Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2013
The Bowmore Distillery is the oldest of the Islay Distilleries in Scotland, (and it is one of the oldest distilleries in all of Scotland). It has sat at the edge of the sea on the craggy coastline of the Hebridean Island since 1779. This location close to the sea and of course close to the rich Islay peat has been linked to the distinctive floral and smoky character of the Bowmore Whisky. This character is a result of rich peat flavours being absorbed by the barley as it dries under the peated fire of the malt drying kiln, and of the whisky aging in the famous Bowmore seaside vaults (which are below sea-level) as the briny seaside air is allowed to mingle with the oak aging casks.
The Bowmore Tempest is a relatively new 10-year-old peated whisky aged in first-fill bourbon casks. (A first-fill cask is one which has only been used once before usually for either bourbon or sherry). This whisky has seen three separate releases to this point. Small Batch Release No. 3 which is the subject of this review is non-chill filtered and bottled at a full 55.6% alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The nose is full of phenolic peat smoke with plenty of rubbery smells rising into the breezes above the glass. Within this menagerie of peat smoke are some welcome scents of orange peel, lemon grass, and hints of floral woodland (heather, lavender and wood spices) …”
Here is a link to the full review which includes a new recipe of mine, What Rough Beast.
Enjoy the review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Islay Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Tempest, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 10, 2013
About two years ago Diageo launched a new (what I am going to term) “entry level” 12 year old Single Malt Scotch from the Glendullan Distillery (in Dufftown) called The Singleton of Glendullan. The malt is part of their Classic Malts Selection, and is produced from spirit aged in both European Sherry Oak casks and American Bourbon Oak casks. I first encountered this Single Malt at a local Food and Wine event two years ago, and I was impressed enough to buy a bottle for myself, and one for a friend that Christmas. My bottle was sipped slowly over time and has long since disappeared; but fortunately for me, I was recently given another bottle to review on my website by the Northern Alberta Diageo Marketing Rep.
Here is an excerpt from that review:
“… As I pour the whisky into my glencairn glass, my nose is greeted with some nice butterscotch and caramel notes which are accented with lightly smokey tones of sherry (think dark fruit like dates and raisins), fresh fruit, some sweet malty notes, and a mild herbal punky peat. As the glass sits, the caramel turns to toffee as the oak spices assert themselves …”
You may read the full review here:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Diageo, Glendullan, oak casks, Scotch Whisky, single malt scotch, Single Malt Whisky, Singleton, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2013
I thought I should start the new year, 2013 off with a bang. A very expensive thirty year old bottle of Scotch from Glenfiddich, which I received as a gift from my wife about one year ago.
The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland. The Gaelic word “Glenfiddich” translates to “Valley of the Deer” in English and as a result the Distillery has adopted the emblem of a large male stag to symbolize the distillery and their whisky. According to the Glenfiddich website, their Malt Master personally selects each Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon Cask that goes into the Glenfiddich 30 Years Old Whisky by nosing and tasting each of them to ensure that they contribute the right character and flavour into the final Malt which is produced from only a handful of vattings each year.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
” … The initial nose brings forward a rich menagerie of wood and honey spices. I sense some willow thicket in the air above the glass as well as a grassy meadow complete with clumps of heather and faint wiffs of woodsmoke as if there were a campfire nearby. As the glass breathes the woody notes grow bringing forward stronger impressions of willow, balsam wood, and oak …”
You may read the full review here:
Happy New Year Everyone!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Glenfiddich Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2012
I am not sure how many of you remember my previous posting Revealing Some Magic: The Oldest Bowmore Ever; however, I am pleased to pass on the following press release:
Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Announces
The No. 1 Bottle of BOWMORE 1957 – 54 YEARS OLD
Has Sold For £100,000
Islay, Scotland (December 19, 2012) – Bowmore®, the first Islay Single Malt whisky, is delighted to announce that the No. 1 bottle of its oldest ever expression, the exceptionally rare Bowmore 1957, 54 Years Old has been sold for £100,000 (approximately $160,000) at the Bowmore Distillery on Islay. This bottle is not only the oldest whisky the distillery has ever released, it is also the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released. As promised by Morrison Bowmore Distillers, owners of Bowmore, all the net proceeds will be donated to five Scottish charities. The owner, a resident of the United States, would like to remain anonymous.
Distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011, this 54-year-old marvel has been maturing in the finest oak in Bowmore’s legendary No. 1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland. Only 12 bottles exist in the world, two of which are kept in the Morrison Bowmore archives and nine now remain for sale at the Bowmore Distillery.
Bottle No. 1’s profit will be donated to five Scottish charities that encompass a variety of worthy causes: Alzheimer Scotland (care for people with dementia, their caregivers and families); The Beatson Oncology Centre (care for cancer patients receiving treatment in the west of Scotland); Chas (children’s hospice services); Erskine (medical care for Armed Forces); and Marie Curie Cancer Care (cancer care and research).
Says Mike Keiller, Morrison Bowmore Distillers Chief Executive Officer,
“We are delighted to have sold bottle No. 1 of our Bowmore 1957 just before Christmas allowing us to keep our promise to donate all the net proceeds to charity as our gift to those in need in Scotland.”
A collection of 1957 casks were bottled in 1995 but one in particular was held back because it was more exceptional than the rest. Since 1995, the whisky in that cask has been examined every six months to check the quality, the taste, the developments and changes the spirit was taking on its aging voyage. In 2011 it was determined that the liquid had reached its potential and was bottled.
According to information sent to me the five Charities will each receive £11,000 for Christmas from this sale!
Now that’s a nice Merry Christmas Story!
Posted in Fund Raisers, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore 1957, Charity Fundraiser, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2012
A few years ago Johnnie Walker Gold Label carried an age statement of 18 years. Back then it was called The Centenary Blend. The newest bottles of the Gold Label no longer carry that age statement. Coinciding with that particular change is a bit of a name change as well. Instead of Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend, the newest version is now called Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve. Based upon what I can glean from the Johnnie Walker website (and the back of my bottle) it may not be only the ages of the individual whiskies in the blend which have changed, the actual constituents of the blend appear to have changed as well.
“GOLD LABEL RESERVE is blended from casks of Whiskies that have been specially selected from the Master Blender, Jim Beveridge’s Private Reserve.”
Of course this means that my previous review for Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend is rather obsolete, a fact which was quickly pointed out to me by my good friend Jason, of Jason’s Scotch Reviews, when I recently re-posted that particular review. Jason asked me if I could review the new blend, and after a quick email with the Alberta Diageo Rep, a new bottle for review found its way onto my review queue.
Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:
“… The nose is very complex. It seems rather light and gentle first; but as the glass sits, the whisky seems to gain strength and intensity. The initial impressions are of butterscotch, honey and wood spice. Some nice scents of canned fruit drift by the nostrils, in particular peaches and apricots. A bit of home-baked apple pie with touches of cinnamon reach the breezes above the glass as well… “
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy my review of the new Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Blended Whisky, DrinkWire, Gold Label, Johnnie Walker, Scotch Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2012
This Sunday, November 18th, the Edmonton Golf and Country Club (6201 Country Club Rd NW, Edmonton) will be the location for an extraordinary tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery where the entire core range of Glenfarclas Whisky will be discussed and of course, tasted. (Mr. Grant is part of the 6th generation of the Grant Family who originally purchased the distillery in 1865. His family still controls and manages the distillery today.)
The line-up for the tasting will be as follows:
Price: – $65 per ticket
Please call 780-904-2684 for more information!
(This is quite truthfully an impressive range from one of the only remaining distilleries in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed. I hope I see some of my readers there. Sláinte!)
Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: George Grant, Glenfarclas, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Tasting Event, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2012
This was a great year for the Rum Howler with respect to Whisky. I was able to help in a small way with the success of the 3nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival; I was selected to be on the North American Panel of Spirit Writers who judged the Canadian Whisky Awards; and I was able to almost double the number of Whisky reviews on my website this year. The result of all of this activity is that the year 2012 saw me taste and score more whisky than ever before. This means that my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky are better than ever.
