Glen Moray 1991 (Sansibar) Review

Image result for glen moray 1991 2016 25 years sansibar

“Old But Not Very Wise”

Whisky Review # 813
Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glen Moray 1991/2016
Bottled by: Sansibar Whisky GmbH, Bad Nenndorf, Germany- 296 Bottles
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 25 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50.9% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 200 (April 2019)
Buying Advice: 😐Good but rather plain for a 25 Years. P/Q ratio: 👎 

Colour:

Golden Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Sweet, Light and not very complex considering its age. Elements of Bourbon and Rum. Waxy, Fruity and Grassy notes. The Alcohol and Oak are noticeable. All in all slightly disappointing.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Grass/Straw, Apple, Pear, Banana, Lemon, Mint, Sugar, Nutella and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Pineapple, Nectarine, Melon, Mandarin, Pepper, Nutmeg, Wax, Milk and a distant hint of Varnish.


Palate:

Light and Mostly Sweet. Pretty average actually. Malty, Fruity, Floral and Spicy notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Fruitcake dusted with Powdered Sugar, Apple, Pear, Banana, Nutella, Oak, Cinnamon, Menthol and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Butterscotch, Heather-Honey, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Mandarin, Lemon, Cardamom and traces of Nutmeg and Licorice.

Finish:

Sweet, Middle-Long and slightly Hot with noticeable Oak and Wood spices. A very light Bitter note towards the Dry end. I find Toasted Barley, Apple-Filled Pastry, Toffee, Butterscotch, Caramel, Vanilla, Fruitcake, Pear, Heather-Honey, Lemon, Mandarin, Nutella, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose becomes very gentle, almost timid. The Alcohol is better integrated this way and I get some extra Dark Chocolate. Palate and Finish start to taste like Barley Juice though. Better sip it neat though it pays off to give a little Water before Nosing.

Rating: 84.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The name Glen Moray means "The Glen of the Sea Settlement".  It's located at Bruceland Road in Elgin (Morayshire). The Distillery that was founded in 1897 is currently equipped with 1 Mash Tun, 14 stainless Steel Wash Backs and 9 Stills. With all this equipment Glen Moray produced 4,8 million litres in 2018. Since 2008 the distillery belongs to the French Group La Martiniquaise. No wonder that France is currently one of Glen Moray's main markets. In the past, Glen Moray spirit was basically used in Blends like Label 5 and Sir Edward's but under the new owners efforts are made to present Glen Moray as a Single Malt as well. The current core range includes the Classic, the Classic Port Finish, the Classic Chardonnay Finish, the Classic Sherry Finish, the Classic Peated and the 12, 15 and 18 Years old. The new visitor centre, gift shop, coffee shop & tasting area were opened in 2004.

The Glen Moray 1991/2016 is not a bad Single Malt but it's a bit plain for a 25 Year old Single Cask Whisky. It could probably have done with a few years less in the cask as well as Oak and Wood spices are quite prominent. I would not say no if someone offered me a dram of this Glen Moray but I wouldn't dream of spending US$ 200 for an unexciting Single Malt like this.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     April 29, 2019

Highland Park Loyalty of the Wolf Review


“Will the Wolf Survive?”

Whisky Review # 812

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Orkney
Brand: Highland Park Loyalty of the Wolf
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 14 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 42.3%
Maturation: A Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherry-Seasoned American Oak
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 70-80 (April 2019)
Buying Advice: 😒Average Single Malt with a negative P/Q ratio.

Colour:

Golden Straw (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Quite Light and Edgy for a 14 Years old Single Malt. There's a Refill Cask feel to it. On the Nose the Wolf Is Sweet with Floral, Mineral & Green notes. Smoke & Peat remain in the background. The Sherry cask influence is limited. There's a hint of Sulphur but it's nothing serious. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Cake and Cream, Yeast, Grass & Straw, Apple, Orange, Banana, Coconut, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Heather-Honey, Green Vegetables, Dried Fruit and Nuts (Dutch Studentenhaver), Wet Rocks, Pineapple, Lemon, Cloves & Pepper.


Palate:

Slightly Thin to the point of almost Watery. A bit Rough and Dusty as well. I'm not convinced by the choice of casks here. Only hints of Sherry. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet and a little Sour.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Cake and Cream, Salted Nuts, Grass and Straw, Apple, Pear, Orange, Lemon, Refill Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger & Shredded Coconut.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Mixed Dried Fruit, Nutmeg, Cloves, Herbal Tea and light Licorice and Ashes.

Finish:

Middle-Long. Bitter Sweet with increasing Bitterness & a light Sourness towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Heather-Honey, Grass and Straw, Light Smoke and Earthy Peat, Nuts, Orange, Apple, Lemon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper, Cloves and light Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

The Wolf does not improve with added Water. In fact it should have been bottled at 46%. A 14 Year Old Single Malt deserves that.

Rating: 80.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: 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. We are planning to visit the distillery in May 2019.

