Friday, 30 December 2011

Whisky Discovery #29

Sheep Dip (40% abv, Blended Malt, 2011, 5cl)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £25 for 70cl

Just a miniature to sample
One from Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die, and so had to be investigated.

Back in the 1980's this was the best selling whisky in Harrods. Eccentrically named, but with a great story behind it. British farmers apparently referred to whisky as sheep dip, and long ago farmers distilled their own 'home-made' whisky In order to avoid paying taxes, they hid their whisky in barrels marked 'Sheep Dip' or simply 'SD'.

Then in the 1980's Sheep Dip whisky was being ordered in case-loads through farmers wholesalers, their customers were putting it through their business expenses as insecticide. Not all of them thought it through completely, as many didn't even have sheep and so were caught and fined for tax evasion.


The whisky previously called a 'vatted malt' and now classed as a 'blended malt' by the Scotch Whisky Association is a blend of sixteen different single malts aged between eight and twenty years, in specially selected first fill oak casks.


Rich and golden in colour, the nose is quite delicate. Soft floral notes accompanied with fruit and nuts. Definitely melon and pear and a little almond too. Lot's going on, and with 16 different malts included in the blend you would expect so. Soft dry fruits, apricot ? and an essence of vanilla. Spices and oak flavours, very rich and sweeter towards the end. Onto the finish and the Isaly malts finally come through with the peaty smoke and lingering spices. 


I'm very pleased that I have tried it - and would certainly try it again, but with so many whiskies and too little time must move on.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Whisky Discovery #28


The Macallan 10 Year Old 'Fine Oak' (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)

Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25

The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Year Old
I picked this up for just under £20.00! A very special offer indeed and far too good to walk past. It 'accidently' fell into the shopping trolley.


This whisky is triple cask matured in (their words) a unique, complex combination of exceptional oak casks. European Oak casks seasoned with sherry, American Oak casks seasoned with sherry and American Oak casks seasoned with bourbon. This triple cask combination delivers an extraordinarily smooth, delicate yet complex single malt.

The Macallan's curiously small and uniquely shaped copper stills  help to concentrate the flavour of the 'new make' spirit.

I understand that the 'Fine Oak' series caused a bit of a kerfuffle when it was first introduced in 2004. Macallan had always used sherry barrels exclusively for ageing their whisky.The Fine Oak series didn't.

The nose took a while to tease out at first. Macallan state the nose is 'complex' and I agree with them here. Stick with it and it will come. Initially very dry, almost dusty and cereal like, but eventually the vanilla, honey and a hint of fruit shows through. Soft and creamy on the palate, very smooth. The oak and fruit marry together well, and it is really enjoyable dram. The finish is quite refreshing with sweet vanilla.


I don't think you can go wrong with this, but maybe I'm easily pleased ? 

Monday, 26 December 2011

21 Bottle Salute

The Collection Boxing Day 2011
With the Christmas bottles added to the collection, an impressive range of whiskys covering just about all of the  Scottish Regions; Islay, Highland, Speyside and Island malts.


Almost all of these are distillery core bottlings, available at most UK supermarkets and often offered at a price difficult for me to walk past. In fact I can no longer walk past the drinks section  without scanning the whisky shelves for something I have not tried before ! 


When I visit a pub, while waiting for my Guinness to be poured, I'm scanning the shelves to see what whisky is available.


There is plenty of good whisky out there to try and I'm looking forward to my second year of discovery.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Whisky Discovery #27


Gentleman Jack (40% abv, OB, 2011, 70cl)

Rare Tennessee Whiskey
Circa £30

First American Whiskey
I sampled upon giving this to son-in-law Ben, this evening.

My first Tennessee whiskey (yes, whisky with the ‘e’) and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Really smooth whiskey. I’m not sure that it is that ‘rare as it states on the label, I have seen it in most supermarkets!

Made by Jack Daniel’s, Gentleman Jack is charcoal-mellowed twice, before and after the ageing process, resulting in a cleaner, more refined end product . 

This was introduced in 1988 and was the first new whiskey from the Jack Daniel Distillery in more than 100 years.

The nose is very sweet, honey and vanilla, burnt brown sugar and charcoal. Similar on the palate, very smooth and syrupy, a little fruit too. Finish is short and sweet, a little charcoal and spice.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Whisky Discovery #26


Black Grouse (40% abv, Blended Whisky, 2011, 70cl)


My first blended whisky
Following my new guide, I spotted an opportunity to try my first blended scotch whisky and picked up a bottle of Black Grouse.  

