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Tag: islay

Lagavulin – 16 Years Old

Lagavulin – 16 Years Old

This was always a bit of a go-to dram in bars before I really started getting in to whisky. I’ve never formally sat with it and explored the flavours, so thought I’d get hold of some and give it a going over. It’s the archetypal smoky scotch that you’ve got to try and either love or hate. I don’t know if I got a bad sample, but I really didn’t get on with it. It’s meant to be a big,…

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Kilchoman – Sanaig

Kilchoman – Sanaig

Kilchoman is the newest distillery on Islay. They also only produce relatively small batches of their products. These two things combined make their spirit quite desirable, and therefore quite expensive to buy. Vatted in bourbon and sherry casks, bottled at 46%ABV.   Nose: Peat smoke, followed by damp charcoal, treacle toffee, baked apples with cinnamon, traces of cordite. It’s November 5th in a bottle! Old leather bound books, rain on a hot day. So much going on. 10/10 Palate: Loads…

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Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

The 101 whiskies continue with this cheeky number from Laphroaig. I have, once again, to thank Brian of Malt Musings for his generous contribution of this sample. Go and check out his blog, or find him on Twitter. Whilst this whisky has no age statement, we know it was aged for around 5 years by the usual process. After that it spent some months in a quarter cask, hence the name. A quarter cask is a quarter of the size…

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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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Bruichladdich – Islay Barley 2009

Bruichladdich – Islay Barley 2009

Huge thanks to Bruichladdich for sending me through this fabulous “Wee Laddie” as a competition prize. It’s the 2009 vintage of their “Terroir matters” project, featuring barley grown in 2008 by¬†Gilbie McCormick of Claggan, Hunter Jackson at Cruach, Ian McKerrell of Island and Alastair Torrance from Mulindry. All are farms on the island of Islay. You can’t get more local than that. The idea with these releases is to show the differences you get from factors as small as the…

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Port Charlotte – 10 Years Old (2012)

Port Charlotte – 10 Years Old (2012)

First of all, great big thanks to Sean of Dramming UK for the donation of this sample. We did a dram swap but I definitely came off better. This is the 2012 addition to the Bruichladdich core range under it’s peated brand Port Charlotte. This is peated at 40ppm so should be nice and smoky. Bottled at 46% ABV. Nose: Immediately get the smoke of a freshly lit peat fire, but there’s also mango, caramel, roasted pine nuts, vanilla. The…

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Port Charlotte – Islay Barley

Port Charlotte – Islay Barley

This is a real treat. Thanks to @StevePrentice¬†once again for the sample. The last Port Charlotte I tried was the PC9 a good few years ago and I loved it. I’ve read a lot about the work Bruichladdich are doing and it’s intriguing. I’m very pleased to get to try another of their Port Charlotte branded peated expressions. Bottled at 50% ABV. Nose: Smouldering peat fires, but not overpowering. There’s malted milk biscuits and green apples as you go looking….

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Lagavulin – 8 Years Old

Lagavulin – 8 Years Old

This is a limited edition 8 year old Lagavulin to honor the 200th anniversary of the distillery. When you consider that the standard offering is 16 years old, it’s quite a surprise that this hits a similar price point. I guess that’s what a limited release will do. There’s a lot of chatter on sites about it being a disappointment because it’s quite different to the 16 year old. In my opinion though, if you want the 16 year old,…

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Wemyss Malts – Sea Haar Bound

Wemyss Malts – Sea Haar Bound

The lovely folk at Wemyss Malts sent me a care package just before Christmas as a prize for a competition they were running. I’m opening this one first. It sounds delicious. Mind you all the others do too. I fancied something maritime though. Behind the rather enticing name given by Wemyss lies a 17 year old Bunnahabhain single cask that was distilled in 1997 and bottled at 46% ABV back in 2014. It was matured in a hogshead. Haar means…

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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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