Deanston 18 Years


“Bread and Butter”


Whisky Review # 1013

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Deanston
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.4%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon barrels with finish in 1st Fill Bourbon barrels
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-110 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay I guess
Buying Advice: 😐 I would taste a sample first as badges seem to differ a lot

Color:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please give this Deanston enough time in the glass before nosing. Don't Nose in the middle of the glass to avoid the wafts of Alcohol and some Varnish. The Nose is quite timid for an 18 Year old Single Malt. It opens up slowly and initially I mainly get Malt, Yeast and Grass with a bit of Citrus. You will need some patience here to find the Floral and Fruity notes later on. A quite solid and mostly Sweet Nose but a bit unpretentious.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Bread, Yeast, Grass & Straw, Orange, Lemon drops, Green Apple, Pear, Dusty Oak, Chalk, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Caramel, Bounty Bars, Floral Soap, Dusty Earth, Fresh Green Herbs, Green Grapes, Nectarine, Marzipan, Aniseed and a distant hint of Indian Spices.


Palate:

A bit on the Thin side despite the sufficient ABV. Mostly Sweet but with some Sour, Bitter and Salty notes for company.

Main Flavours:

Barley Sugar, Caramel, Vanilla, Buttered Bread, Yeast, Grass & Straw, Chalk, Wax, Dusty Oak, Green Apple, Lemon, Grapefruit, Floral Perfume and Soap, Lavender, Cinnamon, Pepper and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Nougat, Dirty Earth, Yogurt with Tutti-Frutti flavor, Nectarine, Pear, Resin, Tobacco, Nutmeg and Aniseed.


Finish:

Middle-Long, Tannic, slightly Hot & quite Dry in the end. Mostly Sweet but showing some Bitter, Sour and Salty notes for balance. Sturdy is a word that comes to mind. I find Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Marzipan, Grass and Straw, Chalk, Yeast/Bread, Green Apple, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dusty Oak, Dirty Earth, Dried Herbs, Tobacco, Leather, Bitter Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger, Aniseed, Mint, Floral Soap, Lavender and Varnish.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and the absence of Alcohol helps to distinguish the Fruity and Floral notes. It's easier to drink this Deanston this way although it becomes quite Malty and Nutty. It's also easy to imagine you're in a Perfume Shop. I advise you to try it both ways.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Not bad but a tad Boring
 
Conclusion:

The Deanston Distillery was founded in 1965 and is located in Deanston, Pertshire. It closed in 1982 but was bought by Burn Stewart Distillers in 1990 and resumed production in 1991. In 2013 Burn Stewart was sold to the South-African Distell Group. Heineken took over Distell in 2021 but the Whisky activities were taken over by CVH Spirits. The core Single Malt now consists of the 12 & 18 Years, the Virgin Oak and the 15 Year Organic.

This Deanston 18 years is not an easy one to come to grip with. It requires a lot of patience to find Aromas and Flavors. It's Sharp in some places but Thin in others. I don't think I would have guessed it to be 18 years in a Blind tasting. At times I find it a bit unfinished. But it's got a sturdy character at the same time making it quite interesting to review. Sometimes I felt like being in a bakery or beer brewery while at times I thought I was smelling and tasting the Lavender fields in the Provence. I don't think I would buy a full bottle but I would accept a dram if offered.

Cheers πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                           March 7, 2024

Ben Nevis 2010 (The Duchess)


“The Beauty and the Yeast”


Whisky Review # 1012

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Western Highlands
Brand:Ben Nevis - Distilled: October 28, 2010
Matured and Bottled by: The Duchess (TDu) on November 30, 2020 
Series: Game & Wildlife Series - Shelduck Label
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 1800020 - Bottles: 317
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.6% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Ex Bourbon Cask with Shiraz Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 100 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: πŸ˜• Borderline acceptable
Buying Advice: 😐 Interesting - But better try a sample first

Color:

Golden with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and quite Yeasty. The Alcohol is prominent. Sour rather than sweet. Clear note of freshly cut Grass. The Wine-Finish is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit Musty and Dirty as well. The Nose is certainly interesting. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Assorted Breads/Pastries, Sour Cherries, Strawberry-flavored Yogurt, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Metal, Chalk, Pepper, Damp Cellars and Tobacco.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Red Wine, Unripe Apples, Bananas and Pears, Slivovitz, Charred Oak, Soot, Dusty Track, Coconut, Leather, Cinnamon and Cloves.


