Search

theScotchlife

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

Tag

single malt

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!

Advertisements

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!

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

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC10 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

20121221-210809.jpg

So another evening at Jack Rose Dining Saloon is like being a kid, just figuring out what to drink is an adventure. This particular night, Harvey Fry and I were chatting and he said the PC10 was in and was very good. I took his advice and ordered up some with my dinner. Harvey was keen on this one, which should have told me one thing, it’s bottled at the higher end of ABV%(59.8%).

There was indeed a very high kick from the alcohol on the nose! I was able to normalize though and the nose became very pleasant after adjusting to the alcohol. Tasting PC10 was a very hot experience, Peppermint, a flood of flavoring comes through on my palate, but not unbalanced or rude. This spirit is a ten-year product, the remarkable thing about tasting it is that it is rather complete. In other words, ten years is all you need for this product. Often I’ll taste something and I’d wish it would have additional time in the cask, but this one isn’t the case at all.

‘To say this whisky needs to age more is like saying Elizabeth Hurley should be prettier. It is perfect, and so is Liz.

I would drink this neat, the ABV% may spook you, but try it neat first. I think it is wonderfully done and it went great with scallops!

Cheers!

elizabeth_hurley_elle_magazine

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!)

Bunnahabhain 12 year Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

For starters, it is pronounced, Bun na h-Abhainn. Hope that helps. As with my last post, this is another whisky from Islay. And as I mentioned previously, Islay scotch whisky is typically associated with lots of Peat taste from burning it to dry out the malted barley. I also mentioned that not all of the whisky produced in Islay shares this method, this 12 year is a good example of that.

Certainly a finer scotch but not outrageously expensive. Especially for single malts. This one however has one quality shared with the Laphroaig and it comes from the alcohol content. The nosing of this dram reveals its 46.3% ABV. And it doesn’t go away. In a nosing glass it stays strong, and in a larger glass it is more bearable. But the ethanol is so strong that its hard to pick up on what’s about to hit your palate. There is a little smokiness that come across, but unlike some drams, I do not know what to expect.

When the whisky hits the tongue, it’s a mini-explosion. Tastes do come out but this is a fairly hot whisky and its one where the smoke has to clear so that you may enjoy the finish. To me, it comes across a bit thin. Lightly floral, but not exactly what I’d call rounded or complex. It’s a bit spicy and I think this would go well with spicy food.

According to the Bunnahabhain website, this is a repackaged product. I know there are some people out there that really like this brand and I tasted the whole line some time ago. Like then, I think it is a good mid-player in the single malt whisky arena but not on par with some.

I added some water to see if the nosing would improve, it did, but not wildly. I do enjoy this a bit more with water, some of the flavors that I did not notice before are coming out. This is definitely a whisky that I would add water to for  enjoyment. It is non-chill filtered and I do like that aspect of it, I just can’t say this is one of my favorites or a “go to” whisky. But as I always tell people, try it, you make like it!

Cheers!

Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Quarter Cask

Peat. Its a wonderful natural substance that grows in the soils of Scotland as well as many places around the world. When it isn’t enriching soil, it is making a serious influence on the Isle of Islay in Scotland by heaping itself onto the fires drying out the malted barley. If you are new to scotch, this is not my recommended “first drink.” Or third, fith, etc….

You see, Laphroaig is a special whisky. It has special properties, kind of like hell has a special temperature. Peat reins supreme in this Quarter Cask offering and at 48% ABV it has a delivery mechanism courtesy of alcohol that is akin to driving a Ferrari through a small parking lot with the throttle stuck.

Although when you first pour a dram of it, it looks quite tame and ordinary as colours often do in scotch. Yet you dont’ have to get your nose all the way into the glass to know that you have something quite special, and if of the faint of heart, risky in your hands.

The extreme kick of phenols of some Islay scotch’s like this one have caused some people to refer to the nosing of such a glass as being akin to iodine or some other medicinal substance. It does have medicinal properties! More on that later.

When you nose this glass the ethanol kicks you right in the nose and says get ready, here I come. The tasting is no different. There is no all promise and no delivery in this product. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Who would drink such a thing. Well, other than native Scots, I’d say there are many around the World who really enjoy this type of whisky. My first love of Scotch was a Bowmore product, also in the Islay family yet much more of a gentleman. This Quarter Cask is a great representation of what can be done with whisky and the elements that surround Scotland.

I would try to translate the taste to you but it would fall short. This is something you have to experience and then you will see there is nothing quite like it. I drank this neat, but since it is quite complex I would recommend some water. It is not chill-filtered so is not geared toward adding ice as it will cloud up.

As for the medicinal value, tonight I had quite a sour stomach due to the excellent pot roast I  made. My stomach didn’t quite agree with me though. I had a about an ounce or so of some of this whisky and within minutes, the sourness was gone.

