A while ago when I tasted the old and new Laphroaig 15yo (see the results here) I was also bestowed by a friend (Thanks A.!) with a sample of an indie Laphroaig 15yo for scientific comparison ;-)
It’s a single cask from the warehouse of A.D Rattray and it’s actually a 1998 vintage (distilled 04.11.1998) from a bourbon barrel which yielded 226 bottles after it was bottled in 2014 (24.10.2014), so it’s a bit “older” release than the recent new OB 15yo. How does it stand up against the official 15yo?
Laphroaig 1998 15yo A.D Rattray (58.4%, bourbon barrel #10479, 226 bottles, €114)
Photo credit: Whiskybase.com
For many years, there was only one single offering from Tamdhu. Before the relaunch of Tamdhu brand in 2013 it was a NAS offering (probably around 8 years old) and after the relaunch it was the 10 year old.
And now the NAS offering is doing a comeback but as an addition to the line up and with a totally new profile – matured exclusively in sherry casks and offered at cask strength. Do we have yet another NAS sherry bomb on our hands?
Tamdhu Batch Strength #1 (58.8%, £56.95/€69.99)
Nose: feels youngish on the nose but it may be just the heavy cream and vanilla that confuses me (american oak sherry butts anyone?). Lots of toffee with lots of Werther’s original and dose of milk chocolate. Very smooth and rounded nose despite the big ABV. The sherry casks do impact the spirit but the dried fruits, sultanas and sherry spices are at the background playing 2nd violin here. With water – the chocolate notes are boosted to “chocolate with nuts” level.
I reviewed Benromach 10 Year old 100 Proof 6 months ago. I went against the majority of reviews out there and declared my big disappointment as I just couldn’t understand what’s all the fuss about and felt it was worse than the standard 10 yo. Best you go and read that review before resuming and reading the rest of this post…
OK. I assume you did your due diligence and read that post so let’s move on. A couple of months ago but well after the initial tasting and review, I tasted it again but this time I wasn’t aware it was the Benromach 10 100 proof as it was part of a blind tasting competition.
Take a look at my tasting notes I took during the blind tasting competition:
Dram #7 (Benromach 10 100 Proof 57%)
Nose: Light peat at first and then mostly sweetness, vanilla, malt!! Hint of honey, slight dried fruits, overall very restrained pointing at high ABV. After a while sweetness is stronger and there are some tannins and it becomes more Oloroso. A bit of cloves and nutmeg and light sweet peat at the background. With water: less sherry, much more honey but still with a nice dose of nutmeg. Feels young and fierce even after a few drops of water. Continue reading
Let’s stick with Benromach for another review (or two). Today it’s a review of their organic offering – the Benromach Organic. It’s an expression that started with 2006 distillation and the review is of their latest one, distilled in 2008 and matured in virgin oak casks.
It’s named Benromach Organic as this whisky is certified Organic from start to finish, meeting UK Soil Association standards for growing the ingredients, distillation, maturation and bottling. I Unique, neat and cool idea
Benromach Organic 2008 (43%, £37.95/€46.50)
Nose: Young, malty with new make edge at first, creamy, green vegetables and grassy, honey and lactic, becoming less grassy with time, more honey and then lots of vanilla (virgin oak or not?). Very soft and gentle (very G&M), very creamy and malty, some hints of citrus fragrance and after a few minutes sweet peat.
Once again I’ve been too busy to post reviews on the blog but I had a very good reason: a house move. Barely time to breath and my whisky was stored away during the move, but now it’s back to normal so let’s resume with a review of the new Benromach 15 Year Old.
It comes on the heels of the last year very successful re-launch of the 10 year old and G&M tucked on here additional 5 years, staying with sherry and ex-bourbon casks combo but is it like the 10 yo or does it go in a different route?
Benromach 15 Year Old (43%, £47.99/€79.95)
Nose: Soft nose with very G&M like profile. There are nuts and lots of spices with ginger and white pepper leading the pack, soft oak wood, vanilla cream, wispy smoke and sharp menthol. I let it rest in the glass for a few minutes and got chocolate, sherry spices, bit of dried fruits, tangerines and oranges peels fragrance.
I’m taking another break today from the headbangers reviews series. But I have a very good excuse this time: It’s the blog second birthday!
To accommodate the event, I’ve decided to review a festive dram and after debating between a few possibilities, I’ve decided to review Glengoyne 21 Year Old.
Just like last year I intended to have a give-away for the blog holiday but it will be delayed till later this month, so watch this space.
Glengoyne 21 Year Old (43%, £109.79)
Nose: Sherry goodness with dried fruits, raisins, prunes and plums. It’s a settled and elegant nose, lots of sweetness with demerara sugar and chocolate that strengthen over time. There is also a lot of cooked nutmeg and overall it’s a real treat on the nose.
It’s time to resume the Headbangers series reviews. But as I want to review another Laphroaig whisky before the summer finally settle in here (which is late by normal standards), Let’s do a headbangers review of Laphroaig 15. We’ll pit the old (pre-2009 Laphroaig 15 vs Laproaig 15 the 200th Anniversary version.
Yes, a fight of the same expression but the truth is it’s not exactly the same expression. The old 15 Year old was a very popular, being milder than the 10 year old and more delicate. But in 2009 they stopped producing it and instead we got the 18 yo (which is my top favorite OB Laphroaig).
But since then a lot changed in the whisky industry and as the demand is skyrocketing and stock levels are going down in an alarming rate, it was time to revert to the old lineup and reintroduce the 15 instead of the 18.
But it’s not only time (six years) that differentiate between those expressions. Production and materials may have changed. Perhaps even a conscious decision to change the whisky profile to fit the current demand? Let’s check then!