Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Douglas Laing - Old Particular - Arran - 18YO - Tasting Notes

In a recent Twitter Tasting I had the opportunity to taste the Old Particular from Douglas Laing coming from the Arran distillery. An 18 year old expression bottled at 48,4%.

The honeyed fruit nose we know of Arran for sure on this one. Green apples mixed with red ones, vanilla, some dark chocolate, getting some different orchard fruits. Lovely creamy warm feel on the palate, with some lemon and red pepper sharpness coming through the sweet layer of orchard fruits. Some sultana and dried apricots coming through a bit. 

Dark chocolate in here also with some vanilla. A rich fruit cake sort of flavours with chocolate and maybe some caramel over it. Reminds me a bit of warm milk creaminess. It is balanced, and has a lovely nose and palate, goes very well for some relaxed dramming.

The finish is of a medium length and next to the orchard fruits I get some black current and raspberry flavours mixed in the vanilla/chocolate cake. Lovely. Scoring a good 7 out of 10 for me. Think if I had the chance to come back to this one with some more to explore I could get more out of this one. It did not show me all I got the feeling. 

Rock Oyster - Tasting Note

Tasting the Rock Oyster bottled at 46,8%. On the nose I find at the first sniff a bit fresh and salty note. Some lemon, malt and combined with some Port Salut cheese note. I kept sniffing it and keep coming back to that one. Mhmm... ok. 

Lets have another sniff see if I can find something more in it? Keep thinking of something creamy and lots of lemon. The cheese stays combined with maybe a plate of fresh bread, salt and good olive oil. This has a fresh and salty character for sure! But there is a sweet layer with some fruit and herbs underneath, but I seem to have trouble accessing them a bit. 

Taking a sip gives me back the same flavour profile as on the nose, but with stronger some chili peppers, honey sweetness and heather flavours. It keeps its salty and citrus byte that gives it a certain freshness. Can imagine that this one goes very well with seafood for sure. The finish is I think of a good length, not too long and overpowering, but leaves you with just enough herbal and citrus freshness.

Like citrus thyme, heather and mint mixed into one, with a splash of lime over it. The creamy Port Salut stays from beginning to end also. And when mixing with a bit of water it gives me the expression that creamy side comes more to the front together with some honey sweet notes, vigs, sultana, dried banana and apricots. But not much, the other, bit harsher, notes keep lying on top of this palate. Scoring me a good 7 out of 10.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#rockoyster

On Wednesday the 25th February it was planned for Thomas and me to join the #rockoyster twitter tasting organised by Douglas Laing and The Whisky Wire.

Sadly the package did not arrive in time to join at that moment. Work had me abroad next to that also and followed by the flue and much more I wont bore you with, I now find my self able to finally sitting down to go through the line up of this tasting, almost a month later #shame

But following the stream of comments made during the tasting I am looking forward very much to exploring this all! The tasting started with the Rock Oyster sample, then the Arran, Bunnahabhain, Highland Park and the Talisker sample.

Rock Oyster - 46,8%
The nose on this I find at the first sniff a bit fresh and salty. Some lemon, malt and combined with some Port Salut cheese note. I kept sniffing it and keep coming back to that one. Mhmm... ok. Lets have another sniff see if I can find something more in it? Keep thinking of something creamy and lots of lemon. The cheese stays combined with maybe a plate of fresh bread, salt and good olive oil. This has a fresh and salty character for sure! But there is a sweet layer with some fruit and herbs underneath, but I seem to have trouble accessing them a bit. 

Taking a sip gives me back the same flavour profile as on the nose, but with stronger some chili peppers, honey sweetness and heather flavours. It keeps its salty and citrus byte that gives it a certain freshness. Can imagine that this one goes very well with seafood for sure. The finish is I think of a good length, not too long and overpowering, but leaves you with just enough herbal and citrus freshness.

Like citrus thyme, heather and mint mixed into one, with a splash of lime over it. The creamy Port Salut stays from beginning to end also. And when mixing with a bit of water it gives me the expression that creamy side comes more to the front together with some honey sweet notes, vigs, sultana, dried banana and apricots. But not much, the other, bit harsher, notes keep lying on top of this palate. Scoring me a good 7 out of 10.

