Jo’s corner: Tasting the Golani double wood matured two grain Israeli whisky

Golani double wood matured two grain Israeli whisky

Produced from malted Concerto barley and local wheat, and distilled in small batches using traditional copper pot stills, at an elevation of 1300 feet above sea level, Golani is branded as Israel’s first whisky. It won bronze in the Whisky – Israel – Grain – NAS – 40% category at the IWSC 2018.

Golani double wood matured two grain Israeli whisky

Dram data:
Distillery: The Golan Heights Distillery
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: –
Age: 36 months
Limitation: –
Cask: ex red wine (Cabernet) and new charred American oak
Alcohol: 40%
uncoloured

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Tasting: Paul John 5 year-old Indian Single Malt Whisky by Cadenhead’s (b.2017)

Paul John 5yo by Cadenhead's

After the somewhat lackluster experience with the Rampur Select I tasted last week, let’s stay in India and look at this interesting bottling. Independently bottled Paul John, you say? How does that happen? Well, glad you asked! You buy some casks in India, have them bottled and shipped to Scotland, have some unlucky member of the warehouse staff empty all bottles into casks again, roll them into the warehouse for further maturation – and bottle the whisky once someone higher up in the food, err drink, chain decides to do it. Which didn’t take too long in the case of this 5-year-old whisky. Pretty easy, right? Let’s see if it was worth going through all that trouble…

Paul John 5yo by Cadenhead's

Dram data:
Distillery: Paul John
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: –
Bottled: Summer 2017
Age: 5 years
Limitation: 360 bottles
Cask: Bourbon Hogshead
Alcohol: 57,4%
uncoloured / not chill filtered
Whiskybase link

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Tasting: Rampur Select Indian Single Malt Whisky

Rampur Select

Put your hands in the air if you’ve heard of this distillery before. Quite a few whisky nerds have tried the offerings of the “Paul John” or “Amrut” brands, which produce very solid drams, but Rampur? A first for me in any case. It’s produced by the Radico Khaitan group, a big player in the Indian “whisky” market, (in brackets because much of Indian whisky is made from molasses) this whisky doesn’t have an age statement and was launched as their first “true” single malt release in 2016. My sample is from one of their early batches back in 2016. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Rampur Select

Dram data:
Distillery: Rampur
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2016
Age: –
Limitation: –
Cask: oak
Alcohol: 43%
colouring added / not chill filtered
Whiskybase link

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Tasting: Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30 Indian Whisky

Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30

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! 

Continue reading “Tasting: Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30 Indian Whisky”

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Tasting: Royal Lochnagar 12 yo – 1990s bottling

Royal Lochnagar 12 yo - 1990s bottling

Royal Lochnagar 12 yo - 1990s bottlingDram data:
Distillery: Royal Lochnagar
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 1990s
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
coloured / chill filtered
Whiskybase link

While this should probably be tasted head to head with a recently bottled sipling, lacking a sample of one I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got – a Royal Lochnagar distilled in the “dark days” of the 1980s, bottles sometime in the 90s. Let’s see how this one fares!

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 light copper
The nose is quite delicate upon the first contact, with the alcohol vapours being somewhat noticeable. Once the nose cuts through that, there’s a tiny whiff of smoke – not peat smoke, mind you – on a base of sweet things! Vanilla, sweetened coconut milk, fudge, dried mango pieces, canned peaches and apricots with a pinch of ready-made spice mixture on top. This is very likeable indeed and quite a lot deeper than modern supermarket drams in this price range. Let’s see if it holds up on the palate! Continue reading “Tasting: Royal Lochnagar 12 yo – 1990s bottling”

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Blind tasting: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614CDram data:
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: June 2014
Age: 16 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 1st fill ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 55,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Oh, a mystery whisky! I love tasting mystery whiskies – even if there’s a chance I’ll make an utter fool of myself, but that’s part of the game! Let’s dig in!

Tasting notes:
Colour: apple juice
The nose is pleasant and light on the first nose with a hint of alcohol dominating. Light vanilla, red apples and red pears, strawberries, dried pineapple, summer honey, candyfloss and dextrose sugar pieces for athletes with added lemon aroma and heather tips. With time and careful nosing there’s quite a lot going on here, creating a summer-dram profile. Not too much oak influence, if you asked me I’d put this at about 10 years. My first intuition says Highlands (or maybe Speyside). A very clean and unobtrusive style of whisky – a Glenmorangie with more oomph than the 10yo or a slightly richer Glenlivet? Something along those lines. Even if it’s not, that’s what it reminds me of and it smells familiar. Definitely modern whisky and I’m 99,9% sure it’s Scotch malt whisky (leaving a tiny margin of error open, because, well, you never know, blind tastings are funny things). On to the palate now! Continue reading “Blind tasting: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C”

