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

Tasting: Mortlach 11y 2003 – 2015 by Cadenhead’s

Mortlach 11 yo 2003 - 2015 Cadenhead'sDram data:
Distillery: Mortlach
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 2003
Bottled: 2015
Age: 11 years
Limitation: 558 bottles
Casks: bourbon hogshead(s)
Alcohol: 57,3%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
light straw
The nose starts out on a light note with malt, vanilla, apricots and a hint of meatiness (or is that just autosuggestion?). Pretty strong on the alcohol at 57% ABV, this needs some water to allow further investigation. The alcohol is gone, the dram remains light. An at least 2nd fill hoggie I’d guess. Continue reading

Tasting: Glengyle Kilkerran WIP 7 Bourbon 2004-2015

Kilkerran WIP 7Dram data:
Distillery: Glengyle
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 2015
Age: ca. 11 years
Limitation: 6000 bottles
Casks: ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 54,1%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
Gold
The nose opens just the way one expects the ex-bourbon Kilkerrans to: A bit shy yet elegant and full of character: Loads of vanilla and custard with a distinct sweetness, the typical fragrant Springbank peat and a hint of salt spray. At cask strength there’s also a noticeable alcohol note, so let’s add a dollop of water, shall we? Continue reading

Tasting: Glengyle Kilkerran WIP 7 Sherry 2004-2015

Kilkerran WIP 7Dram data:
Distillery: Glengyle
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 2015
Age: ca. 11 years
Limitation: 12000 bottles
Casks: ex-sherry
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
fresh, reddish copper
This is not a big sherry monster on the nose – just like in previous years, it is sweet, fruity yet still delicate and gentle. There’s caramel, blood oranges with bits and peel, orange marmalade with ginger, light Oloroso sherry sweetness, sweet wine grapes, caramelised ginger and pineapple, fresh dates and figs, rock sugar, hints of spices and a light eucalyptus note from the alcohol (it’s hot in Austria at the moment so there’s quite some evaporation going on). Continue reading

Blind Tasting: Laggan Mill (Lagavulin) NAS Butt 2772

Laggan Mill NAS Butt 2772Dram data:
Distillery: “Laggan Mill” (yeah, come on, it’s Lagavulin…)
Bottler: Cooper’s Choice
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014
Age: NAS
Limitation: 575 bottles
Casks: Butt 2772
Alcohol: 53,5%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
very pale white wine
The nose screams at me: I’m a young peat monster from Islay. I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think this is not an Islay dram 😉 Peat smoke, peat smoke, alcohol (not overpowering), peat smoke, brine, fresh iodine (if such a thing even exists), boiled seaweeds, peppermint (from the alcohol), white pepper, citrus aroma, freshly cut flowerbed (more on the grassy side), malty background sweetness, a hint of vanilla and a faint metallic note (probably pretty young). Continue reading

Tasting: Michel Couvreur Overaged NAS Blended Malt

Michel Couvreur overagedDram data:
Distillery: – (blended malt)
Bottler: Michel Couvreur
Distilled: –
Bottled: –
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-sherry
Alcohol: 43%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose opens dark, rich and mysterious. A spicy dark fruit cake. Sweet dried raisins, plums, figs, thick juicy sherry, caramel, sweet cocoa, cloves, dark spiced biscuits all form a very harmonious blend. Continue reading

Tasting: Balblair 2003 – 2013 1st release

Balblair 2003 - 2013 1st releaseDram data:
Distillery: Balblair
Bottler: official bottling
Distilled: 2003
Bottled: 2013
Age: ca. 10 years
Limitation: –
Casks: ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
white wine
The nose is just as one would imagine a 10-year-old Highland malt from ex-bourbon casks to be. Notes of citrus, sweet vanilla pudding, malt extract on the first nosing. Not too shy thanks to the 46% bottling strength, but not too overpowering either. Continue reading

Blind tasting: Glen Ardoch NAS (Deanston)

Glen Ardoch (Deanston) NASDram data:
Distillery: Deanston
Bottler: bottled under the “Glen Ardoch” brand
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2015-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
Probably chill filtered; unknown colouring status
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose is pretty light and shy, classic young mostly refill ex-bourbon style. Vanilla, apples, pears, a touch of malt, more vanilla (pudding), oranges, eucalyptus, white pepper and light green leaves. There’s also something in the background which I just can’t put my finger on (it’s industrial waxy-ish but not full-on wax…) and which I just recently encountered in a Deanston. Continue reading

Tasting: Benromach 15y

Benromach 15Dram data:
Distillery: Benromach
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: 2000-ish
Bottled: 2015
Age: 15 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 9 years ex-bourbon, 6 years ex-sherry
Alcohol: 43%
Probably chill filtered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
deep red gold
The nose opens on a rich, sweet and creamy note with a faint layer of fragrant smoke in the background. Sweet sherry mixes with hints of vanilla, figs, dates, fresh sweet strawberries, sweet dark cherries, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, cloves, allspice a noticeable (but well-integrated) plain oak wood note and faint cough lozenges.

Continue reading

Tasting: Rowan’s Creek Bourbon batch 13-19

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon WhiskeyDram data:
Distillery: undisclosed, made for Kentucky Bourbon Distillers
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2013 / batch 13-19
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Fresh barrels
Alcohol: 50,05%
uncoloured by law
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
amber
The nose suggests a high-corn mashbill, lots of typical sweet corn notes dominate the nose, paired with loads of vanilla, roasted caramel, baked apples, sweet + sour cherries and assorted spices. A harmonic mixture between the spirit character, the sweet, the sour and the spicy notes, even though it’s not too complex. No acetone note, thank god. Continue reading