Archive for the ‘Whisky’ Category

Craigellachie 14 years

A 14 year old distillery bottling from Craigellachie. This is the an edition that was discontinued in 2007, quite hard to find now , and I had a good fortune to get this bottle .
Craigellachie 14 years

I went in to The Royal mile whisky shop in Edinburgh shopping for some bottles, a well recommended shop BTW , and went over to look for this bottle.
As you can see the box is a dark brown color , same as the shelves in the shop , and I am standing there going over the bottles (stacked alphabetically) A …. B…. D ! , this is wrong again , A… B… D! , after the 3rd time I asked a member of the staff to help me and he just came and plucked the bottle from my blind spot – right in front of me , the box and shelf made my eyes just glance over it and miss it completely. Good thing I asked for help.

So after a long wait (almost 6 years), I will finally sample the flavors of the Craigellachie dram:

color – golden , light honey color with a very smooth swirl, the thin long legs take a while to form but leave lovely traces.
nose – The aroma is very delicate and fills the nose slowly and gently, the dominant traces are of honey and fruits with some slight trace of peppers.
palate -this dram is very smooth in the mouth and goes down very pleasantly and creates a long slow burn in the gut, without a powerful after burn , the lingering traces are of spices and vanilla.

In this dram we did not do our usual sampling – we did not add water , so this posting is incomplete in that aspect .
This dram will go well at the start of a meat meal or with cheese platter.
Conclusion extremely drinkable , and a good value for money at £30 , 3.75 out of 5 .

Penderyn Tasting

At the dawn of the new millennium, a group of friends from Wales set out with a simple vision. To be the first Welsh distillers in more than a century ,They produce just one cask per day of malted barley spirit, which, when matured, is recognized worldwide as one of the fine malt whiskies. The majority of the spirit goes into cask for ageing in their cellars. Minute quantities are diverted to craft other award-winning products.

Penderyn Tasting Set
I’ve purchased the Penderyn sample set to have some fun with the Welsh dram and to see if it is a good whiskey, the store was surprisingly quick and I got my order the next day , just in time for me to be on Antibiotics .. so after some wait a, and the end of the medicine treatment it is time to actually get some flavors in :

We’ll start with the Penderyn 46% Sherrywood finish:
Penderyn SherryWood Finish
Nose – very rich and full , the impact of the sherry is very profound on the nose , with many fruity aromas coming out.
Color – very light clear color , with nice long legs .
palate – smooth , no strong flavor , slow burn , long lingering sensation but no release of taste,a bit too smooth, with no bite .

water – no legs , no change in color , stronger aroma of wood and fire ,
palate – nice kick ,caramel lingering taste , nuts , spices.

Penderyn 46% Mediara finish :
Penderyn Madeira Finish
nose – faint , almost non existent compared to the sherry , vanilla, banana ,
color – light , transparent hue , very slim legs,
palate – nice burn , traces of dates , pepper , no gut burn ,

water – opens up the nose drastically , strong banana , tangerine ,no change in color however the dram looses all the flavors.

Penderyn Peated 46% :
Penderyn Peated
nose , soft smoky aroma , easy on the nose , like a dying ambers of a campfire
color – light hay yellow .
palate – very light smoky and ash flavour -like a bit of a burned potato from the fire , or a charcoaled carrot/pepper , very nice , with a good burn and kick .
nice for even non peaty drinkers

water – brings out a bit more of the peat in the nose but not to over powering
color – no change ,
palate– not fun , the peat comes out , not too strong but in a way that wants you to give it back .

The Penderyn sample kit is a very nice buy from Penderyn and at £12 it is a good value , on the all the one that got the best review from us is the Sherrywood finish , light and a good dram for a a start of the evening .

