Tag Archives: Vatted Malt

Cadenhead Creations Light Creamy Vanilla 26yo

Even though it’s still summer and hot here, I can’t let the week pass without a single whisky review. So here’s something light and fitting for the season – Cadenhead Creations ‘Light Creamy Vanilla’ 26 Year Old.- a blended malt whisky mixing spirit from Glenlivet, Bruichladdich, Glen Grant, Aultmore, Tamdhu, Strathisla and Braeval and matured in a bourbon hogshead.

It’s the 3rd batch, the whisky was distilled back in 1991 and bottled in 2018. 288 bottles at 43.8% were made available.

Cadenhead Creations Light Creamy Vanilla 26 Year Old (43.8%,€99,99/€109)

Photo: whiskybase.com

Nose: Punchy at first with creamy vanilla and honey, pears and gentle fruitiness, bread-y. After a few minutes it calms down and we get gentle menthol freshness, peaches and bright yellow cherries. Later on heather honey with soft fresh tropical fruitiness. Continue reading

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Compass Box The Circle Release No. 1

Compass Box are really geared up in 2019 as I counted 6 new global releases so far in 2019 and a few more are coming later year. We’ve managed to review most of them here and here’s the review on their latest release to date: The Circle No. 1.

The Circle is the result of a competition ran by Compass Box back in 2018 for bartenders and Rosey Mitchell, the winner of the competition was prized creating a blend along with John Glazer and Jill Boyd.

Rosey wanted to make an approachable whisky to be shared with friends, something for the daytime, a whisky with brightness. She called it “sunshine in a glass.”

And the way to ‘sunshine in a glass’ went through this recipe:

We usually don’t get to see a whisky so dominated by ex-bourbon Tamdhu so I was very keen to try this and see how this combo works out.

6,151 bottles were produced (at 46%) and as usual, no colorant or chill filtering we used.

Compass Box The Circle Release No. 1 (46%, £112/€123.95)

Nose: Toffee and honey, followed by sweet dried fruit and candle wax. Then subtle wood spice and peat smoke drifts in, cake dough, soursweet raspberry jam. After a few minutes more honey, white pepper and delicate greenery with dried peaches and pears. Then it gets herbal honey, cinnamon and ever so gentle waxy texture. Continue reading

Compass Box No Name No. 2 Review

Yesterday we reviewed Compass Box Affinity, their Whisky and Calvados spirit and today we’re checking out their latest (and very peated) release: No Name No. 2,

No Name 1 was released late 2017 and it caught on like fire also because it contained a large portion of Ardbeg malt which we rarely see outside (expensive) single malts (at least back then). I reviewed No Name and didn’t like it much thinking it was a bit one dimensional and peat focused without depth. Seems like Compass Box somewhat agreed with this assessment (even though I’m sure they liked it), as we can see from their description on the second release:

Still very smoky indeed, there is a new depth and delicacy. To borrow a musical analogy, No Name was peat as power chord; No Name, No. 2 has brought some harmonics to the party.

This time, the ingredients are different with the majority coming from refill sherry casks from Caol Ila, along with malts coming from Talisker and Clynelish (and the usual CB blend):

No doubt this is an interesting recipe, full of potential. Let’s check it out.

Compass Box No Name No. 2 (48.9%, €123,95, 8802 bottles)

Nose: Peaty and sweet, beach bonfire, cherry orchard, a bit of wax underneath, sugar iclings, coastal. After a few minutes the nose develops dried red berries and chimney smoke. I can nose this for real long time.

Palate: Sweet and sugary, peat, smoke, dried berries and cherries, again a dry waxy note underneath, sprinkle of salt, sea breeze, peppery and coastal.

Finish: Medium long length, coastal, peat smoke, subtle red berries sweetness and dry waxiness.

Thoughts: This edition totally blows out the 1st edition. There are depth and complexity that were so sorely missed from the first edition. This edition provides a tasty combination of peat, slightly sherry impact, waxiness and coastal-ness. Recommended!

Compass Box Affinity Review

Officially it’s Springtime but here we’re having some heat waves and already deeply descended into summer time when drinks are considered. One notable new release I was curious about, thinking it may be a good summer drink is the recently released Compass Box Affinity spirit.

Yes, It’s not a whisky but a spirit because it’s a mix of whisky and Calvados. For those who didn’t encounter Calvados in the past, Calvados is a brandy made from apples (and pears) in Normandy region in France.

Here, look at the recipe:

That means we have 37.5% Calvados from Christian Drouin, a very respected and well known Calvados producer and 62.5% whisky .

Total of 6,028 bottles of this ‘Chimera’ were produced and bottled at 46% abv.

Compass Box Affinity (46%, £99.95/€102,90)

Nose: Initially doesn’t smell like whisky at all, it’s kinda spirity at times but then the Calvados notes chime in heavily with tons of apples, banana, honey and Calvados oak spice, with some gentle vanilla and honey. After a few minutes in the glass, the Calvados notes relax a bit (although it’s still very prominent) and we get some spices (with white pepper on the front). Continue reading

Compass Box ‘Stranger & Stranger’ Review

Yesterday it was Compass Box Juveniles day and today we review the other whisky released on the same day – Stranger & Stranger.

Just like Juveniles, ‘Stranger & Stranger’ is a whisky release with some external entity in mind and this time it’s the ‘Stranger & Stranger’ – the package design company that Compass Box has been working with for the last decade.

this blended spirit (spirit, not whisky and it’s no mistake) has a unique recipe, 99% is a classic scotch single malt and 1% is a very young malt/wheat spirit which didn’t hit the required 3 year old barrier to be called whisky:

4,802 bottles at 46% were produced and it’s interesting to see how the combination with the young spirit affects the liquid (if at all).

Compass Box ‘Stranger & Stranger’ (46%, £148.95/€169,90/$199.99)

Nose: Honey and wax, yellow plums and pears, very fruity with rich fruit juice. dusty (or perhaps powdery), very dense and intense for 46% whisky. After a short while even some tropical fruits, nutmeg, becoming orchard with added floral side to the fruitiness. Continue reading

Compass Box Juveniles Review

Just before 2018 closed down, Compass Box released to the markets (in time for x-mas of course) a set of two whiskies: ‘Juvenils’ and ‘Stranger & Stranger’.

Juveniles is a whisky released in collaboration with Juveniles Bistrot à Vins (residing in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris). Tim Johnston, the owner of Juveniles, asked Compass Box to create something:

“…bright, smooth, not smoky…an assemblage perhaps between 12 and 15 years old…”

Below you can see the recipe for Juveniles. While the components age are not exposed here (you can email Compass Box and ask them for the info!) you could say that the age average is indeed between 12 and 15 year old:

Total of 14,894 bottles were produced and as usual the whisky is non chill-filtered and comes at natural color.

Compass Box Juveniles (46%, £94.95/€104,90/$119.98)

Nose: Sweet honey, wax and vanilla, feels quite spirity – a bit surprising considering the malts age and composite but we should remember that age isn’t everything in whisky. Green peaches and pears, brioche with canned fruit. After a few minutes it gets dryer with oak spice but also getting notes of grass and meadow. 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