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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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  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:15

    Mehkong Thai Whisky

    Before we get started let's be clear that this is not a whisky by most legal (and reasonable) definitions.  However it was "presented" to me as whisky in Thailand, though the label on the bottle takes a more conservative approach calling this a "Thai spirit".  Further reading reveals that ingredients include molasses, rice and herbs and it is bottled at a liqueur level of 35% ABV.   The nose is fresh paint with some herbal, aromatic even vegetal notes notes in the background.  A freshly painted Indian grocery store.  The tast is also herbal, like medicinal cough sweets (Riccola?), reminded me of a liqueur without the sugar but there was a hint of caramel - perhaps that is what gave this it's whisky coloring?  The finish?  I would call it an after taste more than a finish, as if you had licked the walls of the grocery store.  

    Sunday, 04 September 2016 13:09

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #23

    Location: Roast, Borough Market, London, UK

    Date: September 2016

    Price: 16.50 GBP ( $ 21.94 USD)

    Recipe: Crown Royal Special Reserve and mixed "perfect" with dry and sweet vermouth

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I think the Canadian style  does not lend it self as well to Dry Vermouth.  I should have gone with a sweeter bourbon for balance.

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

    In 2016 the London Distillery had to move from it's original Batersea home to Druid Street near London Bridge station.  When I visited the new site in August 2016 Christina the gin still (shown in the photograph) was back to work producing Dodd's and Kew Gin but a lot more more work is required on the site before Matilda the whisky still would be operational again.  When it is finished the new site promises to be wonderful and attract a lot more visitors because of the location and surrounding attractions.  Hopefully when I return later this year the new site is fully rennovated and can see that for myself and that they will be making more whisky and offering tours and visits again! 

    Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:44

    Hull Distillery Company Ltd, Hull, England

    You won't find this mentioned on very many whisky blogs because it is not a whisky distillery.  In fact it doesn't even exist anymore, but over time the site has transformed into the Saltend Chemicals Park (or SCP) operated by BP.  The site is not open to the public (or even part of a "British Petrochemical Trail") but because of my job (Amazingly I am not a full time whisky blogger!) I was able to get a tour of SCP which still produces industrial alcohol / biofuel today from grain in August 2016.  The history of the Hull Distillery Co Ltd  goes back to 1924 when Herbert Green opened an industrial distillery and in 1925 he sold it to DCL.  By 1963 DCL had three divisions, a Drinks Group that manufactured Scotch Whisky, Gin and Vodka, a Food Group that included United Yeast Co, and Peerless Refining Co. and an Industrial Group principally involved in chemicals and plastics.  In 1967 sold their Chemcials and Plastics business to British Petroleum (BP) including the Saltend Distillery.

    Now an interesting footnote in UK distilling history but no samples on this tour... which was probably for the best.

    Ref: http://saltendchemicalspark.co.uk/history

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:46

    Talisker Port Ruighe

    The nose on this No Age Statement, 45.6% ABV expression is pure Talisker: salt, pepper and peat all clash and collide.  The taste is sharp at first, then some toffee sweetness comes through, along with more salt, dark chocolate and a sour citrus note.  Chilli and pepper in the finish along with some smoke.  I didn't find much evidence of the port pipe maturation, maybe the dark chocolate was the port influence, but this is pretty good.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:41

    House of Hazelwood 21 year old

    The nose on this 40% ABV blend nose is perfumed and floral (or perhaps that is suggested by the bottle which resembles something I would expect to find in a grandmothers bathroom cabinet) with some foamed banana candy, baked bread and even some fresh paint.  The taste is a little woody at first, then some sweetness, lemon, spice and even a hint of smoke.  Quite full bodied and robust for a blend.  Some water will bring up more caramel sweetness and to my palate makes it slighty more balanced.  The finiush has more oaky tannins, pepper and a suggestion of sherry.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:30

    Vom Fass Bowmore 1998 Bordeaux Cask

    This 56.9% ABV expression has a briney and sweet nose with some peaty notes.  The taste was very sharp at first, sweet and medicinal with a peaty and peppery finish.  These notes reflect that when I tasted this one neat it did not give me a lot to work with.  With a little water (and at 56.9% it needs a little) the nose develops a more rubbery, even tarry note.  The taste was also much better with a less sharp mouthfeel and much easier to get past the alcohol to find a nice interplay of smoke and sweet barley sugar.  Some black tea, pepper and lemon peel notes now appear in the finish.

    Friday, 05 August 2016 04:24

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #22

    Location: Homemade, Galveston, Texas

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Free

    Recipe: 2 x Forty Creek, 1 x Dolin sweet vermouth, 1 x Luxardo and Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Black Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I had a feeling that Forty Creek would work really well in this recipe, and it did.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:27

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #21

    Location: Crows Nest, Capt Cook Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska

    Date: July 2016

    Price: $ 14.50

    Recipe: Sazerac rye with sweet vermouth and almost obligatory Angostura bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: I like it when they offer me choice of bourbon or rye... esp. when rye is Sazerac.  Very nice.

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

    Thursday, 28 July 2016 19:20

    Manhattan Project: Experiment #20

    Location: Zatta Bar, Hilton Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

    Date: July 2016

    Price: Ummm.... forgot to check

    Recipe: Glenlivet 12 year old, Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

    Garnish: Maraschino cherry

    Served: Up

    Comments: When is a Manhattan not a Manhattan?  When it is a Rob Roy ie made with Scotch... oh well

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

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 649

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 58

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    Random Whisky

    Glen Scanlan

    I found this bargain blend in a duty free store in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and my eye was caught by the following quote on the label; “Bottled Under British Government Supervision”. Having lived much of my life in the UK and being a constant visitor I loved the idea that anyone would take any reassurance of quality from this. Perhaps we should start offering product bottled under the supervision of “The Former Enron Management Team” or even “The People who Developed The Obamacare Website”. Anyway the nose has malt, honey and a slight stewed fruit (even vegetal) note. The taste is light and sweet with toffee, more malt, tobacco, mint and even a little smoke. Not bad at all. The finish is short and sweet. Perhaps British Governments can supervise something after all?