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

Speyside 1991 (Carn Mor)

(Picture Credit: Whisky Shop Dufftown)


”Wood I Lie To You”


Whisky Review # 974

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyside - Distilled 11-11-1991
Bottled by: Morrison & MacKay on 20/02/2017 - 533 Bottles
Series: Carn Mor (Celebration of the Cask)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask #: 940
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 62.5%
Maturation: Re-Fill European Oak Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-200 (January 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay. A 25 Year-old Whisky can't be cheap of course
Buying Advice:๐Ÿ˜ Well-made but way too Woodie for me

Colour:

Old Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Alcohol is very strong and the cask influence is obvious. So please Nose along the rim of the glass to find the other Aromas. You will find lots of Dried Fruits and Spices. Christmas is in the Air! It's Sweet but not annoyingly so. A few Tart & Sour notes provide balance. There's a hint of Smoked Meat in the background. It's not overly complicated but it's got character!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Caramel, Butter Biscuits, Sweet Sherry, Cooked Apples and Pears, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Nectarine, Pineapple and Mango, Red Berries, Nuts, X-mas Cake, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Apple-Treacle, Resin, Heather-Honey, Slivovitz, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Lemon, Red Grapefruit), Smoked Meat on the BBQ, Varnish, Dusty Earth, Straw, Dried Herbs & Chocolate.

Picture Credit: Whisky.com

Palate:

Bitter-Sweet and Sour. The Alcohol is very strong. Sweet Sherry, Wood and Spices lead the way.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Caramel, X-Mas Pudding, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Pineapple & Apple, Citrus Fruit (Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon), Oloroso Sherry, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Earth, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Wax, Apple-Treacle, Gooseberry, Nuts, Ginger, Licorice and Varnish.

Finish
:


Medium-Long. A mix of Bitter-Sweet & Sour notes. Quite Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is quite present and the dram almost screams for a little Water to ease the pain! I find lots of Dusty Wood, Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger and Sweet Oloroso Sherry as well as Malted Barley, Butterscotch, Apple Treacle, Cooked Pears and Apples, Heather-Honey, Mixed Dried Fruits and Nuts, Citrus such as Orange, Lemon and Grapefruit, White Chocolate, Strong Espresso, Charred Meat, Caramel, Vanilla and Mint.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water helps to calm down the heat on the Nose and some juicy additional Peach develops. But on the Palate and in the Finish the heat increases quite a lot unexpectedly. My advice is to drink it neat (despite the high ABV) to better enjoy the Flavors.

Rating:
 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.8 - Finish: 7.3  - Overall: 7.5

*** 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 realise 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 but too Woody for my taste.

Conclusion:

The Speyside Distillery Project started in 1962 when George Christie bought some land near Drumguish. Production however only started in 1990. Today it is owned by Harvey's of Edinburgh. Speyside is actually a very small distillery with an annual output of around 850.000 litres.

This Speyside Malt certainly shows character but it's too much driven by Wood and Spices that control all the other Aromas & Flavors, even the Sweet Oloroso Sherry. And added Water increases the problem! I enjoyed the Tasting experience but I'm glad I only had a sample. A full bottle would be too much. If you like the profile I would still urge you to look for a sample first. You know me long enough to know I wood not dare to lie to you ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         January 5, 2023

Picture Credit: Whisky.com

Bruichladdich 1993 (WM Cadenhead)



”Wooden Heart”


Whisky Review # 971

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich 1993
Aged by and Bottled for: WM Cadenhead, Campbeltown for Bresser & Timmer (NL)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - 240 Bottles
Age: 25 Years (1993 - 2018)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 49.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead - Cask #: Unknown
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 180-220  (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Reasonable for a 25-year old Single Malt
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜Woody Woodpeckers might love this one. Disappointing for the rest of us I'm afraid

Colour:

Golden (Natural Color)

Nose:

I advise you to give this Bruichladdich some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial waft of Varnish. The Nose is quite timid and you will need patience & time to unravel its Aromas. You will find Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes after a while. It's also quite Woody to the point that it probably should've been bottled a few years earlier. The Nose is not bad but on the Light side and I was certainly expecting much more from a 25 Year old Bruichladdich. The Alcohol is noticeable but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Banana, Grapefruit Juice, Gooseberry, Lemon, Wet Rocks and Sand, Sea Spray, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Brown Sugar, Bounty Bars, Nougat, Almonds, Floral notes, Nectarine, White Apricot, Pear, Green Apple, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Varnish and hints of Char, Sea Shells and Shrimps.


