Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Karuizawa 1971 Cask 6878 64.1%

There is more and more good quality Japanese whiskies coming on the market these days thanks in many ways to the guys at the Number One Drinks Company I hope that they keep up the good work. This one is an old one at an amazing strength for its age 64.1%

For a good review of the distillery check out the excellent Nonjatta site

Anyway lets try it.

Nose: Big rich sherry nose, warm leather, cinnamon, and a touch of metallic fruits (like when making Jam). There is almost a hint of smoke as well - the alcohol does hit you if you breath in too sharply. Water opens this up a lot and gives more of the smoked cheese note and also a faint hint of a farmyard - but in a good organic kind of way.

Taste: Lots of prickly alcohol, and then smoked cheese and marmalade. At full strength this is hot! Quite a bit of sandalwood. With water it is softer and the smoke becomes a bit more pronounced and more like wood smoke.

Finish: Long and spicy with a touch of incense sticks. Becomes more like clove studded oranges with more cinnamon once water is added.

Comment: What a dram! Not one you would drink a lot of on one sitting but full of character and definately worth seeking out if you can find it!

Score: 90/100

For a superior review check out Dave Brooms and Gavin Smiths

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Glenmorangie Nectar D'or 46%

I thought that this might be an interesting one as I have already reviewed this one so having had this one as my fifth whisky of the evening I thought it might be interesting to see how my notes compared from my original notes til this new one. I was quite pleased by the results as I gave it the same score and several key notes were similar. So here goes take two.

Nose: Lots of lemon, someone said bacon and actually I get it! Fruit loaf and highland toffee, the fruit loaf has lots of butter on it.

Taste: Difficult to pick anything out beyond the sweetness, syrupy and a good bit of spice coming through.

Finish: Dry soft and then spice comes through.

Comment: I like this but the taste is not as good as the nose suggests and the dryness lets it down.

Score 81/100

I was well impressed with myself that these were similar but for a decent review check whisky fun or Dr Whisky.
Price check:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 46%

The New Port Wood version from Glenmorangie. Good to see that it is at 46% and non-chillfiltered.

Nose: Light, fresh, rose wine like and ice cream. A bit of mint and a touch of raspberry jam and maybe plums.

Taste: The soft fruits are coming through and this is exceptionally smooth. There is also a more creamy notes coming through.

Finish: A little bit short actual, softer than the LeSanta. But the brief finish is pleasently fruity.

Comment: Dangerously drinkable - I like this actual but as an everyday drinker or session whisky not something that is overly complex.

Score: 84/100

Price Checker
Royal Mile Whiskies - £32.89
The Whisky Exchange - £32.49
Loch Fyne Whiskies - £32.90
Single Malts Direct - £35.99

Macallan Estate Eco-Friendly Whisky - Not!!

The Macallan has just launched a whisky proving how environmentally conscious they are with their new Estate Oak bottling. For Each bottle of the whisky sold an oak tree will be planted at the Macallan Estate to help the environment. Also the whisky does not come in wasteful packaging but instead comes just in the bottle with labels being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council what ever that means.

Now I must applaud Macallan for what they are trying to do here - after all we must all take responsibility for the future of the planet. However it is a bit hypocritical really from the company that brought us the elaborately overly packaged Lalique decanters!

The really daft point about this environmentally friendly whisky is that it is a world duty free exclusive so the only way that you can get it is by travelling on an aeroplane! Thank god it's environmentally friendly then eh!

Their quote from their press release is a cracker!

“We anticipate it will be a huge success with people wanting to make a difference to the environment,” said William Ovens, The Edrington Group’s global travel retail area director.

On another point linked to this Macallan had previously sold there Woodland Reserve bottlings where by you could buy a bottle and have a tree planted at Macallan with your name on a plaque. Having visited Macallan recently I noticed that probably around a quarter of these trees were dead, so is this new initiative just away of getting more pr for trees that you are having to buy anyway to replace the last lot that died?

Just a thought!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Single & Single New Independent Bottler? Maybe...

This is a new independent bottler - whisky grotto introduces it and tells us that it is the "brainchild of armchair bottler Yossi Schwarts" who I must admit isn't someone I have heard of. I wish him luck however I am a little confussed by looking at the label a little closer. This says that it is selected by Milroys of Soho and bottled by A Dewar Rattary.

So who does pull the strings in this Glencadam bottle - maybe it should be called single single and single! Is it Yossi, Milroys or Dewar Rattary!

