mandag 28. juli 2014

Fettercairn 23yo 1984-2007 52% OB cask#241 btl.154/255

I'm sorry about the weird picture, but my camera was off that day. This is a sherried Fettercairn, from Spanish oak. That meaning the oak comes from spain, and also the sherry I suppose. The color is nutty brown/hazel. It smells rich, minty, bayleaves, onion soup, mushrooms, earthy, vinegar, dry cider. The taste is licorice, spirity, oaky, spices, chili, ashes, sulphur, wax, gasoline, quite strong. Lets add some water. Now it turns sweeter, more mellow, peppery, ashes, ginger, phenol, still quite a beast. At least its not rubbery. The finish is long and peppery. You gotta love your heavy sherries to enjoy this one I think.

strong and bitter, a great whisky for those that can handle it: 8

Next tasting: Strathconon blend

søndag 20. juli 2014

Tasting Benrinnes x3

Ah, Benrinnes! I remember the 15yo, splendid. And then I've had some other great ones too, but I find it's not much Benrinnes around, I've gathered these three for this session. Two slightly older bottlings and one kinda recent.

Benrinnes 20yo 1992-2012 55.7% Big Market Sonderabfüllung cask#004

There's no statement of this being from cask#004, it could very well be bottling#004 or batch or bottling or others. Until other information comes along, I'll be guessing the Unicorn number is a cask reference. 4cl bottle. The color is white wine. It smells big, rich, camphor, malt syrup, leather, mint leaves, rucola, wheat beer, spirit based marker, paint thinner, vanilla, boiled cabbage, cod liver. Very fresh. The taste is malty, spirity, quite young-ish, but it has some oily notes in the back that are quite pleasant. Water added. Now it turns to be richer, some sulphur, coffee, cinnamon, wax, heather, lemon lozenges, honey, cooked apples. A much better experience this time around. The finish is bitter and short.

What can I say, a great display of distillate, an everyday dram that takes some water: 6

Benrinnes 21yo 1979-2000 57.6% Scott's Selection

First one from Scott, which in my opinion is one of these smaller IB's bottling mostly whisky from distilleries usually under the GP's radar. The color is golden. It smells musty, prunes, dates, figs, caramel, cinnamon, honey, really rich and sweet, sumptuous some might say. Also quite some sweet mustard notes. The taste is so dry its almost painful, and also of dry white wines and hay. Adding water. Now it turns sweeter, minty, blackcurrants, bittersweet, raspberries, turkish yoghurt, bitter herbs, jägermeister, quite strange one, yet I wouldn't hold that against it. The finish is sweet and peppery.

Another one that excel when diluted: 7

Benrinnes 18yo 1979-1997 62.7% Scott's Selection

The label states that it is both "natural strength" and "undiluted", so at least you know what you're getting into. I've seen 6yo's bottled at CS at lower strength. Same vintage as the 2000 bottling, it could very well be the same cask bottled at two stages. The color is golden. It smells red wine, blackcurrants, blue grapes, rich port wine, dark chocolate, honey, eucalyptus, fennels, by far best nose so far. The taste is creamy, burnt butter, lime, sour notes, dry sherry, a bit too alcohol-driven, lets hope this as well excels with added water. Water makes it more rubbery, sticky, burnt sugar, pure alcohol, a bit hard to understand why they bottled this at such an age and strength, as it seems far from enough matured. The finish is just burnt.

