Thursday, 27 February 2014

Douglas Laing Big Peat

Douglas Laing Big Peat
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

In stores you always spot some blends that are literally screaming for your attention. The friendly beardy Big Peat is one of these with its informal and cartoonish label. He calls himself proudly an Islay blended malt shaped by whiskies from the Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and the former Port Ellen distillery.

The last statement should, however, be interpretated as a – in marketing slang – Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Douglas Laing combines young fiery Islay malts with the Hyacinth Bucket of whiskies.
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Duvel Distilled 4 Years


What happens when you transform a Belgian cult beer into a distilled beverage? Male mass hysteria? Check! What happens when the brewer decides to market only a very limited supply of bottles? Male mass hysteria? Double check!

The first Duvel Edition caused a stampede in a quiet little Belgian town. The whole event even jammed the traffic. Result: A lot of unsatisfied customers and some extra income for a few cunning eBayers (and eBay off course).

Identity Card Duvel Distilled 4 Years

  • Official bottling from Duvel Moortgat Brewery, distilled at Filliers Distillery
  • 4-year-old Belgian single malt whisky
  • Alcohol 40% ABV

Naughty little devil

Tasting notes

Color: The liquid does not lie about his age. A pale straw whisky, slightly paler than the famous beer.

Nose: The nose start is shy. Soft fruitiness and sweet. It releases some vanilla and a bit of pineapple. Water refreshes the flavours. Lots of lemon zest and nectar. This little devil does not have any any similarities with his foamy brother. At least, not for an amateur nose like mine.

Taste: The sweetness continues in the mouth. The flowers return. Nectar and soft fruits. I'm thinking of melon, ripe bananas and apricots.

Finish: The finish is quite long for such a youngster with a slight hint of oak and whiffs of tropical fruit.

Conclusion: The Duvel Distilled launch created quite some buzz. This sample has a lot of qualities. It's nice, young. But it could be a great summer aperitif. I probably would have paid € 39 for the 6 year old. But the € 150 to € 200 bottles on eBay were far too expensive or it's age and it's quality.

The hype settled down and I could happily afford myself a few decent (and better) additions for the cupboard with that money.

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Highland Park 18

Highland Park 18
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

The much beloved (but expensive) Highland Park 18 year old single malt.

Identity Card Highland Park 18

  • Official bottling from Highland Park Distillery (Orkney)
  • 18-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 43% ABV

A cracker from the North

Tasting notes

Color: The 18 year old has a warm copper glow and has slightly oily texture. Slow legs form on the side of the glass

Nose: Quite shy at first. Honey and heather flowers. He shows off his complexity at room temperature. Orange marmalade, leather and bread-pudding with raisins and nuts (and a splash of brandy).
With water: soft traces of tobacco smoke and sweet raisins. Then the sweetness gets countered by the bitterness of oranges and heathery scents.

Taste: Oranges with honey as a starter. Then sweet peat smoke, oak and strong coffee. Water releases the sweet aroma's. Honey, flowers and some fresh mint.

Finish: Sweet smoke evolves into a strong espresso with cane sugar.

Conclusion: This grown-up doesn't have an easy character. Give him some time to achieve his full potential and he'll reward you with a warming friendship.

This competition animal has already filled its cupboard with awards and deserves so. A great all-rounder and at it's best during winter.

Price: between €60 and €70. (Update: That was a long time ago.... )
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Signatory Vintage Cask Strength Collection Mortlach 1991

Signatory Vintage Cask Strength Collection Mortlach 1991
Picture: The Whisky Exchange (FYI: this is not the same single cask)

Mortlach Distillery is one of the six active distilleries in Dufftown.  It was here that Glenfiddich's William Grant learnt the ropes of the trade for almost 20 years.

Just like Springbank they distill their spirit two and a halve times. Miss Whisky Alwynne Gwilt could have a look behind the scenes and explains knowledgeably  this process on her blog.

You will not find many official Mortlach bottlings apart from a few pricey Manager's Choice and the well known 16 year old Flora & Fauna. Most of the spirit is used to blend into Johnnie Walker Black label.
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Monday, 10 February 2014

Port Charlotte The Peat Project

Port Charlotte The Peat Project
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Port Charlotte is Bruichladdich's attempt to recreate the 19th century style whiskies. In the absence of bottles or detailed tasting notes no one really knows the taste of this Victorian spirit. Our only hopes are a few vague descriptions in Alfred Barnard's 128 year old book "The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom" and the (almost) Steve Jobs-like guts of Master Distiller Jim McEwan. 