Palate:

The Palate is a Hot mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. It remains Yeasty as well. I really think this needs some Water! It remains different though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough and Bread, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Sour Red Wine and Red Berries, Dried Herbs, Charred Oak, Soot, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Varnish, Green Apple, Dirty Track, Ginger-Nut Biscuits, Cinnamon, Cloves & a little Plastic. 


Finish:

Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet-Sour & a bit Hot. Quite Tannic as well. The Alcohol remains very present and the influence of the Red Wine cask is more noticeable at this point. I find Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Bread, Sour Cherries and Red Berries, Green Apple, Bounty Bars, Tutti Frutti, Menthol, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves, Floral Soap, Citrus, Dried Herbs, Licorice & Varnish. A little Dry towards the end.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water & that helps calm down the strong Alcohol. Don't overdo it though! On the Nose you get some additional Floral notes and the Palate certainly brings back memories of Campbeltown. In this case I would advise to add a bit of Water. 

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Interesting 
 
Conclusion:

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

This Dutch impression of Ben Nevis is certainly intriguing. It kept my attention right to the end as it significantly differs from the modern mainstream malts. I do feel though that the ABV is way too high here. It distracts from the Whisky rather than enhancing its profile. This is not your everyday dram as it's extremely Yeasty and I would advise you to buy a sample first before spending a hundred bucks on a full bottle. But it's dirty and interesting and that's a plus in today's whisky world.

Cheers πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 1, 2024

Glenrothes 13 Years (Adelphi)


“Dirty Water”


Whisky Review # 1011

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenrothes - Distilled: 2007
Matured and Bottled by: Adelphi (AD) in 2021
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 10236 - Bottles: 604
Age: 13 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 59.8% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Re-fill Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 100-120  (February 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: πŸ‘Ž Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: πŸ‘Ž  If you want it dirty go for Springbank and/or Ledaig instead

Color:

Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Glenrothes enough time in the glass before Nosing in order to avoid the initial notes of Alcohol and some Sulphur and Varnish. The Nose is a bit Dirty as well suggesting this was not the best cask around. The Nose is a mix of Sweet, Fruity & Sour notes. Lots of (mostly) Dried Fruits & Nuts but they are slightly hampered by this cloud of Dust. Most people, including me, will consider the ABV on the high side. In my opinion relatively Young Malts such as this Glenrothes do not necessarily require to be bottled at Cask Strength. 

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Plums, Apples & Raisins, Candied Citrus, slightly Sour Dark Cherries & Red Berries,  Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Dusty Road, Nutmeg, Licorice, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Cloves. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, Straw, Grapefruit Juice, Melon, Caffe Latte, Tobacco, Leather, Dusty Oak casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Ginger, Cardamom, Pepper and Kerosine. A hint of Burnt Rubber.    


Palate:

The delivery is quite strong of course on account of the high ABV. I don't say this a lot but this Glenrothes definitely requires some added Water. The Palate follows the Nose but Bitter notes are added at this point. Dirt and Dust still rule! There's a bit of Sulphur but it stays within limits.  

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples & Raisins, Milk Chocolate, Candied Citrus, Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Straw, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cloves and Menthol. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Treacle, Sour Cherries & Red Berries, Grapefruit Juice, Dusty Track, Tobacco, Leather, Varnish, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cardamom.


Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Dry. A Dusty mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. As was to be expected the Alcohol is quite present. We certainly need to add Water later on. I find Malted Barley, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples and Raisins, Mixed Nuts and Nutshells, Candied Citrus, Sour Cherries & Grapefruit, Tea, Strong Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Straw, Dusty Road, Dusty Oak, Forest Floor, Wet Rocks and Sand, Metal, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves and Menthol. Licorice after a while.  

Drinking Advice:

I added quite a bit of Water and that chases the Alcohol away of course which in this case is a good thing. You do get lots of Nutty Breakfast Cereals on the Nose now. It's less Fruity this way. Palate and Finish are easier now but also more Spicy with lots of Menthol. This is hard to call. I suggest you try it both ways.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. 
 
