Review: Jura Tastival 2015

Jura Tastival Feis Ile 2015

JuraTastival2015Info: Distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2015, i.e. 18 years old. Matured in sparkling wine casks sourced from the House of Bouvet Ladubay in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France, and bottled at cask strength. Natural colour, non chill-filtered. 52% abv. 3970 bottles.
Colour: A medium to full gold with hints of orange.
Nose: Light and oaky, sweet and fruity. Sweet stewed early autumn apples with a dollop of vanilla custard, redcurrants on top. Undertones of satsumas. Hints of milk chocolate and toffee (Cadbury Eclairs). Lots of great flavours, give it some time and keep on nosing it, it gets better and better.
Palate: Nice and thick on the palate, fairly oily. At first really easy with spices slowly building. The toffee chocolate notes are at the fore, maybe because of the thickness. Behind is the stewed fruits and oaks with Jura character underlying it all.
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Review: Ardbeg Perpetuum

Ardbeg-PerpetuumArdbeg Perpetuum (the main release, not the distillery release) – 47.4% abv

Info: Ardbeg’s Feis Ile release for 2015. No-age-statement release made up of “very old and very young” Ardbeg whiskies aged in both Bourbon and Sherry casks.
Colour: Light summer straw. A very natural colour, good to see.
Nose: Peaty, buttery malt. There’s peat and smoke, but the smoke is held back a wee bit. The malt isn’t that new make malt you sometimes get in a young spirit, but the sort of raw malt smell you get when you’re visiting a distillery, it’s great stuff, very evocative, but dissipates with time. There’s enough alcohol to tickle your nose nicely. Behind it all is some of the older malt that’s in the blend which gives it a little ripe tropical banana smell. Very gentle back notes of oak.
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Review: Laphroaig 14yo – Douglas Laing’s Old Particular Feis Ile 2015

May15-Laphroaig14YOFeisIleDLLaphroaig 14 year old – Douglas Laing’s Old Particular – Feis Ile 2015 edition – 48.4% abv

Info: This is 14 years old, 48.4% abv. It’s a single cask refill butt DL10694 yielding 636 bottles.
Colour: Bright golden straw.
Nose: It’s got a good peaty nose with a slight tcp edge, but it’s sweet enough, quite summer fruity beneath it all.
Palate: Fairly thick oils, sweet & rich. Earthy peat and tcp – slightly more gentle than official bottles maybe, I prefer this, a nice abv level.  A slight floralness lingers.
Finish: Long and gentle with a peat reek finish. Fresher oak notes hang around, along with a slight costalness.
Thoughts: Better than the official bottlings in my opinion, easier to dram with even at the higher ABV. Nice work. No water needed.
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Review: Glenturret 1986 Single Cask (vs. Commonwealth Games Edition)

TheGlenturretSingleCaskGlenturret 1986 Exclusive Single Cask Edition – 47.1% abv

Info: Dubbed ‘The Brock Malloy Edition’, this is a single cask (number 328) which produced 240 bottles and was distilled in 1986, making it 28 years old. More info on SWB here.
Colour: A full late summer gold with hints of orange.
Nose: Beautiful and old. There’s a fruit salad of ripe tropical fruits all presented in an old oak bowl. The oak notes are subtle but add a nice elegant base note throughout. There’s a milk chocolate note that kicks in after a few minutes, along with toffee, making me think of Cadburys Eclairs. There’s also notes of soft sweet red apples. It’s a balanced and graceful nose.
Palate: Thick and fairly luscious. It’s smooth and easily introduced, however there’s enough abv and pinches of spice to let you know it’s a dram that means business and isn’t just going to be underwhelming. Continue reading

News & PR: A New Chapter For The Antiquary



The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd has given its premium blended Scotch Whisky brand, The Antiquary, a new look in a move to give it a new lease of life, while still retaining the history and provenance of one of the oldest Scotch Whisky brands in the market.

The iconic diamond cut bottle remains, however it is in a taller, sleeker, and more sophisticated form. Pocket Rocket Creative has designed new labels and secondary packaging to highlight the unique shape of the bottle which, aside from the high content of malt whiskies inside, is arguably one of the brand’s biggest selling points.

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News & PR: Burn Stewart unveils two new bottlings for Deanston and Ledaig

BurnsStewartLogoBurn Stewart unveils two new bottlings
for Deanston and Ledaig

Ledaig 18yrs_large (2)Burn Stewart Distillers has today announced the introduction of two new expressions – Deanston 18 Year Old and Ledaig 18 Year Old – both permanent additions to the range for each of the brands.

Both additions have been crafted by Master Blender, Ian MacMillan, using traditional methods. Like all of the malts in the Burn Stewart portfolio, Deanston 18 YO and Ledaig 18YO are unchill-filtered, ensuring that more of the whisky’s natural aroma, flavour and texture remain in the bottle, delivering a deeper taste.

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Review: Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Cask

Balvenie15SherryBalvenie 15yo Single Cask – 47.8% abv

Info: Cask 16293, a single barrel sherry cask.
Colour: Bright & clear golden with some orange tints.
Extra: Oily thick legs that slowly run down the glass.
Nose: Malty, nutty and deep, there’s layers of great flavours here to explore. Some toffee and butter cream along with a small bowl full of autumnal stewed fruits. Hints of spicy oak wood.
Palate: Fairly thick but also sprightly on your tongue. There’s enough spices to keep it on it’s toes, but it’s quite accessible and easy to drink with layers of sweet malt and fruits followed up with honey, cream and gentle oak notes at the back. There are touches of cask char that build towards the end of the palate to give a very slight smoky hint.
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Review: Bowmore 17 Year Old (SMWS 3.243)

SMWS3243BottleBowmore 17yo – SMWS 3.243 – 57.1% abv

Info: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) have joined with Islay House for their first Feis Ile event on Friday 22nd May 2015, and to celebrate they’re releasing this bottle of 3.243 “Dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy”, a refill ex-sherry butt, which will be available at the hotel on the evening.

Colour: Fairly dark mahogany gold.

Nose: Gentle light islay smoke. Layers of smells; old oak, leather, cola cube (just the one!), gentle mosses. It’s possibly slightly closed, but give it some time to open up, maybe gently warm it in your hand and out comes a hint of smouldering fire and cinder toffee.

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Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old

highland-park-18-year-old-whiskyHighland Park 18yo 43% abv

Info: Lightly peated whisky from Orkney.
Colour: Medium to light gold with clear tints.
Nose: Light puffs of well aged floral peat smoke mingle with rich oaky notes and barley. There’s tannins and some older autumnal fruits along with drops of honey.
Palate: The palate is smooth and easy to get into with some spices that build gently. There’s a constant backdrop of oak along with barley, and that floral peat which is light but gives everything a nice depth. At the back is those honeyed stewed autumnal fruits.
Finish: The finish is warming on your chest and lasts for quite a long time with a sweet, herbal edge to it.
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Review: The BenRiach 18yo Albariza

BenRiach 18YO AlbarizaBenRiach 18yo Albariza – 46% abv

Info: BenRiach 18 Years Old Albariza is part of the new heavily peated range. Originally matured in American oak casks, then finished in Pedro Xinenez sherry casks.
The name ‘Albariza’ is derived from the typical white soil used for growing grapes in the production of sherry in the Andalucia region of Southern Spain. It’s bottled at 46%, at natural colour and non chill filtered, limited release.
Colour: Rich dark rusty gold.
Nose: Really rich and deep, lots of layers of raisiny sherry fruits and peaty goodness. Not too much oak which is good, it smells more accomplished (i.e. older) than its 18 years.
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