May 262015
Fèis Ìle Laphroaig Open day - Tasting the Càirdeas 2014

Laphroaig is one of the most popular distilleries on Islay, and the Càirdeas releases have an almost religious following among aficionados. Officially, this is a Friends of Laphroaig release which to the best information I have is an 8 year old, having spent seven years in ex bourbon casks and was finished for one year in Amontillado [Read full post…]

May 252015
Fèis Ìle Caol Ila Open day - Tasting the 2014 Fèis Ìle Bottling

It seems that for 2015 Diageo decided to make another use of their Distiller’s Reserve casks and do a triple maturation: First standard casks,  then using the DE casks (PX for Lagavulin and Moscatel for Caol Ila) for a second  maturation and “old oak puncheons”  for a third gentle maturation. I’m not really sure what [Read full post…]

May 242015
Fèis Ìle Bruichladdich Open day - Tasting the Quadruple Distilled Octomore Discovery

Day two of the Fèis Ìle takes us to Bruichladdich, where master distiller Jim McEwan will be retiring in July after 52 years in the whisky industry, a major part of them with Bowmore. He’s been with Bruichladdich since 2000, and has made the idea of terroir his signature. I’ll be seeing him in a masterclass together with [Read full post…]

May 232015
Fèis Ìle Lagavulin Open day - Tasting the Lagavulin 1995 Sherry Bomb

Last year’s Lagavulin festival bottling was probably the best of the Fèis Ìle crop last year. A sweet sherry bomb, this is a great sipper. As I mentioned in another post, Lagavulin has the most limited core range of all distilleries, holding a single expression: the 16 year old. Other regular bottlings include a yearly release of a 12 [Read full post…]

May 222015
An Independent Fèis Ìle Bottling - Douglas Laing's Laphroaig 14

Yes, I know…we’re right in the middle of a Talisker series that will still include the 18, 25 and 30 year old expressions. But Fèis Ìle is here, and I got together all of the festival bottlings from last year to taste on each distillery’s open day. This is a concept pioneered by my colleague and [Read full post…]

May 212015
Storms Can Get Dark on the Isle of Skye

Talisker Dark Storm is the new travel retail expression, going along with the trend of NAS duty free exclusives. The problem is, how do you create another new expression with enough merit to stand on its own? The solution found on Skye was to use heavily charred casks with spirit that is very close to [Read full post…]

May 202015
A Storm is Brewing on the Island of Skye

Talisker Storm is, in many ways, the exact opposite of the Skye (reviewed here). While the Skye is meant to be a soft and gentle introduction to the Talisker lineup, the Storm (and by extension also the Dark Storm) is extremely maritime and smoky, and definitely conjures up images of a storm. This isn’t the [Read full post…]

May 182015
The Skye is the Limit - Launching Talisker Week

Last week, our Malt Mongers Israel Whisky Club held a beautiful tasting of Talisker, hosted by IBBLS, Israel’s Diageo importer and led by the very talented Adaya Lange, who heads up the Whisky division in the company. The tasting included some new make, the Storm, the staple 10 year old, the Distiller’s Edition, the 18 and [Read full post…]

May 162015
A Two Faced Bowmore Single Cask - The Wemyss 1998 Cacao-Geyser

Bowmore definitely has its ardent fans. I’m not one of them though. I must admit that I struggle with this distillery, as something in the profile doesn’t rub me the right way. It’s not to say that I don’t recognize the quality of the whisky they produce, of course I do. Especially since Rachel Barrie [Read full post…]

May 122015
Almost as Old as They Get - The Balvenie 40

Israel is usually far off the beaten path for brand ambassadors, and the arrival of one is a great reason for a get-together. So when Balvenie ambassador Jonny Cornthwaite came to Israel to lead a tasting for local importer HaKerem, Israel’s whisky bloggers (all three of us: Yoav of Whisky Gospel, Gal of Whisky Israel and yours [Read full post…]