Thursday, December 20, 2007

Glen Garioch the Oldest Distillery in Scotland...Maybe

News today in the Herald is that they have found evidence of distilling at the "Meldrum Distillery" in 1785 which would give Glengarioch a claim as the oldest surviving distillery in Scotland.

The plot thickens!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Upper Ten Finest Blended 40%

I saw this blend reviewed on the excellent Dr Whisky blog and so when I saw a bottle I thought that I should give it a try. This is produced by a Norwegian company Arcus and seemingly sells fairly well in Norway.
Anyway enough of the rambling lets taste it.
Nose: Slightly solventy, lots of creamy notes a little bit like emulsion (if I had to choose a colour I would say magnolia!), and a hint of perfumed smoke.
Taste: Initially dry and the young grain element does come through but in a good way - not fiery at all. After this some of the phenols start to develop but is faint and not "rich distinctive" peat as is described on the label. Also some sweeter creamier butter notes.
Finish: Fairly short but then a hint of scented candles in the finish.
Comment: Overall descent enough if anything a little thin on the palate but pleasantly drinkable - a decent session whisky.
Score: 78/100

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Duncan Taylor Gets Green Light for Distillery

Duncan Taylor have been given the green light to build their distillery by the planners in Huntly. It appears that there is only one hurdle left before building begins in the old creamer buildings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

St Peter's Organic Ale 4.5%

Bought this in Adsa tonight and thought that I would give it a try. Well this "This lovely beer won the Soil Association’s top prize in 2002" well surely that should swing it for anybody! actually have tried a few things from the St Peter's brewery and thought they were pretty good so here goes.
Very much an English style ale - very easy to drink and not overly hoppy at all. Touch of citrusy notes and soft dryness in the finish. Overall not a bad beer although bizarrely for an organic beer it has a slight solventy note in the finish!
As i say note a bad beer but not one I will be rushing out to buy again - knew I should have picked up the Hobgoblin from instead. Anyway as for a score i would say an average 7 /10.
More info available at

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chivas 1801

A bottling that came out I believe it had something to do with Chivas revolve but slightly different - the bottles were "well" different! Any way here goes!

Nose: Initial sweet vanilla grain - but in a good way! Also some dry hay notes and a little bit musty with a thick side of caramel!

Taste: Oxymoron of a dram thick and thin at the same time! Grassy but with some heavier fruity notes - touch of sherry - god forbidden - this is not a bad dram!
Comment: This is not a bad dram but it is nothing great either - and to be honest I probably wont remember it in the morning! Fun at the time but no real commitment!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Non-Chilfiltered Whisky - MJ's view

I came across this quote today by the late great Micheal Jackson and thought that I could not sum up what non-chilfiltered whisky is all about if I had a hundred years and thesaurus to come up with it.

"unchill-filtered whisky as a dram for those who like their meat on the bone and crust on their bread."

The man was a genius! Beats my its like the difference between full fat milk and semi-skimmed hands down!

Glenmorangie 18yo

Was just in a bar that claimed to have a decent whisky list - note the term claimed! So i picked a dram that I haven't had for a while, namely Glenmorangie and in this case the 18 year old. I believe this bottling is no longer available in the new wine bottle Glenmorangie range - not that I am that bothered after trying this was this. I must point out that this was tried in a hotel bar this evening that makes me want to have a rant about how shite hotel bars can be -but I will save that for another day! - so it was served in a big as tumbler so maybe I am being unfair on it. Anyway here goes!

Nose: Light soft and creamy but nothing jumping out at all. Some vanilla and a touch of bourbon biscuits.

Taste: Tastes a little bit watery, touch of typical pear drops but soft and quite a lot of vanilla.

Finish: Short - very short! Slightly musty - infact stale custard creams!

Comment: Not a huge fan of this could have been a good dram if it had some balls about it - very much a featherweight. Nothing really wrong but yet nothing really right!

