Whisky Review #127 Leviathan II American Peated Single Malt 53%

This is a special one. Lost Spirits is a small craftlevi distillery based in Salinas, California that produces single malt whisky peated to the raging level of 110ppm. But we all now how unreliable a ppm measuring is when it comes to anticipating the actual taste of a whisky. Anyway, this is a single cask bottling, bottled at cask strength. Matured about 4 years in an ex-semillon wine cask.

On the nose: Wet wool, burnt hair, burnt plastic and chinese chocolate tea(yes, it excists!). Hmm, this is very weird stuff.! Hints of wax and… piss on a bonfire? I’m sorry, but that’s what I’m getting right now.

On the palate: Leather, smoke and vegetables. More wet wool again.. Bitter in a way. Tobacco and ash, like an old half-smoked cigar that’s been re-lit after 3 weeks in the ashtray. Rotten vegetables in the finish..

Wow, I had high hopes for this one but I’m sad to say I almost found this whisky undrinkable! It’s not that it’s boring or anything, it just tastes awful. It doesn’t even taste like whisky..

52/100 points

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Whisky Review #126 Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye (Vermouth finish) 47%

Okay, so I bought this bottle at a liqour store when visitingdads Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. This is a rye whiskey distilled at the Grundy Mill distillery in Bristol, PA using local rye in the mash. It spent 6 months in virgin oak quarter casks and then 3 months in sweet vermouth casks from Quady Winery before being bottled. Jolly good! Now let’s find out what it’s like..

Bottled: +/-2013

On the nose: Wow! Thick, sweet, sticky and chewy cereals. Burnt rubber, black pepper, an old man’s cologne(?) and a shitload of herbs. Very thick on the nose. Dust and burnt wood with water, sawdust and bitter herbs. A hint of spearmint.

On the palate: Salt, rubber, licorice and burnt sugar! Dandelion leaves.. Hmm, this is very different from anything else I’ve tried, but I like it. Is that smoke I’m getting in the background? Sweeter with water, more wine. Ash and burnt wood also. Sweet wine in the finish, with a very prominent charred oak feel to it.

One of the most entertaining whiskies I’ve tried. Thank you, Grundy Mill distillery, for making this!

90/00 points

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Whisky Review #125 Glenmorangie ‘The Original’ 10yo 40%

Standard, classic and very available stuff from Glenmorangie now. This is actually the most selling single malt in Scotland.

Bottled: +/-2013

Glenmorangie 10y original l

On the nose: Sweet, honey, green fruityness. Easy yet very satisfying and delicious. Mint in the background. A bit spicier with water, less mint.

On the palate: Fresh, light and sweet, very delicous. Greener than expected. Green apples and green grapes. A bit grassy. Vanilla and oak with water.  Honey and spicy wood in the finish. Good length.

Thumbs up!

85/100 points

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Whiskyreview #123 Royal Lochnagar 1998 Distillers Edition 40%

So this is a 12 year old malt from Royal Lochnagar,royal loch released 2010. Like all the DE’s from Diageo, this one too has been finished in some sort of untraditional cask. This particular one spent its last 6 months in a Muscat wine cask before being bottled.

On the nose: Sweet, apple cider, tropical fruits, fructose, currant and vanilla. Loads of forest berries.. nothing new with water, except all of the above and a slight hint of lemongrass and rum.

On the palate: Light and juicy, green grapes. Not a lot going on here initially, but what I am finding is quite delicious.  Sweet green tea and sugar. A hint of rum also. More wood with water and sultanas in the finish as well as more tropical fruit juice.

Easy going stuff this, but I sort of like it. Especially the rum notes. Yummy! Probably the perfect dram for people who’s totally new to whisky.

84/100 points

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Whisky Review #122 Aberlour A’bunadh Batch #44 59.7%

ablob.non20This is the 44th batch of A’bunadh. Matured exclusively in oloroso sherry butts and bottled at cask strength.. I would say we’re off to a good start!

On the nose: Rich! Leather, dust, raisins, dates, marzipan, dark chocolate, orange peel, burnt wood, cocoa.. loads of cocoa, actually! Some oil paint in the background. More caramel and sweet, fortified wine with water. Less dust.

On the palate: Sherry and dust! Pitch black chocolate and some dates.  More viscosity with water, a bit sweeter. Hints of salt that reminds me a bit bacon. Baconwrapped dates, maybe? Also getting a tiny hint of smoke/burnt wood in the background. More of this in the finish.. sweet burnt oak and coffee beans.

Hmm, very good stuff! What’s keeping it from being a 90+ whisky is hard to say. It lacks a bit of that extra depth, if that makes sense… But nonetheless, this is fantastic stuff.

88 – 89/100 points

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Whisky Review #121 Glen Moray 1991 (Svenska Eldvatten) 57,5%

Another Glen Moray now, this time from a swedish IB –????????? Svenska Eldvatten(swedish firewater). The whisky was drawn from a single bourbon hogshead(#162112) in 2013 that gave 270 bottles in total.

