Thursday, 28 February 2013

Abbey's Rare Journey To Islay!

Whisky: Abbey Whisky Rare Casks 2nd Edition Bunnahabhain 23 yr old



Abbey Whisky



Bunnahabhain 23 Yr Old The Rare Casks









About six weeks ago Abbey Whisky posted a question on their Facebook page.

That question was "The first release of the Rare Casks (Caperdonich) was so popular that we're releasing another one, however we need your help deciding what our next release will be.  The choices are a peated Bunnahabhain, distilled in 1989 and aged in a bourbon barrel for 23 years. Natural cask strength of 44%.


A Bruichladdich distilled in 1992, aged in a bourbon barrel for 20 years. Natural cask strength of 57%."

Three of the people who posted the answer for what would be chosen (we're all voting here now) would receive a free sample of the new Rare Cask.

I sat there frozen with indecision.

A peated Bunnahabhain, oh god that sounds good, but it sits at 44% and most people who know me, know I'm a higher abv kinda guy, but it's a peated Bunnahabhain.

The Bruichladdich sounds beautiful and it's quite a bit higher in strength, but then I go back to the peated Bunnahabhain.

Which do I choose?!  How do I decide?!  This is impossible.  I know that realistically I'm not the guy who's got the final say, but it feels like this massive decision.

I finally tentatively post "oooo So hard to choose! I'm torn between the two, but I think my vote will have to be . . . the peated Bunnahabhain. Oh god it's so hard to know which one will be the better they both sound so good!"

Whew, that was so much harder then voting for president, it's like deciding what to name your child, a decision that irrevocably alter your world, helping decide the new Rare Cask release.

Over the next couple days I watch this post closely to see what the popular vote is...

By a landslide it's the Bunnahabhain!

Several weeks after that initial post Abbey Whisky announces the new Rare Cask....

It's the Bunnahabhain!

Awesome!!  Oh sweet baby Jesus that sounds awesome!

Weeks go by and I start feeling an itch, my whisky sense is tingling.  So I send an email out to Abbey asking if they've decided on what the 3rd Rare Cask release will be.

I immediately receive a reply back, it just has a link to the Royal Post and a smiley face.

It's tracking, on a package, saying it's just arrived in Perth today.

A new message pops up on my screen from Abbey "Surprise."

My wife at this point sends me an sms saying that a package has just arrived at our shop.

It contains whisky.

Oh sweet baby Jesus!  Talk about service!

The next eight hours CRAWL by as I await the opening of that lovely little sample bottle, the pouring of it's contents into my trusty little glencairn.

Finally I get home, dinner is finally cooked and I'm able to crack open the bottle.

It pours pale, pale gold as is to be expected coming from a bourbon cask.

Oh god I can't begin to describe how excited I am right now!

Over the next hour I nose my trusty glencairn, restraining my desire to take a sip, as this is my first Bunnahabhain to taste, so it needs to be savored, enjoyed...

drawn out.

A lovely little nose starting off with medicinal smoke with peat, but after a few minutes in the glass it starts to open up, beautifully, with fruit and flowers, there's a hint of ash tray as my wife describes it, but it's enjoyable, as all good Islays are, but as I said then the fruit and flowers develop and appear.

Apples, Pears, Quite floral at times with apple blossoms swirling around in the peat and the smoke.  A touch of spearmint then toasted oak and burnt caramel, then vanilla with the occasional hint of spice, it's gone too quickly for me to pinpoint what spice, I want to say cinnamon, but like I said it's there and gone again.

Time for a taste though!

Light smoke, then floral with a little honey, some spices, again cinnamon over some dried oranges then some lovely bitter chocolate.

Enjoyable, very enjoyable and it is an interesting take on the typical Islay where you rarely expect flowers to pop out, or at least I don't expect to have floral Islays.

The finish lingers and is spicy to start with and then goes floral again, with the floral notes lasting for minutes.

