Etikettarkiv: Islay whisky review

Bowmore The Devil’s Casks Limited Release III – Double the Devil

ABV: 56.7 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Finlaggan Batch Strength

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
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.

Octomore 11.1 – Dialogos

ABV: 59.4 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2014 with a PPM value of 139.6. It was aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels for 5 years. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Bowmore 15 YO Laimrig Batch 2

ABV: 54.4 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Laphroaig Lore

ABV: 48 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Octomore 09.3 – Dialogos

ABV: 62.9 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
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.

Bowmore 10 YO – Tempest I

ABV: 55.3 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
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.

Octomore 10 Years – Dialogos

ABV: 56.8 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
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.

Lagavulin 12 YO Special Release 2020

ABV: 56.4 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2007 and aged in refill ex-bourbon barrels for the whole maturation period.

Bowmore 12 YO – Enigma

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Bowmore Small Batch

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Bowmore Legend

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
There’s not much information to be found on this bottling. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon oak casks.

Bowmore Gold Reef

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Port Ellen 1979 (Signatory Vintage)

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Bowmore Black Rock

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
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.

Additional information
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.

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie – Scottish Barley

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is a mix of sweet and salty. At first there’s a layer of honey and vanilla with a mild cloud of peppermint on top. The base consists of coastal notes, like seaweed and salty ocean air. It’s not especially fruity, but there is a hint of citrus fruits floating around somewhere in between together with a slightly perfumey floral notes. The nose is very consistant over time and it doesn’t evolve too much in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with a sour tang, but soon becomes savory. It feels rowdy and a bit rough around the edges, but in a very good way. There’s tar, motoroil and coastal notes, which are still very much in focus. It’s not as sweet as on the nose and the honey and vanilla notes move out towards the edges. There’s a bitter oakiness coming through and after a few seconds there’s a black pepper spicyness starting to build up. With time there’s a bitter black liquorice emerging from the back.

Finish: The savory notes are first to appear and they are accompanied by peppermint and brine. It’s very salty, but it starts to lean away from the coastal notes and lean more towards a herbaceous character. It takes a second or two for the oakiness to arrive, but when it does it packs a punch. It becomes very pronounced in the finish. It’s a nice oakiness and it feels genuine and almost like it’s coming from a ship wreck, since it’s mixed with the savory and salty notes. This is a great, albeit young, whisky which doesn’t cater for people who want an easy sipping experience. This is rough around the edges, and that’s a very good thing.

Additional information
The Classic Laddie is mainly aged in first and second fill american ex-bourbon casks. There’s also a couple of ex-wine casks in the mix. The batch of the tested bottle is 19/192.

Bowmore 18 YO

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is leather and dark fruits. A mellow peatiness with leather and tobacco notes sits in the middle of a dark fruitiness with overripe plums and raisins. A row of old books and a tropical fruitiness (with a twist of lemon) sit in the background. The contrast between the dirrerences make this a complex nose. All flavours seem integrated and they fit nicely into the whole. The dark fruits become more pronounced over time and they bring a black liquorice sweetness. This is a fantastic nose.

Mouth: It starts out mild yet flavourful. It’s very sweet with the dark fruitiness up front. A lemon note shoots through the dark fruits and, together with a saltiness and the peat, it creates a complex sensation. The old books still sit in the back and after a few seconds the tropical fruitiness return. The peat is now leaning towards tobacco with a hint of burning charcoal. It becomes spicier with time. The oak is not yet present.

Finish: At first, it becomes very dusty and the age is coming through clearly. The darker fruitiness is immidiately toned down to make room for a brighter tropical fruitiness with pineapples as the main flavour. Within this fruitiness the oak slowly emerges. It’s a dry oak with a hint of walnuts and black coffee, but it still got a freshness to it. The bitter notes never really take over, they just seem to add another layer. In the late finish the leather returns. The tropical fruitiness stays in the mouth long after everything else has subsided. This is well made, and a great dram. It is a bit too mild, but still delivers complexity and a lot of flavours.

Additional information
This was added to the core range in 2007. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon oak barrels and ex-sherry casks separatly and then mixed together.

Bowmore 17 YO – White Sands

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is Lemon and leather. The fruitiness soon turns into assorted tropical fruits and the leather note expands to include smoke from a warm burning campfire. There’s a layer of honey, vanilla and butterscotch, but it stays in the back seat. It shows some age with a somewhat elusive note of dusty old books. The fruitiness grows clearar as time passes and there are mango and pineapple found together with the lemon note. It grows sweeter and gets more of the vanilla with time in the glass.

Mouth: It’s very mild and honey sweet at first. The leather note comes through and creates a nice layer around the palate. In the center the fruitiness is even more pronounced than on the nose. It’s still a tropical fruitiness with mango, pineapple and lemon. It’s got a nice backbone of vanilla and a hint of butterscotch. The spicyness is lacking in intensity and never really picks up speed.

Finish: A whiff of the old books passes by before going back to the tropical fruitiness. It grows even fruitier and sweet over time and when the oak arrives it adds to that sensation. The oak is very pleasant and interacts well with all the other flavours instead of bringing a contrasts. It feels very well balanced all the way through and just about every flavour follows along to the now slightly bitter end.

Additional information
This was released in 2014 as a part of the distillery’s travel exclusive series. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon oak barrels. It was discontinued in 2017.

Douglas Laing’s Big Peat Christmas 2017 Limited Edition

ABV: 54.1 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Blended Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
(Scribbles)
Nose: Very savory, honeyglazed liquid bacon, ashy campfire, iodine, brine and a hint of lemon.

Mouth: Ashy tobacco, savory and meaty. Honey and a touch of vanilla. Very straightforward focus on the peat effect.

Finish: Feels like after smoking a cigarette, ashy, tobacco, brine, still savory, a metallic young note is present.

Additional information
Douglas Laing released Big Peat Christmas Edition for the first time in 2011. This 2017 edition contains whiskies from 7 islay distilleries. Named distilleries are Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen. It’s cask strength, has natural colour and it’s unchillfiltered.

Ardbeg Scorch Committee Release

ABV: 51,7 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is oaky and peaty. At first there’s a heavy impact from a hot burning woodfire with a sweet honey and vanilla baseline. Underneath a mineral rich peatiness struggles to keep up and it takes some time in the glass before the whole becomes balanced. There’s iodine and coastal notes floating around as well. With time the vanilla becomes more noticable. There’s black liquorice and a tiny hint of fresh fruits coming through from the back and with time the liquorice note becomes dominant. This is a great, heavily peated nose with a nice balance between the peat and oak.

Mouth: At first it’s spicy and mineral rich with top notes of fresh oak and honey. The iodine is very pronounced and it takes a few seconds before it’s pushed back by the sweetness, charred oak and peat. The whole is vanilla and liquorice heavy. In the center there’s a nice maltiness peeking through as well. The charred oak becomes quite sooty over time. There’s also a fresh fruitiness, leaning towards grilled pineapple, in the background.

Finish: It starts out with a joint surge of wood spices and ABV spicyness. The burning woodfire is covering most of the palate at this point and the iodine and coastal notes have taken a few steps back. The liquorice is now also residing in the back. After a few seconds there’s a smoky woodfire exterior and a fresh oak center with a tropical fruitiness within. The late finish becomes a bit too oaky. This is a great whisky which does a nice job of balancing extreme flavours against each other. Time in the glass before drinking is recommended.

Additional information
This was released for Ardbeg Day 2021. It’s aged for an undisclosed amount of time in heavily charred ex-bourbon barrels. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.