Whisky Review – Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Finish

Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Finish
46% ABV
Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, and finished in port oak for a year
Natural Colour
Non-Chill Filtered
£48.95 from TheWhiskyExchange

First in the new line up from Tomatin (15 year old and 30 year old (NOOOooo!) have been discontinued). I quite like port matured whiskies, and I’m also partial to the odd Tomatin, so I’m very happy to try this new one. Let’s see what it has to offer. It’s got that lovely tint of pink in the natural colour. 🙂

Nose.

Fruit! Berries a plenty. Red currant. Grapes. Strawberry. Black current brambles the lot. Takes your breath away, has quite a nose nip, so don’t let the nostrils get too close yet. Pepper. A little oak coming through now, but with all the fruit crushed into it. A little vanilla turning into a lot of vanilla, vibrant and organic. One of those noses which is quite literally mouth watering for me. A touch of icing sugar after a while, making the fruit more sweetie like, and therefore the jelly baby pangs start coming into play. There are more dark fruits, some plum and raisin notes after it has stood for a while, juicier now, nostril rewarding and saliva enticing.

Palate.

So sweet, so juicy. Berry forest fruits smoothie. Lightly warming. Smooth as silk on the mouthfeel (very coating) and ABV. Did I say juicy. It is very very juicy. I won’t say juicy again. The palate really reflects the nose so well, but with added yummm. It’s sooooo easy drinking. Some vanilla, but it’s all about the thick fruit. It’s trifle! Complete with sherried strawberries, fruit jelly, some vanilla sponge and custard.

Finish.

Medium juicy (dammit) finish. Fruit Trifle, fading away gently always reminding of that fruit jam compote. And the desire to sip sip sip.

Adding Water.

I love this without water. I mean I really don’t need to add any. I can drink this for ever. But a few drops in the interest of science. The nose with a little less bite now has an appeal which makes me want it to touch the tip of my nose as I inhale! There is an added element of age, a slight floral dustiness and more oak, which makes things more mellow and dignified, where the undiluted nose was more bang fruit in your face. The palate reflects this also, less of the fruit bomb it was before, but now something to chew longer and reminisce, with a touch of added fruit toffees. The finish is now more drying, and has a touch of that oak at the end of the finish. Perfectly honest, for my palate I prefer without water, but I can understand how others may like the more dignified slightly diluted version.

Conclusion.

This is a fruit nuke. Plain and simple. Luscious in every way. If you like port matured whiskies, then this is an absolute must for you. If you haven’t tried Port matured whiskies, this is the best starting point, but you probably don’t need to go any further than this one to be honest. Going to have to get me one of these. It’s too bloody good…better make it 2!

Much thanks to Tomatin for providing the sample. Awesome. 🙂

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Whisky Review – Speymalt 2004 – Gordon & Macphail

Speymalt 2004 – Gordon & Macphail
43% ABV
Speymalt 2004 – £25.80 – available at Whisky Galore at The Green Welly Stop

Nose.

Dry, bitter oak. Young, some spirit very evident. Apple. Toffee. Light honey. Quite ‘strong’ on the nose. Pepper, ginger. Spicy to the point of burn.

Palate.

That bitter oak is the initial hit. After a few seconds the more toffee nature of the Macallan spirit comes through. Becomes a little chewier. Sweetish toffee. Bitter stewed tea. Pepper/chilli heat.

Finish.

Short. Hot spices, dry toffee, some oak tannins.

Adding water.

A little water improves this Whisky dramatically by toning down the spice level and levelling out the bitter tannins. The nose becomes more enriched, with some butter and cream notes amongst the toffee. The palate also reflects this becoming more easy going and smoother as with the finish, the tannins reduced leaving more of a creamed aftertaste.

Conclusion.

This is a simplex session dram. For the price range it’s a fair Whisky, if your not too interested in spending time investigating layers of complexity. Good for summer with a small chunk of ice added to a well poured double.

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Whisky Review – Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
43% ABV
£35.09 from MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Dry pungent peat stack fires. Ashy, smoky, intense bonfires. Light lemon citrus. Near ripe banana. Some buttery honey notes. Road tar. Wet ropes. Liquorice. Pepper. Chilli. Intensive spicy character. Despite all this Islay peat and spice profile, there is a light side to this nose. The lemon buttery citrus cream is always present and gives a nice balance to the peat monster.

Palate.

Initially sweet. Then dry honey malt. Along with a fire of peat. The lemon juice is coming through, along with a touch of lime. And an overall citrus. Some earthy wet grass. An oily, thick mouthfeel. Whilst the arrival is initially sweet the development through to finish is distinctively dry. The more I’m sipping at this the more levels of intensity and variation I’m finding. It’s a very moreish dram, mainly due to this variation and wondering what the next sip will bring.