Old Particular - Arran - 18YO - 48,4%
The honeyed fruit nose we know of Arran for sure on this one. Green apples mixed with red ones, vanilla, some dark chocolate, getting some different orchard fruits. Lovely creamy warm feel on the palate, with some lemon and red pepper sharpness coming through the sweet layer of orchard fruits. Some sultana and dried apricots coming through a bit. 

Dark chocolate in here also with some vanilla. A rich fruit cake sort of flavours with chocolate and maybe some caramel over it. Reminds me a bit of warm milk creaminess. It is balanced, and has a lovely nose and palate, goes very well for some relaxed dramming.

The finish is of a medium length and next to the orchard fruits I get some black current and raspberry flavours mixed in the vanilla/chocolate cake. Lovely. Scoring a good 7 out of 10 for me. Think if I had the chance to come back to this one with some more to explore I could get more out of this one. It did not show me all I got the feeling. 

Old Particular - Bunnahabhain - 17YO - 48,4%
On the nose I got some salty notes at first, then the seaweed, woodpolish, waxy and feel of a big bonfire came to mind. A sweet custard, black pepper, fruit, dark chocolate and some meaty and moorish notes.

On the palate there is black pepper, salt, bit meaty, heather honey, warm, creamy, dark chocolate, light nutty note and thick custard pudding with dark forrest fruit. Bonfire, seaweed and hard herbs like thyme and some grassy notes are mixed through that. 

On the finish, with a good length, I find sweetness, chocolate and raisin with a salty crisp bacon feel to it. Bit dry and too salty for my taste I find, like I have been eating a full plate of crisply backed bacon in one go. But still a very nice and complex dram. It feels balanced and with the right foods beside this one, I think you could have a great explosion of flavours. Giving it a 7,5 out of 10 for this quick taste. 

Old Particular - Highland Park - 18YO - 48,4%
Sweet and heather honey on the nose with a salty bit. But mostly fruit, sweetness, fudge, apricots, vanilla and chocolate mouse. There is a light wood fire note but mostly creamy and sweet. 

On the palate you can find the sweetness of the nose back very easily. There comes also to the front some harder moorish notes. I have trouble finding some depth in this one behind the layer of sweetness and heather. 

The finish is sweet and has a combination of the honey, vanilla and chocolate, and of medium length. I find this one to be hard to get to the bottom off.

I sense there is a fresh layer behind the sweetness, but my brain stops at red berries, cranberry and some lemon. Nice dram that it is, but just missing something in the depth of it, it is balanced and giving it for this quick taste an 7 out of 10. 

Provenance - Young & Feisty - Talisker - 46%
Looking at the young & feisty part you get that straight away on the nose for sure. Peat and citrus freshness mixed with heatery notes. There is some sweetness underneath the young notes.

On the palate I find some sweet fruit notes, grapes, citrus notes, flower honey and some caramel. There is a bit of dry peat note on the not so long finish. Some peat and earthy notes linger on and leave a bit citrus and liquerish note.

It is nice, but does not show much depth? Or maybe it is me after the expressions before that I just dont seem to pick up the notes. I find it not unpleasent, but a young peaty dram, and not rating it higher then 6,5 out of 10 at the moment. I get the feeling I am missing something in it? 

Thanks Douglas Laing and The Whisky Wire for letting us participate! Great to discover some more lovely expressions coming from Douglas Laing! You can find Thomas his notes on these here

The Maltman - Aberlour 22 yo - Tasting Notes

From "The Maltman" collection of the guys at Meadowside Blending comes this expression from Aberlour distillery. Aged 22 years old, and bottled at cask strength 49.7%. It was distilled in November 1992 and matured in an Oloroso Sherry cask.

Nosing this one the sweet and rich flavours give me the idea of a lush desert buffet filled with all kind of pastries and tropical fruits. The Sherry cask influences are very present here and make it a rich and creamy one. Light notes of prunes, soft leather and vigs mixed with dried fruit richness. Tropical fruits like pineapple are flashing through my mind but also some fresh orange juice freshness and sultana sweetness. The pastry note, some chocolate, red apples, rich vanilla and much more makes me think a bit of warm Apple Strudel with custard sauce. 

