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”

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Tasting: Classic of Islay cask #2725 (NAS)

Classic of Islay cask #2725 (NAS)

Classic of Islay cask #2725 (NAS)Dram data:
Distillery: Undisclosed
Bottler: Jack Wieber’s Whisky World
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: #2725
Alcohol: 56,4%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

More budget whisky goodness – this time we’ve got an undisclosed, mystery distillery, single cask bottling from the Isle of Islay. This was sold for about 40€ in 2014 – let’s see if it fits the bang-for-the-money ticket!

Tasting notes:
Colour: amber
The nose is undeniably that of a young, fiery, rascal-ey, smoky Islay malt, you can’t deny the heritage. My mind immediately went “Lagavulin” as soon as I stuck my nose in – I would bet half an old fisherman’s boot on that – but we’ll never know for sure… Rich peat smoke, slightly medicinal, but not at Laphroaig levels, paired with an initial blast of black pepper, menthol, refreshment tissue, oily tweed jacket, some seaweed, sweet toffee, coffee dregs, walnuts and hazelnuts and a whiff of cracked shells on the beach. When I looked at the colour I hoped it would not be a dram slaughtered by a freshly rinsed sherry cask taking on an overly sweet profile – thank god it is not! This is a classy nose, I’m very impressed! Let’s hope the palate can deliver as well! Continue reading “Tasting: Classic of Islay cask #2725 (NAS)”

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Tasting: Laphroaig Quarter Cask NAS

Laphroaig Quarter Cask NAS

Laphroaig Quarter Cask NASDram data:
Distillery: Laphroaig
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Quarter Casks
Alcohol: 48%
Unchillfiltered; coloured
Whiskybase link

When I recently asked my twitter followers which kind of whisky they wanted to see reviewed most, the “daily drams” were pretty high up in favour. Well, in this review I’ll be introducing a whisky many of you will already be familiar with – but if you aren’t, and like peaty drams, you’ll be interested in this!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
red-orange honey (coloured….)
The nose opens with a kick of peat smoke aromas in your face paired with sweet caramel and vanilla. The rather active quarter casks (smaller than a barrel) impart a lot of flavours in a comparatively short amount of time, making it a bit high on vanillin. The very active casks actually mellow the smoky aromas quite a bit – something you realise when you’ve tasted Laphroaig matured in refill casks, where the peat smoke can be much more medicinal. Nonetheless, we’ve got iodine bandages, burning hospital waste bins, a night around a damp peat fire, charred oak, a few spices (cloves and half a cinnamon stick), rich caramel, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla sauce (blasphemy!) and an earthy note underneath. Very rich and powerful with loads going on. Continue reading “Tasting: Laphroaig Quarter Cask NAS”

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Tasting: Kilchoman 100% Islay 5th edition / 2015

Kilchoman 100% Islay 5th edition / 2015

Kilchoman 100% Islay 5th edition / 2015Dram data:
Distillery: Kilchoman
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: 10.2009
Bottled: 06.05.2015
Age: 5 yo
Limitation: 10.000 bottles
Cask: ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 50%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
straw
A whisky made from 100% Islay ingredients. Barley grown on Islay, malted in Kilchoman’s own floor maltings, dried over Islay peat, distilled, matured and bottled on site. Well, bottle, cork and cardboard box are not from Islay, but everything else is. Let’s stick our nose in!
The nose opens with a whiff of alcohol, but you can already taste barley sweetness and (comparatively) light peat notes underneath. Let it breath for a minute or two. Now we get the gentle side of the peaty Islay drams. Sweet wort going into the fermenters with a splash of lemon on top, ginger, tangerine peel and canned tangerines, physalis, unobtrusive vanilla, a hint of honey, Werther’s Original sweets, a mineral, chalky note, and, of course, light peat. Nowhere near as loud as the south coast Islay drams or the Kilchoman whisky made from commercial peat, but still rather noticeable, it’s definitely an Islay dram. It seems to be a sweeter style of peat too, if such a thing even exists. Yum, this is exquisite! Young, but already very, very good! Continue reading “Tasting: Kilchoman 100% Islay 5th edition / 2015”

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Tasting: Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail’s Collection

Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail's Collection

Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail's CollectionDram data:
Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Gordon&MacPhail
Distilled: 2006
Bottled: 2015
Age: 8 years
Limitation: –
Casks: refill/first fill sherry hogsheads
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: white wine
The nose opens with fragrant and well-integrated peat smoke. Not too phenolic – somewhere in between Bowmore and the south coast distilleries. Behind the layer of peat smoke we’ve got fresh oak vanilla sweetness, milk toffee, milk chocolate, brown shortbread which work in harmony with the peat influence. Supporting aromas in the background are a pinch of salt, crushed shells and the (positively) dirty aromas I often get in Bunnas – a hint of oil and earth. This is a surprisingly balanced, multi-faceted dram for 8 years! Continue reading “Tasting: Bunnahabhain Peated 8 years MacPhail’s Collection”

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Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 – 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050Dram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Distilled: 05.06.2008
Bottled: 15.01.2016
Age: 7 years
Limitation: 414 bottles
Casks: Hogshead 311050
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
new make with a slight copper sheen
The nose is dominated by slightly mellowed-down heavily peated new make. In a good way! A pinch of alcohol with dried orange peel and fresh ginger, raw fire, still warm peaty ash, brown sugar and a spent old vanilla pod rubbed on a slate platter. The cask managed to take away the roughness of the new make and add just a smidgen of flavours – at least third-fill wood in my opinion. Continue reading “Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 – 2016 cask 311050”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #24: Bunnahabhain 1988 24 yo by Signatory Vintage

Bunnahabhain 1988 24 yo by Signatory Vintage

Bunnahabhain 1988 24 yo by Signatory VintageDram data:
Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Signatory Vintage
Distilled: 10.10.1988
Bottled: 30.07.2013
Age: 24 years
Limitation: 588 bottles
Casks: refill Sherry Butt
Alcohol: 55,9%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: amber
How fitting! A 24 yo single malt whisky to conclude the 24 drams till Christmas series! This better be a good one for a great finish or I’ll have to extend it to 25 days… The nose starts off slightly alcoholic but there’s greatness underneath! Classic European oak sherry cask matured whisky – post Paxarette! Spices up front – cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. The cask is strong with this one (excuse the Star Wars pun…), no oaky notes, just letting the spices talk. Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #24: Bunnahabhain 1988 24 yo by Signatory Vintage”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #19: Laphroaig 1990 19 yo by A.D. Rattray

Laphroaig 1990 19 yo by A.D. Rattray

Laphroaig 1990 19 yo by A.D. RattrayDram data:
Distillery: Laphroaig
Bottler: A.D. Rattray
Distilled: 29.03.1990
Bottled: 30.06.2009
Age: 19
Limitation: 203 bottles
Casks: refill ex-Bourbon #2239
Alcohol: 56%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: straw
Dirty, peaty, smoky Islay as we love (or hate…) it on the nose! Phenolic peat smoke, damp oily rags used to wipe down a puffers’ engine, cigarette ash and iodine wound disinfectant paired with a lemon-infused get-well-tea in the Bowmore hospital. Oh and a eucalyptus shrub as a twisted gift for the patient thrown in for good measure! Salty too – licking sea-stones at the Laphroaig pier.

Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #19: Laphroaig 1990 19 yo by A.D. Rattray”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #15: Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. Rattray

Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. Rattray

Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. RattrayDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Dewar Rattray
Distilled: 19.07.1993
Bottled: 11.08.2014
Age: 21 years
Limitation: 311 bottles
Cask: Refill Butt 11144 (Part)
Alcohol: 56,8%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: white wine
The nose has an astonishing amount of peat smoke left for a 21-year-old dram! Peat smoked salted herring with tang, cigar ash, burning hard wood and latex gloves on much more mellow sweet notes of cake icing with a dash of lemon, honey and malt extract with vanilla pudding. Hm… the label says “sherry butt” – probably american wood and 3rd fill, so there’s no trace of sherry left.
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #15: Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. Rattray”

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Tasting: Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration – Port wood 12 yo

Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration - Port wood 12 yo

Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration - Port wood 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: 18.06.2003
Bottled: 04.11.2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: ca. 250 bottles
Casks: Single Port Hogshead 15/297/543
Alcohol: 60,1%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red cherry juice
The nose opens with surprisingly little alcohol. It’s there, but not 60% ABV there – no idea what they’ve done here but I like it! Toasted oak with slight cask smoke (that’s quercus robur talking loudly!), brambles, cassis, cherries, liquorice, roasted walnuts and assorted spices (again, that’s the oak talking). Continue reading “Tasting: Bruichladdich 15/297/543 Cask Evolution Exploration – Port wood 12 yo”

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