Made by the makers of Famous Grouse, the long established best selling blended scotch. This Islay influenced, peaty blend is a blend of their Famous Grouse with some Islay single malts. 

For everyday drinking it is quite pleasant, especially as I really like the peaty malts of Islay, and I would certainly prefer this over the standard Famous Grouse – but I can’t put it over any of the single malts tasted to date.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Book Review 101 Whiskies

101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die
Ian Buxton
Published September 2010
This was the book that really injected some real pace into my whisky journey. When I set off almost a year before buying this book, I had in my mind that I would be looking to buy Scottish single malts, discounting blends, bourbons and whiskies from other countries, I knew very little about whisky at the time but was rapidly running out of whiskies to buy as I was only looking at my local supermarket, and with twenty five 'whisky discoveries' under my belt needed some urgent help.

I didn't have a Twitter account nor a blog, just a 'liquid log' put together as a MS Word document and was wondering where I should go next. I thought to myself there must be a 101 list out there somewhere, a list of whiskies that I should be pursuing and searched the web and came up trumps when I found this book.

Ian Buxton has selected 101 'everyman' whiskies, and as Ian says quite clearly in his introduction, this is not an awards list, there are no points awarded, it's not a list of the best whiskies in the world, it's a guide to 101 whiskies that whisky enthusiasts should seek out and try.

There are no obscure single casks bottlings listed, and most, if not all of the whiskies listed should be available today, some three years after first publication. Ian set out choosing this 101 with goals of being generally available, albeit you may have to search a little further than your supermarket shelves. They must be affordable, there are a few whiskies listed that were retailing above £100, but I think the average (at the time of printing) was around £57 a bottle.

Ian has worked in the Whisky Industry for more than 20 years and so is well qualified to select 101 whiskies for us to consider. Everything is laid out in alphabetical order, it's not a top 101 list and although more than half of those listed are Scottish single malts, there are blended whiskies and whiskies from further afield introducing whiskies from Canada, Ireland, India, Japan, Sweden and the USA to me.

When I first read through this book I was pleased to find that of the twenty five I had already bought or tasted, nine appeared in this book. 

Each whisky listed fills a double page spread, with a full colour picture of the whisky to the left, along with some basic information; producer, distillery, availability and price guide. On the right hand page Ian lays out a brief description of the whisky, its producer, and some background information on its history, and why it has been included in the book. Ian follows this with some simple tasting notes. honest and understandable notes on his thoughts for each whisky.

This book became my guide when I came to a point in my journey where I was struggling to find out where I went next. I still refer to it today, and my copy is filled with small 'post-it' notes reminding me of when and where I tasted each whisky.

It has introduced me to blended whisky, and more importantly introduced me to the whole world of whisky. There is no doubt in my mind that this book has been a key foundation stone to my whisky journey, and I thank Ian Buxton for putting this book together. (and I have thanked him when I met him at The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show last year).

Ian released a second edition in 2012, 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die expanding the horizons for the whisky enthusiast further still and you can find out what I thought about that here.

So how am I doing with this 101 list? At time of writing 60 down and I still have 41 to find. (May 2013)

Assistance Required !


With an ever increasing thirst for knowledge I decided I needed to find a guide, an almanac, to help steer me along this journey.

I wanted to find out more about Jim Murray, who decided that the Old Pulteney 21 YO was the whisky of the year. I wanted to find a guide that would open new avenues of discovery.
After much searching I went for Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012 and for a bit of fun Ian Buxton’s “101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die”
Both books include single malts, blended whisky, bourbons and other worldwide whiskies that can only enhance this journey I have decided to undertake.
 I was really pleased to find out that my journey to date included no less than nine listed in the 101. 
I like this book, as it is not an awards list, there are no scores listed, and is certainly not just a list of the best whiskies in the world. As Ian states; “It is simply a guide to 101 whiskies that enthusiasts must seek out and try” I don’t have to buy a bottle of each, but will use it to help with my ‘wishlist’. I was also pleased that even some of my original wishlist were included. 
It has certainly expanded my horizon as I am keen to try some of the blends, bourbons and other world whiskies.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Whisky Discovery #25


Old Pulteney 12 Year Old (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)

Highland Single Malt Whisky
Circa £22

November's official bottle
I read on the BBC website that the Old Pulteney 21 YO had won the Jim Murray Scotch Whisky of the year, and seeing the 12 YO expression on the shelves at the local supermarket on offer for just £22.00, I thought it would be a prime candidate for the official November addition to my journey.

