Tullamore D.E.W. Original ~ 40% (William Grant & Sons Ltd.)

TullamoreDEW

Tullamore D.E.W. Original

Blended Irish whiskey

40% ABV, £20 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

TullamoreDEWOriginal

What they say:

The original blended Irish whiskey, known the world over for its smooth and gentle complexity. For one, it is triple distilled and patiently aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, developing its distinctive smoothness. Secondly, being a blend of all three types of Irish whiskey, it has a gentle complexity. The malt and the pot still whiskey we use give it citrus and spicy notes.

Tasting notes

The early floral yet biscuit flavour reflects the grain whiskey, while the soft spicy notes can be attributed to the pot still whiskey in the blend. The citrus flavour is contributed by the malt. Finally notice the nutty or even marzipan note combined with distinctive vanilla in the finish – imparted by the sherry and bourbon casks used in maturation.

Nose: Light sweet citrus and green apple combined with vanilla undertones.

Taste: Early fresh fruit leads to a definite light spice followed by some toasted wood which evolves into a delicious vanilla sweetness.

Finish: Medium length, buttery mellowness with a touch of marzipan accompanying the lingering vanilla.

TullamoreDEW

What I say:

First distilled in 1829 in the town of Tullamore in Ireland, this whiskey derives its name from an early distillery manager Daniel E. Williams. Th ebrand was sold to William Grant & Sons Ltd. in 2010 and is thought to be composed of a blend of whiskey from the New Midleton distillery in Cork.

Colour:

Antique gold (9/20) light droplet tears with fine trails

Nose:

Cereals, barley, malty and gristy, sweet honey, fruity apple skin/peel, orange, peach, pear, vanilla, caramel and a faint latex/rubber bands/bubblegum chemical aroma

Taste:

Smooth, toffee, apple, baked apple tart/crumble with dulche de leche, caramel, like a banoffee pie made with apples instead of banana, vanilla, oak wood, fruity apple, orange, pear, polished new oak wood

Finish:

Medium, sweet, oak, fruit, zesty citrus grapefruit

Overall:

Sweet fruity and plenty of toffee, reasonable depth and body. Not to much graininess for a blend and only faint hints of that characteristic ‘bubblegum’ aroma that I associate with pot still Irish whiskey. This expression is very drinkable and hard to find flaw with – not a bad introduction to Irish whiskey.

123.12 Treasure hunt ~ 57.6% (SMWS)

SMWS

123.12 Treasure hunt

Highland single malt scotch whisky

57.6% ABV, £46.10 for 70cl available from Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Score: 85/100

SMWS

What they say:

Cask No. 123.12 

We all got different aromas with this one. Comments ranged from baking chocolate, ripe strawberries and blackberries, coconut oil suntan lotion to taking an aspirin and eating couscous. In the taste we all agreed on the sharp and defined flavours of orange, lemon, carrot & ginger juice as well as butter-braised spring onions with lots of chives. Water added an antique wooden jewellery box containing chunky silver necklaces buried in the warm sand of a Caribbean island for you to discover. The taste was soft and warm; a crisp wafer coated in milk chocolate and chocolate chip cookies on parchment paper straight out of the oven.

Drinking tip: What will you find?

Date Distilled: 17 December 2001 Colour: 18 carat gold Age: 12 years Flavour : Light & delicate Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead Whisky Region: Highland Southern

Outturn: 276 bottles

EWB cake

What I say:

Presented by SMWS the vaults as part of the celebrations for Edinburgh Whisky Blog’s 6th Birthday (hence the cake!). A 12 year old ex-Bourbon hogshead matured expression from Glengoyne (SMWS distillery #123).

Colour:

Amber gold (7/20), light-medium tears

Nose:

Sweet woodland honey, cereal barley grist, spiced cinnamon and ginger, fruity gooseberry, strawberry and bramble.

Taste:

Honey sweet as the nose, cereal barley malt, fruity melon, tangerine, peach, spicy fresh ginger root, spirit and feinty, with a little water more orange and lemon citrus were revealed, chocolate milk and toffee party rings.