How non-coherent can a nose and palate be?: 3

Next tasting: Fettercairn Distillery

søndag 13. juli 2014

Audny NAS 46% OB Agder Brenneri

This one is from Series 2, and i don't know what series means in this context, perhaps its a batch reference. I believe this one is 3yo, and it came out a year or two back. Yet its still available where I live. That's pretty unusual, it being the first ever Norwegian Single Malt, from a single cask, and limited to 1750 bottles only. Lets see. The color is pale golden. It smells butterscotch, caramel, furniture polish, tonic water, sweet and strange. Remember, it's matured in a big old sherry cask for not many years. The taste is again a bit strange, a lot of furniture polish, paint remover, rubber, burnt plastic, really hard to pin down. Let's add a couple drops of water. Now it turns sweeter, corn syrup, aniseed, perfumy, another side that I find quite hard to enjoy. The finish is on carrot mash and sour wine.
Now, all that being said, I have been in contact with one person that, when he visited Agder Brenneri, got to try a cask sample of this, and in his opinion, it was a much better spirit than what is put out. Perhaps Ole Puntervold lost faith in his spirit, or he was afraid to walk off the straight and narrow at first bottling. Anyhow, I believe this cask could have done wonders given 10 or so more years, and young spirits should usually be bottled CS and from smaller casks. I hope this is not the last we will see of spirit from Norway. From what I've heard, Sweden and Finland, amongst many others, are producing excellent whisky these days.

More of a novelty than a serious attempt to make a lasting impression: 2.5

Next tasting: Benrinnes Distillery

mandag 7. juli 2014

Glen Keith NAS 43% OB "Distilled before 1983"

I think this is my first ever version where the "before 1983" is actually printed on the label. Usually Glen Keith was bottled as a 10yo at the distillery. The next 10yo will at soonest be out in 2023.  The color is golden. It smells heather, palm oil, walnut shield, rye bread, molasses, sweet licorice, toasted almonds, sage. The taste is rather perfumed, strong vanilla, lavender, ginger, sawdust, chili oil, root beer, sweet and perfumy, not my kind of malt unfortunately. But there are no real flaws. Some strawberry and exotic fruits in the finish lifts it a bit. Also a nice licorice and peppery sensation that overlaps in the end. This is probably one of the last remaining "lost distillery" ob-bottlings still available both readily and affordable. Catch one while you can. I have a couple more, to use as reference points when going head to head in 2023 and beyond.

Ah, the old times: 6

Next tasting: Agder Brenneri (Norwegian Single Malt Whisky)

onsdag 25. juni 2014

Macleod's Islay Single Malt NAS 40% Ian Macleod's

Time to have a go at another unknown Islay malt, and according to the label, it's both sherried and peat-driven. NAS, low strength, coloring and chill-filtration, here we go! When I come across a bottle like this, I always wonder how good it could've been if it was bottled in a more "natural" manner. The color is dark golden. It smells peat, coal, burnt rubber, leather, potato starch, sawdust, laqueur, paint, glue. The off-notes are many, but that sorta makes them easier to accept. They weaken a bit because one star shines brighter alone in these contexts. The taste is burnt, burnt rubber, is that the sherry wood talking? Raw beans and earthy notes, maybe hummus too. The peat is nowhere to be found. Lets add some water. Now it turns milder, more perfumy, and if possible, more rubbery. The finish is short, peppery, rose water, floral. My guess? Caol Ila or Bowmore, most likely Bowmore, but then again, I really have no idea.

Maybe its just too hot for Islay malts in the summer?: 4

Next tasting: Glen Keith Distillery

onsdag 4. juni 2014

Glenlossie 12yo 1977 62.4% James MacArthur's

A bit evaporation as one might expect, this being bottled around 25 years ago. And being the strength it is, there's plenty of alcohol to go around. The color is white wine-ish. It smells vanilla, soy milk, dry white wine, heather, ginger, raw onions, strong flavors that makes me think of root purees and onions en masse. The taste is starchy, peppery, chillies, vanilla, porter head, hard to get much more than the spirit at this stage, but its far from "new make-spirity". Adding water. Now it turns more oaky, cheddar, peppery, feta cheese, olives, clover, lemon zest, more rich and sumptuous, a splendid surprise. I always enjoy whisky that can handle some water, why? I just get to taste it many more times. The finish is long lasting and peppery.

Quite a bomb: 7

Next tasting: 

søndag 25. mai 2014

Laphroaig 13yo 1988-2001 46% Murray McDavid cask#2108

It's rather unusual to find young IB Laphroaigs at low strength these days, except from the distillers, of course. Lets try this "old" one to maybe shine a light on why. The color is pale golden. It smells medicinal, coastal, salt, turmeric, ashes, charcoal, honey, seaweed, bitter herbs, grassy, burnt sugar. The taste is peat, white wine, white pepper, sunflower oil, turnips, pumpkin seeds, broad beans, its nothing like the peat bombs they release from Laphroaig nowadays. This is actually an utmost gentle and lowland-ish version of Laphroaig, who'd imagine. The finish is peat, mint, quite sweet and refreshing. This one crushes every image I held of Laphroaig as something out of the norm, but on the other hand, it's still a decent malt whisky.

