Sunday, 13 September 2020

Octomore 8.1 & 10.4 Reviews

Hi everyone,

Got two Octomore’s today. I was pretty excited about the 10.4, being the youngest and least peated Octomore that we’ve seen in a while.

Been pretty impressed by Octomore generally, though some would put them down as gimmicks that are far too expensive for what they are. I would probably agree that they are but some of the stuff is just so stunning that I don’t really mind. 8.3 and OBA Concept come to mind. And a particular cask sample I tasted at Bruichladdich a few years back.


Octomore 8.1 58%

Colour: Gold

Body: Full

Nose: Earthy, mineral, granite, rocks of various kinds. It’s funny, with Octomore I don’t tend to get a huge amount of obvious smoke but more minerality and earthy notes instead. Very typical of that here.

Taste: Soft arrival, really well balanced arrival, mineral, frying pork fat, smoke smoke smoke. Pretty delicious.

Finish: Long length. The minerals and rocks are back.

167ppm. Raw and powerful.

80/100

 

Octomore 10.4 63.5%

Colour: Bronze

Body: Full

Nose: Pure Mezcal, Agave, Tequila and cigarettes, wet rocks, driftwood, the smell of clothes after a night out clubbing with smokers, quite sexy IMO.

Water: More funk and Octomoreishness.

Taste: Sharp and intense, big wood component but a bit flat then the huge Octomore minerality and full on vanilla and yet more wood, big salt too.

Water: Still sharp, less of the wood at first then it comes in strong. Almost Bourbon-like.

Finish: Medium/Long length. Softer and fruitier, goes a bit flaccid (haha), very dry.

3yo, 88ppm and full virgin oak matured. Absolutely lovely nose, the taste and finish not so much.

75/100

 

Thanks for reading!


Updated Distillery Rankings

Scotch Review #858-#859

Whisky Network Review #1032-#1033


Network Average: 75.2

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 the Global 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.

Why is this here?

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Yoichi 15 Review

Hi everyone,

Yes, Japanese whisky has gone nuts. Some nice standard releases from Yoichi and Miyagikyo disappeared very, very quickly, including this one. For those that don’t know, Yoichi and Miyagikyo are two of Nikka’s actual Japanese distilleries (I.e. not Ben Nevis with Japanese water added).

I was fortunate to try this in Germany last year, courtesy of my friend Michael.

 

Yoichi 15 45%

Colour: Gold

Body: Medium/Full

Nose: Fragrant and fruity, full and oily, reminiscent of Springbank, a heaviness of the malt, vanilla pod, slightly dirty smoke, light chocolate and milky coffee. A very little grassy.

Taste: Soft then oily, great oils, some spices coming in, dry oak, vanilla pod, orange, some dirty smoke.

Finish: Medium length. More fruity with lemon and orange, drying oak.

Quite complex for 15, more smoke than the 10. Should you add it to your Japanese whisky investment portfolio? Probably not at today’s prices.

77/100

 

Thanks for reading!


Updated Distillery Rankings

Japanese Review #27

Whisky Network Review #1031


Network Average: 75.2

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 the Global 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.

Why is this here?

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Glenturret 2009 SMWS 'Top Notes of Covfefe' Review

Hi everyone,


Let’s face it, as much as I love Ledaig, the stuff is getting more expensive. It wasn’t too long ago that you could pick up an amazing single cask, cask strength Ledaig for £50 or £60. Nowdays, it’s getting closer to £100. That’s fine, we’ve gone on about it long enough and people know now that it’s great.

But what’s next? Surely there must be undiscovered gems from distilleries that have started doing new and exciting things… underrated unknowns of the whisky world, lurking somewhere out there waiting.

The hunt is on for the next Ledaig.

 

Enter this bottling from Glenturret, bottled by the SMWS. Heavily peated (a make known as Ruadh Maor) and matured in a recharred hogshead.

 

Glenturret 2009 SMWS 16.42 63.7%

Top Notes of Covfefe

Colour: Dark Gold

Body: Full

Nose: Ethereal because of the abv, thick malt, newly sawn wood, lip gloss, marshmallow flavouring, a bit closed. Likely gonna need some water.

Water: More medicinal, rubber gloves (the thick ones), an old medicine cabinet, sticking plasters, iodine, salt and some lime, there's a funky mineral thing and constant battling between the fruit and the wood here that is really quite interesting.

Taste: Not too much at full strength! Nice amount of power. Lip gloss, big oily malt, obvious farmyardy peat, burning hay and grass clippings, some plain wood nearer the back end with Laphroaig-esque salt and bandages.

