Review: Four Glen Gariochs Reviewed (1986, 1995, 12yo, New Expression) – Generations Twitter Tasting

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Generations – A Father’s Day Twitter Tasting

I was lucky enouogh to be invited to take part in a Glen Garioch Twitter Tasting, where we were able to taste the following four expressions:

1986
1995
12yo
A New Rare Find (an as yet unreleased new expression)

All hosted by the lovely Rachel Barrie (AKA TheLadyBlender), Morrison Bowmore’s Master Blender, some of her comments below represented with the tag RB.

Let’s take a look at the reviews in more depth… Continue reading

Review: Three More (SMWS) Grain Whiskies Reveiwed (Strathclyde, Caledonian & North British)

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It was recently Grain Week at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), and the folks there were very kind indeed to me and sent three great grain whiskies to review. They sent:

G10.4 (Strathclyde Distillery) – “A witch’s Christmas tipple”
G3.4 (Caledonian Distillery) – “Pride of Bengal”
G1.9 (North British Distillery) – “The palate gets a Ping!”

Before we review, can I just quickly recommend you check out the SMWS website, it’s a club worth considering joining, the amount of quality casks from every distillery you can think of is really quite astounding, I’m yet to have a bad dram bottled by the SMWS! For balance it’s fair to mention that there’s also plenty of other good quality fee-free independent bottlers around.

Right, let’s take a more in-depth look at the three drams… Continue reading

Review: Four Grain Whiskies Revewied (Cameron Brig, Greenore, Nikka Coffey, Invergordon)

invergordonlabel-bigA wee while ago (back in April 2013) I was pleased to be able to take part in a blind tasting on Twitter of four different grain whiskies, hosted by The Whisky Wire, and provided by Arkwrights Whisky & Wines, my (best) local whisky shop, which is still nearly a two hour drive away, booo. See below for my notes on the four whiskies, which turned out to be… Cameron Brig, Greenore, Nikka Coffey and Invergordon. Continue reading

Review: Three Wemyss Malts Revewied (’01 Bunnahabhain, ’82 Inchgower & ’96 Longmorn)

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Wemyss is pronounced ‘Weems’ and comes from the Gaelic word for caves. They’re a well respected independent whisky bottler, and soon to be distillery owner with Kingsbarns Distillery in the building (as I write this).

I’ve been lucky enough to review three Wemyss Malts releases, a 2001 Bunnahabhain a 1996 Longmorn and a 1982 Inchgower.
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Mini Review: Three Feis Ile 2013 Whiskies Reviewed (Laphroaig, Bruichladdich & Bunnahabhain)

LaphFeis3cl2013Laphroaig – Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Edition – 51.30%

Let’s call this a dapper golden pink in colour. Laphroaig on the nose, but just slightly restrained, gentle peat and fruit jostling together, not so much tcp. Smooth malty peat, slightly tarry as normal, but with a fruit sweetie nature behind it all. Fresh, sweet but well balanced finish. I really enjoy this, all nicely integrated with the port wood. A well priced session / drinking dram this.

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Review: The Macallan 1824 Series (Gold, Amber, Sienna & Ruby) Twitter Tasting

macallan1824serieslrgI’m lucky enough to have taken part in a Twitter Tasting that has focussed on The Macallan’s new 1824 Series, namely Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. If you want to follow / review of the Twitter action then check out the #TheMacallan1824 tag.

For the PR bits and bobs, please… click here for more info.

The Macallan has unveiled The 1824 Series, a range showcasing two of its greatest strengths; oak sherry casks and natural colour.

Grounded in an unwavering commitment to sourcing the very best oak sherry casks, the most expensive in the industry, The 1824 Series showcases the signature style of The Macallan, embracing the defining elements which have made it one of the world’s truly great single malts.

Bob Dalgarno, The Macallan Whisky Maker, has created four expressions by identifying the natural colour formed during maturation in different casks types to create the character informed by these colours. The expressions are Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby, all names reflecting the actual colour of the whiskies in the range, but also describing naturally occurring mineral and metals.

This innovative approach to whisky making is the first to derive the final character from the natural colours drawn into The Macallan from the oak sherry casks over the years of maturation. It has allowed Bob Dalgarno to assess the broadest range of casks delivering an unrivalled range of natural colours.  The casks chosen for the range deliver a gradation of colour from light to dark, with the wood character defining each expression’s flavour, moving from lighter, lemon citrus to richer, dried fruit notes.   As the whiskies become darker and richer, so the pool of casks able to deliver this character becomes smaller and rarer.

Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said, “The Macallan world of colour is the true inspiration of the 1824 Series.  Using colour to drive and define a whisky differs dramatically from the conventional age approach, allowing us to explore different casks and take a more flexible approach to our stock.  We have been able to work creatively with the full range of matured stock available, rather than working to a pre-determined character based on age. For me, the key thought in this range is that a great single malt doesn’t need to be 30 years old to taste like a 30 year old.”

By drawing on his broadest range of skills in cask selection, Bob has been unshackled by the need to draw on casks selected first and foremost for their age.  His expert skills ensure consistency through the effective management and selection of the casks which provide the spectrum of natural colour and character essential to The Macallan.

Commenting on this latest innovation, Ken Grier, Director of Malts, Edrington, said “As some 60% of the aroma and flavour of The Macallan derives from the oak maturation casks, this new range is a genuine opportunity to demonstrate the critical role of these exceptional casks and also to challenge perceptions about bottling at arbitrary ages.  Taking colour as the basis for shaping these whiskies, an industry first, is testimony both to the innovative approach to whisky making and to the long experience of our Whisky Maker. This truly is Bob’s work at its very best.”

The Macallan Gold (RRP £36), The Macallan Amber (RRP £45), The Macallan Sienna (RRP £66) and The Macallan Ruby (RRP £120) will be available at selected whisky retailers.

To summarise the PR… these are sherry matured whiskies in various casks of various ages to produce various colours and all come with no age statement. Now… On to the reviews!…
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Head to Head Review: Ardbog (2013) vs. Ardbeg Day (2012)

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I’ve been lucky enough to have a sample (or two) of Ardbog sent to me, Ardbeg’s Feis Ile 2013 release. I also have a bottle of last years Feis Ile release open, Ardbeg Day, so why not let’s review them both together, head to head, and make some conclusions about the two. Here’s some quick info on this years bottling…

‘Ardbeg’s smoky sweetness has been intriguingly interwoven with salty, savoury whiskies which have slumbered undisturbed in rare ex-Manzanilla sherry casks, all for at least ten long years.’
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