Search

theScotchlife

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

Category

Highland

Glenmorangie’s Extremely Rare 18 year aged Single Malt Scotch Whisky

I was reading a fellow blogger’s notes on this product and it reminded me that I had yet to open the one I picked up this past November. I’m glad his comments spurred me to open it! While Glenmorangie is not a BIG scotch whisky it is a quality one.

Extremely Rare 18To me, the Glemorangie line falls into the “approachable” category for non-whisky types.

Light, fruity, almost a dainty touch of fragrant flowers flowing from the most beautiful waterfall in your dreams. That’s what “Glenmo” is to me. A far cry from the gritty, earthy, peat that is heaped upon fires in Islay on whisky such as Ardbeg, Laphroiag, Bowmore, etc….. So once in a while I let me “flowery” side run free for a dram or so and this 18-year-old Glenmo was perfect!

To me this is the perfect complement to a well made dessert or after dinner cheese plate. It just screams with flavors that a great Chef can work with. It’s a 43% ABV whisky that has an influence of Oloroso Sherry Cask that really does a great job. If a whisky can be described as pretty, this is it. Pretty as in Princess Kate pretty. Descriptive enough?

This is a whisky I will bring out sparingly, most likely to try with a special cheese I have found or due to me finding time to whip up a Crème brûlée! Glemorangie’s notes and accolades for this whisky can be found HERE.

Cheers Kate!

Kate-Middleton-542648-1-402
Kate Middleton’s Biography.com profile picture. Doesn’t she look like “The Whisky Woman?”

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!

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!

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

The Macallan Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

I’ve been craving, of late, the distinctive character of Macallan Scotch Whisky, and so went to the liquor store to satisfy that urge. I had fully intended on picking up the 12 year product when the Cask Strength bottle caught my eye! I immediately remembered that I’ve heard it is being discontinued in the U.S. and I needed to pick some up soon. I really don’t know why, but I don’t ever remember purchasing this product. I’ve seen it several times but with all of the different whisky out these days I’ve usually come away with something else.

Now I love The Macallan, and I am very fond of the 12 year product that can be found almost anywhere. I think that perhaps this product may be in the same circumstance as Glenmorangie Astar, the alcohol content is high and the price is not low. However, these offerings are special and you should enjoy both before the disappear. It cost me about $95.00 USD.

So the Cask Strength Macallan comes in at 60.1% ABV, or a 118 proof. That’s very high considering the usual Macallan 12 year offering is only 40%ABV or 80 proof. This product is “uncut” and “unchill-filtered” so you are enjoying it as Nature has made it. The Distiller’s notes are as follows:

Color: Red Mahogany

Nose: Dried fruit, with chocolate, orange, vanilla and wood spice.

Palate: Rich and smooth, with fruit cake, vanilla and a hint of wood smoke.

Finish: Full and lingering, with dried fruit and spice.

In other words, classic Macallan mostly. The color along gets me going. I just love the color that the Sherry Oak casks from Jerez, Spain deliver! It is such a rich looking whisky.

The notes on the bottle advise enjoying this dram with a splash of water. As usual, I will try it without and then I will take their advice and see which one I like better.

WOW! It takes a remarkably well done whisky to accomplish the mouth-feel of this offering. And considering its alcohol content, I can keep this whisky in my mouth for as long as I want and enjoy it! That shows me the class of this whisky. It’s extremely well-rounded and beautifully complex. This product is so good, I don’t feel like adding water. I did, it does reveal some nice flavors, some that burst and some that linger. Very nice! I prefer it uncut though.

I believe, age wise, this is a ten-year product. It does not state it on the bottle but the web-site shows it as a ten years product. I’m guessing that they removed the age statement for Americans because most Americans believe you can only drink a scotch that has aged at least 12 years. It’s an unfortunate misunderstanding to say the least.

As I said earlier, this product, from my understanding, is being discontinued in the U.S.A. If you appreciate really good whisky, you will want one of these!

Cheers!

20121230-171120.jpg

Glenmorangie’s Astar, Single Malt Scotch Whisky

20121219-212829.jpg

In the States we have this crazy custom on the Friday after our Thanksgiving Holiday which is celebrated every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month. We call this Friday “Black Friday” because for some retailers the sales receipts on that day push them from being in debt to being profitable for the calendar year. On this particular one, I learned that the Virginia liquor stores, which are regulated and run by the State, were having a sale on all products and some particular specially discounted items.

Now let me be clear, I do not like to get up at the crack of dawn on a day off to go shopping, but we’re talking whisky people! So, off I went! And boy am I glad I did.

I snagged a few items that day, one of these was the Glenmorangie Astar. Astar is one of the many offerings from Glenmorangie and is probably my favorite. It is evidently the product of specially chosen casks, made from a certain Oak grown in Missouri. After these casks are broken in with some American Bourbon, they are sent to Scotland to mature the Astar product.

The tasting notes from the distiller are as follows:

Aroma

Rich in toffee and crème-brulee, drizzled with fresh menthol, warm cinnamon and deep aniseed spices. Mint humbugs and a sweet honey-lemon complexity follows.

Taste

Crème-brulee with a burst of mouth-watering pineapple, poached pears and apricots, smothered with vanilla custard.

Finish

The finish is long and smooth with a lingering mix of honey and almond, coconut ice and traces of aniseed.

Colour

Bright gold

As usual, I can pick up on some of the flavors/aromas, etc….. but it all comes down to, do I like it? The nosing of this dram is a bit challenging due to the higher than normal ABV. It is a 114 proof product, yes, its got some kick! So nosing is not a casual thing, it’s daring. What is amazing is that once on the palate, this is an incredibly enjoyable spirit. Warm and spiced, it really energizes the palate and makes you want more!

