Tomintoul Tweet Taste – 21 year old & 1981 single cask

Tomintoul 21 year old
40% ABV
£51.43 at masterofmalt.com

Nose.

Floral. Spicy power to the nose. Pears. Powdered sugar. Pear drops really. Toffee. Polish. Some leather. Time in glass. Gives more polished leather age. More time and the fruitiness is back. Keeps changing. Complex.

Palate.

Spicy bitey! Quite light and crisp on the mouthfeel. Sweet. Sugar and light toffee. Light fruit compot. Creamy apple and pear sponge cake with custard.

Finish.

Warming oak spice. Sweet to Drying oak sawdust.

Adding water?

Small drop in a little of my dram. Nose becomes more floral and sweetie shop. Palate reflects this change in the nose. Finish has a little more aged oakiness. Personally preferred without water.

Tomintoul 1981 single cask #5985
53.9% ABV
£223.70 from masterofmalt.com

Nose.

Intensive fruit burst. Pineapples. Apples. Pears. Furniture polish and mahogany sideboards. Floral deep inside. Pepper spices reside. Truly is a deep and exciting nose. Can spend an age sniffing this one. Glorious. Creamy custard On a fruit sponge with added spices.

Palate.

Sweet and sour. Some saltiness. ABV bite is minimal. Creamy coating mouthfeel. Tropical fruit salad chews. Custard cream. Apples/pear intense. Developing into sweet shops with some tannins and stewed tea.

Finish.

Sweetie shoptastic. Then floral and woody with some dusty pears and wood! Pears stick around.

Adding water?

A few drops into my 1/2 dram it is old after all. Not a lot of change in the nose. But the palate has a massive influx of additional fruity explosives and becomes so much tastier an experience. The finish also has a lot more oomph to it. Truly is a great dram.

Conclusion.

A wonderful tweet taste experience. Thank you tomintoul! I loved both drams. If money was no object then 1981 all the way! However, value for money has to go to the 21yo. It is a great value dram giving loads of complexity for your money.

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Whisky Review – An Cnoc. Peter Arkle. ‘Bricks’

An Cnoc. Peter Arkle. ‘Bricks’
46% ABV
More details to come.

Colour.

Amber -1 I would say. Knowing An Cnoc I would expect this is natural coloured.

Nose.

Initially plastic like, chemical even. Wonder if its the bottle it was in. Letting it sit for a bit. The harsher smells dissipated after 15-20 mins. Leaving a thick dark fruit jam nose. Quite malty with vanilla and a little rum and raisin.

Palate.

Sweeter than the nose suggests. Sweet honey malt. Very sugary indeed. Vanilla definitely. A minimal fruitiness (rum and raisins) behind the waves of sugar.

Finish.

Sweetness with old fashioned icing sugar coated boiled sweets. Drying into some still sweet oak chips at the back of the tongue. Quite strange because of the simultaneous sweet and dry.

Adding water?

A few drops into my half a dram. Becoming nice and cloudy. Non-chill filtered goodness. Nose becomes creamier with a little more identifiable fruit. Apples. Pears. Vanilla is more prominent. But then so is the sugar. It’s a baked sugar encrusted fruit tart. On the palate the sugar is dulled in favour of more malty cereal notes. The finish still has all the sweet and dry going on. Definitely one for me with water. I (and I do have a serious sweet tooth) definitely prefer this with water. It’s sugar dominance without was a little sickly for me.

Conclusion.

I’ve found this an intriguing dram. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a Whisky as sugar coated as this before and initially that did disappoint me. With the addition of water it becomes better balanced and more rounded with other smells and tastes to locate.

Thanks to An Cnoc for the review sample. Much appreciated.

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Whisky Review – Glenfarclas 10 year old

Glenfarclas 10 year old
40% ABV
£15.95 for 35cl at the Whisky Exchange

Nose.

Light Sherried malt. Plums. Raisins. A little Coffee. Chocolate. Oak spice. Minimal struck matches. A very nice sherry monsterette of a nose. Not intensive. Pleasant. Easy to sniff for a long duration

Palate.

Fruity coating taste. Surprisingly mouth coating considering ABV etc. sweet spicy sherried taste. Some easy warmth. All the flavours from the nose are present. Very easy drinking.

Finish.

Short. Drying. Sherry oak spices. Some coffee mocha.

Adding water?

Just a drop in my dram to see. The nose is weakened. Not quite as sherried but a little more coffee seems apparent. Coffee flavoured toffos! if you can remember those? The palate looses some of the mouthfeel. The taste remains intact. The finish a little more coffee’d. Hmmm. With or without? I think personally I would go with dependant on my mood. I like the standalone mouthfeel. But I like the coffee in the finish which makes this malt for me a little more unique than your more regular sherried drams.

