Sunday, May 22, 2016

Glasgow Distillery - 8 months old spirit

My note before was on the new make of the Glasgow Distillery, that I already found very promising... They also provided a sample of an 8 months aged spirit in a virgin american barrel of 200 litres at 62,4%. Lovely maturation already happening here...

The nose has a lot of a bit piece of sweet thick fudge  but also a bit of sour freshness of gooseberries. Warm red apple with caramel, ripe banana, crème brulee, raisins and very creamy.

On the thick and creamy palate I find warm fruity notes, orchard - and tropical fruits. Some citrus and mint freshness coming through the creamy fruit notes. Mango, grilled pineapple, coconut water, pomegranate, red current, raspberries with chocolate, oranges and fresh figs. Lovely but very sweet al ready on the medium length finish. Thanks for sharing it Glasgow Distillery! Looking forward to future explorations of your spirits!

Glasgow Distillery - New Make

At the Spirit of Speyside festival a meeting was organised with the Glasgow Distillery to tell us all about the new distillery and its expressions. A sample of the unpeated spirit at 63,4% was provided to have a closer look at when back home.

The nose is first very malty with a honey and fruit sweetness behind it... There are apples, gooseberry, elderflower blossom, vanilla, lime, green grass and a very little hint of seashells and salt on it also.

On the palate I find first notes of citrus, orchard fruits and a sweet and creamy vanilla. After some bit it follows with blackcurrant, red berries, strawberries, lime, hint of pink grapefruit and oranges. 

Some grassy and almost darker notes appear in the back after a bit like soft coffee, baked mushrooms, and backed strips of bacon. The finish is of medium length and has some sweet honey and liquerish notes to it. Thanks Glasgow Distillery for sharing it! Promising!

Spey - 18

At the Speyside Distillery during the tour a dram of the 18 year old expression was shared. This is bottled at 46% and matured in Sherry casks.

The nose starts with notes of creamy vanilla and cherry cheesecake combined with woodpolish and dried plums. It are all soft tones and find it a bit mellow must say. Letting it breath for a bit gives me some lemon bitter and some dryer wood notes.

Coming to the front after a bit are caramel, nougat, demerara sugar, the creamy changing into waxy, cinnamon, orange peel, soft ginger and some nuts...

On the palate I find lots of the same as found on the nose. It is a bit woody and also vanilla creamy sweetness combined with berries, citrus fruits, creamy and some dry spices. The finish is of medium length and mostly showing the bit dry spices and wood note.

There are noticeable notes of the sherry cask influence for sure but the total picture of the nose and palate together I find a bit mellow almost. But on the other side it has a very sugary, almost molasses kind of feeling on the teeth at the end, that is too strong for my taste. Scoring it an 7/10 for this moment. Need to come back to this one on a later moment for another look at it.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spey - Tenne

After a lovely tour around the Speyside Distillery at the Spirit of Speyside Festival a dram was poured of the Spey Tenne whisky bottled at 46%. This has been maturing first in bourbon casks but received a finish of a couple of months in Tawny Port casks, in total this whisky is eight years old.

Sweet and fruity nose with pine freshness, citrus fruits, candied oranges, milk chocolate, dried fruits and cereal. Dried banana, shortbread, vanilla pudding, raisins, strawberries, redcurrant, raspberries and fudge. Lovely warm honeyed fruity notes of red and summer fruits together with citrus freshness mixed with mint and chocolate on the palate. A decent length finish with a creamy mouth feel of crème brulee and light chocolate mouse. A dessert kind of dram.

The Tawny Port has left enough influence but is not overpowering on the nose and palate. It leaves the spirit to come through enough. You can feel it is young, but it does not matter really much I think, because the combination of maturation made gives it enough body, balance and depth to it. A lovely mix and very enjoyable even it being a bit sweet on the finish, but that you can expect with this type of cask influence. Scoring it an 8 out of 10.

Lakes Distillery - Cask #578

At our visit (25.04.16) to the Lakes Distillery, John gave us a taste of this lovely spirit that is maturing there. It was a Californian wine cask #578, filled on 22.10.15 at 63.5%

The nose and palate I find, after some warming up and giving it some time, are looking very similar. Filled with fruit and honeyed sweetness, red summer fruits jam, cherry, raspberry, strawberries, black current, vanilla, fruit cake, grilled pineapple, maple syrup, malty, mango creamy, toffee sweetness, fresh notes of oranges and light grapefruit in the back.

