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Archive for the ‘Scotch Whisky’ Category

Beyond Islay: Part 4 – Scapa Glansa (Single Malt Whisky)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 19, 2017

scapa-glansa-75cl-bottleThis is the fourth Single Malt Whisky which I tasted at the Beyond Islay tasting event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. Scapa Glansa continues our exploration of the Island of Orkney in the north of Scotland.

Scapa Glansa is a non age stated (NAS) whisky produced from unpeated malted barley. It was first aged in American oak casks, and then finished in casks which had previously contained peated whisky. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Scapa Glansa (Single Malt Whisky)

“… The initial nose is light and somewhat musty. There is a soft ashy peat in the background with scents of willow trees and fresh hay in the foreground. I also sense some fruity notes of pear, banana and pineapple with a mild sweep of vanilla and almond …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a nice recipe suggestion, the Mamie Taylor Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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Beyond Islay: Part 3 – Highland Park Dark Origins

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2017

dark-originsThis is the third Single Malt Whisky which I tasted at the Beyond Islay tasting event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. Highland Park Dark Origins showcases the Island of Orkney in the north of Scotland.

Highland Park Dark Origins is the latest addition to the Core Expressions Range of Highland Park Whisky. It features a higher proportion of Sherry cask whisky than the other expressions in the range (twice the amount as is found in the Highland Park 12 Year Old). This give the Dark Origins a richer sherry influence than the other whiskies in the range.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Highland Park Dark Origins

“… I taste an oily peat with both floral heather and willow thicket impacting its flavour. Some sherry-like raisins and prunes are merging into the peat as are some light baking spices honeyed oak and citrus spice. The overall result is a smokier, heavier version of Highland Park …”

Please enjoy my review which includes the cocktail suggestion, the Rusty Nail.

Chimo!

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Review: The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2017

the-glenrothes-bcrBerry Bros. & Rudd is one of London’s oldest Wine and Spirits Merchant with over 300 years of experience and tradition from which to draw upon. The company began its operation at 3 – St. James’s Street (in London, UK) in 1698, and still operates from that same location today. Although they are primarily merchants of wine, the company has a strong presence in the sale of distilled spirits as well.

Their presence within the spirits industry had its beginnings approximately 100 years ago when Berry Bros. & Rudd developed the Cutty Sark brand in 1923. In 2010 Cutty Sark (the brand) was sold to The Edrington Group. As part of the arrangement Berry Bros. & Rudd acquired The Glenrothes Single Malt Whisky brand.

The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve was formerly known as Alba Reserve. It is a Kosher expression which has been matured entirely in ex-bourbon barrels. Here is a link to my full review:

Review: The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve

“… I begin to notice new smells of roasted coconut, canned apricot, and interestingly some fresh-cut corrugated cardboard. The oak and sandalwood spice has brought a few willow trees into the breezes, and the almond and vanilla seem to have morphed into a plate of graham wafers …”

Please enjoy my review and the cocktail suggestion which follows (Alpine Meadows).

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beyond Islay: Part 2 – The Arran 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2017

18yo-arranThe Arran 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is a Single Malt produced from unpeated barley by Arran Distillers. I tasted the spirit at an event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. The Isle of Arran is of course showcased by this whisky.

Arran Distillers was founded by Harold Currie, former director of Chivas. Located in Lochranza, Scotland, it is the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. Their 18 year Old spirit is a blend of both aged ex-Sherry Cask and ex-Bourbon Cask whiskies.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: The Arran 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… As I examined the dram I began to notice an increasing malty sweetness with apple and canned pear aromas developing. Some almond-like marzipan is hinted at in the breezes and as I enjoy myself grassy notes come forward and the fine oak spice builds. This is a whisky which grows in the glass …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a cocktail suggestion at the conclusion, the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2016

sherry-cask-lasanta-sam_2868The 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. (I suggest flavoured because these used wine barrels rarely impart any oak into the whisky, and the primary result of their use is to impart some of the previously held wine’s flavour into the whisky.) The core range of Glenmorangie includes three of these unique extra matured whiskies, the Sherry cask Finish Lasanta, which is a Sherry finished whisky, the Nector D’or, which has a Sauternes wine finish, and the Quinta Ruban, which has a Ruby Port Finish.

Recently the Lasanta received a bit of a make-over from the distillery. Previously the expression was branded Glenmorangie the Lasanta, and to produce the whisky the distillery began with a spirit very similar to their Glenmorangie Original (a ten-year old spirit matured in first and second fill bourbon barrels) which was finished or extra matured in Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks. The new Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Lasanta on the other hand carries a full 12 Year Old age statement in clear view, and this spirit is extra matured for the two final years in a combination of  Olorosso and PX Sherry Casks.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

“… The initial aroma in the breezes carries obvious scents of dry raisins and dates. It is also oak filled with assertive wood spice, and it is stained with coca and cola.Taking my time with the glass I notice a few citrus notes and building baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon) in the air as well …”

Please enjoy my review of the new Lasata expression from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2016

milsean-sam_2872Glenmorangie was among the first Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (sherry casks). 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. Then, 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 have become common in the Single Malt industry. Once again Glenmorangie can claim credit for helping to extend the range of the Scottish whisky flavour profile.

Today Glenmorangie continues to extend the taste profile of their whisky with their annual Private Edition Range which features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. I was introduced to the newest (the seventh) of these Private Edition bottlings, Glenmorangie Milsean in an old-fashioned St. Louis Streetcar at the top of Edmonton’s High Level Bridge during a whisky tasting hosted by Glenmorangie’s global brand ambassador, Karen Fullerton.