Glenmorangie LaSanta 46%

The new sherry wood finish from Glenmorangie - now know as Extra Matured as alledgedly consumers didn't understand what sherry finish meant! This whisky has been finished in oloroso sherry casks for 2 years. The good news is that it is bottled at 46% ABV and is non-chilfiltred.

Have tried to stay away from the obvious christmas tasting notes that the Santa Claus name suggests.

Nose: Custard creams, but also covered in raisans, maybe some cherries and some chocolate, water makes it drier.

Taste: Thick, you can feel the raisans and creaminess come through, much bigger in the mouthfeel.

Finish: Still a little dry especially with water. But also more cream notes.

Comment: Not a bad dram benefits from being non chilfiltered helps but the dryness lets it down a wee bit. On a session I could drink a lot of this.

For alternative aka better reviews please visit Dr Whisky , Whiskyfun and Whisky Pages.

Score: 88/100

Price Check

Royal Mile Whiskies - £31.50
Loch Fyne Whiskies - £31.90
The Whisky Exchange - £31.49
Single Malts Direct - £29.99

Tullibardine Not For Sale - Unless you Offer!

An article in the Scotland on Sunday reveals that Tullibardine distillery could be up for sale. Although the directors are stating that there is no for sale sign up - that they are listening to offers.

The paper quotes a figure of £15million for the distillery - I would say this seems a bit cheap - however if it includes the retail complex next to it then maybe not?

Will be one to watch - interestingly I drove past the distillery yesterday and there were no signs up adverting the distillery?

Definately one to watch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Latest Daft Finish - Cling Film Cask Finish

A report in the Daily Record confirms that Diageo for the past 5 years or so have been experimenting with covering casks in plastic wrap - to prevent the angels share being so high. This makes me laugh because often when I have tasted an old whisky that has had a very high ABV I have often joked the "the cask must have been wrapped in clingfilm!"

They say that experiments are not on going but that the feel that it does not affect the flavour - this I doubt very much however I would imagine that Diageo would prefer to keep this experiment quiet. Come to think of it in a day and age when everyone is eco-friendly and keeping their carbon foot print down as much as possible - how enviromental friendly is plastic wrap!

Anyway the real question is who will be the first which company will be the first to release a limited edition cling film cask finish. I would say you would get short odds on Bruichladdich, Arran, Benriach or Glenmorangie. Now whats Gaelic or Latin for Cling Film!

Glenmorangie Original

I recently got the chance to try several of the new Glenmorangie range. I have to say that I am not a fan of this new bottling range but at the end of the day you don't drink the packaging! To be honest me as a typical male Scot that likes my whisky and a pint and is not adverse to a fish supper or a plate of mince and tatties I am probably not the clientele LVMH have in mind.

I quite liked the old 10 year old as an everyday drinker so lets see how this fairs:

Nose: Cheap yellow (school lunch) ice cream and custard creams, milk chocolate and tangerines. A little waxiness and with water it becomes a little dusty with soft custard creams.

Taste: Smooth and light and a little bit dry aswell. a faint hint of spice (maybe cloves) and then a orangey note.

Finish: The dryness in the finish of this just lets it down a little bit - still soft and pleasent but a little bit more musty fruits in grocers story than sparkly zesty sherbet that I expected.

Commnet: If it wasn't for the finish this would be an excellent whisky - overall still a bloody good easy drinking number.

Score: 84/100

For an alternative review please try Whiskyfun.


Royal Mile Whiskies - £27.50

The Whisky Exchange - £25.99

Loch Fyne Whiskies - £25.90

Single Malts Direct - £21.99

I'm Back!

Hi people, yeah I am back, yes I know I have been quiter than drwhisky of late! but least he has a good reason with getting a grown up job with Balvenie. Congratulations to him I wish him luck.
Any way I have a few posts to get caught up on so lets get started!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Japan Strikes a Blow to Scotch

I have always been a huge fan of Japanese whisky and have to say it was no huge suprise to see that a Japanese whisky was voted best whisky of the year in whisky magazines recent blind tasting. However I was a little surprised that it was Yoichi 20yo a cracking dram but probably not one of my favourites. I have to say some of my favourites have been from Hanyu and Yamazaki.

But after congratulating Yoichi and trying not to take anything away from them Awards like these to say best whisky in the world is a bold statement. Whisky is a personal thing and each of us like different things. I know it was an excellent panel that picked this whisky as top dog but one other thing you have to think? This was maybe the top whisky in the competition but how many whiskies were tasted?

