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!