Monday, 13 May 2013

I'm Going On Holiday!

Well my friends you're probably wondering why I haven't been posting the last few days, I'm going on Holiday!  In fact I'm going to the land of whisky and honey!  Tomorrow morning at 9am my wife and I fly out for Scotland and then on our return trip, Singapore.  While we're over there we'll be visiting Abbey Whisky, Whisky Shop Dufftown, Gordon & MacPhail, Glenfarclas, Aberlour, Macallan, Glengoyne, Talisker, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Benromach, Glenglassaugh and a few other fun things!

When we get back I'll be posting lots of photos along with details of our experiences in the promised land!

Also as a quick side note I've finally got the camera up and running so I'll be posting shots taken while I was at Whisky Live Perth when we get back.  They look great!

I'll see you all when I get back!

Slainte Mhath!
SquidgyAsh the Whisky Fiend  

Tuesday, 7 May 2013



Whisky: Highland Park 21 Year Old



Highland Park



Highland Park 21 year old









Old Sauternes

Tonight I cracked open yet another sample that I received from a friend in Queensland (Thanks Systemdown!).  In less then a week my wife and I fly out to Scotland to meet with my brother and experience the whisky adventure of a lifetime.

In lieu of this I'm actively trying to get caught up on as many of my samples as I possibly can (it's totally not going to happen since I have more then 30 samples to work my way through) but I'm making the effort.

I'm specifically making the effort as I tend to buy only whiskies I've never tried before as I'm always looking to expand my whisky experience.  However I'm always looking into whisky distilleries as possible candidates of grabbing something out of their range that I've never tried before. 

I love the Glenfarclas 10 year old and 12 year old and I really enjoy the 30 year old, heck I just might buy the 40 year old when I'm over there (I think I really will to be honest) but you get the idea.  Why buy something that I've already tried when there are so very many whiskies out there that I've not met?

Tonight I decided to crack open the sample of the Highland Park 21 year old that I'd recently received.  I've enjoyed the 12 year old, haven't owned a bottle yet, had mixed encounters with the 18 year old ranging from "What is everyone going on about" all the way to "that's lovely!" so I figured I'd give the 21 a shot.

It doesn't hurt that my sources have informed me that Highland Park is running out of older stocks and within a couple years time the 21 and older expressions will become more and more rare and more and more expensive until the whiskies now aging become old enough.  I figure if I might like an older Highland Park, NOW is the time to find out when I can stick pick up a bottle for a reasonable price as opposed to blowing up my bank account in a few years time or punching myself in the arm because I've discovered the beauty of an older HP is.

So when I came home out came the glencairn, out came the pizza and salad along with a good movie and my wife and now it's time to explore!

First off this is a big complex nose.  Screw that this is a big complex whisky, it needs time to open up and breathe, but once you let it, whoa baby look out!

Initially when I poured the sample into the glencairn it was mainly heather, smoke, cinnamon and leather, but given 30 minutes or so the transformation was beautiful.

Vanilla popped out of the glass along with orange peels, cereal, toffee, honey and quite a bit of dark fruit, specifically sultanas.  The smoke, cinnamon, heather and leather are all still there, but now it's like the aromas are swirling in amongst one another.

Same thing goes with palate as the nose.  It needs time to breathe and this is a whisky that you're going to sip and savor over the course of the evening, it's not going to be a whisky where you'll knock it back and then ask for the next whisky in the round (if you do this I do believe they'll never find your body once I'm done with you)

First sip was initially quite charcoaly with peat and smoke, but once more given time to open up this whisky eventually shows it's true character in a way that can only make you smile.

Heather, slightly herbal at times, cinnamon, cloves, peat, leather, again the red fruits, this time I'm getting cherries, and faintly some mild chocolate.  This whisky starts off smokey and then becomes beautifully sweet and balanced.

A very long, lingering finish, honey and orange peels ends the whisky and it keeps going and going and going.

