Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Paul John Nirvana, Christmas 2018 & Kanya Reviews

Hi everyone,

Apologies again for the lack of posts, been busy with work and travel and and and…
Anyway, more Indian whisky today from Paul John. Really like the distillery style as it seems to be quite Bourbon-like sometimes but with a bit more complexity than Bourbon ever seems to manage.
All three of these are courtesy of the main man, Shilton. Thanks mate.

Paul John Nirvana 40%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lovely orange bomb, not weak on the nose but soft, orange peel, orange car sweets complete with the powdered sugar, floral orange blossom, some dry oak in there too. Complex for 40% mind!
Taste: Soft, tingling spices then orange chewing gum, dry oak, some vanilla, creamy, almost chewy mouthfeel, lovely for 40%! Not lacking power.
Finish: Medium length. Chocolatey with malt, chocolate orange and a little oak.
A nice one, better than Brilliance IMO. I think this was released more for cocktails but I really like it just on its own. Think its meant to be pretty cheap too.
73/100

Paul John Christmas Edition 2018 46%
Colour: Bronze
Body: Full
Nose: Classic Paul John corn (I find corn quite a lot of the time anyway), soot from the chimney Santa just crawled down, cinnamon and star anise, big but good oak, a little raisin and subtle Sherry, red liquorice and some Christmas cake.
Taste: Quite dry, nice mouthfeel and oils before the oak hits, spices with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, a little raisin, the Sherry is there but its a bit brutalised by the oak.
Finish: Long length. Nice and oily here with some chocolate, dry oak and red apple. Very dry finish.
Sherry finish with some peated whisky too. Nice nose, but the taste is quite oaky with a very dry finish. A fun one though for sure.
75/100
 
Paul John Kanya 50%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Corn at first nosing (again), there's oak but underneath its fresh with fruit, spiced mango, candied orange peel. Nice nose.
Water: Fresher with less oak.
Taste: Soft arrival, great mouthfeel, oak comes in, fresh oak, spices, then malt and orange with ginger beer going into the finish.
Water: Great, nice soft arrival and development.
Finish: Medium length. Orange peel, spices and oak.
Almost American in style. I found myself a little disappointed with this one compared to the single cask I tried in Germany. I was expecting big things, instead finding that its good whisky but not really worth the hype around it.
75/100

Thanks for reading!
Indian Reviews #9-#11
Whisky Network reviews #905-#907

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.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Bladnoch Samsara, 10, 15 & 17 Reviews

Hi everyone,

Let me start by saying that I like Bladnoch as a whisky. I loved the sheep label 12yo from the old owners.
But Bladnoch has had a turbulent past, and when the last owner decided he could not continue, potential buyers were thin on the ground. David Prior ended up buying the place in 2015 and immediately went about designing a heavy new bottle and planning stupidly expensive special editions.
I got around to trying the new range because I was excited to see what they had done. I shouldn’t have been.

Bladnoch 10 46.7%
Colour: Straw
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Dough and yeast, something savoury like Parmesan cheese, lemon but also a sour note, not really in balance, nettle and mint.
Taste: Sharp arrival, quite sour and astringent, lemon and dough, some yeastiness, weird off note into the finish.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Ugh, odd, metallic.
Oh dear. This was actually the one I was most expecting to like from the new range.
50/100
 
Bladnoch Samsara 46.7%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Similar style to the 10 with yeast and dough but with porridge, some ginger spice, dry oak, a little playdough/putty.
Taste: Crisp arrival, lemon citrus before the fatter doughy notes, quite clean though which is good.
Finish: Medium length. Soft, that clean lemon and porridge, some putty.
More like it but pretty boring. Where is the big Bladnoch character that I loved?
68/100
 
Bladnoch 15 46.7%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Christmas spices and cherry, some chocolatey malt, light orange, a little rubber, cream and nettle.
Taste: Soft and a little flat on the arrival, mouthfeel is thin until the chocolate and malt arrive, cream and nettle, some rubber into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Some oak, quite dry here, rubbery Sherry.
Fully matured in Sherry but still not enough to save it. My favourite from the new range I've tried but still not great. Again, quite average and also the most expensive.
69/100
 
