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

Johnnie Walker Black Sherry Finish




“Black Is Not Black”


Whisky Review # 986

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Brand: Johnnie Walker Black Sherry Finish
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Probably a mix of mostly Ex-Bourbon casks & some Sherried Wood
Finish: Casks seasoned with Sherry from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 25-35 (April 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ if you are looking for a Sweeter and less Smoky Black Label

Colour: Amber with shades of Red and Orange (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

Sweet and Pleasant but even less Smoky than the standard Black. The Grain Alcohol remains dominant but the Sherry influence is clear with Dark Berries, Dried Fruits and Nuts.

Main Aromas:

Grain Alcohol, Toasted Grain, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Grass and Straw, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates, Plums, Apricots and Figs, Dark Berries & Cherries, Orange Peel, Mixed Nuts and Nut Shells, Dark Chocolate, Earthy Peat, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon and Pepper.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Honey, Vanilla, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Rum, Dusty Track, Dark Chocolate, Smoke, Ginger, Aniseed, Tobacco and hints of Licorice and Ashes.

Cardhu Distillery

Palate:

Despite the Sweet influence of the Sherried casks, this JW Blend can't hide the fact that the principal component is Grain Whisky. It's a pity that no one, at least in an official way, has tested a blend with a 50/50 Grain/Malt content and an ABV of 43%. That might be a stunner! As it is the Palate basically follows the Nose with a mix of Dried Fruit, Nuts, Spices and Grain.

Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Prunes, Dates, Figs, Apricots, Raisins and Prunes, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Mixed Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Ginger and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Honey, Red Berries, Green Vegetables, Dusty Track, Earthy Peat, Smoke, Ashes, Tobacco, Cardamom, Licorice, Espresso and Menthol.
 
Cameronbridge Grain Distillery

Finish
:


Short/Middle Long with a slightly Sharp Grain Alcohol Kick. Mostly Sweet but with a little Bitterness towards the Medium Dry/Dry end. I also find Grain Alcohol, Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Dried Fruit like Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Dates & Figs, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Dark Chocolate, Mixed Nuts, Herbs, Dusty Road, Earthy Peat, Smoke, Ashes, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cardamon, Dusty Oak, Herbs and Espresso.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and although the Blend becomes dangerously easy to drink, you also miss most of the Aromas and Flavors. But in all honesty, this Blend is not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky. It's nice on the Rocks though.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay/Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

Johnnie Walker Black Label Sherry Finish is made with Grain Whisky from Lowland Distillery Cameronbridge and Single Malts from a/o Cardhu, Clynelish, Glenkinchie and Caol Ila.

It's not a bad Blend and a good Start for beginning Whisky Drinkers that want to explore the Smoky side but in an easy way. The best way to enjoy this Blend is over Ice. The standard Black is still my to-go-to Blend because of its good Price/Quality ratio. I like it better than this Sherry Finish as it presents a bit more Smoke & Peat from Caol Ila. But in case you prefer it a bit more Sweet & less Smoky, this Sherry Finish might just be the Blend for you.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                           April 12, 2023


Caol Ila

The Irishman 17 Years

(Or Similar Bottle)

“Painter Man”


Whisky Review # 985

Country: Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Brand: The Irishman
Matured and Bottled by/for: Walsh Whiskey Distillery Ltd.
Distilled at: Probably Midleton and/or Bushmills - Triple Distilled
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whiskey - Cask #: Unknown - Around 600 Bottles
Age: 17 Years (2001-2018)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: First Fill Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 110-130 (April 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Borderline Okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not my thing but if you like Varnished Dried Fruits go for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Nose:

Full, Matured and Sweet. In a Blind Tasting I would have guessed it to be older. The Sherry Cask influence is very clear with loads of Dried Fruit, Nuts, Toffee & Spices. Christmas is in the Air. The Alcohol is noticeable but well-integrated.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Malted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, German Butter Biscuits, Nuts, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Prunes and Dates, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger and Cloves.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Port Wine, Straw, Brandy, Puff Pastry filled with Peach or Apricot, Marzipan, Nougat, Maraschino Cherries, Dusty Earth, Wood Polish, Tobacco, Coffee Beans and Menthol/Mint.


