Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Chivas Regal 12 year old 40%

Most of the whiskies I review on the blog are single malts but from time to time I ‘sin’ with blends. I usually try to stick to good blends and only occasionally I taste and report on standard/low-end blends to find which are unworthy for your consumption – no harm should reach my readers.

Last weekend I’ve been on vacation with the extended family and my brother in law brought a whisky bottle to the gathering, the Chivas Regal 12. It’s been a loooong time since I tasted it, so I told to myself, heck why not!

12

I won’t bother detailing here the whisky information. Really, if you need it, go Google it or just accept the fact that it’s quite famous, well spread and is on sale for a decent price.

I guess most of you tasted it before, but if not or if it’s been a while since you last tried it - is it any good? can single malt lovers enjoy it?

Chivas Regal 12 year old (40%, £27.5)

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Giveaway Winner Announcement and Whisky Review: Van Wees Laphroaig 1998 13 year old 60.1%

It’s time to announce the winner in Whisky Gospel first birthday giveaway. As most of you guessed correctly, the answer to the question (big clue in the blog header picture ;-) ) – it’s Laphroaig! So the winner will get a Laphroaig 18yo bottle.

But just announcing a winner is boring, so bear with me for a little while more and let’s review a cracking Laphroaig bottle before announcing the winner (but you can scroll down to find the winner if you’re a bit impatient).

Having a close by friends who shares the love to the same distillery is a good thing. Take Michael (of Malt & Oak Blog) for example – he recently went on a trip to Europe and brought back a surprise – the Van Wees Laphroaig 1998 and I felt that a Laphroaig dram is the fitting choice to review for the winner announcement.

laphroaig 13-vw-1998

This one was distilled on 22.09.1998 and bottled in August 2012 after it spent 13 years and 11 months (1 month short of being 14yo!) in a Refill Butt #700394. So, is it good as I expect it to be?

The Ultimate Van Wees Laphroaig 1998 13yo (60.1%, 716 bottles, buy for € 98.95 here)

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Whisky News: Glendronach Single Casks Batch 10, Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve, Midleton Very Rare 2014

Another week full of whisky news: Official launch of Glendronach single casks (Batch #10), new Glenrothes expression and new vintage of Midleton Very rare. Enjoy!

GlenDronach releases Batch 10 of its single cask bottlings

AWARD-WINNING GlenDronach Distillery has today (July 14th) released Batch 10 of its renowned single cask bottlings.

Nine outstanding casks, ranging from 1990 to 2002, were selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker. Each one of these casks from the Aberdeenshire distillery is an excellent example of the typical GlenDronach character with tastes of sweet dates, raisins, dark chocolate, toasted oak spice and roasted coffee beans.

GlenDronach Batch 10

The cask details are:

  • 1990 cask # 2970 / 24 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.3%
  • 1991 cask # 1346 / 22 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 52.1%
  • 1992 cask # 199 / 22 Years Old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 59.4%
  • 1993 cask # 494 / 21 Years Old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 55.8%
  • 1994 cask # 326 / 19 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.5%
  • 1994 cask # 3397 / 19 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.8%
  • 1995 cask # 3025 / 18 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.1%
  • 1996 cask # 1487 / 18 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 54.1%
  • 2002 cask # 1500 / 12 Years Old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 56.7%

Master Distiller Billy Walker said: “Our batch releases of single casks bottlings are eagerly awaited by whisky connoisseurs worldwide and Batch 10 is truly astonishing in both its quality and style.

“Each cask was selected because of its excellent GlenDronach character. For example, on the nose, 1990 cask # 2970 has generous dustings of allspice over sundried raisins and roasted coffee beans with a delicate barley background. As a contrast, the 1995 cask # 3025 shows fresh green apple developing to prunes and raisins with a vibrant spice note of ginger, black pepper and soft clove oil on the palate.

“And the youngest expression of the nine, 2002 cask # 1500, gives aromas of sweet figs and chocolate-covered raisins dusted with vanilla and spiced by subtle cigar smoke, candied peel and stem ginger. A fascinating range of expressions that will appeal to all tastes.”

The bottlings are now available in major whisky shops


THE GLENROTHES RELEASES SHERRY CASK RESERVE

Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits is delighted to announce the release of the latest expression from award-winning Speyside distillery, The Glenrothes.

TGR_Sherry_700mlThe sherry casks used to mature The Glenrothes are made to specification in Jerez, southern Spain, and, despite costing approximately five times more than ex-bourbon casks (which account for over 95% of the casks used in the Scotch whisky industry), the depth of flavour derived from these casks makes the additional investment worthwhile.

Until now, however, The Glenrothes has neverreleased an all-first-fill sherry cask expression. Sherry Cask Reserve is matured predominantly in European oak which delivers a greater array of flavours than the American equivalent and, in particular, the resinous and dried fruit character underpinning the sherry top notes.

Malt Master Gordon Motion’s flavour notes appear on the front label: “Spicy ginger, orange peel, and sherry oak.”

Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director, describes The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve as;“The texture is deliciously creamy, a hallmark of The Glenrothes, which develops into a kaleidoscopic rainbow of soft spicy and fruity flavours on the palate, balanced in perfect harmony with lingering overtones of sherry and Spanish oak.”

