LovingWhisky - Independent tasting notes on whisky and other distilled spirits by Ansgar Speller

Eden Mill - Golden Promise Pale Malt

Eden Mill Distillery & Brewery has released some of their 1 year old spirits made with different types of barley. This gives a look into their whisky that is ageing and what style they are going for. The first casks were filled in 2014 so we have to wait till 2017 at least to see the results but lot of fun to taste the 1 year old spirits next to each other.

But even more fun is the possibility to taste the new make of this expression next to the 1 year old. Starting with the edition labelled 'St Andrews Day 2015' bottled at 43% and made with golden promise pale malt and matured in French virgin oak. The new make is at still strength.

New Make
Honey, Turkish delight, sugarcane, pancakes, raspberry, strawberry, grapefruit, green apples and caramel syrupy notes on the nose. From the palate I get these same flavours giving a sweet and creamy feel with vanilla, light elder flower juice note and some powdered sugar.  

Spirit - 1 year old
The nose has become less sweeter then the new make and carries more wood and floral notes. The malty, syrupy and honeyed fruity feeling is been pushed back a bit. Lots of pastry notes coming through and with soaked fruit cake. That elder flower juice note is back again very strongly for me combined with some apple blossom and young wood chips. On the palate the creamy fruit and malty notes, fudge, mocha, mixed nuts, spices and rich pastry notes come back more clearer, seeing the new make notes now a bit better coming through then on the nose. A very sweet mouth feel is left on the finish with loads of sweet mango juice, vanilla and fudge sticking to your teeth. I am curious to see what the maturation does with this and if the younger wood notes are not going to get to strong. That would be a shame of the malty and fruity spirit. Thanks Eden Mill for providing the new make to put these next to each other! 

Wemyss Malts - Spice King 12

The Spice King 12 years old is a blended malt from Wemyss Malts bottled at 40%. The nose has notes of malt, biscuits, honey, vanilla and sweet fresh fruits.

A full nose with some raspberry, strawberry, banana, red apple, honeysuckle, different mixed spices, papaya, ginger, hint of fennel and fresh cut green grass.

On the palate I could find some notes of honey and mixed flower notes at first, combined with canned fruit syrup, toffee, vanilla, banana, mango, grilled pineapple and red apples.

There is fruit sweetness but also a hint of dry spices and coffee bitters. Medium length finish with some notes of dried apricots and fresh figs. Scoring it a good 7,5/10.

Project Frankencask

Andrew Smith that we also know as little brown dog from his whisky adventures with a little (gorgeous) brown dog has sent over a sample of his project frankencask. The sample bottle states that it is created to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Arran malt and that the frankencask is a single cask built up from individual staves from two different oak species and a total of twelve cask types. An 1996 refill sherry Arran single malt filled the frankencask and spend its last months maturing and interacting with the different woods. This is what he can tell us about his project... 

"Staves from virgin Hungarian oak, virgin American oak, palo cortado sherry, px sherry, white port, ruby port, bas armagnac, brandy, beaumes de venise, bourbon, calvados and refill peated whisky all in one cask with the intention of creating a complex and slightly schizophrenic single malt. The bottles are labelled with copper foil and the cartons are real oak veneer with copper staples. Using 2.5 liter casks, one European Hungarian and one American white oak. As it was a small scale I cheated by soaking individual staves in tubs of the different alcohols. Admittedly a bit crude and a bit of a cheat but only way I could do it in a small scale without buying 12 different casks. Staves were seasoned for 3-5 months. Some split but most are fine and then put together like a jigsaw using the same bands. The idea has been bugging me for years after a visit to Speyside cooperage where European oak sherry casks were being repaired with American white oak staves and the coopers thought this made the best casks. I just wanted to take this mixing wood type idea up a notch"

On the nose I find deep rich fruit cake, ginger and marzipan notes. Hints of wood, thick dark fruit jam and caramel syrup sweetness. Raisins, dried fruits, plums, dark summer fruits, honey, orange and dark chocolate candy. Powdered sugar, hint of cinnamon, toffee and demerara sugar. These notes from the nose come back clearly on the palate with a good dash of coffee, cherry and chocolate. Sweet dense Christmas cake notes and hint of rose pedals and soft other floral notes. Thick and syrupy, the sherry and port had clearly a lot of influence. You can feel there are some more lighter and softer fruit notes underneath like red apples, red berries and raspberries, but they are struggling to break through. A medium length and very warm and sweet finish. A lovely dram all together but wondering if the combination is maybe too heavy and the influence of some of the staves been to much maybe? Wondering if when you not take 12 different cask types but just a couple if the separate influence will be more clearer? With maybe a younger malt or even spirit to fill it? Thanks Andrew for sharing this project! Great to try!

Gordon & MacPhail - Distillery Labels - Scapa - 1993

A while back I noticed this sample of Scapa whisky in a shop. Always great browsing through the sample shelves, you never know what you can find there. This whisky is from Gordon & MacPhail out of their Distillery Labels collection and bottled at 40%.

On the sample it said only distilled in 1993, and looking through the collection at the G&M website this must be the one I think, bottled at 2010 and matured in refill sherry and bourbon casks. If not please let me know so I can adjust it...

Very fruity sweet and waxy nose. Notes of dark honey, flowers, plums, peaches, oranges, hint of cherries, passion fruit and raspberries. 

Fruity and sweet palate just like the nose with notes of banana, oranges, apples, pear, pomegranate, elder flower blossom, red forrest fruits, ripe pineapple, honey and beeswax. A medium length finish with sweet vanilla, very ripe mango and white chocolate. Scoring me an 8/10. Lovely dram.

Hammerhead - 23 year old

When there is a gathering of friends who bring along different bottles to share you can find some great different kinds of whisky. Such as this one from the Prádlo Distillery in Czechoslovakia. This whisky called Hammerhead is matured for 23 years in 100% Czech oak and distilled in 1989 from 100% Czech barley. Bottled at 40,7%. Thanks Caspar for sharing the last drops in the bottle for a review...

The nose has notes of sweet juicy red apples, malt and pencils. Loads of pencils. Dried grass, candied ginger, salty popcorn, roasted root vegetables and nettles. 

On the palate I can find sweet ripe banana, raisins and bit dry spices and malty note. Pencils again also on the palate mixed with pear juice and white grapes. It is fruity and sweet in the back with notes of vanilla, dried apricots and black currents. The finish is of medium length and very soft. 

Scoring me an 7 out of 10. It is different for sure and gives me the feeling of chewing too long on a pencil in the end and getting the smell and taste of wet wood and lead all over. If you like that then this is for you, but I am not sure about this, not my preference I think...