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Month: December 2016

Springbank – 10 Years Old

Springbank – 10 Years Old

This is made from a mixture of whiskies finished in bourbon and sherry casks. It picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whiskies Awards 2014, so is well worth getting hold of to see why. Bottled at 46% ABV Nose: Sherry immediately on pouring. Foam bananas, marzipan. Briny oak after a while. Blackberries. A damp, mossy glade in autumn. And then suddenly it’s a seaweed-filled fishing port at low tide. Delightfully changeable! Palate: Really briny, but…

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English Whisky Company – Chapter 6

English Whisky Company – Chapter 6

The English Whisky Company has now been releasing whisky for a few years, but this is one of their earliest releases. It was bottled after only 3 years of maturation without chill filtration or added colour. Bottled at 46% ABV. Nose: Bananas, buttery toffee, a smidgen of oak, hints of drumstick lolly. Palate: Lively as you’d expect from the age, but it doesn’t smack you around the chops too much. Quite oaky, lots of vanilla and some cinnamon. Finish: It…

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Claxton’s – Ben Nevis 17 Years Old

Claxton’s – Ben Nevis 17 Years Old

This is another independent single cask expression from the clever folks at Claxton’s. Distilled at the end of 1998 and bottled in 2016, this has spent 17 years under wraps in a hogshead (1608-1552). Available to buy here. This is bottled at 54% ABV. Nose: Lots of oak and alcohol as you open the door, but then you’re welcomed in warmly with assam tea, fresh figs, and honey. Vanilla punches through as it rests along with buttery toffee. This is…

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Yamazaki – 12 Years Old

Yamazaki – 12 Years Old

This was the first Japanese whisky to receive serious marketing. It arrived on the scene as long ago as 1984. Bottled at 43% ABV. It has had colouring added. Nose: Hay, bananas, peaches, brazil nuts, there’s an earthy, woody note as it opens. Green tea. Palate: Quite sweet with a lot of prickle on the tongue. A fair amount of oak. Grapefruit zest. Finish: Quite long and sweet, with cinnamon and maybe a little ground ginger. Another cracker of a…

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Claxton’s – Bunnahabhain 14 Years Old

Claxton’s – Bunnahabhain 14 Years Old

Another treat from the indie bottlers Claxton’s. This is a 14 year old single cask Bunnahabhain. Cask No: 1607-3185. It was distilled in October 2002 and bottled in 2016. Bottled at 51.6 % ABV. Nose: Marzipan, buttery shortbread, sweet nectarines, a hint of wood. Lemon zest as it develops. A little lavender maybe as well. Palate: Oily and oaky with a little pepper. Lots of malted grain. Quite nutty. There’s an undertone of citrus just playing with the sides of…

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Ben Bowers of A Dram A Day

Ben Bowers of A Dram A Day

This week’s Dram Dialogues is the final one before Christmas. And what better way to end the year, then with Ben Bowers who is at the end of a very noble charity effort to try a different dram a day for a whole year. More details about the campaign later, but if you want to support Ben in his quest to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund then you will be doing a very good thing. When did…

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Ian Buxton, whisky author

Ian Buxton, whisky author

This week’s Dram Dialogue is a really special one for me. I’d already started dabbling in whisky, but the gift of Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die (2nd Edition) really ushered me along the road to starting this blog, and really putting my all into tasting and enjoying the spirit. Now Ian has released a fully revised edition of the book, to suit the ever-changing world of whisky. He has also producedĀ a number of other books, amongst…

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The Temple Bar Irish Whiskey

The Temple Bar Irish Whiskey

Back in the day it was traditional for Irish bars to bottle their own whiskey. This is an attempt to recreate that style. This is a blend of grain and malt whiskies that have been aged in bourbon and port barrels before blending. Bottled at 40%ABV. Nose: Elderflower, some white wine notes, stewed apples, some vanilla, a little tobacco. Palate: Creamy and sweet to start. Sugar sweet rather than honey. Then the palate dries with a little oaky spice. Pink…

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The Pogues – Irish Whiskey

The Pogues – Irish Whiskey

A bit of an odd one for this review. I saw it in Dublin Airport and had to give it a go. It’s the official whiskey of The Pogues band. Apparently it’s made in Skibbereen, West Cork. A little part of me was quietly hoping it was made at Blair Athol. Because ‘The Bell’s are ringing out’ after all. Sorry. Not sorry. I’m a Dad. This is a blend and is bottled at 40% ABV. It’s a 50/50 blend of…

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Claxton’s – Glen Elgin 20 Years Old

Claxton’s – Glen Elgin 20 Years Old

This spirit was distilled on Speyside back in November 1995. Back in those days I was a spotty teenager, just embarking in the world of A-Levels. I had no taste, and no style. Now I have both, along with a good dollop of maturity. It bodes well for this spirit, then, which has been allowed to rest for 20 years before making its way into a bottle in 2016, and then to my door by way of Claxton’s the independent…

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