The palate reveals this richness found on the nose very well, and is a warming and sweet one for sure. Demerara sugar, fudge, puff pastry, chocolate croissants, rich fruit notes, vanilla, honey suckle, and so much more comes to mind. Yes, loving this lovely dram for sure! Feels balanced and delivers on the palate what the nose promises, with a good finish on it. The soft creamy chocolate note lingers on with the feeling of soft brioche bread and some fresh tropical fruit beside it. In the end the soft leather comes back a bit to get stuck between your teeth as a light dry layer between all the sweetness. I do love these kind of drams. Rich and warming. My score for this one is a 8 out of 10. Love to have myself a bigger bottle of this one. Thanks Andrew for sharing it with us! 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Octomore 6.3 - Tasting Notes

The Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley is an 5 years old expression and is at 258 ppm and 64%. If you want some more information on this one you can have a look here. Its no secret that we love the Octomore expressions and many other expressions coming from Bruichladdich distillery, so very happy to have a chance to taste this one and write some notes on it.

Looking forward to visiting Bruichladdich again and having some fun. Want to read about our previous experiences with this distillery? Why not have a look here and see why we just fell for this place that is placed in a #IslayTimeSpaceBubble, I swear you, time moves in a different pace there.

The nose of this Octomore has honey sweetness mixed with cassis, vanilla and some earthy notes between lots of berries. Some roasted ham, cherry, dried banana, heather, chili peppers and thyme. It is sweet but mixed with strong harder moorland flavours and delicious fruit notes.

On the palate these are all mixed with some dark chocolate, warm spices and more dark and red summer fruit notes. Almost a tropical sweetness of mango, banana, pineapple and red apple coming through with some coconut hints mixed through it. Mixing with the roasted ham, or a good BBQ roast almost with some fresh herbs, it delivers a very nicely balanced nose and palate that has a bit salty and chilli pepper feel.

The finish is of a good length and the rich vanilla and dark chocolate comes back to the front after the roasted meat section, to deliver dessert with some great chocolate mouse, served with some exotic fruits sweetness and freshness. A hint of equaliptus and lemon on the finish maybe?

Thanks Ronald for sharing the last of your sample with us to enjoy. It was savoured and enjoyed very much. This one is again a score of a good 8, going to 8,5 out of 10 for me. Lovely stuff....

Wemyss Malts - Honeysuckle Bower - Linkwood 1995/2014 - Tasting Note

The "Honeysuckle Bower" from the Wemyss Malts single cask release comes from the Linkwood distillery. Distilled in 1995 and in 2014 a total of 332 bottles where bottled at 46%.

On the nose I get the feeling of walking through a forrest with fields of flowers between it. All spreading the sweet flavours around. Some fresh fruit notes also in there, like green apples, lime, grapefruit, gooseberries, camomile and honey suckle. A vanilla sweetness underlying like spekkies.

The palate delivers the same flavours, and I can understand the Honeysuckle in the name of this one. Sweet and with a little hint of white pepper in the back. Some lemon, chocolate truffles, bit of aniseed and spearmint.

The medium length finish is sweet with a fresh hint of the lemon/spearmint combination. It does all give me also a crème brulee feel looking at the palate. A bit of sweet pastry and bread pudding, vanilla cream stuffed pastries.
Lovely. An 7,5 out of 10. Thanks +Wemyss Malts for sharing this one with us!


The Maltman - Glen Keith 21 YO - Tasting Notes

From Meadowside Blending we received a sample of "The Maltman" expression from Glen Keith 21 years old. It is bottled at cask strength 52.3%. Matured in an Oloroso Sherry cask and distilled in July 1993.

The nose is fruity vanilla and red apple sweet, covered with a layer of raisins and other dried fruits. Lovely rich and soft notes. There is some orange and spices to be found underneath that sweetness. Creamy and soft sweet at first, slowly revealing some lovely Sherry like notes, with some very very light wood note, like standing in a warehouse and just filling your lungs with the angel's share, breath in deeply and just enjoy. That is the picture I am thinking of when sniffing this dram. Full rich fruit cakes and warm red apples and the angel's share. 

The palate caries on with these notes for sure. At first it has some wood bitter note and that changes into some warm spices, cinnamon, dark chocolate, cranberry, creamy, vanilla, rich dried fruits, cookie dough, and some great muffin recipes filled all kinds of sweetness. But it leaves a bit dry and bitter espresso like note on the not so long finish. 

It has some great sweet and fruit notes in it. But the wood note on the start when tasting it, does not give me a fully balanced feel must say. What the nose promises it delivers on the palate, no doubt about that. But that sharp bitter note just kicks it a little out of balance. 

With some water added to it, the nose becomes more softer and the bitter note on the palate seems to disappear. It reveals more of a good chocolate mouse with dried vigs, demerara sugar, crème brulee, hazelnuts, cranberry and a bit grainy. 