Conclusion:

The Glenrothes distillery is located in Rothes (Morayshire) & was founded by James Stuart & Company in 1878. Between 1963 and 1989 the number of Stills increased from 4 to 10. The reason was that Blenders highly appreciated the Glenrothes Spirit and used it in great quantities for Blends like the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery is owned by the Edrington Group since 1999. The current production amounts to around 4.2 million litres. Because of the high Blender's demand, the first Single Malt was only launched in 1994. Their bottles are quite interesting and different. They actually look like hand grenades! The core range includes the 18, 25 and 42 years. The 10 and 12 Y as well as the Whisky Maker's Cut have been discontinued. It's quite obvious that Glenrothes is concentrating on the very high-end markets. A good example is a 40 Year old release specifically for the Chinese market. There are plans to completely upgrade the distillery in the coming 5 years.

This Glenrothes is not really bad and it's quite coherent from Nose to Finish. It's got a few flaws though and they are important. The first one is the really high ABV. That forces you to add Water and the Water significantly changes the character of this Malt. From Fruit to Nuts in a...Nutshell! My second issue is the cask that leaves the Spirit with a veil of Dust and Dirt. That's not always a problem as I tasted many good Malts from say Springbank and Ledaig. But in this case it unsettles the Malt in a big way. This Glenrothes is expensive as well so if you like your Dirty Malt I would advise you to look elsewhere.

Cheers πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                   February 9, 2024

Arran 21 Years


 “Such a Shame”


Whisky Review # 1010

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Highlands - Islands - Arran
Brand: Arran
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 21 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Sherry Butts
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 150-200 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: πŸ‘Ž Way too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: πŸ‘Ž The older versions are said to be better but this recent bottling does not convince me at all.

Colour:

Golden Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Nose is Light, almost Shy, and a little Dusty and Musty as well. Probably 2nd and maybe 3rd Re-Fill casks in the mix. Disappointing for a 21 Year old Single Malt. There's a lot of Fruit to be found though but the Aromas are rather subdued and you'll have to dig them out. Mostly Sweet & Sour with a few Bitter and Salty notes.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Dusty Oak, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples, Apricot, Figs and Raisins, Lemon Peel, Seville Orange, Cinnamon and Mint.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Yogurt with bits of Melon, Pear and Banana, Mixed Nuts, Grass and Straw, Marzipan, Dunnage Warehouse, Fresh Herbs, Grapefruit Juice, Coconut Milk, Caffe Latte, Aniseed, Nutmeg, Wet Stones and a hint of Tobacco.  


Palate:

Quite Light for a 21 Year old Single Malt. Quite Fruity again but with this constant Musty and Dusty undertones. These can't have been the best casks around if you ask me. The Palate is mostly Sweet and Sour but a few Bitter and Salty notes pop up as well.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums, Pineapples,  Apples & Apricots, Seville Orange, Grass & Straw, Fresh Herbs, Musty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Milk Chocolate, Almonds, Nectarine, Grapefruit & Lemon Juice, Pear drops, Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon, Cloves, Iron & Tobacco.     
Finish:

Middle-Long and Light. Sweet at the start but with increasing Bitter & Sour notes towards the Dry end. Quite Fruity again but with a rather Musty undertone. I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Honey, Milk Chocolate, Seville Orange, slightly Sour Lemon & Grapefruit Juice, Cherry-Flavored Cough pastilles, Sour Wine, Dried Fruit like Plums, Raisins and Apricots, Pear Drops, Forest Floor, Mushrooms, Wet Paper, Cigar Ashes, Iron, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Coriander and Mint.   


Drinking Advice
:


Added Water does not improve this Arran.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good

Conclusion:

The 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) opened a second distillery (Lagg) on the Southern part of Arran in 2019 that takes care of the peated expressions. The Arran core range now consists of the 10,18 and 25 Years as well as the NAS Whiskies Robert Burns, Sherry Cask The Bodega, Barrel Reserve,  The Bothy and the peated Machrie Moor. 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!

Our visit to the distillery in 2017 was a great event that I will never forget but I can't say the same about this 21 Years unfortunately. It's quite Fruity but it's Musty and Dusty all along the way leading me to believe that the cask management has been rather indifferent. It is said that earlier versions are quite good but this recent edition, while not really bad, is quite disappointing. It's quite expensive as well and although that seems unavoidable at this age I'm really glad I bought a sample first. I would advise you to do the same!

