Speyside trip 2016: Part four – a surprise tour at Ballindalloch, a surprise “lunch” at Glenlivet, a not-so-surprising tasting with Dave Broom and Martine Nouet book launch

Ballindalloch distillery

It’s been a while a long time since part three of the #dram16 stories, but better late than never, right? *ahem*. Well, #dram17 is around the corner so no better time than the present to relive some memories!

Ballindalloch Distillery

Ballindalloch Distillery
Ballindalloch Distillery

The best stories in life happen by accident. We weren’t supposed to do anything that morning. My brother and I didn’t get tickets for any exciting events so our plan was to drop our friend Jo off at Ballindalloch distillery and then drive on to Glenlivet for a breakfast, for which we had bought tickets. Who buys tickets for breakfast anyway? Crazy!
Getting out of the car at Ballindalloch distillery we were greeted warmly by Mr. Russell, the distillery’s founder and owner of the Ballindalloch Estate. As we later heard, he personally greets everybody who makes the effort to visit his distillery. He’s even there every morning at 7 a.m. to meet Colin, the distiller. Feeling properly welcome, my brother and I couldn’t resist asking whether we could “hop on” the tour since we were already there and all. Long story short – and a popular vote by all of those who had booked onto the tour later – we were on and found ourselves in the distillery’s comfy lobby, sitting in armchairs, a cup of tea in our hand and listening to the brilliant and ever so cheeky “tour guide” Brian telling us everything there was to know about the distillery. This surprise tour would turn out to be a real highlight of the entire festival – way over two hours of in-depth, completely un-rushed, un-branded, no-BS enjoyable time. Continue reading “Speyside trip 2016: Part four – a surprise tour at Ballindalloch, a surprise “lunch” at Glenlivet, a not-so-surprising tasting with Dave Broom and Martine Nouet book launch”

Share this post

24 drams till christmas 2016 #7: Bruichladdich Octomore 10yo 2nd edition

Bruichladdich Octomore 10yo 2nd edition

Bruichladdich Octomore 10yo 2nd editionDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 21.12.2005
Bottled: 31.10.2016
Age: 10 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-bourbon, Grenache Blanc
Alcohol: 57,3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

We’ve taken a look at the new 10yo Bruichladdich and the new Port Charlotte – now it’s time to taste the new 10 yo heavily peated Octomore!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 dark reddish gold
The nose starts off with… smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke and more smoke. Just as with the new 10 yo Port Charlotte it is a campfire-type, fragrant smoke, not the “usual” phenolic, iodine south-coast Islay smoke. Did I mention smoke? And soot! And wet smoke from a fire being extinguished with water. Give it a few minutes and – ah – oh, there’s more than just smoke now! A dense, layered sweetness – smoky marmalade and mixed fruits jam (including strawberry) – paired with fresh ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, a slice of lemon and a pinch of nutmeg. An almost perfect marriage of smoke, smoke and smoke with fruits, sweetness and spices. Very good indeed. Let’s see what the palate has to offer! Continue reading “24 drams till christmas 2016 #7: Bruichladdich Octomore 10yo 2nd edition”

Share this post

24 drams till christmas 2016 #1: Bruichladdich Laddie Ten 2nd edition

Bruichladdich Laddie Ten 2nd edition

Bruichladdich Laddie Ten 2nd editionDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 26.07.2006
Bottled: 27.10.2016
Age: 10 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-bourbon, sherry, French wine
Alcohol: 50%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

The “24 drams till Christmas” blog series is back – and so is Bruichladdich’s “Laddie 10”, after a two-year absence on the shelves due to a lack of stock. Is there any dram more fitting to kick off this year’s Christmas countdown?

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 honey gold
The nose is undeniably that of a laddie dram. Light in style yet sophisticated with immediate notes of citrus fruits, tinned tangerines, lychees and pomegranate. A light perfume note, too. Or is that chewing gum? Hubba bubba, perhaps. In the background we get grapes with skins, dry French red wine (I know it says so on the label, but it’s apparent), red berries (brambles, elderberries) with cream and a mixture of different oak spices. I don’t have an old bottle of laddie 10 open at the moment, but while it is recognizably a laddie dram, the French oak and wine cask influence are apparent, more apparent than my memory of previous batches before the temporary discontinuation. Continue reading “24 drams till christmas 2016 #1: Bruichladdich Laddie Ten 2nd edition”

Share this post

Tasting: Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 years (2016 re-release)

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 years (2016 re-release)

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 years (2016 re-release)Dram data:
Distillery: –
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: -2016
Age: 15 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light amber (E150a…)
Many people lamented the loss of the old Johnnie Walker Green Label and now, after about two years of absence, it is back – worldwide. Johnnie Walker Green Label is a 15-year old blended malt, thus a vatting of only single malt whiskies – Cragganmore at the core, with Talisker, Caol Ila, Linkwood and others blended in. I have never tasted the old version, so let’s try the new one without expectations to live up to…
The nose is aromatic, medium-intense and, this might be my mind playing tricks here, “green” – meaning a grassy (but pleasantly so) top note. This fresh note is underpinned by vanilla-scented honey, honey melon, orange oil, shortbread, caramelized ginger, a dense mixture of spices, a pinch of white pepper and a smidgen of peat smoke. Continue reading “Tasting: Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 years (2016 re-release)”

Share this post

Tasting: Benromach 35 yo / 2016

Benromach 35 yo / 2016

Benromach 35 yo / 2016Dram data:
Distillery: Benromach
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: 35 years
Limitation: –
Casks: First fill Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 43%
most likely chill filtered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
reddish amber
It’s not every day (for me at least) that there’s a 35 year-old whisky in the glass, so this is a special occasion. Time to assume position, pour the remainder of the sample I was sent for the #Benromach35 tweet tasting and sniff away!
The nose opens just as expected from a whisky past a certain maturation point. Beeswax, polished oak, oak-matured honey (wait, what?), oily, thickened grape juice and dried orange peel paired with chocolat-ey cigar tobacco and an old, slightly dusty leather jacket forgotten in grandma’s closet (but in a good way). Continue reading “Tasting: Benromach 35 yo / 2016”

Share this post