Here is my Review:

Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

“… The initial breezes bring hints of butterscotch and maple that are quickly drowned out by oaky spice and nutty barley grain. There is a bit of leather and burlap giving the dram an earthiness which is quite pleasing.  As the glass sits, the wood and grain spices build up bringing more of that leathery earthiness forward as well as undertones of licorice root and Angelica …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new dram from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

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Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (W&M204)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 9, 2016

Invergordon 30 SAM_2697 Invergordon Distillers (currently owned by Whyte & Mackay) was founded in 1959 in the Highlands region of Scotland and the newly built distillery began to operate in 1959.  The distillery has three working Coffey stills which produce grain whisky (primarily from wheat and corn) for various Whyte and Mackay blended whiskies as well as other Scottish producers.

The 1984 Invergordon 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2015. This whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Special Release Series which comprises of special bottlings of Scotch whiskies, all of which are 25 years of age or older, and many of which have received an unusual or special maturation regime. This particular whisky was matured for its entire life in a 2nd fill Sherry butt and bottled at cask strength (57% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain (W&M204)

“… The initial notes of caramel toffee, oak spice sherry-like dry fruit have gained strength and been joined by a light but firm impression of peat smoke. There is a nice winding of vanilla in the breezes as well as firm hints of old leather saddles and bits of baking spice. Impressions of corn syrup and Graham wafers bring the grain into focus with a touch of grassy meadow in the background …”

Please enjoy my latest Single Grain Whisky review.

Chimo!

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Review: Wilson and Morgan – Home Blend 35 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 3, 2016

W&M HomeblendWilson and Morgan is an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky based in Italy. The company was founded in 1992 by Fabio Rossi who also founded Rum Nation. Wilson and Morgan specialize in single grain and single malt whiskies which have been purchased by the barrel from selected Scottish distillers. The whisky barrels  purchased range in age from 10 years to 30 years and are left to age (usually at the distillery where they were purchased) until they are ready to be bottled sometimes after they have been re-casked for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks.

The 1980 Sherry Wood 35 Year Old Home Blend Whisky (barrel  #26) was distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2015. The whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Collector’s Edition which comprises of special bottlings all of which are currently aged 30 years or more. The whiskies within this aged blend were married together in a sherry butt, (barrel number 26) which produced 529 bottles at 47.6 % alcohol by volume (my bottle is number 424). This spirit was bottled with the intent to create a venerable old whisky which would hearken back to an earlier time when well aged blends were the undisputed crown jewels of Scottish whisky.

Here is a link to my full review of this well aged blend:

Review: Wilson and Morgan – Home Blend 35 Year Old

“… The nose brings notes of dark brown sugar combined with rich baking spice and sherry-like notes of dates and raisins. Vanilla and orange marmalade come forward as does a welling of pipe tobacco spice. Hints of ‘old leather jacket’ seem to wisp into the air only to disappear and then reappear as wet burlap …”

Please enjoy my review of this venerable blended whisky, Chimo!

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Review: Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (Cask #900009)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2016

W&M Girvan 35 SAM_2514Wilson and Morgan is an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky based in Italy. The company was founded in 1992 by Fabio Rossi who also founded Rum Nation. Wilson and Morgan specialize in high quality single grain and single malt whiskies which have been purchased by the barrel from selected Scottish distillers. The whisky barrels purchased range in age from 10 years to 30 years and are left to age (usually at the distillery where they were purchased) until they are ready to be bottled sometimes after they have been re-casked for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks.

The Girvan distillery is located in the Lowland region of Scotland in South Ayrshire. The distillery (currently owned by William Grant & Sons) was founded in 1963 and features six column stills which produce grain whisky from a mix of 90 % wheat and 10 % barley.

The Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1979 and bottled in 2015. This offering is bottled at cask strength (51.6% alcohol by volume), and is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Collector’s Edition which comprises of special bottlings all of which are currently aged 30 years or more.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (Cask #900009)

“… a combination of butterscotch and maple scents have melded themselves into the grain and wood spice bringing about a wonderful richness which almost makes my mouth water. Canned fruit (apricots and peaches) aromas are quite obvious in the breezes and cherry-like scents akin to red licorice are hinted at as well. Baking spices (vanilla and bits of cinnamon) and almond turning to marzipan round out the nose which is extremely inviting …”

Please enjoy my review of the well aged wheat based grain whisky.

Chimo!

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Review: Cameronbridge 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 18, 2016

Cameron Bridge 1984Wilson and Morgan is an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky based in Italy. The company was founded in 1992 by Fabio Rossi who also founded Rum Nation. Wilson and Morgan specialize in single grain and single malt whiskies which have been purchased by the barrel from selected Scottish distillers. The whisky barrels  purchased range in age from 10 years to 30 years and are left to age (usually at the distillery where they were purchased) until they are ready to be bottled sometimes after they have been re-casked for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks.

The 1984 Cameronbridge 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2015. The whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Collector’s Edition which comprises of special bottlings all of which are currently aged 30 years or more. Because of the small number of bottles obtained from cask #12973, it was most probably an ex-bourbon hogshead. (After checking with Morgan and Wilson, I learned that the whisky had never been re-casked or subjected to any special finishing process.) This 1984 Cameronbridge offering is bottled at cask strength (56.7% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my full review of this well aged Single Grain Whisky:

Review: Cameronbridge 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain (Cask #12973)

“… Coarse brown sugar mixed with vanilla and bits of cinnamon make my mouth water as impressions of my Mom’s famous cinnamon rolls  have began to form in my consciousness. Within all of that rich goodness are light herbaceous impressions of grassy meadows and piny forests …”

Please enjoy this review, and you can look forward to more reviews from the Wilson and Morgan Collector’s Edition Series in the months that follow.

Chimo!

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