Lately I’ve been doing a few reviews (when I wasn’t too busy with life) of multiple bottles, and while I don’t think it’s gonna be a permanent thing and I do plan to do single whiskies reviews, I do have another duo review today – two world whiskies matured (fully or finished) in peated cask, ex-bourbon only, both from climates which leads to rapid maturing. So they share common traits but there are still some glaring differences: different distilleries in different regions in the world and different climate. Single cask vs vatting of a 2-3 casks. The Amrut was finished in peated cask while the Kavalan is fully matured (or so I assume) in peated casks.
First one up – A cask strength Kavalan bottled for La Maison du Whisky in france for their 60th anniversary. It was filled into casks on 23/04/2007 (R070423071) and bottled on 08/08/2016 (9 years old) yielding 600 bottles.
Kavalan Peated Cask for LMDW 60th Anniversary (52.4%, €159.00)
Nose: Rich and buttery with strong impact from the bourbon cask. fruit perfume and then intertwined smoke, wood glue, vanilla and honey, Not a usual combination but it works real well. And then there’s even some sweet corn! With a few drops of water: more fruit sweetness. Continue reading
Last week I reviewed three Ledaig matured in bourbon and a friend of mine who read the post asked me if he was correct in his assumption that I didn’t like them too much. My answer was that I just prefer Ledaig in other types of casks.
And my favorite type of cask for Ledaig? That would be first fill sherry casks. Over the last few years we’ve seen a glut of 2004/2005 Ledaigs matured in first fill sherry casks (9001xx cask numbers) and those I’ve tasted were good (here is a review of one that was bottled for Specs in Texas) . but I especially liked the Signatory releases due to the dirtiness and the tiny amount of sulphur there that elevated them to a good and interesting whisky.
So here’s a review of another Ledaig in sherry cask, this time a 2005 vintage from cask 900161 that produced 564 bottles after being bottled in July 2016 by Speciality Drinks Ltd under the Single Malts of Scotland brand.
Ledaig 2005 11 Year Old Cask #900161 (The Single Malts of Scotland) (56.8%, £65)
Nose: Smooth and sweet earthy peat and it does has that dirt note albeit weak. Slowly the red fruit show up, a mix of berries: blue and red berries, and a dry bonfire smoke and charcoal. Continue reading
The Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso is a recently released limited edition by Bunnahabhain distillery that features their heavily peated spirit, released under the Moine label, matured in Oloroso sherry casks and bottled in cask strength of 60.1%.
From my own experience, peat and sherry works together quite well if they are given enough time to mature and so that magic will happen. However, we don’t know how old is the Moine Oloroso but I think we can assume it’s relatively young. So the question is: did it spent enough time in the casks (and wasn’t rushed out)?
Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso (60.1%, £77.65)
Nose: Heavy bonfire smoke at first, pretty clean and dry, gentle and warm sweet dried fruit, think more purple than red, un-burnt charcoal, soaked raisins, figs, really easy going despite the high ABV. Giving it some more time in the glass it opens up a bit. There’s more punch and more dried fruit sweetness and dark chocolate, some freshness and fresh red fruit. Very good balance for its age (it’s young one, right?). With a few drops of water it’s fresher and there’s less smoke so naturally more dried fruit. Continue reading
Following yesterday’s duo we’ll go one step further and have a Trio review. Yup! Three whiskies reviewed today.
I’ve decided to go “Ledaig matured in bourbon casks” theme today. Why? Well, the obvious answer is “because I can” but also because I do like Ledaig and last year it became somewhat fashionable (but thankfully prices are still reasonable).
So let’s start. The first one and the youngest of them all is a Ledaig 2008 from Signatory. a vatting of two casks (Casks 700752+700753) that were distilled 13.5.2008 and bottled 8.3.2016. It was diluted to 46% and so we have a nice yield of 691 Bottles.
Ledaig 2008 7 Year Old Signatory (46%)
Nose: Sweet nose with sweet earthy peat but the dilution is somewhat felt, honey, malt and slowly we get some bonfire smoke and lemon peels as well.
Whisky is favorite spirit drink but I also like a good glass of proper rum (preferably without added sugar or other additions), so I’m a big fanboy of whisky matured (or finished) in a rum cask, and I’m not the only one in my friends group.
Then came the opportunity to taste and compare two whiskies which are almost twins. They were both distilled in same distillery (Amrut distillery), probably of the same age (or close to) and bottled by the same bottler (Blackadder) so there’s a pretty good chance both casks may come from the same casks batch purchased by Blackadder. But then, I said they are almost twins, just almost and that’s because there’s one big influential difference – The Rum type.
One of the whiskies was finished in a Guadalupe rum cask and the other was finished in a Jamaican rum cask – totally different kind of rum with different Rum characteristics and influence. Let’s check how the different rum cask influenced the Amrut spirit and which one was the winner
Blackadder Amrut Guadeloupe Rum Finish (61.1%, The Nectar 10th Anniversary, €113.99)
Nose: The bourbon cask used for the bulk of it’s maturating is undeniable here with strong maltiness, honey, dust and spices. But there’s added sweetness from the rum cask – Banana and demerara sugar along with menthol, now some coconut and dried apricots. Continue reading
It’s Sunday and it’s been a while (yet again) since the last review so here’s a quick review of a summer-time whisky. It’s hailing from Glenburgie distillery which doesn’t have an official bottlings as most of it’s production goes into Ballantine’s and other blends from Pernod Ricard.
This whisky was distilled back in 1998, it slubered in cask #9914 for 17 years before bottled for our enjoyment by Speciality Drinks under The Single Malts of Scotland brand.
Glenburgie 1998 17 Year Old (The Single Malts of Scotland) (54.1% )
Nose: Starts with creamy porridge, lime, grass, lemongrass, a meadow or orchard on spring day with pears, apples, stone fruit (a bit sour), green melon and after a few minutes, a big fruity note with barley sugar. Continue reading
You know the annual ritual of Ardbeg fans: late March, rushing, hammering and encountering an overload Ardbeg site, then curse, gets angry when site goes down, makes F5 key stuck forever and all just to grab a bottle (or case) of the latest Committee Release which precedes the Ardbeg Day general release. But the truth is that nowadays the site is usually more responsive and manage to handle the load, but the other part stays true and the bottles are quickly gone usually within the hour (site downtime notwithstanding).
I have to admit that up to Ardbog, the 2013 Ardbeg Day release, I was very happy with the special releases but I admit there had been a lapse of faith after the last few releases with Perpetuum being rock bottom, so when I heard on Kelpie, the 2017 bottling I was again very skeptic and thought to myself: Oh come on, what’s that wood voodoo of using casks from oak that grows in a remote region in Russia? It’s not like we really know (at least now) how exactly those casks were used: full maturation? finish? a mix?
But those questions won’t stop me from tasting it because a true whisky geek will be curious and will want to try it – hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Release (51.7%)
Nose: Hmm, not your usual Arbeg or at least isn’t similar to anything Ardbeg released in the last few years. Lots of salt, Kabanos and salami (really! I was utterly shocked!), wet peat smoke, coals, pickled herring. Peat is very restrained, rounded and not sharp like recent releases, honey sweetness. With water, more malt, gets fresher, smoke and peat becomes more like recent releases. Continue reading