ABV: 40 % Origin: Highlands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 1 Impression: 2/5
Nose: This is mild and sweet. At first there’s just a gentle and sweet vanilla and honey oakiness coming through. There’s also a tiny maltiness in the center. After a while a fresher fruitiness with lemon and a hint of pears starts to emerge but it’s very afraid to make its precence known. The whole is very flat and nothing pops out of the glass in anyway. There’s not much of a journey either. This is not offensive, it’s just a bit boring and uninteresting to explore.
Mouth: It starts out a bit flat and watery with a slight bitterness in the back. A mild and sweet butterscotch and toasted oak arrives almost immidiately though. The butterscotch resides in the center and there is a mild oak spicyness out on the edges. The fruitiness returns and it’s the same lemon and pear notes as on the nose. The fruitiness joins the oak spice on the edges. A honey sweetness comes forward for those who wait.
Finish: The finish is at first sweet and minty. After a few seconds the fruitiness returns as well as the butterscotch but it’s too little, too late. The oakiness takes over and the last part of the finish just gives a toasted oakiness and a gentle minty note which, together with the sweetness, has a tooth paste feel to it. This is a decent whisky with a ”made for mixing” tag on the bottle, which feels accurate. This is not the best neat pour out there, but it can hold its own against a lot of cheap entry malts.
This is a whisky made for drinks and cocktails. It’s aged for an undisclosed amount of time in a mix of ex-bourbon and new charred oak casks.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Ireland Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 1/5
Nose: This sour and young. The first thing to arrive is a sour lemon metallic note and not so pleasant ethanol notes. After a few seconds a sweetness starts to come through with vanilla, malt and a sweet bready note. With time in the glass it becomes more sweet and more fruity. A fruity red and green apple note gets mixed in with everything else. There’s a white wine aura to it. It gets more approachable after a few minutes but it never gets good enough to become interesting or especially nice. This is not the best nose in the world but it’s not unpleasant.
Mouth: It starts out with a malty and sweet center and a sour metallic outside layer. It comes through as young and ethanol driven yet rather thin and flat. There’s a cardboard note in there as well. It’s not as fruity as on the nose and it becomes more sweet and slightly bitter with time. There are honey and vanilla notes and something that resembles butterscotch can be found in the background. It still has a white wine aura to it.
Finish: A mild spicyness spreads out over the palate and gives it a much needed dimension. The white wine sour notes are still detectable as well as the sweet center, but the sweetness crumbles and disappears rather quick. This is a good thing because the oakiness it reveals is a rather nice one with a nice nutty quality to it. It’s the best part of the journey. Unfortunatly it is accompanied by a cardboard note though. This is not a good whiskey overall. Luckily the best part of it is the one that stays afterwards.
This whiskey was triple distilled and filtered through charcoal made from oak. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
ABV: 56.7 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there’s a mild menthol layer sitting on top of a very homogenous fruity, sweet and peaty base and center. It feels very mild and approachable and there’s a nice array of flavours and complexity. The fruitiness is a mix of dried tropical fruits and darker black and red berries. The sweetness is mainly attached to the fruitiness but there are both honey and vanilla notes to be found. The peat is very much a leather and tobacco peatiness. It’s a bit subdued behind the fruitiness but creates a nice frame. The whole feels quite young despite the heavy cask influence. This is a great nose which is nicely balanced between the casks and the house style.
Mouth: It starts out with a peat kick with tobacco, leather and a slightly herbal note. It mainly shows up on top but also on the outside edges. It feels a bit hot and the spicyness is producing an immidiate impact on the palate. The sweetness sits on the outside and the fruitiness and a black coffee note resides in the center. The fruitiness is still a both tropical and darker fruits and berries all mixed up in one big fruit bowl. Everything do seem to be a bit shallow at this point and it feels like it’s lacking some depth at this point.
Finish: The spicyness continues at the same pace but the darker fruit note with raisins, overripe plums and a splash of coffee takes over and hides the tropical fruits at the start of the finish. It takes a while before the tropical fruitiness once again shows up as well as the sweet vanilla notes. There’s still not a big depth to this whisky. It takes a long time for the oak to be a part of this whisky and when it does, it’s nice enough but way too anonymous. This is a great whisky but it feels a bit rushed. It still produces very nice flavour combinations all in all.
