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

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 Review


“Smoke on the Water”

Whisky Review # 837

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 (167 PPM) - Scottish Barley Series
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Limited Edition- 18000 Bottles
Age: 5 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 57%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 140-190 (October 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎Way too expensive for a 5-year old Single Malt. 
Buying Advice: 😀If you love peated young Islay, go for it!

Colour:

Golden Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose:

At 167 PPM and 57% ABV I was kind of expecting a Peat Explosion that would blow my mind away. The Peat is there of course and so is the Alcohol. It smells like a Young Islay but in a pleasant mellow way. Be sure to give this Octomore enough time in the glass as it opens up slowly.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Sea Water, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Iodine, Band-Aid, TCP Pipes, Tar, Ashes, Bacon on the BBQ, Green Apple, Lemon, Burnt Herbs, Pepper and Leather.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Grass, Salted Nuts, Cooked Vegetables, Yeast, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup,  Oak Char and Mint.



Palate:

Octomore 6.1 shows its Youth here. The Alcohol is strong & not yet integrated. This Octomore would certainly benefit from a longer maturation. It still holds its peaty ground though! A bit Sweeter as expected though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Salted Caramel, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Ashes, TCP Pipes, Tar, Soot, Iodine, Band-Aid, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Green Apple, Lemon, Pepper, Menthol and Ginger.
  
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Roasted Nuts, Roasted Coffee, Oak, Char, Bitter Orange-Juice, Grass, Bacon on the BBQ, Burnt Herbs, Licorice and Nutmeg.


Finish:

Bitter-Sweet and very Long. Medium Dry towards the end. It's like sucking on a peated TCP Pipe! It just goes on and on. It's a very young Whisky of course and the Alcohol is quite noticeable. But somehow it works. I find Toasted Barley, Burnt Toast, Straw mixed with Cow Manure, Dirty Peat, Cold Smoke, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Band-Aid, TCP Pipes, Burnt Herbs, Green Apple, Lemon, Salted Nuts, Salted Caramel, Bacon on the BBQ, Oak Char, Licorice, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol and Coffee-Flavoured Dark Chocolate.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Octomore starts to smell like peated Grist that most of you have probably smelled more than once when fortunate enough to visit a distillery. The Malt shines as well. Cold Smoke and Plastic reign on the Palate and in the shorter Finish. You can carefully experiment with a few drops at a time.

Rating: 85

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its 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 and the very heavily peated Octomore. The basic core range for Bruichladdich includes The Classic Laddie, Islay Barley 2010 & Black Art 5. The annual production amounts to around one million litres.

The Octomore 06.1 was released in 2013. This is my first Octomore distillery bottling and I was expecting sort of a Peat Bomb. There's a lot of Peat of course and you gotta like that to fully appreciate an Octomore. But to me it's actually quite Mellow, especially on the Nose. It's young peated Islay Malt on steroids. Not for everybody and not for everyday but certainly warming after a long walk along the Islay coast on a cold and misty morning.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 10, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

Glenlivet Master Distillers Reserve Review



“Ballad of a Thin Man”

Whisky Review # 836

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenlivet "The Master Distiller's Reserve"
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Mix of Sherry Butts, American Oak and Traditional Oak casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 35-50 (October 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: Okay. At least it's not too expensive.
Buying Advice: 😒 Bland and Thin. Not at all my thing! 

Colour:

Golden with shades of Orange (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light, Young, Sweet, Fruity and Grassy. I notice the presence of Re-Fill casks. I get a few slightly Sour notes as well. The Sherry Wood is hardly noticeable. All in all a bit boring!

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Grass and Straw, Raisins, Artificially Flavored Candies (Pineapple, Pear, Green Apple),  Sugared Almonds, Cinnamon, and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Mandarin, Lemon, Wet Stones, Caffe Latte, Milk Chocolate, Floral Soap, Wood Shavings and Mint.



Palate:

Young, Thin, Light, Bitter-Sweet and Medium Dry. A few Sour notes as well. The Alcohol is very present. Quite disappointing really.

Main Flavours:

Barley Sugar, Caramel, Vanilla, Orange Peel, Green Apple, Raisins, Grass & Straw, Nuts and Nutshells, Wood-Shavings, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint & Nutmeg.
  
Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Heather-Honey, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Pear, Dusty Track, Acetone, Tin cans, Pepper and Caffe Latte.


Finish:

Short, Light, Young and Nervous. A mix of Sugary-Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. The Alcohol bites a little. I find Barley Sugar, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Raisins, Orange, Mandarin, Lemon, Nuts & Nutshells, Apple, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper, Menthol and Caffe Latte.  

Drinking Advice:

Added Water totally kills this Thin Single Malt.

Rating: 77

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 18.5 - Overall: 19 

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion:

The Glenlivet Distillery is located in Ballindalloch (Banfshire) and was founded in 1824 by George Smith. Since 2001 it is owned by Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard and in 2018 a new extension of the distillery was approved that will increase the production to around 21 million litres making it the largest Single Malt distillery in Scotland. The Core range includes The Founder's Reserve (NAS), the 12, 15, 18 and 21 Years as well as the XXV and the Captain's Reserve. The Master Distiller's Reserve I'm reviewing today was launched in 2011 and is part of the Travel Retail range.

If I would be the Master-Distiller at The Glenlivet I would not want to give my signature to this Bleak, Bland, Thin and Boring Single Malt. I bought this at the Sao Paulo Airport as a package together with the Master Distiller's Small Batch Reserve. I hope that one will be better. Today's Master Distiller's Reserve did not bring me any joy at all!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                  October 3, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2019

Glen Scotia 18 Years Review


“Dust in the Wind”

Whisky Review # 835

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Glen Scotia
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks with Oloroso Sherry Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 70-85 (September 2019)
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many thanks!
Price/Quality Ratio: Good
Buying Advice: 😀It's good but I like the 15 Years and its P/Q ratio even more!

Colour:

Copper with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

A Mix of Sweet and Sour notes. A little Dirty and Musty though far less than its neighbour Springbank.  Still, it does not smell quite as "Mainstream" as lots of modern Malts do. I get a bit of Salt and Dust as well. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley,  Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricot, Citrus Peel, Apple, Grass and Straw, Yeast, Dirty Earth, Cherry/Menthol Cough Pastilles, Soot, Grapefruit, Sour Grapes and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Toffee, Treacle, Heather-Honey, Charred Oak, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Herbal Tea, Mixed Nuts, Perfumed Soap, Tobacco and Cured Ham.



Palate:

A mix of Bitter, Sweet & Sour notes. A Bit Dusty and Waxy as well. The delivery is a bit on the Thin side which is remarkable given the good ABV. Quite Dry. The Alcohol is not completely integrated.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals,  Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Dough, Charred Oak, Dirty Earth, Dried Fruit and Nuts like Apricots, Dates and Hazelnuts, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Treacle, Toffee, Soot, Apple, Herbal Tea, Cured Ham, Licorice, Iron, Tobacco, Espresso, Leather, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet with lots of Dry Oak towards the end. It's a bit Thinner as expected given the adequate ABV. I find Toasted Barley, Grass and Straw, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Seville Orange, Dried Fruit and Nuts like Raisins and Hazelnuts, Charred Oak, Dirty Earth, Soot, Herbal Tea, Grapefruit, Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Menthol, Iron and Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Alcohol retreats. I get more Fruit on the Nose, especially Peach and Apricot. This Fruit returns on the Palate but Wood & Spices control the Finish. This Glen Scotia improves with a few drops of Water.

Rating: 84

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The Glen Scotia Distillery was founded in 1832 and is located in Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsular. It's one of the only three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown along with Springbank and Glengyle. The current owner is a Glasgow based Blending House called Loch Lomond Distillery. A new range was launched in 2015. It consists of the 15 Years and two NAS Expressions, the Double Cask and the Victoriana. The 18 Years I review today was launched in 2017. We visited the distillery in May 2017. We were lucky and got a private Tour and Tasting.

The Glen Scotia 18 Years is a Medium-Dirty Campbeltown Single Malt with an acceptable Price/Quality ratio. It's not quite as Dirty and Musty as its neighbour Springbank but it has more than sufficient character to distinguish itself from today's mainstream boring Malt Whiskies. It's a bit Thin though like Dust in the Wind and less Fruity than its younger brother the 15 Years. So my advise would be to go for the latter that also presents an even better P/Q ratio!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 30, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2017

Highland Park Spirit of the Bear Review


“Teddy Bear”

Whisky Review # 834

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Orkney
Brand: Highland Park Spirit of the Bear
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Mix of Bourbon Casks and Sherry Seasoned American Oak Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 45-60 (September 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: Okay if you can find it at around US$ 45
Buying Advice: 😔It's not bad but better stick with the HP 10 or 12 Years

Colour:

Golden Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, Light, Thin, slightly Musty, Mineral and Sweet but not in an unpleasant way. Smoke and Peat (Dry Earth) are quite present and so is the Alcohol. There is some Sherry Wood influence but the 40% waters that down considerably.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Apple-Filled Puff Pastry, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Mixed Dried Fruit like Raisins and Prunes, Orange Peel, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Nuts and Nutshells, Wax, Lemon, Pear, Coconut, Gooseberry, Wet Stones, Iron, Caffe Latte, Wood Pellets, Nutmeg, Pepper, Banana-Flavoured Yogurt, Menthol and Leather.



Palate:

Young, Thin, Watery, Bitter-Sweet and Medium Dry. It doesn't taste bad but it's so Watered Down it looses all energy. The Alcohol is not really integrated.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Toast, Vanilla, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ashes, Grass and Straw, Nuts & Nutshells, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pepper, Ginger and Herbal Tea.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salted Caramel, Heather-Honey, Iron, Wet Stones, Lemon, Tart Apple Juice,  Bacon, Caffe Latte, Cocoa Powder and Tobacco.


Finish:

Short/Middle Long and Bitter-Sweet. This is the most forgettable part without any doubt. Really Thin. I find Toasted Malt, slightly Burnt Toast, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ashes, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Grass and Straw, Seville Orange, Nuts and Nutshells, Lemon, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Tobacco, Cocoa Powder and Toasted Oak.

Drinking Advice:

This Bear does not need added Water. It's Thin enough as it is.

Rating: 80.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/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 and the distillery has increasingly used this past as a rather successful marketing tool. Highland Park currently produces around 2.3 million litres of Alcohol and is owned since 1997 by the Edrington Group. The core range consists of the 10 years (Viking Scars), the 12 years (Viking Honour), the 18 years (Viking Pride), the 25, 30 and 40 years.

The Story behind this Single Malt is the following: Many Viking warriors believed they could channel the Spirit of the Great Forrest Bear by assuming its form wrapping themselves in Bear skins. Bears were admired for being resilient and self sufficient with a highly developed instinct for survival.

The Spirit of the Bear was released in 2018 as a part of the revived Travel Retail range. I'm not gonna start raving again about Highland Park's Viking obsession as my opinion on the subject is well-known. But I can't help noticing that this Spirit of the Bear is another one of this endless stream of Highland Park malts that are not better and usually more expensive than the core range. It's not a bad Single malt but it smells and tastes so utterly watered down that you will loose interest quite quickly. I don't see much similarities with Great Forrest Bears either. This is a Teddy Bear at best!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 26, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2019

Ardnamurchan 2018 AD 03 Review

Image result for ardnamurchan spirit 2018 03

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Whisky Review # 833

Country: Scotland
Region: Western Highlands
Brand: Ardnamurchan 2018 AD - Limited Release # 03 - 4916 Bottles
Type: Spirit - Bottled: 2018
Age: NAS (Around 1 Year)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 55.3%
Maturation: Vatting of 29 1st Fill Ex-Sherry Oloroso and PX Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 65-85 (September 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: Negative. Way too expensive for such a young Spirit.
Buying Advice: 😐Interesting but very young Spirit. Buy a sample first! 

Colour:

Dark Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, Edgy, Fruity and slightly Thin Spirit. The Alcohol is certainly noticeable. I must admit though that it's hard to believe we are nosing a 1 Year old Spirit. The First-Fill casks did a really good job here. On the Nose this Ardnamurchan presents mainly Sweet- but also a few Sour notes. On the whole a very positive surprise considering its short maturation.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Toffee, Mixed Fruits and Nuts including Raisins, Dates, Hazelnuts and Peanuts, Seville Oranges, Yeast, Factory Smoke, Dirty Earth, Leather, Wet Rocks & Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Cake, Caramel, Sour Berries, Tinned Pineapple, Apple-Vinegar, Mango-Flavoured Yogurt, Varnish, Iron, Pepper and Nutmeg.