Bladnoch 17 46.7%
Colour: Dark Gold, Red Tint
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Herbal, dry and spicy, red gummy bears, but also a little rubber, nettle, vanilla, grass, a little porridge in the background.
Taste: Soft and fruity arrival but quite a thin mouthfeel, then dry oak, red gummy bears, cherry lips and astringent rubber.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More astringent rubber and a little harsh oak and spice.
15 years in Bourbon, 2 in Cali red wine. Another uninspired Bladnoch. The red wine has killed off the mouthfeel on the taste I think. Feels like a bit of desperate move to try and save whisky from bad barrels and hasn’t really paid off.
64/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch reviews #759-#762
Whisky Network Reviews #901-#904

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, 28 May 2019

Balvenie 40 [Review #900]

Hi everyone,

I am always amazed at the incredible generosity of the whisky community.
From honest folks trading drams to people giving away whisky for nothing, there seems to be an attitude of sharing and altruism I’ve encountered in little else.
But when I entered the Library Pub in Omaha, Nebraska, not only did I not expect to see a £4000 bottle I’d never seen open before, but I definitely didn’t expect to taste the bloody thing. But talking with the owner, I said that I’d tried most of the other range and he offered me a small taste… for nothing. Nothing! Amazing.
 
Balvenie 40 48.5%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Quite light and fresh, complex though, floral, apple, like the 30 but with a little more orange, oak and chocolate. Not quite as classy as the 1401 or 42yo Sherry cask but just as balanced.
Taste: Complex, lots of oak, chocolate and orange, layered and balanced, tonnes of chocolate, beeswax, a small touch of leather. It’s quite dry as expected but the balance is masterfully achieved.
Finish: Long length. Elegant and balanced, loads of complex chocolate, honeycomb, emosh.
The taste and finish on this are incredibly incredibly good despite the dryness of the oak, the nose is quite different being fresher and lighter. I battled between 89 or 90 on the score but I don’t think it’s quite as good as the crazy 1970 single cask I tried or the Tun 1401, despite having the emotional thing that normally denotes a 90 score. Undoubtedly, the taste and finish are there but I would have liked to see a little more of those more complex darker, antique notes to the nose. Anyway, a privilege.
89/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #758
Whisky Network Review #900

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, 24 May 2019

Old Pulteney 25 & 1983 Reviews

Hi everyone,

Old Pulteney redid their range a little while ago and because I’m not a professional whisky blogger, plus lazy, I haven’t gotten round to reviewing the new range. Yeah, perhaps more the lazy part…
Anyway, I still haven’t got round to reviewing the new range but I did find time to taste some of the new upper tier versions, namely the new 25yo and the 1983 vintage. I got hold of these at a recent whisky festival in Belgium.

Old Pulteney 25 46%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Soft and tropical, salty and waxy, mango and oak, orange and grape, subtle grassiness, some green and red apples, some florals. Pleasant nose but not that impressive for OP. After time there is a little flatter note of cardboard.
Taste: Soft and light, orange and then more waxy and oily, more grape, red apple, some ginger and apple juice, a little flat in places, little of the classic OP saltiness.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Goes very soft (save the jokes...), with some malt and a little milk chocolate- praline.
A disappointing Pulteney that wasn't perhaps from the best casks. Much preferred the 17 and 21 to this. Disappointed with the lack of salt and waxiness, especially on the finish. Oh, and where’s the cutting lemon citrus? And the fresh tropical fruits?
72/100
 
Old Pulteney 1983 46%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Clynelish? Super waxy and oily, freshly cut red and yellow apples, complex oak, sea air, delicate dry honey, beeswax and honeycomb, lovely old complex nose.
Taste: Soft and sweet, honeycomb and apple then very dry, lots of oak, slightly grassy but also quite flat in places, orange, some chocolate and a little malt.
Finish: Short length. Its gone! A bit of orange, some chocolate.
33yo. A nice nose doesn't save this one from being a little mediocre. I would be more than a little disappointed if I’d paid the money for this. Pulteney is such good whisky, as the nose on this suggests, but the taste and finish are just too flat to ignore. And once again, the tropical, citrus, salty, waxy loveliness, at what point did they kill that off?
71/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #756-#757
Whisky Network Reviews #898-#899

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, 8 May 2019

Benromach Peat Smoke Sherry 2010 Review

Hi everyone,

Benromach have been doing some really good whiskies for a while but they’ve really hit it out the park with this latest release.
I tried one peat smoke release of theirs a while back and thought it was ok, but not quite up there with the rest of the range. This though… this was different.
For one thing, its matured in 1st fill Sherry casks and for another, its cask strength.
 