Water: Dry arrival, the wood is more prominent, the peat more intense, much more mineral, sea soaked rocks, iodine, bandages, lime rind. A touch of rubbery wood into the finish.

Finish: Medium length. Nice fade, not too powerful. Think the wood has had a say in toning this down. The salt is there with a bit of lime. Less peaty. Dry finish.

Heavily peated, which really makes this a Ruadh Maor. What an unusual and interesting whisky!! Big, powerful and bold. You could give this to a lot of people and tell them that it's Laphroaig and they wouldn't say a thing.

82/100

 

Thanks for reading!


Updated Distillery Rankings

Scotch Review #857

Whisky Network Review #1030


Network Average: 75.2

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 the Global 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.

Why is this here?

Monday, 20 July 2020

Ledaig IB 11yo x3 Reviews: Five Lions, Cadenhead's & Whisky Barrel


 

Hi everyone,


Really haven’t been tasting much whisky lately and, partly due to my own laziness, haven’t been posting much either.

Today I’ve got three more Ledaig’s that I’ve been waiting patiently to share with you. I say waiting patiently because I have bottles of both the Cadenhead’s and Whisky Barrel and I’ve been seeing how they develop in the bottle (something I am not usually able to do).

So here they are, three 11 year olds:

 

Ledaig 11 Five Lions 57.8%

Colour: Gold with a purplish hint

Body: Medium/Full

Nose: Meaty at first, raw steak, Madeira comes through with rich fruit, plum, fig, not dissimilar from Sherry but a little more freshly fruity, salty, malty too. Great nose.

Taste: Oily arrival, silky and sweet, salty development with more intense peat, seaweed, minerals, oily, pretty full on and more savoury as it goes on with peppered steak. Quite reminiscent of Port Charlotte.

Finish: Long length. Nicely drying and fruity, leaving oils and fig.

Madeira matured, apparently fully. I really liked this though I have a feeling others won’t. Something akin to a Port Charlotte Ledaig!

80/100


Ledaig 2008 Whisky Barrel Originals 54.4%

Colour: Gold

Body: Full

Nose: Completely different to the Cadenhead's. Much more fresh with an immedaite peach yogurt thing, apricot too, fresh cream, these a saltiness behind that, along with cheap vinegar and smoked lime rind maybe? Funky and very different, I don't even get much Sherry.

With some time in the bottle there's a little chilli chocolate.

Water: Burning tires, lime rind that someone has put cigarettes out in, yogurt that someone has put cigarettes out in, a bit of creamy cheese that (you guessed it) someone has put a damned cigarette out in. Who's doing that?!

Taste: Clean, focussed arrival, oily, the peach and apricot yogurt is back, then moving into big funky smoke with those lime rinds, lots of spice with green peppercorns, balsamic vinegar (which I'm not a big fan of) and then burning tires.

After some time in the bottle, the taste becomes better balanced and less harsh. Less of the vinegar and tires.

Water: Creamy and soft, peach yogurt again, more salt, lime juice, white chocolate.

Finish: Long length. More burning tires, very intense and dry finish with spices, black and green peppercorns, and some oak.

Bottled at 11yo from a Sherry Hogshead. I had big hopes for this, but unfortunately, even after leaving it for a while, this still hasn’t opened up or lived up to the expectations. Others have found it very Sherried but I find it strange and rubbery in the extreme. A shame.

76/100

 

Ledaig 2005 Cadenhead's Authentic 61.8%

Colour: Light Amber

Body: Full

Nose: Meaty, dirty and in-your-face, quite gravelly too, raw peppered steak, game and venison, chocolate raisins, plum, brandy and cigar ash. More of the dirt now with freshly tilled earth and freshly laid tarmac fumes,

Water: More ashy Lagavulin-y smoke, darkly savoury with steak and dark chocolate, maybe a touch of coffee.

Taste: Perfect arrival, clean and singing, dry and serious, very intense, juicy lime, incredible smoke and oils joining seamlessly and building in intensity, powerful for sure but the balance achieved here is pretty good considering, good amount of funk, green peppercorns, olives, rare steak and a little burnt rubber into the finish.

Water: Not quite as balanced and actually more intense and powerful with big smoke, big spices and very dry. Quite tannic too.

Finish: Long length. A bit of burnt rubber here, more green peppercorns and some oak creeping through.

Bottled 2017 at 11yo from a Butt. Shame that the finish throws this a little off kilter, still amazing stuff, though I prefer it neat. Blows the Whisky Barrel Originals out of the water. Very happy to have a 2nd bottle tucked away.

84/100

 

Thanks for reading!


Updated Distillery rankings

Scotch Reviews #854-#856

Whisky Network Reviews #1027-#1029


Network Average: 75.2

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 the Global 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.

