Tasting: Glendalough 13 yo

Glendalough 13 yoDram data:
Distillery: undisclosed
Bottler: Glendalough
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015
Age: 13 years
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
honey
The first sniff is very biscuity on the nose – sweet shortbread with vanilla sugar on top, to be exact. Behind the biscuits are notes of fudge, ripe red apples and pears, peaches, lemon drops, lemon flowers. Continue reading

Tasting: Ben Nevis 17yo 1995 – 2013 for Whisky Circle Pinzgau

Ben Nevis 17yo 1995 - 2013 for Whisky Circle PinzgauDram data:
Distillery: Ben Nevis
Bottler: Carn Mor, bottled for Whisky Circle Pinzgau
Distilled: 23.11.1995
Bottled: 11.08.2013
Age: 17 years
Limitation: 192 bottles
Casks: Sherry Hogshead #965
Alcohol: 51,8%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
wood honey
On the first sniff the nose immediately reminds me of the smell in the local shoemaker’s shop when I was a kid – fresh leather and sweet, dark candy as treats for the kids. A pleasant mixture of leather and old carpeted floors stained with ripe old Oloroso sherry, paired with a lush, dark fruit puree background sweetness, blackcurrant, over-ripe strawberries, oranges, dark chocolate with hot peppers and ginger bits. Continue reading

Blind tasting: Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double BlackDram data:
Distillery: – (Blend)
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
fake-looking orang-ey dark gold.
Ah yes, another blind tasting – haven’t done one of these in a while. The only hint I have is that it’s a travel retail 1l-sized bottling. Let’s get going then, shall we?
The nose starts off pretty light and muted at first contact, no way this is bottled at more than 40% ABV. A nose not to offend anyone: A profound generic / honey sweetness paired with vanilla, toffee, orange rind, slight spices (allspice, cinnamon) and perhaps a hint of peat smoke in the background or is the cask fooling my senses here? Continue reading

Tasting: Littlemill 24 yo 1990 – 2015 by Cadenhead’s

Littlemill 24 yo 1990 by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Littlemill
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1990
Bottled: 2015
Age: 24 years
Limitation: 582 Bottles
Casks: Bourbon hogsheads
Alcohol: 53,7%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light gold
The nose is prototypical Littlemill. Lots of fruit skins – apples, grapes, pears. Also notes of citrus, white peaches, apple juice, diluted grape juice, rhubarb, grapefruit, milled stone dust and a light sweet white wine note in the background. Continue reading

Tasting: Balmenach 8 yo 2006 – 2014 Rum Finish by Single Cask Collection

Balmenach 8 yo Rum Single Cask CollectionDram data:
Distillery: Balmenach
Bottler: Single Cask Collection
Distilled: 02.08.2006
Bottled: 30.09.2014
Age: 8 years
Limitation: 199 Bottles
Casks: Bourbon barrel and rum cask
Alcohol: 55%
unchillfiltered; uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
copper
The nose is quite a bit high on the alcohol on the first whiff, with a noticeable rum influence underneath. A navy-strength alcoholic rum nose would be the best way to describe it. Also notes of fresh citrus, ginger, molasses, bitter cocoa/chocolate, fermented tea and white pepper. Hmmm… Where’s the malt whisky underneath? Continue reading

Tasting: Scapa 12 yo (bottled ca. 2000)

Scapa 12 year old (2000s)Dram data:
Distillery: Scapa
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2000
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; most likely coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
fake orang-ey gold
The nose starts off light with a malty sweetness. Lots of malt sweetness, actually, also some dusty cardboard (but in a pleasant way). Continue reading

Tasting: Tobermory 20 yo 1994 by Cadenhead’s

Tobermory 20 yo 1994 by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Tobermory
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1994
Bottled: 2015
Age: 20 years
Limitation: 570 bottles
Casks: sherry cask
Alcohol: 57,8%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose starts with a quite strong mixture of alcohol and sulphur notes (I don’t mind sulphur as long as it’s not taking over, which it isn’t in this case). Oak spices, caramel, cocoa and hints of dried dark fruits in the background, but this baby needs a bit of water for further dissection. Three espresso spoons to a 25 ml measure seems about right. Ah yes, a classic european oak ex-sherry cask nose, none of this polished, vanilla-laden designer stuff from American oak casks we see so much of these days… Aged to a point where the cask spices take over the sherry influence – but don’t mistake it for being over-the-top woody, it isn’t at all, just the european oak flexing its muscles, that’s all. Continue reading

Tasting: Clynelish 14

Clynelish 14Dram data:
Distillery: Clynelish
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2014 – batch L4253CM000
Age: 14 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46%
chill filtered; artifical colouring added
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
deep gold with a fake orange caramel glow
The nose is immediately drawn to the signature wax notes which are so typical for Clynelish. To me it’s a praraffin type waxiness, not the natural beeswax note, but it adds to the character. Continue reading

Tasting: Glenfarclas 15yo

Glenfarclas 15yoDram data:
Distillery: Glenfarclas
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 – L04 06 13
Age: 15 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red-gold
The nose starts off as a mixture of oloroso sherry, a strong note of citrus peel and -juice and a whiff of smoke (no more than 5 ppm) in the background. Burnt caramel and cocoa / dark chocolate (a result of the direct-fired stills?) and a subdued puree of dark, dried fruits (figs, dates, plums) with a few brazil nuts thrown into the mix. Continue reading

Tasting: Glenfarclas 2001 13y for Whisky Circle Pinzgau

Glenfarclas 2001 13y for Whisky Circle PinzgauDram data:
Distillery: Glenfarclas
Bottler: bottled for Whisky Circle Pinzgau
Distilled: 18.10.2001
Bottled: 26.01.2015
Age: 13 years
Limitation: – (shared cask)
Casks: Oloroso Sherry Cask
Alcohol: 51,5%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
honey
The nose starts off dark and mysterious. Wood honey, thick sherry, roasted cocoa beans, dried figs and dates, raisins, roasted walnuts, the faintest whiff of smoke, and a mixture of spices – cloves and wet cinnamon. The (slight!) smoky and spicy notes also remind me strongly of the classic Glenfarclas 15 – it’s rare to find the distillery character, some of which I’m guessing stems from the direct-fired stills, so clearly defined in an independent bottling. Continue reading