Jura Tastival 2017 – 51% abv
Info: Made using whiskies finished in American oak bourbon barrels and Douro Valley Port pipes from Graham’s. Natural cask strength, no chill-filtration.
Colour: Summer rich golden with slight orange pink tints.
Nose: Rich and pungent; more autumnal than I had expected, packed with rich red port fruits, hints of cracked nuts, lashings of cream and a hint of chocolate.
Palate: Thick and creamy, with spices gently building into very warming peppery tones, backed up by the fruit, (hazel) nuts and cream found on the nose. Hints of damp dunnage.
Posted in Review, Whisky Tagged Jura
Redbreast Whisky’s #RedbreastDreamCask event
Back in May, as part of the celebrations for World Whisky Day I was one of the lucky folk to be invited along to Billy Leighton’s Redbreast Dream Cask event over on Facebook.
It was a 20-minute online live tasting with Redbreast Head Blender Billy Leighton, and Apprentice Blender Dave McCabe from warehouse A1 in the grounds of the Midleton Distillery. They talked us through an anonymous dram that we had been sent through the post. Queue lots of wandering what the dram was going to turn out to be before the event!
The video feed is still available on Facebook, so if you fancy watching it, please head to https://www.facebook.com/RedbreastSinglePotStill.
If you’re going to watch the video, then watch out spoilers below…
Head to Head: Summery British Blackcurrant Liqueurs
During the summer there’s nothing I like more than finding alternatives to malt, sometimes a change just hits the spot. I love a cold drink of Ribena, so I went on a quest to find the best British alcoholic Blackcurrant Liqueurs; something more adult for a summers evening cocktail.
Two of my favourite on the UK market are Chase Blackcurrant Liqueur, and White Heron British Cassis Blackcurrant Liqueur.
Let’s take a look at the two side by side…
Bowmore 18 Year Old (Travel Retail) – 43% abv
Info: Bowmore recently unveiled three new duty-free exclusive malts, aged 10, 15 & 18 years, marking a return to age statements for the first time in five years. The 18yo is described as Deep and Complex, and has been matured in both Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
Colour: Medium to dark burnished gold, autumn orange. (the bottle says it contain E150a colouring).
Nose: Gentle and sweet. You’re greeted by smooth and restrained peaty hints, along with a waxy varnish type note followed by a rich and layered fruity compote of winter berries; stewed blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries along with hints of macadamia nuts.
Posted in Review, Whisky Tagged Bowmore
The Entertainer by Compass Box – 46% abv
Info: Released over four years ago, The Entertainer by Compass Box is an exclusive whisky to Selfridges, so a slightly more unusual Compass Box dram to find. 1000 bottles produced.
Colour: Bright and fairly light gold, summery.
Nose: A slightly older nose to this, but fairly strong and powerful. There’s hints of over ripe citrus fruit, Christmassy fruit cake, toffee caramels, hints of gentle smoke and just a pinch of herb. With a little more time to open up there’s some creamy vanilla notes, and some mossy dunnage-style damp wood. Selfridges and Compass Box are very much trying to recreate a nose found in whiskies from yesteryear.
Lagavulin 1994 Distillers Edition – 43% abv
Info: Lagavulin, finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Yum. Distilled 1994, bottled 2010. 43% abv.
Colour: Rusty gold, slightly orangey.
Nose: On the nose you’ve got those sassy Lagavulin notes; sweet peat, ozone, salty sea breeze, Lapsang… but it’s all held in check a little by beautiful rich fruitcake fruit notes from the secondary maturation in sweet PX sherry casks. Almost a drop of milk chocolate, hints of seville orange marmalade.
Palate: On the palate it’s fairly oily, it’s laid back and easy on your tongue, hints of spices. There’s sweet Christmas fruitcake flavours amongst gentle peat and moss notes, the two integrating perfectly together. A slight tar background with hints of salt.
The Wood Makes the Whisky | Gordon and MacPhail
Below you’ll find a bumper review of 18 G&M whiskies, but first let’s take a quick look at why I’m reviewing these whiskies in the first place… In short, it’s all about wood!
Gordon and MacPhail’s Ewen Macintosh (Chief Operating Officer) possibly sums up their ‘Wood Makes the Whisky’ campaign best when he said “Here at Gordon & MacPhail we have always been focused on the close relationship between oak and spirit, and have learned from vast experience that wood really does make the whisky. We have selected the special series of whiskies to demonstrate this complex relationship.