Feb 112016
Royal Brackla 16 Year Old (40%) - Whisky Review

Royal Brackla distillery was the first of three distilleries that received royal designation, and was sold by Diageo to Bacardi, with the other Dewar’s distilleries of Aberfeldy, Macduff, Craigellachie and Aultmore in 1998, at the behest of antitrust regulators. Incidentally, reports have it that no maturing stock was included in the sale, but obviously seeing [Read full post…]

Feb 102016
Royal Brackla 12 Year Old (40%) - Whisky Review

About two years ago, Bacardi announced ‘The Last Great Malts’, and I was excited, as the range was touted as being presented with age statements, non-chill filtered and at 46% ABV, or at least this was the impression everybody got from the PR. Apart from absolutely scandalous pricing of the higher rungs of the ranges (£330 for [Read full post…]

Feb 092016
Glen Garioch 15 Renaissance First Chapter (51.9%) - Whisky Review and Visit to a Lost Aberdeen Distillery

Glen Garioch stands near the east coast of Scotland, about 25 miles from Aberdeen, in the area known as the Eastern Highlands. In this rather large part of Scotland, there are currently only five active distilleries (Glen Garioch, Glencadam, Ardmore, Royal Lochnagar and Fettercairn). The relatively near past saw four more distilleries that drowned in the [Read full post…]

Feb 062016
Glen Grant 30 Year Old, Douglas Laing XOP (59.1%) - Whisky Review

Glen Grant’s stills are most peculiar in their shape, as the wash stills have a straight reflux “ball” – with vertical sides, and the spirit stills have a rather subdued reflux ball, which seems to be compensated for by the purifiers sported by each still. Glen Grant’s history is full of colorful characters, famous of them [Read full post…]

Feb 042016
Braeval 1990 - 25 Year Old - Douglas Laing XOP (57.3%)

The DHL delivery guy called at 2 pm to say he was coming over with a package from the UK. My heart skipped a beat as I saw it was from Douglas Laing, as those packages always have amazing liquid inside them, but this time was extra special as there were two XOP samples inside, [Read full post…]

Feb 022016
Glen Garioch 15 Sherry Cask Matured (Travel Retail) - 53.7% - Whisky Review

I’m partial to Glen Garioch, as you already know if you read my review of the 12 year old. Not being a big fan of either Bowmore or Auchentoshan, I’m glad Glen Garioch gave me a distillery I can not only drink, but actually consider myself a fan of, in the Morrison Bowmore portfolio. Until [Read full post…]

Jan 312016
Balblair 1990 (2nd Release), 23 Year Old (46%)

Balblair’s rebranding and move from age stated whiskies to exclusively serving up vintage tagged whisky was a brilliant move. With it, though, comes the fact that when more than one expression of a vintage is released, you have to go to numbered releases. This is the case with the 1990, which sported a first release [Read full post…]

Jan 292016
Highland Park, Bottle Your Own (53.3%)

I probably have no right to be pissed off, but if there’s something that gets me angry in the whisky industry it’s lack of transparency. The reason I have no right to be angry about this one, is that I didn’t travel 725 miles (1166 kilometers) to buy the bottle in question. In fact, my [Read full post…]

Jan 282016
Highland Park 1968 - Orcadian Vintage (45.6%)

Seven refill hogsheads and one refill butt walk into a bottling plant….. This isn’t the beginning of a joke, rather the story of this gorgeous expression, the second in the Highland Park Orcadian Series, bottling old vintage bottles. It started with the 1964 and includes the 1968, 1970, 1971 and the 1976 vintages. The 1968 is relatively [Read full post…]

Jan 272016
Highland Park Odin, 16 Years Old, Valhalla Collection (55.8%) - Nice Sherry Bomb

Like Thor and Freya, who got days named in their honor, Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, and got Wednesday named in his honor, so this review being posted on his day, is quite appropriate. Odin – ruler of Valhalla, the hall of dead warriors, and father of Loki and Thor –  is the [Read full post…]