Established in 1826, The Pulteney Distillery found in the heart of ‘Pulteneytown’, the town created to house fishersmen during Wick’s ‘herring boom’. The most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, the spirit crafted here is a distillation of this unique location. Matured wholly in air-dried, hand-selected ex-bourbon casks, the Old Pulteney 12 YO is the definitive expression in the Old Pulteney family.

Traditionally crafted using techniques that other distillers have long abandoned, this winner of numerous gold medals at the most prestigious international competitions is a high water-mark of quality spirits.

March 15th 2012

Reading back through some of my earlier postings I thought that I really must revisit some of the whiskys remaining on my shelf and review in a little more detail:

Matured wholly in air-dried, hand-selected ex-bourbon and sherry casks for at least 12 years this Old Pulteney was a Double Gold winner at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Colour: Old Gold, however this is ‘modified’ with caramel.

Body: Quite light as the legs run quickly back into the glass, but a little oily too.

Nose: I find the nose quite light in the glass initially, it definitely needs some time. It is quite crisp and dry but with a hint of briney sea air at first. Once it starts to open up there is an aromatic herbal flowery tone, with even some light grassy notes, and after a little longer the sweet caramel is eventually teased out. It is a quite agreeable nose.

Palate: There seems to be an citrus note initially which this quickly turns malty and then floral honeyed sweetness comes through, but then a twist at the end with a hint of aniseed to the salty tang. It really is quite pleasant

Finish: The finish is quite short with malty oak and spices, before the salty tang is all that remains

So what did I think

I remember being immediately impressed with this whisky when I first opened back in November and even recommended it to a friend of mine who was looking for some Christmas whisky, and he too enjoyed it. Perhaps it might have benefitted from being bottled at 46%, but this is an entry level whisky at a very good price, and it’s definitely a good introduction to Scotland’s most northerly mainland distillery. I’m looking forward to trying their 17 and 21 year olds later.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Whisky Discovery #24


The Balvenie 17 Year Old ‘Peated Cask’ (43% abv, OB, Bottled 2011)

Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £80

 


One of the other Balvenie malts tasted during the evening at the V&A for The Balvenie 40 Year Old launch.

This cracking peated cask Balvenie was first released in 2010. It was aged traditionally to begin with, before a finish in casks that previously held peated whisky.

In 2001, a heavily peated batch of barley was distilled at The Balvenie Distillery and was allowed to mature until The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart, decided it was time to rejuvenate the maturation process and so the whisky was transferred to newly prepared traditional casks.

The casks that had originally held the peated liquid had taken on much of its character and so David decided to experiment by filling them with 17 year old Balvenie for a short period. The result was an intensely peaty whisky. Marrying this liquid with 17 year old Balvenie finished in new American oak casks produced The Balvenie Peated Cask, a complex single malt that is rich and spicy with layers of smokiness.


The result is well balanced and not overpowering, and this will certainly be on my wish list.

Whisky Discovery #23


The Balvenie 15 Year Old ‘Single Barrel’ (47.8% abv, OB, Bottled 2011)

Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £48

One of the other Balvenie malts tasted during the evening at the V&A for The Balvenie 40 Year Old launch.


The Balvenie Single Barrel is a 15 year old single malt which is drawn from a single traditional oak whisky cask of a single distillation. 

Whilst each cask is subtly different, The Balvenie Malt Master selects only those casks which have the essential characteristics of The Balvenie Single Barrel, particularly honey, vanilla and oaky notes. Each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 350 hand-numbered bottles - so each bottle is unique and unrepeatable.An individual numbered 15 year old from selected single ex-bourbon casks from the Balvenie distillery, this is a single malt both fruity and honeyed with an excellent finish.

Nose: Delicate sweetness one expects from Balvenie. Honey and dried mixed peel.
Palate: Husky sweetness. Barley lies on a bed of juicy ripe fruit.
Finish: Climaxes with barley and bourbon spiciness peaking most spectacularly.