A good length finish with vanilla cream buns, ginger cake and an almost liquerish mixture of fruits going on in it. Lovely combination of the spirit and cask! Even being this young it already shows a great influence being made between the two. Promising. 

Lakes Distillery - Cask #20

At our visit (25.04.16) to the Lakes Distillery we tasted some of the content from Bourbon cask #20, that was filled on 27.2.15 at 63,4%. 

A lovely soft nose with citrus, green grass, vanilla, creamy, powdered sugar, apricots, light note of roses in the back and some liquerish wood. 

The palate is sweet with notes of red apple, banana, pear juice, vanilla pudding, creamy, dried ginger, tutti frutti and a light note of fennel. 

A good length finish on it with some baking spices coming to the front, coconut shavings, sultanas and mango creaminess. A lovely promising spirit, looking forward to seeing it again when it comes off age. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Prometheus 27

From the Glasgow Distillery a sample was provided of the Prometheus 27 year old bottled at 47%. They gave the following information about this whisky:

In Greek mythology, Prometheus (meaning "forethought") was a Titan who sided with Zeus and the ascending Olympian gods in the vast cosmological struggle against Cronus and the other Titans. Prometheus was therefore on the conquering side of the cataclysmic war of the Greek gods, the Titanomachy, where Zeus and the Olympian gods ultimately defeated Cronus and the other Titans.

Prometheus is undoubtedly best remembered today for his great gift to man: fire. When an angered Zeus took fire away from man, Prometheus rebelled against the ruler of the gods. He captured a flame from the hearth of Mount Olympus and carried it back to man, hidden in a giant fennel stalk.

Today, the spirit of Prometheus lives on as champion of man and bringer of fire. In 1988 one of the Olympians of Speyside created a new form of malt: a whisky that combined the peaty fire of the Islands with the rich, bright, complexity of the Highlands. Like all great malts, time was needed for this new Titan to build character and maturity. But as the young whisky lay sleeping, hidden from expectant eyes, the heavens shifted.

The whisky’s creator departed and a malt that was both sophisticated and powerful was seen by some to be a threat. Protectors of the orphan Titan kept him solitary and hidden until, in the summer of 2014, they met in secret to arrange his release. Prometheus could walk free on two conditions: he could never reveal from whence he came and he would be mortal, destined to live a short, but glorious life.

So we give you Prometheus. A legendary Speyside with the Titanic strength of barley malted by burning peat. A whisky of sublime sophistication and balance, bottled at the peak of its powers. A Single Malt Scotch Whisky of secret origins, available in the most limited quantity for just one moment in time.

Lets dive in to this one and see what I can find. On the nose I find lots of sweet and warm notes. Creamy chocolate mousse, red apples, banana, figs, ginger cake, baking spices, cinnamon buns, hint of marzipan, candied oranges, lemon peel strips, raisins, breakfast cereals... Getting hungry now while typing these notes...

Palate is a lot like the nose and also sweet and warm. Showing a honeyed and rich palate with notes of fudge, sponge cake, raisin, vanilla, dried fruits, notes of chocolate and crunchy cereal. 

The good length finish is a creamy and sweet one with notes of vanilla pudding and red summer fruits on top with strawberry juice. Scoring it an 8/10. Like it. Sadly for around £549 it is a bit out of my price range... Thanks Glasgow Distillery for sharing a sample of this whisky!  

Spey Chairmans Choice

From the Speyside Distillery comes the expression Chairmans Choice bottled at 40%. I have had a quick taste of it while visiting the distillery during Spirit of Speyside. Thanks to Speyside Distillery for providing another sample to have a closer look at it when back home. The nose has some soft but bit sour fresh citrus notes combined with vanilla, yellow raisins, some light floral and nutty notes. It almost feels at first a bit dusty and citrus young, creamy but just could use some more power to it I think.

A sweet and malty palate with notes of honey, lemon, pink grapefruit bitters and some light nutty note of cashews. Vanilla creamy but it also feels young and weak a bit. Getting some vinegar and new wood coming through the honey notes. The palate stays overall very high on some bit sharp citrus notes.

The finish is short and bit dry, like new wood and vanilla but with some more tannins to it. The palate gets a bit warmer and fruitier with time and releases some notes of banana, red apple, sultana, Victoria cake and dried apricots. Scoring it an 7 out of 10. Could have used some more power to it for me and the feeling of a stronger wood interaction and less younger notes.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Benromach Château Cissac - 2006/2014

The Benromach Château Cissac distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2014 at 45% is part of the line of their wood finishes. Matured in first fill bourbon casks and then finished for 20 months in casks from the Château Cissac, that is situated in the Appellation Haut-Médoc Contrôlée in South-western France.