Laphroaig in a cage: 5

Next tasting: Glenlossie Distillery

torsdag 15. mai 2014

Isle of Jura 13yo 1989-2002 46% Murray McDavid cask#1564

One distillery that's seen a certain gain in interest the last few years. Where Whyte & Mackay went in one direction with a huge number of older bottlings from Dalmore and Fettercairn, they reinvigorated the interest in Jura Distillery by peat variations and NAS-bottlings. Time to try an "older" bottling then. From a single bourbon cask, don't know which size. The color is white wine. It smells salty, coastal, foul milk/cream, a bit rotting, rotten eggs?, cooked ham, peat, black pepper, iodine, much more peat after a couple of minutes. The taste is cinnamon sticks, sweet licorice, cranberries, chalk, bitter schnapps, very intense, but far from as coastal now. This does remind me of some of the unpeated Caol Ilas, or even a Glen Scotia. The finish is quite mild, some briny notes, salty cheese and lemon drops.

A mellow Islander, perfect for aperitifs: 6

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

fredag 9. mai 2014

Glenfarclas 20yo 1969-1989 58.2% Signatory Vintage cask#52,53,54 btl.148/1200

As you may very well know, whiskies with the written name "Glenfarclas" is now illegal to bottle by other than the distillers. But this one was bottled no less than 24 years ago. A bit of evaporation. From three casks, presumably sherry casks. The color is reddish brown. It smells cinnamon, butter, licorice, caramel, dark chocolate, cardamum, curry spices, tannins, dry red wine liqueur, sulphur, ashes, brick dust. It comes of very clogging and almost like glue at first, needs time to open up. The taste is leather, varnish, raw beetroot, spicy cinnamon, burnt rubber, ashtray, charcoal, I believe it needs some water, although its as extreme as it gets in its own style,so please try it neat first. Adding water. Now it turns sweeter, more cinnamon, honey, juniper berries, butter, caramel, dark chocolate, salmi, gunpowder, cigars, dried leather, smoked beef. The finish is long on sulphur, cinnamon and rubber.

The finish aside, this is a near perfect display of indie Glenfarclas: 9

Next tasting: Jura Distillery

mandag 5. mai 2014

Highland Park 12yo 1979-1991 65.2% Cadenhead's

Remember, some of these older casks have held spirits that kept a far higher %abv when filling than the spirits produced in Scotland nowadays. That can make for some interesting bottlings. This youngster is an example. And I shall try it neat... The color is white wine. It smells huge, floral, honey, vanilla, candy sticks, gelatin, more vanilla and then some vanilla, did I mention vanilla? Crazy, its almost like entering a candy store, or a room full of vanilla fudge to be more precise. Not complex, but if you enjoy vanilla... The taste is peppery, spearmint, vanilla, cauliflower, parsnips, potato starch, so sweet that I don't even notice the strength one bit. Adding water. Now it turns more synthetic, poor vodka, rubber, glycerin, stearic, burnt plastic, not good at all. The finish is sweet.

This is a whisky of two worlds, a neat 8, and a diluted 2. No water, thank you: 8

Next tasting: Glenfarclas Distillery

søndag 4. mai 2014

Futurists heading for the unknown: NAS and beyond!!!

