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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Bellevoye Bleu

If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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  • Sunday, 27 January 2013 17:31

    Old Friends and Jet Bags

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    I am writing this entry whilst in the middle of a long business trip. I am very fortunate because these trips always provide some opportunities to find and try new whiskies. This can take many forms including airline lounges, duty free shops, whisky shops and bars, hotel bars and even hotel mini bars (See my Cardhu review). It rare that I come home from a trip without making a new friend or two along the way and this trip, so far, is no different. I was delighted to find behind the bar of anonymous city center chain hotel a bottle of the recently reproduced Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt. Even better they were down to last dram and when he went to pour my double (50 ml to exact; don’t get me started in standard UK measure of 25 ml!) the barman rather than put back an almost empty bottle (I don’t think was a big seller for him) generously topped my glass up.  

    However I have to say such finds are becoming rarer for me now, it is getting harder to find whiskies that I haven’t tried and make these new liquid friends. So instead on this trip I took the time to reintroduce myself to some old friends; Glenfiddich 12 year old and Dalwhinnie 15 year old. I am glad I did. I have a real soft spot for Glenfiddich and have always felt it was overlooked and underrated in the whisky community. I know it isn’t trendy but, I tell you what, it is bloody good. If you don’t believe me PLEASE go back and try it again. As for the Dalwhinnie, I spent a lovely evening at the house of an old friend, in snowy Scotland catching up and doing severe damage to his only bottle of single malt. Context is of course everything, but at that moment, in that place, the Dalwhinnie was the perfect dram.

    Just before I left for this trip I found myself in the Container Store in Houston and spotted the JetBag™ in the photo. What I love about this bottle protector (apart from fact it pretty cheap at just $3.99) is that not only does it protect the bottle but it also contains an interior that will absorb the full 750 ml of fluid if bottle does break. Touch wood, I have never had a bottle break in my luggage but I can travel with a little more confidence because one day I know it will happen! So I guess that makes JetBag my first official www.somanywhiskies.com product endorsement. Right now, as I write this, it is protecting the bottle of Longmorn 16 year old I bought in Scotland, another one of the 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die and so I need to get on with posting that review (and the Mackinlay’s).

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    Random Whisky

    Jura Superstition

    This was one of five whiskies that we tried at a tasting led by Ian Buxton in May 2011 in Aberdeen.  Of the five this was not the most expensive or unusual whisky we tried that day, but for me it was the the most surprising and enjoyable, probably because I had some preconceptions regarding the Isle of Jura distillery as producing "middle of the road" malts for blending.  I did not take detailed tasting notes that day, but this is definately a whisky I will be going back to try again and I will post tasting notes then.  Rich, complex and smokey, not unlike Highland Park, this was a great example of why you should try all whiskies and not assume anything.  The only downside was the pang of regret I felt because we did not visit Jura when we went to Islay in 2010.

    Update:  As promised here are some more detailed tasting notes.  The nose is rich and inviting with smoke, pears and seaweed.  The taste is very nice, smooth, smoky but balanced with some caramel.  Fades to a nice oaky, sweet finish and a little more caramel at the end.  This is an excellent every day dram and has the smokiness of an Islay combined with some of the richness of a speyside.