On the nose I find it to be light malty at first with sweet fudge and oranges notes. It gains with some time in honey sweetness, thick vanilla pudding and red forrest fruits. These rich sweet fruit notes combined with some minty freshness and lemon running through it make it a thick, sweet and creamy dram that feels a lot like a good dessert buffet. Lovely notes like mocha cake, soaked raisins and creamy fillings with marzipan toppings. A good mix with some baking spices.

The palate is much like the nose but also raises the aromas of some dryer notes lying underneath to the top like dates, figs, soft leather, dark chocolate and coffee. Bit soft clover honey appears on the medium length finish after a while with a creamy vanilla feeling with red berries, warm apple and chocolate flakes in it. A rich dram with sweet lush notes of different creamy fruits, lovely dessert like dram, scoring 8/10, well balanced.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gordon & MacPhail - Brora 1982 / 2008

In the Dornoch Castle Hotel bar I found an expression from the Brora Distillery bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in their Connoisseurs Choice line. It has been matured in refill sherry buts, distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2008 at 43%

The nose has soft sweet, fruity and spicy notes that remind me of fruit cake, rum raisins, vanilla sponge cake, cherries on juice, light roasted coffee and a malty note going through it all. Dried fruits, warm red apple, pastry dough, powder sugar, light note of marzipan, macademia nuts, hazelnuts, light toffee note and a light seashell note in the back (after a bit)

The palate is a lot like the nose but carries more fresher notes from oranges, citrus, mint and grapefruit. Makes me think for a short bit about after eight and pistachio ice cream. It has a light nutty and earthy note with lingering towards a bit floral set of flavours almost.

A medium length finish, with a bit dry nutmeg feeling in there, scoring me an 8/10. I liked the Cadenhead bottling a bit more, they are totally different but that one packed more of a punch I thought...

Cadenhead's Authentic Collection - Brora 13 year old

At the Dornoch Hotel Bar sitting down with a whisky from the Brora Distillery after visiting it earlier this day. A lovely 13 year old single cask bottling from the Cadenhead Authentic Collection. Distilled in May 1982 and bottled in January 1996 at cask strength 59,9%

Something I really needed to dive into deeper, trying to ignore all the influences of the bar around me focusing on the whisky, enjoying my first ever Brora single malt. Beside it is another Brora that I hope to also make some notes on, to compare the two different bottlers. When having the chance to try whiskies like this one should do...

The nose is very meaty and sweet. Thick creamy and has a heathery moss earthy feeling to it. Soft vanilla and dark coffee notes come forward together with the feeling of standing in a dunnage warehouse. Bit liquerish after some time and it has a strong candied ginger note to it, mixed with sultana, dried plums and nutty cereal with honey.

Moving on to the palate my first response was a bit omg... It is warm, sweet, rich, thick, creamy, fruity, chewy, but also fresh and full of dried fruits, raisin, vanilla, banana, tropical fruits, coffee, fudge and dark chocolate. It keeps revealing layers and has a long finish. A sweet, complex and rich dram. Wonderful stuff and scoring it an 8,5/10

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Oamaruvian

Sitting in the bar at the Dowans looking at their whisky collection I noticed this bottling by The New Zealand Whisky Company called The Oamaruvian. Bottled in February 2015 at 58,4% (cask strength) at an age of 16 years old from barrel #544. Not planning to make notes on this Scotland trip but just needed to sit down with it looking outside over Aberlour and trying to get to the bottom of this dram. On the bottle it tells us the following story:

New Zealand whisky evangelists and winemakers Warren and Deb Preston identified Oamaru's historic Harbour Precinct as an ideal seaside climate for whisky maturation. Next they did something profound. They decanted over 200 barrels of Dunedin distilled single grain whisky out of American bourbon barrels and into French oak NZ wine barrels. 

The Dunedin Double Wood was born. Eight years on, the New Zealand Whisky Collection is proud to present The Oamaruvian - specialy selected casks chosen for their rich toffee, floral nose and creaming soda mouth feel with a hint of Oamaru sea spray to finish

The nose has dark and thick wood notes with creamy toffee and red apples. Oranges, spices and a hint of balsamic between the sweet crème brulee notes. Light figs, candied ginger, tumtum sweets and tropical fruits in the back.