Conclusion.

My first go at Glenfarclas. And it’s a good one. A very nice sherried dram which is easy going and moreish. The coffee influences in the malt are a new one for me (so far) and very welcome. I can imagine having a 10yo on standby all the time of Glenfarclas. I’m really looking forward to trying their other aged releases sometime soon.

Bought from the Whisky exchange in 1/2 bottle format.

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Whisky Review – Glendronach 1993 19 yo oloroso sherry butt #487

Glendronach 1993 19 yo oloroso sherry butt #487.
£99.99 at Whisky Barrel

Colour.

Dark dark mahogany.

Nose.

Quite constrained nose of concentrated fruits and nuts and chocolate. Rum soaked cherries and raisins. Almonds. Intensively syrupy sherried malt.

Palate.

Strong nip of alcohol. Penetrating concentrate of everything in the nose all at once.

Finish.

Slightly bitter chocolate. Drying.

Adding water?

Adding about 20% water. The nose gives rich dark sherried fruits. Xmas cake. Chocolate nuts. Sweet spices. Orange peel. Palate gives a Sumptuous fruity explosion. Rich and scrumptious. Smooth and still delicate yet bold. The finish is dryish. Fruity leftovers. Adding more water makes things less rich. More nut. Still scrummy, but the palate is less intense. The finish less also. Worth being discrete and careful with water quantity added.

Conclusion.

Another cracking single cask release from Glendronach. I’m a big fan. I know it may sound like I’m biased, been bought, sold out. But, I’ve bought these myself, as I am totally in love with this distillery! I am a sherry head and this distillery delivers for me! Thank you Glendronach!

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Whisky Review – Glendronach 1993 19yo PX butt #26

Glendronach. 1993
19 yo px butt #26.
Uk exclusive.
Now hard to find.

Nose.

Rich. Intense. Sherried dark fruits. Christmas cake. Oranges. Chocolate. Mouthwatering joy. It’s flicking awesome.

Palate.

Assault of fruit and Xmas cake. Needs some water but not much I reckon.

Finish.

Some musty age in a good way. Long. Fruit and cake is here to stay. Just plain awesome. Going back for more.

Adding Water?

Adding a reasonable dollop into my dram weakens the punch but shows more age. Getting varnish and good wood spices. On the palate All the fruity goodness and joy. Doesn’t need much water and I’m not adding anymore. Neat is fine but worth extending the experience a little with a drop.

Conclusion.

A Beauty of a dram. If you can still find it anywhere and you like your easily sherried whiskies then this is for you. If you find it anywhere and you don’t want to buy it please be kind and drop me an email! 🙂

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Whisky Review – Tomatin 12 bottled by Whiskybroker

Tomatin 12.
Whiskybroker.
First full sherry cask #1598. Cask strength.
58.1% ABV

£36.00 from whiskybroker (sold out)
Also available as the Burns malt at
The Whisky Barrel

Colour.

Dark mahogany

Nose.

Sweet sherry. Orange. Chocolate. Furniture polish. Thick toffee. Dark fruits. Sherry monster. Time in the glass settles the strength in the nose and gives more rich sherried fruit cake pleasure. Rich and intensely yum.

Palate.

Mouth coating. Oily. Sweet and sour. Raisins. Dark fruits. Thick toffee chocolate orange. More time sat around And additional levels of fruity sherried cake batter comes about. So so sherry. Right up my street. Not sure if tomatin fans may think too much sherry though? Who am I kidding. You can never have enough sherry (my opinion! Lol)

Finish.

Medium-long. Slightly bitter chocolate. Salty. Drying woody notes. Slight sawdust. With more time in the glass more fruit makes its way through to the finish also.

Adding water.

Fair slosh (7ml approx in 25 of Whisky) of water. Relieves the intensity of the alcohol and allows the flavours to be experienced more completely. Same characteristics are there, but better rounded and balanced to enjoy.

Conclusion.

It’s a sherry monster. So I’m already biased because its my kind of dram. It’s gorgeous. Well priced. And I love it! Need to get another bottle or 2 in I think!

bugger! sold out! Gutted! But available at the Whisky Barrel.

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Whisky Review – Big Peat Small Batch

Big Peat Small Batch
50cl bottle. 50% ABV
Limited to 250 bottles

Available only at Big Peat’s online store. £29.99 a bottle

Colour.

Light white wine.

Nose.

Sweety peaty reeky! BBQ seafood. Vanilla. Waves of medicinal peat and fruit citrus peels interchange.

Palate.

Crisp and clean peat. Chewed grass notes. Some vanilla. Fruit on the tongue. Some apples.

Finish.

