Showing posts with label Tasting Notes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tasting Notes. Show all posts

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

Writer's Tears Copper Pot Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish


”No More Tears”


Whisky Review # 970

Country: Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Brand: Writer's Tears Copper Pot Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish
Bottled/Distilled/Matured for: Walsh Whiskey Ltd, Carlow
Distilled at: Undisclosed. Probably 50/50 Middleton and Bushmills
Type: Blend of Single Malt and Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey - Single Cask -# NA
Edition: Limited Edition - Discontinued
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46% (Triple-Distilled)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks with Finish in French Oak Cognac casks
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 45-75 (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay at around US$ 45
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Go for the Redbreast 12 Years instead

Colour: Light Amber with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and Light but not unpleasant. A mix of Sweet and Sour, Fruity & Floral notes accompanied by chunks of Toffee and Vanilla. The Alcohol is noticeable. The Cognac influence is limited.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Toffee, Green Apple, Pear, Orange and Lemon Peel, Floral Perfume, Cinnamon and Cloves.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Honey, Demerara Sugar, Banana, Nectarine, White Apricot,  Nuts, Slightly Sour Grapes, Berries and Cherries, Nuts, Ginger and Dusty Oak.

Palate:

Young, Thin and Edgy. The Alcohol is clearly noticeable. Mixed Sweet & Sour Fruity and Floral notes. There's a New Make Spirit feel to this Copper Pot.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Green Apple, Pear, Sour Grapes and Berries like Gooseberry, Bitter English Marmalade, Floral Perfume, Pepper, Cinnamon, Dusty Oak and Marzipan.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Butterscotch, Banana, Lemon, Nuts, Cocoa Powder, Sultanas, Cloves, Ginger and Licorice. A hint of Espresso.

Finish:

Short/Middle-Long, Young & slightly Edgy with a light Alcohol Burn. It doesn't really invite me to have another sip. I find Toasted Grain, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Banana, Lemon, Bitter Orange Marmalade, Sour Berries & Cherries, Nuts, Cocoa Powder, Floral Perfume, Sultanas, Varnish, Dusty Track, Green Apples, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Licorice and Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Writer's Tears neat

Rating: 80.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion:

The Walsh Whiskey company was founded as Hot Irishman Ltd in 1999 by Bernard & Rosemary Walsh. In 2006 the company signed a long-term supply agreement with a distillery for the distilling and maturation of Irish Whiskey to their specifications. The Irishman blend was launched in 2007 followed by Writer's Tears in 2009. The latter is a vatting of Single Malt & Single Pot Still Whiskeys. In 2014 the construction of Royal Oak distillery (Carlow) was started in a partnership with Lllva Saronno, the Italian drinks giant. The distillery started production in 2016. Unfortunately the partnership with Lllva Saronno as well as the involvement with the Royal Oak distillery ended a few years ago as the partners differed with respect to the development of the distillery in the future. I would not be surprised if the dispute was about the concept of Craft Distillery Vs. Global Whiskey Producer. Most likely, the Whiskey for the Walsh Brand is currently being distilled by Middleton and/or Bushmills.

The Copper Pot Deau XO Cognac Finish was released in early 2019 and is a premium edition of the regular Copper Pot. It is a Blend of aged Single Malt and Single Pot Still Whiskey that was finished for 9 months in 12 French Limousin Oak casks from the Allary cooperage that were seasoned for 10-15 Years with Deau XO Cognac from the Legaret family.

Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of Irish Whiskey and/or other Triple-distilled spirits. This Writer's Pot Deau XO does nothing to change my opinion. It's Young, rather Thin and Edgy and the Alcohol is never far away. The Cognac influence is very limited. The Nose is okay but Palate and Finish do not really challenge me to have another sip. Give my portion but to Fikkie as the Dutch would say!