This all carries on to the palate that is thick and bit woody with loads of sweetness in it. But also notes of floor polish, leather and a dirty wax coat. Spices, citrus fruits, honey, creamy vanilla and raisins. Dried apricots, red apple, honeysuckle, ginger, nutmeg and a light floral note of cherry blossom. Finding different fresh and dried fruits in it.

Finish is sweet and of medium length. It is a lovely dram for sure and scoring it an 7,5 out of 10. You can see the influence from the casks, it is maybe a bit heavy on the wood notes, almost lingering towards tannins, hints of sulphur and a virgin wood feeling. Honey sweet, spicy and fruity overall.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wagging Finger Gin - Batch 1

The Dutch Wagging Finger distillery has just released their first gin bottling, batch 1 at 44%. On the nose it is lovely fresh and also sweet from different citrus fruits like pomolo, orange, tangerines and a dash of grapefruit. Mint, pepper, lemon thyme, cardamom, juniper berries, light note of sandalwood and some soft spices with creamy vanilla and lemon cheesecake follow that freshness.

The palate is much like the nose, a bit more baking spices appear on the front together with some dryer notes of wood, ginger and juniper. It still has the freshness from the nose coming through it, but has a bit more earthy feel almost to it.

Finding notes of nettle, lime, blood oranges, banana peel, marzipan, cookie dough and allspice on the palate also. Soft, sweet and fresh gin with a medium length finish and quite enjoyable drinking neat. Scoring an 7,5 out of 10. Great start of this distillery and looking forward to what the future brings!

Friday, April 22, 2016


Kalkwijck Distillers released in 2015 their first whisky bottled at 42%. The name Eastmoor referring to the eastern moors that have been a great influence in the history of the region where the distillery is situated, like a tribute to the men that changed the landscape to the way it is now. This whisky sold out very quickly when it was released so very thankful that Lisanne was able to collect enough for a sample to make some tasting notes. 

Soft but sweet syrupy nose with notes of grain and flower creamy honey. Some yellow raisins, wasabi nuts, dried fruits, fresh apple juice, hints of lime, vanilla, ginger bread, cumin seeds and nutmeg.  

On the palate I find it to be a bit creamy and the feeling of breakfast cereal with Greek yoghurt. Some sour fresh lime, orange and grapefruit notes before the soft red berries, strawberries, and blackcurrant come forward. Creamy vanilla, honey and a bit of baking spices make it complete. 

Balanced dram but the finish could have been a bit longer I find, but maybe also a higher percentage then 42% could help it to give a stronger profile. Being 3 years old it is young on the nose and palate, but not unpleasant and soft, not that harsh roughness you often see with younger whiskies, scoring it an 7,5 out of 10. Curious to see what more is coming from this distillery in the next couple of years. Thanks Lisanne for sharing it! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Whisper Man's Gin

The Whisper Man's Gin comes from the Dutch Kalkwijck distillery and is bottled at 42%. The nose is a mixture of fresh citrus, mint, sweet vanilla, elderflower blossom, gooseberry, juniper berries, fennel and ginger.

On the palate I find some dry woody and nutmeg notes rising through the sweet and fresh notes that I found on the nose. It is soft and creamy, with almost a spongy vanilla cake with elderflower blossom feeling, not too overpowering in flavours and aromas but a nicely balanced dram.

This gin shows some different fruit notes to me like oranges, red apple, red grapes, vigs, lime and something more tropical honey sweet in the back like pomegranate and kiwi. Cucumber, grilled courgette, pine nuts, dates and some soft herbal notes like thyme, sage and marjoram.

I find this gin not something that needs to be mixed, but can be enjoyed just as it is. The nose is fresher then the palate, that shows some more wood liquerish and herbal notes, almost a bit more earthy. Scoring it an 7,5/10. Lovely addition to our growing gin collection.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Laddie Eight

The Laddie Eight expression is released to the Travel Retail market during April 2016. On the 14th of April a twitter tasting was hosted by World Duty Free, you can see the action back by following hashtag #whiskyex. The sample of the Laddie Eight that was send over by Bruichladdich (Thanks again guys!) tells us this whisky was distilled on 10-03-2008, from lot no L150824 16/044 and bottled on 15/03/2016 at 50%.

