Lagavulin 9 Year Old “Like A Villain” Wine Cask Finish Review

Today’s the open day of Lagavulin (Always on the first Saturday of the festival) and as usual, I’ll try to review during the festival a corresponding whisky for each of the Islay distilleries.

Instead of going for an official bottling, I’m heading the independent bottlers way and checking a young 9 Year Old Kildalton whisky from a new bottler, The Spirit Still.

The Spirit Still can’t call it Lagavulin, but the name of the whisky is a masterful stroke and it’s pretty clear which distillery does it hails from.

This whisky was matured in bourbon cask before going a second maturation for 6 months in a Côtes du Rhône French Oak cask.

The Spirit Still “Like A Villain” – Lagavulin 9 Year Old Wine Cask Finish (52%)

Nose: Feeling the youth with earthy malt and vanilla so not too active a cask. then a generous layer of stewed apricot and cinnamon. Sourness and freshness of lemon peels a drizzle of seawater. Continue reading

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Caroni Rum 20 Year Old (1998-2018) The Duchess Review

Today we have another Caroni Rum review. Following the 1998 19 Year Old reviewed yesterday, now we have a 1998 20 Year Old Caroni Rum bottled by The Duchess (which I reviewed their Belize rum a few weeks ago and loved it). Like the 19 Year Old, it was mostly aged on the continent and not at the Caribbeans. This is cask #19 that yielded 288 bottles.

Yesterday we had cask #6 and today it’s #19 so I’m wondering if it’s the same distillate batch or an altogether different distillate. There’s one major difference between those casks and it’s the strength. This 20 Year Old was bottled at a very high strength of 64.6%. Can we brave it neat?

Caroni Rum 20 Year Old (1998-2018) The Duchess (64.6%, €195,00)

Nose: Sweet brown sugar, quite hard to nose with that ABV but after letting it rest in the glass for a few minutes there’s also toasted wood, plastical sweetness. Have to add some water and then it’s magical: there’s finally complexity and depth (not on Mariana Trench level tho), far less plastic relaxed sweetness, lots of brown and demerara sugar, crushed blueberry and cranberries, perfumey edge.

Palate: Sweet, tar, oily, wet sandy beach, a bit of plastic, a touch of black olives, pepper, oak spices. With water: relaxed, more fruit and berries, sugar sweetness, tar, oils and engine metal parts, black olives.

Finish: Medium long length, lingering sweet sugar and red fruit paste.

Thoughts: That’s a great Caroni once you add a few drops of water. It’s too though neat but with water it’s far more balanced and showing out all great fruitiness and subtle Caroni characteristics. Great stuff Nils!

 

Longrow 2007 9 Year Old Sauternes Cask (Springbank Society) Review

While I was really planning a curfew on whisky reviews this week in preparations for Feis Ile 2018, today my social media feed is full of pictures of friends celebrating the Campbeltown Malts Festival, so damn this self-inflicted reviews break – I’m gonna break the break 😀

And what’s more befitting than a Springbank whisky review to celebrate Campbeltown Malts Festival? Let’s review this Longrow 2007 9 Year Old matured in Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads for Springbank Society. It was distilled 11/2007 and bottled 10/2017 (so one month short of being a 10 Year Old whisky). 1134 bottles were produced at 56.3%.

Longrow 2007 9 Year Old Sauternes for Springbank Society (56.3%)

Source: whiskyauctioneer.com

Nose: Sweet white wine, then gentle peat smoke, a touch of greenery, dry champagne, pears, green grapes peels, green mango, honey, toffee, refreshing. After a while, peaches, fudge, rich and heavy. Continue reading

Caroni Rum 19 Year Old (1998-2017) Kintra/Rum Mercenary Review

A wee break from whisky before the Feis Ile 2018 hailstorm hits us with some Rum goodness. In the coming week (even along with the Feis Ile posts), I’ll review a few Caroni rums that I was fortunate enough to taste lately, starting with this Caroni 1998 Vintage.

