RSS
 

The Balvenie 21yr (Port Wood)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Distillery: The Balvenie
Bottler: The Balvenie
Years Matured: 21
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: auburn
Nose: fruitcake, rasins,oranges, nutty, sponge cake, port
Body: rich, oily
Palate: sweet, honey, sweet cream, nutty, winey
Finish:  long, pencils, emphatic

Flavor Profile

Final Thoughts

I am finding myself really enjoying The Balvenie portfolio and this malt is no exception.  I do have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about purchasing a 21yr old finished in port wine casks but at the same time was eager to experience something other than sherry or burbon aged malts.  Luckily I am very impressed with this complex bottling.

This scotch is complex and the  nose is tame so be sure to use the full rnage of distances from the glass to get the full effect.  Fruity, winey, and woody notes are all well represented and in balance.  The body is oily and coats the tounge perfectly without hardly any effort.  The palate matches the nose but the focus here is clearly on the sweet, dry portugeese wine which lent its character during the aging process.  The finish is huge at first then becomes dry and woody as it tapers off.  The finish is very long and stuck with me for at least an hour.

Grade: A (94)

 

The Glenlivet 21yr (The Archive)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: The Glenlivet
Bottler: Distillery
Years Matured: 21
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: polished mahogany
Nose: sherried fruits, oranges, vanilla, sponge cake, heather honey
Body: firm
Palate: gently coats, starts sweet, light spice, butter
Finish:  dark chocolate, some sweet spices

Flavor Profile

Final Thoughts

This is Glenlivet’s second oldest bottling in their portfolio and is a great addition to the rest of the line.  While Glenlivet’s 12yr old can be found at nearly every bar in the United States, this bottling may be a little tougher to find out in the wild.  However, with Glenlivet being such a huge hit in the U.S. your local speciality shop should have a bottle or two in stock.

I was pleasantly surprised by the nose on this fill.  As with some older aged whiskies the sherry can overpower even the most robust house flavor.  It would seem that this particular bottling used second fill casks which imparted only a slight influence.  This is definitely to our benefit as other dimensions can really shine.  While the sherry remnants are fairly subdued, the vanilla notes from the old oak and renowned Speyside citrus are very apparent.  A slight hint of heather honey tops off the nose and adds a nice feinty balance.

The body and mouth feel are fantastic, definitely one of my favorites in this department.  It is firm and coats the mouth easily.  The palate is sweet but has a buttery richness that provides balance and class.  Some light spice notes are apparent but difficult to identify, I recommend a little water to open things up.  The finish has more sweet spice and a hint of dark chocolate (think >40% solids) that warrants another.  Overall a wonderful Speyside dram and a welcome deviation from the rest of Glenlivet’s lighter, bourbon aged portfolio.

Grade: B+ (88)

 

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)

 
No Comments

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)