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                  November 17, 2022

Glenrothes 18 Years


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

”Bitter-Sweet Symphony”


Whisky Review # 969

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

Color:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

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

Main Aromas:

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

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


Palate:

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

Main Flavours:

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

Supportive Flavour Accents:

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


Finish:

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

Drinking Advice:

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

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

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

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay
 
Conclusion:

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

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

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 10, 2022

Nikka Coffey Malt


”Coffey Latte”


Whisky Review # 968

Country: Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต
Region: Northern Japan
Brand: Nikka Coffey Malt
Type: (Single) Malt Japanese Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45%
Maturation: Unknown. I suspect a mix with mainly Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Borderline okay for such a Young Whisky.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜• The Nose is okay but the rest is disappointing

Color:

Golden (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Interesting Fruity and Buttery Nose. Sweet but within Limits. There are some early wafts of Acetone and Glue but they get softer with time. The Alcohol is noticeable. All in all a bit Thin but Pleasant. 

Main Aromas:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Sweet Barley, French Butter Biscuits (St. Michel), Honey, Vanilla, Toasted Nuts, Artificially Flavored Candy/Bubblegum (Banana, Apple, Pear and Pineapple), Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Tangerine), Caffe Latte, Dusty Oak, Pepper and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Golden Syrup, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Rum-Soaked Raisins and Plums, Grass, Glue, Acetone, Bourbon, Papaya Cream, Mango, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice and Wet Rocks. Hints of Leather, Tobacco & PVC pipes.

Miyagikyo Distillery
Palate:

On the Thin side. Slivovitz, Flavoured Vodka and French Eau de Vie all pass through my mind. Disappointing after the fair Nose. The slightly Harsh Alcohol is noticeable. A Young mix of Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Breakfast Cereals, Salted Caramel, Banana Bread, Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Mandarin), Caffe Latte, Sour Berries, Cocoa, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon & Clove.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Golden Syrup, Honey, Apricot-Flavoured Puff Pastry, Toasted Nuts, Acetone, Bourbon, Grass, Melon, Plums, Tea, Wet Cardboard, Nutmeg, Currie, Ginger and hints of Polished Leather and a filled Ashtray.

Finish:

The relative Youth of this Nikka is quite noticeable now and so is the Vodka-style Alcohol. The Finish is rather short. There are still some Sweet Fruity notes but Sour and Bitter elements grow stronger towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Sour Berries and Prunes, Toasted Grains, Salted Caramel, Honey, Crushed Walnuts, Slivovitz, Wax, Citrus-Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Polished Leather, Dusty Oak, Apple & Pear, Bitter Tea, Wet Cardboard, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Licorice. The Artificially Flavoured Candies and Caffe Latte return at the end.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Nikka neat.

Rating: 83.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7 (*******)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - 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 system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay - Good Nose
 
Conclusion:

In 1934 Nikka Whisky and the Yoichi Distillery were founded by Masataka Taketsuru the "Father of Japanese Whisky" who learnt the trade in Scotland. The Miyagikyo Plant followed in 1969.

The Nikka Coffey Malt was launched in 2014 and is made with Malted Barley that is distilled in one of the two Coffey-type column stills of the Miyagikyo Distillery. These stills are named after the inventor & are usually reserved for distilling Grain Whisky. Although the Coffey Malt was made with 100% Malted Barley and was distilled at a single Distillery it still could't officially be regarded as a Single Malt  in Scotland as it was not distilled in Pot Stills. But in Japan the rules are not that tight apparently.

I enjoyed the Nose of this Coffey Malt. Nothing extraordinary but pleasant enough. I was literally "bitterly" disappointed by Palate and Finish though. Here the Youth is quite clear and visions of Flavoured Vodka, Slivovitz and the like got stuck in my mind. There are still some nice Fruity and Buttery notes around but as a package this Coffey Malt does not convince me. I welcome the experiment made by Nikka but it's just not my kinda thing.     

