whisky friends that have made Best Shot Whisky Reviews their point of reference. More than 4.5 million page views since 2011. Who could have thought that! The famous whisky writer Ingvar Ronde made me the greatest compliment possible. He wrote that "he liked my honest reviews" and also that "if Jan thinks a whisky is not good he will tell you". Of course I realize that personal taste is strictly subjective. You might love a Whisky that I don't like. But after 1000 Reviews I can at least tell you if the new made spirit and casks used where of good quality and if maturation time was sufficient. I'm really looking forward to continue writing my reviews and I hope you will continue to read them!

Cheers!

Jan

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“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”


Whisky Review # 1000

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Highlands
Brand: GlenDronach 1993 Master Vintage - Bottled 29-01-2019
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48.2% (On or around Cask Strength)
Maturation: A mix of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso casks from Spain
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 400-800 (November 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž It can't be cheap of course but it is too expensive!
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Good Single Malt but so is the better priced Allardice 18

Colour: Dark Mahogany (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give this GlenDronach enough time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up slowly. There's a bit of Sulphur around but nothing to get worried about. The Nose is mostly Sweet but not annoyingly so. There are also Sour, Salty and Mineral notes. The Oak is noticeable but does not overwhelm, leading me to believe that probably mostly (2nd) Re-Fill casks were used for maturation. Christmas is in the Air as Christmas Cake, Dried Fruit, Spices and Nuts lead the way. The Alcohol is well-integrated. Well-Matured Rum and Brandy come to mind as well. I like it!

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Molasses, Caramel, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Plums and Figs, Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts), X-Mas Cake, Marzipan, Chocolate, Espresso, Polished Old Leather Upholstery, Oak, Earth, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.     

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Yeast, Wax, Vanilla, slightly Sour Mulled Wine, Dunnage Warehouse, Salted Meat, Prune Jam, Tobacco, Soy Sauce, Dark Berries, Citrus, Green Apple, Pepper, Garam Masala and Ginger.    


Palate:

It basically follows the Nose but in a less balanced way. The Alcohol, Oak &  Spices are stronger now and threaten the Fruit. The Palate is mostly Bitter-Sweet with some Salty, Sour and Mineral notes for balance. Quite Dry. I was expecting more to be honest!

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Molasses, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Plums, Figs & Prunes, Marzipan, Nougat, Mixed Nuts, Seville-Orange, X-Mas Cake, Oak, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Earth, Soy Sauce, Black Tea, Espresso, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Garam Masala and Menthol/Mint. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Wax, Vanilla, slightly Sour Mulled Wine, Dried and Salted Meat, Dried Herbs, Dunnage Warehouse, Tobacco, Iron, Dark Berries, Cinnamon and Ginger.    


Finish
:


Long, quite Tannic, slightly Hot and Dry. Sweet at first but with developing Bitter & Sour notes towards the end. The Alcohol is more noticeable now and so is the Oak.I find Toasted Barley, Molasses, Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates, Figs, Sultanas & Prunes, Mixed Nuts, Dark Cocoa, Oloroso Sherry, Orange Liqueur, Black Tea, Espresso, Soy Sauce, Tobacco, Leather, Oak, Iron, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg,  Garam Masala, Ginger, Cinnamon and Menthol. The Finish is the less interesting part of this GlenDronach.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that eases the Alcohol and the Sharp notes in general. I also get some Fresh Stone Fruit on the Nose now. The Finish becomes even longer with lots of Tannic notes and Menthol. It's certainly worthwhile to experiment with a little Water in this case.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but quite Tannic and Oaky.

Conclusion:

GlenDronach was founded in 1826 by James Allardice in Forgue, Aberdeenshire. It changed hands various times before being acquired in 2016 by Brown Forman. The core range consists of the 12 Years, the 15 Years Revival, the 18 Years Allardice and the 21 Years Parliament. We visited the distillery in May 2019 and we had an unforgettable time there. I will treasure this memory for always. A very nice Tour and a tasting that included the whole range of the distillery plus some extras. Great! I can only fully recommend a visit!

