Author Archives: Yoav @ Whisky Gospel

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:

Continue reading

Hazelburn 13 Year Old Oloroso Cask Review

After a few years that Springbank Distillery was quiet on their Hazelburn (Springbank unpeated triple distillation) front, in the last year we’ve been treated with two special/limited editions of Hazelburn in different casks. First came the Hazelburn 9 Year Old that was finished for a few years in Barolo wine casks, which was real good whisky. And now we have a 13 Year Old Hazelburn that was aged in a mix of first fill and refill Oloroso casks. Now, first fill Oloroso casks can be very dominating and with the delicate nature of Hazelburn spirit and with extra four years (over the Barolo expression), it was interesting to see if Springbank has managed to get the balance right here and how much of the Hazelburn nature has been preserved here.

Hazelburn 2003 13 Year Old Oloroso Cask (47.1%, £59.99/€67.99)

Nose: My first taste of the Hazelburn was after tasting the Kilkerran 8 (review to follow later this week) and it felt too mellow and watery, but the second time around was much better, tasting it at the beginning of the evening. Sweet Oloroso sherry impact, raisins, dried fruit, milk chocolate and cocoa, then a generous dash of Campbeltown funk (unpeated or not you can’t avoid it) with petrol, car exhaust fumes and farm greenery. After it breathed in the glass, there were extra berries and it becomes more sherried and less Campbeltown-y. Overall it felt a tad thin behind the sherry (‘thanks’ to the Hazelburn triple distillate). Continue reading

Highland Park 2003 13 Year Old Single Cask #2115 HPAS (Highland Park Appreciation Society) Review

Highland Park has embarked on a new series since October last year. 14 (and counting) single casks were released in the new Single Cask Series (so far), and all of them were directed into very specific markets: shops and airport exclusives and one cask was even bottled for the biggest Highland Park Facebook fan group called Highland Park Appreciation Society (or HPAS as it’s widely known among its members).

I was looking into acquiring a bottle when it got released but getting one was deemed too complicated with no direct shipping route from the shop to me. Thankfully, some HPAS members were sharing their bottles so I managed to get a sample (thanks Peter!).

All those single casks carry age statement of 12 to 14 year old, with prices hovering around 150 (for most of them) and the HPAS single cask is a 13 year old with 576 bottles released from the sherry butt to the faithful members of HPAS, although you can find some bottles on auction sites.

Highland Park 2003 13 Year Old Single Cask #2115 HPAS (59.1%)

Nose: Big dirty sherry HP bomb. Let’s see…there’s  peat, gentle smoke, floral & heather flowers, a big sulphur impact with TONS of struck matches and a bit of rubber. dust and a bowl of sweet/sour dried and fresh red berries. Continue reading