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"A whisky probably won't fix your problems, but it's worth a shot"
I now look at the Loch Lomond 12-year-old single malt whisky, which has a nice fruity character of peach and pear layered with a vanilla sweetness and as you would expect from Loch Lomond whiskies, there is a hint of peat and smoke on the finish.
Loch Lomond, you say? “I’ve heard of Loch Lomond, but I didn’t know
there was a distillery of that name?” Indeed there is and of course, it is
situated on the banks of the famous loch, see the map on page 2.
The first site of the former Loch Lomond Distillery dates back to 1814,
sited at the north end of Loch Lomond near Tarbet. Sadly in the old days relatively few paper records were kept and the closing date of this distillery remains unclear.
The current Loch Lomond Distillery was founded in 1964 by the former owners of the Littlemill Distillery, in Bowling, a few miles up the road towards Glasgow.
You can buy Loch Lomond 12-year-old for around $50.00 a bottle.
Nose - Green apple, pear, lemon
Palate - Pear, lemon, vanilla & Biscuit (cookie)
Finish - Medium with a hint of peat & smoke
I now look at the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment. The following is taken
from the Glenfiddich website; “This year sees the release of our first
pioneering expression in the series: The India Pale Ale Experiment. In
collaboration with India Pale Ale expert, Seb Jones, we created an
innovative new craft ale to finish our groundbreaking single malt.”
If you are having some doubts as to the direction this is going, let me put you mind at ease. If you had blindfolded me and let me sniff the aroma from a dram of this Glenfiddich, I would have told you straight away it was a Glenfiddich, the base aroma of pears was front and center, so I was immediately reassured that it was still the Glenfiddich I know and love.
I am a beer drinker as well as a whisky drinker, and I was intrigued by the thought that Glenfiddich’s Malt Master Brian Kinsman was going to finish one of his whiskies in an IPA cask, as IPA’s are my beer of choice.
Yes, there was a little apprehension that the “Hoppiness” of an IPA might overwhelm the subtleties of the whisky, it doesn’t.
This is a nice whisky, and something that I would be happy to have on my bar. A note of thanks to my friend Justin for bringing the bottle in for us to try.
You can buy Glenfiddich IPA Experiment for around $70.00 a bottle.
Nose - Pears, citrus, floral
Palate - Pears, orange, floral
Finish - Pear, orange with a little heat
I now look at the Gordon & MacPhail Speymalt from Macallan which was laid down in 1970 and bottled in 2011 making it 41-years-old.
I tasted this superb whisky in the bar of the Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye.
Kinloch Lodge is the former hunting lodge of the chief of the MacDonald’s of Sleat and stands on the shores of Loch na Dal.
As per my previous newsletter, this is a continuation of my wife Tracey, our friend David McDonald and my trip around the Isle of Skye.
David had tasted this whisky the previous year when he and his son Brett stopped in on their trip around Skye. This time we were staying overnight at the lodge. David called our room prior to dinner and said
“I’m in the bar and they still have the 41-year-old Macallan, and I’ve had them pour 2 doubles, best get your butt down here”.
Well, don’t threaten me with a superb, hard to find whisky and expect me to be late, I got my butt down there.
What a treat! As soon as my nose got the aroma, it immediately reminded me of the Macallan ‘M’ that I had tasted the previous year in Edinburgh.
This is luscious, luxuriously self-indulgent, completely and utterly decadent, well you get the idea. If you get the chance, just splash the cash and do it!
Thank you, David, that was a never to be forgotten treat.
You can buy Gordon & MacPhail’s Speymalt from Macallan for around
$1000.00 a bottle.
Nose - Ripe fruits, nutmeg & cinnamon
Palate - Plum, toffee, raisin, stewed fruits
Finish - Long and full with raisins & sultanas
I now look at the Talisker Port Ruighe, (pronounced ‘Por Tree’). Port
Ruighe is the Gaelic spelling of the once-bustling trading port on the isle of Skye. I happened to taste this whisky in the Merchant bar in the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye, Scotland a couple of months ago.