As I said before it's interesting and very enjoyable, a fascinating departure from the normal Islay whiskies that I'm used to and quite moreish and for lack of a better term "sessionable."

And price wise for a cask strength whisky, that's over 20 years old, once more stupidly reasonably priced at roughly $130 AUS, but just so you know you need to act fast as there's only 96 bottles in existence and one of them is coming home with me!

Nose:          23/25 
Taste:         22/25
Finish:         22/25
Balance:      20/25

Overall:       87/100

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

24 Days of Christmas: Day 21!

Whisky: Master of Malt 50 yr old Speyside 3rd Edition

Master of Malt

Master of Malt 50 yr old Speyside 3rd Edition



Pale Gold

My wife purchased an whisky advent calender from Master of Malt, a calender of 24 different whiskies from all over the world, whiskies of different styles, regions, strengths and ages.

Including a 50 year old Speyside whisky bottled by Master of Malt.

Now this is the fourth 50 year old whisky I'll have tried and there are a couple of important things to realize about whiskies this old.

The first is that oftentimes, not always, but sadly too often, whiskies over 30 years old can become very oaky and bitter, losing all the beauty that they once had.

The second thing that one needs to remember is that these whiskies deserve your respect, nay your full undivided attention.

These are not casual drinking whiskies, they're not something that you throw down on a Friday night, they're not something that you sit down and drink while watching the football game.

These are whiskies that you sit and savor and ponder.

You sit there and as the aromas hit your nose you realize that your smelling something that was first distilled during the middle of the civil rights movement in the USA.

When it touches your tongue you realize that you're tasting something that was set aside in a cask before the Americans entered Vietnam.

As the flavor lingers on your tongue, as the finish slowly fades you realize that you are ingesting something special, something that is a half century old, something that was around before the modern computer, the cell phone, the internet.

That half century deserves and demands your full attention as you contemplate the world in which it was distilled and sealed away in a cask in a warehouse to be cracked when the time is just right.

I crack the wax seal on the sample bottle and pour the contents into the glencairn, and give the whisky a swirl, watching the legs, long and thin, slide down into the liquid in which it came.

The liquid is pale, much paler then I would have thought 50 years in a cask would have given it, leading me to believe that it must have been matured in bourbon barrels, not sherry, but this is just a thought, a guess.

When I give the whisky a nose I'm pleased, thrilled even.  The oak doesn't dominate the nose at all, it's there, but refined and elegant and over the next 90 minutes or so I get to see how it plays beautifully with the other aromas in the whisky.

Toasted oak hits you first and then slowly apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, coffee, honey, citrus, toffee, all of them swirl in and out, refined and elegant, none ever dominating the aroma, but constantly changing and showing a new side of it.

Stupidly complex and beautiful, always inviting me to join it and take a sip.

I always let my wife have the first sip which she happily takes and informs me that it's very good, but she's a little puzzled by it.

I'm intrigued and happily take the glencairn back.

I take a sip and hold it in my mouth, basking in the flavors, letting it wash over me, sultanas, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and after a minute or so chocolate appears.

Beautiful and very moreish, a whisky that is way too easy to drink.

The finish is so long, starting out with sweet sugar, then moving into cinnamon and nutmeg and ending on icing sugar.  The finish starts off strong and then drops off abruptly to a soft note, that lingers on and on, for 10, 15, 20 minutes that your still tasting the lingering notes.

God how many times can I say beautiful.

But that's what this whisky is, refined and elegant after that half century in a cask and definitely a brilliant note to end that whisky calender on.

And if you want this 50 year old you can buy it, for a fairly reasonable sum of cash, roughly $500 AUS which while it may seem extremely expensive, you need to keep in mind that Glenfiddich 50 year old runs at around $25,000 AUS, Old Pulteney 40 year old runs at around $2000 to $3000 AUS, which kind of puts that $500 into perspective. 

However if you just want to try a dram of it you can for the easy price of $30 or so AUS.

A great price in my opinion, and an AWESOME Christmas present!