Image result for ardnamurchan distillery

Palate:

Young, Sharp, Dry & Smoky. It not unlike a Young Islay actually. On the Palate you will find an array of Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes. The Alcohol is very much present.

Main Flavours:

Toffee, Salted Caramel, Factory Smoke, Dirty Earth, Ashes, Soot, Wet Rocks, Red Apple, Seville Oranges, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Gooseberries, Wax and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Sweet Barley, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Plums, Apple-Vinegar, Cheap Red Wine, Wood Pellets, Tinned Pineapple, Pork on the BBQ, Licorice and Menthol.

Finish:

Short to Middle Long with Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes. Its Youth is clear now and the Alcohol is quite Strong. Quite Dry in the end as well. Peat and Factory Smoke are more pronounced than on the Nose. I also find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Wood Pellets, Apple-Vinegar, Gooseberries, Cherry-Flavoured Cough-Syrup, Bitter Orange Juice, Varnish, Iron, Ashes, Soot, Menthol, Pepper and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that tames the Alcohol of course which by itself is a good thing. You're left with a sort of Fruity Peat-Water mixed with Porridge. Palate and Finish relax a bit with the added Water although the overall Aroma and Flavour profile does not change dramatically. There's room to experiment with a few drops.

Rating: 81.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay. Good when you consider the terribly short maturation.

Conclusion:

Ardnamurchan was founded recently in 2014 in Glenbeg, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, just north of Mull. It is owned by the independent bottler Adelphi Distillery Ltd. Production started in July 2014. Annual production will amount to around 420.000 litres. Half of the year the distillery produces unpeated Spirit while during the other half peated Spirit is produced (30-35 PPM). Adelphi plans to release a mature Spirit each year until 2021 when the first Single Malt will be bottled. Today we are tasting the 2018 Edition # 3 that included both unpeated and peated Barley in the mash-bill.

I was really surprised with the Aroma/Flavour level of this Spirit given its ultra-short maturation. These Sherry-Flavoured casks have really done a good job. I am impressed. Nevertheless it's still a young Spirit and you can't and shouldn't compare it to a fully matured Single Malt. But it's sufficiently interesting to look forward to the first fully matured Ardnamurchan Single Malt. I have a feeling it will be quite good if and when the distillery continues to work with good quality casks. In any case I wish the team of Ardnamurchan the best of luck!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 23, 2019

Image result for ardnamurchan distillery

Roe & Co Batch 1 Review


“The Irish Walker”

Whisky Review # 832

Country: Ireland
Brand: Roe & Co. Batch # 1
Distilled: Unknown
Bottled By: Roe & Co, Dublin (Diageo)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45%
Maturation: First Fill and Refill Ex Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 25-35 (September 2019)
Buying Advice:😒There's good well-priced Irish Whiskey. So why go for Roe?

Colour:

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Young, Light and Sweet. The Grain Alcohol is clearly noticeable. There's not a lot of Depth on the Nose. Hints of Rye Whiskey and Peppered Vodka.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grains, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Artificially-Flavoured Candies (Pear, Apple), Dusty Wood, Dusty Track, Varnish, Dried Herbs, Rye, Pepper, Ginger and Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Toffee, Molasses, Honey, Orange, Banana Leaves, Lemon-Flavoured Detergent, Nut Shells, Caffe Latte, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Tobacco.

Image result for st,.james gate distillery
Design of the New Still House
Palate:

Young and Sugary Sweet with a few Bitter and Sour notes. The Grain Alcohol is way too present & it tastes like a combination of Blended Scotch, Rye Whiskey, Slivovitz and Peppered Vodka. It didn't really invite me to have another sip.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Green Apple, Unripe Banana, Bitter Orange Juice, Dusty Oak, Grass, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon and Menthol. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Molasses, Honey, Nut Shells, Lemon, Pear Drops, Bounty Bars, Dusty Earth, Nutmeg, Rye and Aniseed.

