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Friday, August 17, 2018

Arran, The Devil´s Punch Bowl – Chapter I, 52,3%

Review #688
This is Chapter I in the series and it consists of 27 casks distilled between 1997 and 2004. 17 sherry casks, 6 unpeated bourbon casks and 4 peated bourbon casks. 6660 bottles were made. Light Sherry influence and crisp green apples in the smell. A little vanilla, honey and oak as well. A little grass or hay notes in the end.

The dried fruits gets more dominant in the taste. Some oak, caramel and just a bit of floral notes. Wow – a little peat builds up and comes forward in the finish. The white fruits comes a little more forward as well and mixes with the dates and sweet raisins.

This constructed very well! A little bit of everything, and the flavours just compliments each other! Give this time – it changes so much over time, which just adds to the complexity! The only ‘bad’ thing I can say about this, is that the floral notes comes a little much too forward (for my taste) over time or with water! I will give this 86/100 (21/21/22/22).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Aberlour 16, 40%

Review #687
This is matured in a combination of Sherry and Bourbon casks, and (unfortunately) bottled at a little lower strength than the old version, which was bottled at 43%. Heavy dried fruits in the smell, but still gentle due to the low ABV. Dates, a little oak with cherries and sweet raisins in the end.

More oak and a bit of tannins in the taste, alongside the dried fruits, which still is the dominant part. Some red berries mixes with the dried fruits in the finish. Some sweet creamy sirupy notes in the end.

It's not often I enjoy whiskies that have been watered all the way down to 40%, but this one was really good! Could be a perfect replacement for Cognac to a cup of coffee. It is soft and sweet, so if you are looking for a kick, this is probably not it.  I will give this 86/100 (21/22/22/21).

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Blended Grain 25 yo, Limited Batch No. 1/052500, 47%

Review #686
A blended grain from William Grant & Sons bottled for The Whisky Shop from the series “Rare Cask Reserves”. Oak spices and just a hint of floral notes in the smell. Old wet oak with sugary notes.

Oak and burned caramel at first in the taste. Again, a bit of floral notes mixing in with loads of oak spices. Cinnamon in particular. The sweetness really comes forward in the finish and stays for a long time.

It is very soft even though it is 47%, and very sweet as an old grain whisky should be. It´s an old whisky, so let it breath for some minutes in the glass so it can open up. That way, the alcohol notes goes a bit in the background, while the sweet notes comes more forward. I will give this 85/100 (21/21/22/21).

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà, 46,3%

Review #685
First heavily peated whisky in the Bunnahabhain core range. The name is gaelic and means “Smoky Two”, with reference to the limited edition “Toiteach” a while ago. It is matured in both Bourbon and Sherry casks, but with a higher proportion of Sherry casks than the “Toiteach”. Peat and spices in the smell. Black pepper. In the back you have some raisins and vanilla.

Peat with a mix of oak and that black pepper again in the taste. White fruits and a maritime saltiness. Some hints of dried fruits as well, but not much. Some spices comes forward in the finish alongside some sweet vanilla peat.

It is way less Sherry influenced than I thought it would be. Not that it is bad, but you just have to be aware, so you don´t expect a completely different whisky. When I first got to know it, I really enjoyed it, and those peppery notes from the Oloroso casks is just beautiful! I will give this 84/100 (21/21/21/21).

Monday, July 30, 2018

Bunnahabhain 7 yo (2005/2012), Spirit of Scotland, 46%

Review #684
From Gordon & MacPhail comes this single cask Bunnahabhain from a refill Sherry hogshead with the cask number 5002237. Green grass, heather and hay at first in the smell. Then some white fruits and a bit of citrus. If you had said it was younger than 7 years, I would have believed you!

Some spices in the taste, alongside some rough alcohol notes (the kind you can get from very young whisky). Again, the hay notes but now with some burned oak on the side. Actually a quite sweet and creamy finish. Vanilla and just a hint of oak.

Luckily this is bottled at 46%, which possibly saves the whisky, and bring it up to “fair”. Perfect for a warm day in the garden or alongside a dark beer with some friends. Not a whisky I would sit and pick apart – for that purpose it is simply too simple. I will give this 80/100 (19/20/21/20).

Friday, July 27, 2018

Bunnahabhain 12 yo (2002/2014), Signatory, 57,2%

Review #683
From Signatory’s Vintage Cask Strength Collection comes this Sherry butt with the cask number 420. Only 665 bottles were made. All sorts of dried fruits in the smell, with all the sweetness from these in the background. So rich in flavours!

Cooked dried fruits and alcohol in the taste. Oak and tannins coming through as well. The finish have all these dried fruits, but the alcohol dies down and the sweetness from the fruits now have the opportunity to come forward. Nothing dominating, just mixing with the oak and dried fruits.

What a Sherry beast! If you like the mild, fruity, unpeated Bunnahabhain character mixed with a Sherry monster, this is for you! The flavours are so elegant, even though it is a heavily Sherried dram and the whisky only is 12 years old. Very impressive! I will give this 93/100 (23/24/23/23).

Monday, July 23, 2018

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine Batch 04, 46,3%

Review #682
This is Gaelic for “Morning Sky” and is a limited edition made for travel retail. It is matured in Italian and French red wine casks. Fruity with caramel sweetness in the background in the smell. Red berries and just a hint of oak.

More intense in the taste. The red wine maturation starts to shine through. Loads of red berries, a little dried fruits, oak and hints of tannins. Unfortunately, not much happens in the finish, other than the initial flavours… At least it stays for a while with the sweetness most dominant.

In my opinion, it is a fine consistent dram, but if you don´t care much about wine cask matured whiskies, you should probably stay clear of this - or at least try it before buying! I, however, enjoyed it and will give this 84/100 (21/21/21/21).

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Glen Moray Mastery (bottled 2017), 52,3%

Review #681
This is created with bourbon cask from the 1970’s, Port finished whisky from the 1980’s, Madeira casks from the 1990’s and 2000’s and finally, sherry casks from the 1990’s. Only 1000 bottles were made. Light and fresh in the smell. Caramelised apples and sweet raisins. Give it some minutes and some dried fruits comes forward.

More dried fruits appear in the taste. Dates and raisins. The oak is there, but so gentle that it isn’t dominating but just adding another aspect to the great balance. Christmas cake, tobacco and chocolate! The sweetness from the dried fruits comes beautifully forward in the finish.

It have the true Glen Moray character, but very delicate, even though it is cask strength! So smooth and fresh, and as you get more and more into the dram, it gets more and more sherried! I will give this 92/100 (22/23/24/23).