Whisky Review – Glengoyne 18 year old

Glengoyne 18 year old
43% ABV
£70.25 from MasterOfMalt


“Natural Colour” – nice!

Nose.

And now we are at 8 ft depth and counting (see 10/15 year old reviews for point of reference! Spicy, very spicy. Deep oaky spices, cardamom, liquorice, honey, thick dark honey, treacle toffee even. Overstewed fruits, polished furniture. It’s an older nose, the age being very apparent, the oak taking over from the honeyed malt of the 10/15 year old Glengoyne’s. some definitive floral elements remain also, with the breathtaking Parma violets dominating.

Palate.

There is still sweetness. A darker sugar. Burnt caramel, thorntons special treacle toffee, wood spices flood through, spicy pepper, cardamom, liquorice notes. A little nuttiness is there in the wood as well. Again, it’s obviously the same beast as the 10/15 year olds but with that added age and wood influence, giving those more polish, oak spices and nutty notes.

Finish.

Still almighty smooth. The spices are here to stay, it’s a longer finish which moves from the spicy to the sweet, then drying out with a finale of wood spices and shavings.

Adding Water.

A small drop. The nose is enhanced with added floral complexity, but a better integration of the wood spices. There is a certain amount of what appears o be rum notes coming through also. The palate reflects the newly found nose, added fruit, dark fruits, rum soaked raisins delving through the mist, very nice. The finish remains long and full of all the flavours of the undiluted with an added rummy note, fading away to that warming spicy loveliness.

Conclusion.

Well. My first introduction to Glengoyne has been one hell of a night. This distillery shows some quality, competency and consistency in their malt. With each step up clearly showing its added age. This 18 year old is a hell of a dram. It’s got a lot of complexity, and shows its quality in its age. If you like your malts, rounded, old and deep, this is for you. For my personal taste and budget I am now a fan of the 15 year old, and that is the one I would be getting a full bottle of.

Please see all my reviews of the 10/15/18 year old Glengoyne single malt whiskies.

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Whisky Review – Glengoyne 15 year old

Glengoyne 15 year old
43% ABV
£44.50 from MasterOfMalt

“Natural Colour” – nice!

Nose.

Spicy wood. Sugar sweetness. Honeyed malt. Vanilla. Perfumed floral. Parma violets. Light polish. Stewed fruits in the background. Added oak spice. Its a very compelling and addictive nose, i could sniff on this dram for a very long while. There is a overall added depth to the nose in comparison to the 10 year old. If the 10 year old was 4 ft deep, this one is a good 6.5 ft!

Palate.

Sweet sweet sweet! A little added oomph from the slightly higher ABV when comparing to the 10 year old experience. The mouthfeel is silky and unashamed. There is a pepper spice around the sweetness, the stewed apples and bananas are bigger and chewier. The toffee thicker and stickier. Once again, it’s incredible easy and sipable.

Finish.

So much smoother than the 10 year old, and I found the 10 year old very smooth. This is just like drinking silk, if you could drink silk of course! The sweetness is richer and more rounded than the 10 year old.

Adding Water.

A small drop. The nose now exhibits a deeper, more polished oak and floral notes. There’s a more rounded and detailed level to the nose. The spices come through a little more with some liquorice, star anise, and cardamom. TE diluted palate lacks a little of the mouthfeel from the undiluted as expected, but still is most luxurious. The sweetness is still apparent, but the added spice to the nose comes through in the palate also, giving a more interesting and valuable experience. The finish retains those spices as the sweetness fades. It is a very special dram. Again, so very easy drinking as per the 10 year old, but has the additional demand to really pay attention to the quality and the variation of the malt.

Conclusion.