Cheers!

Bruichladdich Laddie Classic Ed. 01 Single Malt Scotch Whisky notes

A KATE MOSS RATHER THAN A MADONNA, AN AUDREY HEPBURN RATHER THAN A MARYLIN MONROE, A NATURAL ELEGANCE THAT IS BEYOND FAD AND FASHION – TRULY A CLASSIC BRUICHLADDICH!

20120204-123628.jpg

So the marketing department is a having a hard time explaining their new product, so would you go to nature to explain the wonderful elegance of your new spirit, NAH! Everyone does that, let’s talk about women! Well, I can’t blame them because it’s a darn good subject.

I’ve spotted Bruichladdich canisters a few times in stores and I am traditionally adverse to projects or products with over the top marketing because I think they are hiding something. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes wrong.

Bruichladdich Distillery, like many, have a past like most people. You hit rock  bottom, maybe shut down and then all of a sudden you are reincarnated. Bruichladdich distillery is one of those stories, and I am one of those people. So I can identify with struggles, hopes, pains, and occasionally victory that comes when you’ve been counted out to only come back stronger.

Jim McEwan, head distiller, and company have won many awards in the past few years for their efforts and have perhaps started a cult following. Curiosity has gotten the best of me along with some recommendations from www.Ralfy.com. The references to Kate Moss may have had an influence also.

So this is Bruichladdich’s “Laddie Classic” and it is described as “smooth, floral and elegant spirit, matured purely in American Bourbon Casks.

This bottle was filled in 2009 and is 46% ABV or 92 proof. It is un-chilled filtered, as God intended, and has no artificial coloring.

The nose is fairly floral and strong, even after wading through the alcohol fumes it holds up strong. Taste, complete, balanced and almost buttery was my first impression. Great mouth-feel and the finish comes up a little tart on the top of my tongue, then fades like a genteel waiter. First go at it, I like it, it’s a bit different, maybe like eating a tart green apple? Islay? Very different. The Peat that you would expect comes through on the second taste, and lingers around the edges of the palate.

The finish now reminds me of a Rosado cigar wrapper? Must try.

I sometimes put a little water in a scotch when I first taste it but have learned if I really like it neat, there is no need to go forward. Oh, sure, sometimes a flavor or two might come out, but I enjoy this one “as-is!”

Cheers Kate!

Glen Grant 16 year aged Single Malt Scotch Whisky

20120116-123327.jpg

Intense, ripe orchard fruits, lingering finish….. These are the words imprinted on the bottom label of the lovely bottle of Glen Grant 16. After you drink a lot of whisky (variety, not quantity) particularly scotch, you do see the finer scotch whiskies have a distinctness about them and within their own line each one acts differently. Glen Grant is a newcomer to the States and has a long history with a few owners, originally family, but since the 1970’s corporate ownership has dominated. It is a line of whisky started in 1840 in Rothes, Speyside, Scotland in the UK and was most noted by it’s second owner James Grant who at the ripe age of 25 became its purveyor and visionary. Now corporately owned, it has been introduced into America with a 10 year and a 16 year offering. I tasted both of these at the SMSWA event in Washington D.C. this past fall and really liked them. I thought the 10 to be a great entry or starter scotch for someone and the 16 to be a scotch truly enjoyed by those who imbibe scotch regularly.

Recently I found a bottle of the 16 available in DC. I snatched it up, despite its $70 cost because I am so desperate for variety of scotch and I do remember it being good, $70 good….not so sure, but like I said, desperate for variety.

When nosing this, you do notice a very clean fresh fruit nose. It’s a very bright and cheery nose, quite enjoyable. The affect on the tongue is equally refreshing! Mouthfeel is just right, a bright burst of fruit and alcohol hit you mid-palate but do not overwhelm. I would say this is a very young acting 16 year old. Much like a teenager but fully developed no doubt. I think this same spirit aged a few more years would be incredible. But fruit is forward, and very refreshing in this whisky. I’d say this would be great with strawberries or something tart like kiwi.

The finish is very nice, lingers, and really makes you want more. Being that my relationship with this bottle is new I don’t know quite how to feel about it. I do feel it has a special place though. The more I try it, the more I like it and feel this would, though great now, is strong enough to age at least four more years. I really think I have found a new favorite scotch!

And if you were wondering about cigar pairings, I would not pair this with more than a mild-medium cigar. You really are not going to find a cigar with flavor to match this one so keep it mild so the two do not clash. I’d recommend a smooth Davidoff or Montecristo with this one. If you are paying for this bottle and smoke cigars I’m sure you are not a stranger to those names.

Cheers!

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

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

Cask Tales

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

%d bloggers like this: