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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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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

    The Reid Single Malt Vodka

    Bottled at 44% ABV this might be my first Single Malt vodka produced at the very new Cardrona Distillery in New Zealand. The nose is sweet and a little fruity and grainy. Did not say “vodka” to me at all. The taste is very smooth, sweet with a little sweet citrus oil note. Actual flavors in a vodka, whatever next? Nice clean finish with a little pepper and mint as the alcohol dries on the tongue.   Overall rather good and interesting to see what could be done. A distant cousin to whisky rather than a close relative and the obvious question is what would happen if they chose to mature some in oak other than a few bloggers would literally (and I am using the term correctly) freak out, so it would be worth doing it just to see that.