Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Macallan 12yo 43% Bottled Circa 1996



Tried some of this yesterday - what a cracking dram - this for me is what Macallan was all about rich sherry at its very best - shame it seems to be a shadow of it's former self these days. (how many -'s can I use in one sentence)

Nose: Rich heavy sherry without being overpowering. Really rich like chocolate covered cherries and rich burnt oranges with a hint of spice.

Taste: Spiciness is more evident. Fades to allow more rich sherried fruity notes to enhulf your mouth. Very coating - thich and oily.

Finish: Long lingering thich sherry leaves a very moreish feel in the mouth. Spiciness adds a perfect touch of heat.

Comment: It is whisky like this that made The Macallan famouse - bring it back please!

Score 91/100

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Singleton of Glen Ord

Just tried this Singleton of Glen Ord 12yo which is launched whisky in Taiwan and South Korea to alledgedly help people to enter the world of single malt and also be a great dram for conniseuuursss (I hate that word). Anyway Diageo appear to be putting a lot of money behind this so I was very interested to try it.

Nose: Very rich and fully and toffeeish with obvious caramel notes
Taste: Quite thick, a few heavier fruity notes with a toffee creaminess
Finish: Slightly burning at full strength - definately sweet and quite clawing.
Comment: A whisky that is pleasant enough - but nothing special non memorable for being either great or crap would drink this again though - a decent standard whisky. Would love to try the 18yo old though!

Score: 82/100

Interestingly the Singleton of Glen Ord press release by Diageo has reccomendations / tasting notes on it from experts like Michael Jackson, Charlie Maclean etc etc - however the Singleton of Dufftown carries not one review take of that what you will see the press releases by following the link.

Singleton of Dufftown ---> http://www.diageo.com/en-row/NewsAndMedia/PressReleases/2006/PressRelease23August2006SingletonDufftown.htm

Singleton of Glen Ord --> http://www.diageo.com/en-row/NewsAndMedia/PressReleases/2006/PressRelease15June2006Singleton.htm

Shetland Finishing

Muckle Flugga

See the latest from the marketing company (sorry whisky company) Blackwood Distillers, The are going to take 12 casks of whisky and mature them from now until spring on Unst - Shetland Finished http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/pages/news%20stories/12_2006/unst_whisky_here_for_christmas.htm

Ok they are putting this in new french oak casks as well but "wintering" it in Shetland is that really going to cause much difference. What will be next - you have to think that they will spend about 36 hourss on a boat going back and forth to shetland so will it also be a P&O finish?
Where else could this go they are stating that there will be matured in 10 different locations on Shetland will that mean that they will bottle 10 different editions?
Would love to see Shetland Whisky flourish but unfortunately I can only really see this idea as one straight from the marketing school.

Yet Another New Distillery

Plans are a foot for yet another new distillery this time in the Lowlands. Would be good to see some more Lowland whiskies cracking stuff just a shame Rosebank will never be reopened.

Anyway this is the latest in a long list of NEW distilleries http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1832322006 maybe this one will actually take shape. I wish them all the luck in the world - they are probably going to need it!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Glenavon

Refering to an earlier post the Glenavon went for next to £15000 shows how much I know i said it would go for £7000. Well I only hope that the new owner is very happy - all sounds a bit fishy to me and a lot of money to spend on something that will never be drunk!!!!

Pot Noodle and Port Ellen

Sometimes we just want to kick back forget about the world and have a simple drink. Normally I steer clear of ice! Fecking numbs the flavours – interestingly JW gold label was recently written about in a newspaper, as the best way to drink it was to stick it in the freezer over night!

Anyway as I ramble on sometimes I do like to keep things simple so tonight I filled a tumbler with ice and filled it up with a decent glug of Woodford’s reserve one of my favourite American whiskies. What a great way to unwind. What I am trying to say here is that although we can enjoy the so called finer things in life – what is there to stop us liking things that are frowned upon by the high and mighty of society.

