Showing posts with label #Whisky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Whisky. Show all posts

Friday, December 25, 2015

20, 19, 18, 17 and 16: A Mixed Bag of #WhiskyAdvent

Well, I have to say that my drink-a-day plan went off the rails but whisky has an excellent shelf life. :-)

16-Dec: Balvenie 12-year-old Doublewood

A perennial favorite. One of my go-to single-malts. I really like this and it's got a great mix of wood notes (sherry, to be specific) and caramels and sweetness. A really well-balanced whisky. Love it!

17-Dec through 20-Dec:

  • Mackmyra Brukswhisky (The Swedish Whisky): I had really been looking forward to trying this but (and I don't say this very often) I honestly disliked this. Ouch. Tasted like turpentine. YMMV.

  • The Girvan (grain whisky distillery) Patent Still Proof Strength: Another miss. It's possible I had a mild cold but I just got nothing out of this whisky. Most grain whisky is light in flavor and intended to be the backbone of a blended Scotch -- not for its flavor but because it's an inexpensive way to get the alcohol and flavor is added by single-malt whisk(ies) in the blend.

  • The Lost Distilleries Blend (Batch 7): Again, I'll chalk this up to a mild cold, but I didn't really care for this whisky. The name sounds compelling and apparently if my nose and palate could have appreciated it, I would have enjoyed it:

  • Isle of Jura Elixir 12-year-old: This is not my favorite expression from Jura. That honor goes to Jura 10. This is not bad at all, but I'd describe it as "thin." It just doesn't have much in the way of structure.

Now I don't want to drink the rest of the whisky until I have a clear nose and mouth. I might be able to start them tonight. I really want to be able to enjoy them because the ones I haven't had yet are ones I really think I'll enjoy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

14-Dec: Isle of Jura - Superstition

Almost there. 2 whiskies a night is my limit, so it's not a goal to catch up until later this week. #behind #catchingup #whisky #WhiskyAdvent

I love the smell of Superstition. This whisky has a beautiful nose. It's very well balanced, with wood notes and sweet malty goodness. It's a very straightforward Scotch, which is not meant to be damning with faint praise. I really like it! There are sherry notes but not overwhelming - like dried fruits or maybe fruitcake. Again, this is all very balanced. This is one of my favorites so far. Like yesterday's whisky, it's also 43% ABV.

Here are the usual pictures (I remembered to take them!):

13-Dec: GlenDronach 12-year-old

Now we're into the second half of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar. I'm really enjoying it. Still #behind, but also still #catchingup.

This GlenDronach is very nice indeed. I got some smokey notes that evolved as I drank this. At first I thought it was something peaty underneath, but I used to start fires in my parents' fireplace and the closest I can think to describe this smell is that of the first smoke off of newspaper when you use it to light a after you scrunch it under the grate that holds the logs. This whisky is smooth and a bit sweet but not overly so.

It's 43% ABV, which is a fairly common bottle strength for many mainstream whiskies. This is a complex whisky and has a lot to offer to a patient drinker. I got more and more from it as I finished my (small) sample. I'm going to have to find a bottle someday. Here is a picture of the empty bottle.

Monday, December 14, 2015

12-Dec: Caol Ila 12-year-old

Caol Ila (pronounced "cull-EEla" is an Islay distillery and as such does tend to produce the peaty/smokey type of Scotch.

#behind is as #behind does...catching up, though. Hey, we've managed to reach the halfway point of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar. Personally, I am really looking forward to Christmas break, not because I'll be off of work for 2 weeks (I won't) but because there is a chance to change gears and get ready for the new year.

As for this dram, we have a oily peaty sweet masterpiece. The tasting notes on Master of Malt have lots of things I don't get, but this 43% strength whisky is very very smooth. Upon further review, I do get citrus notes, to me they are akin to lemon-scented floor cleaner. Not sure I'd want to drink *that* but it is a nice smell, especially in the context of the rest of the flavors and aromas. And, boy, does this have an amazing, smokey finish. Hoo-rah!

I only took one picture of this one:

11-Dec: Arran - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Ok, still #behind but no longer #waybehind. :-)

In case you don't know where the island of Arran is, it's here, due East of the Kintyre peninsula which is where Campbeltown lies (you'll remember that Glen Scotia is from Campbeltown):

I've had a number of expressions from Arran but this one is a very nice dram. I get fresh pineapples, and huge amounts of spicy maltiness (baking spices but I can't tell which ones). This is a strong dram, coming in at 52% ABV. But it's very smooth and not at all as "hot" as you might expect. I very much enjoyed this one.

There was another possibility for day 11 of the #WhiskyAdvent calendar: Auchentoshan Three Wood, a lowland malt from a distillery that I very much enjoy. The Three Wood expression is one I've enjoyed before. I might have to seek some out.

Here are the usual pix of the Arran:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

10-Dec: Monkey Shoulder (Blended Malt Scotch)

Back to Scotland. This is a whisky that I already have (I think I mentioned I was a fan of Balvenie and other products from Wm. Grant & Sons). This whisky is a blended malt, one of the 5 currently defined types of Scotch whisky. Here they are:
  • Single-Malt
    • Malted barley whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Malt
    • Malt whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Single-Grain
    • Grain whisky from a *single* distillery
  • Blended Grain
    • Grain whisky combined from multiple distilleries
  • Blended
    • Whisky combined from malt and grain, from multiple distilleries
The one common thread on all of the above categories is that they all have to be produced, aged and bottled in Scotland, and aged for at least 3 years in oak. There are more requirements (like on cask sizes...) and they aren't just a good idea, they're the law -- European Union Law, in fact.