Score: 76/100

Malt Maniac Awards 2007

The results of this years Malt Maniac Awards have just been announced over at You have to respect these awards as they are judged by real whisky drinkers from around the world - completely blind and without any hidden agendas.
Have to agree with most of there results - if the Carsebridge is anything as good as the one I reviewed in November then it is a worthy winner.
Also I tried the Karuizawa 'Vintage' 1981/2007 recently and it is a cracker - I have ordered a bottle and will review it when it arrives.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

3rd Highland Park Ambassodors Cask Released

Gerry Tosh has picked his 3rd Ambassadors cask of Highland park following "the first two selected selling out in a matter of months". Not really difficult you would suspect considering the amount of places Maxxium sell too!
This time he has picked cask 9035 from 1974 and it has been bottled at cask strength of 44.8% ABV as a 33yo. Old Highland Park is always good and I will definitely try this if the opportunity arises. Although at £95.00 per 35cl it will probably be by the shot rather than the bottle!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adelphi Mortlach 1990 Cask 5947 57.5%

Adelphi are one of the most highly consistent bottlers - along with a few others - and Mortlach (like Caol Ila) is one of the most consistent whiskies so this should be a bute! Well lets see:

Nose: Big sherry, slightly bitter, some sweetness too. Pink marshmallows and cloves. Water gives hints of Rhubarb.
Taste: Dry oranges and lemons? Some heavier notes though and initial alcohol is a little spicy. Very coating of the mouth though, and with a little lavender (but in a good way not an FWP Bowmore way!) With water more of the sherried notes come out.
Finish: Big lingering sweet dark fruit notes but actually very drying.
Comment: Difficult one this need to try again at some point - I really like it but the alcohol at full strength dominates a little too much. But a splash of water opens it up superbly.
Score: 89/100
For Adelphi's notes please visit As these are done by the Great Charlie Maclean and Alex Bruce they are a lot better than mine - and posher what is bosky?
If that sounds disrespectful it is not - these are two of the greatest guys in the industry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ballie Nicol Jarvie Blend 40%

Always seemed to think that this whisky was an 8 year old but on closer inspection of the bottle it appears that is an non-age statement blend. This blend has always had a great reputation so I look forward to trying it again properly - would say it has been about three years since I tried this poured over some haggis and I enjoyed it then so lets see how it goes this time:
Nose: A little dry and grain like initially. Vanilla and a touch of mint and a wee bit of fennel!
Taste: Quite dry and lots of maltiness, touch of bourbon biscuits and then the grain develops.
Finish: Finish is fairly short and quite fresh but then the dryness of the grain comes through which is the only real off note about this whisky.
Comment: A good blend indeed, although that little dry bittiness just takes the edge off of it being a classic whisky. Would say that for at around £16.00 a bottle its as good as you will get for the money.
Score: 83/100

Whisky and Golf To Push Tourism.

I must congratulate all of those extremely clever people at the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in conjunction with Scottish Development International (SDI) and VisitScotland that they managed to come up with the idea to link whisky and golf in a tourism drive.

I wonder how many people from each of these groups it took to come up with this idea? And how much are tax payers paying to come up with this?

Anyway wee rant over!

Also another pointless website - unless you are looking to only visit the big boys?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DTC Carsebridge 1979 28yo Cask 33026 52.4%

I love grain whisky (to be fair I love all whisky) and it annoys me when people don't give it the respect it deserves. Ok compared with malt whisky it is hugely mass produced just looking at the cask number on this confirms that! But put it in a decent cask and give it time and amazing things can happen! Go on you malt snob give it a try!

Nose: Cheap yellow vanilla ice cream. Caramac bars and digestive biscuits with melted butter.

Taste: Rich, velvety a touch spicy with lots of toffee notes and maybe a touch of cheesecake.

Finish: long, very long a touch rye like and a little dry.

Comment: Stunning whisky, if it wasn't for the slight dry note on the finish this would score even higher.

Score: 92/100

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Glenfarclas 1966 Family Cask 51.5%

Another absolute gem that I never thought that I would try but by christ I am happy that did get to try it - just a pity its out of my price bracket at £315.00 at having said that it's worth it and a snip compared with a Macallan 1966 from their Fine and Rare collection at around £1000 a bottle. Anyway on with the tasting!

