Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine Review

Hi everyone,

It’s no big secret from my previous posts, that Bunnahabhain is my least favourite Islay whisky. Something about it doesn’t click for me. I can never get far away from a harshness in the spirit. So far, the 12 year old is the one I’ve enjoyed the most I think. No. Hold on, I’m wrong. Really enjoyed the 25 too.

But. I’m always up for trying more and people have talked about a red wine matured Bunna with an unpronounceable name that is meant to be good. So I tried it and here we are…

I think this is a travel retail exclusive and if you’ve had a look in a travel retail shop lately, you’ll know that 99% of it is garbage. So it’s refreshing to see something that’s not coloured or chill filtered, even if this one is NAS.

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine 46.3%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Pastry and vanilla comes first, then coastal and sweeter notes, sea salt, nutty and oily, walnut, oils, dried fruit, dried sultana and currents, black pepper. Nice complex nose.
Taste: Rich and oily. Fruit driven with lots of raisin then the red wine comes through with dry oak, slightly harsh fiery spirit in the development. Spicy as well with a big peppery note- Ginger and cracked black pepper.
Finish: Long length. More black pepper and nuttiness, some alcohol but chewy and mouth coating.
Partially matured in red wine casks. The nutty notes are lovely in this. Perhaps not my thing, but if you like Bunna then you’ll love it. Undeniably Bunna.
70/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #347
Whisky Network Review #390

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

The Chita Suntory Single Grain Review

Hi everyone,

Just a quick whisky review while I'm out on the road. I'm heading to Belgium for a couple of days for work, which is awesome.

Chita is Suntory's Grain distillery, making up the Grain component for many of their blends.
I've seen the price of this vary hugely. Currently it's selling for anywhere from £30-£80, which is pretty crazy for NAS grain, even if it is Japanese.

The Chita Single Grain 43%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Clean and light. Vanilla, coconut, a little column still ethanol aaaaaaand not much else.
Taste: Soft, light, lots of vanilla and coconut, then a bit of plain ethanol, very light slightly weird pastry, some harsh spice. The more you let it develop in your mouth, the harsher it gets.
Finish: Medium length. Oak comes through strong with some spice.
There isn't anything bad about this, buuuuuuuut there isn't anything very interesting either.
61/100

Thanks for reading!

Japanese Whisky Review #15
World Whisky Review #28
Whisky Network Review #389

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

1792 Small Batch Bourbon Review

Hi everyone,

I’m back with more Bourbon today. I’ll probably be posting a few in the future too. It’s not like there’s many of them I’ve tried anyway.
And yes, before you ask, I’m going to try and taste a load more Bourbon/American whiskey. I’m going to a festival next Saturday that should have some.

In other words, I’m trying and have been trying to get to grips with Bourbon but it’s difficult.
The names on the bottles don’t match the distilleries they are made from, sometimes the brand doesn’t even have a distillery, they’ve just bought it from somewhere, the stuff’s from a few different grains, there’s all sorts of crazy acronyms flying about.

What have I got today? It’s 1792 Small Batch.
What does that mean? Very little.

Anyway, enough rambling, let’s taste it.

1792 Small Batch Bourbon 46.85%
Colour: Bronze
Body: Medium
Nose: Hot and spicy, clove, cinnamon bark, quite fruity for Bourbon, apple pie, orange, honeysuckle, fresh lumber, sawn wood.
Taste: Soft arrival, very soft, lovely mouthfeel, honeysuckle, apple pie, developing spice, actually, it’s very spicy (Not at all in a bad way), intense clove! and lots of it, cinnamon bark, green oak.
Finish: Medium length. More clove and dry cinnamon bark, dry freshly sawn wood.
Stupid bottle, but nice whiskey from Barton distillery. Yeah, really enjoyed the spiciness here.
74/100

Thanks for reading!

American Whiskey Review #12
Whisky Network Review #388

American Whiskey Average: 72.1
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Uncle Duke's Review (Single Grain trying to be a Bourbon, by BrewDog)

Hi everyone,

This one is a little strange as BrewDog likes to be a bit different.
It's a single grain Scotch whisky that's been matured in virgin American oak barrels for 4 years.

Apparently the idea was to create a Scotch that thinks it's a Bourbon... and that made a great Old Fashioned.
Photo courtesy of BrewDog
Well, I'm afraid I don't Review Old Fashioneds but I do review whisky, even if it's a little confused about it's orientation.

The only place you'll really find this is in a BrewDog or from their online shop. I think it's also a limited edition, available until the stuff from their new Lone Wolf Distillery has matured.

Uncle Duke's 40%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Big obvious vanilla and ethanol. Oak, coconut, paint stripper and nail polish remover. After 10 mins there's a weird BBQ off note, Balcones Brimstone-esque.
Taste: Soft, classic vanilla and coconut, Bounty bar, good mouthfeel actually, caramel and spices come through from the oak.
Finish: Medium length. More vanilla and coconut with some soft oak.
Easy drinking vanilla bomb but the oak has given this some body too.
64/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #346
Whisky Network Reviews #387

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ardbeg 10 Review

Hi everyone,

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this one yet, as Ardbeg is one of my favourite whiskies.

This 10 year old was my first try of Ardbeg too. I happened to be at a hotel bar that had it and it blew my mind. Later I bought a bottle, and actually it wasn’t as good as I remembered the dram in the bar being. Since then I have gone back to the hotel and tried it again and it must have been the same bottle, because it was amazing again.
So, I think batch differences must be in play.

My full bottle I had was much more about the lime citrus and smoke, whereas the drams at the hotel were all orange and soot. Mmmmmmm… either way it’s delicious stuff. Anyone else noticed batch differences with this one?

