At Whisky in Leiden last week I was lucky enough to be standing right next to a sales manager from Speciality Drinks, the soon to be renamed independent bottler that is part of the same company as the Whisky Exchange.
She had a couple of whiskies from Elements of Islay, of which I am a big fan, and Port Askaig. I was offered to try some and couldn’t really resist tasting some of these. I mean, it would be rude not to really!
So, many thanks to Myriam for letting me try some of these!
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: Lovely stewed raisin, light touch of sulphur, ash, cherry, softly cakey. Balanced.
Taste: Stewed fruit arrival with cherry, building oak and ash, lovely balance with some good but light sulphur.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More dirty and earthy now, a good rubber note.
A mix of heavily peated whisky from 1998 and lightly peated whisky from 2001. This is lovely stuff, the right amount of smoke and sweetness. Would be great at cask strength!
I reckon Caol Ila again. Actually, all of the Port Askaig’s I’ve had (16,19 & 30) I think are Caol Ila. The only one I think isn’t would be the 45yo, which is Bunna I believe.
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Noses like a younger Laga with lots of fresh fruit, kiwi and melon but with an integrated ash and kiln thing going on, biscuit too. Opens up after a few minutes with Kipper!
Taste: Bam. Great power. Smoke, kiln, lovely fruit balance, ashy and marine with a salted fish note, salt and lemon and white pepper, then fruit again. Continue back and forth with fruit then smoke. Complex and long.
Finish: Long length. Lovely lemon oil, cutting into a lemon and that spray you get off it, very oily.
Strange… Could have sworn it was Lg7, which hasn't existed yet! I was told it was from 1999 too...
Equally, the photo I took of one of the bottles is Lg6, which is mostly young and some older, which would make sense with the notes. Yeah, I’d been up at 3am that morning. Give me a break.
Nose: Sulphury at first. It fades after a few minutes to reveal strawberries and clotted cream, fusty wool, vanilla and dry oak. More floral after a bit more time with lavender.
Taste: Strong (duh), powerful, sweetness builds, ash and peat, good sulphur, then developing spicy notes, peppery, gingery spice.
Finish: Long length. Oily and floral with lavender and a Sauternes sweetness.
From 2 Chateau Margaux (1st Growth Bordeaux) red wine casks. Water gives a more floral nose but a tad too much sulphur in the taste and finish. Also it is strange that the red wine doesn’t really come through much, but a desert wine sweetness does.
Colour: Dark Gold
Nose: Closed. Alcohol and some Sauternes sweetness.
Water: Some kind of hyper Sauternes with added peat complexity, some good sulphur, liqueur-esque honey, rotting white grapes.
Taste: Intense, mineral, white grape, Sauternes comes through, but as with the nose it’s quite closed.
Water: The hyper Sauternes returns! Come on guys, did you actually just pour some Chateau D'Yquem in here?! Honey, sweet grape notes, the peat takes a back seat.
Finish: Long length. Marzipan and nut, mineral smoke.
Water: Softer and more balance, less smoke and more Sauternes sweetness.
2009 and 2010 from 1st Fill Bourbon and Sauternes barrels. Think those Sauternes barrels were pretty fresh! Thankfully the Sauternes was great quality because it really took over!
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #340-#343
Whisky Network Reviews #376-#379
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
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.