Gal Granov, one of the guys behind Whisky Israel has supplied me with a couple of samples - and I am supposed to review them blind. And I will do that !. At the end of this post I will add Gal revealing the truth, which I don't know yet
I allready had Keith Wood of Whisky-Emporium having a bit of fun with 4 samples supplied by me, which he described here : http://www.whisky-emporium.com/Blogs/2010-07-July/Blog.htm
So now it's my turn, here we go.
Gal Granov's sample no 1
Milk-acidity (you need to have been in a cowbarn with newly milked milk to know what I mean!), floral perfumes which leaves the colour purple on my braind for some odd reason. Peaty ? I am getting associations to Bowmore, but the spirit is lighter than what I would normally associate with Bowmore. I would say the floral fruity perfumy taste of this dram is origined from some kind of wine-finish
My first guess would be a Port Charlotte wine finish, 2nd Longrow, but these are also the 2 peaty malts most associated with finishes. The finish isn't affecting this malt to a major extent, but more gives it a soft touch. I also feel the peat is underdeveloped or restrained somehow, but hey--I have been known to be immune to peat :-)
Gal Granov's sample no 2
Cocoa, dusty, reminds me of a vatting of Amrut and Scapa, how clueless can you be ? Fruity, dry, slightly woody-spicy, vanilla. I really like this for its sharp freshness and the vanilla. I got no clue what it is, reminds me a bit of Imperial
Here is the verdict by Gal :
The 'Peaty' sample is indeed a Bowmore as you initially suspected... It's not finished in any cask AFAIK. It's the Bowmore Tempest 10 year old, Cask strength. quite a new expression, and a nice one, though it's not one of my favorites when it comes to Islay peaty delights.
The non peaty one is a very special type of Arran malt. yes, Arran! It's a very limited bottling of a single cask Arran aged 2 years on Arran and then shipped to Israel for additional maturation in the city of Jerusalem. Then bottled at CS by the Israeli whisky society. A very young Arran, but maturation in Israel in hotter temp is quite fast.
you can find a post of mine detailing it and the story of this special cask :
Well done Steffen. ;)
Now it's my turn. Next week i shall nose your samples and post mine.... exciting and quite intimidating as well.
PS Gal told me on twitter that the Arran is almost 4 years old in total!
My own final comments : Amrut is a whisky that is matured under high temperatures in Bangalore, India, so it's not totally clueless I got associations to it, as Gal's Arran has been matured for almost 2 years in Israel. Amrut is also a young whisky. I wouldn't say the Arran is similar to Amrut but it just had this thing to it that gave me associations