This is the last release in the Devil’s Casks series. It’s aged in first fill ex-Oloroso and first fill ex-PX sherry casks for an undisclosed amount of time. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
The Finlaggan is made from whisky coming out of two southern islay distilleries. It has a PPM value of 40 and it’s aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels for ~5-6 years. It’s unchillfiltered.
ABV: 55.3 % Origin: Campbeltown Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is spicy and sweet. At first there’s a sweet vanilla with a peppery layer on top. It’s immidiately woody with oak tannins punching through. When it settles in the glass a layer of sticky sweet red berries and a hint of sweet pipe tobacco gets spread on top of the vanilla. It then sort of reach stasis and stays layered with pepper, oak, sticky fruits and sweet vanilla. It takes a good twenty minutes in the glass before the layers start to merge together. This is a nice enough nose, but it doesn’t feel especially balanced and/or logical.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet and sour fruitiness on the edges of the palate incapsulating a sweet vanilla and honey center. It’s slightly bitter and still has a very peppery character. The oakiness is not as aggressive as on the nose. There’s a maltiness coming through, as well as liquorice and some assorted nuts in the back part of the core. It feels a bit hot and it’s not the best mouthfeel in the world.
Finish: The finish starts out with the sticky sweet fruits on top while the bitterness creates a backplate which everything rests on. The fruits now have a slightly darker character. It still has a lot of oak tannins but they are subdued by the pepper spicyness and some blueberry and lemon fruitiness floating around on top. This is a contrast to the darker notes within. It feels quite dry and it’s not as sweet as earlier in the journey. When the oak takes over it becomes slightly astringent and the oakiness comes through as a mix of fresh oak and old dusty grey oak planks. This is a good and competent whisky but it’s a really weird one.
This whisky was bottled exclusively for the Swedish market. It’s was distilled in 2012 and bottled in 2021. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in a ex-ruby port pipe. 300 bottles were released. The cask number is 19/660-7. It’s unchillfiltered.
ABV: 51.7 % Origin: Campbeltown Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a peaty cloud sitting on top of a sweet center with vanilla, oak and honey. It feels herbal and slightly medicinal on top but underneath the sweetness lies a complex gritty base with dirty oil and rubber notes. With time in the glass it becomes a lot sweeter and the peaty cloud moves out towards the edges and becomes more ashy than before. There’s a fruitiness hidden within which leans towards sweet and ripe red apples. It feels younger than the age statement at first aquaintance. This is a very nice nose with a lot to offer for the whisky explorer.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet and bitter mix that consists of a dusty oak note up front and a fruity and sweet core. There’s a pretty strong coconut note and burnt caramel coming through in the middle as well. The peat is a bit subdued off the starting grid and it takes a while for it to shine. The red apples are joined by a mild lemon peel note and the peat moves together with that note up along the edges. The gritty core stays in the back and the peat notes are now more like leather and tobacco. The dusty oak is very prominent throughout.
Finish: The dusty oak, with a mix of vanilla and bitter lemon peel, stays strong through the transition. The finish starts out slightly fruitier than before with red apples dipped in caramel but it’s all about the oakiness from here. The peatiness becomes less important quite soon and resides in the background along with the gritty notes. It’s still a complex dram but it gets rather uninteresting in the late finish due to the bitter and quite protruding oakiness from the small casks. This is a very good whisky overall but it doesn’t go all the distance. It’s complex and well made but it tips over and becomes slightly unbalanced in the late finish.
This whisky was distilled in 2001 and bottled in 2013. 9000 bottles were released. It was aged in rundlets and kilderkins. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 54.4 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there’s a mix of heavy dark fruits and vanilla. There are raisins and overripe plums mixed with tobacco and spices. It feels very powerful and rich. After a few seconds notes of oak and baking spices break through as well as a tropical fruitiness. It’s quite sweet overall with honey notes nestled within. It slowly changes and gives new subtle notes over time without compromising the initial character. Notes of leather and lemon pops up as well. This is a great nose. It leans heavily towards the oloroso sherry casks without it being top heavy.
Mouth: It starts out with honey and a swift nod to the tropical fruitiness the leather and the tobacco notes before the dark fruitiness takes over. It’s spicy and a bit dusty which fits the heavy character perfectly. There’s a slight bitterness, maybe a black coffee note, in the back as well as vanilla and a drizzle of honey. The oak shines through every once in a while which creates depth together with the tropical fruits which now resides in the back. It’s a very balanced, yet very powerful experience.