Finish:

Short and Sugary-Sweet. Increasing Bitterness and Sourness towards the end. Quite Creamy though. I find Toasted Grains, Grain Alcohol, Burnt Toast, Toffee, Honey, Dried Herbs, Rye, Green Apple, Unripe Pear, Bitter Orange Juice, Dairy, Dusty Oak, Iron, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Nut Shells and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water weakens this Blend even more. This is not a sipping Whisky.

Rating: 79

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Regular

Conclusion:

The Brand Roe & Co was launched by George Roe & Co in the 19th century. Its Distillery in Thomas Street, Dublin was the largest in the country at that time. The Brand name was bought by Diageo, losing out on the Irish Market after having sold Bushmills a few years ago. Diageo is also building a new distillery to be called St. James's Gate and situated quite close to the site of the old George Roe distillery. In anticipation, Diageo launched the Roe & Co Blend in 2017. It's a Blend of Grain and Single Malt Whisky and a high number of First-Fill Bourbon casks are said to have been used for maturation. The Blend is bottled at 45% and is not Chill-Filtered. Every bottle mentions the Batch # and Bottle Number. Various distilleries supply the ingredients for the Blend.

Diageo presents this Roe & Co as a luxury Blend, especially suitable for cocktails and long-drinks. Bottle and Presentation are certainly nice but since I'm not really much of a cocktail fan I wouldn't know about the mixing qualities. I do know it's not a sipping Whiskey! It's very Young & Sugary Sweet and the Grain Alcohol rules. I can't detect any substantial Malt influence. It smells and tastes like a mixture of Bottom Shelf Blended Scottish Whisky, Rye Whiskey, Slivovitz and Peppered Vodka. In short it's not my thing. Johnny Walker Red goes Irish! Help!!!!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                          September 17, 2019

Image result for st,.james gate distillery

GlenDronach 10 Years Forgue Review



“The Road To Hell”

Whisky Review # 831

Country: Scotland
Region: Eastern Highlands
Brand: GlenDronach Forgue
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled: 2018
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Ex-Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (September 2019)
Buying Advice👎 The 12 Years is better and cheaper!

Colour:

Pale Copper with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, slightly Thin & Fruity. Sweet and Sour tones. The Sherry cask influence is not overwhelming. Probably 2nd and 3rd Refill casks. Perhaps a little Sulphur but nothing serious. On the Nose this Forgue presents a combination of Fresh and Dried Fruits, Nuts, Barley and Spices.

Main Aromas:

Malted Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Grass and Straw, Fruit Cake with Dried Fruit like Raisins, Plums and Apricots and roasted Almonds, Mulled Wine spiced with Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves, Dark Red Fruit, Orange and Toasted Oak.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Syrup, Brown Sugar, Milk Chocolate, Red Apple, Peach,  Caffe Latte and Dusty Road.



Palate:

Sweet, Fruity, Spicy, Young and ever so slightly on the Thin side.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apricots, Orange, Dark Red Fruit like Berries and Cherries, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Caffe Latte and Milk Chocolate.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Syrup, Butter, Nutella, Straw, Yeast, Red Wine, Peach, Dusty Track, Tobacco and Bounty Bars.


Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. A little Alcohol kick right at the end. Wood and Wood Spices take control over the Fruit. I find Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Milk Chocolate, Caffe Latte, Orange, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Raspberry, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom, Toasted Oak and hints of Tobacco and Tea.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Fruity tones develop. Peach and Apricot become quite clear. The Oak and Spices take maximum control on the Palate and most of all in the Finish. You can carefully add four drops of Water but no more than that.

Rating: 82.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

GlenDronach was founded in 1826 by James Allardice in Forgue, Aberdeenshire. It changed hands various times before being acquired in 2016 by Brown Forman. The core range consists of the Hielan 8 Years, the 12 Years, the 18 Y Allardice, the 21 Years Parliament and the 25 Years Grandeur. In 2018 two Travel retail expressions were launched being the 10 Years Forgue I'm reviewing today as well as the 16 Years old Boynsmill. We visited the distillery in May this year and we had an unforgettable time there. I will treasure this memory for always. A very nice Tour and a tasting that included the whole range of the distillery plus some extras. Great! I can only fully recommend a visit!

