Balblair - Cask 680 - 2002/2014 - Tasting Notes

At Maltstock we tasted in the masterclass from Balblair this single cask bottling, matured in refill bourbon, and bottled at 55%

The cask #680 was distilled in 2002 and bottled on 14-8-2014. as bottle number 22. With Balblair I found ealier allready that with nosing and tasting it needs some time to open up. With all the other impressions etc at the festival I had a very hard time to quickly get some notes on it. Needed more time sadly...

The palate and nose had flavors in them like peppery, sweet, fruit and peach. But also did it feel a bit young to me. The finish was of medium length with chocolate, vanilla, fruit notes and green apple. For now scoring this one a 7 out of 10.

Balblair - 2003 - Tasting Notes

At Maltstock we tasted in the masterclass from Balblair the 2003 expression (first release). This one replaces the 2002.

It is bottled at 46% and no natural color and non chill filtered. Just got a quick glance at this one in the masterclass.

The nose and palate gave me at first a bit sour grapes, high citrus notes, sweet, apple and banana.
It felt a bit young to me, and had a short finish.
Maybe score this one higher with a better taste but for now a 6,5 out of 10.

Balblair - 1990 - 2nd release -Tasting Notes


At Maltstock we tasted in the masterclass from Balblair the 1990 - 2nd Release expression what is bottled at 46% and natural colour and non chill-filtered. This one is  matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks and Spanish oak ex-sherry butts. This is to replace the 1989 Vintage.

Did not get the possibility to get a lot of notes on it written down sadly but the nose and palate are very sweet and fruity. Bit of pepper and warm, the sherry influence is very clearly present. Some fudge, sticky syrup and a light vegetable note in back.

The medium length finish has some tropical fruit notes combined with the sweetness from fudge ect. Scoring this one from the quick taste in the masterclass a good 7 out of 10. Really think with some more time with this one it could get higher, lots to find in there...


Compass Box - Orangerie Spirit - Tasting Notes

We found a 35 cl bottle of the Compass Box Orangerie recently and in our exploration of this company this is something really different. 

It is made from smooth, sweet Scotch whisky infused with the hand-zested peel of Navalino oranges and subtle accents of Indonesia cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves as they tell us on the website. They use a soft, sweet blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky from Fife.

Nose
Orange, pomolo, warm wintery spices, anise, vanilla, hint of mint and liquerish in the back. Oranges are very overpowering and gives me a barrier to reach the underlying notes a bit. Bit of cloves and some fresh wood notes, almost pine, in the back with some dark chocolate.  It gives me the feeling of Christmas and potpourri a bit mixed with some good sauna/steam room flavours.

Palate
Vanilla, oranges, light dark chocolate note and pomolo mixed with some grapefruit comes to mind at first. There are some warm spices in here and mixed with the citrus notes it is a fresh but warming drink. Like a Christmas cake a bit.

Finish
Sweet, fresh and citrus on the medium length finish

Score
At first the oranges are a bit overpowering, but with some time it is fresh and sweet, with a nice balance in it. It is said that this is a nice wintery dram, and it certainly has that feel to it. Will get back to this one on a later moment for another visit, when its colder outside. Think the spices and warm notes will pop more to the front then. It is lovely, but as said a real cold weather drink or maybe use it in a cocktail? With just a bit of it I can imagine it would give a powerful boost to it. 

Compass Box - Delilah's - Tasting Notes

Making some notes on this lovely Delilah's of Compass Box was no punishment I can tell you that! Lovely expression and very happy that we found a bottle of it. On the back of the bottle Compass box tells us the story behind this bottle.

This Limited Release whisky is a homage to Mike Miller's legendary Chicago punk rock whisky bar Delilah's which celebrated its 20th anniversary on 29th August 2013. 

Developed jointly by John Glaser and Mike Miller, it is an expression of their shared vision that great whisky should be enjoyed by all. It is an intense yet subtly complex Scotch whisky aged in a mix of experimental new American oak barrels and rejuvenated American oak hogsheads. 

This bestows it with a lovely, intense richness, vanilla 
character and sweetness. It has been created to be perserved as a shot with a beer! 

Distillery Sourcing: 
Single malts from the towns of Alness and Longmorn 
(approx 50% of the recipe); single grain Whisky from Fife (approx 50% of the recipe). 

Bottling Details: 
Bottled at 40%. Not chill filtered. Natural colour
Shall we have a look at this one more closely?