Glenfiddich is a classic example of this, Glenfiddich is a good everyday drinking whisky and it has some bloody good example – 15yo Solera is a cracker although I wish it would be bottled at cask strength – if you can ever get to the distillery and drink it straight from the Solera vat. Anyway as this is the best selling malt whisky in the world people knock it, “oh that crap” and other lesser printable quotations – well to hell with if people like it then so what – let them drink what they want rather than be lead by what someone else’s opinions to drink a whisky that they don’t enjoy.

No disrespect to the great whisky writer such as Jackson, MacLean and Murray but just because they give something 6 million point and something else 3 points doesn’t mean you should shy away from drinking something that you like just because that’s the case. Nor does it mean that you can not appreciate quality when you see it. Just because I like Pot Noodles – particularly the Nice and Spicy ones (89 points) as opposed to the new limited edition fajita flavour (83 points) – doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a good Port Ellen or for that point spot a bad Port Ellen – as much as this is a cult whisky there is a lot of crap Port Ellen on the go – there is however a lot more exceedingly good Port Ellen on the go though.
Reminds me of a time when I fell in love in a bar in Sweden – how often do stories start out like that I wonder. Anyway I was in a bar in Sweden drinking Port Ellen and chatting to the barmaid and she recommended a particularly Belgian beer worked particularly well with the particular Port Ellen I was drink – and low and behold it worked perfectly – and with that I asked the stunning barmaid to marry me. Ok I would have done if she hadn’t just introduced me to her boyfriend. Still wish I could remember what the beer was!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wisers Very Old 18yo Canadian Whisky



Never really given Canadian whisky much thought - don't suppose many of us have. However I recently tries the 18yo from Wiser and was very impressed. It is an 18yo bottled at 40% ABV and I have heard that you can buy a bottle for as little as $32 Canadian - thats about £15.00 in real money! If only we could get Single Malt at that price. Anyway this was a cracking wee whisky lots of sweet vanilla notes and a huge toffee finish. I wish i could have tasted it properly to make proper notes but sometimes you would look too much like a geek to do this! All I will say is if you see this definately try it - I know I will the next time I see it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Highland Park 1967 Half and Half Cask

An article from todays Thee Drinks Business Newsletter

"Something unique for single malt collectors: Highland Park has bottled half of a single cask from 1967, with plans to bottle the remainder at the end of the year. By early next year, therefore, a 38 and a 39 year old bottling of the same single cask will be available. In addition, this is the oldest exceptional cask ever bottled by Highland Park. Each bottling consists of just 200 bottles."

So for this I imagine they will be charging a pretty penny, if recent official bottlings are of old whisky are anything to go by. So an interesting concept bottling the same cask twice so that people have to buy both bottle to see if that extra 6 months makes any difference. Will be interesting to see how they manage to get 400 bottles from a cask, after all those years I imagine the angels would have had more than there fair share. Most other bottlings of 1966 (Older than this oldest bottling!) and 1967 from the likes of Signatory, Duncan Taylor and The Whisky Exchange yielded only around 138-227 bottles from the whole casks. Maybe they were wrapped in clingfilm!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Muckle Flugga - Shetlandish Whisky

So finally Blackwood distillers have started to produce a Shetland Whisky to go with there Shetland Vodka and there Shetland Gin!!! OK so non of it has ever seen Shetland but good to see that things are moving in the right direction! (The Gin is cracking stuff by the way - especially the 60% version)

Will be interesting to see what this whisky will be like but I suspect that it is going to be so rudicolously over priced that I will never get to taste it?

http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/pages/news%20stories/11_2006/shetland_whisky_sold,_sight_unseen.htm

I wonder if Distilling will ever happen in Shetland - they certainly have been very successful with there Gins, Vodkas and Jago Liqueur so do the really need to invest in a distillery for 10 years before they make any money - I'm not so sure but we will see - I wish them luck but I won't be holding my breath!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bruichladdich 1966 Cask 199




Got the chance to try this the other day, and was very glad to get the chance - I think that this may be the first time I have reviewed a whisky that has been on the legendery website of Serge www.whiskyfun.com all be it he did it in April.

