Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1 Scottish Barley Review

It was confirmed earlier today that we will see some Octomores on the shelves here next month. Hurray! And while celebrating this piece of news, I’ve noticed that I had neglected to post notes for Octomore 7.1 while reviewing 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, so it’s time to get it fixed.

Octomore 7.1 was the last Octomore that Jim McEwan did for Bruichladdich before he retired after more than 50 years in the industry. It was made using Scottish barley peated to a then high record of 208 ppm and then was matured for 5 years in American oak barrels.

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1 (59.5%, £107/€128,05)

Nose: Sweet smoke, peat, honey, vanilla pods, half cured half raw meat. After a few minutes getting red fruit: plums and red apples and also peaches marmalade with a honeyed perfume. Continue reading


Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Review

Tasting and reviewing the Macallan Sienna, got me craving for some whiskies I didn’t taste in a long time. Yeah, you can definitely become nostalgic for drams you tasted earlier in your whisky journey and aren’t in your whisky cabinet at the moment.

So I decided to try another one or two whiskies from my archive which I didn’t review here yet, and the first one I went for was Glenmorangie 18 Year Old. Why? I assure you it’s not because it’s Extremely Rare like they claim it to be. it’s not that rare if you really wondered as it’s in the market for years albeit for a tad higher price tag than most of its age bracket siblings from other distilleries. No, the real reason is that it was on the front row of my archive shelf 😀

Glenmorangie 18 Year Old (43%, £80.90/€68,90/$89.95/445₪)

Nose: That sweet and delicate Glenmorangie profile is up-front here, barley sugar, sweet honey, vanilla, citrus, Brasil nuts and walnuts, a pinch of white pepper and cinnamon, pears, rich and velvety coupled with dry oakiness.

Palate: Sweet velvety honey, then pears and granny smith apples peels, some sour greenery, oranges, barley sugar, ends with spices mostly white pepper and gentle oak spices, gentle nuts mix bowl.

Finish: Medium length, lingering sweetness, pears drops, nuttiness , oak spices and white pepper.

Thoughts: Solid offering from Glenmorangie with the trademark flavor profile of the distillery we all know from the 10 Year Old with added spices and time effect. While it’s not exactly Extremely Rare nor a groundbreaking whisky it’s still a nice 18 year old that competes successfully in this age bracket.

The Macallan Sienna Review

Last week Macallan announced a new series with four expressions, all without age statement, in 4 different price points. Are you having some deja vu? Because I did.

For a moment I thought it must be some reposting of the original 1824 series announcement which incidentally happened exactly 4 years ago in October. But a second and deeper look revealed the truth of a new Travel Retail series which will completely replace the 1824 series and all other TR expression starting January 2018.

But the discussion on this series in one of my whisky FB groups, turned to the 1824 series faster than you could say Jack Robinson. Not too many people here tasted because the 1824 series didn’t reached us and didn’t show up on shelves.  Yes, it means we’re still ‘stuck’ with the Fine Oak series, although I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or a good thing :-D. To make a long story short, we all pretty much agreed that the 1824 series was a forgettable one exception of the Sienna which was quite decent relatively to its price (Ruby excluded from the discussion for it’s the premium offering).

I then looked at my notes and found that I never published them on the blog, so in ‘celebration’ of the new Macallan Quest series, I took out my Sienna archive sample, opened and re-tasted it to see if our memory of its decency was real.

The Macallan Sienna (43%, £74.55/€76,98)

Nose: Dried red fruit, vanilla and sweet maltiness to balance the sweetness, baked nutmeg, white pepper, milk chocolate and after a while, a bit of dried strawberries and cinnamon. Continue reading

Glen Scotia 18 Year Old (2017) Review

Last month Glen Scotia distillery, one of three Campbeltown distilleries, relaunched their Glen Scotia 18 Year Old expression. It’s replacing the old 18 Year old expression that exists since 2013 which may be familiar to you because of the blue colors theme of the bottle and label (see image on the right).

