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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Kilchoman USA Small Batch No.1

This 48.5% ABV bottling comes from batch No. 1 (of 1260 bottles) and is labelled as bourbon, sherry and port cask matured. This was my first Kilchoman purchase in a long time but I am a bit of a sucker for Port influenced whiskies and I am really glad I found this one. The nose is classic Islay with salt, seaweed and smoke in abundance. Maritime whisky notes dominate with some iodine and seaweed at low tide. The taste starts sweet with dried fruits, marzipan, barley sugar and then some salty notes add balance. A Christmas cake left on the beach. The finish manages to be both spicy and sweet and even minty and dries out leaving smoke. With water gets a little creamier and sweeter and some black pepper appears in the finish. There is a lot going on here and the three casks all show their influence on the finished product.

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  • I wish I could explain better why this story has burrowed under my skin and makes me so angry that I am still seething weeks later.

    http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2013/07/the-dalmore-paterson-collection-goes-on-sale-at-987500/

    I do like Richard Paterson, he has always been charming and friendly to me on the few occasions we have met at various whisky events and shared a few of his "special drams" as well. Anyone who had read my reviews (is there anyone?) also knows I like Dalmore whisky. Perhaps that is in part why I got so worked up… these ridiculous marketing gimmicks destroy the credibility of a great product in my eyes at least. I have ranted before about whisky as an investment (the words “utter” and “bollocks” inexplicably spring to mind) and suspect anyone stupid enough willing to plonk down the best part of one million pounds for this “collection” will be someone making an “investment” and possibly never drinking it. Surely I am not alone in thinking it would better to see this liquid use sparingly in some blended products where more true whisky lovers could appreciate it than seeing it hoarded by someone just trying to make a profit, grab some publicity or prove to some girl who rejected him in College how fabulous and successful he is now?

    I could feel the bile in my stomach as I typed this blog. It is “anti everything” I feel about whisky. Whisky for me is about companionship, small pleasures, shared experiences and relaxation. It is about sharing a dram (or a bottle) and taking time to smell the roses (or the lemon or the malt or whatever I find in the nose or palate). It is not about nursing a glass whose contents cost more than most people would spend on a car. I recently shared a bottle of Jameson out of plastic cups on the deck of friend’s cabin after a fishing trip. I suspect it was better tasting, at that moment in that location, than drinking some million pound collection of whisky.  Perhaps on reflection I am the richer man after all.

    By the way, if anyone reading this blog happens to have 987,500 pounds to invest I have fantastic bridge in Sydney harbor I can let you have cheap.  Email me.

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 678

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    Random Whisky

    Auchentoshan 18 year old

    This was the expression I ended up buying after sampling a few when I visited this distillery in 2011.  The nose is nice and enticing, malty with lots of vanilla and bourbon notes.  I suspect this has very high percentage of ex-bourbon casks if not 100%.  The taste is delicious, a little more spice than other expressions but this has been in oak for 18 years.  There is some lemon, barley sugar, more vanilla and even some banana.  The finish has some lemon drop candy which is balanced nicely with a crisp, white wine and oak.  I do prefer the Three Wood expression, but that is not a typical Auchetoshan.  This 18 year old is probably the best example of the house style of elegant, triple distilled, lowland malt.