To end this series of reviews you'll probably have noticed I said 24 whisky samples and I've only listed 21 whiskies, the other 3 whiskies if you're curious were: Lagavulin 16 yr old, Auchentoshan Three Wood and Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yr old.

Even better I've been talking to Master of Malt and they've informed me that they're going to be doing the whisky advent calenders year round now. 


Nose:        24/25
Taste:       23/25
Finish:       23/25
Balance:    23/25

Overall:    93/100

Saturday, 23 February 2013

24 Days of Christmas Whisky: Day 20: 
God I LOVE Talisker!


Whisky: Talisker 2000 Distiller's Edition Amoroso Finish





Talisker 2000 Distiller's Edition






Young Sauternes

For Christmas my wife purchased me a whisky advent calender from Master of Malt, a calender of 24 different whiskies, from all over the world, different styles, different strengths, different ages.

I'd gone through almost every single sample, starting at ones I had ideas about, mild interest in, saving the best for last.

Two more whiskies to try, the ones that had me the most interested.

This sample was a Talisker, hands down at this time my favorite Scottish distillery.

A Talisker 2000 Amoroso Finish Distiller's Edition.

Now this is the distillery that I ALWAYS have at least ONE of their bottles in my cabinet at anyone time.

Something, anything Talisker is something that makes me smile.

So when I got home from work I cracked open the sample bottle and poured it into my glencairn and got down to the serious business of checking out my latest goodie!

A sexy, lovely nose that is immediately reminiscent of the Talisker 10 yr old, but with some more refinement that I expect out of the 18 yr old.

The first thing that hits is the peat and the pepper with a citrus aroma that evolves over the course of an hour or so. Underneath is tobacco and then a hint of ash tray that stays around. As the whisky's nose develops along a hint of mint appears, soft and sweet.

God I love Talisker. I honestly can't say that enough.

After about 45 minutes or so I decide it's time to take a sip!

It's beautiful and oily, coating the entire mouth and covering the palate with so many beautiful flavors.

A lovely blend of smoke and ash combines with a beautiful spiciness of pepper and nutmeg, with a beautiful sweetness of fruit jam underneath it all.

Have I said yet how much I love Talisker? Because I really do.

The finish is long, lingering with burnt caramel and pepper that goes on and on.

This whisky again reinforces my love of this distillery, and has brought home the fact that I'm going to be coming home from Scotland with bottle after bottle of Talisker to enjoy.

Even better this sexy is available in Australia for an easy going $120 or so AUS which is a stupidly good price for this sexy little whisky.

About the only fault I honestly have with this whisky is that I'd have loved to have seen it at cask strength, but that's ok, I'll be getting a cask strength Talisker pretty soon...

The only question remaining is will my wife murder me for picking up a bottle of this on top of the Talisker 57 North that I pick up tomorrow....

Nose:         24/25
Taste:        24/25
Finish:       23/25
Overall:     23/25

Balance:    94/100

Thursday, 21 February 2013

24 Days of Christmas Whisky: 

Day 19; Lights Out!





















Whisky: Aultmore 5 Year Old Master of Malt Single Cask






Aultmore 5 Year Old Master of Malt Single Cask









Pale Straw

My wife purchased me a whisky advent calender from Master of Malt for Christmas.  A calender with 24 different whisky samples from all over the world, all different styles, main stream bottlings, independent bottlings.  The whole nine yards!

I'd saved some of the best or at least whiskies that had my most interest for last.

Three more whiskies to go.

Tonight was the Aultmore 5 year old single cask bottled by Master of Malt.

Coming in at 66.80% abv this is a big boy.

So last night I cracked open the dram as I'm cooking dinner for my wife and myself and just start to nose the glencairn when the unexpected happens.

The power goes out.

That's right my friends, the power goes out.

I finish cooking dinner (thank you gas!) and it being a long day and this being a perfect end to it say to hell with this I'm still going to enjoy my whisky!

These tasting notes were done by cell phone screen light as I sat in the dark, nosing the glencairn.

