Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch #3
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandReviewed June 3, 2021The pro review is spot on. It’s a somewhat complex dram hidden by the high proof and heavy peat. There’s a very strong “mildly turned yoghurt” vibe that takes the springbank funk and turns it up to 11. I’ll be very interested To see what this CS series does in a few more years but I really enjoy this.
Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed June 3, 2021Having this right after its unpeated counterpart and man this is absolutely my jam. Shares a similar nose with hay and mild barnyard funk but the phenols kick in quickly. The taste follows through on the nose with an explosion of smoke and a sweet, musty peat. The peat stays with you until tomorrow, which is exactly how I like my islay drams. It’s like licking an ashtray.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed June 3, 2021Hay, grass, vanilla custard and pear on the nose. Mild barnyard funk and vanilla custard dominate the palate which has a little bite and wood spice due to the relatively young spirit. There’s a sweetness lingering beneath the tannin from the wood spice that keeps it from overwhelming the finish. Overall I enjoyed this but think it could benefit from a little more aging. Had this in a vertical with a few other BR/PC drams I’ll try to review as well.
Bruichladdich Laddie Valinch No53 Fiona Glover
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed May 26, 2021Nose: malty, briny, clean and a bit sweet. Like the classic laddie on steroids. Taste : a bit unbalanced and harsh on arrival, sweetness comes in During the long and mildly unpleasant finish. With water the grapes leap out and assault your nose and taste buds. Kind of like a fortified wine mixed with scotch. I don’t thing this experiment worked. The nose is actually very intriguing but it isn’t at all well integrated on the palate.
Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 FAE-01
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed May 25, 2021This is very good. Good enough that I bought a second bottle on sight when I saw it. Despite drinking them both I neglected to take detailed tasting notes so...i guess I’ll have to buy a 3rd! In the meantime here’s a placeholder. It’s a bit pricey at $60 and I know that will stop many from buying it and frankly it gives me pause for bottle 3. So many others to try including a few more finishing series from makers.
Lagavulin 9 Year (Game of Thrones-House Lannister)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed May 12, 2021This is good but not great. Like the proof, has the trademark lag wood, Smokey banana peels profile. Got this at a steep discount so I’m very happy but I’d not have been happy paying retail back when diageo was trying to cash in on the GoT rush. Whoops! Probably made way too many of these.
Macallan Edition No. 4
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed May 6, 2021Macallan isn’t my favorite distillery. IMO it’s generally overpriced and overrated. However they do know how to make a sherried single malt and when they hit with a decent proof and well selected casks I can see what the fuss is all about. This is Sherry forward. I’d hesitate to call it a bomb, as it has some balance of dark fruit, musty malt and some wood spice. But the sherry and oak steal the show. Has a dry finish, and a layered sweetness of fruit and honey. If I could find this at a decent price I’d buy a bottle.
Arran The Bothy Quarter Cask Batch 1
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed May 4, 2021This is like drinking apple cider and then licking the barrel. Very fruit forward, lots of sweet malty notes with an overly intense oak spice. It opens up with water and air. Drinkable but I didn’t find myself going back to this often. I realize with a quarter cask the wood is a feature and not a bug but it’s a miss for me.
Ardbeg Kelpie (2017 Committee Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed April 19, 2021Lemon peel, tar, oak. Dry but sweet. It’s interesting after having probably about 10 different Ardbegs to see how subtle changes impact the base spirit. The black oak really makes it’s mark on this one, and in an interesting way. Some bitterness and sweetness to the finish. I did a bottle share on this and glad I did...because it’s a fine dram but also because I’m not sure I’d need a whole bottle. Looking forward to the next new Ardbeg! Updating this as I’m finally kicking my half bottle. The longer I’m away from this the more I appreciate the combo of being wholly unique and yet distinctly Ardbeg. I’d definitely enjoy a whole bottle. Unfortunately you’d probably have to find it at auction at absurd prices by now.
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2021-01 "Donohoe's Batch"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed April 15, 20211st bookers batch for me and it looks like I picked a good one. I’ve had bakers before so familiar with the distillery profile. This drinks rather easily for its hefty proof. It’s oily and immediately hits you with cinnamon, baking spices and vanilla. There’s an edge of peanuts but it’s more like it was made adjacent to nut dust and not soaking in them like some of the other nutty bourbons I’ve had. There’s a lingering burn and that’s usually when they show up.