Whisky Review – Glen Marnoch Islay Edition

Glen Marnoch Islay Edition
40% ABV
£18.99 from Aldi

This is the latest edition to Aldi’s Glen Marnoch range. A blended malt whisky. Islay edition. So at a guess, whatever is normally in Glen Marnoch, blended with an Islay whisky! 🙂

Nose.

Light peat smoke. Tcp/medicinal variety. There is a touch of smoking kindling amongst there as well. Sweet. Grass. Crisp and clean. Apples. Some orange. Caramel. Toffee. Clove. Quite spicy when it’s had some time to settle down.

Palate.

Sweet toffee apples and smoke intertwined. Reasonably dry, treacle toffee. Some dirty earth notes. A little bit of a bite on the tongue from its youth I would say. But there is also some nice oils from the barley coming through with some malty oat notes, almost porridge like.

Finish.

Quite short and sweet. Earthy, grass, toffee. Drying out quite quickly with some oak char and some of that treacle toffee hanging around.

Adding water.

Small drop to a reasonable measure. The smoke on the nose has been somewhat diminished. The palate is now all about the toffee malt and sweetness. The finish has a little smoke and earth to it, but I’m afraid just the smallest amount of water does extinguish the fire. DONT DO IT!

Conclusion.

Suffers from the supermarket presentation. 40%, chill filtered, colouring. It’s a competent malt. But not massively complex. If you want something like an Islay malt whisky to quaff on whilst retaining a few quid then this is perfectly ok stuff.

Update.

A week or two have past and I’ve just revisited this whisky. A little time and air in the bottle has changed this quite significantly. On the nose I’m now getting sticky bbq ribs and much more all round sticky sweetness. On the palate things have also got a little richer with those bbq notes going through development and into the finish. Quite remarkable how much change occurs after it’s been opened for a few weeks. I did my initial write up on a brand new first opened bottle.

Added conclusion.

Lovely stuff! Improves with air and time. No regrets here. Worth getting a backup bottle I think!

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Whisky Review – Wemyss Velvet Fig

Wemyss Velvet Fig
Non-chill filtered
No added colouring
46% ABV
£35.99 available from Whisky Galore at the Green Welly Stop

Release info:
Independent bottler Wemyss Malts is launching a luxurious new limited edition to complement its award-winning blended malts range. The new ‘Velvet Fig’ comprises specially selected single malts matured wholly in ex Oloroso sherry casks, evoking rich autumn and winter fruits and spices.

Knowing their customers’ passion for whiskies matured in ex Sherry casks, Wemyss Malts has created this no-age statement expression to diversify their existing line-up and is its first blended malt to be non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46% abv. With a limited release of just 6000 bottles globally, it is presented in a gift carton and available in specialist spirits stores at around £40.

Nose.

Initially dusty cocoa. Walnuts. Fig pudding. Candied orange peel. Toasted Oak. Time in the glass and more deep rich dark fruits come forward. Amaretto soaked raisin. Plums. Cherries. Apricot. Burnt brown sugar. Lots of chocolate flavoured fudge. Fruitcake of course. Cinnamon, liquorice, a touch of pipe tobacco. An exceptionally Christmas nose!

Palate.

Rich, fattening and sweet arrival. Caramel. Then the fruit comes in waves. Raisin, plums, stewed apple, cherries, all with an added layering of spices. Fruitcake mix. Cherry stones. Sweet toffee. Chocolate. Baked clove oranges. Lovely coating mouthfeel. Tonnes of flavour in this, varying slightly on every sip. And each sip is scrumptious. Ok. I’m really loving this.

Finish.

Sweet. Spicy and warming. Nuttiness and baked fruit hangs around for a medium length finish. Drying out with some walnut skin and oak. Feels like Christmas.

Adding water.

Added a small drop as I’ve nearly ran out of sipping material here it’s lush! The nose fruitier fog pudding material now, less of the chocolate. A touch more clove on the nose. The palate is sweeter, lighter in texture, but then the waves of fruit come again, loads of it, possibly not quite as rich as before, and with more sugar sweetness. The finish retains loads of fruit, cherry stones migrating more from the palate to the finish. Glorious stuff, so warming, and seasonal.