Identity Card Port Charlotte The Peat Project

  • Official bottling from Bruichladdich Distillery (Islay)
  • NAS single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Modernist black bean sauce 

Tasting notes 


Color: This young whisky is a blend of several vintages and has a clear straw colour. Adding water creates a light haze. Completely normal as Bruichladdich does not chill-filter its whiskies.

Nose: A peaty punch of smokiness with a maritime character. Freshly ground Szechuan pepper and coarse sea salt. This classic table couple duels vanilla, maple syrup and Cinnamon. Flavours the Peat Project clearly inherits from its bourbon cask maturation. This flavour combo reminds me of the black bean sauce Asian restaurants serve with beef.

Taste: Creamy in the mouth. Pleasant peat smoke blends nicely with grounded black pepper and freshly cut grass. Lemon balm and peppermint clean and refresh your palate.

Finish: Maple syrup and sweet peat smoke dominate the mouth quite long.

Conclusion: The Peat Project is quite peaty (no shit!) and ticks off at 44 ppm. And this is by far the most easy one to order at your local bar. Unless you're willing to boast your knowledge of Gaelic and you desperately want to order a dram of ‘Eòrna Na h-Alba’ or a ‘Tro Na Linntean’ ... An affordable reincarnated piece of history: € 45.

The Peat Project will slowly disappear off the shelves since it has been replaced by a new expression: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley. Culinary note to myself: Try this one with a classic dish of oysters served with a splash of lime and pepper.
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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Highland Park Freya

Highland Park Freya Walhalla collecltion
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

The Valhalla series were launched in 2012. This exclusive installment was inspired by the Norse gods that inhabit the endless halls of Valhalla. Highland Park strives for whiskies that reflect the character of these gods. First it was up to Thor, God of Thunder and son of Odin. Next was Loki, the treacherous shape shifter. 2014 will be the year of The Fair One. Freya, goddess of love and wisdom (Guess what... it's almost Valentines Day!). 

At this moment the first samples have been sent to the leading whisky bloggers. The world will meet Freya on a series of theme nights. And if we can rely on the previous Loki events, there will be spent some marketing budget. Recently a group of journalists was flown to Tromsø to enjoy Freya, under the mystical Aurora borealis, the northern light. According to legend, this eerily beautiful light is caused by the feathery cloak of Freya and the Valkyries. 

Identity Card Highland Park Freya

  • Official bottling from Highland Park Distillery (Orkney)
  • Highland Park Walhalla collection
  • 19.000 bottles 
  • 15-year-old single malt Scotch whisky 
  • Alcohol: 51.2% ABV

Coming home after a forest walk 

Tasting notes 

Color: She's soft in colour. A soft golden glow and noticeable paler then its predecessors. 100% ex-bourbon casks are used for maturation. She seems to be lighter of texture also.

Nose: Plenty of vanilla when nosing this the first time. A delicious panna cotta with white chocolate and vanilla seeds. Eventually it evolves to a walk through the forest after a rainstorm. Lots of damp earthy and green notes. And you're having a glass of hot spiced wine. Eucalyptus and pine candy. Sweet nuts and citrus fruits. Mandarin and lime to me.

Taste: Very refreshing. Definitely another breed than Loki and Thor. Again eucalyptus, vanilla and mint. A juicy fruitiness. Oranges, Conference pears and green apples. On the back of the tongue there are traces of wood smoke and pepper. Finish: Quite long. Spicy but still soft. Apples and sweet cinnamon.

Conclusion Freya cannot be compared to the previous installments, but she's not less complex. A bit of an atypical Highland Park, but one that can proudly enter the halls of Valhalla.

