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

Allt-A-Bhainne 2000 (Signatory Vintage)


“The Dark Side of the Malt”


Whisky Review # 1023

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Allt-A-Bhainne - Distilled: 26-07-2000
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 28-11-2022
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 9 - Bottle # 183 of 689
Age: 22 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Hogshead with 27 months Finish in Fresh Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 220 (June 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay considering the long maturation
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ if you are a true fan of heavy Sherried malts

Color:

Darkest Amber/Brown (Natural Colour) - One of the darkest Malts I've reviewed

Nose:

Be sure to give this Allt-A-Bhainne sufficient time in the glass before Nosing as it opens up slowly. This Allt-A-Bhainne looks and smells Dark and Mature, almost like a Liqueur. It's a classic Sweet Sherry Nose with lots of Dried and Fresh Fruit, Nuts and Caramel. Pretty straight-forward.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Honey, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Dates, Figs, Plums and Apricots, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Oak, Mixed Nuts, Dusty Earth, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mint and Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Buttered Toast, Marzipan, Nougat, Brandy, Strawberries and Cream, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Cloves and Ginger.


Palate:

The delivery is less compact than you would expect and the Alcohol is noticeable. The Bitter-Sweet Palate basically follows the Nose with all the characteristic Sherry flavors. A few nice Salty and Sour notes. It's well-made but it lacks excitement.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Demerara Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Plums, Sultanas, Figs & Dates, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Mixed Nuts, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Leather, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Toffee, Buttery Puff-Pastry filled with Apricots, Marzipan, Dusty Earth, Dried Herbs, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger and Tobacco.
        


Finish:

Quite Long with lingering Oak and Spices. A mix of Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes. It's rather Dry as well. I find Sweet Barley, Brown Sugar, Syrup, Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums, Sultanas and Dates, Dark Red Berries and Cherries, Wax, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Mixed Nuts, Strong Espresso, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, Salt, Tobacco, Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It also makes this Single Malt less intense and easier to drink. Better try it out both ways.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 8 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher 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 unsurprising.
 
Conclusion:

Allt-a-Bhainne was founded in 1975 by Chivas Brothers, basically as a supplier of Malt for their Blends, principally 100 Pipers. It was mothballed between October 2002 and May 2005. A distillery range of Single Malts does not exist so we have to look at Independent Bottlers. It's a very large distillery with two pairs of stills that produce over 4 million litres per year.

This Allt-A-Bhainne is well-made and quite suitable as an after-dinner Malt. It's a typical sherried Speysider/Highlander in the style of Glenfarclas/GlenDronach but darker. But I also found it a bit too straight-forward and "simple" to really impress. Maybe also a bit Over-Sherried if that's a word. Only for true fans of this type of Whisky.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         June 6, 2024

Highland Park 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail)



“The Old Fashioned Way”


Whisky Review # 1022

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Highlands - Islands - Orkney
Brand: Highland Park
Matured and Bottled By: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin - Connoisseurs Choice Series
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 4269 - 588 Bottles
Age: 14 Years - Distilled: 22-06-2006 - Bottled: 28-08-2020
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 60.1% (Cask Strength)
Maturation : Refill Sherry Puncheon
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: US$ 150 (May 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ It's expensive but it does perform
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you're into Dirty Malts like Springbank or Ledaig

Color:

Golden Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Surprisingly timid despite the high ABV. Quite Dirty as well when compared to the clean mainstream Distillery bottlings. Bits of Sulphur and Phosphorus. The Alcohol is reasonably well-integrated. This HP does not give away its treasures easily so be sure to give it some time in the glass before nosing. You will be rewarded with a Mix of Floral, Fruity, Spicy and Mineral notes with some Coastal influences and some Smoke, Meat and Peat in the background.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Wax, Honey, Meat and Shell-Fish on the BBC with a sprinkle of Lemon & Sea Salt, Grass, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Earth, Green Apple, Charred Oak, Garam Masala, Curry, Fresh Coriander and Cocoa Powder.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanillas, Smoked Ham, Chalk, Spent Matches, Heather, Wet Rocks, Iodine, Mint, White Bread with Banana and Peanut Butter, Homemade Dried Fruit/Nuts Energy Bars, Aniseed, Cinnamon and hints of Leather, Tobacco and Petrol.
 
