The Dalmore 1263 Custodian, Milllenium Reserve
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandTasted May 13, 2022Critics always say, that Dalmore has a low abv and that is why it fails. I am not one of those critics since i have long loved Dalmore since the day i first tasted it. Having said that, this expression is the one critics have been waiting: a Distillery release Cask Strength. Bottled at 57.7%abv, Dalmore 1263 The Custodian Millenium Release is a 12yo Cask Strength bottling, distilled in the year 2000 with that same amount of bottles ever made. Matured in part in matusalem sherry, i believe this is going to be good. It was only available to Dalmore Custodians, a group you can be a part of. On the nose, oh my god what is marvelous aroma!!! Coffee, cocoa, nutella, waffer. It is like coffee with milk. Toffee. Cherry syrup, prunes, dates and candied fruits. It is the most powerful, dark and lovely aroma ever in the world. On the palate, it was out of this world. Chocolate, hazelnut, Nutella; crazy winey. Dates, raisins and dulce de leche, but everything super powerfully delivered. Amazing. Aftertaste was CRAZY. Acid prunes, Grassy; wine and.... VINEGAR? OLIVE OIL, olives. It has this Martini feeling, it is very strange and interesting. Super weird. Fantastic. Well, let me tell you this: i shared this dram in a tasting event with 15 other people. 8 of them gave it the title of Whisky of the night, the other 7 hated it. They all recognized it as the best nose ever in whisky, but the vinegar aftertaste was the part not everyone liked. For me, it was proper for an amazing and interesting dram; it offered me something completely different and inappreciate that. The olives and vinegar were fantastic in my books, but i can see how this can be a love-or-hate dram as any Laphroaig when you taste it for the first time. My score for it is not 100. It is 102, if that is even possible. Slàinte!
GlenAllachie 25 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted May 13, 2022There is nothing like drinking a good whisky that has been discontinued, because you can say "i was responsible for its extinction of this world, and it was great". I felt exactly that when i drank this marvelous GlenAllachie 25yo, matured in Px and Oloroso Casks, distillery release. Actually, GlenAllachie, since Billy Walker bought it, has became the king of Speyside whiskies, with emormous flavors and aromas. This was no exception. Bottled at 48%abv, lovely chesnut color. On the nose, it is exactly as sweet prune that got stuck in you nose. Incredible. Very winey, rum and raisins, dates. It smells like ice cream, it actually smells cold. Chocolate, hay and glazed pork. Dark chocolate. Perfect score here. On the palate it was divine. Red wine, Red fruits, gooseberries and Tobacco. Oily but fancy. Cuban cigars Aftertaste continues the greatness of this dram. Salty, sawdust, winey, sulphur and Cigar. It felt citric everywhere. Overall, this was majestic. I don't know about you, but it is not like i am drinking 25yo whiskies everyday, and what really impressed me, is that older drams normally tend to be a little overly oaked, but this was so perfectly crafted that you are given the proper amount of oakiness to make this dram an oustanding whisky. My score for it is 97 over 100.
Milk & Honey Apex Dead Sea
Single Malt — Israel, IsraelTasted May 13, 2022Milk & Honey, a young Israeli distillery have released this Apex Cask Strength Single Malt from... The Dead Sea. It has been matured at extreme temperatures in that place, which i was lucky to have visited. The Dead Sea gets its name because of a bigger amount of salt that any other lake, and that makes you float in the water. That is why there are no fish in the lake (it is not a sea) and the most attractive tourist thing to do there is to pick some of the mud on the floor (it is not a sandy place, but a muddy one) and put it on your skin to be rejuvenated... allegedly. Well, this was bottled at 56.5%abv. On the nose, it is very Appealing. Mint and the classic yeast from this distillery. Cake and Cotton candy. Lime. A very spongy cake and lemon ice cream. Red Chilli, lemon citric. It smells exactly like a pancake without the honey. On the palate, it is sweet and fruity. Oranges And chocolalte for a second; then it turns into a nice dulce de leche. The second sip is exactly as a recently made orange juice, acid and very nice. Aftertaste is a little short, but not bad. Orange peel, metallic. Orange bubblegum and impalpable sugar. Sweet and appealing. Overall, for a Cask Strength, this is not super complex, but it is easy to drink. The nose is very good, and it passes the test in every criteria. A nice dram, i hope to have more from this distillery in the future, my score for it is 85 over 100.
