Archive For January 31, 2016

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

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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…

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Highland Park, Bottle Your Own (53.3%)

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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…

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Highland Park 1968 – Orcadian Vintage (45.6%)

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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…

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

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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…

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Highland Park Freya – Valhalla Collection (51.2%)

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Highland Park Freya – Valhalla Collection (51.2%)

The Valhalla series is Highland Park’s tribute to Norse mythology, this time saluting gods, rather than warriors. Loki, the trickster shape-shifting god and hammer yielding Thor opened the series. I have yet to get to taste them, and will, of course, review them as soon as I can. My friend Ishai, however, brought me back…

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Highland Park 25 – Comparing Old (Pre 2012 – 48.1%) and New (Post 2012 – 45.7%)

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Highland Park 25 – Comparing Old (Pre 2012 – 48.1%) and New (Post 2012 – 45.7%)

I’ll start this review by saying that getting to taste two versions of what is to me the finest Highland Park up to the 30 (I didn’t taste the 40 or 50 year olds yet) is a special treat. I got to taste two 30 year olds here, but one of them was an Intertrade…

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Highland Park 21 Year Old (47.5% ABV) – The King of Spice

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Highland Park 21 Year Old (47.5% ABV) – The King of Spice

The Highland Park 21 is a classic example of an expression that migrated successfully from the travel retail market into the general market. Yes, it did undergo some trials and tribulations, including being released at 40% ABV for a while, but it got back on track. The nose on this expression is absolutely stunning, but the…

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Longmorn 27 Year Old – SMWS 7.86 – A Peculiar Longmorn

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Longmorn 27 Year Old – SMWS 7.86 – A Peculiar Longmorn

Pernod Ricard announced that it would be releasing a new NAS expression from Longmorn called The Distiller’s Choice, presented at 40% ABV and matured in a range of American oak, ex-Oloroso sherry and traditional oak casks (OK, I’ll admit that I have no idea what that means, and if it means that American oak and sherry…

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GlenDronach 1995, Cask 3240 – Sultanas Basking in Prune Juice

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GlenDronach 1995, Cask 3240 – Sultanas Basking in Prune Juice

GlenDronach and BenRiach release a batch of single casks every few months, and act as their own “independent” bottler, bottling exclusive casks for stores, markets and clubs, but maintaining their own labels on the bottles. This particular bottling is a UK market exclusive, which I would dub, in SMWS style “Sultanas Basking in Prune Juice”….

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Milk and Honey Distillery – Tasting Cask 003 and an Update

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Milk and Honey Distillery – Tasting Cask 003 and an Update

Milk and Honey is rapidly moving toward the beginning of commercial production, with the last piece of the puzzle, the mash tun, set to be installed at the distillery by the end of this month, right as the new visitor center should be opening under the management of Keren Mosessco Kariel. At that point, the…

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