Mhmmm... This one is one I can enjoy for sure, with some water, when playing with it a bit. I know that there are a lot of people out there loving the bitter note also, but that is not something I fancy, so it proves again you have to test it out a bit and see how much it can change a whisky sometimes and your opinion on it with that. Lovely dram. Give it a 7,5 out of 10. Thanks for sharing this with us Andrew!

The Maltman - Miltonduff 6 YO - Tasting Notes

From the great people at Meadowside Blending we got some lovely samples to try out of the "The Maltman" expressions. This time I tried the Miltonduff 6 years old expression, to be released mid March 2015 of what we understood. It is bottled at 50%, after maturing in a Bourbon cask from being distilled in October 2009. 

On the nose I find some rich vanilla, nuts and lots of apple notes. It has a buttery feel to it, of white chocolate. But also feels fresh and fruity. White grapes, light dry almost coconut feel and some fresh citrus. Feels a bit young on the nose, but not unpleasant. It shows fruit sweetness and vanilla creaminess for sure.

The palate has at first some red pepper spice and dark chocolate bitter that gives you a good kick for sure. But it subsides a bit into sweet fruit notes again, and I can find the flavours from the nose very well again here. But there is some more toffee sweetness on the teeth, with the darker chocolate instead of the creamy white. But with some more grainy and nutty notes coming to the front. Like a good breakfast granola with some dried tropical fruit mix with coconut chips added to it. Sprinkle it with some chocolate sprinkles and add some quark, and you have the picture that is in my mind when tasting this one.
The middle length finish is creamy, soft and leaves you with mostly the granola/nutty bit. An enjoyable dram for sure, has a young bite to it, and have the idea when adding some water to temper the red pepper a bit it will be to much water very fast. The flavours behind the sharper and bitter notes you get at first on the palate are not unpleasing, and reveal the other softer and creamier layers very quickly. An 7 out of 10 for now for me for sure, lovely expression. Thanks for sharing it with us Andrew! Keep your eyes out on this page, more lovely things to come from "The Maltman" expressions! :-) 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wemyss Malts - Kirsch Gateau - Bunnahabhain - Tasting Notes

From Wemyss Malts we received a sample of the Single Cask collection of them. This one is called Kirsch Gateau and is from the Bunnahabhain distillery. Distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2014 at 56% this delivered 442 bottles in total.

Found this to be a very different Bunnahabhain. I love many expressions coming from this distillery but must say that I am not sure about this one. It is too dense and a bit bitter for me I think. But I know lots of people love these kind of flavours. So here are my thoughts on it.

The nose at first had some light wood notes, like warm fire burning in the room, with a thick syrupy cherry and plum note. Dark bitter chocolate, creamy, vanilla and berry richness with some honey sweetness.

The palate is like the nose, with first some dry woody notes, with again the dark cherry notes. The bitter note in here is something I cant find exactly where it is coming from, but it feels like I just have bitten on a cherry pit. There is sweetness in the medium length finish, but with the espresso like bitter, it is something I just cant get used too. It almost leaves a cranberry sourness on the teeth. As said, lots of people like this kind of notes in a whisky, but for me I find it not too much pleasing sadly. It does not come higher then 6 out of 10 at the moment... You can find the notes of Thomas here, and see how preferences can differ. Lovely to see. Thanks to the people of Wemyss Malts for sharing this one with us.


Rutte - Jenever #91 - Tasting Notes

In a "Friends from Rutte" programme we received a sample of a Jenever from cask 91 to try out and send some notes back to them on it. This was put in this cask on 29/01/2014 and was drawn for us on 13/02/2015 at 38%

It is a lovely soft and sweet Jenever. Maybe a bit too soft I find... The nose and palate are quite the same after some time sniffing and sipping it. It is sweet, lemon, fresh, light liquerish note and some dried fruit. Apple, banana, berries and thyme come through.

It is creamy soft with some white grape dryness but vanilla sweet and liquerish. I found it to be nice for sure, but really can use some more herbal strength to my opinion. Curious what this will do when left longer to mature a bit.

Lovely programme they have to have the ability to share a cask together. Looking forward to trying some more of their expressions. Soon we have a visit planned to them and a workshop, so keep an eye out on the WhiskySpeller site for more info coming soon on Rutte and their Jenevers.