Friday, 15 February 2019

Ledaig & Wine: 2007 Pomerol, 2003 Amarone & 2008 Moscatel Reviews

Hi everyone,

Back to a favourite of mine…
Ledaig and wine should work, its worked before with the G&M Hermitage. It should bring out the meat and unami notes, melding with the smoke. For some reason though, it doesn’t always work and here’s two good examples with red wine and one with Moscatel because why the hell not.
More Ledaig on the way too…

Ledaig 2007 Chieftain’s Pomerol Finish 58%
Colour: Orangey-Redish
Body: Full
Nose: Don’t remember being impressed on first nosing but this is better. Ledaig through and through, meaty, pickled lime from the curry house, Ardbeggian notes, a lighter note if vanilla and soft floral oak.
Water: More funky, more of the floral oak and vanilla, some cheese? Moments of wet cardboard?
Taste: Soft arrival with lime juice and then big spices, cinnamon, clove, coriander, some sharp oak, then peppery meat, strong black tea, some vanilla. Lacking the oily mouthfeel of other Ledaigs.
Water: More intense arrival, much more of the wine, sugary with much less spice to it, more balanced and paced development but a sharp cherry note.
Finish: Long length. Powerful but not quite balanced with more curry paste, lime and spices.
June 2007-April 2018. Doesn’t quite hit the right notes. One of those whiskies that should pull all the right punches and doesn’t.
76/100
 
Ledaig 2003 Anam na h-Alba Amarone Finish 58.3%
Colour: Pinkish
Body: Full
Nose: Smoked fruit gums (if there were such a thing), earthy peat but a tad thin like the Chieftain’s Pomerol, small red berries, grapefruit and pomegranate.
Taste: Intense then soft, red berries, a little sour, orange, peat building up, earthy and mineral, granite, pomegranate, pickled lime.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Black pepper spice and raspberry fruit gums.
Bottled 2018 at 15yo, not sure how long the finishing was. This is very similar to the Cheiftain's Pomerol actually. A little thin for a Ledaig and not balanced with the wine like the G&M Hermitage. No meaty notes too!
76/100
 
Ledaig 2008 The Maltman 57.1%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: A natural, musky Ledaig with a layer of green grape, slightly floral, butter, white pepper, sooty smoke.
Taste: Great arrival, crystallised lemon peel, lovely oils, sweet grape then buttery Ledaig smoke, more minerals and peat build. A subtle floral note hiding away in there.
Finish: Medium length. The peat goes quite quick but leaves soft florals, soft oak and a little spice.
Bottled 2018 at 10yo. A 4 month Moscatel finish. Interesting although it hasn't had a massive effect, leaving the spirit quite natural.
78/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #737-#739
Whisky Network Reviews #875-#877

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, 13 February 2019

Shackleton Mackinlay's & 'The Journey' Reviews

Hi everyone,

There have been several Shackleton whiskies over the last years since they found a box of whisky hidden in Shackleton’s hut in Antarctica.
The first, in the wooden box, you barely see. I managed to get my paws on the other two; a supermarket, cheap release and the second release that is about £120 or something.
These were Christmas presents from my Dad after he went on an Antarctic cruise.
 
Shackleton's Mackinlay's 40%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Buttery, malty, lemon, a little heather, an astringent note, lavender soap and cheap cola sweets, marshmallow.
Taste: Very soft, butter and lemon clashing a bit, heather, some basic and yet harsh spice.
Finish: Medium length. Still harsh with some refill oak.
Not great, quite unbalanced.
54/100

Mackinlay’s ‘The Journey’ 47.3%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Buttery and oily to start, slightly floral, old style machine oil and malt, garage rags and some diesel fumes, a little browning red apple, some older (dry) Amontillado Sherry. Quite old style malt indeed. More Sherry and toffee apples over time.
Taste: Soft start with dry style Fino/Amontillado Sherry, then tingling on the tongue with spices and very old oak, quite robust and austere, then more open with buttery malt, a floral layer, lemon, machine oil, green and red apple before more overt smoke. Maybe a little rubber into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Some soft pepper, oily smoke, old peat and browning green apple.
A replica of 1897 Glen Mhor. This blended malt includes Peated Dalmore and a cask of actual Glen Mhor from 1980. I wonder if there’s some older Peated Jura too, with some Tamnavulin. I’m surprised by how good this is, really ticks the box of what you’d think a 19th century whisky might taste like! Very interesting and quite delicious, while the attention to detail on the packaging has also been great.
Over time, the whisky has not been oxidising great in the bottle. It comes across as slightly harsh at times and theirs is little of the machine oil and rags that I liked about the nose, so…
77/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #735-#736
Whisky Network reviews #873-#874

