Category Archives: Whisky Reviews

Glenfarclas 1989 29 Year Old (Edition No.23 Jakob I.)

Today’s subject is a shiny Glenfarclas which just happens to be the latest link in a series that honors Scottish figures that started back in 1996.

The 23rd edition in the series honours the Scottish king Jakob I. (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625):

Charles James was the son of Maria Stuart and her second husband’s Lord Darnley. When his mother had to resign one year after his birth, he was appointed Scottish king under the name Jakob/James VI. on 24 July 1567. But after Elisabeth I. died without children in 1603, he also received the crown of England and Ireland on 24 March 1603 and was known since then as James I.

This edition is a 29 Year Old Glenfarclas distilled back in 1989 andit was bottled at 46%.

Glenfarclas 1989 29 Year Old (Edition No.23 Jakob I.) (46%, 168,90)

Nose: Dried fruit, mostly sweet with a bit sour fruits thrown in, quite fresh and light, bright cherries, strawberry, low-key oak spice after all that time, cinnamon, more sour fruitiness (with tropic bearing), a very pleasant nose. Continue reading

Longrow 14 Year Old Sherry Cask

Longrow 14 Year Old Sherry Cask Matured was one of the 2018 limited editions from Springbank (along with the Hazelburn Oloroso) and it was released exactly 12 months ago in August 2018.

Interesting enough, even a year later it’s still widely available (unlike most Springbank limited editions), so we need to review it and understand why…

This Longrow was distilled November 2003 and Bottled in July 2018, the refill oloroso casks yielded 9000 bottles at 57.8%

Longrow 14 Year Old Sherry Cask 57.8% (€97/$109.99)

Nose: Dirty, gun powder and mild sulphur. Then dried raspberries, strong espresso, fresh sour berries with lingonberries and cranberries, cocoa and sour plums. Continue reading

Dramfool Elderly Elvis Tilting (Glenlivet) 25 Year Old

After checking out the mildly disappointing Glenlivet Cpatain’s Reserve let’s have another Glenlivet to balance the scales. In the last year we’ve seen a few interesting releases coming from an unnamed Speyside distilleries, and some are rumored to be from Glenlivet. They have similar age and strength so maybe they are coming from the same casks parcel?

One of those releases is the Dramfool special bottling for Spirit of Speyside 2019, named Elderly Elvis Tilting

Bruce, the man behind Dramfool love words game and anagrams. We reviewed a Lagavulin called Like a Villian and there was another Glenlivet called Give n Tell. Anyway, given those facts you can easily find out that the bottling name is an anagram for Glenlivet Distillery.

So we have a 25 year old Glenlivet from ex-bourbon barrel. Only 109 bottles at 51.2% were released, non-chill filtered and no caramel was added.

Dramfool Elderly Elvis Tilting (Glenlivet) 25 Year Old (51.2%, £135)

Nose: Clean and richly sweet, green apples and pears, sweet barley, pink grapefruit, melon, pear drops and red apple peels. After a few minutes more tropical fruit and extra grapefruit juice. Continue reading

The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve

The review today checks out the latest Glenlivet core line addition (from August 2018) – The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve. The name comes from Captain William Smith Grant who was the great grandson of Glenlivet’s founder George Smith.

It’s a NAS offering (at 40% and probably chill filtered), matured in ex-bourbon barrel and sherry butts and then finished for a short time (6 months) in Cognac casks. Cognac cask finish isn’t too common in the industry, especially for mainstream core line release, so I’m quite intriguing to try it.

The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve (40%, £46.95/35,50)

Nose: Weak and thin, showing some youth as well, sweet green grapes, golden apples, oak sweetness, cereals porridge, cream. After a few minutes anise and concentrated oranges juice from can. Continue reading

Compass Box The Circle Release No. 1

Compass Box are really geared up in 2019 as I counted 6 new global releases so far in 2019 and a few more are coming later year. We’ve managed to review most of them here and here’s the review on their latest release to date: The Circle No. 1.

The Circle is the result of a competition ran by Compass Box back in 2018 for bartenders and Rosey Mitchell, the winner of the competition was prized creating a blend along with John Glazer and Jill Boyd.

Rosey wanted to make an approachable whisky to be shared with friends, something for the daytime, a whisky with brightness. She called it “sunshine in a glass.”

And the way to ‘sunshine in a glass’ went through this recipe:

We usually don’t get to see a whisky so dominated by ex-bourbon Tamdhu so I was very keen to try this and see how this combo works out.

6,151 bottles were produced (at 46%) and as usual, no colorant or chill filtering we used.

Compass Box The Circle Release No. 1 (46%, £112/€123.95)

Nose: Toffee and honey, followed by sweet dried fruit and candle wax. Then subtle wood spice and peat smoke drifts in, cake dough, soursweet raspberry jam. After a few minutes more honey, white pepper and delicate greenery with dried peaches and pears. Then it gets herbal honey, cinnamon and ever so gentle waxy texture. Continue reading

Bladnoch 10 Year Old and Bladnoch 17 Year Old Californian Red Wine Finish

Not sure how it happened but there wasn’t a single Bladnoch review on the site so it’s time to right the wrong here and since we’re entering the weekend, let’s do a double review.

We’ll start with the basic 10 Year Old matured in ex-bourbon casks and then we’ll try the 17 Year Old release which was finished in Californian Red Wine Casks.

Bladnoch 10 Year Old Bourbon Cask (46.7%, £49.90/€49.95)

Nose: Lactic, vanilla and wet cardboard dominate at first. After a few minutes in the glass it relaxed and there’s honey, coconut, grassy side and vanilla perfume, Eventually it even develops a floral edge. Continue reading

Lagavulin 19 Year Old Feis Ile 2019

Another week another Feis Ile 2019 bottling review. This time it’s the official Lagavulin Feis Ile 2019 bottling – a 19 Year Old whisky that was matured in three types of casks: refill American oak cask, second Sherry treated American oak cask and a European oak puncheon.

6,000 bottles were produced for the festival, each one going for £150, a modest price increase over the 2018 edition that went for £130 (£20 and 15% for one more year).

Lagavulin 19 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 (53.8%, £150)

Photo Credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Very Lagavulin-y, dried fruit, damp and mossy peat, smoke, soot and some tar, sea breeze, gentle fruitiness of the greenish kind and balanced sherry influence, sweet strawberry and raspberry, gentle smoke throughout. After a few minutes it’s getting lovely soft dark chocolate, cocoa and espresso, leather and tobacco leaves while still retaining some green and fresh support. Continue reading