Why is this here?

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Scapa 16 Review

Hi everyone,


Today I’ve got a whisky that I’d been trying to track down for a while. Scapa with an age statement, something that hasn’t been seen in quite a while. This version was discontinued a good few years ago.

Scapa, if you didn’t know, is the other distillery on Orkney. It used to have one of the longest fermentation times of any distillery, always being above 120 hours. This has since been cut to 48 hours, along with the release of a bunch of uninteresting NAS whiskies. People speak quite highly of this one though.

This was another one I wanted to taste to complete 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die.

 

Scapa 16 40%

Colour: E150a

Body: Medium

Nose: Fruity and heathery, loads of fresh apple, light honey and vanilla, pleasant nose.

Taste: Soft then quite watery before the spice arrives but then it goes very dry and spicy, harsh ginger, finally the honey and heather come to the rescue at the end.

Finish: Medium/Long length. Oily and heathery, honey, HP-like. A tiny bit of plastic right at the end.

Can’t help but think that this would have been pretty good at 46% or even 43%. As it stands, Scapa has bored my twice, though I can imagine it being great as a single cask, cask strength thing. Sadly, we don’t see it independently bottled very often.

67/100

 

Thanks for reading!


Updated Distillery Rankings

Scotch Review #853

Whisky Network Review #1026


Network Average: 75.2

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 the Global 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.

Why is this here?

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Lakes Whiskymaker's Reserve No. 2 Review

Hi everyone,
Been taking a bit of a break from reviewing at the moment, despite much more time on my hands with lockdown. Been opening a few new bottles though, so I have been reviewing some whiskies, just haven’t been that motivated to post to Reddit.
Anyway, here we have one of the first releases from the Lakes Distillery. After taking on Dhavall Gandhi as Master Blender (an ex-blender at Macallan), the Lakes seemed to have gone with trying to Macallanise their whisky in terms of taste and premiumisation.
We’ll see if that pays off in the long run as young Macallan isn’t all that great in my opinion. As well as being overpriced of course.

Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.2 60.9%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Sweet, cherry, cherry sauce, but of nose prickle, some oak, obvious vanilla, creamy.
Water: Better, more rounded with raisin and malt. You can see it trying to imitate Macallan here.
Taste: Sharp arrival, bite of alcohol then cherry sauce and a little touch of STR-esque oak, quite dry.
Water: Better balanced, more well rounded arrival, chewy ripe cherry and plum. Still a little sharp but also flat in the mid-palate.
Finish: Long length. Stays well with some alcohol and more cherry, a little vanilla.
A mix of PX, red wine and Bourbon casks. But the PX is what stands out to me. Reminds me of a 3yo Wolfburn Sherry single cask I tried.
68/100

Thanks for reading!

English Whisky Review #5
Whisky Network Review #1025

Network Average: 75.2
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 the Global 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, 27 March 2020

Springbank 18 & 11 Refill Sauternes Single Cask Reviews

Hi everyone,

Another duo today! This time it’s Springbank’s turn.
It has taken me far too long to get round to trying the 18yo. I can get pretty expensive and although I’d heard that it was great, I didn’t want to risk forking out on a bottle. So I waited patiently but just never got round to it or saw it many places.
I also recently tried a official single cask for the USA.

Springbank 18 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Robust and chiselled, smoky coals, dried apple, musty leather, a little tobacco and cigar smoke, subtle dried banana, standing outside a smoking room, old cigarette smoke.
Taste: Oily with building spices tingling and dry oak, lots of black pepper, a bit industrial with concrete dust and chalky minerality, some dust and leather and old smoke.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Softer, more tobacco and leather here but fades quite quickly.
Shame about the short finish. Everything else is pretty well balanced and interesting, if a little austere.
79/100
 
Springbank 11 Refill Sauternes 57.2%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Soapy but in a really cool way, raisin and passion fruit, rich apricot, dirty orange, good sulphur, dried lavender, bath bombs, intense and full on.
Taste: Soft and oily, orange and mango, super good balance on arrival, great mouthfeel, fruity and intense, soapy again but again it’s good and interesting. Some spices come through towards the end, black pepper and a tiny whiff of smoke.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More soapy here, almost overwhelming it, softer then comes back with the oils.
Nov 2007, bot Nov 2018 from a single refill Sauternes cask, bottled for USA. Some people are gonna hate this, but I love it. Really interesting and full on, in-your-face whisky that grabs your tongue and won’t let go until it’s done with you.
86/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #851-#852
Whisky Network Reviews #1023-#1024

Network Average: 75.2
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 the Global 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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