Review: Fettercairn – A distillery focus and four reviews

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Fettercairn (a.k.a. Old Fettercairn or Nethermill)… not a distillery that many have heard too much about, and one that many haven’t tried, so why not let’s give it a bit of a focus here in a blog post and see what it’s all about. Below you’ll find reviews of four of their expressions, but first off here’s a wee bit of history of the place…
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Review: Robert Burns Single Malt (Arran Whisky)

arran-robert-burns-scotch-whiskyOk, so I can often be guilty about blogging and reviewing unaffordable whiskies because I’m lucky enough to get a sample of something posh… It’s my whisky journey so still valid to blog about… but for your everyday whisky that’s actually affordable without breaking the bank and great to have on your shelf, I am sometimes guilty of not enough reviews and being caught up in the shiny shiny.

So let’s change that with a review of Robert Burns Malt from Isle of Arran Distillers which recently won a Silver award at this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition. Here’s Arran’s text about this malt…

This is an official Arran Single Malt which has been endorsed by The World Robert Burns Federation.  Made from approx 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking, prior to or during a meal.  Very fresh with no artificial colouring, this beautifully packaged malt is made for easy drinking.

On to my review…
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Mini Review: Abbey Whisky’s Mystery Dram 2

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I’ve been lucky enough to try Abbey Whisky’s latest “Mystery Dram”, I know nothing about this, so it was very much a blind tasting… I think the only information to hand was that it was a Speyside whisky, at 46% ABV. The ABV clue leads us to assume this has been bottled as whisky geeks like, non chill-filtered, and more than likely with no colouring (I’d go as far as to say defo no colouring). Anyway, here’s my very quick notes in trying to identify what this is!
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Review: Three Douglas Laing Provenance Bottlings (Arran, Highland Park, Laphroaig)

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Three Douglas Laing Provenance Bottlings Reviewed: Arran 16yo, Highland Park 14yo and Laphroaig 10yo

I was recently lucky enough to check out three new summer releases from Douglas Laing & Co Ltd. / Douglas McGibbon & Co. Ltd.

As part of their Provenance Single Malt collection Douglas Laing highlights the particular distillation seasons through Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter via distinctive labelling, and I got to try out three drams from their Summer range, released in June. Provenance is bottled in the traditional style – not coloured, not chill-filtered and typically at 46% strength.

Amazingly enough as the samples arrived we enjoyed one of the hottest summers in many a year, not quite malt drinking weather, so I’m a little behind with this review… but read on for my tasting notes!
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Review: Auchentoshan Virgin Oak

AuchentoshanVOThis brand new, limited edition expression is Auchentoshan’s first ever single malt to be solely matured in virgin North American oak casks. Please see below for my review notes, but first, here’s some PR blurb…

This complex, non-chill filtered dram is Auchentoshan’s first ever single malt to be matured solely in virgin North American oak casks, wood that is previously untouched by any spirit.

Intuition and industry knowledge led the team at Auchentoshan to believe they could challenge the firmly entrenched belief that Scotch whisky must be matured in ex-bourbon or sherry casks. Since the millennium, Auchentoshan has placed small batches of the unique, triple distilled spirit in virgin North American oak whose charred surfaces have held neither bourbon nor sherry.
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Review: Three new Old Pulteney’s reviewed (Noss Head, Duncansby Head, Pentland Skerries)

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Tonight (14th Aug 2013) we’ve been reviewing three new Old Pulteney’s in their NAS Lighthouse series via a Twitter Tasting (i.e. a bunch of us on Twitter use the hashtag #OldPulteney to discuss these drams as a group).

The three new expressions showcase the Old Pulteney coastal style from three different maturation angles. The whiskies Pulteney Distillery’s maritime heritage by celebrating prominent local lighthouses – Noss Head, Duncansby Head and Pentland Skerries… all drams at 46%, they’re non chill-filtered and not coloured – always a plus with whisky enthusaists. These are all released into the travel retail market, which means you’ll be hard pressed to find them in most shops, and will generally only find them at airport duty free shops. However with reviews below in hand you’ll know what one(s) you may want to grab if you find them!
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Review: Bowmore 23 Year Old Port Cask Matured Whisky

bowmore_23_portThe PR blurb goes as follows (scroll down for my review notes)… Bowmore, Islay’s first Single malt Whisky, has announced the launch of Bowmore 23 years Old – a deliciously rich, smoky  and complex dram that has been matured exclusively in port casks for 23 years giving it a deliciously dark colour and remarkably rich flavour.

This non-chill filtered Single Malt Scotch is a whisky to warm the coldest Islay night. A delicious treat of smoke infused blood orange, luscious layared autumn fruits, winter spices, black truffles and walnut oil balanced with the trademark Bowmore sea-salt tang.

European Brand ambassador Gordon Dundas describes the dram as “Truly an exceptional Bowmore. Full maturation in the finest Port casks is rare but gives this bottling an amaing depth and flavour developed over 23 years while importantly still retaining all of the character of Bowmore. Something to be savoured…” 

Less than 12,000 bottles exist of Bowmore 23 Year Old Port Matured, priced at £380.
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Review: Three recent Wemyss Malts reviewed (Salted Caramels, Melon Cocktail, Spiced Chocolate Cup)

Three recent Wemyss Malts reviewed

Edinburgh based boutique Spirits Company Wemyss Malts (pronounced ‘Weems’) comes from the Gaelic word for caves which stems from the rocky outcrop on the Firth of Forth on which our family home, Wemyss Castle, sits. 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 1991 Glen Scotia a 1994 Aberfeldy and a 1997 Clynelish.
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Review: BenRiach 17yo Solstice (2nd Edition)

benriach-17-year-old-solstice-2nd-edition-whiskyBenRiach 17 yo Solstice (2nd Edition) – 50% (Peated)

An excellent 17 year old BenRiach, from their peated “Solstice” range. This is the second release, replacing the previous 15 year old version, and finished in a port pipe (a port pipe basically just means a cask which previously held Port).

Colour: Deep gold / amber with orange / red hues.
Nose: Peat comes straight out of the glass at you, a earthy mossy peat, not salty costal peat. After a bit of time to breath, rubbery juicy fruits start to jump out at you.
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Review: Tamdhu 10yo

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Tamdhu 10yo – 40% ABV

Tamdhu, a Speyside distillery, closed in 2010, was then sold and reopened in 2011. This 10yo released in April 2013 marks the return of the distillery into shops… and as an entry level malt it’s at a good price point.

Although a little late to the party with release tasting notes, I’ve finally caught up. Keep reading for some quick thoughts.

 

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