Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

A bit late but better now than never, here’s my review on Compass Box Spice Tree Extravangaza that was released a while ago.

This is a special edition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Compass Box’s regular Spice Tree. In short, they use the same concept but used older whisky and with added sherry cask influence. As you can see from the ingredients list below, it’s 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine and 20% Teaninch. If you want to know how old is each whisky, just go to the official page here and press the “Request Recipe” button, but I will tell you this is not a young whisky.


Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza (46%, £92.45/€114,95/$89.99)

Nose: Balanced but also spicy with vanilla topping. Then freshness, fragrance and rich body, getting sweeter, some dryness and wine tannins, dried berries, somewhat dusty. After a while sweeter and stronger red fruity notes, a dash of dried orange peels. Lovely nose! Continue reading


Laphroaig Four Oak 40% Review

Today we’re gonna look at one of the two latest Travel Retail releases from Laphroaig. The Four Oak was released in early 2017 and as the name states, it was matured in four different oak casks: Ex-bourbon barrels. Small quarter casks, virgin American oak barrels and larger European Oak hogshead.

You know the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”? In our cask it will be: Will too many cask types spoil the whisky? Since it follows two very mediocre and similar releases (Yes, I’m looking at you Laphroaig QA and Select), I was a bit wary of this one. But maybe this time it will work better?

Laphroaig Four Oak (40%, 1 Liter, £66/€51,95)

Nose: sweet, earthy peat smoke, iodine, cereals, honey, not a strong peat reek, quite gentle but feels rounder than QA/Select. After a few minutes in the glass some greenery. cardamom, a tad farmy with metallic metallic, salt water, Lapsang Souchong tea, more sweet smoke, getting sweeter and flatter. Continue reading

Springbank 10 Year Old Review

Today’s review is the entry level from Springbank distillery, the 10 year old offering that sometimes sneak below the radar as the 12 Year Old Cask Strength batches catch most of the lime lights.

The review was conducted on a bottle that was bottled in September 2016 (with the older label design), although I think the profile didn’t change much with the newer 2017 batches. And in order to make it interesting, I’ll review the 10 year old from 10 years ago (10 and 10, got it?) to see how did it change over the years.

Springbank 10 Year Old (46%, Bottled Sep 2016, £39.90/€37.95)

Nose: Starts with a sweet buffet with honey, vanilla and cereals. Then some Campbeltown magic enters the stage with a very soft funk. Mix of greenery, petrol, hay and pastry, becoming very oily. With time: fruitier, orchard, red fruit and berries and nuttiness, nutmeg and cinnamon. Continue reading

Old Particular Glen Garioch 21 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

Another Old Particular from Douglas Laing that arrived here is Glen Garioch 21 Year Old and it was the top of the line offering before getting sold out. It was distilled back in September 1995, just before it was mothballed for a few years so it’s a precious old liquid from an age long gone. It was then aged in refill hogshead and bottled in November 2016. Total of 290 bottles were produced.

Old Particular Glen Garioch 21 Year Old (51.5%, DL11471, £85.49/500NIS)

Nose: Sugar barley, perhaps a wee whiff of peat smoke as it went and never came back, fruity with pears and apples, ginger, almonds and nuts, quite fresh with undercurrent of rich flavour bomb, meadow and hay distilled into oil. With additional time in the glass more nuttiness and cooked cinnamon and becoming oily and fruity (somewhat perfume) with a touch of ginger. Continue reading

Old Particular Glenrothes 12 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

Back to normal programming after recovering from the summer vacation and reviving the computer and phone who died while on vacation and so we continue with a few more Douglas Laing whiskies that reached our shores. The youngsters single malts were reviewed and now we move up to the older Old Particular single malts, starting with a Glenrothes 12 Year Old that was distilled 2005, matured until March 2017 in a sherry butt that yielded 402 bottles.

Old Particular Glenrothes 12 Year Old (48.8%, DL11601, €78.75/330NIS)

Nose: Starts with porridge along with a big and velvety sherry spices wave, then unsweetened dried fruit, gentle sulphur, lots of chocolate and the smell of an empty espresso cup (after you drink one of course). After a while it gets sweeter and fruitier with strawberries and raspberries, it becomes more nutty along with some sharp spiciness. Continue reading

Provenance Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

The second review of the week is another young whisky bottled under the Provenance brand that reached our shores, and this time it hails from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay.

Yes, Although it’s young and we see a lot of young peated Bunnahabhains (Moine) released around of the same age range, but this is no Moine, just a pure standard unpeated Bunnahabhain. This cask was distilled in 2008 and bottled in May 2016, yielding 451 bottles.

Provenance Bunnahabahin 8 Year Old (46%, DL11561, 245NIS)

Nose: Oily and heavy, malt, gentle honey sweetness, and weak fruitiness, vanilla laced porridge.

Continue reading

Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

After a few years absence, Douglas Laing whiskies are back in Israel whisky market, represented by a new importer, Sipil Premium Alcohol. This time around we get to enjoy the full Regional malts line up and a few single malts, all priced very reasonably, so those are great news for whisky drinkers over here.

The single malts range at launch consists of two entry level Provenance whiskies and two Old Particulars, so naturally we’ll start with one of the Provenances, the Mortlach 8 Year Old.

Over the last few years, since Diageo has started Mortlach premiumtization process ,the count of indie releases of Mortlachs has seriously dwindled, with the rare Mortlach releases priced extremely high which is a pity because the classic Mortlach profile is so tasty (especially when aged in good sherry casks). But lately we’re seeing indie Mortlach back in market, albeit with young age statement releases like this Provenance release that was distilled  in 2008 and bottled in May 2016, but as long as they carry the Mortlach characteristics, we should be satisfied.

Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (46%, DL 11257, 245NIS)

Nose: Bready and pastry-y, citrus, cured meat, full bodied, pepper is lurking deep below the surface. After a few minutes there’s lemon and honey and later on there’s cinnamon and red apples, hmm lets call it red apples pie, shall we?

Palate: Malty, thick, fruity with citrusy edge, white pepper, rich sweet fruit, red apples peels, cured meat, gentle oak spices.

Finish: Short medium finish, bitter apples peels, lingering lemon and oak spices.

Thoughts: Young, not overly complex, but oh yeah, it’s so Mortlach-y with those meaty notes and the fruity notes. It’s an excellent summer dram so I’ll be buying myself a bottle (can you have a better buy recommendation than that?). Slainte!

(Official sample provided by Sipil, IL Douglas Laing Importer)