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4000 Miles Later…

18 May

I came home today and found a  long awaited package sitting on the doorstep.  My winnings from the recent whiskyforeveryone.com birthday contest had successfully made the long 4000 mile journey from London to Minneapolis.  The team over there are incredibly generous, including not only the promised 20cl bottle of Talisker 10yr but a bottle of Jura Prophecy, two crystal Auchentoshen tumblers and some great distillery pins as well!  It’s really unfortunate that you can’t find the 20cl bottles in the U.S. as they are the perfect size for 2-3 glasses allowing you to taste a whisky without having to drop a lot of bills for a giant 750ml bottle.

In any case you can bet I will be looking to review these two great whiskeys within the next couple weeks so stop in again soon to check them out.

 
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Posted in News

 

And the winner is…

26 Apr

A couple weeks ago around Easter, the team over at http://www.whiskyforeveryone.com celebrated their second anniversary.  Their hard work over the years has created a website and blog with a wealth of information for beginning whisky drinkers.  I visit the site on a weekly basis and am always pleasantly surprised by the quality of their research and articles.  Definitely one for the favorites list.

That being said, the team was hosting a competition in honor of their anniversary and had asked their readers to submit ideas for a blog article or ongoing series.  The submissions would be judged by the staff at The Whisky Shop in London and the winner would receive a box full of goodies including a bottle of Talisker 10yr and a sample of whisky from their upcoming “Mystery Malt” series.  I quickly posted my desire to see an article on hosting a whisky tasting party for family and friends.  After all, we cant let the oenophiles have all the fun!

To my surprise, I just received word that the judges had unanimously chosen my idea for their new article!  I am very excited to have contributed something to this wonderful website and knowledge base; the prizes dont hurt either!  Once Eyjafjallajokull stops spitting ash across Europe the bottles should find their way to my doorstep and given some time to a review for you to enjoy.

Until then, slainte!

 
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Posted in News

 

The Naked Grouse

04 Oct

theNakedGrouseWhisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland/Speyside Blend
Distillery: Highland Distilleries
Bottler: Highland Distilleries
Years Matured: Varies
Style: Blend
Alcohol:  40.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: polished mahogany
Nose: smooth, mouth coating
Body: sherried, buttery, vanilla cream, apricots
Palate: more sherry and vanilla, sponge cake
Finish: medium length, woody, bitter chocolate, a hint of peat

Flavor Profile

theNakedGrouse

Final Thoughts

This new offering from the Edrington Group  is truly something special.  Highland distilleries has brilliantly leveraged their widely recognized portfolio of single malt Scotch heavyweights to blend a malt of epic proportions.  What began as Scotland’s most popular whisky (Famous Grouse) has been augmented with the delicate sweetness of The Macallan and floral peat of Highland Park to charm palates of whisky drinkers in the Twin Cities area.

First on the nose are refreshing sherry notes from the extended aging in Spanish oak sherry casks.  The Macallan influence is clearly represented here with wisps of vanilla and dried apricots.  Balancing out the sweetness is a distinct savory/buttery note that hints to the gorgeous rounded body.

Once on the palate this whisky does not let down.  The vanilla is more present here and reminds me of freshly baked sponge cake.  Finally, the finish tapers off beautifully and represents the nose and palate very well.  The well rounded nature of this malt is a real tribute to the blenders skill.  The sweet, winey flavor makes me want to save this one for socializing or for a relaxing after dinner treat.  However, it’s just too drinkable to stay around for that long…

At this time the Naked Grose is only available in limited quantities in the Twin Cities areas.  However, if all goes well (and I immagine it will) you should see the Naked Grouse rustling around the scotch section of your local stores in no time.

Grade: A- (90)

 

Ardbeg Uigeadail

13 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Distillery
Years Matured: No age statement
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  54.2%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: tawny
Nose: peaty, pulled pork, BBQ, hint of sherry, lemon & lime peels
Body: firm
Palate: sweet, fiery like a brick oven, more lime and smoke
Finish: long and powerful, heavy peat and smoked coffee grounds

Flavor Profile

 ardbegUigeadail

Final Thoughts

What a malt!  This fiery reminder of Islay is packed with traditional Ardbeg house flavor and augmented with rich sherry and fruit notes. 

First on the nose is delicious peat smoked meat and tangy BBQ sauce.  With the addition of a little water fruit just wells up from your glass.  Not to be outdone however, the sherry casks chime in with sweet raisin, lemon, and lime fumes almost as in defiance to the heat of the isles.  The malt is firm and unforgiving on the palate, providing a moment of generous complexity before giving you a sharp reminder of the rich, spicy, and alcoholic cask it was birthed from.  The finish is long and powerful, warming you from the inside out.  A comforting and dang good dram to be sure!

Grade: A- (93)

 
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Posted in Argbeg, Islay

 

The Macallan 12yr Sherry Oak

13 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Distillery: The Macallan
Bottler: The Macallan
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: tawny
Nose: vanilla, margrine, raisins
Body: light
Palate: winey, cereal, white cake,  alcholic, just a little smoke
Finish:  shorter than expected, malty, some pepper and spice

Flavor Profile

theMacallan12yr

Final Thoughts

The young star cut short of its prime.  The tawny color of the spirit (clearly influenced by Macallan’s signature Sherry casks) hints at a richer and more complex nose than other 12yr malts.  However, upon inspection the typical Sherry notes are subdued by margrine and vanilla.  While not unexpected for a younger malt I feel the balance is slightly off.  On the palate the 12yr is hotter and more cereal than its older brother.  Even so, white cake, Sherry, and a just a hint of smoke can all be found in the light body.  The finish is shorter than expected but does exhibit the well loved Macallan spicy tinge.  While still a wonderful dram, I would prefer to keep it in the cask another six years.

Grade: B+ (88)

 

Glenmorangie 12yr (The Quinta Ruban)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: Glenmorangie
Bottler: Glenmorangie
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$

 Tasting Notes

Appearance: russet
Nose: sweet, fruitcake, chocolate mint, vanilla, hot on the nose
Body: firm, round
Palate: sweet, nutmeg, cherries, light peat
Finish: long zesty finish, bitter chocolate, peat, almond oil

Flavor Profile 

 glenmorangie12yrTheQuintaRuban

 Final Thoughts

Every now and then I like to enjoy a sizable bedtime dram.  When its been a long day and I am craving something rich and delicate I reach for this special bottling of Glenmorangie.  The Quinta Ruban is finished for two years in port casks.  When Brandy is added in the port making process it kills the fermentation process leaving a high amount of unfermented sugar.  When combined with the vanilla leached from the oak casks you get rich chocolate notes with a hint of mint, cherries, and other fruit.  The finish is long and will sticks with me as I slowly wade into slumberland.

Grade: A- (91)