Nose: Turkish delight and flat cherry coke. And maybe a hint of orange - and bizarley the smell of blood!
Taste: More oranges, sweet sherry hint of wood and a little dry but also loads of raisany fruity notes.
Finish: Lingering sherry and a hint of wood.
Comment: Fecking amazing whisky!
Score: 96 / 100

Ardbeg Mor 10 year old 57.3%

Never actually thought that I would get to try this giant bottle! But luckily I did recently so here are my notes:

Nose: The cream in custard creams, warehouses and also bourbon biscuits and a faint trace of smoke.
Taste: Vanilla is over powered by soft dry peat and wood smoke and a little dry grassiness.
Finish: lingering dry ashiness at front of mouth and then more vanilla and some green apple skins.
Comment: Absolutely cracking peat is in perfect balance.
Score: 94 /100

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

IWSC Awards lose the plot!!!!

Tonight sees the presentation of there awards, most of the gold medals etc that are handed out willy nilly for things such as best 10 year old whisky from Skye that is bottled at 45.8% ABV or best Scotch Whisky - Single Malt - Speyside - 27-28 YO (yes very random) it appears that they have shortlisted Duncan Taylor, independent bottlers as a nominee for Distiller of the Year!

Surely someone at the awards must realise that they don't distill anything! Unless their distillery plans have progressed faster than they have let on!

Whisky War Rages

We have heard for the last six months to a year that there is going to be an end to the cut price whisky - well when I was in Tesco yesterday and saw whisky at £6.75 a bottle I was a little sceptical - anyone heard of the portman group surely Tesco should be reported!

Anyway enough rambling - saw today that whisky Giants Diageo and Pernod Ricard are to slash prices across India! So not only are they going to steal our whisky they are going to get it on the cheap!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

India To Cut Taxes? Or have we heard all this before!

Report in Harpers is suggesting that India is to finally cut the duty on Scotch Whisky.

Although as we have seen before I wouldn't count your chickens to early!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hirsch 1974 16yo Bourbon

A classic potstill bourbon from Pennsylvania and one that is becoming extremely rare. This is a 16yo bottling which was distilled in 1974 and is from some of the last stocks from the original Michter's distillery which closed in the early 80's. Anyway this was the first bourbon to gain 5 stars from Paul Pacult so lets see it:
Nose: Butter melted over digestives with a touch of cheesecake!
Taste: Wow stunning taste rich and rounded with lots of vanilla and a touch of rich red fruits - more digestive notes as well! Very very difficult to describe - but stunning. Strawberry and cream sweeties that don't taste like strawberries and cream!
Finish: Lingering sweetness, without being clawing - would say that this tastes "understrength" but in a good way not the 45.8% that it is.
Comment: Very difficult to describe - but wow this is good and scarily drinkable - at anytime!
Score: 93/100 - For me one of the best whiskies of any denomination! Scotch, Irish, American, Japanese etc etc not just a great Bourbon!

Hilda Hits a Hundred due to Whisky

A woman ended up celebrating her 100th birthday stating that a dram a day has kept her young. In that case I am going to live til I am 693 approximately! or maybe not!

Brand Ambassadors Job Going!

Now that Susan Webster has joined Dewar Rattary from Douglas Laing it is interesting to see that the Laing Brothers are taking the thrifty option of advertising her job on whisky magazines forum.

By the sounds of the advert sounds like a fun job! Brand Ambassador - I could do that - or perhaps not!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Work For Royal Mile Whiskies

I see on the royal mile site that they are advertising for staff in there London store! Sounds like a great wee job (bar the London bit!) Just think free whisky fringe tickets and staff discount on a huge selection of whiskies!

I'm sure there is worse jobs!

Whisky Kidnapper was Lorry Driver

What a cracking ploy! drive away with a lorry load of whisky make on you have hijacked and then split the profits with your mate. Only thing you have to ask is why would you steal a lorry load of Dewars?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adelphi Glen Elgin 1991 Cask 2599

A new bottling of Glen Elgin 16yo from Adelphi presumably from a sherry butt as it is one of 566 bottles bottled at 55.1% - the dark colour also gives the sherry away!!!! Must pay homage to all companies that don't mask everything with caramel! (Actually I don't mind caramel colouring too much for "consistency" purposes but it's people who try and hide it that really piss me off!

Anyway enough rambling lets taste!

Nose: Big sherry rum and raisin notes, and a little meaty note.

Taste: Again big sherry and slight toffee notes. Like warm caramel sauce on "yellow" vanilla ice cream with a hint of chocolate!