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve tasting notes at 40% ABV

Appearance: Burnished gold

Nose:            Orange peel, fruitcake, vanilla, gingerbread, black cherries, pear drops

Palate:          Spicy, ginger, oaky notes, crème brûlée

Finish:           Lingering spiciness with orange peel notes

The Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve will be available from Berry Bros. & Rudd and its representatives in key markets. The recommended retail price is £55 (€65 or NT$2,000) per bottle.


 Irish Distillers unveils Midleton Very Rare 2014

midleton very rare 2014

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has unveiled the 2014 edition of its prestigious Midleton Very Rare whiskey, the first to be hand selected by Master Distiller, Brian Nation, following his appointment in 2013.

For every Midleton Very Rare release, the signature of the Master Distiller is included on the label to provide the ultimate guarantee of quality. Midleton Very Rare 2014 is the first to bear Nation’s signature on its label, continuing the tradition established by former Master Distiller Barry Crockett when he created the first Midleton Very Rare whiskey in 1984.

Available from this month in specialist retailers, Midleton Very Rare 2014 is blended from only the finest Single Pot Still and grain whiskeys, which have been matured in specially-selected, ex-Bourbon American oak casks that have been lightly charred on the inside to impart a complex and elegant taste profile. The components of this exclusive blend have been aged for up to 22 years, making it a real collectors’ item.

Anna Malmhake, Chairman and CEO at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, says: “It’s always exciting for us to release a new Midleton Very Rare expression as it really shows the outstanding quality that the Irish whiskey category has to offer, but this 2014 release is extra special as it heralds a new era for us as Brian Nation takes the reins from Barry Crockett at our Midleton Distillery.

“Midleton Very Rare is a whiskey with real provenance, produced at the distillery in Midleton using only the finest ingredients and is rightfully regarded as the pinnacle of Irish whiskeys by collectors and connoisseurs worldwide, who cherish the nuances of each release. As Brian carries on the Midleton Very Rare legacy, we look forward to more discerning drinkers around the world discovering the quality and provenance that Irish whiskeys have to offer.”

Master Distiller Brian Nation, added: “It is a real honour for me to continue the Midleton Very Rare legacy and to have my name on the label, where Barry’s signature once was. I’m very proud of the 2014 edition, as it offers real complexity with a full taste of sweet spice, vanilla, and cinnamon, which lingers before slowly giving way to notes of barley. I am confident that it will provide whiskey fans around the world with the interesting and enjoyable tasting experience that they have come to expect from Midleton Very Rare over the years – and I look forward to hearing what Barry thinks of it too!”

Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Tullibardine Sauternes Finish 46% vs Tullibardine 225 Sauternes Cask Finish 43%

Head to head reviews are one of the whisky geek goals and it’s always a great satisfaction when you manage to do so – putting old version of whisky vs the new version and finding out how they differ one from each other always makes me happy.

Last week there was a local whisky event which I sadly couldn’t attend and in the event they had put head to head the two versions of Tullibardine Sauternes Finish bottlings. However, samples did find their way to me so let’s go ahead and see who wins the battle.

Tullibardine Sauternes Finish (46%, 36.00 €)

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Whisky Opinion: NAS NAS NAS (Whisky) with Tasting Notes for Jura Turas Mara

Sorry for the coming long opinion, if you just want to see the review on the whisky, scroll down to the end of the post.

After few weeks of calmness, the single malt NAS debate is raging again in the last week following the Interview with Dr. Bill Lumsden (of Glenmorangie/Ardbeg). Few more opinions and blog posts were published, summarizing how we (whisky geeks/aficionados) feel (somewhat angry and poorer after purchasing whisky), how the industry feels (caring for sales & $$$) but I want to cover another angle in this debate which I haven’t seen mentioned by anyone yet.

NAS

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 2.87 – Satisfying as a butcher’s blade (Glenlivet) 21 year old 51.7%

Time for the last of the SMWS trio I review this week, a recent one (from July 2014 outturn), a 21 year old Glenlivet: 2.87 – Satisfying as a butcher’s blade.

It was distilled on 14.04.1992 and spent 21 years in Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead that produced 194 bottles.

As I head to UK next month I decided to purchase a few SMWS bottles on the trip and this one caught my eyes following Bens’ recommendation. Ben then was generous enough to send me a sample from his bottle in advance of my trip so I can taste it and decide if I want a full bottle and purchase it during the trip.

SMWS 2.87 – Satisfying as a butcher’s blade (Glenlivet) 21 year old (51.7%, 194 bottles, £89)

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New Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: SMWS 73.61 A work of art (Aultmore) 24 year old 57.2%

Lets roll with another SMWS bottling – 73.61 A work of art, tasted along with the Glen Moray I reviewed yesterday. I’ve tasted other Aultmores in the past, but this is my first Aultmore review on the blog (another one crossed off!).

It was distilled on May 1989 and bottled after 24 years after resting in refill ex-sherry butt that produced 521 bottles.

SMWS 73.61 A work of art (Aultmore) 24 year old (57.2%, 521 bottles)

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