Cheers! Jan. πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                      January 26, 2024

Macaloney's Kildara - Killeigh - Kirkinriola - An Loy - Peated Mac Na Braiche


“Macaloney’s Island Distillery Special # 1”


Introduction:

In early January 2023 I was contacted by Dr. Graeme Macaloney who founded the Macaloney's Island Distillery in Victoria, Canada asking me if I would review some of their Single Malt and Potstill Whiskies. I replied I would be delighted to do so but would give my honest opinion as always! Nowadays it's impossible to send alcoholic beverages by mail and/or courier to Brazil unless you are a licensed importer. So the samples were sent to Holland and I picked them up during my trip in November. In the meantime I received 5 more samples that I will review in a couple of months.

The Distillery is equipped with a 1 ton semilauter Mash Tun, 7 stainless steel wash-backs, a 5500 litre wash still and a 3600 litre spirit still. The first Single Malt was released in December 2020. Part of the Barley is malted on site and the complex also includes a craft beer brewery called TWA Dogs.

The Potstill whiskies are traditional Irish-Style triple distilled whiskies. Dr. Macaloney is a Scot of Irish Heritage who attended the Midleton Irish Whiskey Academy and learned traditional Irish methods a.o. with ex Master Distiller Brian Nation. Back in Canada he then learned to optimize the traditional whisky process following Dr. Jim Swan's methods. The resulting New Make Spirit won several global awards. I'm really curious so let's get it on!
  
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“Too Young To Be Married”


Whisky Review # 1005

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's An Loy - Batch # : Unknown - Formerly known as Glenloy
Type: Canadian Island Single Malt Whisky - Signature Expression
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: 1st Fill Bourbon casks (60%), Oloroso Sherry casks (15%), PX Sherry casks (10%) and Portuguese S.T.R. Red Wine barrels (15%). Married in the end.
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 70 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 A little stiff for such a Young Malt
Buying Advice: 😐 Not bad but it needs a longer maturation

Colour:

Terracotta {Mix of Brown and Orange} - Natural Colour

Nose:

This is a Young Spirit so please give it some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial wafts of Alcohol. It's quite Fruity but the Sherry and Wine casks push it more in the direction of Dried Fruit and Dark Berries. It's mostly Sweet but not in an exagerated way. A bit of Salt and some Floral notes in the background as well. Not bad for such a Young Malt.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Yeast, Bread Dough, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Raisins, Sultanas and Dates, Dark Berries & Cherries, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Oak.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Demerara Sugar, Burnt Green Garden Waste, Pear drops, Red Wine, Grain Biscuits, Orange, Peach Marmelade, Toasted Pineapple, Nougat, Ginger and hints of Chili and Cardamom.

Dr. Graeme Macaloney
Palate:

Young, Bitter-Sweet and a little Hot. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. There's a distant ring of Rye Whisky to it as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Salted Butterscotch, X-Mas Cake, Dark Berries and Cherries, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Dates, Candied Seville-Orange, Cocoa Powder, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Creamy Vanilla, Toffee, Honey, Demerara Sugar, Red Wine/Grapes, Dried Herbs, Nectarine, Cloves, Cardamom and Menthol.

Finish:

On the Short side and quite Hot. The Youth of the Spirit is confirmed. It's mostly Bitter-Sweet with some Salty and Sour notes in the background. Quite Dry in the end. I find Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Seville-Orange, Dark Berries, Christmas Pudding, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, Licorice and Menthol. A hint of Varnish.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this An Loy

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good - Might benefit from a little Ice

Conclusion:

The Macaloney concept is really very interesting. It's all natural colour and they do not apply Chill-Filtration. They also experiment with lots of different casks to add additional Flavour and Colour to the Fruity New Make Spirit. The ABV of 46% is another plus and should be followed by the whole industry, at least for Single Malts. They also use local Barley from British Columbia. And the bottle and packaging are  very nice as well. As a result the An Loy presents a very agreeable Nose once you get rid of the initial waves of Alcohol. On the Palate and principally in the Finish there is no way to hide the Youth and the Alcohol though. It's always a matter of time to make a really good Sipping Whisky in my opinion and the An Loy did not get that time in the casks. Therefore, while certainly not bad, there is ample room for improvement!