Finish:

Medium, fruity with sweet honey.

Overall:

Approachable and enjoyable though it definitely improved with a drop or two of water just to tame the ABV and release more of the intense fruity flavours bound up in this dram. A rare chance to try some Glengoyne spirit that isn’t sherry-matured (either wholly or partly) which is the popular maturation in most of the official bottlings.

21.28 Relaxing in a tropical garden ~ 48.1% (SMWS)

SMWS21.28

21.28 Relaxing in a tropical garden

Highland single malt scotch whisky

48.1% ABV, £349 for 70cl available from Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Score: 92/100

SMWS

What they say:

Cask No. 21.28

Independent Bottlers’ Challenge GOLD

We were greeted with the deep rich aroma of an India tea chest, very old leather armchairs and an ancient pouch for pipe tobacco. Behind those heavy aromas light and floral notes make an appearance; honeysuckle, orchids and jasmine blossoms all giving the impression of being in a flower garden during summer. Exciting to taste neat, despite its age, big with some heat and spice, but at the same time soft and smooth like a coconut lip balm or a tropical sun cream. With water fresher, aromatic moist air after a tropical downpour or like a walk-in humidor. The taste now soft, mellow, creamy – a shammy leather with a very long coconut finish. A fascinating make from the distillery close to Sandend.

Drinking tip: Sitting in a tropical garden with a good book

Date Distilled: 27 December 1974 Colour: Tangerine Delight Age: 37 years Flavour : Old & dignified Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead Whisky Region: Speyside Deveron 

Outturn: 188 bottles

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What I say:

Continuing with our SMWS distillery code bagging here is an old and dignified expression from Glenglassaugh (SMWS Distillery #21), quoted in the bar bible as a closed distillery – which it was from 1986 until 2008/2009 when distilling started again.

Colour:

Rich amber gold (10/20) light tears

Nose:

Tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, banana, guava, sweet heather honey, floral, toffee oak wood, vanilla, dunnage warehouse, earthy and dusty, old tea chest

Taste:

Sweet tropical fruit cocktail, toffee oak wood, cigar boxes and tea chests, some liquorice and tobacco, a drying tannin and dried coconut and mango fruit linger

Finish:

Medium, sweet fruit and drying ‘bourbon’ toffee oak

Overall:

 A delicious and deceptively drinkable dram that surprised us with its age. The undertones are their with the enhanced tropical fruit and deep woody flavours and the spices are subtle and complimentary. A real joy to sample some really old Glenglassaugh stock comparable to some of the legacy casks that are being officially released by the new owners such as Glenglassaugh 35 Year Old 1978 Cask #1810 ~ 42.9% (Benriach & GlenDronach Distilleries) 

Prometheus 26 Years Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky ~ 47% (Glasgow Distillery Co.)

Prometheusglass

Prometheus 26 Years Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

47% ABV

Score: 90/100

prometheus-bottle@2x

What they say:

Prometheus was one of the most renowned Titans and is remembered today for his great gift to man: fire. When an angered Zeus took fire away from man, Prometheus rebelled against the ruler of the gods. He captured a flame from the heart of Mount Olympus and carried it back to man, hidden in a giant fennel stalk.

Today, the spirit of Prometheus lives on as champion of man and bringer of fire. Twenty-six years ago, one of the Olympians of Speyside created a new form of malt: a whisky that combined the peaty fire of the Islands with the rich, bright, complexity of the Highlands.

Like all great malts, time was needed for this new Titan to build character and maturity. But as the young whisky lay sleeping, hidden from expectant eyes, the heavens shifted. The whisky’s creator departed and a malt that was both sophisticated and powerful was seen by some to be a threat.

Protectors of the orphan Titan kept him solitary and hidden for a total of twenty-six years until, in the summer of 2014, they met in secret to arrange the release. Prometheus could walk free on two conditions: he could never reveal from whence he came and would be mortal, destined to live a short, but glorious life.

