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

Johnnie Walker White Walker Review

Image result for johnnie walker white walker

“Back To Black”

Whisky Review # 796

Country:Scotland
Region: Includes Single Malt from Speyside and the Highlands
Brand: Johnnie Walker White Walker - Limited Edition - Games of Thrones
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 41.7 %
Maturation: I would think mainly 2nd/3rd Refill Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes (1.5 C)
Price Range: US$ 35-45 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 👍for the idea! 👎for the P/Q ratio. 

Colour:

Light Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Young and Light, almost Thin. The Grain Alcohol is more than present. It likely presents around 70% of this Blend. I get a bit of the Barley Juice known from Cardhu. But there's not much going on. It's quite Sweet with lots of Caramel, Toffee and the likes. The Nose is saved by a bit of Fruit. It does not smell so harsh as the Red Label though!

Main Aromas:

Caramel, Toffee, Toast and Margarine, Grain Alcohol, Boiled Sweets, Banana, Green Apple, Lemon and Gingerbread.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Bounty Bars, Orange, Apricot Flavoured Yogurt, White Wine, Refill Oak, Gooseberries, Varnish and Mint.

Cardhu
Palate:

Young, Sweet, Thin and a bit Harsh. The Grain Alcohol rules big time. There are no real Off-Notes but this does not qualify as a sipping Whisky. It simply lacks Flavour!

Main Flavours:

Caramel, Toffee, Grain Alcohol, Green Apples, Pears, Lemon, Grass, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Golden Syrup, Sweet Barley, Refill Oak, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Candied Almonds, Dried Herbs and Mint.

Image result for johnnie walker white walker

Finish:

Short and Sugary Sweet with a few Bitter and Sour notes as well. The Alcohol slightly kicks at you towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Gooseberries, Grass, Green Apples, Lemon, Boiled Sweets, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Refill Wood, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water but the White Walker starts to resemble a cheap Flavoured Vodka. I also tried it directly from the Freezer. It becomes Thicker that way but Flavours and Aromas, if any, become even harder to detect. The best way is to drink it is over Ice with a little added JW Black for Flavour.

Rating: 79

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay

Drinking Experience direct from the Freezer: Below Average

Conclusion:

It seems utterly obvious but you still have to give some credit to the marketing people employed by Diageo. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series of all times and making the link to Johnnie Walker was an excellent idea. As usual, Packaging and Presentation are first class and the fact that this Blend contains some Clynelish, Diageo's most Northern Scottish mainland distillery is a nice touch. The packaging even states that this Blend is produced North of the Wall. As so often with JW though, the quality of the Whisky does not stand up to the Marketing and the Price. The White Walker is dominated by harsh Grain Whisky. It is saved on the Nose by a little Fruit but Palate and Finish are only slightly better than JW Red. Therefore the P/Q ratio sucks. I have reviewed lots of JW Blends in the meantime but in the end I always follow up the advice of the late great Amy Winehouse and go "Back to Black".

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 January 22, 2019
Image result for clynelish distillery

Bladnoch Samsara Review - Bladnoch Adela 15 Years Review - Bladnoch 1990/2016 (Sansibar) Review



“Bladnoch Special” 

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. At the request of many of my readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the form of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. These reviews will concentrate on the Whisky and won't touch too much details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In this special I will review three random Bladnoch Single Malts. Enjoy!
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Image result for bladnoch samsara

Whisky Review # 793

Country: Scotland
Region: Lowlands
Brand: Bladnoch Samsara
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS ( Said to be Minimum 8 years - Some Older Malts are in the mix)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.7%
Maturation: A Blend of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Californian Red Wine Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: US$ 90 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 😒 Unpleasant off-Notes caused by Wine casks. P/Q ratio: 👎

Colour:

Yellow Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give this Bladnoch enough time in the glass before Nosing as the initial Aromas are not very pleasing. It's almost like Sweaty old Socks that are covered by a fresh layer of Vomit. With time these Aromas subside but they remain present. And so is the Alcohol by the way. Once you are over the first shock you will notice that the Samsara is actually quite Fruity and combines Sweet and Sour Aromas. The Off-Notes are really a pity and greatly affect the score.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Grapes, Red Apple, Orange, Grapefruit, Grass & Straw, Slivovitz and Boiled Sweets.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Apple Vinegar, Raisins, Cinnamon and Dairy.

Related image
(Picture Credit: Whisky.com)

Palate:

Young and a little Thin despite the ever present Alcohol. A mix of Bitter-Sweet, Sour and Musty notes. Quite Dry actually.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Boiled Sweets, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Orange, Musty Oak, Red Grapes and Wine, Strawberry Jam, Cheap Sugary Chocolate, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Salted Caramel, Floral Soap, Slivovitz, Straw/Grass, Cassis, Raisins, Red Apple, Pear and Cloves.

Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Sour and quite Harsh and Edgy. Quite dry towards the end. The Finish does not invite you to take another sip I'm afraid. I find  Salted Caramel, Red Grapes and Wine, Pear, Musty Oak, Strong Medicinal Tea, Cough Syrup, Licorice, Herbal Liqueur, Alcohol, Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, Pepper and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and on the Nose the Off-Notes get weaker. I also get more Malt, Slivovitz (Plum Liqueur) and an artificial Peach Aroma. Palate and Finish do not benefit from added Water.

Rating: 72

Nose: 19 - Taste: 18 - Finish: 17 - Overall: 18

Drinking Experience:

Below average on account of the off-notes.

Conclusion:

Bladnoch was founded in 1817 by Thomas and John McClelland. Over the years the ownership of the distillery changed many times and on many occasions the distillery was closed temporarily until it was finally liquidated in 2015. David Prior bought it in 2015 and brought life back to Bladnoch. Production restarted  in 2017 and the estimated production this year will be around 400.000 lt.

The Samara is the first of three new Bladnoch expressions that were released in 2016 to celebrate the reopening of this distillery under new owner David Prior. The other two are Adela and Talia. Samsara means Rebirth and that's quite appropriate. The Samara is made by blending Bladnoch Spirit matured in First-Fill Bourbon Casks and First Fill Californian Red Wine casks. Bladnoch is made with locally produced Barley. The Water is sourced from the river Bladnoch.

This is only my fourth Bladnoch and the first released by its new owner. I'm sorry to say though I'm not at all impressed by the Samara despite the very nice presentation and bottle. I'm not a big fan of Red Wine cask maturation and it certainly does not work this time round. The off-notes are most certainly caused by those casks. A pity as the Bladnoch Spirit appears to be quite Fruity by itself. It just needs time and a good cask! One of the frequent problems with Bladnoch is the presence of Alcohol. That's more difficult to explain as I find it in both young and old whiskies produced at this distillery. A bit of a mystery! The Samara is quite expensive and the P/Q ratio is negative. I can't recommend this Bladnoch.
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Image result for bladnoch adela 15 years

Whisky Review # 794

Country: Scotland
Region: Lowlands
Brand: Bladnoch Adela
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.7%
Maturation: Oloroso Sherry Casks (Both American and European Oak)
Chill-Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 105-130 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 😴A plain Sherried Malt. P/Q ratio: 👎Totally overpriced

Colour:

Golden Copper (Natural Colour)

Nose:

This smells somewhat similar to the Samsara but I'm happy to report that the Off-Notes are much less aggressive. The Sweaty Socks are still there though. I also pick up a little Sulphur. As usual with Bladnoch, the Alcohol is very present. On the Nose, the Adela is mainly Sweet and Medium-Dry with lots of Dried Fruit, Nuts & Oranges.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins and Apricots, Mixed Nuts, Boiled Sweets, Orange, Milk Chocolate, Apple Vinegar, Strawberry Yogurt and Coffee Beans.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Floral Perfume, Honey, Cherry-Flavoured Candies, Dried Herbs, Lemon, Pear, Nectarine and Cinnamon.


