Archive For June 17, 2014

One Quick Dram: Glenfarclas 21

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One Quick Dram: Glenfarclas 21

The Glenfarclas distillery is one of a kind. This is a family owned distillery, owned by the Grant family since 1865. This distillery is exteremely traditional in its approach to whisky making. On one hand, that creates a very consistent line of whiskys. On the other hand, most will find the one expression they favor…

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One Quick Dram: Spice Tree by Compass Box

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One Quick Dram: Spice Tree by Compass Box

While reviewing the Oak Cross vatted malt expression by Compass Box, I talked about the toasted cask ends from Sessile Oak used by the Compass Box. Originally, John Glaser used internal staves to line the inner surface of the barrels. The SWA declared this technique to be illegal, and Spice Tree was pulled from the…

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One Quick Dram: Bunnahabhain XXV

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One Quick Dram: Bunnahabhain XXV

I came out of my first tasting of this whisky, which was last in a lineup which included the Glenlivet Archive 21, Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21, Glenfarclas 21, Jura 21, White & MacKay 30, The Balvenie PortWood 21 and this expression, without really feeling I got to the bottom of this dram. Thus, I arranged a second tasting…

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One Quick Dram: The Balvenie Portwood 21

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One Quick Dram: The Balvenie Portwood 21

The Balvenie is the whisky geeks’ connection with the Grant company family of distilleries. There’s a chance we’d connect even more with Kininvie, but I don’t know anybody who actually had a 700 ml bottle in their collection, although there must be some of them out there. I did taste some in a Grant’s blending masterclass…

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The Port Ellen Phenomenon and a Tasting of the 26 Years Old Malt Cask

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The Port Ellen Phenomenon and a Tasting of the 26 Years Old Malt Cask

The Port Ellen distillery needs no introductions. This distillery was mothballed in the 1983 wave of distillery closing by the company now known as Diageo, in response to a serious decline in demand for whisky world over. As the whisky produced at Port Ellen was never sold as a single malt, and was only used for…

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One Quick Dram: Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength

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One Quick Dram: Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength

This is a Diageo gem. It’s 58% ABV but really doesn’t need water at all. In general, I think that this distillery does not rise to its full potential, part of it is because this is the main provider of peated whisky to the Diageo blends and part of it is that it seems that…

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One Quick Dram: Douglas Laing Double Barrel Ardbeg & Aultmore

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One Quick Dram: Douglas Laing Double Barrel Ardbeg & Aultmore

I’m tasting all manner of vatted malts for a feature post, and received three samples from Douglas Laing: Two Double Barrel expressions (Ardbeg & Aultmore and Caol Ila & Tamdhu) and a sample of Big Peat. The Big Peat sample will be tasted with some other Islay vatted malts, but I don’t have to wait to…

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One Quick Dram: van Wees The Ultimate 13 Year Laphroaig Cask Strength – Cask

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One Quick Dram: van Wees The Ultimate 13 Year Laphroaig Cask Strength – Cask

Sherry cask matured Laphoraig at cask strength aged 13 years and 11 months (couldn’t you have waited 3 weeks?). This is one cracking dram and is a real gem that separeates the type of stuff Indies bring to the market vis-a-vis the official bottlings, especially looking at the new plethora of NAS and, sadly, with the…

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One Quick Dram: Port Askaig 12

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One Quick Dram: Port Askaig 12

This is a Caol Ila bottled by Specialty Drinks. It’s different than the CI from the official bottlings, and has a much stronger Islay character. Port Askaig 12 (45.8% ABV, NCF) Color: Straw, quick legs. Nose: The sea up your nose, seaweed, iodine, hot sand, tar and vanilla with a sweetness you’d almost associated with a faint sherry barrel…

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One Quick Dram: Compass Box Oak Cross

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One Quick Dram: Compass Box Oak Cross

  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be reviewing some vatted malts I’m tasting as part of the writing of a bigger post on vatted malts in general. Some of these, like the Compass Box expressions, are official samples sent to me by the bottlers, and some tasted from my collection as well as…

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