It has been available on pre-order for a few days (and already sold out on some websites). Soon to be released and available at specialised liquor stores. Price will be around €175 / £ 140.
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Balblair 1997 2nd release

Balblair 1997 2nd release
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Balblair got a celebrity boost while it served as the setting for Ken Loach's typical feel-good-sunday-afternoon-movie The Angel's Share. Balblair isn't using age statements anymore since its rebranding in 2007. The – it has to be said – gorgeous bottles and ditto box only mention the year they were distilled and bottled. So one can still make an educated guess about the age. Balblair usually launches crisp and clear Vintages. This second release 1997 is not an exception and has a typical Chardonnay colour. 

Identity Card Balblair 1997 2nd release


  • Official bottling from Balblair Distillery (Highlands)
  • Distilled in 1997 & bottled in 2012 
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

A pleasant Cinnamon Challenge 

Tasting notes 

Nose: Coconut and ginger confit scents predominate the glass. A little honey and then lots of sweet fruits. Apricot, pineapple and some vanilla. Water puts the accent on cinnamon and crème pattisière. In the distance there's some white chocolate.

Taste: Spices and sweetness everywhere. Cinnamon, cloves and ground pepper sign up for the spices. Bananas and peaches for the fruitiness. Adding water sweetens it. Some vanilla pudding, dry oak and...  sweet spices (again).

Finish: Dry and spicy. A pleasant "Cinnamon Challenge". Conclusion: This Balblair leaves me with some mixed feelings. Do not get me wrong. It's a very nice malt. But he lacks a bit of complexity to me for a 15 year old whisky.

Price: somewhere between € 60 and € 70.

PS: Watch out while pouring a dram. The bottle is beautiful but is not the most user friendly. Don't spill any whisky! 
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Bowmore 12

Bowmore 12
Picture: The Whisky Exchange


Bowmore was the first smoky Islay whisky I learned to love and still has a special place in my cabinet. 

Identity Card Bowmore 12

  • Official bottling from Bowmore Distillery (Islay)
  • 12-years-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 40% 

A southern sea breeze on a hot summer's night 

Tasting notes 

Color: The 12 year old Bowmore has a warm amber glow. It's a pity the color comes from the notorious E in whisky: E150.

Nose: At first there's honey, lemon and (off course) peat smoke. Then a flowery scent with some eucalyptus. I'm also discovering, very distant but it's there, after eight biscuits with chocolate and mint. Water enhances the flowers and honey. There's a development of lavender and heather. And some slumbering marzipan.

Taste: On the tongue there are oranges and again honey. Also some vanilla and freshly picked mint. Very subtle and soft maritime hints of coarse sea salt.

Finish: Soft and sweet peat smoke warms the mouth.

Conclusion: This 12 year old Bowmore is a pleasant introduction to peaty whiskies. The peat is nicely balanced by the other flavours to make it accessible for newbie peatheads. Didn't even cost € 35 and is available in most supermarkets and liquor stores.


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Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006

Bruichladdich Bere Barley
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Bere Barley is an 8000 year old barley variant. It probably ended up in Europe after a Viking invasion. Jim McEwan accepted the challenge to (have) the barley grown on Kynagarry Farm fields on Islay. Fields that hadn't been cultivated in the last 100 years. The result of all the hard work (Red deers were very keen on this 'exotic' treat – the Victorian mill wasn't that fond of it) was a chemical free harvest. 

Identity Kit Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006

  • Official bottling from Bruichladdich Distillery (Islay)
  • 6-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Distilled in 2006, bottled 2012 
  • Alcohol: 50% ABV

Back to grandmother's kitchen 

Tasting notes 

Color: The pale yellow does not only reveal his age. It's also a clin d'oeuil to its provenance: a barley field on a summer day's.

Nose: A lot of of cereal and some citrus. Very clean and crisp and a little shy. But hey, who wasn't shy as a five-year old toddler. Let it breathe for a while. Water serves you some muesli with dried fruits (bananas and coconut) and a baked apple with brown sugar

Taste: The primary ingredient – barley – is the center of all things. Porridge with vanilla. Water sweetens the whisky. Kellogg's Frosties with golden syrup. Again some fresh citric notes. I'm thinking more of grapefruit in stead of limes. The bitterness of the grapes evolve in a soft oak flavour.
Finish: Quite short, dry and crisp. A summer's appetizer.

