April 2011 Archives

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This limited edition expression from Arran is finished for 6 months in casks from Château La Conseillante in the Pomerol region of Bordeaux, originally used to mature a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The whisky spends its first eight years in traditional casks.

Nose: A complex and unmuddled sweet smorgasbord of fruit and spice. Mild eraser, pine, freshly washed strawberries, juniper berries, apricot and cinnamon. A drop of water brings out caramel and accentuates the apricot, eclipsing the berry notes.

Palate: The apricot sweetness continues with a warm syrupy mouthfeel . Water exposes eye-popping mayan chocolate - highly recommended.

Finish: Vanilla, pepper, citrus and dark cocoa.

Overall: Surprisingly drinkable for an eight-year-old whisky at 50%abv. $74.95 at the LCBO.

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It seems that independent bottler Murray McDavid is churning out higher and higher quality releases these days. The Murray McDavid Mortlach 1994 is a 15 year old single malt scotch whisky, which while lighter in style than some of their previous releases, still really shines.

Aged in standard Bourbon casks at the Mortlach distillery, this run was purchased by Murray McDavid and has received additional aging in fresh virgin oak casks at the Bruichladdich distillery. It's rare that we see a Scotch whisky aged in fresh oak casks these days, so we were understandably curious as to the effect this finishing would have on the final product.

Nose: A soft metallic copper smell tantalises the nose, as almost hinting of a faint peat scent which never quite materializes.

Palate: Sweet floral, almost honey-like mediated by a welcoming light peppery bite. Oat and banana flavours reminiscent of a breakfast cereal tantalize the palate. No harshness whatsoever, as can sometimes be found in Speyside whiskies.

The Glenmorangie Signet

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          Everything about the presentation of the Glenmorangie Signet is alluring, mysterious, and sexy with a hint of menace--in short, good qualities for a bottle of single malt. The monolithic black case and frosted-black vessel  offer only a tantalizing hint of what is inside; there are no discursive tasting notes or origin story provided as a guide either. Holding the impressively hefty metal cap which crowns the bottle, it feels as if one has removed a seal designed to contain some ancient and powerful magic. There is a distinct sense of responsibility--anxiety even--imparted here.

          Straight away wafts an intoxicating aroma of chocolate and coffee beans, the distinctive signature of the Signet, and the speed with which the bouquet fills the air before even a drop is poured is really quite impressive. This is a whisky that lets you know when it's in the room! For our first tasting, six one-ounce drams were carefully poured out with much anticipation. 

Battle of the Blends - Round 2, Part 1

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In the first chapter of Round 2, J&B and Grand Macnish get to jostling in a stinky affair and Te Bheag makes an valiant attempt to knock off one of three strong entries from Grant's.

See the bracket here

Amrut Fusion - Indian Single Malt Whisky

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amrut-fusion.pngAmrut Fusion is ScotchBlog's first foray into Indian whiskies. Like the Japanese, India is also producing whisky in the Scotch style. Amarut Fusion is made from a mixture of Indian, as well as Scottish peated barleys. They are shipped to Bangalore where they are distilled, and aged in a mixture of fresh and used American Oak casks. Amazingly, a little known fact is that whisky matured in India ages more than 6 times faster than in Scotland. This is believed to be due to the extreme heat and humidity the casks are exposed to. As a result, this whisky is bottled at less than 4 years old.

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Berries with a background of pool chlorine. Smells somewhat resinous with a sulfur-like smell reminiscent of spent fireworks. A faint scent of old banana also happens to just barely register, along with dried prunes.

Palate: Upon first experiencing this whisky, it will undoubtedly take you a long time to even partially grasp the different flavours being experienced. True to it's name, Amarut Fusion brings together a flavour profile that on paper, you'd swear wouldn't work and is just as hard to precisely identify. The flavours work the palate from middle back, with nothing on the tip of the tongue. Salted caramel with a light iodine smoke (no doubt from the Scottish peated barley) becomes somewhat hot, fruity (raisins) and increasingly sulfuric as it works its way to the back of the tongue.

The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey

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A somewhat middling single malt Irish whiskey comes up lame with harsh woody heat and unpleasant flavours of burnt plastic. 

Nose: At first whiff, sweet clover honey. With time and air, the sweetness is overtaken by aromas of pencil eraser and resinous solvent notes that seem to carry most of the background fruit notes, i.e. think of the ester-like synthetic smells of citrus, apple, banana. 
Palate: Light-bodied and peppery with an oily sweetness. Heavy presence of oaky vanilla and malty sweetness with a touch of caramelized sugar. Just before the finish, the pencil eraser returns with hints of burnt plastic.

Finish: Brief and dry with resonant oaky heat. Pretty straightforward with sweet, nutty, bittersweet cocoa flavours.

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Recent Comments

  • 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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