Bladnoch 10 Year Old and Bladnoch 17 Year Old Californian Red Wine Finish

Not sure how it happened but there wasn’t a single Bladnoch review on the site so it’s time to right the wrong here and since we’re entering the weekend, let’s do a double review.

We’ll start with the basic 10 Year Old matured in ex-bourbon casks and then we’ll try the 17 Year Old release which was finished in Californian Red Wine Casks.

Bladnoch 10 Year Old Bourbon Cask (46.7%, £49.90/€49.95)

Nose: Lactic, vanilla and wet cardboard dominate at first. After a few minutes in the glass it relaxed and there’s honey, coconut, grassy side and vanilla perfume, Eventually it even develops a floral edge. Continue reading


Lagavulin 19 Year Old Feis Ile 2019

Another week another Feis Ile 2019 bottling review. This time it’s the official Lagavulin Feis Ile 2019 bottling – a 19 Year Old whisky that was matured in three types of casks: refill American oak cask, second Sherry treated American oak cask and a European oak puncheon.

6,000 bottles were produced for the festival, each one going for £150, a modest price increase over the 2018 edition that went for £130 (£20 and 15% for one more year).

Lagavulin 19 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 (53.8%, £150)

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Nose: Very Lagavulin-y, dried fruit, damp and mossy peat, smoke, soot and some tar, sea breeze, gentle fruitiness of the greenish kind and balanced sherry influence, sweet strawberry and raspberry, gentle smoke throughout. After a few minutes it’s getting lovely soft dark chocolate, cocoa and espresso, leather and tobacco leaves while still retaining some green and fresh support. Continue reading

Dramfool Port Charlotte 14 Year Old Feis Ile 2019

Is it time to review some Feis Ile 2019 whiskies? Sure it is, there’s no official season to review specific whiskies…

Let’s start with an indie bottling for Feis Ile 2019 done by Dramfool and it’s a 14 Year Old Port Charlotte in first fill Sherry hogshead which was personally selected for Ian Gray (the Scottish artist) by Jim McEwan (back when Jim was still at Bruichladdich).

299 bottles at 53.4% were produced from this cask

Dramfool Port Charlotte 14 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 (53.4%, £135)

Nose: Sweet and leathery, dried sour and sweet berries and plums (mirabelles and purple), cigar leaves, cherries filled chocolate, earthy peat, smoke. Wt dark chocolate, old library shelves, old leather and aged cigar. Continue reading

Balvenie “The Sweet Toast of American Oak” 12 Year Old Review

Last month Balvenie Distillery launched a new whisky range – the Balvenie Stories series. Initially there are three releases with the entry level and the introduction to the range is the 12 Year Old The Sweet Toast of American Oak.

The whisky was aged in the customary ex-bourbon casks and then finished in heavily toasted (at the distillery’s cooperagev of course) virgin oak barrels from Kentucky.

It’s quite interesting and refreshing to see a new permanent 12 Year Old whisky from Balvenie which isn’t the Double Wood (No, those single barrels doesn’t count!).

Balvenie 12 Year Old – The Sweet Toast of American Oak (43%, £43.95/€47,95)

Nose: Soft and creamy, full of coconut, vanilla, and walnuts. Laid back heather honey. After a few minutes it develops some greenish pineapple and eventually more tropical fruit sweetness. Continue reading

Glenmorangie 19 Year Old Finest Reserve

The Travel Retail market is flooded with many NAS whiskies from different distilleries and Glenmorangie isn’t the exception. We’ve seen Tarlogan, Tayne, Cadboll and other releases to this market but in late 2017 we’ve seen an exception – Glenmorangie 19 Year Old Finest Reserve.

Initially the 19 Year Old was a Travel Retail exclusive but recently you can find it in many web shops, so it’s about time I’ll check it out.

This whisky spent its entire life (19 Years) in American white oak barrels, so you could say it’s the Original 10 Year Old casks forgotten for another 9 years before bottled.

Glenmorangie 19 Year Old Finest Reserve (43%, £99.99/€94.99)

Nose: Soft , vert soft and very Glenmorangie with honey and nuttiness as they usually go with. Fruity, with green fruits (almost tropical) such as kiwi and papaya leads the way along with peaches. Soft oak spice, more nuttiness and then white pepper. After a few minutes, more spices and honey. Continue reading

Octomore 8.4 Masterclass Review

It’s a very slow Sunday here so I think it’s a good time to review a punchy whisky to wake up the spirit and eventually I settled on some heavily peated whisky. Yes you guessed right – an Octomore. I have a few of those ready to be published so let’s review Octomore 8.4 today. I know it’s not a recent release (we already have the 9.x series out there for a while and the 10.x series coming soon) but since it’s still available out there for purchase, why not?

It’s the x.4 designation and it means that Otomore 8.4 is matured in virgin oak casks. But it’s not so simple or straight forward. Pay attention: 20% were matured in virgin oak casks and 80% were matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and then finished in second-fill virgin oak but those second-fill casks are in fact the Octomore 7.4 virgin oak casks! So even if it’s 8 years old, it should retain some of the Phenols as the barley was peated to 170ppm and we don’t have 100% turbo charged casks to suck all the Phenols.

Octomore 8.4 (Masterclass) (58.7%, £150/€148)

Nose: Vanilla and lemon, very sweet. Coconut and sweet oak extracts, sweet peat, even a bit aggressive peat. seaside air and saltiness. After a few minutes there’s also sweet smoke, brine, vinegar and spiciness led by cloves and cinnamon. Continue reading

Mortlach 16 Year Old (Distiller’s Dram) Review

After reviewing last week the new entry level Mortlach 12 Year Old, it’s time to tackle the next step on the Mortlach ladder – the new Mortlach 16 Year Old.

The new Mortlach 16 Year Old is the litmus test of the new line up as Inevitably it’s compared to the classic Flora & Fauna Mortlach 16 Year Old which was a loved whisky (even I liked it) and then became a cult and sought after bottle when it was dropped from production in favor of the older (and failed) line up.

Unlike the 12 Year Old which is from ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, the 16 Year Old is from first-fill and refill sherry casks – far more promising combo when looking for the old glory of Mortlach.

Mortlach 16 Year Old (Distiller’s Dram) (43.4%, £81.75/67.95)

Nose: The exclusive sherry casks usage is very noticeable here with depth and complexity of sweet dried fruit, red apples peels, baked cinnamon, milk chocolate followed by dark bitter chocolate. After a few minutes in the glass it’s getting nutty and more ‘Mortlach-y’. Meaty, extra depth and darker and sweeter shades of berries, chocolate and meat. Continue reading