Conclusion: Interesting is the least you could say of this youngster. It tells you its story very slowly. True to his name, Bere Barley serves you mostly cereal aromas. Definitely worth looking out for. An interesting dram for those on a budget. Less than € 50. But he's getting rare these days (only 7650 bottles available on Planet Earth). Update: Bruichladdich launched a 2nd edition in 2013.
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Friday, 7 February 2014

Highland Park Secret Tweet Tasting

Highland Park Secret Tweet Tasting


Friday 7th February 07:00 PM (GMT time) was marked with three coloured dots in my agenda. A rain soaked DHL courrier delivered a small parcel from Scotland only this morning and a certain Twitter hashtag was already trending....

Yep this was Highland Park's and The Whisky Wire's Secret Tweet Tasting!

Three whisky's only to be recognized by a coloured red, green and blue marking on the bottle. And all three had to be tasted within an hour. So I had to be blazing fast with my tasting notes. And normally I'm a slow turd in doing so.

Mystery Dram #1 - Blue

Color: Gold. Perhaps a hint of sherry?
Nose: Typical Highland Park heather flavours, freshly grated lemon, some maritime scents and a light smokiness. Also a fair bit of stewed fruits with sugar.
Taste: Sweet cinnamon and raisin pastries. Violet candy. And then... BOOM! Pepper, smoke, fresh espresso with a splash of cream. This looks like an 18YO on steroids to me. With water: delicious creamy salted caramel.
Finish: Warming to say the least. Very hot on the tongue. Vanilla, cinnamon and some cardamon.

And Mr. Blue was... Highland Park's Thor, 16 years old, 52.1% ABV, 23.000 bottles

Hiighland Park Thor


Mystery Dram #2 - Red

Color: Gold. But not as intense as number one. 
Nose: A very light smokiness, golden syrup. Orange marmalade with a twist. Cranachan with (obviously) red fruits.
Taste: Creamy in the mouth. Lemon biscuits and a slight hint of fresh ginger. Also some gingerbread. A sandalwood cigar box stuffed with red fruit and biscuits. A lot more smoky than number one.
Finish: Coconut charcoal. Bananas on the barbecue with sugar, whipped cream and a splash of rum

And Mr. Red was... Highland Park's Loki, 15 years old, 48.7% ABV, 21.000 bottles

Hiighland Park Loki

Mystery Dram #3 - Green

Color: Dark straw. The palest of the three 
Nose: A walk through the forest after a rain torrent with a glass of hot red wine in your hands. Some notes of eucalyptus candy and citrus. Mandarin and lemon. Orchard fruitiness.
Taste: Very refreshing. Again eucalyptus and some mint. Some oranges. Orchard fruit. Apples and pears.
Finish: Soft. Spicy but soft. More green apples.

And Mr. Green was... Miss Highland Park Freya 15 years old, 51.2% ABV, 19.000 bottles

Highland Park Freya

Conclusion

I was a bit blown away by the speed things happened. No time to write or to raid the kitchen, sniffing all the spices and herbs available. But having these three great drams was an opportunity not to be missed. A big thanks to Daryl Haldane and Steve Rush for the generous samples. I still have some leftovers for a more extensive review.

And the winner of the evening was... Thor, the God of Thunder!

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Balblair 1983

Balblair 1983
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Balblair Distillery (Highlands)
  • 1983 vintage single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Delicious Masala Chai served by a lady 


Tasting notes

Color: The 1983 is a classic beauty. A soft copper glow and a syrupy texture.

Nose: Full of ripe tropical fruits. Banana, mango and pineapple caramelized with vanilla sugar. There’s also a hint of toasted oak, raisins and a subtle flower perfume.

Taste: An explosion of creamy tropical fruits and butterscotch or fudge. A full cream fusion with cloves, honey and cinnamon. Masala Chai tea in short. Water acts as a catalyst for the spices and balances the whisky with a soft oak bitterness.

Finish: Extremely long and creamy. Again this delicious butterscotch or toffee and vanilla pudding.

Conclusion: Typical Balblair notes. The fruity and floral flavours are fully developed.


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Balblair 2003

Balblair 2003
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Balblair Distillery (Highlands)
  • 2003 vintage single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Über-decent son-in-law 


Tasting notes

Color: Maturation in (refill?) ex-bourbon casks expresses itself in a pale straw Chardonnay color.

