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Archive for the ‘Scotch Whisky’ Category

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

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:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

Please enjoy this re-posting of my original November 2009 review!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Review: Balblair 2001 Vintage Single Malt Whisky

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:

Review: Balblair 2001 Vintage Single Malt Whisky

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Revealing Some Magic: The Oldest Bowmore Ever

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2012

Today Morrison Bowmore announced the oldest ever Bowmore, and indeed, the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released:

The Bowmore 1957 – 54 Years Old Single Malt

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This Whisky was distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011. It has been slumbering in oak for more than half a century in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults. Amazingly there are only 12 bottles in existence. Bowmore 1957 is the oldest and rarest ever Bowmore. This will sure be one of the most sought after and collectible Monumental Whiskies in the entire world.

Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 To Be Auctioned at Bonhams In Edinburgh and New York City this October With All Net Proceeds Donated To Charity

For more information click here:

BOWMORE 1957 – 54 YEARS OLD

(The 2 bottles that will be up for auction have a reserve set at £100,000 per bottle. If a person would like to buy one but not at the auctions, they will have to purchase from Bowmore Distillery on Islay, Scotland and the price will be £100,000.)

Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Something Magical at Glasstorm

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 14, 2012

A third teaser from the Bowmore Media Team regarding that special bottling they will unveil this month, according to the presser:

“Unlike any limited edition previously released, this Bowmore expression has been slumbering quietly in our legendary No.1 Vaults on Islay for many, many years. It has now been enveloped in liquid glass hand-blown and sculpted by two of the world’s foremost glass artists.”

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With all this attention and money spent on the encasement of the spirit, I cannot help but wonder just how expensive this special Bowmore release will be?

Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Something Special with Peter Toaig

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2012

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting …

According to the their media team, this month Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky will announce a particularly special bottling. Only a handful of these remarkable bottles will be available, such is the rarity of this limited edition. To echo the craftsmanship of the spirit, they have worked with an expert to once again encase it in the finest oak…

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I suspect another Monumental Spirit is on the way, and I cannot hep but wonder how many bottles “only a handful” is?

Cheers!

Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Something Special at Hamilton and Inches

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2012

This is a bit of a teaser video sent to me by the North American Bowmore media team. I admit I was very intrigued so I decided to share the teaser with all of you. Apparently something special is on the horizon.

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Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Extras, First Impressions, Howls, Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Introducing – Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 31, 2012

I would like to welcome Iain McCallum, the current Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers to my website. I was granted an email interview with Mr. McCallum in early June, and after a bit of back and forth the interview was concluded in mid July.

Iain discusses his job as the Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD) as well as the various styles (and brands) of whisky that Morrison Bowmore produces at the three MBD distilleries in Scotland, the Bowmore Distillery, the Auchentoshan Distillery and the Glen Garioch Distillery. The interview moves on to the McClelland Single Malt Whisky brand which is also produced by Morrison Bowmore, and then on to a questions about MBD’s practice of aging the Bowmore Islay whisky offsite.

I am surprised to learn that the The Scottish Whisky Act has very little to say regarding the use of oak casks which have previously contained other wines and spirits (and how much of this liquid may be left in these casks to influence the flavour profile of the resulting whisky). Finally, Mr. McCallum gives his recommendations for the enjoyment of each of the Morrison Bowmore Distillery offerings sharing opinions regarding his favourite Malts, and his favourite cocktails with me.  I am happy to learn that even the Master of Malts allows himself to enjoy a great cocktail!

You may read the full interview here:

An Interview with the Global Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Please enjoy the Interview!

Posted in Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2012

Edradour holds the distinction of being the smallest distillery in Scotland. It is also the last original farm distillery in Perthshire. The same wooden equipment is used to mash and ferment the whisky today, that was purchased by the distillery 170 years ago. They use the smallest copper stills in Scotland, and in fact they are the smallest permissible by Scottish law. They also use the only working model of a Morton refrigerator (used in the distilling process) in the industry. You’ll find this unique distillery nestled in a small glen above Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands. A truly unique distillery, making truly unique single malt whisky.

The Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finished Whisky is a fully aged 12-year-old single malt. The whisky was aged for 12 years in American Oak and then finished in a Barolo wine barrel from Angelo Gaja, an Italian wine producer from Piemonte. This is a ‘cask strength’ offering bottled at a whopping 57.1 % alcohol by volume. I expect this to be a bit of a beast in the glass with strong flavours and aromas.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… I allowed the glass to breathe, and those scents and smells of the grain harvest seem to deepen. I also begin to notice a lightly floral character similar to lilacs and heather nestled in the background of the breezes, and some mixed berries (gooseberry, elderberry, and blackberries) seem to flicker in and out as well … “

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

For Father’s Day – Avoiding my 10 Whisky Regrets

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 15, 2012

Yesterday I shared a few of my rum experiences which were, let me say, less than enjoyable. The list was meant to help you avoid similar pitfalls in your search for a suitable rum to buy Dad for Father’s Day. Today, I think it is only fair, that I also list a few of the whisky decisions I have regretted as well. The list I came up with, isn’t really a list of horrible whiskies that left me gasping (although a couple are). It is more of a list of whiskies which in some way tainted my enjoyment such that I kind of wished I had never succumbed to their charm in the bottle.

They made me run to them, and then they made me run from them, kind of like that Gloria Jones song covered by Soft Cell:
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These are my regrets, and I publish this list in hopes that I can help you avoid a regret or two this Father’s Day. (Just for the fun of it, I think I will count them down in reverse order starting with a few minor regrets, working my way to my biggest whisky regret.)

My 10 Whisky Regrets

Happy Father’s Day Everyone!

Posted in American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Howls, Irish Whskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2012

The Auchentoshan Distillery is somewhat of an anomaly amongst Scottish Distillers. It is the only Scottish Distillery that triple distills their entire core range of whisky. Triple distillation is common amongst Irish distillers, but very uncommon for a distillery producing Single Malt Whisky. The result of the triple distillation is a more laid back easy-going style of whisky which perhaps carries more floral elements, but which also may be a little less robust in character than traditional single malts.

The Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky is a recent addition to that core range of Auchentoshan Single Malts. It is (of course) a triple distilled whisky which has been matured in three different styles of Oak. These are in order: American Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso Sherry, and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. This unique aging process leads to a complex whisky with flavours from each style of oak imprinted upon the whisky. I recently received a sample bottle of the Auchentoshan Three Wood from the Regional Manager of Shiralli Agencies who are the local importer and distributor of Morrison Bowmore products. (The Auchentoshan Distillery and its brands are owned by Morrison Bowmore.)

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…  The whisky is rich with the aroma of oak which has firm stains of the sherry cask  influence (dates, raisins and prunes), as well as some sweet toffee (brown sugar, vanilla and butterscotch) overtones. As the glass breathes, I sense a bit of a woodland aroma with scents of  elderberry and willow thicket rising into the breezes with perhaps a bit of heather as well. Fruity tones are growing which remind me of blackberries and saskatoons …”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review as well as my new cocktail suggestion, The Autocrat Cocktail.

Cheers!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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