As you may all be aware of, the 10yo, 12yo and so on are these days joined by the ever so slightly cheaper NAS-Versions from the distillers. But ever so often, it seems, the prices may go the opposite direction of the age. Personally I never cared too much for many of the standard bottlings, but the recent explosion in young NAS-releases makes me a bit nervous that we all be sitting down enjoying a "7yo Glen the Elder 60%" in a couple of years. I've made my observations about those NAS-versions, and some are better than others, even much better than others. So here are my top list of NAS-Versions to have a go at, of course, you might disagree, but these are my preferances:

1. Talisker 57 North
2. Ardbeg Uigeadail
3. Bowmore Tempest
4. Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or
5. Glenfarclas 105
6. Jura Prophecy
7. Laphroaig Quarter Cask
8. Springbank CV
9. Longrow CV
10. Fettercairn Fior


lørdag 3. mai 2014

Talisker NAS 57% OB 57 North

I remember this one, I had a sample some years ago, let's put a score on it now. I imagine this one was coloured, and I think it's no older than 8yo at most. Anyway, it is golden with an amber shine. It smells spirity, peat smoke, coastal, salt, cod liver, dried seaweed, the usual peppery notes from Talisker as well as some heather, corn flour and crushed rhubarb stems. The taste is on sawdust, cinnamon, ashes, ginger, peat smoke, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, charcoal. This is Talisker much how it should be at young age. A real treat for fans of costal wild peat notes. The finish is long and smoky, peap and black peppercorns. I have added water to this one time before, and I will not do it again. I just doesn't improve on any level.

A celebration of the environment in which it was produced, perfect: 8

Next tasting: Highland Park Distillery

onsdag 30. april 2014

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% OB L6 & Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57.1% OB 2012

Ardbeg Uigeadail 54.2% OB L6

Time for a mini vertical. L6 means it's a batch from 2006, the rest of the batch# reads 219 11 39 4ML, there, now you know which one it is! ;-). The color is golden auburn. It smells sulphur, acrylic, leather, nail polish, grenadine, cherry sauce, licorice, carraway, rhubarb, very subtle and pleasant, no peat-monster... The taste is old sherry, mellow citrus, orange juice and grapefruit, leather, tobacco, cherries in syrup, some nutmeg and caramel too. This is a very good young Ardbeg, though far from an expected one with these sweet notes. The finish is long on caramel, peat smoke and butter. Adding some water. Now it becomes lighter, some seaweed and sunflower oil. A strange one with water.

At full strength, this one is sublime: 8.5

Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57.1% OB 2012

One bottled six years later. And whilst Uigeadail very much consists of sherry-matured Ardbeg, this one is dominated by bourbon wood. This is just a slightly paler version than the Uigeadail. It smells stronger, smoky, peat, tar, iodine, sea salt, old ropes, cedar wood, rubber, charcoal, vanilla, camphor, tangerines, boiled cabbage. The taste is peaty, peppery, salt, hay, paraffin, charcoal, salmi, banana, lemon zest, vinegar, soap, furniture polish, sour beer. The finish is smoky, peppery, leather, black pepper, charcoal, iodine, cod liver, pineapple, cardamum. Adding water to this on makes for a more bitter and peppery whisky. I find it hard to believe the Uigeadail and the Corryvreckan comes from the same distillery.

A modern peat monster: 6.5

Next tasting: Talisker Distillery

søndag 27. april 2014

Caol Ila 11yo 1997-2009 43% Gordon & Macphail Connoisseur's Choice

A young Caol Ila, from 1st fill and refill sherry casks. This could be stellar, but my assumption often is, that a Caol Ila from a sherried cask is a underprivileged Caol Ila. Yes, Caol Ila needs to be as natural as possible in my opinion. That being said, not as a new-make. The color is light amber. It smells peat, sulphur, rubber, glue, dry, pepper, varnish, rotting clothes. The taste is dried green peppers (black pepper), peat, grassy, sulphur, ginger, ashes, nuts, coffee beans. The finish is peaty, peppery, coastal, salty, ginger. With added water, this shows more of a nut and honey note. I do not recommend water as it takes away most of the Islay-side of this dram. But to be honest, it wasn't a very maritime malt in the first place.

An young Islayer that seems a bit older, and maybe from another region: 6

Next tasting: Ardbeg Distillery

mandag 21. april 2014

Macallan 20yo 1990-2011 48.5% Hellmanns Naturextrakte cask#1032

IB Macallans are rare these days. Thankfully Hellmanns Naturextrakte have gotten hold of a cask. I have only had one HN before, that was an Arran bottling which was much to my liking. The color is golden. It smells sweet, perfumy, sweet malty notes, barley wine, a bit austere, heather, white wine vinegar, swiss cheese, most of all perfumy. The taste is rich, malty, licorice, aniseed, leather, waxy, earthy, a more robust Macallan so to speak. Some oily notes as well. Lets add some water. Now it turns more vinegary, burnt, spirity, not my cup of malt anymore. The finish is well rounded with some sweet malty notes.

Scored neat: 7

Next tasting: Caol Ila Distillery

torsdag 17. april 2014

Laphroaig 13yo 2000-2013 57.8% Malts of Scotland cask#13010

Peat and sherry, not always a great combination, crossing fingers... The color is auburn. It smells peaty, dry, sulphur, yeast, perfumy, soapy, paint thinner. A raw beast, maybe bit young, I believe... The taste is all peat and sulphur, some burnt rubber and raw rhubarb. I'll add water, if not this is just a crash between peat and sherry wood influence, no medicinal or coastal notes, no Laphroaig that is. With two teaspoons of water added to 3cl of spirit, it turns thicker, creamier, more cinnamon, black pepper, dandelions, crayfish or other shellfish marinated in mulled wine, fortified red wine, much more interesting now. I know some of these notes seems a bit out there, but its how I experience this whisky with water added. The finish is peppery and short.

With added water, this bottling makes more sense: 6.5

Next tasting: The Macallan Distillery

mandag 14. april 2014

Blends and malts without distillery names...

I'm just clearing my archive a bit as I've recently found its been too long since this site exclusively focused on more or less available single malts. Here we go, a hotchpotch!

Bell's NAS 40% Blend Arthur Bell & Sons

No photo unfortunately, but you could easily find one online, no, I haven't tried, but I assume that would be possible. Another classic low-to-middle shelf blend, I must admit I haven't had one before. Let's explore. This one has some Caol Ila, Glenkinchie, Dufftown and even Inchgower in the mix, but most of all malts, there's Blair Athol. Ah, that just sounds confusing. The color is golden caramel. It smells grainy, wheat, turnips, hay, dried apricots, wet turf, earthy, rotting mascarpone, really basic blend stuff. And that just may be their goal, so whose to say its a miss? The taste is reluctant on stale beer, cocoa powder, ginger, raw garlic, yellow raisins and soap, quite a lot of soap in fact. I'm no blend expert, and neither will I ever be, but since I'm doing a blend review for mostly single malt drinkers, I guess my reference points can be verified. The finish is rather short, some stale beer yet again, and some nuances of cardamum. 

This is exactly why I prefer malts: 2

Peter Dawson Special NAS 40% Blend 

Back when I did some rather MOTR blends and other non-single malts, say The Fat Trout, Jim Beam, Tullamore Dew ad whatnot, I was many a time asked why I did these tastings. I responded to some that it was to reset my palate a bit, and update some of my referance points. Well, that was just partially true.  As it appears to me, the single malt whisky industry is heading down a bit of a slippery slope at the moment. Where the classic 12yo's and such are replaced by NAS-versions with make-up in form of different peat levels or cask finishings. Nothing new, mind you, but it's never been such a part of the norm as it seems nowadays. Therefore I'm having a go at some random blends, just to see what they can offer. Why? Well, although the age on the single malt are diminishing, the prices certainly aren't. Let's give the good old blends a go. I'll promise to try and stay objective. This one is one of the most popular i.e. most sold, but rather for its price tan the brand. Pter Dawson is a blending company in Glasgow and is named after a former distillery owner. Enough wikipedia. The color is tanned to golden brown. It smells light, grainy, some cloves and black pepper, old wooden boats, a certain zing of maritime, but thats about it. The taste is sweet, grainy, some lemon citric notes and maltiness. It's hard to detect much flavor in this, but its a flawless one, could be had as a cup of tea with a biscuit. It's a decent blend, but its not an alternative to single malt in my opinion. If there are any finish its a quick one on cardboard and nutmeg. 

