Category Archives: Whisky Reviews

Springbank 24 Year Old Sherry Cask UK Exclusive

Sometimes there are bottles you eye but know you won’t buy them due to their high price tag and you hope you’ll have the chance to taste them somehow. This Springbank 24 Year Old is such one.

It’s an aged Springbank from a sherry butt so it came with a high price tag (£420 RRP but now cost is around £900) and outside my budget. But thank to a virtual tasting organized by Ian and the It’s all about Springbank Facebook group, I had the opportunity to try it.

Before we duck into the tasting some technical facts: It was distilled back in December 1994, matured in a fresh sherry hogshead for 24 years before being bottled May 2019. 294 bottles were released, bottled at 46.2%

Springbank 24 Year Old Sherry Cask UK Exclusive (46.2% £899.90)

Nose: Oak spice, sweet dried stone fruits, oak extracts so quite intense (but not too dominant) oakiness, oily, wood polish, chocolate, sweet espresso, peat smoke and tool shed, jammy with raspberry, gooseberries and some cranberries. Continue reading

Talisker Neist Point

Today we have under the limelight the expensive of all Talisker NAS releases of the last decade. Most of those releases are reviewed in the blog (except Dark Storm, not sure why it’s missing tho!) but Talisker Neist Point is the one that I couldn’t bother to grab for a review, until now.

Talisker Neist Point is named after the Neist Point Lighthouse in the western most point on Skye Island. It was released as a Travel Retail exclusive, although now you do can get it in some stores, which is a good thing as this market is suffering a lot at the moment due to Covid-19.

As you can see from the links below, It’s not a cheap release. Is this price tag justified?

Talisker Neist Point (45.8%, £90.90/€76.90)

Photo credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Quite fruity with large dose of tropical fruits, pineapple, kiwi, passion fruits. There’s gentle smoke, honey and vanilla. After a while it becomes very buttery, there’s also some cookie dough. Continue reading

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Early Teen Batches (010, 011 & 012)

It’s not a secret that I like Laphroaig (despite a few disappointing releases in the last few years) but the annual 10 Year Old Cask Strength is always exciting and almost every single time a fantastic whisky.

2.5 years ago, I went through an epic tasting of all the Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength releases from green stripe all the way up to batch 009 and it was quite a memorable one. But since then we’ve moved into the early teen batches of the series – 010, 011 and the recently released 012 batch.

So, head to head tasting? sure thing! Not as epic and lengthy as the previous tasting, but still a good and satisfying evening going back and forth between them.

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Batch 010 (58%)

credit: thewhiskyworld.com

Nose: Sweet smoke, honey and vanilla, chimney smoke, tarry, after a while also fruits with pears and peaches, a bit of disinfectant and a pack of band-aids, getting more lively. With a few drops of water (but not a lot) more honey and vanilla, more medicinal and with extra TCP. Continue reading

Glen Garioch 8 Year Old ex-Bielle Rum Finish (Asta Morris)

I have a few friends with a very high affinity to Glen Garioch Distillery so naturally I tend to be quite up o date with the distillery (sometimes against my futile efforts to avoid it 😉 ).

But when an IB bottling of Glen Garioch is imported and is available locally, you can’t really avoid noticing and tasting it, and this was my fate with this Glen Garioch 2011 8 Year Old bottled by Asta Morris.

While it’s a young Glen Garioch it’s not a boring whisky as it may sound. It was matured in ex-Bourbon and then finished in ex-Bielle Rum casks that Asta Morris Rum bottled under their Rasta Morris brand – so ex-Bourbon and then Agricole rum casks.

272 bottles were produced from the ex-Rum cask at 49.7%.

Glen Garioch 8 Year Old ex-Bielle Rum Finish (Asta Morris) (49.7%, €62/335NIS)

Nose: Despite the relatively low ABV there’s a good punch here, some youth and muscular nose, malty with cereals, brown sugar and that Agricole grassiness, also some pineapple. Spices with ginger (of course as it’s a Glen Garioch after all) and white pepper.

Palate: Malty, cereals, honey and brown sugar sweetness, quite spicy with ginger, nutmeg and white pepper. Then we have some pineapple juice and grapefruit juice and the white rind bitterness.

Finish: Medium length, spicy, brown sugar, pineapple juice, grapefruits and the Agricole grassiness.

Thoughts: At first it felt a bit too young and incoherent but once it settled in the glass and got a bit oxidized it blossomed nicely. The nose got some good Rum influence to balance the youth and spiciness of Glen Garioch and in the mouth it’s more spicy and fruity with a minuscule Agricole influence that makes a cameo in the finish. A lovely summertime whisky.

Compass Box Myths and Legends 1

The Myths and Legends series from Compass Box was created to challenge some myths and legends about Scotch whisky which became unchallenged facts by the drinkers. The first member in this series, Myths & Legends I, was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels and re-charred American oak barrels, to debunk the myth that a whisky’s region dictates its flavor – it’s all about the casks.

It was blended from a mix of 2 casks parcels from Balblair Distillery. One from 1997 and the other from 2003 (At least according to the whiskybase.com page), so based on this info, it’s in fact a 16 Year Old (or so) single malt from Balblair, and whenever it’s not a single cask whisky, blending is a crucial part in building the whisky characteristic.

