Whisky Review #258 – 260 Vildhallom vs. Kaffegök vs. Double Dip Bourbon

A few swedes now, from Mackmyra’s Special series.

double dip bourbonMackmyra Special:04 “Double Dip Bourbon” 53%

Matured in bourbon casks. 12000 bottles worldwide.

On the nose: Citrus. Oranges I think. Heather, freshly cut grass and honey. Floral perfume and green twigs. A ton of pears with water added. Fruity and citric sorbet. Ginger and lime.

On the palate: Honey and bananatoffee. Some floral notes and a bit of woodvarnish. Flattens out a bit with water(I might have drowned it). Watery malt and citrus. Spiced honey, bitter grass and malt in the finish. Woodvarnish and pepper With water.

Big fan of the pears on the nose here. Other than that, a bit boring.

84/100 points

vildhallonMackmyra Special:09 “Vildhallon” 46.1%

Finished in casks that previously held raspberrywine.

On the nose: Sweet fruits. Strawberry jam, cloudberries, blueberries, vanilla and sweet wood. Very fruity! Prominent orange marmelade and syrup with water added.

On the palate: Still sweet. Canned Peaches.. canned tropical fruits in general, actually. Light malt and slightly metallic note. Juicier with water. Hints of green grapes. The finish has dusty yet sweet oak. Hints of bitter lemons. Drier after a while. Sweeter and fruitier with water.

Water seems to balance this out a bit. I like the effect the raspberrywine casks had on the spirit although I couldn’t find any raspberries on the nose nor the palate. All in all – a refreshing and typical Mackmyra as far as I can tell.

86/100 points

Mackmyra Special:10 “Kaffeök” 46.1%kaffgok

There seems to be mixed understandings as far as how and what this has been matured in, but this is what the Mackmyra website says:

“…finished on casks that have previously stored whisky spiced with freshly roasted coffee beans.”

So I’m guessing we’re dealing with bourbon and coffee here. Let’s get on with it.

On the nose: Mild and light. Lemons, lightly roasted coffee, wet paper, nuts and sandalwood. Very crisp. More acidic than the previous one(Special:09). Hints of green apples. Curry paste with time. Water brings out toasted pine nuts, almonds, wool, nutmeg and a hint of thyme. Still getting hints of curry.

On the palate: Wet cardboard(not necessarily a bad thing), cigar tobacco, leather, grapefruit and a hint of clove. Quite spicy. Dry chocolate and nuts with water. The finish has red apples, pepper, clove and burnt wood.

Definitely the most interesting of the three, not the best, but the most interesting. A few iffy notes appear with water added so I would reccommend serving this neat.

84/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the samples!)

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Whisky Review #257 Bowmore 1993 The Perfect Dram 53.8%

bowmoreDrawn from a bourbon hogshead, with an outturn of 222 bottles.

Distilled: 1993, bottled: 2010.

On the nose: Salt and maritime smoke. Seaspray and tar. Fruity citrus, green sour apples and pink grapefruit. A really good combo – the smoke and the sour fruit. With time I’m getting hints of rocket salad. A very crisp and green nose. Hints of honey and beeswax with water.

On the palate: Oily! Seaweed, kelp, smoke and citrus. Rich and mouthcovering. More citrus with water. Grapefruit and ginger. Very refreshing. Peat smoke and lemon oil in the finish, as well as a lovely, fresh herbal note. Ginger again with a drop of water. Dry oak.

Lovely stuff. An oily and citric Bowmore.

91/100 Points

(Thanks to Ragnhild for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #256 Balvenie 21 yo Portwood ‘Non Chill-filtered Release’ 47.6%

balvenieA 21 year old from the Dufftown based distillery Balvenie now, one of the few scotch distilleries that still has their own floor maltings..

On the nose: Clean, sweet and well rounded. Prunes, strawberries, blueberries, subtle menthol, raisins, sweet charred wood and vanilla sauce. More strawberries with time. Very pleasant. No alcohol sting whatsoever. Oranges and dry oak spices with water.

On the palate: Sweet dark berries. Malt and tannins. Very fruity and, like the nose, well rounded. Hints of peaches and sweet wood in the finish. Yum! Red grapes as well. Water makes it drier with more vanilla.

Not as big as one would expect, but extremely soft, round and enjoyable both on the nose and on the palate. Like drinking liquid silk.

89/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #255 Springbank 12 yo Blues Edition 57.3%

springbankDrawn from six bourbon casks that gave a total of 1260 bottles.

Distilled: 1998, bottled: 2011.

On the nose: Sweet and refreshing. Vanilla, mustard seeds, red apples, damp earth, cocoa, chilli powder and unripe pears. More vanilla and pears with a drop of water. Hints of spearmint and hairspray. Smells drier and dustier in a way.

On the palate: Sweet red apples, some vanilla and oak. Simple yet delicious. Sweet grass and citrus with water. Charred oak also. Dusty oak and hay in the finish. Water makes the finish sweeter, initially, with more fruit. Rotten walnuts and dark chocolate with time.