If you have tasted the relatively new (it came out a couple of years ago), Talisker Storm, this is along similar lines, except better. Or should I say to my taste buds, it’s better, to me it has more depth of flavor and has a nicer mouthfeel, it is oilier and coats the mouth nicely.
The Port Ruighe is double matured in port casks, which amps up the fruit aspect of this dram, as you would expect when port casks are employed.
If you have experienced any of Talisker’s other whiskies you will be
expecting that “by the sea” briny aspect along with a whiff of smoke that is a hallmark of Talisker whiskies, well it does not disappoint they are there along with the fruit and some chocolate!
The fact that I tasted it in the town for which it was named, may have
influenced my romantic side somewhat, but I don’t care.
I like this whisky and have no hesitation in recommending it, go out, get a bottle and enjoy it…..Slange!
You can buy Talisker Port Ruighe for around $55.00 a bottle.
Nose - Brine, smoke, & demerara sugar
Palate - Brine, smoke, plum & chocolate orange
Finish - Smoke & chocolate orange
I now look at the Johnnie Walker “Blue”, which I have tasted in various
places/countries, but more recently was given a bottle by my younger
I have to say that, I’m enjoying this more than I ever have before, possibly because it was bought for me (a definite possibility, I am Scottish after all).
In the past I have had a bit of a problem with the “Blue”, it seemed over-marketed and overpriced, and I developed a chip on my shoulder about it.
I have to say that, last night I had a dram and gave it deep consideration, it is, in fact, a superb whisky, and the first thing that struck me, on tasting it was the smoke on the front end. I really don’t remember that much smoke on previous tastings.
The smoke did not last and the finish was all about fruit, you could get a similar (though more robust) taste profile from the Highland Park “Dark origins” for less money, but the “Blue’ is more nuanced in it’s flavors, and I have to admit the Shoulder chip has gone, I like this whisky a lot…....................I didn’t see that coming!!!
However, here is a word to the wise (actually the wise don’t need advice, it’s the less wise, or less experienced that need it), buy it at Costco and save yourself $40.00 a Bottle. I certainly intend to, now that I’m a little wiser.
You can buy Johnnie Walker “Blue” for around $180.00 a bottle.
Nose - Berries, citrus & spices
Palate - Smoke, toffee & hints of chocolate
Finish - Floral, fruity, with honey
I now look at the Edradour 10-year-old, (pronounced ‘EDD-ra-DOWer’)
which I tasted in the bar of the superb Ardshiel hotel in Campbeltown,
Scotland a couple of months ago.
First and most important, would I drink it again? Yes. Would I buy a
bottle for my own bar? Yes. I mean what’s not to like about a whisky
that has notes of apple pie and custard, if you look at the tasting notes below, combine them and you pretty much have the ingredients for an apple pie with vanilla custard.
Also look at the price, what’s not to like about that? Although it’s got
absolutely nothing to do with the taste/quality/cost of the whisky, if you know anything about Edradour, you know it’s Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery and also one of the cutest, so you kinda, gota, must try it at least once. Because even if it hasn’t happened yet, you know that at some point, you’re going to be drinking scotch and the conversation will turn to “Have you been to Scotland”? You answer “Yes.” Then it’s comparing your distilleries visited list, and we come back to the smallest/cutest, etc conversation. So if you haven’t been to Edradour (as I haven’t yet), you can at least hold your head up, by saying it’s on your list, as you’ve tried and enjoyed their whiskies.
You can buy Edradour 10-year-old for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Fruity with vanilla
Palate - Apple, Biscuit (cookie), honey, nutmeg & vanilla
Finish - Fruitcake & custard
I now look at the Glen Scotia “Victoriana", which I happened to taste when I was in Campbeltown in June. As part of the whisky school at
Springbank distillery, they take you around the Glen Scotia distillery (a
short walk across town), after the tour around the distillery. We all went into the gift shop and had a dram of the “Victoriana.”
Glen Scotia sources its malt from Greencore Maltings, located in
southwest Scotland. The malt is lightly peated and this tends to give their whiskies a touch of smoke, not dissimilar to their neighbor, Springbank.
