Archive for the ‘World Whiskies & Spirits’ Category

Blackadder Raw Cask English Whisky Moscatel Cask 2007 (7 year old) 63.2%

Cask 794/Dist: Oct 2007 Btl: May 2015/Tasted: July 2016

An interesting nose of perfumed, dried grape, cereal, malt biscuits and dark honey. Very winey and cask orientated with a late herbal note.

The palate is raw and winey. Really intense with cereal, dried grape and no shortage of alcohol! The finish is seriously alcoholic and Stagg-esque in its intensity, but once it clears it leaves lingering cereal, malt and dried Moscatel fruit.

With water the nose is a little softer and possibly a tad more perfumed. It’s still very grapey though with hints of nuts, wood smoke, earth and orange. The palate pretty much remains about the same, minus the alcohol intensity! A little sweeter now, but still long, herbal and cereally. Definitely unusual!

Blackadder Raw Cask Peated English Whisky Moscatel Cask 2007 (7 year old) 63.4%

Cask 789/ Dist: Nov 2007 Btl: May 2015/ Tasted: July 2016

The aromas are similar to the unpeated cask, showing plenty of lightly perfumed, dried grape, but with the addition of a lovely combination of earthy-peat and mildly astringent-peat. Hints of herbs, burnt wood, creosote and dark grape infused honey follow. Subtle, it is not!

The palate is surprisingly soft and full of grapey, winey honey. The sweetness of the cask has influenced the peat and although it is slightly earthy, it is quite sweet. The alcohol is intense but well integrated and it becomes fairly smoky on the middle. The finish is fairly alcoholic, well, actually it’s eye-wateringly intense and sooty with some lightly medicinal herbal notes appearing along with a touch of coffee.

Water makes no change to the nose but on the palate it has become thicker and more grapey. The peat is less noticeable, although it is still there and like the unpeated cask it’s a little sweeter with lingering Moscatel notes.

Krucefix Whiskey 40%

Aged for between 19 months and 27 months in Alpine oak casks

Btl: Apr 2016/ Tasted: July 2016

Heavy oak aromas with taught vanillins and big, juicy, sweet malt. Lightly perfumed with a distinct herbal character and with time some sweeter oak notes appearing.

The palate is full and rounded with the soft oak and malt up first. Again the oak is a little taught and faintly astringent but the malt sweetness balances. Long and slightly mouth-watering finish with a distinct herbal character and lingering sweet oak and spice. Blind you could possibly mistake it for an American whisky.

Krucefix Slovenian Whiskey 40%

Re-Tasted: Oct 2016

Nose: Plenty of toasty but tightly grained oak. Quite ‘Bourbony’ in character with hints of sour fruit, oat flakes, treacle, dark honey, cinnamon and coriander powder.

Palate: A little lighter and fresher than the nose with herbal dark honey and almost rye-like spices. Hints of dark chocolate, dusty spice and toast oak fills out the middle.

Finish: Long and crisp although a little astringent, with a grainy bite and lingering light treacle and wood smoke.

Conclusion: Definitely interesting. I can see Bourbon fans enjoying this.

Box Single Malt Whisky, The 2nd Step Collection 01 51.1%

Tasted: June 2016

Nose: A beautiful tropical fruit bomb! Sugar sprinkled apricot, melon, pear and apple, followed by crisp green apple, gooseberry, lime and honey. Suddenly a gentle thread of lightly medicinal and smoky peat appears.

Palate: Slightly darker with more malt character and dark honey. The tropical fruit notes are still present though and begin to emerge along with hints of barley, lime and green apple. The slightly medicinal peat begins quite quietly but builds up a head of steam!

Finish: Intense and chewy with coffee coated banana and dark, moist, earthy peat, liquorice and a touch of treacle. Great finish!

Conclusion: A truly world class whisky.

Box Destilleri The Archipelago 56.5%

Nose: Raw, youthful and rather winey and sherried with malt biscuits, boiled sweets and herbal marc-like notes. Neat it doesn’t feel totally integrated. Water mitigates the rawness and brings out some fruit and barley.