So we give you Prometheus. A legendary Speyside with the Titanic strength of barley malted by burning peat. A whisky of sublime sophistication and balance, bottled at the peak of its powers at twenty-six years old. A Single Malt Scotch Whisky of secret origins, available in the most limited quantity for just one moment in time.

A legendary Speyside with the Titanic strength of barley malted by burning peat. A whisky of sublime sophistication and balance, bottled at the peak of its powers at twenty-six years old.

Appearance: Rich amber with coppery hues.

Nose: A warm and welcoming bouquet with sweet notes of butterscotch, aromatic heather, orange zest and smoky charcoal.

Palate: Satisfyingly longlasting, creamy and peppery with aromas of roasted nuts, nutmeg and clove entwined with hints of Madagascan vanilla, dark chocolate, rich fruitcake, heather honey, candied fruits and smoke.

PrometheusSamplePrometheusglass

What I say:

Official sample from A Wee Taste of Scotland, the European distributors for the Glasgow Distillery Company.

The newly established Glasgow Distillery will be waiting a few years yet until they produce spirit and mature it the mandatory 3 years to call it whisky. In the meantime the company are sourcing casks for bottling and have picked this ‘legendary’ example; Prometheus. Around 1100 bottles are being produced with an expected RRP of ~ £430.

Colour:

Refractive ruby gold/Old burgundy (14/20) , medium droplet tears with long/fine trails

Nose:

Rich and fruity citric orange zest, ginger and orange marmalade, sweet honey, caramel and butterscotch fudge, heather blossom, vanilla frosting and cereal barley grist, herbal clove oil, honey and orange glazed smoked gammon.

Taste:

Smooth and creamy initially with vanilla essence hints before a rapid zesty tingling and gentle spice develops, ginger and orange marmalade, a depth of mixed spiced, cinnamon, nutmeg, figs and molasses, toffee and butterscotch fudge, mince pies and Christmas pudding, sultana, cocoa-dusted roasted almonds, herbal clove and a little fennel and thyme before an earthy peat.

Finish:

Long, dusty/earthy peat, orange oil and zest, gritty cocoa powder and herbal notes linger

Overall:

Initially delicate and creamy, this turns into a veritable spiced chocolate orange – of which I have no complaints or problem. An intriguingly old Speysider, most likely Olosoro sherry matured as this has a depth of orange that evokes the feeling of Spanish sunshine. Beautifully balanced between the sherry character and healthy oak maturation this has plenty of earthy and herbal flavours indicative of its age.

Water Of Life Society Tasting 15/4 Benromach Wood Finishes 05/02/2015

BenromachTasting

Water Of Life Society Tasting 15/4

Benromach Wood Finishes

05/02/2015

Benromach_Distillery

This week’s tasting will focus on the effects of different wood finishes on Benromach spirit, utilising mostly their discontinued wood finishes range of expressions.

IMG_1550 IMG_1557

This week Thomas McEntee presented a selection of Benromach expressions including the following

Benromach 5 Years Old 2006 Sassicaia Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

Benromach5yoSassicaia

Benromach 12 Years Old 2000 Port Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachPort2000

Benromach 6 Years Old 2008 Monastrell Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachMonatrell1sted

Benromach 21 Years Old Tokaji Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

Benromach21yoTokaji

Benromach 10 Years Old 2003 Origins Batch 4 Port Pipes ~ 50% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachPortPipes

Benromach 9 Years Old 2005 Peat Smoke ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail)

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Huge thanks to Thomas for a very informative tasting on Benromach, the distillery and its whisky.

Benromach 9 Years Old 2005 Peat Smoke ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail)

IMG_1566

Benromach 9 Years Old 2005 Peat Smoke

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

46% ABV, £36.50 available from Royal Mile Whiskies

Score: 85/100

BenromachPeat Smoke

What they say:

Pour yourself a dram of this seriously smoky single malt whisky… we only produce very small batches of this unique Benromach Speyside whisky, so you’re one of the few people who are able to enjoy it. The finest Scottish barley is malted with high levels of peat smoke at 67ppm (parts per million: the phenol level, to those in the know).

