Whisky Review – Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival

Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival
46%ABV
Non-chill filtered
Natural colour
£38.95 at TheWhiskyExchange

Nose.

Welcome to sherry heaven. Rich, heavy, sherried dark fruits. Thick fruitcake. Intensive sherry oak spices. Nutty aromas are well integrated. Coffee mocha.

Palate.

Mouth coating. Sweet and savoury. Heavy sherry raisins and fruitcake. Fruit and nut chocolate. Coffee in there as well, a little spiced orange. It’s like a bag of revels all melted into one and sherried the hell out of! Some cinnamon and anise linger in the background.

Finish.

Long and resiliently sherried. The fruit and nut sticks around for a good while, with the finish drying out into some wood spice and a little sawdust. It’s very moreish and demands much attention and sipping.

Adding water.

Adding a reasonable drop of water to my dram. I’m sure it can take it. With the alcohol levels toned down the balance of smell becomes more levelled out. Easier to identify and savour. More spices come through in the still heavily thick sherried fruitcake stew aromas. The palate reflects the diluted nose with more spices, and balanced fruit, with the sherry still very much dominant and in control. Luscious. The finish is full of all the good stuff. Fruit and nut nd chocolate and coffee and pleasure and joy, excitement and happiness!

Conclusion.

Glendronach is one of my favourite distilleries, so I am a little biased. I must admit, I’ve done Glendronach a little backwards. I got into their single casks before trying their standard, core releases. This 15 year old being the first core release I’ve tried in depth. It’s a remarkable dram, with shed loads of flavour and pleasure to be experienced. Can’t recommend it high enough for those who like their whisky experience sherried. It’s really quite the bargain.

20130907-225925.jpg

Whisky Review – Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve

Glenfiddich 15 Solera
40%ABV
£32.92 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

It’s ‘tasty’ on the nose. Nicely sherried. Rum soaked raisins. A quality Christmas cake. Baked oranges. Cinnamon spiced. A little dark chocolate in the background.

Palate.

Surprisingly oily on the mouthfeel despite its 40% ABV and therefore chill filtration. Sweet and easy drinking…oh so easy drinking! Sherried fruits. Oranges. Toffee. Fruitcake in abundance. Christmas spices.

Finish.

Medium length finish. Warming. Sweet rich fruit stays for a good while. A little salt. Dark (slightly bitter) chocolate oak at the very end.

Adding Water.

I’m only adding the slightest drop. The tiniest drop of water has had quite the dramatic effect on the nose. The intensity of the aromas have increased quite a bit. The fruitcake has intensified, and in addition to the original undiluted nose we have a little added oak influence. The palate reflects this also, becoming somewhat tastier (if that were possible), albeit a little lighter in mouthfeel. More oak tannins coming forth in the development. The finish remains sweet, fruity and moreish as ever.

Conclusion.

It’s bloody lovely. So easy to sip on and moreish, which results in an empty glass too quickly (not a bad thing as long as you can pace yourself!). It is without a doubt my favourite of the Glenfiddich range that I have tried so far. Easy, accessible, beautiful, joy.

20130728-161909.jpg

Whisky Review – Glendronach 1994 / 18 Year Old / PX Puncheon #3547

Glendronach 1994 / 18 Year Old / PX Puncheon #3547
55.1% ABV
£79.95 from theWhiskyExchange

I love sherried whiskies. If you read my reviews you’ll see that as I usually have more to say about them than others. Doesn’t mean I don’t love the others. It just means that sherried whiskies, good ones that is, fuel my need to write. Kind of like a textual purge!

Bear in mind this is a first opened bottle. First dram from it. If it differs greatly in time I will post updates.

Colour.

Deep dark natural mahogany. They look effing rich and sumptuous (will try not to use those descriptors again in this review! Lol) in the bottle. You know your in for a thick ride!

Nose.

Sweet spicy sherried malt. Serious PX influence. There’s a nice bit of aged oak wood spices also. Some rum drenched sawdust. A little polish. Bucket tonnes of dark fruits. Raisins, sultanas, plums. Some chocolate. A dollop of coffee. And spiced oranges baked in mulled wine! Christmas has definitely come early!

Palate.

Damn my barring of those descriptors! Errrr. It’s thick and juicy! Sweet PX big sherried monster malt. Then the bite comes. Subsides and develops into more sweet dark fruity pleasure. Mouthfeel is oily, chewy and all around big. Some oak influence in the palate showing a subtle age, but the sherry sweetness is the dominant entity here. Right up my street! Sweet oranges, chocolate, spiced oak chips, rum engorged fruitcake, raisins, sultanas, some coffee.

