The Macallan Reflexion
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedSantiago, Chile, the Ritz Carlton maaaan this is one pricey as hell dram I’m sipping wondering if corporate expenses will pick this up when I submit the , but who cares it’s after midnight and after tasting the 18, Rare Cask, 21 year old well I’m ready for this nectar of the gods! There’s no point writing what I think it tastes like because it is a sensual delight, an orgasm of the tongue and consciousness. This has been one great night and the need to drown in oblivion. There’s no way out now.
Dailuaine 16 Year Flora & Fauna
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedVersailles! Home of that tyrant and PR king Louis 14th. Top ratings to the Hotel bar for its selection of whiskey given it is French Cognac and Brandy territory! Ummm I like an underdog whats with Marcus rating this at 82? Deserves higher given its good value for money! Damn Brexit I say to the bartender an Asian lady who knows her stuff! NOSE: Apple Apple Apple crisp, I get the morning dew malarkey as well, gentle, nice on a hot day like this; PALATE: waxy, though not as waxy as how do you spell it Craigellechie, intensely spicy I mean Madras! Full bodied, sour apples, a hint of smoke, old wine gums; FINISH: medium to long leaving strong hints of stewed fruit, a little hint of bitter chocolate and then it’s done! A much under-rated and less well known brand but sitting here just minutes from a building that is Pre-trump but sickeningly Trumpian in philosophy which turns my stomach (the man not the building) this dram saves the day and reminds me that quality lies in the integrity with which you build your image and brand! Vive le Revilucion! Vive le France!
The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 2
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedValletta.Malta. I leave a business dinner and wander the streets looking for what Larry & Serge's foreboding algorithm point me towards - Streats Bar - down a flight of steps and into a dark, cavern where Sasha, looking McMafia-like and stern, hands me the menu and to my utter surprise I see this rare whiskey, alongside a bunch of others; thus this place puts so many London and New York bars to shame! However I am not overly impressed with my dram and maybe its my deep cynicism boring over this humid night that affects my taste buds for though the NOSE is welcoming and all that Jake says it is in his notes, the PALATE is disappointing: I taste sour fruit, plums long past their sell-by-date, a hint of sulphur? no that can't be, but there it is again, but I move on and enjoy the cherries; the FINISH is long all right, smooth, with a dark chocolate finish. The manager of the bars is pleased when I say what a treat it is finding this bar, but no he won't sell me his last remaining bottle. I'm listening to Joy Division and The Sound and maybe it's that melancholy feeling being away from home that won't allow me to award more than 3.5/5 stars for this legendary dram, churlish I know, but there you go, I can't separate the palate from my mental state, just like you can't separate music from the generation it was made for. Forget it, if you're in Malta, make sure you visit Streats, the best whiskey bar in the Mediterranean! Sahha!
The Macallan 1824 Series Ruby
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedAmsterdam. A bar. Not a bad selection given so many places these days have a poor selection of whiskey (and seem to have a an enormous selection of that dratted gin which I can't stand). Of course you can't go wrong with Lavagulin but I hanker for something else and spot the Ruby, a very unusual choice for a bar in Amsterdam, so I thank the bartender for his selection and he says its always a struggle to persuade management to stock the better whiskeys and if he had his way the Ruby would be the start of his range. Here, here! Lets get this out of the way, I think the Rare Cask beats this hands down and its also significantly cheaper, what with the Ruby retailing here for Euro330-350. Julien's review is spot on. The NOSE is just great, figs and vanilla. The PALATE is exactly what you expect and want on a summer night in Amsterdam, more figs, more vanilla, it is spicy, very little or no smoke which for this is what it should be, and the FINISH is long, fruity, jam, dark bitter chocolate. I can't award the top grade because the Rare Cask is just superb and sets the benchmark for Macallan for me, with the 18 Yer Sherry Cask my favourite. So, if the Ruby were 100Euro cheaper it would be just right for a purchase, but i can hear the management at Macallan's chortling and saying "C'mon Hud, work a bit smarter and earn some more money because then you could by a whole hogshead and store it in your barn, so stop complaining" hahaha. Anyway nice dram, but get this, next to me two yanks are ordering a Drambui and Baileys, I mean what is up with the world?! I'm all for breaking gender stereotypes and diversity but with Lavagulin, Highland Park and the Ruby on offer a male gender homo sapiens should NOT be ordering effin drambui and baileys! AM I right or what?!!! Calm down and finish the dram buddy says a corporate woman to my left who is looking at my screen, its a matter of taste not gender. Thanks mom. No, I didn't mean that, sorry. Oh god, stop writing. What is up with the world?!! Cheers! :-)
