Whisky Review #269 Vintage 1979 / Svenska Eldvatten 52.2%

vintage79A blended single cask scotch whisky from the swedes now. What does that mean, you say? Let me explain. This blend was mixed together BEFORE aging. Thereafter, the malt and grain spirit spent 33 years in a single sherry cask(#SE01) before being bottled by Svenska Eldvatten in 2013, with an outturn of 197 bottles.

On the nose: Chocolate, honey and malt. Warm and rounded. Sweet müsli, driftwood and a pinch of salt. There’s something in here that reminds me of Arran.. Hints of damp earth and even some blackcurrants if you don’t stick your nose too far into the glass. Sweeter with water. Oranges, spicy oak and more prominent notes of malted barley.

On the palate: Sweet sherry and vanilla. Big and juicy mouthfeel. Dark syrup, burnt sugar and almonds. The finish is dusty and spicy with hints of oak and green twigs. More honey and herbs with water added.

A wonderful, complex and rich blend!

91/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #268 Bruichladdich Octomore 2012 Limited Release / 10 yo 50%

octomore10Another Octomore – made with barley holding a peat level of 80.5 ppm. So, slightly less than a lot of the other Octomore releases..

On the nose: Salt and seaweedy! Very maritime.. Cold bonfire smoke, lemons and green grapes. Crab shells, sea shells and pretty much everything you can find on a beach – it’s all in here. A hint of soap is also present. Sweeter with time. More earthy and peaty. Water brings out vanilla and redcurrants.

On the palate: Cold smoke, sweet citrus, salt peat and fresh bread, straight from the oven. Seaweed with water. Definitely more mellow than a lot of the other Octomore releases I’ve tried. The finish has salt, smoke, earth and rotting wood.

Like I said, this is a lighter and more mellow Octomore(due to age and abv). So, if the earlier Octomore releases scared you away, you should consider having a go at this one. Very much to my liking, but it’s not super exciting stuff if you look away from the smoke and the peat. But, all in all, good stuff.

88/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #267 Chieftain’s Springbank 39 yo 57.3%

springbank39An oldie from Springbank now. This one was distilled back in 1969 and bottled in 2008 by Ian Macleod.

Cask #794, 150 bottles.

On the nose: Oooh! Pink bubblegum, sweet hay, red licorice, sweet mint, grass and beach sand. Hard to describe this one, it’s so different(and so good). Getting hints of salt nut mix, honey roasted peanuts, furniture polish, sandalwood and pipe tobacco. Vague smoke. Vanilla extract after some time in the glass. Water opens up for hints of kiwi, pears and lemonade.

On the palate: Salt and oak. Oily mouthfeel. Citrus and sweet grains. Water makes it slightly more maritime. Still a lot of salt and wood. The finish is sweet, initially. More dryness after a few sips. Pears, bitter toffee and vanilla.  More malt with water.

A lovely nose on this one. The palate doesn’t, in my opinion, quite live up to the wonderful complexities of the nose, but it’s still wonderful stuff. Springbank seems to handle old age better than a lot of other whiskys and I think this is a good example of just that.

92/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #266 Lochside 19 yo (OMC) 50%

lochsideLochside was a highland distillery, active from 1957 – 1992(prior to 1957 it was actually a brewery, if I’m not mistaking). This particular bottling was distilled in October 1992 and bottled in October 2010. It was drawn from a refill hogshead(DL 6553) that gave 315 bottles.

On the nose: Light and sweet initially. Not a lot going on, feels a bit closed. Very pleasant though. Hints of lemon peel, lemon oil and grains. Subtle honey. Opens up a bit with water. Pear sorbet and oranges. Smells thicker.

On the palate: Sweet and green. Wood sap, oak, and a bit of dust.  More bitterness with time. Grass, green grapes and grains with water added. The finish has dry grass and dusty oak. Leaves the mouth feeling dry and dusty.

Decent whisky. Not very big, but I like it nonetheless. Tastes more like a lowlander, than a highlander, as far as my experience goes..

85/100 points

(Thanks to Ivar for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #265 Lagavulin 1995 / Feis Ile 2013 51%

lagaBottled for the annual Feis Ile festival.

Drawn from european oak sherry butts.

Distilled: 08.05.1995, bottled: 15.02.2013.

3000 bottles.