Any way here goes:

Bruichladdich 1966 - cask 199 - 42%

Nose: Sweet, lots of vanila with a touch of Liquorice and Lemon
Taste: Dry peat smoke, coastal with zingy cirtusy notes.
Finish: Lingering lemon coastalness - with a fresh oakiness
Comment: An old whisky with a young heart.

Score: 91/100

An absolutely top drawer whisky and ok so well out of price range per bottle I would say that it is certainly value for money if such a thing can be said for a whisky just shy of £200.00 a bottle.

For a far better review read Serge's review, http://www.whiskyfun.com/archiveapril06-2.html#180406

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Queen Of Moorlands Rare Cask Springbank 1991

An Earl Grey Committee bottling from the wine shop in Leek a very limited bottling one of only 36 bottles. This was bottled in 2005 at 46% a cracking wee dram it is too.

Nose: Sweet, orangey, creamy (milk chews) and a touch coastal.
Taste: Sweet, oily very rich more orange peel and gooseberries notes and quite salty and dying.
Finish: Long touch of creamy oakiness and lingering coastalness.
Comment: As I said above this is a cracking dram.

Score: 91/100

Shame there is no more of this left am sure the Committee will pick some more cracking casks soon. www.wineandwhisky.com

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lonach Caperdonich 1968

Got a bottle of this from the whisky shop in Dufftown, have to say that I am always a huge fan of underdog whiskies such as Caperdonich, Scapa, Miltonduff, Glenallachie and the likes so I was
I couldn't resist when I saw this bottle on the shelf,

Caperdonich 37-1968 40,3% Lonach Label

Nose: Lots of fruitiness - apples and other stewed fruits.
Taste: Touch of oak, oranges and more grassy appley notes.
Finish: Light and freshing and a little oakiness.
Comment: A very refreshing whisky - very fresh with just a touch of oak showing its elderly years.
Score 90/100

Scores extra points for the fact that it was only £53.00 a bottle a bargain for a cracking whisky especially one this old. Would definately say you should try this - but I also say you should try all Caperdonichs!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Inverhouse Sold


News totally out of the blue! Hadn't even heard a rumbling of an approach on this one http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=984&id=1602482006 Inverhouse have been bought for an 8 figure sum by International Beverage Holdings (InterBev), the international arm of Thai Beverages.

The sign of things to come perhaps! Am sure that this will be a good buy for InterBev with there knowledge of the local market brands like Puteney could just explode out there and again that leaves us Scots having to pay more for our whiskies.

This will be an interesting one to watch.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Whisky Prices To Go Up

Reports are that whisky prices are set to rise by around a £1 a bottle with some companies estimating a 10% increase in prices - maybe that will stop Tesco from selling whisky at £6.86 per bottle! They claim that the demand in China has caused the demand for whisky to far out strip the supply. http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=%2Dpound%2D1-hike-on-bottle-of-whisky-%26method=full%26objectid=18008583%26siteid=62484-name_page.html

On top of the whisky industry putting there prices up - the department of health are wanting to put the tax on alcohol up to stop binge drinking - surely though if they are to do this putting the tax up on whisky would only affect us whisky drinkers and not your wee ned drinking his alcopops on a Friday night down the local park.

Hopefully the chancellor will see sence and not put the duty on spirits up in the next budget something which could only be bad for the whisky industry.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cave Turckheim Reisling 2003


I know, I know this is supposed to be a whisky blog and lately I have done beer and now the poncy drink that is wine. Well to hell with it I don't care I think it should be about all things things thathat it should be about all that I like so thats the way it should be. (There will be plenty more whisky news so don't worry).

