My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Elijah Craig Small Batch

This "no age statement" expression replaced the 12 year old Elijah Craig in 2016.  The nose has vanilla, popcorn and toasted oak.  Oily and peppery on palate, a little honey but not as sweet as nose suggests. Not as balanced as I would like but a little water helped and brought up some caramel sweetness and apple tartness.

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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:36

    Vom Fass North British 25 year old

    A quite stunning 46% ABV single grain bottling from Vom Fass, perhaps the best whisky I have tried from their collection (see blog…. http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/754-vom-fass-jack-s-choice).

    The nose is sweet with fresh cut grass (or straw maybe?) with baked lemon cake or pie. Very unique. The taste is also sweet and smooth on the palate with toffee, caramel, vanilla, Werther’s Originals and even flat cola. Some green grass and oak notes balance all the sweetness flow into the finish also adds balance with some more vanilla and pepper as the 25 years in oak starts to assert itself.  With water it becomes a little more woody… my notes say “chewing a pencil dipped in vanilla sugar”.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:34

    The Irishman Single Malt

    I bought this 40% ABV expression on a business trip to Dublin the summer of 2016. The nose is malty and floral with rose oil, baked bread and banana custard. The taste is crisp with fruit and white wine notes, marshmallow, vanilla, toasted coconut and caramel candy. Lots of classic bourbon cask notes. The finish has some spice and even a light winey metallic tang.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:32

    The Irishman Founders Reserve

    This 40% ABV expression is a blend of 70% single malt and 30% pot still whisky (so I have listed this under Other). The nose is fruity and sweet with a little floral honey. The taste is also sweet with toffee, cinnamon, more honey, black fruits and even some strawberry licorice. The finish is woody, with pepper, black tea and a hint of mint.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:30

    Vom Fass Jura 9 year old

    This is a 43% ABV bottling that I found very bright and lively and only goes to confirm  that Jura is sometimes overlooked compared to it’s more famous (infamous?) Islay based next door neighbors.   The nose has sweet peat and malt notes with toasted nuts and coconut strongly suggesting bourbon cask influence. The taste is sweet and light with toffee, milk chocolate, cloves and other spice notes. The finish is peppery and a little sharp lemon. With water it gets a little thin in mouthfeel but finish stays spicy and oaky.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:28

    Kaiapoi 17 year old

    I picked up this bottle of 40% ABV single malt on a trip to New Zealand. According to the label it was made at the Kaiapoi Distillery in Canterbury by Master Distiller John Fitzpatrick. The nose is malty, with a little barnyard and sweet barley sugar. The taste is smooth with milk chocolate, biscuits and a citrus oil note. The finish is a little bitter (citrus peel) and peppery.   With some water the taste gets sweeter with a honeycomb chocolate (Crunchie bar maybe) note and a little more oily finish.

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:26

    The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve

    The nose is classic fruity Glenlivet stuff, tinned fruit salad and cream and chargrilled peaches. The taste is very sweet, the signature Glenlivet pineapple baked in to a sponge cake with burnt sugar and caramel.   The finish has some sweet black tea and oak notes. Reminded me of Texas summer with sweet tea and summer fruit. With a little water it became a bit more sugary and the tannins in finish were stronger. This is bottled at 40% ABV so probably doesn’t need water and I certainly preferred this neat. Overall this is a very approachable and well balanced. While some will always rail against the expansion of “no age statement” or NAS expressions as long as they are of this quality and represent their distillery style as well as this does then I have no major issues with NAS.  

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:22

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #26

    Location: Vintaged, Hilton Hotel, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Date: October 2016

    Price: $23 AUD ($17.48 USD)

    Recipe: No clues given on menu

    Garnish: Marschino Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: Best of the two Manhattan's I had on our Australian vacation.  Classic "hotel bar" taste and garnish.

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Sunday, 30 October 2016 15:18

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #25

    Location: The Fish House, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Date: October 2016

    Price: $18 AUD ($13.68 USD)

    Recipe: Colour (see picture) and taste suggest made with vermouth, not sweet vermouth. .

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Up

    Comments: Not sure if making it with dry vermouth was bar error or house recipe… but it didn't work

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

    Friday, 16 September 2016 03:08

    GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 5

    Can I suggest the next time some boring whisky snob complains about "No Age Statement" whisky you can humbly recommend this and then sit back smugly as they struggle to sustain any kind of argument.   This is good.  Bottled at 55.5% ABV (you need some water on hand to fully enjoy this - and in my opinion anyone who tells you they still prefer without water needs their palate adjusted with a wrench) this batch contains single malt from both PX and Oloroso sherry casks in one of the best unions since John Lennon suggested to Paul McCartney they might try to write their own songs.   The nose has dried fruits and prunes, all the classic "glass of Sherry on Xmas morning in the kitchen while the pudding is being steamed" notes you would want and expect.  The taste has fruitcake, dark chocolate, chilli, citrus and with water gets sweeter with golden syrup notes and the dark chocolate turns into chocolate cake.  The finish is dry, oak notes and tannins.  You can skip dessert as this is an almost perfect after dinner dram.  If I still gave whisky scores this one would have a higher score than Barcelona against Celtic in the Champions League.

    Monday, 12 September 2016 12:31

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #24

    Location: Liquid, Atmosphere Kanifushi, The Maldives

    Date: September 2016

    Price: Free (as part of an all inclusive package)

    Recipe: Equal parts bourbon and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Lemon peel

    Served: Rocks

    Comments: Not bad, my favorite garnish is the lemon peel and drinking this poolside "on the rocks" was the only way to go....

    What is this about? Check out  http://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/749-the-manhattan-project-ii

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    Random Whisky

    Vom Fass Caol Ila & Blair Athol Blended Malt

    This 41% ABV expression has a peat dominated nose with some cirtus and malt notes as well.  Complex and even a little nutty.  The taste is sweet and light with toffee, pepper, milk chocolate, smoked ripe bananas, perfumed heather and some more peat.  The spice and smoke work well together in the finish along with some lemon peel.