Palate
:


Bitter-Sweet, Herbal, Medium-Dry and a little Edgy. That damned Alcohol again! The Sherry influence is clear and the proper Cask is more noticeable by now. The main drivers like Dried Fruit, Nuts and Dark Chocolate basically follow the Nose.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apricots, Mixed Nuts with Walnuts in the lead, Strawberry Jam, Dark Chocolate, Strong Espresso, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Floral Perfume, Green Apples, Blackcurrants, Dried Herbs, Musty Oak, Dirty Track, Grapefruit Juice and Tobacco.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Dry towards the end. I find Sweet Barley, most of the Sherry Cask notes I also found on the Nose like the Dried Fruits and the Nuts, Dark Espresso, Cocoa Powder, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, Musty Oak, Blackcurrants, Green Apple, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Menthol, Freshly Printed Newspapers and a light Metallic note.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water. The Nose becomes very Perfumy and strangely enough the Alcohol appears to be even more present. Palate and Finish become rather dull and boring. Better sip the Adela neat.

Rating: 81.5

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

Drinking Experience:

Okay/Good.

Conclusion:

The Adela is the second of three new Bladnoch expressions that were released in 2016 to celebrate the reopening of this distillery under new owner David Prior. The other two are Samsara & Talia. The Adela matures in Oloroso casks, some of them being First-Fill.

The Adela is certainly a step up when compared to the Samsara. But its P/Q ratio is totally out of line. Over a 100 bucks for a plain, slightly dull Sherried Lowland Single Malt with a few Off-Notes. I understand that the new owners are in need of cash but I don't think this is the best way forward for Bladnoch as potential new clients will be turned off by the high prices and lack luster profile of these new expressions. Despite the attractive packaging and presentation! I hope the last Indie Bladnoch can save the day! 
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Whisky Review # 795

Country: Scotland
Region: Lowlands
Brand: Bladnoch 1990
Bottled By: Sansibar - Spirit Shops Selection - Chinese Theater Mask Label
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask #: Unknown - Bottles: 177
Age: 26 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 47.2% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Sherry Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 250 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 😋Lovely Bladnoch. Expensive but worth the price!

Colour:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Very Fruity and Fresh for a 26 Year old Single Malt. No Off-Notes here! A little Sulphur perhaps but nothing serious. Good Cask. Not too active. The Oak is not too dominant on the Nose and lets the Fruit shine. It wouldn't be a Bladnoch though if you couldn't notice the Alcohol! Be sure to give it enough time in the glass before Nosing.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Lots of Citrus Fruit like Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit and Orange, Pear, Grass, Bounty Candy Bars and Ginger Bread.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Floral Perfume, Nectarines, Pineapple, Apple-Vinegar,  Tutti Frutti Candies, Raisins, Nuts, Slivovitz, Dairy, Lemon Ice-Tea, Forrest Floor, light Oak and Pepper.

Related image

Palate:

Again very Fruity. It's more like a Fruit Cocktail and it's not that easy to pick up all the Individual Fruit. On the Palate, this Bladnoch is pleasantly Sweet. The Alcohol is better integrated at this point but still noticeable. The Oak is there of course but never in an overwhelming way. Quite nice!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Citrus Fruit like Orange, Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit, Red Apple, Grass, Bounty Candy Bars, Fresh Herbs, Pepper and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

White Wine, Melon, Papaya Cream, Nuts, Vanilla, Lemon Ice Tea, Mango Juice, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Mild Oak and Ginger.
  
Finish:

Long, Warming and still very Fruity. Pleasantly Sweet with just a little Bitterness towards the Dry end. Good interaction between Spirit & Oak. I find Citrus Peel, Orange Liqueur, Red Apples, Melon, Nuts, Grass, Limoncello, Fresh Herbs, Barley, Bounty Candy Bars, Pepper, Ginger, light Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It gets Mellow this way but the Fruit explosion is less strong. I also get Nutmeg and Cinnamon in the Finish. My advise is to sip it neat to fully enjoy the abundance of Fruit. But you can easily add a few drops of Water if you like.

