Review: The Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

macallan 12 yo double caskThe Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask – 40% abv

Info: Aged in a combination of American oak and European oak ex-sherry casks.
Colour: Lightly golden.
Nose: Nutty, mashed autumn fruits with an oaky backdrop. Slightly dusty, musty.
Palate: Medium thick, and more spicy than expected, it may need a tiny drop of water, or at least holding on your tongue for a bit to dilute. Oily sherry fruit notes.
Finish: The spices help to give this a fairly long and warming finish on your chest.
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Review: Highland Park Fire Edition

highland park fire bottleHighland Park Fire Edition – 15 Year Old – 45.2% abv

Info: Highland Park Fire Edition is the second of a two part series, which started with Ice Edition. It was matured in 100% refill Port seasoned casks (I’m not totally sure what that means, how long were they seasoned for?). 28,000 bottles, natural colour.

Colour: Gold, with just the smallest hint of pink.

Nose: Musty, dusty, heathery floral malt with hints of sweet smoke, cinnamon and dark chocolate. With enough time hints of barley start to come out. There’s notes of black and red wine gums.
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XMas Ideas: Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar

standard whisky craft advent calendarDrinks by the Dram Christmas 2016 Whisky (and other!) Advent Calendar

It’s that time of the year where the nights have drawn in, and the crazy neighbours may have started adoring their houses with flashing Christmas decorations. With only a few days left before December hits, there’s still time to consider what you might want to do to treat yourself, or a good friend to for Advent… and what better a treat than this year’s Whisky Advent Calendar (other spirits are available). It’s a box full of 25 x 3cl drams, a different whisky (or other spirit) every day, what a good idea! Let’s take a look at some of the official PR blurb: Continue reading

Review: Lagavulin 25 Year Old (200th Anniversary)

Lagavulin 25 Year Old (200th Anniversary)Lagavulin 25 Year Old (200th Anniversary) – 51.7% abv

Info: Lagavulin 25 Year Old (200th Anniversary) was released in 2016 as part of the celebrations for the distillery’s anniversary, and lists all the managers over that time on the bottle. It’s aged exclusively in Sherry casks, and released at cask strength. 8000 bottles worldwide.

Colour: Rich dark golden amber, the rusty depths of autumn.

Nose: Powerful, rich, deep, and lively. There’s deep chocolaty raisin notes amongst spadefuls of rich smoked fruitcake (Why can’t I get one of those? That’d be amazing!). The peat is very much tamed here, to more of a relaxing evening ember of a dying fire by the sea. Sweet cured bacon notes pop out at you. Old waxed antique oak in the background.

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Quick Review: Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold

dalwhinnie winters gold whiskyDalwhinnie Winter’s Gold – 43% abv

Info: No age statement. Suggested to be served frozen.
Colour: Golden, rather caramelly looking.
Nose: Fairly light, nutty with lots of barley notes. A few younger notes, but a generally sweet and pleasant nose.
Palate: Medium, if not slightly thick oils which are fairly spiced, but balanced enough not to annoy. There’s both young and old oak notes that creep out.
Finish: Subtle and medium in length, tannin touches. There’s a tiny bit of heather floral peat left around.
Thoughts: Possibly slightly engineered, but actually a very likable, oak sappy spiced highland dram.
Available: Master of Malt – £38.95 – Thanks to them for the sample!


Review: Ardbeg 21 Year Old

Ardbeg 21 Year OldArdbeg 21 Year Old – 2016 – 46%

Info: Ardbeg 21 Year Old 2016 Committee release.
Colour: Fairly light, straw with some sunlight on it.
Nose: Slight farmyard hints, herbs, slightly peppery herbs, heathery peat, mashed up grapes, hints of coal or charcoal. Gentle oaks and some malt bringing up the rear. After a while and a little air, sweet and subtle tones of summery citrus come through on waves of coastal air.
Palate: The palate is nice and thick with creamy sweet oils, which I maybe wasn’t expecting and is a treat. As you hold it on your tongue after a while gentle puffs of peat smoke start to come forward mingled with a coastal peatiness.
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Review: Half Century Blend

the half century blend whiskyHalf Century Blend by The Blended Whisky Company

Info: Blended whisky, containing spirit that’s all over 50 years old! Batch 1, 768 bottles, 45.5% abv.
Colour: Beautifully golden, autumnal rusty tints.
Nose: Old, bags of old… if you know what old whisky smells like then this is certainly it. It’s dry, fruity, nutty, gently woody, very slightly herbal… a whole mix of goodness for your nose to enjoy.
Palate: Fairly drying straight off, with spices which lead in to flavour filled greatness; old bourbon matured, coconut, mushey red apples, autumn leaves, gentle sweetness. It’s fairly thick, with some hints of old hessian.
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Review: Big Peat Christmas 2016 (& Others!)

Big Peat Christmas 2016Big Peat Christmas 2016 & Special Guests (Big Peat Christmas 2015 & 2013, & Old Big Peat)

Info: Big Peat Christmas 2016, a now traditional fixture of the winter whisky calendar, is back to deliver some more goodies! This year a slight change has been made, and the recipe now contains malts from every active distillery on Islay, along with some Port Ellen as well. 2300 cases (20,700 bottles?), 54.6% abv. It’s non chill filtered and non coloured.
Nose: Creamy spirity peat, a mix of coastal peat and inland heathery peat, all with an underlying base of burning embers that are smouldering away merrily.
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Review: Tullamore D.E.W. 14yo

tullamore dew 14 year oldTullamore D.E.W. 14yo – Four Cask Finish – 41.3% abv

Info: Triple distilled and finished in four kinds of casks: Old bourbon, Oloroso Sherry, Port and Madeira.
Colour: Rich and golden, with orange and pink tints.
Nose: Really sweet and scented, flavours escape easily to your nose and the wine finishes really come forward nicely. Like a bag of soft jelly sweets when you open them.
Palate: The palate feels reasonably thick, even at this abv. The wine notes are apparent quite quickly giving it a green grape quality alongside the barley and other fruits. There’s almost an effervescent quality.
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Review: BenRiach Peated Quarter Casks

BenRiach Peated Quarter CasksBenRiach Peated Quarter Casks – 46% abv

Info: Fully matured in quarter casks, i.e. smaller casks than are usually used, which helps to mature the whisky faster. This is bottled at 46% abv, is non chill filtered and is natural colour.
Colour: Light gold, straw.
Nose: Light, bright, and medium peated; wood smoke and burning heather. Some spices, and light, sweet orchard fruits.
Palate: Rich and thick oils coat your palate easily with sweet barley, fruits and smoky peat. Hints of oak adds good spice.
Finish: The finish is long and warming, with younger oak notes lasting out for quite a long time at the end. Some herbal hints.
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