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.

Nose
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.

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

Finish
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.

Score
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.

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

Palate
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.

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

Score
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...



Jim Beam - Honey - Festival Notes

At the Whisky Live festival in the Hague we had a masterclass where Jim Beam expressions were lined up for us. Also in here was at the end the 'Honey'. This one is maybe a good one to have in the house for a recipe like this?

Nose
Dry, gingerbread, dark heather honey, vanilla, too sweet

Palate
Too sweet, fruity, vanilla and liquid honey and caramel

Finish
Medium length

Score
5,5 out of 10. Too sweet, palate coating and also pushing some spice and fruit to the back completely. Could not get lots out of it due to the overpowering honey sadly on this quick tasting of it.

Jim Beam - Signature Craft 12 yo - Festival Notes

At the Whisky Live The Hague we had the pleasure to attend a masterclass where the new release of Jim Beam was also presented. The Signature Craft 12 years old had his big release at the festival, and we enjoyed it very much.

The nose is fresh, sweet and soft. Full of vanilla, raisin, red apples, caramel, corn, gingerbread, with a citrus and mint freshness mixed through it. Very pleasant and rich nose. There are lots of spices in here I cant lay my finger on at the moment, but it feels warm and rich.

On the palate at first there is some chili pepper, peppermint, citrus, fruits and more flavours like the nose. The taste of the milk or white chocolate bonbons filled with soft cream filling. Very smooth with a soft medium finish.

Gave this nice, spicy and fruity expression of Jim Beam a very good 7 out of 10, going to 7,5. Really love to get me a bottle of it and make some more notes on it and fine tune. This is a very promising one and more to get out of it then this quick nosing and tasting let me get.

Jim Beam - Black - Triple Aged - Festival Notes

In a masterclass we attended at Whisky Live the Hague I had a taste of the Jim Beam Black Bourbon, that says on the label Triple Aged, meaning 6 years. It delivers sweet, spicy and creamy notes.

The nose gives me first some light peppermint freshness, and then the thick sweet, vanilla, raisin, spices and a bit corn hit the nose.

On the palate I found some very sweet, fruity and a bit waxy notes with some light ginger bread and backing spices. Vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, spice and bit woody flavours. Lots of black pepper and spices on the palate, making it a bit a feel of sweet honey BBQ marinade flavours mixed with some wood notes in the end on the medium honey sweet creamy finish. Gave it an 7 out of 10 on this quick taste here. Something to taste again and make full notes on it.


Makers Mark - Festival Notes


We all know the bottle with the red head, dipped in the signature wax and dripping over the bottle. But not had the Makers Mark before crazy enough. In a masterclass at Whisky Live in the Hague I had the chance for a quick nose and taste and it was not disappointing with this very accessible and smooth Bourbon.

The nose is very sweet and some corn notes, lots of vanilla, light tobacco, creamy and light liquerish note in the back. The palate is much like the notes on the nose combined with some dry tobacco, pepernoten, spices and very smooth. The finish is not so long and a bit dry. But very enjoyable all together. Something to get another dram of sometime and make some more complete notes on it. For now it scored me a 6,5 out of 10, but think it did not reveal all its secrets yet to me. So time to find it again and sit down with it.


Compass Box - Great King Street - Experimental Batch - 00-V4 - Tasting Notes


Earlier I reviewed the TR-06, and thanks to Compass Box I have the chance now to also taste the 00-V4. These were released as the "Experimental Batch" series out of the Great King Street range to determine by the public which one to release as a permanent expression. Lovely expression again, thanks for sharing Chris!

Nose
Sweet, vanilla, raisin, soft orchard fruit, ripe galia melon, creamy white chocolate, fresh pomolo citrus notes. Really a basket full of fruit covered with soft clover honey and some light orange juice notes appearing.

Palate
Sweet with some chili pepper at first then the rich fruit bowl appears with pineapple, green apple, orange, melon, soft stone fruits, vanilla, honey and some apricots.

Finish
Medium length finish with a sweet, creamy mouth feel. Like a white chocolate bar filled with raisin and some crunchy bits.

Score
7,5 out of 10. Very enjoyable dram, sweet, very fruity and rich.

Compass Box - Great King Street - Glasgow Blend - Tasting Notes

Enjoying a sample of the Compass Box latest release in the Great King Street line "Glasgow Blend"
Made out of 33% Lowland grain whisky from a Fife distillery and 67% Malt whisky from the regions of Islay, the Highlands and Speyside.

The Islay single malt comes from south shore distillery (approximately 20% of the total recipe), vatted with a fruity malt from the village of Brora and a rich sherrried Speyside malt from the Aberlour region (approx. 33%). A small percentage of Speyside and Highland malts complete the recipe.

They used a combination of first-fill Sherry casks, first-fill and refill ex-Bourbon barrels and a small portion of new French oak finishing. Bottled at 43%, not chill-filtered and natural colour.

Nose
Figs, raisins, smoke, spice, sweet, vanilla, mixed summer fruit, pepper, cookie spices, light hint of speculaas, creamy and some warm milk chocolate. Fruit, spice, light peat and almost a herbal note with some honey...

Palate
Sweet and spice mixed with fresh fruit notes, bit citrus and fresh mint in the back, mixed with freshly backed cake with red summer fruits inside soaking the cake, with chocolate sprinkles in thee. Creamy soft chocolate with red chili pepper.

Finish
Medium, creamy, sweet and a bit earthy (almost going herbal) in the end

Score
A good 7,5 out of 10 this one scored for me. Lovely dram, not too overpowering on the peat side, just enough in the mix with all the other good stuff, very balanced. Another bottle to find myself in the stores, great work again from the Compass Box! Thanks Chris for sharing this one with us!