Friday, 20 April 2018

Longrow Red Cab Franc & Tasting Room Sample Reviews

Hi everyone,
Springbank’s sibling Longrow could also be described as the younger brother. It’s brasher, bolder younger brother. Being only double distilled, and also more heavily peated, I find it doesn’t normally have the complexity of Springbank. Although, having just said that, I’ve heard great things about the stuff distilled in the 70’s.
These have not been distilled in the 70’s. The first is the new(ish) Longrow Red and then I’ve got a special(ish) one I tried at the recent Whisky in Leiden festival.


Longrow Red 11 Cabernet Franc 55.8%
Colour: Redish
Body: Full
Nose: Fruity chewy sweets, orange in particular and red berries, orange chewing gum. Odd nose.
Taste: Intense, big whisky. Red berries, dirty smoke, perfumed oak, ginger and white pepper.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Soft, ginger beer, orange, late smoke.
Not a massive fan of this series, I find them out of balance and a bit all over the place.
75/100
 
Longrow Tasting Room Sample 57.9%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: Very nice nose of creamy smoke, ashes, something meaty, vanilla pod, slightly dirty peat.
Taste: Clean, smoky, lemon and green apple, coming in showing the youth, earthy then ashy. Green peppercorns getting more and more bitter.
Finish: Medium length. Quite bitter and astringent here, green peppercorns.
Bottled 06? A bottling for the Cadenhead's Tasting Room. Very nice nose, a bit harsh to taste.
75/100

Distillery: Springbank
Average Score: 78.6
Distillery Ranking: 15th/ 61 places
Up/Down: 14>15 (Down 1)

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #610-#611
Whisky Network Reviews #722-#723

Network Average: 74.9
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.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Laphroaig 1996 Adelphi Review

Hi everyone,

Many thanks go to Lucy of Adelphi for this wonderful sample of older Laphroaig.
 
Laphroaig 1996 Adelphi 57.1%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: The twenty years have really done a good job of toning down the smoke and bringing out complexity but not the usual tropical old Laph. Instead there's wet leather, slightly rotten oranges (in a good way), campfire ash, cordite/gun smoke, still some lemon and lime citrus lurking back there too. More rotting seashore notes after a bit. Oh and stale cigarette smoke (which should never be a good thing but somehow is here!). Really interesting and complex nose.
Taste: Soft start with orange, then lemon and lime, very soft but building up and up with these very maritime notes of seaweed, rotting seashore, the bay at Laphroaig at low tide, wet leather, campfire smoke, a confusing but delicious combination of wet leather and petrol, then more oily into the finish.
Finish: Long length. You'll have to swallow a couple of times (C'mon guys, no jokes please) as it suddenly gets very oily and viscous. Powerful smoke here with big mineral notes. Firm, strong finish.
Bottled 2017 at 20yo. A pretty stunning modern Laphroaig. It's Adelphi so it’s going to be expensive but it’s a good'n. Some great aspects of old Caol Ila, Bowmore and Lagavulin here too. If I could bend the rules, I’d give it 88.5.
88/100

Distillery:
Average Score: 81.7
Distillery Ranking: 6th/ 62 places
Up/Down: No movement

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #609
Whisky Network Review #721

Network Average: 74.9
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.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Mortlach 14 Sestante (Late 70's Import) Review

Hi everyone,

Hunt down old Mortlach. If you love whisky, hunt down old Mortlach.
Perhaps its me getting soft, but its been very rare that I give a score in the 90’s. So giving my first 94 and finding another 92 on the same day was a big treat. This was the last dram I tasted in Groningen at WFNN.
Sestante was a legendary Italian bottler operating in the 80’s and 90’s with a similar reputation to Samaroli. I was dithering between two old Mortlach’s and this one was recommended to me as one of the best Mortlach’s ever bottled. Sold! I shouted (only in my head mind you), before clasping the glass like a new born baby.
 
Mortlach 14 Sestante (Late 70's Import) 57%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Really old school. Dried blood comes off immediately. Meaty, Sherry, heavy style with beeswax, old brass, old worn leather, very dark chocolate and some amazing dried raspberry. So many complex oils and florals underneath.
Taste: Huge but soft, amazing distillate, amazing cask. Heavy sherry, meaty, so firm, in your face but oh so balanced and long, raisin, leather, oily for days.
Finish: Long length. So oily and classy and firm. More meaty here with the dried blood making a thundering return, dark chocolate, chocolate/cocoa powder.
An import for Italy, probably distilled in the 60’s. What a stunning, stunning whisky! With some water the nose opened up a little more with these lovely medicinal notes but the taste became a little too dry and oaky.
92/100

Distillery: Mortlach
Average Score: 80.3
Distillery Ranking: 8th/ 62 places
Up/Down: 14> 8 (Up 6)

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #608
Whisky Network Review #720

Network Average: 74.6
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, 11 April 2018

Miltonduff 2007 G&M Cask Strength Review

Hi everyone,

Straight after one big, dark Sherry cask and into another. Also another brand new release. Also from an independent bottler. This time from the master of casks themselves, Gordon & Macphail. Lots of new stuff coming from them shortly, I’m reliably informed.
 
