Tastes

Generously_Paul

Like a fine woman, a fine whisky deserves your time and attention

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  1. Tamdhu 2002 Single Cask #7389

    Single Malt — Speyside , Scotland

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    Recently I created a poll on the Tamdhu Appreciation Society page on Facebook asking which of my many bottles of Tamdhu I should open next. This won hands down. Cask #7389, a first fill European oak sherry butt, was distilled on 12/12/2002, then 15 years later was selected by the 15 employees at Tamdhu to be released as part of their 120th anniversary and bottled in April 2018 at cask strength of 59.3% ABV, free from chill filtration and artificial colorant. The color is a deep dark reddish brown. The cask yielded 603 bottles. This review is from bottle 238. The nose is powerful, an intensely rich sherry bomb. Strong sherried oak with lots of wood spices, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger. Dense fruitcake, dark berries, raisins, cranberries, cherries, plums and baked apples. A thick, dark sweetness, caramel, toffee and pancake syrup. Rich chocolate sauce, milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and mocha. Leather, tobacco, black licorice and a whiff of smoke (smoke but not peaty). Orange oil, almonds, pecans, walnuts and a light mint. Cough syrup, cherry hard candies, a faint amaretto note and a trace of the barley DNA that spawned this wonderful dram. Water brings out more toffee, caramel and cherry, and it becomes slight ashy. An intense arrival on the palate with plenty of heat, but the burn is oh so good. Plenty of sherry and oak to go around. Raisins, cherries, dried cranberries and orange peel. Brown sugar, vanilla, lots of wood spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise and pepper. Pecans, almonds, walnuts and hazelnut. Caramel, chocolate, chocolate oranges, black licorice and fennel. Dark berries like blackberries and mulberries. Everything is turned up to 11 and feels like it just came out of an oven set to broil, but it’s too good to wait until it cools down. Water reduces much of the heat, but amplifies the oak and wood spice, becomes slightly ashy and tannic. A full bodied mouthfeel that is oily, mouth coating, mouthwatering and then dry. The finish is very long with sherry, oak, berries, cherries, chocolate oranges and tobacco. Cask strength Tamdhu is really special stuff. A wonderful sherry bomb with power, complexity and tons of flavor. The Dalbeallie Dram that I had a while back was another shining example of CS Tamdhu (though it wasn’t a single cask). I can’t say this was better or worse than that one, just different. This bottle cost me around $350. Was the whisky in the bottle worth that much? No, but the significance of what the bottle represents sure is and I’m glad I bought a second bottle to save. It’s a real shame that Tamdhu is charging so much for their single cask releases, because they are damn good and should be more accessible. This one gets a near perfect 4.75. Cheers
    350.0 USD per Bottle
  2. The Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 Year

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Time for the third and final review of my Nadurra samples from @LeeEvolved This 16 year old single malt is the original version of the Nadurra line. It is matured exclusively in first fill bourbon barrels. The First Fill NAS expression is the replacement for this one. As with the previous ones, this is an all natural presentation. Bottled at cask strength of 55.3% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of yellow gold. This is from batch 0114A. Incredibly strong notes of vanilla and toasted coconut on the nose. Heavy bourbon oak, orange marmalade, orange peel/oil and cinnamon. A bit tannic and nutty. Quite sweet smelling as well with marshmallow, barley sugar, toffee, butterscotch and peanut brittle. Fruity flavors of green grapes, pears, melon, apples and a light pineapple. Some honey in there as well with Nila Wafers and more vanilla. A few times I got anise and fennel, but those were very fleeting. The palate opens with peppery bourbon notes with sweet vanilla and oak. Orange peel, apples, pears, coconut and a vague tropical fruitiness. Barley sugar, a bit of a grain alcohol feel and cinnamon red hots. Nila Wafers, graham crackers, toffee, butterscotch and light caramel. The palate pretty much follows the nose here with no surprises lurking. A medium bodied mouthfeel that is creamy and mouth coating. The finish is medium length with vanilla, bourbon, oak and is dry. Vanilla is the dominant theme here, and while it does this well I feel that everything else is taking a backseat and doesn’t shine enough. Maybe it was just an off night for me, but I don’t think this one is better than the NAS version. In fact I believe I enjoyed that one more than this one, despite the 16 year age statement. Still this is well made and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Any one of the Nadurra expressions is worth the time and money. A solid 4. Cheers
  3. The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso Cask Strength

