Author Archives: Yoav @ Whisky Gospel

Ardbeg 19 Traigh Bhan

In the wake of the news of the forthcoming Ardbeg Blaaack (An Ardbeg Comittee for 2020, possibly Ardbeg day release), it’s a good idea to review one of Ardbeg releases and one that was eagerly expected by Ardbeg fans for years – Ardbeg 19 Traigh Bhan.

I remember myself waiting patiently over the years for a new core line-up Ardbeg with a higher age statement from the new regime stock. But when the opportunity to release a new 15,17 (now that could be something – a rebirth of the 17!) or 18 year old expressions has passed without new releases, but then we got the 19 year old.

The new 19 year old Traigh Bhan is now part of the core line-up but it will be produced as an annual batch of unknown count of bottles. What really tickled my curiosity was the fact they said each batch will be slightly different from each other. It dawned on me that Ardbeg are victims of their own success where almost everything they produce goes towards the 10/Uigeadail/Corryvreckan and there’s not enough mature stock from the first years to produce a consistent mature release.

Or maybe they didn’t want to release it but caved under the market and beans counter demands to produce an older expression to sell for a higher price tag?

Either way, I wasn’t going to let this release pass without checking it out!

Ardbeg 19 Traigh Bhan (46.2%, £219.99/€192/$258)

Photo: thewhiskyexchange.com

Nose: A modern Ardbeg – you cannot really compare it to old regime Ardbeg expressions like ANB or Ardeg 17. Peat smoke, lemon, a very classical and toned down 10yo at first, honey, lime, yuzu, exotic far east citrus , brioche, soft and sweet peat and soot, a bit coastal with sea breeze, chimney smoke and almonds. Continue reading

Glenlivet 2007 11 Year Old Signatory Unchillfiltered Cask #900242

In the last few years we’ve seen a huge number of sherried 2007 Vintage Glenlivet casks bottled by Signatory and they became oh so very popular that it’s time I’ll review one of those. Our ‘victim’ is cask #900242 that bottled by Signatory under The Un-Chillfiltered Collection brand at 46%

The sherry butt was filled on 10/04/2007 and bottled 27/02/2019 and at the diluated ABV of 46% it yielded 887 bottles.

Glenlivet 2007 11 Year Old Cask #900242 (46%, £55/₪280)

Nose: Soft dried fruit, cereals, milk chocolate, raspberries and blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and soft oak spice. After a few minutes there’s  a darker shade of chocolate with extra cocoa, dried cherries and strawberries, berries perfume. Continue reading

Deanston 1997 21 Year Old Palo Cortado Cask Finish

One more Deanston from Distell 2019 collection and this time it’s the 1997 vintage 21 Year Old finished in Palo Cortado casks.

The whisky was distilled and filled into bourbon casks on November 1997 where it matured for over 18 years and then it was finished in the Palo Cortado sherry hogsheads since April 2016 (so finished for over 2 years).

1663 (or maybe it’s 280?) bottles were made, bottled at 51.8%.

Last year Distell released Palo Cortado finished Bunnahabhain which was excellent and I assume those Palo Cortado casks here are from the same cask parcel so I have high expectations!

Deanston 1997 21 Year Old Palo Cortado Cask Finish (51.8%, £150/€237,99)

Nose: Lovely depth of notes. There’s earthy side here with dried fruits, and Portobello mushrooms, dark chocolate, sherry vinegar, dark cherries, a few specks of nutmeg and cinnamon and eventually the Deanston honey and cereals shows up through the cracks of the sherry casks notes. Continue reading

Deanston 2002 16 Year Old Organic Oloroso Cask Finish

The second Deanston in Distell 2019 Collection is a 2002 vintage aged for 16 years. It spent 14 years in re-charred ex-bourbon casks on (filled on 18th December 2002), then transferred into organic Oloroso casks (supplied by Robles, the only fully organic sherry producer) on 5th May 2016 for additional 2 years or so.

Total of 528 (or 3492) bottles were made for this limited edition.

Deanston 2002 16 Year Old Organic Oloroso Cask Finish (50.6%, €113.99)

Nose: Soft, strong malt and cereals notes, with bread dough and croissant, honey. Then sweet red dried berries, cinnamon and nutmeg, chocolate, creamy and soft. The sherry impact isn’t overpowering here but the balance between the notes is exquisite. Continue reading

Deanston 2006 12 Year Old Fino Cask Finish

Deanston distillery is the lesser known member in Distell distilleries portfolio and also the most underrated one. But in the the last few years, Distell has released a few Deanston limited editions that made some waves and raised the wareness of the distillery products in whisky drinkers minds.

This year, Distill has includes no less than three different Deanston offerings in their Distell 2019 collection and of course we’ll check them all this week here on Whisky Gospel.

The first one up is the younger offering: Deanston from 2006 with 12 Year Old age statement that was finished in Fino sherry casks.

It’s the first time Fino sherry has been used in Deanston – senior blender Dr. Kirstie McCallum decided to take deanston malt that laid in bourbon casks for 9 and a half years and finish  it for two and a half years in Fino sherry casks.

It was bottled at 55% and it’s not clear how many bottles are out there – I’ve seen conflicting numbers of 1608 bottles and 268 bottles (maybe the latter is UK market share?), either way – not too many of those out there…

Deanston 2006 12 Year Old Fino Cask Finish (55%, £64.95/€84.95)

Nose: Malty and sweet grapes a la muscat, almonds croissant, nutty, nutmeg, sultanas, very soft, hint of pepper, soft and silky. Continue reading

Glendronach Master Vintage 1993 25 Year Old

Take a whisky from a classic vintage year from a well-known distillery, one that was matured in sherry casks they are famous for using them and you’d expect a fantastic whisky.

This is what we had in mind when I selected this whisky for a blind tasting events earlier this year – A Glendronach from 1993 (A Master Vintage!) matured in Oloroso and PX casks so it must be a winner.

Let’s see what I thought of it:

Glendronach Master Vintage 1993 25 Year Old (48.2%, £250/218.90)

Photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Sour dried berries, a lot of cinnamon of all kinds – fresh, boiled and cooked, gentle oak spices and white pepper, sour fresh cherries and gooseberry and after a few minutes some raspberries as well coupled with milk chocolate. Very mellow and gentle nose. Continue reading

Cadenhead Creations Light Creamy Vanilla 26yo

Even though it’s still summer and hot here, I can’t let the week pass without a single whisky review. So here’s something light and fitting for the season – Cadenhead Creations ‘Light Creamy Vanilla’ 26 Year Old.- a blended malt whisky mixing spirit from Glenlivet, Bruichladdich, Glen Grant, Aultmore, Tamdhu, Strathisla and Braeval and matured in a bourbon hogshead.

It’s the 3rd batch, the whisky was distilled back in 1991 and bottled in 2018. 288 bottles at 43.8% were made available.

Cadenhead Creations Light Creamy Vanilla 26 Year Old (43.8%,€99,99/€109)

Photo: whiskybase.com

Nose: Punchy at first with creamy vanilla and honey, pears and gentle fruitiness, bread-y. After a few minutes it calms down and we get gentle menthol freshness, peaches and bright yellow cherries. Later on heather honey with soft fresh tropical fruitiness. Continue reading