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Archive for the ‘Scotch Whisky’ Category

#80 The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2015

The Macallan Fine Oak Series was a range of single malt Scotch whiskies, produced at The Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland. These whiskies were matured in seasoned American oak casks, (sherry as well as bourbon), as well as seasoned sherry casks from Spain. Recently The Macallan Fine Oak Series was discontinued in Canada and replaced by a new line of Single Malt Whisky which they call, The Macallan 1824 Series.

The Macallum 17However, according to Canadian Brand Ambassador, Dan Volway, the 1824 Series does not (at this time anyway) signal the end of age statements on The Macallan Single Malt Whiskies. The Fine Oak Cask and Sherry Oak Cask Single Malt series will each continue to carry age statements in the selected markets where they remain available (the USA and certain overseas markets).

Here is a link to my review of the #80 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#80 – The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

“… I taste light butterscotch leading out in front; but, it is quickly smothered by sharper oak spices. As the mouth becomes heated with oak tannin, that penetrating sweetness which was present on the nose begins to assert itself beside the sharper oak acting to temper the heat and give the whisky a pleasant marshmallow and citrus appeal. (I cannot help but think of marshmallows as I sip on the whisky, as the flavour I encounter seems to have that similar intensity of sweetness.) …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #80 The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

#82 Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2015

Glenglassaugh Distillery is located just outside of the Speyside Whisky Region in Northeast Scotland. It is near the town of Portsoy, Banffshire about 50 miles from Aberdeen. The distillery was established in 1875 by Col. James Moir who managed the business  (with his two nephews) until 1892, when Highland Distillers stepped in and acquired the facility. The distillery remained in production until 1986 when, due to industry consolidation, it was mothballed.

In 2008, the distillery and the Glenglassaugh brand was purchased by the Scaent Group with the intention of rebooting the facility to take advantage of the surge in interest in whisky word-wide. Part of the marketing strategy was to release some existing warehouse stocks as vintage whisky bottlings, as within the facility were barrels of whisky which had sat in limbo quietly aging since 1986. Five years later, in 2013, due in no small part to the success of the vintage bottlings, (as well as the new whisky being produced) the BenRiach Distillery Company took over the Distillery bringing in new investment capital and corporate management to ensure the growth of the rebooted Glenglassaugh brand.

Glenglassaugh 26 SAM_1599Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the iconic vintage bottlings which was produced from spirit which had been distilled in 1984, and then had sat silently in a mixture of various oak barrels including both American Oak and ex sherry barrels. This whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv) sometime in 2010 and limited to a small production of 1002 bottles.

Here is a link to my review of the #82 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#82 – Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is full of oaky smells along with candied toffee and fruity sherry-like aromas. As I let the glass sit there continued to be a lot of oak and cedar in the breezes; however these wood spice and woody sap-like smells seemed to be well melded into the sweet toffee and the dark fruit which gave the nose good balance. There are hints of willow and heather in the breezes and perhaps just a touch of spearmint and orange zest as well …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #82 Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

# 85 anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 1, 2015

Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes not only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the anCnoc 12 Year is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Knockdhu Distillery (which is located under the dark ‘Knock Hill’, known to the local villagers by its Gaelic name of ‘Cnoc Dubh’). Production of anCnoc began at the Distillery in 1894 following the discovery of several springs of clear water on the southern slopes of the aforementioned Knock Hill.

anCnoc 12 YearanCnoc whisky is produced on the distillery’s original style copper pot stills, and it has been produced that way for over 100 years. The resulting whisky is aged in American oak and Spanish oak barrels (which were previously used to age either bourbon or sherry). These casks are stored in dunnage warehouses where the thick granite walls ensure a stable ambient temperature which results in a consistent (or predictable) aging regimen.

Here is a link to my review of the #85 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#85 – anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… Smells of sweet lowland grasses, willow thicket, and almost ripe barley are I guess, as good of a place to begin as any other. Wondering in and out of the breezes above the glass are scents of fresh honey, tart green apples, and lemongrass as well. Finally, the glass has a bit of an herbal flair with heather, wetland ferns and a touches of lowland peat residing in those breezes too. Rounding things off are dabbles of butterscotch and vanilla, and the overall effect is very nice …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

# 87 Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old Single Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 29, 2015

I mentioned earlier in this Top 100 Spirits countdown that Glenmorangie was amongst the first major Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels rather than Spanish oak (sherry casks) to age their whisky. This helped to change the taste profile of Scottish Whisky in a significant manner, and today ex bourbon barrels are use extensively alongside ex sherry casks in many Scottish distilleries. Later, in 1996, Glenmorangie introduced their wood finish range which began the distillery’s experimentation with a range of new wood finishes like port wood casks and wine barriques. Again, the industry followed suit, and now wine finishes are used by many distilleries. Glenmorangie can claim credit for helping to extend the range of the Scottish whisky taste profile.