Beautiful nose, complex and definitely a whisky that gives the lie to people who are convinced that a whisky has to be 10, 12, 15, 18 or more years old to be worthwhile.

It initially starts off with toasted oak, slightly burnt caramel with whiffs of cocoa moving throughout the nose.  Oranges eventually make an appearance along with sweet vanilla and then some wood spices, cinnamon and nutmeg.

There is a slight alcohol burn to the nose, as is to be expected from a whisky of this strength, but it never detracts from this young fellow.

Like I said, lovely.

Time for a taste here in the dark!

Sweet and spicy with vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, and ripe fruits, specifically sultanas.  It's big, and it is beautiful.  And a very nice contrast with the sweetness hitting first and then moving to spicy. 

There's definitely an alcohol hit, but it hides the strength very well.

A stupidly long finish with candied oranges, cocoa, oaky cinnamon, white peppers, and a slight musky earthiness.

Awesome and lovely and a whisky that tempts me to run out and buy it, right now to be honest, and it's awesome even more due to the price....roughly $70 AUS which for a whisky this big and complex.

Like I said earlier this is a whisky that gives the lie to the statements that you oh so often here in the whisky world or among people who think of themselves as whisky connoisseur and like to hear themselves talk about how anything less then 18 or 21 isn't even worth drinking.

That being said this is not a whisky that I would introduce a newbie to.  I think it'd be too big and too much for them.  But me?  If you want to give me a bottle I'd thank you very much!

If you get a chance to try this, do so!

Nose:         24/25
Taste:        24/25
Finish:        23/25
Balance:     23/25

Overall:       94/100

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Whisky Club Meets in February: 6th and Final!

Whisky: Compass Box Eleuthera



Compass Box


Compass Box Eleuthera


Scottish Blend 





Pale Straw

Our whisky club that had met on the first Saturday of February had been a complete success.

We'd enjoyed whiskies from just about every single whisky producing region in Scotland along with Irish.

Everyone pretty much chose a region to dive into and just enjoy.

My brother in law and myself followed one another closely, going straight into Campbeltown, then Islands and then finally Islay.

In order to wrap up the lovely evening I decided to end on something I'd never tried before and something a little different.

A vatted whisky.

Compass Box Eleuthera to be exact.

I knew nothing about this whisky other then that it was a vatted whisky, initially I thought that
it was a grain whisky, but further research has proven me completely wrong.

My brother in law decided to follow me into Compass Box whiskies with a Compass Box Spice Tree.

Sadly I have realized that the Compass Box Spice Tree is not a grain whisky either.

I'm not quite sure where I got the idea that Compass Box whiskies are grain, but now I feel a little bit stupid about getting so excited about it.

Sigh oh well you live and you learn.


Now that I've confirmed for myself that this isn't a grain whisky let's get into some of the details.

This is a vatted or blended whisky which draws it's whiskies from a variety of distilleries, specifically 18 year old Glenlossie, 12 year old Caol Ila and 12 year old Clynelish single malt whiskies.

But you don't care about all that! You wanna know how the whisky smells and tastes dont you?!

In the glass you immediately get the Caol Ila with salty peat coming through clean as day, there are some small hints of meat wafting around the glass, ham to be exact, but loads of citrus from lemons hide it before it can ever really develop. Honey and vanilla go into making this a fairly sweet nose with an interesting contrast with the peat.

Not a bad nose, however it doesn't immediately grab me the way I hope a whisky will.

Time for that taste though!

Again the peat comes through immediately backed up by the honey and citrus. The palate however moves to some oak bitterness, pepper spicyness and some salt as the flavors move back and forth, however I was hoping for a bit more complexity.

Again not bad, just not awesome.

A long spicy oaky salty finish ends the whisky, however I'm left feeling a little deflated as I expected a bit more out of this whisky.