Compass Box Myths and Legends I (46%, £130/€148.90/$139.99)

Nose: Apples bowl, green apples peels, pears, even more apples, honey, pastries (apples butter pastries), apple blossoms, meadow, floral perfume tinge, apples compote, yeah I think it’s quite clear there’s a dominating fruit here… Continue reading

Port Charlotte OLC:01

Last month, just a few days after releasing online exclusive Port Charlotte 16 Year Old for the virtual Fèis Ìle festival, came the next member in the PC cask exploration series, the Port Charlotte OLC:01.

We had MC:01 and MRC:01 (Marsala and Bordeaux respectively) and now comes the OLC:01 a 9 Year Old Port Charlotte which was distilled in 2010 and bottled earlier this year after being finished in Oloroso Hogsheads.

This is a major release with 30,000 bottles (at 55.1%) in circulation so it’s wildly available if you want to buy one after reading the review.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte OLC:01 (55.1%, £90/€96.90)

Nose: Potent and lively, sweet smoke drifts, peat, dried red berries, vanilla, lactic note that disappeared after a few minutes, honey. After left to rest for a few minutes some smoked meat, cured meat, also maltiness and if you wield some wild imagination you could smell there haggis in berries sauce. After a few more minutes more sherry sweetness, more dried fruits and it’s nicely balanced. With a few drops of water the peat is tamed and there’s even more sweet fruits. Continue reading

Glenrothes 10 Year Old (Dràm Mòr)

Dràm Mòr are the new kid in the block of independent bottlers. So far they had a initial launch of four bottles followed by a sherried Ben Nevis (for Belgium and Netherlands).

In that first wave, they had an interesting 10 Year Old Glenrothes that seemed to be finished for an unknown time period in a Sherry hogshead.

Glenrothes 10 Year Old (Dràm Mòr) (58%, £59.95/€73.95)

Nose: Punchy, sweet dried dates and figs, toffee, caramel,  sultanas, somewhat sour vanilla, hazelnuts and cinnamon, butterscotch and pudding. With a few drops of water it’s gaining fruitiness (green shade) and gummy bears sweetness. Continue reading

SMWS 25.61 Lemon and Vanilla Delicacy (Rosebank)

Today it’s a Rosebank under the limelight and the reason for it is an ABC whisky challenge at the regional whisky club and I was selected to toast a whisky starting with ‘R’.

Of course I could go the simple and safe (and boring) route with Royal Lochnagar or Royal Brackla but why not use this occasion to try something more interesting? After a short search in the boxes, I found this 20 Year Old Rosebank sample that was gathering dust for years since Johanne McInnes (@whiskylassie) sent it to me (Check her blog at the WhiskyLassie Blog!)

So Yay for an excuse to drink some Rosebank 🙂

SMWS 25.61 Lemon and Vanilla Delicacy (20 Year Old Rosebank) (51.3%)

Nose: Lemon salad (is there such a thing? lots of different kinds of lemon here!), vanilla pods, dough, floral, honeycomb, a bit of limestone dust.
Continue reading

Caol Ila 2006 13 year old (by Vintage Whisky)

How do you know that your local single malt whisky market is healthy? That it’s growing and developing nicely? There are a few key factors to gauge this: breadth of brands and expressions on the shelves, also seeing on the shelves special and limited editions (beyond the core range offers) on a regular basis, market exclusive bottlings and eventually growth in the local independent bottlers segment.

Of the latter, we’ve seen offers from Goren’s Whisky, Holy Dram and now Vintage Whisky.

Vintage Whisky are the importers of Cadenhead and Asta Morris and now they are also an Independent bottler with a recently released Caol Ila 13 Year Old single cask whisky.

Hogshead #302307 was filled on March 29th 2006 and bottled on February 21st 2020, yielding 263 bottles at 55.6%

Caol Ila 2006 13 year old (55.6%, 499NIS)

Nose: Maritime bonanza, salty, brine, minerality and sea breeze. Vanilla, honey, hay, lemonade, lemongrass, soft smoke, cured meat and grapefruit juice. Lovely. Continue reading

The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Year Old Special Releases 2019

With the Corona virus raging around us since early 2020, it is sometimes hard to remember that we passed through seasons. From winter to spring with summer season just upon us in the Northern hemisphere.

I thought that for the weekend, it would be a great time to review a whisky befitting spring time (just before we move on to the summer) and weekend, something like Glen Ord 18 Year Old that was part of Diageo Special Releases 2019.

Glen Ord is one of the triumvirate distilleries Diageo uses for The Singleton brand along with Dufftown and Glendulan. Usually Glen Ord is reserved to The Singleton marketed to the Far East region (so we do not get it in Europe, Middle East and America), so it was nice to have the opportunity to check an official release from the distillery.

The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Year Old Special Releases 2019 (55%, £129.95/€129.90)

Nose: Honey, springtime blossoming meadow, gentle oak wood spices with a dash of white pepper, cereals, au naturale almonds, marzipan. Very fresh and lively with floral tinge. Continue reading