So only 4 years later, the expression is coming back in a new and more mainstream-y (or perhaps should we see less avant-garde?) packaging and coloring. But the big news are that it also boasts a new liquid recipe. the old version was matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks and this time the spirit was matured for 17 years in ex-bourbon casks, before married together and finished in Oloroso sherry casks for 12 months.

I guess the older version wasn’t doing so well so they tried something else and see if they can come with a better whisky. Did it work for them?



Glen Scotia 18 Year Old 2017 (46%, £85.95/€67,90)

Nose: Bright and fruity with sooty smoke, very punchy at first even at 46%. Dusty, salt and minerals, pears, toffee and honey. After a while some sherry notes shows up: dried red fruit interwoven with the bright and fresh honey, cinnamon and nutmeg spices. nose is going back and forth between the delicate sherry notes the bourbon impact notes. Continue reading

anCnoc 24 Year Old Review

The core range of anCnoc whiskies is reaching our shores in a few weeks. AnCnoc (pronounced AH-nock) is the brand name for the whisky distilled in Knockdhu distillery from the Highlands region, The distillery is owned by Inverhouse Distillers who also control Old Pulteney, Balblair  and two more far less familiar distilleries.

Since Old Pulteney stopped producing the Old Pulteney 21 (now replaced by a far more expensive 25 year old whisky), the anCnoc 24 seems like a good candidate to replace the OP 21 as the matured and affordable whisky of choice in this region.

The anCnoc 24, released back in 2015, is a combination of ex-bourbon casks and sherry-treated casks and thankfully it’s not being chill-filtered nor coloured and it’s also bottled at 46%. This is what I think we should expect as the minimum from a whisky bottle.

anCnoc 24 Year Old (46%, £116/€129,90/$129.69)

Nose: Gentle oak spices, sweet gluhwein (Mulled wine), candied and sugared orange peels, orange marmalade, leather, vanilla, honey, creamy. After a few minutes there’s more sherry influence with sweet dried fruit, nuts and fruit cake. Continue reading

The Macallan Edition No. 2 Review

How about a Macallan review to close the weekend? Let’s have a look at Macallan Edition No.2, the second release in an annual limited edition in which Macallan partner with somebody to create this edition. In this case of the Macallan Edition No.2, it’s a collaboration between Macallan master blender Bob Dalgarno and the Spanish chefs Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, co-founders of El Celler de Can Roca, which was twice named best restaurant in the world.

It’s a NAS whisky (no real surprise from Macallan of the last few years), with seven different oak cask types (European and American oak casks) from four different bodegas.

The Macallan Edition No. 2 (48.2%, £81.95/€97.49)

Nose: Lovely sherried nose, dried fruit, gooseberries, blackberries, cooked plums, soaked raisins (don’t get those much lately in new sherried whiskies), cinnamon, milk chocolate, velvety and with some fresh and light side. After a few minutes, getting more chocolate and coffee, berries pastry, malt, honey and buttery feeling. Continue reading

Octomore OBA Concept Review

Octomore OBA is not a normal Octomore release. In fact you could say it’s kind of a foster child of the family. It’s wasn’t released as a member of the annual series nor did it get any official numerical assignment (x.1 to x.4) but instead it was a separate release with irregular bottle size (which delayed the release).

It’s the Octomore version of the Black Art series (hence the OBA naming), 10 wine casks matured Octomore spirit with a secret recipe. Although Bruichladdich preaches transparency, when it comes to Black Art releases, the leaps are sealed. All we know that it’s a vatting of 10 casks from four different vintages with the youngest vintage hailing from 2008 so it’s a 8-9 years old whisky. What else do we know? that there are six different cask types and all from a single barley strain.

Octomore OBA Concept (59.7%)

Nose: Smoke and sweet honey at first, followed by vanilla and red wine, solid earthy peat, whole black pepper, red fruit, grapes, tannins but it’s pretty rich with dry smoke. After a while it’s smoky sweet red wine with some tannins, smoked meat, getting flatter with time and oxygen. Continue reading