Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Dailuaine 2007 'Peated Finish' Hidden Spirits Review

Hi everyone,

Hidden Spirits isn’t going to be an independent bottler you’ll hear a lot about. Partly because they’re an Italian based company and not much of the stuff makes it beyond.
However, you will be hearing about it from me. Because I think they’re awesome. I tried the 2007 Ledaig of theirs before and it was epic, and this one is fairly epic and its not even from a well known distillery. So, I will attempt to track down more of their stuff but in the meantime… Oh and also, I love the labels.
Peated finishes (finishing a whisky in a barrel hat held peated whisky) aren’t something we see a whole lot of. Some IB Ardmore’s, a Penderyn, a Balvenie from a while back but these tend to be Islay casks, whereas this is Ben Nevis!
 
Dailuaine 2007 ‘Peated Finish’ Hidden Spirits 56.1%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Fresh, very delicate peat, malt, lovely fizzy lemon citrus, lemon sherbet, very soft and understated nose.
Taste: Snowflake delicate arrival, impeccable, building oily malt and lemon sherbet freshness, very very delicate peat but less and less as it develops. Great balance too.
Finish: Long length. More peat here with the lemon sherbet now backing. Great.
Finished for 13 months in an ex-heavily peated Ben Nevis barrel! Did I mention mouthfeel is spot on too? Fantastic whisky, really impressively finished. Expert. Well done Andrea.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #676
Whisky Network Review #810

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, 16 October 2018

Inchmoan 12 & Croftengea 2007 The Single Cask Reviews

Loch Lomond
Inchmurrin
Inchfad
Inchmoan
Croftengea
Craiglodge
Old Rhosdhu

These are the brands of malt whisky that Loch Lomond distillery produce from various stills and various peating levels. Is it confusing? Yes. Is it interesting? Yes, I think so anyway.
As far as I am aware, both of these are heavily peated whiskies coming from the distillery but using the different still systems to give slightly different flavours. The Inchmoan uses the stills with rectifying plates in and the Croftengea doesn’t? Perhaps? But there’s isn’t really much info online, hopefully we can clear this all up when I’m at the distillery in November. In the meantime what are these two like?

Inchmoan 12 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Medicinal and Laphroaig-like at first nosing, sweeter underneath, spiced orange, some vanilla, salted fish.
Taste: Medicinal hit, TCP and medicine cupboards, its a god damn Pharmacy in here!, some chewy orange (classic Lomond), late spice.
Finish: Long length. Think Laphroaig again, medicinal and mineral and thick and intense.
Looking for a Laphroaig replacement? Loch Lomond has you covered. Seriously powerful and medicinal whisky, that tasted blind, I would probably guess Laphroaig.
75/100
 
Croftengea 2007 The Single Cask 60.2%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: Lovely slightly meaty Ledaiggian smoke. a little cheese, farmhouse cider.
Water: Lighter and less funky.
Taste: Soft, very balanced, lemon, peat, more maritime as it develops, sea salt, cheap pepper.
Water: More lemon, more spice as it develops. Unbalances.
Finish: Medium length. Maritime, salt and pepper, lemon.
11yo, nice and reminds me of Ledaig but doesn't quite pull off the same greatness. There’s that funk but it lacks in complexity compared to the Inchmoan.
74/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #674-#675
Whisky Network Reviews #808-#809

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, 10 October 2018

Allt-A-Bhainne 2009 PX Murray McDavid Review

Hi everyone,

We don’t see much Allt-A-Bhainne about but there’s been a bit of a fanfare recently concerning the arrival of an OB. Dave Broom wrote a pretty scathing article about it actually.
This isn’t an OB though, this is an IB brought to us by the lovely people at Murray McDavid, the indie that loves to finish whiskies in weird wine casks (that’s how I think of them anyway). Also, you can’t miss their garish packaging.
This one was an exclusive for the Speyside Whisky Festival 2018 back in May but they had a bottle at the Liverpool Whisky Lounge I happened to also be at.
 
Allt-A-Bhainne 2009 Murray McDavid 62.1%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: All about the cask but what a cask! Meaty, juicy and fruity PX, Sherry all over, creamy vanilla, orange, bright cherry, very slightly sulphury (in a good way).
Water: The abv pokes through, sharp.
More water: Ah, better! Back to meaty, slightly sulphury territory, very nice.
Taste: Soft and light at 62%! Cherry and an explosion of orange, creamy mouthfeel with vanilla.
Water: A little spicier, a bit more complexity too.
Finish: Medium length. Soft orange, some juicy/meaty Sherry left over.
An exclusive for the Speyside Whisky Festival 2018. PX Sherry finish. Very good at only 8 years old. And I think the price was pretty reasonable.
76/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #673
Whisky Network Review #807

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, 9 October 2018

Caperdonich 22 TBWC Review

Hi everyone,

Ever heard of Caperdonich?
Perhaps from a collector of closed distilleries. Perhaps as one of those more affordable closed distilleries. But almost certainly because it is closed. Demolished. Gone for good. The stills stripped away and recycled into the churning mass of people who want whisky stills.
The place was originally called (very creatively) Glen Grant #2 and was only renamed in 1965, then closed in 2002. Prices are getting crazy these days of course, with the whole ’OMG ITS CLOSED. THEY DEMOLISHED THE PLACE, IT MUST BE GOOD, ITS SO RARE.’ thing going on at the moment.
This version was released by That Boutique-y and Dave let me try some back in Liverpool recently.
 