On the nose: Sweet and fruity. Oranges and mango.. yes, definately mangos. Getting hints of sugarcoated cereals as well, like Frosties or Honey Corn. Dusty wood in the background. Some honey and fruit liqueure with water, as well as the scent of a freshly cracked coconut.

On the palate: Big.. pretty big at least. Quite mouthcovering. Very floral initially, but I’m getting more woody notes at the second sip. Furthermore I’m getting pink grapefruits and some dusty notes. Water makes the bitter citric notes dissappear and it all becomes more fruity and syrupy. Wait, it’s still quite bitter in the finish. Fruity bitterness, almost herbal.

A refreshing, fruity and floral Glen Moray. Best with a drop of water.

89/100 points

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Whisky Review #120 Glenlivet ‘Nadurra’ 16yo 48%

pdt__glenlivet_nadurra_16yo__1_litre_738_1Allright, so this is the travel retail version of Nadurra(‘Natural’ in gaelic) from Glenlivet distillery. The only difference between this one and the original one is that this one is not bottled at cask strength.

Bottled: +/-2013

On the nose: Honey, beeswax/scented candles and vanilla. Loads of bourbon notes here! Very sweet, but with a crisp, green zing to it. Gooseberries maybe.. Water brings out fresh lemon juice.

On the palate: Sweet and juicy, crisp mouthfeel. Honey, tropical fruits and floral notes, very ‘summery’! More grass with water and more balance in general. Sweet honey in the finish with a hint of green apples.

This one improves massively with water and time, it’s crazy. It starts off as a honey and vodka cocktail, but given time, it grows into a sweet symphony of green summer fruits and zezty, citric honey.

87/100 points

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Whisky Review #119 W.L. Weller ‘Special Reserve’ 45%

wellerSo this is a Kentucky straight bourbon named after William Larue Weller – a Kentucky distiller from back in the days who supposedly was the first distiller that prodused straight bourbon using wheat as an ingredient instead of rye, as well as corn of course. W.L. Weller is distilled at Buffalo Trace distillery.

Bottled: +/-2013

On the nose: Sweet caramel and vanilla, clean and pleasant. Some milkchocolate. More caramel with time but it does not get sickening. Water brings out metallic notes, sort of sour in a way. Applepie in the background minus the cinnamon.

On the palate: Classic bourbon initially. Sweet camphor, herbal mint and a hint of gingerbread in the background. More sour, metallic notes compared to other wheated bourbons I’ve tried. Water brings out a subtle, yet very delicious, spicy note. The finish has herbal cough mixture(similar to Ricola) and more camphor sweets. Medium length.

Okey, so I was recommended this whiskey by a friend, as I seemed to have a thing for wheated bourbons(especially Maker’s Mark), but to be honest I was slightly dissapointed. The cold and sour, metallic notes are messing with my tastebuds and I can’t seem to shake them off. Other than that this is good stuff I think, especially with a drop of water and some time in the glass.

84/100 points

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Whisky Review #118 SMWS 33.124 ‘An Engineer’s Lunch-box’ 59.7%

ardbegArdbeg time! This Ardbeg was distilled back in 2005 and after 7 years in a first fill sherry butt, the SMWS decided to bottle it. This Butt gave 602 bottles in total.

On the nose: Rich and big sherry! Leather, dusty smoke, furniture polish and wet cardboard. Absolutely FAB! Young/green apples in the background. Some cigarette ash. More ashes with water. It’s seems to me that ash is sort of a signature for young Islay whiskies.. Anyway, furthermore I’m getting gunpowder/fireworks, wet sand and wet embers from a bonfire. Kind of has an iron scent to it as well.

On the palate: Dry, ashy and concentrated smoke, but it also has a juicy zing to it. Big and mouthcovering. Herbal. With water the sherry get’s sweeter with more dried fruits ect.. really improves the experience. Getting some black pepper as well now. Clean smoke, dark and dry sherrywood in the finish.

This is one furious whisky, not for the faint of heart! Ardbeg and winecasks is still a winner..

89/100 points

(Thanks to Johan)

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Whisky Review #116 Bunnahabhain 1999 (Cadenhead’s) 54.4%

bunnaOnto another Bunna now. This is an 11 year old whisky, drawn from a single bourbon hogshead that gave 294 bottles in total. Bottled in 2011.

On the nose: Juicy, canned tropical fruits, light peatsmoke, lime and some kind of mineraly note(flint). A bit drier with a dash of water, some ash, but still fruity.

On the palate: Spicy and dry caskwood, strong alcohol and vanilla fudge. More smoke with water, but not a lot. Seems a little thin to me, even though it’s pretty strong. Some lemon balm bitter mint after a while. Finishwise I’m getting vanilla and bitter oak. Good length.

Decent stuff, but I’m not a huge fan of the palate on this one allthough I can’t quite figure out why. The nose is good but it seems a bit pale and weak tastewise, which you wouldn’t really excpect from a cask strength Bunnahabhain..

83/100 points

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