Take in the aroma without water… sweet vanilla, honey and cured meat aromas, hints of apricot and lemon combining with a beautiful subtle tobacco note.

Dive in and enjoy the taste without water. There’s cracked pepper with sweet strawberry and orange flavours, a delicate hint of aniseed… combined with a lingering edge of bonfire embers.

Now enjoy the aroma with water… the delicate smokiness complements lemon, honey and vanilla aromas with sweet hints of apricot and sugared almonds developing on the tongue.

Lift it to your lips and savour the taste with water. Slow cooked apple, pear and tangy grapefruit give way to a trace of cocoa powder and an absolutely gorgeous edge of lingering cigars. It’s a wonderfully fruity and smoky single malt whisky.

Matured in first fill oak Bourbon barrels.

IMG_1566

What I say:

Dram #6 and the final dram at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this newly released Benromach Peat Smoke 2005 edition.

Colour:

Light gold (4/20), medium tears

Nose:

Vanilla, cereal barley, malty, milky, light and bright heather honey, cigar smoke and peat

Taste:

Smooth, cereal barley malt, fruity apple, citrusy grapefruit and lemon, vanilla custard and coconut cream, anise and pepper spices and gentle peat smoke

Finish:

Medium-long, smoky peat with sweet vanilla and fruits

Overall:

A delightfully smoky dram from Benromach with plenty of fruity and vanilla flavours in the mix.

Benromach 10 Years Old 2003 Origins Batch 4 Port Pipes ~ 50% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachPortPipes

Benromach 10 Years Old 2003 Origins Batch 4 Port Pipes

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

50% ABV

Score: 85/100

BenromachOrigins4

What they say:

Batch 4 of Benromach’s Origins range, bottled in 2013, is matured entirely in first fill Port pipes and peated to a level of 8ppm. The idea behind the range is to highlight how changing different factors during production results in different characteristics in the final spirit.

Nose: Bakewell tart, pear drops, anise and slightly smoky barley.

Palate: Fruit salad, cracked black pepper and characteristic smoked cheese.

Finish: Sweet with caramel and a little tropical oakiness.

Overall: A fruity and sweet take on this lightly peated Speyside single malt.

BenromachPortPipes

What I say:

Dram #4 at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this Origins Batch 4 Port Pipes expression. Not a wood finish per se but an interesting contrast to the Port Wood finish sample earlier.

Colour:

Red copper gold (12/20) light tears

Nose:

Malty cereal barley, lactic new make, spirit and feinty, tannic leather, almonds/marzipan, estery pear drops sweeties, hints of peat smoke

Taste:

Malty cereal barley, jammy red fruits plum, strawberry, cherry, blackberry, vanilla, lactic

Finish:

Short, sweet, berry fruits and cream

Overall:

A definite improvement over some of the Wood Finishes which suffered very little injection of character. This one had a lot more going for it despite some obvious feisty and cheesey/lactic elements. The port influence carried a lot more weight and was much more incorporated into the nature of this whisky. Another Benromach Origins edition that we love!

Benromach 21 Years Old Tokaji Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

Benromach21yoTokaji

Benromach 21 Years Old Tokaji Wood Finish

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

45% ABV

Score: 84/100

BenromachTokaji

What they say:

Finished in ex-Tokaji (a Hungarian sweet wine) casks for six months, a well-aged version from this fine distillery. Bottled at 45%

Undiluted

Nose: Sweet bruised apples, fermented fruits – ripe bananas and fig rolls.

Palate: Sweet, winey – cream sherry, chocolate toffees. Rounded.

Diluted

Nose: Rich fruits, mulled wine, oranges and cloves. Chocolate brazil nuts.

Palate: Similar to undiluted palate – rich, sweet flavours.

Finish: Sweet and fruity.

Benromach21yoTokaji

What I say:

Dram #4 at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this Port wood finish. Far and away the oldest whisky we sampled at this tasting and likely from the older stock G&M inherited this was matured for 20+ years in a refill sherry butt before spending 6 months maturing in ex-Tokaji wine casks. A limited edition of 2000 bottles were produced in September 2004.

