Friday, 2 December 2016

Allt-a-Bhainne 18 yo 1996/2014

Allt-a-Bhainne 18 yo 1996/2014

Old Malt Cask, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Speyside
Gold, tinge of silver
50% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cream, malted grains, leather, sea salt, hints of crispy bacon. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, slippery, loose, a little airy. 
Tasting:  Sweet sour. Leather, apples, orange peel, lemon zest, cream, hints of raisins. 
Finish: Medium. Cream, vanilla, raisins, orange peel. 

Comments: 

Cask ref 10825. Not your usual Speyside. The delicate sweet flavours are not so obvious here, instead there's savoury leather, plenty of creamy, milky notes, and ever-present lemon zest. It's great though, the higher strength creates all this complexity, and it's really drinkable, almost scarily so.

Verdict:

I like this.

Glenlivet Cipher

Glenlivet Cipher

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Copper
48% ABV
Dram

Nose: Cookie dough, vanilla, apples, white grapes, honey, hints of caramel. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, astringent, thickens slightly, tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Apples, chestnuts, cookie dough, honey, chocolate, hints of coffee. 
Finish: Short. Coffee, dark chocolate, chestnuts, black tea. 

Comments: 

A Cipher, so secret they don't tell you anything about it. Well, it's appley to the extreme, with plenty of chocolate and vanilla. A calvados barrel perhaps? Stranger things have happened.

Verdict:

I like this.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Linkwood 21 yo 1995/2016

Linkwood 21 yo 1995/2016

Extra Old Particular, Douglas Laing
Single malt - Speyside
Golden
51.5% ABV
Dram

Nose: Orange peel, vanilla, roses, dried apples, hints of white grapes. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slippery, slightly watery around the edges. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Vanilla, roses, sea salt, coffee, hints of chocolate. 
Finish: Medium. Chocolate, orange peel, coffee, dried apples. 

Comments: 

Cask ref DL11357. Delicately floral and fragrant on the nose, but turns much more robust and savoury on the tongue. Orange peel and white grapes turn to chocolate spiked with sea salt, and a chocolatey, slightly bitter finish. The roses are a constant though.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



West Cork Single Malt Whiskey 10 yo

West Cork Single Malt Whiskey 10 yo

West Cork Distillers
Single malt - Unknown
Golden
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Raisins, blackcurrants, honey, dried apricots, cola nuts. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, thickens, slightly astringent, tingly. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Blackcurrants, honey, prunes, peanuts, chocolate, hints of pears. 
Finish: Short. Honey, dried apples, prunes, walnuts. 

Comments: 

A sourced single malt from the new(ish) West Cork Distillers, who hopefully will bottle their own spirit very soon. This flagship starter is fruity, jammy and sweet, with delicate honey notes that envelope everything. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

An Cnoc Rascan

An Cnoc Rascan

Official bottling
Single malt - Speyside
Very, very pale silver
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Marmite, peaches, leather, walnuts, maple syrup, sea salt, hints of smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loosens, slightly watery around the edges, slippery. 
Tasting:  Sweet salty. Peaches, maple syrup, marmite, peat, applewood smoke, hints of lemon juice. 
Finish: Short. Peaches, applewood smoke, mint, leather. 

Comments: 

Peated Speyside with an unusual colour. Again, nice leathery, nutty, slightly bitter notes. Plenty of fruit and sweetness, this time maple syrup plays a big role. Salty though, with savoury yeasty flavours of marmite.

Verdict:

I like this.



Ailsa Bay Single Malt

Ailsa Bay Single Malt

Official bottling
Single malt - Lowlands
Copper gold
48.9% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, lemon juice, pears, sea salt, honeydew melons, peanuts. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, syrupy, slightly chewy. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Leather, pears, honeydew melons, peat, smoked ham, hints of woodsmoke. 
Finish: Medium. Leather, pears, lemon juice, hints of raisins. 

Comments: 

A peated Lowland whisky, and one from the new Ailsa Bay distillery, no less. Delicate and floral, there's plenty of fruit in this. The peat introduces more robust notes of leather, and infuses the whisky with a meatiness that's really unusual.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.



Saturday, 19 November 2016

Armorik Maitre de Chai 2008 (6 yo 2008/2015)

Armorik Maitre de Chai 2008 (6 yo 2008/2015)

Official bottling
Single malt - Brittany
Amber rose
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Leather, walnuts, orange peel, smoked ham, plums, hints of sea salt . 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, thickens, tingly, slightly astringent. 
Tasting:  Bitter salty. Sea salt, driftwood smoke, raisins, plums, peanuts, hints of leather. 
Finish: Long. Peanuts, sea salt, plums, driftwood smoke. 

Comments: 

Hmm... salty! Fruity, meaty, but above all salty. Plenty of smoke and peat too, with a glorious chewy meatiness that makes the mouth water. Good whisky, this.

Verdict:

I like this.



Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

Official bottling
Single millet - Illinois
Dark gold
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Smoked ham, cherries, orange peel, fresh baked bread, pears, hints of smoke. 
Mouthfeel: Light body, loose, turns watery, slippery. 
Tasting:  Bitter sweet. Cherries, iron filings, leather, fresh baked bread, hints of smoke. 
Finish: Medium. Fresh baked bread, malted grains, vanilla, pears. 

Comments: 

A millet whiskey! Thanks to Eddy and Patrick for letting me sample this. Meaty, metallic, but plenty of fruit and cereal. Unusually soft and rounded (is this what millet whisky is like?). Highly enjoyable, tasty and gentle.

Verdict:

I like this.



Balblair 1990 (23 yo 1990/2014)

Balblair 1990 (23 yo 1990/2014)

Official bottling
Single malt - North Highlands
Dark amber
46% ABV
Dram

Nose: Malted grains, liquorice, rice, leather, vanilla, hints of honey. 
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, thickens, chewy, sticky. 
Tasting:  Bitter. Liquorice, rice, leather, honey, soursop, pears. 
Finish: Long. Rice, leather, pears, liquorice. 

Comments: 

Very cereally, even slightly starchy. Good strong aniseedy notes, wreathed through with touches of honey and fruit. The two years of finishing in oloroso sherry casks didn't tame this much. It's very good indeed.

Verdict:

I like this a lot.




Säntis Edition Sigel

Säntis Edition Sigel

Official bottling
Single malt - Appenzell
Amber
40% ABV
Dram

Nose: Red grapes, raisins, orange peel, malted grains, cardamom, hints of smoked ham. 
Mouthfeel: Medium body, static, slippery, slightly oily. 
Tasting:  Sweet. Malted grains, orange peel, cardamom, liquorice, smoked ham, hints of plums. 
Finish: Medium. Smoked ham, plums, liquorice, hints of Swiss cheese. 

Comments: 

Last of the trio of Säntis I have access to. Quite aniseedy and sweet, but there are savoury hints that remind me of its sisters. Savoury cheese notes on the finish too. These Swiss whiskies are unusual, but I enjoyed them.

Verdict:

I like this.




 

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