Food for thought - and just in case you think I am being anti Yoichi I am not and will have a dram or two tonight when I get in!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Whisky Mistaken for a Gun

A man in Wales was shot by police following them mistaking a bottle of whisky for a gun! In the polices defence maybe it was a bottle of Ardbeg double barrel he was carrying!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Talisker 18yo 45.8%

Well this is a whisky with a huge reputation winning an award from the highly respected malt maniacs and also being named best whisky of the year by whisky magazine - actually question this competition as only open to official distillery bottlings but still worth a shout.
Anyway here goes!
Nose: Big, Germolene , oily and a touch of smoke - not huge smoke though. Touch of smoked mussles mmmm smoked mussles and then maybe a hint of menthol mouthwash.
Taste: Chlorine, flat peat, and dry smoke and a little bit grassy! Also a little bit salty with some sherried notes - cracking stuff!
Finish: Wow big - fruity salty finish! Love this! Big and fruity and peat coming through!
Comment: This is cracking - malt maniacs and whisky magazine are right!
Score: 95/100

Drammies Announced

Over at the great website Scotchblog they have announced the results of the results of the drammies!
Well done to all the winners but a big shout out must go to Drwhisky ---- although I hope he doesn't win to many awards or his pictures might get worse!
Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Colonsay 80 Shilling Ale Pint bottle

I know, I know I can hear you say thought that this was a whisky blog and your blogging on about bloody beer again! Well who cares it's my blog and I will write what I want! Anyway had to tell you about this 80 Shilling from the Colonsay Brewery. This is one of the best beers I have had in a long time rich full flavoured with a creamish finish! Not sure if I can find the smoke they are talking about on there website but then again maybe it's there or maybe I am just looking for it - never feer I will be drinking this alot I imagine so no worries about me checking it out again in the future.

Also being on their site you see a lot of tongue in cheek humour coming through which I feel is there because the guys who put it there are funny and it's mnot just marketing bollocks. Make sure you look up their business plan under the brewery section. Priceless!

Anyway there is an IPA and a lager to try so there will be more on here.

A must try!

Aberlour 15yo Sherry Finish

According to the Aberlour website this was initially matured in Bourbon and sherry casks before being finished in "selected" sherry casks! I am sure that I heard a rumour that this was being discontinued so let's try it while I still can!
Nose: Quite closed, sweet and creamy then an oakiness fights through the inititial sherry notes. Given time a little meaty and a faint hint of sulphur - but not unpleasant and also a touch of ginger.
Taste: Rich sherry fruitiness, then drying meaty oranges - more an image of a flavour than an actual flavour! Becomes a little dull after initial fruitiness.
Finish: Lingering flat lemon sherbet and soft musty custard creams.
Comment: Promised a lot but then failled to deliver and rather faded out in quite a dull way!
Score 80/100

Friday, February 15, 2008

Orval Trappiste Beer 6.2%

Found this wee monastray belgian beer from Orval and thought I would give it a go. This is a Trappiste beer. You have to love Wikipedia! I had never realised the reasoning behind trappiste beers before but it is a very rigourous organisation with only 8 Trappiste Abbeys producing beers under the following rules:

1. The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
2. The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.
3. The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.

We have got to love monks for the contribution they have made to the drinks industry - bar maybe buckfast!

What I would say about this beer is that it doesn't taste too strong - has a slight fairy liquid note on the nose (something I get in beer quite a lot - and no I have cleaned the glass properly!) there is a red fruity note in the middle of the taste and hints of spice and a little bit sour but very pleasant.

Anyway - not that I know but - I would say this is not a typical Trappiste and some night I must try several at once. Worth a try but would say it would be the odd bottle here or there rather than a regular bottle to reach for!

Diageo are doing OK

It was announced today in the Herald that Diageo have made an increase in profits this year of 7% unlike some companies - 7% increase in profits of a multinational company like Diageo is the GNP of a reasonable sized country I would imagine!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Edrington Turn to Rum

The Edrington Group owners of well known whisky brands The Macallan, Highland Park and The Famous Grouse have announced in a press release today that they have acquired a 60% share of Brugal rum. This shows an new direction for the company - so how many of their top level management are now off to buy Dave Brooms excellent book on rum.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why Ken Livingstone Couldn't be An American Politician

As we approach super Tuesday many whisky fans in the USA will not be able to purchase whisky. A law in nine states dating back to prohibition days means that the sales of spirits on election day is prohibited!

