Provenance Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

The second review of the week is another young whisky bottled under the Provenance brand that reached our shores, and this time it hails from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay.

Yes, Although it’s young and we see a lot of young peated Bunnahabhains (Moine) released around of the same age range, but this is no Moine, just a pure standard unpeated Bunnahabhain. This cask was distilled in 2008 and bottled in May 2016, yielding 451 bottles.

Provenance Bunnahabahin 8 Year Old (46%, DL11561, 245NIS)

Nose: Oily and heavy, malt, gentle honey sweetness, and weak fruitiness, vanilla laced porridge.

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Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

After a few years absence, Douglas Laing whiskies are back in Israel whisky market, represented by a new importer, Sipil Premium Alcohol. This time around we get to enjoy the full Regional malts line up and a few single malts, all priced very reasonably, so those are great news for whisky drinkers over here.

The single malts range at launch consists of two entry level Provenance whiskies and two Old Particulars, so naturally we’ll start with one of the Provenances, the Mortlach 8 Year Old.

Over the last few years, since Diageo has started Mortlach premiumtization process ,the count of indie releases of Mortlachs has seriously dwindled, with the rare Mortlach releases priced extremely high which is a pity because the classic Mortlach profile is so tasty (especially when aged in good sherry casks). But lately we’re seeing indie Mortlach back in market, albeit with young age statement releases like this Provenance release that was distilled  in 2008 and bottled in May 2016, but as long as they carry the Mortlach characteristics, we should be satisfied.

Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (46%, DL 11257, 245NIS)

Nose: Bready and pastry-y, citrus, cured meat, full bodied, pepper is lurking deep below the surface. After a few minutes there’s lemon and honey and later on there’s cinnamon and red apples, hmm lets call it red apples pie, shall we?

Palate: Malty, thick, fruity with citrusy edge, white pepper, rich sweet fruit, red apples peels, cured meat, gentle oak spices.

Finish: Short medium finish, bitter apples peels, lingering lemon and oak spices.

Thoughts: Young, not overly complex, but oh yeah, it’s so Mortlach-y with those meaty notes and the fruity notes. It’s an excellent summer dram so I’ll be buying myself a bottle (can you have a better buy recommendation than that?). Slainte!

(Official sample provided by Sipil, IL Douglas Laing Importer)

Longrow Red 13 Year Old Malbec Cask Matured Review

The Longrow Red 13 Malbec is the fifth entry The Longrow Red series and is the third Campbeltown whisky review I post in the last 10 days, I’d say they were busy there in the last few months, ah?

This year edition was delayed and so we earned another year on the age statement going up from 12 to 13  this year (Noticed the creeping up trend? We’ve started with 11 years old statement for the first three releases). It  was aged for 12 years in bourbon barrels and then finished for another 15 months in Malbec casks. I loved the last edition (the Pinot Noir cask) very much so was looking forward trying this very eagerly.

Longrow Red 13 Year Old Malbec Cask Matured (51.3%, £62.50/€89,90)

Nose: Soft peat smoke, lots of red fruit, sour berries and unripe plums, winey, Honey, chimney smoke on the beach, Velvety but has a dry side due to the wine tannins. After a while it’s even more fruity with strawberries and with back-end smoked meat. Continue reading

Glenrothes 1989 26 Year Old Cask #8172 (Single Malts of Scotland) Review

Quick tasting notes blog post to close the weekend and we’ll go with a 1989 vintage Glenrothes that was bottled in August 2016 (That’s 26 year old whisky, saved you the calculation). It was matured in Hogshead #8172 that produced 241 bottles when it was bottled by Speciality Drinks Ltd under the Single Malts of Scotland brand.

Glenrothes 1989 26 Year Old (Single Malts of Scotland) (53.8%, £110)

Nose: Malt porridge, quite lemony, generous dose of oak spices, some floral perfume in the background, yes even some lavender, vanilla, honey and pears. Continue reading

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Cask Strength Review

Along with the Hazelburn 13 release I reviewed a few days ago, there was another eagerly waited Campbeltown release, the Kilkerran 8 Cask Strength.

The official Kilkerran 12 Year Old is a smashing success with a few batches bottled so far and now comes the younger sibling, the Kilkerran 8 Year Old. But to compensate for its youth, we do get to enjoy it at cask strength of 56.2%

The last cask strength Kilkerran was the Work In Progress 7 Bourbon Cask which was simply brilliant, but this time we’re 3 years short and with far more active casks involved, so let’s see how does it fare.

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Cask Strength (56.2%, £54/€54.99)

Nose: On first tasting it was a bit shy but on the second round a few days later it became very sweet and rich with lots of malt and honey. But there’s dry side with dry and a bit acrid peat smoke and some fundamental Campbeltown funk. Vanilla, again, very sweet, perhaps a bit too much?  Continue reading

Bruichladdich 2003 11 Year Old Crofter’s Cask Review

Islay is a small island with a population count hovering around 3,300 people. Many of them are working in the whisky and tourism industry and so it’s logical that some of them rose to fame and can even be celebrities for whisky lovers. But not all Islay celebrities are human, as some would argue that Crofter, a dog owned by Steve Bavin, now of Islay Ales and formerly of Bruichladdich distillery, can also be considered as a local celebrity, especially during the yearly Feis pilgrimage.

Crofter, a dog who entertains his owner Steve and other Islay visitors over the years is featured on a private bottling done by Steve, both in title and label, and I’m sure Crofter contributed a lot to the success of this 11 year old Bruichladdich by sniffing out the right cask. Or maybe it’s just because Steve worked there and knew which cask to select?

Bruichladdich 2003 11 Year Old Crofter’s Cask (61.1%)

Nose: Very clean, lots of minerals, melon and honey, dusty when sniffed neat,  very little peat and smoke, salt. Continue reading

Highland Park Hobbister (Keystone Series) Review

It’s pretty rare that I post two reviews in a single day, and I don’t think I ever did that on a Sunday where for half a world it’s a weekend day. But I couldn’t help myself today’s as it’s the 50th birthday of Martin Markvardsen, the Highland Park Senior Brand Ambassador and hands down the best social networks communicative brand ambassador I have ever crossed paths with. So in honor of Martin’s birthday, here’s a review of a tasty and special HP whisky, The Highland Park Hobbister.

Here’s what Highland Park has to say on Hobbister:

Highland Park Hobbister is the first release in the Keystone Series – a collection of special bottlings that highlight our five Keystones of production which combine to make Highland Park stand apart from other Single Malts.

Hobbister takes its name from our peat moor. Lying seven short miles from our distillery, the exposed and barren moor offers little cover from the ferocious winds that frequently batter the island. This environment creates a unique aromatic peat consisting of decaying heather and plants rather than the trees that characterise the peat used by other distilleries.

Highland Park Hobbister (51.4%, 1200 bottles, £75)

Photo credit: whisky-onlineauctions.com

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