To be honest I'm not quite sure what else I expected, I guess more complexity, something to grab me and draw me in. Again it's not a bad whisky and I certainly don't regret trying it, however I don't think I'd be purchasing a bottle of it, especially considering that if you can find a bottle I'd expect to pay $100 to maybe $130 AUS which in my opinion I can't justify that sort of price tag on a blend that is not absolutely brilliant, especially considering that you have Johnnie Walker Green at $65 or so a bottle which is a lovely little vatted whisky.

If the idea of the Compass Box whiskies intrigue you awesome. I've now had 3 of their whiskies without a single one of them being bad, however with the possible exception of Spice Tree which I sadly didnt a chance to spend much time with, none of them have made me want to run out and purchase them.

This is definitely a case for me of try before you buy.

Nose:         20/25
Taste:        20/25
Finish:       20/25
Balance:    20/25

Overall:     80/100

Monday, 11 February 2013

February Whisky Club Meets: 5!

Whisky: Ardbeg Blasda






Ardbeg Blasda







Our local whisky club had met for the second time a couple weeks ago and the evening was slowly winding down.

Everyone had encountered whiskies that they enjoyed with the members trying Ardbeg Galileo, Aberlour Abunadh, Talisker 10 year old, Glenmorangie Nectar D'or and a semi unfortunate Jameson's 12 year old.

My brother in law had joined me in Campbeltown, Islands and Islay whiskies with very pleasurable results for the two of us. Lots of flavors and aromas and awesome mouth feels.

It was time for us to grab our next drams and I was eying the Ardbeg Blasda.

Ardbeg is one of my favorite distilleries and at this time possibly my favorite Islay distillery and I'm always eager to try a whisky from them.

So I grab a dram of the Ardbeg Blasda at the very reasonable price of $16 for a dram and join the group.

Now from everything I've heard and read the Blasda is an experiment by Ardbeg in producing a whisky with much lower peat levels, something like less then half of the normal peat levels.

And it shows.
The nose is still peaty, but it's nothing like the Ardbeg's that most of us have tried before, 10 year old, Uigeadail, Corryvreckan, Galileo, etc.

It's a light peat smoke with just hints of charcoal, fruity with pears, apples and LOTS of lemon and lime. Very citrusy.

The palate follows the nose pretty closely, less smoke, more fruit. It's fairly sweet and even
tart at times and is definitely an interesting deviation from the standard Ardbeg.

A short finish with peat and lemon sherbert end this interesting little experiment from Ardbeg.

This was an enjoyable little whisky and one that I'm glad that I got a chance to try. If you look hard enough you can find it in Australia for roughly around $110 or so, not a bad price for a nice little whisky.

However all that being said, if you're a huge peat freak I don't think you're going to walk away as happy as I did.

Nose:           20/25
Taste:          20/25
Finish:          20/25
Balance:       20/25

Overall:        80/100
February Whisky Club Meets: 4!

Whisky: Lagavulin 12 Year Old Bottled 2012






Lagavulin 12 Year Old Bottled 2012








Pale Gold

Our whisky club had been enjoying some beautiful whiskies at our second meeting at Helvetica.

This tasting unlike our last one, was not about sweet, fruity, or floral. We were talking about big bold flavors, big bold whiskies.

My friends had started with Ardbeg Galileo and Talisker 10 Year Old, another one grabbing Aberlour Abunadh, my brother in law grabbing a Longrow, myself I'd jumped straight into
Campbeltown moving into Islands and now it was time for me to move into Islay.

The reason why was because I discovered that Helvetica had a very sexy little whisky that runs hundreds of dollars, an annual release from Diego.

Lagavulin 12 year old.

What's this you say?! Lagavulin 12 year old doesn't run hundreds of dollars? You're right it doesn't!

However when I saw that they had it, it was going for $25 a dram my brain shut down and immediately started thinking Lagavulin 21 year old.

I immediately blow a gasket in excitement and know EXACTLY what my next dram is going to be.

I grab a dram of it and sit down, giggling in pleasure.

An Islay distillery I enjoy, cask strength, limited release?!

Sign me up!!

I immediately give it a nose and I smile.

