Barbados Rum Foursquare 13 Year Old (The Duchess) Review

We’re in the midst of this Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing (No, I didn’t buy anything and don’t plan to buy anything. Unless you consider a holiday tickets as part of this shopping craziness), So I thought it would be great to try and inject some sanity into this time period (at least for me) in the form of a new review – habits helps stabilize the mind I hear…

But it’s a Sunday and since It’s been half a year since my last non-whisky review (I should be ashamed, I know) it makes sense to go and review a non-whisky spirit so I’m going with another Rum from The Duchess (which I already reviewed a few rums previously), a 13 Year Old Barbados Rum from Foursquare distillery.

It was specifically selected and bottled for the “Whisky & Rum aan Zee” Festival 2018 in the Netherlands (where it was launched a few months ago). The beautiful label is all about the flower which is named ‘The Pride of Barbados’, and since Foursquare distillery is on big roll, we can apply the same title to the distillery as well.

This rum was distilled in 2005, filled into cask #44 and was bottled September 2018 so it’s 13 Year Old and total of 294 bottles were made at 59% ABV.

The Duchess Foursquare 13 Year Old (59%, €75)

Nose: Sweet rich caramel, some wood glue and varnish, cream, butter and marzipan-y, pears and peaches are in there as well. After a few minutes it’s getting sugary, fruitier and less woody with more honey and inching forward official foursquare territory with sweet fruity perfume. Continue reading

Advertisements

Islay Feis Ile Festival 2019 Bottles

feis-logo-new

© The Islay Festival of Music and Malt

Yeah, Welcome the annual Feis Ile bottlings 2019 edition. I didn’t expect to work on this list so early (we’re still in 2018!) But information has already started to trickle out so that left me no option but to fire up this post
In 2019, the festival will run from late May into June 2019 (24th May to 1nd June 2018).
This post will detail all the available information on the festival bottles and I’ll update it each time more details will be revealed.
If you look for the full festival information, go to the Festival site at islayfestival.com (But best to wait till Spring 2019 so the site will update) and you will be able to find the full Islay Festival Distillery Programmes 2019 here when it will be published.
It’s a safe bet to assume that just like in previous years, we will have a lot of Feis Ile bottlings from other independent bottlers and other sources, even if many will not be using the trademarked ‘Feis Ile’ name – all will be updated in the post when the information will be released.
Updates:

15/02/2019 – Added Laphroaig Cairdeas bottle
03/12/2018 – Added SMWS Laphroaig bottle
22/11/2018 – Initial relase with SMWS and Ardbeg sections

So here’s the list of Feis Ile 2019 bottlings and the available information:

Lagavulin – Open day on Saturday 25th May 2019

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

Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard Review

Last month Compass Box introduced a new permanent release in their core range called The Story of the Spaniard. In the official press release there’s a nice story about John Glaser and his experiences while traveling in south Spain and this is the result – a blended malt of Highland malt whiskies aged in Spanish Sherry and Spanish red wine casks and some ‘standard’ (by Compass Box standards at least) casks to balance it all. Here’s the recipe as officially published by Compass Box:

The Story of the Spaniard recipe

As you can see, in this initial batch (bottled June 2018), 48% of the whiskies have been aged in ex-Sherry casks and 25% in ex-Spanish red wine casks and a heavy dose from Deanston distillery and Compass Box unique Highland malt blend. If you want more details like exact distilleries and whiskies ages, just contact them and ask.

The Story of the Spaniard was bottled at 43%, but it wasn’t chill filtered and no caramel was added.

Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard (43%, £49.95/€44.95/$54.99)

Nose: Soft and rich, red wine tannins, malt pudding, strawberries and raspberries, soft spiciness with oak spice, white pepper and cinnamon. Honey cake and after a while a big coating of citrus peels. Continue reading

Invergordon 44 Year Old ‘The Future of Whisky – The Future’ Review

The last part in ‘The Future of Whisky’ trio that was bottled for The Whisky Show last month is a Single Grain Scotch Whisky from Invergordon distillery that stands for ‘The Fututre’ in the series.

The Past was Ben Nevis 21 and the present is Ledaig 12 and ‘The Future’ means it’s what the folks in The Whisky Exchange think the future of whisky will be: old grain. But I think they are wrong.

I know that old grain whisky is far cheaper than single malt whisky when the age counter is rising above 20 (hey, even young grain whisky is cheaper than comparable malt whisky) and for people who look for a suitable aged bottle to celebrate their birthday once they are over 30 year old, it’s far more logical to go for single grain and its cheaper price tag. There’s a reason that it’s cheaper – the process is more efficient and basically strips the resulted new make from most of its origin flavor and it tends to be quite neutral, so you pay for it being cheap.

Also, we should remember that the prices for old single grain whiskies are on the rise as well as they more or less (probably more) doubled in the last 3-4 years. Bottlers and Distilleries got smart and started reserving more old stock towards single grain bottles.

What I think the future of whisky will be is younger whisky. We already see that youth movement with independent bottlers and some official bottlings and this trend will intensify and this market segment will have the highest growth rate. Until the next market correction (or the return of the whisky loch).

And still, there is market for older whisky with their heavy price tag, just like with this Invergordon which was distilled back in 1974 and bottled earlier this year. There are 246 bottles at 51.6%. So how did this Hogshead performed

Invergordon 44 Year Old ‘The Future of Whisky – The Future’ (51.6%, £250/€294,90)

Nose: Old (and not so old) grain notes with wood glue, polish, varnish, vanilla and caramel, pencil shavings. After a few minutes there’s perfume and depth, fruitiness with pears and peaches, nuttiness.

Continue reading