Finish: The finish starts with a dusty and complex center with the dark fruitiness now moving out towards the edges of the palate. This leaves room for the leather, tobacco and the tropical fruitiness to shine through. It still has a very rich and powerful character. It stays like this for quite some time before the oakiness finally breaks through. It’s a nice oakiness but it really never gets to shine. The dark fruits never leave its side. This is an amazing whisky. It’s powerful yet balanced and has a nice journey through and through.
This whisky is first aged in undisclosed casks and then finished in ex-sherry casks. This was bottled in 2011 and is limited to 15000 bottles. The bottle reviewed is 05033/15000. It’s unchillfiltered.
ABV: 50 % Origin: India Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. The orange peel fruitiness dominates the nose from the start. It sits on a sweet and soft berry layer. There’s vanilla and a touch of aromatic oak as well. When it settles in the glass the orange peel gets a bit less powerful but it never seems to merge with the sweetness. There are assorted dried fruits added to the mix as well. The distillate becomes more noticable and it’s a rather nice and well made base but it just creates a third individual layer. The whole thing sort of feels like a layered cocktail. This is a nice nose overall though.
Mouth: It starts out with a big sweetness and it’s quite spicy on initial impact. The orange peel and the oak mixes and the whole thing becomes a weird aromatic concoction which almost resembles cedar wood. There’s cinnamon and other baking spices as well. It becomes somewhat bitter after a while which makes the whole thing even weirder. It’s not unpleasant, it just tastes very unorthodox. It feels quite young and spirity which doesn’t help it along.
Finish: A small surge in ABV spicyness gives a much needed rest from the plathora of layered flavours on the palate. When it calms down the Oloroso sherry finally becomes recognizable with the mix of dried fruits in the forefront. There’s still a fresh and slightly bitter orange peel note but it seems to have let go of the other flavours which is a good thing. The oakiness is pretty anonymous on its own though. This is a decent but very weird whisky. It’s interesting in itself, but it’s not the best tasting whisky out there.
This whisky is first aged for 3 years in undisclosed casks and then finished for another 3 years in casks which previously held Oloroso sherry with orange peels.
ABV: 48 % Origin: Speyside Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet ripe berries and malt. At first there’s a big emphasis on the ripe berries with a thick top layer coming from the red wine casks. Underneath lies a malty and sweet core with a mild spicyness attached to it. Vanilla and fudge notes can be found within. When it settles there are light floral notes and a fresher tropical fruitiness coming through along the edges of the glass with a hint of peaches and violets. There’s also a mild and thin menthol layer on top. This is a very good nose but it feels a bit top heavy. It greatly improves with time in the glass.
Mouth: It starts out with the soft, ripe berries covering the outer parts of the palate. There’s an almond/marzipan note attached to the outer layer as well. It comes through as slightly bitter, but it’s not an offensive bitterness. The whole is not as sweet on the palate as on the nose. The fresher fruitiness creates an orange peel note in the background and the peaches are still in there. There’s still a toffee sweetness in the center, but it’s not especially pronounced and it feels a bit dusty. The floral notes are nowhere to be found.
Finish: The ripe berries stay in the outer layer through the transition and the orange peel notes stay in the background. It’s a logical transition without any spikes. The peaches is now once again showing themselves in the back part of the palate but they are soon competing with the oakiness, which seems to emerge from the orange peel in the background. It’s a nice nutty oakiness which fits nicely with the rest of the character. It carries the fresher fruits a long way down the late finish. This is a very good whisky overall. It feels a bit top heavy and the wine cask finish feels a bit detached from the rest of the whisky.
This whisky is first aged in american ex-bourbon barrels for 9 years and then finished in ex-Grattamacco wine barriques for 2 years. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Speyside Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is rich, dense and fruity. It’s surprisingly fresh for its age with a big bowl of fruits in focus. There’s oranges, ripe apples, gooseberries and a touch of liqeuor soakad cherries. There’s a generous amount of vanilla, honey and cinnamon and some oak spices clinging on towards the edges. Very pleasant.
Mouth: It starts out quite muted before the flavours come through. The fruit notes are toned down and leave place for a maltiness and some mild spices. The cinnamon and vanilla is still strong and come through together with some notes of dusty old leather books. The oakiness shows up with a slight bitterness and a hint of assorted tropical fruits within.
Finish: A sweet fruitiness (like marmelade) shows up then quickly subsides and gives room to a slightly bitter oak with notes of coffee, walnuts and some tropical fruitiness. The cinnamon is still present. The oak finish is long and very satisfying. As it slowly fades away there’s a tiny rye note with anis peeking through.
