Whisky Review #232 Redbreast 15yo 46%

redbreast15Another single pot still whiskey from the chaps at Midleton distillery.

On the nose: Mmm! Honey, sweet wood and rye bread. Very sugary.. or more like fructose, maybe. Fruity tea is very much present – and indeed, this whiskey is my cup of tea. Very, very pleasant! With water: green bananas, vanilla extract and grass with a bit more spiciness to it. Still quite sweet.

On the palate: Silky mouthfeel. Slightly spicy oak, toffee and bitter chocolate. Oranges, red licorice and sandalwood with water. The finish has sandalwood, grains, honey, fresh green wood, sweet herbs and cinnamon. Drier after a few sips.

Wonderful and “smooooth” stuff! The sandalwood notes really suites this whiskey. Best served neat as far as I can tell.

90/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #231 Booker’s Bourbon 65.3%

BOOKERSBourbon from Jim Beam now, and like the previous one, this is also a 7 year old one.

Batch: C07-A-12

On the nose: A bit closed initially. Alcohol and spices. Caramel, hemp ropes, banana and subtle peppery notes. Water brings out lemon, green grass, grains and warm honey.

On the palate: Boom! This is strong stuff. Hints of sweet toffee is the only thing I’m able to distinguish. Water makes it more herbal. Hints of spearmint and citrus. Very refreshing stuff actually. The finish has strong caramel sauce, pepper and dry, spicy oak. Hints of spearmint with water.

Like I said, a refreshing whiskey once watered down a bit. Big fan of the herbal spearmint and citrus notes that’s coming through after a while.

Pretty much undrinkable neat.

85/100 points

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Whisky Review #230 Bernheim 7 yo Small Batch Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey 45%

bernheim

Bottle kill!

We’re headed for the states again and today we’re visiting Heaven Hill’s Bernheim distillery.

On the nose: Sweet and warm. Toffee, vanilla ice cream, hay and wood varnish. Water brings out nuts, freshly ground nutmeg, green twigs and müsli.

On the palate: Spicy and nutty caramel. Quite rich tastewise. Dark chocolate and hints of grapefruit. Water: hints of watered down tea with honey in it. The finish is sweet initially but heads more towards spicy oak and wood varnish after a second or two.

Decent and easy going stuff. It get’s boring sniffing and tasting this for the sake of smell and taste after a while but it’s perfectly good as an aperitif, say, after a summer barbeque party.

85/100 points

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Whisky Review #229 Box ‘The Pioneer’ 48.1%

boxAnother swede now, and a fairly new one as well, released only a few months ago. This is the first release of actual whisky(3yo) from Box distillery.

On the nose: Slightly sour smoke, buttery popcorn, burnt rubber, grapefruit and oaky spices. Sweeter and fruitier with time. Water brings out apples, pears – a fruit salad, basically. Hints of cocoa and malt as well.

On the palate: Dry ash. The peat is dominating initially. Vanilla and pear sorbet. Fruitier with time. The taste profile becomes cleaner with water added. Sweet maltyness, fruit and less peat. Grains, oak and citrus in the finish.

Very clean and crisp stuff, it almost tastes healthy. There’s a few ‘off’ notes on the nose, but it improves massively with a drop of water. Very impressive considering its age. I like it.

83/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #228 Wild Turkey ‘Forgiven’ 45.5%

wild turkeyA mix of bourbon and rye now(a bourye or ryebon, perhaps?), from the Wild Turkey distillery. The mix consists of 78% 6 year old bourbon and 22% 4 year old rye whiskey.

On the nose: Toffee + dark chocolate = Meller. Hints of sweet licorice, honey, spearmint, smoked pork chops and oranges. It’s hard to say whether it’s the bourbon or the rye that’s taking the lead here, they’re both just really well woven together. Hints of Coca-Cola with water added. Caramel, butter and banana pancakes.

On the palate: Sweet oak and spices. Cinnamon, bitter citrus/unripe oranges and wood varnish with a rye-ish bite to it. Black pepper and charred wood with water. The finish is sweet with a touch of mint. Bourbon-y notes lingers. More toffee with water added.

A successful experiment! Good balance between the bourbon and the rye.