Basically I know nothing about wine and I have a huge respect for people who do - whisky in my opinion is very simple to learn compared with wine! Anyway like whisky all you need to know is do you like it or not and for this 2003 Reisling I can say that I most certainly did.http://www.cave-turckheim.com/anglais/summary.htm

My friend Mike who was drinking this bottle along side me said "It is probably the best Reisling he has ever had" and I imagine that he has had several in his lifetime! Anyway I liked it cause it was very fresh not overly sweet or big just very well balanced with lots of citrus fruits on the taste - made me wish I had drunk more white wine during the summer - I am mainly a Red wine man. Now think that it may well be time to open my eyes to white wines again. Anyway if you see this please do try it.

I got my bottle from my friends in Leek at the The Wine Shop Leek - http://www.wineandwhisky.com/ who also do a great range of Whisky including there stunning queen of the Moorlands range - I will publish some notes on these whiskies shortly.

And They Say Scots Are Tight!!!

Well for hundreds of years us Scots have been given a hard time for being tight bastards! - Well we can now officially say that it is all lies. As stated in the Scotsman today http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=984&id=1583742006 bars in Argyll have been inspected and it has been found that 80% of all bars in the are have been serving too large drams! So surely this is proof that us Scots are not tight bastards after all - or maybe its just a clever piece of advertising from the tourist board in Argyll!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tar Barrels the next Arran / Bruichladdich Finish?



Finally a cask that hasn't been used by either Bruichladdich or Arran haven't used as a cask for finishing - although I doubt it will take long once they discover http://www.tarbarrels.co.uk/index.htm an annual fire festival. I can see it now the new tar cask bottling adds some real caramelised notes - thick and heavy with a touch of cresote an ancient tradition used by the druids in order to help preserve there whisky! Ok this is all tongue in cheek but i really think that the finishes and new expressions etc is all getting a bit much. Many of them are superb don't get me wrong but surely they are too many. Arran are in danger of stealing Bruichladdich's crown of having the most different bottlings at one time.

How many Arran's are there: No age, 10yo, Unchilfiltered, Port finish, sherry finish, 10yo Anniversary malt, 100 proof, Calvados finish, cream sherry finish, hardy cognac finish, sauternes finish, Trebbiano D'Abruzzo finish, Lepanto Px Brandy Finish, Bourgogne Finish, Marsala Finish, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Finish, Champagne (Pinot Noir) Finish and Tomato sauce finish - you get my point -some are actually quite good but is there any need for all this!

Balvenie 14 Year Old Rum Wood



Since I am on the theme of William Grant and there finishes etc I thought that I would give the 14yo RumWood a try. A limited edition of only 14 casks from warehouse 29 - no explanation as to why this is important! This is unchilfiltered which is good and bottled at 47.1% ABV I doubt that this is natural cask strength but would not like to say for certain. Anyway here's what I think. Not sure but I think that this was mainly done for LMDW in France but as always I could be wrong.

Nose: Sweet, vanilla and lots of creaminess and fruits maybe strawberries. With time more orangey notes.

Taste: Initially a strange taste, a little drying. piney notes. Lots of vanilla a bit bourbonesqe in flavour.

Finish: Lingering woody notes, a touch of creaminess but bitter notes also.

Comment: Wanted to like this but have to say that it didn't really deliver - the whisky has become quite bourbon like but with a bitter woodiness which is slightly overpowering - love the initial nose those.

Score: 76/100 - Nothing startling - try someone elses and keep your bottle closed. Especially as its about £50 a bottle.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Trade Winds


This is one of my favourite beers of all time - very much for me a session beer as much as I love beers like Dark Island http://www.orkneybrewery.co.uk/products.htm#DARK and Black Cuillin http://www.skyebrewery.co.uk/skye.htm Trade Winds is vert much an every day drinker and something that you can have several pints of in an evening and not get bored.

The Elderflower used in the production certainly comes through in the final product - a beer worthy of winning CAMRA Champion Speciality Beer of Britain for three years running 2004, 2005 and 2006.