Palate:

Heavy, Oily and Thick. Very Sweet. The Alcohol burns a bit. Sour and Bitter notes develop to balance things out. The Cask influence is very strong and the Spirit feels older than it really is. The Varnish note is quite present and spoils the party a bit. A bit of Sulphur is around as well.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Toffee, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Dates and Apricots, Dark Red and Purple Berries, Roasted Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Orange Liqueur, Dusty Oak, Polished Wood, Floral Soap, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Straw, Nougat, Espresso, Creme de Cassis, Grapefruit, Overripe Banana, Lemon, Nutmeg, Licorice and Cloves.

Finish:

Middle-Long, Thick and quite Sweet. The Alcohol kicks and remains in your throat for a while together with a Varnish note I don't really like. A bit of Sourness and Bitterness towards the Dry end. I also find Roasted Barley, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Molasses, Vanilla, Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Apricots & Plums, Dark Red Berries, Grapefruit, Gooseberries, Nuts, Dusty Oak, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Herbs, Orange Liqueur, Tobacco, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves, Aniseed, Floral Soap and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Irishman neat. I would guess though that a little Water would benefit this Single Malt.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

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. 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.

I was looking forward to this one as it's one of my first fully-matured Irish Single Malts. Fully matured indeed as you would probably give it more than 17 years. The Sherry Cask influence is very strong and overpowers the Spirit. The Alcohol is very pungent and there's a Varnish-like off note that I don't like. I'm sure many people will like this type of Whiskey and it's not really bad but it's not my thing. It smells like Christmas but on the Palate and in the Finish I got images of a Painter disguised as Santa Claus ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                            April 7, 2023

Grant's Triple Wood


“Mixed Emotions”


Whisky Review # 984

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Bottled and Produced By: William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd., Dufftown
Brand: Grant's Triple Wood
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottling Serie: Stand Fast
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Mix of American Oak, Virgin Oak and Bourbon Re-Fill Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 10-15 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ It's quite cheap indeed
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Not good enough for sipping but okay on the Rocks or mixed

Colour: Golden with shades of Orange (Artificially Colored)

Nose:

The typical Sweet smell of relatively cheap Blended Whisky. It's driven by Grain Alcohol, Caramel and musty Re-Fill casks. It's on the Thin side, Young and slightly Hot. Cheap Slivovitz come to mind.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grain Alcohol, Toast and Margarine, Caramel, Toffee, Straw, Musty Casks & Sawdust, Artificially-Flavored Candies (Green Apple, Cherry, Orange & Pineapple), Pepper, Menthol and Cinnamon.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Mixed Dried Fruit and Nuts (Sultanas, Raisins, Walnuts), Cooked Vegetables, Compost, Insect Killer with Lemon Aroma, Nutmeg and Charred Oak.

Girvan Grain Distillery

Palate:

Young, Thin and a little Sharp. A mix of Sweet and Bitter notes with a pinch of Salt for good measure. This is Whisky for drinking and not for sipping.

Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Artificially-Flavored Candies (See Nose), Oak Char and Sawdust, Pepper, Menthol, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Honey, Brown Sugar, Banana, Lemon, Dried Herbs, Sultanas, Slivovitz, White Chocolate, Earth, Tobacco and Cinnamon.

Kininvie Distillery
Finish:

Thin, Short and a little Hot. Sugary Sweet at first but with a light Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Grain Alcohol, Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Sugar, Marshmallow, Honey, Artificially-flavored Candies (See Nose), Musty Casks and Char, Earth, Straw, Sultanas, Slivovitz, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Very faint hint of Horse Saddles. 

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Blend. The best way to enjoy this Blend is on the Rocks or as a basis for a mixed drink, for instance with Coca Cola.

Rating: 5.5 (*****1/2)

Nose: 6 - Taste: 5.5 - Finish: 5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Marginally Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good, albeit a little Thin.

Conclusion:

This Triple Wood replaces the Family Reserve as Grant's main Blended Whisky. The Blend most likely contains Girvan Grain Whisky and Malt Whisky from Glenfiddich, Kininvie and perhaps a drop of Balvenie.

I have tasted lots of cheap Blends in the meantime and this is certainly not the worst one. But it's still Young, Thin, Hot and without convincing Aromas & Flavors. Therefore it's not good enough as a sipping whisky but it's not bad on the Rocks or in mixed drinks. I prefer this Grant's over JW Red.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        March 29, 2023

Glenfiddich Distillery

Craigellachie 17 Years

 

“Hot Legs”

Whisky Review # 983

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Craigellachie
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherried Wood
Finish: 50% in First-Fill Bourbon casks and 50% in First-Fill Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 90-110 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Okay if you can score it at around 80 US Dollars
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ Plain & too much Alcohol Burn for my liking but that's just me!

Colour: Light Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please give this Craigellachie some time in the glass before Nosing. It opens up a bit slowly and the initial wafts of Alcohol are quite strong. As always avoid sticking your nose in the middle of your glass. The Nose is not very complicated and the Sherry cask influence is clear. As a result, Malt and loads of Dried - (Dark) Red Fruits lead the way. Some are Sweet and some slightly Sour. There's a bit of Sulphur in the air but it doesn't really bother me. All in all not bad but a bit plain.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Bread Dough, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Apricots, Figs and Plums, Dark Red Fruit (Berries, Cherries), Slightly Sour Citrus (Orange, Mandarin, Lemon), Bounty Bars, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Mint & Cinnamon.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Wax, Green Apple, Pear, Mango, Marzipan, Nougat, Pepper, Green Herbs and hints of Meadow Flowers, Licorice, Metal coins and Glue.


Palate:

This is my first Craigellachie Distillery bottling. I had a few Indie bottles in the past but none of them were very convincing. And this official 17 years won't make me a huge fan of Craigellachie Single Malt as well. But it's strong and powerful and as such quite suitable for Blended Whisky. On the Palate the 17 years is quite a Power House with lots of Malt and Alcohol. You would expect a much higher ABV in a blind tasting. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty notes and I identify the same main drivers as on the Nose. The Sulphur is more noticeable now  but it's not too bad.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dough, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Dark Berries and Cherries, Bitter Orange, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Butter, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Toast, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Toasted Pineapple, Gooseberry, Nuts, Herbal Tea, Dark Chocolate, Dairy, Raw Meat, Cloves, Ginger and Licorice. A hint of Leather.

Finish:

Middle-Long and a bit Hot. Sweet at First but with developing Sour and Salty notes and increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The Sulphur is a bit more noticeable now but stays within limits. I basically find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Wax, Dough, Honey, Dusty Charred Oak, Orange-flavored Bitter Chocolate, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dark Berries, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Toasted Pineapple, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Mint, Nuts, Strong Espresso and hints of Artificial Sweetener, Raw Meat, Milk and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little water and that kills most of the unwanted Alcohol Heat. On the Nose it does become Malt Juice much like Cardhu. Palate & Finish improve with the Water however so my advise is to add a little bit.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


Conclusion:

The Craigellachie Distillery was founded around 1890/91 and is located between Craigellachie and Aberlour in Banffshire. Since 1998 it's owned by John Dewar & Sons, part of Bacardi. The core range includes the 13, 17, 23  and 33 Years. Most of the production disappears in the Dewar's Blends. The annual production currently amounts to 4.1 million litres. During our trip to Scotland in May 2014 we passed the Distillery. Unfortunately it's not open to the public.

As said above, this was my first tasting of a Single Malt that is part of the recent core range of this Distillery. I think they are on the right track with respect to their Single Malt profile but they are not quite there yet. The Spirit is quite Powerful so it needs very precise cask- and spirit safe management to extract the best of it. This 17 Years is way too Hot and Nervous for its age in my opinion. It's not really bad but I would not buy a full bottle for the time being. 

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                        March 23, 2023

Compass Box Hedonism


“Crying in the Grain”


Whisky Review # 982

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Brand: Compass Box Hedonism
Type: Blended Scotch Grain Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mixed Ex-Bourbon Casks (Mostly 1st Fill)
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Jan from The Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$  60-70(March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Borderline Okay
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜ There might be people who love it but I'm not one of them

Colour:

Chardonnay (Natural Color)

Nose:

Light and slightly Nervous. The Alcohol is noticeable. I would suspect a mix of older and younger Grain Whisky. Sweet as expected with lots of Vanilla, Coconut, Fruit & Perfume. It's okay but you don't have to wake me up for it.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Coconut, Grass and Straw, Cake with Strawberries & Cream, Dough, Yeast, Floral Perfume, Green Apple, Pear, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Buttered Toast, Honey, Mandarin, Lemon, Toasted Pineapple and Banana, Herbal Tea, Raspberry Jam, Peanut Butter, Nougat, Cloves, Aniseed, Nectarine, Wet Rocks and a hint of Nail Remover.

Port Dundas

Palate:

Young and a bit Thin but surprisingly Creamy at the same time. Sweet at first but with increasing Sourness and a Bitterness I don't care for. The Alcohol remains noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Coconut, Dough, Grass and Straw, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Milk - & White Chocolate, Banana Ice Cream, Pepper, Cinnamon, Licorice and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
   
Honey, Caramel, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Salted Peanuts, Sour Berries, Herbal Tea, Bitter Orange, Sugar, Wet Tobacco Leaves, Cloves, Ginger and Paint Thinner.

Finish:

Middle-Long and slightly Hot but quite Creamy at the same time. Sweet at first but with developing Bitter and Sour notes towards the Medium-Dry end. There's a bit of an Artificial Tutti-Frutti Bubble Gum feel to it and I don't particularly care for the Bitter notes here. I find Sweet Grain, Vanilla, Caramel, Buttered Toast, Coconut, Honey, Charred Oak, Banana Ice Cream, Sour Orange/Lemon, Milk Chocolate, Wet Rocks, Iron and Copper, Floral Soap, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.

Cameron Bridge

Drinking Advice:

Given the size of the sample, I only tasted the Hedonism neat.

Rating: 6  (******)

Nose: 6.5 - Taste: 6 - Finish: 6 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay at best


Conclusion:

As always, Compass Box informs us accurately about the contents of this Blended Grain Whisky. However, since I don't know what Batch I'm tasting today it's fair to say that it most likely contains Grain Whisky from Port Dundas, Cameron Bridge & perhaps North British and matured in a variety of Ex-Bourbon casks. 

In general I'm not a huge fan of Grain Whisky but I did enjoy some well matured Single Grains in the past. This Hedonism blend however does not work for me at all. The Alcohol is way too present and I simply dislike the Bitterness and the kind of Artificial Sweet Bubble-Gum taste on the Palate and in the Finish. I'm glad I had the chance to try a sample first because I don't know what I would have done with a full bottle. A present for my brother in law perhaps ๐Ÿ˜Ž! In any case I would urge you to follow my example and try a sample first.

PS: I was told that different batches can vary significantly. It's a pity I don't know the specific Batch number of the sample I reviewed today.

Cheers! ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         March 16, 2023

North British

Longrow 21 Years


“Dirty Dancing with Muddy Waters”


Whisky Review # 981

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Longrow
Distilled at: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled in  2019 - 3600 Bottles - Limited Edition
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Sherry Casks (60%) and Ex-Bourbon Casks (40%)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 450-600 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Very Expensive. Should have been bottled at Cask Strength
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‹ Delicious Dirty Campbeltown for those rare occasions!

