Review: Cù Bòcan 1988 Limited Edition

CuBocan1988bottleInfo: A combination of refill Hogshead and refill Sherry butt matured whisky which was distilled on 2nd December 1988, the casks being ex-Islay. 51.5%abv, non chill-filtered, 2200 bottles.
Colour: Light yellowy gold, nice natural colour.
Nose: For something that’s nearly 28 years old, the nose still has a good barley note to it, along with lemony citrus smells, and good hints of smoke. It’s gently sweet and alluring.
Palate: It’s oily on your tongue with a good crack of spice and heat from oaks and the higher abv (although not overpowering). There’s definitely a slight coastal earthy mustiness from the old Islay casks that have been used in the maturation here. Still gently sweet with gentle tropical tones mingled pears.
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Review: Glen Moray Sherry Cask Finish

glen-moray-sherry-cask-finishInfo: Glen Moray matured in American oak casks and then finished for at least 8 months in Spanish oak Oloroso sherry casks, a mixture of 500 and 600 litre butts. 40% abv, chill filtered.
Colour: Straw to light gold.
Nose: Rich, sweet fruity barely meets Christmas cake. There’s cinnamon spice notes and caramel toffeeness.
Palate: Glen Moray is usually fairly gentle, but the sherry influence here has really given it some big spices, along with the barley sweetness and oaks.
Finish: The sherry finish here really gives this a fairly long finish, warming, fruity and with tingley spices.
Thoughts: Glen Moray’s PR describes this as “approachable and well-priced”… I couldn’t say it better myself! Great every day whisky for a price that isn’t going to hurt your pockets too much, perfect. The sherry finish here really works well and adds much more spice than I was expecting. Bargain.
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Review: anCnoc Blas

ancnoc blas bottle pictureInfo: anCnoc Blas is the newest special edition to be released from anCnoc and was created in collaboration with fashion designer Patrick Grant, judge on The Great British Sewing Bee. It’s a NAS whisky at the high strength of 54% abv, from a combination of bourbon and sherry casks.
Colour: Bright and shiney golden, nice and natural looking.
Nose: A nose packed with barley and nuts, it’s got a good strong and heady smell to it which really draws you in.
Palate: The palate is smooth and oily at first, soon building to a hotter and more spicy affair, much related to the high ABV. It’s gently sweet, well balanced with good zingy citrus bursts and plenty of barley and barley sugars. A touch of wax.
Finish: The finish is warming and gently spreads, it’s sweet enough with just a hint of tannins backing it up.
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News: Douglas Laing’s Delicious Desserts


Old Particular Launches “Douglas Laing’s Delicious Desserts” Campaign To Highlight its Single Cask Single Grain Series

Old Particular Grain with tubesThis month Douglas Laing, Icons of Whisky’s Innovator of the Year, is launching an exciting marketing platform Douglas Laing’s Delicious Desserts to support the growth of its multi-award winning core expression, Old Particular. The new integrated campaign will see a series of innovative activities rolled out globally and will span advertising, digital, PR and on- and off-trade marketing activity.

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News: Tomatin launches new limited edition 1988 vintage Cù Bòcan



Cu bocan 88Highland based Tomatin Distillery have announced the launch of a rare Vintage 1988 single malt as part of their Cù Bòcan range.  The casks used to mature the spirit were home to a popular heavily peated Islay whisky in their past lives to create a unique limited edition. Just 2200 bottles of the malt, which have been aged for 28 years in sherry casks, are available.

Bottled at a cask strength of 51.5% abv, the whisky is described as having an aroma of campfire smoke and stewed pears with flavours of candied tropical fruits and an earthy peaty tang.

The Cù Bòcan brand is named after a mythical Highland hellhound which was rumoured to haunt the village of Tomatin and was launched in 2013 as a lightly peated alternative to the traditional fruity flavours of Tomatin single malt.  This latest release follows previous limited editions including the 1989 vintage in 2014, along with the Virgin Oak, Sherry and Bourbon expressions in 2015.
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Review: SMWS Feis 2016 release – 127.44

SMWS release their Feis 2016 offering – 127.44

cantina_mexicana_labelInfo: 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.
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Review: Ardbeg Dark Cove vs Dark(er) Cove


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…
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