Palate:

A mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. The Malt shows its age and Wood and Wood Spices take over from this point. Quite Dry and a bit Dirty and Musty.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel/Toffee, Vanilla, Grass and Straw, Grapefruit, Lemon, Gooseberry, Nectarine, Wet Rocks, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mint & Cardamom.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Brown Sugar, Honey, Almonds, Sea Spray, Mandarin, Pear, Green Apple, Slivovitz, Bounty Bar, Nougat, Char, Dusty Track, Polished Leather, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Clove and Currie.


Finish:

Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet, Salty and very Dry. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel/Toffee, Brown Sugar, Hay, Shredded Coconut, Almonds, Nectarine, Pear, Grapefruit, Lemon, Gooseberry, Polished Leather, Herbal Tea, Varnish, Dusty Oak, Licorice, Menthol, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Char and Spicy Currie.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to develop the Malty, Fruity and Vanilla notes on the Nose. Palate and Finish do not really show new developments but the Alcohol is much better integrated this way. In this case I prefer it with a little Water.

Rating: 85.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5 (*******1/2)

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

*** 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 Neat
: Good but overly Woody

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 and a 10-year old Port Charlotte. The annual production amounts to around 1.3 million litres.
 
It does not happen a lot that I get the chance to taste a 25 year-old Single Malt. So I was looking forward to try this Bruichladdich. It was not as good as expected and there are two main reasons for that regarding the Spirit & the Wood. As you might know, Bruichladdich was mothballed several times during its history. One of these events happened in 1995, less than 2 years after this Bruichladdich was distilled. This might have affected the middle-running time through the Spirit Safe as the management was looking for quantity rather than quality. It would account for the slightly Dirty feeling on the Palate. And as far as the Wood is concerned I'm of the opinion that this Bruichladdich should probably have been bottled a few years earlier. You don't notice this so much on the Nose but the Palate and the Finish are totally dominated by Wood & Spices. It was interesting to try a sample but I would not buy a full bottle of this Bruichladdich.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 24, 2022

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

Glengoyne 12 Years


”T(h)in Man” 


Whisky Review # 963

Country: Scotland
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Glengoyne
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of mostly Sherried Wood and some First-Fill Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 40-60 (September 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Good at around US$ 50
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ It's okay I guess as a daily dram but I can't get excited about it

Colour:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Light and almost on the Thin side. Initially I get a little Sulfur but it fades away after a short while. The Sherry cask influence is limited and well-balanced by the Bourbon casks. The Nose is mainly Sweet and Sour with a few Salty, Waxy and Earthy notes for company. Okay but nothing special.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Fruitcake sprinkled with Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Dates, Apricots, Nuts and Citrus Peel (Orange and Lemon), Apple-Vinegar, Dusty Track, Wax, Straw, Dusty Oak and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Dark Plums, Figs, Bounty Bars, Mango, Floral Soap, Dried Herbs and Fresh Mint, Nutmeg, Pepper and distant hints of Strawberry Jam and Leather.


Palate:

Again a bit on the Thin side. Unfortunately quite common amongst today's entry-level Single Malts. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet and Medium-Dry. It basically follows the Nose. Not bad but nothing to get excited about. The Alcohol is noticeable at this point but does not obstruct the Tasting procedures.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Straw, the Fruitcake from the Nose, Bounty Bars, Herbal Tea, Wax, Apple, Pear, Dusty Track, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger & Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Nougat, Buttered Toast, Mango Mousse, Ripe Banana, Floral Soap, Licorice, Cloves, Nutmeg and distant hints of Rubber, Leather and Mustard.
 

