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!


Golden Straw (Natural Colour)


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.


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.


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


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.


Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 10, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

Neil Young - Ragged Glory Review

Album : Ragged Glory  
Artist: Neil Young
Released: 1990
Producer: Neil Young and David Briggs
Label: Reprise

Crazy Horse:
Frank Sampedro: Guitar, Vocals
Billy Talbot: Bass, Vocals
Ralph Molina: Drums, Vocals

Songs: Country Home, White Line, Fuckin´ Up, Over and Over, Love to Burn, Farmer John, Mansion on the Hill, Days that Used to Be, Love and Only Love, Mother Earth (Natural Anthem). 

Type of Music: Grunge


It’s not easy to be a Neil Young Fan. One year earlier he added some slightly distorted guitars to the songs on Freedom and it worked nicely in a couple of songs. 
In 1990 however, Neil probably went to Seattle, discovered Grunge Music, thought it would sell quite good and called his good old friends from Crazy Horse who already played that kind of music long before it was known as such. Everybody went to the studio, completely distorted their guitars and rapidly recorded an album that was called Ragged Glory.  

The first thought that came to my mind when listening to the album was: Hey, this sounds like an industrial version of Tonight’s the Night! Same distorted guitars, same voice that sings slightly out of tune. There are quite some differences though. On Ragged Glory I miss quality songs, I miss a clear production and, most of all, I miss a sentiment. Where Tonight’s the Night reminded me of a backstreet little bar in New Orleans before the flood, Ragged Glory reminds me of a visit I once brought to a steel mill.  

There are some good song ideas to be found in this puddle of mud. Best song on the album by far is Mansion on the Hill. The Crazy Horse background vocals turn it into a catchy pop song. The song is literally followed by two honest sounding grunge-ballads Days that Used to Be and Love and Only Love. And both Over and Over and Love to Burn are basically nice songs that deserve a different kind of treatment.

In the good old sixties we had the EP or Extended Play, a single with three or four songs on it. In my humble opinion, Ragged Glory would have been an excellent EP.

Green: Great Songs - Black: Good Songs - Red: Could Be Better

Rating: Scale 0-10                        
Average Song Quality: 5,10
Production/Sound Quality: 5,00
Do I want to hear it again soon: 3,50

Who should buy this Record: Only for Die Hard Neil Young Fans

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! 


Golden with shades of Orange (Artificially Coloured)


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.


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.


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


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!


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!


Copper with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)


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.


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.


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


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!


Jan van den Ende                                                            September 30, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2017

Beatles - Revolver - Review

Album : Revolver  
Artist: Beatles
Released: 1966
Producer: George Martin
Label: Parlophone/Apple

Songs:  Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, I´m Only Sleeping, Love You Too, Here There and Everywhere, Yellow Submarine, She Said She Said, Good Day Sunshine, And Your Bird Can Sing, For No One, Doctor Robert, I Want to Tell You, Got to Get You into My life, Tomorrow Never Knows.

Type of Music: Mid Sixties Quality Pop with Psychedelic Influences.


Fans can spend months trying to decide what would be their favourite Beatles Album. And I´m sure that lots of them would give that price to Revolver. It´s true that Rubber Soul has more great songs on an individual basis. But Revolver is the most consistent Album so far and forms a perfect marriage between first rate pop songs and a new, often adventurous, production. 
There are 14 songs on Revolver and I only consider Doctor Robert to be a weak track. John & Paul wrote most of the songs while George delivers 3 of them. One of them, the opener Taxman is great while the Indian Chant Love You Too and I Want to Tell You are good. 
Psychedelic Drug induced influences are all over the place in songs like I´m Only Sleeping, She Said She Said, Tomorrow Never Knows and the already mentioned Love You Too. 
Paul is great in more conventional ballads like Here There and Everywhere and For No One. I simply love this perfect description of a love lost forever:

And in her eyes, you see nothing
No sign of life behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

The Album also contains one of the most happy Beatles moments Good Day Sunshine next to one of their most sad sounding songs, the superb Eleanor Rigby. 
I almost forgot to mention Yellow Submarine sung by Ringo. There are a lot of people who consider this to be a childish sounding song. Sorry Ringo!!!! Maybe so. But let me tell you that it is probably the most intelligent childish sounding song ever written. 
And that's Revolver. A record you want to hear over and over again. 
Sure it's influenced by Drugs and Gurus. But here that works out just fine. 

Rating: Maximum Points                          

Average  Song Quality                          6,60               10
Production/Sound Quality                     6,00               10
Do I want to hear it again soon?           7,50                10    

Who should buy this Record:  Everyone . Be sure to get a Remastered Version.