That’s a comparison that stands them in good stead, at least to my taste buds, you can’t beat a nice Springbank.
So if you haven’t guessed it already, yes, I’m recommending this whisky, just look at the tasting notes below what’s not to like!
Those that live close to Paradise California, the liquor bank has some in stock. Of which I will avail myself, I suggest you do the same.
You can buy Glen Scotia “Victoriana” for around $85.00 a bottle.
Nose - Berries, citrus & Crème brûlée
Palate - Toffee, hints of chocolate & smoke
Finish - Floral, fruity, with honey
I now look at the Springbank “Longrow Peated”, I stumbled across a
bottle in Nugget Market in Vacaville, California a week before I was
due to leave for the whisky school at Springbank in Campbeltown in
Scotland. This is a No Age Statement (NAS) whisky, it is also non-chill
Filtered and comes in at 46% which is a touch higher than the standard 43% we normally have here in America.
This; like every other Sprinkbank I have tasted, is worth the money and I will replace the bottle when it’s finished (that will be soon). It does have a little heat on the first taste, possibly a younger whisky? Or just the fact that it is a little stronger than normal, either way, it does not detract from a nice tasting dram. If you haven’t already guessed, yes I like it and yes I recommend it.
If I had a complaint that I would lay at the feet of the makers of
Springbank whiskies, it’s that they don’t produce enough whisky, and
Therefore, you tend not to see them in your local bar that often.
However, having just done the whisky school there I now know why
that is, they still do everything the old way, apart from the bottling,
which is semi-automatic. It’s all about people making whisky, not
machines and computers.
You can buy Springbank “Longrow Peated” for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Vanilla custard, smoke, fruit & toasted marshmallows
Palate - Rich, creamy, smokey & slightly medicinal
Finish - Lingering smoke
I now look at the Amrut “Fusion”. I picked this whisky as this
is India’s Independence Day, and commemorates the nation's independence from the British Empire on 15 August 1947. Why is it called “Fusion”, I hear you ask? Because they use a fusion of two barleys: Indian and Scottish - with the Scottish barley being peated.
This whisky comes in at quite a high level of alcohol at 50%, compared to the average percentage of around 43%, so it might come across as quite young, which I believe it is (it's a No Age Statement (NAS). However, whisky matures much faster in the tropical climes of India and I would put the heat down to alcoholic strength and not it's age.
I first tasted Amrut “Fusion” at Whisky “Live” in Los Angeles, a few years ago and have subsequently tasted it a number of times. I have to say that I like it, which would explain why I keep drinking it.
No need to take my word for it, this whisky has won a number of awards over the years, since it hit the market in 2010, including an unusual one, in 2012 it was named the best whisky for a Rob Roy in the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge in New York.
You can buy Amrut “Fusion” for around $60.00 a bottle.
Nose - Oak, barley-sugar with a hint of smoke
Palate - Peat, vanilla custard & chocolate fudge
Finish - Peat, oak & spicy molasses
I now look at the Hazelburn Rundlets & Kilderkins 10-year-old, which
I first tasted at the bar in the Ardshiel Hotel in Campbeltown, Scotland.
OK, first things first, I’ll answer the question I know you have; The
‘Rundlets’ and ‘Kilderkins’ that this whisky is named for, are in fact small Barrels. The Rundlets are 60 liters and the Kilderkins are 80 liters, As opposed to a normal barrel that is 195 liters in size.
The smaller the barrel, the more wood, and whisky come into contact
with each other, which ages the whisky quicker than normal, making
this 10-year-old taste older than it actually is (a good thing).
My take on this? I liked it, it was a nice easy whisky to drink, it does
come in a little bit stronger than standard, which is around 43%, this
is 50.1%, so it has some oomph to it, but I think that works rather than
detracts. Just to be upfront with everyone, the Hazelburn is made at
the Springbank distillery and I just completed a whisky school there,
and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The people are very friendly and we
got involved in every aspect of whisky making, I highly recommend
doing the whisky school. If that affects my judgment of their whiskies,
so be it.
