Last week we completed reviewing the new Royal Brackla line-up and now it’s time to tackle yet another distillery that went through a big change as part of Bacardi “Last Great Malts” series, Glen Deveron whisky which is actually distilled at Macduff distillery (No, there’s no Glen Deveron distillery).
The official line-up from Macduff was previously known as Glen Deveron and upon the re-launch on September 2015 it was rebranded as The Deveron. But it wasn’t only a re-branding, the whisky changed too as the old Glen Deveron expressions were ditched and instead we get a new line-up with three standard expressions (10, 12 and 18) and one premium expression aged 25 year old.
The initial launch included the 12 and 18 year old so naturally we starts with the 12 year old and later we’ll review the 18 year old as well.
The Deveron 12 (Macduff Distillery) (40%, £34/€47.50)
Nose: Creamy, big mix of soft golden and green apples, honey, nuts (natural cashews), half-squeezed green grapes, a bit of salt and limestone dust. Despite having a low ABV it feels more solid than the Roayal Brackla lineup which was bottled at the same ABV. Continue reading
One more young whisky from G&M in the “The Wood Makes the Whisky” campaign, but this time it’s a whisky from a powerhouse distillery that all but ditched the age statements from their main OB expressions: Macallan.
Luckily, we have independent bottlers to enjoy age labeled Macallans but even those are pretty rare and hard to find, that is, unless you’re Gordon & Macphail. I bet there’s some prior contract that supplies G&M with fresh casks from Macallan and so we can enjoy the Speymat range, from the expensive old to the young and affordable vintages.
As befitting the tone of the last few reviews, It’s a younger in that range that we check today, the Macallan Speymalt 2006 that was bottled in 2015 (17/11/2015 to be precise), making it approximately 9 year old. It was aged in various sherry casks, both 1st fill and refill casks which should give it a nice sherried touch, which is what Macallan built their brand upon.
Macallan Speymalt 2006 (43%, £32.95/€43.75)
Nose: At first sniff it feels even younger than 8 yo Glenrothes from the last review. There is a big malt and cereals mix and some beeswax. The sherry casks are felt at first with light dried fruits coupled with sweet and fresh red berries but then the impact slowly turns into a fruitier impact with some apricots and lemon peels along with the red and dried fruits, Continue reading
While we’re on a roll from last week, let’s check another young and low ABV whisky. Today it’s a 8 year old Glenrothes from Gordon and Macphail, another entree in the “The Wood Makes the Whisky” campaign, that was matured for 8 years in a combo of refill Sherry hogsheads and refill bourbon barrels before bottling back in 2011.
Macphail’s Collection Glenrothes 8 Year Old (43%, £31.95)
Nose: Malty and creamy coconut, vanilla with a touch of honey, oak wood spices, develops some green apples at the background with a surprising briney note and then slowly some weak sherry impact shows up: chocolate, nutmeg and cinnamon. A very gentle nose.
Palate: Spicy and sweet, oak wood spices, a little salt, vanilla, floral/herbal edge, some sweet lemon, chocolate and then walnuts in the background.
Finish: Lingering spiciness and walnuts, soursweet lemon and grapefruits, milk chocolate, short length
Thoughts: Relatively young and not an overly complex whisky (as it usually goes together), but it’s an easy to drink whisky with all those gentle and subtle notes.
Beinn Dubh is a whisky that is marketed as ‘The Black Single Malt Scotch Whisky”. I must admit that for me, the honor of having the “Black Whisky” title belonged to Loch Dhu (which was distilled in Mannochmore distillery) but it’s not produced anymore and instead we have on the market two candidates for the Black whisky title but as both are coming from the Speyside Distillery (which of course resides in the Speyside region), I supposed that the torch did move on to them. The first one is ‘Cu Dub’ which is more or less a recreation of Loch Dhu and the other one is the recently launched ‘Beinn Dubh’ which is the focus of today’s post.
‘Beinn Dubh’, similar to ‘Cu Dub’ is aged in heavily charred casks and then finished in Ruby Black Port casks which impart further dark colors to the whisky. Unfortunately, we’re missing a lot of information on the whisky: Is it the natural color of the whisky or was E150a involved here? Is it chill filtered or not? (BTW, I assume it was CF due to the low 43% ABV). Some general information on the different time duration would be useful too.
Beinn Dubh (43%, £49.95/€65)
Nose: Starts off with some youth and malt then the ruby impact quickly covers it with plums and raisins, redcurrants and blackcurrant. After a minute there’s honey, artificial sweetener, vanilla and smoke. Continue reading
Amid all the rising whisky prices and the growing NAS segment, we’ve seen another trend going strong lately: independent bottlings of young whisky, from 5 year old up to 10 year old.
It shouldn’t surprise us as whisky casks prices has risen too, for both new make and aged spirit barrels. The reasoning is simple: bottle it at younger age, maybe even bottle at lower ABV and so it’s cheaper and you can extract more bottles from each cask.
Today’s Bunnahabhaim from Van Wees The Ultimate brand is a classic example of such whisky, distilled 26/06/2006, aged in cask 2127, bottled 4/6/2015 at the tender age of 8 year old (although it was 22 days far from being 9 year old) yielding 815 bottles due to 46% bottling strength.
Bunnahabhain 2006 8 Year Old The Ultimate (46%, €39.20)
Nose: It’s young alright with lots of malt notes, sweet malt, bread, cereals and barley sugar. There’s even some roughness but hey, here comes the sherry impact with mellow and sweet dried fruit, some plums, raisins, very subtle comparing to the strong maltiness and is noticeable just enough to balance it out. Continue reading
Following the reviews of the Royal Brackla 12 & 16 Year old, it’s time to try the high end expression, the Royal Brackla 21 Year Old. I liked the lower age expressions despite their flaws, can we hope that the 21 is better?
Royal Brackla 21 Year Old (40%, £135/€139.75)
Nose: Unlike the 12 & 16, the 21 Year Old starts with a grassy tone instead of the floral one, a lot of meadow grass and hay notes but slowly the floral notes crawl back. White chocolate, honey, dry but less so than the younger siblings, sweet golden apples, slight sherry impact with dried fruit, nutmeg and cloves, creamy and a bit waxy. After a while, maltiness, subtle dark chocolate and some eucalyptus and menthol shows up. Continue reading
A couple of months ago I reviewed the entry level expression from Royal Brackla distillery which is part of the Last Great Malts series from Bacardi. It’s time to move up in the line up and review the higher level expressions from this new line up.
Today we’ll check the mid level expression, the Royal Brackla 16 Year old and the next post will review the high-end offering, the Royal Brackla 21 Year Old.
Looking back at my review of the 12 Year Old one, it seems that I liked it as it sports a unique profile of dry, lightly fruity, a bit herbal and a touch of sherry impact. What does the 16 YO has in store for us?
Royal Brackla 16 Year Old (40%, £69.95/€85.90)
Nose: Starts with floral note of violets and a springtime meadow grass, flint and limestone, white chocolate, honey, pears and a lots of apricots. It’s very dry, getting sweeter and fruitier over time, green melon, green apples and unripe mango.