Tastes

DavidCeulemans

Newbie Scotch appreciator exploring the world of whisky. Instagram: @spooky.iphone

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  1. Black Burn

    Blended — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    This was a recommendation of my local whisky dealer. While being a blend (due the presence of grainwhiskies?) the origin of all of it's base spirits appears to be the Speyside distillery, containing young spirits between 3-5 years old, though the grainwhiskies used are said to be older. The name of this 'Black Burn' blend is said to be inspired by 'William Blackburn', a former blacksmith, who used his expertise to burn a selection of the barrels he used to help 'flavour' his wiskies. The shop-owner let me taste a dram, and considering the price, found it to be pretty good: The smell is somewhat sweet, with honey and flowers. The sweet notes return on the palate, with a small accent of wood, vanille and some dried fruits. The aftertaste is rather short, but pleasant. While definitely not a peated whisky, I still imagine to detect a small amount of smoke. Apparently, this is a good dram to pair with dark chocolate. Sidenote: I also like the shape of the bottle. Once empty, I plan to keep it around as alternative karaf for my homemade perpetuumblend...
    40.0 EUR per Bottle
  2. Cragganmore 12 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    When in Lucca, we never skip a visit to 'Da Gerardo', our favourite Ristorante at the amphitheatre in Lucca. The owner knows by now that I take my whisky straight, and serves it automatically with water and ice at the side. He also is pretty generous with his pour :). Having tried all other whisky's on his menu, he offered me to sample this Cragganmore 12. I ordered the full dram, after the first sip. On the nose, this one reveals some flowers, and a bit of honey, but on the palate, some vanilla and a hint of smoke joins in. Very nice. The aftertaste is pleasing, and lingers on the right amount of time. This won't be my everyday whisky - as I usually prefer peaty drams - but at the right place, the right time, I'll certainly enjoy this one again!
    7.0 EUR per Pour
    Lucca
  3. Kilchoman Saligo Bay

    Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    First sample of a 7 part Kilchoman (custom) sample set my wife got me for my birthday. It was hard to choose which one(s) to start with, as I was very curious for all of them, I decided to go for the Travel Retail releases first. The Saligo Bay has pretty obvious smoke on the nose, but is more gently on the palate. Some fresh, citrusy notes appear shortly after the first sip, with some toffee, then some mild spices. Not a bad dram at all. (I noticed I didn't post this review yet as it wasn't available in Distiller at the time, so here goes :) )
  4. Ledaig 1998 Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    This Ledaig was on my Wishlist since I purchased and tasted the Limited Release of the 18 year old Spanish Sherry Wood Finish last year. As I already said back then, I try to steer clear for whisky's in the 100+ euro's range as there so much to explore in the lower price ranges, but in the end I was just too curious for this one and it had put it on the top spot of my list nevertheless. My wife noticed I kept it on the wishlist but also that I always seemed hesitated to purchase it so she figured she'd better buy it herself: it would be an excellent surprise gift for my 46th birthday - And oh boy, was she right! I was surprised allright, and so keen to finally being able to sample it! Maybe I should put a spoiler-alert here, but despite high expectations, I found this Ledaig 19 Oloroso Cask Finish to be a fabulous dram. On the nose it seemed a bit thin and faint at first, but after a few minutes of breathing, some clear hints of leather and dark fruits started to appear. Then I was met by a lovely, complex dram with lots of peat smoke, clear hints of orange zest, salty caramel, and definitely some bittersweet dark chocolate. Perhaps there's even some cookie dough? All perfectly balanced. As with the Spanish Sherry finished 18 year old, the Oloroso Sherry finish is clear and obvious, but not overly so. After swallowing, the taste lingers on for a long while. For me, this is absolutely a great dram! It's a coincidence, but as it happens, this whisky was distilled around the very same period that I met my lovely wife: the late summer of 1998. It marked the start of a completely new and exciting part of our life. We married just a year later, our first kid was born the next. We moved houses, had our second kid. We definitely made a lot of happy memories since then. It may sound silly, but the fact this excellent dram was distilled and put to mature the very same year I met my wife, sort of gives this dram an extra dimension. It doesn't tast better by it, but makes it a bottle that I'll cherish for a long time, and I'll take my time savouring it!
    120.0 EUR per Bottle
  5. Monkey Shoulder Smokey Monkey

