Thursday, 25 July 2019

Ledaigathon: 1994 G&M, 20 Cadenhead's, SMWS 42.22 & 42.21, 2008 Archives Reviews

Hi everyone,

A while back, um, at the beginning of May, I was in Canada for work and was able to meet up with the wonderful people of the Toronto whisky society. What follows are reviews that are their fault.
Knowing that I loved Ledaig, they’d secured as many as they could and greeting me on the table were a row of them. Of course, I felt obliged to review them (Its a hard life sometimes), although I didn’t get to them all because I wanted to try other stuff too.
Thanks to everyone for an amazing night!

Ledaig 1994 Gordon & MacPhail 53.9%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium
Nose: Ah yes, clearly not Ledaig just as we expected after the other 1994 G&M. Clean with ozone, salt, green apple and a little cheese, some seaweed, light on the complexity.
Taste: Soft then spicy, ginger and black pepper, salt coming in, dried seaweed, losing power into the finish.
Finish: Short length. Lacking power here, very soft salt, ill fitting dry oak. Doesn't really work.
Bottled 2012. Mislabelled Tobermory again. The second time I've had this from G&M which makes me distrust all early 90's Ledaig.
71/100
 
Ledaig 1997 Cadenhead's 52.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Lovely complexity of lemon, aged smoke, epically oily, buttery but also salt crusted sailing ropes, leather and a little green grape.
Taste: So so oily, salt and smoke building up, spicy black pepper, white pepper, great leather and chocolate coming in.
Finish: Long length. Power, white pepper, mineral smoke, a white wine thing going on which is cool.
Gold label, 20yo. Very similar to the 19yo that I have a bottle of, but I prefer that one by a point I think.
85/100
 
Ledaig 2006 42.22 SMWS 59.3%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: Very clean nose, a little abv, pure salt and white pepper, lemon juice, not a huge amount there but very pure and clean.
Taste: Soft, then a great balance of pure salt and white pepper, lemon juice and stem ginger. Again, compelxity isn't massive but the balance and purity is super impressive.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Salty and spicy, stem ginger and white pepper.
9yo.
78/100
 
Ledaig 2006 42.21 SMWS 59.4%
Colour: Light Straw
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Even cleaner and lighter... As in water. A tiny bit of green apple, a tiny bit of salt, Tequila.
Taste: Soft arrival, great saltiness, great balance again with the smoke, minerality, raw ginger and white pepper.
Finish: Medium length. Clean again, a little ginger and white pepper left.
I prefer the nose on this actually than the 42.22, but the taste isn't as good.
77/100
 
Ledaig 2008 Archives 60.9%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Dirty AF, burnt bacon, creamy vanilla, not a huge amount of smoke but a great balance, white german sausage, smoked sausage. Lots of sausage. Very savoury nose.
Taste: Clean arrival, great balance, salty, the Sherry comes through with dirty raisin, unami, bacon, so oily, mouthfeel for days.
Finish: Medium length. Creamy, sweet raisin and more overt peat.
Bottled 2016 I think, from a Sherry cask. Fan-fucking-tastic young Ledaig. Love it. Should have bought one when I had the chance.
84/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #779-#783
Whisky Network Reviews #924-#928

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Ledaig 12 Present Future & 19 PX Finish Reviews

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of activity on my front, just being lazy I’m afraid. But today we are back with two awesome Ledaig’s. Yes, more Ledaig. I’ve got loads and I’m always trying more!
Both of these have used Sherry in the maturation, which we know works well with Ledaig but we have an indie and official. Let’s see how they compare…

Ledaig 12 Present Future The Whisky Exchange Show 58.4%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: WAHH! That's what we love! Big dirty Ledaig. Red fruit and red meat, black pepper, beautifully balanced nose, complex and sexy. Fresh cherry and black cherry lifting the whole.
Taste: Full but with a soft arrival, red fruit, big spice, dirty, malt and black pepper, ash and soot, complex, cherry coming in. Oily for days.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Black pepper, red meat, really oily. Like REALLY! AMAZING.
Nose is the star here but its all great of course. For TWE Show's 10th anniversary. I think this is Signatory stock that whisky exchange have bought. I bought a bottle of this, which doesn’t happen often these days. Also… HOLOGRAM LABEL!
86/100
 