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Following my last Nadurra review, it’s time for another. This time we come to the Oloroso matured cask strength release. This is from batch OL1015, and is bottled at 60.3% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of a dark amber. The nose starts with strong alcohol (understandable given the high ABV) but also very sweet with a rich sherry fruitiness. Intense raisins and figs with a strong oaky backbone. Lots of vanilla and chocolate and a wonderful sherry envelopment. Fruitcake, dried fruits like cherries, apricots and plums with a lovely dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. More chocolate with a touch of black licorice. Aromatic as if it were peated, but it’s something else. Green grass and dried hay. Blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries with a light mint. There is a slight soapy note at times but it doesn’t detract from anything. The palate is sweet and densely fruity. Plums, apricots, raisins and cherries. Sherry and oak forward with a roasted nuttiness following close behind. Some peppery spice, but not bad considering the strength here. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a hint of coffee with caramel and pancake syrup. Slightly tannic at times, but it’s a much needed contrast to the sweetness. A medium bodied mouthfeel that is a bit thin for a whisky this strong, mouthwatering and slightly astringent. The finish is medium long, fruity - mostly raisins, sherry, oak and toffee. The nose one this whisky was quite nice, and the palate didn’t fall far behind. Lovely fruity sherry and fruitcake flavors. Another example of why Glenlivet should offer more in the way of cask strength releases. 4.25 and thanks to @LeeEvolved for the sample. Cheers
  4. The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection Cask Strength

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Over the toy piles and through the basement to my whisky stash I go... Yes on this Christmas Day I decided to raid my sample stock pile and I found this Glenlivet that I have had in the waiting for over a year (based on the pour date that @LeeEvolved had written on the label). The Nadurra line from Glenlivet, for those who are unaware, are Batch strength offerings that are natural color and non chill filtered and usually feature a special cask treatment. I had one a few years back that was matured in casks that had previously held heavily peated whisky. This is the First Fill Selection, where all casks in the batch were first fill (all bourbon I believe). Bottled at 59.8% ABV and as I stated before it is non chill filtered and natural color of pale straw. This is from batch 0115. The nose is very light and delicate at first, even after giving it 10 minutes in the glass. It starts with light but satisfying oak, but then a lovely vanilla and honey come in to greet you. It turns quite sweet with crème brûlée, caramelized sugar, ripe bananas and powdered sugar. Baked apples & pears with a light dusting of cinnamon. If not for a slightly malty presence I could be fooled into believing this was a well made grain whisky. A candied lemon citrus note, hazelnut and the barest hint of chocolate. Green grapes and more powdered sugar. It certainly did not nose like a whisky on the cusp of 60% ABV, though I could absolutely tell that good casks were being used. The palate shows nowhere near the intensity the ABV would suggest, but instead has a nice oaky presence followed by honey, vanilla and coconut. Some light bourbon notes with toasted oak and barrel char. Honeyed apples, bananas, and a spice that builds and builds the more you drink it, like eating hot pepper after pepper. The first one isn’t so bad but by the 5th one you are sweating and begging for relief. Well maybe not that bad, but I digress. Toffee, very light butterscotch and cinnamon. An indistinct amalgamation of tropical and citrus fruits, pineapple being the most dominant of the flavors. Sweet, but not nearly as much as on the nose. A medium bodied mouthfeel that is creamy, mouth coating and dry. The finish is long, sweet/sugary, vanilla, oak, toffee and dry. The dry feeling was quite odd and made me take notice. For about an hour after I finished this sample there was a dry spot under my tongue on the left side that was very distracting. Not sure anyone else has ever had that happen, but it sure was weird. While not terribly complex, this single malt was thoroughly enjoyable. This is the first cask/batch strength whisky I’ve had that I would consider a true dessert dram. It’s really too bad that Glenlivet doesn’t do more in the way of cask strength expressions, because the ones I’ve had have been quite good and I feel their spirit works well at higher strength. 4.25 Cheers and Merry Christmas
  5. Glenfarclas 2004 Cask Strength Premium Edition

