Author Archive

Springbank Local Barley 11 (53.1%)

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Springbank Local Barley 11 (53.1%)

This expression is the second in a series of Local Barley expressions done by Springbank, following the excellent 16 year old (reviewed here). This expression is made from Bere barley, while last year’s was made from Prisma. Knowing that bloggers will, invariably, bitch about prices and value for money, the company has released the following…

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Gordon & MacPhail Strathisla 1963, Bottled 2009 (43%)

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Gordon & MacPhail Strathisla 1963, Bottled 2009 (43%)

Speyside’s Strathilsa distillery is the spiritual home of the Chivas Regal blends. This seems normal, the way it’s always been. Only it isn’t. Strathisla, which was officially named Milton (although it was founded in 1786 as Milltown) enjoyed a stellar reputation for making great whisky, which was named for the river that ran behind the…

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Scapa Glansa (40%)

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Scapa Glansa (40%)

It’s been only a few weeks since I’ve written about the death of house styles, and here comes along a sample of the Scapa Glansa, a prime example of the trend. I had a quick nip of the Glansa when I visited Scapa in October, but was unable to take notes, so I’m happy the…

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Ardbeg Kelpie – Committee Release (51.7%)

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Ardbeg Kelpie – Committee Release (51.7%)

I approached this expression with caution, after being quite underwhelmed with the Auriverdes, Perpetuum and the Dark Cove, and figured the NAS road chosen by Ardbeg will inevitably lead to  progressively uninspired festival bottlings. But I’m always open to be surprised, and indeed, I have been. The Kelpie is finished in virgin oak taken from…

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Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1992 – The Single Malts of Scotland (55.4%) – And Some Bruichladdich Tidbits

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Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1992 – The Single Malts of Scotland (55.4%) – And Some Bruichladdich Tidbits

While not an official bottling of Bruichladdich, this is a good opportunity for me to relay some experiences from my visit at Bruichladdich last October. I won’t make this an extensive post, but I will make some observations: First, Bruichladdich is bringing back floor maltings for all Islay grown barley. When I visited in October,…

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SWA Outlaws Triple Distillation in Scotland – Auchentoshan, Springbank and Mortlach Threatened

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SWA Outlaws Triple Distillation in Scotland – Auchentoshan, Springbank and Mortlach Threatened

The SWA banned triple and partial triple distillation in Scotland to distinguish it from the booming Irish whiskey category. Auchentoshan may have to close, and Springbank and Mortlach face costly adaptations to their production process, potentially doubling prices on all Springbank whisky as triple and partial triple distillation gets banned in Scotland effective 1 May 2018. Distillers…

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Glenrothes 26 Years Old 1989, Single Malts of Scotland (53.8)

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Glenrothes 26 Years Old 1989, Single Malts of Scotland (53.8)

On to the next tasting of the Single Malts of Scotland offering is the 1989 Glenrothes. Glenrothes is a peculiar one, as far as distilleries go. Young sherry bombs can be absolutely stunning, older single cask expressions can be majestic, but the middle range is a black hole to me. and don’t get me even started on the…

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Highland Park Fire Edition (45.2%)

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Highland Park Fire Edition (45.2%)

The Fire joins the Ice in a series dedicated to the elements of creation in Norse mythology. I tasted the Ice Edition on Orkney, with Highland Park Appreciation Society‘s Orkney Ambassador, Ian Moir, at the wonderful Shed Bar. The Ice is a 17 year old matured in ex bourbon casks, like the Freya (but sadly is…

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Miltonduff 17 Year Old 1999 – Single Malts of Scotland (54.8%)

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Miltonduff 17 Year Old 1999 – Single Malts of Scotland (54.8%)

I Know it’s St. Patrick’s day and I should be reviewing Irish whiskey. Seeing that I don’t actually have any Irish whiskey I didn’t review, I’ll acknowledge the Emerald Island’s day, and review a Scotch whisky. The third cask from this Single Malts of Scotland flight is a 1999 single cask from Miltonduff. Yet another…

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Bunnahabhain 2001 14 Year Old – Cooper’s Choice (46%)

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Bunnahabhain 2001 14 Year Old – Cooper’s Choice (46%)

Last week has been a week of Bunnahabhain for me, starting with a quartet of Bunnahabhain indies we tasted at the March MMI – Malt Mongers Israel meeting, went through the 28 year old Single Malts of Scotland (reviewed earlier this week), and ended with a tasting of a 25 year old Douglas Laing XOP.\…

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