Category Archives: Reviews

Speyburn 1975 Clan Cask Review

Today’s review is the 500th post of the blog (only took 4+ years), so I wanted to review something nice (and special) to celebrate the occasion. I rummaged through the samples boxes and came up with a few options but this old Speyburn that was sitting there for years growing cobwebs caught my attention as Speyburn distillery just announced a new 15 Year Old expression, so I thought to myself: why not review a Speyburn?

This 1975 Speyburn, bottled back in 2012 (37 Year Old) was exclusively available to Clan Speyburn, the community for Speyburn lovers. 320 bottles were bottled from this sherry butt.

Speyburn 1975 Clan Cask (55.4%, Cask #3413, £289.95)

Nose: Dried fruit, lots of dates, fresh ripe plums, nutmeg and chestnut, milk chocolate, Chili pepper, big purple cherries, sniffing tobacco, orange and eventually some mint.

Palate: Leather, tobacco, dates, dried fruit paste, orange and ginger marmalade, milk chocolate, nutmeg and white pepper. Very creamy and balanced.

Finish: Medium length, earthy with lingering dried fruit, milk chocolate, nutmeg, tobacco and leather.

Thoughts: This is a magnificent cask. The cask isn’t overpowering with sweet and bold sherry sweetness nor big time spices, stellar and balanced whisky.

(Adrian, Thanks for the sample!)

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Ledaig 19 Year Old Marsala Wine Finish Review

While Tobermory Distillery is closed for renovations lets have a look at Ledaig 19 Year Old Marsala finish. It was distilled back in 1997 and then matured in bourbon barrels and then finished in Marsala wine casks. It was bottled late 2016 before arriving to markets at the beginning of 2017.

I delayed (a lot!) with this review since they whisky was pretty harsh whisky when I initially tasted it but I believed it will be much better with oxidation. So it sat aside and waited for the right time that finally arrived.

Ledaig 19 Year Old Marsala Wine Finish (51%, £124/€159,90)

Nose: Sweet and spicy wine, dry wine tannins, funky herbal and acrid peat, salt, some ashes as well, baked sour red fruit, berries, fresh rich malt and vanilla lurks below the surface, Over time and oxidation getting richer with softer ashes and peat smoke. Continue reading

Inchmoan 12 Year Old Review

Today’s review is Inchmoan 12 Year Old, the peated sibling of Inchmurrin from Loch Lomond Distillery. It was distilled using the distillery traditional swan neck and their unique straight neck pot stills (Also known as Lomond Stills). matured for 12 years in re-charred American oak and refill bourbon American oak casks. Bottled at 46% without chill-filtering (although with added caramel). At the moment it’s only available at UK shops but global distribution will follow in the coming months.

Inchmoan 12 Year Old (46%, £44.45)

Nose: Malt and cereals, bright sweetness with touches of floral and vegetal edges, honey, soft clean earthy peat (Islay it’s not…), moss and gentle damp wood which is one of my least favorite notes (to say the least) but it somehow works OK here with the bright sweetness. After a few minutes there’s floral perfume and gentle burnt wood in the background. Continue reading

The Exclusive Malts Islay Malt 2011 5 Year Old (Whisky in Leiden 2017) Review

Following the Glentauchers 2008 review that opened the weekend, we’ll end the weekend with another young whisky bottled for Whisky In Leiden 2017 festival.

And it’s one from the other side of the spectrum, opposite of the sherried Speyside there’s a peated Islay malt so nobody get bored. This whisky was distilled in May 2011, matured in refill hogshead (cask 9313) and bottled in early 2017, yielding 306 bottles.

The Exclusive Malts Islay Malt 2011 5 Year Old (Whisky in Leiden 2017) (57.7%, €54,99)

Nose: Sharp oak spices, malt and peat smoke, then honey and vanilla, dry yet very fresh and the smoke which is soft at first then getting sharper. Honey with lemon, then pears. Later on getting minerals and brine along with citrus peels.  Continue reading

The Exclusive Malts Glentauchers 2008 8 Year Old (Whisky in Leiden 2017) Review

For the weekend I’m going to focus on two young whiskies bottled by The Exclusive Malts Company (founded by David Stirk), selected and bottled for the Whisky In Leiden 2017 festival back in April (The 2018 Festival will be held on April 14th 2018).

First one up is a young sherry bomb speysider from Glentauchers Distillery. It was distilled in March 2008, matured in an ex-Sherry Butt #900179 and 250 bottles at 53.5% were bottled for the occasion.

The Exclusive Malts Glentauchers 2008 8 Year Old (Whisky in Leiden 2017) (53.5%, €54,99)

Nose: Strong oakiness at first, sour red berries, malt with sharp spiciness of pine forest and eucalyptus herbs. Then the sherry butt wakes up with demerara sugar, red fruit turns sweeter, dates, strong sherry spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, all while keeping up with pine forest and eucalyptus sharpness. Added a few drops of water and it’s lighter with fresh red fruit and gentle sherry spices. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3 Review

A new wave of Octomores is hitting the shelves with Octomore 8.1 and with 3 more releases (8.2, 8.3 and 8.4) coming till January. So it’s a good time to clear the “waiting for review” shelf from older Octomores and so we have a review of Octomore 7.3.

Like with previous x.3 Octomores, it’s Islay barley Octomore and in fact could be called Local Barley Octomore as the barley was grown in Octomore farm. It was distilled back in 2010 and peated to 169 ppm, aged in bourbon barrels and red wine casks from Ribera del Duero in Spain.

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3 (63%, £113.99/€179,99/$149.99)

Nose: Big hit of sweet and earthy peat, soft peat smoke, malt, honey, pears and apricots, salt sprinkled pastry, very thick and jammy. After a while we get more red fruit, sour red berries, also becoming herbal along with mint freshness. With a few drops of water we are treated with lots of herbs, red fruit but it’s also less meaty. Continue reading

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #008 Review

I’ll never get bored of the Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength series. I love Laphroaig and those whiskies usually deliver the Laph profile dialed up to the max. I tasted a few earlier batches (although I only published a review on Batch 7), so now it’s time to review Batch 8 and eventually I hope to catch up to the latest Batch 9 before the next edition will be released 😉

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #008 (59.2%, $65.00)

Nose: Soft peat smoke with short lived acrid burn note (that thankfully disappeared quickly), vanilla and honey, sweet fresh cut oak, Slowly smoked cured meat rises up big time, salt. After it breathed for a few minutes there’s meat, lemon and vanilla stuffed baked pastry. This is one tasty nose. Continue reading