Ledaig 19 PX Finish 55.7%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Meaty, creamy, cherry, pomegranate, fragrant orange peel. Raw steak and green peppercorns. Not as complex as the full sherry matured stuff.
Taste: Dry start, mineral, pomegranate, Mezcal into the finish. Not nearly as sweet as I had expected.
Finish: Long length. More spices here, ginger, black pepper.
On the expensive side for Ledaig at £150. A little dry for my tastes although specs looked like exactly the whisky I love.
84/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #777-#778
Whisky Network Reviews #922-#923

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Carsebridge 1974 Exclusive Malts Review

Hi everyone,

Old single grains can be stunning. But unlike some people, I prefer them at around the 30 year mark, rather than 40. What we can agree on is that these grains do tend to age well over longer periods of time, giving them more complexity as long as the oak doesn’t take over too much.
Do I know much about the Carsebridge distillery. No, I don’t. I just remember that they closed in that terrible endgame year; 1983.

Carsebridge 1974 Exclusive Malts 42.3%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Kind of ghostly, old oak and light spirit, some fruit, some corn actually (apparently they used corn back then!), some carpenter's workshop and airing out old rooms...
Taste: Soft and very light start then fruit and oak, dry, some orange and lemon, slightly grassy, a little flat and tired in the mid-palate.
Finish: Short length. A little tropical fruit but a little flat here too.
Bottled at 44yo. Cool to try but quite over the hill IMO. The nose is nice and interesting but the palate lets it down. Not bad stuff, of course, just expected more.
71/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #776
Whisky Network Review #921

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Ben Nevis 8 Single Cask Nation & 19yo Highland Malt Chapter 7 Reviews

Hi everyone,
Got some Ben Nevis for y’all today.
I’ve heard rumours that the land lease is up on the land that Ben Nevis is built on, so maybe they’ll have to find somewhere else to get all those Japanese blended whiskies, eh? (So, apparently this rumour is bogus and the lease has another 30 years on it, which they are in negotiations at the moment)
Anyway, the stuff is normally very good, particularly from Sherry casks and I’ve got two of ‘em.


Ben Nevis 8 Single Cask Nation 64.8%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: A meaty and thick style with a lot of power and some abv at first nosing, marzipan, almond, prune and walnut, malt and orange, a dusting of cinnamon.
Water: Better, more malt and ethereal fruit.
Taste: Thick and oily, really dense and well beyond its years, blackcurrant and prune, date, some fairly plain oak coming in towards the end.
Water: Loads softer, more malt, orange, heather but does still have that plain oak.
Finish: Long length. Quite dominated by this flat plain oak note, a little floral.
2009 from a Sherry cask. Really great arrival at full strength, love the power. The finish drags it back through.
76/100
 
Chapter 7 Undisclosed Highland 19 55.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Quite dense and oily, heavy malt, orange, chocolate, heather, there's a fresh mango lifting it up too, some vanilla.
Taste: Oily mouthfeel, nice orange, chocolate, malt and heather, some leather, green grape and soft lemon, more sour into the finish.
Finish: Long length. Lovely chocolate orange, some grape and lemon.
Two Sherry casks of Ben Nevis. A nice one but not overly impressive, especially for Ben Nevis.
75/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #774-#775
Whisky Network reviews #919-#920

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Balblair 12 & 15 Reviews

Hi everyone,

I am starting to believe that Inver House changed more than the packaging when they did their revamp of the Old Pulteney and Balblair ranges recently.
I’ve really liked the Balblair range I had tried so far, and I was a fan of the vintages, although I can understand why they would swap to age statements. Still, the stuff still has age statements and is still at 46%, so how bad could it be?
Well…

Balblair 12 46%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Cheesy? What? Some spice, some oak, a little of that hessian character, dry nose, not hugely complex either. Very little of what I enjoyed about Balblair in the past…
Taste: More Balblair here thankfully, soft arrival, spicy and oaky actually, ginger, shortbread. Tastes older than 12 years with the amount of oak but, again, doesn’t have the complexity.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Kinda harsh, oak and spice, rubber?
Well below par from Balblair.
59/100

Balblair 15 46%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Much better. Sherry, light raisin, honey, orange + peel, milky coffee, stewed cherries and a very light earthiness. Sweet nose.
Taste: Dry arrival with a little harsh spice up front then creamy with vanilla, dry oak then taking over, then more juicy, develops well. Raisin, chocolate, some hessian and bright cherry at the end.
Finish: Medium length. more cherry, some orange, fruity and juicy here.
I think this is a Sherry finish rather than fully matured. Much better than the 12, though I think I would still be disappointed if I was buying a bottle.
72/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch reviews #772-#773
Whisky Network Reviews #917-#918

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Port Charlotte 10 (2018) & 2009 Artful Dodger Reviews

Hi everyone,

Ah, Port Charlotte! The peaty, meaty, complex younger brother of Bruichladdich. The monster dreamed up in the sleep of Jim McEwen after passing out having drunk too much 70’s Laddie he’d ACE-d in ex-weird casks.
Seriously though, there have been lots of new Port Charlotte’s coming out and I’m sure lots of them are great. They have a new bottle design that I’m a big fan of too and I was able to try these two fairly recently.