The 15 year old adds a lot in terms of oak spice and wood notes to the similar mix of honey sweetness found in the 10 year old. It shows a very interesting lesson in consistency, as all of the same characteristics from the 10 year old are present here, but with that added oak age, spices and a thicker depth to the known aromas and flavours. An excellent dram, and relatively well priced compared to its younger sibling. Having tried the 10/15/18, I can say this is my personal favourite. It shows good value for money in complexity, but it can also be treated as a bit of a session dram, although I would be more inclined to have the 10 year old if it is only for drinking. The 15 year old is for drinking sure, but enjoying and savouring, which is more important in my whisky drinking experience.

Please see all my reviews of the 10/15/18 year old Glengoyne single malt whiskies.

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Whisky Review – Glengoyne 10 year old

Glengoyne 10 year old
40% ABV
£28.49 from MasterOfMalt

“Natural Colour” – nice!

Nose.

Gentle herbal notes and a bouquet of floral dominate. Vanilla and honey back up the nose. There’s a certain youthful robustness in the nose as it is relatively young but does have a delicate edge. With time in the glass we have more floral, and a sweetness coming through. Richer honeyed malt. Some apples come through and a little stewed banana. Needs time in the glass and the nose develops additional complexities.

Palate.

Sweet! Very sweet. Sweet, rich honey, vanilla, chewy, oily as well. More sugars, caramel, thorntons special toffee, wow, it’s a sweet tooths dream. So very easy drinking. I was expecting more youth and harshness, but there’s hardly any youthful burn. It’s smooth and easy. In amongst the toffee is some apples and softer fruits stewing around.

Finish.

That sweetness sticks around, with the stewed banana and apple lingering alongside the warm toffee stickiness. It’s a reasonably long finish, which ends with a little wood spice, but mostly those luscious sugars.

Adding Water.

Only a small drop added. Herbal and floral dominates again with a drop of water, dulling the fruit notes which originally took time to come through. On the palate I find that the oily mouthfeel has weakened, the sweetness is the same, but there is a certain loss of depth originally found in the undiluted form. The finish remains sweet and moreish. Personally I think this is one not to dilute. In fact, I would go as far as to say it would have been nice if this was bottled at a higher ABV as per the 15/18 year old versions.

Conclusion.

The 10 year old is a very nice entry level dram. Having never had tried Glengoyne until now I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found a delicate, very sweet, sugar rush of a dram. With some added depth, and surprising oiliness. It’s a easy going session dram. Affordable and with good quality to boot.

Please see all my reviews of the 10/15/18 year old Glengoyne single malt whiskies.

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Whisky Review – the Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak

Glenlivet 15 French Oak
40% ABV
£37.24 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Very sweet. Rich and creamy. Tutti fruiti. Buckets of Vanilla and Honey. A little citrus grapefruit in the background, but the sweetness does tend to overwhelm the hidden complexities.

Palate.

Sweet. Caramel. Honey. Some citrus. A little aged oak tannins coming through mid development. Chewy. Very creamy and easy to drink.

Finish.

Sweet. Honey. A little grapefruit peel. Some drying oak spice at the finale.

Adding Water.

A small drop added. There is a little more citrus (specifically grapefruit) in the nose. The sweetness has subsided a little. More oak tannins are evident. Some floral aromas are also present. On the palate more complexity is revealed, with softer fruits coming to the forefront. More aged oak, whilst retaining its creamy sweet profile. The finish is creamy, warm and quite luxurious. This dram definitely benefits from a drop of water.

Conclusion.

This is a very nice session dram. One which I would enjoy on any night. It’s a quality, well constructed whisky.

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Whisky Review – Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean Cask

Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean Cask
43% ABV
£43.05 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Peaches, cream, apricot, pineapple, apple, vanilla, honey, talcum powder floral. The nose is very complex, rich and downright gorgeous.

Palate.

A fruit salad. Oily fulfilling mouthfeel. All the fruits from the nose plus more tropical notes. Honey, vanilla, creamy. A little pepper. Easy and smooth at 43%. I don’t know if it is because the Whisky is quite warm with the weather as hot as it is and that makes any difference, but this is really good stuff.