Finish: Not to long for something so richly flavoured - coats the side of the mouth and lingers there but short otherwise.

Comment: A very pleasant dram - maybe that is the only thing wrong with it - its pleasant and yes I would happily drink this again and again but its not something amazing.

Score: 86/100 recommendable!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Macallan 18yo 1985 43%

Got my hands on a slightly old miniature of 18yo (sherry cask) Macallan tonight, ok the 85 - 18yo wasnt that long ago but (lets sound like an old boy) but it does't seem that long ago since the 18yo was a 1982 vintage and I think they have now released the 1989 vintage>

Ah well I say vintage..... I have been told that up until 1981 it was a true vintage but it changed to have older whiskies in it, recently as you See on this miniature it will say "the youngest whisky was distilled in wxyz year"

Anyway on with the tasting!

Nose: initially very big (is it to big?) obvious big sherry notes but meaty slightly sulphury notes. After giving it time it gets more Calvados like.

Taste: Again this is a big dram, huge sherry a touch of cream as well though - some slight orange notes and a touch of spice.

Finish: A touch of maple syrup in the finish and again big sherry.

Comment: Yes I like this - I like it a lot but actually when you come to scoring it there is nothing amazing about this due to the huge over influnece of sherry (maybe fine oak is a good idea!)

Score: 85/100

ps: will taste again some night when I haven't had 5 whiskies and three pints of guinness!

Monday, July 16, 2007

"the taste of salty, lime flavoured ass" aka Miller Chill

So this great review on today and just about split my sides so thought i would share it with you below.

Great to see a site that truly says what it thinks!

"We're usually huge fans of Miller products (Champagne of Beers 4 Life!) but we tried Miller Chill recently and were unimpressed. It's described as a Chelada and judging by all the Spanish on the site, it's being aimed at the Latino market. We hope they like the taste of salty, lime-flavored ass, because that's what they're being given."

Oh you can find out more about salty ass beer at if your interested.

Whisky Celebrations Back on Ice in Mumbai

Well before the whooping and cheering of the SWA had stopped ringing in Vijay's ears - India has turn round and slapped a cheeky back hander at the Scotch Whisky Industry by allowing each state in India to set its own Import levels. So although the basic import rate is 150% (down on previous levels) each state can add its own duty level on top of this. Mumbai have just announced that they will be slapping on a 200% tax making things not much different from what they were before.

Will be interesting how the ever so "smug" (OK they were last week) SWA react to this.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adelphi Glenrothes 2000 Cask 2413 56.5%

Right enough of this re-typing story malarky lets have a whisky - this one should be good! One of my favourite distilleries Glenrothes and this bottling is from Adelphi, although Adelphi bottlings tend to be expensive they also tend to be bloody good!
Their notes on this 6yo Cask strength glenrothes can be found here:
So lets see what my notes are - First thing I have to say is that for 6 years this dram has a cracking mahogany colour with a red hue about it! Anyway here goes:
Nose: Rich, obvious sherry and a meaty note like a roasting tin! Raisans, a touch of cream and malt loaf and butter
Taste: Big, big, big! Initially difficult to pin down on this one! has the big sherry character - almost verging on bad but still staying on the edge, of rich chocolate, a "red" note - god I wish I knew what that was! and verging on balloons but in a good way.
Finish: The finish is again big - a little to much verging towards the slightly rancid meat that a big sherry cask can give you.
Comment: I am not sure about this dram - I think it has slightly flawed "rancid" meat type sulphury notes but i don't mind them at all - it also has huge body and character - the sherry has perhaps dominated but you can still make out Glenrothes shouting behind the background.
All in all a good whisky but for a 6yo its a great whisky! (but only if you like sherry!)
Score: 87/100

Indians Love Rum! Blow for Whisky

Various reports have came out in the last few days that it turns out that that the majority of India's new middle class and young fashionable drinkers prefer rum or white spirits in particular in cocktails. It is however the 35-40yo plus brigade that is keeping whisky sales high. What we tend to forget is that although yes duty will becoming down on whisky in India - I am yet to be convinced as a punter is a good thing for me struggling to buy malt at a decent price in Scotland - it will also becoming down for white spirits and if they market themselves correctly which in all honesty they usually do a lot better than whisky then perhaps the boom will not be so sonic for whisky as we all think!