Also, can we get a 100 proof (57%) or cask strength version of this please Ardbeg? We all know it would be epic.

Ardbeg 10 year old 46%
Colour: Straw
Body: Full
Nose: A great combination of strong smoke and delicate sweetness, really well balanced. Creamy, cough sweets, some fruit and citrus- lime, hay, quite earthy too. Going even sweeter with time, sweet vanilla, more citrus- lemon and lime, a small meaty note- salted dried ham?
Taste: Creamy and oily to start, building peat with background sweetness. Lime tang, lemon too, then the peat hits with lots of burning hay, earthy notes, some light spice- nutmeg. There’s a great balance of the heavy intense peat and the light, lifting citrus. Mouthfeel is great too, very oily and mouth-coating.
Finish: Medium length. Creamy oily tangy citrusy soot coats the mouth.
1st and 2nd fill bourbon matured. Very balanced and complete in a way.
78/100
(80/100 for the dram at the hotel bar)

You can find my write up from my visit to the distillery here and a big vertical I did here.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #345
Whisky Network Reviews #386

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Eagle Rare 10 & Single Barrel for BrewDog Reviews

Hi everyone,

I’m back again with another rare Bourbon review from me. Not that the Bourbon is rare, it’s rare for me to try Bourbon.

Generally because I’m much more of a Scotch person. Not so much Bourbon. There’s only a handful of Bourbon’s I’ve scored in the 70’s and the best has got 80/100. Why? Because I’m super harsh and love people not comprehending my scoring.

One of the Bourbons I do like is Eagle Rare, and I tried a new version just a few days ago so I’ve posted both:

Eagle Rare 10 45%

Colour: Dark Bronze
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Quite intense. All on fresh mint, intense vanilla and toffeed oak. Vanilla ice cream, fragrant oakiness. Quite sweet and whisky liqueur-y.
Taste: Creamy going quite intense. Fragrant oak, fresh mint, creamy toffee and burnt caramel. Vanilla pods, a herbal note, juicy fruit and a sour note- Plum?, herbal spice and astringent bitter charcoal. Works very well!
Finish: Medium/Long length. More floral and fragrant oak with toffee and vanilla ice cream.
I liked this. Can really compete with the Scotch’s at this level for me.
73/100
 
Eagle Rare Single Barrel for BrewDog 45%
Colour: Dark Bronze
Body: Medium
Nose: Much ‘darker’ than the original. Soft dark caramel, great coffee, dark chocolate and biscuit, herbal and spicy notes with a bit of spicy jalapeƱo, light perfumed oak and a little fruit in the background.
Taste: Soft, oak first, lots of dry oak, building rye and oak spices then those ‘darker’ flavours really come through. Dark chocolate and nice black coffee.
Finish: Medium/Long. Chocolatey spices linger nicely, chili chocolate maybe.
Barrel 307. This is good, really excellent nose but it’s very intense on the oak.
75/100

Thanks for reading!

American Whiskey Reviews #10-#11
Whisky Network Reviews #384-#385

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Nikka From the Barrel & All Malt Reviews

Hi everyone,

Some quick Nikka reviews here today. Nikka is one of the largest Japanese whisky companies, along with Suntory.

Nikka owns Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, with Miyagikyo having a Coffey still that in Scotland would normally only be used for grain whisky but Nikka use it for malt too with their Coffey Malt and in blends like these products.

Nikka All Malt 40%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: Sweet and very Japanese. Sherry, stewed fruit, apple and raisin, melon, mango, very fruity actually. Lovely nose.
Taste: Creamy arrival, sweet with some column still alcohol, toffee, caramel, Sherry, oak, building dry oak, tannins, coffee, chocolate.
Finish: Medium length. Harsh oak and chocolate.
Malt whisky from pot and column stills. The nose on this is nice but the palate is quite harsh and tannic, especially into the finish.
64/100

Nikka From the Barrel 51.4%
Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: Wood spice, cherry, oriental spice, sweet fruit gums, spiced orange.
Taste: Soft, sweet cherry, spiced orange, oak spice building.
Finish: Medium length. Spice and oak. Boozy.
Nice, but lacking complexity.
70/100

Thanks for reading!

Japanese Whisky Review #13-#14
World Whisky Review #26-#27
Whisky Network Review #382-#383

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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 am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Hakushu 12 Review

Hi everyone,

We've got a Japanese whisky today from Hakushu, the sister distillery to Yamazaki.

I've already moaned quite a bit about rising prices and lack of availability for Japanese whisky, so I won't do too much of that today...

These big Japanese distilleries like Yamazaki and Hakushu, owned by Suntory, are interesting because they have a lot of different stills, different condenser types and different peating levels to create a load of different types of whiskies that they can then blend together to create the 'perfect' whisky...

To me, this style can sometimes come across as slightly over-engineered though.
Oh, also thanks to my friend Tom for sharing his sample!

Hakushu 12 43%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Coconut and light peat smoke. Perfumed, exotic spice, vanilla, a green sappy note. Quite creamy. Jam, lime chutney, vanilla fudge.
Taste: Light arrival, creamy with building vanilla, coconut and then green sappy peat smoke. Juicy fruit and fruity acidity, mango and lime, a little spice
Finish: Short length. Fades easily with jam and creamy vanilla.
There is very little peat on this, much less than I had expected. More of a perfumed thing about it. It comes up a little short though, especially when compared to the lovely citrus notes of the Yamazaki 12.
70/100

Thanks for reading!

Japanese Whisky Review #12
World Whisky Review #25
Whisky Network Review #381

Network Average: 74.6
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
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. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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