Thursday, 21 February 2019

Glenturret 10 Review

Hi everyone,

You do get the impression that Johannes of Malt Madness isn’t really a fan of the Glenturret distillery, the ugly duckling of the Edrington distilleries. Well, it was the ugly duckling until very recently when it was sold off for not being Macallan or having Vikings.
I’m sure that money will be put to good use though; coming up with ways to add more Vikings to Highland Park and pay off the new Macallan distillery seem likely.
Anyway, I noticed that I hadn’t reviewed one! So here’s the one I’ve tasted:
 
Glenturret 10 40%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light/Medium
Nose: Pastry, cinnamon, Strudel, vanilla, baked banana, malt, barley sugar, natural brown sugar. Pleasant nose.
Taste: Soft arrival, barley sugar, a little banana, malt then some pastry and building lemon. An astringent off note into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. More sour lemon and some vanilla.
A malt for smelling. Nothing special but nice, then the taste lets it down.
64/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #745
Whisky Network Review #883

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, 20 February 2019

Benromach 2006 Single Cask & 1998 20th Anniversary Reviews

Hi everyone,

Ah, Benromach, the Springbank of the Highlands!
Gordon & MacPhail took the reins in 1998, unmothballing the distillery into its current form. They decided they wanted to produce a robust, traditional, slightly peated whisky that has real character and I think they’ve really succeeded in that.
For some reason I’m always slightly surprised when I taste Benromach and realise how good it is and how consistently good it is too. For me, its almost always scored in the 75-80 range.


Benromach 2006 Single Cask 59.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lemon and creamy vanilla at first. Then I am reminded more and more of a Springbank Local Barley. More smoke and mineral than I would expect, funky with banana and nice Terpenes-petrol and whiteboard markers. Roasted nuts too.
Taste: Nice soft arrival, great transition into a dry development, refill wood (despite it being 1st fill), banana, yellow apple, dry spice, ginger and some minerality.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More yellow apple and subtle minerality. More like an unpeated Caol Ila here.
Bottled 2018 for Germany. Not as good with water. Very surprised by the amount of smoke to this, I expected less.
79/100
 
Benromach 1998 20th Anniversary 56.2%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Intense red apple, old oak, ethereal and very old whisky-like, a few ashes, cherry lip sweets as it opens up. Very elegant and complex nose that speaks more of 40 years in a cask, not 20! More smoky as it opens up with a delicious creamy strawberry.
Taste: Salty arrival then juicy red fruit, intense, sour cherry, black pepper, intense oak and spice to back it, clove, some smoke into the finish. Red apple.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Dry here, more of the oak and spices, ginger and black pepper. A little very dark chocolate at the end.
Bottled 2018 at 19yo. Quite dry and oaky, really could be 40 years old. Love the nose, but the clove and oak feel a little overwhelming on the taste.
80/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #743-#744
Whisky Network Reviews #881-#882

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, 19 February 2019

3x older Ledaig's: 1993, 1994 & 1997 Reviews

Hi everyone,


The heavily peated Ledaig wasn’t officially re-produced until 1996, meaning that there isn’t a huge amount of the older stuff out there.
What there is is sometimes mislabelled Tobermory, and at other times, only lightly peated. Here’s a few today that I’ve tasted recently.

Ledaig 1993 Wilson & Morgan 51%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: The smoke has had time to oxidise giving it more fruit- More like a Talisker really, red apple, black pepper, sea salt, some orange, smoke backing it all, nicely balanced. More funky with time, some cheddar cheese, something slightly savoury.
Taste: Sharp and sour start, acidic red apple and spiky oak, green and black peppercorns, again quite Talisker-like, quite spicy, maritime smoke and sea salt and lemon.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Power gone completely, a little red apple, dry oak and spice left. Bit of a disappointing finish.
Bottled 2018 at 25yo. A Ledaig in my year! Could easily be an old Talisker. Great nose but it gets more and more tired as the taste goes on.
74/100
 
Ledaig 1994 Gordon & Macphail 47.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Lemon, grapefruit and sea salt, ozone, a little light cherry and some light cheese lurking in the background, rock pools and sea wind, gives a sense of open space.
Taste: A little weak to start, salt and lemon, grapefruit and cherry, then it gets going with dirty soot and orange, very oily, funk-mozzarella?, green olives and brine.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Fades quite quickly with some salted chocolate, black pepper and green olives.
Bottled 2017 as an exclusive for Germany. Unpeated Ledaig the rep told me... Soooo NOT Ledaig then?
75/100

Ledaig 1997 Cadenhead's 53.9%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Salinity at first nosing. Sea salt, coastal with a far off beach bonfire, oysters, grilled prawns and green olive. Also leather and classy oak, chocolate powder. A little more chocolatey over time with milk chocolate and praline. Very nice and really interesting nose. Not full of the usual Ledaig powerful smoke, but more restrained.
Water: Fresher, more coastal, oily and a little fresh rubber. Pencil eraser. Not such a fan of this style, preferred it neat.
Taste: Citrus arrival, lemon and then a wonderful transition into a more active development. More of that citrus, lemon, orange and lime juice all mixed together, some smoke but more complex coastal flavours coming through. A little green olive, sea salt, salt rimmed margarita. Oily.
Water: Softer and less citric, less acidity, builds slowly with some lemon, earthy notes, some vanilla, leather, then more and more salty with that salt rimmed margarita.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Oily citrus juice continues then more gristy malt and leathery smoke.
Aged 19 years, from a Bourbon hogshead. Better neat IMO. So glad I bought a bottle of this when I spied it in the Netherlands.
86/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #740-#742
Whisky Network Reviews #878-#880

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, 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.

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