Tag Archives: NAS

Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30

Tasting: Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30 Indian Whisky

Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30Dram data:
Distillery: Amrut
Bottler: official bottling for Taiwan
Distilled: –
Bottled: May 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: ? batch 30
Casks: Ex-bourbon – Oloroso – Ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 57,1%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Intermediate Sherry? Now what’s that supposed to mean? Easy! The whisky was first matured in Ex-bourbon casks, then transferred to Spanish oak Oloroso-seasoned casks for a year before a final maturation in ex-bourbon again. That’s a lot of cask-swapping! Let’s see if it was worth the effort!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 reddish amber
The nose is quite strong on the alcohol – no wonder, it is clocking in at 57% ABV! Behind the alcohol, there’s the first waft of slight, fragrant oak and a mixture of herbs and spices. Oriental cough medicine, perhaps? The European oak influence is noticeable! Let’s wait a few minutes! Zzzzzzzzzzz. It’s opened up a bit! Now traces of orange juice, chocolate-covered orange peel appear on a bed of sultanas and molasses. It’s been a while since I last spent such a long time just nosing a dram, if that means anything… The interplay of the freshness and the darker notes works rather well! On to the palate! 

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Compass Box Spice Tree

Tasting: Compass Box Spice Tree NAS

Compass Box Spice TreeDram data:
Distillery: –
Bottler: Compass Box
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014 (ongoing batches)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: French/American oak
Alcohol: 46%
not chill filtered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Spice tree – I’m sure quite a few of you will already be familiar with this whisky – but here’s a short summary for those who aren’t: John Glaser of Compass Box once created a whisky by this name. This original version used “inner staves” in the maturation/finishing casks – basically adding additional staves of oak into the casks to impart their character. This practice was ultimately deemed illegal – and the whisky was discontinued. The version that’s now on the market (since 2009) claims to achieve the same result – but adhering to the rule set for Scotch Whisky. Never having tasted the “illegal” product I’ll take a look at the current offering:

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 honey
Yes, there’s spice on the nose! Who’da thunk! Like sticking your nose into grandma’s spice cupboard! We’ve got allspice, clove, cinnamon and a pinch of ground ginger sprinkled over a soft and sweet base of honey, Italian sweet almond cookies and shortbread. The French oak is strong in this one – but not overpowering and working well with the complex, tightly woven vatted, err, blended malt base. Let’s check the palate! 

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Amrut NAS BA24-2016 by Blackadder

Tasting: Amrut NAS BA24-2016 by Blackadder

Amrut NAS BA24-2016 by BlackadderDram data:
Distillery: Amrut
Bottler: Blackadder
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: 172
Casks: Ex-bourbon BA24-2016
Alcohol: 61,4%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Some bottlers bottle their whisky heavily filtered and heavily coloured, some don’t filter and don’t add colouring – and then there’s Blackadder. Their “raw cask” series even puts bits of charred oak (and, in this case, a string of hessian bung cloth(?) into the bottle. Let’s take a look at this example from the Indian Amrut distillery – if I can manage to pour a “not too crunchy” dram from the bottle, that is – I have misplaced my strainer…

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 dark copper red
The nose has quite a lot of alcohol up front – obviously. The nose needs a few seconds to adapt to that. Once we’ve cut through the alcohol layer, a spicy charred cask character awaits us. Burnt fudge, chocolate-covered vanilla caramel, allspice, turmeric and toasted cask. It feels “warm” and satisfying in a way. I have sniffed freshly delivered ex-bourbon barrels in Scotland, which didn’t nose too dissimilar. With water the alcoholic top note disappears into the background, revealing more of the aromas – let there be dried oranges and pickled ginger. On to the palate!

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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.
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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