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Increasing cask Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Apple, Orange and Lemon Peel, Pear, Fruitcake, Nuts, Mango Mousse, Chocolate, Caffe Latte, Dusty Oak, Straw and Floral Soap, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Licorice, Mint and distant hints of Rubber and strong German Mustard.

Drinking Advice:

Given the size of the sample, I only tasted this Glengoyne neat.

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

Nose: 21- Taste: 21 - 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!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay/Good. ๐Ÿ˜ด


Conclusion:

The Burnfoot distillery was founded in 1833 by the Edmonstone Family. Lang Brothers bought the distillery in 1876 & changed the name to Glenguin before it  became Glengoyne in 1905. Since 2003, the distillery is owned by Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. It is located in Dumgoyne near Killearn, close to Glasgow. It sits right on the boundary between Highlands and the Lowlands. The distillery itself is in the Highlands while the warehouses are down the road in the Lowlands. The production stands currently at slightly under 1 million liters. The core range includes the 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 25 years. The location close to Glasgow makes it very accessible for day tours and more than 60.000 people visit the distillery each year. We were there in May 2017 as well on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the place was packed with visitors. Four tours were being held at the same time. The distillery is certainly worth a visit and the shop and location are very nice. But it's better to avoid the weekends!

The Glengoyne 12 is a typical example of today's mainstream entry Malts. There is nothing really wrong with it but I get sleepy writing about it as it's quite Thin and it lacks character. In short, slightly boring. I do like the combination of mixed Wood used for the 12 Years as Glengoyne usually focuses on Sherried Wood. At around 50 bucks you can't really go wrong with this Glengoyne but don't expect to say Wow at your first sip!

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                September 15, 2022

Braeval 15 (Hunter Laing)

”Knock On Wood”

Whisky Review # 957

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Braeval - Distilled December 2001 - 677 Bottles
Bottled By/For: Hunter Laing -  The Old Malt Cask Series in February 2017
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # HL13270
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 85-95 (August 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Acceptable given its age.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜” This is for the Woody Woodpecker's among us.

Colour:

Golden Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Surprisingly light for a 15 Year-old Single Cask. The Sherry influence is quite clear but it's not a Thick Sherry-Bomb. Solid Malt basis. A mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. Quite Mineral as well. It's okay but not really special. The Alcohol is there but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Raspberry, Strawberry, Green Apple, Apricot-filled Pastry, Grass, White Chocolate, Floral Soap, slightly Musty Oak, Wet Rocks, Metal, Orange Peel, Ginger-Bread and Cinnamon. 
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Golden Syrup, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Sultanas, Marzipan, Nougat, Peach, Wax, Tobacco and Pepper.


Palate:

A rather plain, dry and slightly Edgy Bitter-Sweet Mix of Malt, Wood, Spices and a few Berries and Sour Apples. Okay but not impressive.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Caramel, Toffee, Raspberry, Strawberry, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Apple, Citrus Peel, Grass & Straw, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Pear, Grapefruit, Nectarine, Wine-Cellar, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Sultanas, Marzipan, Nougat, Cinnamon and Cardamom.


Finish:

Middle-Long, a little Sharp and Bitter-Sweet. Some Sour Notes as well. The Alcohol is more noticeable now and so are Cask and Wood Spices. Quite Dry in the end. I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Butterscotch, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricots, Apple, Citrus Peel, Nectarine, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Grapefruit, Herbal Tea, Wet Rocks, Musty Oak, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice and Menthol.  

Drinking Advice:

A little Water helps to calm down the Alcohol but the Wood and Spices remain very powerful on the Palate and in the Finish. My advise would be to add some 10 drops of Water at first and gradually increase the quantity until it satisfies your taste.  

Rating: 83.5  - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5  (*******1/2)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20,5 - 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!

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good but quite Woody and Spicy.

