logo

My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

I always find myself so drawn to rum influenced whisky that there is a part of me that thinks maybe I should just drink rum? Anyway this no age statement variation on the theme is bottled at 40% ABV and pretty good value at under $40 in bottle (in Texas anyway). The nose is sweet and fruity with perhaps the tell-tale Glenlivet pineapple notes lurking in the background. The taste starts sweet as well with toffee and brown sugars and I found quite oily. I don’t get fresh fruits but more candy fruit flavors, like Starburst or boiled sweets. The finish balances out the sweetness with bitter citrus oil and peel, essential oils and woody tannins. A little water turns the oily mouthfeel into something more creamy and brings out some banana notes. Really good value.

Read More
  • Simon Seaton

    Simon Seaton

    Saturday, 19 November 2011 04:06

    Dalwhinnie 15 year old

    The nose is light and fragrant with floral and cereal notes.  Quite enticing.  The taste has honey, heather, vanilla and malty sweetness.  The mouth feel is quite oily and the finish is slightly perfumed.
    Saturday, 19 November 2011 03:50

    Dalmore 12 year old

    I must confess to a slighty negative impression of Dalmore.  They seem to focus on producing ludicrously expensive whiskies... three bottles for $150,000+ each, which is just wrong because if you did actually buy that you would have to be crazy to actually drink it!  So that grumble aside...   the nose on their slightly more affordable 12 year old is sweet and attractive, with some malt and citrus and maybe some leather and tobacco.  The taste is complex, raisins, fruit, spicey and some oak in the finish.  The finish also has some of the same leather and tobacco notes as the nose.  Complex and good... maybe I need to start saving the $150,000...
    Saturday, 19 November 2011 03:34

    Bowmore Tempest

    I first tried 10 year old Tempest at Whisky Live and my notes say it didn't stand up well to 15 year old big brother The Darkest.  The nose is sweet, perhaps sherry and some smoke and saltiness.  The mouth feel is quite light and the taste is sweet and a little fruity, again with the sherry, and then the pepper and peat come through for slightly harsh finish for me.  Not overly complex.   It is not The Tempest fault, but I like The Darkest so much that I am afraid this just pales in comparison (pale, darkest.... geddit?)
    Saturday, 19 November 2011 03:27

    Lagavulin 16 year old

    The nose has the expected peat and little prick of alcohol and some malty, even nutty, sweetness.  The taste has peat as well, green apples, some caramel and some salt.  Rich and spicy with a long smokey finish.  Not an everyday dram, but delicious.
    Saturday, 19 November 2011 03:18

    Chivas Regal 25 year old

    This is good.  The nose has sweet orange, almost like a Fanta, and little a sherry.  The taste is smooth, creamy and sweet.  The orange from the nose is there, and toffee and chocolate, spices in the finish and some subtle, subdued oak (considering 25 years in a cask).  There is also some smoke in the finish.

    A great smooth, sweet and complex dram... the only problem is the price.  I bought a dram in a whisky bar and it cost over $40!!  However on balance I have to say this is a spectacular whisky and once again it shows just how good blended whisky can be.

    Friday, 18 November 2011 01:59

    Talisker 10 year old

    We visted Skye in 2009 and I drank the local whisky for the few days we were on the island.  The jagged Talisker whisky was a good choice considering the terroir of Skye and the jagged Cuillin hills which over shadow the distillery.   The 10 year old Talisker has a peaty and smokey nose.  The taste has lots of spice, pepper, cinnanom and cloves and in the background there are some sweet malty notes.  Smoke and peat dominate the finish with some bitter oak but I don't find any great complexity here, just lots of spice, pepper and smoke.  I prefer the more subtle and rounded 18 year old.  Back in the cask for you and call me in 8 years.

    Thursday, 17 November 2011 23:39

    Springbank 10 year old

    I found the nose quite soft and muted with some smoke, peat and a malt or cereal note.  The taste has pepper and spice at first which fades and then some sweetness comes through, maybe brown sugar and sherry notes.  Smokey finish - nice stuff.
    Thursday, 17 November 2011 23:24

    Ardbeg Blasda

    I have discussed the importance of Blasda to me before in my notes on the Ardbeg distillery so I won't repeat them.  The nose is peaty but not smokey, more earthy.  There are also some sweet fruit notes, perhaps lemons and grapes.  The taste is sweet and lemony at first and then peat and pepper build and linger for the finish.  Perhaps not as complex or deep as other Ardbeg expressions, but still good.
    Thursday, 17 November 2011 03:53

    Penderyn

    My first comment is that I have classified this as single malt, though I am not sure technically it is as the wash fermented at Brain's Brewery in Cardiff and not on site at Penderyn.   Second comment is to decare my bias for Wales, as I graduated from the University of Wales in 1990.  The nose has a cereal notes and is reminscent of new make spirit.  The mouth feel is smooth and creamy and it has a nutty sweetness, fruit and vanilla.  Complex and different, this is a delicious whisky.

    Thursday, 17 November 2011 03:22

    St Nicholas Abbey, Barbados

    I know you probably haven't heard of this one, it is a tiny rum distillery that was only opened in 2006.  It is located in the grounds of a house that was built in 1658, one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the western hemisphere, that we visited while on vacation in Barbados in October 2011.  The small distillery produces rum from fermented sugar cane juice (rather than the usual molasses - which is what is left after they remove the sugar crystals from the cane juice) and they distill in small pot still and then mature the rum in bourbon casks in their own bonded warehouse.  They offer free tastings and if you want to buy a bottle they even specially engrave the bottle in the distillery while you wait.  Recently found out via Twitter than you can buy the rum at Master of Malt website as well.... http://www.masterofmalt.com/rum/st-nicholas-abbey-10-year-old-rum/

    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 679

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 66

    Follow Me on Twitter!

    Random Whisky

    Talisker Storm

    There is a bit of back story for this 45.8% ABV No Age Statement expression from a distillery I am not a huge fan of. When it was first released Storm was more expensive than the standard Talisker 10 year old (a product I don’t particularly care for) and was supposed to include some quite old 25 year in the blend. However over a few years the price point has dropped to where this is now often cheaper than the 10 year old, and I suspect the blend has been tweaked accordingly. It certainly seems the taste profile has changed if you read some tasting notes.

    The nose has lots of peat and smoke at first but then some sweet and spice notes and prickle of alcohol push through as well.  Suggests strongly of some complexity to come. The taste is sweet: toffee, ripe banana, vanilla and butterscotch are there. Some smoke, but in the background.  The finish is drying and develops with bitter orange peel and chilli pepper. Lots that suggests it is at its core a younger, spirit forward Talisker and at least some of this blend is pretty young.  I liked it, robust but still balanced and without the spiky and stringent notes (some would say hallmarks of Talisker) that I find in the 10 year old.