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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Whisky Review #248 Glenturret 17 yo (OMC, Advanced Sample) 50%

glenturretomcDistilled: 1994, bottled: 2011.

Sherry butt: DL 7972

On the nose: Leather, raisins and prominent sherry. Salt licorice in the background. Charred, almost smoky, wood. Quite rich with a very weird spicy twist to it. Water brings out more leather, sulphur and earthy notes.

On the palate: Sweet ash? Burnt leather, sherry and pepper. A little awkward. Water brings out burnt popcorn. The finish has burnt leather, as well, and it lingers for a while. Some soap and dusty, bitter wood as well. Sour ash with water.

The palate improves a bit with a drop of water, but this is still a very weird whisky to me. The burnt leather and burnt popcorn is putting me off. Might there be something wrong with the cask used, maybe?

76/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #247 Kininvie 1990 / 23 yo 42.6%

kininvieAn official bottling from the fairly new Speyside-distillery, Kininvie, now. Matured in 80% bourbon barrels and 20% sherry casks.

Distilled: 1990, bottled: 2014.

Bottle no: 10585.

On the nose: Honey, crisp green apples and green twigs. Fruit sorbet, pears and vanilla fudge. Prominent bourbon notes. Grows warmer with time. More pears and sorbet with water.

On the palate: Sweet citrus on the arrival. Honey and grass. Quite plain and textbooky. Drier with water. More floral notes and a hint of mint. The finish is grassy as well but goes slightly more bitter with water added. A hint of mint here as well. All in all – very “green” in the mouth.

Decent! Very light and easy to drink. Close to becoming boring, but I wouldn’t call it that. I really liked the nose. Especially the pear- and sorbet notes.

83/100 points

(Thanks to Håvard for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #246 Connemara 1992 / James MacArthur 59.7%

connemaraDistilled: 1992, bottled: 2004.

Cask: #4292

On the nose: Green grass and slightly sweet smoke. Apricots and a touch of salt. More acidic with time. Hints of orange peel. Honey and beeswax with water. The smoke gets rounder and more mellow. Charred wood.

In the palate: A little sharp. Tingly and big. Dry hay, oak and smoke. Fruitier with time. Juicy gooseberries. Much sweeter with water, less smoke. Apricots again. Dried apricots I think. The finish has earth, pepper and dry wood. Fairly long. Leaves the mouth feeling dusty.

A refreshing and quite delicious Irish whiskey. Best served with a drop of water, in my opinion.

86/100 points

(Thanks to Ragnhild for the sample!)

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Whisky Review #245 Benriach 10 yo ‘Curiositas’ 46%

benriachPeated stuff “from the heart of speyside”.

On the nose: Sweet smoke, cardboard(not necassarily a bad thing in this one), celery and soy sauce. A lot of eastern spices. Hints of sweet wood sap as well. Dry grass, earth and salt with water.

On the palate: Sweet! Kiwi and subtle smoke. Quite delicious. A lot of viscosity. Saltier with water. Hints of sweet and salt licorice. The finish is short and simple. Sweet and smoky with hints of kiwis again and ash. Bitter licorice with water.

A bit boring, but good. Not a lot of complexity/development going on in the glass, but it’s always fun to try peated stuff from other places than Islay, as it’s just so insanely different.

82/100 points

(Thanks to Are for the sample!)

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