Conclusion:

The Braeval distillery is located in the Braes of Glenlivet and was founded by The Chivas and Glenlivet Group in 1973. Originally the Distillery was named Braes of Glenlivet but it changed to Braeval in 1994. Pernod Ricard bought Chivas Brothers in 2001 and mothballed Braeval from 2002 to July 2008 when it started producing again. Most of the production is destined for the Chivas Regal Blends. However, since 2017 the distillery is launching Single Malts such as the 16, 18, 25, 27 and 30 years old. Enough casks remain available for Independent Bottlers though such as the one I'm reviewing today.

I expected more of this Braeval. It's loaded with Malt, Wood and Spices and misses sufficient Fruity notes that would create more Balance. It's not really bad but it's sort of narrow-minded and plain. Okay but not really my thing. 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        August 4, 2022

Adelphi's Breath of the Isles 2007


”Speak To Me/Breath” 


Whisky Review # 950
Country: Scotland
Region: Isles
Brand: Adelphi's Breath of the Isles 2007
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 11 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 58.7%
Maturation: Re-Fill Ex-Oloroso Sherry Cask - Bottled 2019
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-120 (June 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Quite a stiff price for an 11 Year old Malt
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Better stay with the standard distillery bottlings.

Colour: Light Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

As we only know this Malt was distilled on the Isles it's fun to start nosing and see if we can unravel the secret. After having nosed this for half an hour or so I'll start by excluding Highland Park. Highland Park usually matures in Sherried Wood and this Sherry-Matured Breath of the Isles does not ring any HP bells in my head.  On the Nose this Breath o/t Isles feels relatively young and a bit thin. It's mainly Sweet but there are a few Bitter and Sour notes as well. It's mainly driven by (Dark) Dried Fruit, Sugar, Cocoa and Spices. The Peat & Smoke are there but not at all in a dominant way. The Re-Fill Sherry-cask notes are quite clear but they don't dominate either. The Alcohol is noticeable. The Nose is not bad but it lacks a bit of Power.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Honey, Brown Sugar, Straw, Apricot-Filled Puff-Pastry, Dried Fruit like Plums, Raisins, Sultanas, Apples and Pineapple, Papaya Mousse with Creme de Cassis, Cocoa Powder, Nougat, Distant Smoke & Earthy Peat, Cardamom, Pepper and Garam Masala.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Fortified Wine, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Wet Rocks, Brine, Iodine, Herbal Tea, Floral Soap, Leather, Cinnamon, Nutmeg Cloves and Aniseed. A little Petrol as well.


Palate:

Young, Mainly Sweet and Medium-Dry. A few Bitter, Sour & Salty notes as well. The Alcohol is quite strong.

Main Flavours:

Malted and Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Honey, Wax, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Plums and Dates, Apricot-Flavored Puff-Pastry, Orange-flavored Bitter Dark Chocolate, Distant Smoke and Earthy Peat, Oak, Pepper, Garam Masala and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Nectarine, Lemon, Grapefruit, Apple, Pear, Lemon, Bounty Candy Bars, Wet Rocks, Leather, Herbal Tea, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg & Menthol.


Finish:

Middle-Long, Sweet, Young, Waxy and Spicy. A little Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end as well. The Pepper note is strong, pointing towards Talisker. It's not quite the same Pepper though. The Alcohol is quite strong at this point. I find Malted and Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Wax, Distant Smoke and Earthy Peat, Dried Fruit like Plums, Sultanas, Raisins and Apricots, Nectarine, Apple, Pear, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Creme de Cassis, Charred Oak, Lemon, Grapefruit, Garam Masala, Cloves, Nutmeg, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol, Ashes and Strong Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

Although the Aroma/Flavor profile does not change a whole lot with added Water, I certainly advise you to add a few drops as it helps to calm down the Alcohol.