Glen Morangie Orginal SAM_1711The Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old Single Malt is the original bourbon finished Glenmorangie Single Malt which serves as the cornerstone of the entire Glenmorangie line-up. The previously highlighted Glenmorangie, The Quinta Ruban would first have been distilled and aged in the same manner as this Original, before receiving its exotic wood finish. Interestingly enough, for my palate, the ‘unfinished’ 10 Year Old Single Malt is in fact superior not only to the Quinta Ruban, but also to the other ‘finished’ Glenmorangie expressions I have tasted. Sometimes, less is more.

Here is a link to my review of the #87 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#87 – Glenmorangie, The Original 10 Year Old

“… The nose is strikingly delicate with light herbal tinges that seem to dance in the breezes. My imagination is stirred by thoughts of waving barley fields below a floral alpine meadow. Rising into the air is a gentle vanilla and fading tones of bourbon which seem to give the whisky a mouth-watering appeal …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

# 88 The Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 28, 2015

The Balvenie Distillery is located at Dufftown which is of course, pretty much situated in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland. This is a Single Malt Distillery; but one which holds the distinction of being the only such distillery where every part of the process of making whisky takes place right at the distillery. The distillery grows and malts its own barley (about 10 % of its total requirement); it has its own cooperage; and it has its own copper-smith. Owned by William Grant and Sons, the distillery is one of the top 10 producers (by volume) of Scottish Single Malt Whisky.

Balvenie 12 SAM_1113The Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel is one of the company’s most recent offerings to arrive in Canada, and it replaces The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel whose stocks have been dwindling such that this expression is now quite hard to find (at least where I live). The 12 Year Old (like the 15 Year Old before it) is a true Single Barrel Whisky as each bottle is drawn from a single first-fill Bourbon cask selected by The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart. These casks were chosen to represent a consistent Balvenie character; however, each barrel will have its own unique character, and therefore each bottling from each unique barrel will be slightly different from each other. (And yes, this whisky spent its entire 12 year aging life in one single first-fill barrel.)

Here is a link to my review of the #88 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#88 – The Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel

“… The breezes above the glass indicate that the whisky has a firm oak character as those breezes are filled with a firm presence of clean oak spice. This woody spiciness is accented (quite nicely) with vanilla, sawgrass and almond scents. As the glass breathes, the whisky breezes become more complex bringing forward additional hints of butterscotch, honey and some sweet beer-like malt …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 88 The Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel

# 91 Auchentoshan 1976 (Aged 28 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 25, 2015

The 28-year-old, Auchentoshan 1976 is a Single Cask bottling, distilled in 1976, which I found and tasted at CSN Wine and Spirits in Calgary, Alberta. The store had purchased the entire cask of 156 bottles and at that time had approximately 20 bottles left in stock. (Note: CSN Wine and Spirits has many Single Cask bottlings for the avid Whisky enthusiast to enjoy. )

Auchebtoshan 28I was given a sample of this particular bottling by the Store Manager, J.P. Sandhu, who spent some time with me on a lazy Friday afternoon allowing me to sample some of the great selections of rum and single malt whisky which were available in his store. Although this whisky is certainly no longer available, it does rank as one of the truly great Scotch Whiskies I have tasted and deserves a spot on my Top 100 Spirits List.

Here is a link to my review of the #91 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#91 – Auchentoshan 1976 (Aged 28 Years)

“… The initial nose is full of lemon citrus and orange peel. A nice floral bouquet is evident in the glass as well with herbal qualities and a rich taint of heather. I sense a light peat aroma which begins to gain steam and turns smokey as the glass decants. Oak and vanilla have also began to build in the breezes which are speckled with scents of pine and moss …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 91 Auchentoshan 1976 (Aged 28 Years)

# 92 Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 24, 2015

The Glenmorangie Distillery was officially licensed to produce whisky in 1843 (how long the distillery was unofficial is unknown to me). Glenmorangie, from the beginning, established a tradition of innovation beginning with the construction of tall gin styled stills which would be used to distill their whisky rather than the traditional shorter onion shaped stills in use at the time. They were also amongst the first distilleries to use American oak for maturing their whisky, and in the early 1990’s they were at the forefront of the new style of ‘extra matured’ whiskies which are finished (or perhaps we can say flavoured) by spending time in used wine barrels.