86/100 points

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Whisky Review #227 Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye 45%

dads hatSo this is the “plain” version of Dad’s Hat from the Grundy Mill distillery. I’ve previously reviewed the vermouth finished one, which I loved, so I was quite excited when I first popped the cork on this one.

Matured for a minimum of 6 months in new oak quarter casks.

On the nose: Spicy! Cherry coke, coriander and celery as well as a slightly metallic and soapy note. More pleasant with water. Hints of pepper, vanilla and beeswax.

On the palate: Rye! Pepper and soap with bitter herbal notes. Even some olive oil. More floral with water, less soap. Burnt sugar in the finish. Hints of sweetness. More fresh celery with water.

A bit too soapy for my taste buds, but it improves slightly with water. A little raw and unfinished. It was probably a smart move to finish this whiskey in vermouth casks to cover up some of it’s youthfulness. Still looking forward to try new and older versions of this in the years to come.

79/100 points

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Whisky Review #226 Ardbeg TEN 46%

ard10Should’ve reviewed this whisky a long time ago, but now it’s finally happening. Quick and dirty!

On the nose: Salt sea spray, thick smoke and hints of vanilla. Light white fruits in the background. Very peaty and earthy.  More citrus with water – lemon sweets. More medicinal as well.

On the palate: Smoked fish of some sort. Very maritime, big and bold. Earthy smoke and soot. Hints of barbecue sauce with water. Sweet oak and cold smoke in the finish. Turns slightly herbal after a while.

Delicious whisky, plain and simple. This is one of the whiskies that got me hooked on peated stuff, actually.  A “must have” in my cupboard.

89/100 points

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Whisky Review #225 Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength 60%

glen105Picked this one up in a duty free a few weeks ago.

On the nose: Thick sherry, leather and smoke. Hazelnuts and nougat. Very much in your face. Hints of nutmeg and licorice with water added. Even some hartshorn as well. Dark roasted coffee beans and balsamic vinegar with a smoky feel to it.

On the palate: Strong! Toffee, wood varnish, grapefruit and pepper. Malted barley grains with water. Bitter chocolate – the 87% cocoa stuff. The finish has walnuts – rotting walnuts, almost. Bitter, dry and dusty oak. A little sweeter with water added. Hints of dried fruits. Still quite bitter.

A true sherry-bomb. In my opinion the palate is a bit too harsh and bitter, but the nose is really good with its leathery and hazelnutty sherryfication. Drinkable both with and without water.

83(very close to 84)/100 points

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Whisky Review #224 Glenglassaugh 30 yo 44.8%

glen30Bottle no: 1568

On the nose: Orange peel, cloves, prunes, brown sugar, sweet curry paste, vanilla pods, baked pears and cinnamon. Rich yet very gentle and smooth in the mouth. Hay and fruit tea after a while. More vanilla and prominent malt with water. Sharp maple syrup.

On the palate: Spicy and rich caramel sauce. Oranges, banana toffee and beeswax. More malt with water. Clean and elegant. The finish is long and warm with hints of sweet wood, burnt sugar and almonds. Orange chocolate with water as well as dusty and dry oak.

I’ve got nothing but love for this dram. The palate isn’t AS complex as the nose, but it doesn’t have to be.  Complexity is not everything when it comes to whisky, although it often makes it more interesting and fun to taste.

(What’s crazy is that I only paid about €85 for this bottle due to a mix up in prices between Glenglassaugh Evolution and the 30 year old at Vinmonopolet. WIN!)

94/100 points

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Whisky Review #223 Longrow ‘Red’ 11 yo 53.7%

longrow redMatured in a combination of bourbon(6yrs) and Australian shiraz(5yrs) casks. Released in 2013 with an outturn of 9000 bottles.

On the nose: Green apples, lemons, unripe gooseberries and cold(?) tobacco ash. More smoke with water as well as a hint of brine.

On the palate: Citrus and grass. Very crisp and refreshing. Still quite salt and ashy. Hints of peaches with water. The finish is quite fruity, but much more smoky than the previous(Burgundy). A drop of water makes the finish sweeter but also reveals a hint of sulphur lurking in the background.

Like I said, quite refreshing stuff. It feels more green than red though. I also think it’s one of the peatiest Longrows I’ve tried thus far.

85/100 points

(Thanks to Johan for the sample!)

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