Caroni distillery, located in Trinidad was closed in 2002 and the demolished, therefor many refers to it like the Port Ellen of rums because of the striking similarity between them: Caroni being dirty (PE was peated) Substantial stock waiting to be bottled and rapidly increasing prices. Flavor-wise I think the Caroni flavors (especially when it’s heavier distillate) are more of a cross between Ardbeg and Springbank whiskies.

This 19 Year Old Caroni is a joint bottling of a Caroni cask by Kintra and The Rum Mercenary. The Rum was distilled back in January 1998, filled into cask #6 that was bottled on 22/09/2017 after 19 years (Mostly on mainland Eruope) to yield 158 bottles at 55.1%. Our Rum club had the Rum Mercenary bottling which is presented with the lovely label shown on the right, while the Kintra label is more conservative (shown below in the notes).

 

Caroni Rum 19 Year Old (1998-2017) Kintra/Rum Mercenary (55.1%, €151,25)

Nose: Sweet wood and raisins, almost sherry like. Then there’s that Caroni dirtiness, tar, diesel oil fumes, salted fishes, black olives, brown sugar, toasted oak and sweet burnt plastic. Continue reading

Croftengea 2008 9 Year Old Cask #272 (TWE Exclusive) Review

The Whisky Exchange keeps pumping out exclusive releases and this time, a 180 turn from the Old Pulteney 2004 that was released recently, going for a whisky from a far less familiar distillery and brand, matured in ex-bourbon casks – Croftengea 2008 Vintage.

Croftengea is the brand name given to the peatiest whisky produced at the highlands distillery of Loch Lochmond. Loch Lomond distillery has 4 types of stills that can produce 14 possible whisky styles. For Croftengea, the same setup as Inchmurrin whisky was used, but the barley is peated to 40ppm.

Croftengea 2008 9 Year Old TWE Exclusive (54.8%, £69.95)

Nose: Mellow nose but it does have a heavy dpose of earthy peat smoke at first, fruity with lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, green papaya and a bit of honey, sprinkled with a pinch of salt, After a few minutes less peat smoke and stronger fruitiness. Continue reading

Port Charlotte 2001 15 Year Old Dramfool (For Feis Ile 2018) Review

Along with the 2011 Octomore reviewed yesterday, Dramfool also bottled a 2011 Port Charlotte for (Islay Whisky Festival 2018 (Also known as Feis Ile).

You may ask yourself how is it a 15 Year old and not 16/17 Year old, but that Ex-bourbon Hogshead (#0847) was in fact bottled December 2016 by previous owner before Dramfool snagged them a yeat later to be released now.

The hogshead yielded 195 bottles at 58.3%, no chill-filtered and natural colored.

Port Charlotte 2001 15 Year Old Dramfool (58.3%, £95)

Nose: Sweet peat (and lactic at first), vanilla and a dash of honey, sweet cured white fish meat, lots of salt. With water it opens up, some herbs, greener fruits and smoke. The peat is strong in this one. Continue reading

Octomore 2011 6 Year Old Dramfool (For Feis Ile 2018) Review

It’s really been a long time without an Octomore review on here, ah? A whole month has passed! 🙂

Truthfully I didn’t think another Octomore review will come out so soon but we’re closing on Feis Ile 2018 and some interesting Islay whiskys pop out.

Today I’m checking out a new Octomore from Dramfool, a Scottish independent bottler, released for Islay Whisky Festival 2018 which is also known as Feis Ile 2018 but the ‘Feis Ile’ term is now trademarked so Islay Whisky Festival it is in our case.

It’s a 150 ppm 6 year old Octomore (2011 vintage) from ex-bourbon Hogshead #4552/2011 that was filled for Simon Coughlin, Bruichladdich CEO at the time. Total of 253 bottles were produced from that Hogshead at a whopping 62%.

Octomore 2011 6 Year Old Dramfool (Islay Festival 2018) (62%, £160)

Nose: Crisp and well defined, sweet vanilla, sweet peat, It’s sweet but it’s not cloying or a dominating sweetness. Instead it’s more like gentle cake sugar icing sweetness. No smoke so far, but it does gets fruity after a few minutes: apricots with hints of floral perfume . With a few drops of water it’s on a new level of fruitiness with more apricots, green mango and papaya and becomes more perfumey. Continue reading