This whisky is like a lover.  If you're hurried and rushed you're not going to have a very good time.  If you push, poke and prod and try to hurry things along you're just going to wind up getting shot down and going home unhappy that night.

However if you're kind, gentle and patient you're VERY well rewarded for your efforts, leaving you to go to bed with a giant grin on your face.

However all this beauty does come at a price.  I've never seen it for sell here in Perth and from the prices I'm seeing online if I did see it I'd expect to pay between $200 and $250 for a bottle.

Is it worth it?  That's up to you to decide however I can tell you that after this experience I might come home with a bottle of the 21 year old and I'm going out hunting for the 30 year old while I'm over there in the land of whisky and honey.

Nose:         24/25
Taste:        24/25
Finish:        23/25
Balance:     22/25

Overall:      93/100

Monday, 6 May 2013

Glenlivet Comes Through For Me!


Whisky: Glenlivet 18 Year Old






Glenlivet 18 Year old









Pale Gold
Last night I decided after a very long day of watching movies, playing video games, prepping for my wife's and I upcoming holiday to Scotland and talking whisky to crack open a sample bottle of whisky that had been sent to me.

Glenlivet 18 year old sent to me by my whisky friend, Systemdown of Queensland.

Up to him introducing me to a sample of Nadurra, all of my experiences with Glenlivet had been fairly unexceptional.

I personally found the 12 year old boring and the Nadurra that I purchased was unbalanced and overly floral and sweet.

However Systemdown assured me that Nadurra was a good little whisky and he proved me correct with his sample of Nadurra and so when I saw the 18 year old Glenlivet I was a little intrigued.

So when dinner arrived, meat lovers pizza, I decided to give it a crack.

Man am I glad that I did!

It has a lovely little nose of fruit, apples and pears, cinnamon, toffee, honey, vanilla, oak, little floral and a very slight cocoa aroma that appears and disappears.

Very cool!

A little sweet and complex nose that really does invite me to take a sip.

I'll oblige!

Mmmmm very nice.

Apples, pears, hint of oak, honey, again a little floral, vanilla, caramel.  But it's balanced very nicely.

Just a little too sweet for my own personal preferences, but still very nice.

A long soft lingering finish ends this whisky with toffee and apples that linger on the back of the palate.

Delicious and yes this is what I hope for when I think Glenlivet!

Even better is this whisky is fairly priced, running at around $115 to $120 AUS, which I think is pretty good bang for buck on this single malt.

Looking for a nice sipping whisky to while away the evening, but prefer nothing smokey or peaty?

I'd give this whisky a try!

Nose:           23/25       
Taste:          22/25
Finish:         21/25
Balance:       22/25

Overall:       88/100

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Elementary - Mysterious 30 Year Old!

Whisky: Master of Malts 30 year old Speyside, 5th Edition

Master of Malt

30 Year old Speyside, 5th edition




Yesterday I received several packages of whiskies.  A selection of samples from a friend of mine, Systemdown from Queensland, and a selection of samples from Master of Malt, a big hearty thanks to the chaps over there!

My wife's whisky appetite for a while has waned, but I do believe in preparation of Scotland, has had an increased desire for the good stuff.

She asked if I wouldn't mind holding off on the samples, specifically the Master of Malts and a special whisky that Systemdown had sent to us.

I said sure!  I personally prefer to enjoy my whiskies with my wife so it wasn't a hard decision.

We sat down to watch an episode of Elementary and I cracked open one of the Master of Malt samples, the 30 year old Speyside, fifth edition.

There is no listed distillery as with quite a few of the independent bottlings, especially ones done by the stores, they purchase whisky barrels and bottle it themselves.  If they don't name the distillery they're able to get some very interesting whiskies, sometimes at very old ages, for very cheap as the whisky might not fit into the distillery profile.

It's frustrating at times as I sit there and I want to know who produced this beautiful whisky, but it can allow you to purchase brilliant 30, 40, 50 year old whiskies for stupidly cheap prices.  Like my recent purchase of another whisky store's 40 year old whisky for a wee bit over $200 AUS.