Quinta RubanThe Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is a mature whisky (12 years old) that is first aged in ex bourbon casks for at least 10 years, and then finished or ‘extra matured’ in Ruby Port pipes from the Quintas of Portugal. The use of ruby Port pipes gives the Quinta Ruban a sweeter, fruitier flavour and finish.

Here is a link to my review of the #92 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#92 – Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

“… The initial aroma in the breezes is fruity, oak filled, and stained with chocolate. I notice zesty citrus notes in the air as well as impressions of maraschino cherry and dry fruit. Oak spices seem to lift from the glass giving me indications of orange peel, and spicy pepper. As the glass sits, walnuts, pecans and the light scent of baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, with hints of cinnamon) are added to the breezes …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 92 Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

#94 Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 22, 2015

The Glenfarclas Distillery is located in the Glenfarclas valley on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch which is in the heart of Speyside. The Distillery was purchased by the Grant Family in 1865, and it has remained in the control of the Grant Family for six generations up to the present day. In fact, Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries remaining in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.

Glenfarclas 15 SAM_1740I have had several opportunities to meet George Grant (of that sixth generation of the Grant Family) right here in Edmonton at a tasting events sponsored by Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc, who are the local importer/distributor of Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt Whisky in Alberta. At each event I attended, I was allowed to sample the entire line-up of Glenfarclas Whisky. Each time, I took the time to write detailed tasting notes for each whisky.

Here is a link to my review of the #94 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#94 – Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

“… The nose is very rich with the scents and smells of the sherry influence upon the whisky. Dried fruit (raisins, dates, and prunes) lead out with a very noticeable accent of dark chocolate. Dark toffee smells enrich the air above the glass, and as the whisky sits, rich baking spiced build and build. I can smell rich brown Demerara sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in the breezes above the glass …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #94 Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

# 96 The Macallan Ruby

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 20, 2015

The Macallan Distillers Ltd recently launched a new line of Single Malt Whisky which they call, The Macallan 1824 Series. Each whisky in the 1824 Series is 100 % Sherry Cask whisky, and each whisky within the range draws its name from the colour of the whisky inside the bottle as the series moves up the ladder from Gold to Amber, Sienna, and finally to Ruby in that order.

Macallan 1824 Ruby These whiskies carry no age statement. Instead, the consumer is asked to draw a parallel between the colour of the whisky in the bottle and its age, complexity, and quality. Because these whiskies are naturally coloured by the casks from which they are drawn, the implication is that the richer darker whiskies have aged longer, and/or have had more of their blend drawn from the higher quality Sherry oak casks.

The Macallan Ruby is the darkest production whisky in the series. The Ruby is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume, and all of this whisky was matured exclusively in European oak sherry casks.

Here is a link to my review of the #96 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#96 – The Macallan Ruby

“… The entry into the mouth brought somewhat of an unexpected rush of oak and spice forward as the whisky carried even more oak spice across the palate than what the nose implied. The complexity is top-notch as I tasted bittersweet dark chocolate, caramel toffee, raisin filled fruit cake, canned apricots, and zesty orange peel all mingling within that spicy rush of oak sap …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 96 The Macallan Ruby

#98 – Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (The Solera Vat 2013)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 18, 2015

This expression of the 15 Year Old Glenfiddich is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky aged in European (Spanish Sherry), American (American Bourbon) and New American (virgin) oak. The resulting whisky is then mellowed in a Solera Vat (which when introduced by Glenfiddich for the 15-year-old Single Malt, had no counterpart in the world of  Scotch whisky). The final blend is married in Portuguese Oak Tuns. The resulting whisky is (according to the Glenfiddich website) the first 15-year-old expression to become one of the top 10 best-selling Single Malt whiskies in the world.

14272 GF 15 YO WW Tround MockWhat’s really cool is that in June of 2013, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch announced that $2.00 from every bottle sold of this whisky in Canada would be donated to benefit Canadian Forces Members as part of their continued support for Wounded Warriors Canada. In honour of the ongoing partnership, Glenfiddich has changed its regular packaging throughout 2013 and beyond in recognition of the donation program to help raise awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. Founded in 2006, Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces Members (be they full-time members or reservists) who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.

Here is a link to my review of the #98 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#98 – Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (The Solera Vat 2013)

“… The initial nose reveals nice oaky scents of honey and butterscotch with some hints of dark fruit (raisin and dates) and mild notes of black licorice and cocoa. Some additional impressions of spruce and pine touch my nose with touches of heather and willow. The resulting breezes above the glass are rich and full of toffee and oak hinting at sherry smoke and a light herbal character …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

 

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #98 – Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (The Solera Vat 2013)

 
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