The Story behind this Single Malt is the following: Orkney was under Viking rule for over 600 Years. They felt great affinity with the natural instincts of the wild Wolf i.e. Loyal, Fearless, Determined and a co-operative member of their pack. Like the wolves, the Vikings were Powerful, Loyal and Courageous. In this Single Malt that is both Sweet, Balanced and Complex, the Highland Park distillery celebrates determination, co-operation and courage in the same way as Vikings and Wolves did back in the old days.

The Loyalty of the Wolf was released in 2018, initially for Travel Retail only. The review shows clearly that I'm not impressed by Loyalty of the Wolf. As so often with Travel Retail editions, the Story, Image and Price seem more important than the effective quality of the Whisky. I'm usually rather fond of Single Malts that have aged around 15 Years but not so today. The Wolf is Thin and matured in indifferent Wood. It's Sweet but certainly not Powerful. Better leave this Wolf alone and go instead for the standard 12 and 18 years (Viking Honour and Viking Pride). I don't think this Wolf will survive a long time in the HP portfolio.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   April 26, 2019

Old Parr Silver Review



“Not Quite Up To Par”

Whisky Review # 811

Country: Scotland
Brand: Old Parr Silver 
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottled By: MacDonald Greenlees Distillers Ltd, Edinburgh (Diageo)
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon Casks and probably a bit of Refill Sherry Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes , to minus six degrees Celsius
Price Range: US$ 20-25 (April 2019)
Buying AdviceP/Q ratio okay for Mixing Whisky. Not good enough for sipping.

Colour:

Full Gold (Artificially Coloured)

Nose

Your typical Bottom-Shelf Blended Scotch Nose. Young, Thin and Sugary Sweet. A few Sour notes as well. Grain Alcohol and Refill-Oak are noticeable. I would think that the whiskies used in this blend mainly matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks. I do believe there's a bit of Refill Sherry Wood involved as well. No real off-notes.

Main Aromas:

Sugared Cereals, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Figs, Nut Shells, Pineapple, Refill Oak and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Apple-Vinegar, Pear, Cloves, Ginger, Tobacco and Leather. Mere hints of Smoke and Rubber.

Tasting at Cragganmore May 2014

Palate:

Young, Thin, Sugary Sweet and slightly Watery. No real off-notes.


Main Flavours:

Sugared Cereals, Toffee, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Red Apple, Nutshells, Orange, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toast/Biscuits, Vanilla, Lemon, Dried Herbs, Honey, Leather and Tobacco.

Finish:

Short and Thin. Sugary Sweet at First but with increasing Bitterness towards the Dry End. I find Sugared Cereals, Sugared Tea, Toffee, Caramel, Honey, Citrus Fruit, Dried Herbs, Grain Alcohol, Pepper, Ginger, Licorice, Tobacco, Wet Green Leaves and vague hints of Cocoa Powder and Apple.

Drinking Advice:

The Old Parr Silver does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 74

Nose: 19 - Taste: 18.5  - Finish: 18 - Overall: 18.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

This blend is named after Thomas Parr, an Englishman said to have died at the age of 152 years and nine months. Thomas was renowned during his lifetime for his wisdom and maturity. He was interred at Westminster Abbey in the year 1635. The Blend was introduced by the Greenlees brothers in 1871. Today, the two main suppliers of Malt whisky for this Blend are owned by Diageo, namely Cragganmore and Glendullan. The packaging is very retro and the bottle is quite old-fashioned as well. South America has always been one of the main markets for Old Parr. In Western Europe this Blend disappeared in the 80's.

The Silver was released in 2013. Legend has it that during a severe Scottish winter, some casks with premium whisky were left outside in the cold and snow by mistake. When they were found later it appeared that the super chilled liquid was very smooth. Inspired by this story the Blenders of Old Parr chill-filtered the Silver to minus 6 degrees Celsius.

The producers claim that the enhanced Chill-Filtration leaves the Silver much smoother than comparable blends. I have to admit that it's not a Harsh blend. It is also quite cheap and therefore you can't expect miracles. The Grain Alcohol rules and the Malt content is hardly noticeable. Old Parr Silver is Light, Young, relatively Mellow and Sugary Sweet. No off-notes. It's not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky but the good P/Q ratio makes it an alternative as a mixing Alcohol. It's also reasonable over Ice.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende .                                                                      April 3, 2019

Glendullan

Jack Daniels 100 Proof (Bottled in Bond) Review



“The Proof Is Not In The Pudding”

Whisky Review # 810

Country: USA
Brand: Jack Daniels 100 Proof
Type: Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whiskey
Age: NAS (At least 4 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: New Charred American Oak
Charcoal Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 38-45 (March 2019)
Buying Advice: 😐 It's okay I guess. Good choice for strong Cocktails.

Colour:

Amber with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Mainly Sweet but with a few Sour notes as well. The Alcohol is noticeable as was to be expected. It's a bit rough and edgy but that's normal for young Whiskey.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Cereals (Corn), Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Sour Apple, Cinnamon, Cloves and Almond Pastry.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Charred Oak, Varnish, Acetone, Glue, Banana, Orange, Straw, Coconut, Fresh Herbs like Mint and hints of Peach/Nectarine and Tobacco.

