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Archive for the ‘Tasting Notes’ Category

Ardbeg 10yr

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Distillery
Years Matured: 10
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  46.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: pale gold
Nose: smokey, spent matches, iodine, arisol
Body: medium
Palate: medicinal, smoke and more peat, some saltiness
Finish: long and powerful, earth and peat reek, musty, leather

Flavor Profile

ardbeg10yr

Final Thoughts

The Ardbeg 10 year is definitly one of the best representations of the Islay region I have come across.  The malt is heavily smoked with Islay peat which has a good amount of seaweed and lends a distinct salty iodine characteristic.  The palate and finish match the nose very well keeping everything in balance.  The long finish on this one makes for a great calming bedtime dram.

Grade: B+ (88)

 
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Posted in Argbeg, Islay

 

Cragganmore (Distillers Edition)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Distillery: Cragganmore
Bottler: Cragganmore
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  40.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: tawny
Nose: very complex, candied apples, oranges, cherries, toffee
Body: medium
Palate: very drinkable, sweet, more oranges and cherries
Finish: sweet and light, smoke appearing then turning malty/cereal and smooth

Flavor Profile

cragganmoreDistillersEdition

Final Thoughts

Cragganmore has historically been known for their extremly fragrant and complex malts, this bottling is no different.  This malt has more layers than a parfait and yet manages to keep everything in perfect balance.  This particular whisky was finished in Ruby Port casks prior to bottling, adding another level of depth to this fine dram.

The initial nosing is filled with sweet citric fruit and wine.  As your hand warms the glass, vanilla and toffee notes become more apparent and when combined with the fruit remind me of sugared fruit and Crème fraîche.  The palate matches the nose very well and needs little if any water as the malt goes down smoothly.  The finish is sweet, but only for a few seconds before giving way to clean cereal and smokey phenols.  All in all a great Speyside Scotch and one I will continue to recommend.

Grade: A- (92)

 

Glenmorangie 10yr (The Orginial)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: Glenmorangie
Bottler: Glenmorangie
Years Matured: 10
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  40.0%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: deep copper
Nose: floral, fabric softener, opening to citris, dried apricots, cream cheese
Body: light and fresh
Palate: vanilla, salty butter, dry
Finish: short, a little peat, herbal, lingering oak

Flavor Profile

glenmorangie10yrTheOrginial

Final Thoughts

As the most approachable, and youngest expression in the Glenmorangie line, the 10yr Original is a nice bridge to the distillers bolder expressions.  There is just enough house flavor in this bottle to hook you on the remaining portfolio.

The nose is rich with floral notes, a focal point of many Highland malts.  However, when enjoyed with a small amount of water, hidden feinty and fruity notes become much more apparent.  The body is light, much like other Bourbon aged 10yr olds.  The palate is sharp and reminds me of yogurt dipped pretzels and their sweet and salty contrast.  The final dry oaky notes drop off quickly…too quickly, leaving just a hint of flowers and peat behind. Overall a great introduction to the varied Glenmorangie portfolio but falls a little flat compared to other 10yr olds.

Grade: B (84)

 

Laphroaig 15yr

05 Jul

laphroaig15yrWhisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Distillery: Laphroaig
Bottler: Laphroaig
Years Matured: 15
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: russet, muscat
Nose: peaty, smokey, tar, clove tossed in a bonfire, plastic bucket
Body: round
Palate: sweet, tomatoes, grass, warming
Finish:  long, vanilla creme, bitter chocolate

Flavor Profile

Laphroaig15yr

 Final Thoughts

Laphroaig (pronounced La-froyg) is widely respected as a one of the great Islay distilleries.  Their attention to detail and mastery of the region’s ingredients  show in their portfolio.  This 15 year bottling is quite a bit more mature than its 10 year counterpart but still retains the Laphroaig house character.

Immediately detectable is the peat, cut from Laphroaig’s private farms on the eastern shoes of Loch Indall.  This peat has stewed in the ground for an untold number of years, soaking up the heather, moss, and seaweed that can be found in abundance around Islay.  The smoke is also some of the most unique and flavorful I have ever smelled.  Tar, burnt clove, and a tinge of plastic are all present and give this whisky some great dimension.  The palate is surprisingly sweet and the extra 5 years in bourbon barrels lends a smooth and round characteristic.   I consider this finish one of the best out there.  It is very long and rests on the palate like a rich piece of chocolate cake.

Grade: A- (92)

 
 

Talisker 12yr (Distillers Edition)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Skye
Distillery: Talisker
Bottler: Talisker
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  45.8%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: tawny
Nose: peat, sea air, pepper, spent sparklers, cooked fruit, oranges
Body: light, slippery
Palate: instantly warm, turning volcanic, earthy, salty, peaty
Finish:  firm, smokey, mossy earth, dark chocolate

Flavor Profile

Final Thoughts

There is only one place in Scotland that could birth a malt like this.  Something so volcanic, varied, and beautiful could only be a product of the Isle of Skye.

As the sole distiller on the island only Talisker gets to benefit from some great geology and ecology.  The water source for the distillery wells up through layers of basalt left from the island’s creation and imparts a variety of minerals giving it a distinct taste.  The water also flows over peat fields just before its journey ends, adding to the overall high phenol count in this malt.  These variables and more give this malt a great varied and powerful nose.  The body is surprisingly light and is a nice contract to similarly peated Islay malts.  The palate is warming with great peat notes and perhaps a hint of fruit.  The finish is long, delicate, and represents the whole profile very well.  Overall an excellent and unique malt.

Grade: A (94)

 
 

The Balvenie 10yr (Founders Reserve)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: The Balvenie
Bottler: The Balvenie
Years Matured: 10
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: light gold
Nose: honey, white ziffendal, fruit salad, vanilla
Body: light to medium
Palate: immedatly hot, mead, dry, chaff-like, iron tonic, spicy
Finish:  dry, husky, slight peat, spicy, sweet woody notes linger

Flavor Profile

theBalvenie10yrFoundersReserve

Final Thoughts

A solid young highland malt.  In an industry where the use of commercial maltings are common place there is something to be said about those who malt their own barely.  Balvenie has a strong tradition of such practices and their additional effort does not go unnoticed.

This malt, while younger, shows some real style.  The nose is extremely hot and I recommend a little water to kill the prickle.  Once mellowed, feinty, and fruit notes are prevalent.  Warming with the hand brings out a surprising amount of vanilla for such a young malt.  The palate is reminiscent of dry mead with a spash of iron tonic.  Wrapping things up is a great cereal finish with lingering spice and fleeting notes of peat.  Overall a profound expression from a young malt and historic distillery.

Grade: B+ (88)