Finish.

Crisp, medium to long finish. The earthy peat, dirt and wet grass with some hay goes through to the finish. Some dryness comes at the very end. There’s a mineral chalky note at the finish also.

Adding water.

Few drops. The nose is more intense with bonfire smoke. The palate slightly lighter, with prolonged sweetness, more sugars and honey. Very crisp still and very enjoyable. The finish remains dry and spicy. A spot of water does this dram some justice.

Conclusion.

Can’t believe I haven’t tried this one until now. A nice malt this. Quite a dry malt, so doesn’t suite my palate all the time being the sweet tooth I am, but as a change in pace, and definitely as a last dram of the night or a refresher for more sweetness, this works a treat.

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Whisky Review – Tomatin Legacy

Tomatin Legacy
43% ABV
Matured in ex-bourbon and virgin oak barrels
Tomatin Legacy is £23.00 available from Whisky Galore at The Green Welly Stop

Nose.

Sweet Malty biscuit, cereal. A good dose of Vanilla. Light piney wood. Light Citrus, lemon, pineapple. A light and creamy impression overall. Some dusting sugar. Cinnamon. A touch of pepper.

Palate.

Light and crisp. Vanilla, gentle citrus juice and peel. Apples. Mild honey and cream custard. Some peppery kick mid development. Mouthfeel is quite thick and coating. Don’t know if this is non-chill filtered, but I would say it isn’t heavily filtered. Any colouring? Hard to say, but if there is, it is minuscule.

Finish.

Spicy pine wood, creamy custard, malt biscuits. Reasonably short, but very clean and moreish.

Adding water.

Doesn’t really need water, but trying anyway. Wow. The nose has More citrus and pineapple. With added depth of oak. Really sniffable this malt. More touches of pine. On the palate the mouthfeel is reduced significantly, with the taste lighter, but more concentrated on the fruit. The finish is still nicely creamy and compulsive. Is it my imagination or a little haze in the liquid…hmmmm. 🙂 if too much water is added a bitterness is apparent mid development. So go careful with the h2o.

Conclusion.

For a NAS entry level malt, this is really good quality stuff. Some youth is evident, but it is very very nice, moreish, tasty, clean, lovely stuff. The use of a combination of bourbon and virgin oak is noticeable and really works to make this dram so very special. Value for money is amazing, your getting quite a bit of complexity, very quaffable, and intriguing malt, which you can explore or just plain enjoy. Tomatin is relatively unknown as a single malt to many, so undeserved. This is really very good indeed.

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Whisky Review – Teeling 21 Year Old Single Malt Silver Reserve Whiskey

Teeling 21 Year Old Single Malt Silver Reserve Whiskey
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
Limited to 5000 bottles
£127.95 from MasterOfMalt

This older aged Whiskey was married together in Sauternes (a very sweet French desert wine) casks. This was my favourite whisk(e)y of Whisky Live London 2014. Let’s see if it’s as I remember.

Nose.

The Sauternes comes through sweetly and gently, then with wafts of smokey oak and pipe tobacco. This is rich, obvious age, with polish, leather and tobacco box cedar wood. Invading of the nostrils in a fulfilling and deep way. The fruit is predominantly cherry, raisin, all of which are surrounded with a dusty air of cinnamon sugar. There is a little liquorice to the wood and some talcum powder. With time in the glass there is vanilla sponge cake with butter cream icing. Bloody complex and just makes me wonder why they don’t make fragrances or room sprays like this. It’s glorious. I could stay here with my nose in this glass for ever!

Palate.

Sweet, deftly intense. Dry dark fruits, raisin, cherry, cherry stones, stewed berries, strawberry. Sweet tobacco, brown roasted caramelised sugar. Complex subtle spices, all spice, pepper, Chinese 5 spice. A little hoisin plum sauce. Some meaty elements also. Really engaging and a great depth to this malt.

Finish.

Long, sweet, intense sugared oak, anise, drying out to oak chips. Some meatiness continues into the finish. Very long and substantial.

Adding water.

I really do not want to add water as I’m enjoying it too much…bit I will put a small drop into my last few sips. The nose now comes with more spicy intensity, a little more talcum powder. The palate is sweeter, hints of white chocolate, but some of the other notes are missing now. The finish reflects these changes. So, I can’t decide. With water, this dram has differences which are altogether very excellent, better or worse than undiluted. Well, in all honesty I didn’t leave enough for the diluted experience, I was enjoying the undiluted too much. Maybe another sample please?! 🙂 I think I probably just need to buy this!

Conclusion.

