Archive For July 30, 2014

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide: A Secret Balvenie 24 Year Old

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You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide: A Secret Balvenie 24 Year Old

There are certain distilleries that just can’t stand the idea of independent bottlings carrying their name. Glenfarclas and the Grant’s distilleries (Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Kininvie) come to mind (with the exception of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, although the Balvenie and Glenfiddich have very few barrels in Society hands). However, every once in a…

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Bunnahabhain 16 Year Old Manzanilla Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

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Bunnahabhain 16 Year Old Manzanilla Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

Bunnahabhain, the South African owned “other” Islay distillery, produces mostly unpeated whisky, yet has it’s own character due to the closeness to the distillation process and an affinity for long term maturation in special casks. At Bunnahabhain, they run the relatively large stills at only 47% of capacity, to increase copper contact and get more…

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One Quick Dram: Pittyvaich 20 Cask Strength Whisky Tasting Notes

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One Quick Dram: Pittyvaich 20 Cask Strength Whisky Tasting Notes

Pittyvaich is one of those almost secret closed distilleries as it didn’t even get through two decades of operation, as it was built in 1974 and mothballed in 1993, only to be demolished in 2002. It was an exact replica of the Dufftown distillery (producing Diageo’s Singleton of Dufftown) and once Arthur Bell & Sons…

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One Quick Dram: Old Pulteney 21 Years Old Whisky Tasting Notes

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One Quick Dram: Old Pulteney 21 Years Old Whisky Tasting Notes

Old Pulteney is one of the smaller distilleries, despite the fact that it can make an impressive 1.8 million liters per year. It’s located in Wick, and until 2012 was the most northern distillery on the mainland. Old Pulteney is known for its oily body and brininess and fully stands up to its moniker “The Maritime Whisky”…

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One Quick Dram: Highland Park 22 Years Old Single Barrel SMWS 4.190

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One Quick Dram: Highland Park 22 Years Old Single Barrel SMWS 4.190

This Highland Park spent 22 years in an ex-bourbon cask, and came out a real beauty. It was part of the June 2014 outrun and was one of 246 bottles dubbed by the society tasters as “big boys smoking in the sauna”.  The beauty of the SMWS, and all single cask independent bottlers, is that…

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One Quick Dram: Bowmore 18 Whisky Tasting Notes

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One Quick Dram: Bowmore 18 Whisky Tasting Notes

Staying on Islay, I noticed that I have not yet reviewed any Bowmore expressions on the blog, and – in fact – I never even mentioned it on any post. Kind of weird, as Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay (or not, if you go by excise records uncovered by Iain Russell, in which case that title…

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One Quick Dram: Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve Cask Strength

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One Quick Dram: Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve Cask Strength

  Conventional wisdom says this is a Lagavulin, though I have heard it being referred to as a Caol Ila, Ardbeg and Laphroaig. Who’s right? I really have no idea. I personally subscribe to the young Ardbeg theory, as I tasted the Finlaggan and the Smokehead together, and found the same traces of a similar new…

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part III: Glenfiddich Reserve Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part III: Glenfiddich Reserve Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

This is the first mass market Glenfiddich foray into sherry casks. My excited first thought was “wow, here’s a sherry bomb from Glenfiddich”, and this is, indeed, the most interesting of the Cask Collection trio. This dram suffers, however, from two flaws, probably owning to the low ABV, chill filtration and coloring, which succeed in toning down…

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part II: Glenfiddich Select Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part II: Glenfiddich Select Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

The Select Cask is a single malt blending of ex bourbon, ex European oak and red wine casks. As I mentioned in the first post in the series, all three expressions in this series share an underlying sweetness, and are generally very gentle drams. With no further ado, I’ll review the Select Cask.   Glenfiddich…

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part I: Glenfiddich Vintage Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

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Tasting the New Glenfiddich Trio – Part I: Glenfiddich Vintage Cask Whisky Tasting Notes

Readers of this blog will find it not surprising that had my relationship with Glenfiddich been on Facebook, it would have been classified as “it’s complicated”. On the one hand, I have a special place in my heart for that first love, that green, mysterious, triangular bottle in the black tube I first saw when…

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