I’ve not been able to review quite as much whisky over the past few weeks, mainly because life has been getting in the way (allotment, new day job, wedding planning), and also because I had a couple too many existing bottles that just needed polishing off. However, I have managed a couple of very tasty drams: Aberlour 16 Year Old and Auchentoshan Valinch 2012, both of which are on the other site.
On this subject, the Wall Street Journal has a fascinating feature on Japanese whisky. Japan produces some of the finest single malts and blends in the world, sometimes far better than Scottish whisky, so it’s good to see it get some wider coverage.
More whisky reviews are online, over at my other site. Most notable were two Port Askaig cask strength whiskies, both of which were stunning. Though Port Askaig whisky comes from Islay, the whisky isle, it’s not actually a distillery but a range of independent bottlings. (The whisky, I’m pretty sure, comes from Caol Ila.)
Finally, another independent bottling, the Signatory Caperdonich 1995 – 17 Year Old, which had a classic flavour profile.
From the whisky site, for those of you interested. The Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak was very nice indeed, better than the Select Oak. But neither were as good as the incredibly Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1 (the world’s most heavily peated whisky). I also managed to acquire samples from Balcones distillery, a very cool Texas-based craft distillery, and there’s an ongoing fortnight of reviews based on those samples at the moment.
A few more whisky reviews worth your attention – for those interested in such things – over on my other site. First up, High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey, which is a really good session drink.
Next up, The Macallan Gold, which was a fascinating new intro-level whisky from Macallan.
And Caol Ila 25 Year Old, which didn’t quite work for me.
Plenty of other reviews and features there, some of which are from other contributors, so it’s well worth your time having a browse.
I’ve been sampling some more delights of the whisky world recently, so here are another few for those of you interested in such things. Quite an eclectic mix, and not one of them from Scotland.
I wrote a mammoth post on four new Japanese whiskies from the Karuizawa distillery.
And finally, an Irish whiskey – Yellow Spot Single Pot Still.
So I recently went to the Whisky Show in London with Glen Mehn, occasional scribe. We wrote a little bit about our adventures over at our whisky site, and posted some photos, for those of you interested in such important matters.
Another fortnight, another load of reviews and features up at Malt, my other site. Things seem to be going down nicely in that other blogosphere – PR folk are already in contact, and some samples are heading my way for the first time. It’s very satisfying building something up from scratch in another scene. Here are the headlines (I won’t bother linking to some of the average drams):
A review of the fantastic Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2006, which uses barley taken from just one farm (whereas most of the industry takes barley from all over the place).
A review of the unusual but brilliant Indian single malt whisky, Amrut Fusion.
A review of the accessible and good value Bowmore 12 Year Old.
A review of the Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, which I came across in a lovely Costwolds hotel.
A review of the staggering Hanyu 21 Year Old – it’s from a closed Japanese distillery, so bottles are hard to come by (if not eye-wateringly expensive), but I managed to get a sample that was incredible.
A review of the BenRiach Heredotus Fumosus 12 Year Old – every bit as good as an Ardbeg, without all the annoying marketing hype, and at half the price. You can’t go wrong.
And finally, a review of the Bowmore 12 Year Old, a classic Islay single malt whisky – and great value for money.
I also managed to interview a chap who’s running one of the very few English whisky distilleries, Lakes Malt, which is situated in the Lakes District. Run by the former manager of the Arran distillery, it’s not yet selling whisky, but it will do in a couple of years. It’s also planning to sell gin.
A review of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 Year Old.
A review of the Dalmore Tweed Dram – The Rivers Collection 2011.
A look at the Albannach whisky bar in London.
Fellow reviewer Glen tries the Auchentoshan Springwood.
And we look at some simply amazing whisky commercials – from Japan. One featuring Orson Welles, in fact.
Many of you still might not be aware of the recent whisky website that I’ve started up, called Malt. Anyway, I’m posting my whisky reviews there from now on, and hoping to develop it into something else as a side project. Three reviews of note have gone up recently.
First, Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu The First:
This whisky is three years old. It packs more of a complex heft than many older whiskies I’ve tasted. When this distillery comes of age, it’ll be an award winner, no doubt about it.
Then the Dalmore 15 Year Old:
The Dalmore 15 Year Old is mellow, graceful and delightful – it’s got the substance to match the style. But I got the impression that there was a dram of tremendous beauty just waiting to break out.
And finally the BenRiach 16 Year Old:
Earlier in the month I tried the BenRiach 12 Year Old, which at £25 was a cracking value for money whisky. So continuing my brief exploration of this distillery, which can be found buried deep within the Speyside region, I moved on to the BenRiach 16 Year Old.
Anyway, do stop by on Malt for more whisky reviews and random related posts. Add it to your RSS feed if you want regular reviews and updates. It’s also on Facebook and Twitter. Please do spread the word as well!
EDIT: I’ve since moved all old reviews over to the website, and deleted them from this blog (to help with Google search results on the new site). Have a browse – they’re all there.