Colour:

Remarkably similar to the preceeding Monastrell wine cask finish – Peachy wine (10/20) light tears

Nose:

Sweet to neutral honey, peach, crème brulee, caramelised sugar, light molasses, cinnamon

Taste:

Sourdough, honey (but not sweet), fresh linen, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, syrupy and waxy in mouthfeel, white pepper, beeswax and polished oak wood, some earthy peaty hints and a little gentle peat smoke

Finish:

Medium, neutral, some peaty hints linger

Overall:

A little disappointing, my suspicion is after 20+ years in a very underactive refill sherry butt this whisky has tried to be pepped-up with a short wine cask finish. Either that or the combination of finishes have largely negated each other and produced something pretty unmemorable. Interestingly this is the first Benromach of the tasting that easily revealed some of the gentle peatiness, so for that we were thankful.

Benromach 12 Years Old 2000 Port Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachPort2000

Benromach 12 Years Old 2000 Port Wood Finish

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

45% ABV

Score: 83/100

BenromachPortWood2000

What they say:

Distilled in 2000, this Benromach from Gordon and MacPhail was finished in port pipes from the Douro Valley for the final 8 years of its maturation.

Nose: Rich, sweet, spicy nose with peaches in syrup and tropical fruit. Hints of rum spice and a little smoke.

Palate: Thick palate entry with banana chips and aniseed. Cigar smoke and spice.

Finish: Long finish with toffee apples and cinnamon.

Overall: A creamy, fruity dram with lovely effects from the port cask.

BenromachPort2000

What I say:

Dram #2 at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this Port wood finish.

Colour:

Red copper gold (12/20) light tears

Nose:

Red jammy fruits; strawberry, raspberry, sweet honey, woody oak, toffee, caramel, dunnage warehouse, cereal Barley malt

Taste:

Sweet, smooth, waxy and buttery, tropical fruits banana and pineapple, jammy bramble, blackcurrant, strawberry, earthy cranberry and tobacco leaf

Finish:

Short-medium, a little rubbery, rich fruits persist

Overall:

A little underwhelming, I had hoped the long maturation in port casks may have added a lot more richness and complexity to this expression.

Benromach 6 Years Old 2008 Monastrell Wood Finish ~ 45% (Gordon & MacPhail)

BenromachMonatrell1sted

Benromach 6 Years Old 2008 Monastrell Wood Finish

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

45% ABV

Score: 84/100

BenromachMonastrell

What they say:

Distilled at Benromach distillery in 2002 and aged for 5 years before finishing for 12 months in an ex-Monastrell wine cask before bottling in November 2008. Limited edition of 920 bottles.

Colour: Golden Amber.

UNDILUTED Nose: Fresh and fruity notes – tropical fruits and ripe pears.  Hints of milk chocolate and a subtle peat influence.

Palate: Hot and mouth warming, becomes more mellow and smooth.  Sweetness develops and hints of nuts also.

Finish: Long, sweet with some smoke.

WITH WATER Nose: Heavy sweetness, fragrant, tropical fruits – melon notes.  Fresh and more delicate.

Palate: Mellow with delicate heat, more creamy influences, sweet, smoky and light ash elements.

Finish: Lingering and warm.

Body: Light to medium.

Cask Type: Refill hogsheads

BenromachMonatrell1sted

What I say:

Dram #3 at the WOLS Benromach Wood Finishes tasting hosted by Thomas McEntee was this Monastrell wood finish tasting.

Colour:

Peachy wine (10/20) light tears

Nose:

Sweet honey, cereal barley flour, pear, apple, peach orchard fruits, citric hops, lemon and tangerine,

Taste:

Sweet peach, melon, creamy vanilla, citric, lemon and hops, develops a hot spice, cayenne pepper

Finish:

Medium, sweet, hot and spicy

Overall:

A little more rounded than the Sassicaia finish, some nice fruit flavours have developed in this expression as well as a reasonable amount of spice and heat.

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