SMWS release their Feis 2016 offering – 127.44
Info: This is a 12yo Port Charlotte from Bruichladdich, at an awesomely high 65.9% abv. Labelled as Cantina Mexicana.
Colour: Rich dark amber, plenty of rusty colour.
Nose: Buttery and rich, slightly lactic. Mushed down autumn fruits with a buttery malty crumble topping and a dollop of cream that’s kind of nearly on the turn. Ozone and slightly salted peat. With time more blackberry tones come forward.
Palate: On the palate this is hugely slick and velvety at the high abv, you’d think it’d instantly kill your tongue but it doesn’t. It’s fairly sweet, with hints of bbq embers
Finish: Long, strong, tasty and moorish. Good stuff.
Water: It’s really high with alcohol, so a drop of water can’t really hurt. With a drop a little more biscuit malt note comes forward with an increase of coal notes. I prefer it that way! With a few more drops of water there’s a definite tropical note that comes out and the slight lactic note becomes totally integrated and works well for the dram. It stays buttery.
I’m off up to Glasgow tomorrow before heading over to Islay for the Feis on Friday… Therefore now seems the perfect time to review the 2016 Ardbeg Feis Ile release, Dark Cove. Something to do with olden times, pirates, coves, smuggling. Blah blah. Whisky.
There’s two versions, the stronger (55% abv) Committee Edition, and the regular (46.5% abv) version which will be released during the Feis. They did the same last year with the 2015 release, and in that case I preferred the lower strength version, so how will the 2016 versions compare? Let’s see…
Posted in Review, Whisky
A Rare New Breed of Douglas Laing’s
Scallywag Speyside Malt
Douglas Laing & Co today announces the release of Limited Edition Scallywag #2, a Cask Strength Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, boldly bottled at 54.1%.
Scallywag Speyside Malt first launched in 2013, in homage to the Douglas Laing family’s long line of Wire Fox Terriers, and is now sold in over 40 markets worldwide.
The new Limited Edition release is created using only the finest Speyside Malts, including those distilled at Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes Distilleries. Just 4800 bottles of this rare breed are available globally, a number that is proudly displayed on the product’s gift tube. The striking, gold foiled packaging features a somewhat startled Scallywag, his ears perked and his monocle blasted off, having just experienced his first taste of the spicy, fruity, chocolatey dram.
Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky
BY DOUGLAS LAING
Douglas Laing & Co, World Whiskies Awards’ Brand Innovator of the Year 2016, today announces the launch of The Epicurean Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, the Lowland addition to the firm’s Remarkable Regional Malts collection.
Lagavulin 8 Year Old – 48% abv
Info: It’s Lagavulin’s 200th anniversary year this year, so they’re celebrating in various ways, one of which is by releasing this 8yo special release. It’s a limited edition and won’t be around forever, but there’s plenty of it we’re told.
Colour: Light straw, very natural; if colouring has been used then it’s quite a light touch.
Nose: The nose is somewhat lighter than expected, it’s quite sweet, with those good oily tarrey basey peat notes that I love in Lagavulin. Behind the peat there’s some slightly overripe tropical fruits. Fresh and sea breezy.
Benromach 35 Years Old – 43% abv
Info: Distilled before Benromach was mothballed in 1983 (and then subsequently purchased and brought back into production by Gordon & MacPhail in 1998). Matured in first fill sherry casks.
Colour: Golden amber, autumnal.
Nose: Deep and fruity, jam packed with… jam. Refined old oak notes, sweet brown sugar which is balanced with fresh citrus notes – think kiwi, gentle honey, peach and orange peel going to marmalade.
Palate: Instant gratifying sweet malty goodness which becomes a bit cinnamon spicy after a while. The fruits are all there packed and ready, grapefruits, orange, kiwi, all adding a nice sweetness to things. It’s not overly oily on your palate, has it been a little filtered? Slight char puffs.
Balblair 05 & 99 vintages
Back in Feb 2016 I visited Balblair distillery, and two of the drams – 05 and 99 vintages – were some of the ones we tasted as part of the tour. Because I was driving, Julie the distillery visitor centre manager, kindly popped the samples into 3cl bottles for me to take home. What a great idea and very responsible, especially in the light of lower drink drive limits in Scotland… well done to Balblair for offering this service!
Let’s take a look at the two vintages now…
Posted in Review, Whisky