Rating: 84.5  - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5 (*******1/2)

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

*** 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 systen 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!

Drinking Experience Neat:

Good

Conclusion:

This is not an easy one to judge. It's not a bad whisky at all but it could have done with more cask time as this was not an extremely active cask. The ABV is simply too high for this Spirit. It all noses and tastes a bit too Young in my opinion. As for the 1 Million $ question as to what distillery produced this malt I must admit that I'm not completely sure. The Pepper notes suggest Talisker but Talisker pepper is different in my mind although I never tasted Talisker that matured in an Ex-Oloroso cask. If I have to put money I would go for Arran but my guess is as good as yours. Please leave your comment if you have additional information on the subject. In any case I prefer the Arran 10, the Highland Park 12 and the Talisker 10 over this Breath!
 
Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                           June 14, 2022

Caol Ila 1983 (Signatory Vintage)


”Close To Perfection” 


Whisky Review # 935

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 1983 (Distilled: 08/11/1983)
Bottled By/For: Signatory Vintage - 30th Anniversary - Bottled: 12/12/2018
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky -  Cask # 5290 - Bottles: 213
Age: 35 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.7% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 900-1200 (November 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ This can't be cheap of course!
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ Delicious.

Colour:

Golden Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Today we have something extra-special in the glass and I'm really looking forward to nosing/tasting this 35-old Caol Ila. Well-Matured Islay Malts have something magical on the Nose and this Caol Ila is no exception. The Smoke and Peat are still there of course but they remain quietly in the background and cast their spell on the rest of the Aromas. There's quite a bit of Fruit around and although there are some Dusty notes to be found, the Malt is still mostly lively and fresh. The Wood is not at all overpowering and the Alcohol is wonderfully incorporated. I could smell this for an hour and that's exactly what I'm gonna do!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, First Class Normandy Butter on Toast, Cake & Whipped Cream, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Toasted Almonds, Smoked Fish on the BBQ with a generous sprinkle of Lemon & Lime, Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Dunnage Warehouse, Brine, Dusty Shelves with old Books, slightly Sour Plums, Nectarine/Peach, Green Apple, Fresh Herbs, Cinnamon and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Grass and Straw, Pine Needles, Wax, Hospital, Tarred Rope, Ash, Tobacco, Leather, Cigar boxes, Pear, Toasted Pineapple, Banana Ice Cream, Nougat, Caffe Latte, Olive Oil, Oak Char, Wood Polish, Wet Rocks and Ginger.


Palate:

The delivery is Creamy but I would have liked it to be a little bit more Thick and Fat. But that's a detail. The Palate presents a very balanced mix of Bitter, Sweet, Salty and Sour notes with a beautiful Smoke/Peat combo in the background. Love It!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Quality Normandy Butter, Salted Caramel, Heather-Honey, Apricot-filled Puff Pastry, Cold Campfire Smoke, Earthy Peat, Forrest Floor, Brine, Smoked Fish covered with slices of Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Green Apple, Nectarine, Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed, Licorice and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Grass & Straw (Farmyard), Resin, Wax, Hospital, Ashes, Tarred Rope, Old Polished Wood, Toasted Almonds, Toasted Pineapple, Grapefruit, Cinnamon and Saddle Leather.


Finish:

Middle-Long. I wished it was longer though. A very pleasant combination of Sweet, Salty, Bitter and Sour notes. Quite Dry in the end. As on the Nose, the cask & spices are not overpowering and the Alcohol is perfectly integrated. It's slightly on the Thin side for such an old Whisky but that would be my only criticism. I find Sweet Barley, Wax, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grass, Straw, Heather-Honey, Smoked Fish, Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Forrest Floor, Dusty Road, Ash, Lemon, Grapefruit, Nectarine, Green Apple, Dunnage Warehouse, Hospital, Polished Old Wood, Fresh and Dried Herbs, Leather, Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed, Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

No Need to add Water to this Caol Ila as the Alcohol is perfectly integrated. But you can certainly add a bit if you prefer it that way.

Rating: 91

Nose: 23.5 - Taste: 23 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Excellent

Conclusion:

The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 and is located close to Port Askaig on Islay. It was bought by DCL in 1927 and through some mergers fianlly become part of Diageo. The distillery was rebuilt in 1974 and only one old Warehouse reminds us of former days. Traditionally, Caol Ila is an important component of Blends like Johnnie Walker, Bell's and White Horse. But during the last 15 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. Caol Ila is really beautifully located alongside the strait between Islay and Jura. The Core range includes the 12, 18 and 25 Years, the Distiller's Edition as well as the NAS Moch. We thoroughly enjoyed both our visits to the distillery in 2014 and 2017 respectively despite the fact that you're not allowed to take pictures.

