Friday, 5 July 2019

Carsebridge 1974 Exclusive Malts Review

Hi everyone,

Old single grains can be stunning. But unlike some people, I prefer them at around the 30 year mark, rather than 40. What we can agree on is that these grains do tend to age well over longer periods of time, giving them more complexity as long as the oak doesn’t take over too much.
Do I know much about the Carsebridge distillery. No, I don’t. I just remember that they closed in that terrible endgame year; 1983.

Carsebridge 1974 Exclusive Malts 42.3%
Colour: Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Kind of ghostly, old oak and light spirit, some fruit, some corn actually (apparently they used corn back then!), some carpenter's workshop and airing out old rooms...
Taste: Soft and very light start then fruit and oak, dry, some orange and lemon, slightly grassy, a little flat and tired in the mid-palate.
Finish: Short length. A little tropical fruit but a little flat here too.
Bottled at 44yo. Cool to try but quite over the hill IMO. The nose is nice and interesting but the palate lets it down. Not bad stuff, of course, just expected more.
71/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #776
Whisky Network Review #921

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, 3 July 2019

Ben Nevis 8 Single Cask Nation & 19yo Highland Malt Chapter 7 Reviews

Hi everyone,
Got some Ben Nevis for y’all today.
I’ve heard rumours that the land lease is up on the land that Ben Nevis is built on, so maybe they’ll have to find somewhere else to get all those Japanese blended whiskies, eh? (So, apparently this rumour is bogus and the lease has another 30 years on it, which they are in negotiations at the moment)
Anyway, the stuff is normally very good, particularly from Sherry casks and I’ve got two of ‘em.


Ben Nevis 8 Single Cask Nation 64.8%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: A meaty and thick style with a lot of power and some abv at first nosing, marzipan, almond, prune and walnut, malt and orange, a dusting of cinnamon.
Water: Better, more malt and ethereal fruit.
Taste: Thick and oily, really dense and well beyond its years, blackcurrant and prune, date, some fairly plain oak coming in towards the end.
Water: Loads softer, more malt, orange, heather but does still have that plain oak.
Finish: Long length. Quite dominated by this flat plain oak note, a little floral.
2009 from a Sherry cask. Really great arrival at full strength, love the power. The finish drags it back through.
76/100
 
Chapter 7 Undisclosed Highland 19 55.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Quite dense and oily, heavy malt, orange, chocolate, heather, there's a fresh mango lifting it up too, some vanilla.
Taste: Oily mouthfeel, nice orange, chocolate, malt and heather, some leather, green grape and soft lemon, more sour into the finish.
Finish: Long length. Lovely chocolate orange, some grape and lemon.
Two Sherry casks of Ben Nevis. A nice one but not overly impressive, especially for Ben Nevis.
75/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #774-#775
Whisky Network reviews #919-#920

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, 28 June 2019

Balblair 12 & 15 Reviews

Hi everyone,

I am starting to believe that Inver House changed more than the packaging when they did their revamp of the Old Pulteney and Balblair ranges recently.
I’ve really liked the Balblair range I had tried so far, and I was a fan of the vintages, although I can understand why they would swap to age statements. Still, the stuff still has age statements and is still at 46%, so how bad could it be?
Well…

Balblair 12 46%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Cheesy? What? Some spice, some oak, a little of that hessian character, dry nose, not hugely complex either. Very little of what I enjoyed about Balblair in the past…
Taste: More Balblair here thankfully, soft arrival, spicy and oaky actually, ginger, shortbread. Tastes older than 12 years with the amount of oak but, again, doesn’t have the complexity.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Kinda harsh, oak and spice, rubber?
Well below par from Balblair.
59/100

Balblair 15 46%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Much better. Sherry, light raisin, honey, orange + peel, milky coffee, stewed cherries and a very light earthiness. Sweet nose.
Taste: Dry arrival with a little harsh spice up front then creamy with vanilla, dry oak then taking over, then more juicy, develops well. Raisin, chocolate, some hessian and bright cherry at the end.
Finish: Medium length. more cherry, some orange, fruity and juicy here.
I think this is a Sherry finish rather than fully matured. Much better than the 12, though I think I would still be disappointed if I was buying a bottle.
72/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch reviews #772-#773
Whisky Network Reviews #917-#918

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, 26 June 2019

Port Charlotte 10 (2018) & 2009 Artful Dodger Reviews

Hi everyone,

Ah, Port Charlotte! The peaty, meaty, complex younger brother of Bruichladdich. The monster dreamed up in the sleep of Jim McEwen after passing out having drunk too much 70’s Laddie he’d ACE-d in ex-weird casks.
Seriously though, there have been lots of new Port Charlotte’s coming out and I’m sure lots of them are great. They have a new bottle design that I’m a big fan of too and I was able to try these two fairly recently.