Caperdonich 22 TBWC 48.6%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Old school. heavy style spirit, refill oak, earthy which is nice, very dark chocolate, black cherry, wax. Very dark/black nose.
Taste: Soft arrival, 90% dark chocolate, earthy, soft red apple and black pepper, beautifully balance, cranberry and blood orange.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Lovely, dark oak, black cherry and dark chocolate.
My first Caperdonich! Very very good stuff. Black Clynelish is what it makes me think of with the waxy notes. Boutique-y back to killing it again with epic stuff.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #672
Whisky Network Review #806

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 October 2018

TBWC Scotch-Japanese Blend 21yo Review

Hi everyone,

April 2018 saw That Boutique-y Whisky Co (Atom Brands, AKA Master of Malt) being bought by the much larger company InBev, who own Budweiser. They stopped shipping to the US but few other changes occurred.
This one is an innovative, perhaps Adelphi inspired, take on whisky, blending Japanese and Scotch.
Are these two things related?
Probably not, but in my mind it looks like someone pushing crap whisky onto the public by screaming ‘JAPANESE!!’ Which, isn’t a bad way to sell whisky but falls short of TWBC’s quality standards in this case. Just my two cents…
 
Scotch-Japanese Blend 21 TBWC 43%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Quite grain driven, almost Bourbon-like corn, creamy, some sharp oak, very dry leaves.
Taste: Soft and creamy, lacking a lot of power, lots of grain, some strawberry, a little vanilla.
Finish: Short length. Lacking, some late strawberry.
Disappointing. Tastes like there’s a lot of Grain whisky in this one, with very little malt. There’s very little complexity for 21 years, no power to speak of whatsoever and the balance is majorly off. I would like to apologise for being harsh but TBWC is usually so good that this is quite a shock.
64/100

Thanks for reading!

Whisky Network Review #805

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, 2 October 2018

Inchmurrin 2007 Distillery Exclusive Review

Hi everyone,

Loch Lomond Distillery I unashamedly do not understand. But I am in the process of attempting to understand it, landing myself a tour there in November (report to follow I hope).
What I do know is that it could be the most adaptable Scotch whisky distillery, able to make grain and malt whisky of various different styles. Loch Lomond, Inchmurrin, Inchmoan, Inchfad, Old Rosdhu, Croftengea and Craiglodge being some of the different styles. These could be from different stills and different peating levels.
This one is an Inchmurrin, which means that it was distilled in a still with rectifying plates in (which apparently isn’t a Lomond still) and is unpeated. In addition, this one has been fermented with a Chardonnay white wine yeast, you know, because you can…
 
Inchmurrin 2007 Single Cask 57.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lovely creamy marzipan, slightly dirty orange, some perfume, orange chewing gum, marshmallow. Complex nose.
Water: Goes lovelyly chocolatey.
Taste: Creamy and light, delicate then orange, chewy and perfumed, orange peel, some ginger and cardamom spice.
Water: Even softer, better balance and a better build up to a spicier finish.
Finish: Long length. More orange chewy gum, light still but with some mouthfeel.
Distillery exclusive from Loch Lomond. I’ve tried one other Inchmurrin in the past and remember that being good too. Need to try more from these guys. Many thanks to Ibon for the taste and the rest of the bottle, you sir are a gentleman.
78/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #671
Whisky Network Review #804

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 September 2018

Singleton of Dufftown 12yo, Tailfire & Malt Master's Selection Reviews

Hi everyone,

I only realised the other day, when looking through the sidebar on my blog, that I haven’t reviewed a whisky from Dufftown distillery yet, which is crazy because my first bottle of single malt whisky I bought was Singleton of Dufftown 12.
Its never been a particularly impressive or well regarded distillery though and the attempts of Diageo to make something of it as a single malt seem to have fallen a little flat. They tried age statements, then they tried no age statements with cool names and now they have a new one that just sounds the same as everything else on the market. I’ve tried three from these different eras.

Singleton of Dufftown 12 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Light
Nose: Fruity Speyside, lots of stewed apple, sweet pear, pastry, hot fruit crumble, apple pie, apple juice, some nut, some malty chocolate, cream.
Taste: Fruit and nut. Soft and mellow. Nutty, malty arrival, fruity development- Soft apple, pear, lots of vanilla, some honey, little bit of spice.
Finish: Short length. Fades gently with... well nothing really.
My 1st single malt whisky! Mental that I hadn’t reviewed this before. Quite thin and average at times, especially into the finish.
64/100

Singleton of Dufftown Tailfire 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Fresh, strawberry, sweet fudge, sweet toffee, raspberry and meringue, pavlova, clotted cream.
Taste: Soft, 'smooth,' sweet toffee, fudge, biscuit, vanilla then creamy with strawberry vodka?!, some young spirity notes into the finish.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Strawberry vodka, spirity.
A bit different with those obvious fruity strawberry notes but it ends up being artificial and thin again. Almost tastes more like a grain whisky actually.
62/100
 
Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Malty, pear, marzipan and red apple. A little praline shell chocolate, but fairly classic Speyside. Vanilla and pastry after a bit.
Taste: Soft, vanilla, creamy, red apple, some ginger, some oak, apple juice, then malt and some generic chocolate.
Finish: Short length. Lacking power then more malty with chocolate again.
Another young one I think. Shows off more of a natural style though.
66/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #668-#670
Whisky Network Reviews #801-#803

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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