Palate: Dry, intensely woody with a raw cask feel and hints of oily barley, boiled sweets and intrusive alcohol. Water emphasises the oily fruit but also simplifies.

Finish: Raw, intense and herbal with lingering coffee and marc-like notes. Diluted it shows more sweetness and a touch of earthy peat.

Conclusion: Far too young. It’s the first disappointing Swedish whisky I’ve had in a long time.

Box Whisky Dalvve 46%

63.48% is 5.24 year old unpeated whisky from 200-litre 1st fill bourbon casks.

24.13% is 5.23 year old peated whisky from 200-litre 1st fill bourbon casks.

12.39% is 5.07 year old unpeated whisky from 135-litre 1st fill bourbon casks.

All casks ex-Heaven Hill & Jack Daniels.

Batch 1/ Tasted: May 2017

The nose is estery and fruity, almost tropical in style with pineapple, apricot, green apple, white fruit and barley. Young and fresh with a subtle saltiness and earthy peatiness. With time a touch of perfumed honey appears along with some slightly grainy oak.

The palate is fresh and almost spritzy with salty white fruit, apricot, pineapple and hints of honey. Very mineral middle with a touch of malt and earthy peat. Long, salty and austere finish with youthful green apple on the finish, along with some subtle peat and oak. Very refreshing.

Langatun Old Deer 46%

Unpeated malt, matured in ex Chardonnay and Sherry casks.

Dist: May 2010 Btl: Feb 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Young and malty aromas with malt extracted and malt biscuits. Well I said it was malty! Beneath a touch of rose petals, spicy sherry can be discerned along with some winey notes. The maltiness does subside with time but that allows the sherry to come to the fore.

The palate opens with rose petal marc-like notes and malt biscuits. Very herbal with heather and provencal garrigue notes. The sherry has a slight boiled sweet character and imparts a little light coffee’d tannin and a touch of treacle on the middle. Good length with lingering heather and garrigue.

Langatun Old Deer 40%

Re-Tasted: June 2016

Nose: Well that’s a bit different! Provencal herbs and malt biscuits along with subtle sherry spice (cinnamon and ginger). A light marc-like note appears as well as a touch of salt.

Palate: Opens with some tart citrus, followed by light honey, malt, Provencal herbs and heather. Lightly treacly sherry comes through on the middle but it’s the herbal notes that take centre stage.

Finish: Long and crisp with the citrus returning, augmented by some soft sherry spice and lingering rose petal marc notes.

Conclusion: Very impressive and unlike a number of European whiskies it seems to have spent a bit of time in oak!

Langatun Old Deer Cask Proof 62.1%

Unpeated malt, matured in ex Chardonnay and Sherry casks.

Dist: May 2010 Btl: Feb 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

The nose is fresher than the 46% bottling with a distinct grain-like dried fruit character along with some tight French oak tannins. The sherry is very subtle and adds a touch of prune and raisin before developing more fruitcake notes. Lightly malty and herbal with heather and garrigue.

The palate is intense and winey with more sherry character. Malty and treacly with again raisin, prune and sultana. It’s quite alcoholic but it’s well integrated, however it does mask the finish a little. Finishes with lightly herbal marc-like notes.

Water doesn’t make much change to the nose, possibly emphasising the grain-like notes. On the palate the sherry takes a back seat to the grain-like character and the French oak. A little dry on the finish with lingering herbs and malt biscuits.

Langatun Old Deer Cask Proof 62.8%

Btl: 2016/ Tasted: July 2016

The nose opens with plenty of grippy but soft sherrywood tannins, crisp, grain-like dried fruit and hints of, honeyed chardonnay apple, Provencal herbs and heather. Lightly malty with late hints of warm vanilla and earth. Very well balanced.

The palate is intense and woody with sherried dried fruit, treacle and malt. The woodiness is softened by the warm vanilla notes but the dried grape comes back on the middle. Long and herbal with lingering sweet malt, liquorice and lightly bitter chocolaty tannins.

