Blind tasting: Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double BlackDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
fake-looking orang-ey dark gold.
Ah yes, another blind tasting – haven’t done one of these in a while. The only hint I have is that it’s a travel retail 1l-sized bottling. Let’s get going then, shall we?
The nose starts off pretty light and muted at first contact, no way this is bottled at more than 40% ABV. A nose not to offend anyone: A profound generic / honey sweetness paired with vanilla, toffee, orange rind, slight spices (allspice, cinnamon) and perhaps a hint of peat smoke in the background or is the cask fooling my senses here? Continue reading “Blind tasting: Johnnie Walker Double Black”

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Blind Tasting: Laggan Mill (Lagavulin) NAS Butt 2772

Laggan Mill NAS Butt 2772

Laggan Mill NAS Butt 2772Dram data:
Distillery: “Laggan Mill” (yeah, come on, it’s Lagavulin…)
Bottler: Cooper’s Choice
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014
Age: NAS
Limitation: 575 bottles
Casks: Butt 2772
Alcohol: 53,5%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
very pale white wine
The nose screams at me: I’m a young peat monster from Islay. I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think this is not an Islay dram 😉 Peat smoke, peat smoke, alcohol (not overpowering), peat smoke, brine, fresh iodine (if such a thing even exists), boiled seaweeds, peppermint (from the alcohol), white pepper, citrus aroma, freshly cut flowerbed (more on the grassy side), malty background sweetness, a hint of vanilla and a faint metallic note (probably pretty young). Continue reading “Blind Tasting: Laggan Mill (Lagavulin) NAS Butt 2772”

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Blind tasting: Glen Ardoch NAS (Deanston)

Glen Ardoch (Deanston) NAS

Glen Ardoch (Deanston) NASDram data:
Distillery: Deanston
Bottler: bottled under the “Glen Ardoch” brand
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
Probably chill filtered; unknown colouring status
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose is pretty light and shy, classic young mostly refill ex-bourbon style. Vanilla, apples, pears, a touch of malt, more vanilla (pudding), oranges, eucalyptus, white pepper and light green leaves. There’s also something in the background which I just can’t put my finger on (it’s industrial waxy-ish but not full-on wax…) and which I just recently encountered in a Deanston. Continue reading “Blind tasting: Glen Ardoch NAS (Deanston)”

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Tasting: Rowan’s Creek Bourbon batch 13-19

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon WhiskeyDram data:
Distillery: undisclosed, made for Kentucky Bourbon Distillers
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 / batch 13-19
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Fresh barrels
Alcohol: 50,05%
uncoloured by law
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose suggests a high-corn mashbill, lots of typical sweet corn notes dominate the nose, paired with loads of vanilla, roasted caramel, baked apples, sweet + sour cherries and assorted spices. A harmonic mixture between the spirit character, the sweet, the sour and the spicy notes, even though it’s not too complex. No acetone note, thank god. Continue reading “Tasting: Rowan’s Creek Bourbon batch 13-19”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Cardhu 12 yo vs. Amber Rock

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Cardhu 12yo vs. their NAS Amber Rock edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A4A: Cardhu Amber Rock
Distillery: Cardhu
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Bourbon + toasted oak finish
Alcohol: 40%
most likely chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose opens with a rich and creamy note of vanilla and fruits. Oranges, orange rind, ripe pears, lots of apricots, fully ripe peaches, almost over-ripe Kiwi (including slightly bitter notes of Kiwi kernels), raisins and a top note of ginger. Maybe a very faint note of smoke – 2ppm-ish, but it could also stem from the casks. No european oak notes, though, probably American Oak Ex-Sherry casks? Just pure speculation – it is a blind tasting after all. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Cardhu 12 yo vs. Amber Rock”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glenlivet 12yo vs. Founder’s Reserve

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the thirdd pair of whiskies: The Glenlivet 12yo vs. their NAS Founder’s Reserve. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A3A: Glenlivet 12yo
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: 12yo
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chillfiltered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose opens with a delicate, sweet note of vanilla and honey. Summer fruits as well, although subdued. Oranges, sweet pears, red apples, ripe white grapes and a slight spice (ginger?) in the background Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glenlivet 12yo vs. Founder’s Reserve”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Dalmore 12yo vs. Valour

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Dalmore 12yo vs. their NAS Valour edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A2A: Dalmore 12yo
Distillery: Dalmore
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: 12yo
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
dark red gold (as fake as can be)
The nose opens initially light and alcoholic. Light vanilla, orange juice, orange rind, green apples, peppermint, with a profound sweetness (molasses and caramelised ginger?) in the background and also a light rubbery note. Getting sweeter and darker as time goes on with dried fruits appearing in the mix. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Dalmore 12yo vs. Valour”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glen Moray 12yo vs. Port Cask Finish

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Glen Moray 12yo vs. their NAS Port Cask Finish edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A1A: Glen Moray Port Cask Finish
Distillery: Glen Moray
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2014 – 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Port Cask Finish
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; probably coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
pale straw
The nose opens very light and shy. Predominately vanilla (pudding) and honey. Some light fruit notes as well – fresh grapes, red apples, banana chips, freshly squeezed oranges. The alcohol is noticeable (a eucalyptus note) but I wouldn’t put it at more than 40% ABV due to the very light nose, it would benefit from more oomph. The fruity notes fade over time and reveal a more malty side. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glen Moray 12yo vs. Port Cask Finish”

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Tasting: Teerenpeli Kaski

Teerenpeli Kaski

Teerenpeli KaskiDram data:
Distillery: Teerenpeli
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 (500ml bottles!)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose opens like a true sherry bomb. Sherry, sherry, sherry. Wood influence with dark spices (cloves, aniseed, cinnamon sticks) in the background – I’m going with European oak here. Continue reading “Tasting: Teerenpeli Kaski”

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NAS vs age statement whiskies – what it’s all about

NAS vs. Age Statement
NAS vs. Age Statement
A random selection of whisky bottles carrying or missing an age statement

Which side of the “NAS vs. Age Statement” debate are you on? Do you boycot NAS whiskies? Do you buy everything you find tasty regardless of what it (doesn’t) say on the bottle? The heated arguments have been cooking for quite a while now and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this minefield for quite some time. I’m a bit late to the party, I know, but I really wanted to make a post painting the whole picture about the topic. In case you’re new to the scene: “NAS” stands for “no age statement” whiskies.

1. Why NAS Whiskies?

First and foremost: Whiskies without an age statement on the label are not a new thing. In the area of blended Scotch they make up the vast majority and have been on the market ever since the first Scotch was bottled (or sold by the barrel to the consumer in times long gone). As far as Single Malt Scotch Whiskies are concerned, we’ve had a long timespan now where almost every bottle carried an age statement and the marketing people wanted us to believe that older is  better (and thus has to be oh so much more expensive). But there have been NAS whiskies long before the current flooding of the market. I’m thinking about Ardmore Traditional Cask, the Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn C.V. mixed-vintage bottlings (now replaced by similarly good NAS bottlings) or Laphroaig Quarter Cask. These are just three examples of whiskies without an age statement that offer(ed) a quality product at an affordable price point and there are many more. Continue reading “NAS vs age statement whiskies – what it’s all about”

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