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, 6 February 2019

Old Perth 14, 21, 41 & 46 Blended Malts & Grain Reviews

Hi everyone,

So recently the excellent people at Morrison MacKay have been releasing some excellent whiskies. Following on from the success of their 12, 13 & 21 expressions of their Old Perth series, they decided to do some more.
These are pretty well known to be mostly blends of Macallan and Highland Park, although the older versions (and obviously the blended grain) probably are not.
Anyway, I’ve been very lucky to get to try a whole set of them.
 
Old Perth 14 Blended Malt 43.7%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: A little fresher and more fruity than the 13yo. Sherry, dried apricot, delicate dried flowers/petals, sweet prune, lots of chocolate too with cocoa powder, sweet honey and beeswax.
Taste: Haribo coke bottle arrival, soft, heather, sweet Sherry, a little flat especially for the age then tingling spice and oak. Euro oak, raisin and prune.
Finish: Medium length. Dry, wood and cinnamon spice, a little dried heather.
A blend of Highland Park and Macallan. About double the price of the 13 but quite flat on the palate despite a great nose.
72/100
 
Old Perth 21 Blended Malt 55.2%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: If you distilled coffee to 55%... espresso, very dark and earthy, dark chocolate, dry oak, dark chocolate with orange bits, orange peel, some heather.
Taste: Sweet and soft then more bitterness as it develops, some dark chocolate and intense coffee, espresso, tannins, slightly earthy then nice fresher orange into the finish.
Finish: Long length. Dark, more dark chocolate and coffee, some orange peel and tannins.
Reputedly a combo of Glen Grant and Macallan... from a single cask. Wow, in the same vein as the 13yo. But I think I preferred that one. This seems a little overwhelmed.
79/100
 
Old Perth 41 Blended Malt 45.3%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Wow, complex! What surprises me here is the nice touch of smoke! Strawberry fruit pastilles, fruity Sherry, obvious wood but not overwhelming, leather and tobacco. Very salivating nose, great.
Taste: Soft arrival, strawberry fruit pastilles then the oak comes in balanced by fruity Sherry, developing leather and tobacco and very dark chocolate, great oily mouthfeel too.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Drier, woodier here, dry oak and tobacco. A little out of balance here, just a bit too dry and oaky.
Vintage 1977. Shame the finish throws it off kilter.
86/100
 
Old Perth 46 Blended Grain 49.9%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Retained its freshness remarkably, creamy vanilla, dried raspberry and delicious petrol fumes. Ethereal and complex, old wood and expensive praline chocolates, light raisin from the Sherry.
Taste: Soft and impeccable. Great development with zippy freeze dried raspberry, vanilla, biscuit, dark chocolate, ethereal spirit still intact. The oak is a massive presence and yet also in the background, backing everything up.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Very soft here, whispers away with toffee, dark chocolate and a very light touch of oak.
Vintage 1971. Great old Grain this. Funny that the best Grain whiskies I've had have been blended Grains, almost like the stuff was made to be blended!
82/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #731-#734
Whisky Network Reviews #869-#872

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, 5 February 2019

Kingsbarns Single Malt Review

Hi everyone,
Kingsbarns is a new distillery located near St. Andrews in Fife. They are using local barley and the distillery has seen heavy investment from the Wemyss family.
They’ve just released their first readily available whisky at the weekend and I was lucky enough to get to try it. I’m attempting to keep my accolade of having tried a whisky from every distillery in Scotland, which seems pretty impossible with all the new ones (plus Roseilse), but still, I like to try and keep up if I can.
 
