Search

theScotchlife

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

Month

January 2013

Speyburn 10 year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

20130125-210747.jpg

Today I was checking out a liquor store that I haven’t been in before. It is located in a “high rent district” and I thought that it may hold some secrets that I haven’t seen before…. Well it just happened that today the display as you walk in held this Speyburn bottle along with a Speyburn branded flask (not pictured). I really don’t think I’ve tasted this product before, and before I purchased it I googled it really quick to make sure it wasn’t a total waste. What I saw was a lot of responses that echoed that this was an undervalued scotch whisky and were confused at its low price. I bought it.

Now I really don’t need another flask, I’ve got a couple already. But I did make it a point to find less expensive scotch whisky options this year because it is really easy to find great scotch whisky at a high price, but not so easy at a lower one. Or is it?

This Speyburn offering is really nice. It has a really nice nose and your palate gets a nice punch from the fresh fruit and spirited Speyside expression that this whisky is.

What is more important than the tasting notes is the fact that this ranks into a very specific range for me. It is first, and foremost, a very good, very tasty scotch whisky. Secondly, it is a very drinkable scotch whisky. Third, it is very affordable. Borderline cheap.

This is a really great whisky to taste. It’s nose is lively, it’s lively on the palate and has a wonderfully aggressive finish that makes you want another dram. This came in at around $27 USD for me. I’d give it a go if I were you!

Cheers!

Advertisements

Edradour Caledonia 12 Year Old Whisky

004Tonight I decided to pop open a sample of Edradour that I purchased from Master of Malt some time ago. The bottle says 46% ABV and I really don’t remember why I purchased this one other than I really enjoy the Edradour line. During my hiatus this past year from blogging, I must have failed to write down my thoughts on one that I had purchased. It was really good, I found it originally while at Jack Rose one evening and went in search of a bottle. It was a ten year aged Edradour, but not of the current line, it was distilled back in 2000 or 2001 I think. Wish I’d taken down some damn notes.

Anyhow, this one appears deep amber and has a wonderful and bit mysterious nose to it. There is a great concentration and balance to it yet I’m having a bit of a hard time pinning down what I’m smelling. Without checking, I’d say this was finished in a Sherry Cask.

The taste reveals just what the nose implied, wonderfully balanced. Wonderful oily consistency and rounded. And the finish is Macallan like, yet more punch to the lingering. This is really good stuff! I can hold it on my palate for as long as I want, just a little tingle from the alcohol on the tip of the tongue. A wonderful finish.

After tasting I’m going to wander of to MoM and see what it originally said that made me want to purchase:

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Sweet, creamy and honeyed, with notes of Manuka honey, hints of dried fig and date, soft sherry and a hint of oak.

Palate: Full and rich with notes of berry fruits, and honey and butter on granary toast. More sherry, caramel and toasted almond.

Finish: Spicy, dry and sprinkled with a dusting of cocoa.

As usual, way more expressive than my ten-dollar palate. But, I do agree with the Finish completely.

Evidently, this is a single cask offering made in honor of Douglas Maclean and his song Caledonia. It was finished in a Oloroso Sherry Cask (12 years) which is exactly what I was tasting. Distilled in 1997.

If you like Sherry Cask offerings, this is a good one!

Cheers!

Lismore Single Malt Speyside Scotch Whisky

Today I decided to visit a liquor store in Middleburg, Virginia that I’ve been meaning to go to. It’s a bit anti-climatic, The State or “Commonwealth” of Virginia controls its liquor stores so the inventory doesn’t vary much. What I have discovered is that once in a while you might find something at one store that you haven’t seen before. Today was one of those instances. Sitting beside a happy bottle of Glenfarclas 10 year was this Lismore Single Malt. It was about $25 USD so I thought maybe I have found a new inexpensive Single Malt whisky.

One of my hopes this year is to cover more inexpensive scotch whisky which is typically blends. So I’m not off to a good start. But it is cheaper!

I was a little apprehensive so I actually googled this whisky first, picked up the reviews I could see to make sure I wasn’t purchasing a dog. After confirming I wasn’t I decided to open her up and see what she’s made of……..

It’s not overwhelming in presentation (bottle included) nor is the color rich or nose anything special. What it does have going for it is what I typically look for though. Good malt flavor, manageable alcohol influence, and decent mouth-feel.

The good news is that it does possess these qualities. The most prominent component is the finish. It is a bit raisin like to me, first taste almost liquorice but subsequent tastes mellow. It’s only 40% ABV so I would not normally add water to this but in doing so I find it does feel a little more round. If you are an ice drinker I think it would hold up but I really don’t want to try that personally.

As far as age, there is no statement. Expect this more and more as Distillers such as Macallan is going away from it. Age in no way guarantees you of a good product, but for those of us who appreciate aged products it does cause us a bit more work if we are unfamiliar with the product. So Scotch Whisky must be aged at least three years according to law. My guess is that this one is 5 to 7 years of age. It may even be married single malts, not sure.

It is however good, how good? It’s a good daily drinker. It’s worth being chosen over many known single malts in the mass distribution category. It’s much better than some expensive blends.

I hope this helps, if you are passionate about scotch whisky like myself, you should always experiment and this one is worth your time.

Cheers!

Lismore Single Malt

The Macallan 25 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

On New Year’s Eve day I stopped into McCormick & Schmick’s in Reston Town Center for a dram. I was looking for something special and since I had no plans to stay out all night I figured this was my chance to have a special New Year’s Eve drink. I was lucky enough to find something special, a bottle of 25 year aged Macallan. Aged in the Sherry Oak fashion that Macallan is known for, this is one of the finest single malt scotch whisky’s you can find.