This expression sits on top of the Balvenie travel exclusive range. It’s aged in refill and first fill american bourbon barrels and first fill spanish Oloroso sherry butts. Those are then married for at least 6 months before bottling.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Speyside Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a very big bucket of mixed fruits. There are raisins, blackberries, cherries, oranges, lemons and ripe nectarines. The bucket sits on a dusty bookshelf together with som leather-bound old books. The whole thing seems to be wrapped up in a nice layer of honey and vanilla. There’s also a malty note in the background. This is a complex, wonderful nose. It really makes up for the lack of power with some big flavours.
Mouth: It starts out with vanilla, dust and a hint of lemon. After a few seconds it starts to grow and the maltiness together with honey and orange peel create a very nice core flavour. With time, the bitter side sort of takes over as the oakiness starts to come through. The red and darker fruits are not as present as on the nose and the orange peel note is very pronounced. It’s got a thick texture to it and it feels very rich.
Finish: It kind of starts out with a flavour arc where the sweetness starts out on a low level and then after increasing moves over to become a sweet orange peel bitter fruitiness. It then seemlessly turns over to a dusty oakiness as the flavour intensity decreases. The darker sweet fruits show up in the late finish and the oakiness becomes nutty and brings some hazelnuts down the road. This is a fantastic, quite complex whisky even though it lacks some power.
This 21 YO was first released in 1996. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and then finished for a couple of months in 30 YO ex-port pipes. This version shouldn’t be mistaken for the travel retail version, which is sold with higher strength and is unchillfiltered.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Speyside Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is fruity and sweet. There’s oranges, both the juice and the peel, together with honey and vanilla. It’s pretty laid back and very easy on the nose. After a while some green apples and pears join the fruity side and a soothing menthol lies as a thin layer over the fruits. There’s a small hint of cinnamon on top of the fruits and maybe just a hint of white chocolate. This is not very complex but still very pleasant on the nose.
Mouth: The honey comes first and then a touch of spicyness. There’s an immediate bitterness that comes through together with the fruitiness. It’s orange peel and oak together with vanilla and a speck of dust. The cinnamon is in there as well as a butterscotch note which appears after a few seconds. There’s a small hint of darker fruits well hidden in the background. There’s no astringency and it’s got a nice feel to it overall.
Finish: There’s a small dip in flavour at first, then the orange peel and the oak come back into focus. There are red berries and dried fruits coming through but they never take over. The oakiness is dusty with a touch of bitterness. The honey and vanilla are now long gone. There’s a coffee note, but mainly there’s just a grey weathered oak feel to it. In the tail end the oranges reappears together with a small rye note and gives it a nice send off. This is a good entry level single malt.
Released in 1993, this is one of the first wine finished whiskies made. It’s matured for 12 years in second and third fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels and then finished in first fill spanish ex-Oloroso sherry butts for 9 months.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Speyside Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 2/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. A very thick layer of assorted dried fruits with detectable raisins cover everything else. There are walnuts and a hint of ripe berries as well. The distillate behind feels somewhat flat due to the low ABV. It seems to be young but it’s hard to push through the waxy sherry layer. The sweetness seems to be leaning towards brown syryp with a hint of vanilla but it mainly comes attached to the fruits. This is a decent nose which is top heavy and way too mild underneath.
Mouth: It starts out with a spirity young distillate in the back and the dried fruits and waxy walnuts up front. There’s a black coffee note in the center of the palate and the raisins and ripe fruits are coming through as well. There’s a fresher fruitiness in the background with a mild citrus note. It feels very unbalanced and it really feels like a cover-up with the thick sherry lid trying to make up for the lack of quality behind it. The low ABV doesn’t help it to reach any heights either.
Finish: There’s a mild spicyness and an ethanol layer sitting on top of a mix of fresh citrus in the back and the dried fruits and sweet syryp up front. It just sort of crumbles early on in the finish which is a good thing because it reveals an absolutely marvellous oakiness filled with both walnuts and hazelnuts, a touch of wax and a hint of vanilla and coffee. The oakiness stays for a long time and leaves a fantastic experience for a long finish. This is a rather bad whisky but the finish is just breathtaking and makes one forget most the bumps along the way.