Just as well Ken Livingstone isn't running!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Balvenie Sherryoak 17yo 43%

Since I saw that this was getting released I wanted to try it and now I can. This is an unusual release from Balvenie having been entirely matured in Sherry casks for 17 year in warehouse 21. They don't tell you why the warehouse 21 bit is important but they put it on the label! Anyway I thought this would be a fairly readily available release but Royal Mile Whiskies have sold out of it so maybe I have got lucky. Although the label does also say first release so maybe there will be more!

Nose: Wow, big smack in the face of sherry cask (well what do you expect) but "good" sherry cask nose - rummy creamy and sweet.

Taste: Big but not to big (medium big I would imagine that is then!) Lots of heavy fruity notes, quite creamy - dairy milk chocolate and raisans.

Finish: Long lingering creamy caramel and toffee with heavy dark fruits.

Comment: I like this a lot - maybe not enough to pay £59.00 for another bottle - extremely well balanced which almost goes against it as it is a little too integrated making it very easy to drink. (what rubbish I speak at times!).

Score: 89/100

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 2007

When I posted my musings on the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale someone left a comment saying I should try the Summerfest - alas they thought I would have to wait until summer as did I - however I spotted this tonight in Tesco so had to buy it. Admittedly it is Summer 2007 and not this year - you don't need to be a genius to figure that out as it is flamming freezing here!

Anyway this 5.0% traditional lager is bottom fermented which means it is fermented at lower temperatures with as little air contact as possible and then cold stored for as long as possible. As Sierra Nevada seem to be a very traditional company I would imagine that this would be nearer to the traditional six months than the mass produced 6 weeks of some companies. Ok this is all new to me - I am learning as I go - so bear with me!

Anyway I have chilled my beer as instructed by beer pages so lets see what its like:

First of all an excellent head on it - soft hoppy style - very soft and refreshing but with a zingy bite (in a good way) on the finish also some lemony notes. Overall I like this and look forward to a day when I can drink this in the sun! Prefer the Pale Ale but thats just my personal taste.

Nice beer though!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mortlach 16yo Dewar Rattray Cask 4238 55.5%

With the Mortlach 16yo Flora & Fauna now unavailable rumours having it that it will never return or if it does it will be 4 years I have been reccomended this Dewar Rattray bottling as a suitable replacement so here goes:

Nose: Big Huge sherried Mortlach Nose, darl treacle then a creaminess - typical mortlach meatiness and then toffee doughnuts!

Taste: Big bitting sherry, cinnamon and lots of dried fruits in tupperware boxes.

Finish: Thick tingling and warming. Tails off into a little bit of sulphur but not too unpleasant.

Comment: I really like this - if it wasn't for the slight sulphur end this would score more.

Score: 91/100

Thursday, January 31, 2008

BeeWyched Honey'd Ale 5.0%

Wychwood brewery is one of my favourites and although a honey beer not the first thing I would reach for every night (although I have been known to have the odd waggledance). being from Wychwood I just had to give it a try.
Nice refreshing brew with a fruitiness and the honey doesn't over power so I like this, in the finish a lot more malty notes come through and then the honey sweetness returns.
Cracking stuff and not to sweet and has typical Wychwood character.

Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or 46%

Got a chance to try the new Sauternes finish from Glenmorangie - no age statement on it but they say it has been matured for at least 10 years in Ex-bourbon casks before being transfered into Sauternes casks.

All reports are that this has been selling very well since its launch so lets try it and see what all the fuss is about!

Nose: Quite a funny sweet and creamy nose, vanilla toffees and a touch of linolieum? Poach pears and sweet grassy notes. Actually gets creamier with time - love this nose. Bizarely I get ice cream powder stuff that spacemen eat! The joys of friends who have been to Orlando!

Taste: A little dry and maybe even a touch sour but not unpleasant, actually quite malty and not as creamy as the nose would have suggested. There is a bit of fruitiness but not the full on Glenmorangie pear drops that i expected.

Finish: An orangy sweetness battles with the drying maltiness. The sweetness perhaps wins on points!

Comment: A nice wee dram - but won't be running out to buy a bottle me thinks? However the nose was sublime. If only the dry maltiness wasn't there this would be so much better.

Score: 81/100 Nectar d'Or but not J'adore!

Looking over at Serge's review he seems to like it a lot more than me, and I think it may well be because he also has an appreciation for what Sauternes wine actual is - which may work against me!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Glen Grant 1972 Cask 1641 53.5%

Was having a look at this blog last night and while looking at two of my favourite sites Whisky Fun and Dr Whisky (first checks every morning) I had to think what an amature at this I am. I haven't added a whisky for months and all my stuff is fairly standard. What I makes me think there sites are even more amazing is how the hell do they get to try all this whisky. Don't get me wrong I try a lot of whiskies but am not always able to take notes etc no way I would be able to seriously do over 200 whiskies in a year like these guys do!

Any way I thought I would try and put things right by starting with a 1972 Glen Grant Cask from Duncan Taylor so here goes:

Nose: Sweet, lots of vanilla a touch of spice, really creamy with pepper notes and maybe some pineapples! Cracking Nose!

Taste: Big coating mouth feel and initially spice comes through warming the mouth, some lime and and then creaminess coming through and maybe a touch drying

Finish: linger spice a touch of oak and then some of the zesty lime and some lemon coming through and maybe god forbid a salty note!

Comment: This is bloody stunning - I would definitely recommend this. If that slight dryness wasn't there then this really would be really really top drawer. Try it!

Score 89/100

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Anchor Steam Ale

Got this cracking wee beer out of tesco tonight, can actually get a decent selection from those guys although would prefer to have a decent beer shop on my door stop!

Anyway this is a very traditional hand made beer from Anchor and I would definitely recommend that you try it. Nice and refreshing with a fruity middle and just a hint of bitterness in the finish. Nice soft hoppiness throughout. Cracking stuff.

For a decent review try Beer Pages.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Had been recommended this beer by a guy who's opinion on beer I would trust as I have sunk several beers and drams with him - so when I saw it in Tesco I had to try it. This Pale Ale is brewed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and gets rave reviews on the net.

I would have to agree that this is cracking - very malty and lively with what I would probably put down as a blackcurranty note in the finish. Would imagine this could be a cracking session beer and definitely one for the summer. Also some citrus notes are in there as well.

Would definitely recommend this and will be looking out to try other beers from them in particular the porter or the stout

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ian Curle Gets a Nice Pay Rise

Ian Curle the Chief Executive of The Edrington Group got a healthy pay rise of 25% according to a report in the Herald today. We obviously are all buying a lot of Famous Grouse to justify his £597000 a year take home.

Hey we would all take it if we could get it!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Drammies - Atacked by Dodgy Voting

Just saw today on Kevin's Scotchblog that one of the "very large producer of alcohol or from the domain of a small marketing firm - that does work for a large producer of alcohol." has tried to rig the vote of the Drammies. Please make sure you vote in The Major Whisky awards.

Anyway which company could it be? We have already been told that it was not Bruichladdich so lets see who else has been nominated:

So the nominees are:

The Edrington Group
William Grant and Sons - (I think The Knot is done by them?)
Makers Mark
Gordon & MacPhail
Burn Stewart
Kittling Ridge Wine and Whiskies
Pernod Ricard
Dewar Rattary
Duncan Taylor
Single Malts of Scotland
Compass box
Stranahans Colorado Whisky

So lets look at the ones who are "Very large" That would leave

Pernod Ricard
William Grants
The Edrington Group

Place your bets now? Cheeky buggers who ever they are? Doubt it would be The Edrington Group or William Grants and would doubt Pernod Ricard would care (no disrespect Kevin) so my horses would be Diageo or LVMH but then again I could be wrong!

Glenrothes 1985 43%

Glenrothes is usually a big favourite of mine and it is good to see that they are begining to push this more - thanks to the help of Ronnie Red Socks and Company making it in their own words "the fastest growing single malt!"
The 1985 is described on the label by John Ramsay as being "Rich, Creamy, Dried Fruit" in Character. This bottle was distilled on 21/7/1985 and Approved on 31/5/05 making it just shy of 20 years old. Well enough yapping lets see how it tastes!
Nose: Sweet, caramelly and a little perfumed. A mixture of citrus and dried fruits.
Taste: Rich, a little touch of orange notes and almost a little bit plasticy? Maybe some dried appricots in there and a little bit of sherbert.
Finish: Short and a little bit air freshener!
Comment: Actually a decent whisky but perhaps I was expecting a little bit too much.
Score: 80/100
I would like to say is that I will always push Glenrothes as it is one of The Great Speysiders. however I would say that they are beginning to take the piss a bit with some of there prices on there older vintages (all of which I would love to try) but on costs I will stick with the Independent bottlers for the old stuff. Check the prices on The Whisky Exchange Distillery bottling 30yo £249.00 - Gordon & Macphails 30yo - £67.99 and Duncan Taylor 1969 at £85.00.
Then again somebody must be paying these prices!

Sir Whisky

One of the good old boys from what many would class as the old school of whisky has been honoured. News in the papers show that Ian Good of the Edrington Group is to become Sir Ian Good. Congratulations to him.