Talisker Select Reserve (Game of Thrones-House Greyjoy)
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedThis one wasn’t easy for me to find and as a Talisker fan I’m very happy that I did. It reminds me a lot of the classic 10 although gentler this time. On the nose there is less brine and pepper and more of what seems to be sherry sweetness (I could bet there are some sherry casks on the mix here). The palate is a bit less spicy and again, a tad sweeter. The finish is savoury, simply delicious, making it dangerously quaffable. (Peat wise they are very similar for me) This one was a very pleasant surprise,a very good whisky, not just a gimmick. I would say it is softer than the 10, not as refined as the 18, but great value nonetheless. I recommend it even for the ones out there there aren’t big fans of the Talisker profile (yet!).
Benromach 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedFor so long I wanted to try a Benromach that I was a little bit afraid it could be a let down. Not at all! Gladly it was all I was expecting and more. As a matter of fact “all” is a key word here because this whisky has it all! A little bit of peat, a little bit of sherry, a little bit of malt... But all working in such synchrony that gives it lots of balance and makes it such an elegant whisky. No kidding, this is elegance in its liquid form. Way to go Benromach! Now you can join Talisker, Ardbeg, Ben Nevis and Springbank on the Hall of Greats 10 Years!
Mannochmore 25 Year 1990 (2016 Special Release)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted3cl sample (Master of Malt/£23) The aroma is a fullSherry bomb but with a citric twist. There’s also some cask strength bourbon notes there, probably because there are some virgin oak on the mix as far as I’m concerned. Fantastic stuff! Seems you’re inside a candy store. While the nose was Sherry w/ citric twist (and a buble gum note I just picked), the palate is the other way round: citric w/ a Sherry twist. Not woody at all for 25 yo, quite the opposite, very fresh. The after taste has a spicy tingle but I love it. Just buy a bottle if you can find this “impossible to find” whisky. Thanks me later! (And pls send me another sample)
Booker’s Bourbon Batch 2018-04 "Kitchen Table"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedElected the best of the day on a Bourbon tasting alongside Stagg Jr, JD Sinatra, Angel’s Envy and Eagle Rare. On the glass, a beautiful russet color and some really slow legs after swirling the glass. On the nose, just a bit of alcohol burn (we’re talking 64% abv afterall), some nuttiness, some citrus, ginger spice and an old oak note, like the smell you get inside a dunnage house. On the palate it is full bodied with a really CREAMY mouthfeel. It isn’t harsh by any means (where has all the alcohol gone?) and yet another time you have citrus, oak and some spice. Have I already said how creamy this is? 😁 On the finish you get some heat from the high abv, pepperiness and some old leather note. You can add water to this one but I think it is best neat. You don’t get much alcohol burn and you get the most incredible mouthfeel that is somehow lost after some dilution. Not as good as Batch 2015-03 (Center Cut) but a great bourbon anyhow.
Ledaig 13 Amontillado Cask Finish
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedJust opened the bottle I got at Deanston (sister distillery) and as promised came with this (express) review: “O M G !!! Caramelised apple, smoked bacon, “funkiness” and a salty edge... Weird? I freaking ❤️ it! (Disclaimer: not for the faint of heart)” It is indeed so weird that it keeps it 1/4 point apart from the perfect score... It’s not your every day dram, nor will you always be on the mood for it, but when you are, it sure is one hell of a ride!
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedReview for Brodir Batch 3 (aka Final Batch). After trying Brodir bath 2 and Cairdeas 2013, I already knew how amazing port finished Laphroaig can be, so when I had the chance of buying the new and final batch, I jumped on it. (I think from now on it will be replaced by a new expression called simply “Laphroaig Port Wood”). First difference I can notice from batch 2 is on the color. Although it has the pinkish hue one would expect from a ruby port finish, it is less pronounced than it was on the previous batch, probably denoting a shorter finishing time on the port barrels. On the (amazing) nose, there are red berries and campfire smoke as the previous one, but also vanilla sweetness and honey. It is delicious and seems overall more rounded this time. I really love it! On the palate, the campfire smoke turns into an ashy peat bomb with an underlying sweetness. Surprising, but in a good way. The finish brings a lot of barrel spices to play, that along with the peat seams to linger forever on your mouth. I liked it better than batch 2 for sure, since it is an overall more balanced whisky, but if I recall it right, not better than Cairdeas 2013, still King of Laphroaig IMHO. Very, very good indeed! Happy I pulled the trigger on this one. 5 stars it is!
Balblair 1997 1st Release
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted(Review for Balblair 97 2nd Ed.) When it comes to whisky, (almost) everyone loves some peat and different casks thrown in the mix but sometimes all you need is a plain unpeated malt aged solely in ex-bourbon casks. This Balblair is 14/15 years old, 46% abv, NFC, beautiful natural golden color and aged only in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks. The nose is a flavor bomb of tropical fresh fruits: pineapple, banana and citrusy fruits, some sweet vanilla, all wrapped by a hard to explain floral aroma. DELICIOUS! The palate is gorgeous with a very thick mouthfeel, a sweet taste and a very long finish with a welcome spicy kick, just to keep things interesting. Bravo Balblair!
Ardbeg An Oa
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedSo... this seems to be the least favorite from Ardbeg core range, at least amongst us hardcore whisky fans. I beg to disagree! While I would have some difficult to rank them (10, An Oa, Uige and Corry) on any particular order as I love them all, I would say this one is at least as good as it companions. This is so complex that some could call it a chameleon whisky... First time I opened the bottle all I got was smoky banana pudding and a creamy sweetness background. Some weeks later I got some lemon citrus with peat/smoke background and I could swear it was the TEN I was smelling... Today I’m sipping it again and as I’m trying to focus very hard on my senses, I can get a very big cloves and cigar ash aroma... May seem weird but it’s great! Ahhhh, we whisky geeks may sound crazy sometimes... ;) On the mouth this one is very creamy, with a great mouthfeel and has that familiar heavy smoky/peaty/ashy Ardbeg taste that we all love but this time some extra sweetness tag along, probably from the PX Casks in the mix. The aftertaste is ashy and a little bit more bitter than I like, but nothing that spoils the ride. Overall another stellar dram from Ardbeg. Highly recommended!68.0 USD per Bottle
Bunnahabhain An Cladach
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNot a review! Also not a bad drop... at all! Can’t quite understand the super low score this whisky got from the oficial review. Maybe he just got a bad/sulphured batch, maybe our palate is just too ordinary... Who knows?! Everything I know is this whisky may be a bit young (as the nose suggest), but it is good, with lots of Sherry goodness and an amazing value! Glad that I got over the bad score and bought it anyway.55.0 USD per Bottle
Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedOrange citrus, brine, pepper and a little smoke... But put together in such a perfect way that words fail me. This ought to be the best under $50 bottle available on the market. It’s my 3rd bottle and it never ceases to amaze me. Highly recommend it if you don’t mind some peat, salt and pepper.