Scotsman Recycles More Stories!!! Oh Roseile Diageo Distillery

Must be no news today in the Scotsman hence they had to repeat there story on Diageos new distillery at Roseile.

So its going to be a green distillery - and its going to cost £40million blah blah blah have we not heard this in the Scotsman before or am I cynical!

Still good to see new distilleries opening!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Chivas to Invest!

The continuing boom in whisky has lead to Chivas to invest £4.75million in facilities - at Paisley and Dumbarton - luckily they are getting a "Regional Selective Assistance Grant of £950,000 from the Scottish Executive" or else they might not be able to afford it!

All good news for the industry though!

Greene King Hop Beer 5% (AKA Butt plug bottle!)

Bought a bottle of this in Tesco tonight it was formerly known as The Beer to Dine for. Thought that I would give it a go, not bad wee beer but nothing great fairly easy going, touch of citrus notes and a bit of a bitter after taste: They recommend drinking it with slightly spicy food with a touch of sheer coincidence I finished it along with a Chicken Biriyani and to be honest it did improve a bit giving off slightly creamery notes.

Very much a session beer for drinking on a hot summers day with a bit of spicy food. If had to rate it then I would say about a 7/10.

Interestingly on the Greene King website they do not mention this beer - may be as some of the stuff I found on this beer on the internet people were complaining that Greene King perhaps have chickened out and went to far down the commercial route!

The best quote I found on the internet about this though came from

"Comes in a bottle that looks like a butt plug, so my expectations weren’t very high." - Classic!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Whisky Prices to Rise by 10% or more

Ken Grier from the Edrington group has came out and openly stated that whisky prices on malt will have to rise by at least 10% - stating that "the days of cheap whisky are over." So is suppose that means an end to all the cheap Macallan that is currently on the market!!!

I imagine that now all whisky companies will be following up this first move and stating that they will have to put prices up to cope with the demand from China which the experts predict will only get great and greater.

May be ab idea to stock up on the cheap whisky while we still can!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Just tried this wee whiite wine (ok the whole bottle) got it from my friends at this is full of tropical fruits and lots of gooseberries which is amazingly what it says on the label! Feels quite thick on the mouth and very moreish! I a not great on wine but this I like and at the end of the day that is all you need to know.

Nose reminds me of a Bowmore 1966 without the alcohol! A lot cheaper than a 66 bowmore though!

Cracking stuff!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Macallan 1969 Duncan Taylor Cask 8373

Another old Macallan from DTC this one is at 44.6% so it had a year or so left. They have this on at £211.00 a decent amount of money but when you consider the distillery bottling on is selling for £1700.00

Anyway lets try it:

Nose: Soft, sweet fruits and a touch grassy and oily. Tropical fruits, kiwi fruits and bananas. A great nose with a whiff of orange sherbet.

Taste: A little zesty to begin with, then deeper richer oily nutty notes with and a touch of parma violets briefly enters the mix. Then more typical chocolatey orange notes.

Finish: A hint of spice, orange peel and nutmeg!

Comments: An excellent example of an old yet vibrant whisky that hasn't been over powered by the cask. As they say in the Lilt adverts - A totally tropical taste!

Score 96/100

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The beer whisky correlation!

I have just spent the last three hours at a wee informal whisky tasting and again after this the first thing that you need is a beer! I have experienced this after several whisky events such as whisky live london! You spend six hours drinking whisky and after that the first thing you want to do is drink a beer -

Conversley how often do people sit and drink beer all night and as soon as they call last orders people order a whisky. Funnily these are the people who after drinking 15 pints have one whisky at the end of the night and think that it is the whisky that has made them ill the next day!

Ok obviously I have had a few drinks tonight - now drinking a 10yo rip van winkle pretty good stuff but will need to taste it properly when I am soberer! So will try and do this soon.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Aberlour 15yo No More

I have just heard that Aberlour 15yo is to be withdrawn from the market and replaced with a 16yo - lets hope that it doesn't follow the way of the Longmorn 15 being replaced by an inferior product with over the top packaging at an extortionate price increase.

I hope that Pernod Ricard don't make the same mistake again!

