Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Whisky’
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2012
This was a great year for the Rum Howler with respect to Whisky. I was able to help in a small way with the success of the 3nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival; I was selected to be on the North American Panel of Spirit Writers who judged the Canadian Whisky Awards; and I was able to almost double the number of Whisky reviews on my website this year. The result of all of this activity is that the year 2012 saw me taste and score more whisky than ever before. This means that my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky are better than ever.
All of my whisky awards are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Just as it is with my other Rum Howler Awards, all of the samples which I receive for review in a given year are automatically considered for the awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards.
And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky. These Awards are for the best Whisky Spirits I encountered in the year 2012, here is the link:
Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, DrinkWire, Irish Whiskey, Rum Howler Awards, Scotch Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 16, 2012
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.
The anCnoc whisky is produced on the distillery’s original style copper pot stills and worms (which condense the vapourized alcohol), 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.
I was sent a sample of the anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky by Woodman Wine and Spirits, who are the Ontario distributors for the anCnoc brand. The Whisky has recently been released in Ontario, Canada and is available through the Whisky Shop at the LCBO.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“…There is so much going on that it is hard to start. 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…”
Here is a link to my Review:
Please enjoy the review of this remarkable whisky!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: anCnoc, Inver House, Knockdhu, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2012
The blend for Johnnie Walker Gold Label was created in 1920 by Sir Alexander Walker to commemorate the Johnnie Walker Company’s 100 years in business dating back to 1820. This is of course how this particular blend of Johnnie Walker received its name. Although discontinued during the war due to shortage of blending stocks, the label was reintroduced in 1992, with a blend based upon the original blending notes left by Sir Alexander seventy-five years earlier.
Today the Centenary blend is reputed to contain 15 separate single malt whiskies each aged a minimum of 18 years. Of these single malts four in particular have been noted as being key to the distinctive taste of Johnnie Walker Gold: Talisker generates the general character of the blend; Clynish generates the brine and seaside ambiance; Royal Lochnagar imparts the luxurious palate; and Cardhu lingers in the throat and provides the finish. I have read some claims that grain whiskies are in the blend as well, but whether that is true I have no confirmation. I am not snobbish against the grain whiskies, and this review concentrates on the aroma, the flavour, and the character of the whisky.
Here is a link to my review:
Please enjoy this re-posting of my original November 2009 review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Johnnie Walker Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2012
Today Morrison Bowmore announced the oldest ever Bowmore, and indeed, the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released:
The Bowmore 1957 – 54 Years Old Single Malt
This Whisky was distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011. It has been slumbering in oak for more than half a century in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults. Amazingly there are only 12 bottles in existence. Bowmore 1957 is the oldest and rarest ever Bowmore. This will sure be one of the most sought after and collectible Monumental Whiskies in the entire world.
Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 To Be Auctioned at Bonhams In Edinburgh and New York City this October With All Net Proceeds Donated To Charity
For more information click here:
(The 2 bottles that will be up for auction have a reserve set at £100,000 per bottle. If a person would like to buy one but not at the auctions, they will have to purchase from Bowmore Distillery on Islay, Scotland and the price will be £100,000.)
Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bowmore 1957, Bowmore Whisky, Monumental Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off on Revealing Some Magic: The Oldest Bowmore Ever
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2012
A follow-up to yesterday’s posting …
According to the their media team, this month Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky will announce a particularly special bottling. Only a handful of these remarkable bottles will be available, such is the rarity of this limited edition. To echo the craftsmanship of the spirit, they have worked with an expert to once again encase it in the finest oak…
I suspect another Monumental Spirit is on the way, and I cannot hep but wonder how many bottles “only a handful” is?
Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off on Something Special with Peter Toaig
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2012
This is a bit of a teaser video sent to me by the North American Bowmore media team. I admit I was very intrigued so I decided to share the teaser with all of you. Apparently something special is on the horizon.
Posted in Extras, First Impressions, Howls, Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off on Something Special at Hamilton and Inches
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 31, 2012
I would like to welcome Iain McCallum, the current Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers to my website. I was granted an email interview with Mr. McCallum in early June, and after a bit of back and forth the interview was concluded in mid July.
Iain discusses his job as the Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD) as well as the various styles (and brands) of whisky that Morrison Bowmore produces at the three MBD distilleries in Scotland, the Bowmore Distillery, the Auchentoshan Distillery and the Glen Garioch Distillery. The interview moves on to the McClelland Single Malt Whisky brand which is also produced by Morrison Bowmore, and then on to a questions about MBD’s practice of aging the Bowmore Islay whisky offsite.