Nose
Sweet, stone fruits, tropical, honey suckle, pineapple, orange
chocolate, raisin, anise, vanilla pods, sponge cake, cream, demerara sugar, custard, fudge, red apple, charentais melon, cucumber, and a light fresh tobacco flavor in the far back.

Elderberries blossom, flower honey, roses, pear juice, strawberries, red berries and a couple of other sweet fruit notes in here I cant seem to place. Fruity and floral nose mixed with some nice sweet sugary desert like flavors.

Palate
Flower honey, chocolate, tropical fruit notes, fresh, grapefruit, orange, vanilla, almonds and sultanas. Very creamy chocolate coating of the mouth instantly with a mix of the lovely fruit and flower notes from the nose. Citrus freshness in the mix with a hint of mint in the back.

Some very nice deserts are coming to mind, but also the pastries are well noticeable there. Chocolate croissants, brioche, Zeeuwse bolus, chocolate chip cookies, cookie dough, pancakes with syrup, bit powder sugar and fresh cream buns

Finish
A very good medium length finish, soft and creamy with fresh citrus notes of pink grapefruit and oranges. Some creamy vanilla pudding and banana's with chocolate sprinkles on top.

Score
This is a lovely dram, feels balances and could enjoy me a dram of this often. Very happy to have a full bottle what is not going to last long I am afraid. Very lovely. Sweet, but not too overpowering sweet, rich in fruit and floral notes and some other goodies. An 8 out of 10 for me for this lovely expression of the Compass Box.

Compass Box - Eleuthera - Tasting Notes

Nosing and tasting the lovely Compass Box Eleuthera, their very first vatted malt. It is combined of 15 year-old malt whisky from the village of Brora, aged in re-charred hogsheads, with 12 year-old malt from the village of Port Askaig. It was bottled at 46% and distributed between 2002/2005. When the 15 year-old malt they needed was no longer available aged in re-charred casks they decided to stop the production

Nose
Honey glazed ham, bit meaty, peat and salty feel at first. Then roasted vegetables and paprika. Behind this is a sweet rich fruity layer. Red apple, crisp bacon, pepper, bit hay and some dried stone fruits.

It reminds me of RÖMERTOPF recipe that my parents make at home with potato slices, sausages, dried apples, beans, raisins etc. It is a sweet mixture of many different earthy, meaty and fruity notes.  Is it not weird sometimes how whisky can transfer you back to a memory or moment instantly, and you just see and feel all the senses again?

Palate
Pepper and meaty with honey drizzling through it all. Bit toast and malty notes with some fresh citrus notes and fresh green herbs like rosemary and citrus thyme. This dram is getting me hungry now, oh my....

Going from a good marinated piece of spareribs to canned fruit with heavy syrup. Vanilla, light earthy vegetable note, heather honey, and some melon with Serrano ham. Warm red apples, nutmeg, mint and pomolo.

Finish
Sticky honey coating left on the mouth with dark chocolate and vanilla lingering on the medium length palate.

Score
7,5 out of 10 for sure this one. It is peaty with lots of different flavours and gives me a rich and balanced feeling to it. Now of to the kitchen and make me some early dinner, getting hungry from all these nice rich flavors I am getting.

Compass Box - Hedonism - Tasting Notes

Tasting the lovely Compass Box Hedonism sample we found a while back. Made from a combination of 8 to 15 casks of grain whisky from distilleries such as Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton. Matured in 100% first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak Hogsheads and bottled at 43%. Not chill filtered and natural colour.

Nose
Sweet, vanilla, fruitcake, dried stone fruits, sultana, rich fruity nose. Some red chili pepper and some backing spices hiding behind the super sweet nose. Syrup, apples, nutmeg, ginger, and a bit strange one come to mind, wasabi nuts.

Rye, strong mint, toffee, orange, coconut, ripe plums, hint of some Asian spices and some honey. Some heavy floral notes but cant make them out very well, bit heather on one side, with some rosehip, and then also some Nasturtium. The sweet notes are very present on this one, lovely, and you just keep finding more and more in it, very full and rounded nose.

Palate
Honey sweet mouth feel with some vanilla, pink grapefruit, lemon, oranges, white chocolate and toffee at first. Then the citrus notes fade to the back and make room for the sweet darker chocolate with lots of fruits.

