Tasting: Teerenpeli Kaski

Teerenpeli KaskiDram data:
Distillery: Teerenpeli
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 (500ml bottles!)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose opens like a true sherry bomb. Sherry, sherry, sherry. Wood influence with dark spices (cloves, aniseed, cinnamon sticks) in the background – I’m going with European oak here. Continue reading

Tasting: Talisker 10-11yr 1999 – 2010 Distiller’s Edition


Talisker 1999 - 2010 Distiller's EditionDram data:
Distillery: Talisker
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: 1999
Bottled: 2010
Age: 10-11 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Amoroso Finish
Alcohol: 45,8%
chillfiltered?; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red gold (with a fake tan)
Amoroso is a PX-sweetened style of Oloroso sherry – let’s see what carried over from the casks into the whisky: The nose opens with – indeed – a noticeable influence from sweet sherry, but it is not overdone, integrating well into the Talisker style. What else? Continue reading

Tasting: Talisker 18yr 2012 edition

Talisker 18 years 2012 editionDram data:
Distillery: Talisker
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2012
Age: 18 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 45,8%
chillfiltered?; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light red copper (with a fake tan)
The nose opens slightly subdued with a mixture of fragrant peat smoke, salty brine, freshly cracked pepper, peppermint and sweet caramel pudding with vanilla on top. Let it sit for a moment and notes of ladies’ perfume (lavender?), fragrant oak, baby powder, fresh hay, caramelised ginger and marmalade appear. Continue reading

Tasting: Longrow 12y 2002-2015 by Cadenhead’s

Longrow 12y 2002-2015 by Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 2002
Bottled: April 2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: 288 bottles
Casks: Ex-Sherry
Alcohol: 53,1%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose opens a bit high on the alcohol at first, but this impression fades after a minute or two, revealing a rich and dark, oily, heavy dram. Motor oil, earthy dunnage warehouse floor, rich oak, almost burnt caramel, brine, creamy fudge, with peat smoke in the background – it really has a hard time fighting through all the heavy notes. Continue reading

Tasting: Glen Moray 10yo Chardonnay cask matured

Glen Moray 10yo Chardonnay cask maturedDram data:
Distillery: Glen Moray
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2011
Age: 10 years
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-chardonnay
Alcohol: 40%
probably chill filtered due to the low ABV; unknown whether it’s coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
red-gold
The nose opens with an undeniable influence from wine grapes. Fresh, sweet grapes and grape skins paired with pleasant grape kernel bitter notes, but also Kiwi, sweet pineapple, fructose sweetness, creamy caramel, salted butter, malt and cinnamon sticks. Continue reading

Scotch Whisky production, warehousing and export statistics number crunching. Or: How old is the majority of Scotch Whisky when it is bottled?

One statement most of us will have heard – or even mentioned ourself is: “If there’s no age statement on a bottle, it’s 3 years and a day old”. Because that’s the legal minimum a whisky has to mature in oak barrels to be called Scotch Whisky – regardless of it being a blend, blended malt or single malt. But is said statement true? How old is the majority of Scotch when it is bottled and how much is allowed to mature for double-digit years? How do production and sales numbers compare? Lucky for us the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) publishes yearly reports with numbers to crunch and relate. The downside is, the publicly available detailed reports only range from 2009 till 2013, with the 2014 data expected in the fall of 2015. While not ideal it’s better than nothing and with lots of calculations and spreadsheet magic we’re able to condense the data into more digestible summaries. Continue reading

Tasting: Glengyle Kilkerran WIP 1 2005-2009

Kilkerran WIP Work in progress 1 Dram data:
Distillery: Glengyle
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 2009
Age: 5 years
Limitation: 9000 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon & ex-sherry
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light gold
The nose opens with a light and delicate note of peat smoke – it is distilled from barley malted to Springbank style specifications after all. A very nice mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. Continue reading

Scotland trip 2014 – part 4: South of Islay – touring Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg

Day 9: Islay

Even on a small island like Islay you can spend quite some time in your car getting to places – especially when you’re staying on the opposite end. Thus it only made sense for us three brothers to spend an entire  – hot and sunny – day touring all three distilleries in the south, starting early in the morning at Lagavulin.

Lagavulin

Freshly painted Lagavulin Distillery

Freshly painted Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin, like Bunnahabhain, is a less “touristy” distillery. Not as posh and polished as others with a kind of “old-school” feeling to it. Old, simple, painted steel staircases, narrow paths – putting the working environment first and the tourist attraction last. The charming insides speak volumes about the decades and decades of use and the history of the place, as well as a need of investment in some areas. But, on the other hand, why bother, tourists aren’t allowed to take pictures anyway and Scots are known for being stingy 😉
Anyway, out tour guide for the day was a charming young lady named Sophie and we were in luck, it was yet another very small group. The tour certainly felt positively different from all the others, Lagavulin really has a special “feel” to it, probably due to the old-style, unpolished charm of the place and the narrowness full of nooks and crannies. Continue reading

Tasting: Strathmill 24y 1990 Strohwein Finish by C&S

Strathmill 24y 1990 Strohwein Finish by C&SDram data:
Distillery: Strathmill
Bottler: C&S
Distilled: 04.05.1990
Bottled: 08.09.2014
Age: 24 years
Limitation: 282 bottles
Casks: Nr. 2251 (Ex-Sherry with Stohwein Finish)
Alcohol: 54,8%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light gold
The nose opens very “green” and herbal. Fresh garden herbs, fermented tea, beeswax, propolis, eucalyptus, wormwood. As time progresses notes of vanilla, malt and pear start to appear, but they don’t make it a  fruity or sweet nose, it stays herbal. Continue reading

NAS vs age statement whiskies – what it’s all about

NAS vs. Age Statement

A random selection of whisky bottles carrying or missing an age statement

Which side of the “NAS vs. Age Statement” debate are you on? Do you boycot NAS whiskies? Do you buy everything you find tasty regardless of what it (doesn’t) say on the bottle? The heated arguments have been cooking for quite a while now and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this minefield for quite some time. I’m a bit late to the party, I know, but I really wanted to make a post painting the whole picture about the topic. In case you’re new to the scene: “NAS” stands for “no age statement” whiskies.

1. Why NAS Whiskies?

First and foremost: Whiskies without an age statement on the label are not a new thing. In the area of blended Scotch they make up the vast majority and have been on the market ever since the first Scotch was bottled (or sold by the barrel to the consumer in times long gone). As far as Single Malt Scotch Whiskies are concerned, we’ve had a long timespan now where almost every bottle carried an age statement and the marketing people wanted us to believe that older is  better (and thus has to be oh so much more expensive). But there have been NAS whiskies long before the current flooding of the market. I’m thinking about Ardmore Traditional Cask, the Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn C.V. mixed-vintage bottlings (now replaced by similarly good NAS bottlings) or Laphroaig Quarter Cask. These are just three examples of whiskies without an age statement that offer(ed) a quality product at an affordable price point and there are many more. Continue reading