Port Charlotte 10 2018 50%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Oooooo, meaty smoke and dirty white grape from Sauternes or white wine, roast pork. Complex, it could be a meal in front of you, not a whisky! A bloody delicious nose that is definitely my kind of thing.
Taste: Soft arrival, chewy and oily, meaty and then bam powerful minerality and smoke, smoked white sausage and dirty ash, clean white grape, some dry oak
Finish: Long length. Salivating sweetness of white grape and dry smoke, earthy oils.
2007, bot. 2018 (new bottle design). Clean and dirty like the best. They’ve done it again. Damn. More dry as it develops.
82/100
 
Port Charlotte 2009 Artful Dodger 64.2%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: More of an Octomore! Mineral and meaty, some bright fruit, green apple, some good sulphur, pulled pork, some BBQ sauce, brisket, drity nose and lovely for it.
Water: Softer and sweeter, more grassy and herbal, less smoke.
Taste: Intense, big big whisky, loads of sweet bright fruit and good sulphurous smoke, green apple, soot, mineral granite.
Water: Soft and very balanced, more lemon, fresher, very peaty now, more Octomore-ish.
Finish: Long length. Powerful! Pepper, lemon, creamy shortbread, great finish. Pear too.
Bottled 2018 at 8yo, Sauternes finish. A beast of a whisky. 50cl bottle but really great price, buy the last of it while you can, although I’m pretty sure its sold out now.
83/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #770-#771
Whisky Network Reviews #915-#916

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, 25 June 2019

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star, 1988 Wemyss & Port Askaig 28 Reviews

Hi everyone,

We’ve got some whisky from my least favourite Islay distillery today! Yes, of course its Bunna. To be fair, having tasted these now, I’m pretty sure my problem is mainly with the younger stuff and some of the older stuff, because, as these demonstrate, Bunna does age pretty well over a long time.

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star 51.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Great combo of salinity and fresh zippy fruit, lemon citrus, some vanilla, sea salt, quite coastal and a hint of far off smoke, something slightly funky adding complexity, some tropical white grapefruit.
Taste: Amazing mouthfeel strikes first, salty and oily, still fresh, lemon citrus, red apple, black pepper, almost Talisker-like actually and great for it.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Lovely oily chocolate and sea salt, malt, some late smoke here too.
Bottled 2017 at 26yo. Really drinkable and delicious Bunna. There seems to be a bit more smoke and coastality to this and it's right up my street. One of my favourite Bunna’s I’ve ever had.
85/100
 
Port Askaig 28 45.8%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium
Nose: Musky Bunna-like nose, leather and old dusty cupboards, heavy malt, actually reminds me of a Glen Scotia, dark chocolate and very lightly smoky oak
Taste: Lacking power to start, Soft and v chocolatey, honey, big malt and then lots of oak, soft black pepper, dry.
Finish: Long length. Burnt marshmallow, burnt vanilla, a little oak.
A newer one I have a feeling. Went cloudy very quickly. Bit over the hill in my opinion and the marshmallow at the end is a bit odd to find in this type of whisky. This isn’t cheap either at £300.
78/100
 
Bunnahabhain 1988 'Luxury Damson Jam' 46%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Jam indeed! Homemade blueberry and raspberry jam, plus some tired wood, black pepper, orange and red apple, a tiny faded sea salt, floral geranium (reminding me of Bourbon matured Mortlach).
Taste: Sweet, Sherry, raisin and orange, a little flat though with more of the tired wood than the nose, spices with ginger and black pepper, nice red apple note. Shame about the mid-palate.
Finish: Long length. Super chocolatey and malty, lovely dark finish. Leather and tobacco, honey too.
Bottled 2018. Really saved by the finish this, not up to the 1987 I tried. But there seem to be a few of these Wemyss are doing at the moment.
81/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #767-#769
Whisky Network Reviews #912-#914

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, 24 June 2019

Old Perth 23 Blended Malt Review

Hi everyone,

I’ve tried a bunch of this lovely Old Perth line up now, a series that Morrison Mackay have brought us from single casks they’ve somehow managed to acquire that seem to almost always be blended malts (at birth) containing Macallan, Highland park and, sometimes, Glen Grant.
They released three in larger boxes and nicer labels, two of which I have tried, this one completes the set. I remember when they came out that Graeme Mackay had told me that the 23 was his favourite of the set and I was able to try some a while back.
 
Old Perth 23 44.9%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Quite complex but still fresh. Fresh orange, dry malt and oak, chocolate and some Sherry, hot black coffee poured over leather (yes, I know how that sounds), Brandy/red grape, more chocolate powder over time.
Taste: Sweet arrival, malt and gorgeous orange, great development into drier territory with leather and oak, swells really nicely. Could really be 30yo.
Finish: Medium length. Very soft finish, chocolates, chocolate powder, chocolate truffles. A real chocolate bomb on the finish.
1994, single cask blended malt. Dry whisky and great for it. Easily tastes older than 23. I love these older Sherried malts where the whiskies really have a chance to develop with the sherry over a longer time, oxidise and also are able to keep their character. Don’t really know why these haven’t flown off the shelves…
87/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #766
Whisky Network Review #911

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.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Compass Box No Name No. 2 Review

Hi everyone,

Thought some people might appreciate my thoughts on this whisky quickly as it has just come out here in the UK.
I was a big fan of the last No Name from Compass Box but that one had a parcel of Ardbeg, whereas this is mainly Coal Ila with some Talisker attached.
 
Compass Box No Name No. 2 48.9%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Clean smoke, pure lemon, soft soot and charred wood, creamy vanilla, maritime with wet ropes and sails, sea salt crust, little bit of a muted nose.
Taste: Soft, light smoke, chewy oils, then more powerful with smoke and black pepper, ginger and chilli, big salty hit, lemon juice. Softer, more silky and Campbeltown-esque as it opens up.
Finish: Long length. More lemon, more salt, a little oak at the end. Not particularly complex but good.
Lacking the complexity and balance of no1, nice nose, bit too spicy on the taste. I think the Coal Ila comes through very clearly on this one and maybe the spiciness from the Talisker but this was meant to be more complex than No Name 1 (which I loved the purity of) and I didn’t find that it was. Oh, and its £10 more expensive.
76/100

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #765
Whisky Review #910

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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