Review: A pentalogy of Octomore (2.2, 5.1, 6.2, 10yo, Feis ’14)

Octo2.2BottleOctomore 2.2  - Orpheus
61% ABV

Colour: Golden with red tints.
Nose: Thick, buttery, creamy and fruity all mashed together with elegant peat and smoke. Red berries mashed up, jelly like.
Palate: Thick, oily and smoky with elegant peat (no tcp), sweet berries and somewhat of a fizzyness on your tongue, like a refresher. Quite powerful with it’s alcohol strength.
Finish: Loooong, sweet with smoke, peat and some red wine and dark berries coming through and lasting for ages, some red apples there too.
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Review: Arran’s Devil’s Punchbowl III

arran-devils-punch-bowl-chapter-iii-the-fiendish-finale-whiskyArran’s Devil’s Punchbowl III “The Fiendish Finale” – 53.4% ABV

Info: This final bottling rounds off the trilogy in great style. It’s a multi-age blend matured in Oloroso Sherry Butts and French Oak Barrique casks which gives the spirit a devilishly unique, deep flavour.  6,660 bottles available worldwide, 840 in the UK.
Colour: Light bright clear gold.
Nose: Abundant with malt, light, ozoney, almost a drop of coastal air / slight saltiness. There’s a faint nuttyness from the sherry, and a creaminess from the French Oak… overall the nose is just very slightly closed, I think a drop of water would help open it up.
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Review: Kininvie Batches 1 (17yo) and 2 (23yo)

KININVIE-Graphic-825x762

Kininvie – Batches 1 (17yo) and 2 (23yo) reviewed

Let’s talk Kininvie…. Certainly a less well known name, but a single malt scotch whisky I’ve been keen to try for quite some time; I’m chuffed to finally get the opportunity to taste it.

Kininvie is owned by William Grant & Sons, the same folk that own Glenfiddich and Balvenie. All three distilleries are located on the same site in Dufftown, and Kininvie and Balvenie are in fact so close they share quite a bit of production equipment, shared mostly all the way until the stillrooms which are separate. It started producing in 1990, and ended production in 2010. Some of it’s product is used in the blended malt Monkey Shoulder.

William Grant & Sons have now released two bottlings, Batch 1 is a Travel Retail only bottling, and Batch 2 is now available in the UK market, both of which I review below…

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Review: Highland Park Dark Origins (vs 12yo)

HPDOBottleHighland Park Dark Origins 46.8 %

Notes: This latest addition to the core expressions uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavour. Dark Origins is a combination of 80% first fill sherry casks (of which 60% is European oak and 20% American) and 20% refill sherry.

Colour: Rich early autumn gold.
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Review: Rumbullion! XO 15yo

rumbullion-xo-15-years-old-rumRumbullion! XO 15 Years Old – 46.2%

In Cognac terms “XO” means extra old, i.e. at least 6 years old (and as of 2016 at least 10 years old), although often up to 20 years old. With this Caribbean rum you can rest assured it’s 15 years old blended with vanilla, orange peel and fine spices.

Colour: A burnt orangey rust colour.
Nose: Altogether more grown up than the younger Rumbullions. Fairly old, woody, a gentle sweet undertone of spices along with the vanillery, orange citrus hints; almost mulled wine like.
Palate: Thick and very gentle, even at 46.2%… it builds slowly with the spices giving your mouth a tickle. It’s creamy, caramelly and rich with a slight oak charcoal backnote.
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Visit & Reviews: Somerset Cider Brandy

SCBlogo[For 9(!) reviews of Somerset Cider Brandy's range, please see below...]

At the time of posting this story I had previously visited 42 distilleries around the UK… but most obviously I had missed visiting the distillery that’s based in my own backyard, The Somerset Distillery / Somerset Cider Brandy Company Limited not far from Yeovil in Somerset. It was more than time to put that right, and I’m really pleased to say that my 43rd visit was finally sorted recently; I was driving home and passing close to the distillery, so it would have been rude not to pop in really wouldn’t it?!

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Review Ardbeg 10 Year Old

ardbeg-10-year-old-whiskyArdbeg 10 Year Old – 46%

It’s been a while since my last post, summer has kept my whisky drinking to a minimum in favour of cold beers and ciders. However, continuing my wee series on affordable, mainstream, ‘standard’ distillery offerings that I’ve purchased myself, let’s take a look at Ardbeg’s 10 Year Old, a perfectly good dram for late on a summers eve.

Gossip (which I’ve heard direct from the horses mouth as it were – i.e. it’s true) is that back when stocks were low whisky up to 17 years old was used to keep this 10 year old in the shops. I guess those good old days are now far behind us and we’re now back to whisky that’s much more of the 10 year old mark, as you’d rightly expect!

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