This is a whisky aged for an undisclosed amount of time in a mix of ex-Oloroso sherry butts and whisky aged in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in ex-Oloroso sherry butts. This is bottle no. 2818/3000 of batch 3.
ABV: 48 % Origin: Sweden Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a big sweet honey center with some ripe red berries sitting in a surrounding layer. The peatiness slowly increases in intensity towards the edges of the glass together with a vanilla note. The longer it stays in the glass the more the distillate becomes noticeable. It’s young and spirit driven and it feels quite mineral rich and has a nice power to it. With time a nice milk chocolate note can be found within the sweet core. This is a nice nose with a lot to offer but it do feel a bit shallow and it lacks some depth.
Mouth: It starts out with a peaty and sweet impact. The peatiness stays around the edges while the honey and vanilla resides in the middle. There’s a nice mix of liquorice and earthy peatiness slowly increasing in intensity in there as well. It feels rich and quite powerful. The sherry cask fruitiness mixes nicely with the peatiness and creates a nice outer layer. There is a complexity with tobacco, sulfur and a fresher fruitiness, but the background seems hollow and somewhat empty.
Finish: The finish starts with a mild spicyness. It’s not spiking but it fills the palate with a nice powerful sensation. The sweetness and the ripe berries are joined by dried fruits and a more sweet and haylike peatiness. The finish feels very warm and comforting. The vanilla notes slowly shifts into an oakiness and the casks give away a nice nuttiness as well. This is a very good whisky. It has a lot of nice flavours, but it seems a bit shallow overall.
This is a limited edition whisky aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 48 % Origin: Islay Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is medicinal peat and dry oak. At first there’s a mineral rich medicinal peatiness in the center with a mix of dry oak and ash on the outside. The oak brings notes of vanilla and honey but it’s not especially sweet overall. Underneath the medicinal peat is a layer of assorted red fruits and bitter chocolate. With time all the different flavour profiles seem to move closer together. It also seems to become more oaky with time in the glass. This is a very interesting nose with a lot of nuances to discover.
Mouth: It starts out with honey and dry oak up front but those are soon overridden by chili flakes, bitter chocolate and a rowdy peat with a lot of complexity within. It’s medicinal iodine with salt, rubber and pipe tobacco within. There’s even an ashy side to it. The bitter chocolate moves back and becomes more of a strong coffee note over time. The fruitiness is found on top and it’s a darker more ripe fruitiness than before.
Finish: The chili spicyness, the coffee and the chocolate notes arrives first but are soon pushed back by the medicinal peat and a very dry and in-your-face oakiness. There’s still a hint of tobacco within and it feels like there’s a nuttiness somewhere within. The fruitiness is once again noticable just around the edges. In the late finish it’s just the oak, the peat and the bitterness left behind, and they stay for a long time. This is a great whisky with a unique character. It’s a very interesting journey throughout.
The Lore is aged between 7-21 years in 5 different cask types. Named are 19th century quarter casks, european oak, ex-Bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 43 %
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. Honey and a vanilla oakiness sit on top of green grapes and apples and there are marzipan and pine notes somewhere in between. There’s also a veil of cooling mint surrounding everything else. The whole thing comes out very perfumey and it feels a bit young. After some time in the glass a lime note starts to emerge from the fruitiness. It feels a bit over-engineered, but it’s still a decent nose.
Mouth: It starts out extremely mild and it never really picks up speed. Fudge and a dusty honey sweetness arrive first and then the pine returns. There’s a strong coconut flavour and it’s much sweeter than on the nose. The fruitiness is sitting in the back and it’s now leaning towards oranges and just a small hint of raspberries. It still comes through as very perfumey.
Finish: A minty fresh start soon moves over to make room for a dusty oak. The fudge and the citrus freshness are still intact but pushed back into the background. There’s a top layer of honey and coconut. The marzipan returns and creates a bridge between the fudge and the oak. It’s a dry slightly bitter oakiness with a miniscule flavour of hazelnuts. This is an extremely mild and approachable whisky, but it is a bit uneventful and underwhelming.
Hakushu distillery is owned by Suntory. This is the entry level in their core range. The content isn’t disclosed. It’s a mix of different ages and cask types.
This whisky was distilled in 2012 with a PPM value of 133. It was aged in a mix of first fill ex-american (25 %), third fill virgin oak (25 %), second fill ex-Riversaltes (20 %), second fill Syrah (20 %) and lastly, spirit aged in second fill ex-bourbon barrels (10 %). It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.