If you find a pinch of salt in the soup just a bit excessive, this should be a whisky for you: 3

The Lord Balliol 20yo 40% 

The Lord Balliol is a commemoration malt after John Balliol, a king of Scots. Other than that I find no mention about him that leads to clues about what distillery this comes from other than it's a single cask single highland whisky. Cask#1 actually, not the distillery's reference, I'm sure. Maybe a Dalmore? King Alexander III was somehow related to John Balliol if I'm not wrong. The color is amber. It smells rich, heather, fresh thyme, chives, leeks, müesli, onions, caramel, dust, hay, leather, chalk, quite perfumy. The taste is thin, porridge, mushroom stew, wheat, rotten parsley, ginger beer, never unpleasant, though very light and mellow for its age. It should've been bottled at a higher strength, in my opinion. The finish is light on some licorice and basel leaves.

Comme ci comme ca: 4

Ferintosh 10yo 40% Invergordon Distillers

Ferintosh was a distillery, now long gone, that is used as a name for some undisclosed single malts these days. It's been known to be Fettercairn. Invergordon Distillers are a part of Whyte & Mackay who owns Fettercairn. The only problem is that Fettercairn is a highland distillery, not a speysider, and as of now, Whyte & Mackay have no speyside distillery in their portfolio. It could however be a Tomintoul, as they were owned by W&M not that long ago. The color is golden. It smells starchy, chlorophyll, paint, cardboard, gin, lemon juice and polyester. The taste is malty, smooth, caramel, honey, sauternes, sweet white wines, banana liqueur, a light and sweet palate with no off-notes and very little personality. The finish is short with some candy mints and plum chutney.

Utterly forgettable, well into blend territory this one: 4.5

"As We Get It " 8yo 59.4% J.G.Thomson & Co

Well, first of all, the screw cap tells me this whisky comes from a time when "pure malt" was thrown around a lot, and could very well be mentioned on a cask carrying single malt whisky. I know very little about this series and rarely see it anymore, but I remember a Balvenie that was rather spirity. This one is neither colored nor chill-filtered, and bottled at CS, hooray! The color is light golden, hinting at white wine. It smells citric, ginger, grapefruit, lime rind, chives, vanilla, glue, paint thinner, the alcohol is quite obvious. Remember this was most likely bottled at least 3 decades ago. It's a rougher and more demanding spirit than most youngsters these days. The taste is sweet, bananas, caramel, tart, oils, chili oil, kiwi, pistachio, strong rum, honey. A very sweet and spicy whisky, almost a bit of a crash here, some good flavors, but totally unbalanced. The finish is peppery and malty, rather gentle in comparison to the palate. Let's add some water. Now it turns more spirity, ammonium, chlorine, licorice, burnt oil, rubber, all these off-notes... Certainly one to enjoy bare.

I will not speculate in the origin of the spirit, but its a fine young whisky: 6

Intravagan'za NAS 50% Michel Couvreur Meldrum House

I've gotten a some complaints, 4 and still counting, on the matter that I stated the Clearach from same bottler as a 3yo, though that's not stated anywhere on the bottle. Better do a NAS this time. The information of this being 3yo I got from the seller, but he also told me it was bottled at CS. That might be true, but that reduction in only 3 years? Rather unlikely... This is a spirit from Glen Garioch that's been exclusively matured in a Burgundy Cave(a dry one), in France, and therefore cannot be called a Whisky. Old Meldrum is the town in which Glen Garioch Distillery stands. The reason that I'm doing this tasting of a non-whisky is that its a drink that probably won't be repeated for a very long time, if ever. First of all, Michel Couvreur sadly passed away last year, his sons will now keep bottling wine and brandy, but not malt. Also, exporting casks of spirit from Scotland is furthermore banned by law these days. The color is auburn/orange, from a sherry cask btw. It smells dry red wine, tannins, cigar smoke, cedar wood, roasted herring, sun-dried tomatoes, fish oil. It seems less malty than Glen Garioch, more like a dry Brandy. How strange... The taste is sweet, peppery, cinnamon cloves, parsnips, chestnuts, pine nuts, honey, chili, phenols. It's a rich one, and I'd say it makes for a great alternative to a brandy. The finish is sweet and perfumy with a kick of cinnamon. Oh yes, this seems much more matured than any 3-5yo from Scotland. Perhaps it's a result of the maturation terroir. I'm upping this 1.5 points from last tasting, seriously!

