Whisky Review – Wemyss Lemon Zest Auchentoshan 1998 Single Barrel

Wemyss Lemon Zest Auchentoshan 1998 Single Barrel
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
Cannot find in the UK yet, should be in the £65-£75 bracket.

Nose.

As it’s name would suggest! Lots of zesty lemon! Lemon peel, juice, quite tart on the nose. Powdered sugar. Lemon drops. A deep sugar pit of sweet shops. A prominent chilli bite. Some orange citrus. Gentle oak in the background. Very crisp, lively and clean. The deeper the inhalation i get a mentholated twang.

Palate.

Sweet and sour. Lemony, sweet lemons, flat home made lemonade. A Little damp grass during the development. Mouth filling with flavour. Some gentl honey notes are creeping around in the background.

Finish.

More sweetness, a chewed wet grass sweetness accompanies the lemons, with some drying oak. A very pleasant balance and overly easy and very enjoyable experience.

Adding water.

A tiny splash added. The nose has some added spicy bite now, with the lemons slightly dried down. The palate is still juicy and fresh, quite spritely and delectable with buckets of tangy fruit. The finish, still sweet, warming and very fulfilling.

Conclusion.

This is a fruit monster…is that a term, we have peat monster and sherry bomb…fruit nuke? It’s fruit fantastic anyway, very juicy and summery and a great starter to a Whisky night, palate cleansing and just plain damn tasty.

Great thanks to Wemyss for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Lord Echo Blended Whisky (Wemyss)

Lord Echo Blended Whisky
40% ABV
£22.00 from TheGreenWellyStop

Nose.

Stewed grapes. A reasonably dry sherry nose initially. Spicy, pepper, ginger, a little menthol. There’s some honey floating around, and a whiff of smoke. There’s a nuttiness to the nose also, reminds me of a walnut heavy nut mix.

Palate.

Sugar coated nuts. Some light toffee. Some mellow pepper and ginger. Very easy drinking. Quite spicy and nutty going down.

Finish.

Drying, toffee, some oak tannins. A touch of coconut.

Adding water.

2 drops added. The nose has a touch more smoke now and an added depth to the fruitiness, with some dry raisin added. The palate reflects this exhibiting a little more fruitiness, letting some of the nuts go wayside. It’s a touch more tannin-y mid development, with the finish, toffee and light tannins (stewed tea). Much improved with a small drop of water.

Conclusion.

I have to be honest, that’s what this blog is about, I preferred the 15 year old version (available here from MasterOfMalt). Saying that, this is a competent blended scotch, with a high percentage of malt content (40%).

Great thanks to Wemyss for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – SMWS 76.115 ‘Glamping in the Yurt’ (Mortlach)

SMWS 76.115 ‘Glamping in the Yurt’
Distillery – Mortlach
Date Distilled: 19 July 1995
Age: 18 years
Cask Type: Refill ex-sherry butt
535 bottles
56.5%
Non-Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
Cask Strength

Nose.

Initially sweet. Thick Honey, toffee, chocolate. This one turns more savoury with time in the glass. Now I get fragrant wood. Polish. A little glue. A touch of tobacco. On returning to the glass after a few minutes it’s more savoury and started to show its meaty side. A little bit of burnt ends and some beef jerky. Hmmmm. We have dusted pepper throughout. Fruit wise it’s quite backgrounded, but there are some rum and raisin if you dig. And a touch of desiccated coconut coming through now. A nicely complicated set of aromas.

Palate.

Who, there’s the fruit! Initially exceedingly fruity, berries, soaked sultanas, apple, some orange, turning chocolatey and deep with honey richness. Some chilli and ginger spices in the development, then progressing back to thick honey, chewy chocolate and sweet tooth heaven. The mouthfeel on this is very luscious and gives a nice satisfaction of melting chocolate. Yummmmmmm.

Finish.

Sweetness proceeds, honey, chocolate, caramel, a little drying oakiness, but ultimately full of those sugar sweet joys.

Adding water.

A gentle splash added and sat for a while. The savoury and wood elements are fully in the front now. Still quite meaty, A dash of salt and a little charred wood. On the palate there is a little more of the savoury coming through, it’s actually slightly hotter on the palate than without water, with more spices hitting you sooner, holding it in the mouth though and the sweetness comes back through, salted chocolate honeycomb I think. The finish continues along the same theme, slightly salty, lots of chocolate based sweet shop stuff. A dash more water and we go into more floral areas on the nose, the palate now is more sugary and edging towards swizzles lollipops, and some chalky sweets, the chocolate notes having been slightly silenced, the finish warming and more malty than the fattening nature before. For me, some water not too much, but worth a long term experiment on this one with adding little water, wait, taste, water, wait, taste etc. lots of changes to explore.

Conclusion.

Interesting Mortlach this. Not a sherry bomb like some of the other Mortlach’s I have tried in the past, this one is subtle, the oak has had a nice complementing effect with the usual meaty spirit that comes from Mortlach. It’s reasonably complex, worth taking time over, and rewarding to one who likes their confectionary of the chocolate kind.