Rating: 89

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

Drinking Experience:

Very Nice.

Conclusion:

This Sansibar expression shows that there's really nothing wrong with the old Bladnoch Spirit. It's quite Fruity and this specific not too active Sherry Cask did contribute a lot to maintain an almost perfect marriage between Spirit & Wood despite the long maturation. Whisky of this age can get very Woody but that's not the case here. Once again I find that a good cask makes the real difference between a good, an indifferent and a bad Whisky. My experience has shown that this is the case with all distilleries. There is no bad Spirit unless you cut the Spirit too early and/or too late. But the Heart of the Spirit, a good cask and sufficient maturation guarantee a good Whisky. This Bladnoch is a good example and it flies directly into my All-Time Top 20. Good stuff!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 January 18, 2019

Related image
(Picture Credit: Whisky Advocate)

Bunnahabhain Moine Review - Bunnahabhain 2001/2012 (Carn Mor) Review - Bunnahabhain 23 Years (Great Cask Series) Cask 5706 Review


“Bunnahabhain Special # 2” 

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. At the request of many of my readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't touch too much details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In this special I will review three random Bunnahabhain Single Malts. Enjoy!
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Whisky Review # 790

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bunnahabhain Moine
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Around 6 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: Info not available. Most likely mainly Ex Bourbon Casks.
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 40-50 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 👍😀True to Form Young Islay with a good P/Q ratio 

Colour:

Light Gold (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Typical Young Peated Islay Malt. Ardbeg and Port Ellen come to mind. It's young Whisky but the overall Aroma is true to form and not unpleasant.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Buttered Toast, Coastal Peat, Cold Smoke, Fresh Flowers and Herbs, Green Apple, Pear, Lemon, Grass/Straw, Salted Nuts, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Brine, Iodine, Diesel, Pepper and Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather Honey, Caramel, Toffee, Red Berries, Banana, Nail Polish and Leather.



Palate:

Young, slightly Edgy and Light. The Alcohol is quite present. Peat, Smoke and Herbs take the lead.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Yeast, Grass and Straw, Coastal Peat, Cold Smoke, Tar, Ashes, Soot, Iodine, Diesel, Pear, Green Apple, Cocoa Powder, Grapefruit, Licorice, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol and Fresh and Dried Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Honey, Smoked Fish, Salted Nuts, Lemon, Leather, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Finish:

Middle-Long and mainly Sweet. Some Sour notes provide balance. The Alcohol is quite noticeable and a little Sharp. The Finish is the weaker part of this Moine. I find Toasted Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, Yeast, Salted Butter, Cold Smoke, Wet Earth, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Pear, Heather-Honey, Fresh Herbs, Soap, Mushrooms, Sugar, Lemon, Grapefruit Juice, Cocoa Powder, Pepper, Menthol, Leather, Licorice, Wet Rocks, Diesel and a light Metallic note.



Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It becomes dangerously drinkable this way so be careful! Personally I prefer it neat but you can certainly add a few drops of Water as per your preference.

Rating: 83

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience:

Good.

Conclusion:

Bunnahabhain was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and is located close to Port Askaig on the isle of Islay. It is now owned by Distell International Ltd who are looking to give the distillery a much needed face lift that will be ready in 2019.  The core range now includes the 12, 18, 25 and 40 years alongside some peated expressions like the Toiteach. Total production is around 2 million litres of which 35% is peated.

The Moine (Gaelic for Peated) was launched in 2015, initially only for Sweden. There are a few other Moines around that are finished a.o. in Oloroso & Brandy casks.

The Moine I'm reviewing today is young and not at all complex but true to form Islay. The Price/Quality ratio is good despite its limited age. Bunnahabhain is increasing their peated Single Malts and perhaps rightly so. If you like young peated Islay Whisky, this is a good alternative.


