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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Highland Park Viking Honour 12 year old

The nose on this is salty and fruity, with some seaweed, a hint of rubber and a prick of alcohol even at 43% ABV.    The taste is rich with toffee, burnt coffee, caramel at first then some more acrid camp fire notes and along with bitter fruit peels and spices.  The finish is gentle hum of heat and peppermint along with some smokiness.  At 43% ABV it can take a drop of water and still hold up, but it doesn't need it.  Overall a delicious expression from one of my favourite distilleries.

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  • Tuesday, 27 December 2011 15:47

    My Alfred Barnard Blend Project Part 2

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    I made up my blend as per the recipe in the previous blog entry and left it to "marry" in the flask provided as part of the kit (which I sealed with cling film) for about 8 hours.  With about 8 cl of total blend it was enough for my wife and I to taste and review.  The nose was quite salty and tangy, like sea spray (the Islay's clearly evident) and also quite peaty, but in an earthy rather than smokey way.  There was even a hint of maple syrup smoked bacon.  The taste was very smooth and sherry starts to come through, followed by spices like pepper and cinnamon.  There were also some sweet fruit notes, like a jam, but the kind of generic sweet red jam you might get in bed and breakfast.  There was some smoke in the finish and with a little water some oak notes also came through.  This was quite rich for a blend, but then this has only 25 % grain whisky, most blends today are probably closer to 50/50 grain to malt whisky, and I found the Islay influence dominant in the nose (even though it was less than 20% of the total ) but overall whisky was very drinkable and smooth.  Going to Master of Malt website if I was to make a bottle according to this recipe it would cost $83 for a 700 ml bottle and have an ABV of 40.75%.  Because I found the nose and taste a little disjointed I can only give this 2 stars and I will tweak recipe slightly.

     

    Barnard Blend Recipe #2:  Speyside single malt (1 ½ cl of sherry matured) and 1 cl old Speyside single malt,  1 ½ cl of Islay single malt,  1 ½ cl of Lowland single malt, ½  cl old Highland single malt (sherry finished), 1 cl of single grain and finally 1 cl of very, very old single grain.

    The idea here was to remove the very old Islay and increase the very, very old grain.  I also replaced the Highland with an old Highland sherry finished.  I will now blend this one and post a review.  I think this may balance out the nose and the taste but stay true to Alfred Barnard basic recipe. It also reduces price to $ 75 / 700 ml bottle and increases ABV to 41.1%.

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    Random Whisky

    Russell's Reserve 10 year old

    My notes for the nose were “sugar coated sawdust and rose petals” which sums it up very well. The taste at first was very smooth with a delicious burst of sweet caramel popcorn but then started to turn into diet cola and with time oak, showing the signs of 10 years in cask. The finish had some nice rye notes of peppermint but again the age started show with tannins and spices pushing through. Some water revealed some more milk chocolate and chilli notes but some of the sweetness I liked was lost.