Whisky Review – Glendronach 1990 23 year old Oloroso cask #1243

Glendronach 1990 23 year old Oloroso cask #1243
50.6% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£102.50 from The Green Welly Stop

Glendronach are releasing just in time for Christmas their 9th batch of single cask releases of their awesome and humongous sherry monsters. These are always very popular and highly sought after, so if your interested in them, buy now or wait til the next batch release.

Nose.

Wow, I think this is the first slightly older Glendronach single cask I have tried, and for the extra 3 or so years there is quite a difference. The nose exhibits many of the familiar notes of Glendronach. The Christmas pudding, soaked in rum, fat juicy sultanas, the clove spiciness is slightly less, with added oak, and a floral perfumed aroma that is quite reminiscent of Parma violets added into the mix. Time in the glass gives more fruity oiliness on the nose, with stewed oranges and some polish and varnish notes in the background.

Palate.

Another whole level of fruitiness going on. No ABV burn, smooth as silk, mouth feel is smooth, silky and clean. Deeply rich, intensive oranges, peel and juice. Sultanas bathed in rich creamy rum balm (no such think I know, but there should be), fruitcake, warming sherry, this dram just evaporates on the tongue, it’s that smooth. I don’t want to put water in this one. This palate is all about experience, spices are minimal, but the taste is so clean, fresh, juicy and sweet. This dram just sticks to the glass, there’s very little in the way of legs going on its so thick. A stewed fruit basket.

Finish.

Sweet to dry, fruity intensive, really beautiful stuff, stays around for a good while, massive feel good factor on this dram. It’s all about the fruit.

Adding water.

Tiniest little dribble because I do believe this is perfect without water. The nose has more floral notes now. The cake and fruit quite subdued. The palate is still fruity and juicy rich, with a little additional spice notes and some nuttiness thrown in. The intensity isn’t quite there as with the undiluted version, but it is still very interesting to explore. The finish is dry, oak and a little fruit, a little spice.

Conclusion.

Personally I wouldn’t water this one, it’s worth it as a once of sprinkle of water, and I mean very little indeed, just to see how it reacts, but if your enjoying it u diluted stick with it. It’s a fantastic dram. The nose is a little different to what I’m used to from the single casks, as I hadn’t tried as old a one until now, but the added complexity on the nose is fascinating, and that palate is just to die for, it’s bloody amazing. I am a bit biased, I love sherried whiskies, and everything Glendronach does just hits my palate and makes me smile wide! If you like your whiskies sherried and have never tried a Glendronach single cask before, do yourself a Christmas favour and get a bottle, crack it open and just enjoy. Merry Christmas!

Many thanks to Benriach Distillery Company for providing me with the sample.

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Whisky Review – Glendronach 1992 21 year old Oloroso cask #195

Glendronach 1992 21 year old Oloroso cask #195
59.8% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£91.00 from The Green Welly Stop

Glendronach are releasing just in time for Christmas their 9th batch of single cask releases of their awesome and humongous sherry monsters. These are always very popular and highly sought after, so if your interested in them, buy now or wait til the next batch release.

Nose.

Undiluted this nose feels a little subdued, there is the familiar Glendronach heavy sherried profile, but a little more restrained. Cloves and oak spices dominate, with the usual Christmas cake bounty hidden away, I suspect water will do this one a treat and unlock the goodness. Time in the glass does bring the cake notes forward a little more.

Palate.

Very rich. High ABV does have a little bite, but the mouthfeel is silky oil on the tongue. It is so oily. The fruitcake is very intense, oranges and orange oil intense, spices are not so evident on the palate as the nose, the fruit is massive though. Wow. There’s a little nuttiness in the form of walnut, and walnut skin, but not a great deal. The fruitcake and chocolate oranges run the show here.

Finish.

The finish is glorious. Long, rich, fruitcake, chocolate orange, some drying clove and oak spice, warming chest hugs all round. The sultanas stay for a long time.

Adding water.

Added a few drops. The nose is creamier, showing more signs of the fruit basket we are used to from Glendronach. There is more of a floral heather nature to the dram now, still quite hot and peppery on the nose. The palate is so fruity now, the dilution has really amped up the fruit, sweetness and oily nature of the oranges and chocolate. Fruitcake is big and bold, and the sultanas fatter. The finish is slightly shorter and drier, still has some fruit to it, but the oak is more prominent in the finish.

Conclusion.

Another excellent Glendronach. Sumptuously rich and fattening in flavour. It’s what I think to being a good diet Whisky. It’s got all the flavour of the fattening foods that one craves, but without all the calories. 🙂

Many thanks to Benriach Distillery Company for providing me with the sample.

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Whisky Review – Glendronach 1993 20 year old Oloroso cask #5

Glendronach 1993 20 year old Oloroso cask #5
53% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£84.00 from The Green Welly Stop

Glendronach are releasing just in time for Christmas their 9th batch of single cask releases of their awesome and humongous sherry monsters. These are always very popular and highly sought after, so if your interested in them, buy now or wait til the next batch release.