You can buy Hazelburn Rundlets & Kilderkins 10-year-old for around
$85.00 a bottle.
Nose - Apples & pears with honey
Palate - Apples, honey & anise
Finish - Apple & chocolate
I now look at the Benriach Authenticus 25-year-old, which I first tasted at WhiskyFest in San Francisco. Which if you are a whisky lover and have not attended thus far, you should really splash out and go.
When I say splash out, it is expensive, but 350 whiskies in one ballroom for One night, with great food and the brand ambassadors or even the head distiller all of whom are willing to talk about their whiskies with you.
What about this whisky, well a 25-year-old at this price is pretty amazing, so what’s the catch, actually there is no catch, it’s a very nice whisky.
Part of my reasoning for featuring this whisky is that; As you may (or not) be aware the American Corporation, Brown-Forman announced on April 27th that it had reached an agreement to purchase the BenRiach Distillery Company for approximately £285 million.
When completed, the purchase will bring three outstanding Single Malt Scotch Whisky brands into Brown-Forman’s growing whiskey portfolio:
The GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh.
I don’t believe this will cause any major change in the whisky making at the distilleries, as tradition will out in most cases. I think if anything
changes, it will be in the marketing and possibly the pricing, so buy it now while it’s such a great deal.
You can buy Benriach Authenticus 25-year-old for around $165.00 a bottle.
Nose - Peat & tropical fruit
Palate - Rich tropical fruit, peat smoke & herbs
Finish - Long fruity finish
I now look at the Mortlach 16-year-old, which I tried for the first time at the Witchery restaurant on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
The Witchery has to be one of the most atmospheric restaurants, in part because of it’s location by the castle, in part the design of the building, it’s furnishings and it’s lighting. Why do I mention the atmospherics, because I believe there are many influencing factors when you taste a Whisky. I tasted this and thoroughly enjoyed it, had I not been enjoying a great meal with my lovely wife in a nice restaurant, it’s possible that I may not have enjoyed it as much.
As to the truth of that theory, I can’t say, as I have not tried it again, it is my intention to try it again, which in itself is a good indication that I
enjoyed it. Mortlach distillery was founded in 1823, in the wake of a new excise Act, And was built on the site of an illicit distillery. This early start makes Mortlach the oldest distillery in Dufftown, the capital of Speyside.
You may not be familiar with the Mortlach brand, and that would be
because it was mainly used in Blends, but the current owners Diagio
decided to start bottling single malts again in the 80s and this (the 16)
was the first. They also have a “Rare old”, “Special strength”, 18 & 25-year-olds.
You can buy Mortlach 16-year-old for around $110.00 a bottle.
Nose - Fruit cocktail, raisins, cinnamon
Palate - Fruit cocktail, toffee, banana
Finish - Raisin, figs, coconut, sweet peat smoke
I now look at Tullibardine (Tullybardin) “Sovereign”, which I first tried in
Argus bar in Chico, California with Matt DeVriendt who was pouring the different Tullibardine whiskies for us to try. Joanna and Patrick from Youngs Markets asked me to join them in Argus to taste the different Tullibardines, thank you, I appreciated the invite very much.
Anyway, to the whisky. This is a No Age Statement (NAS) whisky, which I believe is quite young as scotch whiskies go, with the youngest whisky in the bottle being around 6-years-old. Don’t let that put you off, trying this single malt scotch whisky, it is actually a very nice whisky, and I intend to get a bottle for my bar at home.
The base flavor, at least to my taste buds is of pear, and cream which, again in my head, reminds me of a Glenfiddich, and that is obviously not a bad thing. I would suggest if you are in downtown Chico, pop into the Argus Bar, it is known locally as a great cocktail bar, which it is, but it also has a good whisky selection and Mediterranean food. That way you can try the “Sovereign” before you buy it, and I’m inclined to think, you will buy it.
You can buy Tullibardine Sovereign for around $45.00 a bottle.