===================================================


“The Future Starts Now”


Whisky Review # 1006

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Peated Mac Na Braiche - Distilled from Grains
Type: Canadian Island Peated Single Malt Spirit - 54PPM
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Re-charred Portuguese Red Wine barrels
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Average: US$ 75 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Not cheap for a Young Whisky but borderline okay
Buying Advice: 😐 If you're a fan of young Islay Malt you can give this a try!

Colour:

Golden Sunshine with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

It's not a Peat Monster but Part and Smoke weave a pleasant spell around the other Aromas. It does remind me a bit of young Kilchoman when that Islay distillery was just starting. The Alcohol is noticeable so be sure to nose around the brim of the glass. The Nose is medium sweet and presents Floral, Herbal, Green & Spicy notes. Quite agreeable for such a Young Whisky. The Red Wine casks do not overpower the Spirit and that's a good thing.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Burnt Buttered Toast, Burnt Herbs, Grass and Heather, Campfire Smoke, Coastal Peat, Soot, Ashes, Salted Beef on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and added Herbs (Thyme, Coriander), Caramel, Red Wine, Charred Oak & Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Dark Syrup, Honey, Smoked Paprika, Cooked Vegetables (Jura), Leather, Tobacco, Slivovitz, X-mas Cake, Cooked Apples, Pepper, Ginger and Cinnamon.

Mike Nicolson Former Diageo Master Distiller
Palate:

Young, a little Harsh and a bit Thin. Quite Dry. Mainly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour Wine notes. Not bad but under-matured.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Yeast, Burnt Compost, Campfire Smoke, Coastal Peat, Ashes, Soot, Charred Oak, Meat and Pineapple on the Grill, Lemon Peel, Red Wine, Cinnamon & Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Syrup, Wheat Biscuits, slightly Burnt Almonds, Artificially flavoured Candy (Red Berries), Leather, Tobacco, X-Mas Cake, Nectarine, Ginger, Nutmeg & Cloves.

Finish:

Short/Middle-Long, Young and a bit Harsh. The weakest part of this Mac Na Braiche. It's mostly Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry. I find Toasted Grain, slightly Dirty Factory Smoke, Coastal Peat, Ashes, Soot, Burnt Pine Wood, Burnt Toast, Dark Honey, Nuts and Nutshells, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger & Cloves. Smoked Beef returns after a while.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills some of the Heat and that's a good thing. It is starting to get too Thin for me this way but beginning fans can carefully add some Water. Don't overdo it though!

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Good considering its inherent Youth. Might be a bit Harsh for some consumers.

Conclusion:

The Mac Na Braiche (Gaelic for Son of Malt) can't officially be called a Whisky as it matured for less than 3 years. Hence the name Single Malt Spirit. It was made with Canadian Grain that was dried with Peat on the premises.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this Mac Na Braiche. It's a very young Spirit of course and it might be a bit too harsh for some but it's well-crafted. The 54 PPM seems just about right and the Wine casks do not dominate. I'm just imagining this Whisky after a maturation of 10 Years in Ex-Bourbon casks before being finished for 2 years or so in these Red Wine casks. Who knows what Macaloney's future might bring us! I'm looking forward to it!

===================================================


Brown Sugar”


Whisky Review # 1007

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Kildara - Batch #: Unknown
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky - Signature Selection
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon casks (45%), Olorosos Sherry casks (40%), Virgin American Oak (10%) and PX Sherry casks (5%)
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 75-100 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay at around US$ 75
Buying Advice: 😐 Certainly interesting! Try a sample first though.

Colour:

Chestnut with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give the Kildara sufficient time in the glass to avoid the initial wafts of Varnish and New Oak. The influence of the Sherry casks is clear with lots of Dried Fruit, Dark Berries, Nuts and Spices. It's a Young Whisky and the Alcohol is not fully integrated. Nevertheless it smells relatively well-matured. On the Nose the Kildara is mainly Sweet but there is a hint of Salt in the background.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Butter Biscuits, X-mas Cake, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Figs, Plums and Raisins, Mixed Nuts & Nutella, Candied Orange, Caffe Latte, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Molasses, Demerara Sugar, Straw, Dark Red Berries, Peach/Nectarine Jam, Leather, Tobacco, Varnish, New Oak, Floral notes, Papaya Cream, Ginger and Cardamom. A hint of Raw Meat somewhere in the background.

