Wemyss - Velvet Fig - Tasting Notes

From the independent bottler Wemyss Malts comes a new limited edition in their blended malts range. The new 'Velvet Fig’ are specially selected single malts matured wholly in ex Oloroso sherry casks. Non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46%

The nose is warm, filled with red fruit and a sweet dense flavour of vanilla, raisins, some leather, dates and figs.  This all carriers through on the palate with some sweet but dark honey. Liquerish, vanilla, raisin, bit dry ginger bread like notes mixed with some fresh orange juice in the back of the mouth. Dried fruits, bit leather, warm, red fruit, blackcurrant and some black pepper. The finish is of medium length, with the lingering notes of the sweet and almost liquerish blackcurrant with a hint of dry soft leather. A good 7+ out of 10 for this one. Very nice dram, sweet and fruity. Thanks Wemyss for sharing a sample of it!

Isle of Jura - Bourbon Barrel - 1996 / 2011 - Tasting Notes

The Isle of Jura whiskies normally don't please us hugely sadly. We just don't seem to hit the spot with them. But after Maltstock when packing in the car Jock  gave us a sample out of his car to try. This is a cask sample from the Isle of Jura distillery, distilled in 1996 and drawn from the cask on 28/09/11. Matured in Bourbon barrel 5227 and at 61,2%

The nose gives me lots of sweetness, fruit, vanilla, raisin, creamy, custard, fruitcake, dried apricots, and some fresh citrus notes. On the palate the notes from the nose come back very nicely.

It is sweet, honey, fruity, warming, vanilla pods, dried apricots, creamy, and beginning to get a bit tropical fruity. Bit liquerish and light wood note in the back with the fresh citrus overlay also on the palate.

The finish is sweet and honeyed and of medium length. Scoring an 7,5 out of 10 for me, very nice rich and balanced dram. Thanks Jock for sharing this! Another one from this distillery that pleased us very much!

Isle of Jura - Hogshead 4768 - 1997/2011 - Tasting Notes

The Isle of Jura whiskies normally don't please us hugely sadly. We just don't seem to hit the spot with them. But after Maltstock when packing in the car Jock  gave us a sample out of his car to try. This is a cask sample from the Isle of Jura distillery, distilled in 1997 and drawn from the cask on 28/09/11. Matured in hogshead 4768 and at 56,3%

Not disappointed at all after tasting this! Great dram, and still trying to find out what it is that I don't like about the official bottlings, because this one is very nice!

The nose is sweet and fruity with some citrus freshness like lemon, pomolo and pink grapefruit. Sweetness from toffee, banana and almost going tropical fruit a bit at first. Then some more heavier notes with earthy (clay) and salty tones come by just a bit, making the fruit freshness come down a bit. But not unpleasant at all mixed with the heavier notes.

On the palate I found lots of fruits, honey, sweetness, lots of apricots, toffee, and more notes like on the nose. Some milk chocolate, some white pepper in the back, biscuits, vanilla and very creamy. The finish was quite a good one, sweet, fruity and hint of pink grapefruit coming back. Scoring this one a 7,5 out of 10. Love me a bottle of this. I gonna keep trying Jura expressions and see if I can get to the bottom of it, this proves to me again, the spirit I like very much and this straight from the cask sample really shows it! Thanks Jock for sharing!

Party Time!

Not so long ago I noticed that the number of tasting notes was approaching the magic marker of 500. Normally I don't care a lot for markers like this, but it somehow got to me and made me think back and I was a bit amazed must say about hitting this "mark" so "soon". I just started making my first "real" notes a bit over 1,5 years ago? And changed my perception to enjoying whisk(e)y and other spirits so much while doing it, training my nose and palate, trying to learn as much as possible, and write about it. So much fun and still so much more to explore! Thanks all for following and reading my thoughts on it all. 

Wondering about what to do when hitting that mark, what to taste, I just cant let it go by like that cant I...? So, after some thinking and going through the cabinets looking for something of what I did not know I was searching for I found it standing right in front of me. Off course. A sample that was send to us recently of a dram we were wanting to taste for a while now. The General, from the amazing company called Compass Box and creative brain of John Glaser. 

They were nice enough to send us sample of this Blended Scotch Whisky. This was a limited release they put a while back of 1698 bottles at 53,4% not chill-filtered and natural colour. Sounds lovely doesn't it? It was! 