Whisky Discovery #22


The Balvenie 12 Year Old ‘ Signature’ Batch No. 4 (40% abv, OB, Bottled 2011)

Speyside Single Malt Whisky

Circa £25-30


A November bonus bottle
The ‘Brucie bonus bottle’ from the lovely Balvenie people at the end of our evening in The V&A Museum.
The Balvenie Signature Aged 12 Years is a classic marriage of The Balvenie matured in the three most traditional cask types, first fill bourbon, refill bourbon and sherry. Produced in small, numbered batches, each cask used is hand selected by Malt Master David Stewart to ensure he achieves Signature’s unique character of honey, spice and subtle oak and each batch is allowed time to harmonise in a traditional marrying tun. David Stewart crafted The Balvenie Signature to mark his 45th year in the whisky industry and 2011 saw the release of Batch 4.
NOSE: Rich and complex with honey, citrus fruits and vanilla oak notes.
TASTE: Rich and honeyed with a hint of sherry fruitiness. A spiciness of cinnamon and nutmeg and a subtle oakiness develop with time.
FINISH: Warm and lingering.

Whisky Discovery #21


The Balvenie 40 Year Old Batch No. 2 (48.5%, OB, Bottled 2011)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
£2,500

 

The Balvenie 40 - 2nd release
Those wonderful people at Balvenie called me up to inform me that I had won a pair of tickets to sample their new limited release of a special 40 year single malt.
You don’t turn down opportunities like this, as they don’t come along to often. The event was being held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
I invited friend Colin Johnson to the event, who almost bit my arm off at the opportunity. On arrival we were treated as VIPs as most of the other guests were from the trade.
We were able to sample a good deal of The Balvenie range of single malts, well certainly everything that had been set up for sampling!
We tasted their 12 YO Doublewood, 12 YO Signature, 15 YO Single Cask, 17 YO Peated Cask and of course their 21 YO Port Wood. Then the 40 YO was brought out. Only 150 bottles produced in this limited edition bottling, 80 for the UK market and 70 for the rest of the world. With a retail price set at £2,500 per bottle, two were opened for our pleasure.
And oh what a pleasure it was ! We must have spent a good five minutes exploring the nose, it might have been longer and certainly needed to be – it was awesome ! Then the taste – again out of this world ! I would have to re-evaluate all my previous tastings to get things back into some perspective. So much going on in their and the finish – again spectacular. There was only one glass each (although it was a generous measure) and unless the jackpot comes up, way out of my price range, but it was a wonderful experience. To end the evening we were each presented with a bottle from their entry level malts, Colin came away with a bottle of Doublewood and for me The Signature. Thank you Balvenie !

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My Whisky Shelf 4

The collection at the end of October - it just about fits on the whisky shelf

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Whisky Discovery #20


Ardbeg 10 Year Old (46% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 100cl)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £60

 

October's Official Dram
Another Islay single malt and their standard ‘entry level’ malt that critics have raved about. 

The stills at Ardbeg differ from others on Islay, being taller and having a curious purifier on the spirit still. Certainly this is a highly peated and complex whisky.

I bought this in Stavanger Airport on the way back from a business trip in Norway, so hence the full litre bottle.

I am an Islay fan and have other Ardbeg expressions on my wish list, and with so many great distilleries on this small West Coast Island I can’t wait to take a trip and visit them all !

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Whisky Discovery #19


Highland Park 12 Year Old (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25

September's official addition
All the way from the Orkney’s, Highland Park is rich and smoky. 

Made from barley malted over burning peat, this Highland malt has a smoky sweetness and a glowing amber colour. Smoothly opulent and tingling with spices and hints of orange peel through to a powerful finish.

Highland Park 12 Year Old remains one of the gold standard malts for other distillery bottlings to aspire to. With a delicious sweetness (heather-honey is their preferred description) and a warming, silky mouthfeel, this is a whisky that never lets you down.

“The greatest all-rounder in the world of malt whisky”. Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion ’The Best Buy amongst single malt whiskies.’ Whiskies to Warm To, Which Consumer Magazine.

I love it - so very smooth !

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Whisky Discovery #18


The Balvenie 12 Year Old Double Wood (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25

August's official bottle
With Balvenie being fresh on my mind, and also on my wish list I thought I ought to buy this entry level malt for the collection. 

The Double Wood is their entry level malt, and a delicate Speyside which is first aged in oak and then in sherry wood. With soft notes layered with honey and vanilla for a subtle sweetness. 

