Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Miltonduff 24yo from Dun Bheagan

Miltonduff 24yo 55% Dun Bheagan
Cask 30071+30072

Nose : Slight tropical fruits, overpowered with a delicate vanilla wood spice

Palate : lots of spicy woods and tannins less creamy vanilla and white pepper and more tannins, still on the delicate side

Finish : long

Comment : Marvelous Dram. Classic well aged dram with a flavour profile getting rarer for some reason. More wood, not woody, and the fruit is well buried in this one

Rating 88

Dun Bheagan is Gaellic and is pronounced Dunvegan (which is also an alternative spelling). It's the name of a castle on Skye, which is the seat of the head of the Clan MacLeod. Dun Bheagan is an independent bottling brand by Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited, so the connection is obvious. Ian MacLeod has purchased both Glengoyne and Tamdhu Distilleries so they are one of the independent bottlers who have purchased a distillery in the last decade

Dunvegan Castle

Monday, June 18, 2012

Arran Sleeping Warrior

Arran Sleeping Warrior 54.9%

Vintage 2000, bottled 2011. Ex-bourbon and red wine casks, 6000 bottles

Photo stolen from whiskybase.com

Nose: A typical Arran nose, smells like a young whisky, but there's is something going on with a touch of wine and prickling wood

Palate : A good full bodied, somewhat oily dram, well balanced, with winish nuances and spicy woods well integrated into a pleasant dram, but with a tiny offnote of something "young". 

Finish : Medium

Enjoyable, but I prefer older Arran's and as for a change the wine-touch isn't putting me totally off, its not my personally favourite note, but then, I don't really like wine. If you like wine finishes I bet you will find this a lot more enjoyable than I did. 

Rating 79

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Americans are so fortunate, but is it over ?

Whisky Prices has gone up considerably for special bottlings in the last few years. Right now the american bourbon scene is the best value for money scene without a doubt, but is it ending?

Van Winkle products and  A.H. Hirsch are becoming the Port Ellen and Brora of bourbons with prices raising, but these are examples of whiskey from closed distilleries

(Provenance of van Winkle?, look HERE)

But highly sought after products like the BTAC series are available in the 75-100$ range. This is extremely cheap and demand and supply are not in synchronisation.. I wonder how long this price level will last ?

Will the Bourbons see the same premiumisation as we have seen in the field of Scotch Single Malts ?

I think the first sign of this is the 18yo Elijah Craig. It's just been discontinued. It was around 60$. It is getting replaced by 20yo Elijah Craig at 130$

The reason for this ?. There are several reasons.

First: Marketing strategy. Having a high end expensive front will make you brand appear "Exclusive". It will also make your "lower end" products appear cheaper (Oh, Elijah Craig 12 is soooo much cheaper than the 20yo...)

"It's expensive it must good"....I only have to mention Dalmore, Glenfiddich, Highland Park, Macallan to point at companies following the same strategy...especially Dalmore :-), someone spelled it Da£mor€ on facebook the other day!

Second: The supply/demand situation. High End Quality Bourbons popularity is raising. With low supply there is enough people willing to pay the higher prices. And what happens when bourbons become popular outside USA ?

So just last year (it seems) you had to look real hard to find a bottle over 100$. Soon you have to look real hard to find a bottle less than 100$

Just as a curiosity I can mention that the standard price of George T. Stagg in Denmark is around 350-450$. A return trip to London and picking one up at TWE for around 100£ is considerably cheaper, 100£ would be twice the price I paid for my bottle in Utah :-), but somehow it suddenly looks like a cheap price

George T. Stagg
Review coming one day, I got an open bottle!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Virginia Gentleman

Virginia Gentleman 90 proof

This is an interesting bourbon. It's an older product of bourbon made at A. Smith Bowman in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

A. Smith Bowman is part of the Sazerac group (Buffalo Trace) and it's actually a redestillation of Buffalo Trace destillate. This distillery is on my agenda in my upcoming US trip, and I am particular hoping to try some of their current and more premium products :-)

This bottle was a gift from one of my former bridge partners, who now are in charge of a restaurant here in Aarhus called "Den Rustikke", a faboulous place and deservedly no. 1 on tripadvisor for Aarhus Restaurants. He laid hands on a bunch of the remaining bottles of this in Denmark and he generously gave me a full bottle.

Virginia Gentleman

This is a delicate bourbon, very smooth and sweet, very drinkable and less woody and less rough than most other comparable priced bourbons. There's a little rye spice in this, but end of the day this is an uncomplicated bourbon on the sweet side. I am still learning how to drink and taste bourbons, but as my experience grows I get better in discovering the deeper layers of this fine american product.  

Rating 83

It's impotant you rehearse and train your palate and the more you drink the wiser you get !!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Whisky Round Table June

The June edition of the Whisky Round Table is now out and the host of June is Peter Lemon of The Casks

Peter asks the following question:

What makes for a positive distillery tour experience? How much of a role does the visitor center play in the experience? The access to the facility? The distillery manager or tour guide? Having just returned from my first trip to Scotland to visit distilleries…it’s safe to say visiting distilleries is on my mind. I’m guessing we’ve all done a bit of distillery visiting, be it to Scotch behemoths or small American craft distillers, what has made these visits a positive experience for you? 
Read our answers and contribute yourself HERE

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Glenkinchie from Cadenhead

1. Glenkinchie 21yo 51.6%
20cl bottling, no further data

Nose : a nice clean spirited nose with a big dash of vanilla, and a hint of nuts

Palate : more vanilla, wood spices. This is a simple, fragile and delicious dram. 

Finish : Short but with presence, the wood part of the palate hits deliciously

5-6 years ago Cadenhead bottled a range of Glenkinchies distilled around 1987 as approx 17-19 years old. These were faboulous. This might be a left over, not so active cask, as this is more thin on the spirit compared to the others (If you find any of them, it's a MUST buy)

This one, being more delicate and fragile in it's expression is also a delicious dram. Calssical well balanced whisky, that's not been messed with, that is no peat, sherry or any other wine influence. No sweetness at all and a little bitterness

Rating 84