Strathisla 1967 Duncan Taylor Cask 1894

Was very lucky to be given a sample of this today to try - not everyday you get the opportunity to try a 40yo Single Malt so here goes:
Nose: Sweet, rich touch of rum and softer citrusy notes. Warm oranges!
Taste: Wow, orangey, oily, mouth coating, slim trace of wood this is so full of big lively flavours it almost defies its age bar the faint trace of smoke.
Finish: Slightly nutty, with more big oily fruity flavours coating the taste buds long after this is drunk.
Comment: I had to drink this fairly quickly but would far prefer that I could spend a good evening nursing a few of these - someday maybe I will get a bottle, well I know its only June but I hope Santa Claus is reading this! Great Whisky!
Score: 97/100

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tomatin 1975 Douglas Laing Red Wine Finish

Sitting watching the who perform at glastonbury, it is amazing to think that they were formed 10 years before this 31yo whisky was even distilled. Let's hope that the Tomatin is as good as The Who!

This whisky does have a redish hue from the finishing, interestingly it doesn't say how long it has been finished in the rioja cask. This also is part of Douglas Laings Platinum collection which is suppossed to be reserved for their very best casks, I am a little sceptical as if it was that good why did it need finished? Will taste with an open mind though - it is also at a decent strength of 55.% so that should help.

Nose: Rich, sweet creamy with summer fruits and a hint of toffee.

Taste: alcohol initially prickles - then you get well not much! But in a good way sort of nothing jumps out at you. You know it whisky and its rich and warming and bit fruity. Water brings out more woody notes and a little bit of mustyness

Finish: you get more of the winey notes coming through in the finish almost like a fruit bubble gum

Comment: overall a decent enough whisky - nothing tastes bad about it just think that the Rioja cask has maybe just dulled everything down a little to much without adding a huge deal.

Score 83/100

India To Cut Tax on Whisky

Looks like the Indians are going to cut the tax on Imported whisky good news for the Scotch Whisky industry - perhaps not for drinkers though? If India opens up thanks to Vijay Mallaya then demand for whisky will increase further and this will only raise the prices to the final consumers world wide - so the Indians might get cheaper whisky but its not such great news for the rest of the world I fear!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Springbank 10yo 46% Distillery Bottling

The 10yo from one of the "cult" distilleries - if only I were drinking whisky when all that old stuff was around at far cheaper prices than it goes at at auction for these days - never mind there still is some pretty decent springer on the go just now! so lets how this one is!

Nose: Closed, musty and oily with a waxy fruity note and a faint trace of smoke.

Taste: Initially salty then a smoky oily note rushes through before giving way to heavier chocolatey notes.

Finish: Long a combination of saltiness, wood varnish and musty lemons.

Comment: I like this always have like the springers - would be interesting to try this against some of the first launched 10yo stuff as it has been rumoured that this has been getting better. Would say if anything the nose lets it down slightly.

Score: 85/100 - happy to drink this any day!

Linkwood 15yo G&M 43%

Linkwood has always been a cracking dram but often either underrated or not widely available other than through the F&F bottling or from G&M good to see that they bottled this higher than at 40% going with 43 but wouldn't it have been nice to see this at 46%.

Anyway enough of my spiel - lets taste it:

Nose: Rich, with a warm caramel and appley nose with a touch of citrus

Taste: Dusty, touch woody and a little bit dry. Trying to be fruity but a little bit dull. maybe a hint of woody oranges!

Finish: Dryness continues to last and then a faint orangey note

Comment: Decent enough whisky but nothing short of unremarkable. Non memorable whisky not great and not crap! Well not too crap just dull and disappointing.

Score: 78 / 100

Bloody Rain

Absolutely know reason for this post other than it is pouring with rain outside and it is very depressing so I thought I would share the love! Just need to keep thinking that some day that rain will turn into whisky!!!!!

Dunglass 5yo Miniature

Came across this curious miniature from Dunglass a heavily peated version of Littlemill. Curiously the label on the miniature has no ABV or volumetric information! I have found a similar bottle on the Internet that was bottled in a green bottle for the Italian market and that was bottled at 43% ABV. I don't know when this was distilled but going by what I have found on the wonders of the Internet! they stopped producing this style of whisky in 1972.

Nose: Soft and green, grassy and typical young lowlander style after initial hit of alcohol. Faint hint of chlorine but no smokiness.

Taste: Dry, malty with a faint whiff of peat coming through but more wood taste than peaty. Also lots of lemon sherbet notes:

Finish: Short and crisp leaving a citrusy / banana feeling.

Comments: Not a bad we dram but would say they must have been pretty shy with the peat!

Score: 81/100 Difficult one to score though!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Caol Ila 8yo Unpeated Style - 59.8%

I had heard of this "Highland Style" Caol Ila for some time so was glad to see that Diageo decided to release it in this cask strength form.
So here goes!
Nose: Sweet, creamy lots of vanilla and hints of unripe berries. Very creamy indeed like very rich cream sauce - this could go cracking with a steak! - or maybe i am just hungry! Also a touch of custard creams!
Taste: Not as fresh as the nose - a little bit dusty! doesn't taste like its cask strength - obvious creamy notes and a touch woody - i added a little water and there is a slight metallic taste with a touch of lemon bon-bons
Finish: Long, drying a touch coastalish and not much else!
Comments: Maybe I expected to much from this I must remember it is only an 8yo - but then I love Caol Ila's young 7-12yo I find are cracking ages, however the peating must just add that extra dimension that makes Caol Ila one of my favourite whiskies.
Score: A disappointing 80/100 would have loved this to have tasted as it nosed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Longmorn 16 - nice packaging?

Well got a quick sniff of the new Longmorn 16yo tonight. Was looking forward to this but the reality is you are paying £50 for a 16yo at 48% abv no sorry you are paying £50 for a bit of extra metal, leather and a fancy box - what ever floats your boat I suppose! Anyway on to the tasting I will try and not let the hideous price increase and my love of the 15yo cloud my judgement too much.

Nose: quite a bit of perfume and a dryness comes out beyond the typical toffeeish Longmorn.

Taste: orange sherbert, touch woody and a little musty. More citrus notes.

Finish: funny - and not ha ha! Dry wood and more dusty sherbert notes. Ok but dissapointing.

Comment: maybe I am tasting this in a negative frame of mind. All in all not bad but not great - buy the 15 while you still can.

Score: 80/100

Monday, April 30, 2007

Charlie's Dram

See today the Prince of Wales has launched his own 12yo vatted -sorry blended malt - whisky. The whisky was alledgedly selected by the Prince himself so therefore it will taste of Laphroaig his favourite dram - or has all that changed now he is working with Inverhouse and it has been reported that Pulteney is new whisky of choice! Anyway a pound from each bottle goes to help the highlands - no doubt this will sell well to the tourists - if I see it I will try but I wouldn't be holding your breath! The whisky is to be called Barogill the original name for the Castle of Mey in Caithness, the Queen Mother's home in the Highlands.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Highland Park 15yo

Found this in the pub and thought I would give it a shot!

Nose: initially the caramel kicks in - then typical hp heather honey nose is there. Hints of the sea and and faint whiff of peat.

Taste: rich rounded bit of soft peat and a cracking orangey note. Quite thick mouthfeel with a little woodiness.

Finish: toffee notes and then some more fruity notes

Comment: not a bad dram - hp never is a bad dram - but nothing overly exciting, would rather save money and buy a 12yo.

Score: 85/100

BenRiach 20 Year Old 43%

I have been very impressed with all that has happened at BenRiach since they were taken under the Billy Walker's control. They have done some cracking bottlings - this all from a whisky that actually made me cry! That was an incident with the old blue label bottle - it wasn't a great whisky but it was the fact that I some how missed my my mouth and the whisky ended up in my eye that made me cry!

Anyway enough blethering lets try the whisky.

Nose: Sweet, very sweet. Lots of vanilla and milky bars and a faint coastal note.

Taste: Warming, more sweet creamy notes - but lots of fruit, bursting with tropical fruits.

Finish: A little dry - maybe a little to much cask influence but still good and then the fruits develop.

Comment: I like this a lot - if that dry note wasn't there this would score a few extra points.