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Whisky Review – Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2nd release 2014

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2nd release 2014
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
£53.40 from the Green Welly Stop

The long awaited 2nd release of the sell out Loch Gorm of 2013. I reviewed the first release of Loch Gorm here if you care to look for reflection and expansion. I’m purposefully not rereading my original review to avoid influence.

It’s a lovely natural colour. Excited for this one, here we go:

Nose.

Pungent. Earthy. Moss. Dirty peat. And complex with it. Ashy. Bonfire embers. It’s like someone has bottled a smouldering camp fire in the woods. Chilli biting spices. Red berries. The fruitiness is very much background stuff amongst the underbrush, because the fire, while smouldering will rage with a little air blown on it. There’s a touch of vanilla sweetness there. Creamy. Some slight medicinal bandages/plasters in the background. Some road tar. Cigar box. Some struck match. All this burning and smokiness is surrounded for my by a layer of creaminess. Whilst most definitely intense on the nose it’s almost pulled back when you go in too deep. It’s a good thing, a very good thing because it shows some construction and complexity which you can delve deeply into. Time in the glass and some of the more sherried elements come about, still very much in the distance, but there is an element of burnt fruitcake coming through. And the berries, cherry now, cherry stone, some dry sultana are becoming more forward. Wow. What a nose. I could sniff at this for ages, it’s changing, evolving and always compulsive.

Palate.

Sweet sweet peat. Then a little dry campfire ash. More sweetness. Some light berries. Some creamy vanilla. Mouthcoating. Lightly oily. Some coal tar. A little bread yeast. More smoke and medicinal peat. Crisp and thoroughly satisfying. A final blast of smoke as I’m swallowing.

Finish.

I’ve inhaled the bonfire and now tasting it big time. The fruity berries are there in the finish, along with a massive smokey whiff. Sweet peat. A little drying earthiness. Sweet light burning sugar caramelised with a cherry on top.

Adding water.

Just a small dash of water, I don’t actually think it needs it and don’t want to completely extinguish the fire. Ok, got a little distracted with a phone call so it sat for a good while with a drop of water. The fire…is very alive, lots of smoke billowing on the nose, pure bonfire intense. Dry fruits still in the background, but much searching through the smoke to get to it. The palate isn’t as sweet now initially, dryer smoke meets the arrival, through development some fruity elements come in, but the dry smoke, haystacks and some earthy grassiness is present now, still very crisp and clear. And still with some lovely oiliness. The finish is full of that smoky intensity, with some creamy oak spices and berry finale.

Conclusion.

For me this is an improvement over the first release of Loch Gorm. From memory I though release 1 had very little sherry influence, this release is limited on the sherry influences, but it does have a fruity presence. With water it has one of the more smoky experiences you can have from a Islay whisky. This really is a great dram, arguably more of an autumn/winter drink, I wouldn’t wait that long to get a bottle though because you know it’s going to sell out quickly, and deservedly so. I will be buying this one as a priority.

Great thanks to Kilchoman for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet Nadurra (batch 0911P)

Glenlivet Nadurra (batch 0911P)
53% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
Cask Strength
£46.38 from MasterOfMalt


Nadurra in Gaelic means ‘natural’. And that is exactly what Nadurra is. Non chill filtered, cask strength, no colour. This promises to be a fantastic dram, so let’s find out.

Expect a slight variation on batches, but from the reviews on whiskybase and the like your hard pressed to find a bad batch.

Nose.

Floral citrus. Sherbert. Sweet shops. Powdered sugar. Lemon juice and peel. Oranges. Jammy marmalade. Some light white pepper. Vanilla. Creamy. Light oak. The oak in this one is by no means dominant despite 16 years in the cask. Time in the glass brings more of the signature Glenlivet fruit salad forward, lots of apple, pear, citrus, a touch of pineapple. Lovely fruity nose.

Palate.

As per the nose, fruity. Bit of a alcohol nip, as expected. Sweet and sour. Followed by more fruit, drying fruit, not sweet. Some berry notes. Vanilla cream, apples, pears, complex jam, The oak is more noticeable on the palate with some drier and more bitter oak tannins coming through. Some spicy hit there with oak spices and pepper.

Finish.

The fruitiness goes into the finish, with varying spiciness followed by drying oak with a little stewed tea on the very end.

Adding water.

With a little water we have even more citrus tang on the nose with a little added floral, and some dusty sugar. The palate is now mellow from the alcohol nip. There’s a little chalkiness to the mouthfeel now, the fruits are still juicy and intact, the spices lowered in intensity, the bitter mid-development is no longer there, it’s very stable throughout development and well balanced. The finish is sweeter, more powdered sugars and fruity tangs, and very very palatable, thirst quenching and inducing at the same time.

Conclusion.

A solid dram. Good session stuff, with some nice investigative complexities while at the same time can be taken for a steady enjoyable drinking experience. Good stuff! Thoroughly looking forward to trying the new Nadurra Oloroso when it becomes available later in the year.

Source – My own bottle. And many more to come!

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