Warm peat sticks around for a while. Leaving some oaky vanilla. Drying peat earth ends the long finish.

Adding water?

A small drop in the 1/2 dram I have left. Peat reek increases and is actually quite intensive and fantastical. The palate has more balance with nice differentiation between the fruit and peat. Finish leaves more fruit and a smoky bonfire aftertaste. Definitely needs that drop of water to give a welcome level of difference.

Conclusion.

I’m not the biggest medicinal peat fan in the world in all honesty. But this dram has given me more interest in this type of dram. It definitely appeals to me more with a drop of water as it gives out a variation on the theme and hits a few positive notes with me. Would I buy a bottle. Yes indeed. I would. Even with the smaller sized bottle in think It is well priced for the quality your getting.

I would like to thank Douglas Laing and Big Peat for the tasting sample. Thank you!

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet Alpha

Glenlivet alpha.
50% abv (nothing else known at this time)
Around £100 if you can find it!

Colour.

Amber +2. I would assume no added colourings.

Nose.

Rich tropical fruits. Pineapple rich. Tooty fruity. Juicy fruit chewing gum. Apples. Vanilla. A little oaky age in there. Maybe a touch of varnish or pear drops! Lots of boiled old school sweeties.

Palate.

Fruity sweetness covers the tongue and envelopes the mouth. Initial burn gives a little sweet and sour effect but soon subsides into that fruit fuelled glory. Time in the mouth just makes the dram chewable and thoroughly integrated into taste heaven. A very easy drinker considering the alcohol level.

Finish.

Drying fruit salad sweets. Some oak chips and dust. Fruit layers come through in the medium-long finish. Interchanging between fruit and oak as time goes on. Very smooth going down.

Adding water?

This dram is pretty easy going out of the bottle. But need to try what water will do for it. Will put in a few drops into my half a dram. On the nose the sting is lowered which gives more depth to the fruit station. More citrus. Fruits are more stewed. Lemons. Grapefruit. Ripe pineapple. On the palate the heat is reduced and the fruit explosion is higher in the megaton dept. The oaky sawdust age is more evident also giving an excellent balance. The finish continues to interchange between fruit and oak and is just very beautiful. Very enjoyable. Want more! A lovely mistiness has entered the dram. Non-chill filtered then! 🙂
A little more water added causes the fruit to diminish and the old oak sawdust effect to shine. So it’s a matter of taste to how much water. For me. A little water. Not a lot! Let the fruit come through and balance remain.

Conclusion.

Initially I was very dumbfounded by the idea of a bottle coming out at the near 100 quid range which had no info whatsoever about it. In honesty my experience with the blind tasting of the 12 blends of Easter did give me more of an interest in the whole unknown nature of Whisky tasting and that made me more open to the idea of trying this with that zero info element. I have to say its been very interesting so far. I haven’t done a lot of reading about this dram or followed the info provided so far online/Facebook. But now I’ve made my judgement I will follow it and see what info comes out and how wrong I am! 🙂 So. Was it worth it. Yeah, I’d say it was worth a go! I did get a sample pack through from Chivas for this and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for allowing me to test and be a part of this experiment. It’s been great fun. I did buy a bottle in as well! :-). I guess as far as maturation is concerned I would either go with bourbon casks. Possibly an older refill Whisky. Or of course it could be a mix of old and newer. Refill+first fills! :-). Whatever it is its a tasty dram.

My thanks go to the Glenlivet for including me on the alpha tweet taste.

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet 12 year old

Glenlivet 12 year old
40% ABV

£27.13 from Master of Malt

Nose.

Fruity crazy. Apples dominate a vanilla wrapping. Signature pineapple is around and about. Roasting brown sugar encrusts the fruit. Quite an intensive alluring nose that demands drinking.

Palate.

Quite light in the mouth. Apples and pineapple with a sugary coating. Heat in the middle. A little sour and a malty over taste.

Finish.

Malt and fruit tingles around for a little while.

Adding water?

A small drop in my 1/2 dram. At 40% I don’t want to add much. It does benefit on the nose with a little water. The fruit becomes more layered and more tropical fruits apparent with some grapefruit coming in. The palate also has more to give. I’m quite surprised at this as I usually find 40% whiskies deteriorate with water added but the glenlivet 12 is much easier and scrummier with that dash. The mid heat is gone in favour of that extra fruit in the nose being present in the enriched flavour. The malt also has more depth in the taste and finish. All around. Surprising to me this malt is.

Conclusion.

A nice stable. Easy drinking dram. Can see this is a good starter for a tasting session to reset the palate and taste new things! So surprised at the effect water has on this malt. So much more to give with a dash! Yummy.

My thanks go to the Glenlivet for including me on the alpha tweet taste.

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