The casks for the 1993 Vintage were selected by Master Blender Rachel Barrie. It must be said that various of the best 1993 casks have been released over the years as Single Cask editions.

I specially selected this GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 to be my Review # 1000. I bought it especially for this purpose at the distillery in 2017. I tasted a 25 Years there that blew my mind & I expected this Master Vintage to be very good as well. I am a bit disappointed though with this 25 Years edition. It's a good Single Malt of course but it's a bit of a one track pony. I quite like the balanced nose but the Dry Palate and Finish are hijacked by Tannic Oak and loads of Spices. It's a nice after-dinner Whisky to be enjoyed under the Christmas Tree. But it's not exceptional and it should be at this price level!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 November 30, 2023

Tormore 16 Years

 

“Wood I Lie To You”


Whisky Review # 999

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Tormore
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Batch #: Unknown
Age: 16 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: Unknown. I presume a mix of American Oak (Bourbon + Sherry)
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 90 (August 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not quite my style as Wood and Spices dominate but...

Colour: Amber with shades of Orange  (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Tormore sufficient time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up rather slowly. The nose is a mix of Sweet, Sour and Musty notes with Malt, cooked Fruits and Orange leading the way. Quite Creamy.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Cooked Apples & Pears, Dried Fruit like Figs, Raisins, Plums, Apricot & Banana, Orange Marmalade, Dusty Casks, Peanut Butter, slightly Sour Red Berries, Cinnamon, Ginger, Paprika powder and Leather.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Toffee, Mixed Nuts, Grass, Forest Floor, Floral Perfume, Wet Rocks, Wet Newspaper, Artificially-Flavoured Candies (Nectarine, Melon, Pineapple), Milk Chocolate, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cardamom and Aniseed.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, Creamy and slightly Hot. Heavy Cask influence. The Fruit is still there but Malt, Cask and Spices start to take the upper hand. Quite Dry & slightly Meaty.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted Barley, Vanilla, Mixed Chocolate, Nuts and Nut Shells, Orange, Pear, Red Apple, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Plums, Red Berry Liqueur, Dusty Casks, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom and hints of Leather and Tobacco.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Butterscotch, Resin, Coconut, Yogurt with Tropical Fruit Flavour, Coconut, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Licorice, Wet Rocks, Grapefruit, Stale Espresso and Varnish.

Finish
:


Middle-Long, Creamy, Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry. Oak and Spices are in control by now. I also find Toasted Malted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Nuts and Nut Shells, Coconut, Dusty Oak, Red Apple, Orange, Red Berry Liqueur, Cocoa and Coffee, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water sort of kills this Tormore.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

Tormore is certainly a relatively new distillery and was founded in 1958 by Schenley Int. Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard) acquired the distillery in 2005 when it took over Allied Domecq. It is located in Grantown-on-Spey (Morayshire). The distillery has a production capacity of 4.8 million litres. Most of the Tormore Spirit is used in Blends like Ballentine's, Long John, Cream of the Barley and Chivas. The core range merely consists of the 14 and 16 Years. Surprisingly, Chivas sold Tormore in 2022 to Elixir Distillers. The new owners (Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh) plan to refurbish the distillery and construct a Visitor Centre. I'm convinced they will also try to position Tormore globally as a valid Single Malt and not just as an (important) component of Blended Whisky.

The first batch of this Tormore was released in 2014 but I have no information as to what Batch I'm reviewing today. Most batches have matured in Ex-Bourbon casks but I'm pretty sure that the Batch I'm tasting right now matured in both Bourbon casks and sherry-infused American Oak.

I've had some independent well-matured Tormore malts in the past and rather liked them because of their character although they perhaps overstayed their time in the casks. The latter might be true for this 16 Years as well as Wood and Spices are quite dominant on the Palate and in the Finish. But I don't find that character here in the same density. It's rather dull actually. It's Malty, Creamy and Powerful what makes it perfectly suitable as a Blended Whisky component. But on a stand alone basis this Tormore 16 years does not convince me. The price level is okay though so if you like the Aroma and Flavour profile you should try it out.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        August 10, 2023