Port Charlotte 10 2018 50%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Oooooo, meaty smoke and dirty white grape from Sauternes or white wine, roast pork. Complex, it could be a meal in front of you, not a whisky! A bloody delicious nose that is definitely my kind of thing.
Taste: Soft arrival, chewy and oily, meaty and then bam powerful minerality and smoke, smoked white sausage and dirty ash, clean white grape, some dry oak
Finish: Long length. Salivating sweetness of white grape and dry smoke, earthy oils.
2007, bot. 2018 (new bottle design). Clean and dirty like the best. They’ve done it again. Damn. More dry as it develops.
82/100
 
Port Charlotte 2009 Artful Dodger 64.2%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: More of an Octomore! Mineral and meaty, some bright fruit, green apple, some good sulphur, pulled pork, some BBQ sauce, brisket, drity nose and lovely for it.
Water: Softer and sweeter, more grassy and herbal, less smoke.
Taste: Intense, big big whisky, loads of sweet bright fruit and good sulphurous smoke, green apple, soot, mineral granite.
Water: Soft and very balanced, more lemon, fresher, very peaty now, more Octomore-ish.
Finish: Long length. Powerful! Pepper, lemon, creamy shortbread, great finish. Pear too.
Bottled 2018 at 8yo, Sauternes finish. A beast of a whisky. 50cl bottle but really great price, buy the last of it while you can, although I’m pretty sure its sold out now.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #770-#771
Whisky Network Reviews #915-#916

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star, 1988 Wemyss & Port Askaig 28 Reviews

Hi everyone,

We’ve got some whisky from my least favourite Islay distillery today! Yes, of course its Bunna. To be fair, having tasted these now, I’m pretty sure my problem is mainly with the younger stuff and some of the older stuff, because, as these demonstrate, Bunna does age pretty well over a long time.

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star 51.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Great combo of salinity and fresh zippy fruit, lemon citrus, some vanilla, sea salt, quite coastal and a hint of far off smoke, something slightly funky adding complexity, some tropical white grapefruit.
Taste: Amazing mouthfeel strikes first, salty and oily, still fresh, lemon citrus, red apple, black pepper, almost Talisker-like actually and great for it.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Lovely oily chocolate and sea salt, malt, some late smoke here too.
Bottled 2017 at 26yo. Really drinkable and delicious Bunna. There seems to be a bit more smoke and coastality to this and it's right up my street. One of my favourite Bunna’s I’ve ever had.
85/100
 
Port Askaig 28 45.8%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium
Nose: Musky Bunna-like nose, leather and old dusty cupboards, heavy malt, actually reminds me of a Glen Scotia, dark chocolate and very lightly smoky oak
Taste: Lacking power to start, Soft and v chocolatey, honey, big malt and then lots of oak, soft black pepper, dry.
Finish: Long length. Burnt marshmallow, burnt vanilla, a little oak.
A newer one I have a feeling. Went cloudy very quickly. Bit over the hill in my opinion and the marshmallow at the end is a bit odd to find in this type of whisky. This isn’t cheap either at £300.
78/100
 
Bunnahabhain 1988 'Luxury Damson Jam' 46%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Jam indeed! Homemade blueberry and raspberry jam, plus some tired wood, black pepper, orange and red apple, a tiny faded sea salt, floral geranium (reminding me of Bourbon matured Mortlach).
Taste: Sweet, Sherry, raisin and orange, a little flat though with more of the tired wood than the nose, spices with ginger and black pepper, nice red apple note. Shame about the mid-palate.
Finish: Long length. Super chocolatey and malty, lovely dark finish. Leather and tobacco, honey too.
Bottled 2018. Really saved by the finish this, not up to the 1987 I tried. But there seem to be a few of these Wemyss are doing at the moment.
81/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #767-#769
Whisky Network Reviews #912-#914

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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