Glen Scotia 25 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedSo we've driven 200 miles from Talisker Distillery to Loch Lomond after hiking near Glenbrittle on Skye. Beautiful day and why not round the evening off with a Glen Scotia 25 year old, around $75 for a double here at the excellent Loch Lomond Arms. Just what I needed - there is something about these Campbeltown boys'n'gals that imparts a subtle difference compared to other malts. The NOSE is just superb, very rich, fruity, with hints of candy, cinnamon, but also summer berries. The PALATE, first I taste a huge burst of toffee- apple, then i taste almonds, finally summer-berries jam. The extra 7 years give it that additional depth to the liquid. The FINISH is body-warming as you would expect, gentle spiciness; it is long and delicious. Overall it brings on the mood of those summers we thought would never end, as you run and run to catch the sun but it's sinking! Delicious neat, perhaps 5 tiny drops of water at most - recommended! :)
Tullamore D.E.W. Trilogy 15 Year
Blended — IrelandTastedBlasphemy, a blend?!! Are these 4 stars really the same 4 that go to the best scotch single malt? I can see that if you've drunk some the cheaper Irish blends you might be a tad surprised but trust me. This is a great tipple late at night when you don't feel quite ready for a peaty Islay or Jura, but aren't quite ready for a Mcallan Fine Oak or Aberlour Abunadh. Amanda's description is spot-on, and if you like Special K Red-Berries, you'll taste a delicious hint of that cereal! (Do you ever secretly eat a bowl of Red Berries when your partner's fallen asleep watching a sic-fi flick?) Pleasant indeed - I would rate at 3.5 stars but it gets a generous half for its long, complex warming finish, standing up well to the Speysiders and as an aperitif before you start on the heavy beauties whether a Macallan 18 or Glenfarclas 21. Recommended my hearties and please don't put me up in front of the judge! :-)
Chivas Regal 12 Year
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedDear god. It's freezing in bucharest and the only whisky this bar carries is blends! I admonish the barman and show him this app with a plea to get some single malts! However I decide to try this 12 year chivas. I'm sorry - the word is BLAND. Nothing sticks out. The apples are tasteless, the nuttiness like flour, the finish as short as JD. Brand marketing triumphs over uniqueness I'm afraid. 1 star.
Lagavulin 16 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedIt's raining and cold outside a bar in Sofia Bulgaria. There's a good if mainstream selection on offer but I go for this. Awesome, every time I try it I wonder if anything else tastes like this. Different in many ways to Talisker, Bowmore, Laphroiag, Octomore. I won't bother with my view of the taste as others have done it so much better but I'm astonished how I'm affected every time I drink it - I expect something very good, it delivers excellence! You can make different tasting whisky of course, but in this category it is unsurpassed. A stunning magical mixture that could be priced at double or triple and still walk away with the prize. A desert island top 5! Hud :)
Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky
Single Malt — TaiwanTastedMy simple reaction: why? This particular malt is just too similar to Scottish brands and comes across as a cross between Dalwhinnie and a light Dalmore. Those reviewers struggling to find a unique nose or palate are right I think. In my humble opinion I cannot taste the strand of mango that some seem to detect. What a shame. Is it there? Help! Given it is around $70 it simply cannot compare to either a Dalmore or Dalwhinnie 15 year old which are roughly the same price or less. Hope you have a better experience. 86 is a bit too high a score. Hud
Yamazaki Distiller's Reserve
Peated Single Malt — JapanTastedWow! Nose: pears, strawberries; Palate:-initially very subtle, yes, the strawberries are there, ok, more spicy fruits, berries, vanilla, but it is subtle, classy. You have to savour this because it is delicate, like a japanese bamboo garden; Finish:- medium, attractive, smooth. Compared to Nikka from the Barrel it is far more delicate. Don't drink this if tasting Speyside or Islay in same evening, doesn't work. Do some yoga, get into a state of harmony, then try this. No water or anything else required. It's weird how our tongues are different, there is no sherry here! Too subtle for winter, a spring/summer drink. Good price as well, they could easily sell it for more - please don't.