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: 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: 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.
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.
This whisky comes from the first batch of six in the Tempest series. It was aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels. 12000 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
This whisky was distilled in 2008 with a PPM value of 167. It was aged in a mix of first fill ex-port pipes (37 %), first fill ex-cognac casks (31 %), second fill ex-bourbon barrels (20 %) and lastly, spirit aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, then in virgin oak casks and then ex-American whiskey casks (12 %) . It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islay Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 2 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is ripe fruits and leathery peat. At first there’s a big bucket of raisins, overripe plums and liqueur-soaked berries with a tropical fruitiness peeking through from behind. A toned down peatiness creates a surrounding layer of leather and tobacco. The whole thing is very sweet and it’s like the fruits are coated with a tiny layer of vanilla and icing sugar. This is a very pleasant nose.
Mouth: It starts out very mild with a lot of the ripe fruits coming through, but it seems a little fresher than on the nose. Black liquorice start to emerge, and after a few seconds it takes over together with the darker overripe fruits and the raisins. The peatiness is there and it’s still leather and tobacco, but now with a hint of burning wood. It suffers a bit from the low ABV and that hurts the impact.
Finish: At first, vanilla, tropical fruits and red berries arise and expand from the center and out. The peat is still surrounding the edges and it stays there and never becomes the main attraction. The ripe fruitiness then once again takes over, but now with a base of honey. It takes a long time for the oak to show up and there’s a shift in the fruitiness towards the tropical fruits just before it arrives. It’s an anonomous oakiness without character. This could have been a fantastic whisky, but it lacks some power to deliver its best side.
This expression was a part of Bowmore’s former travel retail range that was discontinued around 2014. It’s aged in both american ex-bourbon barrels and european ex-sherry casks with a heavy emphasis on the latter.
ABV: 49 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sticky sweet fruits and peat. At first there’s a sweet and ashy peatiness which has a layer of floral and fruity clouds surrounding it. There are notes of vanilla, liquorice and quite sticky, sweet and ripe berries. There’s also a different side to it with pipe tobacco and walnuts peeking through. When it settles the peat is pushed back by the heavy cask influence and it feels a bit subdued. There are some coastal notes deep within but the main focus lies on the fruitiness. This is a fantastic nose by all means but it strays a bit from its rowdy legacy.
Mouth: It starts out with a slight bitterness in the back and the main sweetness, liquorice and vanilla out on the sides and in the back of the palate. The middle is reserved for a mineral rich medicinal note. It’s not nearly as sweet as on the nose and the fruitiness is noticable but subdued at this point. It is quite spicy which helps it along. After a few seconds a tobacco note arrives in the back together with the bitterness and a feint but slowly increasing mix of lemon and dried dark berries.
Finish: The finish begins with a spike of spicyness and minerality. The mix of lemons, liquorice and ripe berries is now creating a backdrop to the medicinal peat which arrives as soon as the spike dies down. It gets less sweet the further down the line it goes and the main focus is on the medicinal and mineral rich peat, which feels a bit uncharacteristic. The oak arrives late, but when it shows up it’s an excellent addition with a nice coffee and walnut bitterness. It’s a grey weathered oak which fits nicely with the rest of the journey. This is a great whisky which strays a bit from its heritage (it tastes more like a Laphroaig than an Ardbeg).
This whisky was made to celebrate the space experiment between NASA and Ardbeg. It was distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2012. It’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels and sicilian ex-Marsala casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 1 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is honey, peat and tropical fruits. At first there’s a big bucket of tropical fruits covered in vanilla and honey. It’s surrounded by a layer of tobacco and worn leather. In the background there’s a lemon sourness and a hint of salty ocean air. With time, a savory peat note comes up somewhere in between the layers. This is a very pleasant nose.
Mouth: It starts out sweet and salty. The honey note is up front and the tropical fruits have moved to the back of the palate. It takes a second for the peat to show up and now it’s leaning heavily towards the tobacco side. There’s also a medicinal side to it and it comes through together with the saltiness.
Finish: A big burst of menthol and tropical fruitiness fills the mouth. It’s now a clear mango note. The tobacco peatiness and the medicinal notes comes shortly after. It takes a while before the oak appears and when it does, it’s a quite nice oakiness. It’s wet planks and walnuts and it stays a long time before fading. It’s salty all the way through. This is a good, albeit young, version of Bowmore matured in very good casks. It’s not their best, but it offers a lot of flavour even though it’s low strength.
This expression was released in 2014. It’s aged in first and second fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels. It was discontinued in 2017 and replaced by Bowmore No.1.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 1 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is lemon fresh and fruity. A layer of peat, mostly leather and smoke from a hot campfire, is sitting in between the fruitiness and the sweetness. The fruitiness is mostly lemon and star fruits and the sweetness is a classic mix of honey and vanilla. There is a thin layer of mint sitting on top. This is mild and easy on the nose.
Mouth: Bitterness hits the mouth directly and then it turns to the peaty notes and they are leaning more towards leather now. It’s salty and the fruitiness is still the same as on the nose but with some pinapple and grapefruits added. There’s a small hint of a dry oakiness in the back. The vanilla and honey is nowhere to be found. It’s still very mild.