Imperial Octave

IMPERIAL 1997 Octave 53.2% Royal Mile Whiskies Exclusive
Imperial Octave
Limited to just 72 bottles (they bought the lot). This is a brilliant example of Imperial finished for just three months by Duncan Taylor in a tiny Octave-sized sherry cask .
As soon as I heard about this dram I knew I wanted to try it , and I had to get all the way to Edinburgh to get it , as I was told that only the Edinburgh branch had it.
It has been sitting in my Cabinet since September 2010 and last night I finally had someone to sample it with me …

color -A deep red honey brown , almost like a Moniack mead with a very short legs and smooth swirl in the glass.
nose – Very deep and full , the nose is filled with so many things in the aroma you keep on finding new traces and things the more you inhale the vapors : Caramel , vanilla , fruits , spices , roses , traces of earth , pines and some more that I have not identified .
palate – WOW , It is one of those drams that is just sublime , it feels as if you are submerging into a sweet haze of taste and alcohol , with so many things giving it a tender push for some more , gentle but firm on the tongue ,slow burn going down but no forceful overbite , mellow burn in the gut with after taste that lingers and tempts you to take more in .

And as this is a sampling entry – we will add some water :

nose – the drop of water is releasing a strong aroma of chocolate and leather , and those are overpowering the other flavors that were apparent without the water .
palate – violent overturn and aggressive in the mouth , but not in the good way that some drams do , but all in all very pale shadow of the non watered version .
Conclusion : DO NOT ADD WATER !!!! .
This is a brilliant dram , too bad it is out of stock to be purchased . I’d give it 4.25 out of 5

Talisker 10 years old

Did I mention before that I do not like peaty whiskey , well if I didn’t , let me state it loud and clear , I do not like the Peaty Scotch.

That being said I was told by numerous drinkers that I must try the Talisker. And following those advices I obtained a bottle of the Talisker 10 years old and last night I opened it and sampled this dram …

Yeah , I really don’t like the peat .. the nose wasn’t that bad ,even with the aroma of a slight ashtray coming out of it , what absolutely killed me was the flavors, lots of fruity traces in there but the sensation I was drinking a cigarette in a glass with an alcoholic fruit juice is not my cup of pleasure .

I even tried it twice , so it can’t be said that I didn’t give it a fair chance , but in the end all it did was affirm my initial statement – No to Peaty malt.

For those of you that do like the smoky malts , this one is a nice one to sample from : nice nose, beautiful color , smooth swirl and an good mouth full of flavors . As for the after taste/burn – I can not say all I felt was the smoke , but I guess that is what some people want in their dram .

St Magdalenes

St Magadlene distillery , St Magdalenes
Linlithgow Owner: United Distillers & Vintners (Diageo) Creation date 1765

St Magdalae Distillary

The distillery is build on the site of an old leper colony dating back to the 12th century. It has been altered to settle a covent and later an hospital .
The distillery, situated in Linlithgow dates from 1765. It was originally called Linlithgow.
The distillery is build near the Union Canal, which made it easy to carry the whisky.
St Magdalene was the property of Adam Dawson, one of the first to apply for a legal distilling licence.
DCL (which would later become UDV, after merging with Guinness) bought the distillery in 1912, and closed it definitively in 1983.

The story of this whiskey and our group started in the Whiskey Show of 2009 ,when we took one of our group on his Stag weekend , in the Show we participated in the Lost distilleries Master Class and were presented with is old and very rare whiskey .We all liked it and enjoyed the sample we had in the class.
Fast forward 2 days and we are now in Dufftown after a splendid tour of the Glenfiddich Distillery and walking in to the The whiskey shop Dufftown looking at the vast number of choices on the shelves. Just before we were about to exit the shop one of the group noticed a bottle half hidden in the lower shelves – and Lo and behold if was a St Magdalene Rare Old 1975 .Without much thought it was purchased and taken home .