Related image

Palate:

The delivery is quite strong thanks to the high ABV. On the Palate this JD is Bitter-Sweet. Virgin Oak and Spices are prominent. A few Sour notes as well. It reminds me of the Sinatra Select.

Main Flavours:

Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Charred Oak, Sour Apples, Sweet Corn, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Banana, Coconut, Almond Paste and Orange.

Finish:

Quite Long and a little Hot. Bitter-Sweet - and some Sour notes take you to the Dry end. It's quite heavy on Virgin Oak and Spices. I find Toffee, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Vanilla, Charred Oak, Sour Apple, Orange, Lemon, Butter, Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, light Licorice and Menthol.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that helps to calm down the 100 Proof on the Nose and on the Palate. This is really a matter of personal preference. Just try it out both ways.

Rating: 81.5

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks:  Good

Conclusion:

The 100 Proof was released in 2018, initially as a Travel Retail Edition only. The Bottled in Bond Designation of 1897 was a good initiative that sought to better protect Whiskey consumers from false and modified spirits. The 100 Proof seal was only awarded to Whiskey that aged for a minimum of 4 years, was distilled during a single season by one distillery and bottled at 100 Proof. The only addition allowed was Water.

The 100 Proof is basically the standard Old No. 7 with a higher ABV. It does not really convince me as a sipping Whiskey but it should work great in Cocktails. It reminds me a lot of the Sinatra Select by the way. The Silver Select remains my favourite sipping JD while Gentleman Jack and Single Barrel are the much better options on the Rocks. I can't see why JD would keep the 100 Proof in their standard portfolio. It's not a bad Whiskey but it doesn't really add a whole lot in my opinion.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   March 29, 2019

Image result for jack daniel distillery

Black Bottle Review



“Black Isn’t Black  Anymore”

Whisky Review # 809

Country: Scotland
Brand: Black Bottle - 2013 Relaunch
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottled By: Gordon Graham & Comp. Ltd. Glasgow
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon Casks and probably a bit of Refill Sherry & Virgin Oak
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 22-28 (March 2019)
Buying Advice: P/Q ratio: 👍on the Rocks. It's not a sipping Whisky though 😒

Colour:

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Bitter-Sweet and quite Thin and Light. The Grain Alcohol rules and it represents at least 70% of this Blend. Only a touch of Peat and Smoke. There aren't any real off-notes but this smells like thirteen Blends in a dozen.

Main Aromas:

Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Dusty Refill Oak, Floral Perfume, Grass, Herbal Tea, Sultanas, Cooked Pear, Nutshells, Lemon, Pepper and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toast and Margarine, Vanilla, Heather, faint Smoke and Ashes, Banana Bread, Ginger, Cloves, Tobacco and Licorice. A little Rubber perhaps.


Palate:

Light, Thin, a little Edgy and a little Sour but mainly Bitter-Sweet.


Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Sugared Cereals, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Grass/Straw, slightly Burnt Toast, Dairy, Cocoa Powder, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Ginger and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Floral Perfume, Sour Apple, Artificially Flavoured Candies, Refill Oak, Heather, faint Smoke, Dusty Track, Plum Jam, Nut Shells and Cloves.


Finish:

Short and Bitter-Sweet with Grain Alcohol, Cereals, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Refill Oak, Nut Shells, Sultanas, Heather, light Smoke & Ashes, Herbal Tea, Hospital, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice, Cocoa and a light Metallic off note.

Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that's not such a bad idea. It becomes less Harsh that way. Don't overdo it though as you will quickly kill this Blend.

Rating: 71

Nose: 18 - Taste: 18 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 17.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Light but Good

Conclusion:

Black Bottle was first released in 1879 by the brothers Charles, David & Gordon Graham in Aberdeen. The Blend immediately called attention as it was bottled in black glass imported from Germany. Package/Design/Bottle and the formula of the Blend have changed many times over the years. In a recent past the Black Bottle was said to contain Malt of all the Islay distilleries. It was quite a peaty affair at the time and Black Bottle had many fans although it was actually packed in a bottle made with green glass. In 2013 the new owners Burn Stewart and distiller Ian MacMillan decided to try and go back to a formula close to the one used in 1879. That meant less Smoke and more Fruitiness and balance. The Black Bottle was also restored. The Malt contents of this blend are not known but you can safely assume it contains Malt Whisky from the distilleries owned by Burn Stewart i.e. Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory (Ledaig).

I never tasted the old peaty Black Bottle so I can't make a comparison. But I'm sure the new formula won't please the old fans. The Peat & Smoke are almost gone and it has become a regular bottom-shelf blend like so many others. No real off-notes but no real pleasures as well. This is not good enough as a sipping Whisky. Since I bought a full bottle at the Travel Retail Shop I also tried it on the rocks and I must admit that that works pretty well. It's Light for sure but pleasantly enough. If you're looking for a nice sipping Whisky you should stay away but if you're looking for a cheap Drinking Whisky on the Rocks this is a good alternative!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   March 26, 2019