Sweet peat smoke immediately hits me, which makes me look up at my brother in law and ask him if he remembers the days when a big Islay whisky's smoke was rough and harsh instead of soft and sweet as it is these days.

He agrees.

Sweet peat smoke, coal smoke, almost charcoal at times, brine, lots of brine and salt with at times lemon and some other citrus fruits, then a small amount of cocoa and spicy tobacco.

God that's nice!

Definitely worthy of a bottle that runs at several hundred dollars (mind you at this point I haven't realized that this whisky is much cheaper)

Time for a drink!

Again the peat immediately makes itself known along with some sexy smoke, vanilla, tar that reminds me of cigarettes, the cocoa makes an appearance again along with the lemon and more citrus fruits, salt, wow, just wow.

Loving it!

God this is an awesome whisky! It bloody well sucks that this is such an expensive whisky because I'd love a bottle of this.

A long drying smoky, sooty finish full of charcoal and peat ends this bloody sexy whisky. Wow.
Once more wow.

I'm so lucky that they had such a hard to get whisky for sell, even at $25 a dram.

Then a couple days after this meeting I'm looking online for this bad boy, trying to see how much it will set me back and I'm oh so pleasantly surprised.

It would odds are run around $120 AUS which for this is a STEAL! I can't believe it! However I do feel a little stupid about how excited I got when I saw it and kept commenting on the price I THOUGHT it was running, makes me feel like a bit of an idiot, however I'm so happy that I got a chance to try it.

Would I pay $25 a dram for it again? I doubt it. A whisky has to be rare, stupidly so for me to pay more then $20 a dram, but if you ever get a chance to try it, do so!!!

Nose:           24/25
Taste:          23/25
Finish:         23/25
Balance:      23/25

Overall:       93/100

Thursday, 7 February 2013

February Whisky Club Meets 3!

Whisky: Arran Amarone Finish






Arran Amarone Finish








Old Sauternes

My whisky club had met at Helvetica last week and I'd immediately jumped into the Campbeltown whiskies, followed shortly by my brother in law.

One of my whisky friends, who'd just finished Ardbeg Galileo and proclaimed it brilliant then started looking for another whisky to sample.

I suggested Aberlour Abunadh.

At this time the other two whisky club members come in and join us and we're ready to roll!

They start looking for their first dram and ask me what I think about Talisker. They're looking at the Talisker 10 year old to start.

I can only inform them that the Talisker 10 year old is in my opinion one of the best entry level single malts out there and that Talisker is one of my favorite distilleries.

They decide to give that a shot.

My brother in law grabs another Longrow 7 Year old Gaja Barolo Finish another try. God that's a nice whisky.

Now it's my turn!

I take a look at the Islands, encouraged by my friend's grabbing Talisker and see Arran Amarone Finish.


I've never had an Arran.

Today's the day to start!

The whisky comes out and it's a pinkish hue.

Weird. Very weird.

Let's give this bad boy a shot!

A sweet nose, very sweet.

It's got bags of honey, and heaps of fruit in it. I'm getting oranges, melons, grapes, raspberries, black currants, pears, almonds, and caramel.

Very sweet nose and you can definitely see the wine finishing influence on the whisky.

Time for a taste though.

More sweetness. But hints of bitterness.


Honey, vanilla, grapes, cherries, cinnamon, dark chocolate, oak, and a hint of licorice.

A decent finish that is a little bitter with the dark chocolate making another appearance.

Not a bad whisky and one that I'm glad that I tried. I've never seen it for sell here in Australia, but I'd expect to pay $120 to $140 AUS for it, which isn't half bad all things considered.

I don't think this whisky is for everyone though, I think you'll either enjoy it or you wont. It might be a little too sweet for some people. However if you get a chance to try this whisky, I'd suggest doing so! It's a little bit different and a little bit interesting!

Nose:           23/25
Taste:          21/25
Finish:          20/25
Balance:       20/25

Overall:       84/100

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

February Whisky Club Meets 2!

