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Posts Tagged ‘Whisky’

Review: Highland Park 10 Years Old (Viking Scars)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 5, 2021

Highland Park Distillery is located in the Highlands of Scotland on the Island of Orkney which is famous for its heather rich meadows, and its unique organic Orcadian peat. Their 10 Year Old Highland Park Whisky (Viking Scars) is part of the new core range of the distillery which includes the 12 Year Old Viking Honour and the 18 Year old Viking Pride.

According to the information provided to me, this Single Malt Whisky is aged predominantly in American Oak casks (Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks). The flavour is of course also driven by the hand cut aromatic peat from the Hobbister Moor which is used (by burning) to dry a portion of the malted barley.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Highland Park 10 Years Old (Viking Scars)

“… The Viking Scars surprised me with its mild approachable nose. The Orcadian peat is in the breezes, but it sits a little further back allowing notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and citrus fruit (orange peel) more prominence. The oak is spicy rather than woody and hints of almond seem to confirm the prevalence of American oak …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, Blood and Sand.

Chimo!

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

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky. When I reviewed the Gold Label in 2012, the Johnnie Walker website had this to say about their whisky:

GOLD LABEL RESERVE is blended from casks of Whiskies that have been specially selected from the Master Blender, Jim Beveridge’s Private Reserve.

It’s eight years later now, and Johnnie Walker has updated the website information which now reads as follows:

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is a Gold Medal award-winning blend created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge to celebrate nearly 200 years of the art of blending. Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is created using award-winning whiskies – including fruity Highland malts and lighter Speyside malts for sweetness and spice, combined with those from the Scottish islands for our signature smoky finish.

Apparently that ‘Private Reserve’ of Jim Beveridge has either been depleted, or it is now being used for other whiskies. The point is that is it obvious to me that if the description of how the whisky is produced has changed, then the taste profile and quality of the blend may have changed as well. It is probably a good time for a fresh review.

And here is a link to that fresh review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

“… Butterscotch, honey and wood spice, accents of canned fruit (peaches and apricots), vanilla, cooked apples, and hints of cinnamon. As the glass breathes we notice spicy tobacco and toffee and a welling up of wood spice, fresh grain and chaff, dry fruit (raisins and prunes) and some peat smoke …”

Please enjoy my review. I will continue to climb up the ladder of Johnnie Walker Whiskies with a review of the 18 Year Old which should be ready in a few weeks.

Chimo!

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

Review: Macaloney Caledonian Invermallie (Ex- Bourbon Cask)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2021

The Caledonian Distillery has been on my radar for a while now. I first heard of it when founder Graeme Macaloney invited me to an information seminar and whisky tasting several years ago. At that time the distillery was just in the planning stages and Graeme was touring the country raising money to build his distillery.

In the fall of 2016, word reached me that the Victoria Caledonian Brewery & Distillery had began to produce and age new make spirit and moved forward to 2020, the Macaloney Caledonian Distillery (there appears to have been a name change) began producing spirit which had reached the required maturity to be sold as Canadian Whisky.

Their recent Invermallie releases may be regarded as the distillery’s connoisseurs/collector’s edition expressions. Apparently the name is a nod to the flowing river Mallie. Like the changing river, this is an ever-changing series of classic single malt expressions based on unique one-off single casks, or other special selections.

This Invermallie Ex- Bourbon Cask release was selected from a single ‘first-use’ Bourbon cask. According to the distillery, this is the cleanest expression of the Macaloney Caledonian house style. This is because the previously contained Bourbon in the aging barrel has only a minor influence which allows the American white oak combining with the distillate to shine. Although the release appears to have already sold out, it nevertheless gives us a glimpse into the house style of the Macaloney Caledaonian Distillery.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Macaloney Caledonian Invermallie (Ex- Bourbon Cask)

“… The first sip brings a nice mixture of oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla and almond forward which gives me a positive impression of toffee and marzipan. The second sip brings herbal grassy flavours, gooseberries, orange peel and a touch of honey to the combination. Impressions of canned apricots, hints of raisins, and a touch of leathery barley add to the depth of the whisky …”

Please enjoy my review of this new addition to the Canadian Whisky Family.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Macaloney Caledonian Invermallie (Ex- Bourbon Cask)

Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky. The company has been operating since 1820, and has grown steadily to become one of the most important Scottish whisky brands in the world today.

According to my research, Johnnie Walker Black Label has undergone some changes since I published my last review in 2011. At that time it was advertised as containing up to 40 premium grain and malt whiskies. Today (December 2020) the Johnnie Walker Website has this to say about its iconic blend:

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a smooth and beautifully balanced whisky with a distinctive smoky flavour, expertly crafted using an unrivalled selection of Single Malts and Grains each aged for at least 12 years.

All of the whiskies in the Black Label blend are still aged at least 12 years, however references to the number of whiskies which are used to created the blend are no longer found. As well a more recent tasting of the blend seems to indicate to me that some of the richness and depth which I formerly associated with the blend has been lost. This means a fresh review is probably appropriate.

And here is a link to that review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label

“… Fine oak spices combine with treacle and dry fruit, raisins and green apples with perhaps a hint of Turkish Delight. More dry fruit (raisins and dates), and hints of chocolate appear with a light herbal smoke and a touch of boggy peat. Oak builds as we let the glass sit with vanilla and baking spices gathering …”

Please enjoy this review which continues my walk through the Johnnie Walker ladder of whiskies.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Review: Compass Distillers 100% Nova Scotian Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 18, 2021

Compass Distillers is located in Halifax Nova Scotia, where Graham, Josh, and David began their distilling journey with a belief that they could create world-class spirits locally. Their artisan Craft Spirits are not imported, they are not blended with generic ingredients, nor are they pumped out of a factory; rather, they are made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients.

Compass Distillers 100% Nova Scotian Rye gives recognition to bountiful harvest of Nova Scotia’s grain. The spirit was produced from grain which was milled, mashed, fermented, and distilled in Halifax, and then was aged in new charred North American oak barrels for three years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Compass Distillers 100% Nova Scotian Rye

“… Leathery grain and oak, burlap, butterscotch, vanilla and almond. Rye spice and fine oak spice with hints of ginger and cinnamon follow as do hints of milk chocolate …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new Canadian Rye Whisky.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Compass Distillers 100% Nova Scotian Rye

 
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