While I was really planning a curfew on whisky reviews this week in preparations for Feis Ile 2018, today my social media feed is full of pictures of friends celebrating the Campbeltown Malts Festival, so damn this self-inflicted reviews break – I’m gonna break the break 😀
And what’s more befitting than a Springbank whisky review to celebrate Campbeltown Malts Festival? Let’s review this Longrow 2007 9 Year Old matured in Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads for Springbank Society. It was distilled 11/2007 and bottled 10/2017 (so one month short of being a 10 Year Old whisky). 1134 bottles were produced at 56.3%.
Longrow 2007 9 Year Old Sauternes for Springbank Society (56.3%)
Nose: Sweet white wine, then gentle peat smoke, a touch of greenery, dry champagne, pears, green grapes peels, green mango, honey, toffee, refreshing. After a while, peaches, fudge, rich and heavy. Continue reading
A wee break from whisky before the Feis Ile 2018 hailstorm hits us with some Rum goodness. In the coming week (even along with the Feis Ile posts), I’ll review a few Caroni rums that I was fortunate enough to taste lately, starting with this Caroni 1998 Vintage.
Caroni distillery, located in Trinidad was closed in 2002 and the demolished, therefor many refers to it like the Port Ellen of rums because of the striking similarity between them: Caroni being dirty (PE was peated) Substantial stock waiting to be bottled and rapidly increasing prices. Flavor-wise I think the Caroni flavors (especially when it’s heavier distillate) are more of a cross between Ardbeg and Springbank whiskies.
This 19 Year Old Caroni is a joint bottling of a Caroni cask by Kintra and The Rum Mercenary. The Rum was distilled back in January 1998, filled into cask #6 that was bottled on 22/09/2017 after 19 years (Mostly on mainland Eruope) to yield 158 bottles at 55.1%. Our Rum club had the Rum Mercenary bottling which is presented with the lovely label shown on the right, while the Kintra label is more conservative (shown below in the notes).
Caroni Rum 19 Year Old (1998-2017) Kintra/Rum Mercenary (55.1%, €151,25)
Nose: Sweet wood and raisins, almost sherry like. Then there’s that Caroni dirtiness, tar, diesel oil fumes, salted fishes, black olives, brown sugar, toasted oak and sweet burnt plastic. Continue reading
The Whisky Exchange keeps pumping out exclusive releases and this time, a 180 turn from the Old Pulteney 2004 that was released recently, going for a whisky from a far less familiar distillery and brand, matured in ex-bourbon casks – Croftengea 2008 Vintage.
Croftengea is the brand name given to the peatiest whisky produced at the highlands distillery of Loch Lochmond. Loch Lomond distillery has 4 types of stills that can produce 14 possible whisky styles. For Croftengea, the same setup as Inchmurrin whisky was used, but the barley is peated to 40ppm.
Croftengea 2008 9 Year Old TWE Exclusive (54.8%, £69.95)
Nose: Mellow nose but it does have a heavy dpose of earthy peat smoke at first, fruity with lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, green papaya and a bit of honey, sprinkled with a pinch of salt, After a few minutes less peat smoke and stronger fruitiness. Continue reading
Along with the 2011 Octomore reviewed yesterday, Dramfool also bottled a 2011 Port Charlotte for (Islay Whisky Festival 2018 (Also known as Feis Ile).
You may ask yourself how is it a 15 Year old and not 16/17 Year old, but that Ex-bourbon Hogshead (#0847) was in fact bottled December 2016 by previous owner before Dramfool snagged them a yeat later to be released now.
The hogshead yielded 195 bottles at 58.3%, no chill-filtered and natural colored.
Port Charlotte 2001 15 Year Old Dramfool (58.3%, £95)
Nose: Sweet peat (and lactic at first), vanilla and a dash of honey, sweet cured white fish meat, lots of salt. With water it opens up, some herbs, greener fruits and smoke. The peat is strong in this one. Continue reading
It’s really been a long time without an Octomore review on here, ah? A whole month has passed! 🙂
Truthfully I didn’t think another Octomore review will come out so soon but we’re closing on Feis Ile 2018 and some interesting Islay whiskys pop out.
Today I’m checking out a new Octomore from Dramfool, a Scottish independent bottler, released for Islay Whisky Festival 2018 which is also known as Feis Ile 2018 but the ‘Feis Ile’ term is now trademarked so Islay Whisky Festival it is in our case.
It’s a 150 ppm 6 year old Octomore (2011 vintage) from ex-bourbon Hogshead #4552/2011 that was filled for Simon Coughlin, Bruichladdich CEO at the time. Total of 253 bottles were produced from that Hogshead at a whopping 62%.
Octomore 2011 6 Year Old Dramfool (Islay Festival 2018) (62%, £160)
Nose: Crisp and well defined, sweet vanilla, sweet peat, It’s sweet but it’s not cloying or a dominating sweetness. Instead it’s more like gentle cake sugar icing sweetness. No smoke so far, but it does gets fruity after a few minutes: apricots with hints of floral perfume . With a few drops of water it’s on a new level of fruitiness with more apricots, green mango and papaya and becomes more perfumey. Continue reading
It’s time to check out the top of the line in the new Jura core range – The Jura 18 Year Old.
It was matured for 18 in American White Oak ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux casks before bottled at 44%. So another wine finish but at least it’s singular and not a mix of different wine casks.
Let’s see how that works out.
Isle of Jura 18 Year Old (44%, €89,90)
Nose: Sour vanilla, lactic, wine tannins, cream, toffee and caramel. After a few minutes in the glass it becomes more winey and with cream, butterscotch and cinnamon. Very gentle and polished nose. Continue reading
The next whisky in the new and revamped Isle of Jura line up is Jura Seven Wood. I know many eyebrows were raised (mine included) when it was announced – Seven different oaks seemed excessive. We don’t know if it was matured in parallel in those seven different casks and vatted together or maybe some went through double/triple/quadruple maturation before being vatted together.
The seven wood used in the expression are:
- First-fill ex-bourbon American White Oak
I must admit this list kind of left me breathless when I first read it (didn’t even try to read it aloud)! But we do need to remember that Jura distillery already dabbled in such experiments for their Tastival releases (Feis Ile bottlings), so maybe for Jura it’s not such a far fetched idea to release such a complex whisky as a permanent offer in their line up.
Nose: Malt, red wine sweetness, vanilla, gentle tannins and white pepper, red berries led by raspberries and gooseberries. After a while butterscotch, nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. Continue reading