Oh yeah, I knew I liked this one at WL for a reason, just didn’t realise so many of those reasons until sitting down and spending some time with it. This is a rewarding, deep, delectable whiskey. I think it feels older than 21, there is a lot of age, but not overwhelmed by the oak influences. It’s rich, and has a real feel good factor. The nose is out of this world and the rest of the experience is particularly stellar also. It is of a higher value for a 21 year old whiskey. But it is worth it. If you can afford it do not bloody hesitate. There are not that many out there.

I long to try the new older expressions that Teeling have just released. A 26 year old and a very limited 30 year old. One day…one day.

Great thanks to Teeling for providing the review sample. I’ve had a massive day of Teeling whiskey, and while I can’t get used to adding the e in whiskey, I am completely smitten. Awesome drams. Can’t wait to savour the next releases.

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Whisky Review – Teeling Small Batch Whiskey

Teeling Small Batch Whiskey
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
£31.75 from MasterOfMalt

This small batch Irish whiskey is finished in ex-Flor de Cana Rum casks.

Nose.

Sweet, fruity. Orangey. Very different to other fruity drams though. Sweet citrus. Sweet ginger. Pepper. The fruits are quite boiled up with lots of sugar. Jammy. Marmalade, but without any bitter edges. With time in the glass more spiced apples and red fruits all jammed up in a lovely chutney of fruitiness.

Palate.

Sweet and dry. Drier than I thought it would be. Very fruity, a little bit of bitterness mid-development. Arrival has some hot spices, pepper, chilli, ginger, some light sugars to those spices. The complex fruit jam mix continues all the way through arrival/development and into the finish. Apples, oranges, lemon, red berries. Lots of jams without the bits. With further sips some creaminess comes in, it’s a real mixed fruit pie with custard whiskey!

Finish.

Light, crisp, fruity medium length finish. With some jammy sweets hanging around at the end and some spicy drying oak moments. A little creaminess and chest hugging warmth. Slight bitter tannins at the very end.

Adding water.

Couple of drops. The hotter spices on the nose are more calmed down now, which allows more of the fruity depths to be experienced. The palate is also fruitier, slightly sweeter, with the previous bitter mid-development less so prominent. Very chewy, lots of oiliness in the mouthfeel. Awesome stuff. The diluted finish is still very crisp, inviting and moreish. Creaminess still very much the end finale, again with the tannins toned down. This dram benefits greatly from a small drop of water.

Conclusion.

This blended jam is excellent! So much fruit is going on in this dram it’s quite overwhelming and much time can be taken to deconstruct its parts. Or if the mood is more enjoyment, it is more than amply perfect to do that as well. A very excellent sipping whiskey, lots to do here, and much to enjoy.

Great thanks to Teeling for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Teeling Single Grain Whiskey

Teeling Single Grain Whiskey
46% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
£38.75 from MasterOfMalt

Teeling’s single grain whiskey is finished in Californian red wine casks, imparting some extra fruity flavours and a little reddish hew to the colour. Presented in a craft manner (46%, no chill filtration, no added colorant) this whiskey (please note the e is correct for Irish whiskey as opposed to Scottish Whisky) is one I have been looking forward to spending some real time with. Here we go.

Nose.

Oooo, it’s a winesky. The first thing that hits is the pungent grapes and red berry fruits, along with some jelly sweets, haribo! Very sumptuous. Their is a youth and spirit then coming through, with waves of creamy grain. It’s very sticky, coating the glass. Some hot pepper and ginger spices. A touch of oak. Then some more gummy bears. There’s a slight note of charred wood. Some sweet liquorice. A very complex nose which time can be truly lost with.

Palate.

Spicy and sweet. Creamy, buttery popcorn. The fruit is hidden behind waves of butter and creamy grain, but it is definitely there. Red fruits dancing in the distance. Some aniseed spice along with the warmth of ginger and pepper. This is a youngish Whiskey, but well matured. And tasty with it. Touches of orange and citrus in late development. There’s a little old fashioned bubblegum hanging around as well. And with further sips, more of the wine influence is popping in and out. Complex, changes with every sip. A beautiful creamy, and coating mouthfeel.

Finish.

Quite long, buttery vanilla creams, bubblegum, smidge of wood, dry at the end. Subtle dryness with that pure butter background long after the flavour fades.

Adding water.

A few drops added. The nose has more of a tamed, creaminess now. The fruit taken more into the background. The palate reflects the new nose, creamy and buttery. The finish again, creamy and buttery grain. My personal opinion. Water kills the experience of this one a little. It does not need it.

Conclusion.