Finish: A spike of fruitiness passes by and then the mint and peat takes over. The lemon note stays for a long time and surrounds all the other flavours. The oak starts to push through and brings a big bag of tropical fruits with it. The oak itself is dry and a bit muted. The last part of the finish is all about the fruitiness. This is not especially complex and it’s a bit too mild. It’s still a decent dram though.
There’s not much information to be found on this bottling. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon oak casks.
Nose: This is tropical fruits in a leather pouch. It starts out very fruity with pineapples, mangos and a hint of ripe bananas. The leathery peat notes are subtle and sits with some honey and vanilla in the back. There is a savory, quite complex center behind everything else, which gives it a nice depth. This is very pleasant on the nose.
Mouth: A spicy note sort of slingshots in before the whole thing turns very fruity and quite dusty. It really shows some age with some dusty leather-bound books. The tropical fruits are still the main focal point and they are joined by some ripe red apples and lemon zest. It’s salty and got a small note of seashore residing in the back. It’s very mild and easy on the palate, yet still quite rich and with an oily texture. The oak do show up, but it takes quite the patience to find it and when it finally shows up it comes with a bitter note and a piece of milk chocolate.
Finish: A big burst of tropical fruits sets the pace. There’s smoke coming from a warm burning campfirein the back. It also still got a hint of leather. The oak comes slowly and settles down around the tropical fruits. It’s a very nice oakiness with a small bitter note to it. It’s a dusty, slightly astringent oak with notes of chalk, hazelnuts and old grey wooden planks. The salty note is still in there and the fruitiness stays for a long finish.
This was released in 2014 as a travel retail exclusive. It’s primarily aged in first fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels. It was discontinued in 2017.
ABV: 43 % Origin: Islay Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a rather pointy and fresh fruitiness up front with a mild vanilla surrounding it. It’s fresh orchard fruits as well as assorted dried berries. In the background there’s a slight paint thinner note which becomes more medicinal as time passes in the glass. There’a also a light peatiness and a touch of salt and sulfur sitting beneath the fruitiness. This is a great and accessible nose with a complexity to keep the explorers occupied for a good while.
Mouth: It starts out with vanilla and a hint of coconut in the center and a very complex mix of medicinal peat, minerals and rubber on the outside. After a few seconds there’s almost a mix of white wine and pilsner coming through which at first comes off as a bit weird but when it merges with the vanilla becomes rather interesting. It’s less fruity and more peaty than on the nose but the fruitiness in there now comes through as orange peel. The whole thing has a sprinkle of dust on top.
Finish: A mild peppermint cloud spreads across the palate as the other flavours try to settle on which one should go first. The white wine and beer notes moves up a bit as well as the vanilla and orange peel. The fruitiness is now residing on the edges of the palate. The peat notes have once again taken a big step back and never really affects the palate in much in the finish. This makes the oakiness come through clearer. It’s a nice oakiness but it kind of brings up the paint thinner note once again. There are some assorted nuts and a hint of orange peel left in the late finish. This is a great whisky with a pretty quirky character. This makes it more fun to explore but less of a balanced High quality dram.
This is aged for 22 years in a refill ex-sherry cask (Butt no. 5536). This is bottle no. 612/738. It has natural colour.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is fruity and ashy. At first there’s a mineral rich and ashy peatiness covering the edges of the glass. On the inside there’s a fresh fruitiness, vanilla and liquorice. It’s quite mild and easy on the nose. In the background there are coastal notes. With time the ashy notes subsides as the peat slowly evolves into a distant woodfire note. A darker red fruitiness can then be found in the outer edge. This is a rather uncomplicated yet pleasant nose.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet and slightly bitter outside layer and a fruity and mineral rich center. It’s very mild and gentle even though there’s a peatiness peeking through from behind. It’s salty and the sherry casks are producing a hint of dark fruits and sulfur. The bitter notes increase in intensity over time as well as the sweetness. There’s an old and grey oakiness with a hint of dust on top shining through as well.
Finish: The finish starts out with a mild peppermint on top and the dark sweet fruits surrounding the edges. The bitterness have moved back into the background and sits together with the old oakiness. The center is filled with minerals and seasalt. It gets less sweet as the finish moves along. The sweetness stays a long time and accompanies the oak through the late finish. When all else disappears the ashy note is once again revealed. This is a great whisky, but it lacks some of the telltales of its heritage.
This whisky was distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2005 making it 10 YO. It’s aged in refill ex-sherry casks.
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there are tropical fruits mixed with raisins and dark chocolate. Honey, vanilla and black liquorice sits in the back and create a nice rich backdrop. A brigther note of red berries with some raspberries sort of comes and goes on top of the dark fruitiness. The peat manifests as a leather note and sits in between the layers of sweetness. The focus lies on the heavy sherry overlay.
