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Posts Tagged ‘Single Malt 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

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

 
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