On the nose I smell apple juice, vanilla, malt, stewed pears, lemon, creamy, oranges, raisin and nut bread. The palate is vanilla sweet, grilled pineapple, honey, red pepper, malt, creamy, pink grapefruit, oranges, fudge, raspberries, peaches, light liquerish, bit of dry heather and light bitter marmalade notes. A medium length finish with notes of honey suckle and vanilla sweetness with touches of ginger and wood. Fresh, fruity and sweet balanced dram, scoring it an 7,5/10

Friday, April 15, 2016

Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01

The Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 is distilled on 03/10/2007 and bottled at 8 years old on 21/01/2016 at 57,8%. This expression is released to the Travel Retail market during April 2016. On the 14th of April an twitter tasting was hosted by World Duty Free, you can see the action by following #whiskyex. Bruichladdich tells us the following about this whisky:

As with every Port Charlotte the starting point is rich, elegant and thought-provoking spirit. High-provenance, smoky, heavily peated barley married to our slow, Victorian, trickle distillation delivers power with finesse. Here, this fascinating spirit has been matured full term in casks of finest French oak [Quercus robur]. They previously held one of the greatest Eau de Vie, from the western Cognac region. 

Ok. time to nose and taste this whisky. I have let the glass sit for a while after pouring, got the feeling it needed some time due to a very young nose at first with some nail polish remover. That stayed a bit for a good time, but also started to show me some pulled pork and other meaty BBQ flavours mixed with earthy peaty notes. It becomes sweeter when you keep nosing it and showing rich honey, salty caramel chocolat, stewed pears in red wine with a good amount of cinnamon, ginger cake, rye bread with omelette / crispy bacon / different backed wild mushrooms and for a dessert a thick vanilla pudding with red summer fruits on top. Now I am getting hungry again damnit. 

Tasting it brings a smile to my face because it adds another level of sweet and spices to the things I already found on the nose. Raisins, red pepper, apricots, lemon, banana, creamy, plums, smoke, light ashy note and sweet heather flavours. Thick vanilla notes with loads of fruits in it mixed with soft gentle peat smoke. Good length sweet finish on it and very enjoyable must say. Perfect dram for a stormy and rainy day we are having right now. Scoring it an 8 out of 10, even with the young feeling going through the nose and palate. Thanks for sharing the sample Bruichladdich! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Renegade rum company - Monymusk distillery - Jamaica rum - 5 years old

From the Renegade rum company comes this rum from the Monymusk distillery. Produced by Bruichladdich and bottled by Murray McDavid at 46% and aged for 5 years with an additional maturation in a Tempranillo cask from Ribera del Duero

Noticed this bottle in a store and in my quest to learn more about the different kind of rums this one seemed very interesting. I could not find much online about the Renegade rum company but this is a little piece of the Bruichladdich website archives about it

We’ve been playing with rums for a while using the Murray McDavid label for a handful of bottlings – one of which was declared in the World’s Top 50 spirits of the year in 2006 by Paul Paccult’s Malt Enthusiast with a 96-100 rating. Encouraged by that success, we are now taking it more seriously.

Islay bottled, single distillery rum ACE’d by Jim in stunning French oak casks for added flavour, texture and originality. This is not your rum and coke spirit; nor your pirate’s Yo! Ho! Ho! liquor; nor your cocktail umbrella’d breezer readymix drink. No, this is rum Unplugged – and boy is it good. Savour the flavour, enjoy it like a single malt.

Curious to learn more about this Jamaican distillery called Monymusk. So back online and seeing what I can find about it. Only a couple of sites got me little bits of information about it being from the former Innswood distillery (Clarendon Distillers Limited (CDL)) Not in production apparently anymore since the 1950's but only used as an ageing and blending location. Curious to learn more about these kind of things, if anyone knows more about it please let me know. But in the end the liquid is quite pleasant, even if I cant find much about it and enjoying it greatly. My notes on this rum... 

At first the nose has some dusty old books to it but beneath that is loads of sweetness hidden. Not an overpowering strong sweetness on the nose that you often find (at least that is my experience) but hints of green apples, celery, vanilla, fresh figs and dates. some raisin, light liquerish and dried apples. The palate is much sweeter then the nose is at first. The almost woody honey notes mixed with fresh and dried fruit give it of the tropical feel but with some sweet desert wine on the medium length finish. Lovely light notes of some burned toast and nuts come through but just a bit, almost making me think of some breakfast cereal, the kind with all the dried fruits and nuts in it. 

It is balanced and shows enough to keep you interested for sure, but leaves mostly a honey sweet and vanilla/crème brulee feeling in the end that is just a bit too strong. But not unpleasant. I have been sipping on this rum for a couple of times to see what I think about it and cant make up my mind and keep saying "lovely, but..." No regrets buying this, non at all, enjoying it greatly, but just something keeps missing in it. Don't know what it is. But still scoring it an 8 out of 10. Loving this explorations from time to time in other spirits then whisky!