It poured a sexy golden color in the glass, leaving thin legs that slid slowly down the side.

As per usual I decided to nose the whisky over the course of the hour or so while we ate dinner and watched our show.

Soft with hints of vanilla, charred oak, pine, slight citrus, cinnamon, and oodles of toffee and green apples.

It's a nose that needs time to open up and it's quite enjoyable, especially with the pine and toffee.

After about 40 minutes or so my wife is ready for her taste of the whisky, which she takes and then decides that she indeed isn't really in the mood for whisky. 


Silly wife!

Oh well that just means more for me!

I decide that it's time for me to take a sip.


I hold the whisky in my mouth for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, before finally swallowing.

Can I say yum again?

Apples, butterscotch, honey, ginger, slight spices.

It's not the world's most complex whisky, but it's delicious.  It's a whisky that grows on me more and more the longer I drink it.

A long, dry, lingering finish full of apples, some cocoa and slight floral notes doesn't help me not want anymore.  It lingers on and on, even to the point that I'm still tasting the apples 20 minutes after the last of the whisky has been drunk.  It's such a temptation that I immediately hope onto Master of Malt to see how much a bottle of this is running.

Roughly $200 AUS.

I do believe I'll need to pick up a bottle of this in the near future.  It's quite yummy and very moreish, but as I said I didn't find it the most complex whisky.

Amusing enough I said in a recent review of a 58 year old whisky, I'm finding more and more that the older whiskies usually aren't the most complex, but what they do (if they're good) is a few things extremely well, which this whisky does.

Even better is that you can try a dram of this for roughly $12 AUS off Master of Malt, which isn't a bad price for a sample of this at all.

If you're looking for an older whisky that's fun, this just might be the guy for you!

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

Overall:      92/100

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Nadurra Strikes Again!

Whisky: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year Old






Glenlivet 16 Year old Nadurra









Young Sauternes

Several months ago I purchased a bottle of Glenlivet Nadurra from the local Dan Murphy's.  I'd been reading rave reviews about this cask strength whisky for months and finally decided to take the plunge.

It was a disappointment and a bottle that I struggled through, hoping all the while that it would just turn and I'd see the light and go "YES!  THIS IS BRILLIANT!"

That never occurred.

So it was with some relief when I saw the last of that bottle that my wife, brother in law, sister in law and I had struggled through.

It was also with some excitement that I saw a sample of another batch of Nadurra had arrived in a recent whisky trade that I did with a friend of mine from Queensland, Systemdown.

This one sat at 54.2%abv and was from batch #11091.

After a long day at work when I arrived home I decided to crack open this sample and give it a shot.

Same color as the last Nadurra that I had.

A nose that is somewhat similar to the last Nadurra I had, definitely a Glenlivet, but better.

Honey, toffee, slightly floral, pears, apples, some slight spice, cinnamon I'd say.

Definitely not bad.  There's something else yummy lingering under it all, but I can't pinpoint it.


Similar Nadurra taste, floral, but not hugely so, honey, toffee, oak, green fruits, apples and pears again, pears more so then apples. 

Definitely a big step over over my first Nadurra!

Long lingering finish with slight floral notes, pears, and honey.

Not a bad whisky!

Not the world's most complex whisky, as my brother in law described it quite one dimensional, but a whisky that gets better when it has time to breath.

This is what I was hoping to get when I purchased my first Nadurra!  This is a whisky I wouldn't mind paying $110 or so for a bottle. 

I'd like to thank Systemdown in Queensland for this sample, this sample has made me much more inclined to try the Nadurra again and has also made me very aware that on this whisky I'll have to check for which batch the bottle is from.

If you get a chance to try a Nadurra do so.  I might not just buy a bottle blind, but if you see it at a bar, don't hesitate to give it a shot, you might enjoy it, you might not.

Nose:          22/25
Taste:         22/25
Finish:        21/25
Balance:      19/25

Overall:       84/100