Nose - Vanilla & cocoa
Palate - Pear & creamy chocolate
Finish - Creamy with spicy vanilla
I now look at Springbank 18-year-old, which I first tried in Scarpetta
restaurant in the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas. Those of you that
know me, know I hold the Springbank 15-year-old in very high regard
and use it as a benchmark for judging other whiskies against. Well,
here we have its big brother and we don’t need ancestry.com to help
us realize they are related, this is yet another superb whisky from the
folks at Springbank.
It’s not a cheap whisky, but in this case, you definitely get what you
pay for, unlike some of my previous forays into the whisky store.
My only wish is that Springbank made their whiskies a lot easier to
buy (and taste), I wish I could walk into a good restaurant or hotel
bar and look up at their whiskies and see a few Springbanks up there.
Unfortunately, that is not often the case.
If you should purchase this fine scotch, and are inclined to the
occasional cigar, try it with a Partagas Corona they match up very
You can buy Springbank 18-year-old for around $160.00 a bottle.
Nose - Strawberry, rhubarb, Marzipan
Palate - Honey, fruit, oats, licorice
Finish - Long with coconut, chocolate and a hint of smoke
I now look at a new whisky called “This is not a luxury whisky"
from Compass box. Well I beg to differ, I have tasted a great many
whiskies that have prices that would make them a luxury buy for
most people and they don’t taste anything like as good as this.
Although not cheap, it is far from expensive for a top-quality whisky.
Don’t be fooled by the plain packaging on the outside of the bottle,
it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
I wish I could say that I’ve always been that smart, that I haven’t
been fooled into buying a Whisky on just (well mainly) the packaging.
But truth to tell, I like a good story and nice packaging, but as we all
know it’s ultimately what you’re tasting that matters.
And John Glaser, the founder of Compass Box has nailed it here,
nothing special going on, on the outside, but on the inside HOLY
KERSHMOLY!! This is just a great whisky and I had the good
fortune to taste it while standing talking to John at last year’s
WhiskyFest in San Francisco.
The youngest whisky in here is 19-years-old. Highly recommended.
You can buy Compass box "This is not a luxury whisky" for around
$200.00 a bottle.
Nose - Fruit cocktail, raisins, cinnamon
Palate - Fruit cocktail, toffee, banana
Finish - Raisin, figs, coconut, sweet peat smoke
I now look at Glenmorangie 25-year-old which I tried in the White
Hart Inn, in the Grass market, in Edinburgh, Scotland when I was
over there last year. I have to say the whisky is superb, and the
bartender was paranoid. After ordering a dram, I asked if I could get
a photo of me holding the bottle, not a chance. I tried to explain that
I was too old to run out of the bar with it and not get caught, but he
This a definite case of older is better, which is not always the case.
I like all of the Glenmorangie's that I have tasted (so far), and that is
most of them. The 25-year-old has that extra something, it’s just
kind of classy and to me says 25 years went into making this.
Would I buy it? Probably not, let me explain. A couple of years ago
I would have bought it and proudly displayed it on the bar with all
the other expensive whiskies I used to buy. I had a change of
priority recently, and that is to spend my money trying as many fine
whiskies as possible and there is a lot out there to try.
So yes it is highly recommended by me, and if you want a great
looking bar, buy it and show it off, it’s just not my thing anymore.
You can buy Glenmorangie 25-year-old for around $300.00 a bottle.
Nose - Floral, peach crumble
Palate - Fruitcake, tropical fruit, blackberries
Finish - Blackberries, oak & spices
I now look at Ardbeg Perpetuum, which I tried for the first time in the
Albannach bar, near the top of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I highly recommend this bar, if you are in the vicinity of the Royal mile,
They have a superb selection of whiskies and their food is pretty good as well.
What about the whisky, Perpetuum was released to celebrate 200 years of distilling at Ardbeg, with that in mind, I’m a little disappointed with it.
Let me put that into perspective, Ardbeg has released some great
Whiskies and I have written favorably about a number of them over the Years, and have bought them for my own bar. I particularly like
'Airigh Nam Beist' which I wish they would remake.
My problem with the Perpetuum is not that it’s bad, it’s not, it’s not good enough. Come on!
