Tag Archives: Vatted Malt

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

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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

Compass Box Phenomenology

Along with No Name I reviewed yesterday, there was another interesting and engimatic Compass Box release coming out last year called Phenomenology with the slogan “Phenomenology – There’s No Right or Wrong”.

Phenomenology is a school of thought in psychology that focuses on
phenomena, or, the experiences that we get from our senses–what we
see, taste, smell, etc. It is a way of thinking about ourselves and the
very personal, subjective nature of experience.

True to its name, when Phenomenology was initially released, it was an enigmatic whisky with no recipe nor official tasting notes released, but it’s been months since the release and by now we do have the recipe information:

It doesn’t happen too often that you get to see Glenlossie and Tamdhu as the main ingredients of a whisky costing £150.

Compass Box Phenomenology (46%, 7908 btls, £143/€147.5)

Nose: Fruity pears, apples, salt and subtle peat smoke, sweet oak spices, fizzy minerals, sour hard candies.

Continue reading

Compass Box No Name Review

When Compass Box released No Name last October, there was a lot of buzz around it. It is the peatiest whisky ever from Compass Box with 75.5% of it hailing from Ardbeg. Take into account that the Ardbeg portion carries an unpublished but still obtainable (via email) age statement that wasn’t seen from indie Ardbegs in ages (although recently a few indie Ardbegs popped up with similar age) and you can see why people were enamored by it. And let’s not forget the sexy black presentation and the added wink in the form of the ‘No Name’ name.

So the large portion in this blended whisky, 75.5% comes from Ardbeg (from re-charred barrels,) 10.6% comes from Caol Ila (refill barrels), 13.4% from Clynelish (re-charred hogsheads) and measly 0.5% of Compass box Highland malt blend (which is 60% Clynelish and 20% of both Dailuaine and Teaninich) finished in Compass Box’s heavy toasted French Oak hybrid cask for 6 months.

15,000 bottles were produced, bottled at 48.9% without added color or chill filtering.

Compass Box No Name (48.9%, £98.00/€98,90)

Nose: Very clean peat, lemon and lime, lots of smoke and a bit of tar. Quite fatty with oil wax, fruitiness lead by pears, red apples and some peaches. Continue reading

Douglas Laing Yula Trilogy (20, 21 & 22 Year Old) Review

Yula, a Norse Goddess (according to Douglas Laing), was the character that sprang to life a trilogy of aged blended malt whiskies releases over the span of 3 years. This is what we’re told on Yula:

Ancient Islay legend has it that a beautiful Norse goddess – Yula – embarked on a long
journey searching for her long lost love with an apron full of pebbles. The stones fell out as
she travelled, forming a string of islands and leaving behind a trail of her thankless pursuit.
Tragic Yula never did find her love, but perished in the turbulent seas surrounding Islay
which was the last jewel-shaped stone to fall from her apron. It’s here on Islay, which in old
Norse means “Yula’s Isle”, that Douglas Laing’s heroine is buried, her final resting place
marked by two standing stones that can still be seen to this day.

The first edition, Yula 20 Years Old was launched back in October 2015. The second chapter, Yula 21 Years Old was launched in September 2016 and the latest and last chapter, Yula 22 Years Old was released last September and now it’s the time to review them all.

Each edition has 900 bottles, wasn’t chill filtered nor colored and bottled at natural cask strength that went down a bit during the last two years from 52.6% for the first chapter to 51.2% of the third and last chapter.

 Douglas Laing Yula 20 Year Old (Chapter 1) (52.6%)

Nose: Gentle sweet smoke, lemony spiciness, peaches and apricots, dusty & mineraly, weak smoldering coals smoke, pastry dough.
Continue reading

Big Peat Christmas 2017 Limited Edition Review

I’ve realized that once again life and work consumes most of my time in the last few weeks, leaving almost no free time to work on the blog. But I think that going for a quick and down to earth review mode may help building the momentum again.

Let’s get festive with the latest Douglas Laing Christmas Edition of Big Peat. This series has been going for a few years already and always provided a good value.

Big Peat Christmas 2017 (54.1%, £53.95/€52,95)

Nose: Young and malty. Then sweet peat with gentle smoke, honey, some Ardbeg fruitiness,  pears. Getting smokier after a while with newly developed ashes note. Continue reading