Whisky: Springbank 12 year old Calvados Wood






Springbank 12 year old Calvados Wood








Pale Straw

Our whisky club met up just a few days ago for our second whisky tasting at the local whisky bar, Helvetica.

I'd arrived early in order to enjoy a dram, and when I flipped through the whisky menu I decided I was going to be in big whiskies only today.

Campbeltown and Islay.

I'd started the night with Longrow 11 Year old Cabernet Sauvignon Finish. As I was enjoying this little dram I was joined by the first member of the group to arrive.

As I went up for my second my brother in law arrives.

He decides he's following me a little bit tonight and also jumps straight into Campbeltown, heading right for the Longrow Cabernet Sauvignon Finish.

Something catches my eye as I head up to place my next order.

Springbank 12 year old Calvados Finish.

A whisky that's been making the blogger rounds lately and one that has had my interest ever since I heard about it due to the fact that I import Calvados into the country to sell.

So I immediately snag a dram of this and head for more seat to take a look at it and see what I can see.

An interesting nose that shows off the Calvados cask finishing.

An initial soft peaty nose gives way to lovely fruit. Apple cider, green apples, some citrusy fruits, cinnamon, a lovely dose of vanilla, a little pear and just a hint of smoke as the whisky's nose develops.

Earthy and smoky with fudge and pepper, a little leathery, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla make for a nice and sweet, yet slightly smokey palate.

It's very enjoyable. A little too sweet at times for me, but still very enjoyable.

A very long dry, smokey and peaty finish ends off this whisky and once again makes me question why I don't have any Campbeltown whiskies in my cabinet.

This is a problem that needs to be remedied, as soon as possible, but thankfully I can pick up this whisky for a reasonable amount of cash with just a little bit of looking. Runs at around $145 AUS at the few online liquor stores that I've seen carry it. Which considering what I'm getting, is more then worthwhile.

If you're lucky enough to spot this whisky, definitely give it a try, it's excellent!

Nose:              23/25
Taste:             23/25
Finish:            21/25
Balance:         20/25

Overall:          87/100

Monday, 4 February 2013

February Whisky Club Meets 1!

Whisky: Longrow Red  11 Year Old  Cabernet Sauvignon Finish






Longrow Red  11 Year Old  Cabernet Sauvignon Finish








Old Gold

The Perth Whisky Club was meeting for the second time this month, on the first Saturday of the month. The meeting was at our standard tasting location: Helvetica Whisky Bar in the CBD.

Now I wanted to get there a little bit early so I grabbed a book to read, a couple pens and my handy dandy tasting notes journal and immediately caught a cab after getting off work.

Sadly I wound up being too early and Helvetica wasn't due to open for another 25 minutes.
This is what happens when you don't bother checking opening times on the internet in advance.

As a favorite tv show once said "what have we learned?"

Anyway I sit on a milk crate in the alley, reading my book and enjoying the delightful aromas of rotting garbage permeating the air around me.
25 minutes later the doors open and I immediately head in so that I can enjoy some lovely aromas of good whisky instead of rotting garbage.

I take a look at the whisky list and for some reason I immediately decide that Campbeltown is where I'm going to start tonight and odds are that's where I'll be all night.

As I peruse the list I notice a new Longrow on the menu. An 11 year old aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and bottled at cask strength.

$19 a shot doesn't sound half bad so sign me up.

I take a seat in the corner and pretty quickly out comes my Longrow.

Wow it really is a reddish color!

Soft aromas of peat and immediately the wine casks influence can be noticed and smelled.
Cherries, raspberries and grapes ooze throughout the nose along with some sweet vanilla and some faint phenolic notes. At times there is a soft smokey campfire that wafts in and out of the fruit.

Very enjoyable nose.

Just as I get ready to take a taste the first member of the club shows up and joins me. I suggest that he might want to try Ardbeg Galileo which he immediately orders.

Time for my taste!

