February 2012 Archives

Springbank CV

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Springbank CVThe Springbank distillery actually produces three different brands of single malt at the one location -  Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn. In addition to being one of the few operating distilleries located in Campbeltown, they also are one of the only distilleries that performs all malting, distilling, aging, and bottling on-site. Given this, it's no surprise that Springbank was shortlisted in Whisky Magazine's distillers of the year back in 2010. The Springbank CV expression combines various aged Springbank malts aged in a mixture of casks including ones that formerly held bourbon, sherry and port.

Nose: Cedar/piney with menthol giving way to a mild sweetness. There are bready undertones complimented by sour fruit.

Clynelish 1992, 18 years old - Signatory

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CLYSIG1992-200p.jpgWe cracked this bottle open on the occasion of our 4th anniversary and served it alongside homemade scotch eggs and a mixed green salad topped with candied walnuts. The unexpected smoky elements and gentle sweetness of this limited expression of Clynelish provided a delightful counterpoint to the sweet and bitter elements in our salad and was a match made in heaven for our cheese layered scotch eggs with the yolks still runny.

Distilled on December 18, 1992 and bottled in December of 2010 at 46%, this bottling of Clynelish by Signatory is part of their un-chillfiltered collection. According to our bottle, its contents were matured in Hogsheads Casks #17272 + 17273 and was bottle #24 of 771.

Nose: Very light and delicate on the nose. A vanilla sweetness with flecks of mint over a subtle smokiness.

Palate: An ambush of smoke! A solid seam of malty sweetness and buttery vanilla helps to integrate the smokiness and, buried therein, a mild salty tang, pursued by a sourness akin to lime with a dash of black pepper. The smoke element is enjoyable yet, at times, can be disorienting and obscure the other flavours. With air, time and water, it opens up nicely and reveals a final top note of mint.  


McClelland's Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Islay

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I was looking for a decent Scotch whisky that I could take away on a work retreat for our planned social activities after hours. I pondered bringing a blend but my local LCBO had a terrible selection. What to do?

I scanned the shelves looking for a Scotch that I could enjoy and also possibly pass around if others wanted to try. I thought more about this last bit, "What if they drowned it with water, ice, or *gasp* cola?" Ok, so nothing too fancy...

So, something cheap and something with enough kick to keep me from getting stupid and drinking most of the bottle over a night - this IS a work function after all...My eye caught the McClelland's Islay expression. I'd seen the McClelland's line before. They've been designed to capture the traditional flavour profiles of the 4 whisky producing regions of Scotland without getting into the details of pedigree, age, or cask maturation. 

Since it's a Morrison-Bowmore product, and I enjoy most of Bowmore's line, I thought that perhaps I might taste some Bowmore within this unspecified Islay single malt. Besides, I seemed to recall maybe enjoying this at some point and at $33, even if it turned out to be garbage, it was no big loss to try it again. 
Ben Nevis 1993 SignatoryProduced from only a single ex-sherry cask from the Ben Nevis distillery (cask number 2697), this exceptional 17 year old single malt bottled by the fine folks over at Signatory Vintage is a shining example of a quality highland whisky which provides a well balanced and extremely smooth, albeit sweet profile. Rarely have I encountered a malt in this age range as smooth as this, in fact while we don't see much from Ben Nevis in Ontario, one gets the sense that great vintages are hiding in the warehouses of this distillery.

Nose: Aromas of fresh dates drizzled with honey, this nose is also generously woody without being extreme. Sweet maraschino cherries and oatmeal provide subtle layering.


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  • Gerald Eddy commented on McClelland's Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Islay:

    I've read many reviews if this whiskey that condemn it as an unfavorable dram. I agree that as a peated Islay it can't compare to a Laphroig or an Ardbeg. However, despite the lack of complexities of those great single malts, at a third if the cost it will do nicely if your a Scotch whiskey drinker. It is a bit sweet, but it has peaty overtone to their other malts and has a nice vanilla and banana flavor as well. No...it's not a great whiskey, but it is palatable on a budget and is better then a lot if blends at a lower price. I would rather spend my money on this the a Johnny Walker Red which lacks any complexity and is far overrated.

  • Blair Conrad commented on Via Allegro: An Afternoon of Fine Food and Speyside Malts:

    Wow. This is amazing.

    I have a hard time pairing whisky with food as I normally just want to taste the whisky. :)

    However this makes me want to try it more and more. By the way that lamb looks like roadkill. That's definitely a man's meal.

    Fantastic blog. Keep it going, we appreciate your work.

  • Michael commented on Craigellachie 13 year old:

    I opened mine many months ago, just for a taste. Found it off putting and bitter for the first couple of samples. Skip ahead to the summer, after a few months of breathing new air, this is a different whisky. I look forward to pouring this one now, definitely worth the patience.

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