It’s been a year and the bottle drank with love – but up to now no one of the group ( lazy bastards) took the time to write the notes , so here goes … MaltGeeks tasting the St Magdalene Rare Old 1975:
Nose – The nose is light , some what faintly hiding it’s contents , traces of pines ,Sap and a slow creeping pepper -almost as an after thought .
Color – The gold-ish haze color is clear and very smooth , with no legs and very swift swirl.
Palate – The dram in the mouth feels very smooth but with a light burn in the back of the mouth , strong taste of peppers , Vanilla , Toffee and some remainder of pines in the mix , as the liquid goes down you get a nice slow burn in the gut.
Water – Has no affect on the color , and it wipes clean the nose , the aroma is all gone – very disappointing.
The taste becomes bland to a point of annoyance however it maintains the slow burn it had before and adds a gentle overbite to it.
Summery – A very lovely Whiskey , that is a credit to a good craftsmanship , but lost for good .
It is a hard find to get but worth the price – although keep the water away from it – it will be a shame to ruin a 30 year old bottle – especially if you can’t be sure you can get another one. 3.75 ( out of 5)

A gathering of flavours

Due to the geographical difficulty of gathering all the gang for a drink , we hadn’t had a tasting session for quite a while , so on the evening of the 18th we manged to gather all the friends in one place and have a nice evening with many drams shared.

There was the Lovely Highland Park 21 Yrs ,The Nikka 12 yrs , Hakushu 10 years and the St. Magdalena 30 yrs (which deserves and will have its own entry).

Hakushu 10 years old
Hakushu 10 years old
The Hakushu was a nice dram that we all enjoyed , so I will start with it first :
color – light hey gold , with no legs and a smooth swirl in the glass .
Nose – Full nose, and powerful aroma – after you lt it sit out and breath for a while , in the first 40 seconds it was as if it had no scent , but once you wait it really blossoms . The peppers are the most dominant smell with a hint of caramel .
Palate – The mouth is filled with an earthy flavor, full, and powering , once you let it settle other flavors come out : pepper , spices, caramel , all mixed together and not over shadowing another .
when going down it leaves a nice slow burn and a hearty glow in the gut.
summery a very pleasant dram for a light evening – grade 3.5 (out of 5) .

Nikka 12 years old
Nikka 12 years old
The Nikka was a dram we were unfamiliar with so we came to test it with a curios attitude :
color – The dram color was promising , light gold – like the Autumn leaves of a maple tree, nice swirl with short legs and smooth lines.
Nose – If the Hakushu had a slow release on it’s aroma – the Nikka was a dead mover , it felt as though we needed to coax the scent out of it , eventually we got a whiff of sap, pines and plums.
Palate – Since the nose was a let down , we hoped the palate will compensate , sadly we were mistaken, the dram was bland with no overbite and no burn , slight flavor of peppers and a feint trace of toffee , but once it goes down there is no after taste .
summery – we kept the bottle as a cooking whiskey , not to all our liking , grade 2 (out of 5) .

The Belvenie 12 Double wood

I went on a family holiday and decided that coming empty handed was wrong , so I purchased this bottle and took it with me , on the last night we sat down and sampled this dram , funnily enough this was not my first Belvenie , i some how managed to forget my previous exposure ( see previous postings).

So now that I have sampled it – time to give my notes ,overall characteristics of this dram are , Sherry Oak finish , 12 years old , 40% proof .

Color : Light gold almond haze , with a nice smooth swirl and short light legs.

Nose : Easy nose with traces of pines,caramel and peppers , the aroma dissipates fast from the nose , leaving a clear void

Taste :The dram has a nice after burn on the back of the mouth , with a slow building burn in the stomach .
The flavors that remain are of strong pepper , wood , chocolate , raisins and almonds .

All in all , a mild dram for a light summer evening for the after meal drink or with a light fruits beside it .
Coming at a price of £28 in an off license shop, it is an affordable dram that can go with almost any social gathering.

17/09/2009 – Speyside Tasting

Tasting hosted by the RoyalMileWhiskies Shop , London

As it was on my birthday I decided to indulge myself and go to an evening that promised many subtle pleasures, As Speyside whiskey is my favorite region of scotch , I knew I would like this evening and will have a good time.
I was not surprise at all by the selection of distilleries and to find myself at the end of the night with a good light head and a very warm stomach.