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 3, 2022

Yoichi Distillery

Dalaruan (Lost Distillery Company)


”Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”


Whisky Review # 967

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand:  Dalaruan - Classic Selection - Styled on long closed distilleries
Bottled and Blended by: The Lost Distillery Company, Kilmarnock
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Unknown. Said to include Sherried Wood and Rum casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-55  (October 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Good effort by The Lost Distillery Company
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ A little Thin but it captures the Campbeltown spirit

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

Nose:

A little Thin but certainly in the slightly Dirty Campbeltown style of distilleries like Kilkerran and Glen Scotia. Don't stick your Nose right away in the middle of your Glass as there is a bit of Varnish and Plastic around. Follow the rim instead to find Peaty, Fruity and Spicy notes. The Alcohol is noticeable. There are certainly a few Sherry notes around but the influence of the Rum casks is more present.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grains, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Earthy & Coastal Peat, Brine, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apples, Dates & Plums, Citrus Peel, Mixture of Straw and Cow Manure, Dusty Oak casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Dark Chocolate, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Ginger and Cardamom.        

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Wax, Resin, Vanilla, Honey, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Nectarine, Toasted Pineapple, Forest Floor, Wet Sand, slightly Sour (Dark) Red Berries, Varnish, Plastic, Diesel & traces of Smoked Meat, Smoldering Driftwood and Leather.

My Favourite Shop in Campbeltown
Palate:

A mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes. It's still a bit Thin but much more Smoky than on the Nose. It's still a little Dirty and Harsh but that's Campbeltown for ya! Quite Dry. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grain, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Smoldering Driftwood, Coastal and Earthy Peat, Tar, Brine, Ashes, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots & Apples, Sour Red Berries, Grapefruit Juice, Orange-Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, Pepper and Ginger. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Farm, Straw, Wax, Wet Sand, Metal Coins, Nectarine, Lemon, Dusty Wood in Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Dried Herbs and Licorice. A hint of Tobacco.
     

Finish:

Middle-Long. A mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes. The Bitterness increases towards the Dry end. Some Dirty Ash and Diesel remain in your mouth for a few minutes. I find Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Burning & Smoldering Driftwood, Dirty Peat, Brine, Ashes, Diesel, Farm, slightly Harsh Alcohol, Sour Berries, Nutshells and Nuts, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apples and Plums, Orange-flavoured Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Dried Herbs, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom and a bit of Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It does become even Thinner and the Finish becomes really Short. Still, you can carefully add a few drops to try it out.

Rating: 84 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20.5 - 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 system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


                                                        
Dalaruan now. It's called Parliament Place

Conclusion:

The Dalaruan Distillery was founded in 1825 by Charles Colville. Over the years it was expanded and modernised and by 1880 it possessed 3 Pot Stills. In 1896 a fire almost wiped out the distillery. The Water for the production was sourced from the Crosshill Loch. They used all sort of casks for maturation like Rum, Sherry, Beer and Fresh Oak. Campbeltown was called the capital of Whisky and at its peak had 34 Distilleries including Dalaruan. But the town was hit hard during the depression in the 1920's caused a/o by overproduction, the US prohibition and higher Taxes and Wages. Blenders also started to prefer using Speyside Malt in their Blends. Dalaruan was closed in 1925 and the stocks were sold. The distillery was demolished within 5 years and a Housing Estate (Parliament Place) was constructed on the premises.

First of all I like the purpose of this Series created by Scott Watson and Brian Woods of The Lost Distillery Company. Both worked at Diageo before that. It's nice to try and recreate Single Malts from long closed distilleries based on the information still available on the Water Supply, Barley, Yeast and the distilling process. It's not easy to do that I suppose. The Dalaruan is the third in a series of six that I bought as a Sample Gift package. All with Natural Color indeed and without Chill-Filtration as it was done in the days. So far so good.

The Lost Distillery Company usually uses between 5 and 10 Single Malts to try and recreate the lost distilleries. I don't know the contents of this Blended Malt but I suspect it contains peated Malt from Glen Scotia and perhaps Kilkerran, as well as some Islay Malt. I'm almost sure I'm tasting some Bowmore here.

