Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amrut Two Continents Second Edition

1. Amrut Two Continents Second Edition 50%

Steffen's review

Nose : Belgian beer, vanilla and exotic fruits

Palate : malty and nutty, very chewy with a lot of texture, a lot of spicy vanilla

Finish : Medium-long with some wood spicyness hitting me late

Rating 85

Comment : This is quite different than the first Two Continents. There's a lot more of India than Europe in this. I would describe this as vanilla infused Amrut!

Further Comment. Retasting a couple of weeks after initial review, this is just of of those whiskies that improves from being open.

Lars' review

Nose: Cereal, hay, warm spirit. In the background almonds and different nuts try to play their part. Exotic fruits – cocktail berries and unripe litchis. After a while some clean toffee arrives.
Taste: Nuts, chili and pears with a touch of ginger in the finish. A good, uncomplicated, young and straightforward whisky.

Rating 80

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whisky Agency

Whisky Agency is a german independent bottler associated with the organisers of The Limburg Whisky Fair, one of the best whisky weekends out there.

1. Tomatin 34yo 1976 51.2% Liquid Sun
Bottled 2011. Matured in a sherry butt. 272 bottles

Nose : Sweet sherry wine, with a bit of wood

Palate : Very fruity sherried, and quite woody. Plums, vanilla

Finish: Medium-long and woody

Rating 85

Comment : I can't help wondering how much sherry they forgot in the cask before filling it with newmake. This fruityness is very sweet and fresh, and much more plums than dried fruits a lá raisins. This is a sherry monster, and if you like sherry and sherried whisky, you will like this. I think it's a bit too much. But behind all the pieces of fruits floating down the glass instead of legs, there is some depths to explore. Give it time and it develops in the glass!

2. Ardmore 19yo 1992 49.9% Liquid Sun
Bottled in 2011. Matured in a bourbon barrel. Heavily peated. 202 bottles.

Nose :  ash and fruits. This is a very fruity

Palate : A nixe mix of spice, peat and fruits (sweet apples and pears) and dry ash

Finish : Medium-long and the peat lingers

Rating 88

Comment : When you aim for a bottle of Ardmore this is exactly what you hope to get. A nice mix of peat and a fruity whisky typical for speyside. And a peated whisky benefits a lot from when you can taste the age kicking in

3. Laphroaig 13yo 1998 53.3% Liquid Library

Nose: Classic Laproaig how it should be. Clean and simple. Peat, vanilla, and a bit of citrus and apples

Palate: A clear follow up to the nose. Very peaty, but you expect that. Dry and the fruit is just detectable

Finish Short-medium

Rating 86

A very sherried whisky for the ultra sherry fans, a very peaty whisky for the peatheads, and a nice peated speysider, which is also for the peatheads...

DMWA, Danish Malt Whisky Academy is the danish importer of these bottlings.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Highland Park 12 and Lagavulin DE 1980

1. Highland Park 12yo (L0671F L11) 40%

Nose : Very delicate. A pleasant mix of fruit, light peat and flowers

Palate : Moss, flowers and peat with a dominant floral background. Is it heather ?

Finish : Medium-long with a little bitterness

Rating 84

Comment : This batch is tad more floral than I remember and maybe a bit over the top. The batch variation of this standard OB is greater than you think. Nice level of peat. My mum likes it

2. Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1980 43%

Nose: Very sweet with underlying spicy peatyness

Palate: Woody, sweet and peaty

Finish: Sweet and long

Rating 84

Comment : The sweetness affected by the PX cask is huge. This whisky is for people who likes very sweet sherried whiskies

Final Comment. Two very drinkable whiskies. Sweet and welcoming. I was gonna describe them as very female whiskies until I remembered quite a few woman doesn't like peaty whiskies :-)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cheap whisky in Denmark

This sunday the local coops had whisky on offers unspoken of in Denmark

These 3 Diageo annual releases at 349,- danish kroners, just slightly more than the average 12yo OB standard bottlings, so all the whiskyentusiasts were queueing up. So how are these whiskies from 3 distilleries that's very hard to find whisky from?

1. Pittyvaich 20yo 57.5% distilled 1989 


Pittyvaich was a very shortlived distillery. It was located in Dufftown, just above Dufftown the distillery and only operated from 1975 to 1993

Nose: fresh cabbage style vegetables and cocoa

Palate: Cocoa beans, musty and vegetables again.

Finish medium-long with some vanilla, honey and banana kicking in.

Rating 78

Comments : reminds me of Scapa and somehow how I remember the few Pittyvaich's I tried before. Not floral or fruity in any particular way. This whisky will benefit from the bottle being open, this even tastes better doing the second round today.

2. Auchroisk 20yo 58.1%
"Matured in american and european oak casks"

Auchroisk is a nice distillery build in a gothic-like style

Nose: Vanilla and pear dessert

Palate: Apple, vanilla, dessert

Finish: Shortish with faint vanilla-elderflowers (!)

A light and enjoyable dram, but somehow anonymous. I think this will benefit from being opened a bit. Mind you, I am reviewing these 3 on the day of purchase.

Rating 82

3. Benrinnes 23yo 58.8%
"Matured in sherry wood"
Buddha and Benrinnes

Nose : One of those noses that gives you associations of being in a warehouse! Heavily sherried and lightly sulphured

Palate : A light bodied whisky fighting the heavy sherry influence. An archtype sherried whisky, nutty and malty and plenty of standard sherrycasked whisky notes of dried fruits. No licorise

Finish: Medium

Rating 84

Comment: Again I have this feeling this will benefit when being opened. The sulphur will probably go away or diminish. I really like the warehouse feeling of this whisky

Final comments. 
A world release of approx 6000 bottles each, these three never caught a lot of frenzy until locally here, when they suddenly came out heavily discounted at around 41-42£ a bottle which is a bargain compared to the 120-175£ these retail for in UK. 750-850 bottles each selling in DK which is a substantial percentage of the total bottle amount when you take the size of our country into perspective. 

These bottling doesn't hold the usual standard of the Diageo annual releases. Maybe there's a reason Pittyvaich is closed and we don't see the other two distilleries bottled usually. I had some good Benrinnes before, but it has never been a distillery that gives me high expectations. I actually dislike the Benrinnes Flora Fauna bottling. And from the Pittyvaichs and Auchroisks I tasted before I didn't have any expectations at all, with the FF's being very anonymous bottlings. Pittyvaichs are usually slightly better and Auchroisk too hard to find. Maybe these distilleries isn't better or maybe Diageo should just hire me to select casks :-)

The discount is justified, I consider Auchroisk and Benrinnes bargains still. Should have been priced in the 60-70£ range originally, mind you, they are not even single casks but bottled in the same numbers as Icons of Arran is.

PS I will post about the development of these bottling in a month or two..