I am surprised to learn that the The Scottish Whisky Act has very little to say regarding the use of oak casks which have previously contained other wines and spirits (and how much of this liquid may be left in these casks to influence the flavour profile of the resulting whisky). Finally, Mr. McCallum gives his recommendations for the enjoyment of each of the Morrison Bowmore Distillery offerings sharing opinions regarding his favourite Malts, and his favourite cocktails with me. I am happy to learn that even the Master of Malts allows himself to enjoy a great cocktail!
You may read the full interview here:
Please enjoy the Interview!
Posted in Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Iain McCallum, Interviews, Master of Malts, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off on Introducing – Master of Malts, Iain McCallum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2012
Edradour holds the distinction of being the smallest distillery in Scotland. It is also the last original farm distillery in Perthshire. The same wooden equipment is used to mash and ferment the whisky today, that was purchased by the distillery 170 years ago. They use the smallest copper stills in Scotland, and in fact they are the smallest permissible by Scottish law. They also use the only working model of a Morton refrigerator (used in the distilling process) in the industry. You’ll find this unique distillery nestled in a small glen above Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands. A truly unique distillery, making truly unique single malt whisky.
The Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finished Whisky is a fully aged 12-year-old single malt. The whisky was aged for 12 years in American Oak and then finished in a Barolo wine barrel from Angelo Gaja, an Italian wine producer from Piemonte. This is a ‘cask strength’ offering bottled at a whopping 57.1 % alcohol by volume. I expect this to be a bit of a beast in the glass with strong flavours and aromas.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… I allowed the glass to breathe, and those scents and smells of the grain harvest seem to deepen. I also begin to notice a lightly floral character similar to lilacs and heather nestled in the background of the breezes, and some mixed berries (gooseberry, elderberry, and blackberries) seem to flicker in and out as well … “
Here is a link to the full review:
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Edradour Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 15, 2012
Yesterday I shared a few of my rum experiences which were, let me say, less than enjoyable. The list was meant to help you avoid similar pitfalls in your search for a suitable rum to buy Dad for Father’s Day. Today, I think it is only fair, that I also list a few of the whisky decisions I have regretted as well. The list I came up with, isn’t really a list of horrible whiskies that left me gasping (although a couple are). It is more of a list of whiskies which in some way tainted my enjoyment such that I kind of wished I had never succumbed to their charm in the bottle.
They made me run to them, and then they made me run from them, kind of like that Gloria Jones song covered by Soft Cell:
These are my regrets, and I publish this list in hopes that I can help you avoid a regret or two this Father’s Day. (Just for the fun of it, I think I will count them down in reverse order starting with a few minor regrets, working my way to my biggest whisky regret.)
Happy Father’s Day Everyone!
Posted in American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Howls, Irish Whskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Father's Day, Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on For Father’s Day – Avoiding my 10 Whisky Regrets
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2012
The Auchentoshan Distillery is somewhat of an anomaly amongst Scottish Distillers. It is the only Scottish Distillery that triple distills their entire core range of whisky. Triple distillation is common amongst Irish distillers, but very uncommon for a distillery producing Single Malt Whisky. The result of the triple distillation is a more laid back easy-going style of whisky which perhaps carries more floral elements, but which also may be a little less robust in character than traditional single malts.
The Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky is a recent addition to that core range of Auchentoshan Single Malts. It is (of course) a triple distilled whisky which has been matured in three different styles of Oak. These are in order: American Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso Sherry, and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. This unique aging process leads to a complex whisky with flavours from each style of oak imprinted upon the whisky. I recently received a sample bottle of the Auchentoshan Three Wood from the Regional Manager of Shiralli Agencies who are the local importer and distributor of Morrison Bowmore products. (The Auchentoshan Distillery and its brands are owned by Morrison Bowmore.)
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The whisky is rich with the aroma of oak which has firm stains of the sherry cask influence (dates, raisins and prunes), as well as some sweet toffee (brown sugar, vanilla and butterscotch) overtones. As the glass breathes, I sense a bit of a woodland aroma with scents of elderberry and willow thicket rising into the breezes with perhaps a bit of heather as well. Fruity tones are growing which remind me of blackberries and saskatoons …”
You may read the full review here:
Please enjoy the review as well as my new cocktail suggestion, The Autocrat Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Auchentoshan, Cocktails and Recipes, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky