Thursday, 21 November 2019

Glen Scotia 1989 Manager's Tour Sample [Road to #1000, Review #975]

Hi everyone,

Welcome. I while back I realised that I had hit #1000 whiskies that I had tasted and written notes on and decided to keep some in reserve for an epic build up of insane, rare and crazy whiskies that I had tasted. 26 whiskies in fact.
1972 Brora cask sample, Hibiki 30, Yamazaki 25, Cadenhead’s Sherry cask Talisker, Longmorn 1964, Scotia 1969 and two 1968 whiskies, some bourbons, Karuizawa, my first Convalmore. You’ve got it all to look forward to.
To kick things off I’ve got an almost 30yo Glen Scotia from the most expensive tour you can do there, the Manager’s Tour. (Yep, we’re starting with that)
Many thanks go to the ever amazing Ibon for the sample.

Glen Scotia 1989 Cask Sample 53.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Fruity and very interesting, orange chewing gum, banana, cold dunnage, dried leaves, leather, some lime, wonderful balance though. I don’t normally like chewing gum as a note in whisky as it can be quite artificial but it works here.
Taste: Soft and oily, soot, dunnage wood then more fruity with banana, some pineapple, a little cream soda. Pretty fresh for 30yo without too much oak at all. I expected it to be much darker.
Finish: Medium length. Very soft, oils again, not a massive amount of complexity here.
Cask sample from the managers tour at Glen Scotia, refill American oak cask 316. I was probably expecting too much from this. I thought 30yo Campbeltown and the red mist of OMGITMUSTBEAMAZING descended. The taste is a little flat with the quite simple finish. Still it should be said that this is great whisky.
82/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #818
Whisky Network Review #975

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 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.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Glenturret 11 Gordon & MacPhail Sherry Cask (Blind Review)

Hi everyone,

I think this is the last whisky from my evening with the Toronto Whisky Society. I have a feeling this was nearer when I stopped taking notes but I was handed a dark looking whisky and asked what I thought that it was. (I can’t remember who brought this I’m afraid!)
So this one is a blind review, except that I recognised the tube as being a Gordon & MacPhail… so almost literally anything then!

Glenturret 11 Gordon & MacPhail 46%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Pure grape juice, prune, fig and cinnamon, an oily shortbread note, plenty of cherry. Super Sherried.
Taste: A little thin to start but builds in complexity, sweet raisin, leather, old school style Sherry, chocolate, pure raisin juice. Taste is a little tired.
Finish: Medium length. Bitter, tannins, oak. Dark chocolate. Oaky at the end but a little tired too.
Guess: 30yo Glenrothes at 40% from a Sherry cask?
But nope, young Glenturret! Some kind of exclusive. This was nice with the dark and juicy Sherry notes but felt a little thin and tired. Old before its time I guess.
79/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #817
Whisky Network Review #974

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 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.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Amrut Spectrum Batch 1 Review

Hi everyone,

One more from the generous people that are the Toronto Whisky Society, in particular u/devoz.
Now I know you’re probably thinking: ‘How many whiskies did they taste that night?’ The answer is a lot, but I stopped making notes because I realised that they weren’t coherent anymore.
Anyway, this is one that I’ve trying to get my hands on for ages because of a load of good reviews. It’s an Amrut matured in Frankenstein barrels that have staves from different types of wood and held different things before, all shoved together. There have been some different batches but this was the first.

Amrut Spectrum Batch 1 50%
Colour: Dark Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Dark and grainy, Trinidad rum, dark spiced rum, stewed fruit, raisin and fig, prune, rich spices, cinnamon banana bread, lots of complexity here, quite corn whiskey-like actually which I often find with some of the Indian single malts.
Taste: Rich and sweet, rum notes appear again- banana and oily rags like a Caroni, raisin and fig, very dark aged Trinidad rum, chewy mouthfeel, black liquorice.
Finish: Medium length. Sweet and spicy, more liquorice. Quite soft here, the power fades out quite quickly.
Hmmmm, really expected to love this but its not really my thing. Kinda reminds me of the Kavalan Vinho Barrique in that respect. Big, big whisky, very dark flavour but doesn't reach the balance that I like.
79/100

Thanks for reading!