Benromach Peat Smoke Sherry 2010 59.9%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Lovely ethereal, slightly dirty peat, creamy, something meaty, dying coals, dark fruit-raisin. Somewhere between a heavily Sherried Ledaig and Ardbeg Oog.
Water: More vegetal and dirty.
Taste: Soft arrival, great mouthfeel, spot on balance, great sweetness, fruitcake then coals, blackcurrant, more smoke, malt, very balanced at full strength.
Water: Really soft, not as balanced but crisp, nice development though with peat.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Smoke comes through, some fresh ginger spice and a very little oak. Actually the length works as it makes the stuff quite easy drinking even at full strength, I would normally always prefer a longer finish but it does work here.
Bottled late 2018, so 8yo. This stuff is fantastic. Really great price too. Get one while you can. I don’t buy a huge amount of whisky now but I had to get myself one of these.
85/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #755
Whisky Network Review #897

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.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Glen Scotia 2003 Campbeltown Festival 2019 Review

Hi everyone,

After a meet up with some of the lovely people from the Toronto Whisky Society last night, it has come to my attention that I have been slacking in the review department. I’ve had a bunch of cool things I’ve tried and written notes on but just haven’t had the time to actually get around to posting them. You guys deserve better though, so we will continue to soldier through.
This one, I imagine a few people are interested in. Limited edition, cask strength, peated Scotia finished in rum barrels…
 
Glen Scotia 2003 Festival 2019 51.3%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Coals, creamy vanilla, tropical fruit and dust (specifically the stuff that gets behind the radiator), a little closed.
Water: Opens up a little, more of the rum, more dust and a little perfumed.
Taste: Fresh and fruity, lemon and orange, then more spicy and peaty with ginger, black pepper and a medicinal edge.
Water: Softer, with less spice and peat.
Finish: Long length. More medicinal here with some white sugar and white rum.
For Campbeltown festival 2019, Peated Rum Finish. 15yo. Disappointed with this compared to the 2018 and this is more expensive. The dust isn’t an off note but it’s just a bit too closed off and I couldn’t get it to open up a lot.
71/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #754
Whisky Network Review #896

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.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Amrut Madeira & Kadhambam Reviews

Hi everyone,

Amrut Indian single malt whisky is one that people do hype a little more than say Paul John. The Spectrum and Greedy Angels releases have gotten some big attention from people in the know, while certain single casks go for crazy money at auction. All good signs that the whisky is good stuff.
Trying the Fusion, I learnt that that was for good reason. Its good whisky. And I had the chance to try two others; one new, one not so new but both good.

Amrut Madeira 50%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Quite complex herbal and spicy. A little raisin and prune from the Madeira, orange and cut grass, cinnamon, coriander and cardamom, curry paste and spicy lime chutney. Develops well with shortbread and vanilla.
Taste: Dry arrival, plenty of very dry oak and spices, big cardamom and ginger, some orange coming in, big whisky, really mouth-filling, really dry.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Dry and juicy somehow, orange and oak, some of the cardamom left.
Very dry but very good. Nose is like you've gone for a curry! Quite expensive though.
76/100
 
Amrut Kadhambam 50%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: That same spicy lime chutney, complex with a really cool medicinal note, sage, almost earthy, black liquorice, faint orange peel, some raisin.
Taste: Dry arrival and stays dry with lots of oak, then big notes of juicy orange, raisin, liquorice and curried lime, coriander and sage, moments of medicinal-ness.
Finish: Medium length. More medicinal here, orange, ginger and earthy sage.
Batch 5, a combination of Rum, Sherry and Brandy barrels (as stated three times in a row on the box…). A really great whisky from Amrut, very impressed with this.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Indian Reviews #7-#8
Whisky Network Reviews #894-#895

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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