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Most Recent Whisky Review

Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask

I always question "bourbon cask" finished as a feature of any whisky as most Scotch and Irish is matured in Bourbon casks.  It is like saying a "metal car" or a "terrible Brexit plan"; it's a  bit redundant.  Bushmills have highlghted the #3 char of oak casks used (meaning a few seconds less exposure to fire than the more common #4) as the USP of this expression.  The nose is malty with banana, vanilla and milk chocolate.  The taste also has malt and nuts, lemon citrus peel and sweet peanut brittle.  The finish is initially sugar coating on tongue with a spicy note of cinnamon and tamale hots candy at the end.  At end of the day it is another bourbon cask finished whisky and there is not much here that stands out so if you are in mood for no-age expression Bushmills (and why not) I would probably recommend Black Bush over this one.

 

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  • Monday, 01 July 2013 21:52

    The World's Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky?

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    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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    Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Maderia Cask

    Of the three expressions this was my favorite Age of Discovery. The nose is nutty and fruity with dates and some oak notes as well. The taste is creamy, even buttery, with honey, citrus peel and oak at first then bitter dark chocolate and more nuts. Snickers bar without the sweet caramel and nougat. Madeira is subtle and as with other expressions in this series and it doesn't try to hide from being a Glenfiddich. The finish is drying with charred oak approaching smoke. Nice balance of 19 years in cask and sweet Madeira finish.