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Archive for the ‘Single Malt Whisky’ Category

Review: Glenfarclas 30 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 26, 2012

This review continues my series of examinations of the Glenfarclas Single Malt line-up. I have previously reviewed the Glenfarclas 12 Year, the Glenfarclas 21 Year, and the Glenfarclas Cask Strength 105. These reviews have been facilitated by Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc who have provided samples for me to assess and who kindly invited me to a tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery where I was able to sample the entire core range of Glenfarclas whisky. 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.

All of the Glenfarclas whisky is matured in two styles of oak barrels, plain oak barrels which have previously contained Bourbon or Scotch Whisky, and Spanish oak which has previously contained Oloroso or Fino Sherry from Seville. The barrels are stored in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses which date from the late 1800s. The Glenfarclas 30 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky which is the subject of this review has been bottled at 43 % and is produced from both first fill sherry casks and refill bourbon casks.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…This whisky is rich and luxurious on the nose. Chocolate, coffee, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom and wonderful oak spices all rise up in a veritable bouquet for the nostrils. The whisky show its age in the glass but it also shows its character with a complex oakiness which is almost perfectly melded into the 30-year-old sherried whisky…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Glenfarclas 30 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy my review!

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

Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2012

The Highland Park Distillery traces its heritage back to 1798 where it was apparently founded by Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson, a local butcher, beadle (lay official of the church) and part-time smuggler. (The association with Magnus Eunson is by no means certain but it does provide a wonderful back story for the distillery.)  The distillery  is located in the Highlands of Scotland on the Island of Orkney which is famous for its heather rich meadows, and its unique organic Orcadian peat. At this distillery, all of the Highland Park Whisky is matured in two styles of oak barrels which are stored in warehouses with earthen floors and stone walls. Some of the whisky is matured in Spanish (Sherry) oak, and some of the whisky is matured in American (Bourbon) oak. Maturing the whisky in two different styles of oak allows the blender to capture characteristics of each in the final blend.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial sip of the HP 18 brings forward a dollop of smoky peat melded almost perfectly with the butterscotch-toffee flavour of malt whisky. At first this seems slightly sweeter than the other expressions of Highland Park I have tasted; although as the glass is allowed to breathe, the flavours become drier and woodier in the glass…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review!

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

Review: Glenfarclas 21 Year Year Old Highland Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 22, 2012

This review continues my examinations of the Glenfarclas Single Malt line-up. I have previously reviewed the Glenfarclas 12 Year, and the Glenfarclas Cask Strength 105. All of the Glenfarclas whiskies have been matured in two styles of oak barrels, plain oak barrels which have previously contained Bourbon or Scotch whisky, and Spanish oak barrels which have previously contained Oloroso or Fino Sherry from Seville. The whisky is then stored in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses that date from the late 1800s. These warehouses have thick stone walls and earthen floors.

The Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky which is the subject of this review has been bottled at 43 % and is produced from aged stocks of both first fill sherry casks and refill bourbon casks.

Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc have facilitated these reviews by providing samples for me to assess and inviting me to a tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery. 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.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial aroma from the glass is well-rounded and balanced. The smells of dried fruit from the sherry barrels, the spicy orange peel from the oak, and the scents of toffee and caramel seem to be melded together such that each impression is part of the others… “

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Highland Malt

Please enjoy the review!

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

Revisiting: Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2012

The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips a royal licence to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. This grant serves as the first documented evidence of the distillation of whiskey at the site although at that time it was not yet called Bushmills. The first known reference to the Old Bushmills Distillery was in 1743 when, according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard, the site was “in the hands of smugglers”‘. Now over 400 years later, the Bushmills brand is owned by Diageo, however all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name is still produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The Bushmills 16 Yr Old Single Malt is composed of whiskey distilled three times. A portion of the whiskey is aged in American oak (bourbon) casks and a portion is aged in Spanish oak (Oloroso sherry) casks. All of this whiskey is aged for 16 or more years. The final whiskey is blended prior to finishing in old oak Port wine pipes. With such a variety of oak used in the aging and finishing in there is the potential for great complexity.

