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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Kilchoman Sanaig

I am a big fan of sherry cask aged and finished Islay whisky (Bowmore 15 The Darkest is still all time Top 10 for me) and so I was looking forward to this 46% ABV no age statement expression from Islay's youngest distillery (but not for much longer!). The nose is classic "bonfire on the beach" with some cooked fruits as well.  The taste is very sweet with caramel, vanilla toffee, green apples and of course some peat which then goes on to dominate the finish while some tannin Sherry notes also push through drying the mouthfeel.  With water the sweetness turns to brown sugar and the peat turns more smokey; hot and peppery on the palate.  It is good but the sherry feels held  back rather than forward on this one.

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  • Monday, 01 July 2013 21:52

    The World's Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky?

    Written by

    Forget the ridiculous recent diamond studded offerings of Dalmore, ignore old Macallans or the recent Glenfiddich releases and completely dismiss the seemingly endless supply of very rare Bowmore (If it so so rare where does it all come from? My theory is that the same bottle is being auctioned over and over again). The most expensive bottle whisky I have ever heard came from Norway and I estimate it cost, very conservatively, about $200,000,000. Yes… two hundred million dollars. I can imagine the Dalmore marketing department now keeling over with sudden heart failure and I am quite enjoying the image.

    This story begins with the Ekofisk oil field in Norway. This massive offshore oil field produced on average 200,000 barrels of oil per year since its discovery in 1969 until 2005, and it is expected to continue production, albeit at lower levels, until 2050. Using a low price of $25 / barrel of oil you quickly get to a value that is eye wateringly large. Despite hours and hours of diligent efforts (OK… a couple of Google searches) I have been unable to verify this story but it was repeated in recent energy magazine blog so I am not the only one who has heard it. In short it goes like this;

    A few years prior to any North Sea oil discovery in 1969 the Danish and Norwegians were negotiating over the other great maritime resource… fish. At this time countries all negotiated their borders and boundaries for their fishing fleets. It was these same maritime boundaries that become the basis for defining offshore North Sea oil and gas access and ownership in the 1970’s. The story goes that the Norwegian and Danes were in deadlock over the last area and the deadlock was finally broken when the Norwegian delegate offered the Danish delegate a bottle of scotch and the deal was struck. Within a few years the Ekofisk field was discovered in that area. If you look at the attached map you will how closely it just fits within the Norwegian boundary and how it could have been easily defined as a Danish (or at least shared) possession with a small nudge of the line. That Danish official paid a tremendous price for his bottle of whisky, I can’t help wondering what it was? I hope he enjoyed it at least!

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    Random Whisky

    Jura 30 year old

    I have always tended to put Jura in the "just another single malt" category.   I have not been there so I admit I lack the "connection" I find I get with whiskies when I have been to the distillery and while many of the Jura expressions I have tried have been good, they have not been great.  Until now.  This is great.  The nose is sweet with oak and vanilla. The sweetness from the nose is also in the taste but balanced with a rich earthiness, peat, licorrice, banana bread and coffee.  Somehow this whisky manages to combine a Womans Institute coffee morning and a Scottish peat bog.  The finish is spicy and dry and because this is so good, just a little poignant.  With water it gets a touch sweeter and smoother with more citrus and less peat.