This whisky has lots of malty notes, and I get berries on the nose. Given that this is a blended malt, the presence of malt notes is no surprise. It's very smooth and easy to drink. I have to say that I don't know of many blended malt Scotch whiskies (Johnnie Walker Green Label used to be one, before it was discontinued) but this is a really smooth whisky that's easy to drink, and easy to like.

08-Dec: Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask (15 year old)

It's ridiculously hard to catch up. I wish I hadn't fallen behind. :-( I will do 2 tonight. I will do 2 tonight.

The Balvenie is one of my favorite distilleries, family-owned by William Grant & Sons. I have had most of their range but not this one. It's close to what I'd expect from them...hazelnuts, dark fruit, caramel and lovely oak notes (vanilla, leather). I was so excited to try this that I totally didn't take a picture. Trust me, I drank it. :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

07-Dec: Glen Scotia - Double Cask

This is me catching up on my drinking. It's a job, but someone has to do it.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from the movie 'Arthur:' "Well, I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I AM my own boss."

Speaking of jobs, last week was so busy that I couldn't even drink tiny whisky samples. Well, I don't want to drink them without taking the time to write about them. So it's my problem. Anyway...back to the #WhiskyAdvent calendar.

I've never had Glen Scotia whisky, except perhaps as a sample at a WhiskyFest or some event like that. I'm not very familiar with this Campbeltown distillery. The whisky is very potent. I got a hint of green apples on the nose but what I got after I took a sip was black cherries, licorice or anise and some mouthwatering hint of saltwater. It's not my favorite but it's very interesting and I'm glad I tried it.

By the way, I found a bottle of the Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 locally and while it's getting tough to find it's still in some stores. You should be able to get one for between $50 and $70.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

06-Dec: Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014)

This is day 6 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent December is rolling along. And when getting up early it's still quite dark.

Ok this is a single-malt Scotch with a kick -- even at "only" 46% ABV, but trust me on this: don't inhale. It's peaty but not the peatiest whisky out there. The smoke is layered over a lovely sweet base that has a looong finish. It's got vanilla and green apples, too. Honestly - it's true!

This distillery is putting out some fine liquid. Tomorrow: Day 7 and 8, then I'll be almost caught up.

05-Dec: Dalmore 15-year-old (Single-Malt Scotch)

Well, yesterday was a wash. Getting up at 05:00 stinks. Boy is it dark then.

. . . . . . . . .

This is day 5 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Today is another single-malt Scotch whisky. I am a huge fan of the Dalmore. I've been extremely fortunate in that on March 25th, 2011 I was able to meet the Master Distiller of the Dalmore, Richard Paterson. See picture below. The other picture was from my Nexus 9 tablet when I was watching my Golden State Warriors in Toronto last weekend.

The Dalmore 15-year-old whisky is fabulous. There is a wonderful citrus-y nose with hints of dark fruit and chocolate on the palate and a lovely caramel and butterscotch finish. I'm going to keep this short so I can drink the 6-Dec whisky. If I do 2 a day, I can catch up. :-)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Never fear - WhiskyAdvent continues tonight

I had a Christmas event Saturday night and I did manage to drink my "Day 5" dram but not to write about it. Then I was behind on my writing on Sunday, though I did keep up to date on my drinking. I'll catch up with the notes tonight.

Also: GOOD NEWS: I recovered "episode 1" and will re-post it tonight.

Friday, December 4, 2015

04-Dec: Elijah Craig 12-year-old (Small-Batch Bourbon)

This is day 4 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Out of the 4 days so far, we've had 2 malt whiskies (one Japanese, one Scottish), one blended whisky (Scottish) and now one American whiskey (note the spelling!). BTW, the first post in this series has been permanently lost. If you read it, those photons are a collector's item.

The Elijah Craig small-batch bourbon (age: 12) is my kind of Bourbon, in that it's not super sweet. I have to admit not knowing much about Bourbon, other than that it's made from corn and must be aged in new oak barrels (charred oak barrels). I've tasted a number of Bourbons and some are sweet but to me this isn't a good thing. I like spices and Elijah Craig delivers. (It turns out that - and this is probably a tall tale - but the Reverend Elijah Craig, of what is now Kentucky but which used to be part of Virginia, allegedly discovered that aging whiskey in charred oak barrels gave a nice effect.)

The nose of this whisky is wonderfully woody, as you'd expect for a 12-year-old Bourbon, with some sweetness underneath layers of peppery spices. I did read the tasting notes at Master of Malt and this clearly demonstrates that I don't know jack about Bourbon. I am just not used to the tastes and smells it presents. However, with that said, I did enjoy it and I think I'd like some more, please.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

03-Dec: Great King Street (from Compass Box)

This is day 3 of the Whisky Advent Calendar adventure. #WhiskyAdvent

Today is the first day of this adventure wherein I am visiting a place I've already been (so to speak).

Compass Box's Great King Street Artist's Blend is one of my favorite blended Scotch whiskies that I have ever had. And you'll perhaps be surprised to hear that you can probably get a full-sized bottle for less than $40 -- no kidding.

The nose of this whisky is light, sweet and tangy, with notes of green apple and some light citrus (I thought I got Meyer lemon). It's got a smooth mouth feel and finish, and the bottle strength is a modest 43% ABV. The folks at Master of Malt give notes that describe the whisky as buttery and that's a good description of the texture. The expected Scotch wood notes and malt notes are present, of course. This is an excellent Scotch whisky.