Category Archives: Whisky Reviews

Talisker 25 Year Old (2013 vs 2017) Review

I don’t think I need to introduce Talisker to you my readers, but it’s a review way long overdue as I was always delaying reviewing and publishing the Talisker 25 Year Old 2013 review.

But then I tasted the Talisker 25 Year Old 2017 Release in a blind tasting competition and the opportunity to have a side by side review of both edition was so tempting that I finally gave up and went for it. Let’s check out which edition is better.

Talisker 25 Year Old 2013 Edition (45.8%, 5,772 bottles, £262)

Nose: Soft smoke, honey, dried fruit and then raspberry and strawberry, still quite smoky. Some meat, brine, dry ashes and some tar, red berries juice and red apples peels. After a few more minutes it’s blended together to smoky, coastal and sherry sweetness cocktail. Good Continue reading

Advertisements

Tomatin 30 Year Old (2108 Edition) Review

Happy 2019 to you all! I’ve been quite dormant lately here on the blog but I can hope that 2019 will be far more productive here on the blog than 2018 was.

Let’s start 2019 with a bang with a review of a mature whisky – the 2018 batch of Tomatin 30 Year Old. I love old and matured Tomatin whiskies as they usually have lots of tropical fruitiness and I’m sucker for those notes.

Tomatin 30 isn’t a totally new expression – we had some previous incarnations of Tomatin 30 Year Old until the early 201x but it went out of commission when matured stock at the distillery dwindled and so it was replaced by the 1988 vintage batches. And now it’s back to market, retiring the 1988 vintage expression (which basically is a 30 year old now).

Tomatin 30 was matured in ex-Bourbon and traditional oak casks, bottled at 46% and has natural color and isn’t chill filtered.

Tomatin 30 Year Old (2108 Edition) (46%, £299/€252,84)

Nose: Soft stone fruits, creme, honey, gentle spices with lots of white pepper. After a minute or two a subtle tropical fruit sweetness, becoming very fresh and somewhat chocolaty. Continue reading

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #4 Fire And Cane Review

The Glenfiddich Experimental series proved to be so successful that the first 2 expressions in the series (IPA and XX) are still produced and their life support stretch far beyond the experimental state and are unofficially entrenched in the official line up.

The series continued with the expensive Winter’s Storm for 3 batches and now comes the forth and latest release ‘Fire And Cane‘. Here in this release Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman used both peated and unpeated Glenfiddich whisky and finished them for 3 months in rum casks from South America. This a very intriguing release as the combo of peated whisky and rum casks usually play very nice one with each other.

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #4 Fire And Cane (43%, £42.45/€49.90)

Nose: Soft sweet smoke, pears, brown sugar, smoked banana peels (plantain), vanilla, hints of sour fruits (even a bit tropical. Easy going and nice but after a long time in the glass it disappeared almost completely. Continue reading

Ledaig 18 Year Old (Batch 3) Review

Ledaig, the peated whisky from Tobermory distillery on the island Mull, is quite on the rise in the last two years. It’s getting recognition beyond the inner hardcore whisky lovers circles and is very good. We’ve seen it hailed as the present in the latest Whisky Show by TWE and some of the special releases by the distillery are good.

But today we’ll check one of the core line up offering – Ledaig 18 Year Old which is released in batches and under the microscope today is the latest batch – Batch number 3.

It’s finished in Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at the standard ABV for group distilleries of 46.3%.

Ledaig 18 Year Old Batch 3 (46.3%, £78.95)

Nose: A wee lactic note at first, then sweet and sour dried fruit, mostly raspberry, gooseberry and some unripe strawberry, gentle rolling sweet peat smoke. After a few minutes intense vanilla smoke waves. Overall a good balance of sherry sweetness and sweet peat with the sweetness not going overdrive. Continue reading

Talisker 8 Year Old (Diageo Special Releases 2018) Review

Yesterday was all about Cladach the blended malt in Diageo Special Releases 2018 and today it’s all about the most eagerly waited member of the line up (at least for me) – Talisker 8 Year Old at Cask Strength.

Until now we didn’t see any young Talisker at Cask strength in the Special Releases line up, hence the hype and expectations for this 2009 vintage targeted at the masses and bottled at a hefty 59.4% ABV.

Talisker 2009 8 Year Old (59.4%, £67.50)

Nose: Sweet with honey and pears, then comes soft peat smoke. There’s Crème brûlée, a drop of vanilla, cake dough, soft crushed black pepper, gentle saltiness and minerals. After a few minutes there’s also brine in addition to the salt. Overall quite a mellow and soft nose. Continue reading

Cladach Blended Malt (Diageo Special Releases 2018) Review

After reviewing two blended malts from Compass Box let’s have a third blended malt review and one that has some high pedigree after being included in a high profile series. Yes, we’re talking about Cladach which is the blended malt that was included in Diageo Special Releases 2018 (2nd year in a row with a blended malt for Special Releases).

Cladach means shoreline/coastline and the whisky uses only single malts made at Diageo coastal distilleries: Inchgower, Clynelish, Talisker, Oban, Caol Ila and Lagavulin.

It was bottled at cask strength of 100 proof (57.1%) and was matured in an assortment of casks (first fill bourbon, refill, refill sherry butts).

Cladach Blended Malt (57.1%, £152/€134,99)

Nose: The nose here starts with gentle peat smoke and then slowly it develops into a pure coastal whisky with brine, sea breeze, salt, some wax, lemon, brioche, white pepper. Also show up: smoked fish and seafood, pears. Continue reading

Compass Box Flaming Heart 2018 (6th Edition) Review

Along with the new release of The Story of the Spaniard, Compass Box also released their 6th edition of Flaming heart, the follow up to the very successful and tasty 5th edition released back in 2015.

Compass Box Flaming Heart 6th edition recipe

Most of the major ingredients that were part of the great 5th edition, are in the 6th edition as well, albeit with different proportions and ages (want to know the ages? contact Compass Box and they will tell you!) and there’s a subtle sherry cask influence that was not presents in 2015 edition but in the 2012 edition.

15,050 standard bottles and 800 large magnums were made, all bottled at 48.9% and as usual are non chill filtered and with natural color.

So how this new 2018 recipe stands up to the 2015 edition?

Compass Box Flaming Heart 6th Edition (48.9%, £114/€129.95/$124.99)

Nose: A no-miss Caol Ila and Clynelish notes, soft, clear and crisp peat, gentle smoke, sweet wax, a dash of lemon, pears, malt, minerals. After a few minutes, subtle waxy red fruit sweetness. Continue reading