Water gives the nose a beautiful, silky sheen, whilst emphasising the herbal notes and making them almost rye-like in character. On the palate it makes it wonderfully succulent and brings forward the malt and grain-like dried fruit. A little more taught French oak can be discerned now and the finish is still long and herbal.

Langatun Old Bear 46%

Peated malt, aged in ex-Chateauneuf-du-Pape casks

Dist: May 2010 Btl: Feb 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Scrubby and smoky aromas with heather, garrigue and herbal accented winey notes. Well balanced with hints of barley and rose petals. The herbal notes take on an almost hoppy character and with time a touch of sweet peat smoke appears.

The palate is very herbal and garriguey with rose petals and spicy, winey red fruit. Hints of malt biscuits and mentholated herbs comes through on the middle along with some earthy peat. Good length with lingering menthol, heather and garrigue.

Langatun Old Bear Cask Proof 62.8%

Peated malt, aged in ex-Chateauneuf-du-Pape casks

Dist: May 2010 Btl: Feb 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Bottling at cask strength has really ramped up the wineness! Very intense with malt, sweet red fruit, sweet peat and subtle sweet spices. A touch of smoke appears with time along with some rose petals.

The palate is as winey as the nose suggests with grainy tannic wood spices and dried red fruit. The garrigue and herbal notes are quite subtle and although fairly alcoholic it is well integrated. Now the full force of the garrigue comes through on the finish! Long, coffee’d and malty with lingering Balcones-esque burnt scrub notes.

Water makes the nose a little subtler but still quite winey. On the palate a little more peat can be discerned. More malty with the wine cask just adding a slightly syrupy sheen. Still long with lingering herbal notes. A very unique flavour profile.

Langatun Old Bear Cask Proof 62.4%

Btl: 2016/ Tasted: July 2016

Aromas of winey red fruits, barley, malt and sweet herbs. The peat is quite subtle and herbal with some medicinal notes in the background. Hints of cinnamon, and coffee’d spice appear with time.

The palate opens with the winey red fruit, malt, cereal and wood spice. The Provencal herbal character comes through on the middle. Long and mouth-watering with a huge hit of heather and garrigue, malt and coffee. The toasty oak notes linger along with subtle earthy peat, smoke and burnt herbs.

Water makes the nose softer and subtler (on the wine) with a little more sweet barley and apricot. The palate is maltier, fuller and beautifully integrated. Long and lightly winey now with the spicy red fruit lingering.

Langatun Winter Wedding 46%

A marriage of Old Deer and Old Bear.

Tasted: July 2016

Intense, malty and herbal aromas with coffee, subtle herbal peat and red fruits. It unwinds to show hints of cinnamon, apricot, banana, pepper, rose petals and spicy dried fruit and oak. Lovely depth.

The palate is full and malty with apricot and red fruits mingling with coffee and Provencal herbs. Subtly peated with lightly oiled banana, apricot and a lovely combination of dried red fruit and dried sherried fruit comes through on the middle. Long and spicy with lingering herbs, malt and coffee.

Langatun 400 Jahre Kornhaus Single Cask 49.12%

Bottled to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the distillery building, a former granary.

Ex-chardonnay Cask No45

Dist: Nov 2008 Btl: May 2016/ Tasted: July 2016

An intense and crisp nose with honey, fresh barley, malt, oxidised/ bruised apple, apricot, tangerine and hints of juniper, pine and herbs. The oak is incredibly subtle which allows the spirit character to shine.

The palate is full and barley’d with hints of vanilla and honey. Hints of white fruit and crisp apple follow. Lightly malty and herbal on the middle with a touch of coffee’d oak and subtle treacle. Long and lightly spiced with hints of French oak tannins and lingering ,malt and coffee.

