Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today it's International World Whisky Day

Today it's International World Whisky Day




Which one are you celebrating ?. Both ?. None ?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alligator, Black Art, Thor and a Scapa

Last night I had a few drams at the Cockney Pub in Århus. Here's 4 short reviews

1. Higland Park Thor 16yo 52.1%

Nose: Light, fruity, apple-pears, a very plesant nose, but not typical Highland Park
Palate: Dark fruits, light peat, sligth rubber emerges from the initial lighter fruitness
Finish: Medium
A bit unbalanced, the slight rubber puts me off a bit
Norm Dam: "one of those whiskies you can give a lady instead of a cognac"

Rating 81

The two fellows in the bar, said I should have got the Black Art instead, Norm warned me and said it was just another ladies whisky. Let's see

2. Bruichladdich Black Art 21yo 1989 49.7%

Nose: Fruity and delicious
Palate: latex, again some sligt rubber, dried fruits, this whisky seems flat to me in the sense that it has no edges. This tastes like there has been several casks involved. Finishing tends to cut of edges. Very drinkable and balanced, but not really my style
Finish : Longer

Rating 83

3. Ardbeg Alligator 51.2%

Nose : Intrigueing nose, reminds me of Uigeadail actually. The complexity hits me, its clearly we are one step up from the prior whiskies. Peat and wood with a nice vanilla spicyness in the background
Palate: Peat and charcoal(light), This whisky feels round and balanced initially but
Finish : The youth is expressed with a slightly rough an roasted finish

Alligator has been matured on extra charred casks, which are named alligator casks throughout the industry as the charred wood looks like alligator skin. This extra charring is clearly present in this whisky which has a note of burned wood, most clearly present in the finish

Rating 86

4. Scapa McKillops Choice 1989 54.4%  14yo

I wasn't really gonna get a fourth, what can possible follow a heavily peated Ardbeg ?. But then I spotted this on the shelf which was whisky of the week. So I decided to relax with this, and I have to admit I wasn't that analytical drinking this. The young guy next to me, dressed up as a 2 meter tall green irish leprechaun, was going on about this Grand Marnier finished whisky he really liked but couldn't remember the name of. Maybe it was the Black Art :-).

Often Scapa is a somewhat anonymous dram, but this was rather pleasant with signs of maturing on a good cask. It was a combo of lighness and wood spicyness which I think was really well balanced and I really enjoyed this final dram before joining the didley-dees with a pint of Guiness (and a Jaipur..)

Rating 85

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More great places to have a pint

A while ago (http://danishwhiskyblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/great-places-to-have-pint.html) I mentioned some pubs I have particular enjoyed when I am on holiday. I always try to seek out places where better than average beers and whiskies are served. Good beverage is usually followed by good food as well.

Here is a few recent favourites

1. Christian Firtal - Odense

A cozy pub right in the city center of Odense, Denmarks thirdlargest city and the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. This pub is named after the danish king Christian IV. Here's a selection on a tuesday night :

The turnaround is great, there's often a new beer on every night, and especially the "Humlehaner" section is being hit a lot (it means "hoppy taps"). Great atmossphere, and the place can be very busy on weekdays as well!. The staff is knowledgeable and they got a great selection of whiskies as well. Even the whiskybar has a great turnaround, so there's often new bottles on this shelf as well. Cadenhead is the main bottler on the shelf 

An example of a fantastic beer I had here : St. Austell's Proper Job

2. Park Way Tavern - Tacoma, Washington

Beer Randall

A very cozy tavern, with very friendly staff and guests. Around 20-30 taps, of which one is american cask ale. Every monday at 5 PM they do a Randall. A Randall is basically infusing a beer with extra flavours. The day I was there, they had the tube filled with a few extra hop varieties and some orange and citrus zest. The latter had the biggest impact on the new beer. This is the kind of pub I wish I had in MY neighbourhood

3. Russian River - Santa Rosa, California

On a my holidyas in the US I so far managed to visit around 20 craft breweries, ranging from the excellent and very big Sierra Nevada to a range of small microbreweries and brew-restaurants. The latter is a very common thing to find on the west coast US. Russian River is my favourite so far. Their restaurant is located in Santa Rosa just north of the Bay Area in California.