This is gooood. It’s young and has a little vibrance, but it is so very tasty, and different to your normal whisk(e)y drinking experience. I bought a bottle of this shortly after trying it at WL 2014, not opened yet, but I feel it will be very soon. Proper class stuff. Very complex and ever changing, this is a whiskey that will not bore you. It’s fantastic, but stay away from water or ice. This dram does NOT need it.

Great thanks to Teeling for providing the review sample.

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KILCHOMAN DISTILLERY RELEASES 4TH LIMITED EDITION 100% ISLAY

KILCHOMAN DISTILLERY RELEASES 4TH LIMITED EDITION 100% ISLAY

Independent farm distillery, Kilchoman, is releasing its 4th limited edition 100% Islay whisky on Monday (12 May). Forty first-fill bourbon barrels were selected, 32 five year old and eight four-year-old for the limited edition bottling which will be available worldwide, through existing distributors and online.

The 100% Islay whisky range is unique. It is produced from barley grown at the distillery, and every step of the production is completed onsite so it is literally 100% Islay from barley to bottling. Previous editions have been awarded 2013 IWSC bronze, Spirits Business Gold and IWC Silver.

The 100% Islay is only lightly peated compared to the more heavily peated Kilchoman Machir Bay and Loch Gorm expressions.

Anthony Wills, managing director of Kilchoman, said: “The 100% Islay range is something we are very proud of and we hope that people will enjoy the latest offering. It is very exciting to be able to offer a product which is created 100% on Islay.”

The 4th edition represents a significant development in the maturity of our 100% Islay range,” commented John MacLellan, distillery manager. “Its balance and complexity far surpassed our expectations.

The 4th Edition of 100% Islay is non chill-filtered and is natural colour.

Bottled at 50% ABV it will be available from specialist spirits retailers and http://www.kilchomandistillery.com

priced at a RRP of £64.99.

Founded in 2005, Kilchoman is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland and the first distillery to be built on Islay for 125 years. A working farm distillery, it is one of only a handful of distilleries still practising floor malting. Kilchoman also grows a portion of its barley at the distillery and completes all parts of the production process, from barley to bottling on the island.

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Whisky News – Teeling Platinum Vintage (30 year old) and Gold Reserve (26 year old)!

I’m going to be reviewing the entry level releases from Teeling, their Single Grain, Malt Whiskey and their 21 year old Silver reserve (my favourite from Whisky Live London) this weekend. My excitement of the following news is very high!!!

Teeling Whiskey Release Some of the Oldest Irish Single Malt in the World
World’s most exclusive Irish Whiskey – 30 Year Old Platinum Vintage Reserve Irish Single Malt and 26 Year Old Gold Reserve Releases unveiled

The Teeling Whiskey Company, Ireland’s leading independent Irish whiskey Company, has released two new bottlings from its Vintage Reserve Collection – 26 Year Old Gold Reserve and 30 Year Old Platinum Reserve Irish Single Malt. The 30 Year Old release is believed to be the oldest bottling of Irish Single Malt recently released, making this the world’s most exclusive Irish whiskey.

The Gold Reserve bottling consists of 26 Year Old Single Malt Irish whiskey doubled distilled in 1987 and matured firstly in Bourbon casks then allowed to marry in White Burgundy wine casks to provide a truly unique Irish whiskey taste experience. This small batch bottling, limited to only 1,000 bottles, is the first ever Irish whiskey to be finished in White Burgundy wine casks.

The Platinum Reserve 30 Year Old bottling has been limited to only 250 bottles. Having been double distilled in 1983 and allowed to rest for over 30 years in a Bourbon cask this limited edition whiskey was hand selected for its distinctive taste qualities. The whiskey has inherited a huge amount of character over its 30 year journey leading to a complex floral nose with deep layered flavours and a long rich luxurious finish. The Teeling Vintage Reserve 30 Year Old Platinum bottling is exceptional not only in taste but also in its rarity.

Jack Teeling, founder of the Teeling Whiskey Company, commented, “We are extremely proud to be able to release some of the oldest ever bottlings of Irish Single Malt with our Vintage Reserve Collection. These offerings are central to our goal to play the lead role in bringing an independent voice back to the Irish whiskey category and will help drive diversity in the category by introducing interesting and unique small batch bottlings of Irish whiskey. With the 30 Year Old in particular we give people the ability to taste and collect part of Irish whiskey history at a time of a new Golden Era for the category.”

The Gold Reserve 26 Year Old will retail for approximately €475.00 (USD$600.00 / GBP£400.00) and the Platinum Reserve will retail for approximately €1,500.00 (USD$2,000.00 / GBP£1,200.00) The products are initially only available in Ireland through Dublin Airport and the Celtic Whiskey Store and will then be rolled out to select International Markets and Travel Retailers.

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