March 2009 Archives

Edradour 10 Year Old Distillery Edition

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Coming from the smallest distillery in Scotland, and being produced at a rate of only 12 casks per week makes this fine dram harder to find than most. That said, when it is found (or in my case hunted down) the rewards of this South Highland single malt far outweigh the tribulations one must go through to get it on the shelf.

Nose: Roasted almonds fused with brown sugar notes hovering over a hint of sherry.

Palate: The opening salvo conjures up the flavour or raisins (undoubtedly from the Oloroso cask finishing) smothered in a caramel syrup; effectively leaving the palette reminiscing of butter tarts minus the pastry shell. As it rolls through on a lightly viscous mouth feel, the butter tart unwinds into muted sherry notes with the faintest whisp of smoke before disappearing. 

Finish: Following the sherry notes at the end, everything rolls back under a quickly spiking and then falling heat, returning briefly through the caramel to a dry finish with a hint of tawny port.

Overall: This whisky does a remarkable job of punching above its weight without farting above its ass. A well rounded, unique flavour with a husky level of heat that fades quickly renders this a fine taste for both the seasoned whisky lover and the "I just started liking Scotch because Matt's an ass and wouldn't let me drink anything else" crowd. To each and all that want to try some of mine, I say "piss off, because this bottle's mine, and when you find yours I won't expect you to share it either".

Slainte!

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

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This expression of Glenmorangie has been aged for a minimum of ten years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to Port Wood casks and finished for at least two years. While I enjoy all of the Glenmorangie series, the Quinta Ruban is my personal favorite.

Nose: Smells of old musty wood, port, hints of chocolate

Taste: Slighty nutty, chocolate-covered sweet dark fruit, hints of mint.   

 

Finish: Brief finish of dark chocolate and mint.

 

Overall: My only complaint is that with such a short finish, I find myself "missing" this malt very soon after swallowing which promptly sends me back for more. Eminently quaffable! This malt is perfect with, or instead of, dessert!


The Perfect Scotch Glass?

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This seems like a nice way to enjoy a dram.

Our Single Malt Scotch glasses are designed to enhance the already divine. A wide bowl lets the aroma escape, a narrow neck channels the bouquet and a flared tip directs the precious liquid to just the right place on the tongue.

I am especially fond of the tiny water pitcher.

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A hard to find variation on the classic Macallan 12 y.o., matured in Oloroso  and Fino sherry casks which impart a burnished gold color that is warm and inviting.

 

macallan-elegancia.gifNose: Chocolate and licorice with sherry notes.

Taste: Rich with a smooth maltiness. Hints of Marsales wine, nuts, and cooked fruit.

Finish: Long and sweet, with coca and light wood smoke

 

Overall:  The Elegancia is a glowing example in their tradition of natural coloring.  A truly luxurious scotch that would be fine addition to any event.  Try it with dessert next to your French truffle or a nice brownie.

 

 

A gentle, delicate malt , subtle, smooth and delicately smoky. Exceptionally smooth and full of flavour, this specially selected Dalwhinnie has been finished in the rich Oloroso cask-wood.

dalwhinnie 1991.jpgColour: Caramel brown

Nose: Sherry, musty, slight smoke

Taste: Sweet, nutty sherry notes, with cocoa and musty oak. Gentle peat and smoke reveal themselves late in the finish. 

Overall: This is a distinctly different expression of the standard Dalwhinnie, both the colour and flavour are considerably richer and the extra finishing has mellowed the spirit. An enjoyable foray, however, at this price there are better values.

Robert Burns Single Malt

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The Official Authorised Edition of the Robert Burns World Federation - Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Island of Arran Distillers.

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Billed as the perfect dram to toast the Bard, this single malt is wonderfully aromatic with hints of apple, vanilla and citrus fruits. Light and crisp but ever so smooth and gentle, the whisky dances on the palate.

Colour: Pale straw, almost like a pinot grigio

Nose: Apple, vanilla

Taste: Apple and vanilla, citrus reminiscent of lemon meringue pie with a honeyed sweetness and offering a slight taste of peat on the finish.

Overall: A terrific apertif dram to start the evening. Suitable for both seasoned whisky drinkers and the non-initiated. A great value and affordable enough to be a part of your "house" whisky collection.

 Included on the box is an excerpt from Burns' poem A Bottle and Friend, 1787.


"Here's a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o' care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man"

As true today as when it was written.

 

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AnCnoc is an interesting malt. Previously known as Knockdhu and distilled at Knock, Bannffshire (Wikipedia)

I didn't know a thing about this malt, but purchased it because it was the last bottle on a very lonely shelf, suggesting that it had been bought up with some speed and urgency. Anything this popular had to be good...

 

Colour: Mellow amber-yellow

Nose: Lemon, cut grass

Taste: Citrus, pear and pungent fruit with a slightly oiley mouthfeel, gives way to honey and sea salt. Finishes with a hint of butterscotch and plenty of heat.

Overall: A fine dram, but lacking in body. The overriding fruitiness could be balanced by more oak, smoky or earthy flavours which are lacking. I can imagine this maturing quite well and would love to sample the 16 year old expression, where I suspect this malt would really come into its own. Still, a great value at $65.00 CAD.