All of my whisky awards are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Just as it is with my other Rum Howler Awards, all of the samples which I receive for review in a given year are automatically considered for the awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards.
And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky. These Awards are for the best Whisky Spirits I encountered in the year 2012, here is the link:
Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, DrinkWire, Irish Whiskey, Rum Howler Awards, Scotch Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 16, 2012
Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes not only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the anCnoc 12 Year is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Knockdhu Distillery (which is located under the dark ‘Knock Hill’, known to the local villagers by its Gaelic name of ‘Cnoc Dubh’). Production of anCnoc began at the Distillery in 1894 following the discovery of several springs of clear water on the southern slopes of the aforementioned Knock Hill.
The anCnoc whisky is produced on the distillery’s original style copper pot stills and worms (which condense the vapourized alcohol), and it has been produced that way for over 100 years. The resulting whisky is aged in American oak and Spanish oak barrels (which were previously used to age either bourbon or sherry). These casks are stored in dunnage warehouses where the thick granite walls ensure a stable ambient temperature which results in a consistent (or predictable) aging regimen.
I was sent a sample of the anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky by Woodman Wine and Spirits, who are the Ontario distributors for the anCnoc brand. The Whisky has recently been released in Ontario, Canada and is available through the Whisky Shop at the LCBO.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“…There is so much going on that it is hard to start. Smells of sweet lowland grasses, willow thicket, and almost ripe barley are I guess, as good of a place to begin as any other. Wondering in and out of the breezes above the glass are scents of fresh honey, tart green apples, and lemongrass as well…”
Here is a link to my Review:
Please enjoy the review of this remarkable whisky!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: anCnoc, Inver House, Knockdhu, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2012
The blend for Johnnie Walker Gold Label was created in 1920 by Sir Alexander Walker to commemorate the Johnnie Walker Company’s 100 years in business dating back to 1820. This is of course how this particular blend of Johnnie Walker received its name. Although discontinued during the war due to shortage of blending stocks, the label was reintroduced in 1992, with a blend based upon the original blending notes left by Sir Alexander seventy-five years earlier.
Today the Centenary blend is reputed to contain 15 separate single malt whiskies each aged a minimum of 18 years. Of these single malts four in particular have been noted as being key to the distinctive taste of Johnnie Walker Gold: Talisker generates the general character of the blend; Clynish generates the brine and seaside ambiance; Royal Lochnagar imparts the luxurious palate; and Cardhu lingers in the throat and provides the finish. I have read some claims that grain whiskies are in the blend as well, but whether that is true I have no confirmation. I am not snobbish against the grain whiskies, and this review concentrates on the aroma, the flavour, and the character of the whisky.
Here is a link to my review:
Please enjoy this re-posting of my original November 2009 review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Johnnie Walker Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 2, 2012
Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes mot only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the Balblair 2001 Vintage is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Balblair Distillery (which is located in the Highlands of Scotland). This distillery was founded by John Ross in 1790 on the shores of the Dornoch Firth in the village of Edderton.
Each year at Balblair, the Distillery Manager, John MacDonald, selects what he believes to be the best representative whiskies of the Balblair Highland Single Malt brand. Out of the thousands of barrels he samples each year, only a select number are chosen to be bottled as Balblair Vintage Single Malt. These barrels represent the very essence of the Balblair brand.
I was sent a sample of the Balblair 2001 Vintage by Woodman Wine and Spirits, who are the Ontario distributors for the Balblair brand. The Whisky has recently been released in Ontario, Canada and is available through the Whisky Shop at the LCBO.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“… There is a nice oak taint in those breezes with perhaps a touch of charcoal or graphite. A soft punky Halloween toffee is evident, as is a real sense of fruit and almond. The fruity smells are complicated. I sense both fresh fruit (green apples, peaches and pears) as well as dried apricots and plums. Other smells drift in and out of my sensory range, some sharper citrus zests, and even hints of an alpine meadow…”
Here is a link to my full review:
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Balblair, Inver House, Review, Scoch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off