I revisited the Bushmills 16 year Old Single Malt recently, and when I looked over my original review, I was quite pleased that my impressions were very consistent over two years later. I decided to take a little time to fix some typos and to clarify some points in the review. As well I added a new introduction. Here is a link to my revised review of this Bushmills whiskey which was originally published in November of 2009:

Review: Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt

Please enjoy the review!

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

Review: Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 16, 2012

Since 1839, the Dalmore Distillery has been producing single malt whisky. The still-house contains 8 unique stills, 4 ‘flat top’ wash stills, and 4 ‘cold water jacket’ spirit stills each uniquely shaped and sized. The whisky is said to gain its distinctive character because of these unique stills and the order in which the distillate is ran through them. The whisky is aged in two types of oak barrels, first fill bourbon barrels from Kentucky, and aged sherry casks from the Spanish Sherry House Gonzalez. Because the distillery is located (near sea level) at the north shores of the Firth of Cromarty, the sea-facing dunnage warehouses are constantly influenced by the briny sea-air which also adds a unique distinctiveness to the Dalmore Malt.

I have been informed that the Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch has recently underwent a change in its construction. Formerly the whisky was predominately made from stocks aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels; however, the whisky is now produced with much more stocks aged in sherry casks. The whisky will now carry more of the sherry influence in its flavour profile with perhaps a richer rounder taste than before.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… Dark treacle (caramelized sugars) and dried fruit (raisins and prunes) drift out of the glass with a light but firm imprint of oak.  As I let the glass decant, the dry fruit gains more expression, and I also began to sense some orange peel and almond  in those breezes above the glass. There is perhaps a bit of candied sweetness building as well which is very enticing…. “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch

Please enjoy the review and my recommended cocktail, Tarnished Brass.

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

Review: Battlehill Miltonduff (Aged 8 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2012

The Battlehill Scotch Whisky is produced by Duncan and Taylor who is an independent bottler of Single Malt Scottiish Whiskies. This company has been acquiring casks from Scottish distilleries for decades and by doing so they have assembled an impressive array of Single Malt casks which they bottle under their own private label. The Battlehill brand was originally conceived as an entry level Single Malt for the bottling of Single Distillery  Single Malt Scotches which had been matured for 6 years to 10 years. Over time the range has grown and 16 to 18 Year Old bottlings are now available. Rather than bottling at Cask Strength which is quite common for independant bottlers, the entire Battlehill range is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume.

The Battlehill Miltonduff 8 Year Old whisky is a blended from multiple Casks all of which are a minimum of eight years of age. I received a sample of this bottling from  CSN Wine and Spirits in Calgary, Alberta. This store purchases a wide range of the Battlehill Single Malt Whiskies, and has one of the best selections of Single Malts for sale in the entire province of Alberta.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… When I raise the glass to my nose, the initial aroma is full of fresh cereal grain with a light dabbing of honey. Some penetrating citrus notes are obvious as well. As the glass breathes I receive impressions of waving grain fields, timothy grass and willow. I like the nose, although it is not overly complex, it is very pleasant and unassuming…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Battlehill Miltonduff (Aged 8 Years)

Please enjoy my review!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 26, 2012

The Glenfarclas Distillery is located on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch in the heart of Speyside. The Distillery was purchased by the Grant Family in 1865 for a total sum of £511.19sd. It has remained in the control of the Grant Family for six generations up to the present day. In fact, Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries remaining in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.

All of the Glenfarclas whisky is matured in two styles of oak barrels, plain oak barrels which have previously contained Bourbon or Scotch whisky, and Spanish oak which has previously contained Oloroso or Fino Sherry from Seville. The whisky is stored in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses that date from the late 1800s. These warehouses have thick stone walls and earthen floors. The Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength has no age statement on the bottle. However, I note that on the Glenfarclas website it is mentioned that all of their whisky is aged at least eight years. Glenfarclas blends this whisky from mature barrels to be a consistent 60 % alcohol by volume with no added water.

