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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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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