It's a great dram, I can't help wonder if the Scots maybe handicap their produce by law: 8.5

Next tasting: Laphroaig Distillery

fredag 11. april 2014

Longmorn 12yo 1995-2008 46% The Warehouse Collection

From a bourbon hogshead. Longmorns seems more and more available at independent bottlers these days. I remember just a decade ago where there were almost only OB's and G&M-bottlings available. New owners? The color is pale white wine. It smells spicy, coriander, cinnamon, chili, red onions, peat, burnt, toasted oak, garlic. The taste is even spicier, dried onions, rhubarb, black pepper, chili, ginger, heather, smoke, vanilla, rich and powerful whisky. The finish is peppery, restrained, chillies, cedar oak, raw onions. This is a single cask, and thus a great selection by Whisky Warehouse #8. I wonder how it was at CS? I guess we'll never know...

Great Longmorn, as usual from them I'd say: 7

Next tasting: Bunch of blends and disguised malts.

torsdag 10. april 2014

Imperial 1991 40% Gordon & Macphail

Imperial Distillery is down for good it seems. But its one that's often fairly priced, still. I'm not sure when this was bottled, but I'm assuming its a young spirit, with coloring, chill-filtration and heavy amounts of added water prior to bottling. The color is golden. It smells grassy, herbal, notes of wet hay and rye bread. Also grind pumpkin and lemon seeds. It's a rater big whisky for what I expected. Some tart, spirity notes and heavy oak. Feinschmeckers beware! I think it portrays more realistically how Imperial used to be, with its highs and lows. But I really couldn't tell. Lets taste. Creamy malty notes on the palate, starchy, sawdust, layers of malt and raw oak. The finish is malty, peppery. Short. Let's add some water. Now it turns lighter, sweeter, more vanilla and yeast.

No wine finishing or heavy strength, there will soon be less and less of these around: 6.5

Next tasting: Longmorn Distillery

søndag 6. april 2014

Slyrs NAS 46% OB No1 Sherry Edition

To be honest, I had to take a short break after that Old Hobart, I felt a bit disillusioned what comes to international malts. Let's have a sherried one at low strength. A young german single malt finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. So, its not a 100% sherried edition then. Remember its the superyoung, diluted, finished 1st edition, so we'll make no judgement of Slyrs based on this review alone. The color is amber orange. It smells sweet sherry, bitter vinegar, kirsch, orange peel, orange liqueur, sure its young, but this finish seems to have had its effect. The taste is sweet, raisins, plums, honey, sweet sherry, red onions, cinnamon, a really nice sherry finished youngster. The finish is on heather, turmeric and honey.

A nice surprise, I usually don't enjoy cask finishes as much as this: 6

Next tasting: Imperial Distillery

lørdag 29. mars 2014

Old Hobart NAS 60% Tasmania Distillery

This is a "Pure Single Malt Australian Whisky", which was bottled at cask strength. No age, but it could very well be an older one, remember, plastic bottles like this was more likely in the 80's/90's. It's Actually my second ever Australian malt. Some evaporation. The color is white wine. It smells kinda raw and spirity, grassy, tangerine, burnt rubber, lighter fluid, I can't smell this no more, sincerely, I've fueled my car with gasoline that smelled more appetizing than this. The taste is extremely sweet, burnt sugar upon burnt sugar, and a finish of sugar and glue that way overstays its welcome. Let's add a drop of water to see if there's any salvation to be found here. Now it turns even sweeter, and spirity as it gets

Yeah, yeah, yeah, gotta crawl before you can walk and all that, but its horrible whisky: 1

Next tasting: A sherry-matured german single malt...

tirsdag 25. mars 2014

Bourbon again...

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey NAS 45% Bulleit Distilling Co.

A bourbon that's yet to make a name for itself here in Norway. It consists of corn, malted barley and rye. It should be made from an old recipe. Well, so they say, don't they. The color is orange brown. It smells coffee, syrup, wort, caramel, young cognac, mango chutney, vinegar, jalapenos. The taste is peppery, cardboard, mineral, tannic, dry, pretty poor in my opinion, but then again, I'm pretty much a stranger to bourbon. The finish is sticky sweet, caramel pudding and burnt sugar.