A soft subtle beer with a cracking elderflower edge that does not over power the beer - definately if you like beer and you have not tried this try it now. For me a 9.5/10 beer I have yet to find a real beer drinker that does not like this.

Please drink this beer!

Glenfiddich Toasted Oak

The latest release from Glenfiddich and a curious one at that - I saw this at whisky live Glasgow but have to admit that I didn't try it as it wasnt one that really took the eye on the day! Anyway what is this whisky all about oak they say by toasting the casks they release more vanilla and spicy wood notes? Fair enough but how do they define toasting? What is the difference between toasting and charring is it just a degree of charcoaling!

Anyway I look forward to trying this to see how it is - I imagine it will be similar to the Don Ramsay bottling which has recently disappeared from shop shelves.

This bottling also says that it is a limited edition maybe it will be more limited that the afore mentioned Don Ramsay bottling that was limited to a mere 227 cask. (please note I may have this number wrong by 10 or so casks - makes Diageo's Port Ellens look limited!)




http://www.thepublican.com/story.asp?sectioncode=7&storycode=53119&c=1

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Glenavon 150yo bottle?



This bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky is to go on sale at auction - as usual the papers are going crazy about it with quotes such as -"The most Expensive Whisky in the World" and is this the oldest whisky in the world. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1552892006

But to me this is all a little crazy, ok if it is a real bottle - and it must be beause the woman selling it can remember her Granny having it in the 1920's, what more proof do we need - it will never become the most expensive bottle ever! Do journalists not do any research these days!

Also with all the fakes that have been on the market over recent years prices for a bottle of something like this has dropped considerably. My favourite fake has to be the 1982 Arran http://www.maltmadness.com/mm10a.html#10-12 as highlighted by malt maniacs.

I would say that I see this bottle selling for around £7000.00 but will be interesting to see.

What I would say is that this would be exceedingly rare with Glenavon distillery closing in the 1850's this truely would be an amazing whisky to try - but would it be all that good? As much as I love old whiskies (whiskies bottled prior to 1990) I am sure that the quality control would not have been to the high standards we have to day back in the 1860's?

I guess this is something I will never taste - I would love to - but tend to think if you had paid 10 grand for this bottle you could only be dissapointed if you open it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Zatoichi



Watched this film last night - starring "Beat" Takeshi Kitano this is a remake of the legendary story of Zatoichi a blind masseur that wanders 19th Century Japan. This adaption of the cult tale plays things differently from the original addaptation of the story but works well for me. The blind masseur becomes involved in many a fight with his legendary red cane sword defeating all comers in some amazing gushing guesyurs of blood - cracking stuff and the humour of the blood splattering adds to the overall humour of the film with several blind jokes that are always funny. http://www.zatoichi.co.uk/ As most of the reviews on the net seem to be saying about this film "Zatoichi would Kill Bill's ass!"

As i'm new to this film rating malarky i am maybe getting carried away but would give this a 8.5 / 10 Certainly please watch this.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blackford Ale


Just tried the Blackford Ale from Tullibardine http://www.tullibardine.com/shop.aspx at nearly £4.00 a bottle its not cheap but at least it is a "true" whisky beer unlike the stunning Innes and Gunn in that this is matured in casks which has previously contained Tullibardine Whisky. You certainly get the taste of the whisky coming through a bit like the traditional hauf and hauf - when the remainder of a whisky has been poured into a beer glass. I have to say that I don't overly rate this beer as much as I wanted to... there seems to be an over sweetness which is probably due to the wood maturation. The whisky flavour comes through but I would say if you can tell that it is Tullibardine then you have an amazing sense of taste and smell. I feel that the sweet whiskyish taste that comes through on the finish is just a little bit over powering and a little bit fake. All in all not my favourite glad to have tried it but far prefer the Innes & Gunn and at nearly £4 a bottle I wont be rushing out to buy any more.

BACK AGAIN

Following a bursting attempt at getting this blog running last year I am going to try and get it going again - hopefully this time I will last a bit longer.

Looking forward to blethering!!!