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

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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

Glenlivet Plans to Relase Glenlivet Engima – Sequel to Glenlivet Cipher and Code

Glenlivet distillery likes mystery. After two releases that centers around secrecy in the form of Glenlivet Cipher (releases in 2016) and Glenlivet Code (Released in 2018), we will get a third installment in the series.

A new label filled by Glenlivet shows that will have Glenlivet Engima coming soon (probably sometime in 2019). Like its predecessors it’s NAS whisky and will be bottled at 48%.

Continue reading

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

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