Finish.

Medium – long. The fruit sticks around, a little pepper. The the fruit is still lingering. It’s sweet and long lasting, some floral talcum is there as well as a little wood residue.

Adding water.

A small drop added. The floral is increased with the fruit taking more of a backstep. The palate is reduced in the mouthfeel department but is otherwise minimally effected with the water addition. The finish is slightly sweeter, but not quite as long. All in all. Personally. I prefer without water.

Conclusion.

It’s the first Balvenie I’ve tried (with the exception of a swig of double wood at a Xmas party), and I have to say I really like it. It’s deliciously fruity, moreish and I’m hungry now to try more of the series.

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Whisky Review – Elements of Islay PL1

Elements of Islay PL1
60% ABV
Sold out. Though Corks of Cotham may have 1 or 2 left! £65.99

I love Bruichladdich. Love em I tell you! I’ve tried a few of their expressions. I love Octomore loads! I’ve tried a few of theirs as well. However…I think this is the first time I’ve done a Port Charlotte!

Nose.

Coastal BBQ. The sizzling bacon fat is bubbling away. The salted waves crashing in the background. From the colour and presumed (port Charlotte would have been going up to ten years at the time of this bottling so I would assume 6-9 years in a very active ex-sherry cask) age I would have thought more fruit present on the nose. But it’s very much a big, young, boosty Islay malt. It’s big ABV makes it harder to get your nose into. But with a litter perseverance the sherry spice and dark stewed fruit notes can be found lingering in the BBQ background. A little time in the glass and the fruit does wonder a little further forwards.

Palate.

Immediately some sherried dark fruits followed by a massive alcohol blast. As the blast subsides, it becomes quite maritime. Sea salt. Chilli and pepper. Peat earth. The fruit doesn’t return though.

Finish.

Salt and pepper. Some minimal fruit. Very warming. Drying wood tannins.

Adding water.

Think this will take a bit but will go in stages. Dollop 1. Nose is still hot. Rummed raisin coming through now. A little fruitcake in the background. BBQ still there in abundance. Palate. Wow. Big stuff. Fruity peat. Lots of fruit now. Really chewy. Great mouthfeel. It’s big, brash and fun. It’s got a lot of sherried dark fruits coming through but not the intensity of a a’bunadh, more sherried fruits with a peat fired rocket up its jacksie. Still got quite a bit of heat mid palate, but the flavours are coming out. Finish has some very subtle peat smoke infused fruits. More berried fruit now as opposed to raisins. I would go black/red/straw berrys. Lets do another water dollop. Dollop 2. For reference we have cloudiness. The nose is now well fruited. With many berries in addition to the raisin effect. The BBQ is more bonfire now. Damp brown leaf bonfire. There’s a little toffee coming in with the fire. The palate is now without the big burn. The malt is more toffied in its nature. Still fruity, very little peat on the immediate palate. The finish has peat earth, toffee encrusted fruit bars. Some cereal is floating around the mix as well. Possibly malted milk biscuits. There’s some creaminess throughout the experience now also. With or without water?! Can’t decide. Work to do there I think to find the right balance. It’s an experimental dram. You could spend a whole evening with a couple of these exploring the nooks and crannies. It’s an experience.

Conclusion.

A complex, different, big beastie boy of a malt. Lots to do, see, smell and taste. It’s not easy going. It’s a marathon of an Islay experience. Worth taking up though. If you can find it!

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Whisky Review – Tamdhu 10 year old

Tamdhu 10 year old
40% ABV
£30.45 from MasterOfMalt

Colour. Gold

Nose.

Starts off a little spirity. But time in the glass and this lifts. A light sherried malt presents itself now. Not intense or pungent. But robust and asserted. Lots of rum soaked raisins and sultanas. Some honey and brown sugar and nuts in the background.

Palate.