Conclusion.

Like sherry drams? Love this! It is bloody gorgeous. It reminds me of some of the best sherry monsters you can get and then watered to the right level, where you have the perfect balance of sweetness, fruits, nuts and sherry. Dammit. Nail very much on the head with this one. My sherry headed nuttiness has just come back into full effect. Christmas on steroids in a glass. I’ve just found my Christmas present to myself.

Many Thanks to Wemyss for the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Compass Box The Lost Blend

Compass Box Compass Box The Lost Blend
Non-chill filtered
No added colouring
46% ABV
£77.54 from MasterofMalt

The Lost Blend from Compass Box is comprised of 2 unpeated Highland whiskies, coming from the Clynelish and Allt-á-Bhainne distilleries, and a peated whisky from the Caol Ila distillery on Islay. It has been named in honour of a past Compass Box expression, Eleuthera, which has been lost to the ravages of time, and also shares a name with a 1907 story by O. Henry about two bartenders trying to remember and recreate a blend of spirits which possessed almost supernatural qualities.

Nose.

The nose opens with lots of ripe fruit. Apples, oranges, melon, mango, pineapple. There is some confectionary in the form of sherbert lemons. Some icing sugar. There is some waxy depth of texture to the fruits. The tiniest smidge of smoke. There is floral honey aplenty, with some fudge and chocolate floating around. An immense nose. Full of really beautiful aromas.

Palate.

Luxury. Sweet and savoury arrival. All of those fruits from the nose coming through in a jammy cacophony, with some more savoury, salted malty biscuits. The texture is oily and fulfilling. No ABV burn, immensely smooth. During the development things get sweeter, with more confectionary notes. Candy cigarettes come to mind in a big way. A touch of chocolate and a little minty clarity, a very clean and crisp palate.

Finish.

It goes on for absolutely ages. Sweet, oils and waxiness. Some nutty notes throughout the juicy fruits. Lots of sweet sugars and some penny sweets, the kind that crumble and are generally sugar! Dolly mixtures! Lovely stuff.

Adding water.

A little dribble added. I fear I added too much to this one. The nose is more concentrated on the sweet shop notes. The palate is still quite intact, but not as silky. Lots of fruits and waxiness, and adds a whole lot of peat smoke, with a little bit more saltiness. The finish is still very long, a little more drying and salty with the water. Personally it doesn’t need water, so don’t risk over diluting!

Conclusion.

This is an immense dram. Really enjoying this one a great deal. Lots of sweet flavours with the added variable of wax and salt to keep things extra interesting. The quality shines through and this is an easy drinking, sit back and chill of a dram.

Many Thanks to Compass Box for the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend

Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend
Non-chill filtered
No added colouring
43% ABV
£29.45 from MasterofMalt

Nose.

Whiffs of peat smoke on a field of wild flowers. The smoke takes the form of part medicinal and part charred oak. There’s lots of floral (lilac & lilies) and now some light honey coming through. Time in the glass and we have some Parma violets, sage and wet grass. More time and some fruitier notes come alive. Apples and pears, and a touch of plum.

Palate.

Sweet arrival, creamy, vanilla, apple, sweet lemon. A chewy texture. Lots of delicate honey and some biscuity malt. There are earthy peat notes in the later development. It’s truly lovely to hold in the mouth and is very moreish. Exceedingly quaffable, and of a high quality.

Finish.

Long. Very saccharine sweet. Earthy dirt. Light smokey whiffs and a touch of grass. Warming in the chest. The very finish is drying waxy oak invoking a demand for another sip.

Adding water.

Small drop added. The nose is a little more integrated now, still very smokey and more to the medicinal edge, heather honey and some fizzy sherbert in the background. The palate has more dryness going through the arrival into the development. Still predominantly sweet, but with drier undertones, a touch more oak, and drier dirty earth. The finish, drier also, crisp and clean with some fresh, unripe melon creeping in. Fascinating stuff.

Conclusion.

A nicely complex dram, with a variation of aromas and flavours which demand time and give much enjoyment. There is a high quality to the component parts of this whisky, giving a great value for money.

Many Thanks to Compass Box for the review sample.

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