Backing spices again, mint, and the Nasturtium coming to mind. The notes from the nose I can see also on the palate with some Asian touches to it with the ginger, wasabi, and spices. This combined with some ripe (tropical) fruits and coconut make this a great dram. Sadly we only have a sample of it. Think it is time to find us a bigger one.

Finish
Medium to long finish, sweet, vanilla and chocolate linger on a bit and it ends with the toffee and coconut coated mouth feel.

Score
This scored me a good 7,5 going to 8 out of 10. It is a full dram, balanced and very enjoyable. This I would like to have a full bottle of in the collection for sure. The more and more I taste from Compass Box I find to be charmed by their products and craft. Lovely stuff!

Big Peat - Batch #61 - Christmas Edition 2014 - Tasting Notes

The last dram at Maltstock in the masterclass from Jan Beckers we got to try the latest release of Big Peat Christmas Edition 2014, batch 61. 

Nose
Fruity, smoke, sweet, bit salty and fermented apples? Thats something I did not smelled before in whisky. Ok, trying again and getting some vigs, leather, tobacco, heather honey and fruit.

Palate
Smoky, seaweed, floral, soft more clover like honey, toffee, dark chocolate, raisin, vanilla, bit salty, heather honey and fruit. Very sweet and smoky. 

Finish
Medium to long length finish, sweet, burned caramel and dark chocolate. 

Score
Giving this one a 7,5 out of 10, would love myself a bottle. Very nice, not too smoky dry that is overpowering or something. Nice soft honey mouth feel, mixed with some maritime notes, fruit, cherries on thick juice and apricots. 

Douglas Laing - Provenance - Aultmore - 5 YO - Tasting Notes

At Maltstock in the masterclass from Jan Beckers got to try this one from the Provenance series.

Some details on this bottling:
- A commemorative limited edition
- Autumn Distillation
- Bottled at 50%
- Small batch selection
- Aultmore Distillery
- Drawn from 2 dark Sherry Casks
- 5 years old
- Non chill filtered
- Not colored

This one was a surprise at the masterclass and turned around at first. It is a very powerful, sweet and dark fruity dram, very nice!

Nose
Raisin, dark chocolate, rich, Christmas cake, equaliptus, strong spices, kurkumma, curry and other soft almost Indian like spices. Ginger, some dark fruits and plums.

Palate
Soft leather and some tobacco at first, then some coffee and chocolate with a hint of wood. The spices and sweetness from the nose comes back here very nicely on the palate. Vanilla, speculaas and dark summer fruits.

Finish
Medium length finish, soft fruit notes with lots of spices.

Score
Giving this one a 7,5 out of 10. Very nice dram. Even been 5 years old it feels balanced and has a lot of rich fruit notes in it. Tasted it at the masterclass, and this one I really needed to give more time then I had at that time, then I would have gotten more out of it I think. Very lovely...

Douglas Laing - Old Particular - Tormore 18 years old - Tasting Notes

At Maltstock in the masterclass from Jan Beckers got to try this one from the Old Particular series.

Some details of this single cask bottling:
- 277 bottles
- Sherry finished cask REF - DL10053
- No coloring
- 48,4%
- Single cask
- Distilled June 1995
- Bottled September 2013
- Non chill filtered

Last year we visited the distillery and had a look around during the Spirit of Speyside Festival 2014 It is a great place and loved tasting their expressions there. We don't see them often in the shops here, and like this one from Douglas Laing very much. It was very clear the spirit we had at Tormore in there. Lovely balanced, fruity, sweet and warming dram...

Nose
Soft dark honey with mint, dark chocolate, vigs and prunes come to mind at first. Then it is a mixture of red and black pepper, vanilla, Turkish delight, banana, red apples, fudge and hot red caramel apples. Gooseberry, cinnamon, toffee and backing spices. I know, fudge, caramel and toffee all in one? It is very sweet and just kept giving me different foods in my mind. It has a sweet, fruity and spicy nose for sure!

Palate
Cherry, vanilla, dades, honey suckle, caramel, prunes, sweet, fudge, chocolate, red berries, black berries, soft backing spices, creamy and a hint of tobacco. The notes from the nose come back very well...

Finish
Medium length finish, vanilla and honey sweet.

Score
A full, balanced, sweet, fruity and warming dram that gets with the quick nosing and tasting at the masterclass a 7,5 out of 10 from me. The influence of the Sherry finish is very clear.