There's of course no way we can tell if this Blended Malt really resembles the old Dalaruan Whisky. But the Campbeltown profile is perhaps a bit easier to re-create and The Lost Distillery Company did an acceptable job here. It's the best of their series so far at least. And it's not really expensive so just try it out if you can find it, principally if you're a fan of Springbank and Glen Scotia. This Dalaruan is not as Fat and Dirty as those two but style-wise it's similar.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende ๐Ÿฅƒ                                                                 October 20, 2022

Royal Lochnagar 2018 Selected Reserve


”In Memory of Queen Elizabeth II”


Whisky Review # 966

Country: Scotland

Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve - Limited Edition
Bottled: 2018 - Bottle # 1256 of a total of 3000
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS (Said to be between 18-20 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Bourbon barrels and Re-Fill Bodega Ex-Sherry casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 170-190 (October 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘Ž Can
't be cheap but too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜€ A well-made Sherried Highlander for special occasions

Color:

Deep Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Clear Re-Fill Sherry cask influence. A little Sulfur but nothing serious. It's Medium-Sweet and the Nose reminds me of X-Mas cake with lots of Dried Fruit, Brown Sugar and Spices. The Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, X-Mas Cake with Sherry-soaked Dried Fruit such as Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots, Plums and Figs, Dark Red Fruit like Berries and Cherries, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Forest Floor, Dusty Oak and Caffe Latte.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Treacle, Honey, Resin, Sweet Apple, Ripe Banana, Ginger, Leather, Tobacco, Aniseed and Mint. Hints of PVC Pipes and Cranberry Juice.


Palate:

We remain in the Sherried X-Mas atmosphere although I find some additional Floral and (artificial) Fruity notes. It's a little on the Thin side for such an expensive Malt.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Toffee, Orange Marmalade, X-mas Cake with Sherry-soaked Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Plums and Figs, Dark Berries, Tutti-Frutti Gum, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Dusty Oak and Strong Espresso.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Sweet Red Apple, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Dusty Earth, Floral Soap, Dark Cherries, Caffe Latte, Ginger, Leather and Tobacco.


Finish:

Middle-Long, a little Sharp, Bitter-Sweet and Dry towards the end. A few Sour notes as well. It's slightly Thin and an ABV of 46% would have been more adequate. I find Toasted Malt, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Figs, Plums and Raisins, Sweet Red Apple, Dark Berries, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Strong Black Tea, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Menthol, Dusty Earth, Metal Coins, Floral Perfume, Orange Marmalade, Cloves and Dunnage Warehouse.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that takes care of the light Alcohol Heat. It also adds an unexpected Paint Thinner note. You can add a few drops but don't overdo it.

Rating: 85.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 8 (********)

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. 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

 
Conclusion:

The Royal Lochnagar distillery is located one mile from Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the British Royal Family. Queen Victoria and Albert Prince Consort visited the Lochnagar distillery on the 17th of September, 1848. They were duly impressed and issued the Royal Warrant to the distillery. To celebrate this very special moment the Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve was developed in 1988. Selected casks are used for this limited edition. Usually, the whiskies used for this Reserve are 18-20 Years old. It is only released if and when sufficient good casks are available.

The original Royal Lochnagar Distillery was built in 1823. It was destroyed by fire twice, respectively in 1824 and 1841. In 1845 it was rebuilt by John Begg. It was Queen Victoria's favourite distillery and received its Royal Warrant in 1848. It is located in Lochnagar, Royal Deeside near Balmoral Castle. The current owners are Diageo. Most of the production goes into Blends like Johnnie Walker Blue and Black and Windsor, the most popular Blend in South Korea that was launched in 1996. The core range consists of the 12 Years & the Selected Reserve. The annual production amounts to around 450.000 litres of Alcohol. We enjoyed our visit to the distillery in 2019.

I review this Malt today to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II who passed away at Balmoral castle close to Royal Lochnagar on the 8th of September of this year.

This Royal Lochnagar is not your to-go-to daily dram and not only because of the hefty price card. It's more of an after-dinner malt to enjoy with Dark Chocolate, Espresso Coffee and perhaps a light Cigar on a special occasion. It's well-made but suffers from the usual Diageo flaws that include a low ABV, Chill-Filtration and lots of added Caramel. I bought a full bottle during our visit to the distillery in 2019 and I will enjoy a dram once in a while after a nice dinner or when assisting the Netflix series "The Crown" that gives us an interesting insight in the Life and Times of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       October 13, 2022