Finish.

More coffee, chocolate, oranges, rum and raisin. Drying out to sherry drenched oak, a little sawdust and toasted oak chips.

Adding water.

Being cautious with the water due to the age. I think it will take a bit. But I’ll go slow as its the first dram from this bottle. More balanced now. Quite delicately so. All the same fragrances are in place, little less fruit dominance and more stabilisation with the oak age influences making more of a statement. Fascinating. The palate. Sweet, fruity, tasty big! Less burn gives development more space and layers interchange between oak and fruit and aged spiced oak and chewy fruit and oak and yummm and ahhhh. Finish is lighter, fruitier, and, oh balls to it RICH and SUMPTUOUS!
A little more water. Probably put too much in as its quite cloudy (a good thing I know, but maybe not for the age) and diluted. Lets see. The nose is more oak than fruit now. Lots of polish and wood. Fruit very definitely left behind. Palate wise, much weaker, still got its bits and bobs. But it’s lost a bit there. Finish is well, fruitier! How strange! It’s fruitier, sweeter and less oaky dryness! That’s a bit different! So. How much water? Well it’s worth a play. For me. It’s a dollop. But not too much!
*update* – bit of time in the glass and the heavier diluted is really good! It’s just worth playing with this dram. Pour a large one. Make it last and add water several times during the hour or two you slowly spend nosing and sipping. It’s a good slow ride to awesomesville!

Conclusion.

It’s friggin awesome. I’m biased because I love sherried whiskies and especially glendronach px matured whiskies. They don’t pay me or anything, but they can if they want! (I could do with a new job!) Lol.

20130630-201046.jpg

Whisky Review – Aberlour A’bunadh batch 45

Aberlour A’bunadh batch 45
60.2% ABV
£39.55 from MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Explosive, intense, bullish sherried malt. Fruitcake by the truck load. Immensely spicy chocomochafruitandnut. It’s a complete beast on the nose undiluted. You can do damage with this one. Nose with pleasurable caution! 🙂
With time in the glass the kick slows a little and more layered dark fruits and rum cake come to the surface. It’s a fantastic nose. One of the best a’bunadh’s I’ve sniffed.

Palate.

Big big kick. Needs a good bit of water. But we’ll get to that in a bit. When the nip subsides you get the richness of the sherry. The rum soaked raisins. Hot pepper spices with some chilli. All soaked in sherry and a handful of raisins/plums. And some coffee as well.

Finish.

Drying and nutty. Some mild coffee infused dark chocolate. A little salt in that chocolate. And then fruitcake leaves you satisfied that another sip is definitely required!

Adding water.

It needs it to really open up. So a good dollop. Left sat for a while. The diluted nose is still intensely satisfying, but calmed down. Now I get a good sense of wood oak spices and tannins. The in depth Christmas cake is there with added fruit. Spices are warm and cosy. It realty is a heartwarming dram for me! Spiced baked oranges are new to the diluted palate. Along with everything else that was there before but with less of an anaesthetic kick. The nose continues to develop in the glass. This is a good dram to experiment the effect of water and time with. Patience and time rewards! The fruit is getting richer and more rum soaked. Ah, it’s just sublime. Such good quality and enjoyment for the money. Bloody awesome. Sorry. Getting carried away with the joy. The palate is getting gentler and tastier with time. A richness to the sherried malt and rummy fruits is coming through, less intense, more mmmmmmmm. The finish is mellower, not quite as long, but just beautiful. It’s a complete sherry monster. But a bloody good one.
Adding a little more water brings out more chocolate, coffee and orange notes. Just so interesting and deep! Toffee! Toffee as well. A thick rich one!

Conclusion.

Batch 45. It’s a good one! A very good one. I’m not the greatest at identifying subtle sulphur, or even dissing it, I can sense a bad sulphur fine. Batch 41 was dodgy in my opinion, not terrible but dodgy, water made it better. This one has none of the bitter or dodgy notes that 41 did. This is better than 42 which was the last bottle of a’bunadh I had opened. This bottle is not going to last long I’m afraid. Worth getting another one in for spare. :-/

20130630-185916.jpg

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.

20130520-195433.jpg

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! 🙂

20130520-144331.jpg

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.

20130520-143301.jpg

20130520-143453.jpg