Langatun Jacob’s Dram 49.12%

Single Pinot Noir Cask No 97

Dist: Sept 2009 Btl: Jun 2016/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Intense, earthy, winey red fruit aromas with perfumed barley and hints of marzipan, coffee and red berries. With time a light smokiness appears along with the classic Provencal-esque herbal notes and straw.

The palate opens with the sweet red berries, milk chocolate and chunky, grainy coffee’d wood tannins. Subtle heather and Provencal-esque herbs come through on the middle and the finish is long with the red fruit lingering along with the milk chocolate and coffee. Lovely intensity and balance.

Brenne French Whisky 10 year old, 1st Edition 48%

Matured in new Limousin oak barrels before being finished in Cognac casks

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Now that’s an unusual nose! Earthy and lightly manurey with straw and violets. Quite winey with coffee, heather, gorse and a multitude of herbal notes.

Palate: Soft and densely honeyed with herbal coffee, violets and a touch of manure. Very herbal on the middle with hints of straw, sour apricot and pears soap!

Finish: Long and very heathery with hints of juniper, coriander and green pepper in the finish.

Conclusion: That’s weird but I kind of like it!

Brenne Estate Cask 40%

Single Cask

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Very herbal with aniseed and a touch of perfumed white fruit and honey.

Palate: Loaded with bubblegummy white fruit, confected pineapple, aniseed, crème soda and spices.

Finish: Medium length with lingering cream soda notes.

Conclusion: I can’t say I’m a huge fan of cream soda with my whisky!

Puni Nova 43%

3 Year old spirit aged in American and European White Oak

Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: Interesting, youthful and very malty. It reminds me of a Dutch malt-wine with sweet barley, honey and a winey, sup Grappa-like note. A touch of buttery oak appears along with what feels like a little rye spice.

Palate: Crisper and edgy with more earthy rye-like notes and hints of sweet barley and youthful Grappa-like spirit. Subtly, dusty spiced with building whisky notes and a suggestion of oak.

Finish: Good length, if a little dry and subtly smoky with malt biscuits and dark rye-like notes.

Conclusion: A curious and entertaining dram. I would have like to have seen a little more balancing oak character on the palate.

Puni Alba 43%

3 Year old Spirit aged in Marsala Casks and finished in ex-Islay Casks

Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose: Very estery, summery and aromatic with pineapple, banana and fresh barley. Creamy American oak mingles with some tighter grainier oak tannins. Late hints of grass and lime.

Palate: A little weak and underpowered, but pleasantly citric with lime, barley and vanilla. Again there’s some taught, grainy tannins which come through on the middle.

Finish: Good, crisp, slightly alcoholic finish with lingering barley and grass.

Conclusion: Lovely aromas, but unfortunately the palate lets it down and lacks the promise or complexity of the nose. Definitely work in progress.

J.H. Original Selection Rye Whisky 46%

Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: Raw and earthy with oily marc-like rose petal notes. Dark, toasted, slightly spicy rye emerges along with hints of vanilla cream, coffee and toffee.

Palate: Edgy and raw with prominent marc-like rose petal. Definitely not lacking in spirit character or alcohol. The dark rye notes pummel the palate. Damn! That’s intense!

Finish: Raw and mouth-watering. Quite herbal with a dry, slightly bitter ending.

Conclusion: if this is what I think it is then it’s showing a little more maturity than it did two years ago, but not much! Definitely work in progress.

JH Rare Selection Dark Rye Malt Eisweinfass GV 46%

Tasted: June 2016

Nose: Very herbal and raw with an almost marc-like youthful intensity. Hints of decomposing rose petals, oat biscuits and with time some sweetening honey.

Palate: Youthful and herbal with mulched rose petals, dark rye flakes, green wood and hints of treacle and rye spice.

Finish: Intense, mouth-watering and very herbal with a touch of balsamic treacle and lingering marc-like notes.

Conclusion: Young and entertaining but it could have done with more oak character to round off the edges.

JP Wisers Double Still Rye 43.4%

Tasted: Oct 2014

Nose: Chunky thick set honey and very subtle herbal rye. Pleasantly soft but edgy with toasted oak and earthy notes. A late winey, nutty Marsanne grape-like note appears along with a light, almost salty note.