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    Story time. I’ve been hunting with my in laws every year since 2014. Because of the area of the state in which we hunt we were relegated to shotguns only, no rifles (the law has changed recently but that’s beside the point). I’m not a very good shot with a shotgun and have missed every shot I’ve ever taken. Some by a little, some by a lot, and so I’ve never bagged a deer. This year I decided to take a bottle with me to share and enjoy while we sat in the cabin the night before opening day. I grabbed this bottle of Glenfarclas that was given to me by @LeeEvolved a month prior for my birthday. I popped it and shared it (in complete moderation as it wouldn’t do well to hunt while hungover). The next morning while walking out to my blind I small doe stood up in my path and I took the first successful shot of my life. That night I shared a celebratory dram from the same bottle. The next morning, about 2 hours in I got my second deer. Magic whisky I tells ya! Once we got home I shared the whisky some more, and by the time it was all over the bottle was nearly gone. I poured a sample to keep for later and had just enough left for a review. This is that review lol. This is the Cask Strength Premium Edition Glenfarclas that was released to the German market (where Lee found it I haven’t a clue). It was distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2017. Bottled at 59.4% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of honey gold. It is one of 6000 bottles. The nose starts with sweet, but tamed sherry with a nip of alcohol that is nowhere near as strong as the ABV would suggest. Plums, raisins, dried cherries, blueberries, blackberries and barley sugar. Lots of honey, vanilla and some light oaky notes. Apricots, nectarines and peaches. Nutty, pecans and walnuts with nutmeg and clove. More oak with sawdust and powdered ginger. A slight leathery note with just a hint of dark chocolate and barrel char. Water didn’t add much but brought the honey and malt more into focus. Intense heat on the arrival on the palate with an underlying sweetness to help ease the pain. Sherry, but on the lighter side especially for cask strength. Honey, oak, cereal malt, vanilla and a bit of grain alcohol sharpness at times. Mixed berries, mostly blackberries. A touch nutty with almonds and walnuts, nutmeg and ginger with a trace of anise. Spicy throughout. Water brings the heat down but keeps most of the spice and honey. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel that is prickly, creamy and mouthwatering. The finish is long with light sherry, berry fruitiness, sugary with some wood spice and black tea. For a “premium edition” whisky, this didn’t come across as “premium”. Based on the color and flavor profile I would say that this is mostly or all refill casks, not very premium of them. It was hard to really enjoy neat, but it performed well over ice or with water. Tonight was a bit poetic. This was the bottle I drank before I killed my first deer, and tonight I enjoyed some venison tacos before killing this bottle. Sorry to anyone out there that is against hunting, but it was a big moment in my life and I felt like sharing. I’m also sorry to everyone for such a long review. 5 stars for the memories the bottle was a part of, and 3.75 for the whisky within the bottle. Thanks again Lee, it was a great birthday gift. Cheers
  6. Glenturret 28 - Old Particular