Nose: Fresh citric notes, a Balblair signature. Lemon and mandarin peel. Honey sweetness and vanilla are developing into a meringue straight from the oven, butterscotch and sweet fruits. Pineapple and apricots. Adding water transforms the sweet aroma’s into fresh oak and winter spices (cinnamon, ginger and pepper).

Taste: The spices are ubiquitous. Bitter and soft oak, white pepper and Laos powder. The fruitiness is driven to the back and less sweeter. This reminds me more of oranges and grapefruits.

Finish: Short, powerful and spicy. A ginger-orange infusion to enjoy a cold winter evening.

Conclusion: Balblair 2003 is targeting an all-round audience with its sweet and spicy flavours. A dram to convince non-whisky lovers.



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Balblair 1990 2nd release

Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Balblair Distillery (Highlands)
  • 1990 Vintage single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

A tasty intruder 


Tasting notes


Color: The 1990 matured for 21 years in ex-bourbon casks and had a 2 year finishing on Oloroso sherry butts. It has a rich amber color and forms long elegant tears on the side of the glass.

Nose: A rich nose of raisins, oranges and milk chocolate. Pim’s biscuits (Belgian chocolate biscuits with orange marmelade) and butterscotch. There’s also a lot of sweet spices and ‘peperkoek’ (breakfast cake made from rye, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar) with honey. Water unleashes red fruits. Strawberries and redcurrants ready to be picked on a hot summer’s day.

Taste: It is less sweet than the nose. I’m discovering mostly spices. Black pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Then oranges and chocolate. But this time it’s more like candied orange peel dipped in chocolate. Water emphasizes the bitterness of orange peel.

Finish: A long soft finish with oranges and an oily texture.

Conclusion: This 1990 Vintage is an atypical Balblair. The fresh and floral signature are replaced by complex sherry flavours. A short marriage with Oloroso butts gives it a unique character with notes of orange and chocolate.


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Belgian Owl Single Malt 3 Year Old

Belgian Owl Single Malt 3 Year Old
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from The Owl Distillery (Belgium)
  • 3-year-old Belgian single malt
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae 


Tasting notes

Color: Pale straw. A typical youngster that spent only three years on first-fill bourbon barrels.

Nose: The first nosing is quite tangy. Ginger and chili pepper are slapping you in the face. Vanilla ice cream with grated coconut and fresh figs or dates. Water makes it sweeter. Butterscotch candy is balanced by lemon zest.

Taste: Cereals with vanilla, coconut and banana. Also some rum raisin ice cream. The spiciness of chili pepper returns with a (not so good) hint of wet cardboard.

Finish: A dry finish with vanilla and ginger.

Conclusion: Young and 100% Belgian. It could be an ideal summer appetizer drink. Too bad of the wet cardboard aroma. But I will try a moe mature expression in the future.
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Suntory Yamazaki 10 Year Old

Yamazaki 10
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Yamazaki Distillery (Japan)
  • 10-year-old Japanese single malt whisky
  • Alcohol: 40% ABV

Kohai on a mission 


Tasting notes

Color: Soft amber.

Nose: At first green apples, vanilla and oak. Adding water releases fruity flavours: grapes, pineapple and a small touch of banana. It 's all combining very well with a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: I'm getting (again) green apple with some spices, ginger and oak. Water softens the apple and adds some unripe bananas and grapes. It even gets a little 'nutty'. Finish: The spices warm your mouth for quite a while. There's some caramelized brown sugar that lingers in the back.  

Conclusion: A young whisky that shows already some character with his fruity flavours. This 10-year-old is getting rare.
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Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original

Glenmorangie 10
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Glenmorangie Distillery (Highlands)
  • 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

A walk through a flower field 


Tasting notes

Color: pale straw.

Nose: Honey and heather flowers take the lead. Citrus and vanilla are also present. A very sweet and accessible dram. Adding water rewards you with peaches, ripe grapes and a bit of crème brulée.

Taste: Sweetness of honey, vanilla and floral accents. This reminds me of violets. Near the end I'm getting something nutty. Perhaps almonds. Water strengthens the floral and nutty flavours. There's also some lemon zest.

Finish: Quite short with a nutty after-taste. Like putting an almond immersed in honey in your mouth.

Conclusion: A typical Highlander. The sweetness and floral flavours make it very accessible.