Sweet. Slow arrival. Pepper heat of youth comes through but dark fruits and oak spices soon overpowers this and become dominant. Honey and brown sugar then come and stay for the mouth duration. Quite an oily spirit, considering its lower ABV and presentation.

Finish.

Medium. Honey. Sugar. Fruit stays on the palate until the end. A little bitter at the very tail but remains palatable.

Adding water?

Any spirty edge is dissipated with a small drop of h2o. The nose becomes more rounded, settled, sweet and fruity. The honey malt stays. It’s a soft, subtle, easy dram. On the diluted palate there is the familiar sweet honey and is smoother for the water. Still has a nice oily feel though. Finish is very nice, sweet and smoother and just plain nice!

Conclusion.

It’s a good easy drinker of a dram that needs a small drop of water to take the youth off. This dram at 15/18 years old should be stonking! Just a little time to wait. The dram does continue to develop in the glass. This is a brand new opened bottle which makes me think its worth going back in a month or so after its got some air to it.

One last thing. It’s got an awesome bottle! Really heavy and quality glass!

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Whisky Review – An Cnoc. Peter Arkle. ‘Bricks’

An Cnoc. Peter Arkle. ‘Bricks’
46% ABV
More details to come.

Colour.

Amber -1 I would say. Knowing An Cnoc I would expect this is natural coloured.

Nose.

Initially plastic like, chemical even. Wonder if its the bottle it was in. Letting it sit for a bit. The harsher smells dissipated after 15-20 mins. Leaving a thick dark fruit jam nose. Quite malty with vanilla and a little rum and raisin.

Palate.

Sweeter than the nose suggests. Sweet honey malt. Very sugary indeed. Vanilla definitely. A minimal fruitiness (rum and raisins) behind the waves of sugar.

Finish.

Sweetness with old fashioned icing sugar coated boiled sweets. Drying into some still sweet oak chips at the back of the tongue. Quite strange because of the simultaneous sweet and dry.

Adding water?

A few drops into my half a dram. Becoming nice and cloudy. Non-chill filtered goodness. Nose becomes creamier with a little more identifiable fruit. Apples. Pears. Vanilla is more prominent. But then so is the sugar. It’s a baked sugar encrusted fruit tart. On the palate the sugar is dulled in favour of more malty cereal notes. The finish still has all the sweet and dry going on. Definitely one for me with water. I (and I do have a serious sweet tooth) definitely prefer this with water. It’s sugar dominance without was a little sickly for me.

Conclusion.

I’ve found this an intriguing dram. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a Whisky as sugar coated as this before and initially that did disappoint me. With the addition of water it becomes better balanced and more rounded with other smells and tastes to locate.

Thanks to An Cnoc for the review sample. Much appreciated.

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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.

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Whisky Review – Glendronach 1993 19 yo oloroso sherry butt #487

Glendronach 1993 19 yo oloroso sherry butt #487.
£99.99 at Whisky Barrel

Colour.

Dark dark mahogany.

Nose.

Quite constrained nose of concentrated fruits and nuts and chocolate. Rum soaked cherries and raisins. Almonds. Intensively syrupy sherried malt.

Palate.

Strong nip of alcohol. Penetrating concentrate of everything in the nose all at once.

Finish.

Slightly bitter chocolate. Drying.

Adding water?

Adding about 20% water. The nose gives rich dark sherried fruits. Xmas cake. Chocolate nuts. Sweet spices. Orange peel. Palate gives a Sumptuous fruity explosion. Rich and scrumptious. Smooth and still delicate yet bold. The finish is dryish. Fruity leftovers. Adding more water makes things less rich. More nut. Still scrummy, but the palate is less intense. The finish less also. Worth being discrete and careful with water quantity added.

Conclusion.

Another cracking single cask release from Glendronach. I’m a big fan. I know it may sound like I’m biased, been bought, sold out. But, I’ve bought these myself, as I am totally in love with this distillery! I am a sherry head and this distillery delivers for me! Thank you Glendronach!

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