Not only is this my 500th tasting note made here but when doing the math I discovered I probably would be making it around the 23th of November. And that being my birthday, so what a dram and moment, this was going to be it, it was decided. Time to get to work on it, and get you my notes on this beauty.

The nose is at first sweet, spice, very full, very complex, warm fruits and backed apples. Fresh citrus and menthol note in the back, like drinking a fresh mint tea with honey. Just a hint of ginger coming through combined with some sweet liquerish. Vanilla, figs, cherry, dark summer fruits, raisin, maple syrup, buttery, black pepper, aniseed, red apples, celery and wood polish (in a good way)

On the palate the notes of the nose come back beautiful. Aniseed, red apple crunchy mouth feel with a green apple zing byte to it, and some Zeeuwse bolus sweetness of demerara sugar, cinnamon and pastry dough. Spices, wood polish, Christmas cake, creamy, espresso note in the back with dark chocolate and vanilla on the finish. 

The palate and the nose change constantly when coming back to it, and giving it more time, it remains very full and complex, and just releasing more and more delicious notes as I keep going. From a bit dry, sweet and spice feel to a fresh and fruity with in the back citrus/mint freshness feel. And with some more time a hint of good balsamic vinegar on the nose and palate. Just a little bit, pleasantly mixing in with the darker sweet and spicy notes. Giving it almost a light tobacco leaf note to it, keeps going and going. 

The image that came to mind was walking in an old mansion with those enormous stairs with wooden railings polished and shiny. Wooden floors waxed, big paintings on the walls with golden mirrors and chandeliers sparkling from the ceilings, large libraries stretching to the top op the high ceilings filled with books. 

A great complex dram full of different layers and flavours. Giving it an 9 out of 10, and bashing my head into the wall for not having tried harder to get a bottle of this one when it came out. But many many thanks to John Glaser for sharing this one with us! Slainte Mhath! 

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - Probably Speyside Finest Distillery - Tasting Notes

In June 1966, what was going to be a whisky for Douglas Laing expression in the Director's Cut line, this spirit was distilled. After 46 years laying in a refill butt there were 319 bottles filled in September 2012 at 49,7% with reference DL REF 9176. This was under the label 'Probably Speyside Finest Distillery' and no name was given of the distillery. But tasting and nosing this one at the masterclass of Douglas Laing at Whisky Live The Hague it became clear that this one could only be coming from Glenfarclas Distillery.

The nose is filled with Sherry notes of dried fruits, vigs and some nutty influences. Sweet dense fruit cake, sweet spices, dessert buffet with a sticky toffee pudding, vanilla, red apples and Christmas cake.

On the palate I could find back the same notes as on the nose giving it a balanced feel. Sweet vanilla and a little bit of dryness of spices and cocoa are also present. Dried apples, vigs, creamy, toffee, red apples and molasses.

A medium length to long finish with sweet, spice and full creamy feel. Orchard fruits, chili pepper, lots of sweet notes. Giving it a 7,5 out of 10 for sure, very balanced, full and complex. But found it a bit too dry to my taste. That just made it go down a bit in scoring. But very nice....

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - North British 52 yo - Tasting Notes

At the masterclass of Douglas Laing at Whisky Live The Hague we had the pleasure of enjoying a lovely 52 year old grain whisky from the North British distillery. Matured in a first fill hogshead after being distilled in 1962, and lay to rest for 52 years, before 195 bottles were drawn at 41,1%

A beautiful expression with a soft and liquerish nose, soft tropical fruit, light pipe tobacco, vanilla, kiwi and passion fruit.

The palate is soft, fruity and carries fresh citrus and mint notes. Dark chocolate, creamy, vanilla and toffee. It is a complex and balanced one for sure. The good length finish gives a bit creamy, chocolate and light tobacco. Liquid toffee notes almost.

This one needed more time to explore for sure then I could give it at this time, but oh what a great dram. An 8 out of 10 for sure, but I am afraid out of my pay grade...