Miltonduff 2007 G&M Cask Strength 61.6%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Ethereal and meaty, dark chocolate and tobacco, leather, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, a nice touch of gun smoke, cigar, slightly herbal.
Water: Marzipan and almond, opens up nicely.
Taste: Big but ethereal, sweet then more and more dry, black cherry, orange, oily chocolate and black pepper spice, a little chilli, dry tobacco and leather.
Water: Softer and less spicy.
Finish: Long length. Chilli chocolate, dark Sherry, some orange peel.
A brand new release in early 2018. Another great Sherry cask.
79/100

Distillery: Miltonduff
Average Score: 70.3
Distillery Ranking: 50th/ 62 places
Up/Down: 58> 50 (Up 8)

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #607
Whisky Network Review #719

Network Average: 74.6
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, 10 April 2018

Old Perth 13 Blended Malt (Highland Park & Macallan) Review

Hi everyone,

I didn’t necessarily release that the company behind the Carn Mor range of single casks, did other stuff. Until I met Peter and Graeme Mackay of Morrison Mackay in Groningen the other day. Fun, whisky fuelled times. Peter, very graciously, was the one to give me a glass of this stuff.
Black as night. A single Sherry cask. Highland Park. Macallan. Age statement. What’s not to like?
 
Old Perth 13 Morrison Mackay 43.8%
Colour: Dark Amber (Peter said Coca Cola)
Body: Full
Nose: Lots of sherry of course, but lots of earthy and tobacco notes, very dark chocolate, coffee beans, leather. Seriously earthy after a bit- freshly tilled earth.
Taste: Dry and very dark, fig, loads of black cherry, earthy, leather, plenty of oak, deep and thick, orange marmalade, malty peat lurking behind it all.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More malty here with more tobacco and black coffee.
Distilled 2004, although the ratio of HP to Mac is unknown. Single cask pre-release sample (but it is out now, although you’ll need to be very quick if you want one). Much like the also very dark Bruichladdich from Whiskybroker recently (review coming up), this has zero sweetness. Instead its all about the earthy, dark and dry flavours.
84/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #606
Whisky Network Review #718

Network Average: 74.6
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.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask & Portwood Reviews

Hi everyone,

Back in November I reached new heights of whisky blogging fame, in receiving my first free sample. So the first review here in particular carries an even bigger full disclosure disclaimer than normal: I received a free sample of Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 Quarter Cask from the distributor and therefore my objectivity may be slightly tainted. Good. Now we have that out the way, I also happened to taste the extremely hyped Portwood version from 2013 recently and it seemed like a good moment to put my notes up together.

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017 Quarter Cask 57.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Like being back on Islay. Standing at the floor maltings at Laphroaig. Really lovely smoked malt aroma, peat, earth, smoke, orange, oysters and lemon sponge cake. Underneath that there's kippers and sea salt, butter and toast, then some more mineral aspects with flint. There's just a little rubber out of place.
Taste: Soft start, then some acidity with lemon juice, quite Caol Ila like actually with that very acidic lemon and big smoke, salty fish, quite maritime and clean. A little vanilla, malt and perhaps some white chocolate.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Very clean for a Laphroaig, more Caol Ila-like for me. More lemon, more smoke, more mineral with granite.
Lovely lovely nose, but the taste and finish were much cleaner than expected suggesting that this one is a little younger than I had thought.
81/100
 
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2013 Portwood 51.3%
Colour: Blueish Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Strikingly balance for big peat and port. Toasted marshmallows and gristy peat, ash, blueberry, campfire smoke, Smores, pockets of florals.
Water: Becomes more toasty, but not as balanced.
Taste: Intense and builds up even more, very nicely too, very balanced but very powerful smoke, sweetness from the Port, blackberry. I don’t really know how, but the smoke and Port have balanced really well here.
Water: Softer, still powerful, more citrus- lemon.
Finish: Long length. More port here with juicy blackberry, black pepper and ashy peat.
Keep it neat. An awesome modern Laphroaig #livethehype If you asked me whether Laphroaig would be better from Port or Quarter casks, I’d go with Quarter 100%, but this has such great big flavours that shouldn’t work but completely do. Oh and thanks to the guys at Maltstock, who always seem to want to give me awesome whiskies!
87/100

Distillery: Laphroaig
Average Score: 81.5
Distillery Ranking: 6th/63 places
Up/Down: No movement

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #604-#605
Whisky Network Reviews #716-#717

Network Average: 74.6
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.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Bunnahabhain 1987 Wemyss 'The Viceroy's Elixir' Review

Hi everyone,

Choo! Choo! Here comes the hype train!
Lots of folks reviewing this one at the moment, and even more giving it a big ol’ thumbs up so I knew to keep an eye out for it.
I’ve been a big fan of Wemyss bottlings, although I’ve only tried a few. The casks are sourced and selected by Charlie MacLean, the monocle wearing whisky encyclopaedia. And to be honest, I don’t think the prices are too bad either, even if most of the stuff is at 46%.
This dram was thanks to the kind people of Maltstock.
 
Bunnahabhain 1987 Wemyss Vicroy's Elixir 46%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: What a CASK! Beautiful Sherry, so dark and rich, fig, prune, date, raisin, thick, Christmas pudding, orange, leather, dark chocolate. Complex. Dry oak underneath. Nutty with marzipan, raspberry and black pepper.
Taste: Sweet and full, then recedes, layers and layers of sweetness and complex oak, fig and prune, dry old oak, dunnage and leather, orange, oily, building this nice black pepper. Quite a dry development.
Finish: Long length. Mouthwatering, lots of oak, dry, black pepper really comes through nicely.
A tad too dry but bloody good! The joint best Bunna I’ve tried, the other being the 45yo Port Askaig.
87/100

Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Average Score: 75.3
Up/Down: 35th> 32nd (Up 3)

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #603
Whisky Network Review #715

Network Average: 74.6
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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