Wednesday, July 14, 2010

4 Whiskies bottled by Norse Cask

Glen Grant - Port Ellen - Rechlerich - Royal Lochnagar

The former danish importer of whisk(e)y and other spirits - Qualityworld, ran its own small independent bottler business, bottling around 10 casks a year. The whiskies were relatively cheap, you bought shares of 2-4 bottles approx 1½ year before the casks were bottled. QW unfortunately went bankrupt, but the reputation of their Norse Cask label lives on as a legend

Here's 4 of the bottles I haven't emptied yet and its some of their best ones:

1. Royal Lochnagar 1977 29yo 50.4%
Royal Lochnagar is a small distillery owned by Diageo. It's actually one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, with only a big handfull or so that's smaller.  It's a very handmade malt and the company use the place to teach their employees the craft of fundemental whiskymaking. It's lesser known as single malt and hard to find as independent bottling. I have to admit I am not particulary impressed with anything I tasted that was released from the distillery and I can't recall other IB's but this one makes it up for everything
The nose is excellent. Sweet fruits, apples and pears - mixed with floor varnish!. Its fullbodied and oily, a bit of roasted wood emerging as well. Think an oily armagnac with a twist of wood
Rating 88

Glen Grant - Port Ellen - Royal Lochnagar - Rechlerich 

2. Glen Grant 1965 40yo 52.5%
Glen Grant used to be part of the Chivas group but they were forced to get rid of it for monopolistic reasons. Under Campari's and Dennis Malcolm's leadership a new approach has started. Beside co-working with and selling new-make to Gordon and MacPhail again, the distillery have extended their bottling range to a "sligthly" more exciting range. I didn't particulary like the 5yo/NAS and 10yo but the recent new bottlings are very good. Look for them if you havent tried allready
A few years ago I wanted to buy my mother a birthdaypresent so I decided for this Glen Grant 1967 which is my birthyear. When Norse Cask bottled it, they excused and said, we are sorry but its from 1965 not 1967.. well sometimes I really can't get myself to complain when things turn out different than promised :-)
This Glen Grant has a fruity acidity (tart?) on the nose, and a very spicy palate - I get some very powerful mintleaves, I'm actual put back 4 weeks when I did a vertical mint leave tasting in my parents japanese garden, trying out 4 or 5 different kinds. It's a very delicious dram, with a long minty-woody-spicy finish. Very Fresh
Rating 88

3. Port Ellen 1979 28yo 53.6%
A lot of people think that Port Ellen is overrated and recent bottlings has gone overage. I am a big fan of old Islays, especially the 5 peatier ones : Caol Ila, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Port Ellen and Lagavulin, and I have to say that I like PE as well as the others. This is a classic old Islay with a the classic citrus+peat combo I tend  to find or describe quite often. The wood embraces the peat in a perfect match making this a great mouthfull, with a long, very long fresh minty finish..I think I got the mint pinpointed from the Glen Grant
Rating 90

4. Rechlerich 1964 40yo 53.5%
Well, Glenfarclas has the weird idea that other bottlers can't use their distillery name when they bottle Glenfarclas. So when you got a speysider with an alternative name (Speyside Finest, Speyside no. 1, Ballindalloch etc. it's probably a Glenfarclas). I think Glenfarclas are straight away wrong here, they simply miss a lot of free marketing. Most of my entrances to distilleries have been through independent bottlers, who bottle lot more varied casks, than what's available from the average distillery through OB's. And end of the day I prefer their kind of products (No caramel, single casks, no chillfiltration, full strength) opposed to distilleries who tend to do the exact opposite. Enough said, it been said plenty of times by me and a 1000 other anoraks :-)
This one is a sherry monster. Its very hard to find unflawed sherry whiskies, but here's a perfect one.
Liqeurice, vanilla, dried fruits. Its a very intense and powerful dram, one of the kinds that can only be sipped drop by drop. So its not easy drinking whisky, but it is very enjoyable whisky. The finish is neverending, you probably won't find longer finishes than this. If you're crazy with sherrymatured whisky you probably regret you didnt get hold of a bottle of this. 10 minutes after the last sip a bit of smoke/tobacco appeared. Amazing
Rating 90

Glen Grant - Port Ellen - Royal Lochnagar - Rechlerich

Whisky-Emporium got the last two of these blind together with 2 others. I think he did rather well, a fine set of tasting notes, and blind guessing is harder than you think..unless someone serves a Bowmore :-)

Norse Cask bottlings might still be availbale here : (The above is most likeable sold out)

No comments:

Post a Comment