A good and fairly simple Springbank. A bit more oak than the age would suggest, maybe.

86/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #254 Laphroaig ‘Quarter Cask’ 48%

laphraigqcAbout time I got around to reviewing this beast of a whisky.

On the nose: Seasalt/seaspray, smoke, citrus, cold ash, smoked peppered mackarel and vanilla. Hints of fresh newspapers/newspaper ink also. Big and delicious. Seashells and crab shells notes can also be found. I can imagine this going very well with seafood, like crabs, shrimps, lobster ect. Water makes it sweeter and fruitier with a more prominent vanilla note. More ash, instead of smoke. Hints of canned peaches.

On the palate: Maritime and big! Seaweed, kelp and salt fish. Very smoky, but not as smoky as I remembered it to be. Hints of cigar ash, charred wood and some cocoa. Water brings out dark chocolate and marzipan. Still very salt and smoky. The finish has bitter licorice, cold smoke, salt and bitter lemons. And it lingers. More dark and bitter chocolate with water added.

It’s still a winner! Complex and sexy. A so called “must have” in the cupboard.

92/100 points

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Whisky Review #253 Hazelburn 10 yo ‘Rundlets & Kilderkins’ 50.1%

hazelburnThis is an unpeated whisky from the Springbank distillery, matured in smaller casks(rundlets and kilderkins) for quicker maturation.

Distilled: November 2003, bottled: January 2014. 12000 bottles.

On the nose: Sweet. Forest berries, honey, malted barley and matured smoked cheese. The whisky itself is not smoky, though. Light hints of warming oak. More citrus with water added. Lemon and grapefruit in particular. Some vanilla as well.

On the palate: Malt, lightly spiced oak, honey and buttery shortbread. Sweet and fruity citrus. Not a massive difference with water but I think I can find traces of Honey Corn. The finish, however, is very maltdriven with hints of oak, vanilla and some pepper. Hints of müsli with water added.

This is one of those very textbooky and, some might say, boring whiskys. However, I find this very satisfying at the same time. Probably one of the best standard(ish) 10 year olds I’ve ever had.

91/100 points

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Whisky Review #252 Compass Box ‘Flaming Heart’ 10th Anniversary 48.9%

flaming heartAnother blended malt, bottled for Compass Box’s 10th anniversary in 2010. 4186 bottles in total.

On the nose: Peat smoke and seaweed as well as a tropical fruit cocktail. Hints of cigar smoke, grapefruit and green bananas. Some band aids and salt seashells. Bolder smoke with water.  More grapefruit and a hint of mint.

On the palate: Earth, peat and ashes. Citrus and spearmint. Delicious! Saltier with water. Very maritime. Smoky and minty ash in the finish. Water brings out some pepper and dusty oak. More bitterness.

A brilliant and somewhat different malt whisky, with a distinct emphasis on the peat smoke. I love it! Another one, please!?

90/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #251 Compass Box ‘The Spice Tree’ 46%

spice treeTime to have a go at a blended malt from Compass Box.

On the nose: Honey, sweet oak and (believe it or not) spices. Warm and wellrounded. Oranges, cloves, toffee, vanilla icecream and brittle. Delicious stuff indeed. Water makes it more floral with more oak and spices.

On the palate: Vanilla, oak and sweet wood sap. Some herbal notes and pepper that grows bigger with time. Quite grassy. Hints of beeswax with water. The finish is herbal, with bitter grass, pepper and dandelions.

Really grassy, herbal and green stuff, espesially the finish. Quite bitter, almost too bitter. The nose is glorious though… Hmmm..

86/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #250 Cragganmore 15 yo (OMC, Frank Znort Quartet) 51.2%

craggA 15 year old Cragganmore now, bottled by Douglas Laing to commemorate Frank Znort Quartet’s 15th anniversary. The whisky was drawn from a refill hogshead(DL 9316) that gave 292 bottles in total.

Distilled: 1997, bottled: 2013.

On the nose: Sweet grass, green apples, fructose, lime and fresh sawdust. Very crisp and summery. Icy mint and oranges with water. Fruitier.

On the palate: Herbal and crisp with hints of wood sap, citrus and grass. Quite delicious. Spicy oak with water. More wood sap and fruit. The finish has hints of lemon peel and tea. Slightly bitter.

A crisp and refreshing Cragganmore. Very much recommended.

87/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #249 Glendronach 1994 / 18 yo 55.1%

glendronach94Distilled: 25.11.1994, bottled: 05.2013.

Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon: #3547.

607 bottles in total.

On the nose: Sweet and syrupy. Blackcurrants, prunes and dates. Almost like nosing sherry. Buttery toffee, nuts and cola with water. Super juicy!

On the palate: Big. Plums, leather, oak and wood varnish. A lot of toffee here as well once a drop of water’s been added. The finish is sweet but goes drier after a few sips. Old, re-lit cigars is sort of what the finish reminds me of. Drier and more oaky with water.

As always, delicious stuff. I love the buttery toffee notes that appear with a drop of water. Would love a full bottle of this…

88/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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