Since I was the only guy in the bar at this early hour it wasn’t a challenge getting attention. With no hesitation (because my inner CFO was screaming stop!) I ordered a glass of the 25. I didn’t want to know how much it was going to cost me so I told him I didn’t want to know. A good bartender should let you know the cost of a drink when it is going to set you back more than anything on the menu!

20130107-232812.jpg

A whisky like this is an experience. Tasting notes do not do justice to a whisky this delicious. It was given a perfect 100 score from the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago in 1999. It is an example of how perfect scotch whisky can be. Yes, this dram may cost you more than you want. But in the end, if you want to experience something exceptional, this would be a good choice.

You may have seen the James Bond movie of late, “Skyfall.” The Macallan is featured prominently in this movie, once you taste this 25 year old, you will get it.

Oh, it should go without saying, but drink this one “neat!”

Cheers!

The Macallan 25

McClelland’s Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

To prove that I do not only drink expensive Single Malt whisky, you should know that brands like McClelland’s and others really can help me keep my spending down. McClelland’s Islay whisky is a single malt, and is a close relative to the prestigious Bowmore Single Malt whisky’s from Islay. How close? Well, you might say they share the same owner! Morrison Bowmore Distillers of Glasgow, Scotland. So you can be assured you are not purchasing some product that is not given someone’s full attention.

I’ve enjoyed this McClelland’s back to back with the Bowmore 12 and it is obvious they are related, though the Bowmore is clearly superior. With that said, the McClelland’s is fully representative of an Islay “peated” scotch. At half the cost of Bowmore 12-year-old it is worth trying. If you are into mixing scotch (with other inferior liquids) you would be well off working with this one.

While I do not get the same enjoyment out of this dram as I would a Bowmore 12 year (or lesser aged ones) I do enjoy saving a little money and its hard to appreciate different Islay offerings if you do not have something to compare them to. This would make a great addition to a bar for when you have that scotch lover show up, he/she will definitely be surprised!

Though the ABV% is 40, the Phenols are kickin! There is a wonderful oiliness on the palate also. This is a full mouth of Islay.

The Distiller’s tasting notes are as follows:

Colour:
Warm honey.
Body:
Full bodied and robust.
Nose:
Lingering wood cinders of tar and smoke, with just a trace of vanilla and a subtle citrus note.
Palate:
A strong Islay character with traces of sea salt and burnt oak chips. The smokey nature is apparent throughout; a malty vanilla flavour bringing balance to the overall taste.
Finish:
A powerful Islay aftertaste of sweet smoke with a hint of iodine.

20130105-215634.jpg

Cheers!

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year old Bourbon

20130103-220602.jpg

Tonight I wanted to do two things, write a post and eat a cookie. I like these coconut/walnut ones I get at Harris Teeter. They smell wonderful and taste quite good. When I went to the cabinet I remembered that I had picked up a new bourbon a couple of weeks back and I really enjoyed it.

I typically drink scotch whisky but every now and then I need a little bourbon. Typically I go for Woodford’s Reserve, it never fails! So how did I end up with this one? I was actually picking up some scotch for Christmas time, like I needed an excuse, and happened to spy this shapely little bottle of Russell’s Reserve parked next to the Woodford on the top shelf. I’ll admit it, I’m a fool for good packaging and graphic design, and this one hit me just right. I think it cost around $30 USD so going with the principle that the price often dictates quality, I bought it.

So this product is out of the good folks who produce Wild Turkey bourbon in Lawrenceburg, KY where James Russell is the Master Distiller there. This product is a special offering from them that they have had since early 2000’s but it has seen some variation in packaging over the past decade. I’d like to say they nailed it on this one!

It is 90 proof or 45%ABV and is classified as a “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.” I poured it neat, per usual and dove in. The color of it is beautiful and rich. The nose is very candied with vanilla and caramel coming forth and this is why I pulled it out tonight with this cookie!

The first time I tasted this (prior to tonight) I was really impressed with the flavor, mouth-feel and finish. It is wonderfully refined and what you smell is what delivers on the palate. I don’t drink a lot of bourbon but if I did I’d be running through this stuff with no abandon! The finish is refined, gentle, and stays with you. I have to admit, this is a damn fine whiskey! And it goes really well with cookies!

Cheers!

2013, here we go!

95940001.jpgI had to start the New Year Day with a new post. Why, because I’m a type A and I am sure that by starting today I will be forced to try to post more often. And, this way, I won’t lay in bed going “why didn’t I post?”, yes, this is a run on sentence, and I’m having a ball with it! Breath.

So on this first day of 2013 I ran a 5k, which you can read about here. Yes, another blog! God, that should make my life easier!

This year I hope to post at least two to three times a week. I also hope to produce some videos, which I failed at this year, and produce some “basics” pages that help people new to the world of scotch whisky.

Oddly enough, this little blog I started almost two years ago is read around the world on a daily basis. Astounding! Let’s just say Google is the bomb! It makes me realize how much people are interested in whisky worldwide and, even though I live in the United States, the good people of Scotland themselves have very nice things to say about me, this I feel honored about.

So that’s it! I did drink some Macallan Cask Strength today with my steak salad, it was delicious!

Cheers!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

theamericanwhiskeylife

From Bourbon to Single Malts, American Style

The Malt Activist

A personal whisky journal

Buffalo Whiskey Guild

Learning, appreciating and enjoying the art of drinking whiskey

Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

Security and System Tools and Tips. Software Reviews, News, Views, Downloads and Links.

9to5Mac

Apple News & Mac Rumors Breaking All Day

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

BECKY SAYS THINGS

Becky says things about things and other things

Sadie Hasler

The multi award-winning columns of Sadie Hasler - Columnist | Playwright | Actor | Co Artistic Director of Old Trunk Theatre Company - Follow on Twitter @sadiehasler

Cask Tales

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

%d bloggers like this: