Monday, February 20, 2012

Simple whisky from the big boys

The big boys in the whisky business tends to focus on 40% mass market whisky or silly overpriced whiskies in excessive packaging. But there's a few bottlings out there worth a notice for those of us who like to add the water ourselves and releases sold at a sensible prices!

Time for 4 short reviews:

1. Glenfiddich 15yo 51%, Distillery Edition

Going through Schiphol I spotted this whisky on the shelves of a whisky speciality store.  1 liter at 45 euros. I couldn't resist the temptation and bought a bottle

Nose : Dark fruits and candy toffee and a touch of red wine/ grapes

Palate : this whisky is rather complex. fruity, grapes, nutty and woody. Quite hot (alcohol) and a somewhat bitter finish.

Finish : short to medium

Rating 82

2. Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel 47.8%
6/3-95 -> 31/3-10 Cask number 2800

The 15yo is an "endless" set of releases which all are around 15 years old, but slightly older casks have been seen. It's not cask strength as the they all have been reduced to 47.8% as bottling strength. The whiskies are from different casks but very similar in styles

The nose is reminding me of armagnac and apples which are dominant, then a hint of citrus and malt

Palate : a very light dram, with speyside-nuts, some maltiness, and a hint of citrus

Finish : Medium

Rating 84

3. Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo batch 1110L 55.1%
Natural Cask Strength

Nose : Vanilla, Woodspices, joining together in a warming welcome

Palate : Fruity (banana?), vanilla, spicy, what a pleasant mouthfull. This whisky got loads of pleasant wood extracts. I wonder if any of the french oak casks went into this as this is more like the french oak than the standard 12yo

Rating 87

Lagavulin 12yo 56.5% bottled 2010

Walking trough Edinburgh Airport last around a year ago I picked this up at 41£

Nose : Heavy Peat, Earthy

Palate : Clean Peat, Malty, Some sweetness, cod-liver oil that isn't fishy (Don't ask, I can't explain it myself)

Finish Medium-Long, the peat lingers

Rating 87

Old fashioned peaty whisky, this just reminds of the way Laphroaig were when I first tasted a peaty whisky back in the nineties. Or maybe how I was back than. It's good to be back

End of the day, 4 nice no-nonsense bottlings of good quality whisky, and the last two are now on my favourite shelf

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