Time to renew their recipe?: 2

Knob Creek 9yo 50% Small Batch Knob Creek Distillery

This does at least look the part. I don't know wether smaller batches are generally better in flavor than bigger batches, or its just a selling point due to its hints at bigger exclusivity. The color is light copper. It smells very oaky, cedar wood, apple peel, pineapple juice, apple cider, calvados, young champagne. The taste is sweet, caramel, brown sugar, rice starch, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel. This one is much more to my liking. The finish is peppery, fish sauce, dark roast coffee, a nice edge to this otherwise very sweet bourbon.

For late afternoons, with some shortbread and a cup of tea: 6.5

Next tasting: Going down under

søndag 23. mars 2014

Bourbon time! Jim Beam & Wild Turkey

Jim Beam NAS 43% Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Its stated on the left side of the label that this whiskey is 4 years old, which is half the age of the Wild Turkey. An export bottle for Germany. Maybe I'm a bit of a romantic, but I think the squared bottles are much cooler when it comes to bourbon than scotch. The color is brown amber, probably adjusted. It smells grainy, spirity, charcoal, soot, burnt wood, burnt sugar, rye grain, oatmeal. It seems a bit rough and unfinished at this point. The taste is acidic, earthy, vinegary, grassy, plain spirit, starch. Raw and heavy on a lot of flavors, that when they do work on a tasting profile, seems somewhat better measured, or balanced if you like. The finish is on sawdust and alcohol, thankfully rather short.

I'm far from being a Jim Beam fan, and this doesn't bring me any closer: 2

Wild Turkey 8yo 50.5% Kentucky Straight Bourbon

This was distilled at the Austin Nichols Distillery.. Did I get that right? Distillery and Distilling Company is the same..? Bourbon whisky is not my strong point, I'll easily admit that. The color is just the same as the Jim Beam. It smells heather, oatmeal, mashed grain, baby food, porridge, yeast, peppery, hints of some sweet tart, cranberries, raisins, kirsch. The taste is hazelnuts, almonds, dry licorice, honey, wax, vanilla, dark chocolate, heather, a rich and very welcome surprise. I could easily enjoy this one any day of the week. The finish is honey, cinnamon and charcoal.

The nose was a bit off, the rest was great: 7

Next tasting: Even more American whiskey

onsdag 19. mars 2014

Pommerscher Greif NAS 43% OB/IB? Germany

"Single Malt & Grain"?!? That seems a bit over the top. If its is a single malt mixed with grain thay could just call it a blend. Or if both the malt and grain are "singles" from the same distillery, Mönchguter Hofbrennerei, then I guess its a single blend. "Distilling since 2007". A young whisky I presume, but at least its unchill-filtered, ahem, "unfiltered" it says. Matured in both bourbon and sherry casks. The color is golden, no shine. It smells sweet, vanilla, custard cream, wheat, floured sugar, marshmallows, more candy than whisky it seems. The taste is light, marshmallows, vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon, meringue, custard, sweet malty notes, cereal, syrup. Utter blend style! The finish is sweet on sweet on sweet. Oh yes, this is batch#2 and it was bottled in 2012, 5 years old then. I bet this would climb higher on my rating if it was at a higher strength.

Serve chilled on a hot summers day: 5

Next tasting: Whiskey from the US of A

søndag 16. mars 2014

Jameson NAS 40% OB

The only need a Jameson fulfills in this household, is the whisky part of an irish coffee. But then one day, as this plastic container caught my eye, I thought of the Statesman blend a couple months back. It took me by surprise as a drinkable and not off-putting cheap blend. So why not try a bigger brand of mass-produced, watered-down blend (Do they call it blended in Ireland?). Jameson it is! The color is golden. It smells grainy, spirity, light perfume, burnt toast, not much more.. The taste is nutty, sugar, palm sugar, oak, vanilla. No finish. I was wondering why some of my irish coffee had little or no whisky flavor. I imagine even a strong tea could overpower the taste of this whisky.

Light, gentle, I'm amazed this holds even 40%abv.: 4

Next tasting: Germany