Kingsbarns Single Malt 46%
Colour: Light Straw
Body: Light
Nose: Essentially the New Make Spirit... Light and malty, very little complexity.
Taste: Soft but, yes, the New Make again and little else. No complexity at all, malt, maybe lemon, some ginger spice.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Ginger.
Weak first release that only tastes of unmatured malt spirit. I’m a little stuck with what to score it though… Does it have any off notes? No. Should it get a lower score for not tasting of whisky? Perhaps. In the end, I have given low scores to whiskies like Balcones and Jameson for having bad or off flavours, but at least those have flavours.
35/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #730
Whisky Network Review #868

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.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Glenmorangie Allta Review

Hi everyone,

Got some new releases that I tasted at the weekend, first and most interesting of which was this new Glenmo. Its part of their series of releases trying new things called Private Edition, similar to what Ardbeg do with their yearly releases. This is their 10th.
Why I think this release is important is because its one of the only Scotch releases that I can think of where the yeast has been made the main unique selling point. Which I think is really cool.
Who knows if its actually made any difference to the flavour, but its good to see people doing something other than: ‘Here’s another new finishing cask!’
 
Glenmorangie Allta 51.2%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: Pleasant nose of butterscotch and toffee, quite dry and missing the usual Glenmo fruit, plus heavier than I expected, some dried apple, dry straw, malt, herbal honey note.
Taste: Very good arrival, quite light to start with a great mouthfeel, then a real honey bomb, sweeter than I was expecting from the nose, toasty malt, toast, dried apple, yellow apple, some white pepper spice.
Finish: Medium/Long length. The oak comes in and dries again, honey and toast and butterscotch.
From Wild Yeast found in the distillery. Really interesting to try, although I'm not sure what the difference is meant to be to the flavour. It does seem heavier than a usual Glenmo... A little harsh into the finish as it opens up.
77/100

Thanks for reading!


Scotch Review #729
Whisky Network Review #867

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.

Monday, 21 January 2019

White Horse 1950's Review

’And I saw, behold it was a white horse... and hell followed with him.’
And if by ‘hell’ we mean Lagavulin, that quote would make sense. (I’ve been playing too much FarCry 5…)
Old White Horse Blended Whisky is pretty sought after because the blend reputedly contained a lot of Lagavulin. The stuff made in the 60’s & 70’s may even have contained some Malt Mill. This is a little too early for that but fascinating to try all the same.
Many thanks to Andrea (the old blend aficionado) for letting me try this.
 
White Horse 1950's 43%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Musky and ethereal, very old grain whisky notes, oak and cream, soft and complex, soot and apple, musky cologne, a little 'old bottle effect' with this dusty fruit note. Not much smoke that I can see.
Taste: Soft arrival, oak and spice, creamy grain, biscuit then some smoke, ginger beer, nice spice. The lemon is still alive. A little more smoke here but I’d be hard pressed to say it was from Lagavulin.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Creamy grain then the ginger beer tingles.
Spring cap! What a rarity. Amazing to be able to try but to me this tastes like 90% 20yo grain whisky and less than 5% young Islay whisky. No idea of the true proportions but the grain is really dominant with the creamy/biscuit notes, only allowing a little of the smoke to come through as a subtle sootiness.
70/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #728
Whisky Network Review #866

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, 19 January 2019

Knockando 12 & Fettercairn 12 Reviews

Hi everyone,

I’ve got two 12’s today from distilleries Knockando and Fettercairn. Both random places that you’ve likely never heard of.
Knockando is a big seller in France (where its hella cheap), while Fettercairn have recently redone their entire range with a new bottle design and stuff. The Fior was alright but Fetter doesn’t have that great a reputation.

Knockando 12 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Light/medium
Nose: Classically Speyside, fresh with red apple, clean malt, some oak and generic ginger.
Taste: A little harsh but sweet start with some brown sugar, then softer with red apple, apple pie, generic oak and ginger, becoming more harsh again towards the finish. Quickly distilled methinks.
Finish: Short/Med. alright mouthfeel here but pretty average in terms of flavour with more of the generic oak and ginger.
Read the above as BORING. There is nothing special about this at all.
63/100
 
Fettercairn 12 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: Funky and more than a bit odd. Fruit but with cheese and apple, creamy nose.
Taste: Oak to start then green apple before funky cream going on. Odd.
Finish: Medium length. Some oak and spice here, more average.
New packaging 2018. Nose reminded me of a Tobermory with the funky stuff, but not in a good way. The taste follows on from that, while the finish is pretty boring.
64/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch reviews #726-#727
Whisky Network Reviews #864-#865

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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