The 10 Years old Forgue is an attempt to put GlenDronach on he Travel-Retail market. It's Non Chill-Filtered, does not contain artificial colouring and is bottled at a reasonable 43% although 46% would have been better of course. It's not a bad Single Malt but it's not as good as all the other GlenDronach Malts I have tasted with the exception of the 8 Year old Hielan. But I quite clearly prefer the 12 Years and, believe it or not, the last one is cheaper than the Forgue. That does not make sense and I hope that GlenDronach (one of my favourite Malts) will review this policy in the future. GlenDronach always put Quality first and Marketing second and I do hope it stays that way. Too many popular distilleries have gone the other way around unfortunately!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 12, 2019


All Pictures were taken during our visit to GlenDronach in May 2019

Arran 2006 (Greek Whisky Association) Review


“Griechischer Malt”

Whisky Review # 830

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Arran
Brand: Arran
Exclusive Bottling for: Greek Whisky Association - Private Cask Series
Distilled: 26/07/2006 - Bottled: 11-04-2019
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask 2006/800483 - 277 Bottles
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 54.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Sherry Hogshead
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 75 (September 2019) - Sold out in the meantime!
Sample provided by Georgios from Greece. Many thanks!
Price Quality Ratio: Okay
Buying Advice: Good Sweet Sherried Highlander. 😭Unfortunately it's sold-out!

Colour:

Chestnut (Natural Colour)

Nose:

It would be almost impossible to recognise this as Arran Malt in a Blind Tasting. The active Sherry cask is responsible for that. I think I might recognise it as a Sherried Highlander though. The Sweet Nose certainly reminds me of Christmas Time with lots of Dried Fruit, Soft Spices and Nuts. Please give this Arran enough air time before Nosing. The Alcohol is noticeable but does not spoil the fun.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Pancakes with Golden Syrup, Yeast, X-mas Cake with Port Wine-Soaked Raisins, Dried Apricots, Mixed Nuts, Caffe Latte, Oak, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Brown Sugar, Caramel, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Peach, Plum Jam, Pralines, Candied Pineapple, Lemon, Perfumed Candle Wax, Herbal Tea, Tobacco, Pepper, Cloves and Nutmeg.



Palate:

Sweet and Mature. The Alcohol is more noticeable now. It's quite consistent with the Nose in presenting lots of Dark Dried Fruit, Spices and Nuts. Quite Dry.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Malt, Christmas Cake with Port Wine-soaked Raisins, Salted Carmel, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Caffe Latte, Dark Orange-Flavoured Chocolate, slightly Musty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Stewed Apple, Mixed Nuts (Almonds and Walnuts), Shortbread with Plum Marmalade, Peach, Candied Pineapple, Espresso, Tobacco and Wet Paper.


Finish:

Middle-Long & Bitter Sweet. Quite Dry in the end. I find Caramel, Toasted Barley, Brown Sugar, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, Seville Orange, Mixed Nuts like Almonds and Walnuts, Extra Dark Chocolate, Tobacco, Furniture Wax for Leather Upholstery, Iron, Espresso, Port Wine, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

Because of the small size of the sample. I only tasted this Arran neat.

Rating: 85.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

Arran Distillery was founded by Harold Currie in 1993 and started production in 1995. Business is going so well that the owners (Isle of Arran Distillers) are in the process of finalising another distillery (Lagg) on the Southern part of Arran that will take care of the peated expressions. Production of this new distillery could start in early 2019. The Arran core range now consists of the 10, 14 18 and 21 Years as well as the NAS Whiskies Robert Burns, Lochranza Reserve and Machrie Moore. We visited this distillery in May 2017 and absolutely loved it. Great tour, very friendly people, a nice shop and a good lunch restaurant. I can fully recommend a visit more so as the isle of Arran is a very nice and relatively quiet place.

The 2006 Arran GWA is a well-matured Sherried Highlander. You could argue that 12 years in a Sherry Cask slightly overpowers the light and fresh Arran Spirit. I've tasted Bourbon cask-matured Arran Malts that received a Sherry Finish and I found them a little bit more balanced. But if you like a Sherried after-dinner (Christmas) Whisky you can't go wrong with this bottle.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                            September 5 , 2019


All Pictures were taken during our visit to Arran in May 2017