This is a highly delicate flavour and would best be pared with simple, light foods like bread and jam, or biscuits. Anything too bold and the taste of the whisky would be easily lost.

I'll open this up to the rest of the club. Robin, Scott?

From the BBC:

A unique collection of whiskies, built up over 35 years by a Brazilian enthusiast, is to go on display in a specially-designed vault in Edinburgh.

Claive Vidiz scoured the world for whiskies to create his 3,384 bottle collection, which has been bought for an undisclosed sum by Diageo.

A specially designed vault? I think I know now where I want to be buried when I die. 

The Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

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Glenmorangie is fast becoming one of my favorite distilleries because of the shear variety of expressions they offer. The original is itself an exceptionally drinkable, light and smooth scotch, but the variations that are finished in unique casks are vastly better.

 

Last week, we sampled the Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or (The Golden Nectar) which is, like all Glenmorangie malts, first aged in Bourbon casks, but this expression is then finished in Sauternes wine casks which gives it its beautiful colour and flavour profile.

 

Colour: Rich gold

 

Nose: Fruity, winey, with bright lemon and floral notes.

 

Mouth: Warm sweetness and oaky wine turns to tangerine juice, vanilla, and flowers. Finishes with hints of smoke and a long heat.

 

The Nectar d'Or has all the characteristic floral and citrus notes that are Glenmorangie's trademark. This one is sweeter and juicier than other expressions, with less oak and little peat.

 

We paired it with Garlic bread, and Penne tossed in pork-chili tomato sauce. This may have been a little on the heavy side to match with such a delicate scotch, but it worked for me.

Originally printed April 2008, at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article3822531.ece

 

Ochone! Japanese whisky Yoichi is voted the best in world

 

 

Yoichi20+box.gifLike English wine, it has suffered from the taint of inauthenticity and has been the butt of condescending jokes. Now Japanese whisky has finally scotched all criticism by being voted the best in the world, ahead of its Highland rivals.

Yoichi 20 years old, distilled on the shores of the Sea of Japan, has become the first variety produced outside Scotland to win the coveted single malt award in an international competition run by Whisky Magazine, the main industry publication.

The whisky, distilled near the city of Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, beat dozens of other varieties, including last year's winner, Talisker 18 years old, produced on the Isle of Skye.

Suntory Hibiki, the brand advertised by the washed-up actor played by Bill Murray in the film Lost in Translation, scooped the award for the world's best blended whisky. The historic double for Japanese whiskies has provoked consternation in Scotland, where whisky is as integral to a certain strand of national identity as bagpipes, haggis and the kilt.

Yoichi 20 years old, which sells for £150 a bottle, was praised by the judges for its "amazing mix of big smoke and sweet blackcurrant", "explosive aroma" and "big, long and sweet finish".

The decision to give the top prize to Yoichi followed a blind tasting of more than 200 of the world's finest varieties by a panel of 16 of the world's leading whisky experts.

The judges said Japanese distillers had succeeded in producing top Scotch thanks to the variable climate in Japan, which assists maturation and creates a purer whisky with a heightened aroma.

Traditional distilling apparatus such as coal-fired pot stills, used widely in Japan but rarely seen in Scotland, was also praised for producing a superior dram.

"Japanese whiskies performed magnificently and they are really starting to make waves," said Rob Allanson, editor of Whisky Magazine.

Nikka, the company that produces Yoichi, and Suntory, the biggest spirits company in Japan, are making inroads into the British whisky market.

Tetsuji Hisamitsu, chief blender at the Yoichi distillery, said he was "very moved" by the award.

 

 

The World's Most Expensive Scotches

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Originally published Oct. 2007 from http://www.wineandalcohol.com/blog/worlds-most-expensive-scotches

Costing more than a luxury Mercedes Benz for just one bottle, Scotch is a true collectors item. To track down that purest-form product of single malt Scotch Whisky in its most expensive bottles, we researched the findings of numerous Scotch experts, including distillery owners, auction-house specialists and spirits sommeliers. Following are the world's most expensive Scotches.

10. Kinclaith 36-year-old

$415 per 2-ounce pour

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This rare single malt was produced at a distillery that was shut down in 1975. At StripSteak in Las Vegas, a dram of Kinclaith goes for $415. StripSteak's Patric Yumul says the Kinclaith is oily and perfumey, with a dry, long, hot finish.

 

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  • Isabelle Gurble commented on The Famous Jubilee, Special Edition Reserve:

    This looks amazing, something my husband would love. His birth is coming up soon as well.

  • Ryan commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Hi Sherry, I think you might be outta luck on this one. Only 9000 bottles of this delicious whisky were produced and I'd wager most - if not all - purveyors have been sold out for quite some time now. If you're looking to sample it, I'd recommend visiting your local whisky bar and checking their list of Canadian whisky offerings. Your only other option would be to try and track down someone willing to give up their bottle? I've got one 2oz sample tucked away and, sorry, I'm keeping it all to myself! :) Good luck! Let us know if you find a bottle!

  • Sherry commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Do you know where I can purchase this item?

    Sherry Boutilier

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