You’re celebrating 200 years of distilling, you have a track record for great whisky and the best you can come up with is this! Again it’s OK, but they could and should have celebrated with something stunning, they are more than capable of it, as they have shown us numerous times in the past.
You can buy Ardbeg Perpetuum for around $120.00 a bottle.
Nose - Smoky vanilla, treacle
Palate - Smoked (charred) grilled meat, some sweet fruit
Finish - Medium, grilled fruit & smoke
I now look at Oban (Obin) Distillers Edition, which I first tasted at Jackson's Restaurant in Santa Rosa. I like this a lot, but I don’t think, quite as much as the 14-year-old which I think is just superb, and which has been a favorite for many a year. I say the distiller's edition runs it close and is my next favorite Oban whisky.
That may change, as I am going to visit the Oban distillery in June of this year and hopefully get to taste some more of their fine whiskies.
Oban whiskies are generally known for their smooth honey-and-fruit
character and this bottling continues that trend. The distillery is situated in the town of Oban, on the west coast of Scotland in the highland region.
Unfortunately, the distillery is Constrained from expanding as the town has grown up all around the distillery, which causes me some consternation.
The inability to expand from only two stills means production is rather small and as the world discovers Oban whiskies the price continually rises.
Which is actually preferable to stopping producing your flagship bottlings and throwing out No Age Statements, under the guise of giving the distiller more freedom. Oops! Sorry went on a rant.
You can buy Oban Distillers Edition for around $110.00 a bottle.
Nose - Sherried fruit, heather, apple
Palate - Black cherry, apple, honey
Finish - Black cherry and a hint of smoke
As St. Patrick’s day is approaching, I will now look at “Writer’s tears,”
an Irish whiskey. How could you not be intrigued by a name like that, and who else, but the Irish would even come up with it?
First of all Writer’s Tears is owned by the Walsh Whiskey Distillery
Company. They also own “The Irishman” whiskey.
Although the Walsh Whiskey Distillery Company does not own their own manufacturing facility the company is one of the leading suppliers of premium Irish whiskey. However, in 2014 they got a building license for a new distillery in County Carlow at the Royal Oak area. It is planned to build a top modern distillery with warehouses nearby on he river Barrow.
The first spirit is expected to flow from the stills in 2016.
“Writer’s Tears” comes to us at 40%vol and is a Pure Pot Still and Single
Malt, with fruity Pot Still character in soft honey tones with juicy malt and Vanilla. I stumbled upon “Writers Tears” at last year’s WhiskyFest in San Francisco and was immediately taken with the crisp green apple flavor.
Wonderfully easy to drink, it would make for a great introduction to Irish whiskey for folks new to the spirit. No writers were harmed in the making of this whiskey.
You can buy (online) Irishman “Writer’s tears” for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Green apples, honey & citrus
Palate - Green apples, honey, vanilla & caramel
Finish - Green apples, sweet & long
I now look at Aberfeldy 12-year-old, which is a highland single
malt whisky. Aberfeldy is just slightly northwest of Perth, about 30 miles. The distillery and it’s whisky may not be immediately known to you, as the distillery was built in 1898 to supply the whisky needed for Dewars “White Label” and that is predominantly where it went. In fact, the bottling of the 12-year-old Aberfeldy only began in 1999.
The whisky is aged in American oak ex-bourbon casks only, so
although there is fruit on the nose and palate it is not sherried
Fruit like you would get on, say, a Balvenie.
I think that this is an easy-drinking whisky with nice notes of Vanilla and fruit with a little hint of smoke at the finish, which gets more dominant with each glass, a great whisky for the price.
You can buy Aberfeldy 12-year-old for around $40.00 a bottle.
Winner of a Gold medal at the 2015 Los Angeles spirits competition.
Nose - Ripe fruit, honey & peat
Palate - Sweet, fig, peach, vanilla, honey & peat
Finish - Malt, dried fruit with a hint of citrus & smoke
Winner of a Gold medal at the 2015 Los Angeles spirits competition.
I now look at Springbank 10-year-old, which I tasted for the first time
in the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas, which unfortunately has recently
closed. I was co-hosting a seven-course dinner, paired with single malt
Scotch whisky, my co-host Ray Pearson (the whiskymeister) suggested
for our fifth course, that we pair the Springbank 10 with herb-crusted
rack of lamb with roasted baby potatoes, a great suggestion they
matched up really well.
I find the 10-year-old and the 15-year-old, to be light and delicate on
the palate, which I love, not something that you may at first associate
with any whisky that has flavors of smoke and peat. Don’t think heavy
Islay smoke and peat, this is more a hint than a smack in the face.
I also really like the mouth-feel of these whiskies, they are just
enjoyable to drink. I just wish that they were more readily available
over there in the USA, although, you can find them if you look and I
seriously suggest that you do, you will not be disappointed.
Springbank also produces Longrow (peated) and Hazelburn (un-peated, triple-distilled) whiskies, both of which I have yet to try, but I’m off to Scotland in May and plan on remedying that, watch this space for my thoughts on both.
You can buy Springbank 10-year-old for around $45.00 a bottle.
Nose - Peat & fruit
Palate - Rich, nutmeg, with smoke & peat
Finish - Long with oak & peat
I now look at Jura “Brooklyn”, which I tasted for the first time in
Seven Grand in Los Angeles (one of America’s best whisky bars).
The “Brooklyn” is aged in American White Oak Bourbon, Amoroso
Sherry and Pinot Noir casks, which makes for a complex and in
my opinion very tasty dram. After thinking about it for a little while, it kind of reminds me a little of the Highland Park “Dark Origins”, it is similar, but yet quite distinct, if you tasted them side by side you’d get what I mean.
The isle of Jura is situated between the Isle of Islay (Isla) and the
Scottish mainland and Jura’s whiskies do have some of the traits
of whiskies from both the Isla and Highland regions.
The island itself has only 200 hundred people living there but
has a red deer population of around 5,000. Why Brooklyn?
"Some places, some people just give you a feeling that you're thinking the same or you have the same sense of humor," explains Willie Tate, the master distiller at Jura Distillery, when asked why he crafted a scotch in honor of the New York City borough. "And I find that
when I go to Brooklyn."
You can buy Jura Brooklyn for around $80.00 a bottle.
Nose - Raisins, smoke & coffee
Palate - Rich Berries, smoke & coffee
Finish - Nice long sherried fruit finish with a hint of smoke
Yes, that time of year is approaching when we get dressed up, listen to poetry and eat haggis to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s
favorite son, Robert Burns. I now look at Arran “Robert Burns”, whisky
which I tasted in the King’s Arms Hotel in Melrose Scotland in May of
My wife, son and I had just finished looking around Melrose abbey
(well worth a visit), and were wandering around the town of Melrose
when we came across this 300-year-old coaching inn and decided to
pop in and have a drink.
When I saw the Robert Burn’s whisky, I immediately wanted to try it,
The friendly young woman behind the bar poured me a dram and
watched me taste it, then asked: “what do you think?” She was stunned, when I said you can really taste green apples, she said “green apples from a whisky, is that possible?
I assured her that it was, and with practice, much like developing your
senses for wine tasting, the same holds true for whisky, she was very
surprised. So, as well as trying a nice new whisky, I hope I enlightened
the young barmaid and broadened her horizons somewhat. Or maybe I’m just a delusional old guy?
You can buy Arran “Robert Burns” for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Apple, vanilla and some spice
Palate - Custard, green apple, pear
Finish - Apple, vanilla, some spice
Time to look at some of my current favorite whiskies, my top 10 from 2015.
(10) Glenfiddich 14-year-old
From Dufftown in the heart of Speyside. Not quite on a par with the wonderful 15-year-old, but a great addition to the range.
Featured in issue 123, December 2015.
Approximate Cost per bottle - $55.00 a bottle.
Nose - Vanilla, citrus, caramel
Palate - Toffee, pear, baked apple
Finish - Long, sweet, oak & fruit