Taste it and you’ll notice it’s nuttiness, sherry and even cinnamon.

A smashing dram !

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Whisky Discovery #17


The Balvenie 21 Year Old Port Wood (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £85

Thank you Balvenie
Oh what a lucky boy I was in July !

A fourth bottle and a gift from The Balvenie ! I joined as many whisky sites as possible in my quest for knowledge, and answered an email from the Balvenie regarding a meeting in London. I was accepted to join their ‘focus group’ and spent an  enjoyable evening discussing The Balvenie, their website, and drinking their whisky. For taking part was given this bottle of 21 year old single malt, a leather bound hip flask and my expenses paid for the train ticket to and from London.

This whisky is created by the hand of a master blender, David Stewart. delicate Port wine flavours, silky and full bodied.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Whisky Discovery #16

Talisker 10 Year Old (45.8% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £25
July's official addition
Talisker’s signature bottling, and my official July addition to my collection. 

Made on the shores of the Isle of Skye, you can sense seawater saltiness alongside this malt’s peaty smokiness. It tastes of dried fruit in a smoke surround with barley malt flavours followed by a warm, peppery, sweet finish.

I love it and am keen to try more from this distillery!

April 2013 update

I wrote this almost two years ago and was just six months into my whisky journey. This bottle has long gone, but I have been fortunate to try some fantastic whisky from Talisker since writing this post (this was written pre-blogging days and was part of my original liquid log) trying both the Talisker 25 and Talisker 30 at the first show Kat and I ever attended, Whisky Live 2012. I've also tasted the 57º North, however the 18 Year Old and Distiller's Edition have alluded me so far, but are both on my list to buy 

We've recently been sent some new Talisker releases to review and reading back through these notes for the 10 Year Old decided I really ought to do something about this post, and so went out and revisited the 10 Year Old, was it still as good as I remembered?

So What Did I Think?

Firstly I was pleased to note that I still enjoyed it. There's a real maritime note to this malt with a definite seafood liquor note to it reminding me of raw seafood being prepared, sitting on a plate ready to be cooked, raw tiger prawns, squid, sea bass and mackerel, our kitchen is often full of these ready to be tossed into the wok. Beach camp-fire notes start to creep through the smell of the sea, salty driftwood smouldering. The spicy white pepper eventually shows itself after a little while in the glass.

On the palate there's a gentle sweetness of honey at first before the spicy white pepper builds up it's presence, The beach camp-fire gives up a charred wood taste and I could detect soft notes of wild fennel. The gentle smoke and white pepper remain on the long finish that has a pinch of salt too. The empty glass on the following morning smells of that beach camp-fire again, though it's been left to die out overnight now.

So yes, it's still as good as I remembered it and should get a bottle for the shelf again soon. However my shelf is overflowing and I really want a bottle of DE or 18 Year Old first, and if my lottery numbers came up last night, might even run out for a bottle of the 35 Year Old that I missed at last years Whisky Exchange Whisky Show, but I wouldn't hold your breath!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

My Whisky Shelf 3

By the end of June the 'whisky shelf' was looking well stocked
(and sadly in alphabetical order !)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Whisky Discovery #15


Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997

Heavily Peated Cask Strength Collection (54.60% abv Signatory 70cl,)

Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £60

My first cask strength !
Another Birthday treat, this time from daughter Kat.

Distilled at the Bunnahabhain (pronounced BOO-na-HAven )on the 11th December 1997 and aged in two hogsheads (numbers 5501 and 5550 ) for 13 years before bottling on the 13th December 2010. 

A release of 588 bottles of cask strength, heavily peated Bunnahabhain. Mine is No. 248

Deriving from the Gaelic for ‘mouth of the river’, Bunnahabhain was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and brothers James and William Greenless. A very smooth, easy-drinking Islay malt. In relative solitude, Bunnahabhain is the Northern-most Islay distillery. It sits in a large bay to the North East of the isle, drawing its water from the Margadale Spring.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Whisky Discovery #14


Glenfiddich 18 Year Old (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £40

June's second bottle
A Birthday treat from son, Carl. Patiently matured in the Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks, before being married in small batches to create an extraordinarily smooth, rich and mellow single malt.

Married for at least three months in small, individually numbered batches in wooden tuns, the Glenfiddich 18 Year Old has a unique depth and complexity that has been acclaimed in the industry.