Dr. Jim Swan - Whisky Maturation Expert - Passed away in 2017
Palate:

A little Thin but still Creamy. Mostly Sweet with a few Salty and Bitter accents. The Palate basically follows the Nose as the Sherry casks remain the main influence.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley Sugar, Salted Caramel, X-Mas Cake, Demerara Sugar, Dough, Yeast, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Sultanas and Plums, Dark Red Berries and Cherries, Mixed Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Dark Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Citrus Peel, Fortified Wine, Strong Espresso, Leather, Ginger, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Finish:

It's almost a pity this Kildara had to have a Finish. Because while the Nose and the Palate at least give the impression of a reasonably well-matured Whisky, the Finish can't hide the Youth of this Kildara anymore. It's slightly Harsh with loads of Grain, Menthol and Licorice. The Finish is Short/Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet & Medium Dry. I find Toasted Grains (Barley and Rye), Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Apricots, Plums and Sultanas, Mixed Nuts, Citrus Peel, Oak, Strong Bitter Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ginger, Menthol and Licorice. A bit of Dark Honey perhaps.

Drinking Advice:

This Kildara does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Good with the exception of the Finish.

Conclusion:

The Kildara is made with a combo of malted and un-malted Canadian Barley. The mix of casks is very interesting but in practice the Sherry casks are the dominating ones although that's not a bad thing per se. We know that it's a Young Whisky but this only becomes very clear in the Finish. Nose and Palate have a mature feel to is that is remarkable. The Virgin Oak is a bit distracting I must say as it provides this Varnish & Nail-Polish Remover note we know so very well from many West-European whiskies. But all in all well-made, though craving for additional cask time.

====================================================


 “Kiss and Say Goodbye”


Whisky Review # 1008

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Killeigh
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon casks (70%), Moscatel - European Oak (20%), Virgin American Oak (10%)
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-100 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: πŸ‘Ž Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: πŸ‘Ž Look for alternatives like the Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

Colour:

Golden with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Killeigh some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial wafts of Virgin Oak. This smells much more Grainy than the Kildara and the Alcohol is more present. Avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Nose is Fruity but a bit light and without much depth. Not bad but nothing special.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Breakfast Cereals with Raisins Dried Strawberries & a touch of Honey, Vanilla, Dough, Banana, Chocolate Bars with Dried Fruits and Nuts, Candied Druit like Oranges and Papaya, Floral tones, (Virgin) Oak, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Syrup, Caffe Latte, Mango Cream, Slivovitz, Sweet White Wine, Pear drops, Tobacco and Ginger.

Macaloney Stills
Palate:

A little Thin and Harsh. The Alcohol is not well-integrated. This is a Young Whisky beyond any doubt. Certainly Fruity!

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Yoghurt with a Tropical Fruit flavor (Banana, Red Apple, Peach, Mango, Coconut), (Virgin) Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Syrup, Wax, Dried Herbs, Slivovitz, Mandarin, Orange, Leather, Sweet White Wine, Floral notes, Salted Nuts, Cocoa Powder and Ginger.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour and Salty notes as well towards the Medium-Dry/Dry end. A bit of Heat as well. I find Toasted Grains, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Plums & Raisins, Slivovitz, Salted Nuts, Dried Herbs, Dusty Road, Charred Oak, Orange-Flavored Milk Chocolate, slightly Sour White Wine, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cinnamon.


Drinking Advice:

You can add a few drops of Water to diminish the Heat but Nose and Palate do not significantly improve with added Water. The Finish becomes quite Short this way.

Rating: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 6.5 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay

Conclusion:

My least favorite Macaloney so far. In this case the mix of casks can't hide the Youth of the Spirit despite the fact that the Moscatel casks add Fruity Sweetness. I can easily live without the Virgin Oak as well. The Killeigh is not really bad but does not convince me. Certainly too expensive for what it offers.

===================================================


“Dark Spirit”


Whisky Review # 1009

Country: Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Region: Vancouver Island
Brand: Macaloney's Kirkinriola
Type: Canadian Island Triple Distilled Potstill Whisky - Single Cask Series
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: European Oak Portuguese S.T.R. Red Wine barrel
Sample provided by: Graeme from Canada. Many Thanks!
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-120 (January 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Quite expensive for such a young Whisky
Buying Advice: 😐 Not quite my favorite profile but if you like Red Wine-influenced Whisky you should give it a try!

Colour:

Chestnut with shades of Orange and Red (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please be sure to give this Kirkinriola enough time in the glass before Nosing to be able to avoid the initial strong wafts of Alcohol. For the same reason don't Nose in the middle of the glass. The Nose is mainly Sweet with some Sour and Meaty notes for much needed balance. Lots of Fruit, both Dried and Fresh. The Oak influence is clear as well.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Vanilla, Molasses, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Mixed Nuts, Citrus Peel, Passion Fruit, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Licorice.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Honey, Marzipan, Dark Red Berries, Cherries and Currants, X-Mas Cake, Dusty Track, slightly Sour Red Wine, Gooseberry, Grapefruit, Pear Drops, Tobacco, Cloves, Menthol and Cardamom. A hint of Raw Meat.

Macaloney Cask
Palate:

Young and a little on the Thin side. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. It basically follows the Nose but in a less dense way. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet with some Sour and Salty notes for balance.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apples and Apricots, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Orange Peel, Passion Fruit, Mixed Nuts and Nougat, Cocoa Powder, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Gooseberry, Grapefruit, slightly Sour Red Wine, Tobacco, Leather, Licorice,    Dried Herbs, Aniseed, Cloves and Cardamom.

Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. A little Lighter than expected. Certainly Dry towards the end. I find Toasted Grains, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Cocoa Powder, X-Mas Cake, Dried Herbs, Strong Black Tea, slightly Sour Red Wine, Nuts and Nutshells, Tobacco, Gooseberry, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cardamom, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol and lots of Charred Oak. A hint of Iron and Minerals.


Drinking Advice:

Added Water does not improve this Kirkinriola

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

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.

Drinking Experience
:


Okay/Good

Conclusion:

This Kirkinriola matured in an STR Red Wine cask. STR stands for Shaved, Toasted and Re-Charred. This method was elaborated by Dr. Jim Swan and aims to increase the intensity of the Wood in the whisky. It certainly did the trick here and you might wonder if it went a bit too far as the Oak really controls the Spirit. Not a bad Malt by all means but not just my preferred style.

Final Thoughts:

It was really great to have the opportunity to nose and taste five Canadian Island Whiskies made by Macaloney's. Let's start on the positive side. The packaging and Bottles are really very nice. I also adore the idea of the gift sets to get acquainted with the distillery. All Whiskies are Non Chill-Filtered and present natural colour and good ABV. They also nose and taste better than the average Canadian Whiskies I have reviewed thus far. It's a pity that I didn't have the chance yet to taste the New Make Spirit on its own to be able to better judge the influence of the maturation process on the Spirit.

We now come to the maturation and it's pretty clear that all efforts have been made to create maximal Aroma, Flavour and Colour in as little time as possible. Time is money of course and new distilleries always tend to have cashflow problems as it usually takes a lot of time for fully matured whiskies to repay the huge investment and loan costs. Macaloney's has also used Crowd-Funding to address this problem. I must admit that the innovative cask selection certainly went a long way to suggest that you're dealing with a fully matured whisky. This is mainly the case though with the Colour & the Nose. On the Palate and, especially, in the Finish it becomes quite clear that we are dealing with very Young Whiskies. That's not a problem of course as many people might like this profile. But I still prefer traditionally matured Malt. It's like comparing a rebellious teenager to a mature grown up man. This leads me to the second issue, the price. Quite steep for young Whisky!

Despite this I would like to congratulate the whole team for their efforts and wish them all the success in the future. I will review a second batch in a few months and hope to also be able to taste a 12-15 year old Macaloney in the future.
   
Please note that all full bottles can be ordered on-line at Macaloney's. They can be shipped from the distillery in Canada or from partner warehouses in the USA & UK.

Cheers!

Jan. πŸ₯ƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       January 18, 2024