Talisker 175th Anniversary
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTasted May 13, 2022In 2005, one of my favorite two distilleries, Talisker, released a 175th Anniversary edition, which says on the label that it contains some of the rarest casks on the distillery. Bottled at their traditional 45.8%abv, this is one rare bottle, only seen in auctions nowadays. On the nose, it is a little different from other Taliskers. Chocolate with some sea salt. Little smoke. Oranges and mint. Sawdust. After a first sip, the aroma changed to Red fruits: Strawberries and whipped cream. On the palate it is almost perfect. Starts with a cheap orange hard candy, lime, salt and pepper. The second sip gave me cherry tomato (that small tomato from the salads), grain salt, strawberries and lemon meringue. It is like a lemon pie. Aftertaste is very fancy and enjoyable. Heavy sawdust, salt and sulphur. It has two aftertastes, since the 2nd one rises after a couple of seconds after the ending of the first, with a lip scorching ginger note. Very good stuff. Overall, this is what you can call a fancy, very fancy dram. But, it is not my favorite Talisker. I recognize it as a different, birthday expression, full of red fruits and cream, but it wasn't your typical Skye Salt and pepper madness. Still a very elegant offering, my score for it is 91 over 100.
Milk & Honey APEX Pomegranate Wine Cask
Single Malt — IsraelTasted May 12, 2022Another Israeli whisky, this time a Cask Strength expression from Milk & Honey, a Pomegranate Wine finish. This should be interesting. Bottled at 59.5%abv. On the nose, the typical Yeasty note from this distillery but super spicy. Pumpkin, very tropical aroma. Peaches. A Tropical fruit punch. On the palate is fairly good. Chocolate with hazelnut. Very rough and salty. After a first sip it was all about creamy nuttiness like Ferrero Rocher bombom. Aftertaste is sweet and spicy. A chocolate hard cream. Salty and something that i can only describe as a spongy pepper. Overall, this is not a bad whisky at all. I could rank it in a third place from this distillery after the Red Wine Cask and the Apex Dead Sea Cask Strength one. A nice offering, but a little rough on the edges. My score for it is an 80 over 100.
Ballechin Signatory Vintage 2010 Kirsh Import
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted May 10, 2022My first Ballechin comes from a Signatory Vintage 2010 exclusive for Kirsh Import. This pseudo-distillery is really the peated version of Edradour. It was originally a farm distillery, and to this day is one of the smallest whisky makers of Scotland. Bottled at 48.1%abv, nice chesnut color. On the nose, oh the beautiful strange peaty notes: a pair of cotton socks, sea foam, merthiolate and iodine. Distilled water, stinky cheese and recently cut grass. On the palate, it is very appealing, but a little straightforward. Salted caramel, nutty, Sulphuric and toffee. Very well delivered. Aftertaste is all about peanut butter, butterscotch and some saltiness. Nice stuff. Brown salt. Overall i think this one passes the test. For a 10yo peated edradour, this is the least you expect to get. It is nothing too memorable, just a fine, enjoyable dram. Balanced scored im all of its parts, my rate for it is a solid 84 over 100.
Beinn Dubh- Black Mountain (The Speyside Distillery)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted May 9, 2022Can i call this one a "rarity"? Beinn Dubh "the Black" is one of the darkest whiskies out there, compiting only with a 10yo Loch Dhu for that title. Matured in Ruby Port casks, this single malt from The Speyside Distillery (the "Spey" one, with the tall bottles) is also called "The Flying Scotsman" as a tribute to the first Train to reach 100km per hour. Bottled at 43%abv, coca cola colour. Only 10.000 bottles were ever made. On the nose, pretty straight. Red fruits, Red lingonberries and Chocolate. Red wine. On the palate it is a light red fruit juice. Red wine, Cabernet sauvignon. Actually Salty. Church wine. Aftertaste mantained the rythm. Salty and red fruitiness. Quince. Overall, this felt exactly as a Cabernet Sauvignon cheap wine. Was it bad? Not at all. Was it good? Not really. As an experiment it can be a little collectible i guess, but completely unnecessary for any whisky lover. Boring, too straightforward and very winey, it didn't even felt like whisky. It is so light. My score for it is 69 over 100.