    Single Malt — Highlands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    It’s a miserable rainy day here in Michigan and I needed to find something to lift my spirits (pun intended). A nice well aged single malt should be the perfect remedy. I grabbed this sample of 28 year old Glenturret from the Old Particular line from independent bottler Douglas Laing that was given to me by my Georgia Bourbon Society connection @garyaturner . It was distilled in December of 1987 and bottled in November of 2016 from refill hogshead cask #DL11511 and was one of 232 bottles selected as a store pick for K&L Wines. It’s bottled at 49.7% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of yellow gold. The nose is subdued at first with mostly vanilla, honey and a spicy, yet restrained oak. As it opens up the wood spice becomes more focused with cloves and cinnamon and some oak shavings. It’s damp and musty like old cardboard boxes left to sit in a basement. More time in the glass however, reveals a wonderful bouquet of fruity aromas like dried pineapple, toasted coconut, kiwi, cantaloupe, peaches, and papaya with more vanilla following. Some spearmint and eucalyptus with a light cranberry. It transitions into a more savory profile with caramel, coffee, weak black tea, toffee, butterscotch and more honey. The oak comes back into play, but more tannic and bitter than before. It ends with cocoa powder, milk chocolate and more of that sweet vanilla. The palate is rich and full flavored. Lots of sweet vanilla followed immediately by intense tropical fruits. Mango, pineapple, coconut, orange-pineapple juice, and a hint of banana. Some heat but it’s a nice low burn. Some light oaky notes and tannins, but it’s mostly just saturated with those tropical fruits. A hint of cocoa powder and a bit of lemon custard. A full bodied mouthfeel that is creamy, mouth coating and mouthwatering. The finish is medium long with those tropical fruits, vanilla and milk chocolate, but the mouthfeel sensation just goes on and on and on. This is one hell of a bourbon matured scotch. In my opinion, exclusive bourbon maturation should be either under 12 or over 25 years old. Under 12 to be used with heavily peated whisky to let the spirit shine, and over 25 for lighter single malts and grain whiskies to really bring out the potential of both whisky and wood. Anything between those is usually a waste (exceptions of course are there and when combining with other cask types that’s all out the window). If you see a bottle from the Old Particular line you should probably just go ahead and buy it, I don’t think I’ve had a bad one yet. A solid 4.5 Cheers
    100.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Longrow 18 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    To paraphrase Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale: There are whiskies and there are whiskies, this is the latter. But more on that in a minute. Before this I’d never had a Longrow, and my experience with Springbank as a whole has been, sadly, limited to a precious few expressions. So when I came across this 2018 bottling of Longrow 18 year old at auction I just couldn’t resist. For the low low price of $110 (plus a 10% buyers fee, 3% insurance fee and a hefty shipping charge) the bottle was mine. I was deciding which bottle to open for my next Dapper Drams review and fate lead me here. This 18 year old single malt from Campbeltown is bottled at 46% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of an amber bronze. The maturation come from 60% refill sherry butts and 40% fresh bourbon barrels. Less than 100 casks per year are filled for the Longrow line, so this is a limited annual release. Right away the nose let’s you know that this is a different kind of single malt. Elegant, mature peat balanced with sherry, a savory meatiness, lemon and orange citrus/oil. They say let a whisky rest 1 minute in the glass for every year in the cask before approaching it. This one needs about 50% more to shine. Once it rests you will get old oak worn smooth, apples, plums, dark cherries and dates. Sweet molasses BBQ sauce, leather, pipe tobacco and creamy vanilla. Lightly salty, ginger, sulfur/spent matches and a light chalky/mineral note. Toasted marshmallows, dark chocolate with cayenne powder (but not hot), chili powder and chocolate licorice. Herbal at times with basil, oregano and mint. Hot fudge, caramel and toffee with a hint of strawberries and black licorice. The palate arrives with some peppery spice up front, followed by luxurious peat smoke and dark sherry. Molasses, walnuts, chocolate sauce, hazelnut and milk chocolate. Ginger, old polished oak, tobacco, leather. Caramel, caramelized peaches, juicy raisins, dates and figs. Meaty, sulfuric, slightly tannic and bitter but as a positive note. Chili spice, Worcestershire sauce, basil. Cigar ashes, lapsang souchong tea with honey and vanilla. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel that is oily, thick but silky, mouthwatering and fabulous. The finish is medium to medium long at times with peat, chocolate, molasses, sulfur, black tea and orange oil. This scotch is a game changer...quite possibly the most balanced whisky I’ve ever had. The nose is a bit closed off at first, but given enough time it opens up to reveal a beautiful array of aromas. I could seriously nose this for hours without taking the first sip, and find something new every time I went back to it. The palate is luxurious but also packs a bit of a punch. A bit of everything here. After over 350 whiskies under my belt this has to be the best total package bottle to date. My only complaint, if you could really call it that, would be that the finish isn’t long enough. I’ve had some that you drink at 9pm and still taste after you wake up in the morning. This kind of dies abruptly from time to time just as things seem like they are going to continue on. Still, if I could only drink this for the rest of my life I don’t think I would mind at all. 4.75 and I highly recommended that if you see it, just buy it no questions asked. Cheers
    110.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Sazerac Straight Rye

    Rye — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Though my incoming supply of whisky samples has slowed considerably, my consumption of samples seems to have slowed at an equal or greater pace, so I’m still acquiring more than I am drinking. I’m not complaining, there’s just no time these days to plow through samples like I was doing a year or two ago. Figured it was time to get back to it and thin the herd a little so I grabbed this rye that was given to me by @pollywollydoodle This NAS rye from Buffalo Trace is bottled at 45% ABV, is a natural color of dark copper and is chill filtered. The nose is very herbal with oregano, dill and mint. Quite sweet with some caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Light rye spice, cola and bubblegum. It shifts away from the sweeter notes with polished oak, barrel char, vanilla, orange oil and dark honey. Grassy, walnuts, buttery pecans, cherries, sawdust and a hint of mocha. The palate has a sweet arrival with a foundation of wood spice. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and charred oak. The sweetness comes in the form of bubblegum, cherries, cola and dark chocolate. There are also some bitter walnuts and orange oil. A medium bodied mouthfeel that is lightly oily and creamy, mouth coating and dry. The finish is medium long with oak, peppery spice, walnuts and dry. As most of you may already know, I’m not much of a rye fan, but this one isn’t too bad. Not too complex, but nothing really unpleasant. Seems like it could be more though, and would probably be best in a cocktail. Cheers
  9. Port Charlotte Scottish Barley