I was provided with a 375 ml sample of the Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength by Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc. who is the importer/distributor of Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt Whisky in Alberta. Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial aroma from the glass is cloaked by an alcohol push which results from the 60 % bottling strength, However if you let the glass breathe, and allow the initial astringency to evaporate, the scents and smells left in the breezes are rich and assertive. I smell caramelized toffee, dark fruity sherry, and some hints of organic peat… “

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review of this ‘Cask Strength’ Whisky!

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

Review: StrathIsla 40 Year Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 29, 2011

Gordon and Macphail (who own the Benromach Distillery) is an independent family owned and managed firm which acts as a retailer, a wholesaler, an exporter, and a bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This particular whisky, the StrathIsla 40 Year Old Single Malt from Gordon and MacPhail is of course sourced from the Strathisla Distillery which is in the City (town) of Kieth, in the County of Banff, and is located in the Speyside region of Scotland. According to the Gordon and Macphail website, the whisky was drawn from aged stocks of first fill and refill Sherry casks.

I opened my bottle of this whisky last June when my beloved Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years. Over the course of the summer (and this fall), I have slowly sipped and sampled away about half of my bottle, and I finally decided that a review was in order.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

“… I encountered a bit of floral peat welling up into the breezes with a strong smoky influence of dried fruit. This aroma is full of prunes and dates, and has a rather subdued oaky backdrop. The aroma is a little demanding, but not unpleasant…”

Review: StrathIsla 40 Year Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

Please enjoy the Review!

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

Review: Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 11, 2011

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. As such, the Auchentoshan whisky may be more approachable for novice Single Malt Whisky enthusiast.

The Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is part of that core range of Auchentoshan Single Malts. It is (of course) a triple distilled whisky which has been produced from aged stocks (at least 12 years) of a variety of different barrel types which may include Bourbon Casks, Oloroso Sherry Casks, Pedro Jimenez (Sherry) Casks, and Fine Wine Casks. I recently received a sample bottle of the Auchentoshan 12-year-old from the Regional Manager of Shiralli Agencies which is 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:

“… When I poured the Auchentoshan 12 Year Old into my glass, I was quite taken aback by what I encountered on the nose. There was so much going on that I found myself sitting in my tasting room, not tasting anything. Instead I was just sitting there nosing the glass and wondering where all those wonderful scents were coming from…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review of this surprising Single Malt Whisky as well as the surprisingly good cocktail suggestion, The Sour Scotsman.

Cheers!

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

Review: Glen Garioch 12 Year Old Single Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2011

The Glen Garioch Distillery (pronounced ‘Glen Geery’) is located in the town of Oldmeldrum, approximately 20 minutes from Aberdeen. It is the Eastern-most distillery in Scotland, in the Valley of Garioch, which is apparently one of the best barley growing regions of Scotland. The distillery was established in 1797.

The Glen Garioch 12 Year Old is a Highland malt which has been blended from stocks of two types of oak cask groups. Spanish Sherry casks are utilized to provide a strong depth of flavour, and American Bourbon casks are used to soften the finished malt. I recently received a sample bottle of the Glen Garioch 12 Year Old from Shiralli Agencies who are the local importers and distributors of Morrison Bowmore Products. (The Glen Garioch Distillery and its brands are owned by Morrison Bowmore.)

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… If I close my eyes and sniff the breezes above the glass I can imagine I am in a grassy meadow with bits of heather and sweet-grass growing amongst the other grasses. Clumps of willow lie at the edges of the meadow, and over the nearby hill a few pine trees are sending faint scents into those breezes. I am enjoying the aroma from the glass; Although it is sweet and spicy, it is also laid back and relaxing…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Glen Garioch 12 Year Old Single Malt

Please enjoy the review, and the recipe which follows.

Cheers!

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

 
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