Palate: Very much like the nose, maybe slightly oilier with a lovely depth of honey and again very subtle rye notes. Toasty/ nutty oak comes through on the middle with some building crisp, grainy notes.

Finish: Long and displaying some herbal spice and a lovely peppery finish.

Conclusion: A very subtle rye whisky with more than a passing resemblance to an Irish grain whiskey.

JP Wiser’s Hopped Whisky 46%

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Quite coffee’d with almost pot still-like spicy notes. Hints of sherried dried fruit emerge along with camphor and leafy herbs. Edgy and earthy with developing grain whisky-like dried fruit and cocoa powder.

Palate: Sweet-ish, juicy dried fruit with hints of camomile and juniper. Crisper on the middle as the buzzy grains arrive but the dried fruit and vanilla counterbalance.

Finish: Good length with the vanilla accented dried fruit lingering. Lightly coffee’d, herbal and chocolate powder after-taste.

Conclusion: Tasted blind you could easily mistake this for a Scottish grain whisky.

Forty Creek Evolution 43%

Tasted: Oct 2014

Nose: Initially the aromas are quite shy, but there is plenty of dense, slightly spicy oak along with soy sauce, wheat flakes, dried balsamic fruit and a light spice note. With time some grainy spirit puts in an appearance.

Palate: Slightly watery with sweet spice, dried sultana, white grape and oak. Hugely tannic with some creamy notes attempting to offset and like the nose some grainy spirit notes come through.

Finish: Dry and tannic, with the grainy spirit prevalent.

Conclusion: It feels like a moderately aged grain whisky which has succumbed to the oak.

The Cotswolds Distillery Test Batch Series ‘New Make Spirit’ 63.5%

Tasted: Nov 2015

Pungent, lightly oiled aromas of nascent barley and a touch of wet paper. It takes awhile to settle but beneath the oiliness is a full, fleshy spirit with a soft barley sweetness and hints of apple, acacia, earth and smoke.

Dry and lightly oiled on the palate but the apple and sweet barley is very noticeable. Quite soft with a dry citrus and a lovely peppery finish. Lingering, subtle ‘off the still’ notes.

With water the nose becomes fuller, fleshier and more rounded with the emphasise definitely on the sweet barley, citrus and apple. The palate is obviously softened and like the nose quite full and barley’d with an almost honey like character. Less ‘off the still’ notes now and more of the apple and cereal notes. Still peppery and lightly smoky on the finish.

The Cotswolds Distillery Test Batch Series ‘Sherry Matured Malt Spirit’ 62.4%

5 months Oloroso Sherry matured/ Tasted: Nov 2015

A lovely, intensely coffee’d nose – pure, dark roasted French and Columbian coffee mix! Hints of treacle, earth and walnut but the lightly oiled and barley’d spirit powers through bringing some fleshy apricot, banana and a touch of toffee.

The palate shows more toffee and brown sugar. Taughter with the lightly oiled and slightly sweet spirit more prominent. The sherry comes through with hints of treacle and walnuts on the middle. Long and peppery with a ‘toshan-like boiled sweet note in the finish.

The Cotswolds Distillery Test Batch Series ‘Red Wine Matured Malt Spirit’ 63%

10 months ex-red wine cask matured/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Quite noticeable aromas of red wine and sweet spice. Again there are hints of boiled sweets, cherry drops, earth, manure and some stinky, elemental peat.

The palate is soft and winey but the combination of alcohol and tannins make it quite drying. Still there’s some hints of syrup coated red cherry, coffee, chocolate and wood spices. Intense and violety finish with spicy chicory, cinnamon and sweet/ bitter black pepper.

A drop of water doesn’t make much change to the nose. The palate is less sweet and more biscuity with a shredded wheat-like character. It’s also a little homogenous as well, but still quite peppery on the finish. Impressive but not quite balanced at this moment in time.