Indian Review #14
Whisky Network Review #973

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 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.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Orkney 2000 The Whisky Agency for Toronto Whisky Society Review

Hi everyone,

Another one from that crazy night with the Toronto Whisky Society people. And, excitingly, another one that they selected themselves!
I tried the Tobermory that they had done first blind and really enjoyed it, so was intruiged by this whisky distilled on Orkney that definitely isn’t Scapa (yeah, its Highland Park, duh). 

Orkney 2000 The Whisky Agency 52.9%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Very natural and mineral, lightly smoked porridge, a great little funky note. Its a little closed and austere but it opens up over time and with a little warming, reminds me of a Benromach from a Bourbon barrel or Springbank Local Barley.
Taste: Soft arrival, beautiful balance of light lemon, minerality and light smoke. Quite austere again but great. Nice spices and good level of dry oak, white pepper.
Finish: Long length. The white pepper and dry oak really stick around and build with some great minerality.
Bottled for Toronto Whisky Society at 17yo in 2018. Another really good pick guys. Quite smoky for HP I thought, while still being clean and well balanced.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #816
Whisky Network Review #972

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 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, 15 November 2019

Port Charlotte MRC:01 2010 Review

Hi everyone,

Well, r/Scotch has reached 100,000 subscribes! I just wanna let each and every one of you know that I love you all and think that you are amazing despite knowing little or nothing about you and essentially you’re all strangers. We share the same passion though. The passion for repeatedly emptying our wallets, often to our detriment.
This community is so great and has grown a huge amount since I started reviewing here. I am hugely privileged to be a small part of it and I hope that I can continue to contribute my bit.
Think I’m going to get to #1000 reviews then do some more of my Let’s Talk series but for now I’ve got an intense beast of a whisky…

Port Charlotte MRC:01 59.7%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Meaty, red berries, good sulphur, cream soda, cranberry, red grape, dirty orange. Big nose with plenty going on but not particularly balanced.
Water: Softer, more orange, more sulphur, better balanced now.
Taste: Big! Brutally powerful and intense, almost overwhelmingly so. Spicy, smoky, mineral, red grape, orange, black pepper, not too wine-y though, quite dry but not really balanced out.
Water: Buttery, oily, then very dry with wood and spices.
Finish: Long length. Powerful, spices, smoke, pretty brutish here.
Distilled 2010, bottled at 7yo and from 100% Scottish barley. Finished in Chateau Mouton-Rothschild barrels.
Anyone want their palate steamrolled? Really good but doesn't do it for me as its seems like just a wall of brutal power which doesn’t do wonders for the balance. Still, I can imagine some people absolutely loving this one.
77/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #815
Whisky Network Review #971

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 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.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Wardhead 1997 & Ardmore 2008 for r/Scotch Reviews

Hi everyone,

Okay, bit of back story first… Last year we managed to get two samples from Hunter Laing (Sherry cask Blair Athol and an Inchgower, both over 20 years old). They were rejected for not being good enough.
I organised two more samples from The Single Cask to be sent to u/scotch_fanatic. Once again, not good enough.
u/t8ke then gets Morrison MacKay on board and they send us 9 samples from casks they have that we could bottle. They are sent out blind and we (the tasting panel) taste them, rate them, etc.
Our favourite being an older single grain, we decided that the best course of action was to bottle the second and third favourites.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t rate anything in the blind tasting super high and I gave both of these 7.5/10. I have lost my notes from the blind tasting but I remember guessing the Ardmore was a Croftengea and the Wardhead as some young Speysider. But blind tastings can be deceiving and stuff changes sometimes when it’s bottled as well as changing as it opens up and you spend more time with it. So let us see what the r/Scotch bottlings offer!
Also, this was a huge load of fun and I have to thank u/t8ke and u/scotch_fanatic for generally being awesome, organising this and including me as a part of it. It has been a privilege and an honour and I can’t wait for more bottlings in the future!

