Three drams of note this month (one of which is to avoid). The first is from Springbank, one of the very first distilleries I ever visited. The second is an indie bottling from Cadenhead, of a distillery I’d never tried before. Finally, the latest iteration of the Black Bottle blend is very disappointing – even at a low price.
Or rather this time, whiskey with an ‘e’. It’s been all about the American whiskies over at my other site.
First up, the Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Bourbon, followed by a very average Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002. But I quite enjoyed the Willett Family Estate 4 Year Old Single Barrel Rye, which was pretty good value for money.
I’ve been sampling some interesting whiskies as ever, over at the whisky site. The best discovery of the past month has been that of the GlenDronach distillery, as discussed in this review of their core range of whiskies.
Another whisky blogger sent me through five drams, without at first telling me what they were. I was up for the challenge, and I reviewed those here.
I sampled a decent but not great Japanese whisky, the Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old.
And finally, a pretty interesting Fettercairn 24 Year Old.
I haven’t posted any reviews from my whisky site lately, but there have been quite a few – mostly whiskies from Islay, as well.
First up was a limited edition Lagavulin, which I actually won in a competition (it’s worth a good couple of hundred quid, so I’m extra happy with this).
Next up is a young Islay distillery, and a young offering from them – the Kilchoman 100% Islay.
Speaking of young Islay whiskies, here’s a Bruichladdich distilled from grain taken from just one farm.
And finally, a really tasty 21 Year Old grain whisky – the Clan Denny Girvan 1992.
One of the great things about running a whisky site is that people send me whisky to review. Let me repeat that: people send me whisky. Free whisky. They’re samples, admittedly, but they’re still free whisky.
So recently I’ve been able to look at a lovely Glen Garioch small batch release.
I was part of a Twitter tasting group to try a bunch of seriously impressive Douglas Laing ‘Old Particular’ releases.
And lastly, one I bought myself on Islay, is the Bunnahabhain Toiteach. Try saying that after a few drams…
For those of you interested in what whiskies I’ve come across lately – I’ve been working through some of those I bought on Islay.
First up, the Caol Ila Feis Ile Release 2013 is probably the best whisky I’ve had in ages, certainly this year.
Another cheeky Caol Ila – very enjoyable, but not quite as good as the special bottling.
The Bowmore Tempest Batch 3 was pretty good value for money.
I was also sent a Japanese whisky tasting set by Flaviar, which featured some great drams as well as an abysmal one. But hey, free whisky is never bad, right? Well…
Another month, and some more fantastic whiskies tasted – and reported over at the whisky site. The first is a fabulous single malt from Japan – Chichibu The Peated, which is staggering even though it’s only three years old. Another nice Japanese dram was considerably older, a 23 Year Old Hanyu Cask Strength. And from Islay, an intriguing Bruichladdich whisky in which the spirit was aged solely in ex-port casks.
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.