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Part three of the Wee Laddie tasting set. The third and final whisky in the Bruichladdich tasting set is the Port Charlotte Islay Barley. For those of you who may not be all too familiar with Bruichladdich, let me break it down for you. The Bruichladdich distillery produces 3 different lines of scotch whisky. Anything that is strictly Bruichladdich is unpeated, Port Charlotte is heavily peated, and Octomore (which sadly is not included in this set) is super heavily peated. Just think of it like Ford Motor Company circa 2000. They had 3 brands, all made by Ford. Bruichladdich would be Ford, Port Charlotte would be Mercury, and Octomore would be Lincoln. But I digress. So back to the whisky. This Port Charlotte has been peated to a level of 40ppm, is bottled at 50% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of yellow gold. Sweet, peat, and sweet peat on the nose. Lemon citrus, almonds and almond butter. A big hit of smoky, vinegary BBQ sauce, BBQ ribs and smoked fish, salmon mostly. Fairly salty, maritime/sea air and green olives. A touch medicinal with iodine, but nowhere near Laphroaigian levels. Vanilla, grilled apricots and nectarines, a definite sweetness behind all the smoke. Barley sugar, yellow apples, fruit/spice cake, butterscotch and toffee. A slight minerality and some sawdust. Floral notes with dry grass and a hint of red wine. So far this is the best nose of the 3. The palate is strong and peppery, youthful. Peaty, smoky, ashy, charred oak pulled from a bonfire and doused with sea water and damp earth. Slightly fruity - apricots mostly with some light lemon. Heat at times, not too complex, mostly those peaty notes. Green oak, medicinal and barley sugar. Caramelized/burnt sugar, cinnamon, ginger and graham crackers. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel that is creamy, mouthwatering and mouth coating. The finish is long, peaty, ashy, slightly fruity - mostly lemon, and dry. I think this one edged out the Classic Laddie for the top spot in the tasting set. It might not be quite as nuanced, especially in the palate, but the peat adds a much needed contrast to the overly malty profile of both the Laddie and the Islay Barley. Still, for my money I’d rather buy a Laphroaig or Ardbeg if I wanted to go with heavy peat. A solid 4 though. Cheers
  10. Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009

    Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Part two of the Wee Laddie tasting set review. *Note this is not the same as the whisky listed as this was bottled specifically for the tasting set and does not have a vintage or farm of origin. I didn’t feel it was worth creating a new entry. The second whisky in this set is the Bruichladdich Islay Barley. This is different from the Classic Laddie in that all of the barley is grown specifically on Islay, the idea being that the terroir really does make an impact on the final product. Like the Classic Laddie, this is bottled at 50% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of yellow gold, and is also unpeated. The nose has lots of strong barely notes, honey and lemon citrus. Damp, musty and earthy. Like it’s unpeated brother, this too has a very peated feel to it right off the bat. Lemon squares, faint golden apples, peaches, pineapple and grilled plums. A touch mineral with some wheat bread. Vanilla and oak, maple, toffee, butterscotch and buttery pecans. Very light raspberries as well. The palate is quite spicy, very malty with lots of honey, hay, lemons and salty. Oak and heat, very green and slightly vegetal. Apricots and ginger. Young, vibrant, and spirit forward, but not very complex. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel that is oily and mouthwatering. The finish is medium long, spicy, oaky and salty. I’m not impressed with this whisky. Yes it is presented with pride as it is NCF and NC and at 50%, but it doesn’t have enough going for it taste wise and is a bit too intense to really enjoy. It does show that terroir does matter (or more to the point that the barley varietal matters) and shows that (presumably) changing nothing but the barley can make a huge difference on the intrinsic properties of the spirit. I did not try adding water, which may have helped. As it stands I’m giving it a 3.5. Cheers
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