Kurayoshi Pure Malt 18 Year
Blended Malt — Multiple CountriesTastedBest Kurayoshi i have tasted so far (i have tasted 3) and i believe all its flavor comes from the higher abv. This scottish and japanese blended malt made me have a good time, and i really enjoyed it. Bottled at 50% abv. On the nose, it is beautiful. Very Floral, Perfumed. Dried fruits and Grapes No alcohol note whatsoever even for a 50%abv. Strawberries, sweet bread; Fantastic. Grape juice, Cereal, Honeycomb, Bananas and that "typical" dulce de leche, toffee note from the other Kurayoshi. On the palate, also very good. Almonds. Nutty. Butterscotch.Pepper and Citric notes. More dulce de leche (toffee) After the third sip it becomes earthy. Aftertaste is the best part by far. Perfect score. So rewarding. A super pleasant spice bomb, a mixture of pepper, ginger and oak spice. Overall, i got to say that there are better 18yo whiskies out there but this one deserves to be tasted at least once. Great whisky, only Kurayoshi i would recommend, 92 over 100. Kanpai!
Kurayoshi 12 Year Pure Malt Whisky
Blended Malt — Multiple CountriesTastedI had a Kurayoshi tasting night, and i had the Sherry Cask, the 12yo and the 18yo. Got to say this one was the loser on that night, because even if it is not a bad whisky, it is not something you will remember. Actually Kurayoshi is a blended malt (pure malt in japan) from scottish and japanese whiskies, from the Matsui distillery. Bottled at 43%abv On the nose, it is an speyside whisky doppelganger with a little earthy note (which i found in every Kurayoshi).full Citric notes. Toffee. Grapefruit, Strong alcohol note; passion fruit. Earthy and Citric. Raw rice and Floral notes like a cheap Air freshener from a Taxi (a cab). On the palate, too straightforward, but nice i guess. Dulce de leche (toffee), citric and pepper. Aftertaste is intersting. Earthy like mud. Ginger. Very dry. Overall this is a whisky that is not bad, but lacks emotion. I guess that it's intention is to compete with other 12 year old whiskies out there (which might be the whiskies top competition) and for that purpose, it is a good offer. 77 over 100.
The Kurayoshi Pure Malt Sherry Cask
Single Malt — Japan, JapanTastedTo this day, this one can be consider a rarity. I have only seen this Kurayoshi at israel airport. Although it is matured at the Matsui distillery, this is actually scotch. The new make is made in scotland and most of the casks are also scotish but stored on the japanese distillery. It is strange but its true. Bottled at 43% abv, amber color. On the nose it is AMAZING. perfect score. Due to its maturation on sherry casks, its aroma is wonderful. Red fruits, Berries, Purple fruits: Raisins. Vanilla, White wine, Dr. Pepper cola, Maple syrup and strawberry marmalade. On the palate it is more straightfoward but still very nice. Grapes, sherry, tobbacco and chocolate. Aftertaste is super candied and sweet. Its like hard bubble gum, cinnamon, peanuts, molasses, and a little bitter. Overall, this is a fine dram, very enjoyable. 86 over 100.
The Nikka Tailored
Blended — Japan, JapanTastedA beautiful looking bottle that represents a Kimono dress, a very drinkable whisky, which is too straightforward to be exciting. Here are my notes on Nikka Tailored that replaced the standard Nikka 12yo in 2019. Bottled at 43%abv On the nose it is pretty nice. Raw rice, Coffee, Toffee, dulce de leche, Tobacco, grapefruit. Feels barely young. Creme brulee. Super sweet, beautiful Capuccino note. On the palate is the easiest whisky to drink ever. Super fancy toffee with Pepper and that's it. Nothing else. A little boring. Aftertaste is more of the same. pleasant spice bomb with toffee. Very friendly, but not overly exciting. Overall this is a good, everyday whisky. Guess for a NAS that should be around 10-12yo it works. For critics and adventurers it feels too plain. 79 over 100.