Johnnie Walker Black Label Islay Origin
Peated Blended Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted May 7, 2022Incredibly for me to say, it has been a long time since i last tasted a Johnnie Walker. I have seen this new travel retail expressions, which are basically blends from specific scottish regions. Of course if i had the chance i was going to pick the Islay one. Bottled at 40%abv. On the nose, your standard nice peaty aroma. Prunes, ashes and smokey profiles. Cotton socks (the ones with the gray colored area for the toes). A rancid vanilla like the one you smell on a cake that has been on the fridge, that is going to go bad the next day, but it is still edible, on its last day. Pepper and salt. On the palate, it is fairly good. Vanilla cake, pepper, salty. It is actually very light for a peaty whisky. Sawdust Aftertaste had a nice peatiness but way too short. Ashy and salty. Sawdust is delivered in a nice way. Overall, i can understand that JW went super safe on this one, since Islay's profiles can be off putting for some people, and i can also understand this blend as an entry to peated drams. Not bad, not oustanding, very drinkable, my score for it is 80 over 100.
Bowmore Cask Strength
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted April 30, 2022Bowmore is one of Islay's most luxurious brands. I am not talking about the whisky itself, i am talking about how collectible the special bottlings are, and how much money can they end up costing in a few years. Having said that, i don't usually find Bowmore as a super smokey dram, it is rather more "earthy" in my books. This is the Cask Strength expression, which usually means that all the flavors and aromas of a distillery are trapped inside of this type of single malt. Bottled at 56%abv, copper color. On the nose, it has this beautiful profile of aromatic peat. It is spicy and full of red fruits: It makes me feel like i am nosing a rye whisky. Medicinal, hospital, red fruits and chilli. After a couple of seconds an incredible butter cookies note have appeared. When you take a sip, the aroma changes into cigarrettes and ashes. Vanilla cream, and rum and raisins ice cream. More time on the glencairn revealed caramel, prunes, sea water and sawdust. Herbal. On the palate it is very "red". Red fruits, red spices. Chilli, cherries with syrup, acid prunes. It tastes exactly as a hershey's strawberry syrup. Pepper and vanilla. Aftertaste is medium long and very nice. Tobacco, cigar leaf, hay, salt and sulphur. Ginger. Full of ashes it is a little scorching in a beautiful way. Hay peat. Overall, this is a wonderful, very balanced single malt; very fruity and spicy for a Bowmore. The peatiness is nice, but i always crave for a little more. A very nice offering, i can consider this one an everyday dram for the Cask Strength drinker. My score for it is 89 over 100.
Lagavulin 12 Year (2021 Special Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted April 27, 2022The King Of Islay, Lagavulin. I am not the one telling you this, it is actually the slogan of this fancy fire lion bottle. This is the 12yo Special Diageo Release from 2021, bottled at 56.5%abv. The lion itself is the logo of this distillery and its spirit animal. The fire represents the passion in whisky making (i might just have invented that). On the nose, it is not that smokey. Gooseberries and salt. It is actually very maritime! Iodine, oysters, a wet wood from a port. Liquid paper, vanilla with salt; gunpowder. It is like a tar road. Seaweed, grapefruits and wet paint. After a first sip, it became like a horse saddle, and burnt sawdust. You know... the good stuff. On the palate, is this a Lagavulin? This is too sweet!. Vanilla cake, gooseberries. There is this bonfire rising. Wasabi and a pepper bomb. Salt water. After a first sip, it is like a vanilla water, sugar syrup and biscuits. Chocolate milk. Not your typical Lagavulin. Aftertaste is where the smoke lived. Smoke, leather and rubber. Charred oak. Nice, salty finish. It is like a salted chocolate. This was the best part of the dram. Overall, this did not felt like a Lagavulin. It felt more like a Talisker. Is that a bad thing? No. Is this a very good whisky? Yes. Having said that, i don't know if this is what you expect from a special release of this wonderful distillery, and in my books, this experiment might not be what i am looking for. It is a wonderful single malt, just not what i thought i was going to get. My honest score for this delicious single malt that has abandoned the Laga-Style is a 92 over a 100.