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - Port Dundas - 35 yo - Tasting Notes

Enjoyed this lovely grain whisky from the Director's Cut line of Douglas Laing very much at the Whisky Live The Hague masterclass. This is a 35 year old expression from the Port Dundas distillery. Distilled in January 1978 and bottled in April 2013. It is matured in a refill hogshead producing 280 bottles at 59,2%

The nose is complex with fresh and sweet notes of a mix of raisin, dried apricots and apples. Very gentle and soft sweet clover honey with some tropical fruit, cocos and toffee.

The palate delivers a soft, spice, vanilla and raisin feel. Much like the nose with soft spices and Victoria cake, sand cookies, sweet Turkish fruit cake, cinnamon, toffee, milk chocolate and cocos. Sweet tropical fruits and butterscotch

Quite a good finish with sweet cocos and toffee. Scoring this one an 8+ out of 10. Complex, sweet, fruity, very jummy. Amazing dram. This was my favorite of the line up for sure!

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - Rosebank 21 yo - Tasting Notes

In the masterclass from Douglas Laing at Whisky Live The Hague I had a chance to taste this lovely Rosebank 21 year old. Distilled in March 1992 and bottled in December 2013 at 53,8%. At cask strength, matured in a refill hogshead, and no coloring added.

Vanilla, raisin, jasmine green tea, bit sharp on the nose, white grapes, soft, sweet, pear and banana. Quite strong at first and makes my nose close up directly. With a bit of water added it becomes more softer and rounder with more sweet fruit notes, vanilla and fruit shake creaminess with banana and peaches.

Beautiful sweet honey fruit combined with the notes of the nose coming back. A light hint of nuts, creamy and freshness.  

Medium to long length fruity finish. With some time it becomes more sweet and the bitter subsides a bit, but it still leaves a bit of flower soap feel on the finish.

An 7,5 out of 10. Bit too much green tea & nuts who linger on quite a bit. It is very nice round, fresh, sweet and certainly complex.

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - Port Ellen 1983/2013 - 30 yo - Tasting Notes

Tasting a Director's Cut Port Ellen expression from Douglas Laing. Matured in a refill hogshead from February 1983 until December 2013. Marked with DL REF 10124 reference and producing only 102 bottles at 53,5% this expression is bottled at cask strength and with no additional colouring.

The nose at first was reminding me of an indoor sheepfold with peat, dirt, earthy, mushrooms, and notes of hay. Then there was some sweet fruit, vanilla, caramel and a bit chewy but not with much depth to it?

The palate was again peat, earthy, and hay. Mixed with red cabbage, red apple and cloves. The finish is not so long, but sweet and creamy. It scored me an 7 out of 10 at the masterclass. It is very soft, fruity, sweet and nice, but missing some depth as tasted with some others in this masterclass. Some bit earthy / cocoa powder dryness coming forward in the end.

Maybe I just don't understand or detect the magic of Port Ellen. Just have tried a few yet so not a very big frame of reference still, but cant seem to find the amazement people are talking about. Don't understand me wrong, it is a great dram, but it is not pleasing enough for me to want to run to the shops for and empty out the bank account.

Douglas Laing - Director's Cut - Littlemill 1988 / 2014 - 25 yo -Tasting Notes

At Whisky Live The Hague in a lovely tasting of Douglas Laing Director's Cut I tasted this lovely Littlemill expression. Distilled in November 1988 and bottled after 25 years at 56,2% in June 2014.

It has spend its 25 years in a refill hoghshead, and was selected with reference DL REF 10349 by Douglas Laing for the Director's Cut series to produce in total 225 bottles at cask strength with no added coloring.

Sweet, spice, stone fruit, orange, citrus freshness, raisin, vanilla, beautiful sweet fruit notes, honey

Sweet, pepper, fresh citrus, raisin, vanilla, same notes as on the nose. Full with spices, warm, sweet, creamy, and a bit light wood/cinnamon dryness mixed with light floral notes, red apple and backed fruits.

Soft gingerbread notes, cinnamon, vanilla, white pepper, banana and rhubarb. With some water added, and it really can take a lot I discovered it gets some more clear spice, a full and complex feel. With adding a bit too much water it revealed more citrus, green apples and honey. Fresh and sweet. Still having drowned my last sip in the glass it was great.

Medium to long length, creamy and bit cocoa powder finish plus (watered down) honey

Scored me a good 7,5 out of 10 when tasted it at the masterclass. It is very nice and balanced, full with spice and fruit. Complex...