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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Highland Park Viking Honour 12 year old

The nose on this is salty and fruity, with some seaweed, a hint of rubber and a prick of alcohol even at 43% ABV.    The taste is rich with toffee, burnt coffee, caramel at first then some more acrid camp fire notes and along with bitter fruit peels and spices.  The finish is gentle hum of heat and peppermint along with some smokiness.  At 43% ABV it can take a drop of water and still hold up, but it doesn't need it.  Overall a delicious expression from one of my favourite distilleries.

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  • Thursday, 20 February 2014 22:14

    114 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Part 2: The Blogger Strikes Back

    Written by

    The table at the bottom of this entry reflects all the changes from the first edition of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die and the second edition released in 2013. There are thirteen changes in total and in this blog I will focus on the departures which I will categorize accordingly:

    “The Marketing Department’s Revenge”: Three victims here. Some were simply a straight swap of one expression to an updated expression. That accounts for Cutty Sark 18 for 25 and the Bruichladdich 10 for 12. I am pretty sure even their own Marketing department agreed that continuing to sell Glenglassaugh’s new make spirit was not a good idea now that they had real whisky.

    “TTTTTThat’s All Folks!”: Phrases you don’t often hear include “Justin Bieber is a wise young man” and “Of course I have a bottle Glen Grant 25 year old, doesn’t everyone?” Adios Gordon and MacPhail Glen Grant 25 year old and Glenglassaugh 26 year old. If you still have a bottle of one of these enjoy it, because they are rarer than a Scottish World Cup victory

    “Compass Box: Your 15 Minutes of Fame is Up”: I think even John Glaser’s mother would agree Compass Box get a pretty good shake of the whisky publicity tree and had a more than fair representation in the original edition. However they have been culled like a Canadian seal pup in this version. Their redaction (it’s a word – look it up) accounts for three more victims.

    “Three for one”: Macallan have recently revamped their well-established line up for a new “no age statement” offering based on colors (I still giggle when I read the “official” explanation). Their fully deserved punishment is three out with just one of the newbies, Macallan Gold, making the second edition cut. They are getting off lightly.

    “The Conspiracy Theory”: At face value the final two British badgers in Buxton’s gun sights may seem unconnected, Berry Bros and Rudd’s Blue Hanger and Glen Rothes Select Reserve. Except that as every whisky anorak worth his tattered copy of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible knows they are in fact very closely related with BBR jointly developing the concept of whisky vintages with Glen Rothes single malts.   As these are both great products and still available, I have to assume a Christmas card got lost in the post in 2012 and a score had to be settled.  

    OUT

    IN

    Compass Box Aysla

    Balcones Baby Blue

    Blue Hanger

    Bruichladdich The Laddie 10

    Bruichladdich 12 year old

    Cutty Sark 18 year old

    Cutty Sark 25 year old

    Glenglassaugh Evolution

    Glenglassaugh spirit

    Johnnie Walker The Spice Road

    Glenglassaugh 26 year old

    Kavalan Concertmaster

    Gordon and Macphail Glen Grant 25 year old

    Lord Elcho 15 year old

    Compass Box Hedonism

    Mackinlay’s Rare Old

    Macallan 10 year old Sherry Oak

    Balvenie Tun 1401

    Macallan 18 year old Sherry Oak

    Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

    Macallan 30 year old Fine Oak

    Macallan Gold

    Glen Rothes Select Reserve

    Naked Grouse

    Compass Box The Spice Tree

    Tweeddale 12 year old

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    Random Whisky

    Bailie Nicol Jarvie (BNJ)

    I first picked a bottle of this up in Oddbins in Cults, attracted by the rather unusual label and value price.  It is a smooth and floral whisky and pleasant if a little oaky, and certainly nothing wrong with it (can you tell I wasn't taking detailed notes in 2009?).  However the simple fact is, for all the times I went back in that shop (and it was a lot until the Great Odbbins Closure of 2011)  I never felt compelled to buy another bottle again.  There was always something more interesting and appealing to buy even at that lower price point.  I like blends, I really do, and so I promise to revisit and do some more detailed tasting notes, but I feel the overall impression I was left with says more than any detailed notes can.  

    Update:  Here are some more detailed notes that I took after buying a 5 cl miniature on www.whiskyexchange.com in April 2012.  The nose has malt, fruity pear drops and a floral note, maybe even marzipan.  The taste is very smooth, more malt, caramel and then builds into an oaky, bitter finish with some of the flowers and esters from the nose.   With water the mouthfeel gets a little richer and it gets a little more peppery in the finish.  Definately a little better than I remembered.