This is a special whisky, not average, nor comparable to anything in general. You should go try this as soon as you can. Rumor has it, and it’s from a very good source, that this offering is being discontinued in the U.S. (you’ve been warned!)

The Balvenie 17 year Doublewood

Oh yes! Stopped into the Virginia ABC store today and while trolling through the scotch aisle I came upon the new release from Balvenie. Balvenie experienced great success with their 17 year line that has been released over the past few years and now they have complimented it by taking their usual Doublewood whisky and brought it to a mature level of 17 years. The entry or as i like to call it “gateway” to The Balvenie line of scotch is the Doublewood and it is a fabulous scotch. The regular Doublewood can be had for around $50 U.S. and the 17 year comes in north of $120. I wasn’t planning on finding this and was very happy and thought this would make a great dram to review since I have basically been on hiatus for several months now.

It is fall in the D.C. area and the beautiful colors of fall are starting to emerge. This 17 year’s color is right on time! It’s appearance is a beautiful amber that matches the hardwoods in my backyard. It looks like it has some beautiful coloring in it that can only come from time in the right casks.

The nose is candy like and leads me to think this is going to be a very warm and smooth whisky. The ABV count is 43% and there is no alcohol kick as I stick my nose firmly into the Glencairn glass.

It tastes like butter. I love butter! And it tastes just like it smells. It is warm, not hot. It coats the tongue evenly and and is very well rounded. It does not burn. You can leave it in your mouth for many seconds and just enjoy the dram.
The finish is polite, and it is simply a home run! It is a very easy drinking scotch, almost too easy. Some may be wishing for a higher ABV but this is simply a civilized scotch that would feel at home in a ballroom or your living room. What you get is a much deeper and mature experience that you would not get from the regular Doublewood offering. Be warned, this drinks really easy. I did not add any water to this, as I do not to any Balvenie product.

It is a bit pricy, especially in these times so if you can find a friend who enjoys whisky team up and go find this offering.

Thanks again Balvenie!

Cheers!

 

20121018-181129.jpg

Highland Park 15 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

20111224-161644.jpg

In luxury items there is fierce competition these days, and then there are those items that defy competition due to their superiority. Highland Park whisky is one of those products. In fact the 18 year was bestowed “best scotch in the world” by one reviewer. There is a virtual sea of scotch whisky products these days and much of it really good. Highland Park has always been a standard since I’ve been into serious whisky but for some reason I’ve evaded buying my own bottles. Today I corrected that mistake. The ABC store had the 12 and 15 year on sale. I grabbed the 15 year for around $67. When I last tasted the HP products it was with Martin Daraz on a whisky cruise in Washington D.C. It’s amazing how different the mouthfeel is on these two.

The 12 year is all over your tongue like a young spirit without rest. The 15 year actually shows a completely different and mature behavior and lays down the softest, lightly peated fruit. You might even be mistaken to call this an Islay scotch. The mouth feel is one I like, it has a viscous, oily finish that I find goes really well with a cigar.

Some say that this (Highland Park) is just too much to pay for whisky but if you enjoy premium products you owe it to yourself to try Highland Park, even the 12 year is very nice. I’m going to enjoy this bottle over the holidays this year. I hope you find a spirit you enjoy also.

Cheers!

Some Drams at Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Recently I met up with a couple of Whiskey enthusiasts at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington D.C. and as usual, tried a few single malt scotch whisky’s that I haven’t had before. Before I forget, the food, as usual was awesome! I had the Duck Breast, awesome, and a delicious appetizer the Chef whipped up for me special, many thanks!!

So, the first dram was a Glen Garioch 21 year that was very reminiscent of the 12 year I have in my cabinet yet smoother and more refined. I thought the Garioch would go great with Duck and I proved this out to my liking. The most surprising aspect of this dram was that at 43% ABV it still had a nice little initial alcohol burn on the nosing. It of course went away as I kept my nose firmly implanted in it. A very nice fruity dram.

image

Second up was the Prime Malt bottling I spied that turned out to be an aged Macallan which always interests me. As a rule, scotch that I can find almost anywhere on God’s green earth tends to not please me but The Macallan has yet to disappoint. This dram was no exception and the 30 years of aging proved in-line with other aged Macallan’s I have had. It’s just a hard offering  to beat, regardless of the bottler!

imageAt the urging of the bartender I tried his favorite single malt, which is saying A LOT, when you are at Jack Rose! So the Rosebank is famous and unfortunately rare since the distillery was closed in 1993. Chieftain’s offering from them was a 20-year-old (aged) and I can’t say it is my favorite dram at JR’s but it offers a very interesting experience. The flavors impact you first at the tip of the tongue and on the finish the flavors rush to the rear of your palate. Quite different, and I have experienced this before but it is not typical in my experience. I quite enjoyed it and it was probably the best dram of the three that night.

So if you are reading this and find yourself in the Washington D.C. area, you also can find these fine drams (though drams like this are limited!) so get down there and imbibe!

Cheers!

image

P.S.! If you were not aware, Jack Rose has a VERY nice humidor from Draper’s cigars and it is filled with Premium Cigars! All for $10! And between you and me, some are worth a LOT more than that! Smoking is allowed upstairs.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

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

Playwright | Actor | Columnist | Co Founder & Artistic Director of Old Trunk Theatre Company

Cask Tales

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

Alcohol And Aphorisms

Whisky and Beer Discussion In A Relaxed, Yet Slightly Pretentious Fashion

%d bloggers like this: