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Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Whisky’

Review: Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – XXX

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2013

GF 30 XXXI 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:

Review: Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – XXX

Happy New Year Everyone!

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

Bowmore 1957: Bottle No.1 sells for £100,000

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

clear 1957Islay, 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: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

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:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Please enjoy my review of the new Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve!

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

Tasting the Glenfarclas Range with George Grant

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: , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Year in Whisky

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:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Whisky

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky

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:

Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review of this remarkable whisky!

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

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

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



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:


(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 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…



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


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.



Cheers Everyone!

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


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