Palate:

Much stronger than the Nose would suggest. The Alcohol is certainly noticeable by now. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry and there's a Mineral and slightly Acid feel to it. This is no mainstream Viking HP. Lots of Spices and Herbs as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Fudge/Caramel, Grass, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Peat, Chalk, Green Apple, Lemon, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Dried Herbs, Garam Masala, Curry, Pepper, Ginger and Strawberry Jam.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Banana Bread, Dried Fruit like Sultanas & Figs, Orange-Flavored Dark Chocolate, Menthol and Licorice.

Finish:

Quite Long and Dry. The Alcohol is quite noticeable at this point. There's a Dirty almost old-fashioned feel to this HP. I find Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Burnt Heather, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Earth, Tar, Soot, Salted Fudge, Smoked Ham, Grass, Green Apple, White Bread and Strawberries, Charred Oak, Banana Bread, Milk Chocolate, Lemon, Indian Spices, Pepper, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol of course. Nose & Palate do not change all that much but the Finish gets loads of Oak, Spices and Menthol. In this case I would advise you to try it both ways.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8.5 - Finish: 8

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher 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: Interesting and Good

Conclusion:

The distillery was founded in 1798 by David Robertson. It is located in the small town of Kirkwall on the isle of Orkney. Orkney is still quite strongly influenced by its Viking past & the distillery has increasingly used this past as a rather successful marketing tool. Highland Park currently produces around 2.5 million litres of Alcohol & is owned since 1997 by the Edrington Group. The core range basically consists of the 12 (Viking Honour), the 15 (Viking Heart), the 18 (Viking Pride), the 21, 25, 30 and 40 years, Cask Strength and Dragon Legend.

We visited Highland Park in May 2019 and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit despite the terrible weather. Orkney is a special place and I understand the tradition and the bond with the Viking ancestors. It's such a pity that the distillery regularly distorts this picture with mediocre, expensive "Cult" Single Malts based on that theme.

This was quite an interesting Tasting experience. Gordon & MacPhail almost never let me down. In this case they show us how Highland Park Malt could and maybe should taste. The distillery seems to be more focused on the mainstream Viking market and probably would not dare to scare off their mainstream followers with a Dirty old fashioned Malt like this. But Gordon & MacPhail can and they deliver. I understand that this expression is not for everyone and it would not sell millions of bottles. But if you like distilleries like Springbank, Glen Scotia and Tobermory you will certainly appreciate this version of a dirty Highland Park. It can't be cheap of course but it's worth the money. As a rule, most distilleries don't make this type of Whisky anymore. And that's a pity!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                        May 30, 2024

Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series)


“The Price of Love”


Whisky Review # 1016

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1996-2016 - Exceptional Cask Series - Distilled: 12-03-1996
Bottled For: La Maison du Whisky (Anniversary Edition)
Type: Single Malt Double Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 11-10-2016
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 1st Cask # 02075 -11 Years - 2nd Cask # 4 French Red Wine Finish (Chateau Neuf du Pape) 9 Years - 198 bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 350-425 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ It is quite expensive. 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like Red Wine Finished Whisky you should try this one!

Color:

Chestnut with shades of Orange, Red and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Aberfeldy sufficient time in the glass. The Alcohol is quite strong so avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Red Wine cask left a powerful mark and it's hard to tell what type of cask was used during the first 11 years. The Dried Fruit notes suggest a Sherry cask but on the other hand it's not that Sweet so I go for a Bourbon cask. If you have any info on this please let me know! The Nose is a mix of Sweet and Sour notes with a bit of Salt in the background. Lots of Dark Red - and Dried Fruits. Quite nice!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dark Red Berries and Sour Cherries, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Plums, Raisins), Orange, Mulled Red Wine, Straw, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon and Ginger. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Honey, Peach, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Road, Cake with Cream, Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Marzipan, Pepper, Mint and light Licorice.   
 

Palate:

Potent delivery thanks to the strong ABV. The influence of the Red Wine cask is strong but certainly not unpleasant. The Palate basically follows the Nose but is a little more Edgy. Wood and Spices come to the front. Sweet and Sour are the main drivers but there's this subtle Saltiness that I really like. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Peach, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Resin, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso, Dusty Track, Nuts, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.     


Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Dry in the end. Mainly Sweet but with a developing Bitterness that never gets over the top though. A nice salty note somewhere in the back. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. The Red Wine note like Red Haribo Sweets remain in your mouth for a while. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Honey, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Raisins & Plums), Peach, Dusty Track, Dusty Oak, Marzipan, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit such as Berries and Cherries, Salted Almonds, Tobacco, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. This is nice on the Palate but I find Nose and Finish less intensive and interesting. The Menthol and Mint in the Finish become quite overpowering as well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher 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 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 & 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the visitor centre in May 2017.

I'm not always a huge fan of Red Wine finished Whisky but this is a good one. The Wine influence is strong but quite tasty. A word of praise for the cask management here. Excellent! The Finish could have been a little Longer and the Haribo after taste is a little artificial. But other than that this is a well-made Whisky. Not for everyday of course and not only because of the price. This is something to enjoy after a nice dinner and/or accompanied by a quality Cuban cigar. If you love Red Wine finished Whisky you should really give this Aberfeldy a try!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                             April 4, 2024

Caperdonich 2000 (Signatory Vintage)


“ Woodn’t It Be Nice if…”


Whisky Review # 1015

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Caperdonich - Closed Distillery - Distilled 06-07-2000
Matured and Bottled By: Signatory Vintage - Cask Strength Collection
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 22-02-2021
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Hogshead - Cask # 29483 - 274 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 320-360 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Quite expensive, even considering its age.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ Authentic Whisky that is hard to find these days.

Color:

Rich Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Caperdonich enough time in the glass to open up and please don't nose in the middle of the glass as the Alcohol is quite strong. The Bourbon notes are clear and so is the cask influence as is to be expected with a Malt of 20 Years. The Nose is Fruity with Sweet, Sour, Green and Mineral notes. It's quite good although not overwhelming and I suspect that Water will make it even better.

Tip: Pour a little Whisky over the palm of your hand and rub it to be able to really enjoy the Aroma of the Butter Biscuits. I always do this by the way as part of the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Honey, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Wax, Seville Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Banana-flavored Yogurt, Almond Milk, Wet Rocks, Dried Flowers & Herbs, Nougat, Dusty Track, Leather, Cloves, Ginger, Aniseed, Mint, Cardamom & a distant note of Plastic.
 

Palate:

Strong and Bold arrival. The cask influence becomes more clear & Wood and Wood Spices become quite evident. It's quite Waxy and Buttery as well. I'm curious to see what a little added Water will do. This Caperdonich is a solid & somewhat old-fashioned Whisky that mainly presents Sweet and Sour notes on the Palate.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Wax, Green Apple, Seville Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Grass & Straw, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Banana, Pear, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Licorice, Cough Syrup, Wet Rocks and Sand, Cocoa Powder, Nougat, Aniseed and a hint of Peppery Olive Oil.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes with a hint of Sea Salt. The cask influence is clear and Wood & Wood Spice come to the stage. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla Sauce, Wax, Grass, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Banana, Nougat, Wet Rocks and Sand, Leather, Tobacco, Mint, Aniseed, Menthol, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves, Dried Herbs, Licorice, Green Apple, Dusty Oak, Tyres and Varnish.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to suppress the Alcohol of course. I thought added Water would improve this Caperdonich but that's not the case. You really "steal" the Spirit of this Speyside Malt this way. Better drink it neat despite the very high ABV.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher 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:

Caperdonich was located in Rothes, Speyside and was originally known as Glen Grant # 2. It was built in 1898 by J. & J. Grant the founders of Glen Grant. It closed in 1902 and only opened again in 1965 when it was bought by Glenlivet & renamed Caperdonich. It was sold to Seagram in 1977 and then to Pernot Ricard in 2001. One year later it closed again before finally being demolished in 2010. It was widely used in the Chivas Regal Blends.

I really enjoyed tasting this Caperdonich. There's an authentic feel to this Malt. To be honest I believe it could or maybe should have been bottled a few years earlier as the Wood and Wood spices become quite dominant on the Palate and in the Finish. But other than that it's a solid and mature Bourbon cask Whisky that you hardly find anymore in today's Mainstream Malt Madness. It is quite expensive but if you have the cash go for it.
    
Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       March 21, 2024

Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail)


“Islay Elle L’A”


Whisky Review # 1014

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 2005 - Distilled 14-03-2005
Matured By: Gordon & MacPhail, Scotland - Reserve Series
Exclusively Bottled by GM for: Van Wees, The Netherlands on 02-06-2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel - Cask # 302014 - 318 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 60 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ A young but pleasant Bourbon cask matured Islay Malt

Color:

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Alcohol is noticeable so make sure to avoid nosing in the middle of your glass. The Nose shows a Young Malt but is quite pleasant with Soft Peat and Smoke in the lead. It's a nice combination of Sweet, Sour, Salty and Meaty notes.

Main Aromas:

Barley, Slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Grass, Seville-Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dried Herbs, Fish and Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Iodine, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Wet Pebbles & Sand, Brine, Dusty Track, Ripe Banana, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco and Licorice.


Palate:

A relatively Young and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter-Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. A bit Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Orange, Pepper and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Floral Soap, Dusty Track, Green Apple, Dirty Road, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Licorice. A hint of White Chocolate.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A slightly Hot and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. Dry towards the end. Its Youth is more noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Brine, Iodine, Dusty Earth, Tar, Fish/Shellfish/Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Herbs & Lemon, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Nuts, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Aniseed, Mint/Menthol, Licorice and Orange Liqueur.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and while it is less Hot this way, you also kind of remove the Spirit of this Single Malt ๐Ÿ˜œ. I prefer it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is  8 or higher 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 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 finally became 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 the islands of 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. Caol Ila is certainly one of my favorite distilleries and Single Malts.

I like most Islay malts and, especially, Caol Ila and this 10 Year old is no exception to the rule. It's a young Single Malt of course and I would have preferred it to stay in the cask for a few more years. But it's pleasant enough as it is. The soft notes of Peat and Smoke are quite nice and the refill cask does a good job in maintaining the Fruity character of the Spirit without adding overly Bitter and/or Tannic notes. If you like Young Islay malts you can't go wrong with this Caol Ila.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                      March 14, 2024

Ben Nevis 2010 (The Duchess)


“The Beauty and the Yeast”


Whisky Review # 1012

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Western Highlands
Brand:Ben Nevis - Distilled: October 28, 2010
Matured and Bottled by: The Duchess (TDu) on November 30, 2020 
Series: Game & Wildlife Series - Shelduck Label
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 1800020 - Bottles: 317
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.6% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Ex Bourbon Cask with Shiraz Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 100 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜• Borderline acceptable
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Interesting - But better try a sample first

Color:

Golden with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and quite Yeasty. The Alcohol is prominent. Sour rather than sweet. Clear note of freshly cut Grass. The Wine-Finish is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit Musty and Dirty as well. The Nose is certainly interesting. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Assorted Breads/Pastries, Sour Cherries, Strawberry-flavored Yogurt, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Metal, Chalk, Pepper, Damp Cellars and Tobacco.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Red Wine, Unripe Apples, Bananas and Pears, Slivovitz, Charred Oak, Soot, Dusty Track, Coconut, Leather, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Palate:

The Palate is a Hot mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. It remains Yeasty as well. I really think this needs some Water! It remains different though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough and Bread, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Sour Red Wine and Red Berries, Dried Herbs, Charred Oak, Soot, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Varnish, Green Apple, Dirty Track, Ginger-Nut Biscuits, Cinnamon, Cloves & a little Plastic. 


Finish:

Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet-Sour & a bit Hot. Quite Tannic as well. The Alcohol remains very present and the influence of the Red Wine cask is more noticeable at this point. I find Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Bread, Sour Cherries and Red Berries, Green Apple, Bounty Bars, Tutti Frutti, Menthol, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves, Floral Soap, Citrus, Dried Herbs, Licorice & Varnish. A little Dry towards the end.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water & that helps calm down the strong Alcohol. Don't overdo it though! On the Nose you get some additional Floral notes and the Palate certainly brings back memories of Campbeltown. In this case I would advise to add a bit of Water. 

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - 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: Interesting 
 
Conclusion:

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

This Dutch impression of Ben Nevis is certainly intriguing. It kept my attention right to the end as it significantly differs from the modern mainstream malts. I do feel though that the ABV is way too high here. It distracts from the Whisky rather than enhancing its profile. This is not your everyday dram as it's extremely Yeasty and I would advise you to buy a sample first before spending a hundred bucks on a full bottle. But it's dirty and interesting and that's a plus in today's whisky world.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 1, 2024