Wardhead 1997 for r/Scotch 54.7%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Fresh nose, younger than its years. Green apple and malt first off, grassy, very clean, milk chocolate, hot chocolate froth and some heather, honey. Creamy with vanilla after a minute. Under ripe orange and green grape appearing. Malted milk biscuits too.
Taste: Really wonderful clean arrival, lovely mouthfeel with oils and malt, then a burst of fresh fruit with green apple and lemon, milk chocolate, heather, some oak and spices, some white pepper, stem ginger, softening again into the finish.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Darker and more malty here, malt biscuits, a little cocoa powder, more oak.
Hogshead #40, bottled at 22yo. The nose and the beginning of the taste here are a lot better than I remember from blind tasting. The mid-palate goes into some average territory with the spices and oak just a little flat. Still, a great release worth picking up. Water made the nose much fresher and fruitier but I found it lost body and depth on the taste.
77/100
 
Ardmore 2008 for r/Scotch 57%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: I remember first tasting this blind and then the first taste out of the bottle thinking that this was just another pretty average peated whisky. But the nose keeps opening up more... Creamy, lemon citrus, the malt is there quite gristy giving a complexity and body, an Agave note- maybe kinda Mezcal-like, some ash, a little white grapefruit, maritime notes of cold seafood buffet, lobster and crab flesh with cracked black pepper. The more you dig and pay attention, the more you get.
Taste: Clean arrival, oily, lemon citrus and then BIG peat, lots of intense minerality and rocky seashore notes, licking the inside of old shells, chewy mouthfeel. Great, and again, very different from my blind tasting and first pours.
Finish: Medium length. Not as long as the Wardhead but still plenty going on with salt, peaty malt and the oils coating away. Quite dry too.
Bourbon barrel 702430, bottled 11yo. Love Ardmore and very happy to have a bottle of this. I also have to say that this is supremely drinkable at full strength but doesn’t seem to do well with water.
80/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #813-#814
Whisky Network Reviews #969-#970

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 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. In this case, I was also a part of selecting these whiskies, so may be even more biased than usual... 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.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Glen Scotia 1992 HB & SMWS 2003 93.91 Reviews

Hi everyone,

Glen Scotia, previously the ugly duckling of Campbeltown, seems to be coming into its own more and more. This tracks with Loch Lomond, who are owned by the same people. Both distilleries (much like Ledaig) produced feinty, weird and sometimes horrible whiskies that people found hard to get along with but are entering a new dawn with cool experimentation, special but affordable releases that seem to be, as yet, untouched by too much marketing bullshit and… um, Macallan-ing.
I’ve got more Glen Scotia coming up with my build up to 1000 reviews but we will leave them for now.

Glen Scotia 1992 Hart Brothers 50.5%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Funky orange and flat wood, sweet sherry and austere malt, dry oak and a touch of fireplace, geranium and musky cologne, chocolate powder, plum pudding, grapefruit. The nose feels a little oxidised, like the bottle has been open a little long.
Taste: Soft and sweet, orange, malt, chocolate powder, building slowly with more spice, oak and chewy orange and cherry, quite austere despite the sherry, grapefruit.
Finish: Long length. Sweet, syrupy and oily. More malt here with some dark chocolate. A little black cherry at the end.
23yo version from a Sherry hogshead. I was expecting more from this actually. Yeah, its good but I can't help but feel that a newly opened bottle would have tasted a little fresher and been more punchy. This was from the end of a bottle at a festival, so no way to know how long it had been open…
77/100
 
Glen Scotia 2003 93.91 SMWS 56.4%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Austere and very Glen Scotia, oily with some fruits, butter, oxidised browning apple, some brown sugar, a Trinidad rum thing going on, a bit of banana thats been left out too long, mango and peach thats doing much of the same. Black pepper and salt, a little mineral. Super interesting nose.
Water: Cleaner and flatter, some oak and dry wood, loses its 'fattness.'
Taste: Oily and mouth-filling, serious mouthfeel, fruity with red apple and black pepper, some stem ginger, a little chilli, its spicy but not hot if that makes sense, some orange in there too, salt and more and more smoke as it goes on, ending up being quite smoky by the finish.
Water: A little flat to start, but a great balance of the salt, smoke and spice then builds up.
Finish: Long length. Powerful with smoky and spice, black pepper, salty still, some chilli. Again, not hot though.
'Campbeltown Karaoke' Bottled at 14yo. Really could be a Talisker. A really great single cask Talisker. Much better neat though. I tasted this first time at the Vaults in Leith, where the SMWS started and instantly knew it was special. Very luckily, they gave me the open bottle from the bar as a thank you for doing the tasting so I got to take it home. Great Glen Scotia, keep an eye out for these mid-aged peated ones.
84/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #811-#812
Whisky Network Reviews #967-#968

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 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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