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Posts Tagged ‘single malt whisky’

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)

 
1 Comment

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)

 

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)