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Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Glenfiddich 12
Picture: The Whisky Exchange
Can one think of a more classic and widely available single malt scotch whisky than the Glenfiddich 12-year-old Glenfiddich?

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Glenfiddich Distillery (Speyside)
  • 12-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • bottled: January 17, 2011
  • Alcohol: 40% ABV

Decent single malt to lure neophytes 


Tasting notes


Colour: Light gold

Nose: Vanilla and oak are dominating the glass. Water unleashes the fruitiness. I'm thinking of cooking pears and green apples.

Taste: Not many surprises here. Once again an overdose of vanilla. With a bit of effort, you'll discover some coconut and apples. Quite a nice balance but anything but breathtaking.

Finish: Short and dry. Exactly what you're expecting from an appetizer.

Conclusion: A decent product. A classy bottle design, nicely balanced flavours and beautiful in its simplicity. And yet that's what makes this dram a bit boring. Or is it just my natural preference for the underdog (read: smaller scale distilleries) manifesting itself...


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Springbank 10 Year Old

Springbank 10
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Springbank Distillery (Campbeltown)
  • 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

A chili preserved in vinegar


Tasting notes

Colour: Copper

Nose: Soft and sweet peat smoke are balanced by citrus and vanilla. Adding water is like opening a spice drawer and there's a leftover of dried sausage hidden in it somewhere. Among the spices are nutmeg, clove and some cinnamon.

Taste: Spices are everywhere! Pepper shakes you awake. I'm thinking of a chilli preserved in vinegar. With water, it gets a bit sweeter. Vanilla and raisins. In the end, there's a little bit of sea salt on the tongue. Three primary tastes in one dram: sweet, tangy and salty.

Finish: Pepper and salt are struggling for attention. And the third dog? The sweetness of raisins.

Conclusion: Quite a little character with a rich tradition. Fruity sweetness, a little bit of salt, deliciously hot and pleasantly smoky. Quite complex for a ten-year-old.


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Suntory Hakushu Bourbon Barrel

Suntory Hakushu Bourbon Barrel
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Hakushu Distillery (Japan)
  • NAS  single malt Japanese whisky
  • Alcohol: 48.2% ABV

A hand carved oak fruit bowl

Tasting notes

Colour: gold

Nose: A hand-carved oak fruit bowl, full of tropical fruits. Think of pineapple and coconut. Water adds bananas, citrus and melons. And of course some oak and vanilla. You'll discover even a bit of white pepper.

Taste: Due to the ABV it is quite hot on the tongue. Yet the fruity flavours give it a fresh body. Green (sour) apples and bananas. And once again some melon and pineapple. At the end a faint hint of smoke. Finish: Short and crispy, like you've just had a bite of a Granny Smith apple.

Conclusion: A typical summertime dram from our Japanese friends. Fresh and fruity. It does not come with an age statement, though it is quite expensive. Count € 80 - €90. The 2013 edition is even more expensive. €110 approximately.
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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Auchentoshan Valinch 2012 Release


Auchentoshan Valinch 2012
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card

  • Official bottling from Auchentoshan distillery (Lowlands)
  • NAS single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 57.2%

Crème brûlée on steroids 

Tasting notes

Colour: warm yellow

Nose: Crème brûlée and some brown sugar. Despite the high ABV, it has a very soft nose. Water reveals something flowery and orange zest.

Taste: Again sweetness of vanilla pudding with orange zest topping. Near the end, you'll find some caramelised almonds.

Finish: Nutty and creamy

Conclusion: A dram for people with a sweet tooth or those who are on a budget. A decent introduction to Auchentoshan and a very affordable cask strength.


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Tullamore Dew

Tullamore DEW
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Identity Card Tullamore D.E.W.

  • Blended Irish whiskey
  • Alcohol: 40% ABV

An appetiser for the kitchen 

Tasting notes

Colour: pale straw

Nose: Soft vanilla with traces of anise. After a while, you'll discover some overripe mandarins. Water reveals some oaky notes.

Taste: Again some vanilla and on the back of the tongue some cocoa.

Finish: Quite short and dry.

Conclusion: A quite simplistic dram. Nothing too fancy, but a great appetiser excellent for use in the kitchen.
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