Colour: Amber (Natural Color)

Nose:

Lovely "Dirty" Campbeltown with a mix that includes Burnt Matches, Mud, Petrol and Sulphur. The Sulphur is okay though unless you are allergic to that stuff. Restraint Smoke and Peat that comes as a bit of a surprise. The Sherry cask influence is very clear. The Alcohol is sufficiently integrated. Mostly Sweet but with sufficient Sour, Salty and Funky notes to keep it interesting. Not your average Mainstream Malt of course but I like it despite the fact that it's a little on the Thin side.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Straw, Sour Berries like Strawberries and Red Currants, Citrus Peel (Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin), Wet Dirty Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Charred Oak, Dunnage Warehouse, Wet Rocks, Dark Chocolate, Burnt Matches, Leather, Pepper, Cinnamon ,Cloves and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Toffee, Resin, Tropical Fruit Mix (Banana, Mango, Nectarine), Bounty Bars, Dusty Old Books and Furniture, Mix of Dried Fruits and Nuts (Apricot, Raisin, Almond, Plum), Smoked Meat/Fish sprinkled with Herbs and Olive Oil, Forrest Floor, Nougat, Tobacco, Soot, Licorice, Aniseed, Petrol and traces of Varnish, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Wood Polish and Munster Cheese.


Palate:

The Sweet/Sour/Salty/Dirty/Muddy Mix very nicely coats your mouth and throat. It's quite satisfying. Peat and Smoke are certainly more present now. The Alcohol is nicely integrated but a slightly higher ABV would have been even better. Everything that Springbank produces has this Oily old-fashioned feeling to it and I'm a big fan!

Main Flavours: 

Toasted Malt, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Berries (Strawberry, Raspberry), Citrus Peel (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit), Earthy & Muddy Peat, Factory Smoke, Brine, Ashes, Soot, Tar, Hospital, Charred Oak, Dunnage, Smoked Bacon, Leather, Farm, Warm Banana sprinkled with Nutmeg & Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Cloves and Dried Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Wax, Resin, Mix of Nuts, Dried Fruit and Dark Chocolate flakes, Old Books, Tobacco, Wet Rocks, Aniseed, Licorice, Espresso/Black Tea & traces of Wall-Paper Starch, Slivovitz, PVC Pipes and Dyon Mustard.
  
     

Finish:

Middle-Long. Dirty but in a nice way. It's like licking a Petrol Pump! Mainly Sweet but with Sour, Salty and Funky notes for company. A light Bitterness towards the Medium Dry/Dry end. Smoke & Peat are more noticeable at this point. The Sulphur is there but okay. I find Toasted Malt, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dirty Earthy Peat, Factory Smoke, Hospital, Soot, Ashes, Tar,  Brine, Sour Red Berries and Cherries, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruits, Citrus Peel (Orange, Grapefruit), Grilled Pineapple, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso/Black Tea, Smoked Bacon, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mint , Licorice and traces of Slivovitz, PVC Pipes, Rubber, Petrol and Wall-Paper Starch.  

Drinking Advice:

This Longrow does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 8.5 (********1/2)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8.5 - Finish: 8.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Very Nice


Conclusion:

The Longrow peated Single Malt is produced at the Springbank Distillery. In 1973, Springbank started a project that would try to produce a peated Islay type of whisky on the Scottish mainland. The name of the project was Longrow, named after the old Longrow distillery that was located close to Springbank. In 1990 the first peated Longrow appeared on the market. The Longrow Malts are dried for 48 hours over peat smoke. Longrow represents around 10% of the total Springbank production that currently amounts to 280.000 litres.

This is not your everyday " to go to" Whisky. It's probably a little too Dirty for that. But it somehow tastes like Old School Whisky and I really like to enjoy this type of Single Malt from time to time. It's very expensive and at this price level it should have been bottled on or near Cask Strength. It would have helped the Nose that's a bit on the Thin side. Still, I love Whisky like this because there's so much to discover. If you have the opportunity, go for it. I can safely recommend it if you like the Aroma/Flavour profile and are tired of today's Mainstream stuff.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 9, 2023