On the nose: Very coastal and maritime. Salt seaspray, seaweed, tar, fish on a bonfire and sweet, thick smoke. Oranges, toasted wood and a hint of spearmint. Water makes it greener with hints of pinewood, dry tobacco and dried apples.

On the palate: Rich and mouth covering. Warm, damp smoke, seawater, dry wood and pine needles. Juicier with water. Almost “apple juicy” but still with a lot of smoke and salt. The finish feels drying and ashy, initially, but leans more towards herbs and grass with a dash of water added.

I prefer to drink this one neat. 51% ABV seems like the perfect drinking strength. Or maybe I just drowned my sample with too much water?! I don’t know.  Anyways, fantastic stuff. Well done, Lagavulin!

90/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #264 Pittyvaich 16 yo (OMC) 50%

pittyvaichomcLet’s have another go at Pittyvaich. This one was drawn from a refill hogshead(#DL 3886) that gave 345 bottles. It was distilled in October 1990 and bottled in September 2007.

On the nose: Dry and sorta spicy in a way. Oaky resin and lemon peel. Handsoap and a hint of burnt matches. Water paves the way for prominent orange notes as well as clove and a hint of pepper. Smells warmer and more mellow.

On the palate: Crisp! Green twigs and green apples. Very refreshing. Citrus and a pinch of freshly cut grass. With water I’m finding a more herbal note. Menthol, maybe? The finish has sweetness to it, not as dry as i anticipated. Sweet resin and oak. Getting hints of sweet mint/spearmint with water.

A refreshing and very decent whisky. A few ‘off’ notes on the nose, but they disappear once water is added. Not too complex, fairly easy stuff.

85/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #263 George T. Stagg 2013 64.1%

gtstaggAnother one from Buffalo Trace’s  2013 Antique Collection – a 15 year old bourbon.

On the nose: Maplesyrup, oak, sweet cocnuts, pancakes and honey. More coconuts with time. Hints of rosemary and Kellog’s Honey Smacks. More floral notes with water added. Roses and perfume.

On the palate: Wooh! This is strong! The only thing I can distinguish is honey and sweet cereal. With a good dash of water I’m getting oranges, ice tea and an artificial sweet note. The finish is warming and sweet. Still with a good measure of syrup. Water brings out oak and lemon peel.

Good bourbon, but I was expecting more after tasting the Thomas H. Handy from their 2013 Antique Collection.

89/100 points

(Thanks to Kenneth for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #262 Caol Ila 27 yo ‘Old & Rare’ 52.2%

L12426Another relatively old Caol Ila, this time from a sherry hogshead.

Distilled: March 1984, bottled: January 2012. 171 bottles.

On the nose: Prunes, oranges, moist pipe tobacco, cloves, sweet smoke and toasted wood. Red licorice after a while. Maltier with water. Dusty, yet with a sweet and fresh wood feel to it. Sawdust, maybe?

On the palate: Yum! The sherry is more prominent than the smoke at first sip. Second sip: There’s the smoke. Dark fruits, ash and soot. Crisper and more of a wet mouthfeel with added. The finish is sweet with hints of wine and tannins. Quite dry. Bonfire ash and dusty oak.

Very decent stuff. I almost like the taste best here, it’s usually the other way around for me. Although the nose improved and opened up massively after a few minutes in the glass, this is not in the same league as the previous one from Cadenhead. Still great whisky, though.

87/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #261 Caol Ila 29 yo Cadenhead’s Small Batch 55.5%

caol ilaA 29 year old bourbon matured Caol Ila – sounds delicious, doesn’t it? I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Distilled in 1984, and bottled in 2013 with an outturn of 564 bottles.

On the nose: Soft and mineraly. Salt light smoke. Very pleasant, no alcohol sting at all. Some citrus and freshly cut grass with a hint of mellom tobacco smoke. Subtle oranges after a while. Fabulous stuff this! Hints of clove with water added. More spice. Lemon oil, pine needles and crème brûlée.

On the palate: Oily mouthfeel. Citrus and smoke. More than I anticipated. Big and mouthcovering. Salt and baked pears. Water makes it fruitier and sweeter with a hint of apple juice. The finish has oak, dry spices and unripe gooseberries. Sweeter with water.

This is, in my opinion, Caol Ila at its best. Absolutely gorgeous whisky. Like drinking silk. Older bourbon matured Caol Ila seem to work really well.

92/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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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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