Buzz & Winning Review: Glen Garioch’s new (as yet nameless) expression

GariochLogoGlen Garioch’s new (as yet nameless) expression
(and the clues to what it might be…)

Update: I’m really pleased to announce that my post has been chosen as a winning review of this dram, and as such I get to go and visit the distillery, excellent stuff, lucky me!

Let’s start by saying I’m a Glen Garioch Drambassador! What’s that? It was a facebook competition run by them to chose various fans / bloggers to receive their new mystery dram and a set of clues, and to be the first people to try it and write about it… and that’s what leads us here! I am one of those chosen few… and sure enough in the post I soon received the following lovely box of goodies…

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Opinion: Bowmore and Chocolate – A Perfect Combo


I’m kind of supposed to be on a diet… one of those diets that never really quite get going, but you have every good intention of starting tomorrow. With that in mind friends and family eased off buying me anything much in the way of any Easter eggs this year, which made me really quite upset, damn them!

However, (yippee) Bowmore came to the rescue! Bless them and their chocolaty Easter eggy general good chappishness. (FYI mostly not actual chaps, I’m being gender neutral here).

So, it’s with excitement I opened the following just before Easter hit…

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News: Glenlivet release Nàdurra Oloroso


The Glenlivet Nàdurra expands into a range of cask experiences

The Glenlivet is expanding its Nàdurra brand into a range featuring different cask experiences.

GlenlivetNadurraOlorosoEach expression in The Glenlivet Nàdurra range is crafted in small batches using traditional production methods and is matured exclusively in a different cask-type. The range is bottled without chill-filtration, which offers the additional complexity, body, and texture of a whisky that has just been drawn from the cask.

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso is the first new permanent expression in the range. The first-fill, ex-Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez in Spain impart rich, distinctive dried fruits aromas, warm spices, and notes of cinnamon and liquorice. The spirit combined with the cask influence, produces a sweetness of dark chocolate and a finish which is long and sweet with a slightly dry, spicy effect from the European oak maturation.

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso will be introduced to Travel Retail Europe in May 2014.

Review: Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve

japan_hak16Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve – 43%

From the Hakushu distillery in the foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake comes their Distiller’s Reserve single malt whisky, a no-age-statement expression, that captures the smoky, herbaceous characteristics of their whiskies. Both lightly-peated and heavily-peated malts were used for this complex and deeply enjoyable whisky. One of two Spring 2014 release from Suntory.

Colour: Light straw.

Nose: Fresh green apple skins intermingled with light smoke along with fresh hay and malt notes and a dash of cream. Herb notes with touches of melon and cucumber.

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Review: Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve

japan_yam29Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve – 43%

Released in Spring 2014, this is one of two Distiller’s Reserve single malt whiskies from Suntory in Japan. This single malt from the Yamazaki distillery is jam-packed with superb red berry notes, gained from the whisky being matured in Bordeaux wine casks and Sherry casks. It also features malt matured in Mizunara casks, adding subtle fragrant oak notes.

Colour: Brightly golden, hint of orange.

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Review: Tomatin 18 Year Old

tomob_18yoTomatin 18yo – 46% ABV, OB

Further to my wee series of reviews based of distillery core ranges that I’ve purchased myself we take a look at one of my faves, Tomatin 18 Year Old…

“Aged for a minimum of 18 years and married for a period in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. This non chill filtered whisky is packed full of flavour and has a velvety smooth mouth feel.”

For info Tomatin is a Highland whisky, the distillery being located just below Inverness. It’s also one of my faves, I’ve got various bottles of Tomatin around the house. It’s good quality and well priced.

It was reputed to be the biggest malt whisky distillery in 1987 covering a large area, however since then it has lowered its production levels significantly.

On to the review…

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Review: Highland Park 12 Year Old

highland-park-12-year-old-whiskyHighland Park 12 Year Old – OB – 40%

Continuing my series of self purchased, standard range drams, let’s take a focus on Highland Park’s entry level whisky… a well priced dram from a much loved distillery!

Colour: Light gold. I’m reliably told that HP don’t use any colouring in their whiskies, good to know!

Nose: A friendly sweet malt greets you with hints of peat, honey and heather. We’re talking a dry mainland (or Orkney) type of peat here, not the Islay type of coastal iodine peat, it’s a much gentler beastie. There’s hints of dry spice, grass / hay, oak and liquorice.

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Review: Bowmore 18 Year Old

bowmore-18-year-old-whiskyBowmore 18 Year Old – OB – 43%

Continuing my set of reviews of standard range bottlings purchased by myself rather than samples given to me for review I’m going to take a look at the high end of Bowmore’s range, their 18 year old.

Colour: Dark golden copper. There’s some caramel colouring here but it’s hard to tell how much.

Nose: Gentle Islay peat, not the iodine type you get from the three southerly distilleries on the island but a more gentle middle of the road sort of peat, much more accessible to many I’d suggest. Toffee and cask char along with winter fruits and sweet malt in this middle aged dram.

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Review: Littlemill 21yo (IB) Lady of the Glen

Littlemill-21-LotGLady of the Glen 21 Year Old Littlemill – 53.6%

With roots as old as 1750 the Littlemill Distillery was rumoured to be the oldest in Scotland before it burned down in 2004.

Colour: Golden

Nose: Bees wax and woody honeycomb sweetness amongst a field full of barley. Leather. Slight alcohol nip if you inhale too strongly.

Palate: Thick and fairly woody with a dollop of spice. With time the grassy barley malt comes through along with citrus tropical fruits and a slight slate or flinty stone like quality.

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