Nose: Remarkably rich aroma with ripe orchard fruit, baked apple and a robust oakiness
Taste: Richly delivers luxurious dried fruit, candy peel and dates overlaid with elegant cinnamon notes

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Whisky Discovery #13


Lagavulin 16 yo(43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £40 –£45

June's 1st bottle
I had heard plenty about this malt from numerous web sites as well as personal recommendations so was really looking forward to this. First tasted in the Loch Fyne restaurant in Woburn on my 48thbirthday.On the way home from lunch, popped into Costco and got my own bottle for my birthday present.

This Islay malt is one of my favourite drams and will always feature on my wish list.
Massive, peat-smoke typical of southern Islay, yet with a dry finesse that makes up a classy package.

Apparently the teetotal Johnny Depp sometimes orders a dram of this and just sniffs it (it’s that good). A worthy classic.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

My Whisky Shelf 2

This was the state of my collection by early June.  Six months into my journey and all bottles were open. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Whisky Discovery #12


Singleton of Dufftown 12 yo (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £20 –£30

May's official bottle
Distilled since 1896 with water so pure, legend has it rival distillers have even tried to divert its course.

The Dufftown distillery first drew water from Highlandman John’s Well in 1896 and continues to do so to this day.

Curiously, the new-make spirit that runs from the three pairs of stills is best described as spicy in character. However, 12 years in a combination of American and European Oak casks soften the spirit to deliver sweet fruity notes with a charming warmth and perfect balance.
The unique bottle shape of bottle is inspired by a traditional hipflask while the colour of the glass reflects the blue flint glass used at the turn of the previous century.

“Perfectly Balanced, Naturally Rich and Smooth” is the wording on the label, and it is the ideal summary of this striking single malt.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Whisky Discovery #11


The Glenlivet 12 Year Old (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £20 –£30

April's official bottle
One of the most famous malts in the world.

Another Speyside Malt, The Glenlivet 12 Year Old has a soft smooth balance of sweet summer fruits and the floral notes of spring flowers.

The Nose is remarkably flowery, clean & soft. The body is light to medium, firm, smooth
Flowery, peachy, and notes of vanilla on the palate. A delicate balance between sweetness & malty dryness. The finish being long and gently warming.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Whisky Discovery #10


Glenfiddich 12 Year Old (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 1998 70cl)
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Circa £20 –£30

March's official bottle
Another eBay purchase and too good a bargain to refuse.

I understand the Glenfiddich range of whiskies is the most awarded whisky in the world.

The pioneer of the prestigious single malt Scotch whisky category, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is probably enjoyed by more people around the world than any other single malt whisky.

This signature single malt Scotch whisky has matured for at least 12 years in American and Spanish oak casks. Elegantly rounded flavours with notes of fresh pear and subtle oak.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My Whisky Shelf 1

My Single Malt Collection – Early March 2011 (note nosing glasses as well !)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Whisky Discovery #9


Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original (40% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl)
Highland Single Malt Whisky
Circa £20 –£30

February bonus bottle
I don’t think you can go wrong with a bottle of Glenmorangie. This really is an ideal whisky to start your discovery into the single malt world.

It has been called the perfect ten and most Glenmorangie drinkers will readily drink to that! 

After 10 years in ex-Bourbon casks, the spirit has had enough time to mature and mellow into a beautifully balanced yet marvellously complex malt whisky. Enjoyed by newcomers and connoisseurs alike, it’'s Scotland’s favourite malt whisky, hand-crafted with pride by the Sixteen Men of Tain.

Velvet textured with delicate, honeyed overtones and a burst of citrus softening into vanilla and almonds.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Whisky Discovery #8


Caol Ila 12 Year Old (43% abv, OB, Bottled +/- 2011 70cl) 
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £30 –£35

February's official bottle
Yet another eBay purchase, actually two purchases. Initially a 20cl bottle which was quickly followed by the full-size bottle.

Caol Ila is another Islay malt. Fresh, sweetly fruity and smooth-bodied, the Caol Ila 12 year old  is the colour of pale straw, with a delicate balance of tastes.
The clean, appetising nose shows subtle citrus fruit with just a puff of smoke. Firm and smooth, it begins sweetly then yields a fragrant smokiness and a sweet-smoky, lingering finish.