Highland Park Ice Edition
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedThe proper way to start this review is to tell you that this one will be on my top ten list of 2020. Highland Park Ice Edition is not only marvelous well crafted to actually feel "cold", but it is also a rewarding dram. Even the bottle is amazing. Actually i had the fire edition first, (which was released after this ice edition) and even if i did not like that one too much, i recognized that HP made a whisky that tasted like a volcano; and now that i have had the Ice one, everything fits perfectly, this distillery gave us a cold dram and a hot spicy dram and called them ice and fire. I applaud them. Having said all that, this beautiful green bottle comes on a mountain shaped case. It symbolizes the "fittingly chilly reflection of Nilfheim, one of the nine worlds of old Norse mythology and the birthplace of ice, frost and fog". Bottled at 53.9%abv On the nose is outstanding. Uncorking gives you this whisky mixed with ice and mineral water aroma. First sniff is all about salt and vanilla. Lemon meringue, no alcohol note; there is a COLD PEAT note, it is the only way i can describe it. Vanilla ice cream: Whenever a whisky feels cold it is always vanilla ice cream. The peat is present is a fashionable fancy way. Fancy citrus. The same scorched ground like in the Highland Park fire, but like frozen. Got to say they offered fire, they delivered, they offered ice, they also delivered. This are collection items but for the critics, they nailed it. Pineapple and tropical fruits. A little ashy. It is clear that they made this one first, and saw the "frozen properties of it" named it "ice edition" and then released the fire edition one. After first sip it gets more citrusy, lemon. Dulce de leche. And that was the nose. Palate is a little more "human" but also great. Dulce de leche (toffee), Pepper Another spice bomb, but pleasant. Mint liquor, Tobacco and Ashes. Prunes. Its like a powerful pepermint breath candy. Aftertaste is sooooo rewarding. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Peat, Pepper, Ashes. Dry grasses, Tobacco. Puffs of smoke. So amazing freaking finish, so rounded, makes you lick your theet afterwards. So, this was amazing. Truly an enjoyable whisky, absolutely recommended, go buy it, at least for the beautiful bottle. Incredible dram, 98 over 100. Sláinte Mhath.
Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Rum Cask Finish
Blended — ScotlandTastedAnother one of JW experiments, this time a 2017 release (it seems like it was not that long ago) a blended scotch whisky finished in casks that held Caribbean Pot Still Rum. Bottled at 40.8% abv, light golden color. On the nose it is amazing. I had no faith on this whisky before opening it, since the other blender's batches i have had from Johnnie Walker were just regular. But the nose on this is great. Smells like rum. 100%; Tobacco Dry grass. Vanilla Feels young on the nose and turns grainy quickly. Butter. Rum notes have faded to a standard grain whisky, the most standard one you can imagine. Liquid artificial lemon, like the one bartenders pour on rum cocktails on a bar. Maybe a hint of pepper. Vanilla cake. Got to say it is young but the aroma meets the criteria to be exactly what they claim it is. After a first sip, it gets like a cuba libre with lemon artificial juice. It is a rum cocktail. A great dulce de leche note is also present. On the palate, it is not that great, but still not a bad dram: Bitter notes are the most notorious. Dark cake. Vanilla, Prunes and Pepper. A little Oaky/woody. A slight dulce de leche note that quickly turns bitter. Acid overall. Just like a rum. Aftertaste is awful. Off-putting the first sip. Super Dry, it tastes like a piece of cardboard box. Raw rice. Like tasting a dead leaf or licking a piece of paper. Although the second sip is slightly better, it is still very dry. A little pepper can be detected. Luckily is a short finish. Terrible. Overall, this went downhill way to quickly and way too abruptly. It lost so many points on the aftertaste than the resulting score of 70 over 100 could deceive you into believing this is a regular whisky, but really the finish is so bad that i wouldn't even think to buy it again. I know this JW collection is for cocktails and mixing, and i can see this going great with coca cola AND THAT SAYS A LOT ABOUT IT.
Highland Park Fire Edition
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedI was eager to taste this whisky since it came out. The bottle was so beautiful and everyone was talking about it and i finally had the chance of getting my hands on it and it is what the name says: a Fire. Lets talk about the bottle. It is a reddish crimson glass which looks like lava, and it comes in a wooden volcano shaped case. Amazing presentation, that symbolizes "Muspelheim, the glowing Norse fire realm of destruction". It is all about the viking mythology of Ragnarok and rebirth. Amazing. But... is the whisky any good? Well... lets see: Bottled at 45.2%abv, golden - ambar color. This have been entirely matured in refilled port wine casks. On the nose, on the palate, the aftertaste, everything is a volcano. Nose: uncorking gives you a salty - heathery peat right away. Once in the glass, it is warm sand, very sulphuric. Ashes, a scorched field from some war, or a braveheart / Mel Gibson movie. After a while, some lemon or mild citrusness appear. After the first sip, some milk chocolate magical appears. Palate is as hot as it can be. Look at this tasting notes: ashes, pepper, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (not the band), super spicy, slight vanilla and maybe some red fruits, but they are way too undermine by the spiciness. Aftertaste is a Mortal Kombat Fatality for your palate. Wasabi, Chilli and salt... but not off-putting. So... if you look at the notes, it is a fire. It is a volcano. But is it any good? I don't think this is a bad whisky at all, but i am not a spice fan myself, so for me, its a 77 over a 100 and i know some of you will kill me for that score. I know that maybe im punishing its score due to mu own personal taste, buy i got to stay true to my feelings about this whisky and it doesn't have the greatest nose, or a great palate or a great aftertaste. I am not a hardcore fan about port matured whiskies so this might not come as a suprise either. So, its a 77, hope the Ice Edition is better.