Nose.

The nose is dry, with figs, plum pudding, rich oloroso, rum and raisin. Spice comes in the form of clove and cinnamon. Some dark chocolate rounds the nose off. It’s a head rush of a nose (in a very good way), which you just can’t help but sniff for a very long time.

Palate.

Surprisingly easy to take undiluted. Rich, intensely mouthcoating, fat juicy sultanas, warming sherried dark fruits, cinnamon, chocolate, orange peel and that fattening Christmas pudding.

Finish.

Medium-long, drying, but fruity intense. With the chocolate oranges and rum and raisin hugging the sip away.

Adding water.

Little drop added. The nose becomes more alive with the spices becoming more overwhelming to the fruit. The palate is still very fruit heavy, and so rewarding for it, more chocolate and orange is added to the fruitcake, and the balance of spices on the diluted palate is just lush. There is more of a brown sugar sweetness to the palate running through the development. The finish is sweeter to drier with a little more oak dust.

Conclusion.

A truly complex, engaging and rewarding dram. Benefits from a drop of water adding a level of richness which really adds so much to the experience. Excellent stuff.

Many thanks to Benriach Distillery Company for providing me with the sample.

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Whisky Review – 3D Whisky – Cask Strength and Carry On


3D Whisky – Cask Strength and Carry On
56.4% ABV
Blended/Vatted Malt
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£49.99 from MasterOfMalt

3-D is a blended malt constructed from 3 ‘D’ single malts: Dailuaine, Dalwhinnie and Dufftown. It was created by the caskstrength.net guys Joel and Neil under the guidance of Diageo Master Blender Dr. Matthew Crow.

Only 504 signed and numbered bottles were produced and are exclusively available from Master of Malt.

Nose.

The nose is an great mix of sherry, Floral, Pepper and oak. Some green apple, vanilla and a little orange adds sweetness. Some nice light sugars, but the nose is dominated with intense spices.

Palate.

Sweet, sherry intense pepper. The development is slowed with alcohol level, past that returns a loving sweetness, very rich cream sherry, creamy vanilla, some plums, pepper spice, dryer oak comes next, sawdust, pencil shavings, spicy giving into the finish.

Finish.

Spice, pepper, chilli, a little chocolate, sawdust, drying oak at the end.

Adding water.

The spices on the nose are tamed, and it’s floral range increased. There is still a fruity sherried richness remaining which is quite compelling. The palate is sweeter and more fruity, bringing a sumptuous air to the now enriched oak presence. Sherry is much more present end arrival and flows neatly into the oak returning further into the development. There is still a good spicy feel, but it is less dominant when watered allowing for more balance with the fruit and sherry. The finish is longer diluted, spicy, more sherry and sweetness, with the oak dryness coming later on. Water brings this baby to life.

Conclusion.

A beautiful creation. Quite closed off undiluted, but given time, watering and observation it is a well constructed beastie. Very tasty, one to spend some time with contemplating 3d tv purchases, but save your money and buy another bottle…that’s what I’ve done. 🙂

Many thanks to Joel and Neil for the sample. Looking forward to ‘E’!

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Whisky Review – Glen Orrin 30 year old Blend (Aldi)

Glen Orrin 30 year old Blend (Aldi)
40% ABV
Available at Aldi

On Sunday 8th of December, Aldi released a 30 year old ‘strictly limited edition’ blended scotch Whisky, on their Glen Orrin label. We know very little about which distilleries this may have come from, although it’s interesting to read on the back of the tube, that ‘this truly exceptional scotch Whisky has been traditionally distilled in copper pot stills’. As it’s a blend is it safe to say all the various whiskies in this blend have come from pot stills, or am I showing some form of ignorance here?

It’s additional proof of how the Whisky boom has effected prices, just think 2 years ago we got a 40 year old single malt for less than 50 quid, now a 30 year old blend is costing nearly 55! 😉

Anyway, what’s most important is what it’s like, so let’s have a snifter.

Nose.

The nose is thick! Lots of sherried fruits, oranges, plums, raisins, with a generous honey coating. Behind that fruit is lots of wood, polished oak, beeswax, candles. With some time in the glass the museum experience becomes more in the front, with the fruit taking a back seat. There’s the odd hint of chocolate every now and again. A little powdered sugar is amongst the oak with more time.

Palate.

Sugar sweetness. Light sherried fruits, some berries in addition to oranges, raisins. Warming, but never harsh. Becomes a little rum like mid development. The sweet sugared profile goes through to the finish. Some creaminess is evident throughout the experience of the palate. All spice. The aged oak is ever present, but not overpowering. I wouldn’t say this has been overdone in maturation, it’s still got a lot of flavour to the spirit, and the oak does not run the show.

Finish.

Sweet, then drying oak, fruity, with touches of sherry, sawdust, mulled wine(!) Very smooth and mellow. Quite a fulfilling and varying finish.

Adding water.

It’s old and at 40%, I would not add water. But in the interest of the review. A very tiny drop. The nose is a little more fruity now, the polished wood more floral and put to the background. Palate isn’t as thick, and possibly a little warmer and has developed a little sour in the development. Finish has a bitter edge now and not half as pleasant. Water does not do this dram any good at all in my opinion.

Conclusion.

It’s easy drinking, quite tasty, and well, I can’t really complain a great deal considering its price. Let’s face it, nowadays you can easily pay 50 quid for a non aged statement malt, finished in port. So for a 30 year old blend, which is nicely competent, sherried, no smoke, well balanced between fruit and oak, well, I think I may go see if I can get another bottle, but somehow I think I’m going to be out of luck. Just don’t put any water in it!

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Whisky Review – The Glenlivet Guardians Chapter

The Glenlivet Guardians Chapter

Three ‘exciting’ new single malt whiskies have been created by Master Distiller Alan Winchester from the distillery’s cask collection and classified by their taste (read: no age statement) – CLASSIC, fruity with soft sweet caramel and toffee notes, EXOTIC rich with warm spicy notes and REVIVAL, fruity with a creamy sweetness.

There’s been lots of tastings all around the world of the three of the drams, and everyone is asked to vote for their winner… You can do that yourself here: http://uk.theglenlivet.com/guardians/chapter-hub

Having have experienced quite a few of the Glenlivets core range, I am very interested to see how these hold up. Let’s start…

Classic.

Nose.

Very sweet. Very fruity. Crisp apple. Some pear and a general tropical fruit salad. A light vanilla and toffee cream is also present. The fruit is quite dominant and I sense little spice in the nose. Maybe just a touch of oak spice in the background. With time in the glass more subtle floral notes become apparent.

Palate.

The palate reflects the fruitiness. There is a little harshness to the palate with alcohol nip, but once past this some really nice sherried notes come through, with some rum and raisin and cinnamon to join in the fruit salad with some creamy custard. On second taste there is a little acidity in the mix which gives some variation to the fruit, but again lots of toffee and cake mix with chocolate chips come through. Quite a nice mouthfeel and creaminess to the experience.

Finish.

Fruity all the way through the medium finish with some spices normally associated to quite heavily sherried malts, finally drying with some oak spice and pepper.

Adding water.

More of a prominent pineapple note on the nose with the addition of a small drop of water. Still a good mix of fruit salad in there. On the palate some more cinnamon spice is coming forward, possibly a little light liquorice. With the finish being a little drier earlier with some added pepper.

Revival.

Nose.

Pear drops. Quite floral. Breathtaking in some respects. Nail varnish (I often compare nail varnish to pear drops as well, but more pungent I guess). Loads of vanilla, some nuttiness also. Powdered sugar. Time in the glass and more of the familiar pineapple aromas come through.

Palate.

The fruit salad notes from the classic are evident here also, but with more nuts and a different spice profile. Quite a fulfilling mouthfeel with intensive fruit juices flying around. Almost a little too mixed. Some water may balance things out a little.

Finish.

Fruit-tastic. Really tasty and moreish.

Adding water.

The nose exhibits more of a recognisable fruit profile. The palate is more settled and balanced now, it’s really tasty though. Seems like more of the fruity new make is accessible in this expression and this is not a bad thing at all. The maturation is more subtle I feel and the dram is tasty for it.

Exotic.

Nose.

Syrup sweetness. Quite thick. Raisins. Fruitcake. Chocolate orange. A lovely sherried nose. Some nuts. Pepper. Brown sugar. Some special toffee. A fattening and indulgent nose. Lush.

Palate.

The syrupy thickness of the nose transposes to the mouthfeel. Very thickly chewable. Rich rum soaked raisins, creamy toffee, roasted brown sugar. A light nuttiness, and some sweet cinnamon spices in amongst the chocolately fruitcake composition.

Finish.

The rich, warm sweetness sticks around and influences a grin on my face, being the sherry headed type that I am.

Adding water.

I actually don’t want to add water to this one it’s perfect as is, but would be unfair to the other drams, so. With water the nose seems sweeter and a little weakened. The palate has lost some of that creamy rich mouthfeel which I adore, flavour wise it’s all there and very tasty. The finish has a little more remaining dried fruits and some scrumptious spices. I’m a little bit torn about with or without water. Need more of this dram.

Conclusion.

Classic – really nice expression of Glenlivet, quite consistent with my existing understanding of the younger core range, and thoroughly enjoyable

Revival – on first nosing I wasn’t overly impressed, as it seemed a little closed, but time in the glass and the fruit exerted itself and with a drop of water became more balanced and a very tasty dram indeed

Exotic – this is kind of a sherry monster. It’s quite clean a sherried Whisky, well defined and balanced with no particular flavour overwhelming another. I can drink this for a pastime.

Exotic is my choice. But what’s yours? Vote now. You only have until Tuesday (Dec 11th) to register your opinion!

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