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Month: December 2017

Hammer Head 1989

Hammer Head 1989

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, and so I decided to treat myself with something special unusual. This is Czech Single Malt. It was made from Czech Barley in 1989. Yes, the year the Berlin Wall crumbled along with the communism it was a symbol of. So this is, quite possibly, one of the last vestiges of communism that’s relatively easy to get hold of. The barley was milled using a Scottish hammer mill, which gives rise to the name of the…

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Caol Ila – 12 Years Old

Caol Ila – 12 Years Old

An impulse buy on my travels to Prague, I had to try it – it is one of the 101 whiskies after all! This is the entry level offering from Caol Ila, a distillery that sells most of its produce into the blending industry. But what it does release under its own name tends to be excellent. Bottled at 43% ABV. Nose: Immediately you get peat smoke, as expected, there’s also heather and a sweet marzipan note. It’s a little…

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Tobermory – 10 Years Old

Tobermory – 10 Years Old

This is very much a first for me. I’ve not had any Tobermory, or Ledaig (the peated expressions from the same distillery). Bottled at 46.3% ABV on the Isle of Mull. Hug thanks to Brian’s Malt MusingsĀ for the sample. Nose: Vanilla and stewed fruits, marzipan and rum, there’s a buttery back note. After a while it develops the smell of Haribo sweets. Some nutmeg also. 8/10 Palate: Quite lively and prickly, sweet, with sherbert zing, there’s oak in there. There’s…

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Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore D.E.W.

The other whiskey I tried whilst out in Dublin was this, the standard Tullamore. Bottled at 40% ABV, it should be recognisable to most people as it’s easily available in supermarkets in the UK. Nose: Fig rolls, parma violets, aniseed, rosewater. Quite an interesting nose, actually. Some quite unusual aromas for a whisky. 8/10 Palate: A little harsh, and then suddenly a little impotent. Mint, green apples, slight oak aromas. Disappointing after the nose. 4/10 Finish: Short and dry. 4/10…

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Midleton Method and Madness – Single Malt

Midleton Method and Madness – Single Malt

Being in Ireland on business has the distinct advantage of there being plentiful Irish whiskey available for drinking. In this particular instance I was in Searson’s Bar in Dublin. They have one of the best collections of Midleton Very Rare on display (not for sale!), along with one of the best whiskey bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of contemplating. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area. My first dram is this Method and Madness Single Malt from…

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Craigellachie – 19 Years Old

Craigellachie – 19 Years Old

This was originally released as a travel retail exclusive, but has been available at other retailers. Sadly it’s now discontinued and replaced by other expressions in the core range. Bottled at 46% ABV. Nose: Sweet golden syrup, actually more like the McVitie’s Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cake. Nuts, stewed plums. After a while I’m reminded of the baked sand and grass smell you get on the beach in Cyprus. Maybe a little salt, although that could be brought on by the…

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Auchentoshan Classic

Auchentoshan Classic

This was released as the entry level Auchentoshan, although it seems to be unavailable in many retailers at the moment. It’s a NAS whisky. Bottled at 40% ABV, so certainly chill filtered. Nose: Strawberry laces, love hearts, artificial peach flavouring, vanilla, maybe some hay. Fades in time to marzipan. 8/10 Palate: A little impotent at 40%, sadly. Light oak, green apples, a hint of chilli. 6/10 Finish: Medium length and drying. 5/10 Value for money: This was retailing at just…

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Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

This bourbon contains a reasonably high proportion of rye, 72%. It’s unusual for a bourbon in that it has been triple distilled before maturation. Bottled at 43.2%ABV. Let’s see what it has to offer. Nose: Sweet with honey, oak, cut grass, vanilla, spicy pepper. Peaches and almonds as it develops. 8/10 Palate: Very oaky, pepper spice, a little leather, a little honey. Disappointingly lacking in depth. 6/10 Finish: Warming, but actually quite short with a little pepper. 6/10 Value for…

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