Score: 89/100

Ardmore 12yo 100th Anniversary

This whisky was bottled in 1998/99 in time for Ardmore to celebrate its 100th anniversary. This was about the time that I started really getting into whisky and this was always a favourite of mine at the time so when I saw an open bottle I thought that it would be a good idea to try it again properly and see if it was as good as I remembered - or thought I rememered!

Nose: Sweet, slightly meaty - almost a touch sickly but in a good way...hmmm. A hint of peat, citrus and sherried notes.

Rich, nice balance between sherry and peat. rich mouth coating with a hint of milk chocolate.

Clawing sherry and soft peat smoke lingers for some time with the sherry notes building.

So glad I still like this as was worried it wouldn't be as good as I remembered it was. This is a cracker if it was bottled at a higher strength than 40% then it could have been an all time stunner!

Score: 90/100

Imperial 15yo Distillery Bottling

I am a huge fan of all things "Imperial" I am talking about the whisky obviously and not the soap! So when I saw an open bottle of this 15yo I had to try it. Good to see that it is bottled at 46% but by the colour I wouldn't be surprised if there is a wee splash of caramel in it. Top marks must also be given to the label design - which I would say probably merits a place in the top three of crap labels - only defeated by the hideous new Tamdhu labels and the probably worse Battlehill labels from Duncan Taylor!

Nose: Straight from the bottle my suspicions of caramel are confirmed, however this soon passes. Initially quite dry on the nose - smells youthful - malty with a touch of toffee. The burnt toffee not again grows given time.

Taste: Quite thick, more toffee notes becoming creamier with a touch of spice and also slightly bitter notes.

Finish: Finish is fairly short and quite uninspiring.

Not as fresh and vibrant as most Imperials I have tried, not a bad dram just pretty unmemorable.

Score: 83/100

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Graham's 6 Grapes Reserve Port

As you will probably have guessed by now I like most alcoholic drinks and Port is another one of my favourites although I do not pretend to know anything about it! I do know that my house mate protests that I should not drink it like wine and that I am a certain candidate for gout!

Thing is though when you are used to drinking cask strength whisky 20% port is like drinking wine!

This bottle was bought for me at Christmas by a good friend and drinking buddy I am amazed that it has lasted this long - as will he be!

Anyway enough of the rambling this is a very decent drinking port and is very concentrated with rich fruity flavours and a clawing rich mouthfeel with a creamy finish and then a touch of warmth.

I can not really score this as my port-ommitter isn't up to scratch would say an 87 / 100 if pushed.

What I would say is I would certainly look out for this again when buying port again. Cheers mate.

Blogging on the move!

Just discovered how to update by blog by simply emailing from my blackberry. Although can't do pictures this should make regular updates far easier - and possibly more interesting as I will be able to up date directly from the pub etc....

Could make for some interesting reading!

Caol Ila 1993 Distillers Edition

I have been curious to try this since I heard it was coming out so I was glad to see it in my local last night so gave it a bash. Must admit though that I had partaken in several pints of Guiness before sampling so perhaps taste buds were not at there best! Any way this 1993 Caol Ila has been finished for 6 months in Dark Moscatel casks.

Here is what I thought last night!

Nose: Almost smells pink! A bit bigger than a standard Caol Ila but has a nose of raspberry jam as well.

Taste: Taste is not so big. Touch of orange and peat. Quite oily would maybe mistake it for a soft lagavulin. A little metallic actually I like it though.

Finish: Quite a short finish for an Islay

Comment: I like it but maybe the Moscatel dominates a little to much and dulls the Caol Ila character a little.

Score 87/100

Will try again when not already three sheets to the wind and will re-evaluate. Could be interesting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wanted - Master of Whisky - No need to drink whisky!

Saw a job advertised on today from Diageo for a "Master of Whisky" for Seattle. The job as you would expect is to deliver knowledge of whisky to all distributors etc for all Diageo's key brands. Nice job! A job that I would say you would need a certain degree of whisky knowledge to get - or so you would think.

Not so - the advert for the job states that the applicant should have "A good knowledge of the wine and spirit market (whisky knowledge preferred but not necessary)".

There are many great ambassadors for whisky out there but why make a mockery of it all by giving people titles that they do not deserve. All I can say is get a grip Diageo and make sure you employ whisky people!

Been a long time!!!

Well it has been a long time but I am back again but I will try and get back to regular postings.

Keep dramming!