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Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Whisky’

Review: Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 13, 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.

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, the Glenfarclas 30 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.

Here is an excerpt from my review”

“…The initial aroma from the glass reveals the scent of old oak tainted by the dry fruity smells of the sherry cask. I like how the two distinct aromas have blended together such that it is hard for me to decide where the oak ends and the fruity sherry begins. There is also a nice herbal quality that reminds me of woodland meadow full of heather and willow thicket…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland 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: Glenrothes Select Reserve Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 1, 2012

The Glenrothes Whisky is a good example of a typical Speyside Scotch Whisky. It carries malt and spice at the forefront of its flavour, and because of its well-rounded ‘speyside’ character this malt has been in use for decades as one of the important blending whiskies in some of the most famous Scottish Blends such as Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse. In fact, if you are a blended Scotch drinker and feel the inclination to move to the Single Malts, you will find the Glenrothes Blends to be an excellent introductory malt in which to begin the journey.

The Select Reserve was blended by Malt Master  “John Ramsey” to serve as the signature malt to represent the character of the Glenrothes Distillery. In order to capture the essence of Glenrothes, the Malt Master used whiskies from a variety of vintages, and from a variety of aged oak barrels (both Spanish Oak and American Oak).  Thus a spectrum of flavours from this variety of ages and oak is apparent in the final single malt blend. The whisky carries no age statement as the selection of casks from which to construct the final blend is based upon the final taste profile not upon the age of the selected casks.

Here is an excerpt from my review (written in December 2009):

“… Vanilla and oak spies are met by a wave of fruity sweetness, which when combined with the anise and heather, creates a banquet of complex flavour in the mouth.  The Select Reserve is a blend of Scotch of differing ages, and barreled in differing oaks.  This, I am sure, gives rise to the abundance of complexity…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Glenrothes Select Reserve Scotch Whisky

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

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

Review: Highland Park 12 Year Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 13, 2012

I bought my first bottle of Highland Park Whisky about 4 years ago when I began to my serious exploration of different whisky styles from other parts of the world besides Canada. Although I was familiar to some degree with blended Scotch and Single Malts, I was suspicious of this particular whisky as the back of the package clearly indicated “Aromatic Peat” which, to be honest, did not sound appealing at all. However, I was assured of the quality of this brand by the owner of the liquor store I had stopped at.  He even gave me small sample to belay my fears.

Of course by now the Highland Park 12 Year Old is a mainstay of my liquor cabinet. When I have a guest over who is suspicious of peated whisky (like I was), I give them a little sample of this whisky first. On more than one occasion my guest has wandered over to the liquor store on his own a few days later and picked up his own bottle.

The Highland Park Distillery has a great website, and you should give it a read as it contains a plethora of information about not only their fine whisky but also the history and heritage of their unique locale in the Highlands of Scotland.

Here is an excerpt from my original review written over 2 years ago:

“…When I was young I would have to wake up early in the mornings, and go walk about a mile into the pastureland to bring the cows home for milking.  Our pasture was in a lowland muddy creek bottom, where the soil was rich in peat and sawgrass. I smell that boggy, muddy creek bottom in the glass when I fill it with Highland Park Whisky…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Highland Park 12-Year-Old Whisky

Cheers!

Posted in Scotch 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: 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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