Tomintoul 16 years old

The first bottle of the evening was a Tomintoul 16 Years old .
It has a very light nose , smooth and light aroma that goes well with the very gental light gold colour of the liquid , there is a hint of spices and pines in the fragrance .
A small sip will go down smoothly with a very light after taste followed by a light and slow heat wave at the top of the stomach .
Adding a dash of water to the dram will open the aroma and make the nosing a much more fulfilling experience , the aroma becomes more robust with a stronger dominance of the spices.
As for the flavor of the dram – it transforms the whiskey to a more coarse sensation , all the smoothness is gone – along with all of the taste!!
This is a good starter whiskey for the evening and for people that are starting their first steps in drinking Scotch whiskey , however ,Tomintoul have discontinued this bottling (good thing We already have a bottle).

Dallas Dhu 1982

This Dallas Dhu is a 25 Years old bottling from Gordon & MacPhail.
This dram was very light in colour , almost as light as the Tomintoul , when swirling it left no traces on the glass,the nose was very restricted , almost as if the dram did not want to give it’s aroma to the drinker,
very faint smell of pines,fruit ,citrus and vanilla did come out faintly. The taste was very gentle on the pallate and had a hint of pine and almonds , almost unfelt is a light smokiness in there , surprisingly enough there is no after burn in this scotch.
Adding a dash of water alters the colour very drastically – it almost losses all colour and becomes clear , The nose however opens up quite nicely to expose a much wider variety fragrances and more subtle aromas .
the water also help create a strong burn at the back of the mount and a light warn after burn as it goes down.


Benromach 21 Years old 43% proof.
The Benromach was an unfamilliar Scotch to me , I passed beside the distillary when I walked part of the Malt whiskey trail , but we did not get in to it as we read that it is not open to visitors (it might have changed since but that was the status when I was near),so I was excited to taste this one.
The nose is very strong and flavorful , it spared slowly and opens up tenderly to a full nose of citrus ,vanilla,pine , banana, and a strong earthy aroma.
The Colour is a deep golden colour and smooth with no trails on a swirl. The taste of the dram give a slow light burn on the top of the mouth , but is nice on the palette with an aftertaste of wood and chocolate that comes at you slowly.
Adding a dash of water almost wipes away most of the nose , making it very bland virtually non existent , the colour on the other hand is not affected and the water are “swallowed” into the dram without changing it.
The taste of the Scotch is on another level , the water sharpen it and make it very exuberant and also intensify the burn to a powerful warm glow both in the after taste and in the gut.

The Belvenie

The Belvenie 21 Sherry Port
As the name indicate this Scotch has a port finish , which helped to give it the deep dark golden colour it has .The nose is light and very easy with long strong aromas of fruits and vanilla, the swril leaves slow long legs on the glass.
As you drink the dram you get a strong taste of honey and sap , and just as you get the full flavor the slow burn at the back of the mouth starts to build up and goes down to the stomach.
Adding a dash of water does not change the colour of the dram but it does have a distinct affect on the nose , it turns lighter but much richer scent of wood,pine,citrus and vanilla.
The flavour also changes an becomes rather heavy on the pallete with a slow after burn in the back of the mouth , it becomes a rich sensation that seems to last long with the warm heat in the stomach.

Aberlour A’bundh

Aberlour A’Bunadh 60.4% proof
This bottle of Aberlour is a rather young one , no more the 8-10 years old , and that is what makes it so potent. 60.4% Alcohol content make is a very strong dram and one many people will need to water down for a more mellow feeling and smoother enjoyment
from the Scotch.
The colour is a deep dark wood almost soil brown , the swirl leaves no legs. The nose is very powerfull almost over powering in the first couple of seconds , the aromas that do come out of the dram are of fruits , but most dominant is the vanilla .
The taste is surprisingly smooth and light , but very warm after burn in the stomach and the back of the throat.
I liked it like that and would have left it the way it was for myself , but as I am trying and reporting , this is what came next :
Adding a dash of water changes the swirl to a very light and the legs are gone, the colour remains dark but with a slight variation, to the nose it adds a very noticeable difference, adding a woody peaty fragrance , and a oranges smell that adds some “bite” to the nose.
The taste also evolves with the water to create a strong “kick” at the back of the throat with a slight after taste of chocolate, the major change is the very profound burn in the stomach.