    Blended Malt — Scotland

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    While I regularly enjoy the ‘regular’ Monkey Shoulder, I never had the opportunity to try and taste the smokier version of it. Being only released to bars and hotels (to be served basically in cocktails and mixers, but also on it’s own), it’s not very widespread available. Unofficially it’s a triple malt blend of The Balvenie, Glendfiddich and Aisla Bay, but that isn’t confirmed. I’ve been able to purchase a bottle now, and was pretty eager to sample it. On the nose I got some medicinal peaty notes, that come back on the palate, but it then quickly reveals some sweetness. Stone fruits, but also liquorice. Some breathing may remedy the initial medicinal taste, though. Then, on the aftertaste, I really enjoyed the soft, sweet, smokeyness. Knowing the original Monkey Shoulder, expectations were actually rather high for this one, but it didn’t disappoint. I rate it 3.25!
    34.0 EUR per Bottle
  6. Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish 2007

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    When we stay in Italy we often visit Bolgheri, and old medieval town in Tuscany. It’s mainly known for its 5 kilometres long driveway with cypresses and the numerous wineries surrounding the town. When I learned this Benromach had been finished in Bolgherian Sassicaia wine barrels, I got very curious. We have driven by the Sassicaia grapevines many times, and the Sassicaia wine comes highly recommended, so how would a Sassicia-wood finished whisky taste like? Funnily enough, I couldn’t find it in the local wineries and shops in Bolgheri last year. To my surprise, earlier this week I finally spotted a bottle in the shop window of a wine shop when visiting San Gimignano - totally by accident, as I wasn’t actually looking for it. On the shelf inside the shop there was a 2009 bottling available, but upon request the shop owner offered me to sell the 2007 bottling from the shopwindow instead (limited edition - 3500 bottles) for the same price. The shop owner also commended me for my choice, as he found it to be a real good whisky. Initially I also wanted to buy a bottle of the actual Sassicaia wine too, just for the sake of it, but not being an avid wine drinker, I found it a bit to expensive for that. The very same evening, I couldn’t control myself any longer, so I cracked the bottle, poured a dram and took some time to savour it near the fireplace. Time well spend, as it turned out: On the nose, this Benromach is a typical Speyside dram - sweet, with touches of honey, cinnamon and apple. On the palate, similar notes appear, while accompanied with a whiff of smoke, and a just a fruity hint of the Sassicaia wine-barrels. The aftertaste is sweet, a tad fruity, and lingers just about the right time. Great dram! Bottom line: I usually prefer heavily peated whiskies over non peated ones anytime, but this this Benromach Saccicaia Wood Finish has become my instant favourite non-peaty dram overnight. I’m really going to enjoy this one whenever we’re in Tuscany.
    97.0 EUR per Bottle
    San Gimignano
  7. Cardhu Gold Reserve

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    2.5
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    When travelling to Italy, I promised my sister in law that I would bring the whisky, only to realise upon arrival that I had completely forgotten them. Since she usually doesn’t like peaty whisky, I decided to sneakily purchase a non smokey dram from my ‘to try’ list, that wasn’t all too expensive. The Cardhu fitted the bill well. The Cardhu Gold Reserve isn’t bad. It’s a bit sharp on the nose though and it really needs a while to loose its punch. After some breath it reveals some apple, toffee and a hint of honey, but still tastes a bit sharp. I read a lot of very positive reviews, and saw some relative high rates, but for me it scores a solid two and a half, perhaps three, stars. Not bad at all, but not an instant favourite.
    25.0 EUR per Bottle
    Orciatico
  8. Old Pulteney 12 Year

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    It has been a while since I tasted something new, but this 12 Year old was a great addition to my ‘tasted’ collection. While I usually only go for peated drams, this one came highly recommended by my sister in law (who’s into whiskey ‘thanks’ to me). She doesn’t like peated very much (while still appreciating a nice Talisker for example), so she gives me some nice non-peated dreams to try on a regular base. This Old Pulteney was one of those. Full, creamy, moderate sweet. Slightly salty. I wouldn’t mind having it in my collection at all! 3,5 stars, but I’ll round up.
    Lokeren
  9. Laphroaig Select

    Peated Single Malt — Islay , Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    I purchased this bottle at a local supermarket on our way to Orciatico, Lajatico in Tuscany. Considering it’s price, an excellent dram. While the five different maturation methods result in a slight identity crisis, it’s nevertheless a gentle, sweet, approachable whisky with a whiff of peat smoke. Perfect as a daily sipper.
    35.0 EUR per Bottle
  10. Craigellachie 13 Year

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    During a business trip a few weeks ago, I had to dine alone. The restaurant at the little hotel I stayed in was actually closed for the season, but the owner nevertheless prepared me a nice meal. I drank a glass of red wine with the deliciously prepared dear, but when I explained to him that I usually dropped the wine in favor of a dram after my meal, he offered me a glass of this nice Craigellachie 13, instead of a desert. The nose and palate are very similar: sweet apples and honey. On the palate perhaps there are some extra oaky notes, but subtle. The aftertaste is slightly spicey, but also very subtle. Nice dram, I would accept anytime!
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