The Ardmore – Port Wood Finish – 46% abv
Info: 12 Years Old, matured in American white oak Bourbon barrels and then finished in European half port pipes.
Colour: Bright and golden with a distinct pink Port hue.
Nose: Gentle peat smoke amongst plenty of autumn and winter berries all mushed up. Slight hints of tar. Subtle malt background.
Palate: Fairly thick; the non chill filtration giving this the welly it deserves. It’s fairly gentle and easily accessed with sweet fruits and a fair pinch of spices, all backed up with gentle highland peat smoke. The more you hold it in your mouth the more creamy it seems to become.
Finish: The finish is quite long, as you would expect from a peated whisky. It’s fairly sweet with just a small amount of tannin and spices at the end just to finish things off and bring the sweetness down.
Glenmorangie’s special edition ‘A Midwinter Night’s Dram’ – 43% abv
Info: A combination of whisky matured in Bourbon casks made from American white oak with liquid aged in Oloroso Sherry casks. Released as a wintery special edition exclusively to the UK.
Colour: Golden with rusty red tints.
Nose: Plenty of young vanilla and a spicy new oak hint giving way to some distillery character. It’s light and heady, slightly heathery, and a handful of hazelnuts. It’s nice, packed with flavours.
Palate: Medium if not fairly thick with oils, even if it is chill filtered. It’s very easy, spices only slightly building when held on the tongue. The lighter floral nature persists, as does the oakiness. Ultimately there’s not tonnes of layers to this, but this is an entry level malt after all.
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.2 – 5yo – 58.5% abv
Info: Peated to 208ppm and 5 years old. Travel Retail (i.e. airports). Limited edition cuvee that marries spirit matured in classic American oak with spirit matured in casks that once held Syrah created in the great vineyards of the northern Rhone valley.
Colour: Ripe straw.
Nose: Octomore, but with a twist, has it been tamed?! There’s malt, lots of mossy peat and smouldering wood char, but it’s possibly less in your face than you might expect, it’s checked by the sweeter influences from the Syrah casks which seem to helped balance it out perfectly into a nice rounded peaty dram.
Palate: Rich, thick and oily on your palate, but also really easy to take at full strength without overloading your palate. The mossy peat nature comes first, followed by building pepper spices, but all balanced out by a nearly fizzy sweet nature from the wine finish which works a treat.
The Glenturret’s Three New Releases:
Triple Wood, Sherry, and Peated
The Glenturret Distillery – often known as The Famous Grouse Experience – produces, as the latter name suggests, one of the components used in The Famous Grouse blended scotch whisky.
The distillery itself is a nice little place to visit with a great cafe. Their malts weren’t that widely known, being often kept for the blend or bottled in small amounts – for example I’m quite fond of their 10yo which you can find when you look.
That said, most of the good stuff was/is bottled by independent bottlers. However, now Glenturret has launched their own branded single malts, and it’s about time too!
So without further ado, let’s check out my thoughts on the 3 they’ve recently released into their core range:
Whisky (and other) Advent Calendars! Awesome!
So… in what is pretty much a tradition now, Master of Malt / Drinks by the Dram has once again got lots of lovely boozy advent calendars for your Christmassy enjoyment, 24 x 3cl drams for your daily Advent entertainment. And, it’s not just whisky you can have in your calendar’s these days however! Oh no, you can have a gin one, rum, vodka, cognac, and many more besides.
Actually, scrap that… you can have have *whatever* you like, there’s now a Build Your Own Advent calendar, could it get better than that?! There’s nearly 4000 different drams you can pick from to build up your very own personalized advent calendar.
Fentimans: Alcohol Free Christmas Party Winners?
Have you heard of Fentimans? If not, let me quickly fill you in… Thomas Fentiman, a West Yorkshire iron worker, began the business in 1905 when he was given a recipe for botanically brewed ginger beer in repayment of a loan.
Old Pulteney Flotilla 2005 – 46%abv
Info: The release is limited to 12,000 bottles that have been matured in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels. It follows the launch of Flotilla 2000 and Flotilla 2004.
Colour: Light straw gold.
Nose: Light, slight ozone hints; the coastal nature maybe. A creamy bourbon background with a hint of nuts. After some time the nuts disappear leaving a sweet caramel tone.
Palate: Lighter and much sweeter than expected (in a good way), medium oils with ground spices that grow after a while. Gentle fruits with almost a white wine quality. Salted caramels.
Glen Moray 18yo (1973)
Info: A bottle of tasting stock that Glen Moray had at TWE show this year. So good I took a sample away to consider properly. From the 1970’s when the distillery still used a proportion of peated malt in its mix.
Colour: Lightly golden, nice and natural looking.
Nose: A classically old type of nose, small hints of peat, beautiful bourbon barrel background. Toffee notes along with ripe citrus fruits.
Palate: Medium oils covering your palate with an instantly accessible and relaxing malt. It’s packed with rich flavours. Restrained on the spices which makes it massively easy drinking. There’s almost a slight dusty tone to it. The tiny amount of peat helps give it a nice little bit of depth just to give it that bit more weight.
Highland Park 25 year old – 45.7%abv
Info: One of my favourite drams… I seem to have forgotten to review it!
Colour: Rich autumn gold.
Nose: Old heathery mushy peaty heathland on a sweet smelling summer evening. There’s some older slightly peppery oak notes. Hints of Love Heart sweets.
Palate: Fairly oily and smooth, slightly waxy with spices gently building. Backdrop of sweet malt and hints of smoke puffs. Almost a little fizzy on your tongue.
Finish: Gently slow and long, reminiscent of glowing embers… warming on your chest and nicely relaxing.
Dalmore 21 year old – 42%abv
Info: A one off release of 8000 bottles of which only 1200 will remain in the UK. Matured initially in American white oak casks for 10 years and then transferred into first fill Matusalem oloroso sherry butts for the last 11 years.
Colour: Dark autumnal rusty gold.
Nose: Rich, fruity and punchy… you may expect that from Dalmore and you won’t be disappointed here. It’s got bucketloads of pungent stewed winter fruits along with a deep seville orange marmalade, vanilla pods and hints of old leather and milk chocolate. Dunnage warehouse hints.