Compass Box Phenomenology
Blended Malt — ScotlandTastedI often say how Compass Box dissapoints me, and i have noticed that it is my fault for putting to much faith on every expression due to their great marketing and overall hype. When i had the "No Name" those paradigms changed and i said i loved it. No Name has a "sister bottle" (they were release kinda together) and it is this "Phenomenology", whose name comes from a phsycology school of thought, that it is all about how people experience different things on one same object. That is why they "held" the tasting notes on this one, for us to debate on what flavors and aromas we can find on this "Dissonant blend, form 72% Glenlossie 24.5% Tamdhu in bourbon cask, 2% Highland Park, 1% Talisker and 0.5% Caol Ila". This sounds nice! But, does it live to its expectations? Well ... lets see: Bottled at 46%abv, golden color. On the nose it is quite beautiful. Red apples, vanilla, feels like a GLENFARCLAS (this is how it felt, i didn't read anything about this whisky before tasting it so i threw this impression in my notes. There is no Glenfarclas in this hahaha.) Coca cola that lost its gas, pears, cantaloupe, tobacco, dry grass, a pineapple juice (this note was so clean and easy to find). Rancid vanilla. NO PEAT. On the palate is a little simple. Apples, Cinnamon, pepper, pineapple, vanilla. It is oily. I feel that Compass Box often prefers an easy-going palate, and maybe that is why it tends to lose points in my scorecard. Aftertaste is more of the same, apples and spices like cinnamon and clove. Overall this feels like your typical speysider. I couldn't find any peaty notes, the nearest ones were dry grass and tobacco. Well, i wanted to validate my notes on this, so i started watching some youtube reviews to see if everyone gets something different as Compass Box Claims. They all had something very similar to my notes (except the coca cola without gas, lol). Some of them find very little peat, which i didn't. I don't think this is a bad dram, i just find it too speysider and it fails to deliver the talisker and Highland Park notes, maybe the Caol Ila citrusness was there. My score for it, is a rough 80 over 100.
Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedFrom the "unpronounceable" Bunnahabhain series, comes this Eirigh Na Greine which means "Morning Sky" in Gaelic. Actually this whisky, non chill-filthered and without any added color, has a deep copper, reddish tone, just like the sky in the morning. Matured in different red wine casks (from Italy and France) this is one fine dram, that promised a lot on the nose, and just couldn't deliver on the palate. Bottled at 46.3% On the nose is just marvelous. Prepare to read some crazy notes here. As soon as you uncork it, you get a Coca Cola aroma. After a couple seconds, without pouring it yet, it delivers the exact aroma of another rare, argentinian spirit, called Fernet. It transported me to an argentinian discotheque were fernet is the preferred drink. Then, after pouring it, dry brown cake, prunes, old thick orange syrup, everything wrapped in a very nice earthy peatiness aroma. Ashes also appear. After 5 minutes breathing, you will get some strange overload of sweetness and i got to say it got me some time to actually detect the exact note.... it was.. Trix cereal. Trix for kids. Im not kidding. I loved it. After the first sip, a lor of red fruitiness appear on the nose. There is a cough syrup of kids called "Coricidin" which is super sweet. It is exactly that. Perfect score on the nose. On the palate, it is still a good dram, but nowhere near as the nose. Very nice, starts sweet like red fruits, to turn spicy and then again this trix cereal sensation. Second sip is very earthy - Dry. Almondy. Aftertaste gives you a puff of smoke right away. A chocolate powder mouth drying note. It is a warm dram, that just drains the saliva. Smoky like cigarretes. Earthy. Short to medium finish. It is woody. Sawdust. Overall i loved this dram, but the palate and the aftertaste are not as appealing as the incredible aroma of it. I wish i could give it a higher score but the fair rate for it is 88 over 100. For $60 it's worth trying.
Jura 18 year old travel Exclusive
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedThis travel exclusive i have never seen before, i tried on one of my tasting events, the owner of the house had it and poured me a dram. Spoiler: it is a beauty. Bottled at 40%abv, on the nose it has Dry cake, Sherry with peat, Caramel, icing sugar. Wonderful. On the palate is very "islander": Spicy herbal, Meat, hard Salt and Ashes. Finish salty and Ginger. Overall this is a great dram, 95 over 100, if you find it, grab it.