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Whisky Review # 791

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bunnahabhain 2001-2012 - Limited Edition - 809 Bottles
Bottled By: Carn Mor (Strictly Limited Edition Series)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky -  Cask #: Unknown
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Sherry Puncheon Cask
Chill-Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 50 (January 2019) - Hard to Find!
Buying Advice: 😀 Young, simple Sherried Bunnahabhain. P/Q Ratio: 👍

Colour:

Copper/Bronze (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, Medium-Light and Sweet. Sherry dominates the Nose with lots of Dried Fruit. No surprises here but no off-notes as well. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Fruitcake loaded with Dried Fruits like Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots and Figs, Plum Jam, Orange, Sweet Apples, Straw, Cinnamon and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Cocoa Powder, Coconut, Green Coffee Beans, Menthol, Cured Ham and Leather.


Palate:

Young, Sweet and a little Thin despite the adequate ABV. The Sherry cask still rules. The relative Youth of the Spirit is more noticeable now.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Dates and Figs, Orange, Sweet Apples, Almonds, Milk Chocolate, Cloves, Pepper and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Espresso, Cardamom, Leather, Tobacco, Menthol and a few Mineral notes.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Sweet with an increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. A little Sharp still on account of its relative youth. The Sherry is the dominating factor right to the very end. I find Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Figs and Plums, Grass/Straw, Salted Almonds,, Milk Chocolate, Honey, Red Apples, Dried Herbs, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cardamom, Menthol, Tobacco and Leather. A light Metallic note right at the end.


Drinking Advice:

This Bunnahabhain does not accept added Water very well. Better sip it neat!

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5  - Finish: 20.5  - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience:

Good.

Conclusion:

This is a rather young Whisky but the active Sherry cask and the adequate ABV succeed in masking this fact, especially on the Nose. On the Palate and in the Finish this Bunnahabhain feels a little Thin but is never unpleasant. It's too Thin to consider it a Sherry Monster but if you like Sherry-Finished unpeated Malts you can't go wrong with this Bunnahabhain, also because of the favourable P/Q ratio. The two Bunnahabhains I have tasted so far during this session show that this Distillery can easily handle both peated and unpeated Single Malts.


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Whisky Review # 792

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bunnahabhain 1989
Bottled By: Great Cask Series - 155 Bottles - Specially Bottled for Whiskysite
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask # 5706 - 155 Bottles
Age: 23 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 44.1% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Bourbon Barrel
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-150 (January 2019)
Buying Advice: 😐The P/Q ratio is Okay. Disappointing for a 23 Year old Malt.

Colour:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Quite Light and Fresh for a 23 Year old Whisky. Cask # 5706 was not a very active one if you ask me. On the Nose this Bunnahabhain presents a combo of Fruity, Floral, Herbal and Mineral Aroma with a light touch of Coastal Peat. The Alcohol is still noticeable. Please give this Malt enough time in the glass before Nosing as it does not give itself away very easily. Patience is needed!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Wet Sand, Grass, Green Apple, Pear, Orange Juice, Fresh Herbs, Floral Soap and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Coastal Peat, Charred Oak, Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, Mandarin, Lemon, Varnish and Menthol.


Palate:

Again a bit on the light side given its age although the Wood influence is more clear now. It's a bit Dusty as well. Sweet but no overly so. Quite Dry after a few seconds. A mix of Fruity, Floral, Herbal, Mineral and Spicy notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Fresh Herbs, Floral Soap, Grass, Orange, Pepper, Ginger and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Nuts, Coastal Peat, Wet Sand and Rocks, Lemon, Oak Char, Old Books on Dusty Shelves, Leather, Aniseed, Nutmeg and Caffe Latte.
  
Finish:

Middle-Long, Sweet and Spicy with a light Bitterness towards the very Dry end. The Oak is more noticeable now. Still a bit of Alcohol despite all these years! I find Sweet Toasted Barley, Toast, Salted Caramel, Grass, Heather-Honey, Nuts, Green Apple, Orange, Lemon, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Licorice and a bit of Coastal Peat and Charred Oak.


Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of of Water and Citrus notes develop strongly on the Nose. Palate and Finish do not change in a significant way but you can carefully add a drop of Water if you like.

Rating: 82.5

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

Drinking Experience:

Good but I expected more of a 23 Year old Whisky.

Conclusion:

This Bunnahabhain was distilled on October 20, 1989 and bottles for Whiskysite, The Netherlands on March 7, 2013. It's not a bad Single Malt but I must admit I expected more of a 23 Year old Whisky distilled in the late Eighties. Somehow it misses balance. It does not help as well that the Cask was little active. After I finished the Tasting session and included the score in my Complete Ranking Of Reviewed Whiskies I noticed I already had reviewed this Bunnahabhain back in 2014. You can find the earlier Review here. I was happy to see that my reviews were quite in line and presented an almost identical score.

This completes today's little Bunnahabhain Special. All three Single Malts were okay but none of them were exceptional.

I would like to wish all my readers and their families Good Health and Happiness in 2019. Thanks very much for your ongoing interest and support! Let's see if we can reach around 900 reviews by the end of this year!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 January 7, 2019

All Pictures were taken during our visit to Bunnahabhain in May 2014 and May 2017

Aberfeldy 1999/2017 Cask # 5 Review



“Merry Christmas”

Whisky Review # 789

Country:Scotland
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1999 - Bottled 17-05-2017 - Limited Edition
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky Cask # 5 - Bottle # 225 of 609
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.5 % (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Oloroso Sherry Cask
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 250-600 (December 2018). Will be very hard to find.
Buying Advice: 😊Good Sherry Bomb.  👎Remaining bottles are too expensive

Colour:

Mahogany/Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The ABV is quite substantial so be sure to give this Aberfeldy enough time in the glass. This Single Malt looks and smells like Christmas. A true Sherry-Bomb with lots of Dark Fruit, Spices and Leather. Quite Sweet and a little Dusty. Compact and Mature. Significant Cask influence.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salty Caramel, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Raisins, Resin, Peach, Nectarine, Orange, Bitter Chocolate, Polished Leather Upholstery, Straw, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Rum, Dark Honey, slightly Sour Berries, Lemon, Marzipan, Dark Cherries, Tobacco, Pepper, Licorice, Dried Herbs and Menthol.


Palate:

Sherry, Sherry and Sherry! On the Palate, this Aberfeldy is Bitter-Sweet & Dry. The Oak is quite present.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Dusty Oak, Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Resin, Polished Leather Upholstery, Tobacco, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Christmas Cake, Slivovitz, Lemon, Dark Cherries, Nectarines, Herbal Tea, Strong Espresso, Pepper and Nutmeg.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. The Bitterness increases towards the Dry end. Cask # 5 certainly left its mark on the Aberfeldy Spirit. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins and Plums, Orange, Marzipan, Almonds, Dusty Track, Oak, Dried Herbs, Ginger, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Licorice, Tobacco and Menthol.


Drinking Advice:

A few drops of Water help to calm down the Alcohol. Palate & Finish become slightly more Herbal but in this case my advice is to add a few drops.

Rating: 88

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience:

Good.

Conclusion:

The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John and Tommy Dewar. The 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 opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.5 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 and 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the beautiful visitor centre in May 2017. That's where I bought the 17 Years I'm reviewing today.

This is by far the best Aberfeldy I have tasted until now. Sherry Bomb fans will love this one and I will certainly serve this Single Malt with Strong Coffee and Rich Dark Chocolate at the end of this year's Christmas Dinner. At the same time I feel that the Spirit stayed a few years too long in the very active Cask # 5. The Wood influence is a bit overwhelming at times. But it's a quality Whisky without any doubt and it's certainly worth the 100 Pounds or so I paid for it at the distillery. There won't be many bottles left though and I've seen crazy prices of over US$ 500 on the internet. That's way too much for this Aberfeldy. Limited Editions like this should be bought at the distillery as soon as they are available.

Dear Whisky friends, I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy and Malty Christmas. May the Spirit be with you all!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                             December 23, 2018