Sunday, April 29, 2012

Balmenach 27 Year Old Chieftians Bottling. A surprisingly nice dram that is a rich peachy gold in appearance. The nose brings brine, roasted nuts, powdered sugar, caramel and a touch of dried fruits. The medium body palate shows notes of tropical fruits and sandalwood, entwined with brown spice, sugar and melon. The finish just doesn’t stop, it’s so long….and brings back some brine along with spiced pears.

The Balmenach distillery is tucked into the bottom of the Haughs of Cromdale in the Spey valley. It was among these hills on the last day of April 1690 that an army of Jacobite soldiers was ambushed by dragoon guards. The attack came during the night as the Jacobite forces were sleeping. Many were slain and the remaining fled nearly naked. This defeat effectively ended the Jacobite uprising in the Highlands. In the early 1800s three brothers crossed these hills from Tomintoul and set up a farm. One of these brothers was James McGregor who soon set up an illicit still on the site. Shortly after the licensing act was introduced, James McGregor obtained a license for his distillery, formally establishing it in 1824. The McGregor family controlled the distillery until 1922, then it changed hands between several owners and even found its doors closed for a time.

GlenDronach 16 is sherry heaven

Just finished off this lovely sherry cask wonder. Thanks to K&L exclusive for this 16yr old Glenronach bottled in 1994. Glendronach has an unctuous, chewy mouthfeel that isn't overly cloying or too saturated with sweet sherry. 
Earthy notes from the warehouse aging permiate the rich, oily flavors of vanilla, raisined fruit, and cakebread. The cask strength proof really keeps the sweetness at bay and the result is a fabulously balanced malt that should appeal to just about everyone. This is the barrel everyone will overlook, but I'd bet my salary it's the one that will get the best reviews. -David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer

Friday, April 27, 2012

Springbank 21 has arrived

I finally got a bottle of the new SB21... here is what i wrote when i tasted it last year:

Great News - Springbank 21 coming back!!!

I am fresh back from open day at Springbank and tasted the new 21 to be released in 2-3months.
While the legendary 21 of pre-2004 still lingers as sublime in my memory, I was very satisfied with the new release.
This 21 seemed more complex than the 18year old(s) of the last 2 years, so hard to believe it is simply an older version of the same run. That said, I was quite a few drams into a mastercourse so the tastebuds were a bit tipsy.