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Tasting: William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt (Review #200)

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt

William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt Dram data:
Distillery: undisclosed (see below…)
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1970s
Bottled: 09.12.2015
Age: 40 (stated; actually 43yo*)
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon (my impression)
Alcohol: 40,2%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Unless I’ve lost the ability to count, this is whisky review #200 – time for a small celebration! How about… oh, a 40yo “undisclosed” Single Speyside malt by William Cadenhead’s? Only they could be so cool as to print the completely unrelated letter combination “Glenfarclas” just above the bottling number. No, I’m sure these letters don’t mean anything to anybody… I love you guys up there in Campbeltown!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
honey
40,2% ABV – this better not be weak on the nose! Ah…. no! Oh! Ah! Properly aged whisky from a refill ex-bourbon cask, that’s a style I love! Golden honey with a bit of beeswax, majestic oak jam cupboard (just the right amount of oak) with a leather jacket and garden herbs for drying hanging from a hook on the side, sweet summer sunset in an orchard captured in a glass, tropical fruits (dried mangos and papayas ), condensed orange juice, slightly vanilla-flavoured Virginia pipe tobacco (non-vulgar vanilla!), ah, what a lovely, dense yet still elegant and fragrant mixture. Just the dram to pour those “age doesn’t matter” folks, that’ll teach ’em!  Continue reading “Tasting: William Cadenhead 40yo Single Speyside Malt (Review #200)”

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Tasting: North Highland 1995 18 yo undisclosed Single Malt by Svenska Eldvatten

North Highland 1995 18 yo undisclosed Single Malt by Svenska Eldvatten

North Highland 1995 18 yo undisclosed Single Malt by Svenska EldvattenDram data:
Distillery: undisclosed
Bottler: Svenska Eldvatten
Distilled: 3.1995
Bottled: 10.2013
Age: 18
Limitation: 428
Casks: Single Cask
Alcohol: 561%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

We are getting very close to the 200th whisky review here at MaltKlaus’ headquarters, so let’s find something mysterious in the sample pile… An undisclosed Highland malt, perhaps? Yes, this should do nicely!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
amber with a golden sheen
The nose leaves no doubt: sherry cask at work here! Probably European oak, too. On the first contact we’ve got a mixture of fresh lemon with peel, a drop of lime, melissa and mint on the one hand and dried plums, fresh figs, a handful of dates on the other. It’s balanced out with a whiff of wet autumn forest, spent cloves, a cinnamon stick used for three consecutive brews of mulled wine (red wine!) and the smell of walking past an oriental spice shop. A very nice balance between distillery character and cask, still on the light side. Continue reading “Tasting: North Highland 1995 18 yo undisclosed Single Malt by Svenska Eldvatten”

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Tasting: Abhainn Dearg NAS Single Malt

Abhainn Dearg NAS Single MaltDram data:
Distillery: Abhainn Dearg
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: 2008(?)
Bottled: ?
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Single Cask
Alcohol: 46%
Unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Now that the blog’s moved to the new domain and the new server, let’s find something interesting to review for the “first” post on the new site. How about this one? A single malt from the only distillery on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides? A rather low-key and rarely mentioned farm distillery with a homemade setup! I finally tracked down a mini in Speyside this year! Info on it is hard to come by – the website describes it as the inaugural bottling (no other miniature available?) and the mini itself mentions it’s a single cask bottling. Without any further info I’ll have to classify it as NAS of unknown vintage… Well, let’s crack it open and have a wee nose and taste!

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
pale white wine
The nose opens on a light whiff of alcohol, quite fresh – minty – with a touch of vanilla, custard and a very noticeable background oak note which I can only describe as new oak press board in a joiner’s workshop – strange, but interesting! There’s also a light citrus-like note, something along the lines of a mix of slightly older limes and tangerines. with a slice of ginger thrown in for good measure. Very fresh and light overall, but no off notes as can often be found in very young 3yo whisky. Continue reading “Tasting: Abhainn Dearg NAS Single Malt”

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Tasting: Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yo

Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yo

Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yoDram data:
Distillery: Box
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: Sept. 2011
Bottled: Oct. 2015
Age: 4 years
Limitation: 2109 bottles
Casks: 130 ltr 1st fill ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 51,2%
unchillfiltered/uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: 
white wine
The nose doesn’t try too hard to hide the relatively young age of the whisky, but it is a lovely nose for just four years! Vanilla pods maturing in a citrus orchard. Yep, that’s it! But there’s more… A mineral character paired with oxidising green apple, Physalis, nectarine, tinned tangerines and a pinch of spices. Light, fruity, summery. I’d say perfect for the season, but it’s 16°C outside and raining… Continue reading “Tasting: Box Early Days Batch 001 4 yo”

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