Thursday, August 30, 2012

Down the block from Springbank

Springbank has dusted off the old Glengyle Distillery and started it up again in 2004. A bit lighter going than Springbank, but they share the malting floor, the water, and the air and what is being produced is delicious. The "work in progress" series is worth a full on tasting. They are up to release number 4 and it is really great. I am a fan of the lean towards the bourbon cask over the sherry in this Springbank variety.
Official Tasting Notes Nose: Spicy buns, caadmon, cinnamon, heather honey and butter toffee with a slightly savoury note of toffeed popcorn. Palate: Like a silky smooth melted honeycomb chocolate bar. Fruitiness presents as cirsp and very sweet red apples. Incredibly rich and butttery like gingerbread cookie dough, yet fresh with hints of clover and freshly mown grass. Finish: Alluring and warm. A great summers evening dram that leaves you licking your lips for more.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Small Barrel Scotch get really good

Rundlets & Kilderkins is an 'experiment' in small casks from Springbank. A 10yr old, bottled at 49.4% it is a rich, sherried and delicious scotch. The small cask matures the whisky faster as contact with the wood is enhanced. There is a growing trend of experimentation with this maturation process that is welcomed.  As Sringbank explains it - During the 17th and the 18th centuries Campbeltown was a smuggling centre, given the area's topography. One famous story tells of an old woman who was up before the Sheriff for smuggling. She had been found guilty but before passing sentence the Sheriff remarked that he supposed she had not often been found guilty of this crime to which she replied that she hadn't made a drop since the last Rundlet she had made for him!! Translation: A rundlet was used to describe a small cask that held 15-18 gallons before the English adopted the imperial system of measurement in 1824.

Colour: Russet
Nose: Honey, vanilla, chocolate, nougat and toffee in abundance followed by hints of wholesome freshly ground nutmeg.
Palate: Creamy and rich as expected from the nose, with notes of chocolate covered honey comb mixed with pistachio and crushed almonds. Rich and oily from its maturation in small casks, it gives an impression of being older than it's ten years.
Finish: The ground nutmeg is still evident on the finish but the creaminess outstays the spices to a long smooth and sweet finish. With water this dram develops an even sweeter finish, fruity and sugar candy, it becomes even smoother

Sunday, August 12, 2012

42 years good

Really nice new arrival that is hard to place - where is Glendarroch anyway. There is a great history to read, but this bottle cannot be from a distillery that last produced in 1937. History here: . Other web sources suggest this is really a Glenfarclas as they do not like independant bottlers to use their name.
This whiskey is a bourbon barrel lovers dream. It has that rich golden brown color. It starts off with some smoke, but not peat - most likely charring of the barrel. AA nice maltiness to it and even a hint of sherry is found. Really long and takes water well too.  

Rare Japanese

This rare Japanese Scotch is outrageous. Very sherried - needs a good amount of water. Tasting is really interesting as it is a bit staccato. What i mean is that each part of experience comes very seperated. The Nose is Sherry - lots of it. Very powerful. Fruits and maybe dates or figs too. Then the palate starts with an overpowering medicinal belt to the mouth. But that clearly ends and the palate is filled with a complex richness of flavors and feelings. After a few staccato notes are played the finish begins with very long spice. Smoke pops up as well, but again in a strangely enjoyable staccato.