Immediately I get the peat, it's not shy or subtle at all and then the whisky goes oaky, with some bitter chocolate, then leather, some sweet fruits, but faint. At times this whisky is salty and at other times a little overly sweet.

The finish is long and drying with oak, raisins, cherries and at the very end is a hint of charcoal smoke.

Not a bad whisky, especially to start the night out. However there's something just a little bit lacking. It's good, at times quite good, but something holds it back from great.

Meanwhile the first member is enjoying the Ardbeg Galileo immensely!

I'd happily enjoy the Longrow Red 11 year old Cabernet Sauvignon again, and even better this whisky can be purchased for around $130 AUS if you look around some of the specialty bottle shops.

Nose:         22/25
Taste:        21/25
Finish:        20/25
Balance:     20/25

Overall:      83/100

Friday, 1 February 2013

24 Days of Christmas: Day 18;
A Sexy Christmas Pudding Whisky!

Whisky: Glenfarclas 30 year old






Glenfarclas 30 Year old









Old Sauternes

I've saved the best for the last! 

Odd little way to start a whisky review, but it's true.

My wife had bought me a whisky advent calender from Master of Malt that was made up of 24 different whiskies, from all over the world, different styles, all the good stuff.

I'd decided to start the calender with whiskies that I'd already had and had reviewed.  They got no reviews.  Hahaha because that was already done.

Then I moved to entry level whiskies that I'd had, but never reviewed.

Then entry level single malts from distilleries that I'd never tried before.

Then whiskies from distilleries that I never thought I'd ever get to see or try, such as Wasmund's Single Malt.

Moving older and older into cask strengths, older whiskies, whiskies from my favorite distilleries.

Whiskies that I COULDN'T WAIT TO TRY!

This would culminate in the 50 year Master of Malt Speyside.

There are 2 more whiskies to come, not counting this review until I reach that bad boy.

This whisky, one that had me so eager to try as it comes from one of my favorite Speyside distilleries was Glenfarclas 30 year old.

I love the Glenfarclas 10 year, I personally think it's one of the best entry level Speysides, love it to death so when I saw that I had several Glenfarclas samples in the calender I knew I had to save them for the end.

The Glenfarclas 30 year was for me, the beginning of the end.

Pouring a lovely dark amber color that made me smile and just look forward in anticipation of what was to come I just spent a solid 90 minutes nosing the glass and admiring the lovely thick legs that slid down the glass.

It smells like a Christmas pudding, it's so beautiful!

Sweet fruit of sultanas, raisins, figs, and lots of spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla.  Oak makes it's presence known as is to be expected of a whisky of this age.

However that's not all! 

There's wisps of smoke to the nose, hints of green apple and as the whisky opens up, candied oranges.

Lovely, just absolutely lovely.

This is the kind of nose that intrigues you and invites you to take a sip.

So I do!

The oak makes it's presence known immediately, but it's not over the top.  A little bitter, but not unpleasantly so, but it's also sweet and salty.  Very odd, but entertaining. 

Oak, sultanas, nutty, chocolate and vanilla move back and forth with one another going from sweet, salty and bitter again and again, mainly sweet and salty, but so enjoyable.

A long sweet, soft, silky finish full of candied oranges and chocolate end this whisky.


Just wow.

Holy Crap.

Beautiful, so very beautiful.

Makes me SO very eager and excited to know that in just a few months I'll be visiting Glenfarclas and picking up quite a few of their high end whiskies. 

Family Cask 1981 here I come!

This whisky is extremely gorgeous.  One of those that I feel very lucky to have got a chance to try and even better you can find it for sell in Australia!

However it's not cheap, running at around $300-$350 a bottle depending on where you purchase it.  But if your looking for a special occasion bottle, one that would be awesome to share with good friends. 

If you ever get a chance to try this whisky I'd strongly suggest you do so.  It's beautiful and proof once again why Glenfarclas kicks butt!

Nose:        24/25
Taste:       23/25
Finish:       23/25
Balance:    23/25

Overall:    92/100