I love well-matured Islay Malt and this Caol Ila is no exception to the rule. It's not quite perfect as the mouthfeel is a little on the Thin side. But otherwise it's a very delicious Whisky. Beautifully balanced with an array of Bitter, Sweet, Salty, Sour & Coastal notes and always that masterfully woven web of mature Smoke and Peat in the background. The Alcohol is perfectly integrated and the cask did a great job. What more could you want? Dollars I suppose! 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     November 3, 2021

Clynelish 1997 (The Old Malt Cask)


”Mr. Pleasant”

Whisky Review # 928
Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Clynelish - Distilled April 1997
Bottled By/For: Hunter Laing - The Old Malt Cask Series in February 2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # HL 11236 - 280 Bottles
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50% (On or Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Refill Hogshead
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 165 (September 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Acceptable by today's standards.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ A well-made consistent Highland Malt.

Colour: Pale Straw/Light Gold (Natural Color)

Nose:

Grassy, Waxy and Citrusy. A mix of Sweet and Sour, Fruity and Floral notes. Oak and Alcohol are there but not in an invasive way. A nice Salty touch. Certainly not mind-blowing but quite pleasant.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Wax, Mandarine, Lemon, Apple, Pear, Pineapple, Fresh Herbs, Oak, Pepper, Salt and Sugared Almonds.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Toffee, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Orange, Banana Ice Cream, Floral Soap, Wet Stones, Cinnamon, Marzipan and distant hints of Varnish and Tobacco.


Palate:

A pleasing mix of Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. Only a light Bitterness from the Oak. The Alcohol is slightly more noticeable now but it remains quite laid-back despite the high ABV. As on the Nose this Clynelish won't break the front pages but it's a well-made Highland Malt that maintains its distillery character and is not dominated by the wood.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted Barley, Salted Toffee, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Apples and Pears, Pineapple, Milk Chocolate, Sugared Almonds, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Cloves and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Butterscotch, Pastry, Heather-Honey, Banana Ice Cream, Orange, Wax, Floral Perfume, Wet Stones, Wet Leaves, Nutmeg and Tobacco.


Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour & Herbal notes for balance. Medium-Dry in the end. The Alcohol and cask are a bit more noticeable but it all stays within reason. I would say this Clynelish was bottled at the right moment. I find Sweet Malted Barley, Salted Toffee, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Lemons & Mandarins, Apples and Pears, Pineapple, Banana Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate, Wax, Fresh Herbs like Coriander, Sugared Almonds, Wet Stones, Pepper, Clove, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Iron, Grass, Straw and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and although that didn't make a lot of difference on the Nose, it really benefited Palate and Finish. The Flavors develop and are enhanced and the Palate becomes quite Creamy. I liked it both ways but I would suggest to add a few drops to this Clynelish.

Rating: 86

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The distillery was founded in 1819 by the 1st Duke of Sunderland in the small town of Brora. It is owned by Diageo and the spirit is an important ingredient of various JW Blends. It produces around 4,8 million litres of Alcohol per year. Its sister-distillery Brora lies next to Clynelish and has been reopened this year after having been closed in 1983. A new Clynelish Visitor Centre is probably ready by now as well. The pictures were shot during our visit to Clynelish/Brora in May 2019.

I really enjoyed this Clynelish from Nose to Finish. It's not a work of art but a very consistent and well-made Highland Malt from Nose to Finish. A very pleasant mix of Sweet, Sour and Salty notes with plenty of Citrus and Orchard Fruit, Fresh Herbs, Floral Perfume and Spices. The Alcohol is there but I would not give it 50% at a Blind Tasting. Well done Clynelish and Hunter Laing. A good marriage between cask and spirit.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                    September 1, 2021