Tag Archives: NAS

G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French Whisky

Tasting: G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French Whisky

G.Rozelieures Rare Collection NAS French WhiskyDram data:
Distillery: G.Rozelieures
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: –
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-Sauternes
Alcohol: 40%
unknown chill filtration / colouring
Whiskybase link

France is the biggest importer of Scotch whisky in Europe – but as a whisky-producing country it’s relatively unknown, except to insiders. I certainly have never heard of the G Rozelieures products from the Lorraine region before, until blogging colleague Franck from lecavedecobalt.com asked me whether I wanted to try their wares. Oh yes, I don’t mind if I do! Peated French whisky, distilled from self-grown, local barley and double-distilled in traditional French “Cognac style” stills, that does sound interesting!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 orange gold
The nose is definitely smoky, no doubt about that! I would call it cold bonfire smoke, rather than your typical Scottish peat, but that might just be due to the type of peat being used – and the strong wine-cask influence trailing the peat! Smoky, sweet grapes, slightly bitter grape seeds and hulls, gooseberries, mirabelles, light, fresh kitchen herbs, a touch of cracked pepper, orange peel and a hint of soap. Interestingly enough, this reminds me strongly of the Lost Spirits Bohemian Bonfire – which was also matured in French casks. Quite interesting and fresh, definitely not your typical whisky by any stretch of the imagination! Very hard to score, but I do see it slightly above average compared to my average benchmark whiskies. Continue reading

Bladnoch Samsara NAS limited release

Tasting: Bladnoch Samsara NAS limited release

Bladnoch Samsara NAS limited releaseDram data:
Distillery: Bladnoch
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: – (2009 or before)
Bottled: 25.04.2017
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Californian red wine and bourbon casks
Alcohol: 46,7%
unchillfiltered / uncoloured
Whiskybase link

During the last 2 decades, the future of the lowlands Bladnoch distillery in Wigtown looked very grim – twice. Once before it was purchased by Irishman Raymond Armstrong and family (who initially wanted to turn it into housing) and for the second time when it went into receivership a few years back. It looked like it was gone for good – but then Australian yoghurt entrepreneur David Prior purchased the place – and is now essentially gutting the interiors, building a new distillery in the old buildings, to be restarted soon. To bide them over until they can sell their own spirit, they are tapping into the old stocks maturing at the distillery, made by either of the previous owners. This NAS “Samsara” expression is made up of stock distilled during the Armstrong era, making it at least 8 or 9 years old, as the distillery hasn’t produced anything since 2009. I quite liked expressions created during the Armstrong ownership, so I’m curious to find out what the new owners have created from the old stock!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose is Bladnoch-y with a twist. It starts off fresh, with citrus, bananas, red and green apples showing off the spirit style. But there’s more, the influence of the red wine casks is very apparent. Bitter grape peel, slightly acidic dry wine, wine gums, an old banana, green grass, sweat and spices – cinnamon and cloves. Hmmm. Hmmmm…. Wine maturation of whisky can go many ways, and while the wine casks don’t overpower the distillery character, I’ve always found Bladnoch to work best in plain ex-bourbon casks or sometimes the odd sherry butt (the ones with quite a bit of sherry oomph). This feels like a whisky of two hearts, with the different flavour profiles almost fighting each other. Not bad, and there might be a few people who see themselves drawn to that style, but it doesn’t really do it for me. Continue reading

Glengoyne Batch Strength Batch 001

Tasting: Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 1 NAS

Glengoyne Batch Strength Batch 001Dram data:
Distillery: Glengoyne
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 (?)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Sherry
Alcohol: 58,7%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

It’s been a while since I last reviewed a Glengoyne, so let’s take a look at this cask strength offering!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose starts off in the typical, light Glengoyne style. Alcohol up front, but not too much, considering the strength! Citrus and fresh ginger meet noticeably spicy European oak casks, providing notes of baking spices – cinnamon, allspice, cloves – as well as dark cherries, cherry pipe tobacco, cracked cherry stones, marzipan, dark chocolate with orange bits,  and a base layer of dark, dried fruits served on an oak platter with a match being lit nearby.
Continue reading

Armorik Double Maturation NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #18: Armorik Double Maturation NAS

Armorik Double Maturation NASDram data:
Distillery: Warenghem
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013/14-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon/ex-sherry
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

French Whisky? Why yes, the French aren’t just the largest continental European market for Scotch, they also produce their own!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 red gold
The nose is surprisingly “Scottish” for a French whisky! This could pass for a light, young, fruity, sherried Speysider! Rather light, with a noticeable alcoholic note, paired with vanilla, stewed apples and pears, cherries, light mulled wine spices with a hint of ginger and sweet supermarket cream sherry. Very pleasant and gentle. Let’s try the palate:  Continue reading

Teerenpeli Karhi NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #15: Teerenpeli Karhi NAS

