Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 has started yesterday (or at least the warm up did) and the tradition dictates Campbeltown whisky reviews during the festival, right?
So today we’ll have a 18 Year Old Glen Scotia distilled back in 1992, matured in Sherry hogshead cask #141 and was bottled in November 2010. Yeah, more than 8 years has passed since then but I got to taste this not long ago and let me tell you – it’s a good one!
Glen Scotia 1992 18 Year Old (Kintra Whisky) (52.6%)
Photo credit: whiskybase.com
Nose: Tobacco, sweet dried fruits, earthy greenery and even somewhat damp and rotting, cigar smoke, dry cold smoking peat smoke and after a few minutes bitter dark rich chocolate. Continue reading
Last month I reviewed the Port Askaig 10 Year Old that Elixir Distillers released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand but it wasn’t the only new Port Askaig release to celebrate the occasion. Along with the easily accessible and reasonably priced 10 Year Old whisky, came this 28 Year Old Port Askaig which carries a heftier price tag and a far more years on its belt.
Does this 28 Year Old also hails from Caol Ila? Let’s check it out.
Port Askaig 28 Year Old (45.8%, £295/318.90€)
Nose: Peated with sweet smoke, lemon, gentle tropical fruits, BBQ meat, vanilla, soft. After a few minutes there’s mint, floral perfume, more smoked meat and honey. Very much matured Caol Ila. Continue reading
Earlier this year Glengyle distillery released their first batch of Heavily Peated whisky, following the road they took for the standard Kilkerran whisky with slightly semantic difference – Instead of “Work In Progress” it’s called “Peat in Progress”. And in a few years we’ll have the first standard heavily peated Kilkerran whisky (the cousin for Longrow).
You’re probably asks: “Heavily peated? Just how heavily peated is it?” and the answer is: very heavily peated with 84 PPM, which is almost twice (more or less) of the PPM levels for the south Islay distilleries and second only to Bruichladdich’s Octomore whiskies.
While the bottle doesn’t sport age statement and it’s not mentioned in any official publication, the age isn’t a real secret and it’s a 3 year old whisky (which would be the official age anyway for NAS whisky).
9,000 bottles were produced from a mix of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry Casks (55% and 45% respectively).
Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch No. 1 (59.3%)
Nose: Very oily and peated, cured meat, BBQ party, slightly greenery, barley sugar, chimney smoke, vanilla and pears pudding and eventually there’s coal smoke and more greenery. Very rich and not too punchy despite the ABV and young age. Continue reading
The last Balblair tasted in the official Tweet Tasting that took place earlier tonight is the Balblair 18 Year Old which followed the 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old & 17 Year Old. (Click the links for their reviews).
Just like the 15 Year Old , the Balblair 18 Year Old was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in 1st fill Spanish oak sherry casks.
Balblair 18 Year Old (46%, £118)
Nose: Soft and balanced, baked pears, fruity and chocolaty. Then medium aged soft leather and then lots of toffee! And then cinnamon and nutmeg. Complex and nice, just maybe a bit too relaxed and laid back? Continue reading
The third whisky review in the new revamped Balblair distillery lineup (after reviewing the 12 Year Old and the 15 Year Old) is the 17 Year Old Travel Retail exclusive. I was lucky enough to taste it over 2 weeks ago as the first bottles hit the Duty Free shops in the airports late April after the new line up was announced. But I waited with the review to get a second tasting in the official Twitter tasting we had tonight.
Balblair 17 Year old was too matured in ex-bourbon casks but was finished in first fill Spanish oak butts. I noticed that the 15 and 18 Year Old did not have the butts mention so maybe they were sherry treated hogshead?
Just like with the 12 Year Old and 15 Year Old (and the rest of Balblair whiskies, it wasn’t chill filtered and no color was added.
Balblair 17 Year Old (46%, ~£110/€115)
Nose: Not as enticing as the 15 Year Old, at least not at first where there was less sherry finish impact. Sour fruitiness, polished wood, again some soursweet stone fruit and eventually red berries. Continue reading
After checking out Balblair 12 Year Old let’s check the second offering in the new Balblair line up which is the 15 Year old.
Balblair 15 Year Old was also matured in american oak (ex-bourbon casks) but then it was finished in first fill Spanish oak (sherry casks) for an unknown time period.
Balblair 15 Year Old (46%, £73.25)
Nose: Not as creamy as the 12 Year Old as the sherry finish must have mitigate some of it, but it’s still soft with sweet fruit marmalade, dried papaya, sweet sour fruitiness and milk chocolate. Gets better and fruitier with time – very enticing. Continue reading
After a decades and consumer confusion, Balblair Distillery replaced their entire core range offerings earlier this year. Instead of vintages bottlings, Balblair now offer straightforward age statement whiskies: 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 17 Year Old for the Travel Retail market, 18 Year Old and 25 Year Old.
Earlier tonight we had the official #BalblairWhisky Tweet Tasting (over Twitter) where we tasted 4 balblair whiskies from the new range (with link to reviews): 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 17 Year Old (Travel Retail) and 18 Year Old.
Let’s start with the entry level offering: Balblair 12 Year Old. It was matured in American Oak casks (A.K.A. a mix of Bourbon casks), bottled at 46% and as usual with Balblair, without added color and without chill filtering.
Balblair 12 Year Old (46%, £43.95)
Nose: Soft, sweet, malty with brioche and buttery croissant, vanilla, pears, apples. Very creamy!, Then a bit of lemon peels marmalade. After a few minutes it’s becoming less creamy and rounded and gains some sharpness and spiciness with gentle white pepper. Continue reading