Left blackboard at Russian River. RR IPA was my favourite

Right Blackboard

A tasting set, this is done by all the craft breweries

Russian River is an outstanding brewery. I've been visiting around 15 in a week, and they were all nice encounters with a range of tasty beers, but the Russian River brews just blew my mind away. This is a world class brewery. As you can see, they have something for everybody, and a few friends that are into the stronger, belgian ale style kind of beers, possible wood aged tell me that the right side has a range of world class beers as well. I was stuck on the left blackboard, as I was driving, but I do like hoppy, fresh, lower ABV IPA's and the varieties made at Russian River was a delightfull way to spend an hour for lunch break. And the pizza was good as well-

4. Black Ox, Prague

If you are walking around Prague, visiting the major tourist attractions, don't forget to pop into the Black Ox. Or as it's called in Czech : U Cerneho Vola. It's one of the few remaining traditional czech pubs left in the castle area in Prague

Pivnice U Cerneho Vola on Loretta Square

On tap is FRESH Kozel and maybe also Pilsner Urquell, what more can you ask for. Don't forget to taste some of the local food snacks, like marinated camembert (hermelin) or topinky, which is a czech version of bruschetta (and a lot better)

5. Brew Dog, Edinburgh and Glasgow

Edinburgh and Glasgow is an abundance of great pubs. If you fancy something a wee bit different, why not try the excellent Brew Dog Pubs. In Edinburgh is very close to the Royal Mile, and in Glasgow is just opposite Kelvingrove art Museum. There's 5-6 Brewdog beers on tap, and a few guest beers, like Mikkeler. Great food is served as well

Monday, March 12, 2012

Whiskybase part II of III

1. Littlemill Archives 1989 48.3%
Bottled 2011, 22yo, refill sherry hogshead
Whiskybase link : http://whiskybase.com/whiskies.php?merkid=92&whiskyid=25065

Nose : VERY herbal, makes me wonder if this has been infused with herbs :-)
Palate : Licorise, burnt sugar, hint of latex, and faint hint of mint emerges on the finish
Finish: Long

This is a powerful tasting whisky. And very unusual. It's very herbal and the sherry impact is powerful. Big and bold, but its in both sherry and flavour. The distillery profile and the cask is battling, but there is no clear winner.

Rating 90

2. Strathmill Archives 1974 44.5%
Bottled 2011, 37yo
Whiskybase link: http://whiskybase.com/whiskies.php?merkid=120&whiskyid=25064

Nose : Delicate fruit. Apples with a layer of sweet lemon-orange
Palate : Orange liqueur, spicy, did I say oranges, this is like sugar marinated orange slices, finished with a spicy minty layer. Medium intensity
Finish : Medium and minty

Rating 89

Nice dram, that has a nice oomph, despite the lowish ABV

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Whiskybase part I of III

Whiskybase is a great online catalogue, were whiskyentusiasts can keep track of their collections and rate whiskies. It has in just a few years become one of the best sources of tracking whiskies on the internet.

The site can be found here http://whiskybase.com/

Just recently the guys behind whiskybase has opened a whiskyshop in Rotterdam, check the link above for their online whiskoshop. They also have an excellent facebook page where news from the whiskyshop can be followed. I know both Menno and Ras personally and as Ras and I are in a whisky society together, I had a chance to taste their products acouple of times. Whiskybase shop has existed in just months and has allready made joint bottlings with Whisky-Fässle and Silver Seal beside bottling their own range - Archives

Whiskybase shop


I will start with a couple of joint bottlings between Whisky-Fässle and Whiskybase

1. Bunnahabhain 1968 Whisky-Fässle 43.8%
Bottled 2011, 42yo, refill sherry

A delightful nose, very typical old Bunnahabhain. Some light fruityness of aples and pears

The palate is ozzing of old whisku woth a delicate pine spicyness. It's not the most intense whisky on the market, it's more of the delicate subtle specie. The finish has the, for me, typical Bunnahabhain maltiness and a little wood bitterness

This is a great old Bunnahabhain

Rating 89

2. Caperdonich 1972 Whisky-Fässle 45.0%
Bottled 2011, 39yo, refill sherry

Nose : earthy, light fruits again but not as prominent as the Bunnahabhain
Palate : nutty, slight musty. Another delicate whisky. The wood impact is almost nonexistant, as usually seen with old Caperdonichs. But the many years in the cask has mellowed and softened this whisky into a delightful smoothness

Another great 1972 Caperdonich

Rating 90

Both of these whiskies are very delicate and subtle, some would say a bit fragile. I enjoyed them much more today than the last time I tried them which was in the middle of a somewhat extended dramming session :-). Whiskies like these can be overpowered in a situation like that

Coming soon : 4 Archives 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Danish Whisky Blog joins The Whisky Round Table!!

I am very honored to join a group of whisky bloggers called the Whisky Round Table

Each month the groups members take turns hosting a question which the members can opiniate about!

March is hosted by 

The Question asked is about distilleries bottling new-make and/or similar

You can read about it on Edinburgh Whisky Blog HERE

A little bit about Edinburgh Whisky Blog :

It's a group of now 5, but original 2 young, posh and classy guys from Edinburgh. They've met through working for the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh as tourguides. 

They sometimes host events and I had the pleasure of meeting most of their team last November. 

EWB pours :-)