Teerenpeli Karhi NASDram data:
Distillery: Teerenpeli
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: 5
Limitation: 1882 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon with Madeira finish
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Finnish whisky named after a farming tool. Finished in Madeira casks after initial maturation of 5-7 years in ex-bourbon casks? Let’s taste it!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber-ish gold
The nose promises a mellow, gentle dram upon first nosing – a bit shy, yet not without character. Malty sweetness paired with vanilla up front, spearmint, oranges and apricots and juicy sultana raisins. The profile is not too sweet, however, it is more fruity than sweet and it is overshadowed by an aroma I can’t quite put my finger on. Not really metallic but also not really in the grassy direction – maybe just something picked up from the Madeira casks? Definitely interesting and pleasant, but not earth-shattering so far. Let’s see if the palate provides us with further hints:  Continue reading

The Macallan Edition No.2 NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #11: The Macallan Edition No.2 NAS

The Macallan Edition No.2 NASDram data:
Distillery: Macallan
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: 7 different types
Alcohol: 48,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

The Macallan, probably one of the most widely recognised luxury whisky brands in the world, released their 2nd “edition” whisky, this time made up of no less than seven different cask types. It would be rude not to give it a proper review after being given a blind sample for a competition amongst malt mates!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 amber
The nose opens with dense, heavily sherried, aged aromas. You could bury your nose in there for a long time. Let me rephrase that – you CAN! The European oak spices dominate, paired with mixed sherry impressions. Cinnamon, star anise and a pinch of nutmeg rubbed on a new leather jacket lying on a boardroom with old oak flooring. Raisins, caramelised ginger, dark chocolate too.
Very interesting and dense – but after close to a quarter of an hour in the glass and having taken a sip something happens: The nose gets much lighter, less “dark” and intense. Most whiskies improve with time in the glass, this one, strangely, seems to lose. A LOT! This happened to me on the first, blind tasting and now upon retasting as well. Let’s see what the palate has in store! Continue reading

Douglas Laing The Epicurean NAS

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #10: The Epicurean Lowland blended malt by Douglas Laing

Douglas Laing The Epicurean NASDram data:
Distillery: –
Bottler: Douglas Laing
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Lowland whisky distilleries are low in number and they also aren’t featured too often these days – so let’s take a look at this blended malt (a mixture of different single malt whiskies), made up exclusively by Lowland whiskies.

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 cucumber water
The nose opens on the light, grassy, citrus-laden side. Light in character, which is a quite common lowland whisky profile. Sweetened cucumber water (a trace of rock candy), freshly cut grass, hay, light vanilla, lemons and limes. Yep, a nice, clean, light, but still eventful nose, not “baby-young” but also not super-old either without a trace of oak. Or, maybe… a trace of leather – a bomber jacket perhaps? On to the palate!  Continue reading

Laphroaig Quarter Cask NAS

Tasting: 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

Tomintoul Tlàth NAS

Tasting: Tomintoul Tlàth NAS

Tomintoul Tlàth NASDram data:
Distillery: Tomintoul
Bottler: original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: American oak
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered/unknown colouring status
Whiskybase link

When the press release for the Tomintoul Tlàth (which translates to gentle, mellow) hit my inbox, something caught my eye. These past few years distilleries seemingly seemed to battle out a competition on who could do the most finishes, find the most extravagant casks and come up with all kinds of nonsensical tweaks of the whisky theme. Not this one, it is plain and simple, a “collection […] of whiskies of various ages matured in first-class American oak bourbon barrels”. My preferred style of Scotch. And attached with it: No far-fetched story, no flannel and a “daily dram” worthy price tag of about 30 GBP/39€ (I’ve seen street prices announced for less than that). Yes, it’s NAS (no age statement), but we’ll see whether it’s one of the good ones. Let’s dig in!
Tasting notes:
Colour: 
gold
The nose fits the “the gentle dram” tagline. A slight alcoholic hint up front which disappears quickly revealing notes of citrus and orange with a touch of menthol, sugar-reduced cake frosting with a dash of lemon juice in it, a sneaky lychee, gooseberry and a slice of apricot with a mixture of vanilla and caramel pudding in the background (not too loud on the vanilla). We’ve got 20°C inside – this works quite well. Light, fresh and young-ish, but with a twist to keep it interesting. Continue reading

Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yo

Tasting: Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yo

Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt 3 yoDram data:
Distillery: Slyrs
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: – (unknown)
Bottled: –
Age: 3 years
Limitation: –
Casks: American white oak
Alcohol: 43%
probably chill-filtered; uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
light honey
Wow, a premiere! The first German single malt whisky I’m reviewing on this blog. And the first time I’m trying Slyrs. So let’s dive right into it…
The nose is… interesting. Not you usual single malt, light yet with a very dense, tightly interwoven flavour profile, quite sweet with a touch of oak right up front. This reminds me more of a dry Cognac (with added wood extract) than of a malt-based distillate. Vanilla, fresh oak staves, grape distillate with a touch of bitter seeds, dusty, dried apricot, banana chips and a young-spirit metallic note in the background. Continue reading