Ardmore 16 years

Ardmore 16 years 43% proof
This one is a peaty Speyside dram – and after I took the first sip I knew it was not for me and I have a strong dislike of the peaty ones.
The colour is very light gold almost taint yellow , very light swirl with no legs . Nose – Peaty , not over powering but dominant .
Taste – too peaty to allow any other taste ( again this is my personal taste , other patrons of the tasting enjoyed this dram ).

Glen Elgin 16 Years old ,58.5% – short review

I went up to scotland on the end of March 2009 , and no visit to Scotland is worth with out a good dram to go along so i stepped into the whiskey museum in Edinburgh and had this dram .
Color : Goldish with light yellow tint.
Nose : an aroma that is very easy on the nose but and very promising , it felt like it’s trying to hide it’s true potential to the taste buds.
The taste had a fine pine wood feeling to it but light and very smooth going , very warm and long after taste of spices , the lasting sensation is a dry palate.

Adding a drop of water to the Dram opens up the whiskey to make it extremely smooth and even longer warm feeling in the stomach.

Campfire – Jamie Milne Of Glenfiddich

I first learned about campfire from a posting in Whisky Isreal blog , and thought I might give it a try .
The event was held in a nice location although if you are not local – finding was a bit of a quest ( hidden in a office complex behind a pub ) As i am reading the “Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy” now – i thought that the only thing missing was the “beware the Leopard” sign to make it complete.

The evening itself started very nice with a good atmosphere , with wine and 12 Yrs Glenfiddich for a warm up. A lot was written about this dram so I will skip on …
Jamie’s story was a very light and flowing , and keeping and interesting pace while finding the common thread of Glenfiddich in his life , and during the story we were presented with a dram of the 15 Yrs Glenfiddich . Again an age old dram that the is worldly known , so i will skip describing it too !

When the presentation of Jaime’s ended we were presented with the star dram of the evening : Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak

Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak , Personally i thought the first image of the bottle (presented as a wood carving) was much more appealing then the actual bottle , but I guess it was not a good way to sell .

We’ll start of with the color : The Dram has a light gold ( almost honey hue) with faint traces of almonds , and in some lightings it has the hue of a light rust on a thin sheet of metal – all in all a good color and very promising .
The swirl in the glass is very smooth and leave nice light silky legs on the rim .
Nose : The first scent is a very sharp and hiding many of the properties , once you let your nose settle into it the currents of Vanilla , Peppers , Caramel and a Dry leaves emerge to give a nice lingering sensation in the nose.

Taste : The dram rolls very smoothly in the mouth and leaves some unfamiliar feeling in this “young” Glenfiddich dram , it’s presence on the palette is very light and easy , no burn on the back of the mouth and no after burn going down in the stomach . Once it clears the mouth there are traces of Caramel, Almonds , Cream and an oily feeling that leaves you wondering what it is hiding.
No Tasting will be complete with out adding a splash of water , so that is what i did and was very much surprised at the results :
Color : To my surprise the water had no effect on the color , but it did make the swirl become even smoother .
Nose : Again not much change , but an emerging scent that creeps out of the altered dram is of soft Klin dust with a pine over tone.
Taste : The water gives this Dram the little push it needed for the nice burn it was lacking before , and that kick is dominated with a flavor of peppers coming out in force ( relatively) to compliment the others .

All in all a very nice dram from Glenfiddich , and one I am happy to have experienced as it differs from the regular path of the Glenfiddich ( to me ) .