Mouth: At first honey, red berries and a slight bitterness turn up. It then slowly changes into black liquorice, vanilla and raisins. There’s a lemon note surrounding the other flavours. The oakiness comes through together with leather and tropical fruits. It’s a nice oakiness with a slight bitterness that sits well with the other flavours.
Finish: A thin note of menthol passes by before moving directly into a big bowl of assorted tropical fruits. The oakiness comes through as well as the darker sherry notes and the leather, but the main focus is all about the pineapples and mangos and a slight hint of grapefruits. There’s a chalk note sitting on top of the oak in the finish and the oak is somewhat dry and bitter with some coffee and hazelnuts. There’s no astringency until after a few sips. This is very good for an entry level NAS travel retail release.
Black Rock is the entry level of the travel retail exclusive range released in 2014. It’s primarily aged in ex-sherry casks. It was discontinued in 2017.
ABV: 56.2 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and ashy. At first there’s a mineral note sitting together with ashy peat on top of a young spirit note. On top of that, in the center, there’s a sweet honey and vanilla note. When it settles the peat notes switches to a warmer burning woodfire smokiness and gentle coastal notes. There’s a mild menthol note spreading out like a cloud above everything else and a hint of unscented lotion somewhere within. This is not a complex nose but it’s an interesting whisky nontheless.
Mouth: It starts out with very sweet and spicy. The honey is up front together with a chili spicyness. Underneath a green apple and lemon fruitiness tries its best to fight through a very rowdy and young peat. It’s still young (pun intended) in character. There’s a savory note in the back and a mineraly and ashy peat with coastal notes within. It’s a bit more complex on the palate than on the nose and has a bigger impact as well.
Finish: The fruitiness spreads out over the palate and it’s now more of an assorted fruit note. The menthol and chili spicyness moves to the back and sort of stays there throughout the finish. The peat is still coming through as a mix of burnt wood, minerals and coastal notes. The finish is less sweet than before which gives a very nice oakiness a chance to peek through. It’s a mix of old and new wood. It feels fresh at first and after a while it becomes a bit dusty and nutty. In the late finish there’s a beer note coming through unexpectedly. This is a great whisky with a nice peat and ABV punch. The series it belongs to makes it even better.
This whisky was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2006. It’s the second release in a series that lead up to the Renaissance 10 YO. It’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 57.6 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and medicinal. At first there’s a mix of iodine and peppermint sitting on top of sweet vanilla and liquorice root. There’s also a fruitiness coming through in the center. It’s a mix of lemon and lighter red berries. There is a charcoal as well but it’s not especially peaty or smoky. With time the charcoal and vanilla mixes with an oak note and the liquorice note now shows up in the center. The fruitiness moves forward as well. It feels maritime and there are notes of salt and seaweed as well. This is great, complex nose with a lot to offer.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet mix of vanilla, honey and oranges. It’s quite spicy from the get-go and it really packs a punch. At first, it feels very fresh despite the 23 years in casks, but after a while there’s a thin veil of dust sort of sprinkled on top of everything on the palate. There’s also a black coffee bitterness showing up in the background. The fruitiness becomes quite sticky and complex and for those who wait it becomes assorted dried fruits and bitter orange peel.
Finish: The peppermint spicyness flare up and then settles down quite quickly. First out after that are the dried fruits with orange peel and coconut flakes. It’s still quite dusty and the age is really shining through. There’s a tiny toffee note in the center. The oakiness moves slowly forward together with the bitterness. It’s a nice old and grey, nutty oak which matches the fruitiness very well. When all else fades the maritime and medicinal peaty notes peeks through once again. This is an absolutely fantastic dram with a nice journey and great complexity.
This was aged for 23 years and released in 2004. It was limited to 1300 bottles. It’s made from both unpeated and lightly peated barley. Cask type(s) isn’t disclosed. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 58,9 % Origin: Islay Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is young and very peaty. At first there’s a big hit of ashy peat and a medicinal young distillate with a mineral note somewhere within. In the background there’s vanilla and burnt wood. There’s also a cooling mint note hovering above everything else. After a few seconds the ashy peat mellows out a bit and it becomes slightly sweeter. It’s not a complex nose, but for those who search there’s a fruity note way back in the distance as well as some hazelnuts. This is nice and rowdy, yet straight forward.
Mouth: It starts out very sweet with vanilla cream and a nice ABV spicyness. It’s very ashy on the edges and the peat also fills the center with burnt wood and sort of a funky complex cheese note. It’s very different from the nose. There’s a bitterness coming through from the back and after a few seconds it moves out towards the edges which leaves place for the medicinal and mineral notes. It’s extremely peaty all over the palate and it still comes through as young and spirity.
Finish: At first there’s a slight dip in the ABV spicyness which leaves room for the vanilla sweetness and the funky note to take center stage. The cooling minty top note slowly returns and the peat punch once again comes through with ashes, iodine and a hint of seasalt. It’s still bitter in the back but as time passes by it more and more becomes burnt wood with an ashy overtone. This is a very good whisky and a massive peat monster. It is a bit young and spirity as expected.
This is an Ardbeg with a PPM level over 100. It’s aged for an undisclosed amount of time in ex-bourbon barrels. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.