24 drams till Christmas tasting #13: Glenturret 2001 – 2015 by G&M

Glenturret 2001 - 2015 by G&M

Glenturret 2001 - 2015 by G&MDram data:
Distillery: Glenturret
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail
Distilled: 2001
Bottled: 23.09.2015
Age: ca. 14 years
Limitation: –
Casks: sherry casks
Alcohol: 43%
(most likely)chill filtered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: amber
The nose is unmistakably sherry influenced – there’s no mention about the casks being used on the label so we can only guess, but it’s a safe bet! The vanilla does point into the direction of either American oak sherry casks or a second maturation. Type of sherry? Could be a sweet Oloroso or a PX. So, we’ve got sweet-ish sherry notes, vanilla, ripe cherries, raisins, condensed orange juice, caramel, hints of toffee, wax and just slight spices – more like ginger than European oak oriental spices.
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #13: Glenturret 2001 – 2015 by G&M”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #11: Benriach 12 yo

Benriach 12 yo

Benriach 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Benriach
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Oloroso and PX
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: dark honey
The label says “matured in sherry wood” and the nose agrees! Medium intensity, rather dry sherry notes (dry-ish Oloroso?) meet red fruits (cherries, plums), oranges with zest, raisins (+sweetness), caramelised ginger, and mixed spices – allspice, cinnamon and cloves.  Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #11: Benriach 12 yo”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #9: Tomintoul Peaty Tang NAS

Tomintoul Peaty Tang

Tomintoul Peaty TangDram data:
Distillery: Tomintoul
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 04.03.2014 (14/02072)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light gold
The nose starts with a quite noticeable level of fragrant peat smoke – quite sweet (malt sweetness mixed with brown sugar) and mingled with notes of vanilla, custard, heather, sweet flowers and orange blossoms. Quite light and pleasing, designed not to overwhelm.
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #9: Tomintoul Peaty Tang NAS”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #8: Strathmill 1995 19 yo by Cadenhead’s

Strathmill 1995 19 yo by Cadenhead's

Strathmill 1995 19 yo by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Strathmill
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: 10.2015
Age: 19 years
Limitation: 264 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon / ex-Chateau Lafitte since 2009
Alcohol: 55.1%
Unchillfiltered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
honey
The nose is… different on first sniff. Slightly alcoholic and summer fruits (strawberries). Is this some sort of finishing? Doesn’t say on the miniature so let’s check online. Ah yes, there you have it, matured in a Chateau Lafitte (sic!) red-wine cask since 2009 (roughly six years). Thought as much. Thank god the wine finish isn’t overdone, it is still a light spirit from most likely an initial x-fill bourbon cask kindly nudged into a different direction without killing it. Now that’s established we can go back to nosing, shall we?
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #8: Strathmill 1995 19 yo by Cadenhead’s”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #5: Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 002

Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 002

Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 002Dram data:
Distillery: Glengoyne
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: 1998+2002
Bottled: 2013
Age: ca. 11 years (officially NAS)
Limitation: 3200 bottles
Casks: Sherry
Alcohol: 58,5%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
dark amber
The nose starts off slightly alcoholic with dark sweet fruit notes underneath. Since this is my last dram from the bottle (a minute of silence, please), I know to add three espresso spoons of water. Let some time pass. Ah ha! Much better! Glengoyne is a fruity and very clean distillate which works very well in ex-sherry casks. Very clean alcohol, dry-ish oloroso sherry (it’s not really sweet on the nose), spicy european oak with citrus fruits on top. Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #5: Glengoyne Teapot Dram Batch 002”

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24 drams till Christmas tasting #2: Ardmore Tradition NAS

Ardmore Tradition NAS

Ardmore Tradition NASDram data:
Distillery: Ardmore
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Quarter cask finish
Alcohol: 46%
Unchillfiltered, coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose opens with a fragrant waft of peat smoke – not an in-your-face Islay peat monster, but a very noticeable, yet refined peat bonfire smoke. Unterneath the peat there’s… alcohol and menthol. I guess I’ll let it breathe for a bit. Right, back to work, err, nosing: Vanilla, light honey, orange juice and oil, ginger, white pepper. Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas tasting #2: Ardmore Tradition NAS”

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Tasting: Bunnahabhain 12 yo

Bunnahabhain 12 yo

Bunnahabhain 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015 (lot P035644L5)
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46,3%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red-gold
The nose opens with a light alcoholic note mixed with sea salt and brine and a slight smoky note with darker undertones. The smoke isn’t peat smoke, (from what I was told standard Bunnahabhain is unpeated these days), but a mixture of cask spices and wine cask note which give the illusion of fragrant smoke. Continue reading “Tasting: Bunnahabhain 12 yo”

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Scotch Single Malt distillery recommendations from a price/performance standpoint

Many different kinds of casks in use at Ardbeg
Many different kinds of casks in use at Ardbeg
So much whisky, so little time

So my last piece on this blog was more or less a rant about ever increasing whisky prices. Soon after that my Facebook friend and Arran Whisky Ambassador Andy Bell challenged me:

Let’s see an article about the distilleries that sell good whisky at a reasonable price Klaus… 🙂

Right on, Andy – great suggestion! I’ll gladly pick up this ball and run with it. So, here goes. I took a list of all Scottish single malt distilleries and looked at the current officially bottled market offerings of all of them (Austrian/German markets). In the end I came up with a few suggestions of Scottish whisky distilleries which seem to still care for us regular punters looking for quality drams at still reasonable and affordable prices in today’s high-price market.
I tried to stay as objective as possible during the whole process but, of course, there is always personal opinion and preference and not everybody might agree with me – which is perfectly fine as whisky is a very individual drink! Those are just my recommendations – imagine me walking a mate through a liquor store pointing out individual bottles and distilleries as we go along.

The distilleries on the following list stand out because they fulfill all or most of these criteria:
– offer a range of affordable whiskies, not just one affordable entry-level bottling
– do not chill filter or add fake colouring to the majority of their whiskies
– bottle their whiskies (except for bottom-shelf entry-level releases) at higher than the legal minimum of 40% ABV
– still offer a good selection of age-statement drams and don’t overly push no-age-statement expressions
– plus some other reasons, like independent ownership, number of people employed… (stated in the text) Continue reading “Scotch Single Malt distillery recommendations from a price/performance standpoint”

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Tasting: (Undisclosed) Talisker 10 yo by Adelphi (Fascadale Release 2)

(Undisclosed) Talisker 10 yo by Adelphi

(Undisclosed) Talisker 10 yo by AdelphiDram data:
Distillery: Most likely Talisker
Bottler: Adelphi (Fascadale Release 2)
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2010
Age: 10 years
Limitation: 3746 bottles
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
hay
An independently bottled Talisker. Don’t see that too often. Let’s see what it’s like! The nose opens with peat smoke and brine, white pepper, the typical chili catch note combined with quite a bit of fresh menthol and some chalk (scallop shells?)
Continue reading “Tasting: (Undisclosed) Talisker 10 yo by Adelphi (Fascadale Release 2)”

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Tasting: Wemyss Spice King NAS Blended Malt

Wemyss Spice King NAS

Wemyss Spice King NASDram data:
Distillery: –
Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Cask: –
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour

Tasting notes:
Colour:
reddish gold
The nose starts with vanilla, lingering honey and orange peel. There are also black pepper, chocolate, coffee, a tiny amount of peat smoke and some brine. Hang on, where are the eponymous spices? Let’s investigate further!
Continue reading “Tasting: Wemyss Spice King NAS Blended Malt”

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